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Tag: addiction

Excerpt From a Diary 45

[Holidays, 1990]

 

Thanksgiving was very quiet this year.  Helena & her family were at Geoff’s family in Pittsburgh.  Jesse & Doreen stayed home – her mother had a stroke & Doreen didn’t want to leave her.  Randy always hunts on Thanksgiving.  Trish is in Germany with Brad, who’s stationed there.  Rocco & Julie were there but only for a short while – they also had dinner at her folk’s.  I went to a meeting in the morning.  Later in the day, I helped my mother with the dinner – not that there was very much to do.  Without a tableful of people, there wasn’t dozens of dishes prepared – no creamed onions, spinach soufflé or even succotash – I missed seeing all the different bowls & platters of food.  But it was a good meal, as always.

***

In my room – reading, writing poetry, listening to music very softly on the stereo.

***

I finally heard from the manager of the building on Euclid Heights Avenue.  I can move in January but since the first is a Tuesday, I can actually move in the weekend before that – he said that the tenant was moving out mid-December but it needed painting & a few repairs.  But it would be ready by December 30th for sure.  I am so excited!  It is a really cute little place.  Perfect for me.  Top floor – fabulous view – lots of light – perfect for plants.  No porch & a tiny kitchen but you can’t get everything.  & nothing says I have to stay there forever.  It’s alright for right now.

***

I feel so bruised today.  My lungs ache when I breathe.  So horny it hurts.  But sleep came easily.  With dreams – dreams filled with sex – sex with Doug Conover of all people – sex with others too – dinner in a Chinese restaurant – a bag of weed I was trying to hide – acrobats hanging from streetlights – & more sex.  I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all.

I took a shower.  The hot water coursing through the massager felt good on my back, my legs, my crotch – afterwards, I applied my body lotion, patted on my baby powder & dressed in a pair of  long underwear, my pink flowered skirt & tight hot pink sweater & pink socks & went downstairs.  Bob was arranging fruit on a platter, a bag of still-warm bagels on the counter.  The coffee was brewing in the percolator.  Bob said good morning to me but my mother pointedly ignored me.  She hates it when I wear my tight pink sweater.  It’s one of my favorite tops & it always cheers me up to see myself in the mirror with it on.

I poured myself a cup of coffee.  I had a bagel & a banana.  I put on my boots & jacket & went out for a walk.  My mother can spread her bad mood over the entire house like peanut butter on bread.

***

Some days you just can’t cheer up on demand.  Clothes don’t change your mood – nothing does.  You just have to wade through the muck of depression no matter what.

***

Right now I’m in the perfect mood to write poetry.

***

In the food court of the Halle Building, enjoying a cup of coffee before I go to work.  I am wearing my new grey suit, the white blouse I was married in & my riding boots.  I had my hair cut on Thursday.  It’s much shorter than it’s been in years – what used to be called a Dutch Bob.  I’m not sure I like it but it’ll grow back.

***

Almost done with my lunch hour.  It’s snowing out – very pretty.  I wanted to go for a walk after I ate but the heels on my boots are so worn down – I don’t want to wear them down further.  I need to have them fixed.

I should go to the ladies’ room & get back to work.

***

The tenth anniversary of John Lennon’s murder.  I’m watching The Compleat Beatles.

I’ve been sick – we’ve all had it – first Bob, then Mom, now me.  A mild stomach flu – cramps, diarrhea, intense fatigue.  I slept over 13 hours last night – went to bed at 9 p.m. & not up until 11 a.m.

I had a bunch of crazy dreams – dreaming about Pat when he was young but I was his dream – I can’t really remember right now – it seemed like it was somehow prophetic – but I’m not sure anymore – I wish I could remember it.

***

I am getting my assignments done too quickly.  My first assignment was supposed to take three days & I finished it in one.  The filing assignment was supposed to be a three-day assignment – also done in one day.  Another assignment was supposed to take two weeks & I was done in three days.  Deb says all she has for me is handing out flyers in the Public Square.  What a drag!

I was not in a very good mood as I went home.   Bob noticed my mood & said something so I started to tell him about my problem with my work assignments & he interrupted me, saying, “What you need is a meeting.”

NO.  What I need is not a meeting.  AA meetings are great but they do not solve everything.  They do not solve the problem of being an efficient worker & there’s not enough work to do.

I did go to a meeting & when I got home, I fell asleep almost immediately but I had nightmares all night & had to wake myself up constantly.  Needless to say, I feel very tired & out of it this morning.

Later.  Deb just called.  She’s got a job for me – a real job.  I’ve got to run.  I haven’t had a shower or anything!  Oh well!

Evening.  My new assignment is at Hospice of the Western Reserve.  Their receptionist has been sick for over three weeks & the paperwork is really piling up.  June, the administrator, is handling the phones – which ring off the wall – & I’ll do the paperwork & filing until it’s caught up.   Then I’ll be trained on the phones.

***

A complete bitch of a morning.  I need more sleep – last night’s Dharma class wasn’t – is never – over before 9:30 & then everyone hangs out & talks forever – by the time I get home & wound down & in bed it’s at least 10:30 & of course I couldn’t sleep.  I guess I could leave earlier but honestly – waiting for a ride from Val is easier than getting the bus home & probably faster anyway.  Then when I did sleep, I had a bunch of anxiety dreams – I was running away from someone – I had no idea who – I was just running.

The alarm goes off at 6 a.m.  It’s just not enough sleep.  Not for me in early recovery.

Afternoon.  A Christmas party here at work – potluck.  I had a little of everything & I am stuffed.  The homemade cheesecake & Danish puff were excellent.  Now that I’m not drinking anymore, I love sweet stuff.

A funeral is driving by.

***

Much better this morning.  Although I couldn’t wear what I had originally planned on – my stocking had a run – so I am wearing black slacks & a red sweater.  But I feel much better than yesterday – much better rested.  I went to bed at 9 p.m. after a sitting in meditation for forty-five minutes.

***

I called in sick to work today.  I know I shouldn’t have.  But I had a migraine – & it was pouring rain & I thought fuck this & went back to bed – no, first I called off work – then I went to bed.

It was a tough weekend.  Really up & down.  Up – shopping – Christmas shopping at the Arcade –  buying clothes for myself at various thrift shops.  Down – sitting in the cold rain 45 minutes waiting for a bus, trying not to think that in Buffalo, it would be snowing instead of raining.  I got home & there was a letter from Teddy – real self-pitying & bitter – so I made the mistake of calling him to try to make him feel better & of course it was a total mess of a conversation – I was depressed the rest of the weekend.

I couldn’t sleep & when I did, I had nightmares.

My headache is hanging in there but I’m going to work on Christmas cards – I haven’t sent a single one yet.  I haven’t had the time – or the energy.

***

I’m so tired.  I can barely stay awake.  I just want to go home & sleep.  I’m so sick of filing – I can’t help it, I think it’s a little silly to continually file stuff for people who are dead.

We got a tree last night.  Bob & I went.  Mom was in one of her moods again & went to a woman’s meeting on the West Side.  “Let her go,” he said.  “She’ll be in a better mood when she gets home.”  He’s so mellow.  I told him that & he laughed.  “I used to be a monster,” he told me.  I remember Jesse saying the same thing about him.

The tree is set up in the living room but we have to wait for Mom to get the ornaments down from the attic so we can decorate it.  It needs to settle & get used to being in the warmth anyway.  It smells so good – I love the smell of pine.  The smell of New England.

***

I can hardly wait to get home but I have to go downtown to the temp office & pick up my paycheck & by the time I get home, it’ll be way past 6 p.m.  Mom & Bob don’t even wait for me to have dinner – I just reheat whatever they had.  But at least there’s something there.  Soon I’ll be cooking for myself – having to come up with something when I get home from work – no matter how tired I am.  I’ll be eating a lot of soup & sandwiches!

***

It never rains but it fucking pours.  I got my period.  Of course I don’t have any tampons – none at home, either.  Life sucks.  Now I have to put paper towel in my underwear & hope it doesn’t move around too much on my way to the store.  I miss having a car!

***

A completely boring day.  I’m reading charts – making sure that things are filed in their correct places.  When June comes back from Mentor, she & Toni will go to a meeting & I’ll be on the phones – but it’s real quiet today anyway.

My breasts ache & I have cramps.  I just want to sleep.  I could easily sleep another four hours a day.  I’m longing for my bed with its soft flannel sheets & my heavy quilt on top.  I’m drinking a completely vile cup of coffee – it’s my third on today – & I’m still not awake.  I guess that’s life.

Afternoon.  At Toni’s desk, playing receptionist.  I just ate – more food left over from the party tray.  I just remember the two oranges in the fridge – I can’t forget them.  I’m full or I’d eat them now.

I’m feeling a little better.  I’m still cold.  Anya – one of the nurses – says I’m running a low fever & probably have a low-grade viral infection which is why I constantly feel crummy.  That & my period – which is enough right there.

I’m reading poetry as I sit here.  I should be reading charts.  But I get so sick of medical terminology.  I like the social worker reports & what Sister Marguerite writes much better.

I’m supposed to do to the Zen Temple tonight & hear a lecture by Eido Roshi with the rest of the Dharma group.  I don’t know if I’ll go.  I don’t really feel like it.  It’s raining buckets – of course it may stop later on – but I would really like to get home, get comfy & have dinner.  Get to bed early – read a little – & sleep all night.  When I get up tomorrow, I want to put on my comfy clothes again & bake cookies & decorate them.

***

I did go to the Zen Temple.  Although I honestly can’t remember a word Eido Roshi said.  Because when I arrived at Robert’s house to join up with the rest of the Dharma Group & ride to the Temple, there was Pat.

I have to admit – I have been wondering when I would be seeing him – where I would be seeing him – at a meeting or at the Dharma House or maybe getting a coffee at Arabica.

He looks good.  He looks healthy.  I realize now what a waste product he was back in February & March – how strung out he really was.  Jesse was right when he said that Pat was a “major coke head”.

He gave me a huge smile when he saw me & then a hug & I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t have to say much because as usual, he talked a blue streak.  He’s living with his brother but he’s going to be moving in with John Bembo & live at the Dharma House & meditate all day long.  “When I’m not working,” he laughed.  Of course he doesn’t have a job yet.  He’s going to a meeting everyday & he feels so much better – so much better – than he used to.  He’s so grateful.

“I still love you,” he whispered.

***

I am tired but I can’t sleep.  I woke up an hour ago.  It was a restless night with crazy dreams.  In one of my dreams, my mother was wearing a sun-dress – pink & white stripes – a halter-top, the back completely open – cut daringly around the breasts – something my mother would never wear in a hundred years.  She was very tan & her hair loose & curly & she looked magnificent!

I watched the light filter in through the crack in the draperies & listened to the rain.  Boy, does it ever rain down here!  I miss the snow of Buffalo.  My stomach began to growl so I got up & dressed & came downstairs & ate.  I’ve been reading poetry – another cup of tea & I’ll go back upstairs & meditate.  The other night at the Zen Temple, Pat started instructing me on proper meditation, like I haven’t got my own meditation instructor already.  Val was there & he just laughed.  I had to laugh, too.  Some things never change.

I had my hair cut yesterday – very short.  It looks really nice.  I just didn’t feel that the haircut I had was me, although it looked really nice.  It’s quite curly – getting rid of all that extraneous hair released the natural curl.  Now I look in the mirror & I see Cori – the Cori I am now.

***

A beautiful day.  Four inches of snow fell last night.  The whole world is transformed.  I feel so very happy.  A jazzy little version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is running through my head.

I’m at work.  I have a really light workload today.  Create some charts – stamp some envelopes – cover for Toni on the phones while she goes to the doctor’s.  I’m leaving at noon.

No one has noticed my hair!  Oh well.  Sister Marguerite will be in soon & she’ll be sure to notice.

Later.  At Toni’s desk.  Toni noticed my hair as she was walking out.  “You cut off your hair!”  It’s funny how people don’t notice things until they’ve had a cup of coffee & a muffin.

I talked to Danielle last night.  She says Teddy is doing just fine.  Don’t listen to his tales of doom & gloom.  She says his mother offered to fly him down to Florida for the holidays but he refused.  & to think that last week he was singing the blues about having a lousy Christmas!  Cuz he was all alone!  If he wants to be lonely & alone for Christmas, then so be it!  He deserves it!

***

Christmas Eve.  At work.  I can hardly wait to leave at noon.  I had major insomnia last night.  & then when I did get to sleep, I had nightmares.  Something about a gang of rapists trying to get into my house – I didn’t recognize the place – & then when they did get in, they were smashing all my snow scenes & other Christmas knick-knacks – I was yelling for Teddy to help me – apparently, he was in the next room – but he never came.  I woke up crying & screaming.  I hate these nightmares.

Another dream I had was about The Canteen – I stopped in after work & I did a courtesy dance – stripping out of my office clothes – then I talked to a few admirers, telling them that I didn’t dance anymore, I worked “at Hospice”.  Then I sat at the bar with John Canton – I had a beer in front of me & I watched the bubbles rise in anticipation – but when I took a sip of the beer, it was bitter & nasty.  I sat at the bar with this terrible taste in my mouth!  The taste of disappointment & disgust!

Night.  In bed.  Totally exhausted.  Downstairs, Jesse & Randy are watching a movie with Bob.  Doreen stayed in Buffalo with her mother – Jesse brought the kids so Bob could see his grandchildren.  Tomorrow Helena & Geoff will be here with their kids & Rocco & Julie.  Tish & Brad are still in Germany.

I got another letter from Teddy – another self-pitying, cry-baby letter.  If I hadn’t talked to Danielle the other day, I might have fallen for it but I know better now.  He isn’t interested in getting over his grief or moving on.  He wants to feel bad & he wants to blame it all on me.  Well, he can go ahead & do whatever he wants – it’s his life.  Me – I want to move on & live as fully as possible.

***

One of the nicest Christmases I’ve had in years.  Jesse gave me a camera!  I have wanted a camera for years!  I used to use Teddy’s but of course it was his.  This new camera is a small Canon 35 mm & I have already taken a full load of film!  I can see that I am going to go broke buying film & getting pictures developed!  Jesse laughed.  “Take your time, learning how to take good pictures can’t be done in a day,” but I was just so happy to finally have my very own camera.

& I got high.  I know I shouldn’t have – but Jesse & Randy were going out & I knew – like the druggie that I am – that they were going to catch a buzz – & I said, “Can I come with you guys?”  I used the excuse that it was too noisy with all the kids but they knew, of course – that I wanted to smoke some weed.

It was weed that Randy grew this summer up where he’s living now in Appleton – my grandparents’ hometown! – & it was killer shit.  I haven’t gotten high since March & I only needed a few tokes to feel totally stoned.  But it was such a nice feeling!  I couldn’t believe how nice it was!  Totally different than drinking – or snorting coke – really the best feeling.

I asked Jesse about Doreen.  “Is her mother really that sick that she couldn’t come along?”

Randy snorted.  “Doreen’s mother is in a nursing home & she doesn’t need Doreen to look after her!  Doreen’s turned Jehovah Witness & she doesn’t celebrate Christmas anymore!”

I couldn’t believe it.  “Really, Jesse?  She’s one of those people who knock on your door & give you those stupid newsprint magazines about how the end of the world is gonna come?”

He laughed.  “Doreen’s lost her mind.  But hell – she doesn’t want to celebrate Christmas or birthdays or anything else, she doesn’t have to.  That saves me money – I don’t have to buy her anything.  But I’ll be damned if she takes that away from the kids.  Which is why I brought them down here.  Santa Claus might be a myth but it’s one that little kids need.”

“Big kids need it too,” I laughed.

***

Sleepy morning.  I could have easily stayed in bed all morning & slept happily with my Santa bear – another present.  But no – I had to work this morning & I was on the bus & going to Hospice to work at 7:30 this morning.  But oh yes.  I am so sleepy!  Even after a cup of Sumatran coffee & two cups of tea.  I almost fell asleep on the bus.

It occurred to me that by smoking those few tokes with Jesse & Randy that technically I’ve “relapsed” & I should tell my AA home group & my sponsor JoAnne but I don’t feel like I relapsed.  I didn’t get drunk – I didn’t take a drink – I didn’t even get stoned, really – just a nice little buzz.  I don’t see what’s wrong with marijuana.  & I slept well last night – the first night in weeks & weeks that I didn’t have any nightmares.  If marijuana can cure my insomnia & keep me from having terrible nightmares, then it’s well worth it.  & it’s medical in that case – not just getting high for the fun of it.  Which is altogether different.

Afternoon.  At Toni’s desk.  It has been snowing all morning.  About 4 or 5 inches have fallen.  It’s slowed down now – falling very slowly & lazily & the sun has come out.  It’s so beautiful – the snow on the tree branches – the frozen crystals sparkling in the sun.  I am the only one who thinks so.  Of course, I don’t drive in it but even when I did drive, I never complained because I enjoyed driving in the snow.  It was a challenge.  I understand that it’s a drag for other people but why not try to get as much enjoyment as you can?  But I think people enjoy complaining about driving more than they enjoy driving.  I also think they enjoy psyching themselves out – getting themselves all nervous & afraid.  They feed on those emotions until they’re so crippled they can’t see the beauty of the day.

An hour later.  It’s gotten dark again & it’s snowing.  Another inch has fallen since I last wrote.

I realize that I really enjoy being a receptionist.  I’m going to start looking for a receptionist position.  I’ll mention it to Deb but I’ll look on my own as well.

***

I had to run for the bus this morning.   I got up at 6 as usual but I was so tired that I ended up having to rush – take a shower, dress, make-up, make breakfast, my lunch, get on all my winter gear over my office gear – & it was 7:20 before I was out the door – so naturally I had to run for it.  It felt good – it’s a little warmer than yesterday – up to 15 – still brisk but nice.  I feel good.  I am wearing the cutest outfit today – black tights & a black turtleneck under the yellow gingham & black & red flowered calico dress Mom made me years ago – & my little black flats.  Red shoes would be adorable with this outfit.  Or little red or black booties.  I look like a little doll.  I don’t look anywhere near 30 years old – I look more like 25 – maybe younger!  I’m telling you – I love this haircut.  To think that Teddy told me that short hair would make me look old – I look younger than ever!  I bet I’d get proofed in a bar.  Not that I would walk into a bar – I can’t imagine taking a drink at this point now.  A few tokes off a joint is one thing – a drink is entirely different.

***

On my way to Buffalo with Bob.  We’re going to the house I shared with Teddy to pick up my stuff.  I have no idea what’s going to happen here.  I don’t know if Teddy has packed up the stuff I asked him to – I sent him a list in the Christmas card I sent him – or if I’m going to have to pack it all when I get there.  I really hope he isn’t going to be a drag.  Jesse is supposed to show up later on to help transport things to my new apartment in Cleveland.  I asked him on Christmas if he would help with my books – I think they’ll all fit in his van.  I don’t really have anything else.  All the furniture belonged to Teddy.  All I have are books & tapes & pots & pans & dishes.  & the plants – I want at least half of the plants.

***

Very sleepy.   I’m all moved into my new place but it’s been really tough.  I don’t know what I would have done without Bob & Jesse & Randy.  Yesterday Teddy didn’t have anything done – he didn’t have any boxes for me or anything.  I sent Bob to the nearest liquor store to pick up some empty boxes – you can always get boxes at a liquor store – & then I started going through the cupboards.  I wanted my dishes, my pots & pans, my Tupperware.  Teddy went ballistic.  He said he wasn’t going to have anything to “eat off of” & he had paid for the Tupperware “too”.  I gave in on the Tupperware because I wasn’t going to fight all day.  But I wanted my dishes – they had been my mother’s.  & I wanted my pots & pans – I have to be able to cook too.  I left him a few – I’m not an asshole.  Plus I hate that Teflon shit – he can have it.  I wanted the Revere Ware & my cast-iron frying pans.  & all my baking pans.  He’s not going to be baking cookies & cakes & pies.  I mean – get real already!

I wasn’t taking any furniture – he could have all that.  It was mostly his anyway.  Only the bookshelves were mine.  But he just made it really hard – being in such a pissy mood.  Even Jesse had to say something.  “You could have packed up her books at least,” he said. “Anyone can pack books.”  & he wouldn’t let me have any plants.  He argued that it was “too cold” to transport them that far.  We didn’t have any room for them anyway.  Jesse said he would bring them down when it gets warm.  I really hope so – I have perfect windows for lots of plants.  But it’s all over now – I’m in my new place – with furniture that Bob & Mom gave me out of their house – not a whole lot but enough for me.   All I need to do is unpack & decorate – the fun part of moving.

***

I can’t find my watch.

I am very tired.  I have been unpacking & putting things here or there & then deciding that I want them over there instead of here & moving things constantly.  Putting up a few pictures & setting up my desk.  Unpacking books.

I made a marvelous chicken soup – with carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, celery & onions.  Very filling.

It has been raining non-stop.  It rained all last week – then turned to snow – snow a lot this week & now rain all weekend.  There is extensive flooding – the worst in 30 years.

I have to find my watch.

***

The rain turned to freezing rain & then to snow.  Very cold.

I have to say that I feel very good this morning.  I slept pretty well last night – after taking two Benadryl – they really knock me out.  I know this is dangerous behavior for a drug addict but that’s life.  I have to sleep.  Without sleep, I’m done.  & I hate hate hate not sleeping.  Especially when I have to get up to go to work in the morning.  If I didn’t have to get up in the morning, it wouldn’t bother me as much.

Later.  Nothing to do.  I’ll have copies to make when the Mentor office calls back with the patient I.D. numbers for our new cases but meanwhile, I’ll sit here & sip my Coca-cola & eat some candy!

I have a nice evening planned.  I’m going to a meeting & then back home to my new place for my first New Year’s Eve alone & the first sober one in a long, long time.  Fifteen or so years.  I must admit – part of me is longing for a line in the worst way.  But I keep telling myself – if I were in Buffalo, we’d probably be smoking the shit, not snorting it – & what a way to spend your evening – waiting for your next hit off the pipe & depressed when it runs out.  Even with lines – you always want more – & you’re depressed when it runs out.  I’ll be glad when the holidays are over.

Noon.  At Toni’s desk.  Yuck – my coke’s getting warm.

It occurred to me – it’s been occurring to me all day long – what a year of change this year has been.  From the start – since New Year’s Day – the first New Year’s in years I had woken up without a hangover.  Also –  the first time in years I had quit drinking – even if it was only to try to lose a few pounds.  & of course – there were my awakening feelings for Pat – he was around so much – selling us weed – but also just to hang out – later, he told me that he was unable to stay away.  I remember watching “The Sandpipers” with him & the sexual tension was simply unbearable.  That was long before we ever even kissed.

Evening.   Home.  Dressed in red sweats, red V-neck sweater – festive red!

I’m about to bake an apple pie.  I bought some vanilla ice cream to go with it.  I’m taking it to the meeting later on.

Dancing & singing in the kitchen.

1990 – the year I finally did something about my unhappiness & my drug addiction – I never knew I would end up here – in a small apartment in Cleveland Heights – happy to be sober – getting ready to go to an AA meeting on New Year’s Eve.

What will 1991 bring?  When I read my diaries – especially 1989 & early 1990 – I know where & when I how I hit bottom & I hope – I sincerely hope – & I will – I will with all my might, my intelligence, my emotion & my physical body – that I will never ever go there again.  Resolution for 1991 & the rest of my life.  So mote it be!

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Excerpts From a Diary 44

[Fall, 1990]

Starting to talk about the depth of my pain in the rooms – very lightly.  My dissatisfaction with my marriage – how I miss my career – my inability to find a job.  Always stressing that I am gratefully sober but I realize that something is missing.  & I want to find out what that is.

***

I went to Mooncircles with Shera – what a beautiful store & what lovely ladies who own it.  I bought the 10th anniversary edition of The Spiral Dance – I’ve wanted that book forever.  I have most of it copied from Anna’s original version in my BOS.  There were so many books there I wanted to buy – also jewelry, clothes, tapes, candles, incense.  We met J. there & all of us went up to the Lexington Food Co-op & then to The Wild Thing & a Stained Glass Shop.  Then to the Towne Restaurant on Allen Street for a bite to eat.  At the Towne, we met a guy named Andy who plays in the Outer Circle Orchestra.  We hit it right off.  He’s Buddhist – the Tantric Yoga variety.  It seems that even when I am out with women, I meet a guy.

***

Finally trying to talk with Teddy.  Telling him how I feel – how I don’t feel – how, why.  What to do.  What I’d like.  Why I have so much trouble expressing myself.

***

6 months without a drink.

I have a job interview at ABC Hardware at 4 p.m.  It’s just a cashier’s job but it’s within walking distance.

***

I got the job!  I start tomorrow!

***

A Mabon dinner:  roast chicken stuffed with rice with onions & celery, mixed vegetable, peach crisp & ice cream for dessert.

Walking to the store to buy ice cream, I looked at the sky crowded with grey & black clouds & felt the wind sharp against my face.  Cold inside my lungs.  My spirit soared & I thanked the Goddess for all my being.  Thank you for everything. 

***

I dreamed about Pat again.  Making love again.  I wore a white eyelet petticoat & camisole. We were at Shera’s house or a place like it – a Goddess place.  Jasmine incense burned.  We made love again & again until we were bathed in a white light.  We were Goddess & God.

I could feel really sad after these dreams but part of me feels like if I can live like this in my dreams, maybe I don’t need Pat in real life.  That maybe the Goddess is giving me these dreams to keep that part of me alive & I am going to be OK without Pat in my life.

***

I quit my job at ABC.  My new boss was a total jerk.  He had to control everything & everyone.  I cannot work with someone looking over my shoulder – constantly telling me what to do & how to do it.   Something else will turn up.

***

I love when I read a section of Anaïs Nin’s diaries & I recognize a corresponding section from one of her novels.  Often the incident is lifted verbatim – only the names are changed.  How I hope that I can do it so well.  Lift & rearrange & rename.

I work at my novel – working on the Chaotic Bliss novel – drawing on memories & imagination.  It goes very slow.  How can it not?  The fact is – I am a very slow writer.  But also – I’m constantly looking for work – which is full-time job in itself – I go to three meetings a week or more – I do all the housework, laundry, cook all the meals – plus a spiritual practice – & study.  That doesn’t leave much time for writing.  & hopefully, next semester, I’ll be back in school.  I really hope so.  I really want to finish my degree.

But – I am in no hurry.  I used to get so anxious – worrying that I was running out of time.  Now I don’t worry.  I live one day at a time – live it to the fullest – no matter what I am doing that day.  If I am writing, I am writing to the fullest.  I am doing something else – no matter what it is – I am doing that to the fullest.

Today is our eighth wedding anniversary.  I cooked us a special dinner – filet mignon, baked potato, salad, ice cream for dessert.  Teddy gave me a card – I have to admit, I never even thought of getting him a card – & I felt really bad about it.

& then I think – is this what I really want?

I feel like the Fool in the Tarot – blithely stepping off the cliff’s edge.

I just wish this was all over with.  The tension of living day to day with Teddy – talking about what we will be doing in November – December – next spring – at the same time – mentally packing to leave in a few week – deciding what to take & what to leave – deciding what is truly important in my life.

No wonder I can’t sleep.

***

I am so hideously depressed I can’t believe it.  Another cold rainy day.   It’s hard to believe that anyone can be so depressed & go on living.  Teddy is so determinedly cheerful – it grates on my nerves.

***

Darryl went to Virginia to detox but he’s back now & he’s been calling with all these deals & Teddy wants to go down there & party.  & that’s the last thing I want to do.  I don’t want to spend the money & I don’t want to blow my sobriety.  What did he think I was doing in Lowell?  Vacationing?  Seeing the sights?

No – I have to get out of here.  I’m never going to stay sober if I stay.

I will miss Teddy terribly.  I worry about him – I know he will be terribly lonely – terribly depressed – especially as the holidays roll around.  Knowing this has stopped me dozens of times in the past.  Paralyzed me, in fact.  But I’ve got to do what I must do – I must do what I think will make me happy – & healthy.  It hurts.  This is the hardest thing I have ever done.

***

I feel really good right now.  I had a long talk with Alex from the Sunday night AA meeting.  She studied psychology for seven years – she wanted to become a psychologist but marriage, babies & having to work got in the way – she said she noticed how nervous & unsettled I am around Teddy – like I didn’t want to upset him – like I just want to keep him calm & settled – she said that we only go around once & we have to be happy.  & it’s pretty obvious that I’m unhappy.

***

I just talked to Tish.  She’s real supportive – real happy I’m making this move.  Now I’m excited.  I can hardly wait!

***

Teddy & I went to see “Postcards from the Edge”.  I thought it was really good.  I could really identify.  At the end, Teddy was crying.  “What’s the matter, honey?” I asked.  “This movie hit so close to home,” he answered, “I’m so afraid you’re going to leave me – like our relationship is on borrowed time – I love you so much – I feel like any day now, you’ll be gone.”

What could I do?  I felt terrible – but it’s true, isn’t it?   I was as gentle as I could be but I was lying when I said, “Teddy, I’m not going anywhere.”

Sitting here, with Elvis Costello on the tune box, I realize that’s what Jon Kudzma told me too.

There’s nothing I can do.  I can’t stay & remain unhappy.

***

“My mother wanted me to be someone other than I was.  She was shocked when I defended D.H. Lawrence.  She disliked my artist friends.  She wanted me to be as she had been, essentially maternal…Very early I was determined not to be like her but like the women who had enchanted & seduced my father, the mistresses who lured him away from us…When I first feel this?  When did I repudiate the model of my mother & decide not to be a wife or a mother but a mistress?  In spite of this I did inherit from her a strong protective instinct toward human beings.  But I also cultivated what would give me not only their down-to-earth needs, but euphoria, pleasure, delight.”  – Anaïs Nin

As soon as I read that, I thought – that is me.  That is my experience as well.  I read it this morning & it has been with me all day.  I think this is one of the problems I have – the essential problem with the marriage with Teddy.

Because I never wanted to be a wife – anyone’s wife.  I am good at being a wife – I like keeping house but I would keep a lovely home even if I wasn’t a wife – it’s how I am.  I am best at being a mistress – I am most comfortable in that role – I am a passionate person & I want to be passionate about everything – being a wife, being a mistress, cooking, cleaning, writing, dancing, loving, making love – oh, I want to make love endlessly – & for some reason, I can’t get into Teddy as a lover.  I don’t know what it is.  It isn’t just because I’m in love with Pat.  Or Jesse – or anyone.  Except for the first few months – when we were doing so many cool drugs & falling in love because of that – we haven’t had much sex.  & we really didn’t have much sex then, either, it was really a lot of cuddling & kissing.  & after Jesse – I knew that something wasn’t right on a fundamental level but I have never been able to put my finger on what it is.  Surely two people who love each other & who are best friends can find a way to have good sex.  Why have Teddy & I never been able to?

Why was this?  What happened?  Again, Anaïs Nin holds a key: “At times Lillian remembered her husband, and now that he was no longer the husband she could see that he had been, as much as the other men she liked; handsome and desirable, and she could not understand why he had never been able to enter her being and feelings as a lover.  She had truly liked every aspect of him expect the aspect of lover.”  (From Ladders to Fire)

I first came to Teddy as a customer.  I always liked him.  I always considered him a friend.  When I returned to Buffalo in the spring of 1981, I was lonely – & confused about my relationship with Donovan Murphy – & still smarting over my break-up with Jon Kudzma.  & although I had a job, I couldn’t survive on my own – I needed a partner.  I had never done well with roommates.  I needed to be in love with someone – live with someone – more than who the someone was.  It just happened to be Teddy.  Really – if Mac McAnders hadn’t moved into that crappy basement apartment on Richmond Avenue – if it had been an upper apartment in the same building or the carriage house apartment – I would have moved in with him & everything would have been different.  But that’s not what happened.  The luck of the draw fell to Teddy.  Teddy’s love soothed my heart but it really wasn’t Teddy’s love that I wanted – it was the soothing of my heart.

Throughout everything that’s happened to me – the affair with Jesse – the stress of being a stripper – my whacked-out moods – Teddy has soothed my heart.  I have to give credit where credit is due.  He wasn’t perfect by a long shot but he did take care of me when I needed it & generally asked no questions – I wouldn’t have told him the truth anyway – not because I’m a liar but because I don’t think it’s any of his business & he’s better off not knowing, anyway.  No matter how badly he pissed me off – & he pissed me off all the time – I liked him – I liked his personality – I liked partying with him & I liked doing stags with him.  I still like him.  I care for him – deeply – but I’m not in love.  I haven’t been in love with Teddy in years.  I want to be in love – & I want to live with the person I’m in love with – I’m tired of the split personality game – I want to be wife & mistress to one man – one man only.  & that man is not Teddy.

Still – I feel genuine sadness & grief over the end of my life here with Teddy – after so many years – I lived with him longer than anyone except my family – for eight years he has been my family.  & he’ll be all alone – I feel tremendously guilty & depressed about that.

***

It was easy to stay married to Teddy when I was working as a stripper & needed him to drive me around & play my tunes.  He held onto the money & he watched my back.  & it was easy to stay married to Teddy when I was in love with Jesse – who was also married – because Jesse wasn’t going to end his marriage so there was no reason for me to end mine.

Pat changed that entire dynamic.  He wasn’t married.  He didn’t care if I was married.  It was like all he wanted was to break up my marriage – just to break it up.  He didn’t want me.  & I knew better than to want him.

***

I always thought triangles could work but they don’t work.  Someone is always left out.  Someone’s feelings are always hurt.  They don’t work.  One person reaps the benefits but the other two suffer.  & it’s just a whole lot of angst & drama for something that is never going to last anyway.  You think it’s undying love but nothing lasts forever.  Not passion, anyway.  The most passionate love is always going to die down.  You can’t keep a pot at a full boil – it’ll boil away to steam & burn the pot.  You have to have a nice simmer – which I admit is not as exciting – by a long shot – but it’s easier to live with.  & honestly – that’s the kind of love I want.  One man – one love.

***

I called my mother & told her that I felt like my sobriety was in danger here – living with Teddy – & that I wanted to come to Cleveland.  I said that I really wanted to find my own place – I wanted to bring my books & all my clothes & everything that was mine.  She said she understood.  I’m going down in a few days & staying there.  I’ll look for a small apartment & a job & then come back to get my stuff.  I really hope Teddy doesn’t freak out too much when I tell him.

***

It also occurred to me that one of the reasons I have hung on to my relationship with Teddy all these years even though I was really quite unhappy – since no happy person drinks to excess, does loads of drugs & has affairs – was a reaction to losing my dad.  Like everyone says.   Not that Teddy is remotely like my dad.  I don’t mean that at all.  & there was a certain amount of insecurity always with my father – he was always gone – or going somewhere – very rarely coming home & then when he was home, it was always a treat but somehow – I’m just realizing this now – the kind of treat where there was a trick attached to it – or it was damaged in some way – it was never as good as you thought it was going to be.  I suppose it’s because my father was a drinking & there was always drinking when he was around & that is an insecure place for a kid to be.  Even when the father is famous & you live in a beautiful house.

***

Teddy hooked up the cable again.  Now we have our locals plus TNT, HBO, ESPN, USA & a dozen others.

He is in such a good mood – TV makes him happy – playing with the cats – talking on the phone.  Next week the truck goes in the shop – I’m not even sure what needs to be fixed – & then it gets registered in two weeks.  He is so excited.  He wants to make plans to travel in the spring – go out West – the Grand Canyon, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco.

My heart is breaking.

***

I watch the news & it is so depressing.  Recession, budget crisis, oil prices rising, food, clothes, everything.  “This is not a time to be taking a chance, to be going out on a limb.”  & what am I doing?

***

Last night – a heavy conversation with Teddy.  He initiated it.  He wanted to know what was “the matter” with us.  Why have I “shut” him “out”.  I didn’t know what to say.  Finally I admitted that I was thinking of leaving.  He was devastated.  I hated to see it.  He was almost crying.  “I want us to be a team,” he was saying, “I want to be your man, I want to plan our life together, go on vacations, do everything together – sometimes I don’t think you’re even here.”  Well – he’s right about that – I’m not here a lot of the time.  I’m not sure where I am but it’s not here.  He also said that he thinks I’m mentally & emotionally unbalanced.

I said, “Listen, I’m not going to get sober with Darryl calling all the time & Felix dropping by with fat doobies & all the bars I used to drink at right around the corner & you know it.  I just want a fucking chance.”

Naturally, he accused me of wanting to go to Cleveland because Pat is there.  Which – honestly – I almost wish that I could go back to Boston or go out west or anywhere other than Cleveland.  I really don’t want to see Pat again.  But my mother lives in Cleveland, so that’s where I have to go.  I don’t have anywhere else to go.  But once he was on that track, he refused to get off it.  So he’s all pissed off at me & says I don’t really care about sobriety at all – it’s just an excuse to see Pat again.

***

I told Teddy what day my mother was coming for me.  He should have gone to work but he didn’t.  He made a big scene in front of my mother & all the neighbors & now my mother is suspicious about why I’m coming back to Cleveland.  I really am leaving Buffalo because I want to stay sober.  It has nothing to do with the fact that Pat is in Cleveland.  Like I said the other day – I would just as soon go to Boston or Seattle or any other city at all.  Just a place where there’s AA & good coffee.

***

(Cleveland)

Samhain.  I feel very fragile today.  Actually, I woke up feeling OK but very tired – as usual, I was awake in the middle of the night – I no longer have any trouble getting to sleep but I still wake up in the middle of the night & remain awake for at least an hour – it’s very frustrating – especially when I want to be up early & out to look for work.  Bob says to go to meetings & say that I’m looking – sober people like to hire sober people.  I’ve been getting to a meeting a day since I got here & sometimes two a day.  This is the city for meetings, that’s for sure.

***

Teddy called today – he had to have been fucked up – demanding to know when I was going to be getting all my “stupid books” out of the apartment & that he wanted the dishes – they’re my dishes, in fact they were my mother’s – & he wanted all the Tupperware – the Tupperware! – & he had a whole list of demands that I can’t even remember.

***

I played the piano for almost an hour.  It’s so nice to be able to play again.

***

Robert Kirsch is a Dharma instructor & a divorce lawyer.  I met him Tuesday at Arabica Coffee.  He knows Pat – he told me that Pat is in rehab in Minnesota – which is why I haven’t seen him at any meetings.  I told Robert about my marriage with Teddy & how it fell apart.  I said he was pressing me to get my things out of the house but I didn’t have a job or an apartment yet & I was a little afraid to go back until I had all my plans set.

