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Tag: Champagne

Excerpts From a Diary 39

[Holidays, 1989-90]

[December, 1989]

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

[January, 1990]

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

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

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

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

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

 

Excerpts From A Diary 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 28

[Holidays, 1985]

That stag at the Three Coins last night was a drag – a million delays – I swear, some guys think that they are the only party I have in a night & I can hang out & wait around for all their stupidity!  Fucking Italians!  They’re the worst!  Oh – not all Italians but these stupid mobsters or these mobsters wannabes – whatever they are!  They’re more interested in gambling than seeing a pretty girl dance!  Fuck their stupid card games – their poker games & their blackjack!  & they tip like shit.  We got to our second stag at Columbia Hook & Ladder an hour late & the third stag at Wales Fire Hall so late I’m surprised they still wanted me to dance.  All in all it was a good night – it could have been a terrible night – I made $482.  I would have made over $500 if we hadn’t had been so late to the second two stags.  Of course – I never would have booked the third stag way out in Wales anyway – that was Teddy’s stupid idea – he never seems to consider how long it takes to get from one place to another.  It was only a few minutes from Three Coins to Columbia Hook & Ladder – they’re both in North Tonawanda – but almost an hour to get out to Wales – that’s almost Wyoming County out there.   I have to really talk to Teddy about booking jobs & about proper charging for going way the hell out there.  I mean – that’s a long  ride.  Not only out there but coming home, too.  Tonight I only have one stag – at Quinn’s Pitcher’s Mound – at the corner of Kenmore & Military.

I have a piece of glass in my foot & it hurts.  I have to dig it out – I already got some of it – but I’m gonna wait till I take my bath.  It’s already been in there at least two or three days anyway.  I’m surprised it’s taken this long for it to hurt.

We just got home from running errands – to John Fleury’s for an 8-ball – to the cleaner’s – to the drug store to pick up developed film – out to Eastern Hills Mall to get my new boots.  I adore these new boots!  I just finished water-proofing them.  I have to let them sit 24 hours before wearing them but I just might wear them out tonight anyway.

It’s dark & dreary out – been raining several hours.  Traffic’s slow & stupid.  I’m glad to be home – I wish my foot would stop hurting.

***

I’m sitting in the car – Teddy’s inside at Jimmy’s house – paying him.  Jimmy’s another coke connection – he’s Paulie’s cousin – we have at least four or five now – Teddy wants to be able to always score when he wants to score & he says one connection can’t always deliver.  We’re on our way home from a stag.  The hockey game is on the radio – it just started – that’s how I know what time it is.  I have absolutely no idea what time it is.  But hockey games always start at 7:30.  The stag would have been great if I hadn’t been so hungover from last night.  I didn’t even want to drink – that’s how hungover I was.

***

Today’s our third anniversary.  We started celebrating this morning by smoking some hash before we went to work – then, after work – while we did a load of wash – we went to Falco’s for some drinks & a game of pool.  I won – I’m getting really good at pool.  Of course, I play all the time.  In an hour, we’re going to Mom’s for cocktails, then Mom & Jerry are taking us to dinner.  We’re going to the Old Red Mill Inn.  I’ve always wanted to eat there.  I hope it’s good.  After dinner, Teddy & I are going to drink champagne & snort coke & – hopefully – make love.  I guess that’s pretty standard anniversary shit but who cares.  It would be great if Teddy actually makes love to me.  I would be happy to have no champagne & no coke if that happened.  On the other hand – champagne & coke makes the no sex part a lot easier.

Business is booming.  We now book a stag a day.  It’s so wonderful being a star!

***

Soooo tired.  I didn’t get to everything on my list today – when do I?  — but I worked on my story – which is more important anyway.  Also I finished reading the new biography of Colette – excellent!  Totally cool life.  I love how she took control of her life after being controlled by her first husband.  & how she was a dancer & then a celebrated novelist.  I can only hope that my life turns out as well.  But reading doesn’t get my chores done.  I can’t help it – I would rather read or write than do hand wash or mend.  It seems like I’m always mending.  I wish I could just toss away my old clothes & buy new ones.  But I can’t afford that – I have to remake old things into new things or else I’d never have anything new.

