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Excerpts From A Diary 38

[Fall, 1989]

[October]

I have been busy all morning.  I really thought I’d sleep in after what was a bitch of a weekend – Darryl fucked us again – a party cancelled – I caught the guy in a lie & had to tell him to fuck off & die – Teddy & I had a major argument Friday night – I walked out & want to Falco’s & got really drunk – Mike Taylor was there – he used to live with Maryellen but I guess they’ve broken up – we were hustling pool together – hustling college boys – I was the partner who played most of the game – making pretty good shots but always setting up the other guy – & then near the end, Mike would go in for the kill.  Gambling’s not allowed at Falco’s but we were playing for drinks & I got smashed.  Mike walked me home – he was drunker than I am.  Since he & Maryellen broke up, I thought that maybe he was trying to hit on me but he was so drunk I don’t think he was able to think in those terms.  He was barely able to walk a straight line.

Anyway – I was sick all day on Saturday – I had three parties to work – the last one started at 12:30 a.m. – I could barely walk yesterday – but the Bills kicked ass & we got some ass-kicking weed – so I guess the weekend ended up OK – well it ended up great – I was almost asleep when Teddy started making love to me – I was so surprised – twice in one month!  I guess his sex drive is returning because we’re not doing as much coke – or maybe he’s just relieved because the money’s working out – who knows, who cares – I’m not complaining – you know me, I can never get enough – I guess you could say that the weekend ended like it started – since I was with Jesse Friday morning – but that’s another thing – really nothing alike at all when you think about it.  All men are not the same.

Shera never called me – you really have to wonder about some people.  Not even to give me a call.  Well – that’s life – I can’t worry about her – or anyone else – I’m too busy.  I started packing to move this morning.  The pictures are coming off the walls – the books are getting packed.  Some of these pictures have been on these walls for 8 years!  Oh – this place is already beginning to look strange!  It’s such a bittersweet feeling – part of my life is being packed away.  8 years.  I have certainly gone though some heavy changes here.

***

Totally upset.  Totally depressed.  The money from Mom hasn’t arrived.  Without it – there is no trip to San Francisco – there’s no vacation at all.  All is not lost, I suppose – it could come tomorrow – & we could still go.  But we have to get the weed tonight – Pat works until 9 on Thursday – I am totally beside myself.  I am so sick of things fucking up.  This trip is so fucking stupid anyway.  It’s all my fault.  I could have worked all weekend & gone out to dinner on Monday but no!  I had to have a stupid honeymoon!

Jesse called – last week he offered to help financially – but this week – “I’m all tapped out” – sure you are!  Fuck off & die!  These assholes & their stupid bank accounts!  Ya’ll love me so much but can’t spare a lousy $100!  Fuck no!

Darryl hasn’t called either.  We’ll never see that $100 again.

***

Well everything worked out.  I went to Anthony Falco – he always helps me out.  I have to pay him back – of course – but he always helps.  I told him I’d do anything to help him – with my limited resources – a man like that deserves my best blow jobs! – Whatever he wants! – He’s a fucking sweetheart.  I’ve loved him for a long time.

There wasn’t much wood at Mack Lumber – now that it’s cold – & people with wood-burning stoves are burning everything in sight.  But Jesse had saved pieces for us – half a truck-load – stuff from his Christmas presents – mistakes – really nice wood!  & of course – we got weed – a quarter & a gram for $70!  Oh well.  At least we have a little bit.

I have to continue packing – not camping – I did that yesterday – but more packing for moving – I’ll finish taking the pictures off the walls today.  So much to do!  So much to pack!

***

Evangola State Park.  The joys of camping.  We are the only people here.  We had a few neighbors last night but they’ve left.  There’s a Coleman camper set up half-way around the circle but no people.  It’s so quiet – a quiet filled with sound – the sound of the surf – the sound of the wind in the trees – birds – bees – crickets – we are on a point, about 40 feet over Lake Erie – a rocky ledge – so you can’t see the water unless you walk through the woods to the ledge – actually to the fence – & there is Lake Erie – blue-grey & magnificent – white heads on the waves – spray in the air – & the smell of fall – not the crisp, dry fall of the inland but a damp, moldy fall.  The trees are red, orange, yellow, maroon.  The bushes bear berries – red, purple, blue.  There are wild-flowers everywhere.

***

It’s funny how we wake up at our regular times – our internal alarm clocks work really well – we lie in bed & cuddle – it is so toasty warm – the bed is made with flannel sheets, my stag blanket & the camping quilt.  The furnace ran all night, so the inside of the trailer is really warm.  But outside!  The wind’s blowing cold off the lake – the water looks so cold! – I’m wearing layers of clothing – underwear! – my old blue tights – red socks – my warm navy blue sweater with the collar up – jean jacket & vest.  Also my gloves – my writing gloves with the finger tips cut off – & my sneakers, of course.  We have a fire going already & I’m sitting close by!  A hot coffee thick with half & half & sugar warms my insides.  The colors of the leaves are more brilliant than ever.  Blue sky with puffy clouds – white, grey & black – moving quickly away from the lake.  The sun – bright & warm – but behind a cloud at the moment – the wind seems colder than ever.  Winter’s on the way!

***

Teddy’s still in bed.  I’ve made coffees – mmm. As soon as he’s up & about, we’re going to get a paper.  He’s up!  The smell of the coffee must’ve gotten to him.  Charles Kuralt is on TV.  I love that man!  Such a smooth, comforting voice!  Such an excellent bald head!  I’d love to stick my tits in his face!

It’s a grey morning.  The wind has totally died down.  It’s eerie – the lack of sound.  You can barely hear the surf.  Everything seems to be waiting – for what?  The rain?  Gee, I hope it doesn’t rain.  Not that it would bother me to have to spend the day indoors – not with books & football – but tomorrow we pack up & you never want to fold up the trailer when it’s wet.  Well – we’ll just have to wait & see!  Charles Kuralt just said that tomorrow is going to be a beautiful October day nearly everywhere.

Afternoon.  It has turned into a beautiful afternoon.  The clouds have broken up & the sun is shining – brightly through the breaks of clouds – or diffusely through wisps of clouds – now the sun it struggling to shine through a big grey mass.

We have killed the champagne.  Now we are going for a walk – it’s half-time.

***

Getting packed up.  My worked is essentially done – the dishes – cleaning the inside of the trailer – folding the blankets – etc.  I can’t help but feel a little sad.  But I’m looking forward – moving into a new place.  Making new memories – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

It is another lovely day, although cool.  We’re burning up the rest of the wood.  Soon it’ll be time to go – home to see our babies.  I miss them so much!

Noon.  Time to go.  Such a beautiful day.  A lot like our wedding day – seven years ago.

Evening.  Out of joints.  Not likely to get any – that’s life!  I’m in a good mood anyway – got a vodka & tea here – got TV dinners in the oven – just glad to be home with Shadow & Missy.  Tomorrow – cleaning out closets & packing continues.

***

Busy.  I finished cleaning out my dressing room closet – going through every box – discarding or packing my fashion & porno mags.  Mostly discarding.  I don’t know where I’m going to have room to keep all this stuff.  Now I’ve started with the office closet.  It’s 100% worse than the dressing room closet – almost completely filled.  My office is such a mess – a dumping ground for every other room – it’s all get cleaned – tossed out – or packed sooner or later.  As much as I want to keep everything, at this point I am ready to throw 75% of everything into the garbage.  I just don’t have the energy to pack it all – or to find places for it in the new apartment.  We don’t have any storage in the new place & it’s just so much smaller.

Right now, I’m going through my Rolling Stone magazines – of course I am keeping those – putting them in order by date – reading articles – watching a movie – smoking bowls.  I’ve got a cold – I feel dizzy – my head aches.  I just ate some chicken soup & took some more aspirin.  I should take a nap.  But there’s so much that needs to be done – everything has to be packed up & ready to go by next week.  At least I have the time to do it all – if I stay well.  I’m glad I’m well-organized – everything’s been catalogued & put in its place years ago.  There’s just so much of everything!  Oh, I’m such a pack-rat!  I am tossing out less than half of what I have – but I haven’t collected, catalogued & stored all this stuff for all these years to throw it away now.  I just wish Teddy had found us a larger apartment!  What was he thinking?  Of course – none of this stuff is important to him.

Oh, I am tired!  I think it’s time for a nap.

***

I just finished going through all my magazines & newspapers.  What a chore!  It took me days.  As much as I wanted to keep all of them, I just couldn’t.  It really made me cry.  Anyway – now I can get back to packing books.  I have to finish taking the pictures off the office walls & pack up all the knick-knacks.  & the kitchen hasn’t been touched yet.

We got the keys to the new place today.  The electricity was turned on yesterday & the gas will be turned on Monday.  On Monday, Teddy’s dropping me off in the morning – I have to be there for the gas company – & I’m gonna clean the place.  Not that it’s really dirty – for which I am thankful – but it needs to be power-played – vacuumed – the fridge & oven need cleaning – the bathroom – I might even do the windows.

***

At 8:10 p.m., we got the news that a major earthquake hit the San Francisco area – the Bay Bridge collapsed – it was 5 p.m. there – rush hour – massive damage – people dead & wounded – fires burning out of control – we have been watching the news all night.  Keith hasn’t called us but he called Mom – who called us & reported that he is fine & so is his home.  How I wish we had been able to get out there!

Later.  At the new house.  I am so pissed off.  I forgot to bring the ammonia.  I’ll have to ride home – but then I might miss the gas company.  Fuck!  I’m pissed!  I was up half the night – trying to get the packing done – plus with the news from California – & my period – I’m just so fucking out of it.

Fuck it!  I’m gonna clean the rest of the house first & then go home.  What a fucking drag!  I’m so sick of moving!  I can hardly wait until it’s all over!

***

Depressed.  It’s freezing in this stupid fucking house – I can hardly wait to move into the new place with its gas furnace – it’s pouring rain – it’s supposed to rain all day – how are we supposed to move in this weather? – I have a sore throat & a congested chest – I also got my period – fucking bullshit!  Jesse was supposed to show up last night with some weed – but he never showed – never called – fucking asshole!  Why can’t people at least call?

I lit the fire in the living room & made a bed for myself with a sleeping bag & blankets.  I’m gonna sleep this morning – hopefully it’ll stop raining soon – I still have to clean the bathroom at the new place – we have a lot of moving to do today – I have to conserve my strength.

Packing up the kitchen – wrapping each dish in newspaper & then setting them into a box.  Makes me think of working at Sibley’s – packing sets of dishes – crystal – other breakables – to be sent UPS to whatever bride awaited them – oh, I learned my lessons well – even though that was almost 10 years ago – oh, how time flies!

I ought to get back to work.  I’m watching “Perry Mason”.  I feel so fatigued.  My throat hurts so – I should take my aspirin & some more cough medicine.  Maybe a shot of vodka.  Cognac or Drambuie would be better – not that I have any – but that’s life.

***

Sitting in our new living room.  Things are really beginning to look great.  The only room left to set up & unpack is the front room – the office/library.  Tomorrow I’ll start on it.  The job I have been waiting for!  It’s gonna look so great.

The boys upstairs seem nice.  They’re frat boys – TKE.  I had to laugh – TKE was the first party I attended at UB.  Official party, anyway.  It is really weird hearing footsteps over my head.  The kitty-cats were really freaked out by that sound too – they have been freaked out all weekend anyway – the more furniture that disappeared from the old place, the more they were freaking – & Saturday, I shut them up in our bedroom while everyone was here moving stuff & then they got put into Danielle’s cat carrier & then to the new place.  It was cold & rainy/snowy – Danielle took us over in her car – they meowed so piteously – I had never heard that cry from them before.  When we got to the new house, I took them into the new bedroom, closed the door, set up the litter box & left them.  After everything was moved in, I released them.  They have been exploring ever since.

Later.  We started on the front room.  Teddy hung a lamp & I started arranging my desk.  I had two desks on Minnesota Avenue – one in the dining room, which was basically a correspondence desk & the one in my office.  The dining room desk is now in the dressing/sewing room – the extra bedroom – & will be where I keep & fix my jewelry, make-up, costume design & altar to the Goddess.  So now my correspondence – address books, desk calendar, stationary, etc. – has to be added to my work desk.  Not a big deal & it’s probably better that I do everything at one desk anyway.

I’m tired but it’s so hard to stop – I don’t even want to sleep in tomorrow – I want to get up early & set up the office.  But we’ll see.  I’m pretty exhausted – I’m running – have been running – on nervous energy.

It’s so nice here.  It’s nice being in a place that is all there – all the windows – nothing broken – constant hot water – wall switches & outlets in logical places – a big fridge – a stove that heats up quickly – I never realized how slow & uneven that other stove was.  The main thing is – it’s warm & cozy here.  It’s carpeted in every room – including the bathroom.  I think we’re gonna like it here.

***

Too busy to write.  I slept until 11:30 a.m. yesterday – I was so tired – 2 cups of coffee & a shower later, I was unpacking books & setting up bookcases.  I worked until 12:30 a.m. – pretty much non-stop – except for when Teddy & I went over to the old place to pick up the mail & get the messages & bring back a few more things – & of course when I made dinner.  I got right up this morning & right back to work – I’m up to the R’s – I’ve been drinking coffee all morning but soon I’ll break for some eggs & toast.  I’ll be working on the office all day.

Yesterday I also cleaned the oven – what a job!  It took four applications of Easy-Off & I still had to scrape off the burnt on grease & food.  It’s hard to believe that people can be that slobby.

Night.  Smoking a joint – drinking a beer – eating an apple – watching a program on Channel 17 about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  I have my Tarot cards with me – it’s been eons since I tossed them – since October 2 – I’ve been sleeping with them under my  pillow to get the vibrations up to date – oh, moving certainly has disrupted my life – my habits – my cycles –

***

The end of another busy week.  We’re gonna move a lot of stuff today – lots of stuff that’ll get stored in the cellar – plus the rest of the picture, the frames, my collages – whatever we feel like.  My office – the office, I should say – is now a dream office – plants & books everywhere – it’s beautiful.  I have been waiting my entire life for a room like this.

Every day when we’ve been going over to the old place & playing back the messages.  There’s a strike going on with NY Telephone & we can’t set up new phone service yet.  So we have to keep the old service in the old place so I can keep working.

I got my bike & rode home.  I was just arriving when a truck drove by with two guys in it & they were hanging out the windows to get a look at me – I thought – that one guy looks like Jesse!  Well – guess what!  It was Jesse!  He was out to lunch with a guy on his crew.  They parked the truck & came in the new place to check it out & smoke a doobie with me.  He said he had some fabulous new weed – the joint we smoked was killer – & he would be calling Teddy soon to do a deal.

“Call me,” I said, as he was walking out the door.  “Or maybe you don’t want me anymore.”

“No, it’s not that” he said.  “You know I want you – that hasn’t changed. I’ve been working my butt off, trying to support my family – & I’m getting pretty tired of working all the time!”

“Poor buddy,” I crooned – but inside I was laughing.  Poor buddy, indeed!   He’ll be here – soon enough.  I’d be amazed if Doreen wasn’t pregnant again by the middle of next year.  & then he’ll be here all the time.  If only to complain about her.

***

I’ve got so much to do today – baking a Samhain apple pie – setting up my Goddess wall – typing up my Tarot notes – writing a poem to Hecate – raking the yard – I should get going!

Jesse stopped over yesterday.  He got me totally stoned & left me with a nice bud.

We moved the rest of the plants yesterday.

[November]

It’s snowing.  In the 70’s on Monday & snowing today!  It looks so pretty.

It’s been a busy week.  Tuesday – of course – was Halloween – I baked an apple pie – with a pentacle etched into the top crust – any feelings of disappointment I had because I’m not in a coven & couldn’t participate in a Samhain ritual disappeared while I was making the pie.  For if cooking & baking are not acts of magic & transformation, I don’t know what is.  The same with sewing – all needlework – & gardening & writing & painting & making love – all the things I excel at.  & performance.  I create magic every time I do a show.  & isn’t that what witchcraft is all about?

I have 2 jobs tomorrow night & a few next weekend but that’s it.  Not having a phone is really beginning to hurt.

***

We were in an accident last night – on the way home from our parties – on Bailey Ave – a black dude hit us – he was completely wasted – he was driving a white Lincoln – he U-turned right in front of us – Teddy veered but couldn’t help hitting the dude – he’s inconsolable – his beautiful truck –

We almost went out to Darryl’s – we were in fact on our way – but we turned around & went home – we came home!  We’re real glad we did – things are bad – the truck will cost a lot to fix – but at least we resisted temptation – another futile act – besides we bought a half an ounce today – & tomorrow we go to Wegman’s.  We’ll be going out to Darryl’s much less in the future – if at all.

***

My tapes came!  Well – all of them except the Don Henley one – Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison & U2.  I put the Patsy Cline on immediately – this is the way radio sounded when I was a real little girl – before the Beatles – well the way WBEN sounded – which is what Mama had on in the mornings – in the kitchen, as she made breakfast for all of us.

The drapery rod fell down today – the one in the office – so I thought I’d put in the traverse cord.  Should be easy, right?  I can’t get the damn thing correct & I’ve tried three times – I guess I’ll have to wait until Teddy gets home – he should be here soon.

***

Jesse stopped by this morning.  I was in the middle of work & really not in the mood for him – but he told me that my phone was disconnected – not temporarily disconnected – but totally turned off.  My career is over after this weekend.  I have no more bookings!  I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry!  I mean, this is what I wanted, right?  But – not yet!  Not this way!  Teddy says that the phone will get turned back on & people will be calling again – presumably people who haven’t tried in the last week – or heard that the it’s disconnected – or think that I’m out of business – or whatever – well, there’s nothing I can do about it – goddamn phone strike!  I mean, people move & need to move their phones & with the strike, it’s impossible – what are businesses doing?  Are we supposed to just go without a phone?

Anyway, I decided to look for a job – not that I really want to work – but cocaine or no cocaine – we can’t live on what Teddy makes – well, not comfortably – I’m not really sure how to go about this – I know I don’t want an office job.  If I have a sit at a desk at work, I’m not gonna wanna do it at home & I gotta do it at home – I’m not sacrificing my writing for anything.  I’ll fucking dance in a club before I do that!  & I certainly don’t want to dance in a club.  I mean – without a car – what am I supposed to do – take the bus to work?  Or cabs?  That gets real expensive real fast.  I’m looking for a job as a barmaid – I’m gonna hit near-by taverns first & then spread out.  Teddy hates the idea.  I can’t help it.  I gotta have constant cash flow or I get nervous.  I get worried.

I’m nervous & worried right now.  I supposed I’m overreacting – as usual – but I was never one to wait for trouble – I’ll take off before it gets here – or meet it head on – whatever happens.

***

A lot has happened since Tuesday.  I went looking for work & found nothing – well not a job – but I found Mark Miles – he’s been around – his marriage broke up a year ago & he split town but now he’s back – he works at The Skeptical Inquirer/Prometheus Books – he wants me to write my autobiography!  He says I’m famous – everyone has seen Cori.  & how!  Talking to him improved my mood – I’ve been in a bad mood lately – being with him renewed my confidence – made my future look brighter – if not less vague – oh well – my future’s always been a blur.

But one thing he told me really shock me.  It’s been a while since I’ve talked to Jon but it’s not like I’ve had a phone.  I was trying to remember the last time we spoke – maybe it was six months ago – maybe more.  I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really noticed.  Of course – I read his columns about local music in the Buffalo News.  Honestly though – I’m so busy with my own career that I don’t have time for local music anymore.  It’s not like 10 years ago when I was actually part of the scene.  I wish I still was but I just don’t have the time.  Anyway – Mark told me that Jon & Sara just had their first child – a little girl – with the stripper-sounding name of Brandy.  What – is that their favorite thing to drink?  I know it’s not Jon’s favorite song.  “Did they get married?” I asked.  “Yes,” Mark answered.  “They didn’t have a wedding – I guess when Sara told Jon she was pregnant, he insisted on getting married – they just went to City Hall & did it. Strangers off the street as witnesses.”

I felt really weird.  I remembered telling Jon I was pregnant – it may have been 11 years ago but it was like yesterday.  & he certainly didn’t “insist” that we get married.  He “insisted” that I get an abortion.  Of course – we were both in college & neither of us had good jobs – Jon was working at a bowling alley & I wasn’t working at all – of course it’s not like Jon is making much money right now – as a music critic –  but apparently Sara is – graphic arts is a lucrative career.  Mark told me that Jon was a “house husband” most of the time, “taking care of the baby & writing.”  I thought about Jesse – taking care of the babies when he was laid off while Doreen went to work as a nurse.

“Hey, you OK?” asked Mark.

I laughed.  “Yeah, I’m alright.”  But I wasn’t.  I knew I wasn’t.  What happened with Jon so many years ago had broken me in a way that had never been repaired.

“C’mon,” he stood up.  “Let’s go have a drink.  You look like you need one.”  We went to Falco’s.

***

The phone is back on – I’m glad!  Maybe I will work this coming weekend.  I had a pretty lousy time this weekend – my bad mood again – I need an adjustment in the worst way – every joint & muscle aches.  It’s an effort to stretch every day.  My back is so out of whack that every move hurts – try dancing like this.  & no coke, too – we can’t afford it – don’t want to afford it!  I gotta hang in there – if we keep working & keep away from coke – everything will work out – including a good Christmas – & I will be able to afford to see Dr. West again.

***

I went downtown yesterday.  It was the last beautiful day – today it’s raining – blowing – snowing & freezing – I went out to lunch with P.W. – I called about a typist job, too – I have a job interview at 3 today.  I got bunches of books out.  I had fun – it was a great day!  I took the #13 Kensington bus to the Utica Station & then the train downtown.  Coming back, I took the train to Amherst Street, then a #32 Amherst Street bus to Bailey Ave.  I had to wait a half-hour for the bus but I read until it arrived.  I stopped in a Falco’s for a beer & to make some phone calls – oh & I am working this weekend!  Teddy was right – I did get upset about nothing.

How the wind is blowing!  Winter is coming!

Night.  I forgot to mention that last night Pat stopped in.  He brought 2 joints & a tape – the new Dead album on one side & Live Dead on the other.  Pat’s not even a Deadhead but he knows I am – I thought that was sweet of him to bring those over.  He’s really more into jazz & rhythm & blues.  He stayed for a while – it was such a nice visit.  We really haven’t had that many people over yet to see the place – something I’ve been rather upset about – but anyone who’s been here is amazed that we’re already so settled so maybe they think we’re still unpacking or something.  I’m gonna get the Chistmas & Solstice cards out really early this year – right after Thanksgiving – & add a little note inviting people over.  I love this place so much – I’m really proud of it.

***

No work tonight.  It feels so weird to be staying home.  We worked last night.  We spent our money on food & home necessities.  We joke about how we would love a line but it feels better to eat – to be warm – to have the bills paid – to have a bag of weed.

***

I’ve been under the weather all day.  I really need an adjustment – I decided to borrow money from Anthony & go to Dr.West’s tomorrow.  I have continual headaches – my neck is stiff – my whole body aches.  With Thanksgiving shopping on Wednesday – a party on Wednesday night – & cooking all day Thursday – I just don’t want the pain – I want to relax & enjoy myself on Thanksgiving.  Not hurt – I hope Anthony can lend me the money.

***

I couldn’t get the money from Anthony.  Oh well.  I feel a lot better today anyway.  Well – actually – I felt pretty bad this morning – a really bad migraine – I woke up with it – so I slept in – I didn’t get up until 10:30 a.m. – & I still had the stupid migraine – everything went wrong – every little job – the cellar fridge – the litter box – turned into a large job – I didn’t feel good until I got into the shower.  I did my nails while I watched “Perry Mason” – then made up & went out.  I looked really good & my headache had gone away – so even though Anthony wasn’t able to help me out – I felt so good – I barely cared.  & Anthony was really sweet about it – he always is.  I know he loves me – which is all that matters.

***

Tired.  Depressed.  A bad headache.  A stiff neck.  I’m homesick.  This time of the year is so tough on me – on one hand, I’m happy we’re staying home – I’m doing a turkey dinner & everything that goes with it – & on the other hand, I miss my family.  Teddy keeps saying, “I’m your family, Shadow & Missy’s your family” & of course he’s right – but still – I miss Mom – I miss everyone.  It’s been – how long? – since June, 1988 – when I saw them last – & it wasn’t the best reunion – but oh well.  Dwelling on it won’t make me feel any better.

I suppose things would look brighter if I had a joint to smoke.  & I suppose having my period is contributing to my depression.