I tried to joke, “Well, not to sound like a soap opera but I’m afraid if I’m alone with him, he’ll commit me or something!”

Robert laughed but he was serious.  “It’s not a soap opera, it’s real life!  I deal with this all the time!  A husband has full right to commit his wife.  I mean, there has to be a has to be a hearing but it can be done.”

Well anyway – Robert is now my lawyer.  I am not going back to Buffalo.  Not right now anyway.  I don’t have to do what Teddy wants me to do.  & he can’t touch my things – I have a right to leave them there until I come back for them.  I have to make a list of everything I want – everything that’s mine – everything I feel I deserve.

Now the fun starts.

***

Another beautiful day.  Overcast today.  Yesterday the sky was a clear, stunning blue.  Such warmth – amazing warmth.  “Unseasonably warm,” says the radio stations – it’s in the mid 70’s.  It’s at least 10 degrees warmer than Buffalo.

***

Another beautiful day.  I raked the front yard after sitting in meditation a half-hour.  I also cleaned the kitchen today.   Mom & Bob went to Akron to visit Dr. Bob’s house & go to a meeting.  I like having the house to myself.

I called Teddy last night & told him I wasn’t coming up Monday.  We got in a little argument but I kept my cool.  I had just been meditation – a full moon ritual – & before that, an AA meeting – so I felt really serene anyway.  I wouldn’t let him get to me.  Regardless, I feel sorry for him.

***

I went to early Mass this morning – to please my mother – then went to the Dharma house for the Sunday meditation.  The Dharma house belongs to John Bembo – like the Renaissance poet – he knows Pat, too.  Pat’s been art of the Dharma group for years, apparently – they’ve seen him in all stages of addiction & recovery.  Nobody is surprised that he’s in rehab.  There’s six guys in the group & two women – Robert’s wife Wendy is one of them.  They have four kids, all very young.

Today was 3-hour meditation – sitting meditation, walking meditation, chants & instruction.   I received instruction from both Robert & Val & I told both of them how much trouble I’ve been having sitting – sleepiness, leg falling asleep, slouching – not feeling like meditating on a daily basis – I do it anyway – & they both said that was good – my ego putting up a good fight – & I was doing alright – just keep sitting & studying & it would get easier.

***

In the Cleveland Arcade, having a coffee.  The bus got me here 45 minutes earlier than I needed – I have a job interview at P Publishers at 9:30 – so I stopped here.  The coffee’s so nice & warm – Yemen – smells so good –

I hope this interview goes well.  I have to take a typing test & a math test as well as the actual interview.  I certainly look the part.  I plan on going to the public library after the interview.  Cleveland’s library is beautiful – gorgeous old building – beautiful reading rooms – paintings & murals – just lovely.

& there is nothing like the Arcade in Buffalo.  I love sitting here & looking up at all the glass & iron.  & all the coffee shops here in Cleveland – like bars, almost – serving so many different kinds of coffee from all around the world.  There are nowhere as many bars as in Buffalo.  It’s funny – I thought a bar on every block – or two or three to a block – was normal!  I guess that’s normal for Buffalo but not everywhere.  Oh well – it was fun while it lasted.  I don’t mean to imply that there are no bars here.  But they are much quieter – I mean, their signs & façades – they don’t seem to jump out at you like they do in Buffalo – like “Look at me!  I’m a bar!  Drink here!” – one or two neon beer signs in the windows as opposed to five or six.

Of course, it may be different over in West Cleveland.  I’ve heard it’s much more like Buffalo over there.  I’ve never been over there very much – not at all, really.

***

I called Teddy last night – a very mellow conversation.  I’m going to get my things as soon as I get a job & my own place.  I’m dying to get my own place.  I miss Shadow & Missy.  I want my own place so I can get my own cats & be a family again – even if it’s just me & the cats.  That’s family enough for me.  For now, anyway.

& I’m not feeling well today.  My head aches, my throat is sore, my sinuses congested.  & I’m dying for a bump.  I don’t know why but I do.  It’s really strong, too – the strongest jones I’ve had since I got sober.  I don’t know where it’s coming from.  Unless it’s because I talked to Teddy.  & I couldn’t help but wonder if he had gone back down to Lackawanna & that was the trigger.

***

Incredibly homesick.  Last night – dreams of Teddy, his face unbelievably tender as he told me “the door will always be open” – Shadow, laying on his back & purring as I cover his belly with kisses – I had no idea I would be this homesick.

Was it only last week I was the happiest girl in Cleveland & I never wanted to go back to Buffalo?

I tell myself it’s because I’m broke – I’ve got cabin fever big-time – I want my books – & my sewing & my embroidery.  I want my drawing paper!  I want, I want, I want – that’s me.  Never satisfied.

Last Friday night, the Dharma group went to hear Gelek Rinpoche talk.  Robert studied with him years ago. A small man – Tibetan – round & merry – with smiling eyes & very white teeth.  I felt good about my practice.  So often, I feel defensive – since Pat used to tell me that “witchcraft” was ego-glorification – or now, how Robert says the best way is the Buddhist way.  This does not seem very different than the “one true religion” talk I heard when I was a girl.  I don’t believe in “best ways” & “one true religion” – there are as many ways as there are people – to say your way is the best way is arrogant.  Talk about ego!  But I didn’t get that feeling about Rinpoche at all.  At the end of the talk, he embraced Robert & they talked a little bit & then Robert introduced me to him.  He held my hand & looked deep into my eyes.  I said, “I only received instruction a month ago.”  He said, “That is good!”  & gave me a bear hug.  I felt accepted.  I hope I get to see him again.

***

I had to get a State I.D.  I was told it was on W6 so I took a bus downtown & got off at the Public Square, walked on Ontario Street to Prospect Ave & Prospect to W6.  There was a State Building there but it wasn’t the right place.  I had to go another 5 blocks to the “Licensing Bureau”.  It was windy & rainy but still warm – clouds of fog were moving through the buildings like large ghosts.  As I walked up W6, I felt a sure sense of déjà vu – I had been here before – in a dream or in a past life – some time or another.  Anyway, it was a great street – old store fronts being remodeled or renovated – whereas the same street in Buffalo would be all boarded up or hit by an arsonist or torn down already.

I got to the Licensing Bureau & there was a sign on the door announcing that they weren’t issuing State I.D.s today!  Another sign said that to get a State I.D., you needed a Social Security card as well as a birth certificate so I wouldn’t have been able to get an I.D. anyway – my SS card disappeared years ago.  Maybe it’s in some scrap book somewhere but it’s not in my wallet where I need it.  So I asked where I could get one & I was directed to the Federal Building – E9 & Lakeside.  So I took off again.

Lakeside Ave is a real nice street.  The wind was blowing, the rain flying – the lake was grey & misty – low dark clouds moved over it – seagulls & pigeons huddled on the ground, unable or unwilling to fly.

The Federal Building is across from the Galleria, which is a much smaller mall than the one in Buffalo.  But much more chíc.

Luckily, I had enough I.D. on me to get my SS card – my library card & my Sheriff’s card from 1978 & my birth certificate – or else I would have been plumb out of luck there too!  So then I went over to the temp agency & got all my I.D.s together & I was hired.  I got my picture taken by Deb, my new boss & now I have another I.D. – this one for the temp agency – to identify myself when I show up at an assignment.

The job I’m starting on Monday is for the temp agency itself – addressing Christmas Cards for various clients – because I have such nice handwriting.  I guess not many people have good penmanship nowadays!

So then I walked back up Euclid Ave – through the Arcade – said hi to Ragtime Annie, playing the piano – then went to the library.  Last night, after class, I took my little notebook & wrote down all the titles of Goddess books I haven’t read.  I searched them in the computer & then went to the second floor where I hoped I might find them – I found all the books on my list & more.  Of course I could not begin to take out everything I wanted so I have to limit myself to just a few.  I also got out some novels for fun.

***

I’ve been reading “The Coventry Reader”, a newspaper of poetry.  I’m definitely going to submit some of my work.

***

I went shopping today.  I went to the Goodwill store.  I bought a denim skirt, full & ruffled & a grey wool suit.  The suit is fully lined & it fits like a dream.  The suit’s skirt is very straight, ends at the mid-calf, with two small pleats at the bottom.  The jacket has a round collar, no lapels & buttons down the front.  Very feminine, very plain, very serviceable.  The skirt was $2.50 & the suit was $5.  They have more thrift shops here than I have ever seen anywhere & the deals are amazing.

Tomorrow I’m going to look at an apartment on Euclid Heights Boulevard.  I hope i can get it – I want to be moved in by Christmas – New Year’s by the latest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 43

[Summer, 1990]

[June]

Yesterday Teddy called me & told me that when he got home from work on Wednesday, there was a note on the door from a lawyer representing Del-Van Motors.  Teddy went over there & talked to D.J. – according to Teddy, they’re looking for Pat & wanted to know if he knew Pat’s address or any information as to his whereabouts.  I told Teddy I didn’t know where Pat was – which is true.  But I thought that something was wrong with that story – why would a lawyer leave a note on the door?  Why wouldn’t he just call Teddy & leave a message on the machine?  So I called D.J. myself.  It turns out that Teddy went over to Del-Van Motors himself – he was looking for Pat.  There’s no lawyer – nobody put a note on Teddy’s door.  But it is true that D.J. & Del-Van Motors are looking for Pat.  It seems that Pat owes them several hundred dollars – not $37 – like he told me – a while ago – I always thought $37 was a stupid amount of money & that there was something wrong with that story – but whatever.  Talking to D.J. filled in some of the blanks & untangled some of the crossed tales that Pat has been telling me.  Neither of them – Pat & Teddy – are telling me the truth – or the whole truth – just telling me what they want me to know & embroidering the rest as they see fit.  I’m not mad – I’m too exhausted to be mad – I’m just disappointed – honestly – I’m not even particularly surprised.

In their scramble to hold on to me & keep me from the other, both of them are losing me.

***

I just talked to Jesse.  It was wonderful to talk to him.  He’s in Atlanta.  I was like – Atlanta!  Bob sent him there.  He’s detoxing – coming off a 10-year addiction to painkillers – but also coke & booze – we connected on so many levels.  A sober Jesse would be a mighty friend to have.  Better than a lover.  Much better than a lover.

***

I got a letter from Pat today.  It was very short.  Apparently, he’s in Cleveland.  He’s staying with his brother.  “This is going to be a short letter, because at this point you certainly don’t need me.  You need space.  Your world is crowded enough…My dream showed me the motivation, the karma of us…We will be together again, if not in this world, later on.  We were together before this world & we will meet again…I love you completely…enough to perform the ultimate act of love, to let you go.  It’s already happened & I didn’t do it…I’ve loved you forever & I will continue to do so; there is no choice in this matter…I feel a universe of gratitude toward you.”

At first I felt sad.  I even had tears in my eyes.  Then I saw the envelope.  It was addressed to “Cori McBride Mitchell”.  I thought, what the fuck – I have never used the name “Mitchell” – ever.  I have always been “Cori McBride”.  Then I reread the letter & I got mad.  It was like my eyes were opened.  Or unclouded.  I wanted to talk to Lance but he wasn’t in so I talked to Angie.  She was really glad I saw it – really glad I saw through the words of love to the manipulation beneath it all.  I still feel sad – a little – I hate the end of any love affair – especially one that felt as good as that one did.  I also feel really stupid.

***

I started working on my Fourth Step.  Lance says that this is one of the most important steps.  “Most people never get beyond this point,” he told me.  “They start doing their inventory & get depressed about themselves & go back out again.  But you’re not going to do that, are you?”

“No,” I said.  “I’m not going back out.”  But I’m not going to do a crazy-ass inventory, either.  I can do one now & I can do another one next year & I can keep doing them.  It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.  People go out because they want to do the perfect inventory – so they don’t have to redo it – as a housewife, I know that houses need to be cleaned on a daily basis – some things are weekly or monthly or seasonal – but it’s ongoing.  An inventory is no different.  I don’t know where people get the idea that you do one inventory & you’re done.  In the Big Book, Bill Wilson clearly lays out the whole concept of doing “fearless & moral inventory” of your “character defects” in business terms & I don’t know any business that does one inventory & that’s the end of it.  You do yearly inventories – monthly inventories – you keep a close eye on your assets & deficits.  Or else you’d be out of business right quick.

***

Yesterday Teddy drove the motorcycle from Buffalo & met with Lance & Angie & me, of course.  I felt it was a very good meeting – a good beginning.  After the meeting, Teddy & I went out for a bite to eat.  It was so nice riding the bike again!  I took him to a Greek place that was nearby – I know he hates seafood.  His idea of a fish dinner are fish sticks & French fries that you heat up in the oven.  As we were leaving the restaurant, I said, “Maybe we should try again?”  The look on his face – well, that’s what he wants – but not the old marriage – a newer better one – well, we’ll have to see.  I’m not in any hurry.

I wanted to take him to Manchester-by-the-Sea & show him where I used to live but there wasn’t enough time.  I can’t believe I’ve been here over two months & haven’t gotten there once.  But I’m not allowed to go that far on my own & it’s not exactly close by.

***

I know it seems like I hardly ever write anymore.  Basically I have to write so much for group that I don’t have time for the diary – or it seems redundant – it’s all about my feelings & my thoughts – just like a diary.  But all based around the Twelve Steps & other basic concepts of recovery.

***

I got a letter from Pat.  He’s in a rehab program – in AA – he’s got a sponsor – he’s feeling better.  He thanks me.  I’m not sure why he was thanking me but whatever.

My heart felt so strange.  I had just finished writing about my relationship with Jon.  Pat made me feel like I felt with Jon – for good & for bad.  When it was good, it was insanely good & when it was bad, it was devastatingly bad.  Soon I’ll be getting help from Dr. Barb – a sex therapist – & all these unresolved relationship & feelings & emotions will be resolved – over & done with – put to rest.  Hopefully, anyway.

I wrote 3 poems.

***

[July]

I am allowed out more now.  I walk all over Lowell & I am getting really strong.  I even run a little!  I found a great little bookstore & bought The Women’s Spirituality Book, by Diane Stein.  I have been reading it all afternoon.  It’s really nice to read something that isn’t recovery.  But it is – it’s all goddess – you can’t separate spirituality & recovery.  & the goddess wants me to be healthy & whole.

I don’t know what to do about Teddy.  He writes me these long rambling letters – all in pencil – I really believe he loves me but I don’t know what to do about it.  Part of me wishes that he hadn’t come here & met with my counsellors but it’s part of the program & he wanted to do the right thing.  He really is trying so hard.  I shouldn’t expect perfection – sexual or otherwise – at least not right away!   I have dozens of erotic books, novels, poetry, manuals – maybe after we have been together for a while, we can work at synchronizing our sexual patterns – he can become more intuitive, more imaginative & I can become less demanding.  There are also other ways to feel like the Goddess.  I have come to rely on sex – & performance, dancing & singing – to feel that way – but there are others.  It is a matter of imagination, creativity, desire, execution, change.  “She changes all she touches & all she touches, changes”.  I prayed for change.  My affair with Pat was the key – the beginning – the ace.  Now am working through the rest of the pack.  It all takes time.  A never-ending journey.

***

I tested negative for HIV.

***

A tough day.  I feel so tired out lately – like the flu without the symptoms.  I started seeing Dr.Barb – the sex therapist – & I don’t like her.  I thought I would but I don’t.  I’m not sure why I don’t.  There’s something about her – she’s disingenuous.  Like she’s not really a woman or something.  Maybe she’s not.  You never know with some of these women.  I feel like she’s a peeping tom – looking through the eyes of a beautifully dressed woman.  & she’s really interested in my father.  Way more than she is in me.  Her first question to me was, “What does it feel like to be the daughter of a famous author?”  Like – how do you answer that?  I never thought of my father as a famous author.  He was just my Daddy.  & he wasn’t a famous author until 1970 – he really wasn’t really famous until just before he died – & his death is really what made him a household name.  Mom told me that he had to borrow the money to get the dream home in Manchester & he was still in debt when he died – which is why Mom had to sell it off – she said that his fame didn’t do any of us any good at all.

So how does it feel to be the daughter of a famous author?  It doesn’t really feel like anything at all.  Especially fourteen years after his death – I can barely remember the sound of his voice – only sometimes – like how he said “Low-ell”.  If it wasn’t for photographs, I probably would have forgotten what his face looked like long ago.   Sometimes I’ll see one of his books & I’ll turn it over to see his face on the back of the dust jacket & it’s always a kind of shock – the 70’s haircut, the tweed jacket – I wonder what he would look like now.  Would he have lost his hair or would he have a silver mane?  Would his eyes still be even more crinkled along the sides from laughter & time spent in the sun?  Would he still be attractive to women of all ages?  Would he still have that famous McBride charm?

She wanted to know if I was angry at him for dying drunk behind the wheel & was that why I started drinking.  I hear this question all the time, so I was ready for it.  “I was drinking long before he died,” I answered.  Which isn’t exactly true – it isn’t a lie – but it’s not like I was getting drunk at age fourteen, either – I had some beers now & again.  Like all suburban teens.  But it shuts them up.  All of them – Dr. Barb, Lance, Angie – they all want easy answers.  Like I became a drunk & a druggie cuz my dad died drunk behind the wheel with a young woman not his wife when I was sixteen years old.  Like it was some kind of abandonment that I can never get over.  The truth is – I felt abandoned long before that.

***

I finished my Fourth Step – it’s a fucking novel – I tried to keep it a short story but it was very tough.  I also tried to keep it in outline form – like Bill Wilson says in the Big Book – but once I got writing, I just kept going.

I presented it to Lance & we went over it.  He wanted to know how I wanted to “do” my Fifth Step – he asked if I had a sponsor to talk it over with.  I have a “temporary sponsor” here in Lowell – a woman named Sharon – but I don’t really want to read my Fourth Step to her.  I mean – she’s nice – but I only got her because it was required – not because I felt like we were AA soul mates.  Besides – it’s not like I’m staying here – I know that eventually I’m going back to either Buffalo or Cleveland.  So there’s no use in getting really close to anyone.

I said I would feel better just doing it with him.  So tomorrow, I “take the Fifth” as the saying goes.

***

Working with Dr. Barb brings up all the old stuff with my stepfather & his ever-present hands.  & the Brady Devine & his friends raping me that night in Gates Mills.  A lot of this stuff I have pushed so far down into my consciousness that I barely remember any of it & I don’t like remembering it at all.  Dr. Barb says that most women alcoholics are victims of sexual abuse & the earlier that we deal with the pain & we start to heal from it, the easier our recovery will be.  But most of us want to run from the pain.  Well – why the hell not?  Once you start remember this stuff – without any drugs to moderate the pain – all you do is think about it – over & over & over again.

I don’t like talking to her about this stuff.  She seems like a voyeur.

***

I want to go home.  Even though I am still in love with Pat – I know I am – but there’s no future in that – & I still love Jesse – I always will but there’s even less future there – Teddy still loves me – & I do love him – & I am so homesick – for my kitties & my books – & there’s plenty of AA meetings in Buffalo – I want my own house, my own kitchen, food I can eat – not to have to go to group everyday & meetings everyday & think about nothing but recovery, recovery, recovery!  I want to have some fun!

***

I took off today – without permission – we’re supposed to sign out but I just left.  I took the train to Boston & then up the coast to Manchester-by-the Sea.  I walked around for a while – I found our house – of course there’s another family living there now, so I didn’t want to hang out – but I wanted to see it.  & then I went to the beach.  I wore a bikini under my sundress so it would be easy to strip down & lay out in the sun & swim in the ocean.  Which is what I did.  It was like heaven.

But I CAUGHT HELL when I got back to Blue Star Rehab.  Leaving without permission – being gone all day – it was like I had done the worst thing imaginable – even though I have done everything else they have asked me to do & never fucked up once.  I had to do a breathalyzer when I came in – even though a fucking moron could have seen that I hadn’t been drinking – & I had to do a urine too & I’ll have to do another one in a few days as well.  I just wanted to go see my old home!  & go to the beach!  & I was never allowed to – I’m 30 fucking years old! – so I thought, fuck it, I’m leaving.  I don’t see what the big deal is – I’m fine, everyone can see I’m fine.

***

They are making a big deal out of me being gone all day yesterday.  Both Lance & Angie are on my side but it’s coming from higher up than them.  I’ve been here four – almost five – months & you’d think I’d be able to do things on my own – like an adult, not a child.  The outpatient clients get to come & go as they please.  But those of us who live here – for whatever reasons – we’re treated like we’re mentally ill & can’t be trusted.  We have to sign out when we leave & sign back in – there’s a curfew – I’m so tired of this.  I wanted to get sober & that’s what I did.  I want to go home now.

***

It is settled.  I am going home Friday morning.   Nobody is happy about this but I was almost out of insurance anyway so I was going to have to start paying out of pocket or leave – & I don’t have to money to pay out of my own pocket!  So now it’s AA all the way!

***

It’s incredibly hot & humid.  Nonetheless, I am packing – I can hardly wait.  I’ve been so homesick.  Teddy is coming to get me – I don’t know what to think about that.  I will try again.  But if it doesn’t work, I’m going to leave – I told him this.  I am not going to be unhappy & start using again.

I am going to miss it here.  I really am.  I never thought I would come to love Lowell – such a funny little city – with all the little canals – “Low-ell”.  I wonder if I will ever return here.

***

(Buffalo, NY)

Four months without a drink – except for those few joints with Jesse when I first left Buffalo in March, I haven’t had any kind of drugs, either.  I expected Teddy to have a joint ready for me when I got home, but he said he didn’t have anything & wasn’t I supposed to be sober now?  I didn’t know what to think.  I am sure he has weed somewhere around here.  I never expected to stop smoking weed – not forever – not for the rest of my life.

“The End of the Innocence” is playing – I feel very emotional.  I should feel serene & secure in my sobriety but I feel shaky & insecure.  Pat’s spirit is with me no less than a dead man.  What do I feel?  Really?  Like I let myself down again.  I just wish chemical dependency hadn’t gotten mixed up into it all.  How could I remain true to my emotions when I had to dissect every feeling & express it & explain it & put it into its proper little box?  Don Henley is mocking me: “How bad do you want it?  Not bad enough.”  I thought I did.  I really did.  I still do.  Part of me hopes that things don’t work out with Teddy so I’m free – free – free for what? – Pat?  I have no real reason to think that we would have a good life together – a happy life – a life filled with motorcycles & camping & joints & shopping like I have with Teddy.  No real reason – except love that made me into the Goddess & he into a god – oh here I go again – homesick or not, I have to ask myself – what the hell am I doing here?

The other reason I hope it doesn’t work out with Teddy is so that maybe I can go back to Massachusetts.  Not to Lowell but to the coast.  I so long to live on the ocean.

***

Drinking coffee.  Thinking about projects – editing & revamping “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Seductress” – maybe change the title – thinking about what poems to send the Buffalo News – making a novel out of the Chaotic Bliss diary – what names for what people & why – how to tell it – diary or third person – plans for a quilt – plans for a recovery sampler – using one of the AA slogans.

Thinking about Pat & trying not to.  Maybe this house is charged.  Maybe I wove a stronger spell than I ever imagined.  Maybe it’s just my addictive/addicted personality coming back.  Maybe it never really left.

Last night I was on fire.  I could not stop thinking about him.  It was like we were together – in the dream realm – floating above consciousness.  Teddy was out cold next to me.  I moaned – lost in my reverie.  Then I sneezed & Teddy woke up.  I reached over & touched his cock.  Even hard, it seemed small compared to what I was remembering – I told myself to shut up – Teddy ate me out & then fucked me – I was gritting my teeth – I couldn’t believe I had come to this – Oh Pat – I can’t believe this – Me! – merely enduring sex! – after all the crazy kinky sex I’ve had! – what’s the matter with me? – or is it Teddy?  Everything he does seems like – textbook –

My heart hurts so intensely I can scarcely believe it.

***

Yesterday Teddy received a letter from Pat stating that he was not sorry he had an affair with me & that he had never considered Teddy a friend, only a business connection & that Teddy had deep-seated problems that needed attention –  especially sexual.

Needless to say, Teddy had a fit.  He wrote a letter back to Pat which I had to admit is a really good letter & really to the point – not Teddy’s usual meanderings.  Personally – I think Pat is really being an asshole in this case.  I mean – what kind of ninth step is that?  Who makes an amend & tells the other person that they have “deep-seated problems”?  I mean, really?

***

A hot day.  Sunny.  Blue skies.  A day that demands a beach, cool water & waves.  Orange crush & hot dogs.

***

[August]

Money woes mount.  Bills that need to be paid before any paychecks arrive – plus money that ought to be in the bank is not there – I have all the deposit slips & returned checks & I can’t figure out that happened – just shit I don’t need to deal with – I mean, who does?  But where does the money go to?  Is Teddy taking out money I don’t know about?  Are there bank withdrawal slips I’m not seeing?  He always handled all the money but now we’re supposed to be doing it together.  He always did fancy footwork when it came to finances & I’m much more conservative.  Maybe not in the way I’ve made my money but in the sense that I got out there & actually made it.  & used it to pay bills & buy groceries & then play with it.  Teddy plays first & then pays the bills.

Daily headaches & sleepless nights.  Ridiculous dreams when I do sleep.  Unable to wake up.

Feeling more & more unbalanced.  Realizing that drugs & alcohol – especially marijuana – were used to even the scales.   I’m wildly up or wildly down.

***

Reading rituals for Lammas.  Thinking of a solitary ritual.

***

What do I fear most?  Impotence – artistic, literary weakness – being a mediocre poet instead of a great one.  Unhappiness.  My unhappiness in the face of Teddy’s great joy that I have returned.  Fear.  Fear.  Fear.  Time to do a Step 6 – yet the words in the book just swim in front of me.

Loneliness.  Longing.  Want.  Want.  Overwhelming emotional fatigue.

***

Last night I had a terrible fight with Teddy about Pat.  He simply will not believe that it is over – completely.  I admitted that Pat calls the house but I did say that I no longer talk to him.  & not because of him – although I didn’t say that – but because of me.  Because I want it over.  I’m tired of the drama – tired of the soap opera of my marriage.  Today – calm discussions.  An empty feeling I am trying not to feel.  But also the realization that to live with Teddy means no secrets.  & I have always had secrets – even when I was a child, I had my secret life. I don’t know if I can be totally open with another person – it’s not the way I am.  Another thing – even if it means I never have sex again – no outside lovers.  Being married to Teddy means that I have sex only with him – whether or not he wants it – & only when he wants it – the way he wants it.  I do not know if I can do that.  I just don’t know.  I think it’s an awful lot to ask.  I mean –  if Teddy only wants sex once a month or twice a year or whatever it is – that’s ok for him – but why does that have to be ok for me?

On the other hand, I know where Teddy is coming from because it’s not like Pat is “being a gentleman about it” as Teddy put it – he’s been trying to break up our marriage from the very beginning.  I do have to be honest about that – even if Pat isn’t.  The thing is – I don’t think Pat even really wants me.  He just wants me because Teddy has me.  If I left Teddy & went to Pat, then Pat wouldn’t want me anymore.

It’s all so horribly depressing.

***

I couldn’t wake up this morning.  After Teddy left, I went back to bed & had all sorts of dreams – I was at a Grateful Dead concert in Cleveland with Pat – then flying over Lake Erie – I woke up bleeding.  I thought – oh, so no wonder I’m so whacked out lately & then I cried for over an hour.

I’m not falling apart – I’m not!  I’m keeping it together – barely.

***

I called Mark Miles this morning.  We’re getting together for lunch next week.

***

Sitting on the porch.  A warm, breezy, sunny day.  Ribs on the grill.  Just out of the shower – clean, smooth, sweet-smelling.  I have to continually shoo bees away.  Teddy’s in the shower.  I’m reading Anaïs Nin.

Almost uncontrollably moody.  Suicidal, almost.  Wanting to stick a needle into my arm.  Thinking – continually – of walking into a bar & ordering a shot & a beer.  Feeling hopeless – hopeless.

Teddy’s love debilitates me.  He is so happy I have returned.  I shrink from causing him pain.  Meanwhile I am in so much pain myself I can barely stand it.  All I do is think of suicide.  I don’t really want to get drunk.  It’s too slow.  I think of heroin – of faster, more sure ways to waste myself.  I just want to end this turmoil.

Evening.  Reading Anaïs Nin.  Her experiences with Drs. Allendy & Rank are helping me articulate what it is I want out of therapy.  She writes, “I felt torn apart by my multiple relationships, & I would have been able to live fully in each one, had enough love & devotion for all of them, but they conflicted with each other.”  Also: “I had no in-between existence:  only flights, mobility, euphoria; and despair, depression, disillusion, paralysis, shock & a shattering of the mirror.”

I need to learn to live with all this feeling.  How to reconcile myself with my various loves & lovers.  Deal with the feelings associated with the rape.  What to do about Teddy.  How to achieve union – or end it.

& then – how to live alone – if need be.  How to be happy.

No small order.

***

Meanwhile – Teddy wants to make love.  I honestly don’t think he really wants to make love –  he just thinks that I want to so he’s trying to do it for me.  & I honestly don’t want to.  I have been terribly horny – but I don’t want Teddy – what can I say!  It’s not going to work like that!

So last night – Teddy made love to me.  Or he tried.  It was a horrible mistake.  I had to grit my teeth – Teddy was eating me & running his hand up & down my body & I wanted to push him away – I had to involve myself in an elaborate rape fantasy just to cum – because he wasn’t going to stop until I did & I couldn’t cum any other way – I felt so shitty.  Then he fucked me & the tears were rolling down my face & as soon as he finished, I was sobbing – !  I want to feel like the Goddess again!  I want that fire – that finesse – that excellence again!  Oh fuck – what am I going to do?

I’d rather have no sex than bad sex.

I haven’t been this depressed in a long time.  And I have a terrible headache.

***

Spent all day at the Erie County Fair.  We had a wonderful time.  The only time I was upset & frustrated was when Teddy refused to go to on the Sky Ride with me – it’s a double Ferris Wheel – because of his fear of heights – a fear I admit I totally do not understand – especially sitting  in a steel bench with a bar across you lap isn’t exactly unsafe – not like scaling the side of a mountain or even climbing a ladder – but whatever.

I saw Bard Ellison there.  He was selling Encyclopedia Brittanicas.  We talked a few minutes.  He’s going to law school.

***

Writing poetry.  Joni Mitchell on the stereo.

***

I cannot sleep.  I just finished watching a documentary about the Beatles.  I am reading Anaïs Nin & having a glass of milk.  It has been pouring.  Now the rain falls lightly, almost a drizzle.  It’s getting windy.  Across the street, my neighbor’s wind chimes ring hauntingly.

***

Something happened to me.  Changed in me.  In my mind I am moving out.  I have been dreaming & in all my dreams, I am leaving.  When I am awake, I am making a mental inventory – what I will take & what I will leave behind.

***

Pat called this morning.  He got on my nerves – telling me that I should just turn my back on Teddy & my life here – “Just do it,” he said, like it wasn’t going to cause Teddy or even me any pain to leave – & to leave my books & my things behind – “they’re really not important” – funny how my things aren’t important – that I should just buy a bus ticket & go to Cleveland with just a backpack of clothing & live with him.  Yeah, right!  That’s a good one!  I can see how that will turn out!

Besides, I just can’t do that.  I’m not ready.  I want to leave Teddy but I’m just not ready yet.  Maybe I’ll go to Cleveland but maybe I’ll stay right here.  My vision of the future shows a small apartment of my own – maybe on the West Side – or maybe Central Park area – with my books & my plants & my cats – alone.  No man in the house.  AA – a coven for spiritual work – & therapy so I get better.  Working on my poems & my novel.

A nice quiet change – just enough to make my life better – slow change – sober change.  Not a revolution – which is what Pat wants.  I don’t want revolution – I want evolution.  I know it won’t be painless either way but I think my way is the better way.  It’s the right way.  Pat wants what he wants when he wants it – which is right now.

***

I went over to Shera’s the other night.  It was nice – sitting in the semi-darkness on the porch – sipping herbal tea & talking.  I told her all about my troubles with Teddy & how I still longed for Pat & even Jesse.  “Have any of these men asked you what it is you want, what is good for you, what your needs are?”  she asked.  & of course the answer is no.  From Teddy, all I hear about are his needs, his wants, his hurt feelings. From Pat, all I hear about is what he thinks is good for me & how I should go about doing that & how soon I should be doing it.  Both of them are selfish as toddlers.

I haven’t heard from Jesse at all.  Maybe that hurts most of all.  I know he’s back from Atlanta.   He must be really working a good program – he hasn’t called Teddy for weed & he hasn’t called me at all.

It was wonderful over at Shera’s.  A feminine/feminist household.  A beautiful altar, right out in the open, no need to hide it or camouflage it as something else.  Artwork everywhere.  Calm, peace, serenity.  Exactly what I need.

Another thing she said that struck a deep chord: “If Pat can tell you to just run off & leave Teddy & your home without a second glance, that doesn’t say much about his ethics.  You can’t run away from your responsibilities.”

“Pat did,” I said, laughing – but it really isn’t a laughing matter – & really, he left a trail of creditors behind him – lots of people wanting to find him for various reasons.  Another thing – he keeps telling me that he’s going to find a good job selling cars but he’s never made money selling cars before.  I know that all the money he did make went to drugs but he wasn’t selling many cars – who the hell is?  I was feeding him before we became lovers – he was over all the time, wanting meals.  & now he says he’s going to make a load of money & support me?  He says he going to make a grand next year.  I would just like to see that before I go down there.  I’ve had enough of nickel & diming in my life.

& when you think about it – a grand isn’t that much money.  I was making that in one week when I was dancing.

***

How I hate Sundays.  Too long – too boring.  No money.  No joints.  A big breakfast & a lot of dishes.  Feeling fat & ugly.

Later on, we’ll go to Doug & Danielle – they’ve moved – & swim a little.  Until then – reading & more reading.

Newspaper full of Persian Gulf crisis.  Already bored with it.  Tired of hearing about it.

Evening.  We went to Doug & Danielle’s.  I had a nice swim but I really wanted a beer – really pissed & depressed that I can’t even have one.  I really want to blow off the entire program.  Actually I want it both ways.  I want my 6-month pin but I want a beer too.  I don’t want to get drunk – just a beer!  Just enjoy a little buzz.

***

In tears all day.  I’ve been really struggling lately.  It feels awful to be so depressed.  I have to get to more meetings – I need friends in the program – a local sponsor.  I can’t go on fighting like this.  Wanting a drink & unable to have one.  Unhappy with life.

***

I’ve been to meetings every day.  Monday night – a woman’s meeting – only four blocks away!  Tuesday – a meeting at UB.  Wednesday – my home group.  I may or may not go to one tonight but I am going to one tomorrow night with  Marie J., the secretary of Achievement Group.  She said she’d give me rides to other meetings too.  Things are looking up.

Excerpts From a Diary 42

[April-May, 1990]

[April]

I’m sitting at the Buffalo International Airport, waiting for a flight to Logan International in Boston.  This is no April Fool’s Day joke – this is really happening.  We couldn’t get a flight out of Cleveland, so this morning Bob & I drove here at the crack of dawn & now we’re waiting for a flight.  He’s coming with me.  I think my mother & Bob think I’m going to bolt – either here in Buffalo or in Boston – a place I really know nothing about, aside from my childhood memories – so Bob is coming with me.  Mom is too busy to deal with me, of course – Rocco is newly engaged & she’s busy with planning an engagement party for him & his fiancé this coming Saturday.   It was almost all she talked about – how nice Julie is & how sweet she is & how dedicated to her chosen field of social work & how sober she is.  Hearing about how wonderful Julie is almost made me want to go out & get plastered but I remembered how I wanted to get sober when I was talking to Jesse – it’s amazing how fragile that desire is.  I mean – I want to get sober but I just want to escape, too.

They’re having me to go some rehab in Lowell, Massachusetts.  I don’t know how they came up with that one.  I mean – what’s in Lowell?  My father always made fun of Lowell. “Low-ell” he called it.   Apparently some AA friend of Bob’s runs it.  It’s in some old factory or mill or something – I really don’t know.  It’s not very big.  There’s inpatient & outpatient services & I’m going to be inpatient for 28 days & then I don’t know.  I guess we’re going to play it by ear.  I don’t even know who’s paying for this.  I suppose my insurance – through Teddy’s work – I’m just not thinking about it.  Bob says not to think about it – he says my “best thinking” got me here.

Teddy called Mom last night & after talking to her for a little bit, she let me talk to him.  He got a phone!  After months of not having a phone & not being able to work because of not having a phone, the very first day I’m gone he goes & gets phone service!  I was fit to be had but there was nothing I could do about it.  He said that he thought it was a good idea that I was going into rehab.  I told him that I didn’t know when I would be back but I asked him – please – not to get rid of any of my books or anything else that belonged to me.  He said he wouldn’t.  He said that he was going into a program for men who “hit” women – that my mother was insisting on it.  He made it sound like he was doing it to please her because he really didn’t have a problem – any reasonable man would hit a woman like me, right?  I mean – he didn’t say that but I know that what he thinks.  He did say that he wants us to be living together again & happy again but after I hung up the phone, I couldn’t remember when it was when we were ever really happy.

I think that’s the entire idea with everyone.  Get Cori sober & get her back into her marriage with Teddy.  Which isn’t what I want at all.  I mean – I want to get sober but I know my marriage is over.  It’s been over for a long time.  Honestly – I feel more like getting wasted than ever.  I feel trapped.

***

I fell asleep on the plane.  It’s only an hour in the air but I went right out.  It seems like all I do lately is sleep.  It must be the shock of no drugs in my system.  Of course I’m still drinking coffee but it’s like it doesn’t even affect me anymore – like I’ve got the strongest tolerance known to man – I can have espresso & still fall asleep.  Pat always said that caffeine was a drug so it’s only logical that I could & would build up a tolerance to it.  Pat said that caffeine was a drug & so is the sugar that I put into my coffee – he said half & half was, too.  He could talk for hours on how dairy was one of the most addictive drugs to man & so was meat!  Pat could make an argument that anything at all could be used addictively & it was all part of Dukka & Samudaya – the First & Second Noble Truths of Buddhism – that 1. life is painful – mostly because we don’t or won’t realize its impermanence & 2. our insistence on clinging to these impermanent states & trying to make them permanent.  & getting over an addiction was simply the Third & Fourth Noble Truths – Nirodha, letting go & Magga, liberation from Dukka.  Honestly – when he talked about it, it seemed so simple – so why couldn’t he let go of his addictions?  To smoking cigarettes & doing coke?  To sex?  To gambling?  Maybe Jesse was right – it was all just talk with Pat – just something he said to sound virtuous & get unhappy babes like me into bed.  I felt worse than ever.  I couldn’t believe that my search for a better life & a new way of living had led me to Pat.