Now I’m reading a book about Catherine the Great – I was halfway through it when I picked up the Colette biography – I’m gonna push to get through it.  I have so many books piled up to read – to many papers to take care of – so many projects.  There aren’t enough hours in the day!

Earl’s back in town – he said he sold his house & is packing up.  We’re going to go to lunch tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to champagne & onion soup.  Oh, how I wish he was staying here!  Oh well – it’s for the best – he really loves his new job.  But he says he misses me.

***

Man, what a drag!  My car died – again!  I just got it back Monday night!  They put a new fuel pump in – the nice black dude who helped me  said that the fuel isn’t getting to the engine – so who knows about this new fuel pump.  I’m not sure about these dudes at B & J International.  At least it died pretty close to home – off of Olympic Ave., near the Kensington Expressway.  I walked to B & J International.  Now they can’t get their tow-truck started – really inspires confidence!

It pisses me off cuz I didn’t want to call in sick to the law office – I’m not sick anyway – it’s my damn car – I hate calling in for any reason whatsoever!  Plus I have so much to do today when I get off of work – go to the laundromat – go over to Jesse’s to see the new baby – well, actually to see Jesse – I could care less about the new baby, honestly – & to get Halloween stuff for costumes for stag parties & for work – I DON’T NEED THIS SHIT!! Oh well, it could’ve died on Fillmore Ave. or Sycamore Street & then I would have really been up shit creek.  I’m also glad I wore sneakers – the heels on my new boots are already worn down & walking 10 blocks or whatever it is from the Kensington to here – Hewitt Avenue – would’ve really demolished them.

***

At The Canteen.  In the dressing room.   I don’t feel like working today.  It’s kinda dead out there – no one I really feel like talking to & I’m not into small talk – god I hate small talk!  It’s so boring – “What’s new?” – ya know, nothing ever is – with me, anyway – I go to work every day – do stag parties on the weekend – not much ever changes in my life.  I wish I was home – hanging out with Teddy.  Or better still – that Teddy would walk in with some coke & do some partying!  Or even better – that we were at home partying.

I just wish I could sit at the bar by myself & have fun just hanging out but naturally everyone always wants to talk – I’m just not in a talking mood.

***

Another day of rain – how many has it been in a row? – ten? – eleven?  It’s totally dark & foggy out – street lights still shine at nearly 9 in the morning.  Looking out the window from my computer terminal, I can see the buildings downtown – I can only make out the ones I know are there anyway.  Makes you wonder what today would have been like when Buffalo was a boom town – with the trains & the factories going full blast & the boats in the harbor & on the canal & the sounds of prosperity everywhere.  Probably today would be as dark as night – smelly – the fog holding in & intensifying the pollution of a midwest megalopolis.

***

Jesse was over this evening.  He bought some weed & coke to take hunting – he’s taking his younger brother Randy down to West Valley for opening day of deer season – Randy’s seventeen now & has been hunting down in Ohio with friends for over a year but as Jesse says, “He needs a man to hunt with, like my father hunted with me but he doesn’t do that anymore – not since he got sober” – which really doesn’t make sense to me – you’d think that not being drunk would make a man more conducive to good hunting, not less.  But all Bob wants to do is go to A.A. & talk about his “strength, hope & experience”.  I know that Jesse goes down to West Valley ever year to hunt but it’s more of a getaway from Doreen than an actual hunting experience – Doreen won’t touch venison – I love it but Teddy of course won’t eat it at all or anything killed like that – he’s totally a supermarket meat man.  Teddy can’t eat turkey if he sees it coming out of the oven – he says it looks too much like “the carcass” – which is idiotic – but that’s the way he is – it’s the same with a roasted chicken – I have to completely carve it & bring it to the table on a platter – which increases my workload & makes the meat dry.  But that’s life.

***

OH MY GOD.  Jesse just called from Buffalo General Hospital – he’s there with Randy – apparently Randy fell down a hill down there in West Valley & somehow his gun discharged & blew a hole in his foot – Jesse tied a tourniquet around Randy’s leg with a bandana & I guess that saved his foot – but he’s going to have a hole in it for the rest of his life – which sounds really suspicious to me, because wouldn’t the foot heal?  Who walks around with a hole in their foot?  But who knows?  I think the doctors are trying to scare Randy but honestly – who the fuck knows.  Maybe there’s dozens of dumbass men walking around with holes shot in their feet.  I never thought about it.  Jesse says he’s on painkillers & he’s going to be OK.