I guess I’ll go bake the pumpkin pie – gotta be done anyway – besides – baking always cheers me up.

***

Feeling much better.  After I wrote for a moment, I laid down for a moment & was out cold for an hour.  I woke up & couldn’t get up – I finally dragged myself out of bed & started making the pie.  I put on my Patsy Cline tape to keep myself company – with the boys upstairs gone, the house is so quiet — & the next thing I knew, I was sitting at the kitchen table – sobbing into a towel.  I was totally gone – a complete wreck – then the doorbell rang.  I wiped my face off & answered the door – it was Jesse.  Yes – I’ve been avoiding him – trying to pretend he doesn’t exist – but at that moment – I was never happier to see anyone.

“What’s the matter, darlin’?”

“Oh Jesse – I’m so depressed – I’m so homesick!”  & then I was in his arms – sobbing, sobbing – oh, his comforting bulk – his physical largeness – my face pressed into his sweater smelling of cigarette smoke.  He started attacking Teddy – saying how insensitive he was – not going to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving when that’s where I wanted to be – & of course the more he denigrated Teddy, the more I defended him & Jesse started to laugh – “Get off your high horse,” he said.  “I see you’re feeling better,” he added dryly.  Before he left, he massaged my back & cracked my spine & neck – it was such a blessed relief – a release of tension.  I have been so tense – so tense – too tense.

The rest of Wednesday was great.  Teddy took me out to lunch at Cayuga Snack Bar – a Thanksgiving tradition.  Then we came home & napped all afternoon.  When we got up, we went to Falco’s.  I was hoping to run into Mark Miles but never showed – his boss M.B. did & I introduced myself.  We went home & Pat showed up with a half an ounce of weed & a gram of coke.  We went to that party in a great mood.  I’ve never danced better.  It was a really good party.  Afterwards, we stopped back in at Falco’s & then home again to party & play backgammon.  I was definitely under the weather for Thanksgiving though – the turkey didn’t get in until 1 p.m. & I went back to bed after that.  But when I re-awoke at 2:30, I felt great.  We smoked joints – munched on cheese & pepperoni & crackers – pickles & olives – celery & carrot sticks & Marie’s blue cheese dressing – until dinner was ready at 6 p.m. – & dinner was great!  Everything tasted wonderful!  Of course – cleaning up took a long time – but I did it in stages – in between joints – but it was nice – a really nice Thanksgiving.

***

Watching the Bills-Bengals game.  We’re on top – 17-0.  We’re almost out of weed again – down to roaches – Pat says there isn’t anything to be had – at least for today.  That’s life.  Curtis turned up again – he has some acid!  I really hope we can get some!  It’s been close to 2 years since we last tripped.  Is that possible?  We used to trip all the time.  Cocaine has really ruined the drug market.  I mean – it’s all anyone has – there’s little weed – even less LSD or shrooms or buttons or any other hallucinogens – you can get pain killers, but that’s about it.  I miss tripping.  I really do.

I’ve been working on a collections of poems called “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Seductress.”  I want to have it done & in Mark Miles’ hands by the end of the week.

I also need to get laid.  It occurred to me that I’m constantly hungry & constantly eating because I’m constantly horny.  I really have to do something about this.  It doesn’t help to masturbate more.  In fact – it makes it worse – I want to be with someone – not by myself – I want passion – there really isn’t any passion in masturbation – except in fantasies – & I’m sick of fantasies – I want the real thing & I want it regularly – & often – not every few months when Teddy finally feels like it.  Or once a year!  I mean – what the fuck!  I love him so much & I don’t want to hurt him but I can’t go on like this – I’ll end up as fat as a sow if I do – not to mention completely out of my mind.

Something else – I keep thinking that I’d like to have a baby – especially if I’m not going to be dancing anymore.  Teddy doesn’t want children – he’s said so many times – but I still think about it.  I would really love a daughter – I already have a name picked out – Janine Rebecca.

***

I slept in today.  I didn’t plan to – but something about Mondays makes me want to sleep.  Maybe it’s just a habit left over from our drug days.  It just feels so good to lie in bed & drift off into fantasies – hope that they come true – masturbate & call for Jesse – I can’t help it – fall back asleep – & wake hours later – feeling guilty because I have so much to do.

But I’m up now – drinking coffee & writing.  I’m ignoring the housework today.  Oh – I’ll probably straighten up the house during “Perry Mason”.

I just finished a poem called “Shadow”.

***

I just finished my book.  Well – I have to type up the table of contents – but the all the poems are typed & in order.  The sections are:  High School Lovers, The Knight of Cups, The Rainbow, & Man on a Motorcycle.  I only used a fraction of my poems – maybe around 100 of them – & I’m already thinking of the next book – the wild life – love affairs – dancing & drugs – & eventually I want to do one about spirituality – maybe called it Myths, Dreams & Visions – include my Goddess poems & my dream poems.  But that’s all in the future – I’m just glad to have this book done.

I’m scared about showing it to Mark – or to anyone for that matter.  I’m afraid he won’t be interested – or he’ll read them only as a courtesy – or he’ll think they suck – or they’re amateurish – or immature – or something else that will make me feel like shit.  I’m so scared.

***

I’m finished.  I did the table of contents after my shower this morning & corrected the only two typos after breakfast.  Then I cleaned the house for the first time in days – housework always gets neglected when I’m writing.  Now I have the new Dead album on.  I should go out & call Mark.  I’m just so frightened – really scared – of rejection.  One thing I realized when I was working on this book was that the pain & rejection I suffered ten years ago still burns.  Also – I am amazingly angry about it – I used to be depressed – but anger & depression are really the same emotion – kinda like positive & negative poles of the same lousy feeling.  Anyway – I’m not over the pain – I’m not over wishing that things could have different.  Also – the feeling like no one’s ever really taken me seriously – least of all Jon – which is why some of my most extreme anger is directed at him – that affair almost destroyed me & what for?  Things would be so different now!

I’ve been having really telling dreams lately – dreams in which I’m angry – I’m fighting – I’m jealous – & I’m acting on my feelings instead of getting depressed or ignoring them or partying away the pain.  I’m not always right in fact in some dreams I really overreact – like beating the shit out of someone for $12 – but it does show that as happy as I am with my new home – with Teddy – with the cats – I am really angry – angry because I want to be taken seriously as an artist – & I want sexual passion – I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so angry.  I’m working out the anger I feel in my dreams instead of in my conscious life because I can’t work it out in consciously – I’m so afraid of hurting Teddy – I really love him – but I can no longer deny – if I ever did – that this marriage is not what I really want.  I mean – within 6 months of my marriage – I was having an affair with Jesse.  & one of the poems I wrote for Jon – do you keep on wanting me? – was written a week before the wedding & published in the Buffalo News shortly afterward.  I mean – I told the entire world that I was thinking about a past lover – just as I was getting married.  But Teddy – I love him so much – he loves me so much – why can’t it be enough?  & what’s missing?  Because I know something is missing.  Something is very wrong & has been from the very beginning.

Well – this isn’t getting my poems published.

Noon.  I just called Mark.  We’re getting together on Friday at noon.  He’s enthusiastic – at least he sounded that way.  I’m so nervous!  Oh Mother!  I want everything to turn out well!

Night.  At turns exhilarated & scared.  Afraid I’m making too much out of nothing – my imagination is going nuts – running wild – I don’t know how I’ll live until Friday.  Oh, I wish I hadn’t gotten so fat!  Actually – I look pregnant.  Oh well – I’m still thinner & in better shape than I was at any time up until April & May of 1980 – when I was doing those great black beauties – oh how I wish I could still get those! – oh well.  I’m still great looking!  I still have a great figure – just a little more of it.  Besides – I’ve always been sexy – large or small.  I just feel a little more confident when I’m small.

I know – I know – it’s my writing that’s important – not my looks.  It’s just looking good makes me feel better & more confident in all areas of my life – hey, I need all the help I can get!

I’m just dying – Friday can’t get here fast enough.

***

Bored.  I finally finished a poem I’ve been working on all summer long & now I just can’t get into anything else.  I shoveled the driveway & front walk & put the garbage out.  The cats are crawling all over me.  I’ve got a lot of books out from the library – I guess I’ll read the rest of them this afternoon.  I’ve got chicken rice soup on the stove – I’ll have lunch & read & probably take a nap – I’d take a walk, but it’s blowing cold & snow.  I should transcribe a diary – or inventory some books – I just don’t feel like doing anything.

***

[December]

All made up.  I must have changed my clothes a dozen times – now I’m in my green sweater – green, the color of money – color of life – the color to attract love – & my jeans & boots – I considered a dress but fuck! – I’m comfortable in jeans & let’s not get carried away here – plus it’s cold out & I dress for the weather.  I’m so nervous!  There – I just put on some perfume.  A shot of perfume is a shot of courage.

Noon.  At Falco’s.  I’m so afraid he’ll never show.

Afternoon.  Well, he came over & we talked – mostly about people we both knew – but since he had to get back to work, he couldn’t stay long – he took the manuscript & left – he said he’d read it over the weekend & get back to me – I have such a feeling of anticlimax – & oh god – I am dying for a drink – dying, dying, dying!  Oh, I am so sick of being broke!  I can’t even borrow any money off Anthony because I’m not working this weekend.  All I have is a bicentennial quarter.  Oh Jesse!  Where are you when I need you!

Excerpts From a Diary 34

[Holidays, 1988]

[November]

I feel much better today.  I slept most of yesterday – slept & read – but no sleeping today – well not right now – I’m gonna get the laundry done & finish cleaning the side room – I really want to get the whole house clean this week – I got get back to work next week – October was such a waste – between me feeling low & Teddy’s teeth – seems like we were always sleeping!  Of course we only got our oil last Friday – this October was cold & rainy – so lying down covered up was the best way to be anyway – but oh well.  It’s a new year – spiritually – organically – time to gather strength – the winter solstice will be here soon – like cold & dormant plants waiting for warmth & spring, I will wait – in six months, I wanna be shifting into high gear – sorry for the mix-up in metaphors – but I’ve smoked 3 bowls & I’ve caught a buzz – time to get to work.

***

I went downtown today – to the library – to get a check from the Credit Union for Teddy & to get books for me.  Always need new books to read!

I’m still bleeding – sporadically – but I feel so much better.  A new woman – really!  I mustn’t do too much too fast, though.  I set up my office – with Teddy’s help – clean out the side bedroom & set up the desk – made book cases out of spare boards & cinder blocks – put pale blue drapes in the windows – after 7 years of this room being no more than a glorified closet – a dumping ground for all the books, magazines & artwork I couldn’t fit in to the other rooms – space being so dear even in an apartment as large as this one – after 7 years, it’s finally a real room!  It’s so very cozy, too.

***

In my office.  I brought out my old radio – the GE AM/FM cheapo radio I took to college & Teddy had in his office at work until last Christmas.  I wasn’t sure it was going to work – it’s been in the sunroom for over a year – but hey!  I turned it on & tuned it in & the Beatles are on – a good omen – a very good omen.

I’m still putting pictures on the walls.  My Mike Ramsey poster fell off the wall the other night & was injured beyond repair – it was injured when I put it up.  That took up half the opposite wall so now I have that space to fill – I may do a bit of drawing this afternoon – unpacking my art supplies has regenerated the artist in me.  Should I draw or should I write?  Or should I bake those cookies I have been thinking about?  Oh, I have so much to do!  Well, they say it’s gonna be a long, cold winter – I have lots of time!

***

I woke up last night – around 5 a.m. – in the worst agony – another yeast infection – seems I can’t get a break – my poor cunt – I was reading Our Bodies, Ourselves & it was saying that being on the pill, consuming lots of sugar & cuts & abrasions all contribute to yeast infections – so I guess I could make some improvements in my life!  Cuts – of course – come from those stupid dollar bills at stag parties – I knew from the start that there would be problems with that – but once you start how do you stop?  I really only did it the first time to be a good sport – because Dick Bell – the first guy to put a dollar bill in his mouth – was a good guy & he wouldn’t take no for an answer anyway – & all the guys were cheering me on – & you know how quickly & easily cheers turn to jeers if you don’t play along & be a good sport about it.   But sometimes it seems like that’s all I do – deep knee bends grabbing dollars.  I mean – I’m a fucking dancer – let me dance!  Oh well – that’s life – I’m just glad I have an understanding gynecologist, a prescription plan & a nearby pharmacy.

***

Paulie’s home – man, can you ever tell!  It’s like living on top of a disco – at least it’ll be quieter in my office.  It’s windy & pouring rain – a good day for immobility – bowls of weed – cups of tea – a good book – a murder mystery on TV – sleep –

***

I slept until 11:30 a.m. today – it was so excellent to luxuriate in bed – thinking about my dreams – I had thousands of dreams last night & this morning – I almost wrote last night & tomorrow – perhaps that’s a prophecy – of course I dream every night – I almost wrote almost all the time – also true –

***

They’re arguing downstairs.  It’s been loud since they all got home – not their usual loudness – there’s a difference – the way the doors get slammed – it’s not the usual slamming a door because they don’t know how to close a door properly – it’s slamming a door to make a point –

An hour later.  They’re still at it.  When I started writing at 9:30, I was going to write about something else, but their arguing sidetracked me & now I can’t remember.  Same story this time!

Oh – Jimmy stopped by & turned us on & now I want another line – ten more lines – I’m on my second last beer – oh boo hoo hoo –

The wind is howling.  The draft coming in the front windows & doors is incredible.  Tomorrow I suppose I’ll duct tape the cracks –

I want another line!

***

Lazy morning – reading & dozing – I busted ass all day yesterday – cleaning out the closet in my dressing room & then of course my dressing room – it was a really big chore.  I have been cleaning this apartment like a madwoman all month long – this place looks great.  But I’ve really been neglecting my reading & writing.  I’m gonna sit & read – & watch “Perry Mason” at noon – then at 1 p.m. – clean my office – it’s a mess with all my new books piled everywhere.  Next week I’m going to scrub the kitchen & bathroom & then I’ll be done until New Year’s – except for the everyday dusting & vacuuming – of course – housework never goes away!  I need an angel in the house!

Oh well – I’m gonna read until noon & then duct tape the front windows & door & the dining room windows – it’s so windy & so drafty – the furnace is working overtime.

Noon.  Watching “Perry Mason”.  I cleaned the kitchen this morning – washed the walled & mopped the floor – after “Perry Mason”, I’m gonna clean the bathroom.  I am getting sick of housework.  It’s all I’ve done lately.  I mean – my house is immaculate – but I’m sick of being domestic!  No – that’s not true – actually – I can hardly wait until we go to Wegman’s tomorrow & shop, shop, shop, shop – & then come home & I’ll bake pies – stuff & roast my turkey – & everything else I do for Thanksgiving – yum!

I’m hungry.  I wonder if the kitchen floor is dry enough to walk on – I’ll open a can of soup.  I practically live on soup.  I don’t mind – I love soup!

***

Thanksgiving Day.  My pies are baked – my turkey is in the oven – smelling heavenly – we just ate ham & swiss sandwiches – I’m drinking beer – for breakfast we had a walnut kuchen & numerous cups of coffee – the only problem is that we have no weed – I was really depressed about that earlier – depressed & pissed off –

Teddy almost sliced my fingers off helping me in the kitchen – he was cutting the acorn squash in half – the cut on my middle finger in really deep.  I almost got sick when I was holding it under the cold water.  It hurts to hold a pen so I have to stop writing.  Besides – looking at the Band-aid – I’ve realize it’s started bleeding again – probably from the pressure of holding a pen –

***

Oh day of days!  We finally got our kitty-cats – a sweet little black one with tiny white paws & a white “bib” under her chin – & a lovely grey ball of fur – Missy & Shadow.  I’ve waited so long & now I have kitty-cats – my “babies,” I shamelessly call them.  We brought then home in Danielle’s cat carrier – we took them back to my dressing room – where Teddy set up the litter box & then we set them in the box so they had a clear idea of where & what it is!  They’ve been in the dressing room for the last hour.  We’ve taken some pictures of them – when we could coax them out from under the bed – they’re very naturally still afraid of us.  Plus – they’re babies!  But when we retreat – they come out, wrestle with each other, climb on the bed, jump off, ambush each other.  They’re so adorable!  I hope they lose their fear of us quickly!

Later.  Teddy just reported that they’re sleeping in the chair between the stuffed toy animals – Shadow’s stretched out along one side & Missy’s next to him, her head on his shoulder.  They’re out cold.  Maybe when they wake up, they’ll be hungry – I have food ready for them in the kitchen.

The Bills are losing.

Afternoon.  They woke up so we grabbed them & brought them out to the living room.  I held Missy & Teddy held Shadow – then we let them go.  Shadow ran back to the dressing room but Missy’s still here.

Evening. They spent most of the day in the dressing room – & now they’ve come out & eaten – they must have been starving – & now they’re exploring the dining room.  They still run away whenever either Teddy or I approach them – but they’re becoming bolder.

***

They definitely feel more at home today.  They’re still mostly hanging out in my dressing room – but they come out to the kitchen to eat.  Shadow does anyway.  Missy’s a lot shyer.  I have then two balls of yarn & there was yarn all over the floor – around the legs of the chair – the bed – books pushed off the bookcase – it’s a glorious mess!  I rolled the yarn back up & natural they were chasing the ends – oh, I was dying!  Then I rolled the purple ball of yarn to Missy – who attacked it – she picked it up in her mouth – & disappeared under the bed – leaving a trail of yarn – which, of course, was immediately attacked by Shadow.  They play so rough – attaching each other – wrestling – swatting at each others tails – oh they’re so lovable.  I sit in the doorway & watch.  They’re stopped running away from me but they’re still cautious.

Now it’s sleepy time.  Missy’s under the chair & Shadow’s under the bed near the bookcase.  Both raise their heads & blink their eyes sleepily when I approach.

Night.  Oh, they are totally ours.  When Teddy came home – after his bath & a few bowls – we went back & picked them up & brought them out to the living room & petted them until they fell asleep again.  When they woke up, they started exploring in earnest.  All evening long, they’ve been with us – playing, hiding, ambushing us or each other, eating kitten chow, falling asleep, waking up, exploring – they’ve just been sleeping on the chair next to me – now Shadow’s awake – barely.  He’s trying to pay attention to Teddy scratching his leg – but his eyes keep closing & he’s leaning over.  Nope!  Now he’s stretching & yawning & wants my lap.

***

Teddy brought home a large box with hole cut out – one on top, two on either side – for the kitty-cats to play in.  I gave them a ball of yarn – actually two balls of yarn tied together – it’s all over my dressing room – they’re such playful kittens!

***

Watching “Perry Mason”.  I have an awful headache – must be a migraine – I took a Contac this morning & 4 aspirin at 10:30 – it’s a doozy – will not go away.  After “Perry Mason”, I’m gonna have a cup of soup & lie down in my dressing room where the kitty-cats are already asleep.  They were wild Indians this morning.  They played all morning in the living room.  They are definitely feeling more & more at home here.  They’re eating more too – another sign that they’re feeling at home.  I love them so!

***

[December]

10 a.m.  I felt like shit yesterday.  A terrible headache – all day long.  Today’s the first day I’ve woken up without a headache for a long time.  Either I need an adjustment or I need glasses.  I should call Felix’s friend Alan, who works at Council Opticians.  I bet I need glasses – no one can argue that my eyes don’t work overtime!

I called Tish this morning & found out that I sent her Christmas present to the wrong address!  She assures me that it’ll be forwarded.  She’s dying to see our kitty-cats.  I mean – why not – they’re the finest cats in the world.

Shadow has tackled Missy & is licking her ear.  They’re so fierce with one another – they chase each other – tackle each other – scratch each other – Shadow bites Missy until she cries – Missy asks for it, though!  & then they are so affectionate with each other – Shadow always licks Missy after he bites her! – they sleep intertwined – hugging each other almost passionately.  The last two nights they’ve slept with us – at least part of the night.  They wake me up when they wrestle – Shadow jumping on Missy – Missy crying & fighting back.

I covered the couch completely with blankets & the green chair also.  The green chair is their favorite chair – it’s right next to a radiator – it’s now covered with an old lime green blanket – used to cover coolers at Sherkston – & the old gold afghan.  That’s where they are now – asleep.

***

The hockey game is on – I’m reading a new cookbook from the library – I should be basting black lace on my red plaid dress.  Teddy & I are camped out on the couch – the kitties are playing chase, catch & wrestle.  This is the first Saturday night I’ve had off in months & months.  Darryl has called several times & begged & pleaded for us to invest $25 – $35 – $50 – in whatever deal he has pending – but we went to the store & got groceries & cat food.  I wouldn’t feel like going anywhere – least of all an unheated, dirty, dreary little room in a Lackawanna drug house.  I’m perfectly happy in my warm, clean, cozy, little homey apartment.  With the finest little kitties in the world.

***

It’s snowing – the first real snow of the season, at least around here – upstate had snow way back in October – & the southerntier of course had snow.  It’s gotten really cold – the days are so short – soon is the winter solstice.  The snow looks so pretty.  We’re supposed to get a ton.  I hope so.  I love it cold – I love it snowy – especially in the twilight – the Christmas lights glowing in the windows – the radiators softly hissing – two little kitty-cats purring at my feet.  Cozy – homey – quiet – peaceful.  I think I’ll take a nap before I start having to get ready for tonight’s job.  I hate to admit it but I have absolutely no interest in working – it’s so comfy here – I hate to leave.  I don’t feel like doing coke & I don’t feel like drinking.  Oh well – that’s life.

***

It’s cold, snowy & wintry.  It’s supposed to get really cold tonight – record cold – 0 to minus 5.  We’ve done nothing but smoke joints & pig out!  I feel so fat!  Who cares!  Not me – at least not at the moment.

“No” seems to be the word most said around here lately – the cats are getting into everything!  We have a squirt bottle with which to discipline them – but it’s so hard!  They have the most adorable faces – they’re so sweet – oh, we love our kitties so much!

Last night’s party was really weird – it was held at Light’s Out, a bar one block from The Pipka Palace & a lot of their regulars were there.  So many guys told Teddy or me, “That guy is an asshole” or “The groom is an asshole” – I don’t think anyone liked anyone else.  I ran into Dorrie, who used to barmaid at The Pipka Palace – & Arista, one of the dancers – who looked more emaciated than ever.  She complained that she couldn’t watch – or steal – the show – “I’m used to being invited in, not kept out” – oh well, that’s life.  Everything changes.

When we got home, we ordered wings for me & a sub for Teddy.  We went to bed around 10:30 or 11 – I can’t remember.  It was so great to sleep well & wake up feeling rested & not hung over.  Real good!  & it was even better to count my money this morning!  Not to feel all depressed because we had spent it all partying out in Lackawanna!  I prefer our nights when we’re not doing coke!

***

In a good mood!  It’s cold, cold, cold – but sunny – a beautiful winter day.  The windows have ice patterns all over them.  It looks really cold out – people walking by all bundled up – puffs of steam coming out of their mouths – you can almost hear the snow crunching as they walk along – it’s nice & warm in here.  The kitty-cats have been running around like wild Indians but now they’re falling asleep next to me on the couch here.  I have lots to do today – clean the house – clip article from the newspapers – laundry – & then write, write, write.  Tonight when Teddy gets home, I’m gonna knit my scarf & make Christmas ornaments – I’ve got a whole bunch of junk I’ve saving all year with which to make ornaments.  Oh well – better get going –

***

Never got around to writing yesterday – too many visitors & phone calls!  It was almost supper time before I got the vacuuming done!  I did make some ornaments last night.  Boy – do I ever save everything or what!  I have enough stuff that I could make ornaments all day – everyday – for a week – a month – & open a shop & sell them –

I’m typing up my notes on The Spiral Dance.  I had them stretched over two diaries & you know how messy my diaries are.  This way I can put them into a notebook & make that the start of my very own Book of Shadows.

Missy & Shadow are in here with me.  They were in the living room cuz of the big windows.  I put my dancing blankets on the couch in here, then fetched them from the living room.  I petted them for a while – quite a while – I love to hear them purr!  Now they’ve settled in & their eyes are closed.  The rock’n’roll radio doesn’t seem to bother them.  Now it’s time to find out if the typewriter bothers them.

They don’t even notice.  Well – they looked up a little at first but now they’re out cold.  They’re so adorable!  I love them so much!  Well – back to work.

Teddy’s home.  He brought me half a pound of burger & a large potato, which will be transformed into Salisbury steaks & home fries.  He also brought a 20 lb. bag of cat litter that had been broken into – he got it for $1.10.  What a great deal!

He’s in the tub now.  I’ve put away my notes – although I could type more.  My back is really killing me, though.