It took about forty minutes to drive out to Lowell from Logan.  Boston itself looked familiar – as we drove on the various expressways – but as soon as we got out of Boston proper, nothing really seemed real to me.  We were driving away from the ocean.  I felt really sad.  Somehow I had thought that I was going home but I was going somewhere completely else.  “Low-ell”.

Bob talked to me as we drove along.  “I know you’ve been to rehab before & you might think that you know about recovery & you know about AA,” he said.  “Go into this like you don’t know anything at all.  Go into this like you’re a complete baby in recovery.  Because believe me,” he chuckled, “you are.”

I didn’t say anything.  I didn’t know what to say.

“& don’t worry about Teddy.  Teddy’s going to be fine.  Teddy wants you to think he’s going to fall apart cuz you’re not there but he’s going to be just fine.  & if he falls apart – well, that’s ok, too.  It’s about time he faced the music on his own.”

“But we’re married,” I said.  Weakly.  & I only said it to say something – it’s not like I believed it.

“Are you?”  He laughed.  “Is that what you call it?  So – just what is my son Jesse’s role in that marriage?  I’ve often wondered.”

I didn’t say anything.  I never thought that anyone noticed Jesse & my relationship.  I always thought it was completely sub rosa.  I wondered who else knew.

He went on, “If you’re going to get sober & I mean really sober – not just quit drinking & using for a while – I mean a total change of life – if you’re going to get sober, you’re going to have to change everything.  Sometimes the people in your life change with you & sometimes they don’t.  But the fact is – you have to change.  & you have to change the way you live your life.  You understand what I mean?”

“Yeah,” I said, although I wasn’t all that sure just how I was supposed to change – other than stopping the drinking & the drugging.  Which seemed like enough for me at the moment.

“You’re going to have to make a break with your drug past.  That means everyone.  Even your husband, if that’s what it takes to remain sober.  If he isn’t willing to clean up his act, too.  You might have to move.  Find a new career.  Do whatever it takes.”  I must have been looking freaked out – I was just exhausted by that point – because he moderated his message a little.  “But I wouldn’t worry about that right now – just get yourself clean & healthy – everything else will fall into place – here we are.”

He pulled up in front of an old brick building – maybe 100 years old but it could easily be as old as 150 years or maybe older.  There was a star design worked into the brick that was decorative and beautiful.  I had never seen bricks so small & so delicate.  It was one brick building in a long line of old brick buildings.  The front doors were heavy & old & made of oak.  Over the doors was a transom made of granite & etched in it were the words: “The Blue Star Manufacturing Company” with a pentacle in between the words “Star” & “Manufacturing”.  A hand-printed sign on the door said: “Blue Star Rehab”.

We walked in & it was like walking into history.  Everything was brick and wood & wrought iron & just plain old.  The ceilings were higher than anything I had ever seen.  I felt like I was tripping.  Maybe I was.  Maybe by that point – with the swiftness of leaving Buffalo & going to Cleveland & then back to Buffalo to Boston & now here in Lowell – I was completely broken down & now in some other dimension.  But I have to be honest – I really don’t remember the intake – signing the papers – saying goodbye to Bob – going upstairs to the top floor where inpatient was.  I floated through all of that & then I was in my own room & sleeping – for days & days.  Or that’s how it seemed, anyway.

***

Last night I dreamed that I was at Pat’s place – I’m not sure where – maybe in Cleveland – I was in the kitchen – it was a mess – there was olive green appliances & a washer & dryer & stacks of pornography – the phone rang & it was Pat.  “When will you be here?”  I asked.  “I have all my things & I’m ready to move in – ready for our new life together.”

“We have no life together,” he told me.  “It is not our karma to be together.  You must accept this karma.”

“I won’t accept this karma!”  I argued.  “I refuse!  I love you!  It is our karma to love each other!  It is our karma to be together & you know it!”

“It is not our karma to be together.  You must accept this.”  & the phone went dead.

***

This morning I was interviewed by a counsellor.  His name is Lance but he couldn’t look less like a Lance if he tried – being rather pudgy & effeminate.  But really nice – really a nice dude.  Fabulous accent – the accent alone brought back so many memories.  It was like I was 10 years old again & hearing it for the first time.  “Supah,” he kept saying – that dropping of the ending “r” was tripping me back to 1970 & it was hard not to fall into the same speech pattern (“patten”).   He talked with me for almost two hours & I felt like he was on my side the entire time.  It was decided that I’m alcohol dependent, cannabis dependent, cocaine dependent & miscellaneous drug dependent.  Lance is going to be my main counsellor.  I have Angie for my group counsellor & Alycia, the student intern, who drives us to meetings every day.  We go to some meeting somewhere on a daily basis.  “Ninety meetings in ninety days,” Lance told me, “but you’ll be glad to get out of the building & you’ll be glad to be seeing so much of Eastern New England, especially since you’re not from around here.  It’s a way to sight-see while you’re getting some recovery,” which sounded suspiciously like a slogan but I just laughed & said that I would love to see Manchester-by-the-Sea, where I used to live.  So then we talked a little about my life there.  Not very much – my time was up – but Lance agreed that it was a beautiful place & that it had to have been hard for me to leave there.

***

I got a letter from Teddy.  I read it this morning before I went to group but I really didn’t have time to look at it closely & so I’m rereading it now.  He writes in pencil – which is annoying enough – but he says he uses a pencil because he makes so many mistakes & has to erase.  I mean – just cross out the wrong words – or think a little before you write.  Or write a letter & then copy it over.  I guess he doesn’t understand the concept of a first draft. 

He writes, “Ever since we have been together, you have been scared to tell certain things to me for fear that I would get mad.  This is before I ever got mad at you the first time.  In my opinion I think that 1. Your parents were that way with you & 2. You knew inside that what you wanted to tell me was something that you either did was wrong or knew you screwed up or something like that.  You did not want to admit that you had made a mistake.  You said more than once over the years that you were afraid to tell me things because you assumed I would get mad.  But there were plenty of times I didn’t.  What happened in a lot of cases is that I got mad because you tried to lie or cover up.  You assumed I would not understand.  I know I didn’t handle many situations like I should have, but I was at a disadvantage because you were untruthful with me.  I think most of the time you were afraid I would get on your case but most of the time you needed to be told when you screwed up just like I do from time to time.  You forgot that first of all I love you, & I only want to help you face up to your mistakes.  I know I didn’t always handle things well but after all I have my own problems with being immature.  I needed you & still need you to support me.”

His letter continued, “I still deeply love you, a love that is real & true.  With help from God, we could become great lovers as well as companions & friends again.  I think you have lost the feeling & memories of just how good it was & how good it could be again.  Please don’t shut your feelings off & rule out falling in love with me.  With both of us getting the help we need, we could be a great team again.”

I don’t know what to say – I admit I miss Teddy.  But it’s never been right – or has it just been me?  Blaming him when it’s really me – restless, discontented one – falling in love with Jesse – crazy in love with Jesse –

But – to accuse me of lying – I’m not a liar.  I was very careful about that.  I really hate lying & I hate people who lie. But to omit saying anything at all is not lying.  To say you’re going out & not say where you’re going is not lying.  To say you’re going here or there & not mention somewhere else is not lying.  OK – maybe it’s not completely honest, either – but it’s not lying.

& now this stupid thing with Pat – blowing up like dynamite – just gives him ammo.

I don’t know – I don’t know – is it all my fault?  Really?

***

Writing a letter to Teddy.  I have to show it to Lance before it gets sent out – it’s not like my mail is censored but I’m in “early recovery” & there are rules – it’s for my own good – I could be sabotaging my own recovery & not even know it.  & I don’t care – I really want to get better.  & I want to know – really – is it my fault?  The demise of the marriage?  Because – honestly – it seems to me that I acted in a very logical manner & even ethically – given the circumstances.

I wrote:

“I admit I never had any intention of being sexually ‘faithful’ – but I didn’t really think it mattered – I was emotionally faithful – at least until Jesse – & even then I still loved you deeply & was very loyal to you.  & the only reason I lied – if you can call it lying & it seems that you are determined to do so – is because who the hell tells the truth when they’re having an affair?  I mean really?  If we were having an open marriage, it would have been different.  But you made it clear that you weren’t interested in that.  & you also made it clear that you weren’t interested in me sexually.  So I was supposed to be faithful to a man who didn’t want to have sex with me.  I think that was asking a bit much.”  I added, “There’s some kind of emptiness in me – I don’t know what – maybe it’s connected to my need for ‘stardom’ – but I tried to fill it anyway I could – with drinking – with sex – it’s like I can’t see myself except mirrored in someone else’s eyes.”

I continued, “One thing I’ve heard over & over – in AA meetings & now with these new counsellors – is that I’m very hard on myself – too hard on myself – that I set myself up for failure – that I punish myself – that I don’t really believe in myself – that I don’t believe I deserve happiness.  For whatever reasons – my dad dying – that asshole of a stepfather – what happened in Gates Mills – Jon – who knows.  I was very open with you about my problems when we first met & you assured me that you would love me no matter what.  & now I’m the problem?  All I know is that this is all going to take time.  You are going to have to be patient.  Maybe it’s time you confronted your own chemical dependency issues.  Your own neediness.”

I finished the letter saying, “I also think that my problems – like your problems – existed before we were married.  The marriage wasn’t the problem – you & I individually were – & we have to get our shit together individually before we can do it together.”

***

I have just had the worst night since I have been here. I barely slept at all.  In the beginning, all I could do was think about Pat.  I sent him a letter last week – I know I shouldn’t have but I did & everyone in group got on my case about it  – & I haven’t heard anything back.  I wonder if he’s with Amy or with someone new.  Or if he’s even still in Buffalo.  Maybe the letter is just sitting in the mailbox & has been for days. I was in torment & I tossed & turned for hours.

Somewhere in there I did fall asleep & I dreamed I was smoking a joint.  I only did a few tokes & I was wasted.  They could smell it on the floor & it was a real problem.  I was really paranoid in my dream & that’s something I have never been in real life.  It was really amazing – how anxious I felt in my dream.  I woke up & I shook myself out of the dream.  I went to the bathroom & then back to bed – more tossing & turning.

I drifted off into sleep & another dream.  I was wearing my grey dress.  I was arriving at Eric Clapton’s house.  I saw a bunch of Clapton videos yesterday – I’m sure that’s where some of this is coming from.  He & his wife – not Patti, some other chick – were going to some show & they were taking me along with them – Eric & I had to wait for his wife to get ready & we went out to the yard – we were talking, our eye meeting & our hands touching.  The same electricity that Pat & I felt when we were falling in love.  Which leads me to believe that it wasn’t Eric Clapton I was dreaming about – but Pat.

Then the dream changed – Eric & I were watching TV & I was wearing my red & white checked dress that I used to wear in Manchester – that cute one from my freshman year in high school – it seemed like the dream went on forever as the sexual tension built & then he was making love to me – it was so intense & so real – I can remember every detail – it was just like fucking a god.

Then it turned into a nightmare – I was late getting home to Teddy & he was mad at me – he was taunting me about fucking Eric Clapton – “Was it like fucking God?” he shouted at me – we had a huge argument & I woke up crying.  It’s only a dream but nothing is just a dream.  I can’t ignore it any longer.  I gambled & lost.  It’s no use saying, all bets are off, I want to go home.  Because I’m stuck here – stuck going to group every day – stuck going to AA meetings.  Realization comes hard in the cold light of dawn.  & nothing changes it.

***

I got a letter from Pat.  He writes that he feels disconnected from me, unable to fully communicate & says that “somehow, someway” he has got to see me.  He says we should not try to “fortify or secure” our love – like grasping a rose – we would get pierced by the thorns.  He wrote that our love “simply is & that is that.”

I thought it was beautiful until I showed it to Lance, who said, “Just what the fuck is he talking about?”  & I burst out laughing.

Lance said, “Girl, you don’t need that kind of tomfoolery in your life, he’s not saying a word of sense, just a bunch of fine-sounding words that you can dance to & we all know how you love to dance.”  & I had to agree.  It was all fine-sounding words that didn’t mean a thing.  I’m not going to write back to him.

***

A lot has happened.  Because of writing letters & my daily diaries for group, writing my personal diary has taken a back seat.  But that’s the way it is.

I did a formal First Step in group the other day.  I had to stand up & say that I was “powerless” over drugs & alcohol – which I honestly don’t believe – & that my life had become “unmanageable” – which isn’t a question whether or not I believing in that – it’s quite evident.  I mean – my sweetheart of a husband is now a snarling beast – the guru lover I thought was going to save me has proven to be a false prophet – & I’m living in a converted factory & eating the worst food in my life.  They talk about people gaining weight when they get sober but I’m losing weight.  There’s almost nothing I can eat here.

The next day I did a Second Step – “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” – Again – I always knew that a power greater than myself could do anything at all – include take me in & out of sanity – so I didn’t argue with this or belabor the wording.  Lance says this step is about having hope & keeping an open mind – that recovery is possible & that none of us have to do it alone.

I was thinking about those two steps as the Ace & Two of Wands – the beginning of desire – the desire for a better life – a spiritual life, a productive life, a creative life – clean & sober.

***

I had a big blow-up with Teddy this morning.  Actually –  he was the one blowing up.  He said he talked to his counsellor.  He’s not in group because there’s not enough men to form a group – which sounds suspect to me – because what different does it make how many men there are?  & given how many women complain of being hit by their men – in AA alone – if there aren’t enough men to form a group, it’s because men deny being the problem.  He also said that he told the guy about me & my affairs – affairs?  Now I’ve had more than one? – & what happened with Pat & the guy said that Teddy was to “confront” me about Pat, my counsellors here, my group sessions, & “just how long” I was going to be here.  That just doesn’t sound right.  A counsellor for men with anger problems telling the guy with the problem controlling his anger to make a confrontation with the woman with whom he’s angry?  Really?  Somehow I don’t think any of that is true.  Teddy went on to say that Pat isn’t sick – he doesn’t have cancer – Pat lying to me – he’s not in AA – he’s still dealing drugs – & when I asked him where he was getting his information from, he refused to tell me – which told me that it’s Teddy who’s lying.  Because how would he know any of this?  He was hurt & upset that I would not believe him.  I tried to tell him, “It’s not a question of believing.  I really don’t care.  It has nothing to do with you & me.  As for you & me – I am not writing off our marriage, but I can’t save our marriage until I save myself.”

He just reiterated his demands that I stop writing & talking to Pat or he would come & bring me home.  Like he has any authority over my physical body.  & he doesn’t know that I’m writing or talking to Pat – he’s just assuming that I am!  But even if I am – he has no right to tell me what to do anyway!  But I’m writing & talking to Pat or anyone else.  I really am trying to focus on recovery 24/7 here.

I do miss Teddy.  I do love him.  I just wish he’d change – like I’ve been wishing for the last seven years.

***

In group, I told them what happened with Teddy.  So not I’m not supposed to talk to him or write to him or read his letters for a week.  I had to make a contract with the group.  Angie & Lance say that by focusing on Teddy – Teddy’s problems – his truck – his job – I am not focusing on myself.  I am always worrying about him – how he feels – what he’s gonna think – say – do – about whatever it is.  & I do worry about him constantly.  I have spent a lot of time writing to him – telling him things I’ve learned in therapy – outlining the 12 steps – helping him – trying to teach him & I just can’t take it anymore.  Or his pleading letters – letters telling me how badly he wants me to change – how much he loves me & wants me – all that.  The words have got to stop & the action has got to begin.

I’m not the only one with marital problems.  Both Benny & Curt are having them big-time & Lyle too.  Curt’s moving into a halfway house.

***

I feel bad.  I feel bad because I know Teddy is feeling bad.  Inside my head, I hear a voice: “How do you know?” & I have to answer, “Well, I don’t.”  Maybe he’s pissed off.  Maybe he’s happy.  Maybe – maybe –

The thing is, I have tried to help Teddy & I’ve got to stop.  I can’t help him or anyone else.  I can only help myself.  He’s got to motivate myself & help himself.  I’m in therapy – I’m going to AA – I’m moving ahead & trying to change.  Teddy’s letter seem like he’s changing – he is paying the bills or at least he says so – & I do believe him – I guess – but he’s not in therapy – he’s still totally in denial – he says he wants to learn to love me but he isn’t doing a thing!

I wish I could let it go!  Why is it so hard?

***

I told my story in group tonight.  It was tough – kinda – I know I went real fast – backtracking – so much has happened to me – it was hard to keep it linear.  On Monday, I’ll get “Tough Love” letters from the group & on Tuesday, I have to present letters in reply.

I have one month in sobriety.  So much has happened this past month I can’t believe it.  I’m so busy – the days so by so quickly – one day at a time – it’s amazing.

[May]

I got a letter from Pat.    He forgives me for “breaking” with him – I wasn’t aware that I had done that.  I mean – the letter I wrote to him spoke of recovery & being here for a long time but that was it.  Nothing personal – nothing I couldn’t show Lance or Angie.  Anyway – he writes that he has “complete trust” in me & that I am “mixed with the Dharma” – whatever that means.  He wishes nothing but the best for me.  Both Lance & Angie say it’s one of the most manipulative letters they have ever seen & that I am much better off with Pat out of my life.  “Sober or not,” Lance said.  “Sober or not.”

***

Today I turned 30.  The age everyone said I would never achieve.  How strange to celebrate it inside a rehab – on my second month of sobriety – no alcohol – no family – no friends except the news ones I have made here.

I remembered birthdays of my past – champagne – cocaine – piles of presents – going out to dinner – a beautiful cake – the kitchen help singing to me – being the center of attention – dancing all night long –

This birthday, I went to a meeting & when we got back, there was cake & ice cream in the cafeteria & everyone sang to me.  I started crying but it seems like that’s easy to do nowadays.

So then we played cards for a while.  I love playing cards!  I realized how nice it was not to be drinking – not to have to set it down each time I had to take my turn – being able to play well because I wasn’t buzzed – not being anxious because I wanted to go home & smoke a joint – not being out of weed & out of money all the time – not being all burned out all the time – it was such a freedom – such a good feeling!

& tomorrow I’ll wake up & I won’t have a hangover.  & honestly – I may miss catching a buzz once in a while but I never miss having a hangover.  If I have another hangover ever again, it’ll be too soon & as far as I’m concerned – no hangovers is the one & true reason not to drink.  The one & only reason not to drink.

***

I did my Third Step on Monday – I feel much better – like it isn’t my problem anymore.  I meditated a long time – I knew my decision was true & real.

The whole – “turning our will & our lives over to God” – really goes against my grain because I don’t want to turn my will or my life over to anyone.  Maybe I would – to Jesse – once upon a time – but I don’t know if I believe in that kind of love anymore.  But I had to think – there has to be some kind of deity.  I would rather turn my will & my life over to a goddess than a god – it wasn’t hard to visualize her once I got to thinking about her.  But I kept my visions to myself.

& I don’t think she wants me to give up my will.  I need my will to stay sober.  But AA is a Christian place so you have to keep your mouth shut & just take the good with the bad.  The rehab itself is more open-minded but it still uses AA terminology.

But having the first three steps done, I’ve gotten the first phase done of my recovery here and Lance says I’m doing really well.  I’m homesick but on the other hand I’m glad I came here.  I feel so much better.

Excerpts From a Diary 41

[March, 1990]

My heart is overflowing.  I cannot believe how wonderful I feel.  I’m listening to “The End of the Innocence” & for the first time it means something other than Jesse.  My whole body is humming – singing – vibrating.  My clit is still swelling – is still on fire.  My cunt still feels him – Pat – he has a big, fat cock.  When I first put my hand on it, I was excited – when I saw it, I was ecstatic.  He made me wait before he gave it to me.  He ate me forever – kissing my legs & thighs – before slipping his tongue between my labia lips – he ate me forever – I had no idea – or I had forgotten – how wonderful gentleness feels – a firm gentleness – how nice it is to be led down the path slowly & surely – & how strong – how deep – how full the orgasm was – I had no idea how much I was shuddering until he placed his hands on my hips & pressed me into the couch.  Then he raised his head & our mouths met – his tasting of cigarettes & cunt – the flavor of sex – then he slipped his cock into me – & we both gasped.  We looked into each other’s eyes & we were Goddess & God – & our orgasms were like earthquakes – we held each other tight – as the aftershocks rocked our bodies –

“I always knew you would be wonderful,” he told me.  “I always knew you would be receptive.  You are so alive – every fiber of your body – electric.”

I should not be writing this – this is very dangerous stuff.  But I can’t help it.  I want to relive it – to savor it again.  I am wet – so wet.  & I still can’t believe it’s Pat doing this to me.

“I’ve wanted you for a long time,” he told me.

“& I never noticed – ”

“You were still hung up on Jesse.  That was obvious.”

“I cast a spell last month,” I said, “to attract someone – I really needed someone.”

“I know, I know,” he was kissing me, “I was sending power your way & you were just sending out power – I could feel it.”

***

“Who knows who long this will last/Now we’ve come so far so fast” – Don Henley

Pat’s love flows over me like this song – if he worked out just a little bit, his body would be excellent.  Look how little I have to do!  I look wonderful.  It’s hard to believe that this is the same body I had at Christmas.  I look better than I have in years.  I feel so good.

I can hardly wait to be with him again.

***

I have been thinking about Pat all day.  It is hard not to talk about him – to bring up his name.  I catch myself staring into space & it is Pat’s image that I see.  His twinkling eyes & sweet smile.  The way he winks at me.  The way our fingers touch & the electricity that we feel when we pass joints.  The way we discover each other –

What changes a person – what is it that makes a person you’ve known & liked but never thought about much – into someone who occupies all your thoughts – all day & all night – waking & dreaming?

***

I couldn’t sleep last night.  It seemed like I could barely breathe.  I have even less of a voice now than before – it’s an effort even to whisper.  I could taste blood on the back of my throat & my heart & lungs feel so cold & tight – my first cup of coffee, thick with sugar & half & half, is warming me wonderfully.  I am downplaying how bad I feel – I want to go to Falco’s to meet Mark Miles & talk about my poetry book – & I’m afraid Teddy will try to make me stay home if he knows the truth.

The night went by so slowly.

***

I am still sick.  I feel totally miserable & yet am beside myself with happiness.  Pat is now teaching me – he gave me a book – Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior – it’s a lot like the Medicine Way.  We are always talking – trading our spiritual knowledge & experience.  He wants me to read Carlos Castanadas.  I gave me a copy of Little Birds – I had two copies – & as soon as Mark Miles can get copies made of my manuscript, I’m giving him a copy.  Hopefully, I can get a new cartridge so I can start another book.  Also, I’m working on a “Pagan Prayer Book”.  I have so many ideas – I am exploding with creativity.  I can’t believe I am still sick.

***

It is becoming a bad dream – Teddy asking questions – making accusations – “Are you in love with Pat?” – I could not deny my feelings – but I denied having an affair.  I spent last night buoying up Teddy – oh why does he have to be so weak?  Why can’t he say “Fuck you, you’re my woman, you’re not going to want anyone else” & then prove it to me – be the man I want & need – I mean – gee whiz – he’s been with me long enough to know what that is!  Instead – he whimpers – he cries – he tells me – “If you have another affair, it’ll kill me, I won’t be able to stand it, I love you so much – ”  & I am once again thrown into the role of nurturer – of the strong mother who protects her child.  But Teddy isn’t my child!  He’s my husband!

Later.  Pat & I talked.  I told him how Teddy confronted me & what I said.  “I couldn’t deny my love for you.”

“There is no denying it.  Yeah, we can stop making love but our love is not going to go away.  Pretty soon I’m not going to be able to live without you & you’re not going to be able to live without me & Teddy is not going to be able to ignore it.”  He laughed.  “What we have to do is get a decoy.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, if I had a girlfriend, or appeared to have a girlfriend, it would prove to Teddy that I had no interest in you & that would let you off the hook & ease up on the drama with him,” he reasoned.

“That sounds like way more drama to me,” I answered.  “That sounds like something out of a soap opera.”  & we laughed.

He kissed me.  “Drama or not, whatever happens, I’m here for you.  You can depend on me.  You can call me, call on me, whenever you need me, I’m here.”

Of course – Jesse said the same thing.

***

Loving Pat makes me love Teddy more.  I feel so tender & I hate the thought of hurting him.  I want to hold onto this phase – living here with Teddy – with our cats – I need time.  Only time will tell.  I wish I could find another mother for Teddy – another woman who will take care of him – someone who doesn’t need sex, obviously!  I’m just afraid that he will really go off the deep end if I’m not around.  I’m can’t help worrying about him.

***

The one good thing is that I’ve stopped drinking.  All I’m doing is smoking weed & doing coke if there’s any around.  & pills for pain.  But no alcohol – not even beers at Falco’s in the afternoon’s – which I really miss – but no alcohol at all.  That’s because of Pat & all our talk about sobriety & living a better life.  & I feel better.  I really do!  I’m losing weight & working out & I feel like my whole life is getting better.

***

Pat was supposed to be over to take Teddy to work & to get money for the bag – which is almost gone – but he’s probably at home, sleeping.  He went out last night – how I wish I had been with him!  I couldn’t stop thinking about him & our love – how wonderful sex is – & how better it keeps on getting.  He was here earlier in the evening & then went out with Kyle – they were going to Brunner’s & I am sure that they went to Falco’s after Brunner’s & closed the place.  Kyle has the really good weed that we want & he always has piles of coke.  So I know Pat was up all night, partying.  Not drinking of course – but snorting coke & smoking weed.

Tonight he’s going out with Amy – they’re seeing a movie.  I’m so jealous.  I can’t believe it.  I feel a little silly, actually.  I mean – jealousy is so childish – so not who I am.  But I won’t be able to stop thinking about after the show – him taking her home & fucking her – although we made love all morning long – he got hard twice – but I’m so jealous – I hate it!  I hate it!  I know I sleep with Teddy every night but it’s not like it’s sexual – far from it.  I want him – I want him so badly – it’s gonna seem years until Monday morning.

When Pat said that we needed a decoy, I thought he was joking – I didn’t think he was actually going to get one!  I have to wonder – did he already have her in mind?

He says he loves me but how can he go out with another girl when he loves me?  I know that I had an affair with Jesse for years but that was different – Jesse was already married.  & Jesse has always made it plain that if he hadn’t already been married to Doreen, he would be with me.  Pat isn’t married – he’s never been married – at least, I don’t think so.  So why he is seeing another girl?  Does he really love me or is he just saying that?

Night.  I just finished rearranging my books.  It took me three days.  I don’t know why I started on this fool chore – I mean, I was tired of the way they were – but once I got started, I wished I had left them where they were.  1700 or so books taken off the shelves & rearranged is no small chore.  Yesterday I was in the foulest mood – except when Pat was here – tired, achy, dirty – wading through piles of books – both upright & knocked over – but it’s all over now – everything’s in place & looking nice.

But last night – standing in the middle of the giant mess – looking around at the chaos – I had to think – “Why did I do this?” – I think it’s a reaction to the messiness & chaos of my own life – the business with Pat & Teddy’s reaction to it – I can’t clean up my life as well as I can my books.  Or is taking all my books & rearranging them what I would like to do with my life?

***

Just about to take a shower.  My heart feels so heavy – I am so sad – so slow – I cannot find words to describe my feelings – I sit here, the pen on the paper – words flying by my brains like pieces of paper & old plastic bags flying by in the wind – a typical March day – warm, wet, overcast in that nondescript grey-white cloud cover that is the entire sky – no discernible sun – & I think about Pat’s face – overcome with joy as he makes love to me – smiling down at me like the benevolent suns I have been drawing since I was 16 – but there is no sun today – nothing.

I am so depressed I can’t stand it.

The day is grey but warm.  I’m dying to get out of the house.  I’m feeling better & better although I still cough a lot.  I have lots of studying to do which is what I plan to do today.  If only I could concentrate better.  Sometimes I find myself reading the same page over & over again.  Taking notes help.  Later on, I’m going to Pat’s to invite him over to dinner – leftover chili.  But I don’t know when to go over there – he could be still sleeping with Amy – they could be spending the entire day together.  I have never experienced this kind of jealousy before.  Why did he have to go out with her?  Was that really necessary?  I feel crippled with jealousy – where is the confident, self-assured Cori, who’s in control of her relationships & sees things as they are?  It’s like he sucked all the macho out of me & left only woman – soft edges & all – waiting by the phone – waiting, waiting.  Insecure & trembling.  Wondering if he’s true – if he means the words he says in the middle of love.  Knowing that the flip side of a salesman is a con artist.

The old pain exchanged for a new one.  But I’m hooked.  I need my fix – oh Pat – give it to me!

Might as well jump into the shower.  I really miss that huge bathtub back on Minnesota Ave.

***

I am already going nuts with Teddy home sick.  He is as grouchy as a bear.  I suppose I was grouchy too – these past few weeks – but I was alone most of the time – I wasn’t bitching at anyone but myself – I do struggle with myself – I struggle to stay gentle – I struggle not to snap at him – even though he tries my patience!  Sick or not, I am not going to stay here & wait on him all day.  I have books due at the library – I’m gonna walk there later & get some new ones – find something nice for Teddy to read – mail some letters – breathe in the cool spring air.

***

Reading my diaries.  Searching for answers – for clues.  Starting at the beginning – in 1978, when I first get to college – how I ramble on – what a fucking alcoholic.  But it reads real good – a lot better than I thought it would – that whole business with Jon – it took me such a long time to get over him – it affected every relationship I had after that – up to & including Teddy – talking about the “sun imagery” – Brady Devine & then Jon & now Pat – these guys with red-gold or blonde hair & big blue eyes – what is it about the sun that attracts me?  As opposed to the moon or any other celestial being?

Barrett was dark like the moon.  How strange – I hardly think of Barrett at all anymore. But I was crazy in love with him at one time.  Crazy like the moon.

Night.  Almost done with Shambhala by Chögyam Trungpa – Pat’s book – he was adamant that I read it.  Pat wants me to learn meditation – he talks about Buddhism all the time.  He thinks it’s what my life needs – the only thing my life needs.  He thinks it’s great that I’ve stopped drinking but says in the grand scheme of things that’s secondary to daily meditation & learning the Dharma.

I had a job interview today at Bell’s Supermarket today – I don’t think I got the job.

***

Teddy just left for work on the motorcycle.  We have been having unseasonably warm weather – in the 70’s – really beautiful but fucked up, too.

***

Jesse came over this morning & wanted to make love but I said no.  He was really surprised.  He was standing on the porch & I was just out of the shower – I was expecting Pat.  I wasn’t really sure what to say to Jesse – when have I ever said “no” to him? – when Pat drove up in his little Mitsubishi.  Pat got out & said, “Hey Jesse, how ya doing?” like it was the most natural thing in the world that Jesse would be there, standing on my front porch.   Jesse didn’t miss a beat – “Hey, just stopping by on my way to work to see if Teddy had any good smoke – maybe you do,” he said, giving me a look that told me he knew exactly what was going on.  Pat laughed & said, “Well, in fact I do but not on me, give me a call later.”  Jesse left.

I feel bad about Jesse but what the fuck – he’s married, he’s always been married, he’ll probably always be married.  Pat may be fooling around with Amy but that’s not legally binding & when push comes to shove – I’m the one who’s married.  Legally married.  To Teddy.

Oh my god, how did I get into this fucking mess.

***

Pat & I have decided to wait a year before we make any moves.  Although he wants me now – wants to sleep with me – wake up with me – have coffee in the morning with me.  But he isn’t financially able to share his life with me – or anyone else – he’s barely able to take care of himself. I mean – I know that’s why he’s here almost every evening – it’s to have dinner!  He may be in love with me but he’s also hungry.  I have to be honest about the whole situation. Pat’s like everyone else – he knows better than to try to pry me away from my lovely home & my beautiful cats & my devoted husband.  & Teddy has his flaws but he is devoted.  Other than that – we’ve just been going with the flow.

Also – I know he’s still seeing Amy.  I haven’t said anything about it because what can I say.  I’m married to Teddy.  But I’m really hurt.  I’m really hurt that in the mornings, he comes over here to make love to me after Teddy goes to work & he’s probably been with her all night.  Like he’s some kind of Buddhist sex warrior who can fuck numerous women & keep them all satisfied.

I love him but I have never been so miserable in my life.

Anyway – it’s been kinda an ongoing dialogue with Teddy & me.  He’s jealous of Pat – jealous that I’m in love with him – obviously joyously in love – when I’m not totally miserably in love – jealous that Pat & I talk all the time – about spirituality mostly – but also about poetry, music, art, culture, history, anthropology – subjects that Teddy can’t/won’t/doesn’t want to enter into – jealous of the whole thing.  But on the other hand – I have been more loving to Teddy – partly because being in love with Pat makes me love everything & everyone more & partly because I want to prove to Teddy that he’s not going to lose me or my love.

“Just don’t make any plans behind my back,” he said.

“I’m not going anywhere,” I said.

***

Waiting for Pat to return.  Waiting – he’s at least 2 hours late.  He was only going to take us to Wegman’s – no big deal – but I made myself look really nice – tight jeans, tight hot pink sweater, my “fuck me boots” – that’s what Pat calls them – all nicely made up – jewelry, cologne – boy, do I feel stupid.  Teddy’s mad at Pat – for standing us up – for standing me up – Teddy’s so sweet – he knows how I feel – he’s mad at Pat for disappointing me – for not showing up when I made myself pretty – oh, I feel stupid & silly.  Teddy is a wonderful husband – I am an undeserving wife –

***

I am absolutely beside myself.  It is pouring rain – Teddy just left on his motorcycle – he’ll come home with fucking pneumonia – but he didn’t want to call Pat or pay him $5 for the ride – I am still pissed about last night.  I feel so terrible I can’t believe it.  I know it seems like a little thing – but it’s the principle of the thing – I mean, can’t you at least stop by & say, hey, something’s up – I can’t take you, cya tomorrow?  Instead of letting us wait.  Me, sitting there like a fool.  My heart hurts.  It hurt last night – I haven’t been in such pain in a long long time – oh he cares about me – he certainly does – & he has quite an endearing way of showing it!  I can’t believe my eyes.  He’s here.

Later.  Pat wanted to know if Teddy needed a ride to work.  “He’s gone already,” I said.  “Well, can I have a cup of coffee?  I’ll roll one,” he offered.  “Well – ok,” I said reluctantly.  I couldn’t stay mad.  I never can.  Not when I’m in love.

“I suppose you believed his excuse for not showing up last night,” Teddy said later.  But it’s not a question of believing.  It really doesn’t matter to me.

***

Things are more fucked-up than ever.  I hardly know where to begin.  I’ve got a terrible migraine.  & a hangover –  & I’m totally beat-up – Teddy hit me! – my sweet Teddy-Bear!  I can’t believe it!  I’m sitting at Sammy’s Texas Hots – having a coffee & trying to eat some breakfast – waiting for Jesse to arrive.  I’ve been sick all night but I walked over here to meet Jesse – apparently he & Teddy talked things over & I’m supposed to talk it over with Jesse or something.  I don’t know.  Teddy wouldn’t give me any information & I don’t feel like talking to him anymore, anyway.  I woke up this morning & decided that it all had to end – one way or another.  All of it.  I don’t really care how it happens, either.  All I know is that I can’t go on like this anymore.

Yesterday started out like any other day – Teddy left for work like he always does – it was another gorgeous day, so he took off on the bike – I figured that Pat would be over like he always is, so I took a leisurely shower & made myself look really pretty – I was feeling really good & had music on & was singing & dancing & I really didn’t notice that it was way past the time when he should have been at my door.  But I was in a good mood & I had made a coffee cake so I wrapped up a few pieces & walked over to his place.  It’s only four blocks – not far at all – a quick walk – I’ve walked it a hundred times – but never without calling beforehand.

I didn’t think it would matter.  Cuz he loves me, right?  & he was supposed to be at my house anyway.  He probably just overslept.  Which was reasonable – right?

The door downstairs was unlocked & I walked right up to Pat’s apartment on the second floor.  I knocked on his door but no one answered so I let myself in.  I mean – it wasn’t locked, either.  I set the coffee cake down on the kitchen counter.  I was going to call out his name, but something kept me from doing that.

I was quiet.  I was cagey.   I was on guard.

I walked through the apartment.  I could hear – the sounds – the noises – of love – I didn’t want to hear but I knew Pat’s voice – I knew the sound – the low growl in his throat – when he’s about to cum – & I stood there, outside of his bedroom as he pounded Amy – who was being pretty damn noisy herself – & then I ran – ran, ran, ran, ran –

Of course – I went to Falco’s.  I wasn’t even really thinking about where I was going.  I mean – I could have gone home.  I don’t know why I didn’t go home.  I didn’t want to be alone – I guess that’s why I didn’t go home.  I didn’t want to be alone with the sounds of their lovemaking in my head.  I wanted to be in a bar – with the TV on & the jukebox playing tunes & people talking all around me.  I didn’t want to think.  & I didn’t want to drink – I was too upset – but I did drink – I was in a fucking bar!  & what else could I do?  Even with the TV & the jukebox & the other people talking, I still had the sound of Pat’s lovemaking to another woman out of my mind – I needed more than a few shots of Crown Royal & bottles of Labatt’s Blue to drown that out – before I could relax & have a good time.  & I did – for a while – oh yeah!  I had a really good time!  Mark Miles was there & Rolf Johnson & so many others – I was partying my ass off – laughing & singing & dancing – but by then I was so drunk – there wasn’t anything that was making me think of –  fucking christ – how fucked over I had been – not just by Pat but by every dude in my life – including Jesse – & I was thinking about this seriously – listening to Billie Holliday on the jukebox – hanging onto my bottle of Blue – I was beginning to nod out & even though I was singing along to the tunes – really – Anthony Falco called me a cab & shoved me into it & made me go home.  “Because I love you,” he said.  If he had known what I was going home to, he would have thought twice about that.  & I know Anthony – I know he would have thought twice – he would have thought three or four times – he would have never put me into that cab at all.