This is totally changing Thanksgiving.  Instead of everyone going down to Cleveland, Mom & Bob are coming here & we are all going to have dinner at Jesse & Doreen’s.  & because Doreen is really not much of a cook, she is going to do a ham – cuz really, how do you fuck up a ham? – & I am going to do the turkey – since I know how to roast a turkey & dressing – & bring it over there, all cooked – & everyone else is bringing everything else.  Mom is baking pies in Cleveland & bringing them up.   I’ll probably do the a big green salad as well.

***

Thanksgiving.  Everything turned out ok although it was super crowded at Jesse & Doreen’s & the new baby – Allison – cried almost the entire day – I had such a headache by the time we left – I didn’t even want to take any leftovers or anything – I just wanted to get the fuck out of there.  I hate a crying baby!  Zach was the same way when he was a baby & he wasn’t really much better now at two years old – whiny & complaining.  What Mom calls “the terrible twos”.  I guess all the people freaked them out but still.  I don’t know why Doreen doesn’t nurse her babies – both Zach & now Allison are on formula – so naturally they’re fussy & unsatisfied.  Mom said the same thing.

Randy was on crutches but he seemed to be OK.  Still on painkillers but he ate well & had a few beers – he had killed a nice 8-point the day before the accident happened & he was real happy about that.  He’s going to have it mounted.  Seventeen years old & he’s got his first mount! Jesse was twenty-five before he got his first one & then – of course – Doreen wouldn’t let him get it mounted because she hates that kind of thing.  Would never have it in the house.  He still has the antlers – it’s hard to believe Jesse giving in on something like that.  But whatever.  Randy’s turned into a very handsome young man – almost as tall as Jesse – fairer than Jesse & with hazel eyes that are almost green.  Bob was really pissed at him about the accident, though.  I couldn’t get it – I mean – it’s an accident.  That’s why they’re called accidents.  Again – I was really glad to get out of there & back to our quiet home.  Teddy had some coke stashed & we partied when we got home.  I was glad he had thought ahead.

***

I’m down – I feel weighted down with heavy emotion – desires – longings.  Last night we were supposed to pick up an 8-ball – John Fleury was supposed to call & drop it off on his way to a wedding reception but that never happened.  Actually – I don’t care about that – I would have liked to have partied but on the other hand, I’m glad I got a good night’s sleep.  It’s everyone else – the constant phone calls – “Where is it?” – knowing that certain people think we’re dicking them around when actually we’re the ones being dicked around.  It’s the domino effect – & we’re the ones in the middle of the falling dominoes.

I laid in bed & fingered myself to orgasm & thought of Jesse.  Why does he want me sometimes & not other times?  When we got together the other day I thought I was going to die.  Oh – his magic dick.  I love how it feels in me! Dying dying dying for more.   Hating everything – having to work all day – never having enough time to meet a lover – well – I’m Teddy’s wife – guess a lover is not part of the picture anyway.  But it’s part of my picture!  I can’t help it – I’m horny – I’m horny almost all the motherfucking time!  I want a good fuck – I want his cock jamming inside of me!

I’m tired of working all the time.  I’m tired of never having enough money to buy a new outfit or even the trimmings to make a new outfit out of an old one.  Or even a desperately needed new pair of shoes – the ones I’m dancing in have holes in them – I’ve told Teddy over & over again that I have to have new shoes – but no, the money goes to drug deals or to car payments or rent or the fucking heating oil – always something other than me – & I’m the one making the money!  I have no say!  I’m so tired of this!

& now – after the other day – & I can’t believe it happened – after barely being with him all summer – waiting all fall – will it happen again?  The way he kissed me – only Jesse can kiss like that – I know he wants me as badly as I want him –

Stopping at the Parker Liquor Store & buying a jug of red wine before going to his rental on the West Side – vacant again – & making love for hours – he took a big swig of wine & let it dribble out of his mouth into mine & then all over my breasts & then he licked it off – oh – I am wet thinking about it – how I want him – I only want him!!   He is the only one!