Shadow’s trying to jumps into Teddy’s tub – well, if he does, I’m sure he won’t do it twice!  Now he’s on the end table by one of the two windows, looking outside.  It’s twilight – the snow is falling.

***

Just reading over the notes I transcribed yesterday.  All summer long – as I was transcribing poetry & notes out of my diaries – I left these alone – I’m not sure why – so I could do them all at once, I suppose.  I read The Spiral Dance twice in November 1987 – the first time in awe – the second time, taking notes – & then again in February – just before I had to give it back to Ginny P. – to whom the book belonged.  All summer long – I have read all the books I could get my hands on – all the books about the Goddess I could find – & books about women’s spirituality & the history of women in religion & the tarot.  Now I want to start practical adoration – I have started collecting the necessary tools – I have been meditating – I have been praying to the Goddess in my own inept way.  I think – in the early mornings – after Teddy goes to work – before I eat – before I dress & get going on the day’s work – I think that’s a good time to meditate – to think – to work – to learn about the Goddess – within me & without me.

***

I had lots of fun yesterday.  It was cold, though!  I walked up to the subway & by the time I got to Main Street I was so cold I felt like going home.  I told myself not to be such a sissy.  I thawed out on the train.  I got off at Allen-Hospital & walked up Allen Street.  The wind was in my face & it was cold!  Actually – my face was the only part of me that was cold – I was very warmly dressed – thick tights under my jeans – a pink turtleneck – my tan wool sweater – very warm – & my old-lady overcoat.  I tied my bandana on my head – tying it like a scarf under my chin like an old Polish lady.  It looks funny but it’s the best way to tie a scarf – I look good that way too!  I miss my black babushka – that was the warmest scarf – it was stolen at a stag – the sad fate of so many favorite items!

Anyway – after thoroughly exploring Allen Street, I walked up Elmwood Ave to the store called Emma.  It was quite warm in there – I stayed & looked at everything.  Oh, I wished I had lots of money – so many books I wanted – I could have spent a couple hundred dollars easily.  I only had $6!  I bought a couple of cards – I wanted to buy something.  They had jewelry too – silver, beadwork – handmade stuff.  I saw a beautiful pentagram – set in a circle made of silver – with a white stone in the middle – on a silver chain.

Then I walked up North Street to Delaware – Delaware to Chippewa – Chippewa to Main – Main Street to Main Place Mall.  Checking out different shops as I walked.

At the Mall, I checked everything out – buying a bookmark for Teddy at Walden books.  It has a cow on it – that’s why I bought it.  Leaving the Mall, I saw a guy walk out ahead of me.  That looks like Paulie, I thought but a guy in a coat, hat, dark glasses & a thick mustache could be anyone.  I tailed him for a while & decided that it was Paulie.  “Hey Paulie!”  He didn’t recognize me at first in my old Polish lady disguise.  We walked down Church Street – past Police Headquarters – past Saint Joe’s Cathedral – all cleaned up – I hardly recognized it – down to where Paulie parks when he’s working.  It was cold down there!  Jumped into the truck & thawed out smoking a fat joint & drinking beers.  He dropped me at the library 45 minutes later & I was tuned!  I immediately went to the ladies’ room where I took a long pee, fixed my make-up, put on perfume & freshened my breath.  I used the card catalog – looking for specific books – but the books weren’t on the shelves, of course.  I got out 8 books anyway – sometimes the book I want isn’t on the shelf but another one is that’s every bit as good.  I have no problem finding something to read!

After that – I went home – it was already past 2 p.m. & I had been out since 10 a.m.  I was tired – I almost fell asleep on the subway.  You know how that is – go go go all day & the first time you sit down – it’s sleepy time.  Anyway – I didn’t go to sleep – I didn’t read, either.  I watched these two old ladies – they were identical twins – they were dressed identically – down to their winter boots – hair done exactly the same.  They talked a great deal – their mouths moved the same way & their hand gestured the same way too.

It seemed to take hours to walk up Minnesota Ave.  School was letting out – there were children everywhere.  The crossing guard was perched on the far corner as I crossed Parkridge Ave.  I was so glad to get home.  I was so glad to see my kitties.  I ate lunch – then curled up on the couch – the kitties curled up with me – & slept until almost 5 p.m. – which is when Teddy got home.

***

I feel so tired.  Everything I eat makes my stomach ache unbearably & then turns to diarrhea.  I wanted to do so much today – make cookies – type recipes – clean the house.  I really wanted to finish When God Was A Woman – what a great book that is!  A great piece of scholarship!  I would love to meet Merlin Stone & ask her – I don’t know – dozens of questions.  But it makes me look at the Bible totally differently – even the Greek & Roman myths.  Everything I’ve ever learned.

All I’ve done is straighten up a little bit & take out the garbage.  I laid down on my office couch & went right out.  I vaguely remember Shadow & Missy jumping up & settling in.  I missed Teddy’s 11:30 call.  I guess people came to the door – I was out.  It was Paulie’s stereo that woke me up – & even then – it seemed to come from a long ways away – not just from downstairs.

Even now I’m having trouble getting going.  Naturally – I have “Perry Mason” on – & I’m getting hungry, so I must be feeling better.  I was going reheat some chicken wings – maybe I should stick to chicken soup.

***

Winter Solstice – Yule – the shortest day of the year.  I was up early this morning – reading – & finishing –  When God Was A Woman.   It’s grey today – a uniform blanket of clouds covering the entire sky.  I’m warm in the kitchen – baking cookies – Christmas Cut-outs – Chocolate Snowflakes.  After I bake, I’m gonna take a bath & do my hair – we’re going to Teddy’s cousin Rob’s in Conesus Lake to pick up the killer weed this afternoon.  On the way home, we’re going to get a Christmas tree.  I can hardly wait – it’s gonna be a nice trip.  Tonight we’ll decorate the tree & smoke killer joints & eat cookies!

***

We never got to Conesus Lake on Wednesday.  We ended up in Lackawanna – partying with Darryl & his brothers.  We went to Conesus Lake on Thursday.  It was the nicest trip – on the way home, we rated houses by their Christmas displays.  It was so much fun!

I did a Christmas party today at Bonnie’s Lounge– Sheridan Dr. near Kenmore Ave. – at 4 p.m. – I have another one to do at 1 a.m. Chevy workers with their Christmas bonuses!  Always a good time!  Everyone is in a good mood & everyone is generous!  Tomorrow we can go to Radio Shack & K-Mart & Wegman’s.  I can hardly wait.  I love Christmas & Christmas parties & Christmas tips.

***

Christmas Day.  The sun is just peeking through.  It’s been cloudy – sunny – windy – snowy – clear – this – that – the other thing – all day.  Changeable weather – moody like me.  We’ve been having the nicest Christmas – I woke very early this morning – maybe 6 or 6:30 – I could hear Paulie waking his kids by booming out – “HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!” – I know he had to work today – he must have wanted to see them open their presents before he had to go in.  I could hear their excited voices – “Has Santa been here?” – & their footsteps running from the back of the house to the front before I fell asleep again.  Teddy & I got up around 9 a.m.

We’ve been watching movies – “The Glenn Miller Story” & “Angel in My Pocket” – & now a program about the blizzard of 1888.  We got great presents as usual – new sneakers & new notebooks for me.  An ice cream maker from Mom & Bob – I’m so excited!  We love ice cream!

***

A grey cloudy day.  New snow on the tree limbs & roof tops.  Teddy had to go back to work today – poor dear!  We both agreed that this holiday was one of the nicest we’ve ever had.

The only bad news is that on Friday, Danielle’s cat Saranac was hit by a car & killed.  He was twelve years old.  She’d had him longer than Doug.  She’s nearly inconsolable – & no wonder – cats make the best friends.  Saranac was one of the nicest cats I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

***

Arghhhh – I’ve got a cold – a real bad head cold – I’ve been blowing my nose non-stop.  I slept for a while this morning – I felt good when I got up but now I’m feeling lousy again.  I’m watching “Perry Mason” & sipping chicken soup.  My stomach is mildly upset – I think it’s from sniffing so much.  I ran out of kleenix long ago.  The only roll of toilet paper is in the bathroom so I’m using a rag to blow my nose with – I’m on my second rag.  I feel pretty miserable.  It’s been a tough week!  Got my period – got a cold – 1988’s going out with a vengeance!  There’s so many things I want to get done – maybe I can stand a few hours behind my typewriter – I can barely hold up my head.  Teddy’s bringing me Contac when he’s coming home but that’s not until 4 p.m.  Oh well – guess I’ll have to hang in there.

***

Still hanging in there.  The Contacs are doing a lot of good but I feel so delirious.  I walked into my office & looked at my work – all nicely laid out & arranged from yesterday – but I couldn’t get into it.  I’m watching “The Price is Right” & reading Hedy Lamarr’s autobiography.  The cats are playing with their Christmas toys.  They are really wild this morning.  Into everything!

***

New Year’s Eve.  Still feeling like shit but getting ready to go over to Doug & Danielle’s for the evening.  It’s just going to be the four of us tonight.  It seems really strange – just a few years ago, we were having major-sized parties – either at our place or over at Wayne Johnson’s – but now everyone has kids – except Teddy & me – & everyone wants to stay at home.  The main thing I hear is that it’s “too hard” or “too expensive” to get a sitter.  Which really means that everyone is getting too damn old to party.

I guess I shouldn’t complain – we’re going to have some coke – Jesse came by yesterday with a couple of 8-balls & we managed to save some for tonight – & we have weed & lots to eat.  But I miss how it used to be – the crowd of friends – everyone getting together – I can tell everything is changing.

Excerpts From a Diary 33

[Summer, 1988]

[June]

Oh, my stomach is so tender!  I must have a touch of stomach flu – or maybe it was the awful combination I threw into my belly yesterday – I had a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast – 4 cups of coffee as I wrote all morning – then Paulie came up with beers – so I drank 3 beers & two shots of whiskey – & of course Paulie wanted the rent & of course we didn’t have it so I had to let him lick my pussy & then I had to blow him – which I hate to do – but after 3 beers & a shot it’s not too bad.  Besides what am I going to do?  We don’t have the money – we don’t have the money. & he as a small dick & he always cums fast & it’s really not a chore.  Plus he eats pussy like a champ.  I always cum when he eats me.  I protest of course – I don’t want to have sex with him but – it’s not like Teddy ever eats me out.  & even when I see Jesse – which is hardly ever nowadays – it’s always a hurried affair – a quick fuck & he’s gone.  Anyway – my stomach.  So after Paulie left, I had lunch – spaghetti with hotdogs & barbecue sauce – which was yucky – but it was all I had – & it gave me terrible heartburn on top of the beers & the whiskey – & the sperm, I guess – so I popped some Rolaids & took a nap.  I woke up coughing & I coughed for over an hour.  Teddy came home & I was still coughing so we went over to Danielle’s & she gave me some cough medicine – really yucky stuff – & then we came home & I had a slice of pizza.  Which messed up my guts even more.

At least we have some real food today.  As soon as my stomach feels better, I’m gonna have a poached egg on toast.  I hope I feel better soon – I have a really busy weekend.

Noon.  Fuck!  I ran out of cartridge!  I have 5 more poems to print out & the 1984-1986 notebook is done.  This is the largest notebook yet – 101 poems.  This is so frustrating!

& WTBS took off “Perry Mason” at noon & put on “ChiPs” – yuck!  No more murder with lunch!  “ChiPs” is so fucking stupid!  Who the fuck watches this shit?  I’m in a lousy mood.  I called John Grady about getting another cartridge – he said if he could get over here today, he would, but he’d definitely be here tomorrow.  I left my typewriter set up in the kitchen & I filled memory so I can print out as soon as the cartridge arrives.  I had lunch – dusted & vacuumed – put away yesterday’s laundry.  I can always refer back to Tuesday’s list – not that I don’t know what needs to be done.  & I can always mend!  Seems like the mending is never done.  But fuck!  I want to write!  Well – I guess I’ll smoke a joint & watch “I Love Lucy” & do my stretching exercises.  I’ve got a bunch of new books from the library too – I can always read.

***

It’s a perfect grey day – cool, rainy – sky totally cloud-covered.  Matches my mood – burned-out, a little depressed.  I’ve had the answering machine on all day – I just don’t feel like taking any calls.  I worked so hard this weekend – partied real hard too – I just can’t get going.  I’ve been watching TV since I got up – “The Dick VanDyke Show” & “That Girl” &  & just now “The Story of Alexander Graham Bell” starring Don Ameche, Loretta Young & Henry Fonda.  I did get all the garbage out in time for the collection & I dusted & vacuumed.  But I don’t feel like doing a damn thing – just sitting here.  Later on, I’m having my hair done – another perm.

Oh good! Teddy’s home.  He always cheers me up.

***

In Anne Frank’s diary, on December 24, 1943, she quotes Goethe:  “Himmelhoch jauchzend, zu Tode betrübt” – “On top of the world or in the depths of despair.”  That is certainly me.  I know a lot of it is cocaine addiction – you feel so good or you feel so bad.  But I refuse to believe that is all because of cocaine.  I was depressed for years before I got into cocaine – or any drugs for that matter.   Or drinking.  Or anything.

I never got my hair done yesterday – a mix-up on the time prevented it.  Now I have to wait until next week.  I really wanted it done more than a week before the family reunion, so it wasn’t so tightly curled.  Oh well.  You can’t always get what you want – boy, do I know that maxim.

I guess my big problem is the same old problem – I’m horny & I can’t figure out what to do about it.  I’ve been trying to seduce Teddy for weeks.  It’s just isn’t working – I need an affair.  I’m damned if I do & I’m damned if I don’t.  I wish Jesse would stop by – I could call him – but I bet he’d say no – or worse yet, laugh.  Besides, he’s being “faithful” to Doreen – why, I’ll never know.  I can’t imagine that he loves her any more than he did when we were passionate lovers five years ago.  In fact – I know he doesn’t – he comes over here to get high & complain about her.  & I’m the faithful listener – more faithful to Jesse than he’ll ever know – always here for him – always ready to listen – to comfort – to make him feel like a man – as much as I can – since he won’t let me love him with my entire self.  Oh – once in a while – when his own need overwhelms him.  But that’s it.  & then I won’t see him except when he comes over to buy or sell drugs – until the next round of complaining begins & I know that soon, he’ll be wanting me again.

How did I come to this?  How can I be so sexy – so desirable – so wanted by so many men – & so frustrated – so alone – so needy?

Afternoon.  Well, I guess sometimes what you wish for does come true.  Jesse – oh, what a man!  He makes my body sing!   Every part of it!  Oh, how I wish life was different!

Night.  Teddy came home from work with his back muscles all pulled – he’s flat on the couch & I’ve been waiting on him all evening.  I don’t mind – I feel so much better – so much more relaxed.

I just read Poems 1984-1986, which I finished today.  It has 100 poems in it.  Poems 1971-1983 has 57 & Poems 1980-1983 has 87.  I write more & more – I was amazed how many poems there were.  I started on 1987 but I need a new notebook to put them in – I’ve filled every notebook I own.  I wonder how many poems there’ll be?  I don’t think there’ll be as many this time – I need to fall in love.  With someone new.  Jesse is wonderful & there’s something to be said to be the mistress of a man for so many years.  But – I need a change.  I know I need a change.  Maybe my luck is changing – maybe – maybe –

***

I don’t feel like writing today.  I’ve worked really hard all week long.  Today I feel like going to Falco’s for lunch – have a beef & a brew – I have nothing here.  I have $10 for Danielle & $4.05 in spare change.  $4.05 is enough for a beef & a beer.  Right now I’m eating toast & drinking coffee.  Great breakfast, huh?  I forgot to buy eggs – actually we blew off going to the store in our hurry to score an 8-ball of coke.  Last night in bed I was really bummed out cuz we spend most of our money on cocaine – & I’m out of food – also laundry detergent – I’m using Joy dish soap to wash my clothes – & I forgot my mother’s birthday! – me!  I never forget a birthday!  I even talked to her yesterday – she mentioned that Bob bought her a dehydrator for her birthday – it went right over my head – I didn’t remember until later last night when we were playing backgammon & I wrote the date on our tally sheet – I was so embarrassed!  I want to send her flowers but I can’t afford it this week – I’ll have to do something next week at the family reunion.

But I was really sad last night.  We get all the important bills paid – late – but there’s a pile of piddly bills gathering dust – oh, I don’t want to think about it.

But I was able to seduce Teddy last night – finally!  Jesse stops by Wednesday & I seduce Teddy on Thursday – it never rains but it pours!  When I first asked Teddy he said no – he wasn’t into it!  But in bed – holding each other – & not falling asleep – too blasted for that – he felt the urge! – finally!  Oh well!  The Goddess has her reasons – I can only pray She’ll help me again!  How can I make it happen more often?

I’m reading A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller.  I can’t put it down – got a whole page of notes already – I started it at 4 p.m. yesterday.  I’m gonna read a little while – maybe do a little housework – dust & vacuum the living & dining rooms – water the plants – then walk to Falco’s.  Sounds nice!  I wish Teddy would call!

Later.  I’m watching “I Love Lucy” before I go.  I’m realizing – sitting here – that I’m really horny – really horny – really alive – ready for anything.  Hungry, too.

***

Teddy is whistling for me to shut off the light & go to sleep.  I can’t put down A Literate Passion.  I’m copying whole passages from it.  How I long to be in love.  How I long to be in love like this.  I love Jesse & love with him is like riding on lightning but he doesn’t talk about literature & writing – he’s never written me any letters at all – I’ve given him copies of the poems I’ve written for him but he just acts like it’s an everyday occurrence – like girls have been writing him poetry since he was a teenager – which is probably the case.  But it isn’t my poetry – & wow, I would just love to have a lover who would write to me – about writing, about love, about life, about everything.  A complete relationship.  Oh well – gotta go – Teddy is complaining – poor dear –

***

I had to stop writing last night – long before I’d finished.  I should’ve stayed up & read more & written more – I could barely get to sleep – stay asleep – I tossed & turned all night – in & out of dreams – dreams of – Randy.  Although sometimes it was Jesse.  It was hard to tell.

Right now I’m sitting in the truck outside of Herzog’s Drug Store while Teddy’s inside paying the electric bill.  No – was inside.  Now we’re zooming up Main Street.

Now we’re at TCI – to pay the cable bill – well, actually – I’m sitting in the truck while Teddy runs inside.  After this we’re going to pick up the bike.  I can hardly wait!  I’ve been so envious of anyone on a motorcycle & so many drive by the house each day!  I have to drive the truck home.  I know it’s a risk – with no license – but no one else is around to help us & it’s a short way.  It’ll be the first time I’ve driven in 6 months.  I hope nothing happens – I’ll be screwed.

It’s 81 according to the radio.  It’s breezy – just perfect.  I laid out in the sun for an hour today – I barely felt hot – the breeze was so heavenly.  Tomorrow I plan to spend most of the afternoon in the sun.  Today it seemed to take forever to get outside – the housework seemed never-ending!  Well – getting up at 11:30 a.m. doesn’t help either!  I couldn’t help it – I was so tired!  I had the strangest dreams this morning – all with the same theme –

I know it must seem like I’m going crazy.  I think it’s true – I am crazy.  Falling in & out of love like a madwoman – having dreams about my lover’s brother – having sexual fantasies almost every waking moment – having sex with the landlord – actually I’m just – Teddy’s back – I can’t write anymore.

Night.  Oh what a great time we had riding!  Such a lovely evening!  Buffalo in the summer is the finest place to be!  I love seeing everyone’s yards – flower gardens – storefronts open to the sidewalks – new construction – people on bikes – walking dogs – kids – everyone outside.  I know a million cruising routes – I know this town like the back of my hand.  I love being on the back of a bike.  I sit back there like a fucking queen.  I do my best thinking on a motorcycle.

A warm summer night.  Jesse next to me – Teddy on the couch – a silly Beach Boys movie on TV.  Getting high & enjoying life.

***

Today I am filled with a strange joy.  I alternate between housework & reading & writing – it is already really hot.  Fans are whirling in the kitchen – the living room – the bedroom – the radio is on –

Maybe this last week was so full of stress – tears – anger – depression – & the consequential cocaine & alcohol – that the only place to go is up.  Or maybe I have just given up.  Sometimes there is freedom in surrender.  Sometimes you realize it doesn’t mean dick shit anyway.

I cried until yesterday.  I thought I was having another nervous breakdown.  Maybe I did.  It was too much – the stress surrounding the family reunion – the disappointment of the reunion itself – the hurt – the pain – the endless pain –

Knowing that no one is proud of me – not even of my beauty – of course only PapaMac praised me for my beauty – & he’s long gone – nobody else did – & my other achievements pale compared to Tish’s & Helena’s babies – I’m just a fuck-up.

I didn’t even drink at the reunion.  I was really hung over but I usually am on a Sunday.  Teddy didn’t even want to go & I wish we hadn’t.  I always love Letchworth State Park – but I wish we had stayed at home.  Nobody paid any attention to us, anyway.  It was easy to make an excuse & get back on the motorcycle & ride away.

I cried until yesterday.  Last night Teddy & I rode out to Randy’s.  He lives way out in Gasport.  We were picking up a bag of weed.  Randy always has the best stuff – better than Jesse has.  It was a beautiful night.  The moon was a filling crescent – not the slip of a girl of Saturday but a growing light – I saw the features of Her face distinctly.  I breathed in the sweet country air – the Niagara County & Northern Erie County fields that I love so – the breath of the Goddess blew across my face.  A doe crossed the road in front of us – Teddy was about to drop it into second & take off but instead slowed to 45 & then to 25 until she passed – & I looked back up to the moon.  Peace filled me.

***

A small relapse.  Terribly depressed again. I woke up exhausted & went back to bed after Teddy left for work.  My sleep was restless & I had bad dreams.  I can’t remember them very well – the first one had something to do with missing g-strings – Mom had taken them or something – & Tish was arguing that I should audition for “Guys & Dolls” – & I can’t remember what else but I woke up crying.  I fell back asleep almost immediately & this time there was going to be a nuclear holocaust or something.  I can’t remember where I was going or why I was alone.  I stopped into a bar for a drink & the bar was packed.  Young – old – kids – everyone.  Yelling & shouting & singing.  Marlon Brando was there.  I remember being surprised that he was there.  The place was so packed that they ran out of glasses.  My drink was served in a white coffee mug.  It was a Bloody Mary.  It wasn’t what I had ordered but the bartender – some old lady – was already waiting on someone else.

I woke up exhausted – again.

***

Tired & bored.  Just getting things ready to go to Sherkston. I wish we were going back to Stoneybrook State Park but Teddy wants to go to Sherkston & Teddy gets what Teddy wants.  I filled my book crate with books, games, crayons, drawing paper, crossword puzzles, yo-yos.  I have some real gems for this trip – Tropic of Cancer, Diary of a Mad Housewife, The Cider House Rules, The Girl in a Swing, an anthology of poems by women, The I-Ching, & of course, MAD magazines.

It was a tough weekend.  Cancellations – tough audiences – the last party I did on Saturday was filled with assholes who were all aware that Teddy was my husband – & it obviously made a difference – they were yelling things like “Send your husband home!” & “Why do you bring him along?”  & naturally there was no tips – no encores.  We’re short of cash for this coming trip, but that’s life.

& then late Sunday evening – Teddy had already gone to bed & I was almost ready to go – the doorbell rang & I went down to answer it.  It was Jesse.  “Hey, I was in the neighborhood,” he said.  “I have some news.”

He came upstairs & I went to the bedroom to get Teddy.  I knew Teddy wasn’t going to want alcohol but I offered Jesse a drink.  “No, I was just at Falco’s,” he said.  “But I’ll take a cup of tea if you’re making any.”  So I went into the kitchen & put the kettle on.  I got out cups & put tea bags in them & went back to the living room.

Jesse pulled out a fat doobie & lit it.  “You all know that Doreen is due to have another baby in October & everything looks really good this time,” he said, passing the joint to me.  “She’s been after me to get a place in the suburbs but you all know I’m really not the Tonawanda or Cheektawaga kind of guy so I found a place out in Middleport – ”

“Middleport!”  I gasped.  The kettle was whistling – I got up to get the tea.

“Yeah, it’s really nice out there – just a little further out than Gasport – ”

“I know where Middleport is,” I snapped.  “Isn’t there some kind of chemical plant out there?  A fertilizer plant or something?”

“Not where we’re going to be living,” he replied breezily.

“What about your properties here in town?” asked Teddy.