I got home & Teddy was already there.  I had no idea it was that late.  I was really drunk.  & ya know – I had done some lines of coke & some pills – I don’t even remember what.  It was that kind of day.  You know – your average get kicked in the guts & go out partying & do whatever is put in front of you kind of day.  & Teddy was pissed off – I mean, I’ve talking about quitting drinking & not drinking & going without drinking & actually not drinking for several weeks now & here I was, rip roaring drunk.  But I had a really good reason – right? – except I couldn’t tell Teddy that reason.  Except that I did tell him.  Cuz I so drunk I was unable not to tell him – I was so drunk – I had to tell someone.  & Teddy – he was my best friend, right?  He had always been my best friend, right?  Except now he wasn’t my best friend.  & I realized that he hadn’t been my best friend in a very long time.  He had only been my husband.   & really – not a particularly good one.

He told me:  I’m a slut – a whore – I’ve got a drinking problem – a sex problem – yeah, me – I’ve got the sex problem!  –  & I’m the worst wife in the world – me! – can you imagine! – with this immaculately house – my fabulous meals!   He went on: Because of me, we have nothing to smoke & no connection & he has no ride to work in the morning & everything sucks because of me.  Naturally I argued with him – I was drunk, after all – which is when he went completely nuts – slapping me across the face, which made me fly across the room into the filing cabinet.  I remember hitting it really hard & my mouth filling with blood.  I slid to the floor.  “Serves you right,” said Teddy.  I went to the bathroom & cleaned up the cut on my mouth – I thought I had maybe lost a tooth but they were all still there – but my mouth was already swollen & beginning to bruise.  I went to bed.

I wasn’t quite asleep – in that floating stage of not-sleep but not-awake – but almost passed out – when I heard something – it sounded like ripping pages – I got up & found Teddy totally destroying Pat’s books – the ones he had loaned me about Buddhism – & a few library books, too.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I had been raised to regard books as sacrosanct.  You treated books with respect!  “I feel better now,” he gloated.  “I feel like I’ve struck back at him.”  I thought he was a complete idiot.  I went back to bed – praying to the Goddess to help Teddy.  Praying to the Goddess to help me.

I was sick all night – getting up to throw up numerous times – but by the morning, it was all over.  Teddy was up before I was – he had coffee made & he was on the phone.  When he got off the phone, he told me to come here to Sammy’s to wait for Jesse.  That he’d been talking to him & that they had a plan.  I don’t know what that means.  He wouldn’t tell me.  He’s not talking to me.  The coked-up guy who would never shut up is not talking.  But whatever.  I still feel pretty sick but I’m trying to hang in there.  I must look pretty bad, because people look at me & look away.  Some people have walked into the diner & then walked right back out.

Here’s Jesse.

***

In Cleveland.  Hard to believe I’m here.  Everything happened so fast & while I don’t really believe in what I’m doing, it’ll help me buy some time until I do know what I’m doing.

That doesn’t make any sense.  But nothing makes any sense anymore.  Quite honestly, I don’t think anything has made any sense in a very long time but I was so determined to hold onto the patterns of everyday life that I didn’t see the unmanageability of my own life.

To continue the story I was telling yesterday – I was sitting in Sammy’s Texas Hot’s, trying to eat two eggs over easy with home-fries and a piece of ham with a cup of coffee with two creams and sugars & a tall Pepsi with lots of ice.  I was sick to my stomach & wanted nothing more than to go throw up but I was determined to eat my breakfast because I knew that I needed the sustenance.  But it wasn’t easy.

Jesse walked in.  For a moment, it was like it was 1983 again & I was flooded with feelings of love – like the first time I ever made love to him & I knew that I was his woman.  & I was confused – why did I go out & get wasted – because of Pat & Amy – if it was really Jesse that I loved?  Why should I care if Pat was making love to another woman?  What was the matter with me?

Jesse slid into the seat in across from me in my booth & gestured to the waitress.  “Coffee and a doughnut,” he ordered and lit a cigarette.  After he received his breakfast, he said, “Teddy thinks you’ve got a drinking problem & you need help.  & you also have a sex addiction.”

I burst out laughing.  “Yeah, right!  That from the dude who only wants it once a year!”

“His attitude is that if you really love one another, sex shouldn’t matter.”

“That’s a very convenient attitude,” I snapped.  “I don’t think you would put up with that shit.”

“No,” he admitted.  “But we’re not talking about me.”

I tried to eat some potatoes.  “So – what does Teddy think I should do?”

“He’s pissed off.  Right now he just wants you out of the house.  I think he’s gonna change his mind & miss you once you’re gone.  I think you need a time-out – ” he chuckled – “& you could definitely benefit from some rehab.”

“Oh – ok.  So I do have a drinking problem.”

“Well, according to Teddy, you haven’t been drinking these last few weeks – maybe a whole month? – which is great – you’ve been staying out of the bars & you haven’t been drinking at home – you’ve been making an effort.  So on some level, you must think that you, do, indeed have a problem.  & c’mon, Cori – ” he lit another cigarette – “you’ve always been a hearty partier.  You can drink almost anyone under the table & you do drugs with the best of ’em.  So don’t act like this is all Teddy’s idea, because you have been talking to Pat about this for a long time – that’s his hook – that’s how he gets all you babes – I’m not trying to hurt you, Cori, honestly – ” he took my hands in his – “he talks sobriety – but I would never call him sober.”

“Well, he doesn’t drink,” I argued.

“Well, that’s good,” Jesse agreed, “but I’ve partied with him plenty of times & he’s a major coke head if I’ve ever seen one.  & I’ve seen plenty of ’em!  & he’s a hustler & a con.”

“You’re jealous,” I accused.

“Let’s get out of here,” he said.  “You’re just pushing that food around the plate.”  He threw a twenty on the table & steered me out of the diner & around the corner to the side street, where his van was parked.  Once inside, he lit up a fat doobie & we smoked.

“Yeah, I’ve been jealous,” he admitted.  “What the fuck – that day I came over & you said no & then he drives up – that blew me away.  I know you’ve had other men here & there – ” I started to protest but he waved me away. “Get real, Cori, it’s who you are.  It’s how men react to you.  You can’t help it.  But this was different – I saw him go after you like you were a project.  I could have told you it was a con, but you never would have believed me – & maybe I hoped that it wasn’t a con – that it was the real deal & he was going to be the right guy for you.”

I was quiet, smoking the joint.  It was making me feel better – settling my stomach – calming my nerves.  “So – what do you & Teddy think I should do?”

“I called my father before I came here & he & your mom think you should go there for a little while – I think once they see your face, they’ll want you to divorce Teddy immediately, but that’s your choice – but they’ll want you to go to rehab & get sober & do all the stuff you were talking about anyway.  & regardless if you stay sober – that doesn’t really matter – just do it for now – you could use the break from all the chaos & when you go to make a decision about the rest of your life – to stay married to Teddy or not – at least you won’t be making that decision when you’re all fucked up on booze or coke or even weed.”  He started the van.  “So right now – fasten your seat-belt – we’re going to your house & you’re going to pack a suitcase – just a few things that you need – & I’m going to drive you to Cleveland.”

“You’re driving me to Cleveland?  Right now?”

“Yeah.  When we get to your house, just go in & get what you need & don’t say anything to Teddy – don’t prolong this.  Just in & out & we’re on the road.  OK?

But Teddy wasn’t there anyway.  I don’t know where he was, but I didn’t care anyway.  I didn’t bother leaving a note for him since I figured he knew where I was going.  I packed the small suitcase with my favorite clothes & a backpack with my current notebook & some favorite books.  My toothbrush, my razor & that was it.  Kissed the kitties good bye & I was gone.

***

I fell asleep on the way to Cleveland.  I was exhausted.  Jesse saw me nodding out & he said, “Go in the back – there’s a bunch of blankets back there – you’ll be more comfortable.”  I curled up on a bunch of old quilts that smelled like campfire & kerosine & went right out.  I was aware of the radio but that was it.  I woke up when I felt the van slowing down & stopping.  I sat up.  “I need gas,” Jesse said & got out of the van.  I got into the passenger seat & looked at myself in the rearview mirror.  I was a real sight!  My mouth was all swollen & bruised & I had a big bruise on my right cheek as well.  But I was feeling better.  My migraine was gone & I wasn’t feeling sick anymore.

Jesse got back into the van.  “Hungry?”

“Starving,” I answered.  He drove across the street to a McDonald’s & went through the drive-through.  I ordered a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, a large fry, & a Coke.  Jesse got a Big Mac, fries & a coffee.  Back on the road, we ate & then he fired up another doobie.  “This will probably be the last one you’ll smoke in a long time,” he said.

We smoked in silence, listening to the radio.  “Every Breath You Take” by the Police came on.  For the second time in the day, I flashed back to 1983 – when it was our song – when I would play it on the jukebox at The Canteen & Jesse would sit there, at one of those little round tables in the back, drinking a Jack & Coke – & even though there were other men in the club – even if the club was packed – the way he looked at me & the way I felt about him, it was like he was the only man in the club.  He was the only man – for a long, long time.

I started to cry, hearing the song.

& it occurred to me that I was repeating the past – going back to Cleveland after crashing & burning in Buffalo.

“C’mon, babe, don’t cry – it’s gonna be alright,” Jesse soothed.  I turned to him.   I was still crying but I calmed down since the song was ending.

“Is it?  Really?  How is it going to get better?  So I go to rehab somewhere & I get sober.  Big fucking deal.  So I’m sober & everyone cheers.  I have no more career, I have no job, no money, nothing.  I have a stupid little AS degree that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on – I need to upgrade every single one of my skills.  & I don’t want to be a fucking secretary anyway!  & I still have to finish my English degree – & what am I going to do after I do that?  Be a teacher?  Me?  Who the fuck is going to hire me? – & my marriage is over – if it ever was a marriage – I do love Teddy but how do you have a marriage without sex?  That’s just being roommates!  & I’m not interested in that.  I want a real fucking marriage.  & there’s never going to be anything with you – ”

“Now c’mon, Cori – ”

“What?  Am I to go on fooling myself?  That you’re going to eventually leave Doreen & live with me & be my old man?  & while I wait for this to happen, what am I supposed to do?”  I demanded.  “I want children, Jesse – that’s one thing I realized when I was seeing Pat.  That I want children very badly.  I don’t have a career as a stripper anymore & I don’t think I even want that back.  & I do want to get sober.”  Honestly – until that moment – I really didn’t know that I wanted sobriety.  But I knew – in a flash, really – that I wanted it.  I really did.  “I want to get sober – I want to finish school – I want kids – I want a decent man!  A real marriage!”

“Well, I think you’ll achieve all that,” he answered, “especially since you sound like you really want it.  But you’ll be back.  You always come back.  I’ll be looking forward to seeing the sober you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 40

[January-February, 1990]

[January]

I feel great.  I slept until 11 a.m. – I couldn’t believe the clock when I woke up – I had so many dreams – so many messages – I am still trying to decipher them all.  You won’t believe who I was dreaming about – Pat.  Probably because the other night when he stopped by to do a coke deal he had a large bump on his forehead – I teased him about banging his head while he was banging that chick he’s currently seeing – & I couldn’t help but wish that I had someone to bang me so exuberantly.  Of course –  I’d never get involved with Pat – he’s a connection – our main connection – our only connection, really.  & you know what they say about love affairs with connections – lose the love, lose the connection.

It was a partying weekend.  Jesse scored a quarter ounce of coke from Pat – Pat’s been here a lot lately – & brought some hash oil & some really unsmokeable weed.  It was the worst!  We got a sixteenth out of that deal – really nice – Jesse & Pat both hung out & partied for a while.  Once again I was really fascinated by the way Pat doesn’t drink but he’s able to party anyway – snort coke & smoke weed & there’s no urge to have any alcohol.  I would love to be able to do that.   I’m tired of the hangovers & I’m tired of all the extra calories.

Teddy & I did up all the coke Saturday night – we were supposed to make it last all weekend – but as usual, that didn’t happen.  What is it about coke that makes you want to do it all until it’s done?  & then want more?  Even though you’re so wasted you couldn’t do more if you tried?

Ariana & her brothers stopped by – they had coke too.  It was a really good time.  Ariana & Bernie have split up – she only married him because her father was dying & it was his dying wish to walk his little girl up the aisle & see her happily married.  But I don’t think Ariana was ever happily married to Bernie.  She’s living on the West Side now.  She’s come into an inheritance since her father died & she has a good job, of course – she’s able to support herself.  Something I have never been able to do – perhaps when I was dancing a few years ago – but of course, Teddy was part of the business – & if I had left him, I wouldn’t have had him as a business partner.  Of course, at this point, it’s debatable whether or not he was ever actually an asset as a partner – I needed him to drive me around & to play my music but he wasted too much money – he ruined the business, as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway – on Sunday, I woke up feeling like shit – totally hungover – I was in bed most of the day – I got up when Jesse stopped by with some crank – man, that stuff stings the crap out of your nose! – He was supposed to come back with more but of course he didn’t & it didn’t matter – I’m even glad he didn’t – on Sunday night – New Year’s Eve – we drank champagne & ate pepperoni & cheddar cheese.  I woke up feeling great on New Year’s Day – the first time I have woken up on New Year’s Day without a hangover in 10 years!  So now on – I don’t drink at all – except at a stag – & who knows when I’ll be dancing again anyway – maybe I won’t drink until my birthday – maybe only until I lose 5 or 10 pounds – I’m not sure – I’ll decide later.  But I don’t want any more hangovers.  I also decided that I will only eat popcorn once a week.  I want to be beautiful by the time I turn thirty – thin, toned, in control & strong.

***

Depressed.  I don’t know if it’s because I slept so poorly or because I’m so horny I could kill myself to relieve the pain.  Probably both.  Teddy’s sick – that’s why I slept so badly – he kept waking me – he’s at work now but he’s sure to be home early.

I think I’ll go to bed & read.  I’m too awake to sleep & too tired to work.

Evening.  Watching the news.  We just ate – pancakes, sausage & home fries.  Teddy’s rolling a joint – we’re almost out – again.  He came home from work early – he’s got a cold.  I’ve been waiting on him all afternoon – studying quietly while he was sleeping.

I filled out an application to enter UB.  I had to write a letter stating why UB should let me back in.  When I got the application a year ago, I couldn’t figure out why UB should let me back in.  Now I do.  I hope my arguments sway whoever decides.  If not – I’ll continue studying on my own.

***

I feel so spaced out.  Even a shower failed to wake me up.  I want to go over to UB with my application after my hair dries but I am so out of it.  Today is the day – the waxing moon – the Maiden Goddess – a time to plant the seeds of success – of new growth – plant then & let them grow – say a prayer to the Maiden – wait for results as the Moon grows full & round & then again wanes – hopefully everything will be alright – no matter what happens – everything will be alright.

***

Oh dear.  Another long weekend.  No joints.  No money.  The Bills lost their last game of the season.  The Sabres lost their fourth game in a row.  Teddy’s depressed – he’s so tired of being in debt.  He has to call his mother tomorrow & ask for money.  We drove by the old place today – there’s no one living in that apartment.  It kills me – Paulie wanted us out because we weren’t paying the rent fast enough – but now he’s not getting rent from anyone.  Even when we had our phone in there, he was getting money from us – we were paying for that.  Now he’s not getting anything.  I wonder what Cindy thinks of that.  I am sure they are arguing about it.  What a fucking idiot.  All because I wouldn’t suck his tiny cock anymore.  We’ve lost hundreds – thousands of dollars because of that asshole.  My career is in tatters – it’s over, really – I have to accept that it’s over.

Oh – another thing – I can’t go to school this semester – my application was in too late – but it’ll be considered for the fall.  It’s just as well – we can’t afford it right now anyway.  I’ll just able to study on my own.

I just want a little part time job to bring in some money – to take the pressure off Teddy a little bit – to buy some weed – & some new clothes.

***

I tried to sleep in but Missy kept waking me up.  It’s such a beautiful day – I hate to waste it.  I should get out & look for work.  Go downtown – maybe Elmwood Avenue or Hertel Avenue – someone’s got to be hiring.

I think I might stop in at the law office & see if they’ll hire me back.  I doubt it but you never know.

I just feel so depressed.

Later.  Just out of the shower.  I tried some breakfast – my usual poached egg on toast – I was taking the egg out of the pan & it slipped off the spoon on to the front burner – what a mess!  I had to laugh.  I guess it is a good thing I didn’t go downtown today – who knows what might have gone wrong.  Ya know – last night I tried doing a Tarot reading & the cards just wouldn’t work.  Sometimes they don’t.

***

I feel like shit.  I have a full-blown cold.  Nevertheless – I went downtown today & applied for a jobs at the mall, at the library & at every single bar.  Then I went to the Credit Union & withdrew some money from Teddy’s account so we can go to Wegman’s when he gets home.  I didn’t go to the law office.  I felt like shit & I didn’t have the nerve.  If I had been feeling better, I probably would have.  I didn’t go to Elmwood Avenue or Hertel Avenue or anywhere else.  I came home – had some chicken soup – & went to bed.  But sleep – sustained sleep – is not for me.  Mike Martin – one of the tenants upstairs – arrived last night – with two of his buddies & they’ve been in & out all afternoon.  Every time they came or went, doors were slammed – feet pounding on the stairs – shoes on the floor above me – college voices whooping it up.  This is not how I want to live!

It was really cold downtown.  I didn’t need to be standing on Main Street – shivering – getting blasted by the frigid wind off the lake – waiting for the train.  Why do I feel like nothing gonna come of it?  Today I want to be nothing but a dancer & a writer.  Having to get dressed & made up & standing in the cold waiting for a bus – & then making transfers – waiting for the train – walking across Lafayette Square with a runny nose, watering eyes & endless sneezes is not for me.  I like to go out when I feel like it – wear what I feel like – clothes sensible for the weather – & do what I like to do – when I like to do it – not when I’m told to do it – & not the way someone tells me to do it – just because they’re my boss – & that’s the way they want me to do it – for some arbitrary reason.

Oh damn!  I hate being broke!  I give anything for a job every Saturday night.  That’s all we need, really.  We wouldn’t be able to do coke – who cares? – but we’d be able to pay the bills & have a little left over for marijuana or the movies or dinner out.  All the things we took for granted.

***

I feel like shit.  A bad headache – a really bad sore throat – really hurts to swallow – hurts all the way down into my glands – my eyes are stinging – I’m on the couch with 6 books – notebooks, pens – my knitting – a roll of toilet paper for kleenixes – I ran out of real kleenixes yesterday – a glass of ginger ale & a cup of tea.

***

Another day of sickness although I do feel better than yesterday.  Not as congested – but much achier.  I slept most of yesterday.  I got up with Teddy this morning & was going to stay up but then I caught myself staring into space – I had no idea how long I had been doing it – so I went back to bed & slept until 9:30 – then got up – ate & took a shower – it felt so good – the hot water on my aching body.  Now I’m not sure what to do – read, I suppose – but I’m having trouble keeping my eyes in focus.  The house is a mess – I haven’t done housework all week.  Maybe I’ll feel up to it tomorrow.  Now I have another migraine – I’m gonna lie down – even though my hair is still wet.

***

I feel much better today.  I’m still sniffling & snuffling a lot & I feel rather fatigued.  I started straightening up the house.  I’ve cleaned & rearranged my desk – now it’s time for a break!  I don’t want to wear myself out & get sick again.  I have some letters to write – other than that – I plan to read.  What else?  I finished my white scarf – knitted with my Christmas size 13 needles – it goes with my good coat.  When we have money again, I want to get more yarn & knit myself a nice shawl.

It’s winter again – cold & snowing & very windy.  I’m glad I don’t have to go out.

***

Just in from shoveling.  My head’s a little congested but other than that, I feel fine.  A little fatigued, perhaps.  We got an inch & a half of powder – easy to shovel.  It’s snowing now – really light.  The sun’s shining – it’s be a great day for skiing or tobogganing.

***

Another warm day.  The street are filled with shlush.  Walking anywhere, your feet are soaking wet in no time at all.  Not to mention ice cold.  I want to go to the Library but I guess I’ll have to wait.

I want to go to the Library to get books I read when I was 10 – ones I don’t own, obviously – Peter Pan – the Betsy books – that series of biographies that portray famous people as children – I remember reading about Louisa May Alcott, Nancy Hanks, Mary Todd Lincoln, Annie Oakley & Susan B. Anthony.  Even as a child, I was interested in women & women’s rights.

Anyway – I am rewriting – remembering – my diary that I kept during my teens – the one I destroyed during my breakdown in 1979.  It is amazingly easy to remember.  Like  falling back into a dream.   I can put myself back easily – the smells, the sights, the sounds – Old Neck Road & Manchester-By-The-Sea – Massachusetts & New Hampshire & Maine – the beauty of New England swirls around me.  Things I wrote.  People, places.  It is quite a journey.  I wonder that I didn’t try this sooner – but I suppose I really wasn’t ready – or maybe I couldn’t find the way back.  So many things are possible now.  Now it’s time for the 80’s to retreat back into the mists – ferment – until I’m ready to use them.  For so long – thinking about family life has been a drag – I almost never write about my family – all my stories deal with persons cut off from family life – just like I cut myself off.  Not it is time to retrace my steps – put myself back into that girl on the edge of puberty – & figure out what went wrong & how it can be rectified – if it ever can.

***

Got a terrible migraine – I woke up with it – I’ve also got my period – I’m really glad – I was beginning to wonder – although it’d have to be some kind of virgin birth or something – since I haven’t had sex in ages – but you never know.  Stranger things have happened.

It’s cold – snowy – wintery.  I won’t be going anywhere today.  I don’t mind the cold & the snow but the wind gets to me.  The wind makes the difference between an enjoyable winter walk or one you’re just trying to endure.  It’s really windy today.  The trees are bending with it – you can hear the howling & whistling of the wind through the windows.  The sky is that uniformly greyish-white.

***

I don’t know why I’m so depressed.  Probably because we’re out of joints again.  We’re out of money.  I want to dance – to party – to work!  I feel out & fat & ugly.  I want to get wasted – drunk – smashed – tuned in – turned on – stoned.  I want to get laid.  I want, I want, I want – I’m so tired of feeling so needy!  I’m so tired of being so broke!

I woke this morning after a dream that Jesse & I were making love.

Afternoon.  Shera stopped by.  Tonight is an open circle celebrating Imbolc at the Unitarian Church on Elmwood Ave & would I like to go?  I was so happy – I had been hoping for something like this to happen!  She asked Teddy to attend too but he wants to stay home.  So I’m going.  I’m making cookies to take along – the dough’s in the fridge – chilling.  In a few minutes, she’s picking me up & we’re going to Mooncircles – a shop on Lexington Avenue – with a friend of hers.  I’m so excited.  This is exactly what I needed.

***

The open circle was excellent.  You would not believe who I saw there!  Bard Ellison!  With his wife – a skinny blonde with really long hair – they have 4 children!  Whoever would have thought!  I also met an astrologer named Davio  – who I swear I know – probably I’ve seen him drinking at Falco’s or something – since he lives in the neighborhood.  Some of the other guys looked familiar too – but what guy doesn’t?  I also met – well, I met everyone there – the high priestess of Shera’s coven – a beautiful woman named Rae – I talked to her for a long time.  It was really wonderful – although a little hard to remember because I was drinking rosé & I haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve.  We all stood in a circle – & one of the women started singing, “We are from the Goddess & to her we shall return” – & eventually everyone was singing & drumming & ringing little bells to the chant.  We all cast the circle together & raised power & then released it – it was so powerful.  Words don’t do the ritual justice.

Rae was the high priestess of the ceremony & the high priest was her 15-year-old son – a living doll if there ever was one – he had a crown of branches on his head.  The whole thing was excellent.  I loved it – I loved it.  I want to join a coven – I want to be a part of this.

Anyway – it’ll help with my own rituals – just having seen this & participated in this.  Just being there will stay with me.

***

We got 6 inches of snow last night – I’ve already been out shoveling – it’s a beautiful day – sunny – warm, even.  A great day for the slopes.  Or a picnic by a bon fire after hiking through the woods.  I love being outdoors in the winter – if it’s not windy.

I fell asleep after shoveling & I dreamed of Jesse – or someone – the images were blurry but the orgasm was strong.

The doorbell woke me.  It was the UPS man – with a package for upstairs.  I feel sleepy & drugged – I only wish I were.  It is sunny outside – although the sun has come up – I should go out.  Get some exercise – some fresh air.  I wish it was warmer – I wish it was spring – oh, I wish, I wish!  So many wishes – never coming true.

Night.  & sometimes wishes do come true.  & spells do work.  I went out – went to the library – went to Falco’s – had a Coke! – & heard all the latest gossip.  Everyone’s been wondering where I’ve been – on a diet & broke!  Anyway – I didn’t stay long – I came home & changed & was about to start baking brownies when the doorbell rang – it was Jesse – it was Jesse – it was Jesse!  My heart sang.  My dream was coming true – to the last detail – & now I could see his face.  It was wonderful.  Afterward, we went to Max’s & had some beers – the first beers I’ve had in a long time.

He told me he’d heard me calling him.

***

[February]

I slept really well last night for the first time in weeks.   I’m gonna do my nails & make-up – dress up real nice – & go out.  I’m going to look for Help Wanted Signs – someone’s got to want to hire me.

After dressing & doing my  make-up, I looked at myself in the mirror.  I look good – you’d never know I’ll be 30 soon.  How I wish it was 1984 – or 1985 – & I was getting ready for work – jumping into my little yellow Toyota – going to The Canteen – I’m too young to be washed up!  I’m too young to have to trade in my dreams on a more practical model!

I tried calling Jesse this morning but Doreen answered.  I hung up without saying anything.

I’m so depressed I could cry!

***

As if things couldn’t get any worse, Teddy smashed up his truck this morning.  He spun out on some black ice this way to work & smashed it into another car.  Knowing Teddy, he was probably going way too fast for the conditions.  Danielle came to get me & take me to Millard Fillmore Suburban, where he was being treated for minor injuries – the truck was towed to B & J International – although they don’t do collision work & he’ll have to find someone to do the work.  I guess insurance will cover it – I don’t know – I guess he’ll have to ride the motorcycle to work now – or get a ride from someone – it’s just always something!  I can’t stand anymore of this!

***

I got a letter from my ob/gyn yesterday – my pap smear is unusual & I have to go in for more tests.  Along with the letter was a pamphlet – “The Pap Smear & Your Cervix” – which was very informative – it told me everything about the cervix & who’s in risk to get cancer – women like me, for example – & what can be done about it.  Maybe this is what’s wrong with me – it’s not a yeast infection at all.  All I can do it go find out – I’ll call Dr. Franz tomorrow.

Actually – today I wasn’t as depressed as I usually am – I was in a rather good mood.  I cleaned the house – did two loads of wash – changed the cat litter – took the garbage out.

***

Nothing new to report except the weather.  We got a foot of snow on Thursday – then freezing rain all day yesterday.  This morning it looked like fairy land.  But around noon, it started raining again & now it’s really coming down.  Hail – lightning – high winds – a tornado watch.  The sky is really opaque – thick dark cloud cover.

***

In a bad mood.  Got my period.  Out of money.  Out of weed.  It’s really cold out – snowy – icy.  I did a couple of Teddy’s pain killers – waiting for the floating feeling to take over.  So depressed.  I want a line – I want a drink – I want to go to a party & dance my blues away.

I hate looking for work.  I don’t want to be a typist or a cashier.  I’m an entertainer!  I want to entertain!  Oh, the infinite unfairness of everything.

***

I feel terrible.  I’ve got a cold – my head feels like it’s filled with cement.  Missy kept waking me up this morning – so here I am – awake, barely – but no longer able to sleep.  We did the last of Teddy’s pills last night – Pat wouldn’t or couldn’t get us anymore weed – we think he’s into his man for so much money that he can’t ask for a thing.  I don’t think Pat is going to be around much longer.  I bet he skips town soon.

It’s going to be another long, dull day.

***

I’ve got it bad – a cold, flu, whatever – I’m not going anywhere today – not to look for work – nowhere.  I feel so tired.  My lungs ache & my head hurts.  I can’t believe I’m sick again.  & it’s cold out – really cold & windy too.  I hope it’s nicer tomorrow – since I have to go downtown.  I wish spring would hurry up!  I hate February & I hate March too – winter drags on forever!

***

Why does it have to hurt so much?  Why does it feel like my heart is breaking?  Why do I still want him so badly?  This ache – this endless aching – a man with strength – who can pick me up – who can enclose me in arms of steel – who can enable me to lay down all my burdens – all my worries –

I love Teddy but I am so tired of having to be the strong one.  The almost unendurable pain.

***

Just out of the doctor’s – my ob/gyn – I had a 3:00 appointment but I got here early & he was able to take me right away.  Pat brought me.  He’s been hanging out with me most of the day – he’s been coming around a lot lately.  He’s a practicing Buddhist – we’ve been discussing meditation – spirituality – the spiral path – all kinds of things.  Anyway – after he dropped me off here at home, he went to get Teddy from work & now I’m just waiting for him to get home again to receive my call.  I’m making him dinner tonight – Pat will do anything for a meal.

***

I’ve lost my voice.  I was coughing nearly all night.  I was awake half the night anyway – never has a night seemed so long.  I kept thinking about Pat.  This morning, the coffee pot was filled with the coffee he brought yesterday – some rich Brazilian brew – tastes almost like chocolate.  I wonder if he’ll come back this morning.  He’s not sure if he’s working or what.  We spent nearly the entire day together yesterday.

Night.  Pat was here all afternoon.  He came for dinner – the second night in a row – & he’s here now – rolling joints & smoking.  Things are changing – changing quickly.  He wants to be my lover.  He says he’ll pamper me – he’ll be good for me – he gave me the whole pitch – he is, after all, a salesman.  He’s not the kind of guy I go for – you know I like them big & tough & macho – like Jesse.  But I really like Pat.  He’s the first guy I ever met that I can talk religion with – a big plus – given the state of my head & my heart & my soul.  I don’t know if I could fall for a dumb guy – someone who didn’t measure up to my level of intelligence.  Actually – I fall for story-tellers – most of my men are excellent story-tellers.  Pat spins one yarn after another.

All of a sudden – things look exciting.  I can’t sleep at night thinking of the possibilities.

***

I woke up without a voice again.  I have been coughing up tons of phlegm & other crap out of my lungs

Pat just left.  He brought me some weed & I made him breakfast.  I don’t know what to make of Pat.  I mean – he doesn’t even begin to resemble the “man of my dreams” – he’s barely taller than I am – I’m sure I’m stronger than he is – in fact, that’s one of the things that attracts him to me – my physical strength.  I also feed him – I play into this mother fantasies.  Also –  there’s a lot of girl in Pat & there’s a lot of boy in me – the way he curls up to me next to me sitting on the couch & presses his body next to mine – the way he lays his head on my shoulder & sighs – it’s all so very feminine – & makes me feel very masculine.  I’m pretty macho anyway – but in love, I want to be taken – to be possessed – to be subdued.

But on the other hand – it is wonderful to talk to Pat – talking about religion – talking about recovery.  More drug stories – sex stories – sex, drug & rock’n’roll stories!  He is all ready – to treat me like a queen – he is already treating me like a queen.  He wants me.  & you know how I love to be wanted.

But something holds me back.  That too, bothers me – I like not being able help myself – that feeling of – I’ve got to have that man! – & that’s not that case with Pat.  It’s another practical decision – someone to take care of my body.  My heart is untouched.

Of course – I can’t jump in bed with Pat – or anyone else – until I hear back from Dr. Franz.  I’m glad – I’m very glad – it buys me a little tome – more time to think – to weigh my options – to figure things out – & the fact that wanting to think about it tells me pretty much all I need to know.

***

& now I no longer need to think.  Pat came over this morning before he went to work.  We smoked joints – & kissed – he is a wonderful kisser.  I haven’t made out like that since high school – it was funny – our clothes never came off – but we were in the throes of passion – rubbing our bodies together – fucking with our clothes on – it was wild.  I laid back & he put his hand on my crotch & massaged me – rubbing my clit – circling it – caressing it – but my sweat pants never came off.  It was marvelous love –

I can hardly wait for tomorrow.  His dick feels large & hard inside his pants.  I sat on top of him & rubbed against him.  Anais Nin writes that a Hindu makes love to his wife 10 days before he takes her.  “For ten days, they merely caress & kiss.”  What do Buddhists do?  Does he mean to make me wait?  Oh I don’t know if I can.  I am so hot – so wet – so wanting.  & I still can’t believe it’s Pat doing this to me.

Oh, the joy of a new lover.

His bag of weed is in my pocket.  Oh joy – joy –

Excerpts From a Diary 39

[Holidays, 1989-90]

[December, 1989]

I took a silver dollar from my bank & went to Falco’s. I thought, if I buy myself one beer & nurse it, maybe I’ll run into someone who’ll feel like buying some more.  Sure enough, Rolf Johnson was there – newly wed – not that marriage makes any difference to a guy like Rolf.  If that marriage lasts, I’ll be amazed.  I’ll be amazed if it lasts 5 years.

When I got home, Teddy was already there.  He had good news & bad news.  The good news was a 3-drawer filing cabinet for the office.  The bad news was that when he went over to our old place on Minnesota Avenue to get the messages, Paulie told him to get the phone out of there – because they’ve rented the apartment.  Whatever happened to selling the house?  I tell you, I’m not surprised.  I can just imagine what kind of third world wonders he’s got moving in there.  I mean – the place hasn’t even been painted.  It’s really a dump.  I’ve been in crack houses that look better than that place!  It just leaves a really bad taste in our mouths.  Teddy got everything out – we still had a few rugs there – but he forgot the maps on the walls – for booking parties – so we’re going back to grab them after he comes home from work.  I also discovered that my modeling portfolio is missing.   I hope no one’s home when we go – I want to run down cellar & look for it.  I mean – I’m sure Paulie took it.  Even if they’re home – I’m gonna look for it.  It’s mine – it’s the only portfolio I have – I don’t have any copies!  I’m so glad we got out of there!  What assholes!

***

Lying in bed – watching the Today show.  I feel so sick – my stomach is absolutely killing me – it’s really been hurting lately – could I have an ulcer? – or maybe it’s just the flu.  But it doesn’t feel like the flu.  It just hurts.  I get moments of nausea.  I feel so tired.  I took two naps yesterday & I was still falling asleep at 10 last night.  Maybe I’m just depressed.  I feel so fat & so ugly.

Mark says my poems are great but – Forethought Books doesn’t publish poetry or fiction.  Why the fuck not?  It seems to me that he could have told me that before I got my hopes up – but it is probably my fault anyway – for dreaming & not being business-like – I know better than that – oh well – he’s getting with me on Thursday.  Published or not, I need guidance.

Later.  Missy woke me up.  She wanted to play.  I chased her around for a while before I got into the shower.  I still feel lousy.  I haven’t eaten yet – I’m not hungry – I figure when I do eat, I’ll just have a poached egg.  I’m planning meatloaf for dinner – Teddy loves meatloaf & if I can’t eat it, I can store the leftovers – meatloaf never goes to waste.

I’ve got the Grateful Dead on.  I’m gonna read until “Perry Mason” comes on.  After that – there’s a movie I wanna watch – camped out here on the sofa with my books, notebooks, pens & a stomach ache.

***

It never rains but it pours.  The phone strike is over but we still have no phone.  The checks Teddy wrote to pay the bill bounced – & now they want the payment in cash & you can’t have a phone installed until your bill is paid – so now Teddy wants me to go to Anthony Falco & borrow the money.  He wants me to ask for $200 – to be paid back Saturday night after we work – but Saturday night’s job is only $135.  Teddy said “don’t worry” if we don’t have the whole $200 – “it’ll be OK” – but it won’t be OK – I don’t operate that way.  I’ll ask for $150 – which I don’t want to do anyway.  I am sick & tired of asking Anthony for money.  Personally – I don’t see why we have to pay the bill & get a phone today anyway.  We’ve been without a phone for so long – I don’t see what a few more days will matter.  I’m gonna have to call my regular clients anyway.  I wish Teddy wouldn’t put me into these situations!  I hate asking for money!  I just hate it!

On top of that – my cartridge ran out this morning.  Life sucks!  I’m so sick of being broke!

Later.  Well – in a much better mood!  I went & called NYNEX myself – it’s not NY Telephone anymore – & I set up new service – not one word was said about paying the bill – & since service won’t be on for at least a week – we can have the bill taken care of by then.  Also – I don’t have to go through the indignity of asking Anthony for money.

***

Watching a Marianne Faithfull movie – really dumb – really hokey 60’s bullshit.  I wanted to sleep in this morning but Teddy took so long getting out of here that I couldn’t get back to sleep once I got back to bed.  I got up & cleaned the house – changed the cat litter – took the garbage out – took a shower – cleaned the bathroom – put in a load of wash – later I have to go to Falco’s & get Anthony to cash a check for me – $200 from Uncle Joe.  I hope Anthony will – I’ve been over there several times in the last few days & either I’ve just missed him or he just got back from the bank or something.  It’s so annoying to have $200 & not have it.

Well – I should get ready to go out – it’ll take a while – so many layers to put on – hair & make-up – I really don’t feel like going out – that’s the whole problem.

***

Another full moon – I did a ritual this morning when I was alone & ended up crying.  I wish we had a phone!  It’s a week since I called the phone company – what’s the big hold-up?  It’s such a drag!  Meanwhile – my career is over – this coming weekend is usually a big party weekend – all that money I’m not making!  I could cry!

Our money woes are mounting.  We’re eating well & we have weed so I can’t complain but we’re already behind on the rent & we’ve only been here a short while.  Luckily all the other bills are small & easily taken care of.  The trouble is – it’s Christmas.  It’s just the wrong time of year to be out of a phone – out of work – & out of money!

Anthony couldn’t cash my check.  He says he’s gotten so many bad checks lately that his dad said, no more cashing checks.  God!  When it rains, it really pours!  Anyway – I stayed there drinking all afternoon.  Rolf stopped in – on his lunch break.  I said, “You come awfully far for lunch.”  “The bars are boring in Lockport,” he replied.  I could really fall for him.  He’s so arrogant – really an asshole – he makes me think of Napoleon – the way his lip curls – the way his eyebrows arch – his whole pampered rich boy attitude – the kind of jerk I’m famous for falling for – a different kind of macho – GQ macho – but strip off that suit & he’s the same as the rest of them.  Oh well – nothing will ever come of it – & just as well, too!