***

I’m in the car – in the parking lot – waiting for Teddy – he’s in the bank, cashing a check.  Then we’re going to run a few errands – pay my doctor bill – buy some papers.  Tonight Bernie’s coming for supper again – Ariane’s out of town on business.  We’re having Mexican pork chops & rice.  I’m hungry right now!  I wouldn’t mind a Texas dog or something.

I wish Teddy would hurry up.

At Top’s.  Teddy is inside, paying the electric bill.  Next is the doctor’s, then back to Danielle’s – we bought her a pack of papers.  Then home – I can hardly wait.  I have so much I wanna do – so much I’ll probably not do.  I’ll end up smoking joints with Teddy & Bernie & instead of getting up & doing something all nice & stoned, I’ll melt into the couch, reading or doing crossword puzzles.

***

I’m not at work – I arranged not to go because of the big stag tonight – working 8-11 at the law office, 12-5 at The Canteen & then a stag tonight seemed a little much.  Especially since last night, I got very little sleep – although I didn’t know that when I asked for the hours off last week – but Thursday nights are generally sleepless due to the usual 8-ball deal & the subsequent late-night partying – it’s easy to figure on burned-out Friday mornings.  Teddy kinda floated off to work today – he says he didn’t sleep a wink last night.  I know I floated in & out of consciousness – which isn’t exactly sleeping.  Just now I started feeling sick.

OK.  That passed.  Last night I went out shopping & drinking with Crissy – it was so strange not being with Teddy.  I really missed him.  Everyone tells me we’re together too much – all my girlfriends are constantly asking me out – trying to get me out with the girls!  But I’d rather be with Teddy!  Even though I was having a good time, I was glad to get home & show Teddy what I bought – finally a new pair of shoes! – & a few other things.  He & Jesse were snorting coke when I got here.  I was so glad to see Jesse – oh, that man makes me so horny!  This morning, he stopped by to drop off money for a deal – I gave him a cup of coffee.  & sugar – lots of sugar!  The special kind of sugar – the kind that only I have! Just like Teddy, he hadn’t slept a wink last night – I had to laugh – I was the one out drinking!

Oh – time for a hot bath – I feel so divine – I love to get fucked in the morning!

***

Anaïs Nin, in the fourth volume of the Early Diary writes: “I adore, I worship Hugh with my body and soul.  But I have a surplus of affection, of enthusiasm, which is pent up because he does not need it all.”

That is exactly my relationship with Teddy.  Although we are closer than ever & spend more time together than most couples, there is so much inside of me – so much affection – so much good sex – so much more than Teddy needs or demands from me.  It’s such a drag to constantly need more – to always be horny – always wanting – satisfied for short moments only.

Sometimes I want so intensely – I can feel the kiss – the pressure of his lips – his tongue – the look in his blue eyes when he told me:  “I can hardly wait to get laid off – I want to fuck you every day –  or whenever it’s convenient for your sweet little cunt” – I am dying.  I am perpetually in heat.  It dominants me – whether I am in the law office – in the car – enjoying a moment with Teddy – dancing – I can’t escape it.  I love it – passion – desire – sweat – cum – the never-ceasing rhythm – the smells & sounds of lovemaking – the complete sensual life – oh what am I to do –

***

Another grey day.  Sitting at the bar at Falco’s, while my wash dries.  A great idea:  a Laundromat with a bar inside.  So while you fold your laundry, you can have a drink.  Actually, my wash is probably done – but I’ve got this drink to finish!

I feel good today.  I have a stag tonight & I can hardly wait.  Out in Angola-on-the-Lake – what a drag!  Oh well – we’ll have a good time partying on our way out there.  I’m dying to dance!

***

New Year’s Eve – getting ready for our party.  We’re so low on cash – last night Teddy poured over the list – trying to cut a few pennies here – save a dime there – so we’re not getting olives or vegies other than carrots & celery – he plans to buy the bargain blue cheese dressing instead of Marie’s.

I’ll be so glad when this season is over.  Party, party, party!  I need a few months of quiet – time to writer – sew – create art – rest.  I have no bookings for 1986 yet – but if 1986 is anything like 1985, I’ll be busy busy busy!

But at this point, I’m just looking forward to next week.  Last week I found a bunch of poems in a notebook I’d forgotten about – I want to work on them – get them typed up & done.  Writing is all I want to do in January.