“Oh, I’m keeping them,” Jesse answered.  “They’re income property.  Income is income.  & a reason to come into town once a month – to collect rents.”  He grinned & sipped his tea.  “& hey – it’ll be a nice ride for you guys – on the bike – any number of ways to get out there.”

“When are you moving?”

“We’re moving Doreen’s mom into the Presbyterian Home in Lockport in two weeks & we’ll be moved into the new place by Labor Day.  Doreen really can’t do much after that – she’ll be too big.  She’s fucking huge already,” he said, laughing. “I’m going to be most of the moving anyway.  Randy & me.”

After he left, Teddy & I went to bed & I lay there, unable to sleep.  Jesse was moving away.  Oh – I knew he’d still be coming around – what he said about coming into town to “collect rents” was proof of that – but this was a definite break.  He was leaving.  Middleport is at least 40 minutes away.  I thought – 40 minutes doesn’t sound like much but that’s 40 minutes there & 40 minutes back & that’s not including traffic.  & that’s not including being together.  You can fuck in five minutes but that’s not making love & that’s what I crave – love.  When two people have other lives – other spouses, children, jobs, responsibilities – that mere 40 minutes is enough to kill the entire affair.

I hardly slept all night & today –  I’m terribly depressed.  I feel like the credits are rolling.

***

[July]

Sherkston.  Another windy, cloudy day & now it is sprinkling.  At least it’s warmer than it’s been – record lows this year!  I haven’t worn shorts since I got here.  It’s supposed to get warmer – 80s by Monday – I hope so!  I’m dying to get into a bikini.  I see all these young lovelies around here – they obviously don’t or won’t feel the chill of the air.  I want to lay out in my little red number & pop eyes.  Actually – right now I’m looking pretty good – tight jeans – tight Absolut vodka t-shirt – & a blue flannel that I take off every time the sun comes out.  I’ve been taking it off & putting it on all afternoon!

It’s packed here.  People were arriving & setting up all last night – they’ve been arriving & setting up all day.  There’s been a line out Empire Road – people have been tooting their horns in protest.  They’ll probably be arriving & setting up all night tonight, too.  It’s a fucking party, man!

***

Finally hot!  Except when the sun disappears behind a cloud.

A young daredevil has been entertaining everyone by riding his bike over the quarry edge at top speed.  He has a red life preserver strapped to the front of his bike.  He’s ready to go again.  Teddy just got a picture of him going over.

I’ve been in my red bikini all day.  The looks I’ve been getting!  Well – the bottoms are barely bigger than a g-string.  & the top is as small as you can get before there’s nothing there at all.  Of course I have to suck in my gut as far as humanly possible.  My round little belly.  Well – not so round anymore.  Too many beers!  Too much fun in the sun!  Oh well!

Afternoon.  Eating again.  Chips & dip.  Salami & Weber’s mustard.  Orange pop.  I put on a pair of shorts & my Sherkston t-shirt.  It’s gotten windy & the sun seems to be behind the clouds more than out.  There’s a rainbow all the way around the sun – really beautiful – right now.  It’s moving through a filmy cloud.

***

What a gorgeous day.  Perfect.  Not a cloud in the sky.  I sunned myself all morning & half the afternoon & then Teddy & I took the boat out & went swimming.  We just had lunch – hot dogs & the last of the tuna-mac salad.  In a few minutes we’re going scavenging.  Most of the Canadians have left & of course their campsites are garbage dumps.  In 10 minutes – not going further than 2 sites away – we found 2 empty cases of beer, half a bag of charcoal & a bunch of Chinet plates.  So we’re gonna smoke a joint & go cruising.

It is so nice & quiet now.  The party weekend is fun but it gets stale quickly.  Too much noise!  I must be getting old!  Oh well –

***

Independence day.  Another hot day.  Wispy clouds stretch across the sky.  A cool breeze.  When I got up this morning, I took a shower then Scotty & I went to Ridgeway to return the beer bottles & boy ice.  Then we cruised the park, looking for wood.  Wood we found – also two perfectly good grills – charcoal – chairs – lots of stuff.  We just ate brunch – scrambled eggs, potatoes fried in bacon grease, grilled pork sausages & grilled hard rolls.  Now we’re gonna cruise Wyldwood Beach.  After that – I want to lay out in the sun & get hot – & then we’re gonna take the boat out on the quarry & swim.  It’s supposed to be hot every day!

Night.  At the quarry parking lots.  Teddy is making phone calls – his mother – Jesse.  I am watching the sunset.  A huge orange-gold orb – the sky surrounding it is orange, red, pink, lavender, purple – the few clouds in the sky stand out in bronze.

Today was excellent although I’m under the weather – my period – I’ve felt crampy & achy all day – I’ve taken on lots of water – I’m so bloated.  My hay fever is really bad.  Plus – cocaine withdrawal.  I feel so dead.  I go from nap to nap.

I’m getting so golden – those sunny days are so great!  I should look excellent when I get home.  I don’t spend much time in the sun – it’s so hot – it got to 90 & will every day this week – more than an hour in the sun & I feel so dead – sapped of all energy.  A jump in the quarry always wakes me up.

It’s cooling down.  The low tonight’s only supposed to be 65.  We’re gonna leave the screens uncovered when we sleep tonight – it’ll be quiet & it’s past the full moon – so it’ll be dark.

There’s a bright red cloud over the sunset – it really looks great.

***

Teddy’s gone to Buffalo.  He’s got to stop at the Credit Union – Wegman’s – gas up the truck – Jesse – stop at home to water the plants & grind the package from Jesse – he should be back around 12:30 or 1 p.m.  I can hardly wait.

I’m gonna clean the trailer while he’s gone.  The floor really needs washing.  The water tank needs filling, too.  When Teddy gets back, I’m gonna do a couple loads of wash.  Even on vacation, a woman’s work is never done!

I hope they pick up the garbage today.  If they don’t Teddy & I are going to go to the office & complain.  I mean – we’re paying top dollar here.  & the barrels have been full since Saturday.  Now the trash is on the ground because of the bottle scarfers & the seagulls.  This place is really trashed – especially Quarry 2 & 3.  It was nonstop partying over there – nonstop bedlam.  On Saturday night – especially – it sounded like a football game.  I wandered back there for a moment – it made me think of a Fellini movie about hell – bonfires everywhere – a huge one in the middle of the field – flames way over everyone’s head.  A thousand stereos – all of them cranked – blasting a thousand different heavy metal tunes.  People running around – staggering – crawling – screaming at the top of their lungs.  Hot rods zooming through lines of tents – haphazardly pitched anywhere.  Walk a few feet & it’s impossible not to be swept into it – carried along by the madness of the mob.  I quickly retreated & returned to my safe quiet campsite.

Now that field is a garbage heap.  Mounds of burnt picnic tables, tents, chairs, tires, cookware.  Birds circling – fighting over food – bird shit everywhere.  The smell of old smoke & decaying food.  It’s disgusting.  Why are people such assholes?  & why hasn’t it been cleaned up already?

***

In Ridgeway.  Looking for blocks of ice.  Nobody seems to have them anymore.  Blocks keep 10 times better than cubes.  You need cubes for mixing drinks but that’s about it.

Teddy’s back.  He found one.

Later. “Home” again.  “Home” – our lovely trailer on our lovely site.  We’re each seated on one of the two benches which are of course storage bins are well – & with the table, another bed.  We have the little 12-volt fan on – mostly aimed at Teddy – he’s always hotter than I am.  I’m hot but I’m comfortable.  There’s a nice breeze blowing through – feels so heavenly.  It got up to 95 today.

***

On the Peace Bridge.  We’re behind a cream puff red ’60 Corvette.  In perfect condition.  Hard to believe such a lovely car was made by Chevy.

Doug & Danielle & the kids joined us last night.  We were ready for company.  We had our first argument yesterday!  A silly thing – I can’t even remember what it was about.

Later.  Ever feel like you’re getting fucked?  Jesse didn’t have our package – he said he sold it cuz he could get more from his connection only his connection wasn’t home – he said he’d bring it up tomorrow cuz he’s taking the day off from work – well I guess we’ll see, right?  I had to wait in the truck while Teddy was talking to him – on the phone, we never went over there – so I didn’t get to see him either.  Now I’m again waiting in the truck while Teddy’s in the bank – trying to find out why they won’t cash my check.  The teller said why but it’s a piss-poor reason.  It’s hotter than hell out here.  I can hardly wait to get back up to Sherkston.

***

Hot, hot, hot.  Another steamer.  I am glowing – golden.  I have been basking all afternoon.  Teddy & I had the greatest swim an hour ago – the quarry water is warm – warm!  It’s never warm!  It’s always ice cold!  Now he’s calling Jesse & Randy – Jesse never showed up today – not that I was particularly surprised – being bummed out about not receiving out package was only half of my disappointment.  But I am so used to being disappointed that I just shrug it off & go on.  I looked beautiful all day – felt beautiful – like some tropical flower in full bloom.

I am longing to be kissed.  Passion kisses – full kisses from which you have to come up for air.  My mouth is so ready – I’m so ready – so totally in heat.  Longing, longing, longing.

***

Home again.  A cold front went through last night – it’s cooler – cloudy.  A perfect day – I don’t know if I could take another steamer.  I have too much housework.  Last night, we got home & dumped everything.  The only thing I did was defrost the fridge – it really needed it – the freezer was solid snow.  That’s all – I can’t get motivated at all today.  I told myself – smoke a joint & finish your book & then hop to!  Oh well.  When Teddy called me this morning, he told me not to work too hard.  “Just take it easy.”  I thought, gee, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem today.  I said, “But I hate a messy house & I feel guilty laying around & reading when you’re at work.”  He answered, “I’ve told you before that’s ridiculous.”

As soon as I hung up with Teddy, the phone rang.  It was Jesse.  “Maybe I can find some motivation for you,” he said.  Maybe.  Maybe.

Afternoon.  Well, I finished my book & most of a joint so now I supposed I have to get to work.  I already straightened up the living room a little – well I straightened up the newspapers.  I suppose I should start in the kitchen – wash the dishes – clean the coolers – put away the groceries.  Or maybe throw in a load of wash first – I just don’t feel like doing any of it.

Later.  Jesse stopped by with some “motivation”.  He left a small package.  I probably shouldn’t have taken it but oh well – that’s what drug addiction is all about, I guess – I’m glad he stopped by.  Sometimes I wonder what I’d do without him.

***

Jesse stopped by again today.  I had just made some onion soup but naturally my appetite disappeared when he pulled out his bag.  We did lines & sat & talked until he had to go back to work.  Of course he was complaining about Doreen & the upcoming move.  I think he just wants someone to talk to.

***

It’s pouring – a real, good soaking rain.  I love a morning rain.  We’ve had a couple of thunderstorms over the weekend – a really impressive one early Sunday morning – but not what we’ve needed – steady rain.  Not until now.  I suppose it’ll be stickier than ever.  I was going to go to the downtown library today – maybe I still will – if the rain stops early enough – of course – when it rains, I have to wonder – will Jesse stop by?  Of course – they don’t always stop his job when it rains.  I think he just leaves for a couple of hours – says he’s got something to do & takes off.  He’s the foreman – he can do whatever he wants.

I’m lying in bed.  I’ll call Teddy in a minute.  I was awake so much last night – I got up several times to check windows – to see if it was raining in.  With the fans on, I can’t hear if it’s raining or not.

Midmorning.  I can’t believe I fell asleep & overslept again – it was 10:15 when I awoke – after strange dreams – it’s stopped raining but it’s foggy & looks like it could pour any second – one of my favorite movies is on – “Bell, Book & Candle” – with James Stewart, Kim Nowak, Jack Lemmon & Elsa Lancaster.

***

[August]

It seems ages since I last wrote.  I’ve been so busy – reading, studying, learning – writing poem after poem – sending things to be published.  I went to the downtown library last week & I’ll probably go this week too.  I have fallen into a schedule that seems to work – sleep late Monday – straighten up the house – study until Teddy gets home from work – Tuesday clean the house, do the laundry – go to the library – Tuesday night when Teddy goes to work, write – Wednesday, Thursday & Friday – write.  Dance all weekend – recover on Sunday & Monday too, I guess – or else I’d be cleaning the house on Monday & writing on Tuesday.  Usually on Monday all I want to do is sleep.

It’s a noisy day today.  Someone is mowing their lawn – the sweet smell of cut grass – & someone else is hammering a porch – I can’t see very well from here.  I can see the guy hammering though.  Now I can hear a power saw.

Downstairs it sounds like Romper Room – one of Cindy’s friends who has kids the same age as Melissa & Marco are visiting.  Bandit’s in the back yard – he’s crying & moaning & barking – he wants to play with the kids.

***

Teddy left for work at 8 a.m.  I went back to bed.  I was almost asleep when the doorbell rang – it was Jesse.  He was looking for cocaine.  “Did you guys ever score Saturday?”  “Yeah we did, but it’s long gone,” I laughed.  “Are you in a hurry to go to work?”

“I should be but I’m not,” he answered.   After he left, I went back to bed – totally sated & satisfied – I dreamed all morning – one vivid dream after another.  I woke up slowly – almost painfully – I was still held by hallucinations.  Did Jesse stop by or was that a dream too?  Dream or not – it was heavenly –

WTBS has a two-hour “Gunsmoke” on – I love Westerns.  James Stacey is in this one.  Eighteen years ago – how I loved him!  I remember when he was Johnny Lancer.  Such a tragedy – losing his legs in a car accident – all because of a drunk driver.

Afternoon.  I would like to get fucked until I don’t want to get fucked – or I don’t want to have sex at all.  I wanna fuck forever – I wonder how long it would take for me to get sick of sex – I wonder how many men it would take.  Or women.  Or robots!  Or aliens!  Ok – I’m joking – but – I wonder if my body would wear out before my desire would.  I wonder – if then – my desire would be permanently sated – or if it would again flare up?  Oh I am constantly on fire.

***

Where do the days go to?  They fly by – faster & faster.  This coming week will be no different.  Today was a day of naps – the first cool, non-humid day in weeks.  It is certainly turning out to be a long hot summer – the longest & hottest in years.  For days on end, it has been in the 90s.  Tomorrow I will write & sun myself.

Wednesday we’re going to Letchworth State Park for a picnic with Teddy’s family.  I’m taking a potato salad that I’m making Tuesday night.  On Thursday we’re going to the Erie County Fair & then I have to go to my drunk driver class – my second-last one.  Then it’s the weekend again – a full schedule of parties.  Summer’s going fast – faster – fastest – which is always sad – except that it’s been so hot I’m kinda glad.  I really don’t like hot weather.  I like fall & winter.

***

For the first time in weeks, it’s cool.  For the first time in weeks, I’m wearing sweat pants, a flannel shirts & socks!  For the first time in weeks, the fans aren’t on.  It’s really nice for a change!

I have so much to do today – laundry, housework, reading, writing – so much reading & writing!  & we’re going to the Fair later – I can hardly wait!

Yesterday’s picnic was great – we took lots of picnics & ate lots of food – hamburgers, hotdogs, roasted corn, salads – it was great.  It was wonderful seeing Mom & Jerry – too bad we have to wait all the way until Christmas to see them again!

***

We just ordered a pizza.  It’s raining – pouring – has been since 2 p.m.  Totally dark & grey all day.  Summer’s winding down.  Next week at this time we’ll be camping – I can hardly wait.

I’ve been so busy – reading, writing, studying, taking notes – my fingers ache from holding a pen.  Plus a started a new inventory of my books – I have so many more than I thought – so many I had no idea I had – I buy them thinking I’m going to read them & then I forget about them.

***

Planning for our Sherkston trip – which had to be delayed cuz I got screwed over on a job this weekend & we spent too much partying with the home boys.  Darryl’s disappeared – no one knows where he is.  He was really getting wired – really losing it – I hope he can get his shit together.

I’ve been so busy – inventorying my books – writing – reading.  Tomorrow I’ll do laundry & pack.  Teddy’s on vacation.  He’ll help me – or get in my way – whatever.  We’re broke – almost out of food – but at least we’ve got weed!

***

At Sherkston.  A lovely warm day.  Sunny.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Plenty of flies & bees.  It’s been great since we got here.  George, Alice & Cryssie were here when we got here – Doug & Danielle & the kids arrived the day after.  It’s beautiful – I’m going for a bike ride in a minute.

Afternoon.    Teddy, Deano & I took a long bike ride!  We rode all over the park – through the seasonal sites & stopped at the playground – Teddy sat & rested while Deano & I played on the swings – I was really flying – the monkey bars, the rings, the sea-saw.  Teddy pushed Deano on the merry-go-round – I was bushed by that point.  We rode home & then Teddy & I jumped into the quarry – ah!  So refreshing!

Now we’ve – Teddy, Danielle & I – have just finished a doob & dogs are on the grill – potato chips & beer – a light breeze – I’m reading a good book about Gertrude Stein & I’m totally convinced that this is what life is all about –

***

Withdrawal.  I can hardly stay awake.  I need a line!  But sleeping feels so good.  After I wrote this past afternoon – we fucked – really! – & napped for four hours – until almost 8 p.m.!  It was sunny when I passed out – twilight when I came to!  & I was confused.  I was still in the grip of dreams.

I am the first one in again.  Of course I don’t go to sleep immediately – I read – I write – or make notes on the novel.  But I am so tired.  So so weary.

Later.  It started raining last night – it poured.  Now it’s cool & foggy – I hope it stayed like this all day.  I’ve always loved raining days – days when showers sweep by – leaving everything sweet-smelling.  The grass looks greener too – all the colors are brighter when the sky is grey.  It’s really a beautiful morning.

Evening.  We slept until 2 p.m.  & then dropped acid.  For a while, I was tripping my brains out & was beautiful – I am still beautiful but I am drunk – I am losing self-confidence – I want to eat everything in sight – I want a line – I want a line – I want a line – I want a line – I want a line –

I want to sleep forever –

Night.  Dinner at Doug & Danielle’s.  Potluck of barbecue ribs, stuffed crab tails, home fries, pickled vegies.  I’m in our trailer – alone – making myself a cup of tea.  It’s raining again.  I can’t believe the pain I’m in.  Physically sick.  Every muscle & bone aching.  My hip is killing me.  Tired – arthritic.  Weary.  One thing – one thing.  One thing – everything.  I am sick – sick – sick – sick –

It’s pouring.  It sounds so lovely pounding on the canvas – a percussion lullaby to sing me to sleep.

***

I feel much better today.  We just finished dinner – ham steak & potatoes au gratin.  We watched the football game all afternoon – the Bills won their home opener – & after that we all rode our bikes to Elco Beach.  Teddy & I are going on a cruise in a little bit.  Tonight’s our last night.

***

Labor Day.  Home again.  We got home about 4:30 p.m. – took our baths & went over to Doug & Danielle’s for dinner.  Now we’re home – after stopping at Wilson Farms for milk, half & half & fudge bars – smoking a joint & watching Monday Night Football.  I’m freezing – I’m wearing a flannel nightshirt, my bathrobe, socks & have an afghan thrown over me.  Last night a cold front moved through – a big storm – high winds & heavy rain.  We were up a long time though – inside when it rained – outside by the fire when it stopped.  I did a lot of drinking this weekend but wasn’t hungover once.  I felt a little queasy this morning when I got up to pee but it was gone hours later when I woke up for good.

My poems were rejected by the News – I read the form letter & tossed it on my desk – later this week I’ll get to re-reading it – I guess I’ll file it.  Maybe I would reply – fuck you? – I’m stewing about it, obviously.  After this tough weekend, I didn’t need any bummers – but that’s life.  I guess I’ll just have to try harder.  I have so much work to do anyway.

***

A cup of tea after my bath.  I did a lot of work today – washing blankets & inventorying my books.  I’ve listed over a thousand already – about half-way.  I’m reading 20,000 Years of Fashion.  I have so many books to read – so many things to learn – so much writing to do.  One project after another.  My poems being rejected really bummed me out.  My emotions have really been yo-yoing lately – I feel so good or I feel so bad.  Today I’ve been down – up – down.  Right now I guess I’m going up – except that I just took a bath & the sight of my body depressed me – I look so fat – I have a giant zit on my chin – my hair needs cutting – I just feel so fat & ugly.  I know I just got back from vacation & one weekend dancing & partying & I’ll be back to my usual sleek form – I know all this!  But what your head acknowledges, your heart refuses to realize – oh well.  I guess this is just the pattern of my life.

***

You know – sometimes I guess I’m just dumb.  Teddy’s fit to be tied – he’s mad at Jesse & he’s not real happy with me either – I guess if anyone comes over with an 8-ball of anything – in this case, crank – I should always get a gram off whoever it is – Jesse did leave me a little because he always leaves me a little & I did tell him that I wanted Teddy to try it & that we’d probably want to get some – he said he’d call &/or stop by later – only of course he didn’t – we waited up until after midnight – Teddy called first thing this morning & Doreen told him Jesse left at 6:30 – well, he’s got to be at work at 7 – Teddy just called from work.  He’s stewing.  But I believed Jesse – that he would return – when will I learn?  It’s just – it’s just nothing.

Later.  Teddy just called back to tell me that he’s not mad at me anymore & that he loves me.  Also – to get whatever I can.  I apologized for being so stupid.  “I guess I’m still the naïve little Cori.”  “Well, I guess that’s true, although I was thinking of another word,” he replied.  “I really did believe him when he said he’d be back,” I insisted, “I mean, why would I think he was lying?”

Teddy said, “Cori, he’ll say anything, especially when he’s high as a kite – he probably meant it at the time.”  Oh yes – a man with his head in the clouds will say just about anything.  & a woman in love will believe him – when will I learn!

***

Tired.  Beat.  Burned out.  I couldn’t get going this morning – laid on the couch until almost noon.  Busted ass all afternoon though – defrosted the fridge – cleaned the house – worked with some plants – did 3 loads of wash – about a million dishes – seemed like a million – made western sandwiches & home fries for dinner & an apple tart – well, kind of an apple tart – I made pie dough & rolled it out & peeled & cored an apple – I only had one – & seasoned it with butter, sugar & cinnamon & then folded it up & baked it.  Just now I put a butter-cream icing on it & sprinkled cinnamon & sugar on it.  It looks too good to eat!   But Teddy is demanding a piece so I’d better give him one.

Oh, it is yummy – absolutely melts in your mouth.  My pie dough is made with butter – it makes a golden-yellow crust that lighter than air.  You just have to have the butter at the correct temperature & firmness when to cut it in.  Too hard or too soft – it won’t work.

Well – I’m gonna jump in the tub & soak a while – I ache all over.  Then I want to finally sit down & read.  It’ll be an early night – which is alright with me – I have a thousand things to do tomorrow.

***

I feel terrible.  I have my period – really bad – really heavy bleeding – really bad cramps.  I also have a touch of the flu – I’ve had diarrhea all morning.  Oh – & it’s such a beautiful fall day!  A lovely day for a bike ride – but I can barely move.  I’m camped out on the couch – pillows – blankets – books – notebooks – pens – “Perry Mason” on TV – the front door & windows open, letting in the sweet air – such a drag to feel so awful on such a beautiful day!

***

I feel better today.  I’m barely bleeding at all – no cramps – what a change!  I slept all afternoon yesterday – I was sleeping when Teddy got home.  We blew off grocery shopping – I reheated pizza for supper.  Today I’m being Jo Housewife – going through old magazines – uh!  A large gust of wind just blew through the front window & knocked over a large glass of plant cuttings onto me – I’m soaked!  I have to go change & clean up.

Evening.  This lack of marijuana problem is beginning to get to me.  We just finished dinner – burgers & fries – & I want an after-dinner joint!  Teddy’s on the phone with his Aunt Barb – getting his cousin Rob’s number – his cousin Rob usually has really good weed – talking about going far afield!  Cousin Rob lives near Conesus Lake!  I am more than ready to jump in the truck & take a long ride.

The line’s busy – the line’s busy – the line’s busy – the line’s busy – finally!  He’s talking to Rob now.  Doesn’t sound good.  Of course Teddy’s yakking up a storm – hurry up & tell me what’s happening!  I might as well go down cellar & get the wash out of the drier – maybe I’ll knock on Paulie’s door & find out if he knows anything.

Nothing!  Nothing, nothing, nothing!

***

Just finished dinner – tacos.  Still have nothing to smoke.  Oh well.  The trouble is – when there’s finally some available – it’ll be twice the price.  It happens every year.  10 years ago, an ounce was $40 – on average – I remember buying an ounce for $35 & being told “This is the last $35 ounce you’ll ever see.”  & it was.  Now ounces are double that.  I bet after the new year, they’ll be triple that.  It’s such a drag.  It’s so frustrating.  There’s nothing you can do – you feel so helpless.  You can get cocaine anywhere – but no weed.  A lot of the heavy coke users we know don’t smoke weed anyway but Teddy & I have always liked to do a line & then smoke a joint – besides, we don’t snort everyday – just on the weekends – when we’re working – or partying – or both – whatever – but marijuana’s an everyday habit.