***

I am so depressed I hate myself.  I can’t stand feeling this this – so disoriented – so horny – so scared – so disgusted.  The realization that my career is over.  I have to start looking for a “real” job – & I have no desire whatsoever to do that.  The realization that I’m fat & ugly & getting old & have a giant zit on my cheek.  I’ve been putting poems together for the Just Buffalo competition but without the $25 entry fee, what’s the point?  Life sucks!  I could smoke a joint & make myself feel better but have so little, I really should conserve it.  I try to tell myself that there’s plenty of people with no homes & no food & no joints – I’m really lucky – I have my health – I have a loving husband & 2 beautiful cats – etc., etc. – but I feel hopeless anyway.

***

I feel terrible.  I barely slept last night – too much coffee after dinner – & Missy kept waking me up – & I was dreaming I was opening for Blaze Starr – I was dancing to “B-A-B-Y” & twirling my red skirts – oh well.  I woke up all congested & coughing.  I also feel a little nauseated – I can’t figure it out.  I’m supposed to get my period on Sunday – it’s probably just PMS – plus the usual depression – Teddy & I are both severely depressed.  He’s afraid we’re going to be evicted.  He tried calling his mother all day yesterday but she wasn’t there – god, what a drag – having to ask for help!  Goddamn Paulie!  What an asshole!  Knowing how we needed that phone & answering machine!  I bet no one’s moved in there!  I’ve been racking my brains trying to figure out a way to get back – get revenge – some simple little revenge spell that wouldn’t rebound too badly – but all I can think of is the apartment on fire – & then I’m afraid I’ll end up watching my own place on fire – oh life sucks.  I feel sick to my stomach.

Later.  Danielle just left.  She brought a coffee cake & some real tasty weed – I only wish I felt better so I could appreciate it more.  I’m glad she came by – she left brochures from all the campgrounds they stayed at – all state parks.  She said it was a really good trip.  She also brought me a giant pine cone.

***

Noon.  I feel better today.  Not my cold – that’s still hanging in there – but my spirits are better.  It snowed a foot last night – it looks so excellent – the first thing I did today was shovel the driveway, the sidewalk, back to the garbage & the driveway next door – the old farts’ house – & their sidewalk.  Then I came in & ate & cleaned the house & then I was so exhausted that I laid down for a while.  I got up at 11 a.m. & took a shower, put a load of wash in & then put on my Christmas tape & danced & sang with Shadow – I put on a real show for my babies.  But it doesn’t take much to tire me out – I’m gonna take it easy the rest of the day.

***

Another workless weekend.  It really snowed Friday & Saturday – another foot, easily – I shoveled for several hours Saturday & really paid for it Sunday – massive backache.  Yesterday I baked a bunch of cookies & decorated them & did the same this morning.

Teddy got through to his mother – but no money.  He didn’t come out & ask her – just told her about our woes & she said she had sent a card – which led him to believe that there was money enclosed in it – which there wasn’t.  Oh well.  He should have just asked for help – instead of implying that we need the help.  When I asked someone for help, I don’t dance around the subject, I fucking nail it.  Anyway – he called the landlord & talked things over with him & I guess things are alright.  & I called Bonnie out at her tavern by GM & I’m working there next Friday – I can hardly wait.  Oh, if I only had one more job!  A Thursday night job – but I don’t know how it’ll even happen.  Hopefully, I’ll make good tips at Bonnie’s Tavern – I’ve got to!  I’ve got to!

***

Another depressed day.  These days are almost crippling.  I feel so lousy anyway – I have my period & a cold – I took some cough medicine & went back to bed this morning but Missy wouldn’t let me sleep – meowing, meowing – she wouldn’t shut up!  Oh, I know she wants to play – I just feel so awful – it’s so hard.  I have no appetite – although I know I’m hungry – I’d have an egg but we’re out of bread & what’s an egg without toast?

At least Pat will be over later on with some weed.

Afternoon.  I am beyond depressed.  A certified letter just arrived – from the landlord – stating that we owe $1100 & that if money owed aren’t received by 12/28, we’ll be evicted & taken to court.  I thought Teddy said that everything was alright.  I know that when he sees this letter, he’ll say – don’t worry, everything will be ok – he gets paid on Thursday & the whole check will go to the landlord & so will his next two checks – so all we have to worry about is eating.  & who needs to eat, right?  Also, we can get another loan from the Credit Union next month – he’ll tell me not to worry – things will be alright – but when?  When?  I just hate this!

I’ve been trying to write to take my mind off things but it’s so hard.  Writing about dancing just makes me depressed.  Writing about The Canteen – about dancing, drinking, drugs – about dollar bills stuffed in a g-string – oh, I miss it so!  Oh, those great Christmases of 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985!  Money to burn!  Drugs omega!  Lots of presents for everyone!  I feel so helpless now.  So weak & ineffectual.  So needy.  I keep trying to look ahead & be cheerful but I can’t.  I keep telling myself that we’re lucky to have each other – good food, weed, a nice place to live – things will work out – things will be fine!  & I know they will be fine!  But right now, they suck!

***

War with Panama.  I don’t think Brad is being sent – thank the Goddess!  How I hate these stupid wars!

I talked to Mom last night.  I wanted to ask for help but I knew she would never say yes so I didn’t.  She & Bob are stopping in on Christmas Day.  It’ll be the first time I’ve seen them since the reunion – a year & a half.  I was really depressed when I called her & I kinda wish I hadn’t called but I’m also glad that I did.  She gave me a lecture on “doing the right thing” – which I presume is not dancing & not doing drugs – which is out of the question now anyway – & it occurred to me that I’m almost 30 years old & she’s still lecturing me!! Oh well!

***

Bushed.  Teddy & I have been cleaning house all day.  This place looks great.  Every piece of furniture got polished!  Furniture got moved – every inch of carpet got vacuumed.  The blanket on the couch got washed.  The litter box got changed – all the mirrors were washed & wiped until they were completely streak-proof – the kitchen was scrubbed with steel-wool & a tooth-brush.  Right now, I have sweet dough rising – I’m making cinnamon rolls.  Later on we’ll have spaghetti & Italian sausage meat sauce.

Mom & Bob are stopping in tomorrow.  So are Henry & Mina.  I don’t think we’ll see Sue & Brad or Helena & Geoff & I don’t know about Rocco.  I hope so.  I have gifts for everyone.  Nothing great – just little things I made – small crocheted ornaments for the tree & things like that.  Mom & Jerry sent $100 & Mama & Bob sent a $50 Sears gift certificate.  All of the money I made at Bonnie’s went to the rent.   Anyway – yesterday we were really happy – out Christmas shopping – we bought the cutest kitty condo for Shadow & Missy – also stocking filled with cat toys & bizzy balls – plus I managed to get presents for everyone else – of which I am very proud – just little things but who cares? – It was so much fun just to be out & shopping – looking at all the decorations & the people.

***

Just ate the Christmas pizza.  So good!  It’s been a nice Christmas.  It was really great seeing Mom & Bob & everyone else.  They all loved our place.  & they adored the kitties.

The cats loved their toys – Shadow loves the kitty condo.  They were so funny – just like real kids – waking us up early – scratching at the living room door – then not being able to decide which toy to play with first – then playing with a vengeance – playing until they were so tired out they would hardly keep their eyes open but playing on anyway.  They’re so sweet!  They’re so wonderful!  Such adorable Christmas cats!

***

So far, a nice day.  I went out & shoveled this morning – boy, it is cold out there!  Are we having a real winter this year or what?  I’ve straightened up the house & put in a couple loads of wash & now I’m gonna work on my end-of-the-year lists.  Teddy’s at work of course.

***

Listening to Roy Orbison.  Sitting at my desk – looking out the window.  It snowed again last night – first thing this morning, I was out shoveling the driveway & the walk & sprinkling calcium chloride.  Out driveway is the clearest on the street.  Then I came in – took a shower – ate breakfast – straightened up the house – put in a load of wash – always wash to do – & packed away all my costumes.  Teddy will have a fit when I tell him – maybe I won’t tell him – but what the fuck – my career is over.  He’s always telling me that my career is not over.  But facts are facts.  We don’t have a phone & I have no idea when we’re going to get a phone.  & when we do get a phone, we’ll have a new number – so the number on my current card is now useless.  & even if we do get a new phone – whenever that is going to be – & I manage to get new cards – somehow come up with the money for that – there are hundreds of old cards floating around – so I would have to come up with a new picture & a new color scheme for the card – just to make it look radically different from the old card – so guys know which one is the good one.  & my modeling portfolio was stolen – so that means hiring a photographer & doing new shots – which requires more money.  & then of course – getting a new design & having more cards printed.  Teddy doesn’t think of any of this & if he does, he just thinks it’ll happen magically – the money will just appear or something.  It’s fucking over.  I know it is.  I have a party February 24 – but that’s so far in the future that it might not even happen anyway.  I mean, they might hire another dancer & decide they don’t want me.  That was happening a lot this summer.  So I’m not planning on anything.

Besides – I don’t want to dance 3 or 4 parties a night again.  That was just too much.  It was really cool – I mean – I was proud of the fact that I was physically able to do it – but after a few years of that pace, anyone would get burned out – & I’m burned out.  I can’t do all the coke I need to keep going & I can’t do it without the coke.  & I want weekends again.  I want to go camping – I want to go on picnics – I want to go to Cleveland to visit my family – I want to go to the beach.  I don’t want any more burned-out Saturdays & Sundays – so hungover I can barely function – pulling myself together so I can work the next party.  I don’t want to party all night long.  I don’t want to throw up every morning – all morning long.  & I don’t want to be crippled every Monday morning.

I’ve been working hard on my story.  It’s so slow.  I’m so slow.  If I do a little bit every day, I’m happy.  Actually – I do a lot better if I do just a little bit every day – rather than lots of work on day & then nothing more for several days.  Kinda like housework – do a little everyday – you never have a big mess to clean.

***

Jesse stopped by last night.  He got a quarter gram of coke from Pat & bought some weed – it’s really lousy but better than nothing.  It was really nice to see him

I’ve worked really hard this week anyway – I deserve a day off!  This house is a little messy – needs to be dusted & vacuumed – maybe I’ll get to it later.  Actually this place always looks nice.  I dust & vacuum almost every day – one day off doesn’t really make it a mess.

I’m sleepy.  Maybe I’ll join the kitties in a nap.

[January, 1990]

I feel great.  I slept until 11 a.m. – I couldn’t believe the clock when I woke up – I had so many dreams – so many messages – I am still trying to decipher them all.  You won’t believe who I was dreaming about – Pat.  Probably because the other night when he stopped by to do a coke deal he had a large bump on his forehead – I teased him about banging his head while he was banging that chick he’s currently seeing – & I couldn’t help but wish that I had someone to bang me so exuberantly.  Of course –  I’d never get involved with Pat – he’s a connection – our main connection – our only connection, really.  & you know what they say about love affairs with connections – lose the love, lose the connection.

It was a partying weekend.  Jesse scored a quarter ounce of coke from Pat – Pat’s been here a lot lately – & brought some hash oil & some truly unsmokeable weed.  It was the worst!  We got a sixteenth out of that deal – really nice – Jesse & Pat both hung out & partied for a while.  Pat doesn’t drink – he’s an alcoholic – he hasn’t had a drink in seven years.  Anyway – I find it fascinating – being able to party & have a good time – without alcohol.  I would love to be able to do that.

Teddy & I did up all the coke Saturday night – we were supposed to make it last all weekend – but as usual, that didn’t happen.  What is it about coke that makes you want to do it all until it’s done?  & then want more?  Even though you’re so wasted you couldn’t do more if you tried?

Ariana & her brothers stopped by & they partied too – they had coke too.  It was a really good time.  Ariana & Bernie have split up – she only married him because her father was dying & it was his dying wish to walk his little girl up the aisle & see her happily married.  But I don’t think Ariana was ever happily married to Bernie.  She’s living on the West Side now.  She’s come into an inheritance since her father died & she has a good job, of course – she’s able to support herself.  Something I have never been able to do – perhaps when I was dancing a few years ago – but of course, Teddy was part of the business – & if I had left him, I wouldn’t have had him as a business partner.  Of course, at this point, it’s debatable whether or not he’s actually an asset as a partner.

Anyway – on Sunday, I woke up feeling like shit – totally hungover – I was in bed most of the day – I got up when Jesse stopped by with some crank – man, that stuff stings the crap out of your nose! – He was supposed to come back with more but of course he didn’t & it didn’t matter – I’m even glad he didn’t – on Sunday night – New Year’s Eve – we drank champagne & ate pepperoni & cheddar cheese.  I woke up feeling great on New Year’s Day – the first time I have woken up on New Year’s Day without a hangover in 10 years!  From now on – I don’t drink at all – except at a stag – & who knows when I’ll be dancing again anyway – maybe I won’t drink until my birthday – maybe only until I lose 5 or 10 pounds – I’m not sure – I’ll decide later.  But I don’t want any more hangovers.  I also decided that I will only eat popcorn once a week.  I want to be beautiful by the time I turn thirty – thin, toned, in control & strong.

 

Excerpts From a Diary 37

[Summer, 1989]

[July]

We got home at 3 p.m.  Coming home on the Thruway, I got totally bummed out – cuz of all the Deadheads on their way to the Grateful Dead concert at Rich stadium – I really wanted to go – lots more than I thought I would – & when we got home – Paulie & Javier were just leaving – the whole house smelled like pot & they were meeting friends who had acid – they strapped beers to the back of Paulie’s bike – I was so depressed!  I really felt bad – even though the kitty-cats were so loving & so happy we were back – purring, purring, purring – & after a took a hot soapy bath & washed my hair – I did feel better – but the clincher is this – I finally got my period.  It was so late I was beginning to worry – yes, I’m on the pill but you never know – but anyway – it occurred to me that if I had gone to the concert, I would have gotten my period at the show & that would have been a complete drag – especially if I had been tripping.  So – talk about your silver linings – right?

***

Watching “Magnum P.I.” & smoking a joint.  We just ate cheese, pepperoni & crackers – we have a lot of that stuff leftover from camping.  We eat a lot more when it’s cooler.  We have $10 for tonight’s dinner but we probably won’t eat until later on.

I slept until 9:30 this morning – I could’ve slept longer but I was hungry.  We were out of bread so I went downstairs to borrow some from Paulie – he & Javier were partying – still tripping – Paulie gave me a cup of coffee with TripleSec in it & a fat joint & they preceded to tell me all about the concert – I must’ve gotten a contact high because soon I felt like I was tripping – later on – Javier went home & Paulie went to the store.  Paulie came back with beer & chops & got out the grill & cooked up the chops, covering them with a mixture of hickory-flavor barbecue sauce, steak sauce & Tabasco sauce.  They were killer.  After that, I went upstairs & watched “Kiss Me Kate” on TNT – unpacking & doing dishes during the commercials.  I’ve been out of it all day – I’m bleeding real heavy – really bad cramps – plus it’s a steamer of a day – I should have laid outside in the sun & improved my tan – but it’s too hot – too hot.  They’re predicting thunderstorms for tonight – I’m hoping for a really good storm – lots of thunder & lightning – especially lightning.

***

Just had a great dinner – fried haddock, ranch fries & coleslaw – all from the Bailey Fish Market – on the corner of Bailey & LaSalle.  It was really good.  We gave bits of fish to the cats – who thought it was really good, too!  Now we’re watching the evening news & smoking a joint.  We picked up a really nice bag from Patty O. – only 2 grams short.  Remember Patty O?  From Cleveland?  He’s living here in Buffalo now & selling weed & coke – & cars – that’s his straight job.  I was so surprised to see him.  He seems to know everyone everywhere he goes.

We’re not working tonight – & not doing any blow – unless Jesse’s man comes up with something – but we’ve been waiting 2 days already – Jesse said the dude is beginning to flake out.  That’s the way it goes.  I can’t tell you how many connections we’ve gone through – it always goes the same way – when the connect is new – everything’s great – the lines on the mirror are thick & long – the bags are overweight – he’ll front you a gram, two grams, an 8-ball – he’s in a great mood all the time – he will tell you that he doesn’t snort coke himself – he’s into it “for the money”.  As the weeks/months progress – or digress, ha ha – the guy starts to party more – & the bags start being underweight – & he won’t front you anything anymore – cuz he’s most likely in debt to his man – there’s smaller & smaller lines on the mirror – until they disappear altogether – & then he does.  & then you have to find a new connection.  That’s why you always have to have more than one connection.  It happens like that – with a few variations – every damn time.  Anyway – we’re not partying tonight – not with coke, anyway.  We have joints – & tortilla chips & salsa – & I can & probably will make some popcorn – it’ll be a nice, quiet evening.  Meanwhile – I’m all ready to go – in case a party calls – you never know.

***

Hot.  Sultry.  Supposedly stormy but not yet – it’s clear now – totally clear – it looked stormier this afternoon.

Working hard, hard, hard.  Working on the story – doing a new inventory of books.  Tomorrow I’m going to the downtown library to get another load of books & study reference books I can’t take out.  It’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow – I hope so – the outfit I’ve picked out will be uncomfortable if it’s anything like today – but I should be home by noon at any rate.

***

Raining.  Thunder & lightning.  The windows are closed – the fans are on.  It’s hot – it’s summer – that’s for sure.  But nowhere as hot & humid as last summer – not yet anyway.  Up until today, it hasn’t been humid – just hot.  Well – not since the holiday.

I’ve been working hard – inventorying my books – a slow job – working on the list of names & numbers – writing – housecleaning – closet cleaning – booking parties – creating new outfits.  I’ve been feeling wonderful – not my body – my back & my knees are as bad as ever – but my head is good – I’m happy – unexplainably happy – must be this 6 year – I am just so happy playing with my books – my cats – slowing getting stuff written – sleeping a bit more – maybe – maybe my sleeping is just a higher quality than before – the only problem I’ve had recently is a migraine headache last night – put me to bed – & a foggy feeling this morning – I need an adjustment!

***

Hot, hot, hot – & humid.  Steamy is the word.  It was 74 at 7:30 this morning!  It’s supposed to go up in the 90s today – yuck!  No housework today.  I dusted & maybe I’ll vacuum but it’s already so sultry that all I want to do is sit in front of a fan & read.  I’ve closed the curtains to keep out the light.  Where we don’t have curtains, I’ve hung sheets.  I’m gonna stay cool no matter what.

***

The trick is to get up early & get as much done before it gets too warm – which is now – & then stay immobile the rest of the day – sleep through the afternoon – & then resume work in the cool of the evening.  Not that the evenings cool off much.  Every day, they’ve predicted thunderstorms & rain but it’s held off.  Watch – it’ll be pouring Friday night – when I have 3 parties to do.  I hate this weather!

Totally upset.  No joints – maybe later on – but I feel awful – I swear – food doesn’t digest correctly if I don’t smoke a joint after dinner – the shrimp & French fries I ate feel like rocks in my belly – I feel like shit.  Teddy & I have been bickering all evening.

***

Still no weed.  Pat’s an asshole.  We’ll see him tonight – he’s supposed to be dropping off some coke – but that won’t be 10 or later – probably later – Pat’s always late.  We feel better than yesterday – who could feel worse – besides it’s cooler & a little less humid – it’s windy & looks like it could pour any second – but it’s looked like that all day.  I got a lot done today – inventory, housecleaning, laundry.  I’m dying to smoke a joint – but I guess I’ll have to wait.

***

Noon.  Sleepy.  Menstrual blues.  Teddy’s home from work with a cold.  I got bitten Saturday night – what’s wrong with these guys? – right inside the top of my leg – right into a muscle, which is probably why it hurts so much – it’s totally black.  I’m just gonna hang out with Teddy & watch TV – read, sleep & throw the Tarot – I’m gonna try every spread I have – just for the fun of it.

Evening.  I’ve been throwing the Tarot & trying out different spreads & drawing diagrams of spreads all day – except, of course, when I had to make dinner – & when I took my afternoon nap.  I’m beat – but tomorrow I’m gonna do more – I have lots more spreads to try out.  Besides it’s so much fun.  You can’t help thinking of poems & stories & characters when you handle the cards.  They tell me stories.  The ideas go round & round in my head.  Meanwhile – I study, I learn, I think about everything.  I am not ready yet to use what I know.  But soon – soon I will know what to do & how to do it.

[August]

Teddy didn’t go to work again today.  Now both our throats are sore.  We slept until 11 a.m.  I got up – made coffee – took a bath & did my hair – cleaned the cat box – got the garbage together & took it out to the curb – & now we have steaming cups of coffee & a fat joint – regardless of our throats!

Afternoon.  Watching a really dumb Eddie Cantor movie called “Kid Millions” – with Ethel Merman, Ann Sothern & George Murphy – dumb plot but good tunes – actually no plot.  We’re just eating breakfast – cheese omelette, bacon & rye toast.  Now an afternoon of dumb movies, joints, tarot cards & naps.

A hour later.   The phone just rang.  Teddy was in the bedroom sleeping & I was dozing on the couch & I let the call go to the machine.  I heard this fantastic piano track – it was a song I didn’t recognize – I could pick up some of the lyrics – “so baby give me one last kiss – & let me take one long last look – before I say good bye” – & something about “the end of the innocence” – the piano sounded like Bruce Hornsby but it’s so hard to tell on the machine – oh well – the message is clear.  I’m just glad Teddy is sleeping.  I half expect to see Jesse trolling around the block.  He’s got to see Teddy’s truck parked out front.  But of course he can’t send music to my answering machine & drive by my house at the same time.

Night.  I just put Teddy to bed.  He’s been sleeping all evening anyway.  I’ve been busy copying Tarot spreads from the notes in my diaries & the New Feminist Tarot.  I see it’s gonna take me a long time to try each one out – but I’m gonna do it.

***

Teddy went back to work this morning & I went back to bed.  I felt guilty for maybe thirty second before I fell into a dreamy sleep.  I didn’t sleep long but I felt a lot better when I when I woke up.  The light was on the machine when I walked into the dining room.  I rewound the tape & played it.   “All She Wants to Do is Dance” played on the answering machine.  I had to laugh – the man does not give up.

I called Jesse.  He took the day off from work to collect rents.  He wanted to know if I wanted to meet for a drink.

“Sure,” I said.

***

I just came in from the porch.  I didn’t really feel like laying in the sun but I was beginning to look rather sallow – so I kinda had to – it’s always better to look golden when you’re taking off your clothes in front of a room of drunk men.  Plus – the right set of tan lines can be very slimming.  Which I kinda need lately – the way I’m eating & drinking.  I can’t keep the pounds off like I used to.  Although part of me likes me a little more rounded.

***

I had the most delicious dream about Pat.  He & Paulie had painted our living room blue – ceiling & all – & we were all drinking beer & smoking joints.  Paulie went downstairs to get more beers & I went down on Pat – I remember perfectly the shape & largeness of his dick – & the wonderful taste of it – & his glistening semen.  & I remember perfectly how after he came – he cupped my breasts in his hands – & kissed them again & again – until I woke up – too soon –

***

I have a lot to do today – housework, laundry, inventory, writing – running to the Credit Union to pull some money out of the account – always so much to do –

Added to my mixed-up emotions is the fact that Pat is here today to help Paulie paint the house.  I guess Paulie is paying him.  & I just had that dream about him!!

I just spent the last hour talking to Pat – I told him my dream – just looking into those large blue eyes – I was falling in love – I asked him about how he was able to party without drinking – he said he just didn’t want to drink.  “It isn’t necessary,” he told me.

The last time I got sober, it was total abstinence.  But maybe there’s another way?  Maybe I can just stop drinking – & keep smoking weed.  I know once I stop dancing, there won’t be any money for coke & I really don’t mind giving that up.  Maybe just for special occasions.  Holidays or birthdays.

Afternoon.  Jesse just called.  I’ll see him tomorrow – honestly, I don’t know if it’s Jesse who’s buying from Pat or Pat who’s buying from Jesse but the center point of the two is Teddy.  I’m just trying to stay balanced.  But feeling so good – so alive!  Then Teddy called & told me that he’s been thinking about me all morning – am I loved or what?  Who could ask for anything more?

Sitting in my office – the Dead on the tune box.  Outside – Pat & Paulie are painting.  Inside – I’m wet & wild & dreaming – dreaming of big fat cocks & a man with big blue eyes pushing it into me.  Oh – whisper my name – just once!  I’ll be there – I’ll be right there – waiting for you to cum & cum & cum again.

Evening.  I went outside & hung out with Pat for a while – Paulie was on the tope scaffold.  Puns – very bad puns – & dirty jokes were flying all around – Paulie was calling Pat “Norton” – which is wild, cuz I’ve always thought of Paulie as a Puerto Rican Ralph Kramden – Cindy is certainly Alice – anyway he had some weed so we came upstairs & smoked a fat joint – Paulie thought we were looking for something to stuff a bird’s nest hole so he stayed out there painting – anyway, we smoked this joint & talked – told bad back stories & Grateful Dead stories – & the sexual tension was out of sight – it was great – I love that tension – sometimes I think the tension is better than the release – & I’m gonna let this tension grow & grow & grow – cuz I got the feeling that the release is gonna be fantastic.

***

Well – I got totally smashed yesterday.  I got home after Teddy did & we had a major argument – I ended up admitting that I was with Jesse – not that there was anything to tell – all we did was drink & talk & sing off-key – but of course, Teddy was really upset & hurt that was I was with Jesse.  But whatever.  Nothing to do but try harder – be more loving with Teddy – make up for being such a shit yesterday.  I mean – it’s not like I did anything – Jesse & I do more talking about sex than having sex – usually we just get wasted.  But I guess that’s enough.

***

Oh, I’m so upset!  Teddy is such a jerk!  I suppose I shouldn’t have lost my temper with him – but he pisses me off!   I’m tired of him not listening to me – I’m tired of his stupid lectures!  Oh – I wish he’d call back!  He drives me nuts!

I’m watching “Show Boat” – the 1951 version with Ava Gardner – I saw the 1931 version a few months ago – they’re both great – I have been in tears all afternoon – I could play Julie – I could be Julie – “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man of Mine” – it could be the story of my life.  & that other song she sings – “Bill” – oh, I love that song –

Later.  Teddy’s home & we’ve smoked a joint & are now fine & mellow.  I made up a shopping list & sung him some songs from “Show Boat”.  We’re going to the store after I finish my beer.

***

We went to the Erie County Fair today.

Tonight is the full moon.  A full lunar eclipse – which we on the east coast will be able to see – for the first time since 1982 – if only the clouds clear!

Night.  Smoking our last joint.  Downstairs – Paulie & Pat are burning the old paint off the house – a very distinctive smell – I went out on the porch & flashed my pussy at them.  Teddy is reading his Disney book.  “Murder She Wrote” is on – it’s placed in Seattle – at a university that could be Becky’s – in a street scene, I saw a storefront with the sign – “Sacred Circle Gallery” – it must be so nice there!   Downstairs – they’re blasting Janis Joplin – “Summertime” – this could be a movie I’m in – sure does seem like it sometimes – anyway – I always like hearing Janis.

9 p.m.  There’s a ridge of clouds to the east but you can see the bright light through the wispy edges.  It’s clear above.  Soon the whole sky will be lit.

9:15 p.m.  The skies have cleared & the moon is full, full.  Bright & shiny.

9:45 p.m.  The moon is half-obscured.  Really impressive.

***

Sitting on the porch.  Wonderful hot afternoon but lovely cool air – actually no humidity & a lovely breeze – I’m filled with joy – an amazing full joy.  I can’t explain – visually I’m not tripping – but emotionally I am.  Late summer joy!  I wish I was camping!

***

Stomach flu.  Depressed.  No money – no weed – no beer.  A weekend spent down in Lackawanna – after we were doing so well for so long!  Parties cancelling – people being assholes on the phone – petty arguments with Teddy.  Over it all – a constant pain in my belly – it feels so tender.  Always sleepy but I can never sleep – my mind never shuts off – never leaves me alone.  Sometimes I wish I were a bit of fluff.  Sometimes I think life would be a lot easier.

Evening.  We’ve been arguing all evening.  We’re pulled tighter than a bowstring ready to release – I feel so awful.  I’m so sick of never having any weed.  Why is it always so dry around here?  I know it isn’t in other parts of the country.  It isn’t fair.  On the news all you hear is “The Drug Problem” – what drug problem?  The only drug problem I’m aware of is there’s not enough to go around.

***

At last – the end of the week.  This was the longest week I’ve ever lived through.  It was a drag!  Tonight we have one party – tomorrow, three – maybe four – no cocaine all weekend – I mean, there’s no way we can afford it.  Teddy really fucked us but good last weekend!  Oh well – that’s water under the bridge I suppose.

***

Getting things ready for camping.  We’re leaving Tuesday, after Teddy gets home from work.  I can hardly wait to go – I need a break – I need to get away – get into the woods – away from the everything – all the assholes – all the stupid parties – everything – everything!

All the disappointments – lately – all the let-downs.  Oh, this weekend will drag like molasses!

***

I woke up with such a pounding headache – another migraine – or maybe it’s just allergies – I feel like cement’s been poured into my head.  Last night, we got fucked over on another job – this happens so often now I almost feel like I’m being hired because guys know I’m reliable & then try to hire another girl & just use me if they can’t get someone else.  It’s like my good reputation is working against me.  Anyway – last night the guy who hired me told me that because I hadn’t gotten there at 10:30 “on the dot” – that guys had left & they couldn’t pay me my full amount – which didn’t make sense of course – & being me I said so – I said, “What, they left & took the money they had paid to get in?  Because the dancer wasn’t here?  Even though they ate & drank?” – He said yes! – Fucking liar!  I couldn’t believe it – smiling & lying to my face like that – I mean, what kind of bimbo do they think I am?   I said, “That’s not how it works & you know it!”  I was pissed.  Teddy stepped in – “Just so there’s no hard feelings, we’ll leave,” but of course that’s what they wanted anyway.  They probably had another girl coming & didn’t want us intersecting.  As I was leaving, someone pressed $40 into my hand & said, “Thanks for showing up anyway.”  At least there’s still a few gentlemen in the world.

***

Busy.  Packing to go camping – we’re leaving tomorrow when Teddy gets out of work – today I’m doing laundry – packing all the clothes – all the non-perishable food – books, games, etc.  When Teddy gets home, we’re going to get wood & then we’ll pack the trailer.  Tomorrow I’ll make tuna-mac salad – Teddy’s favorite – & finish cleaning the house – & do some writing.  When he gets home, he’ll take a quick bath – I’ll have already taken mine – while I load the coolers & pack the last minute items.  I’m dying to go.  On Saturday night, I worked 3 parties – without coke – & it was the first day of my period, too – so I got drunk – & Teddy & I had a giant argument on the way home which continued at home & into the next day – he wasn’t going to go shopping for the trip but I managed to persuade him to anyway – & shopping put him into a better mood – me, I was hungover & just as soon have done it some other time – except there really wasn’t any other time – I had to get sick twice at Wegman’s.  I came out of the stall after puking & this lady was there giving me this look so I said, “I don’t know if I can do nine months of this,” & her expression softened & she said, “Oh you poor dear” – am I bad or what?

Well – I gotta get back to work – lots to do today.

***

Teddy’s gone already – off to an early start – so he can get out of work as early as possible – which won’t be any earlier than 3 p.m.   After we finished loading everything up, we have to run over to Jesse’s house for the half o.z. he dropped off last night – I knew Jesse would come through!  Everything’s fallen into place.  We blew off getting a bottle of Kahlua – as well as a few other things – to save money – we still have Kahlua in the bottle from the last camping trip – I wish I hadn’t hit on it so much these last few weeks!  Oh well – it’s still gonna be a great trip!

***

Sampson State Park, Romulus, N.Y.  Up early!  Turned on the Today Show to get the weather report.  We can only get 2 stations here – both from Elmira-Corning.  That’s ok – we don’t plan to watch much TV here anyway!  We went to bed early – no later than 10:30 – we were beat!  It was really hot & humid last night – by the time we got here – got set up – & ate a couple of hot dogs – we were really tired.  We didn’t even start a campfire.

We’re on site #169 – great numbers – reduces to 7 – & there’s large old oak tree here.  Most sites were filled – we were really bummed out.  But then we found this one – such good vibes here!

The first joint of the day has been smoked – time for walnut meltaway & cups of coffee!

***

A perfect day.  Riding – boating – eating – drinking – smoking – now listening to “Old & In The Way” – throwing the Tarot – I couldn’t leave my cards at home, could I?  I dream all the time about the people in the Tarot – they have become people I know – in my own life & in the life of the Tarot.  I think in terms of the Tarot.

[September]

Cold & stormy.  Raining & windy.  Seneca Lake is dark blue – chopping – filled with appearing & disappearing white-caps.

I keep hearing acorns hitting the roof of the trailer & tumbling off.  & the sound of raindrops.  I love the sound of the rain on the canvas.

I put Don Henley on.  “The Boys of Summer.”  “I can see you, your brown skin shining in the sun – ”   – Who can I see?  Today I’m thinking about Donovan Murphy – “Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac – ” – of course, there’s a Deadhead sticker on our truck – Teddy’s & mine – Teddy, who is sitting right next to me & munching on Cracker Jacks & reading Nashville Babylon.  Every now & again, he’ll tell me some tidbit.  We smoke joints, munch out & read.  Maybe later, we’ll play backgammon – maybe even Yahtzee or Gun Rummy – & most likely take a nap – what else do you do on a rainy day camping?

***

We’re making some burgers.  We forgot to have dinner!  It’s been a gorgeous day – warm, sunny – we had a wonderful time – ended up by fucking – the first time since Labor Day last year – & then sleeping for over 2 hours! – took a long time to wake up, too.  Anyway, we smoke some joints & took a cruise – watched the sun set over Seneca Lake – then made a camp fire – when I realized – “Gee, we never had dinner!”  “No wonder why I’m so hungry,” Teddy said.  We laughed.

***

Another lovely day.  Not so warm as yesterday, perhaps – a bit more windy.  We went for a cruise this morning – stopped & bought a half a dozen donuts.  We just finished breakfast sandwiches– fried eggs with Canadian bacon & melted American cheese & fried onions on a roasted & buttered English muffin– really excellent.  Now we’re inside the camper – Teddy is cleaning roaches.  We’re getting low on everything – weed, money, beers, food.  But that’s alright – we’re going home Tuesday morning anyway.  Needless to say – part of me can’t wait to go – I’m homesick & I miss my kitty-cats so much!

Afternoon.  Just woke up.  Teddy’s still sleeping.  It’s probably the hottest part of the day – right now.  You can hear the drone of the boats on the lake.  I’m drinking a beer – oh – Teddy just woke up.

Evening.  I have been dreaming about Pat – I can’t believe how often.  Someone I was with – once – a long time ago – so long ago it’s almost like we were never together – I’ve changed so much from the girl I was in 1980.   & I may never be with him again – I don’t know what the future holds.  He’s stopped by a few times – but of course just as many times – if not more – he’s here to sell weed or coke to Teddy or Paulie – or to paint the house – he’s painted far more of the house than Paulie has.  I know he wants me – he knows I want him.  He admits he’s playing hard to get.  I admit that I don’t mind.  It’s so tough – having a husband & a lover – too tough.

But it’s really tough having a husband who only makes love to you once a year.

Why do I need this?  I don’t know why but I do.  I’m not so sure that I really want to change, either.  But sometimes change is imposed upon you & there’s no other way – like trying to stop the phases of the moon or the turning of the earth upon its axis.

***

People are pulling up stakes – folding or rolling up sleeping bags – pulling out jacks & going home.  The people across the street were gone by 8 a.m.  The one guy was really attractive – a big guy, a little stooped – must have a bad back – curly hair, mustache – definitely not poster material but there was something about him – he had to be a Taurus – at least a Taurus rising or moon in Taurus – he had those bovine good looks.  A real nice ass, too.

Anyway – we should have this place to ourselves tonight.  We’re almost out of cash – we’re almost out of everything.

Afternoon.  Sitting by the lake on a log that obviously was once driftwood.  It a beautiful day – not a cloud in the sky.  Lots of sails on the lake – windsurfers, catamarans & sailboats – they look so pretty.

I don’t want to leave – but I’m so homesick at the same time.  Always two things going on in me – always conflict.

***

All packed up & ready to go.  Just smoking our past joint.  Teddy’s gonna roll up two roaches while I break the circle I cast last week.  Then a quick pee & we’re off.

We have to stop in Geneva & stop at the bank – at the Bell’s supermarket – & return our bottles – that’s how broke we are.  That’s life.

Night.  Home again.  We got here around 1:30 – Teddy ran downtown to get money from the credit union – then we ordered a pizza.  After we ate, we took a nap – the kitty-cats with us – they really missed us!  It is so nice to be loved the way they love us.  I woke up when Shadows started licking my lips – that rough tongue will wake anyone – oh, I hugged & kissed them a thousand times!  I missed them so much!

I’m real glad to be home.  I’ve already booked a party for Saturday.

Later.  We just got back from an excellent ride on the bike.  We had to go out to Jesse’s for another quarter o.z.  So then we stopped at Imperial Taco & Burrito for a quick bite & at Wilson Farms for some groceries.  It’s a really beautiful night.

Teddy doesn’t have to go back to work until next Tuesday or Wednesday.  We’re going to ride a lot – go on day trips – do the things we’ve wanted to do & never have to time or the money to do – play putt-putt – repot the plants – go to Zoar Valley – etc.  Teddy is still moaning that he wishes that we were still camping but I’m so glad we’re home.

***

3:25 p.m.  We just got back from a cruise to Darien Lake State Park – it was closed – & we were going to go to Evangola State Park but it started to rain so we stopped in at Alton’s for a truly horrible lunch & now we’re home again.  I feel so fatigued.  Lately, it seems all I want to do is sleep.  But I can’t get to sleep or I do sleep but I get woken up too soon, too often – I can’t sleep for more than an hour or two at a time.  It’s really a drag.

I feel mildly depressed – I feel fat & ugly – & I hate my hair.  I guess that’s life.

***

Just finished cleaning the house.  Did some laundry – finished another book on the Tarot – made an old outfit into a new one – what else?  I have been dying to party.  You know – cocaine blues.  Darryl just called – we could go into debt tonight – but oh well – it just can’t be done.  I’ve got three parties tomorrow & one on Sunday – so we’ll get a little bit tomorrow night.  I’m gonna take a bath in a little while & then make dinner.  We’ll take a cruise on the bike tonight – we would’ve gone somewhere today but until about an hour ago, it looked like it was going to pour.  Later on, we’ll stop in at Falco’s.

I guess I’ll go mix myself an afternoon cocktail.