Oh well.

Evening.  Teddy’s upset.  He’s sick of waiting for people of waiting for people to call back – never calling back – taking their time coming over – never arriving – he’s lying on the couch – looking dejecting –

Today we went to the Buffalo History Museum to see the Home Front exhibit.  We looked at everything else, of course.  We watched the Apostle clock chime – I’ve loved that since I was a child.  Then we walked in the park.  It was nice.

Teddy says he feels weird.  “I want some ganga.”  He’s going through the phone book again – again.

Nobody has anything.  I have never lived through anything like this.

Excerpts From a Diary 32

[May, 1988]

Finally, the weather is warming up – acting spring-like.  It was sunny when I got up – I opened some windows when I got up but it’s clouding up & cooling off now – big black clouds rolling up from the lake – a chill in the breeze.

I have my period – it arrived after Jesse left on Friday.  I hate having my period on the weekends – when I have to work – but at least I didn’t have it when Jesse was here – I was able to fuck him!  I was so horny!  I’m always so horny right before my period.  Mondays are the best time to get my period – when I’m tired & want to sleep all day anyway.  But oh well – that’s life.

Dennis just called – he’ll be over to collect his money – he’s right up the street – we owe him for this weekend’s coke.

Later.  I just heard the most raucous laughter – I had to get up & see – 3 teen-aged girls & a boy – no more than 15 years old – & he had them in stitches!  I had to laugh too.

***

I just finished doing stretching exercises.  I’ve been disgustingly lazy all winter long.  Of course – I had the car accident & I’ve been so sick – & I did let myself get run down – but there wasn’t any way around it – I had to work & I couldn’t rest & relax the way I should have.  I know it sounds silly but when I got in the car accident & got so badly hurt & got busted & everything that’s followed – losing my car & my license – & all the pain I’m still suffering – my back & my knee – I just lost heart.  The last several months I really haven’t given a shit about anything.  I know it’s wrong & I should have fought it – made myself care – but I was beyond that –

But it’s spring now & my birthday soon & I feel better.  Although I’m still moving slow – I did my exercises slowly – after smoking a joint & thinking about it.  my back is still in pain – the last few days have been pretty bad.  But doing the exercises over time should help.  Besides I have to – I’m getting fat!  At least – I look fat – my tummy’s fat – when I look in the mirror – although Teddy says I look lovely – as sexy as ever – & I know I am – but I still think I’m fat!  I must be – I seem to be eating so much lately.  That is – when I’m not blasted silly.  It’s gotten to be a real yo-yo existence – high all weekend – straight all week.  It used to be high all week – or at least most of the time.

Oh well – phone’s ringing –

***

Afternoon.  Watching “The Price is Right” – smoking a joint – a tall vodka & tea next to me – Teddy’s working late – he won’t be home for another half-hour or so.  He’ll be sweaty, hot & tired when he gets here.  I’ll have a bath ready for him to jump into when he gets here – & a tall ice-cold glass of Pepsi.  Today was – is still – such a lovely day.  Cloudy & cool at first but it’s been brilliantly sunny & hot – the first time this year – all afternoon.  I put on my bikini & went out on the porch for an hour.  Talk about stopping traffic!  Policemen waving hello – deliverymen hanging out their truck windows – college boys trying to act cool & macho – one dude went by with his tongue actually hanging out!  Oh, I get no end of amusement from these idiots.  When I was going back in the house, the school up the street was letting out & these two little black boys were walking by.  They saw me & of course started giggling.  The bolder of the two addressed me: “Hi, naked woman!”

“I’m not naked,” I told him.

They were giggling so hard they could barely walk straight.  I could hear them all the way up the street, “Nekkid woman!”  I was picking up my stuff & I heard: “I’ll be stopping by your apartment later tonight,” & even louder giggles.

“I don’t think so, son,” I answered.

“You got a husband?”

I laughed.  “Husband or no, don’t you think you’re a little young for me?”

“No, no, I don’t!”  & they were almost crawling – they were giggling so hard.  I disappeared into my apartment.

***

After the warm weekend – it got to 82 on Sunday – a cold front moved in & temperatures dropped.  It’s still really nice though.  Today is cool & cloudy.  The trees are all flowering – the new green leaves so bright on the trees & especially the hedges where they stand out against the older growth.  My little bird who lives in the trees in front of the house is on the porch railing, singing his lungs out.  He spends a better part of the day singing there.  I don’t know what kind of bird he is – maybe a finch – he looks like the goldfinches I used to see in Clarence Center – but he’s greyish-brown with white-tipped feathers & kinda red on his head & back – but barely – like a dye growing out.

I have to go wash my hair & get ready to go to see Dr. West – I already called & flirted with him on the phone – feeling good today –

Afternoon.  It is so tough getting Danielle to motivate – I got to her house a full hour before we finally got into the car to go to Williamsville – I hate being late to appointments!  Oh well – it’s just something you gotta get used to.  It pisses Teddy off to no end – it gets on my nerves too but there’s nothing to be done about it – it’s just the way she is – so why get upset?

I drove Dr. West wild today – not that I have to do anything except lie there & breathe sex – the easiest thing in the world for me to do – I do it effortlessly.  He gets himself worked up easily anyway – telling what he’d do with me – etc. – stealing kisses – etc. – drives me wild too – although part of me stands back & makes fun of the whole thing.  I mean – it really is stupid.

Later.  All wound up & no place to spin.  I couldn’t sit still – couldn’t concentrate – I put two new batteries in my vibrator & back against the pile of blankets in my dressing room – in the middle of an excellent fantasy – the phone rang – I forgot to put on the answering machine – I let it ring – then I got up to get it – after all – maybe it would be something interesting – but not such luck!  Another dumb Joe trying to hire me for Saturday night.  Hey – that date was booked solid weeks ago!  Leave me alone!

***

It is thundering & lightning – I just saw the finest flash – the perfect end to a gorgeous day.  A burned out day – of course – recovery day – like all Sundays.  We had our usual Sunday dinner – pizza – from Via Veneto on the corner – pepperoni & meatballs – mushrooms on my half – hot peppers on Teddy’s half.

Oh – I’m tired.  Teddy’s in bed.  I stayed up to watch a new “Perry Mason” movie.  It’s really pouring.  I have to check the windows –

***

Another storm.  It was sunny all morning long – what I saw of it – I got up at 11 a.m. – I put on my tan accelerator before dressing – assuming that the fine weather would last through the afternoon – but oh well.  That stuff makes my skin so soft.

Teddy’s home from work today.  This morning he was all upset – rushing around – barking orders.  He’s got a hay-fever head cold.  Now he’s mellow – laying on the couch – & the storm is on the outside of the house – not the inside.

***

I wander around the house – I am dazed – I am confused – lost – but exultant – joyous – pleased – pleased – pleased –

When Anthony Falco stopped by today to drop off money for Teddy I had no idea what would happen – I wasn’t expecting anything – but oh my my – he was wonderful – wonderful – wonderful – I always knew he liked me – but not like that!

Now I know what Anaïs Nin meant about the veils of an Oriental woman – using the veils to hide herself from all view except from her lovers – the creation of a literature that is all sensory – passionate – emotional – but not concrete – not “factual” – not factual in the sense of facts such as who, when, where but only how & why – & only just enough to tell the real story – the woman’s inner story –

I am not making sense.  But it doesn’t matter – because I know – I know – I know –

I feel so alive!

***

I’ve read all my diary entries in this notebook – I must sound like a crazy woman – which I suppose I am.  I’m still riding on yesterday’s euphoria – dying for a continuation – my mind is racing – will he or won’t he call – oh – the usual thoughts of a woman in love – in love – in love –

I can’t help thinking about him – I’ve been writing all morning – mostly fixing typos on old poems.  Naturally – right now I’m watching “Perry Mason”.  It’s one I remember from when I was a kid.  This is my break – at 1 p.m. I’ll go back to work – writing – I did all the housework yesterday.

I gave thanks to the Goddess yesterday.  I was so happy.

***

So tired today.  I supposed it’s because yesterday I partied all day – I had a wonderful time – birthday shopping – buying an entirely new outfit at Sibley’s – denim & lace – & then dinner at Coachman’s Inn – Teddy had ordered a birthday cake when he made the reservations – totally unknown to me – you could have knocked me over with a feather when our waitress & other servers & kitchen help came to our table carrying the cake & singing “Happy Birthday” – I cried.  It was a great meal – giant whiskey sours – French onion soup – house dressing on the salads – filet mignon for Teddy & prime rib for me – I was stuffed when I walked out of there – very stuffed & very sleepy.

My only disappointment was that we didn’t go to Falco’s – I wanted to see Anthony – also it was the first birthday in seven years I didn’t go to Falco’s – but we were really sleepy after all that rich food – not to mention almost broke – so I wasn’t going to argue the point too vehemently – in the long run what different does it make?

That is my whole attitude today.  What difference does anything make?

***

Mmmm – just out of bed.  I don’t like sleeping after 11 a.m. – feel so guilty when I think of Teddy at work – but I would probably will be in bed if Rose next door hadn’t started mowing her lawn.  She has the most noisy lawn mower known to man & she mows at the pace of a snail.  I know she’s an old lady but still.  It’s a postage-stamp size of a lawn – it shouldn’t take an hour to mow it!   I hate the sound of lawnmowers!  But I do love the smell of freshly cut grass.  Oh, I have so much to do & no energy to do it with!  The house is a mess – the maid does not work on weekends – the maid barely works on Monday.  Well – maybe she’ll just have a late start.  I’m gonna have breakfast – then watch Perry Mason at noon – then lay in the sun until 2 p.m.  Laying in the sun isn’t really “relaxing” – I mean, it is relaxing – but ya know, in my business, a tan is mandatory – & then continue with the house.  Tuesday & Wednesday I have to get ready to go camping on Thursday.  So much to do – I’m not going to get any writing done this week either.  Of course – if I hadn’t slept until 11 a.m. maybe I would’ve had the time to write – but then I hate to write when the house is a mess.  Oh well!  I guess I should get up & make breakfast & start in on the dishes – boohoohoo!  I hate washing dishes!  I’m so lazy today!  So burned out – too much partying – too much cocaine this weekend – but that’s life!  Gotta get my act together no matter how much I want to sit & do nothing.

***

Busy, busy, busy.  Packing to go – making macaroni salad, bacon-onion dip & barbecue sauce – making & revising lists – doing laundry.  Hopefully Teddy will get his check today – then we’ll be able to go to K-Mart, Wegman’s, Mack Lumber, Consumer’s, etc. – this afternoon & evening – & then we can leave bright & early tomorrow morning.  If have to wait to shop tomorrow morning, then we’ll have to run around all day & then pack & leave afterward – not until after noon – & there’s be a delay on the bridge & that’ll be a drag.  I want to go!  Plus – we’re broke & there’s nothing to eat!  Well we can have salami sandwiches.  But – I want something better than that.  I’ve been eating salami for days.

***

Stoneybrook State Park, site #114.  We’re having a great time – beyond a great time.  We got here around 12:30 on Thursday – we were all set up & settled by 2 p.m.  We got wasted that night – 2 hits of acid apiece – snorted up all the coke – & drank almost half the vodka.  Needless to say, yesterday was very low-key.  We slept half the day & ate the rest of it & was in bed by 10 p.m.  This morning was a joy – waking up & listening to the birds & the sounds of the water in the creek rushing down the hill – the birds chirping – other campers – kids playing.  It is so quiet here.  Not a thing like Sherkston’s party-all-day-all-night-music-never-stops atmosphere.  It is really great.  Also, most of the campers are families.  You never see this many kids at Sherkston – it’s really nice.  I just love the quiet – it’s what I really needed.

***

Clara Barton Street – Rte. 36 – Dansville, NY.  I love Dansville.  I told Teddy I’d be more than happy to live here.  This is Teddy’s family’s hometown.  Well here we go – no more writing.

Later.  Cooking breakfast.  Actually, I guess it’s lunch.  Teddy’s doing Canadian bacon & toast on the grill & I am making homefries & eggs over easy inside.  It seems more overcast than yesterday.  There’s no rain in the forecast but I suppose you never know.  I’d enjoy a brief thunder & lightning storm/rain shower.

After we eat, we’ll read & smoke joints & then we’re gonna hike along one of the trails.  I want to take a bunch of pictures.

***

Ready to leave – boohoo!  The trailer’s all folded up – the bed of the truck is packed with dirty laundry – the empty case of beer – empty coolers – half-eaten boxes & cans of pretzels & peanuts.  We did eat almost everything we brought.  We ate & drank almost non-stop!  But now it’s time to go – boohoohoo.

Doug & Danielle stopped by yesterday – we were so surprised!  They stayed several hours – we walked around the park & showed them everything – the kids threw rock after rock into the stream & screamed when they had to leave.  We all ate dinner together – sharing dogs & chops, chips & chicken salad & my homemade German potato salad.  They don’t want to go to Sherkston for the July 4 holiday – they want to go to a place near Pembroke called Sleepy Hollow.  I’ll go anywhere – I don’t care – as long as it’s quiet.  I’m tired of Sherkston’s party atmosphere – I party for a living – when I go on vacation, I want peace & quiet!  Plus – Doug has to work every day & the Peace Bridge is a real drag – Teddy is real sad, of course – he says it’s the end of an era.  Well – it’s always the end of an era, isn’t it?  One way or another?

Time to go.

***

10 a.m.  Making up some breakfast – 2 fried eggs & toast & coffee.  I have so much to do today – I’m sure my household chores will extend into tomorrow – it’s so hot that I’m not going to bust ass or anything.  There’s supposed to be major thunderstorms tonight – a cold front from central Canada will be moving through – so tomorrow when it’s cooler, I’ll do the heavy housework.  Today I’m mostly gonna pick up – straighten up around the house – the camping gear we just set down anywhere because it was so hot & we were so tired – we just brought everything upstairs & let them lie.  There’s also a multitude of dishes in the sink – naturally I didn’t feel like doing any dishes last night.  Oh – I shouldn’t have gone back to bed after Teddy went to work this morning!  But the bed looked so cool & inviting & I was so horny – I thought I would pleasure myself & then get up & get to work but after I came, I drifted off into dreamland – I woke up more tired & disoriented than before.  A few cups of coffee always cures that – today it seems like even coffee isn’t working very well.

Oh, I’m lazy today!  I wish I could go to the beach!  I swear, if someone called & said, “Hey let’s go,” I’d drop everything!  But oh well.  I read in Sunday’s paper that there’s an hour wait to get over the Peace Bridge.  I guess if you want to go to one of the beaches in Canada, you have to start early in the day!  I haven’t spent a day on the beach in a long time.

All this writing is not getting my work done.  I ought to make a list:

  1. Defrost fridge
  2. Get garbage together – empty waste baskets, newspapers
  3. Laundry – darks, lights, costumes, blankets
  4. Dust & vacuum, sweep kitchen
  5. Make bed & straighten up bedrooms
  6. Clean desk & baskets
  7. Do paperwork
  8. Make booking calendar for July & August
  9. Create new sets
  10. Create new costumes
  11. Lay out in the sun
  12. Make grocery list
  13. Decide what to wear to dinner tonight & get it ready
  14. Straighten up sun room
  15. Clean coolers
  16. Mending – black lace teddy – green pillow
  17. Sweep front porch

Number 13 will be a toughie because I don’t know where we’re going to dinner.  Betty & Jerry are up from Florida & they’re taking us to dinner tonight.  I wish Teddy had asked where we’re going.  I’m sure they made reservations.  Oh well – I have all day to think about it.

The minutes are slipping by – I gotta get some work done!

Excerpts From a Diary 31

[Winter, 1988]

[January]

I’m sitting in the living room easy chair – the multi-colored zig-zag afghan over my lap – sipping a vodka & tea & munching pretzels  Teddy’s on the couch, reading the newspaper.  The Seattle-Houston game – of course – is on – it’s tied – in overtime – a really good game.

It’s the last day of Christmas – for me, anyway – tomorrow I’m taking down the tree & the lights & putting away all the Christmas knick-knacks.  I think I’ll leave the snowflakes in the windows, though – they look so pretty.

This is what I want to do in the New Year –

  1. Keep my diary more diligently
  2. Read as much as possible
  3. Be more cheerful & complain less
  4. Write as much as possible
  5. Diet & exercise
  6. Find a new job
  7. Finish up my degree

Quite a list – I could add a few more, I guess – there’s so many things I want & so many things I could improve on.  I feel bad about losing my job at the law office but I guess it was a long time coming & I kind of feel relieved – although I do miss it.  Edmond was really good about it – he said he would have kept me on – but the other partners didn’t want a stripper working for them & my “fame” as a dancer has just gotten too large for them.  Plus – to be honest – there were just too many mornings where I came in just a little too hungover to be respectable – & I know it.

***

We’re both camped out on the couch – smoking a joint – watching TV.  Today was a moody day.  I woke after having dreams of my family – Rocco was a little boy – a cat who attacked my orange shoes – I was wearing them – like I would ever wear orange shoes! – & just before I woke – Jesse.  Woke into a fog that only a hot bath could get me out of.  I took the Christmas tree down & put all the ornaments away & that is never fun.  Although by the time I had everything put away & dusted & vacuumed, I felt a lot better.  & besides – Teddy was home by then & he always cheers me up.  I finished The Color Purple today – what a great novel.  I’m 4 for 4 – four books read in four days – for 1988.  I know I can’t keep this rate up but it’s fun.

It’s totally winter – cold & getting colder.  We haven’t gotten any oil for the furnace, so it’s really cold in this apartment – the gas burner in the fireplace keeps the living room toasty & the electric heater keeps the bedroom warm.  I think we might be able to go all winter without buying oil.  It isn’t exactly safe with the gas burner but Teddy keeps a window cracked so there’s fresh air.  I have to have fresh air no matter how cold it is.

***

I’m beat – I have a stag at 10:30 tonight – no cocaine – oh, life is tough.  I’ve had a hangover most of today.  Yesterday Rocco came to visit – we went to Nietzsche’s on Allen Street for a Jack Kerouac show – “…but I wanna be sincere” – it was really good – at least the first two hours – which was all about Kerouac – his bio & readings from his novels – but after that, local poets began reading their own works which were pretty bad – we left during the second poet & went to Falco’s.  Teddy met us there & we went home to drink & snort until 4 a.m.  Needless to say – today was a waste.  Oh well –

***

Oh, woe is me!  I scarcely know where to start!  Only – I can’t believe this is happening to me!

On Wednesday, I went back to work at The Pipka Palace – the first time there in over 3 years – the first gig in a club since The Canteen closed.  The Toyota’s brakes had gotten really bad – we haven’t had the money to have them fixed – of course we always have money for coke – & I didn’t want to drive it – I asked Teddy to drive me but he didn’t want to – he told me to take it easy – to use the emergency brake – I’d be ok.

Well – of course I didn’t take it easy.  I mean – I was ok driving there – although it wasn’t easy stopping on slippery roads during rush hour using an emergency brake.  But I did it – I’m a pretty good driver.  & I would have been ok – I guess – but it was a total party during my shift.  Everyone was happy to see me again.  & I had a total ball.  I had so missed working in a club.  It’s such a different vibe than doing a stag.  Of course The Pipka Palace isn’t The Canteen but still I had a great time.  I made lots of money in tips & naturally drank a lot – more than the legal limit but that’s not very much nowadays.  I was drunk but I’ve been far drunker before.  Just before I left, I was talking to two dancers I hadn’t seen in years – Black Annie & Joon – & Annie rolled up a joint laced with coke & naturally I took a few tokes.  That’s the last thing I remember – no – I do remember trying to call Teddy & not being able to manage getting the quarter into the slot of the phone as he answered – The Pipka Palace has one of these new-fangled phones were you pay when the person answers & if you don’t get the money in there in time, you lose the call.  & I lost his call, like 3 times.  So then I got my stuff together & got into my car & started to drive home.  I remember driving up Jones Street & turning onto Clinton Street.  But after that, there’s nothing.  & even what I remember is a blur.  The next thing I remember – kinda – is smashing my car into the pole at William & Bailey – absolutely totaled the car.  It’s amazing I’m still alive – it’s amazing I’m not seriously hurt – no broken bones or anything.  Seriously – I jumped right out of the car!  I didn’t even know I was hurt until the next day.  Of course – I was feeling no pain!

So naturally – there’s a coffee shop at that corner & there was a cop car sitting there.  It took them no time at all to get their coffee & donuts to go & come out to check me out.  I was in hysterics.  I was beyond scared.  The dude was cool – he’d seen me dance & he was a friend of Paulie’s – but the babe was an asshole.  She was not impressed that I was the dancer for all the police stag parties & she didn’t like Paulie, either.  So of course I was charged with DWI.

The rest – going downtown – getting booked – I refused a Breathalyzer because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do – it wasn’t like I could call my lawyer & ask him – I wasn’t read my rights or anything – it isn’t like on TV.

Anyway – I would’ve spent the night in jail but Paulie got me out after a few hours.  He traded a bottle of Scotch for me.  I was never so happy to see anyone in my whole life.

The phone’s ringing –

***

[February]

So depressed – so very depressed.  I’ve been to court – my DWI was dropped to a DUI – my fine was $250.  Without the breathalyzer, there wasn’t any real evidence against me so there wasn’t any DWI.  My lawyer told me that was really the best thing I could have done.  He charged me $400.  It just kills me – I went back to work to make the money to pay off my book & record club bills & to get myself new things – shoes & clothes & fabric & trim to make costumes – & I end up further in debt than ever!  I’m so tired of being broke!  I can’t do dick shit without fucking up!  When did I take on this bad luck?  Oh, nothing’s ever really been different – read my old diaries – nothing’s ever been different – nothing ever will.  Oh, I’m beginning to believe it myself.  That I am nothing but bad luck personified.

I was so desperate – I called Jesse.  Of course – he was busy – just running out the door to buy tools or something – who knows – who cares.  It’s been over a month – too long a time – I’m just so horny – so depressed – so uptight – I can’t help it – I need a release so badly.  How can I be so beautiful & so unwanted?  Oh – that’s not true – I get calls & come-ons from guys all day – I swear – the phone rings all day with these jerks.  But the men I want – my husband, especially – have one excuse after another – all “good” excuses to be sure – I can’t help wondering if it’s me.  What’s the matter with me?

Oh well – roll another joint – read another book – take another escape route.

***

I’m so horny I want to die.  I’m so depressed I can barely get myself motivated.  I ran out of typewriter cartridge yesterday so I can’t write – both of my favorite pens ran out of ink – oh I guess I’ll sew – make myself a new outfit for work today – but I don’t feel like it!  I wanna get laid!  I want hours of touching – feeling – everything you do when you’re hot in love/lust with someone – oh this pain that never goes away!  Oh this pain – this knowledge – this knowing that makes it worse.  The only person giving me orgasms is myself.  I’m sick of this solo act – sick of it!

***

Working on poetry with MTV on.  I’ve retyped everything from 1971 to 1985, which is when the typed copies end, except for “Jesse” & those poems from August & September of 1986.  Everything else – much of 1985 – most of 1986 & all of 1987 – are still in my notebook/diary – waiting to be found.  I forget most of what I write.  I expect a lot of surprises.

Well, back to work.  First, some aspirin.  I’m here with my cup of tea & a joint – ready to do what I’ve always done – write, write, write.

***

Almost the same entry as yesterday!  Poetry, MTV, a cup of tea & a joint.  I found so many poems yesterday – so many more than I expected – stuff from 1983 & 1984 – things I totally forgot about.  I mean, I wasn’t even going to go through that notebook but then I thought I’d put all the diaries in chronological order & it was when I was flipping through the notebook to find out what dates to write on the cover that I found the poems.  For years now I’ve been writing things into notebooks & thrown into a box & forgotten about them.

***

Coffee & joints!  Sixties sitcoms on the TV – the shows of my childhood.  What influences!  Such unreality – never meant to be taken seriously.  No wonder the poor children of the sixties can’t handle the eighties & have to be wasted all the time.  This world is too cold & dark & real!  Oh well – Actually, this sixties silliness gets a bit tedious.  But I love looking at the cars & the clothes.

What should I do today?  I think I feel like sewing – I’ve written all week – except Monday, when Teddy took the day off – I never get anything done when he’s around.  I think I’ll make myself a purple g-string & a bra to match – trim it with black lace – actually, I don’t feel like doing anything – except read – lie around & escape – but I might as well get something done today.