Evening.  I was doing a Tarot reading & the phone rang – I was engrossed with the cards & I let the machine get it – nobody spoke & in the background, I could get the chorus of “The End of the Innocence” – I had been looking at the Strength card & thinking about recovering from addiction & if being with guys like Jesse was an addiction & then the phone rings – does he have emotional radar or what?  Maybe he really does have locks of my hair – maybe he really has me in bondage – but wouldn’t the Devil card be more apropos?

I was wondering why my relationship with Teddy isn’t more rewarding.  The II of Cups card came up & the meaning is “deep love affair or spiritual union” & “relationship with a kindred soul” – & I always think – Who is that person? Who? – Why can’t it be Teddy?  Oh, we’re alike but it’s not like he’s a poet or a musician or artist or something obviously creative.  Maybe that’s why I’ve never really taken the relationship seriously.  I know that sounds terrible & it isn’t easy admitting it.  But it’s got to be true – I love him so very much – but it’s our major difference.  That & sex.  But sex is a creative act – so maybe that’s how it ties in.  I do love Teddy – terribly so – & I don’t want to live without him.  But I want a resolution.  Is it possible?

Another card that came up was the Queen of Swords, in this case reversed –  it was in the position which told of the  “Intellect & working life of the Querent” – which would be me, of course – “A woman lacking in compassion – sharp – jealous – a woman absorbed in patriarchal modes & values – ruthless.”  Am I ruthless?  I guess so.  I go for what I want & I get it.  Usually, anyway.  But I wouldn’t say I lack compassion – I really wouldn’t.  &  – as a stripper – I can’t help being absorbed in patriarchal modes.  After all – the whole marriage scene – the engagement parties, stag parties, showers, the entire wedding production – the rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself, the reception, the honeymoon – it’s all a celebration of patriarchy.  I think I do the best I can to maintain my feminist ideals.  It’s not easy – I admit that.  & I do admit that I’m tough – I’m very tough.  I can be sharp – I can be a primadonna – I can be a bitch.  Sometimes I have to be – they don’t have any respect if I don’t act like that.  They’ll walk all over me if I’m sweet & nice & retiring.  I do admit that I’m bitchy more than I ought to be or even like being.  I could say that I had to become this way because of the business I’m in but not only is this not true but it isn’t even a valid excuse.

“The Heart of the Matter” – the Queen of Cups – another part of me – ya know – I always pick the Queen of Pentacles as my significater – if the spread demands one – cuz I identify with her most closely – the earth & money & creativity.  But I identify with all the Queens – I am all the Queens.  Anyway – the heart of the matter is the Queen of Cups – the Queen of Hearts – which is what Jesse always called me – probably because of that line in “Desperado” – “Don’t you draw the Queen of Diamonds, boy, she’ll beat you if she’s able, The Queen of Hearts is always your best bet” – Anyway – The Queen of Cups is the emotional, romantic, poetic, sentimental, yearning, wanting to be heard part of me – the other side of the Queen of Swords.  I would love to be the Queen of Cups but I have to be the Queen of Swords.  I don’t want to – but I made my choice – I chose Teddy – I chose stripping as a job – as a way to make a living – which means I have to be a Queen of Swords & not a Queen of Cups – & I chose stripping for very practical reasons – Queen of Pentacle reasons – for money – which is really ironic, when you consider than I never have any money – anyway – the Queen of Cups is very strong in me – no matter how many times the Queen of Swords may cut her down, she always grows back.  & because of the choices I’ve made, I’ve had to deny her – sacrifice her – silence her.  & ya know – it just ain’t working.  She wants to be heard – she wants to live – to grow – to thrive.

***

Depressed.  Striving to stay cheerful.  I had three parties last night & two cancelled – we spent all our money on coke – I have a party tonight but $100 goes to Jesse & $50 to Doug – leaving nothing for us – unless I make a lot of money in tips.  Oh, I’ve got to!

The stress of living like this is really getting to me – my stomach aches continually – I just don’t know what to do.  I’m gonna apply at AM&A’s & Berger’s downtown for a part-time position – not that either of those places pay much – but I’ll feel a little better.  I could make lots more as a barmaid but – let’s face it – bars are not good for my health or my marriage.

I’m going nuts.  I feel like I’m being crushed by debt.  I can’t even afford to buy typewriter cartridge.  What kind of writer can I be without a typewriter?

Well – might as well pop a couple of Rolaids & put on my make-up.  Try to stay cheerful – anyway I can.

***

We are starting to talk of moving.  There’s been a “House for Sale” sign in the window downstairs.  I asked Cindy about it & she said Paulie wanted to sell it after he finished painting it.  Paulie has been really pricky to us – overnight he has turned into a total dickhead.  It’s funny how throughout the last 8 years that I’ve known Paulie, I’ve seen him lose every friend he’s ever had, so now it’s my turn.  I know what it is – I refused to have sex with him this month when we were late with the rent.  I just don’t want to do it anymore – I feel like such a whore – I guess it was when Pat started hanging out all the time – painting the house – & Paulie would come up & want to do me & I didn’t want to with Pat right there – that’s when all the problems started.  Hanging out with Pat & talking about AA & Buddhism & women’s spirituality & religion & – I guess I’m getting prudish in my old age but that’s the way it is.  So now Paulie’s being a prick & apparently we’re going to have to move.

I mean – that’s life.  Paulie hasn’t been speaking to us at all.  Today – trying to be friendly – like there wasn’t a problem – I asked him where they wanted to move.  He told me that they were being “forced out.”  “Forced out?”  I asked.  “Why?  How so?”  “Forget it,” he answered & shut the door in my face.  I mean I know what’s going on.  & even without the sex – I mean – being a week late with the rent isn’t going to “force” them “out” of anywhere.  I mean – until recently – both of them – as city employees – had to live within city limits!  That just changed & they can move to the suburbs if they want to!  & I know Cindy wants to – she’s from Williamsville.  Marco is almost school-age & naturally she wants him to go to school in the suburbs.  That’s what I figure they’re going to do!  So what’s this being “forced out” BS?  & what the fuck – they both work & the both make good salaries – it’s not like the rent Teddy & I pay them are going to break their bank account.  What’s the big deal?  Why don’t that sell that car that’s been sitting in the back yard – for the last year?  & what about Paulie’s new motorcycle?  Buy a bike & lose your house?  None of this makes sense.  Could the fact that I’m not giving Paulie his blowjobs be that important?  What’s really going on?

Anyway – who knows & who cares.  I’ve started reading the real estate section of the newspaper.  Actually – it’s kind of exciting!  Moving’s a drag but – maybe this is the change I need!

***

Teddy went back to work this morning – vacation’s over!  It seemed like he was off forever.  I felt like a mother sending her child off to school for the first day – part of me sad to see him go – part of me glad.  Drinking my coffee alone.  Making up a list of chores – mending, straightening up the house, putting the couch back together again – trying to smooth out the sag in the cushion where Teddy always sits – making myself a nice small breakfast – poached egg on toast – not the giant ones Teddy always wants – like steak & eggs or pancakes & sausage or eggs, bacon & home fries.  Oh well!  Time to get busy – I want to get a lot done today.

***

Raining.  Steady rain – it’s been raining all day.  Watching a college football game.  Just ate a piece of apple pie – boy, can I bake ’em or what!

I dreamed I was with Darryl scoring blow last night.  I was picking up an 8-ball to bring home for Teddy.  We were doing the deal in the guy’s bathroom – he was sitting in an empty bathtub as he took care of business.  Darryl cook up a rock as big as my thumb.  I was doing hits off the pipe & worrying that I was taking too long & Teddy would be mad at me.

I’ve got two parties tonight – not until later on.  Might as well take a nap – sleeping’s good on a wet afternoon.  I hope it’s not raining tonight.

***

God – I feel so fatigued – I slept really lousy last night – Missy kept waking me up – stupid dreams – I got up this morning & busted ass cleaning the house – doing laundry – all my costumes – changed the cat box – took the garbage out – stripped & remade the bed – then took a bath & washed my hair.  Now I feel exhausted.  I should get to work on my resume & get it sent into Canisius College but I’m too lazy – plus I really want to go back to UB – I really only want to go back to UB – I don’t know why but it’s like I started out there & I want to finish there.  At least my BA.

I’m gonna sit & read & sip some chicken soup & maybe take a catnap – then maybe I’ll work on it – or maybe I’ll just inventory some books or work on a story or some poems.  I really don’t know what to do – I just feel so worn out.

Afternoon.  I did a Tarot reading & the outcome was the King of Cups & as I was laying it down, the phone rang & it was Jesse again – amazing how that works – I picked it up – he said he went to the doctor & his back is all messed up from pipefitting so many years & he’s got a script for hydrocodone & he’s going to be selling at least half of them.  If case Teddy’s interested.  Or me.  I know that I’m interested but I know I don’t have the money to be spending on pills.

***

Years seem to have passed since last Tuesday.  We’ve been told to get out of our apartment – so we went right out & found a new one – put some money down & sign a lease.  Now I can hardly wait to go.  The place is a lot smaller than this one – we’ll have to store a lot of our furniture – at least until we figure out what to do with it all – sell it or give it away – it’ll be really a hassle moving – eight years in one place – I’ve never lived so long in one place!  We’ve accumulated so many possessions!  I don’t really want to deal with any of this at all.

We stopped in to see Shera – I mentioned that I had was into the Tarot & she said she did readings too – she showed me her Wiccan tools & her altar – I would so love to have an altar like that – but in this new place it’s going to be impossible.  I can’t believe we’re going to live in a place this tiny.  & it’s downstairs too.  I hate living downstairs.

Anyway – Shera & I are supposed to get together on Saturday & make wreathes – I don’t know if it’ll actually happen – but just the fact that we talked about witchy things & she offered to teach me – I feel like life is changing for the better – even as I am so depressed about moving – there is hope

Change, change – happening so fast – after such a long time – it’s hard to believe that I’m moving.  I’ve lived here longer than anywhere I’ve ever lived.

***

I’m so excited.  All I can think about is moving.  In my mind about is moving.  In my head, I’ve already moved in & am unpacking & putting them on the shelves.  It’s gonna be the coziest place.  We’ll have to strip down & essentials – half our furniture will have to be stored or given away – of course we’ll use as much as we can stuff in – & I won’t re-do the collage – at least not right away – it’s falling apart from the effects of gravity – I wish I could keep it together somehow.  I plan to only hang the framed pictures – my personal artwork will be stored.  I won’t need to use my knick-knack shelf as a spice rack anymore, so that will be stored too.  Just about everything is being stored – everything except the books & I have no idea how I’m going to fit them all in.  I can hardly wait to set up the kitchen – the fridge is modern & huge – there’s a large freezer & real hydraters & it’s frost-free – I won’t have to defrost it every month anymore – the only fly in the ointment is that the stove’s electric – but I’ll learn to deal with that.

Oh – I just looked out the window & the sunset’s absolutely killer!  Soft blue & pink & grey & purple & orange – bands of colored clouds shifting hues & positions.

***

Urgh – out of weed.  But in a good mood.  Teddy found a place to store the trailer for only $20 & it’s nearby.  On Sunday, we’re putting the bike away.  It seems like we just brought it out of storage.  But we want to put it away before we go on vacation – we don’t want it unattended while we’re gone – you just never know – Paulie’s such a flake.  The arguments downstairs are never-ending – I woke up this morning to the sound of angry voices & accusations.  Oh well – soon we’ll be out of here.

I read & wrote poetry all day – worked hard on “The King of Cups” – just like my love affair with Jesse – it is getting out of hand – it’s over two pages long!  But it reads well & sounds good.  I’ll set it aside for a few months & then go back to it & probably edit out half of it!  That’s the way it works!  I read every single one of my poems last night – I don’t know about anyone else – but I sure do like what I write – I think it’s pretty damn good!

***

Urgh!  Really frustrated.  No weed – still – got taken advantage of by Darryl – again! – I’m so tired of this!  Here it is – after dinner – & no after-dinner joint – I have a quart of Blue in the fridge but what the fuck – I wanna get high – not drunk!

Other than that – today was OK.  I went over to UB to read.  I had only finished one book when the fire alarm went off & everyone had to evacuate the building.  I decided to go over the UGL & read some more.  On the way over, I ran into a guy – not a student – he was wearing a tie & jacket & was carrying a brief case – he said he worked for Harper & Row.  “Oh yeah?”  I said.  “I’m a writer.”  “Oh yeah?”  he replied.  “May I buy you lunch?”  We went to Norton Union & got pizza & apples.  We talked – he’s 41 – married – no kids – lives in Rochester – deals mostly in textbooks – but he has friends who deals in novels & poetry.  He seemed really interested in my novel – but of course he was really interested in me.  We’re supposed to get together on Tuesday so I can show him some of my work – I wonder what else he would like to see?  I guess I don’t wonder – he was certainly horny enough.  I don’t give a damn about that – I just want to get published.

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 36

[Spring, 1989]

[April]

I’m the only one awake.  Teddy’s been asleep since 4 p.m.  I feel asleep for maybe 15 minutes – I was watching a really good movie – “Manhattan Melodrama” with Clark Gable, William Powell & Myrna Loy – my eyes were closing but I couldn’t sleep – the movie was so good.  I’ve smoked a couple of joints & blown the smoke in Teddy’s face but he won’t wake up.  I’m amazed I’m not sleeping.  I barely slept all weekend – we were up all night both Friday & Saturday – I’ve had maybe 2 hours sleep since Thursday.  Oh well – I can sleep all day tomorrow – Teddy has to go to work.  When he wakes up, I’m gonna make an omlette – ham, capicola, onion & cheese.

I forgot to mention that Felix stopped by last week – well last week being as traumatic as it was, it’s no wonder that I forgot – anyway he’s the new Sunday d.j. on WYRK.  Naturally we forgot to listen today!  Oh well – I’ll try to remember next week.  Sunday’s are so burned out anyway – it’s hard to do anything smoke joints, munch out, read the paper & snooze.

The hockey game is starting.  Maybe the broadcast will wake Teddy.  I hope so – I’m hungry!

***

Coffee & joints.  Grateful Dead playing downstairs.  Pouring rain outside – it’s supposed to rain all week.  I’ve got a cold – by-product of this past weekend’s partying, no doubt.  I’m on the couch, under layers of blankets.  The kitty-cats are playing.  They are so sweet.  They were fixed last week.  Shadow’s big balls are gone!  I loved his balls!  Oh well.  It’s better this way.  They had to stay overnight at the vet’s.  I was a wreck the whole time they were gone.  Well, I was a wreck all last week anyway.  I feel much better this week – even with this cold!  Although I’ve already gone back on my resolve – yesterday there were two songs on the answering machine when I got up at 11 a.m.  After Teddy called at 11:30, I called Jesse – our conversation was nothing like usual – I was in such a good mood – we talked like friends – not lovers – & it was a whole lot nicer – certainly more comfortable.

***

Working really hard.  Threw out half the poems in the fifth section – wrote 3 new ones – at least first drafts – this afternoon.  Still recovering from the weekend.  Never feel really awake – just floating from room to room – not really here – the words of my poems running through my head – the emotions through my heart – it is not an easy process – resurrecting feelings long ago aborted.

***

Well, you’d never know it was April – it’s cold, windy, snowy.  The electric heater in the bedroom broke so we’re camping out in the living room.  It was another wild weekend – I slept until noon today.  I’m watching a Humphrey Bogart-Dead End Kids movie.  I’m tired – so tired.  Just sitting & reading & watching TV.  Teddy will be home soon.

3 p.m.  I was laying out tarot cards for a reading & the phone rang – I let it go to the machine since I was doing a reading – a song came on, “Seesaw” by Talas – “I build you up, you bring me down again, it happens every day” – I looked at the King of Cups which was in the “what covers” position & I said out loud, “Well, if that’s how you feel, then fuck you!”  Ya know, I can only take so much of this silliness.  I feel like calling back & saying, “If you think this relationship is a seesaw, then get the hell off!”  But why call?  Why let myself in for more hassle & upset?  Silence is the best weapon.

***

Woke up depressed.  I had too many dreams – one in which my knees ached so badly I couldn’t walk upright & Tish had to help me along.  Later – I was at UB & I ran into Mark Miles & Jon Kudzma – we all sat in the cafeteria & talked – I can’t remember about what – then I was with Jon – I was dressing up in my red lace corset, garter belt, stocking, etc. & we were laughing & going to make love – but then I was waking up & teddy was bitching at me because he couldn’t tune in WHTT – made at me because I had tuned in another station yesterday – why didn’t he check it last night?  Oh well – I look out the garbage, ate breakfast & then I put my night shirt back on & went back to bed.  Or rather – went back to the sleeping bags on the living room floor.  It’s still cold – my office is freezing – I don’t get any work done in there today.  I’m just gonna lay out here & doze & read & write some poems.  I’m working on one about Nabby Adams – the daughter of John & Abigail Adams.

The worst thing of all – we’ve been out of joints since Friday – we know where there’s weed but we have no money – there’s another thing – I’m sick of making thousands of dollars on the weekends but having nothing left by mid-week.  Knowing that on Thursday, we’ll be rolling in dough again but that doesn’t help us now.  Life sucks!

Noon.  I feel better after a two-hour nap.  I’m gonna bake some cookies after I watch the credits on the noon movies.  It’s a Gene Kelly musical.  I’ve never been a big Gene Kelly fan.  I prefer Fred Astaire.

Do some laundry – bake some cookies – read some more.  I also have to go through the newspapers – I’m behind – days & days.  This movie is already so corny I don’t think I can stand it!  My stomach’s growling – lunchtime!

***

I’m watching a really good movie – corny but good – “Montana Moon” – 1930 – with Joan Crawford.  Yesterday afternoon, I saw “Blonde Crazy” – 1931 – with James Cagney & Joan Blondell – that was really good.  I love to see the clothes, the cars, the appliances, the furniture – the culture that existed in America at that time.  I’m learning so much!  I know that sounds crazy – learning culture from movies – & sitcoms – & I suppose, soaps, too – but they teach courses like this in colleges – I saw it on “60 Minutes” – so I can’t be very far off-base.  I guess I miss out on the discussion part of a college course – the give & take of ideas & attitudes.  But sometimes I really do feel that I’m leaning – & have been learning – as much, if not more – if I had been in school.  But I so long to be in school.  I really hate that I’m not there – I feel like I’m wasting my time.  I do the best I can in my limited way.

A song just came over the answering machine – “Eye in the Sky” – who the hell does he think he is – telling me that he can read my mind?  Of course if he interprets my silence as what it is – that I want to end the relationship – & I suppose he will since he’s no fool – then I guess the song’s correct – if insulting.  I’m not replying – at least not right now.  I’m sleeping – sleeping – or something or another.

A minute later.  Oh brother!  “I Will Always Love You” is playing over the machine!  How corny can you get!  I should send “You’re No Good” back.  God – he’s playing the entire song.  You really have to wonder.  Is this goodbye?  Somehow, I doubt it.

Evening.  Teddy’s out cold next to me.  He went to the dentist for a root canal today – he got sick in the chair from the gas & from the way the dentist was pressing on his tongue.  They couldn’t finish the job.  He has a giant hole in his tooth now – it’ll be there until he goes back May 10.  What a drag!

***

Coffee & joints.  Instant oatmeal for breakfast – I would’ve had a poached egg on toast but the bread was moldy – I couldn’t make biscuits cuz we’re out of milk – boohoo!

It’s warming up but still unseasonably cold.  We’re still sleeping in the living room – not out of necessity – it’s not that cold – but because it’s fun!

I’m gonna throw in a load of wash before the movie starts.  It’s another Joan Crawford one.

Later.  It’s a quiet afternoon – the cats are asleep – after a morning of wild chases & ambushes – I’m in the kitchen – reading through old poetry pages & selecting the best ones to cut out & put into my poetry notebook.  I’m eating a bowl of ramen noodles.  After lunch – more poetry & then a biography of Marie Antoinette.  Work on a poem until Teddy gets home.  Today I work a party downtown – I should probably take a nap!

***

Oh fuss & bother.  Teddy’s getting out of work at 1 p.m. – he’s gonna take a quick bath & then off to Lackawanna to do a deal & help Darryl move.  I guess his furniture – stove, fridge, sofa-bed & dresser with no drawers – has been in the yard since Tuesday.  I have to have my bath out of the way before Teddy gets home & suppose my hair done too cuz Lord knows how long everything will take – our first job is in Lockport at 5 p.m.  I was against getting anything before the job – I thought, let’s do it straight & then score afterward – the next job isn’t until 8 & the last one at 11 p.m.  Really, what a lousy schedule – they’re too far apart.  I hate large gaps between jobs.  It’s as bad as having them booked too close together.

I haven’t received any more songs on the answering machine, so I guess that’s that.

***

My head aches – I’m deliriously tired.  I honestly don’t know where to begin – I guess at the beginning – it just seems like years ago.

Yesterday afternoon, we went down to Lackawanna & picked up Darryl. Teddy handed him the money & the scale & they drove off together, leaving me with his brother Tony – “Twizzo” – at Tony’s apartment.  A little while later, Teddy came back – alone.  “Darryl said he’d do it & return,” he said.  I didn’t like the sounds of that.  We waited & waited & waited but Darryl never came back.  Finally – we had to leave so we could get to the 5 p.m. party on time.  At home, I called the party to say we’d be late but there was no party!  Naturally that was upsetting – we were upset enough already!  & I was pissed at Teddy for leaving Darryl as it was – leaving the money with him & the scale.  I mean, it’s not the first time!  I made a quick dinner & then we went back down to Lackawanna to look for Darryl – who was nowhere to be seen or found – of course.  We enlisted the help of his brothers – Julius, Tony & Rome.  But of course we came up with nothing – & it wasn’t like we had any more money to do another deal – Teddy had given Darryl everything we had.  Teddy said we’d be back at 9 to do another deal.  On the way home, he said, “We only have two jobs for tomorrow night, we’re really hurting for money.”  I answered, “Then why are we going to do another deal?  Let’s hold onto our money.”  He argued, “Well, what about the eleven o’clock party?”  I reasoned, “It’ll be tough but not impossible.”  I mean, I’m the one who’s dancing, after all.  That remark – plus a few others – really set him off.  He refused to work anymore parties – ever again.

Now – I don’t mind giving up the business – I’ve been sick of it for a while now – plus with all the coke we do, it’s not like I’m making any money anyway – & I’m sick of doing coke – I really am – as much as I love to party – & I’d do a line right now but I’m so fucking sick of it – but I don’t want to quit the business cold turkey.  We have no money!  We have to work!

Anyway, I put on my coat & hat & went over to Doug & Danielle’s.  That got him really mad!  He called Danielle & told me not to come home.  Five minutes later, he called again & wanted to know where I was.  “But you told me not to come home,” I replied.  He hung up on me.  When I finally got home, he had rigged the lock so I couldn’t get in.

But when I rang Paulie & Cindy’s bell, he let me in.  He probably didn’t want any problems with Paulie – who would take my side in any case.

It was a quiet night.  He would smoke joints with me but not talk to me.  Sooner or later we went to bed but no hugging or cuddling.  He stayed on his side of the bed with his back turned to me.  In the morning, the argument continued.  “I hope you know,” he informed me, “that we are really hurting financially & it’s all your fault.”

“I’m not the one who refuses to work,” I replied.  There was more said – what’s the use of going into it – he thinks he’s right & you can’t argue with Teddy – he just shouts you down anyway.  After he left, I broke down – I sobbed like I haven’t cried in ages.  I called Danielle & brought her up to date & then I called Tish.  I talked to her for quite a while & then I talked to Rocco – he’s staying with her.  I also talked to Paulie – naturally they heard the entire argument downstairs – it’s impossible to keep anything quiet in this house – & Paulie gave me a joint & a beer.  I saved the joint for when Teddy came home.  He still wasn’t talking to me & not being any too nice but I was striving my utmost to stay calm.  Around 12:30, Darryl called.  “Don’t worry, I have you covered, I’ll call you back in 30 or 40 minutes.”  Teddy’s attitude totally changed after that.  Of course!  He made breakfast & we smoked our last joint & took a nap – his arms around me.

Of course Darryl hasn’t called back yet.  Teddy’s still sleeping – the kitty-cats with him – I didn’t sleep.  I went down cellar & got another beer from Paulie.  I’m gonna do another codeine & mellow out – I have no idea what’s next – what to expect – or even what to do.  All I know is that I’m broke – out of food – out of work – but I’m resolved to make a change.  It won’t be easy – I’ve tried the easy way & it doesn’t work – now my only tools are strength & prayer – & believe me, I haven’t stopped praying for the strength to get me – & Teddy – out of this rut & into a better scene.  I will do it!  I will!

***

Well – we worked Saturday night.  When Darryl called back, he told Teddy he needed $75 to get anything.  Teddy said, “I don’t think I can get any more money.”  I was exploding with rage.  Teddy hung up with Darryl & started dialing another number.  “Who are you calling?” I demanded.  “Robbie Reagan,” replied Teddy.  “Why?” I wanted to know.  “Gee whiz, Teddy, we’ve already given Darryl $150 – !”

“I just want a little to work tonight,” he answered.

It was the same argument all over again.  “We don’t need it to work!”  I was so angry I couldn’t believe it.  “If I can do without, so can you!  I mean, I’m the one who’s dancing!”

“But I want to have fun!”  I wanted to smack him – he sounded like a whiny little brat.

I took a deep breath & prayed for patience.  “Teddy, I admit it’s fun to party.  But we can’t afford it!  & doing stags ought to be fun without coke!”

Well – I won that battle – we worked – without any coke – & we had a good time – although the physical pain of dancing – my back, my knees, my ankles – was almost unendurable.  But at the end of the night, we had all our money – we didn’t have to run back out to Lackawanna to pay off Darryl & then subsequently stay all night partying.  We went home & ordered a pizza.  & what a great pizza!  Mushrooms & onions & black olives on my half & pepperoni & sausage & ham on Teddy’s half – extra cheese on the whole thing.  We watched Saturday Night Live & then the Twilight Zone & then we went to bed.  On Sunday we woke up – feeling good for once – at the incredibly early hour of 9 a.m.!  We went out & got donuts.  We went out & got weed.  We went out & shopped at Wegman’s.

Not that the day was completely smooth.  We continued talking & discussing the situation – Teddy still refuses to concede that we have a problem – or that he has a problem – or that a complete break is needed.  There were times I was crying behind my sunglasses.  Late in the day – though – he gave in – kind of – he agreed to work next weekend without any coke – he said, “I just figured out that if we don’t do any coke next weekend, we’ll be just about out of the hole.”  Like, DUH!  “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!”  I almost shouted.  “So we agree?  We don’t buy any coke until we’re out of the hole – our debts are paid – we calm down – ” “Agreed.”  We shook hands.

Naturally, this is only a start.  I still plan to look for a new career – a new way of making money.  I still plan on cutting back on stags – so that by the end of the summer I can retire.  But I’m gonna take things slowly.  Like they say in AA – one day at a time.

Oh, what a tiring weekend!  I feel so worn out!  But it’s a warm sunny day – the birds are chirping – the kitty-cats prancing around – I’m gonna clean up the house this morning – then take a bath – then write all afternoon.  Probably I’ll take a nap somewhere in there too – a lovely little catnap with my lovely little kitties.

Afternoon.  I’m watching “Little Nelly Kelly”.  I’ve never seen it before.  It’s corny but good.

It’s a nice day – cloudy but warm.  I have the front door & the windows open – the air smells so good.

I feel fat & ugly.

I feel like the weather – warm with periods of sunshine but mostly cloudy & threatening rain.

***

I’m in a wonderful mood – a really good mood – even though we fell off the wagon last night – Curtis stopped by – oh well – enough said on that.  I felt really guilty & reproachful last night but I can’t wallow in those feelings – just sigh & try harder next time.  Besides – it’s not like it cost us anything – & it’s the money issue that really gets to me – as well as my – & Teddy’s – sanity.  I also want to stop dealing with Darryl & that whole Lackawanna scene – it was so nice sitting in our comfy living room – doing a few lines – smoking a joint – playing cards – no paranoia – not sitting in some drug house – in the near-dark – people banging on the door – people wild-eyed, waiting for their next hit – no, I don’t need any more of that!

I’m just gonna take a quick look at the morning movie & then write – I thought of a new way to make the book work – but I’ve got a lot of writing to do – at least I feel like it – the book’s had me so frustrated.  I just had to leave it alone for a while.  But today I attack anew!

First – breakfast.  Second – go through the newspapers.  Third – straighten up my office.  Fourth – rewrite “The Rainbow”.  Oh, to be productive!

Evening.  I found $18 in my typewriter today.  So that’s where I put it!  I looked all over but never thought there.  Well you never know, huh?  So we went out & picked up the new photos.  Most of the pictures were of the kitty-cats – of course.  Our babies are so photogenic!  Oh, they’re so beautiful!  There’s one picture of Shadow in the bathtub – what a doll!  A somewhat blurry one of Missy looking at herself in the TV – Shadow & Missy playing in the chair – sitting on the cushions – walking into the dining room – oh, they’re so adorable, so lovable, so wonderful – we love our kitty-cats so much – there are no cats anywhere that are loved more than our cats.

***

I broke down & called Jesse.  I left the beginning verse of “It Makes No Difference” by the Band.  I dreamed about him last night – he was sitting at the bar at Falco’s & I was arguing with Morton Downey Jr.   I ended up telling him to fuck off.  That’s the second time I’ve dreamed about arguing with that asshole.  I wonder if I was really arguing with Jesse – or with someone else.  Or if the dream is literal.

Anyway, I wonder if he’ll call back.  I wonder if he’s even at home – oh, there’s the phone.  Nothing!  Someone hung up.  Could be Jesse – he’s like that.

I’ve got lots to do today – I’ve already done the housework – I’m gonna write all morning – then walk – I’ve got to buy Ginny P. a belated birthday card & I thought I’d mosey up Bailey Ave & check out the shops.  Maybe stop in at Falco’s – & say hi to Anthony.

***

I’m watching a Virginia Mayo movie – it’s kinda dumb but ok – a typical Warner Brothers picture – Virginia Mayo played such hard-boiled characters – I feel a murder coming up – someone’s getting framed.

I went out yesterday – walked up Bailey Ave & stopped in at Falco’s & had a few beers – I was about to leave when Rolf Johnson came in – Wayne Johnson’s younger brother – half-brother – I hadn’t seen Rolf in a long time – I thought he looked terrible.  He has that heavy drinker look – puffy around the face & jowls – he told me he had been in a car accident last Saturday morning – totaled a $16,000 car – a dealer car – his sells cars at Honda Village – anyway, I stayed for another beer – & another – & a shot with Rolf – then I realized what time it was – Rolf offered to give me a ride home – but first we had to do a shot for the road – & then we had to drive around the block a dozen times – smoking a giant joint – Jeff gave me a few Xanax & I took one & pocketed the rest – he’s a nice guy but really fucked up.  He wanted a blowjob & I was like, here?  In the car?  Are you crazy?  & yeah, he’s crazy like that.  Naturally by the time I got home, Teddy was really pissed off – we got in a huge argument & he knocked me down – he hit me again when I was trying to get up.  I stayed down – the Xanax was kicking in & with the shots & the beers I was too tired to fight anymore anyway.

Later on, Teddy was really sorry & really repentant – “There’s no excuse for me to get physical like that,” but in a way I don’t blame him – I can argue like a motherfucker when I’m drunk – I’m absolutely fearless – & besides it’s contact – not sexual but physical contact & that’s better than nothing – it’s sick but true – & I have so little sexual contact with Teddy – none!  & it’s not the first time he’s hit me – but usually he just yells at me.  Either way – things have got to change – got to change – got to change!  Oh – but change is so slow & I want results now!  Oh well – just gotta try harder.

Evening.  It’s so quiet.  No TV, radio – nobody’s home downstairs – the kitty-cats are fast asleep.  I just got out of the tub.  I tried taking a nap but the phone kept waking me so I gave up.  I frosted the cake I’d baked for Teddy – yellow cake with chocolate frosting – & then sliced some cucumbers & tomatoes for a salad.  I haven’t eaten them – I salted then & put them in the fridge to chill.  With a touch of vinegar, they’ll be real tasty – whenever I do decide to eat them.

I should clean out the tub & run Teddy’s bath for him.  He’s working late today – he’s painting – but he’ll be home soon.

***

Quiet.  Teddy stayed home from work today – he’s sleeping now – he’s been sleeping most of today.  I’ve been sleeping off & on – you know how hard it is for me to sleep during the day.  I just took my last 222 – so hopefully I’ll be able to doze off soon – I have two parties tonight.  I know we shouldn’t have partied last night but what can you do?  We have made some compromises – we’re not quitting coke – I never thought we would – honestly, I didn’t – but we’re not dealing with Darryl anymore & if we can’t find any to do our Saturday night parties, then we don’t do it & we have a good time without it.

Another reason I’m having trouble sleeping is that my ankle is killing me – it’s bruised & twice its normal size – it feels hot & it’s throbbing.  At first it was only bothering me if I accidentally touched it or turned over on it while sleeping but now the pain is constant.  I hope is just a bad bruise.  I have to dance all the parties I’ve booked this weekend because the money’s so badly needed.  So I really suppose I should get some rest.

***

Another unseasonably cold day.  Regardless of the cold, today is the day Teddy’s pulling the bike out of storage & driving it to Cal’s – where it’s gonna get tuned up, the oil changed, braked checked, air shocked fixed, windshield put on, etc.  He’s doing that now.  Robbie Reagan is with him.  I decided to stay home so I could do a few things & I’m glad I did – I just got my period.

***

I’ve got my period.  I feel – yicky.  Tired – achy.  I slept all morning.  I’m gonna smoke a joint & then take a bath & do my hair.

It’s a cloudy day – a bit warmer.  It was sunny but chilly all weekend.  They’re predicting warmer weather by the end of the week – we’ll see.  We’re going out to dinner Thursday night with Doug & Danielle & if it doesn’t warm up, I won’t be able to wear what I want.

I forgot to tell you Friday that 2 songs were on the answering machine.  I couldn’t reply because Teddy was home.  Today I sent the beginning of “Tequila Sunrise” – but I haven’t gotten any answer.

Also – Doug took a trailer to Sherkston the other day & our section is totally changed – it’s all seasonal now.  then only places you can camp are behind the store & on Wyldwood Beach.  So – no more Sherkston.  Well – it’s been a long time coming.  Teddy’s heartbroken, of course – he’s been camping there since he was a kid.  But in a way, I’m glad.  Now we can go to other places – see other things.  I’d love to go to the Thousand Islands.  Or the Finger Lakes.  Or somewhere up in the Adirondacks.  Or New England!  The possibilities are endless.  & did I tell you we want to go to California around Labor Day?  I can hardly wait!  See – things are looking up.  I’m even having fun dancing again – I think it’s because I know I’m retiring soon.  So many things to look forward to – so many things that used to seem so far away.

***

A beautiful spring day.  Sunny – warm – I cleaned the house – put some of the screens down – did 4 loads of wash – the street has been alive with people.  I’m so glad – it’s been winter forever.

Teddy knows that Jesse’s the one leaving tunes on the answering machine.  Usually I delete them before he hears them but when he was home Friday, he heard the two tunes & he wanted to know who would do anything like that – & he’s heard them other times, too.  So I told him.  He gave me the third degree about whether or not I was seeing him – which of course I denied within an inch of my life.  I would have admitted seeing him – if I had to – but I would have said I was getting painkillers off him – which is true, anyway.  I would have told Teddy that I get pills off of Paulie & Rolf Johnson & anyone else I can.  I’m so tired of being in pain all the time.  I’ve seen Rolf several times this week – he’s at Falco’s every time I’m there.  & with the nice weather, I’ve been stopping in almost every afternoon.  I know he wants me.  & why not?

Anyway – I told Teddy that I didn’t really know why Jesse was putting songs on our answering machine – honestly, how could I? – I really don’t know what Jesse is thinking.  One day he started putting songs on the answering machine!  But they brighten my day & I said that I thought that was probably the only reason why he was doing it – it wasn’t anything more than that.  They’re usually just snippets anyway.  & ya know – I really don’t care.  I’ve stopped caring what Teddy thinks.  I’m a good wife.  I’m make lots of money & hand over every penny to him.  I’m a good housewife.  I’m a good cook.  I’m a good mother to the kitties.  I’ve stopped complaining about the lack of sex – & it’s not like we have sex anyway.  I’m loyal to him in every other way – I don’t see why I have to be celibate just because he wants to be.

***

[May]

Feeling better – finally.  I was sick for days – we fell off the wagon – went down to Darryl’s new place – got into smoking & I got really sick – I started throwing up & couldn’t stop – I wanted to leave but Teddy wouldn’t – he kept hitting the pipe – he didn’t care that I was sick – I couldn’t believe it – it was a nightmare.  Finally home & it has taken me days to feel like a whole person again – plus it’s been raining for days & my knees & my back have been aching beyond belief – but today I feel better – at least I’m happier – in a good mood – it’s May & it’s warm – although raining for the last few days – but I don’t care, I love spring rain – everything is so green – the red blossoms are falling off the trees & little green leaves are appearing – the new flowers are blooming – forsynthia, tulips, daffodils, crocuses, narcissus – it’s so beautiful – it took so long to spring to get here – it’s hard to believe that it’s really here!  Still – I suppose it could still snow!  Oh well – I guess we’ll wait & see what happens!

***

Eating a hot dog & watching “Murder She Wrote”.  Had an absolutely exhausting weekend.  My knees have gotten so bad that dancing is agony.  I’m so tired of being in pain – so tired.  It really wears you down – emotionally as well as physically.  I don’t know how much more I can take – if I can make it to the end of summer.  It’s such a drag – it really takes the fun out of dancing.

Tomorrow I’m going downtown to the library & get a book about resume writing.  I’ve been marking job possibilities in the paper.  The phone rings endlessly – message after message of jobs – upcoming stages – guys who’ve seen me before & want me again – want me to dance at their stag – & I just can’t do it anymore – the pain is killing me.

***

I’m watching “Murder She Wrote”.  It’s a lovely warm evening – getting cloudy but still lovely.  It got up to 69 today!  It was great!  I went downtown to the library – got some books out on job hunting, resume writing & re-entering the job market – really!  Then caught a bus over to the West Side & met Jesse at one of his places.  He just evicted the tenants & it was a mess.  I was wearing my old pink paisley ruffled skirt & a denim shirt & a white ruffled petticoat underneath – white lace garter-belt & white lace stocking & my white suede cowboy boots.  & musk oil – I felt very sensuous & sensual & he knew it – very warm, full, womanly – I love making love in the sunshine –

Afterward, he gave me a ride over to Falco’s & I walked home after a few beers.  A perfect day.