Later.  I can’t get a break!  I was ready to jump into the tub & Felix called & said he’d be over & then Donny McCain stopped in.  We were all smoking a joint when Jesse called. “Any goodies over there?”

“The only goodie over here is me,” I replied, “& you haven’t been so hungry for my kind of goodie lately.”

“Well, I’ve been busy,” he answered.

“Yeah, sure,” I shot back.  “Well – call Teddy later – I’m not sure what’s going on – something or another.”  So that’s that – although if Felix & Donny hadn’t been here, I would’ve asked Jesse over to sample some “goodies” – but maybe the conversation would have ended the same way – probably.

Well the “goodies” just arrived – & I am so glad – so glad!  Nothing like a thick white line to sweeten the pain – pang? – of a lover who doesn’t want to love anymore.

***

I feel like shit.  I had a good weekend – fun at work on Friday at the Pipka Palace – fun partying with Teddy on Saturday – fun at a stag on Sunday – & delicious souvlaki afterward.  I made lots of money – which is all gone now – of course.  On Friday night – actually 3 a.m. Saturday – we discovered mice in the kitchen – since then & now we’ve caught five of them!  It’s just awful.  I’m not afraid of mice but I hate thinking of them all over my nice clean kitchen – making it not clean anymore.  I’m so glad I have everything in Tupperware – mouse-proof!  Oh, as soon as the weather gets warm – warm enough to open windows & spring clean – I’m gonna spring clean with a vengeance!

I’ve been working on Teddy to let me get a cat since before Christmas & now I really want one – he says a little kitten can’t catch mice – but it’ll make me feel better – & what the hell – little kittens who can’t catch mice turn into big cats who can.  Besides – I want something to love – something small & cuddly & babyish & who needs me & something a lot smaller than Teddy – who is certainly cuddly & a baby.  But he isn’t furry & he isn’t small.  & he doesn’t give me what I need.  Kittens are another kind of baby.

Maybe I’ll go out later – after Perry Mason.  I have $6.25 in change – I could go to Falco’s & drink a little.  Although I shouldn’t – I’m gaining weight.  Teddy says I “still” look great & I know I have a lot of pounds to go before I look bad – but this is how it starts, A? I was reading an old diary of mine the other day – I had taken notes from an astrology book – it said Taurus women depend on sex & food for security – it’s true – I’m not getting laid – so I eat & drink.  What am I going to do?  This depression has been going on for years.

***

We got another mouse last night.  Downstairs, the problem is really bad.  We were down there earlier – Cindy was having trouble setting her traps so Teddy set them.  A mouse ran through the living room while we were there & Teddy found a dead one – stiff as a board – under Melissa’s dolly’s cradle.  I guess the poison Paulie set out worked – but what I hate about poison is that you never know where that mouse is gonna end up dying.  Of course – it is so dirty down there anyway.  I’ve been worried about all my magazines in the side room – a mouse & his family could make a great nest in my piles of Rolling Stones – & everything else I have there.  The closet is packed with magazines.  It’s a mess in there.  The entire room is a mess.  I’ve been putting off cleaning & organizing in there until spring – until the poetry is all typed & in notebooks – everything else has been put on a back burner until that’s done.  But I suppose I should start working on it – I’ve put it off way too long.

My arm is cramping – time to stop writing.

***

Watching the Olympics – the US-DDR hockey game – the US is losing.  Time’s running out – it looks like we’re out of the medal round.  The US teams are doing really lousy this Olympics.  No wonder – unlike so many other countries – particularly the Soviet ones – the US government doesn’t support its athletes at all.  It’s so maddening.  Communism is evil but private industry is all-good.  Kodak is the “official film” – Coca-Cola is the “official soft drink” – etc.  This is how we support our athletes?

I have so much to do this week – well, so much I want to do – I really don’t “have” to do anything – I have to clean the kitchen – defrost the fridge – mop the floor – because of the mice, the fridge & the stove have been moved out from the wall to set the traps & of course it’s dusty & dirty since those appliances haven’t been moved since we moved in.  I guess right now it seems like a big job because I’m so burned out from working & partying all weekend – I don’t want to do anything – I don’t want to do anything – much less scour walls with 6 years of dust & dirt on them.  I’m sure there’s plenty of mouse turds back there too!  Yuck!  Well, once I get into it, I’ll get into it – really precise statement there – I mean – just making something dirty & yicky into something clean & nice is always fun.

Of course that’s not all – there’s laundry – dusting & vacuuming – watering the plants – garbage – & always writing.  But honestly – right now all I want to do is another blast & another drink but we’re out of coke & out of vodka so that’s life – I guess I’ll have another beer & play solitaire – I’m sick of thinking about housework.

Besides – it’s late – too late on a Sunday to be doing coke – since Teddy has to work tomorrow – & gee whiz – we have been partying all weekend!  It was a good weekend – good parties, great guys, a lot of tips, a lot of money – I saw that the bills were paid.  It’s always good to get the bills paid!  It’s nice to make money & have a lot of fun partying while you’re at it!  If I could only manage to make more than we spend!  If only Teddy didn’t have to get everything he wants!

***

I just woke up – played back the answering machine – the first message was from Jesse – “Hey babe” – oh that seductive voice! – so I called right back – but he was just leaving!  Of course!  “You should get up earlier,” he said.  “Oh geez!” I exclaimed.  “It’s winter & I’ve done all my housework this week!  I deserve to sleep a little.”  I added, “You should just come over & wake me up!”  It kills me – I was dreaming about him –

***

[March]

Such a busy weekend – 5 stags.  In such pain – such pain – I’m finally feeling the impact of the car accident – I’m seeing Dr. West once a week – he’s a chiropractor that both Jesse & Danielle go to – he’d like me to get into the office for adjustments twice a week – I can’t afford it – I’m really hurting & he knows it.  He knows I’m hurting in more ways than just my back – we carry on whispered conversations – since every word spoken naturally is easily heard in that tiny office – it’s like Grand Central in there.

I found out on Friday that Rocco is going to become a priest.  I’m sure Mom & Bob must be besides themselves with pride & joy.  I feel more like a misfit than ever – how did I ever get stuck in this family?  Why do I have to change so much – impossible change – to fit in & merit pride?

Sometimes I’m so down I don’t know what to do.  When I’m alone – doubts surround me.  As soon as Teddy arrives – they all vanish – at least in to the corners of the room.  But when I’m alone – I’m lonely.  & I’m horny.  & all my dreams seem far, far away.

***

Teddy will be home soon to take me to work – I’m all packed – made-up – dressed-up – & bejeweled.  I have some good tunes on – I’m singing & dancing – getting myself into the mood – like doing deep-knee bends – stretching exercises for the head & heart & soul.

I feel pretty good today – minimum back pain – & I finally seduced Teddy last night!  We dropped acid – the first time in ages – eons! – & acid always makes you horny – whereas Teddy & I agree cocaine doesn’t do it anymore – especially Teddy – he doesn’t want to make love when he’s wasted on coke at all – he’ll talk all night about it but not do it.  On acid, of course, talking can become pretty futile pretty damn quick – how can you talk when you’re dying with laughter?

Anyway – it was great – a great break.  A mini-vacation.  I feel much better – much better.

***

I’m waiting for Danielle to come & take me to Dr. West’s.  My appointment is at 1:30 & it’s 1:25 right now but of course Danielle is late.  Danielle is always late.

Evening.  I’m in love – with Dr. West.  I love the way he touches me – the way he smiles.  I know he’s attracted to me – that’s easy to assess.  I just love being in love.  I love loving 2, 3, 4 men – I love to love –

***

I’m watching “Perry Mason”.  It’s on every day at noon – I wouldn’t miss it.  I’ve always loved murder mysteries.  After “Perry Mason”, “I Love Lucy” is on.  Other women watch soaps – I watch old TV shows – I don’t need living color to enjoy a story.

I’ve been reading The Spiral Dance by Starhawk & taking lots of notes.  I started doing some of the meditations in the mornings.  I really want to learn all I can about women’s spirituality & wicca & witchcraft.  I like the idea of a women’s religion & a goddess-oriented spirituality.  As soon as I have the time, I going to go to the library & get as many books out as I can carry.  I’ve got a list going.

***

Busy as a bee!  I’ve been spring cleaning all week – the house is lovely – oh, the weather’s great – warm – sunny – spring!  Although it’s supposed to get chilly again – over the weekend – that’s life!  Oh, I’m dying to go camping!  This is the slowest time of the year – seems like it takes forever for the temperature to get high enough to do all the things I love to do – lie in the sun – camp – ride the motorcycle – go on a picnic – oh I can’t wait!

Well – the weekends are full – the phone’s ringing off the wall – so many jobs!  The happy homemaker & the infamous stripper – soon to be student again, I hope! Oh well – back to work –

***

Wasted.  I can’t sleep.  Teddy’s in bed – his nose hurts – he’s done for.  But of course – I can’t sleep.  I’m sitting in the kitchen – heating up chicken soup & reading Camille – should I have another drink?  Do I really want one?  I do & I don’t.  “I don’t” is winning – I haven’t had a bite or two of breakfast since this morning – or yesterday morning – whatever – & nothing else except vodka, 7-Up, birth-control, Contac & four aspirins.  Yes, I’d better forget about another drink & have some soup!  Besides – if I go to bed without eating, I wake up at 8 or 9 a.m. starving & sick to my stomach because of it.  But I might be sick anyway.

No more vodka!  No more toots!  Ice water & chicken soup.  Oh, I need to lie down.  I’d like to sleep a long time.  I’d say forever but isn’t that death?  I’m not ready for that – I suppose if I was, I’d be shooting smack.

***

Oh, it’s so nice today – it much be 70 or more – it’s hot, anyway!  I’d really like to lie in the sun but since I have a cold, I’d better not.  My right eye is all enflamed – when I woke up it was all red, puffy & half-closed – I was really upset because I have a birthday party to dance at 4:30 p.m. – & it really hurts.  I went over to Danielle’s & she put some drops in it.  I rode my bike – Paulie was home & brought it up for me – it was so great to ride around.  I’m tired now – time to nap before having to take a bath, shave, wash my hair, curl my hair, put on my make-up – hope my eye is better by then – put on my jewelry, my perfume, my attitude –

***

[April]

Teddy just ran up to Wilson Farms to get some aspirin – I told him to buy a can of chicken noodle soup & Pepsi when he was there.  Tonight we babysat for Doug & Danielle – they went to the hockey game.  Well – he’s back now –

2 a.m.  Teddy is going to bed.  I am staying up a bit.  A really good documentary is on – about the earliest movies – their story-lines, production – the rise of the nickelodeon – the “first” film that told a “whole” story – Thomas Edison – the rise of the moguls – the building of the movie houses – the evolution of MGM & the other filmmakers.  But the best part is all this old footage – old, as in pre-WWI – the way people dressed & acted.  Oh, what are movies anyway?  Just doorways – or windows – to the past – windows you look through – since you walk through doorways & there is no way I can walk into the past.  & these windows are pretty cloudy with dust & dirt.

I ramble.  I wanted to make a note – about how the big movie houses were for movies as well as vaudeville shows.  But then the movies became more popular than vaudeville.

I ramble.  I have to pee.  Wait – what do I have to say?  I can’t remember.  I told Teddy I’d only be up another 5 minutes & I’ve been up way longer than that – well it always is.  The documentary is over – I’m going around the dial.  MTV?  Hate this video.  CNN?  News more than once a day is boring.  What’s this?  “Perry Mason”!  Great!

***

Wasted.  I have really nothing to say.  Then why do I write?  Habit, I guess.

***

Just home from Dr. West’s.  Sex talk – the whole time he worked on me.  He went into his office & put on cologne when I arrived.  Just before I left, he turned on the “sander” – the massager — & caressed my sides – my breasts – my hips – & last my crotch – my clit melted – it’s still tingling –

Part of the conversation when like this – he said, “It’s hard, being married, so many pretty ladies, but I don’t know who to trust.”

I replied, “I know exactly what you mean.”  & I certainly do.

“Can I trust you?” he asked.

“Yes, you can,” I answered.

I told him about Monday.  I had a birthday party to do – a last-minute call – at Murphy Manufacturing – for the boss, J.  I was in the most foul mood – I’d partied heavily all weekend – staying up all night – bending time – drinking to excess & of course lots of cocaine.  Puff & toot!  Anyway – by Monday I was completely burned out – muscles aching – just plain tired.  I was horny too – I’d been on fire all weekend & I slept all Monday morning & had the wettest dreams – I was still wet when I was doing my show – I was on fire!  I was a volcano!  Molten fire!  Of course – J. was a hunk – lovely hard muscles – a chest covered with hair – only 32 years old – I was horny & wet & he knew it – he was horny & hard.  For the first time – at a stag, anyway – I wished Teddy wasn’t there – I wanted to go into an empty office & get the living daylights fucked out of me – it was the most uncomfortable feeling – part shame – part frustration – part erotic desire that I was unable to mask –

He called my cunt “roast beef” – I had never heard that before.  Most men compare female sexual parts to seafood.  I guess it’s because of my long lips.  I quipped, “Real food for real people.”  He was saying, “I love large cunts, I like them better than large tits, I wanna eat you, suck on your large cunt, you want me to, I wanna fuck you, I have a big fat cock – ”

But alas – or maybe thank goodness – I went home with Teddy – then we went to Anderson’s for roast beef sandwiches – which was ironic when you think about it –

But I couldn’t stop thinking about him & I wished I could go back there all alone.

***

I’m sick – I’ve been sick for days.  Saturday morning I woke up with no voice & it’s been downhill since then.  I had to work Saturday night – of course – with the usual energy booster – of course – & Sunday I was shot.  Monday & Tuesday I felt terrible – bummed out & pissed off about being sick – like my body has let me down – betrayed me – I’ve got so many things to do – Teddy says to lay back & relax & get better but Jesus Christ, the last thing I want to do is relax!  He says I don’t know how to relax anyway – getting sick is enforced relaxation.  I finished all my library books & I’m reading Gone With The Wind again.

I do feel a bit better today – not so tired & appetite’s coming back a bit.  That’s one things about being sick – what a great diet.  My belly is completely gone.  Mostly I’ve been drinking – coffee, tea, pepsi, beer, milk, iced tea, water – I’ve been dying for lemonade.  Oh the weather’s been so lovely – warm, sunny – soft breezes coming through the front window – oh what a drag to be sick!  I was going to go to UB for a series of lecture on radical poetry – but oh well – that’s life.

But I do feel better – when I cough, I’m able to move the phlegm in my lungs.  It makes me think of a frozen ice floe finally able to move – like the Niagara River.

I’m hungry again – thank goodness we have plenty of food.  Lots of soup – which is probably what I should stick to.  If I start feeling too good, Teddy will get mad at me for not taking it easy – pushing myself for I’m ready.  I have a busy busy busy weekend – completely booked up – including a Sunday gig – as a favor to Anthony Falco.  I guess Teddy’s right – I’ll have to continue taking it easy.  But I’m so bored!

***

I’m beat.  Today was the first day since I’ve been sick I didn’t go back to bed after Teddy left – I stayed up & cooked myself a nice breakfast – two eggs over easy & a slice of baked Virginia ham & toast.  Then I defrosted the fridge – laundered my costumes – stripped & remade the bed – cleaned the bathroom – straightened all the rooms – & dusted & vacuumed the living room.  There’s more to do – I haven’t done housework all week – but I’m tired out now.  This place looks presentable though.  It was really beginning to get on my nerves.  Teddy says I’m silly – to worry about the housework when I’m sick – but I can’t help it.  I hate a messy house.

***

Look at this handwriting – man, am I fucked up.  It is a total effort to make the pen move along the paper – on the pale blue lines – making each character even & precise & legible.  The news is on – the weather – fucking A!  Winter again!  Cold air, sharp wind & flurries – oh, it sucks!  Winter is really hanging on this year.

I hate writing when I’m this fucked up.  I feel like a child – writing so slowly – like it’s an effort!  It is an effort!  By the time I’ve written what I want, my mind has raced way beyond where I’m at – it’s so frustrating – & I’ve got a wicked cramp in my forearm –

I guess I’ll stop –

But oh – I’m so happy I want to write forever!  Oh, my arm hurts!  I guess I’ll have to sit here & feel good – laugh –

I put Teddy to bed – he’s so burned out – such a heavy weekend – lots of stags & lots of partying.  I burn out a lot easier than I used to – I can’t handle the druggie life as effortlessly as I once did – a few years ago I made so much fun of Teddy cuz he couldn’t keep up with me – being 7 years older – oh how I used to laugh – but the laugh’s on me now.  Cuz now I’m feeling it.  My back’s a mess & my knees are going.  I can hang in there better than Teddy partly cuz I still have my youth pride – though it’s slipping away – more & more – it’s getting really hard – oh my knees – & I’m so tired.  Still I’m young enough to continue ignoring that fact.  I don’t wanna give up – I know I will soon have to – Teddy is proof of that.  I am proof of that – I am really tired.  I’m sick of my muscles aching.  Time to change – soon, soon.  Whether I like it or not.

***

So much has happened since I last wrote – mostly I’ve been sick – really sick – more sick than I’ve been since 1981 – when I O.D.’d on MDA – last weekend was a nightmare.  & of course, the thing that gets me through a weekend of stag parties is the same thing that is making me so sick!  It’s a vicious cycle!

The Canteen Reunion party was Tuesday, April 19 – I supposed I was still sick then but I refused to admit it – nothing would have kept me from that party.  & it was a great party & I was – without a doubt – the star of the show.  & I put on one of the best performances I have ever done – as sick as I was.  Linda Ronstadt’s “What’s New” was my opening song & it brought down the house – opening with a floor routine.  Monday I had a hangover & Wednesday would be even worse.  But Thursday I was so sick I would have welcomed a hangover – a hangover would have been much better than whatever sickness I was suffering – the flu – pneumonia – whatever it was.  I suppose I should have gone to the doctor.  But I was so sick – I just wanted to sleep.  Even now I am still under the weather – although much better.  Better enough to go out to dinner with Doug & Danielle – we went to the Anchor Bar for wings & then to Falco’s – it was Craig’s 34th birthday – & of course I have to work tonight & tomorrow night.  If I can get through an ordeal like last weekend – especially Friday – when I didn’t even have coke to ease the pain – this weekend will be easy – easy –

Excerpts From a Diary 21

[Winter,1983]

12:30 a.m.  I’m getting really tired.  I worked at the law office from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today then came home & made pot roast – my first one ever.  Paulie stayed for supper – Cindy was out somewhere.  Later Bernie & Peter Marx came over & we all played cards.  I won by hundreds of points.

Teddy is shaving some hash for a joint.  This will probably put me out but that’s OK.  I feel like I want to write but I’m tired & soon I’ll go to bed.  I hate making these excuses but it’s true.  It just feels like I never get anything done.  I’m just feeling guilty because I played cards instead of working on my novel.  Which is a joke, really – I write so little that every time I sit down to write, I have to reread what I wrote just to remember what I did write the last time I wrote – whenever it was.  Which I can never remember.

This pen sucks.  I really need to get some good ones.  Lately, they have been running out – it’s amazing how they all run out at once – today, two I reached for were empty.  I should go buy cartridges for my fountain pen.  I really love that pen but it’s so hard to find cartridges for it.  Damn! –  I should have called Sandy about my tape. I gotta get it back.  I hate loaning anyone anything.  It’s always a hassle getting stuff back.  But they always act like I’m such a bitch when I say I don’t want to loan my things.  Nobody seems to understand that I can’t replace the things I have when they get lost or stolen or broken.  They all think I’m making oodles of money & I can get whatever I want.  Nobody understands that every cent I make gets handed over to Teddy & I really don’t have any money of my own.

Maybe I’ll call Jon tomorrow.  I always chicken out.  I want to tell him that I dug his article in Sunday’s paper.  I think it’s so cool that he’s got a column in the Buffalo News about the new music here in town & around the country & the world.  I want to tell him what I think about what he wrote.  I want to tell him quite a few things, actually.  When I called last night, Sara said he was sleeping.  She didn’t sound too happy that I called but who knows.  Maybe that’s just my imagination.

Good tunes on the radio.  They had an hour of the Dead on earlier.  Now Gary Storm’s Oil of Dog is on.

***

7:10 p.m.  I’m watching/listening to the Sabres-Edmonton Oilers game.  The radio broadcast is so far superior to the television play-by-play that we always turn the sound off on the TV & turn the radio on.  There’s just a few seconds lag between the two broadcasts.  But it’s worth it to hear Rick Jeanneret call the game.

Teddy’s passed on the on the couch – he’s had a headache all day.  He must be pretty tired.  I’m surprised he’s missing the game.

It was so warm today – up to 55.  It’s so great.  It’s hard to believe it’s only February.  I wonder what March & April will be like.  We’ve had such a mild winter this year – the mildest I’ve ever seen.  It’s like a present.  Down South & out West they’ve had bad weather all season.  They can have it.  It’s about time we got a break.  I love winter – I love the snow & the cold – but I also love it when it’s warm like this.  When I woke up this afternoon – around 2 p.m. – we didn’t go to bed until 6 a.m. – it was 75 in the living room – with the heat on & the intense sun coming through the windows.  I turned off the heat & opened up the doors going out on the porch, letting in all that warm fresh air.  Across the street, the students had put their stereo speakers on their porch & were blasting Grateful Dead concert tapes.  Eight guys were in the street, playing Frisbee & singing with Jerry’s guitar.  I love it when it gets warm & the street comes alive.  Everywhere you looked – there were runners – children playing – people on bikes & roller-skates – hot cars brought out of storage & being revved up.  I can hardly wait to get the bike on the road.  We have to wait for our license plates to come – it could be up to a 10-week wait.  Of course Teddy had to get vanity plates with his name on them.  If he had just gone to the DMV & gotten whatever they had given him, we’d have them right now.  But he always has to have something special.

I finally called Jon.  I kept telling myself – what are you afraid of?  He had another article in today’s paper.  We talked about that – about local music – about the upcoming Dead concert – about my dancing & stag parties & my modeling gigs.  I told him about the weird-ass guy who wants me to piss on him & how I am totally unable to do that.  I mean –  of course I am totally unable to do that!  I don’t understand why anyone would want to be pissed on.  I know it’s kinky shit that pays well but it’s just not me.  & this weirdo wants it in his mouth, too!  I just can’t get into it.  I’m going to give the job to my girlfriend Queen – she loves that kinky shit.  She’s the one who told me that I wasn’t asking for enough money & this dude was taking advantage of me.  She’s the best!  I just don’t know if he’ll want a black chick.  Some of these guys are real racists that way.  On the other hand, that might really turn him on.  Anyway – Jon was really interested.  Of course he was.  I really didn’t want to talk about it but he kept asking me one question after another in that way he has – like he’s a cop psychologist or something – prying into my life whether or not I want him to – like I do want him to but not in the way he does it.  He does it in a way that makes it all seem so much more sordid than it is – I mean, I’m not pissing into this idiot’s mouth, am I – but Jon keeps asking me stuff like “What does it feel like” & all I feel is pissed off that I have to deal with assholes like this when all I want to do is make money.

Teddy’s awake.  He’s upset at the shitty game.  Time to make him feel better.

***

Teddy went back to work today.  He’s been laid off for almost five months.  It seems really strange not to have him around in the mornings.  On the other hand, it’s kinda nice to be alone.  It’s so quiet.  I love not having the TV on.  I took a bath, did my hair, got dressed & packed my costumes for work later on.  Then I called the insurance company & the parking bureau.  Now I’m boiling a potato.  I’ll serve it up with melted cheese & leftover veggies.

Yesterday was a great day.  We dropped acid & then be-bopped around town all day.  I love tripping & being out in the sun – walking around all smiles & stopping in here or there for a drink.  I can hardly wait to ride!

I’m reading War and Peace.  I’m taking notes to keep the people straight & I made a small family tree so I know all the connections.  But it’s a great book – one of the best I’ve ever read.  I’m so into it.  I would love to write a novel like this someday – a big novel – with intertwining families & the backdrop of a major war.  I would also like to know more about Leo Tolstoy – what his background was & how it contributed to the writing of this story – also to the writing of Anna Karenina – which I also love.

***

So fucking busy lately.  Been completely tired out – had to call off work at the law office on Tuesday – I was too tired to go in.  Teddy & I are both working as many hours as we can.  When we’re at home, one of us passes out on the couch – usually me.  I go to bed earlier than he does, but then I get up earlier.  I don’t mind getting up early – it’s just having to get my shit together – eat, dress, make-up.  I love getting up early – just to sit on the sofa with a joint & a cup of coffee – watching the sky as the sun rises.