***

I’m really sick.  Teddy’s come down with it too – he went to work but he’ll just do the bare minimum & come home.  I was supposed to go out today but that’s now off – I couldn’t have left the house anyway – I’m so sick.  The weather doesn’t help at all – cold, rainy, damp.  Tuesday was the only nice day we’ve had all week – the only nice day in eons – no wonder we’re all sick – with this dampness – oh, where the hell is spring?

Night.  Jesse’s supposed to call – we’ve been waiting since 5:30 – he’s picking something up – but obviously something’s gone wrong.

I’m feeling much better – Teddy’s 24 hours behind me – I was just working in my office – we’ll just smoke a few & munch a little & eventually fall asleep.  We slept all afternoon.  I got up & took a bath & washed my hair around 4 p.m.  I made slopping joes & fries for dinner.

The phone just rang – it’s Jesse – nothing’s happening – I guess I’ll throw the Tarot around a little – then read – I have way too many library books to read – plus today I received a birthday present from Anna – a book called Amy’s Eyes – it looks really good.  Plus I have to started reading drama & books about play-writing – I thought – what if the story about The Canteen & the dancers is told in a play/musical format?  I think it would work.  I’ve been thinking about it all day.

***

Yesterday was the worst day of my life.  Everything went wrong – I started our defrosting the fridge.  I looked underneath the sink to get a sponge & discovered the drain has a major leak – has been leaking for a while – it was a mess – 2 inches of sludge & mold – which of course I had to clean up – then I when I was returning the cooler – I put the food from the fridge into the cooler when it’s defrosting – I accidentally knocked the watering cans off the landing & down the back stairs so there was water everywhere – I had I clean that up – then I was going to wash the kitchen floor – I removed the tablet & chairs – then swept – then scrubbed the cupboards & walls & woodwork & while washing the window, I accidentally knocked the piece of dowling holding the window up – or maybe it just broke – anyway – the window crashed down on my right hand – the middle finger & my ring finger – they must’ve heard me screaming all the way downtown – I can barely hold a pen today.  My middle finger is 3 times its normal size & completely black.  I did manage to mop the floor – after a while!  Danielle came over with a joint & told me to keep ice on my fingers.  I did – off & on – all night.  Today Teddy told me to do nothing – I still have a bad cold – or maybe it’s allergies – or maybe pneumonia – who knows – who cares.  I was supposed to meet Jesse today but I had to blow him off – he’s pissed but I could care less.  It’s going up to 75 today!  All sun – no clouds!  I’m going to put on my bikini & lay in the sun!

***

A breezy overcast day.  Already hot.  I picked up quite a bit of color yesterday – I was only out 45 minutes.  I have the lawn furniture on the porch – a little outdoor living room.  The kitty-cats have trouble with the concept of a porch – open air bothers them – also the noise of the traffic.  Shadow – of course – is more adventurous than Missy.  But they’re both scaredy-cats.  I’m sitting out here right now.  Shadow’s in the window – meowing – he wants me to come in.

Last night was so much fun.  Instead of going out to dinner – which is what we usually do to celebrate a birthday – we went to the baseball game!  It was so much fun!  We ate a ton of food – roast beef on weck – shrimp cocktail – hotdogs – popcorn – ice cream – peanuts – & of course, beer!  It was so much fun.  It was a near sell-out & the Buffalo Bisons won.  We took the train down & back.  It was a lovely evening – no cooler than 67.

I’m inside now – watching a movie called “The Arnelo Affair”.  It’s about a woman married to a lawyer who’s too busy to pay attention to her & she gets into an affair with a handsome nightclub owner – there’s a murder in here somewhere – it just hasn’t happened yet – but it will.

Later.  The mail just came – birthday cards & gift certificates!  I have a nice shopping trip coming up!

But I feel so melancholy – maybe because I woke up with a headache – allergy season – or maybe because “Take It To The Limit” was on the answering machine this morning – my emotions are all messed up – he messes me up!

***

Tired.  Still recovering from the weekend.  It looks like it could rain any second.  I’m lying on the couch – coughing.  I’m still so congested – my allergies are really bad this year.  Teddy says it gets worse every year.  I should see a doctor.  I feel so wiped out.  I live on Contacs, Sudafed, Tylenols & Motrin.  I’m always drowsy but I can’t sleep.  I have lots to do to get ready to go camping but I just gonna lie on the couch & read a while.

Afternoon.  The phone just rang – on the machine, I heard a song – very hard to heard – a lot of static – some high voice – Joan Baez or Judy Collins – “Call me” – I couldn’t make out the rest.

See?  I told you he’d call again.  I told you he’d be back.  Big deal.  I erased the message & went back to my typewriter.

***

I’m beat.  I sewed all day – that is – until 2 p.m. – when I realized I couldn’t anymore.  Anyway – by the time I put everything put away & cleaned up, Teddy was home & it was time to go – to get wood – to fill the truck with gas – to go to Wegman’s – then home, where I started the laundry – I had to buy detergent at Wegman’s – & made tuna-mac salad & hamburger patties.  I’ve been packing – I have a few things left to do – including folding the laundry.  I won’t see bed before 10 p.m. – we want to be up bright & early tomorrow cuz there’s still a lot to do.  That’s why I don’t care if I finish tonight – I can finish the packing while Teddy’s de-winterizing the trailer.

***

On our way.  Almost.  Stopped at Falco’s to buy ice.  Now we’re starting –working our way up Bailey Ave to the Expressway.

Afternoon.  Stoneybrook State Park.  Well we’re here.  Teddy’s in the office.  Doug & Danielle will get here tomorrow.  We stopped in Batavia for a quick bite but what really took so long was getting stuck behind one slow driver after another.  Still & all – it doesn’t matter – it was really a nice ride.

***

We’ve been up since 7:30 a.m.  Last night we drank White Russians & went to bed around 10 p.m.  It rained – poured all night.  It’s supposed to stay cloudy & cool but no more rain.  It’s really nice.  We’ve smoke several joints & took two walks this morning.  We also ate the pecan coffee-cake & drank coffee.  Now Teddy’s cooking pork sausage patties on the grill outside & I’m cooking home-fries inside.  It’s so quiet.  I forgot the adapter for the stereo so we have no tunes this weekend but big deal – just listening to the leaves rustling & the creek & the birds – we can’t help thinking about Shadow & Missy – do they think we’re gone for good?  I really miss them.

Afternoon.  Just woke up from a short nap – Teddy’s mouth is really bothering him – he had a root canal the other day – so he’s still laying down.  It’s much warmer than before.  Blue sky & puffy white clouds & intermittent sunshine & a gentle breeze.  I’m sitting outside in my rocker.  I have my period but I’m feeling alright – I felt worse yesterday.

There’s a family a few sites down from us – they arrived last night – Dad’s probably working today – Mom, an older brother named Noah, younger brother & a little sister who’s a doll – blonde curls – just learning to talk – still cutting teeth by the way she cries – they seem very friendly & wave to me as they walk by.  There are plenty more family units around here.  It’s really nice.  A little girl on a bike just waved at me.

***

Doug & Danielle didn’t show up until 9:30 last night.  I guess they had one problem after another.

It’s cooler & cloudier today.  It rained early this morning then cleared up – it was quite sunny there for a while – now the sky is totally clouded over & looks like it could pour any second.  But it’s still really nice – I’d rather be here than anywhere else.

We just finished breakfast – bacon, a cheese omelette, toast & pecan kuchen for dessert.  Tonight’s dinner is steaks & potatoes o’brien.  Last night we had barbequed ribs & tuna-mac salad – killer!

***

A totally excellent day.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Hot sun – cool – maybe even cold – breeze – I’ve been changing clothes all day.  Right now I’m wearing red sweat pants & a read V-neck sweater with three-quarter’s length sleeves.  & flip-flops – although my feet are beginning to get cold.  We haven’t really done a thing all day except eat, drink & read.

***

Just finished packing & cleaning up – the trailer’s ready to collapse – Doug’s gonna help Teddy with that – since Teddy always bitches at me when I help him & Doug & Danielle are sick of hearing it.  Of course, today is the loveliest day yet – hot & sunny.  I haven’t been feeling well – stomach upset & diarrhea – probably from overeating & drinking too many beers & White Russians.  Really – the combination of foods & tossed thoughtlessly into my stomach would have churned & turned a far more iron-clad one!

Breaking camp is always depressing.  Much more fun setting everything up!

Evening.  Home again.  Beat.  But it was so wonderful to see the kitty-cats again – they were starved for human contact – our contact – they were rather freaked out from being alone for so long – they were perfectly fine – just so lonely!

Night.  Watching “Murder She Wrote”.  Teddy’s in the tub.  The kitty-cats are in the front window, watching the traffic.  I’m handling my cards – toss them around a bit – I’m feeling better – my stomach has stopped churning – my bowels has calmed down – my muscles have stopped aching.  I put some things away – I’m gonna do most of the unpacking tomorrow.  & the mountain of laundry.  & try to write.

***

I’m sick.  I was up half the night – shitting my brains out – my stomach & intestines in such pain I cried.  Today seems to be more of the same.  The Emetrol is almost gone.  This is no hangover!  I’m curling up on the couch with a good book – maybe take a little nap.  I have so much work to do but I’ll have to wait to do it – I just can’t move without pain – plus I’m beat – I slept very little – if any – last night.

***

I just put Teddy to bed.  He had fallen to sleep on the couch.  Poor guy – I went into the kitchen to make some White Russians & when I came back, he was sleeping.  So now – having finished mine – I’m working on his!  I’ll float to bed – I’m not tired at all – oh wow – there’s an excellent white Caddy with huge fins sitting at the light – it’s so great!  What a beauty!

I am quite recovered today – I went downtown to the library – Henry & Mina stopped by – Paulie made me a new tape – “Old & In The Way” – I stubbed both my baby toe & the one next to it on my left foot at 2 different times – tripping over Shadow – they’re swollen & throbbing.  I also walked into the end table – actually, I think the table jumped out at me – & now I have a gash & a large bruise on my thigh.  I am such a klutz!  It’s amazing that I can dance so well – so gracefully & fluidly – since I can barely walk.  It must be some weird kind of balance.

Well – I want to finish my book – naturally I got out another load of books when I was at the library – I have so much reading to do!

Oh – & I am dying for the weekend!  Dying to dance & be a star.  Dying to dance off all the weight I gained on vacation!

Night.  Another storm.  Hot & humid all day – storms at night.  This is a pretty mellow storm.  Last night was a whopper.  I woke up – got up – closed all the windows – watched the sky for a while – I love lightning – then went back to bed.  The kitty-cats crawled in with us – frightened by the storm – it was a really great storm – I too was frightened by the loud & continuous thunder – Missy burrowing between Teddy & me – Shadow getting comfortable in between my tits – like all of my men, he’s discovered what a great pillow Cori’s tits can be – & his head is small enough to take advantage of their comfort!

I heard a scratching at the hallway door – & a meowing – I had put the cats to bed with Teddy but the storm must’ve woken them.  They played for a while – hide & assault – but now that the storm has increased in potency – but mellower than last night – they’re hiding under the ottoman.  Teddy – of course – is out cold.  I suppose tomorrow there’ll be a replay of this morning’s conversation – “Some storm last night, A?”  “What storm?” “The giant storm that went on for hours!”  “I guess I slept through it.”  “I guess so!”  My husband – sleeping beauty!

I’m still not tired.  I should be exhausted.  Insomnia.  What a curse.  Of course – consider the general downward track of my health & I guess it’s all part of the pattern.  That’s life –

It’s pouring.

***

[June]

Depressed.  Why?  I don’t know.  I slept poorly last night – even when I went to bed I couldn’t sleep.  I should go back to bed but I doubt I could sleep.  I wish I had a joint but of course we’re out.

It’s cool & foggy.

Jesse called & left a message – we owe him money – by the sounds of the background, I could tell he was at home – maybe he’ll stop by.  I suppose that would be the only thing that could cheer me up.  I feel so fat & ugly – I feel almost suicidal.  & yet – yesterday I felt sexy & beautiful.  Like Teddy says – the “rollercoaster” of my emotions is enough to depress anyone.

Afternoon.  Just out of the tub.  Feeling clean & smooth & soft.  I was out in the sun until it clouded over & began to rain.  Boy – it’s just about impossible to get a tan this year!  I can’t believe it’s June & I’m still pale.  I have faint tan lines – very faint.  Oh well – getting a tan’s supposed to be bad for you anyway.  I wouldn’t care if I had one or not if I wasn’t a dancer.  I also forgot to take off my wedding ring.  But I barely care about that anymore.  Oh well – one more summer – then my ring can stay on forever.

***

Laying on the couch.  Feeling burned out & a little blue.  Yesterday Jesse stopped by at 3:30 p.m. with the weekend’s supply – 2 grams for Teddy & Cori – supposed to do a half a gram today & the rest tomorrow night – but of course it’s all gone.  The first gram was gone before Jesse left – he hung out until 6:30 – part of the second gram was traded for some weed – which is also gone – & well – you know what happened to the rest of it.

I don’t care – well, maybe I do – okay, I do care – except I really have more fun partying at home with Teddy than I do working.  I’m always afraid of residue on my nose or being stopped by a roadblock or something.  But still – I’m disappointed.  After all my tough words & resolutions – very little has changed.  I feel like a fool.

Oh well – that’s life.  Nothing else to do but try harder.

Night.  What a trying evening.  After a lovely afternoon nap, we got up to a barrage of messages on the answering machine – one of them was from Danny Potts from Chopin’s – he had a stag for me tonight.  I called right back – he was there – I’ve worked for him dozens of times & Danny knows the score – I left a message that I’d be happy to but I had another gig & I could be there around 11:30 – midnight.  Meanwhile – since we now had two gigs – Teddy called Julius – Darryl’s brother – & practically sold his soul to get him to front us some blow.  That was at 4:15 – Julius said he’d call back within the hour.  I made dinner – steak & cheese hoagies with peppers & onions & fries on the side – & finally got in touch with Danny Potts – who said that 11:30 was fine – the groom was his nephew – no doubt they’d still be partying.  10 minutes later he called back – no, 11:30 was too late – they had a topless barmaid until 10 or so & they wanted me to dance at 10 when she left.  I said, well, what about 9?  He hemmed & hawed & I said, that’s cool, things don’t always work out, maybe next time.  Well – Teddy blew his top.  I don’t know what I was supposed to do – I already had a job at 10 & I can’t be in two places at once.  He tried calling Danny back but he had just left.  At this point – Teddy hasn’t been able to get in touch with Danny nor has Julius called back.  & I hope he doesn’t.  Teddy says we’re committed no matter what but I hope he doesn’t call back!  I hope!  I hope!

***

Half-past Midnight.  At home.  We stopped on the way home & picked up a 6-pack & some Contac – considered going to Darryl’s but really didn’t want to – at least I didn’t want to.  Teddy’s out right now – getting a cheeseburger, onion rings & a milk shake.  We’re watching Jay Leno on the Tonight Show.

It was a really good party.  I was a really good show.  I really think that I’m better without coke.  I dance better – I relate better to the audience – Teddy doesn’t agree but so what.  The only thing is – the music seems to play slower when I’m not blasted!  But that’s no big deal!  I do think it’s really interesting, though.

Afternoon.  I do a tarot reading – a Celtic Cross & sometimes other spreads – at least once a day – I write them down – using the Connolly book as reference – although I don’t like her interpretations very much & I am working on making my own set of interpretations.  For instance – the King of Cups usually means Jesse although sometimes it’s the King of Pentacles – since he’s a landowner –  & the Knight of Cups has come to mean Jon Kudzma – or some other lover like him – the dream of a young love.  Anyway, lately the Knight of Cups has been coming up a lot in various spreads – today he was the outcome & I thought of Jon immediately – partly because I’ve been thinking about him so much lately anyway – I’ve come to the decision that – as much as I want to quit dancing – I don’t want to quit entertainment – I mean – I wanted to be an entertainer my entire life – & these last 7 years has been the happiest & most fun of my entire life – & I don’t see why I should really have to quit entertainment even though I do quit dancing.  All my life I’ve wanted to sing in a band & I was thinking – why not start one – a kinda blues-rock-honky-tonk type thing – with me doing my Cori act – I could wear a lot of the outfits that I have right now – sexy, good-times, good rocking party tunes – I have a dozen ideas & even more lyrics – plus, as “Cori”, I have a following –

So – I thought – what if I call Jon & pitch this idea – ask for advice – how do I go about this – go about starting something like this – who knows – maybe he know someone in search of a new project – or maybe even Jon himself – the idea has been kicking around in my brain – I’m so afraid of rejection – I’ve been putting it off – getting in touch with him – if I can – but ya know – if I don’t ask – risk rejection – I’ll never know – it could work – I’ll work my balls off to make it work – oh dear! – my favorite dream – my most cherished dream – my most sensitive spot –

***

Oh – rage & frustration!  Jesse stopped by this morning – we owe him some bucks – but Teddy hadn’t left for work this morning – he should have been long gone – as Jesse turned to leave, I had to ask – sotto voce, of course –  “Are you coming back?”  “I have to work,” he answered.  I walked back upstairs & could barely maintain a smile in front of Teddy.  I told him I was pissed because I hate owing people money – which is true – but I was furious at Teddy for still being at home when he was supposed to be at work – which I know Jesse knew, too – & I wish Teddy would just tell him he doesn’t have it instead of having me tell him stupid put-off excuses that he doesn’t believe anyway.  I’m so frustrated!  I’m so horny! I went to the back of the house & masturbated – for the first time today – I average 5 times a day – urgh!!  Life is so unfair!  I wanna get laid!  I want a big fat cock pushing into me!  I want to be kissed with lots of tongue & passion!  I want to be told I’m beautiful – I’m wonderful – I’m exciting – I’m fantastic – I’m the best fuck ever!

Later.  The morning movie’s a dud.  I put on CNN.  I’m listening to the news from China.  Tiananmen Square.  Those poor people.  They say – there are warring faction within the army – they’re fighting.  Now there’s this incredible footage of one man taking on 18 tanks!  He made them stop!  Now he’s climbed up on the lead tank – the video’s been cut.   I’m going to put on some music.

At least we have joints.  Well – smoke a joint – put on some good tunes – “Old & In The Way” – can’t help but feel better.

Afternoon.    I had just finished cleaning the house & running Teddy’s bath when he came bursting in.  He had called earlier to say that he had cut his fingers on his mower but it wasn’t anything bad.  That’s what he said – the sight of his bloody fingers turned my stomach & I sent him over to Danielle’s to get professional help – also because Danielle has all the right bandages & tape – while my first aid kit is sadly lacking – just band-aids & Bactine.  My poor baby.  “Bad luck for a loved one,” read the Moon card today.  I really hope his fingers are okay – they looked awful!

***

Teddy stayed home from work today.  He called Danielle about re-doing his bandages & she said he really should go to the ER.  She told him that yesterday too.  I told him that, too – when he initially called me – but he said he hadn’t hurt himself very badly.  I think he was in shock.

It’s a gorgeous day.  I’m glad I cleaned the house yesterday.  This morning I did the laundry & washed some windows.  I’m ashamed to say that it’s the first time I’ve ever washed them since I moved in!  They’re really dirty!  That along with – rolling joints – getting Teddy coffee – making breakfast – etc.  Now I’m gonna put on my bikini & lay in the sun.

Afternoon.  Teddy called me from the ER.  His fingers are really fucked up – he should’ve gotten treatment immediately – not waited 24 hours.  He has prescriptions to fill, so I rode my bike over to Falco’s to borrow $10 from Anthony because – of course – we’re broke.  I was so hot & sweaty & I was just dying for a beer! Oh well!  I’ll probably have to go over to CVS & fill the prescriptions, too.  I’m glad I have a bike!  I’m glad everything’s pretty close by, too.

Night.  Teddy’s out cold.  I made a late dinner – haddock, fried, carrot & celery sticks — & he ate every bit & smoked two joints before he fell asleep.  He kinda comes to every now & again – just now he was apologizing for being such a drag!

***

7:30 p.m.  Anne Frank would have turned 60 today if she had survived the Holocaust.

It’s raining.  It seems to rain all the time lately.  I guess it was the rainiest June on record.  It screwed up the spring planting & all this additional rain isn’t helping.  There were floods all over the place on Friday – 2.5 inches of rain fell in 40 minutes – too much, too fast!

Teddy’s birthday is Friday & we’re going to party – of course it depends on how much we have – but it’ll be an excellent dinner no matter what – if there’s one thing I can do, it’s cook a good meal.

I made a lot of money this weekend – paid a lot of bills – but also snorted a lot of coke – all from Jesse.  It was so nice partying with him all weekend – but it wasn’t so nice on Sunday when Jesse & Teddy had a disagreement & argument.  They’ve patched up their differences somewhat but we’ll see what happens.  I’ll be really sad if cocaine comes between Jesse & Teddy.  Especially after everything else they’ve been through!  It’s so fucked up!  But that’s life.

***

At Danielle’s.  Her mother’s oxygen machine broke & she had to go fix it.  So I’m here with the kids, the dog, the cat.  A fresh brewed cup of coffee – I haven’t had coffee in days – we’ve been out.  I told Teddy to remember to bring home instant coffee from work if he wants a cup of coffee tomorrow morning!

I’ve been busy working on a collage to give Teddy for his birthday – a stag party collage.  Area maps – raffle tickets – invitations – photos & torn dollar bills – it looks great.  All I have to do is glue down corners & mount it.  & then wrap it of course – I’ll have to wrap it in newspapers or paper bags – I don’t have enough wrapping paper to go around it.  I’m glad I got those frames from Jesse before he & Teddy had their argument – this collage is being framed!  I want to show Jesse my artwork & his contribution to it but I don’t think that’ll happen very soon.  Usually he calls Tuesday night for our “order” – but not last night.

I got more books on Astrology, the Tarot, Chinese Astrology, Numerology.  The more I know, the more I want to know.  I took notes last night until I could no longer hold a pen.

Night.  My fingers ache!  Reading & taking notes until I can’t do it anymore.

We finally went to Sibley’s & spent my birthday gift certificates.  I got 8-inch, 10-inch & 12-inch skillets, sunglasses, 2 bras & a pair of panties, all on sale.

Still haven’t heard from Jesse.  I’m gonna really miss him.

***

Teddy had to be at the hospital at 8 this morning so naturally he had to be up & out earlier than usual.  I put my tarot cards under my pillow & went to sleep – Shadow asleep at the top of my head – his new favorite place to sleep – & Missy curled up at my side.  Now they’re sitting together in the left front window.  They’re so adorable!  They have really improved our lives!  We love them so much – & they love us.

It’s another rainy day.  One after another!  My tan is but a memory.  I can’t believe this sucky weather!  Oh – the prices of fresh fruits & vegetables are rising, rising!  The only food at the Bailey-Clinton market is out-of-state.  The crops – the few they’ve managed to plant – are rotting in the fields.  Floods & drought!  As the years go by, the prophecies of Nostradamus all come true – it’s scary!

I’m going to spend the afternoon watching TV – tossing the Tarot – doing the exercises in The Fortune-Teller’s Workbook – there’s a bunch of predictive schemes I’ve never heard of – Oracle of Napoleon – Witchdoctor’s Bones – Dominoes – Playing Cards – plus a slew of others I’ve heard of but have no experience in – The Crystal Ball – Tea Leaves – Runes – Palmistry – plus the ones I’ve been working on – Numerology – Tarot – Astrology – Dreams – not that I want to foretell the future – well, not other people’s futures – I wouldn’t mind a peek into my own.  I’m really into these methods as poetic aids – the language of poetry – the language of symbolism – I long to become learned in the arts of magic – earth magic – faery-faith – witch-craft.  I wish to take my destiny into my own hand & throw it as strongly & sturdily as a fielder throwing a baseball home.  & then be the catcher – catching the ball & tagging the runner.  You’re out!  American symbolism.  True magic!

Afternoon.  I went to the corner & called Jesse on the pay phone – saying I wanted “a little” coke for Teddy’s birthday & Jesse said he’d get back to me – but that was hours ago.  Now Teddy’s mad – at Jesse – for not calling all week & for telling me that when the guy called this week he didn’t want any & mad at me because I told Jesse “just a little bit” instead of a pile which is what Teddy wants – what Teddy always wants – & not nailing Jesse down on when he was gonna call back & deliver it & everything else.  He’s in a terrible temper.  I’m sick of him – his tantrums – his tempers – his bullshit.  I don’t care if it is his birthday tomorrow – he’s acting like a baby.  Try all week to make sure it’s a pleasant weekend – cocaine or no cocaine – & he’s being such an asshole!  After last weekend, what does he expect from Jesse?

***

Teddy’s birthday wasn’t half-bad.  The night before, I had a strip-o-gram at Buffalo General for a very sick young man – he was going to be transferred to Roswell Park very soon.  I wore all white – an old nurse’s uniform that Danielle had – underneath that, a white bra & g-string & white lace garter belt & stockings – I even wore white shoes – those old white oxfords I bought back in 1980 – with the 2-inch heels – that look like something a nurse would have worn in 1950.  I put my hair into a bun – all I needed was one of those old-fashioned nurse’s caps.  It was a short job but the money enabled us to buy a bag of weed.  Teddy had a joint to smoke on his way to work & I had 3 fat ones to greet him when he got home.  We smoked one while I made breakfast – steaks, eggs & rye toast.  He napped most of the afternoon – I watched a William Powell-Myrna Loy movie & took notes on the Tarot.  Later – when he woke up – we ran some errands – then came home & I cooked dinner – filet mignons, baked potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce & salad.  It was great!

The only fly in the ointment was Teddy’s continuing anger with Jesse.  When I called Jesse at 4 p.m., he told me he couldn’t do anything.  Teddy was pissed off – “He’s just an asshole” – etc.  I stayed calm.  I was disappointed – disappointed because I did want to party – disappointed cuz it was Teddy’s birthday & there was no coke to celebrate with – disappointed cuz of how everything had gone down.  But I was basically mellow.  I mean, there was nothing I could do about it.

Well – at 7:30, the phone rang – the machine came on – we heard, “Hey Teddy, happy birthday, are you there?” – it was Jesse.  Teddy vaulted for the phone.  Jesse was nearby – he would be over soon.  He had just scored – I was so happy – not just cuz I love doing lines – but it was great to see Teddy & Jesse friends again.  I’m glad Jesse came through.  I knew he had it in him.

***

Waiting for Teddy’s 11:30 call.  He’s probably mowing the lawn & hasn’t looked at his watch yet.  Today’s gorgeous – the first hot & sunny day we’ve had in weeks.  They were prediction rain for this evening & tomorrow, though.

The weekend was wonderful – lots of work – of course – but lots of money – even though we did spend $250 on coke – but we’re not broke!  We have food in the cupboards & in the fridge!

Today’s the full moon – I haven’t meditated yet today but I feel the presence of the Goddess – I woke at 10:15 a.m. – a little Missy laying on my pillow & purring – I straightened the house, then ran myself a bath – hot & steamy – soaked for a long time – then washed my hair.  I still haven’t eaten – I’ve been waiting for Teddy to call – I should just start – as soon I get the egg into the pan, he’s sure to call!

Jesse’s stopping by to pick up the money we owe him.  After he leaves, I suppose I’ll meditate – & give thanks? – oh, I always have something to be thankful for – I really am blessed – but there’s one thing I would so love to give thanks for – one manone love

Afternoon.  Jesse showed up around 12:20 or so.  He was in a hurry – he had lots of errands to run – but he had some toot left over from a half a gram he got last night – he & Doreen had a giant argument so he went out & got blasted – but I was really glad he thought to save a little to share with me.  I rolled up a joint & we had a really nice talk – it’s true, it’s true – Jesse is really one of the best friends I’ve got.  It’s hard to believe our affair began 6 years ago.  My life has really changed in 6 years – but so has his.  But one thing hasn’t changed – I can tell Jesse anything.  He’s my Rhett Butler – talking to him is like “putting on a pair of old slippers after dancing all night in a pair of tight ones.”  He’s so physical – I feel so alive when he’s around.  I was in a good mood when he left.  I put on my bikini & laid in the sun – oh, it felt so good – the feeling of sun-warmth on my body.  I’m quite golden – now all I need is a week’s worth of sun & I’ll look wonderful!

***

Absolutely pouring.  It started raining last night & it hasn’t stopped.  I had terrible insomnia last night – went to bed exhausted at 10 p.m. & at midnight I was still wide awake.  Sexual fantasy after fantasy – my whole body was in heat.  My breasts ached – my nipples tingled – my cunt was wet – Scotty slept soundly next to me.  I thought of Jesse.  I replayed love scenes 6 years old.  I remember every little thing – I drove myself crazy.  When I finally did sleep – I dreamed of Tarot readings featuring the Emperor.  One after another – & there was the Devil & the Chariot & the 3 of Swords & of course the Queen of Pentacles –

The kitty-cats are sleeping.  The rain is coming down harder than ever.  I’m curled up on the couch – I have a joint & a book & a cup of tea.  I’m tired – I’m depressed – my back is killing me – but strangely enough – I feel serene

Ya know – it couldn’t rain any harder if it tried.

Night.  Now it’s foggy – soft, swirling in the streetlight – getting thicker by the minute – dream-land fog – witch-craft fog – fog you could walk into & get lost in forever – actually it looks fake – MGM fog – any second, I expect Scarlett O’Hara to come running through the fog at the end of “Gone With The Wind” – running home to Rhett.

***

The summer solstice – it’s cool – completely overcast – looks like it could pour any second.  At least it’s warm enough to have the windows open – there’s no wind.

I took a quick bike ride over to Danielle’s to return her nurse’s uniform & give her a new container of soap for her soap dispenser.  I’m glad I got out – it’s a really nice day.  Still threatening rain of course but really nice.  The air smells really sweet.  Everything is so green – & the roses are in bloom – oh how I love roses.  It’s summer for sure.

***

Cool & cloudy.  Cool – well, it’s 78 – but it’s been so hazy, hot & humid – close to 90 everyday.  I have been working extra parties in this heat – to assure having enough money to go camping with – we leave early Wednesday morning.  Today we shop – tonight, I have to dance at 9 – tomorrow, we get wood & load the trailer.  I can hardly wait to go.

I’m tired – I’m achy – I’m hungover from last night’s party – I just don’t want to deal with it.  I have so much to do to get ready for our vacation.

***

Oh man – so hot & humid!  I could die.  My shirt is soaked through.  I’ve been doing laundry & packing all day.  I did a lot yesterday – about half I had to do – all I could do at that time.  We’re gonna eat like kings!  The bill came to $150 – before coupons.  The morning I made tuna-mac salad.  I got my books together – pens, pencils, games, cards, 2 boxes of cassette tapes – I have four boxes total – believe me, it was no easy task deciding what to take & what to leave behind!  I have the linens folded & in piles on the coffee table.  They go directly into the “linen closet” in the trailer – I’m gonna stuff as many towels as possible.  You can’t have too many towels!  & my clothes are packed – except for one or two things in the dryer.  You won’t believe the amount of clothes I’m bringing – 2 pairs of jeans, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of sweatpants, 6 pairs of thick socks, 10 pairs of regular socks, 1 skirt, 2 sundresses, 6 bathing suits, 6 pairs of underwear, 4 g-strings, 3 flannel shirts, 4 cotton shirts & 17 t-shirts – even I admit that’s a bit much!  Plus sneakers, sandals, mocs, my denim jacket, rain gear, hats, bandanas & my favorite grey zippered sweat-shirt.  Tomorrow I’m gonna wear my blue plaid wraparound skirt, a navy blue & white summer top & a denim shirt in case it’s chilly.  & it’s supposed to cool off a little – just a little – actually we’re supposed to get thunder storms & scattered showers tonight & tomorrow morning, then sunshine the rest of the week.  It’s be just as hot but not humid.

Well – I gotta check on the laundry – hopefully, it’s done.

***

Yesterday we got the earliest start ever – 8:30 a.m.  We were here by noon – Cayuga State Park – near Seneca Falls, NY & on Cayuga Lake -we probably would have gotten here sooner if we had taken the Thruway but we took 5 & 20 – such a nice road – & there were 2 detours – plus we stopped 3 times!  It was hard finding a campsite – most of them were standing water or mud.  The one we picked was muddy too but we reasoned that it would dry out – which it has – pretty well.  But we got totally mud-covered setting up the trailer.  Plus – it was hot, humid, sticky & buggy!  The bugs are amazing!  Relentless!  Blood-thirsty!  You have to keep the bug spray on all the time.  Today is cooler – low 70s – breezy – but sunny & pleasant.  Tomorrow & Saturday are supposed to be hotter.  Right now we’re out of the park – we’re blowing up the boat.  We also stopped at Ames & bought a hatchet & a fold-up shovel.  Then we stopped at the Women’s Rights National Park & looked at everything & bought a bunch of post cards.  On the way back to our campsite, we’ll stop at the concession stand & buy some more postcards.

Gotta go.

A minute later.  Teddy decided he had to buy gas so here we are.  Just before we left Buffalo, Jesse called – he had a gram for us – payable when we return.  We did it last night – with vodka & teas.  We were hammered!  I’m not sad it’s gone – it was fun while we had it – but now it’s pig-out time!  Ribs!  Chicken!  Filet mignons!  Salads!  Peanuts & pretzels!

***

Nice quiet morning.  Just got back from the showers.  This morning we’re going to eat a bacon & cheese omelette – then go into town & mail our postcards – then go to the Women’s Rights National Historic Park & The Women’s Hall of Fame & the Elizabeth Cady Stanton house.  In the afternoon, we’re going to the beach & launching our boat.  It’s a beautiful day – not a cloud in the sky – no breeze – just warm sunshine.

Excerpts From a Diary 35

[Winter, 1989]

[January]

I’ve got stomach flu.

I’m depressed – we both are.  No weed – no money.  I’m so tired of this feast & famine business.  I swear – my whole life has been feast & famine.  I want to think about New Year’s Resolutions but who the fuck cares.  I just feel so exhausted.  I supposed I could list what I want to do – write more – do my mending promptly – complain less – but what it comes down to is that I’ve got to get my shit together – work harder – write more – no, not just write more – write with purpose – finish a goddam story & get it published.  Oh shit – I hate feeling like this.

Later. Paulie came upstairs with a joint.  It went fast – ha!  Don’t they all!  Oh well!  Now we’re munching on cheese & crackers.

***

I feel much better today.  I must’ve had a 24-hour bug – so many viruses are floating around.

We got 4 inches of snow last night – it looks so pretty.  The sky is deep blue right now – but big clouds are rising up over the lake.  We’re supposed to get more snow.  I guess it’s really cold out – the radio says so – sitting in my toasty office – looking out the window – I can see people walking by totally bundled up – it’s a beautiful – sunny – cold winter day.  The kind of day that makes you think of skiing down a mountain – through virgin powder – well!  Back to my typewriter!

***

We’re out of oil – the last few days have been really cold & it got used up faster than we anticipated.  It doesn’t matter anyway – there’s more debts than money – I’m so tired of this song & dance!  I’m so bummed out – I’m so tired of feeling like this.  I can say & I will say that I’m not gonna worry anymore cuz worrying does no good & I’m gonna be cheerful no matter what & be thankful 10 times more for what we have & I can do it – put on a good attitude like a pair of new stockings & I will do it – but it doesn’t change the feeling – just covers it up & makes it look good.  “Casey Jones” is on the radio – the same train that Teddy & I have ridden on too many times – “The trouble with you is the trouble with me” –

***

Felix was over today – the first time in over a week – he’s had bronchitis – aggravated by smoking & his allergy to cats.  I missed him more than I thought I would.

Before he left, I asked him to give me a ride to UB – to pick up a schedule of classes – which he was happy to do – he waited while I ran over to Hayes A to get it.  Of course there was a line – nothing changes!  Felix gave me a ride home too – now I have a hot cup of tea & some cookies & the schedule spread out in front of me – maybe I’m going back to college.

Evening.  & then again – maybe I’m not.  I called to make an appointment to see an advisor & was told it was too late to apply for classes – I don’t remember having to re-apply the last I time I re-entered school.  Oh well.  That’s life.  So I’m gonna apply – get all the paperwork in order – get financial aid – get everything ready to go totally – money – make the money –

***

A bright sunny day.  I’ve just finish straightening up the house – doing dishes – putting things away.  The kitty-cats are being really bad this morning – into everything – into places they know very well not to go!  It’s so hard disciplining them!

I have the electric heater on in my office – it takes about a half hour to get warm in there.  I’ll smoke some bowls – drink a cup of coffee – & read in the meanwhile.

***

11:10 a.m.  Hard at work.  It’s been a really nice day so far – although I had trouble waking up this morning – a large glass of Pepsi fixed me up – then a cup of coffee – & then another glass of Pepsi with breakfast – 2 poached eggs on toast – & then a cup of tea.  After my bath, I laid down & cat-napped for 15 minutes, then got up & washed my washed my hair.  Now I’m in my office – pounding the keys of my typewriter – while the kitty-cats explore my desk.  They’re my buddies – they hang out with me most of the day.  I have to cut their claws today – they’re really long & really sharp!  I have to wait until they’re sleeping.  They’ve been running around all morning so soon they should be settling down for a snooze.

Time for another cup of tea.

***

Yesterday when Teddy got out of work, we went over to Northtown to look at new trucks – we ended up test-driving & then signing papers for a 1988 Mazda 5-speed King Cab truck – this morning I took all the paperwork down to the credit union – hopefully by Thursday, we’ll know if the loan’s been approved or not – I hope so!  We need a new truck so badly & this one is so very nice!

Naturally, when I was down at the library, I got out 8 books.  Of course – half the books I was looking for weren’t on the shelves or weren’t owned by the library.  I also stopped in at the law office & said hello to Anna & Evelyn.  I really miss working there.  It was the perfect balance to my dancing life.

Time to eat lunch – leftover chicken wings & julienne potatoes.  Then a short nap – then work in my office.  At least I have the time to write now.  I am getting more done than I ever have.  What a nice life I have!