***

Around Thanksgiving, I met a guy named Dan – at The Canteen – I don’t remember that much about our first meeting except that he told me about the dancers in  Québec – how they wear moonboots onstage cuz it’s so cold.  I had a hard time believing that but whatever.  It was our second meeting when we really started talking.  He was married a week after I was.  Something about us really clicked.  Ya know – the way it does.  We made plans to meet one Wednesday afternoon.  I was supposed to take the afternoon off from the law office – which I had trouble justifying to myself – cuz I hate missing work for any reason whatsoever.  Plus my conscience was kicking me in the ass – or wherever it kicks ya – about Teddy – even though we seem to have no sex life at all anymore – I still don’t want to be unfaithful to him.  So the next time we saw each other, we agreed not to meet – he was having conscience problems too.  But the sexual spark was still there.  “I gotta have you in bed,” he told me – I get excited thinking about it – the way his voice sounded.  When he left, I followed him out & we embraced in the vestibule between the inner & outer doors – a long French kiss – our bodies pressed together.

But he never showed again.  It’s all for the best, I told myself.  I don’t want to hurt Teddy & in every air-tight-he’ll-never-know plan is a fuck-up factor.  & then Jesse started coming in at least once a week – sometimes more – & I forgot about Dan.  Jesse was laid off from work just before Thanksgiving & so he had time to kill.  Jesse is one hell of a sexy man – all the girls want him.  But I’m the only one he sits with & drinks with.  We’ve become very close in a very short period of time.  Jesse fills my fantasies & my sex dreams.

Anyway – last week, Dan showed up again.  I couldn’t believe it.  He tipped me & I was smiling as I told him, “I thought I was never going to see you again.”  When I got down from stage, I joined him at his table.  “I was sure that I had scared you off,” I said.

“No,” he answered.  “I got really sick for a while then I went to  Québec on vacation plus I was staying home more.”

“Oh?” I raised my glass to his as we toasted each other.  “& now you’re not staying at home anymore?”

Naturally, we made plans again.  Thursday night, Teddy works & I don’t – so that was the obvious time to meet.  On Monday night, he came into The Canteen.  “You won’t stiff me, will you?” he asked.  “Of course not!” I replied.  “I can hardly wait, in fact.”

Which was true.  I had struggled & fought with my conscience but I was so frustrated & horny I didn’t know what to do anymore.  Teddy & I haven’t had sex in over a week – & only because I made an issue of it – I don’t think he would ever have sex if I didn’t pressure him about it & I never came & he was too tired to fuck, so it really sucked.  I mean – I have to be honest.  All day Sunday, I was so keyed up – trying to be cool about it but so horny I couldn’t stand it.  On Monday, when I saw Dan, I knew I had to have it – have to have him – & it was going to be great.

“I have a dentist’s appointment in the morning,” he told me, “so I’m blowing off the entire day of work.  The appraiser’s gonna be in at 2, then I’ll be over at The Canteen.”

Yesterday, I was in a great mood.  The Canteen was incredibly dull – considering that it was St. Patty’s day – but I was singing & partying.  I kept eyeing the door – waiting for Dan to walk in.  2:00 – 3:00 – 4:00.  At 4:30, I realized that he wasn’t going to show, but I hung out until 5:30.  Finally, I left – I had drunk a few too many – & I was really pissed off.  I was pissed off because I had finally gotten the guts to do something about my never-ending always-increasing horniness & nothing happened!

I went home & called Jon.  I never should have – I was too drunk & too horny.  Talking with Jon requires a certain kind of verbal control of which I was definitely lacking last night.

“This is the weirdest conversation I have had in a long time,” he said.

“Yeah, probably since the last one you had with me,” I answered. “Well, I had too many shots at work, as you probably can tell.”

“I sure can.”

It was a bad conversation. I said things I shouldn’t have.  But I’m not worrying about it – nor am I worrying about Jon.  It’s just isn’t worth it.  Worrying is such a waste of time anyway.

Today I was bummed out.  At The Canteen, I danced really well.  I was talking to John Canton.  I really love him.  He’s 72 – big, white, gruff – but totally cool.  He got me an Old Grand-Dad & I smoked a joint.  Do I work in a great place or what?  Then I was talking to these two guys who own a video company & want me to make X-rated videos.  Just me with a dildo.  I think they have ideas of more – like filming the two of them doing me – but I’m not into that – I have to consider who would eventually see it – I mean you never know.  But I told them I’d think about it.  Just talking about it was making me hot – even if I would never do it.

Then I saw Jesse.  He always enters the room like a king.  Our eyes meet & we smile at each other & it’s like electricity.  I said excuse me & went over to join Jesse.

About a month ago, Jesse told me that Doreen is pregnant.  He’s freaked out & pissed off & even feels betrayed.  “She didn’t even tell me she was going off the pill – she just did it,” he complained.  “I mean – it’s something that we’re supposed to plan together.  I’m laid off half the year.”  Jesse’s a Union Pipefitter so he’s laid off most of the winter but he also buys & sells houses & owns the one he lives in – as well as several others on the West Side – so that’s income.  & Doreen works – she’s a LPN – she has a job at one of the nursing homes – she’s been there since she was a candy-striper.  So it’s not like they’re destitute or anything.  Although I guess after the baby, she won’t be working anymore – or at least for a while.  Jesse used to run weed & coke & meth & acid from Mexico – & he still gets great drugs once in a while – probably from one of the guys on his crew or one of the truck drivers.  But he says he’s really sick of working construction.  He says real estate is the way to go.  He’s applying for his broker’s license.  When he gets his own office, he says he’ll hire me to be his secretary.  Jesse makes my flesh tingle.  It’s hard to watch him without getting totally turned on.  I love the way he moves – the way he’s always in control.  Jesse’s on a power trip.  He’s a total Capricorn.  I wouldn’t even have to know that his birthday was January 1 to know that he was born under the sign of the Goat.  He’s a climber – he’ll climb any mountain – real ones or metaphorical ones.  He’s tall & strong & has a deep throaty laugh.  He smokes Marlboro Reds.

I told Jesse about Dan – a little – Jesse has been unfaithful to Leslie so many times that it’s easy to talk to him freely about these kinds of things.  He doesn’t sit in judgment on me.  It’s like he’s my Rhett Butler – I don’t have to worry about being dishonest with him – & I don’t think I could hide a lie from him anyway.  When I talk to Jesse, I feel like Scarlett O’Hara must have felt like when she talked to Rhett – like she had taken off a tight pair of dancing shoes & put on a comfortable pair of slippers.  I just feel like he understands every word I say.  I’ve never felt like that with anyone before.  Besides – I want Jesse really bad.  I know Jesse wants me – or at least likes to watch me pretty closely – why else would he come to The Canteen every week?  He leans back in his chair & watches.  I love to be watched – I love getting totally sexy onstage when there’s someone I want in the room – someone to direct my want & sexuality outward to – even if I never look directly at him.

Even if he just comes over to the house – it seems like he’s watching me pretty intently.  Or if we go over there.  I’m so amazed that Teddy & Doreen haven’t noticed.  But maybe I’m making too much of something that really isn’t there.

Oh, I’m terrible.  I’m just so horny.  I gotta have something – I gotta do something about it.

***

I’m sitting with Teddy, watching the Sabres game.  They’re playing Hartford, who’s already out of the play-offs & playing like it.  We went to the Montréal game at the Aud this past Sunday.  We lost but we had beaten them the night before.  I wore my Sabres t-shirt that Scotty bought me at that great Boston game – the Sabres were down 6-1 & came back to win 7-6, ending Boston’s 13-game winning streak.  I really get the looks in that t-shirt!  I love it so much.  I totally love being a sexy babe.  It’s so much fun.

My big thing right now are feathered roach clips – I have dozens of all colors – I use them to keep my dresses from falling off the hangers – I clip them to my G-strings – I put them in my hair – they’re so versatile.

I’m tired.  We just got back from Betty & Jerry’s – we had dinner there.   They just got back from a month in Costa Rica.  They had a lot to tell.  They brought us nice presents – a bottle of Black Velvet for Teddy – a bottle of Chablis for me – a leather wallet & tooled leather belt for Teddy –  handmade leather sandals for both of us – & a soft green leather handbag for me – I really like the handbag.

But I’m too tired – I’m falling asleep sitting here.  If I hadn’t had coffee at dinner, I’d probably be sleeping right now.  Wednesday night everything catches up to me.  It’s good, though – cuz I’ll go to bed & get to sleep in an extra hour or two tomorrow & not have to hurry when I get up.  I have a routine – every day has its pattern – which is what keeps me going.  I have too much to do not to have a rigid schedule to keep me working efficiently.  Thursdays are the best cuz it’s the first day I don’t have to get up at 6:30 – I don’t have to leave the house until 11:00 – I work at The Canteen, which I love – I always dance well on Thursdays because I’ve slept well the night before – plus Teddy works on Thursday nights & I don’t so it’s like having a day off – I take my time getting out of The Canteen –  go have a bite to eat – go shopping – whatever.  Fridays are also nice but I always have to hurry when finish my shift at 5 on Fridays – Teddy wants me home – & the bar is always filled & everyone wants me to stay & party.  Teddy always has a million things he wants to do & he hates it when I’m late.  Actually, Fridays can be a real drag, except that on Fridays I usually see Jesse.

***

I have to mink oil my boots.  Since winter has decided to return, they’re all wet & covered with salt.  I really want to read Edie: An American Biography, which I’m really into.  When I’m done with that, I’m going to start The Ballad of John & Yoko.  Every spare minute I have, I read.  Gotta keep my head alive.

***

So tired.  The alarm went off at 6:30 & I got up & ate & dressed but I ended up calling off my shift at the law office.  I hate calling off but I just couldn’t wake up.  I camped out on the living room floor, watching The Today Show with Teddy.  Felix showed up with coffee & joints.  After they left, I put on a Laurie Anderson tape & passed out on the floor.  I got up on hour ago – the phone was ringing.  I thought it was Teddy but it was Jon.  I was really surprised.  We talked for about an hour – about dancing in Canada, new bands, sex, etc.  I’ve regained some of the upper hand again.  I wish we could just be two people talking to each other on the phone but there’s too much pent-up sexuality – or something.  I wonder if we will ever be totally natural with each other.  I remember the day we met – it was so fine.  Now – I know he just wants me to talk dirty to him on the phone – get wild – get him off – & I’m just not into that.  I’m tired of talk – I don’t want to fucking talk – if you want me, you know where to find me.  I’m seducible – I always have been.  I would love to have sex with Jon again but fuck talking about it!  I guess that’s how he stays faithful to Sara, huh?  I don’t care who you are – I’m not interested in talking about sex – I want to do it.

It’s like this guy I met at The Canteen – Mike – I really like him but he talks too much about how he doesn’t want to “just make love” to me, he wants to make me happy – if only I give him “a chance” – he goes on & on about it – it gets boring.  I’m not going out of my way for anyone.  One of Tex’s friends took me out for dinner several weeks ago – Bobby Blue-Eyes, a biker who rides with the Rare Breed – we stopped here so I could drop off my dancing stuff & he fucked the living daylights out of me – it was great.  & then we went for roast beef on weck at Unger’s on Bailey & East Delavan – we had a couple of beers.  I haven’t seen him since – Tex said he went back to Kentucky – he probably has a woman down here.  It really doesn’t matter to me.  Actually – I’m not into having lovers.  I don’t know if I want to deal with the hassle of a secret relationship.  I guess I would deal with it if I was in love with the man – it’d be worth it for love – wouldn’t it?   But there isn’t anyone in my life like that.

& I really do love Teddy – I don’t want to hurt him – I just wish he would fuck me like Bobby Blue-Eyes did.  Or just fuck me, period.  He just doesn’t do it at all anymore.  I don’t get it – I’ve become more beautiful – more in shape – more toned – my hair is long – I’m everything a guy could want – & he doesn’t want me.  I know he loves me.  Why doesn’t he fuck me?

Excerpts from a Diary 12

[January, 1980]

 

I’ve decided to leave Buffalo.  I’m going back to Cleveland.  It has a lot to do with economics.  I never should have quit my job at the UB English Department but I did & now I’m working – barely – at the slowest pizza place on Bailey Avenue – if people are ordering pizzas, they’re not getting them from Pizza Palata – that’s for damn sure.  & I’m so tired of looking for work – it seems like so much of depends on who you know – you have to be related to someone to get a job in this town – & I’m not related to anyone – we moved around too damn much!  People know who my father is – it’s amazing how many people say I look “just like him” – & even if they haven’t read his books, then they know about his lurid death – the Chappaquiddick of the literary world – & then they want to know why I’m looking for a job.  “Don’t you have money?”  I really don’t want to explain about trust funds & how I really don’t have access to any inheritance he may have left me.  Which honestly – he didn’t.  It was all tied up in the dream house in Manchester-by-the-Sea that Mom sold at a loss & apparently he was partying a lot in those days anyway – Mom & Dick certainly spent whatever was leftover these past few years.   It’s none of their business anyway.  I’m constantly amazed at how prospective employers want to know all kinds of private information.  All I can think is – I have no real skills – I’m gonna end up in another shit job at minimum wage & work my butt off & still be poor.  Worse than poor.  I just can’t stand the thought of it.  I have to get back into school & finish my degree & get a decent job.  It’s the only way.  As much as I love my rock’n’roll life – if the Bliss doesn’t hit it big, I’m really nowhere.  & they aren’t going anywhere any too fast.  Sometimes I think they don’t really want to go anywhere.  I mean, instead of trying to work every gig they can, Barrett’s out of town or Joey’s out of town & there’s missed opportunities & I just don’t get it – I think I’m more hungry for success than they are.  Even Bard – I swear, I’m hungrier than Bard is, too.  I can’t do it for them.  I can’t get on stage for them – ya know, I would if I could.  I’d be up there every damn night – if I could.  But they’re the guys in the band & if they don’t want to play, there’s nothing I can do about it.  Even if I was the only front man in the band – instead of a once in a while back-up singer – I couldn’t get up there & sing without them playing with me.  So it’s impossible.  Even Marc is too damn mellow – “We’ll play when we play,” he said when I complained about missing gigs.

& I need to leave – the whole scene has gotten oppressive.  I don’t want to be remembered as Chaotic Bliss’ groupie.  Last month – a few weeks ago – whenever it was – that night Barret hung around after the rehearsal & we sung together for over an hour – I thought of what it could be & what was never going to happen.  Bard has made that eminently clear.  Even though Tanner & Barret & Marc & even Joey has told him that I would be a great asset to the band – musically, visually & as far as sex appeal is concerned.  But Bard is never going to make me part of the band – even though whenever I have sung with the band, it has been electric.  There is no denying that.  Even Bard cannot deny that – as much as he has tried to deny it – & he certainly has tried.  But Bard is determined that Chaotic Bliss remains four nerdy guys & there’ll never be a babe in the band – not a sexy babe, not a smart babe, not a slapstick babe – not any kind of babe at all.

The thing is – I am part of the show – with my dancing – something that is acknowledged but not really celebrated.  I mean – if I am part of Chaotic Bliss – then why – why am I not included in the photo shoots?  Why not hand me a tambourine & give me something to do?  Ya know?  Lots of punk rock bands feature women in any number of roles.  Not just as singers – Talking Heads has Tina Weymouth on bass – & over in Britain, it’s common to see women playing bass or drums or rocking out in all kinds of ways.    & here in the States – there’s Blondie with Debbie Harry  & the Patti Smith Band – it’s her band.  & there’s Heart with the two Wilson sisters, Ann & Nancy – not exactly punk but they really rock.  That new band – The Pretenders – I’m hearing about from Britain – totally fronted by this tough-looking chick named Chrissie Hynde.  & locally, there’s Gloria DeNunzio in The Raptures.  Bard adores her & there’s dozens more that Bard says he “loves”.  Why not a girl singer for the Bliss?  Since I am “part” of the band anyway?  Or is that just talk?

Plus – Bard is becoming more intolerable every day.  He was really nice about taking me to Stage One on New Year’s Eve but he is generally a prick.  It’s like he blames me for the Bliss not gigging.  Believe me, I want them onstage as much as he does!  I want them opening for more popular bands – I want them playing their own gigs – I want them playing dances at the colleges & benefits & parties & whatever they can get.  & now that I’ve been talking about leaving, he’s even more pissed off at me.  I don’t get it!  I thought he would be happy I was leaving!  The vibe in this house is so oppressive that I can’t wait to move.

Partly it’s cuz I’m restless.  I’m so used to moving every year – every 6 months – whatever – that I almost have to go.  My gig is over here.  I know it – I can feel it.  I’ve been feeling trapped.  & I’m so incredibly lonely.  Marc, Joey & Barrett are my closest friends but they’ve all got old ladies – so where does that leave me?  All alone – that’s where that leaves me.  I know – I’ve been told – what part of my charm is my one-of-the-guys attitude – flavored with my earth-motherliness – or stoned childishness – depending on my mood & which Cori you get.  But although I’m a lot of fun, I’m a woman too & I’ve got a lot of needs & they aren’t getting fulfilled.  I love these guys & they love me – they’ve stood behind me when I needed it – put me to bed when I was sick from too much drinking – listened to me complain about Bard & other men.  They’ve been great & if it hadn’t been for them, I never would have made it through.  I was hitting rock bottom.  I still am.  I might not be here if not for them – anyway, they’re great & I’ll always love them.  But it’s like the Kozmic Blues here – they’ll never love me any better & they’ll never love me right.  So I’m gonna leave while I’m ahead.  Which – from where I’m sitting – is really behind the 8-ball.  I’m just trying to look at the bright side of things.

It’s hardest to leave Barrett, of course.  & naturally, he’s one of the reasons I have to leave – a big reason – as big as the economic reasons.  We can’t go on the way we are.  & we know it.  I can’t stand not having him.  I can’t stand being as close as we are & never touching our love.  & I can’t stand the lies – the secrecy – the façade – the games – I hate playing games – but that’s what we could have to do if we went forward into a full-tilt affair.  I’m upfront – I’m relatively honest – at least I know I can’t lie successfully so I stick to the truth.  & Barrett’s the same way – we’ve talked about it.  If I stayed, this situation would only get worse – I have troubling handling it now – I’m a wreck all the time. I remember telling Barrett, “It’s enough that you want me.”  But of course it isn’t.  I want him – all of him – to hear him speak – to touch him – to sleep with him.

***

I remember once having a conversation with Mark Miles – I don’t know maybe a few months ago – he stopped over to see me & we were in the living room here with all the band equipment & I was talking about the band & most especially about Barrett.  & he said that I was talking about Barrett like I used to talk about Jon & how they were really interchangeable – as far as the way I expressed my love for them was concerned – & he said that he thought that men were my drug – like that Roxy Music song “Love is the Drug” – that I always had to have a new lover – another lover – that I always had to score.  I don’t know if that’s true but it’s an interesting theory.  Love addiction.  Being addicted to love.

***

Barrett’s back!  I was walking up Main Street – putting in applications in at the bars & restaurants around Main & Fillmore – & I saw his car pull out of Amherst Street & go up Main Street.  Nobody else has an faded old electric blue Plymouth Roadrunner – only Barrett would drive something like that.  I’d know that car in hell!  It’d be a nice car if it wasn’t so beat up.  I caught the next bus going up Main Street but by the time I got home, he had gone.  It was obvious that he had been there.  There was a bottle of California Merlot on the table & Bard looked like someone had just shot his dog.

“What’s up?”  I asked.

“Barrett just left,” he said heavily.  “There’s going to be a band meeting later this evening.”

“What’s the matter?”

He waved his hand at me like he was trying to make me disappear.  “You’ll find out at the meeting.  I’m going to lie down.”

So now – what?  Although the way Bard looks – I don’t want to think it – let alone write it.

***

The meeting is over.  We were all there – Bard, Barrett, Marc, Joey, Tanner, Zu the soundman, & me – Barrett brought a few more bottles of Merlot & some really great weed he bought out there & ordered pizza & wings for everyone.  It was like a party.  Apparently it was.  A goodbye party.  He announced that he was leaving Buffalo for Palo Alto – he had secured a professorship at Stanford University – teaching a class on D.H. Lawrence – & other duties – so of course he would have to be leaving Chaotic Bliss, too.  Plus – Rina’s mother was in poor health & needed to be cared for more thoroughly so they were going to be taking her into their home – Rina wanted her to live in a more forgiving climate than the one that was here in Buffalo.  Or in Brooklyn.  Which everyone could understand.  Unfortunately.

Of course he apologized – for “leading us on” – gigging all summer & recording the demo & releasing the single – he said he would pay back the money that the band took out – the bank loan – so that Bard & Joey & Marc & Tanner weren’t left holding the entire note.  “But this has always been my dream,” he said – rather gushingly, I thought – “the academic life – & Stanford!  Who can argue with Stanford?  I know I’ll be playing music for the rest of my life, but I won’t be doing it in Buffalo.”

 

Tanner is going to get us a “farewell gig” at the Schuper Haus or the Masthead next Friday or Saturday night – whatever he can do at this late date.  Barrett is leaving on the nineteenth so there isn’t much time.  & a farewell gig isn’t something you want to do on a weeknight.   Apparently Rina stayed behind to find them a place to live but she’ll be returning before the weekend to start packing up their things.

 

It was first time I saw him since the Rocker’s party just before Christmas.  Before the meeting, we talked about my going away – going back to school – he agrees that’s what I should do – that I belong in school & I should be working on my writing in a focused manner – & about my being a groupie & Chaotic Bliss.  He insisted that I wasn’t a groupie but I said, “So what am I?  A part of the band?  What do I do?  Sing?  Play an instrument?  What do I do?”

“You mother us,” he replied, smiling.

“That’s just a nice way of saying I’m a groupie,” I complained.  I went on, “That’s another reason why I have to leave. I can’t be a groupie forever.  What’s going to happen to me after the Bliss?”

“You’re going to go with the Bliss,” he said softly.

“I am?  & where are you going?  You guys haven’t had a gig in over a month.”

“You’re impatient,” he observed.

“I am,” I agreed.

“Maybe you’re right,” he said.  “Only Bard wants it as much as you do.”

“I want it more than he does,” I argued.  “He only wants what he wants the way he wants it.  I want whatever what will make the band a better band.  Tanner, you, Marc, Joey – all agree that I should be an active part of the band – singing, writing, performing – but I guess that isn’t going to happen.”

“You never know,” he said.  “This band is really great.  You are going to make it better.  Believe me.”

So then – a mere half an hour later, he announced his departure from the band.  So like – I’m “going to go with the Bliss”? – really?  Which Bliss is this?  The Bliss that I’m “going to make” better?  Really?  How is that going to happen?  When Bard obviously hates my guts & blames me for what has now happened?

 

After the meeting, Barrett pulled me aside.  He said, “At the Rockers party, you said something very unfair – & definitely untrue.”

At first I couldn’t remember what he was talking about.  It took me a minute to bring it all back.  I had told him – something like this –  “You know, you dig it – the way our relationship is – I’m just a fantasy for you & you like it like that.  It’s safe for you that way – you can enjoy me in the safety of your mind & you never have to be unfaithful to Rina in real life.  Unfortunately, I’m a real person, not a fantasy.”

Now he was insisting, “You know that isn’t true.”

“Is isn’t?  Really?  It isn’t?”  I looked into his eyes & his eyes fell & he was silent.  So – it was exactly as I thought.  Finally, he said, “It’s true I have enjoyed it – I know I have led you on.  I told you I would.”

“I know – you led us all on, didn’t you.” But then I smiled at him.  It was getting way too heavy & I had to lighten the mood.  “Let me seduce you, man, & I’ll leave town & never bother you again!”  I laughed.  Then I said, “I mean, I’m leaving – partly – cuz of you – I always said that when it got to be too much I’d leave.  It’s too much – I can’t handle it.  It’s not you – it’s me, it’s inside of me.”

He touched my hand.  He said – so low I could barely hear him – so low that I had to bring my head right next to his – “Rina is out west until Thursday morning.  We have a few days.  Come over to my house early in the morning.  I can say that you’re helping me pack books or something.”  He looked at me – his eyes were so naked & pleading – I have never been so much in love with him as I was at that moment.  & I said yes.

***

Today –  the last Chaotic Bliss rehearsal before the farewell gig Friday night at The Masthead.  The first gig was at the Masthead & the last gig will be at the Masthead.  At least it’ll be on a Friday night.   There should be a decent crowd.  I called Jon to let him know & I said to be sure to bring Sara to take pictures.  I also let Mark Miles know & Harry G. & everyone else.  I even called Eddie in Brooklyn.  I said, “If you can get a flight in time, make this gig, man!”  I doubt I see him but you never know.