***

Today we took Shadow & Missy to the vet’s.  We should have taken them a long time ago but oh well – anyway – they got their shots & were checked for worms – which they have – we had to give them pills when we got home.  Shadow got sick about an hour later – the poor baby – he puked in the living room.  After that, he crawled behind the gas burner in the fireplace & fell asleep.  He seems better now – he’s up & he’s playing with a rubber ball.  Missy’s curled up next to me – I’m sitting in the gold easy chair.  They’re both kinda zonked though.  We found out how much they weighed too – Shadow’s 4.5 pounds & Missy’s 3 pounds 12 ounces.  On the subject of weight – I went to the doctor’s on Wednesday & I weigh 137 pounds!  Time to go on a diet –

***

Yesterday I inventories my books – I have 1557.  When I was counting the books on what I call “Living Room Bookcase #1” I decided to rearrange them a little – which turned into a much bigger job – what I ended up doing was removing the Panasonic blaster from the middle of the shelf & putting on the back of my desk.  My AM/FM radio died a few weeks ago & I’ve been getting by with a junky AM transistor radio.  It’s so nice to have tunes again – with a bass & treble & equalizer!  & a tape deck!  Now my office is complete!

It looks like we may not get the new truck.  The loan was approved but we need a co-signer.  Teddy bullied me into calling Mom & Bob which of course I did not want to do.  I knew they’d say no & of course they did.  & not only did Bob say no – he was a real dick about it too.  I wish I hadn’t asked – I really do.  I wish Teddy hadn’t made me do it.  I am so sick of tired of this kind of shit.  I know the outcome before it happens & I don’t want to go there.

***

Once again – madness descends – it’s pouring rain – Missy’s in heat – she’s not the only one – I want to work but I can’t do it – I am walking around the house – can’t concentrate – can’t do anything at all –

I’m dying for a shot & a beer.  My tits ache – I’m so close to my period – how I wish it would start & be done!  Oh well – I have no ambition – just staring at the rain pounding the windows – thinking about past lovers – hard fat cocks – I’m wet but it’s not blood – not yet –

I have $1.35 in change.  Enough for a beer at Falco’s – ’course it’s pouring & I should wait for Felix’s call – if he calls – so I can hustle some weed out of him – we’re out again – maybe if he calls soon I can hustle a few dollars & a ride to Falco’s as well – just wanna sit at the bar & listen to sad tunes & think – & drink & think –

The tea-kettle’s whistling.  Oh well –

***

I’m in such pain – 3 parties Friday night – 3 parties Saturday night – plus my period – I was totally wiped out Friday – I slept all day – partied all night – I felt even worse on Saturday – slept all day – partied hearty – danced wonderfully – how can I not? – it’s impossible not to put everything into performance – of course I was well-fueled.  But today I’m really hurting.  I twisted my bad knee – I also bruised it – I bruised my other knee – I pulled muscles in my left thigh – I hurt so – my knee is absolutely killing me.  I’m going to have to take the last painkiller before I go to bed.  I can’t get comfortable – my knee is throbbing – oh boo hoo hoo!

Just thinking about last Thursday – wondering if I’ll be with him again – or if it was all a dream – Jesse!  Jesse!  Jesse! – oh insane desires – wants – needs – I’m so frightened sometimes – but the ecstasy – the ecstasy –

***

[February]

Around 3 a.m. Monday I woke up completely sick – cough/nasal congestion – body aches – hyperventilating – completely miserably.  I remained in bed all day.  Monday night – Teddy came down with it.  He didn’t go to work yesterday nor today but he’s going to go tomorrow – he’s getting on my nerves!  Oh – that’s heartless – I know – it’s just – it’s bad enough being sick without having to nurse-maid someone else.  I feel lots better today although I’ve lost my voice.

The answering machine has been on all week – Jesse’s called a few times & left stupid messages about buying or selling bags – not actually saying anything of course – he never talks on the phone – which is pissing Teddy off to no end since there isn’t anything happening & there’s isn’t any reason for Jesse to be calling – I know why he’s doing this of course.  It’s the beginning of the month & he’s in town, collecting rents.  On Monday he played “Lo Siento Mi Vida” on it – luckily Teddy wasn’t around to hear it & hasn’t rewound the tape back far enough to hear it.  I should erase it but I want to hear it again.  We’ll be back to normal again soon.  Jesse will be back to work soon & he’ll be too busy to be chasing me – whether or not he wants me or not.

***

Teddy went to work this morning – he’ll be home soon – he said he was going in & doing the “bare minimum” & coming back home.  Today is pay day – he was going to work from 8 to 10 then grab his paycheck – cash it – go to K-Mart – the grocery story – stop at Danielle’s – I told him to blow off all those errands but naturally he feel he has to – he’ll be grouchy as a bear when he gets home.  I had to call him at work – I just left a message for him to call me before he left – he was pretty pissed when he called – like I was bothering him or something – well, gee, I’m sorry but I need a new wash basket since one of the cats pissed my nice old cardboard one last night.  I was pretty upset to discover that – I asked Teddy to empty the cat box when he was doing the garbage but I guess he didn’t want to – well, that’s life, I guess.  I cleaned it today, of course.  I’ve straightened up the house & am doing laundry.  I still have no voice & I feel exhausted after only a small effort but other than that I’m feeling much better.

I was also able to make contact with Jesse this morning.  Of course – now I have to wait for next week – but at least he’s got to come back in next week to get money from tenants that didn’t have it this week.  & I thank the Goddess for all Her help.

***

It’s really cold.  It’s winter again.  Being out of oil wasn’t bad when the temperatures were in the 40s & 50s – most of January – but now it’s cold cold cold!  Plus – having three broken windows – two in the kitchen – one in the bathroom – which has been broken two years – it kills me because they get upset downstairs if the rent is late even one day – Paulie will be up here pressuring me for sex – but not once have they repaired anything here – I have been trying to get those windows fixed since they broke!

I think I am having a relapse today – I feel dizzy & disoriented – I slept until 10:45 this morning – I would have slept longer except I thought Teddy would be home – he just called & said he was gonna work until noon – well that’s commendable working – working while you’re sick – talk about building up brownie points – but boo hoo!  I want him here!

We’re not going down to Lackawanna anymore.  Number 117 Wilkebarre Street was busted the other day.  That’s not Darryl’s house – he’s 127 or something – but definitely, things are heating up down there & who needs that?  Teddy owes Darryl $80 but we haven’t heard from him all week.  Either his brother Julius paid him off – Julius owes us $95 – or they’re all laying low – or both.  It’s just as well.  With so few jobs we can’t afford coke anyway – might as well quit – get my health back – start living like real people again.

***

Still cold.  I’m wearing all these clothes – a t-shirt, thick ankle socks, a flannel shirt & my old green bathrobe.  & of course my sneakers – the floor’s incredibly cold.  I sit or lie on 2 sleeping bags – covered by my old stag blanket, my current stag blanket & an afghan.  We red, watch TV & sleep.  Even if we weren’t sick, we probably wouldn’t be much more active – it’s too cold.  Oh, for a tank of oil!

***

“Old Yeller” is on TV.  We’ve had another monotonous day – rise late – eat a bit – take a nap – wake up – Teddy’s just out of the tub.  I’ll go in for my bath in a bit.  I feel better than I’ve felt all week.  I know I’m feeling better – I’ve started noticing the dust that’s built up.  Tomorrow I’ll clean the house – not heavy duty cleaning but dusting & vacuuming – straightening things up – then I’ll write.  I’ve missed a whole week of work.

It’s getting dark.  A few snowflakes float out of the sky.  This is the time of year you start longing for spring – want to open the windows – wear shorts – go barefoot.  It can’t come too soon for me!

Later.  It’s been snowing for several hours now.  It looks so pretty – falling in the street-light.  I guess it’s still gonna be winter for awhile.  Oh well.  It’s really coming down – maybe we’ll get a blizzard!  We haven’t had a whole bunch of snow all at once in a long time.  Not for several years.  If it’s gonna be winter, it might as well be snowy as well as cold.  Of course my days go by the same way no matter what the weather does.  Just different pictures outside the window.

***

It snowed all day yesterday & all last night – about 9 inches – schools are closed – Minnesota Ave is just two ruts.  I had to push Teddy’s truck to get it off a patch of ice under the snow – the roads are really slippery – it was freezing rain before it was snow.  It’s not snowing now – although I guess we’re gonna get more snow later.  The boughs of the trees outside my windows are bowed way down with snow.  It looks so pretty.  When I was outside this morning, I thought it was really nice – everything covered with snow – a light breeze off the lake – ya know, it’s only really cold when the wind’s blowing – & it’s pretty calm right now.

I got figure out what to do today – I’m out of cartridge – I called John Grady yesterday & he said he’d be out today but with the snow who knows.  I supposed I could attack that basket of mending – yuck! – but I think I’ll look around for something else first.

***

At 9:30 this morning the phone rang – the answering machine picked it up – I heard what I thought was Jackson Browne – it was pretty tinny – singing, “She stands in the window of the house where no one lives & I sit in the car across the way” – I was wondering when Jesse was going to call – I waited a moment or two, then called back.  It was good to hear his voice – but given the weather, who knows when I’ll see him.

I just watched the weather report – it’s getting cold – colder!  The wind gusts are going to be 30 to 40 miles per hour – with a wind chill of minus 10.  Tonight the wind chill will be minus 30 to 40.  I just made the bed with clean sheets – maybe I should have used flannel sheets!  Tomorrow will be really cold – only a high of 13.  & I wanted to go to the library?  Maybe I should rethink my plans.  I would hate to leave the kitty-cats in a cold apartment all day.  Well – we’ll see.

Missy’s looking out the window.  She loves to watch everything that goes on.  She’s such a little cat.  Shadow’s getting big – he’ll be a bruiser, for sure!  He’s always into something he shouldn’t be – Missy’s never in trouble.  I have to spank him this morning – he was on the dining room table – chewing a plant!  Every time I open a door – especially the refrigerator – or I’m doing something in the kitchen – he’s right there – underfoot – trying to steal whatever he can.  Oh, I love him!  I love both of them so!  I pick each of them up & hug & kiss them a thousand times a day.

Well – time to get back to work.  Work on my story – then lunch – then a nap – then bake cookies.  I want to be taking them out of the oven when Teddy is getting home.  Fresh-baked cookies are always great on a cold day.

Afternoon.  I just looked outside – it’s a fucking blizzard!  Snowing – blowing snow – you can barely see across the street!  The few people – students, mostly – who are out walking around – are totally bowed down – what a drag to be out on such a day!

Later.  The phone woke me up – it was Teddy – his truck won’t start – he can’t find anyone to give him a ride & he’s hasn’t had lunch yet.  I suggested walking to the plaza next door & then trying the truck again.  John Grady called soon after that – he won’t be able to get out here before tomorrow.  Oh well – I guess I won’t be going anywhere tomorrow.  I wonder what will happen with Teddy’s truck.  I can’t help but think that if Mom & Bob – especially Bob – hadn’t been such jerks about co-signing that loan Teddy’d be driving his new truck now.

I’m baking him cookies.  No matter what happens – if he finally starts the truck – or it won’t start & he has to get a ride home – he’ll be crosses than a bear – so maybe these little jewels will cheer him up.

Evening.  Teddy just got home – he’s in the grouchiest mood known to man!  Luckily, I just spent the last hour with Paulie – doing bowls & beers & reminiscing about old stoned days – marijuana brownies & high school & getting wasted in various parks.  All druggies have the same memories – only the names & the locations differ.

I got a joint out of Paulie to share with Teddy, so that will cheer him up.  My cookies won’t – they’re a mess!  An experiment that did not work!  Oh well – they’ll still taste good – even if they look like lumps of jelly & mud.

***

Cold, cold, cold!  The thermometer in the living room read 55 this morning – that’s as low as it goes, so who knows how cold it really was!  It reads 59 now & the heater’s been on for over an hour.  It was windy all night but now it’s died down & the sun is shining – if it remains like that, the room will warm up nicely – but the weather has been anything but calm lately!  Seems every hour the picture outside my window changes.

It’s cold in my office – I put the heater in there for an hour this morning but it barely touched the chilly air – moved it around a little – but I’m warmly dressed & have on my gloves with the finger-tips cut off – drinking the last cup of coffee.

I hope John Grady shows up early with my cartridges.  I have so much work to do & I’m dying to start.  I’ve done prep work & busy work for two days now & I’m getting tired of it.  I found a notebook filled with poems I’d forgotten about – letters – copies of things I’ve had published – I want to rework some of these gems.  I want to work!  I want to buy a case of cartridges cuz I’m sick of running out – a case costs $60 – so obviously I’m not doing it soon – but I’m going to!

It’s beginning to snow again.

Later.  I know what to do – I’ll take a nap.  I feel so tired out anyway – it must be the cold.  I had really lousy dreams last night too – I had to keep waking up to get myself out of them.  Maybe after a little refresher I’ll feel like doing something – or maybe John will have arrived.

***

Jesse just called.  I was sleeping on the couch in my office & I almost missed his call & I was half asleep when I answered – “I can just go back to Middleport if you’re too tired to see me,” he said  – but how could I ever say no to that bedroom voice?  He’s on his way over – joy, joy –

***

All the radio stations have been playing lots of Beatles music all week cuz it was 25 years ago that they came to America – I remember it well – even though I was only 4 years old.  But you don’t forget something like that.  The Beatles colored my entire childhood.  I wouldn’t be who I am today without the Beatles – especially John Lennon.  It’s so wonderful to be hearing all this great music!

***

After a few days of thaw, it’s snowing again.  I’ve had a headache every day for days & days – I can’t remember not having one.  It’s the usual pain – pressure behind my eyes – sinuses – left temple – my left side in general – but recently, I’ve been suffering a new one – behind my right ear.  It doesn’t throb – it burns – I’m not describing it very well – but it’s an intense pain.

I have no energy.  I sit at my desk – working – & end up with my head in my hands.  So many things to do – oh well, get back to work.  Maybe I’ll feel better later on.

***

I went to the library yesterday – I got out 11 books – I met up with Jesse & got really wasted.  He was in town to fix tenant’s house – we met up at the Colmore Lounge.  I had never been there before but it’s a nice place.  I was doing shots with the boys & generally entertaining everyone – I hate to admit it but I don’t remember coming home.  I remember waking up on the couch when Teddy came home.  I’m bruised – a giant bruise is appearing on the right cheek of my ass – I vaguely remember falling off a bar stool somewhere & laughing about it – & I scraped my knees – I must have been totally gone.  I do remember Jesse had some painkillers & he shared them with me & that’s probably why I got so wasted so fast.  Booze & pills – what a combination.  It’s gonna be murder dancing tonight but it’s my own fault so I can’t complain.  I wish there was a way I could cover up these scrapes & bruises.  It looks like Teddy beat me up.  It looks like someone beat me up.  I honestly don’t remember what happened.  Of course Teddy was pissed off at me & I don’t blame him.

I was hungover & sick all night.  I spent it on the couch – throwing up into the waste basket.  I am totally ashamed – I don’t remember ever feeling like this before.  & the questions I have to ask myself & can no longer ignore are – why am I so stupid?  What is the matter with me?

***

Andy from the Colmore Lounge just called – I must have made quite an impression on him!  If I remember correctly, he’s quite a cutie-pie.  I don’t remember giving him my number but maybe I gave him my card.  Always doing business.

My left knee’s infected.  I just took a long soaky bath & let it pus up real good & then cleaned it well.  I have a giant bruise on my ass too – Teddy told me that it was barely noticeable & then at the first party Saturday night, the guy who hired us said, “Hey, ya know you got a bruise on your butt?”  I had to laugh.  By the time we got to Sorrentino’s, I was feeling no pain – it was the joke of the evening – me going to the library & getting bombed!  Oh well – I won’t repeat that trick too soon!

Well – today’s the full moon.  I’m gonna meditate & recite poetry to the Goddess & then bake cookies.  Tomorrow I’ll write – tomorrow & the rest of the week.  & read the books I got from the library – I got some really good ones!  Right now I’m reading The Spiral Path – really good essays on women’s spirituality, Goddess-worship & witchcraft.  I’m learning so much!

***

I just put Teddy to bed.  I had to clean up my mess – I’ve been going through newspapers & magazines – clipping articles & recipes – then get his lunch ready for tomorrow & prep the coffee.  I just sat down with my book & realized how tired I am – it’s been another busy day.

The answering machine had music on it this morning – too garbled to tell what it was – I returned the call with “Love is a Rose”.  A later call filled in the blanks from Friday.  Boy, did I have a party or what!  I guess the sex was good, too.

***

A quiet afternoon.  Paulie must have passed out – I hear no music.  Teddy’s doing the taxes on the coffee table – boy, the common people are getting fucked!  Sometimes I think it’s better not to make a lot of money – not to own anything – house, property, car, business, etc.  All the family-type deductions are gone.

It’s snowing.  The kitty-cats are sleeping.  Today I hung their catnip mouse from the ceiling with a piece of yarn & they’ve been playing hard!  So hard they fell asleep!

I’m reading & taking notes & trying to decide if I really want to go back to college.  I mean – I really do – but what do I ultimately want to do?  I have to admit that I have no real idea.

***

I woke up with the worst headache – another migraine – I stayed in bed until 10 a.m. – felt awful until Teddy got home around noon – & it hung in there most of the afternoon – I took a nap from 4 to 5 & it was finally gone.  These headaches are getting worse – I have to see a chiropractor – the pain in my back is one thing – my hip & my knees – but I can’t deal with a headache.

I’ve been arranging my poems into a book – I’ve got more than one book – it’s all I’ve been doing lately – I was up until almost midnight working on it – I didn’t want to go to bed – but I was falling asleep sitting up.  I worked all this afternoon & this evening – I’ll probably work until bedtime this evening too.  No parties tonight – although I wish someone would call – we could certainly use the money.

***

Another quiet day.  I worked on the poetry book – I still have no title – & arranged 3 copies.  I want to give one to Mark Miles – I also thought Harry G. & maybe Anna.  Or maybe Jon.  I’m not sure – besides – I just want to get it done.  It was such a chore just picking the poems – arranging them by type & deciding how many & which ones – a most enjoying chore – but a chore nonetheless.   I’m not gonna try to publish this book or anything – most of the poems are pretty old – it’s a childhood/early loves collection of stuff – but it was a good exercise putting it together – mixing it up chronologically – using the best poems for what I wanted to say.  I’m already planning the next one – to tell the truth, I can hardly wait until this one is done – so I can start the next one.  The next one’s about dancing & dancers – the men in the strip joints – the hustlers, the players – the life.  I’ve been writing poems about dancers for years – going through the poems – again & again, I’d look at a poem & think – hey, this would be good – a lot of the sad songs – the angry poems.

I’m just afraid I’ll run out of cartridge.  I have to pay John off – the check I wrote him bounced – & I have to get more corrector too.  Boo hoo!  Oh well.

I want to work on it more – I’m doing re-writes – but I have to dance tonight & I should really rest my eyes.  So what am I doing to relax?  I’m reading!

***

I’ve been working on “the girlhood of anna brangwen” all morning – well, since my bath & breakfast – I’m not getting anywhere.  I printed out what I wrote & put it away.  Sometimes that’s the best way – let it sit – let it ferment.  Besides, I have others to work out – “tina” – “appleton” – “the knight of cups”.  I dreamed about Jon last night – I dreamed I was watching a video of his band playing.  The Knight of Cups.  Maybe I’ll work on that one next.

At 9 a.m. the phone rang & the machine picked it up – whoever it was hung up but I knew who it was Jesse anyway.  I called back & left a section of “Fast Car” on his machine – he called right back.  Will I see him today?  Do I really want to?  I don’t know.  But these feelings inside of me – I can’t control them – nor I want to, really.  I think of Teddy & I feel so sad – I love him so much – so much!  I know he’s the only husband for me.  But I can’t let my body die either.

***

[March]

It’s snowing.  It’s been cold & windy all day – March certainly came in like a lion!  I went downtown today – to drop off papers at the loan office for a new truck for Teddy – it was freezing downtown!  Ya know – that ice cold blast off the lake!  Oh, I am more than ready for spring!  Maybe if March goes out like a lamb, it’ll be warm, too!

***

It’s cold – cold!  Winter is really hanging on this year!  That January thaw seems like years ago!  Plus – the sky is completely clouded over – no sunshine at all – the sunshine coming through the windows makes a big difference on how warm it gets in here & how fast.  Whoa!  What a sentence!  Oh well – you know what I mean!  Back to the subject of weather – it’s also windy – it’s just plain cold!  Oh, spring!  Hurry the fuck up!

I’m out of cartridge again – seems like I’m always out nowadays.  I’m almost done with my book, too!  I might call it “Jacob’s Ladder”.  I’m not sure.  I have only one more poem to write – I’ve been writing it – “the girlhood of anna brangwen” – yesterday I wrote “the knight of cups” – about Jon.  Anyway, I’m not happy about being out of cartridge again – another detour!  Another flat tire! – but I’m gonna start work on the next book – about dancing – I’ll be reading poems & taking notes all day.  I’m in the living room which is the warmest room in the house.  I’ll read poems – take notes – smoke joints – drink cups of tea – watch TV – do some yoga.  My back really hurts today.  I took a 222 about a half-hour ago – it’s just kicking in.  I wish I had some of the good PK’s that Jesse has!  But oh well!  Even though I feel bad, I made myself look pretty – that always makes me feel better.  I’m wearing a pink turtleneck, jeans, blue socks, white high-tops & I did my hair in a French braid with blue combs & a pink ribbon.  I did my make-up in pink & blue, too.  I put on little pink hoops as well!

Missy’s in heat again.  She’s crying – walking around the house – climbing the bookcase – she’s been presenting herself to Shadow but he could care less.  Actually – he looks confused – like, why is she doing this?  He started licking her cunt & she went nuts!  He looked more confused than ever!  Oh well – in two weeks they’re getting spayed & neutered.  Then there’ll be no more confused, horny, upset kitties at this address.  Except me.

***

Yesterday was so warm & spring-like – well actually, yesterday started out as an ice storm – everything was completely covered in ice.  But after the ice melted, the temperature soared!  It stayed warm into the evening – even into this morning, when it was raining – but it got colder as the day progressed & now everything’s covered in ice again.  The cars approach the red light so cautiously!  There’s really very little traffic.  It’s supposed to get really cold tonight & tomorrow – but by the end of the week, it should be close to 50.  Could it be spring?  I was down cellar on Friday, checking on my bike – last year the tires were flat but this year they seem fine!  Maybe by Friday it’ll be warm enough to ride!  Maybe there’ll be an early spring!  Typical thoughts for March.

Tomorrow I’m gonna do laundry & clean out closets & drawers.  Whatever I don’t wear or doesn’t have sentimental value is going to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.  I have clothes I haven’t worn in years – they don’t fit anymore or I don’t really like them – so why am I hanging onto them?  I’m also – finally – gonna mend the clothes that need mending – some of those have been sitting in the “mending basket” for almost a year!

I was upset because I didn’t make enough money last night to pay off my bill with John Grady so I won’t be getting new cartridge any too soon – so I won’t be able to write – but maybe it’s just as well – I do have lots of sewing to do.  It’s just I’d rather be writing!

***

Tired & achy.  I got up & made Teddy his coffee & lunch & then took a bath.  I was going to wash my hair & then eat but I laid down on the couch for “just a minute” & then I was waking up & it was 11 a.m.!  I got up & dressed & ate but I just wasn’t with it – I just kind of puttered around. I feel – I don’t know – mildly depressed – sad – detached – incomplete.  Melancholy.  There’s any number of reasons for this malaise – the continuing cold weather – being broke – burn-out from the weekend – my bad knee – my bad back – my migraines – my emotional turmoil – there wasn’t a tune on the answering machine this morning – I know it’s just as well – the whole thing was going too fast.  Just like before.  Spinning out of control.

***

Cold!  The thermometer says 8 but the wind chill is minus 25.  & the wind is really blowing!  You can’t see out of any of the windows – they’re all iced up – it’s freezing in this apartment!  My hands & fingers are so cold I can barely hold this pen.  I’m depressed.  I’m supposed to clean the house today – that means doing the hardwood floors & vacuuming the walls, etc. – but I don’t feel like it.  Today’s garbage day but I’m gonna wait until noon to put it out – the wind’s supposed to die down by then.

I just left “I’m Leavin’ It All Up To You” on his answering machine.  I felt like leaving “You’re No Good”.  Maybe tomorrow.

Late morning.  He just called.  I vented about my misery & woe & depression.  “Get it off your chest, I’ll listen.”  He wants me to go to Florida with him.   Yeah, right.  I could really use a Florida vacation but certainly not with Jesse.  As much as I would love to go to Florida – or anywhere – with Jesse.  I would go to the end of the world with him – “in a white petticoat” – as Mary, Queen of Scots famously said – but let’s face it — it would be the kiss of death to everything I know & love.  & what about Doreen?  & it the kids?  I know he didn’t mean a word of what he was saying.  I wonder how many of those PK’s he’s chewing.  He said he would bring me some the next time he comes over.

A few minutes after I hung up with him, Teddy called.  He’s gotta work until 4 today.  I told him it’s only 55 in the back of the house.  I feel better though – Teddy always cheers me up.  & I know I’ll be seeing Jesse soon.

I might as well sit in the living room – where it’s warm – with the gas burner – & the sun shining in the windows – & read.  I wish I could go to Falco’s & have a drink but it’s too cold to walk & it’s too cold to leave the kitty-cats shut up in the back of the house with no heat.  Even I’m not that selfish.

It’s just – end of the winter blues.

Evening.  Teddy called me at 2:30 & told me that the loan for the truck has been approved!  He got home at 4:30 & has been walking a foot off the floor all evening.  We just finished dinner – time for the after-dinner joint.

***

Lots warmer today.  Everything is melting.  I’m in a much better mood today – although rather bored.  Not that I don’t have plenty to do – cleaning closets – the ever-present mending – I just don’t feel like doing any of it.  I did dust & vacuum, straighten up & house & put in a load of wash.  But basically – I’m very lazy today.

“Part-Time Lover” was on the answering machine this morning – I was in the tub when it came on – it annoyed me – what the fuck does he want?  I’m married for heaven’s sake!  & so is he!  But I called him back after I dried off & put on my body lotion & baby powder & my bathrobe.  He’s in the same mood – lazy – wants to blow off the day.  I told him to stop by if he’s in the neighborhood – but somehow I doubt I see him.

***

I went for a walk today.  It’s still chilly – 30’s-ish – overcast & sunny – typical Buffalo sky – a little bit of everything – but nice.  The air is cold but it smells like spring.

Naptime.  The kitty-cats are settling down in their little “house” – an overturned box – with holes cut out on the top & sides.  I’m curled up on the couch with a cup of tea & a book.  I’ll probably snooze too.

***

It’s already 30 & sunny – not a cloud in the sky.  It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend.  I’m gonna take a walk later on.  I wish Teddy was picking up his truck today – instead of next week – such lovely weather in which to take a drive!  Oh well – next week’s weather might be just as nice.  I hope so!

I should really dust & vacuum the house – it’s kinda a mess – but I’m so lazy today.  Who cares?  There are books to be read – poems to be written!  Actually – I’ve got a lot of reading to do – if I want to return my books to the library on time.  So I’ll read – plus there’s a Myrna Loy movie on at 9:00 a.m. on TNT.  Or maybe I’ll do what the kitty-cats are doing – sit in the front windows & watch the traffic go by – watch the birds & the squirrels.  Such a nice day – I think I’ll get myself another cup of coffee & roll a joint.

Afternoon  Took a lovely nap with the kitty-cats – floating in & out of consciousness – listening to birds chirping & the sounds of the traffic – motorcycles – dreaming a lush fantasy – waking wet –

The phone woke me up.  A job for tonight!  I am so happy!  We had no jobs booked before next Saturday night & we’re broke – this’ll get us a bag of weed & some groceries for next week – I hope the tips are good!

I just cut the kitty-cats’ claws.  They struggle so much!  It would go a lot faster if they wouldn’t fight.  It’s not like I’m hurting them – I only snip off the sharp tip of each claw.  I gave them a few cat treats afterward.

***

A lovely spring morning.  It snowed early this morning but then it warmed up.  Everything’s melting.  It’s chilly but sunny – clear blue sky & no clouds.

Afternoon.  Teddy’s out going to Wilson Farms for pop & ChicknRoost for wings.  We didn’t work last night so it’s been a long, leisurely day.

We did work Friday night – a last-minute gig – for a bunch of assholes!  It was the most hostile crowed I’ve had to deal with in a very long time.  After the party was much more fun.   Curtis – from The Canteen – stopped over – I haven’t seen him in two years or more.  He had some really good coke & he was in a sharing mood.  He wanted us to go to this bar – Marchi’s – on East Delavan Ave – & ya know, we don’t do that sort of thing much anymore but I guess the moon & the stars were in the right alignment or something – anyway – we went & we got blasted!  I mean, really!  After the bar closed, we went to a party at this guy’s house – actually his garage – there were loads of people & everyone was doing lines & smoking joints.  I’m not sure when we left – of course, yesterday was quite hungover.  But what a good time!

***

Just back from a 40-minute walk.  I walked over to UB – then to Main Street – Main to Highgate – Highgate to Parkridge – then home.  It’s a lovely day – still cool, but sunny & oh! the air smells so good!  I breathed in giant lungfuls.  It made me feel better – I have so much on my mind – even though I’m in a good mood – I feel pensive – sad.

***

I went over to the Amherst Campus today – I took one of the UB busses.  They’re a lot nicer than when I went!  Lots have changed over there – lots of new buildings – gaps filled in – although there’s still stuff that need to be built – but it looks like a campus now – not a bunch of buildings stuck in a field.  I spent 2 hours in Lockwood Library.  I was able to locate some of the books that the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library doesn’t have – although I was trying to locate too many – since I can’t take them out – not being a matriculated student – I have to read them there.  Not thoroughly of course – but I’m looking for certain things – I have questions all ready to be answered – I took a million notes!  I want to go back on Thursday, if it’s not raining.  Tomorrow’s supposed to rain.  Today was gorgeous – sunny & upper 50s.  I’m thinking of finishing my English degree & then getting a Masters in Women’s studies – I want to study Women’s Spirituality more thoroughly.  I was thinking Divinity School but I would have to study Patriarchal religions & I think that might piss me off too much!

***

A very windy morning.  Very warm – but soon to drop in temp – a cold front is moving through.  Perhaps some soon tonight.

Sad today.  I dreamed of Jesse last night.  Standing in the hallway – a hallway somewhere – it was dark – nighttime – I had slipped out of bed to meet him – we stood in the darkness – our hands & lips lightly touching – he ran his fingers over my bare shoulders – we made love – standing there – my back flat against the wall – kisses that lasted until I woke up – I laid in the darkness – petting Shadow – who was wedged in between Teddy & me.

Then I was asleep again & I was at Gramma Mac’s – eating dinner with the family.  PapaMac was there – not eating – not saying much – but smiling a lot.  He was seated next to Rocco – at the end of the table.  I was next to Rocco.  We were eating tiny meatballs & fat noodles in a cheese sauce.  There were other dishes too – I can’t remember what now.  After dinner I was looking at some books – deciding which ones I wanted – when Helena burst in, saying they were all hers – then Mom started in on me too.  I remember screaming at Mom, “You’ve always taken her side!”  I ran out & jumped on my bike & rode away but I had only gotten as far as the church when I realized that my tires were flat.  Rocco rode up behind me & I woke up –

Teddy’s getting out of work at 11 a.m. – we have to run downtown to the Credit Union to pick up the loan papers – then to the insurance office – then to Northtown – Teddy’s beside himself – he’s so happy.  I really ought to get to work – although I’ve been a busy girl already this morning – the second load of wash is in – the refrigerator just finished defrosting – but I’ve got lots to do yet so I’d better go.

***

We got the truck!  It is so nice – drives so smoothly – so quiet – Teddy is beside himself – he’s so excited – like a little boy on Christmas with his brand new bike.  He’s been on the phone all evening.  He wants to party!

***

I’m at my office desk – listening to The Who on the radio.  The kitty-cats are sitting in the right-hand window looking at birds – looking for birds, actually – it’s a very still morning.  Last night, we had a wild storm – thunder, lightning, rain, snow, sleet – right now everything outside is covered with ice.  If it was sunny, it’d look like fairy-land, but it’s completely overcast.  It’s quite dark – it’s supposed to rain & snow some more.  Winter’s hanging on!  Oh well – it’s only March, after all.

***

A lazy day – I slept until 11 a.m.  It was so nice to wake up slowly – silently – no Danny Nevereath silliness on the radio – just the kitty-cats purring.  There were two tunes on the answering machine – “Heart of Gold” & “Missing You” – or parts of songs, I should say.  Anyway – I waited awhile & then called – knowing I shouldn’t but oh well.  After Thursday – oh – I forgot to write about Thursday – it’s just as well – it’s not safe to write about stuff like that – especially if he’s going to start giving me money.  I do need the money – it’s just  – well – I know I am mad.  I have to laugh – I never know if he’s telling the truth – he’s just – oh, the phone’s ringing –

***

It got really cold again last night.  Spring is taking forever this year!  The high today isn’t supposed to be any higher than 20.  Oh well – I’m pretty immobile anyway.  I’ve a cold, my period & my back is really bad – I’ve been getting sharp pains at the base of my spine for several days now.  The pain is intense.  I’m out of painkillers – I’m just doing ibuprofen – I wish I had some codeine, at least!  Danielle gave me one the other day – maybe she’s got another one – I’m gonna call her in a minute.  We’ve got to go to Canada & buy some 222’s.  Maybe if Saturday is nice we can take a ride up there – along the Niagara Parkway – oh no – I’m working Saturday night – but oh well.  I’m going to Dr. West’s tomorrow – I’d go today but the office is closed today – Dr. West & the girls are attending some seminar or something.  I can’t get a break!  To make things worse – John Grady came by & gave me a couple of cartridges – he told me not to worry about the bill & I told him I’d dedicate a book to him – but I’m in such pain – I can’t sit & type!  Besides – Dr. West told me – no work-outs, no housework, no shopping, no walking – stay immobile, take lots of hot baths – so here I am, on the couch, lots of blankets, lots of pillows, books, notebooks, pens, cups of tea, kleenixes, two sleeping kitty-cats, “Hogan’s Heroes” on the TV – plus I’ve got joints so I’m not in a bad mood at all – I’m just hurting!  Life’s so tough –

***

5:30 p.m.  Yesterday I finally got to Dr. West’s.  I was in such pain – plus I was supposed to meet Jesse at noon – but it took so long – by the time Danielle picked me up – 45 minutes late – dropped Deano & her mom’s – got gas – then waited forever at Dr. West’s – oh well.  It was almost 1 before I got home.  I saw him drive around the block & then park on Parkridge.  I put on my jacket & went out.  He was surprised to see me – he was trying to figure out how to leave a note without it being obvious.  “Well, let’s have a drink,” I said & away we went.  I’m drinking too much – this has got to stop.  All of it – the façade is just too hard to maintain.

***

A long tough weekend.  Tears on Sunday – I called home & there was no answer – they were up here – but no one ever told me – oh well – but around 6 p.m. – Tish, Brad, little Brad – whom they are now calling “Junior” – & Rocco stopped by.  Rocco says he’s not becoming a priest.

Monday was gorgeous – in the 70s.  Yesterday it rained – I went out with Jesse & got drunk.  Heavy conversations – I don’t seem to be able to fight the feeling – knowing I should stop – but unable to – madness – total madness – oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

***

Snowing & cold.  You’d never know Monday broke heat records.  It’s just not a few spring-like snow flurries – it’s beginning to pile up!  What a drag!

Emotions still in a turmoil.  I was with Jesse yesterday.  He was in town, doing work on his houses & selling weed & pills.  He’s really into those pills.  Lortabs.  I like them too but you have to be real careful how you drink on them.  He’s so much bigger than I am that I don’t think it’s a problem for him.  He said he’s going back to work soon & we won’t be able to see each other much anymore.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

He drinks his Jack Daniels & Labatt’s Blue & gets drunk & talks.  He goes on & on.  “I love you, I want you – you’re the only woman for me – you are the only one.”  But I can’t believe him – even if I did believe him – I really don’t want to believe.  How can I believe him?  He’s married to Doreen – he has a son & two daughters now – he’s never going to leave them!  I know this!  & even if he’s telling me the truth – that when the kids are “older” – which means out of school – I am assuming high school – so eighteen years from now! – am I supposed to wait around for him?  Wait – eighteen years?  For happiness? & what am I supposed to do in the meantime?  Just be with him when it’s convenient for him?  & besides – even though I love Jesse – & I really do – he’s not the man for me.   If he was the man for me, he’d leave Doreen & be with me.  He’d stop all these silly excuses about the kids & he’d work things out so I could be their part-time mother – I’d be good at it, too!  Kids love anyone who loves them!  But Jesse is never going to make that break.  He wants me just where I am. & the thing is – I really do love Teddy!  I really do.    Teddy’s my husband & I’m happy this way.  I suppose some people might not agree that I’m happy – with my drinking, my affairs, my tears, my confusion – but I am.  The question is not – am I happy – but would I be happier?  Jesse – of course – says I would be happier on my own – but I have my doubts – serious doubts.  I don’t want to break up my happy home – I don’t want to break Teddy’s heart.  Jesse says to stop thinking of everyone else first & think about me – make myself happy.  But how can I be happy if I make Teddy unhappy?  I can handle heartbreak & unhappiness – I can handle pain.  But I’d never be happy again – knowing that I walked all over Teddy’s love.  Jesse says that’s just guilt feelings.  Well – so be it!  Ya know – I may not be a Catholic anymore but I have not forgotten the teachings of my childhood – feeling guilt may be comfortable – even silly – but it’s there for a reason.  I can’t ignore that little voice inside of me – I won’t.  Sitting at the bar yesterday – doing shots & beers & listening to Patsy Cline on the jukebox – Jesse was giving me every argument in the book – telling me I had to make a decision – I had to start thinking of my own happiness, etc.  I turned to him & said, “Listen, Jesse –  I’m not ready to make any decisions & you can’t make me!”  I think I surprised him with my vehemence.  But I’m sick of this!  Good sex is not worth this!

Besides all that, I just haven’t gotten any work done at all.  Not beyond first drafts – how can you work when you’re sitting in a bar?  Or when you’re home & drunk & upset after being begged to leave your home & family?  Or sick & hungover & tired from drinking the day before?  Or just so distracted you can’t concentrate?  March has been one hell of a waste.  Today is going much better – although instead of working, I’m staring out at the falling snow.  Seems I’ve had a stomach ache all month long.  Seems like this month will never end – I hate March!  April will be better – I’m gonna work hard – finish my book – start a new one.  No more drinking!