Barrett & I drank a bottle of champagne & smoked reefer & I flirted with my boys.  There was a definite vibe between Barrett & I & I didn’t care who knew it.

Just before he left, we stood in the kitchen & he said, “Is it alright if I come here Friday?”

“Bard will be here,” I answered.

“I don’t mind if you don’t.”

“I don’t mind.”

“I can be here by eleven – ten at the earliest.”

“OK…I’ll be waiting.”  Under his gaze I felt like melting but Bard walked in & we had to be normal people.  But I felt so warm & special –

***

I feel full.  I feel like I must’ve been poured to the brim with sunshine.  I feel fucked – I feel loved – I feel so good – I couldn’t feel any better if I tried –

I am ripe with love.  I am over-flowing with love.  All these Song of Songs phrases are going through my brain – along with hashish & a little wine & oh, so much love –

Today was love – lying on my bed on my quilts & sunshine through the window.  It was corny – it was great.  We kissed & giggled & rocked & rolled.  Oh, today is a day I never want to forget.  Every day this week.  Every day this week I do not want to forget.

Marc just walked in & asked me how I felt.  “Great,” I said.

“Are you relishing your last day with the Bliss?”  he wanted to know.

“Yeah – relishing it – & mustard & ketchup – ” I laughed.

Marc knows.  At least he feels – I can tell.  Joey is reading the paper – oblivious as usual.  Or simply minding his own business, which is what Joey does.  Bard is ignoring me.  He has been pissed off at me ever since Barrett announced that he is leaving – like it’s my fault.  My decision to go too only made things worse.  As if the band was going to stay together if I stayed?  I have to admit I loved it when Joey said, “Hey, Cori’s quitting the band too?  What are we going to do without her?”  Oh, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t want to go!  I don’t want Barrett to go either!  I want the Bliss to stay together & go to the very top like we’ve talked about a hundred times!

Barrett is talking to the photographer.  There is going to be pictures tonight – of all of us – including me – I am going to be part of the band tonight – Barrett insisted – I rehearsed with them all week – singing backup & singing a few songs of my own – songs that I wrote with Barrett – & of course dancing – I’m known for my dancing –

Love is sitting at a table with your beloved – not touching – not even looking at each other – sipping your tea – oh, how I long to touch him –

I keep thinking about Janis Joplin: “You can cry about the other 364 – but you had better make that one day your life, man – ”

Yeah – today – this day is my life.

***

At Falco’s.  Sitting at the bar with a small pitcher of Labatt’s Blue & my diary. I’m waiting for Teddy for show up – he’s got a bag of weed for me.  Tomorrow I leave.  On one hand, it’s really emotional & hard to leave – especially Barrett – but on the other hand, it’s a relief.  It sounds terrible but I can hardly wait to get out of the same house as Bard.  I haven’t felt this way in a long time – I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this way – hatred, loathing – I’m really not that kind of person.  I’m not the kind of person who hates people.  I really can’t think of anyone at all that I hate.  But I hate him & I hate what he’s done to me.  I can’t remember the last time I felt like this.  Perhaps I never have.  Maybe that’s why I’m so upset about it.  I hate it – it’s evil – it’s poisoning my good head & attitudes – not to mention my relationships with other people.  My attitude is that you treat people with courtesy & respect even if you hate their guts – but it’s so hard.  It’s hard to sit there placidly or to get up & leave when he makes a mockery of who I am & my plans & my dreams.  He does it so well too – he’s looking for a rise out of me & too often I give it to him.  But even if I don’t give him the fight he is always looking for – or at least the outward show of being upset with what he is saying – it’s still cruel & insidious in how well thought-out it is & how it always stabs me in my most vulnerable & painful areas.  He has succeeded in driving me away – he has succeeded masterfully.  He’s driven me out of his life – out of his band – out of his entire world.  & I’m glad to go.  Glad glad glad.

I’m glad because he’s driven me out of his band but he’s broken up his band in the process.  I mean – who knows.  Maybe if he hadn’t been such a prick about me & Barrett – about me singing in the band & singing the songs I was writing – maybe Barrett would have stayed here at UB.  Maybe he wouldn’t have given into Rina’s desire to go to California – an understandable desire, to be sure – but if Chaotic Bliss had gotten the success we were so sure we were going to get, moving to California could have been a few years away anyway.  But Bard being so stubborn & hard-set in his own ways – who wants to work with someone like that?  It doesn’t bode well for the future – with me or without me.  Bard can blame me all he wants for the steady exodus of musicians from Chaotic Bliss but he should be looking in the mirror.  He’s the one that nobody wants to work with.  Because it’s Bard’s way or no way.  Barrett was really good at handling Bard – but that gets old after a while – the constant negotiations.  & like I said – everyone wanted me on stage – everyone said I was great – everyone except Bard.  So I’m glad – glad that he’s losing what he was so eager to deny me.

Last night’s gig was one of the best nights of my life.  I have never had a high like that.  Singing – I don’t know if there’s really anything else I want to do.  I don’t care if I’m singing lead or singing back-up – I just want to be up there & filling my lungs with sound.  & when I’m not singing, I want to be dancing.

We had a terrific crowd – & they called for encores & we did all this spontaneous stuff – mostly because of all the stuff I’ve been doing with Barrett & Marc & Joey on the side – if it was up to Bard, there wouldn’t have been any extra material at all – at least nothing that I could have participated in.  The show was almost over when Bard’s guitar broke an A-string & while he was fixing it, Barrett borrowed Marc’s guitar & we sang “If I Fell” – wicked corny for the crowd that was there but it was a good way to kill time & it’s a short song anyway – & as soon as it was over & everyone had their own instruments again, they slammed into “Anal Breath” – which has to be the most perfect pairing of tunes I have ever heard – the sappy loveliness of “If I Fell” with the hard-rock almost metal-like grind of “Anal Breath”.  I was the first one out on the dance floor & within seconds, the entire floor was packed with bouncing bodies.  It was such a good time – it’s hard to believe that I won’t be doing it again.

After the gig, we had a party at the BonaVista on Hertel Avenue – just a final celebration of a glorious band.  Or what could have been a glorious band.  There were more bottles of champagne cracked – we toasted each other & the band – but it was bittersweet – made more bitter because Rina was there & she made it plain that she knew about Barrett & me.  I don’t know how she knew – unless he told her.  But I don’t know why he would do that.

It was almost 5 a.m. before we got home.  I collapsed on the couch.  I was really tired but too wound up to sleep.  I rolled myself a joint.  I was about to light it when Bard walked in.  “I hope you’re satisfied,” he said.

“What do you mean?”

“You have succeeded in demolishing Chaotic Bliss.”

“I didn’t do that.  I didn’t tell Barrett to go out west & get a job at Stanford University.  If I had my way, he’d be teaching right here at UB & he’d be playing bass & singing with Chaotic Bliss & you know that.”

“It’s because he has to get away from you that he is going all the way to California to try to save his marriage!”

“Oh please.  He’s moving out there because his wife wants to & his mother-in-law needs to because of her health.  He’s fulfilling his filial obligations.  It has nothing to do with you or me or the band or Buffalo.  Find another bass player as soon as you can & keep going.”

“It won’t be the same without Barrett.  Chaotic Bliss was Barrett.  Barrett & me.  I might as well start over again.”  He laughed bitterly.  “But it’s all over now.  After Rina called here this morning looking for Barrett & I told her – ”

“You told her what?”

“I told her that Barrett was with you & had been with you every day this week.  I didn’t have to go into details.  She already knew.  You’re not the first one.  Believe me, Cori,” he said, almost triumphantly, “you’re not the first one.  But Rina is determined that you are going to be the last one.”

I didn’t know what to say.  I smoked my joint in silence.  I thought he was finished – in fact, I thought he had left the room – but then he burst out with – “Ya know, we could have had a demo & a recording contract months ago if you hadn’t driven Fred away like you did.  He had better connections than Tanner.  You really fucked that one up.”

“Barrett couldn’t stand Fred either,” I answered.

“Barrett would have said anything to get into your pants,” he said cruelly.  “Barrett should have known better.”

“Well, doesn’t that tell you something?  Maybe Barrett wasn’t into this band thing to begin with,” I argued, pissed off at his remark “Barrett would have said anything to get into your pants” – “Maybe Barrett was just playing around.  He played both of us,” I said on a sob.

“Oh don’t start crying, you pathetic drunk,” he snarled.

“What?”  I couldn’t believe my ears.

“You’re a drunk – a miserable drunk.  It’s amazing you can get on stage & sing the way you do – but that’s probably because you’re still young.  That won’t last.  It never does.  Barrett can tell all the stories he wants about Janis Joplin but the story he never tells you is that by the end of her career, she sucked! She was only twenty-seven years old & she was totally shot!  OK – that’s a long way from where you’re at – but you’re well on your way!  That’s why I don’t want you in the band!”  He left & I cried  until I had no more tears left.

***

At Falco’s.  We had another argument this morning which is why I got out of the house.  I walked around the neighborhood for a while & then I came here.  I always feel better sitting at the bar & listening to the tunes on the jukebox.  Catching snatches of other people’s conversations.  The warm & fuzzy way the beer feels in my belly.

I suppose I am a drunk but I didn’t think I was really that bad.  I mean, I haven’t gotten sick in a really long time.  But I guess it looks different from the other side.  Maybe if I was looking at someone  who was wasted all the time, I would have the same reaction.  But it’s not like I’m wasted all the time.  He’s really being an asshole.  & I really am trying to control my drinking.

It amazes me when he says I’m insensitive to other people’s feelings.  I suppose I am to a certain extent but I do think about how other people feel – I mean, I don’t do things to hurt people partly because I wouldn’t want that kind of pain myself.  But he tramples over my feelings all the time & I think he thinks it’s OK because I’m “insensitive” to other people’s feelings – like he has to punish me for that or something.  He says I’m not being true to my dreams – he says going home is cowardly & a cop-out.  Is realizing that I can’t meet my expenses a cowardly?  Is leaving a place where a guy is always on my ass about something a cop-out?  Honestly, if he wasn’t so much like that asshole Dick my mother married, maybe I wouldn’t be going back home.  But if I’m going to put up with all that bullshit, I might as well live in comfort.

I really hate it when he attacks my mother.  He says my mother hates me & that now I’m in her power & she’s won in the eternal power struggle.  He says it’s the way of all living things for the child to kill its parents – it’s the only way the child to become free.  Actually that’s not true – but I wasn’t going to argue with him.  I mean, there’s lots of animals who don’t kill their parents.  But whatever.  I love my mother & whatever problems I have with her, it can all be worked out & if it can’t – I’ll move out again.

I loved Bard – I really cared for him.  It really sucks that it all came to this.  But that’s life.  There’s nothing I can do about it now.

***

Night.  Teddy gave me a ride home.  “You’ll be back,” he told me.  “Nobody stays away from Buffalo for very long. & when they do, they cry about how much they miss it here.”

“Cleveland isn’t very far away & it isn’t very much different.”

“If that was true, people wouldn’t have such fierce loyalties to where they live.”

“I moved around a lot.”

He laughed.  “Well, I hope you come back because I am going to miss you.”

I went up into the apartment.  Bard was waiting for me.  “You had better sit down,” he said.

“What now,” I said.  I remained standing.

He handed me a telegram.  “This came for you.”

I opened it & read: “Sorry to inform you that Edward Marron died of an apparent heroin overdose 01/11/80.”  The paper fell from my hand.  I would never see Eddie again.  Those bright blue eyes.  Those angelic golden curls.

I looked up at Bard.  “You read this?”

“No, but telegrams are rarely good news.”

I went into my bedroom & put away the bag of weed I had gotten from Teddy.  Suddenly I had to see Barrett – I just had to.  I was leaving in the morning & I was never going to see him again either – I had to see him.

I ran out the door into the swirling snow.

I ran all the way up Main Street to Amherst Street to Barrett’s house.  A long run in the cold & the snow & the wind.

I banged on his door.  “Barrett!  Barrett!”

Rina came to the door.  “What do you want?”

“I need to see Barrett.”

“What if I tell you that you can’t see him?”

My jaw dropped.  I didn’t know what to say.  Then I saw him.  He was standing up on the landing behind her in the shadow of the hall light.  I called out, “Barrett!”  My voice cracked on a sob.  He came down the stairs.  “What is it, Cori?”  His voice was very gentle.

“My friend Eddie – I told you about him – I just got a telegram – he’s dead of an O.D. – I’m devastated – ”

He turned to Rina.  “Go back to your packing.  I need to deal with this for a moment.”  She started to argue but he said, “I have to do this.  Now go.”  & she did.  He brought me in & up to his study.  He didn’t close the door – I suppose not to piss her off any more than she already was – but he sat me down & gave me a few shots of bourbon & listened to me cry – & I sobbed – but meanwhile, she was in the kitchen, slamming pots & pans around – which I thought was rather immature – actually, it was really immature.  I can’t imagine acting like that.

“I’m never going to see you again,” I said, trying to hold back my tears.  “Eddie’s dead & the Bliss is broken up & Jon is gone & you are going.  & tomorrow I leave too.  Everything is changing.”

“Everything is constantly changing,” he told me.

“It’s not fair,” I complained like a child & then laughed.  Crying & laughing.

“You’re going to be OK,” he assured me.

“I already miss you,” I whispered.

“Hang in there, baby.” & he held me for the last time.  I never wanted to leave the comfort of his arms.

“You won’t forget me?” I asked as he walked me to the door.

“I’ll never forget you, baby,”  & he kissed me goodbye.

I walked away in the swirling snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts from a Diary 11

[Holidays, 1979 – 1980]

 

Just got home from the Rockers party – the new rock’n’roll magazine that is hitting the streets – Jon & Sara & Harry G & a bunch of other Spectrum writers are in on it – all the Buffalo punksters were at the party.  & lots of other rockers & musicians – everyone who was anyone was there.  They played “Underground Radio” on the PA – Chaotic Bliss’s new single – although I thought that “Moonshine Meditation” should have been the single – it’s definitely their best song – but even I had to agree that the first single had to feature Bard on vocals.  Everyone was dancing – it’s a good tune.  It’s just not “Moonshine Meditation”.

I was depressed at the party – oh I appeared to be having a good time – but Barrett was there with Rina & Joey was there with Pam & Marc was there with Mary K. – honestly, I should have been there with Bard – on Bard’s arm – that would make sense – but I was alone.  Bard was noshing with everyone like he was the King of Buffalo Punk – even though Chaotic Bliss is really not a punk band – they’re more like an old-time rock’n’roll band – like Ten Years After or Spirit or something.  Or even The Mothers of Invention.  Or Captain Beefheart.  They’re that out there sometimes.  I mean – songs like “Love During the Sauron Invasion” & “Lick Me with Your Lizard Lips” – of course Bard wrote those – they’re just rock’n’roll craziness.  & like – none those bands didn’t really fit into their time, either.  Chaotic Bliss can’t be neatly fitted into one rock’n’roll category.  They’re too intelligent for that & that’s going to be their downfall.

I had a small moment alone with Barrett.  We were standing back to back.  Rina had gone to the bar for drinks or to the ladies’ room or something.  I was getting drunk & I was pissed off.  I know I had no right to be angry but the feeling was there & I wasn’t going to deny it.  I turned to him & said, “You know, you like this, don’t you.  Having your wife here & having me here.  It doesn’t even matter if you ever have me for real, does it.  It’s all about the fantasy.  Cuz you can go home & bring out your little fantasy of Cori & I’m right there for you.”  Then I saw Rina coming back so I moved away.

Later I went to McVan’s with David Kane of Electroman.  I didn’t even know he knew me – maybe he doesn’t know me – I was standing alone & maybe he just felt sorry for me.  On the way there, he had the radio on & “Rapper’s Delight” came on.  Everyone’s been making fun of this so-called tune but David said, “Mark my words.  This tune is going to revolutionize music.”

I didn’t stay at McVan’s very long.  Dave was on his way downtown & so I called a cab & came home – I usually don’t take cabs but I have extra money right now because it’s Christmas – it’s always nice to be able to take a cab home.

***

I’m really stoned.  I got home about a half-hour ago – the only place that was open today – it being Christmas – was China Dream all the way over on East Delavan Avenue – luckily they sell beer as well as Chinese food so I was able to get a 6-pack with my beef chop suey & egg rolls.  I was pretty bummed when I got here – the house was dark – no one was home – Mac is still out having dinner at his sister’s & Bard must be out too.

I wish we had a Christmas tree or something.  We don’t even have lights up around the windows.  Up & down the street, there’s houses all decorated up & it looks so nice.  Bard is atheist & Mac said he stopped celebrating the holidays when he broke up with Shera.  Of course breaking up with Shera doesn’t stop him from going over there with presents for her.  Nor does it stop him from going to his sister’s house for Christmas dinner.  Bard is out somewhere too, having Christmas dinner with friends of his – because being atheist doesn’t stop Bard from eating & drinking, especially if it’s someone else’s food.  Of course I could have gone back to Cleveland but I just didn’t want to.  So here I am – smoking weed & drinking beer – all alone on Christmas.

Over there is Barrett’s bass – just seeing it makes me want him.  He’s in San Francisco with Rina – they’re there for the holidays.  I miss him.  I miss the entire band.  I won’t see any of them for a while – except Bard & he doesn’t count.

We had gigs for the holidays – we could be gigging this weekend at the Masthead.  But Barrett is in San Francisco.  So there you go.  If Barrett was really into Chaotic Bliss, he would be here – he would be honoring his commitments.  Not going to the West Coast with his wife.

***

I can’t believe I’m not working at the English Department anymore, although it’s a relief – it really is.  I’m so happy to be able to sleep in again & not have the stress of having to get to work on time.

Today I cleaned house & applied for jobs all up & down Bailey Ave & paid the phone bill.  It would be nice to get a part-time waitress job – & a part time job doing something else – I’d like to spend my days at home, writing.  I like being at home, but at night, I want to be out.

I have to find a job fast.  The rent’s due the first & although I have a paycheck coming Friday, it’s only $56 & most of it will go to bills.  I don’t wanna worry – I don’t wanna worry – but we’re out of pot & it’s hard to push problems away when I’m straight.  I’m not a “if I don’t think about it, it’ll go away” kind of person cuz I know what has to be done & I’ll do it.  It’s just now – I don’t want to worry.

I called Jon but there wasn’t any answer.  I wonder if he’s moved in with Sara yet.

***

Tonight is Beatles night at Stage One with 50-cent drinks & I’d be almost tempted to go – if someone called me to go with them – which they won’t – since Bro got married, I don’t hear from him anymore & Crony went to Texas or someplace & I don’t hear from any of the Ellicott Complex group anymore.  But since I’m not going to school, it’s like I live in an entirely different universe.  I wish I could go back.

Once in a while I hear from Eddie.  He called me on Christmas Eve.  He was pretty wasted but of course so was I.  He said he was going to be coming for me in the spring, when he could ride his Harley out here.  I would really love to see him again & ride with him.

I’m so lonely.  I’m not as down as I was earlier.  I’m gonna remain firm in my resolution to stay off liquor & diet & exercise & work hard at writing & being a good mother to Chaotic Bliss – but I need someone – I need someone now – tonight – & there’s no one to call & even if there was, I’d be too proud to call anyway.  Oh why are all the guys in Chaotic Bliss married?  Or at least in a committed relationship?  Why is there no one for me?

Resentment – bitterness – tears – longing – desires – fears – loneliness –

Neil Young’s on the radio.  Play some Linda Ronstadt so I can sing!  Singing – like dancing – like doing drugs – just another way of forgetting –

Putting pain on hold, baby.

***

I got the waitressing job at Pizza Palata.  It’s only part time nights but it’s a start & it takes the edge off my anxiety somewhat.  I should go down & apply for food stamps but I’m a little reticent – too much pride, ya know.  Hopefully a job will come through – part time days at AM&A’s or Hengerer’s or some other store – or maybe even babysitting.  I should check out The Buffalo Rocket & some of the other little newspapers.

I haven’t lost any weight yet – of course it’s too soon to tell anyway – but with all the exercising I’ve been doing, my figure is getting redefined.  Dancing as much as I do really helps – my legs & ass are firm – not flab like they once were.  I want to start running.  Well, no I don’t – I hate running – but Jon runs & if I can get into it, maybe someday we can do a few miles together.  I know if I try to start now, the cold air will be too hard on my lungs.

But this is the first time in my life I have ever looked at my body in an athletic way.  In terms of muscles & making myself strong.  I feel good about myself & how my body is changing.

***

I’m stoned.  Mac & his new girlfriend Trish bought an ounce last night & I’ve been doing bong hits all morning.  Bard bought the cats some catnip so they’re stoned too.

I miss Barrett terribly.  I miss the Bliss.  I can hardly wait until Barrett comes home & they play again.  I’m such a groupie but so fucking what.  I miss my band.

Tonight I’ve got to work.  I hope it’s not too boring.

***

Trish & her man John were over just now – they were going to go to the Tralf with Mac but finally they decided not to go & we all sat around, smoking joints.  We talked & listened to music.  I was very opinionated – about the band “Battered Wives” – then I caught myself.  I listened to the music & watched John.

I wanted to say to him & Mac – but caught myself in time – I’m getting better at that – “How can you just sit there & talk so normally, so calmly, like you were just plain old friends?”   Because I can barely stand to talk to Rina.  & yet I am drawn to her – at the Rockers party I talked to her for quite a while.  Perhaps because she is part of Barrett – they’ve been married a long time – loving him means accepting her & treating her with respect.  She cannot be denied – as much as I try to ignore her – she is his wife & she has a greater claim on him than I can ever hope to have.

I wondered if Mac & John were uncomfortable – or if they were in pain.  Trish spends several nights a week here with Mac & every other night with John.  I heard that John really loves Trish & is really hurt by her taking Mac as a lover.  Mac says he doesn’t care what John thinks or feels but I wonder.  How can he not?  I’m not sure where Trish’s head is at.  She was clearly uncomfortable & I could feel guilt all through her.  There was a strange vibe in the room but I couldn’t analyze it because I had never felt it before.

John got up & said it was time to go.  Trish got up & followed him out.  I saw her coat on the sofa & thought:  she forgot her coat.  Then I realized:  “Oh!  She’s staying!”

“Yeah,” said Mac.

I blurted – “I wish someone would stay with me!”  I was thinking about it cuz it’s been a long long time  – I can’t help but wondering about it cuz I had so many boyfriends in high school & now there’s no one at all. Or – there’s shadows.  Shadow lovers.  Secret lovers.  I think – I’m at a point intellectually & emotionally where the only people I’m attracted to are already settled – people my own age don’t interest me – I’m beyond all that.  I’m ready for something that maybe isn’t ready for me yet.  I’m outside – alone – aloof – waiting – trying to find my own niche – & it isn’t working.  That is my pain – my cross – my curse.  The loneliness – the way I never fit in anywhere.  & somehow – even as I understand myself better – the pain doesn’t diminish.  It’s changed as I’ve changed – but it hasn’t diminished.  Cuz knowing what the pain is – knowing what causes it & how it works – all that doesn’t make it go away.  I’m beginning to lose hope.  I’m afraid.  I don’t want to get bitter & hard!  It’s a struggle & only helps the pain – aids & abets the pain – which makes it more hopeless.  It’s a large circle –

***

Last night I went out with Bard.  I wasn’t going to go anywhere.  Since Barrett’s been out of town & the Bliss isn’t playing,  Bard’s been hanging out with Billy Sheehan.  He got really drunk with him the other night.  I was really amazed – Bard’s not a drinker.  Anyway, Talas was playing Stage One last night – a big New Year’s Eve Party.  I didn’t have any plans – why would I?  Everyone I know has a mate.  I was sitting in the living room, sipping tea & reading when Bard burst in & told me I was going to Stage One with him.  I said, “Yeah, right.”

“You can’t sit here all alone all night, it’s New Year’s Eve.  I’m on the guest list & I can bring someone.  Get dressed, you’re going out with me.”

I’m not even into Talas!  But they were fun. & I got free drinks & champagne at midnight & Bard even kissed me.  I didn’t dress up – all I wore were jeans & my hot pink sweater.  Compared to the other girls, I was downright dowdy.  But I just didn’t care.

At home, I was hoping that Bard might kiss me again – might even want to start the new year together.  But he said “Good night” & went to bed alone.

So – in the end – I brought the New Year in all alone.