Well, I have to go wash dishes – straightening up my dressing room – start moving around plants & books so they’re not damaged during tonight’s party.  & I have to bake a cake – January 1 is Jesse’s birthday – he doesn’t know it yet but tonight’s party is also going to be a birthday party for him.  I love him so much!

A wife may love her husband but nobody loves a man like a mistress does.

Excerpts From a Diary 27

[Summer, 1985]

Looking out the window in the big break room at the law office – everyone is still arriving – the parking lot next door is still filling up – I’m watching a guy walk by on the sidewalk downstairs – some homeless dude going to or coming from the City Mission – which is a few blocks away – work boots, baggy olive green work pants, maroon jacket, red & white baseball cap – then a black kid walks by, so pigeon-toed he has trouble walking in a straight line.  He keeps fading to the right.

Jesse just called.  Now that Doreen’s pregnant again he’s calling me all the time again.   I haven’t seen him alone since before New Year’s & whenever I do see him, it’s only when he comes over to do a deal with Teddy – they’re “all good” with each other again – of course they are – there’s money to be made, isn’t there.  Oh – I’m in one hell of a cynical mood today!  But even though Jesse calls me all the time, it’s not like he ever makes time for me – it’s the same fucking dynamic as Jon – he’s got a woman at home but he calls me to fool around on the phone.  Ya know – fuck that noise, man!  That’s not what I need – idiotic talk – I need to get really pounded – I haven’t gotten laid in forever.  But – I just found another dollar in my pocket.  Now I’m trying to figure out if I should spend it on a new record for the jukebox or have a drink with Mo or forget the money & call Jesse back & see if he wants to get together.  Ya know – he just might.  I’m just not sure that I’m in the mood for Jesse.  I would almost rather have a drink with Mo.  I don’t know what’s the matter with me today.

My moon’s in Libra today.  You can certainly tell – I keep weighing desires & things I might want to do & can’t make a decision!

***

Oh my God!  I lost my notebook!  I was dying!  Like – where’s my security blanket –

***

I’m tired.  I’m still recovering from the weekend.  I got annihilated at work on Thursday – plus I had a stag that night – I was sick all day on Friday – I even called off work at The Canteen – only my second time in three years.  I couldn’t stop throwing up.  I had to drag myself downtown to the law office to get my paycheck – I looked & felt like a junkie.  At the bank – I was in line to get it cashed & I had to go outside to get sick in a newspaper.  Naturally by late afternoon I felt good enough to snort more coke & party again.  On Saturday I had three stag parties – two of them ended in fights.  Neither of them involved Teddy or me but they stopped the shows.  When I told Paulie about it the next morning, he said it was the full moon – he said that there’s always triple the amount of arrests on a full moon.  Sunday night I had another stag – with Gigi, Havana & Oralie.  They were all turning tricks.  Listening to them talk, I learned a lot about the everyday, nitty-gritty mundane business of tricking.  Like – johns expect your house to be clean or else they won’t pay as much.  I had never thought of that.  Of course my house is always clean so that’s not even an issue in my life.  Also Havana makes her johns use rubbers!  That flipped me out!  I mean, yuck!  Rubbers suck!  But on the other hand, it makes sense!  You never know what these guys might have – if they’re fucking these girls, they might be fucking anyone at all.  It made me really think.  Like – who is Jesse fucking when he’s not fucking me?  Ya know?   I don’t mean Doreen – she doesn’t count.  I mean – are there other girls?  Is that why I hardly ever see him anymore?

I didn’t get to bed until 2:30 a.m. Monday & I had the alarm set for 6 a.m.  I remember it going off – but I passed right out again – waking up at a quarter to 8 & panicking.  Teddy & I both ran out the door.  I felt tired & achy all day – my stomach hurt – just burned out after a weekend of intense partying.  All my weekends are like this.  I just wish I didn’t feel so burned out for days afterward.

***

Here I am, sitting at a table in the lounge at the law office, with a cup of tea – making out a list of things I need to do after work & I want to cry cuz it seems unfair that I have to work so hard to get a few days off & why do I have to feel so yicky when there’s so much to do!!

Ah, but this first sip of tea is so soothing – on my nerves as well as my throat.  The decongestants are kicking in – at least I’m not blowing my nose every 3 seconds!  But I still don’t feel like working.  I would like to stretch out on the couch or in bed & somewhere & maybe fall asleep – just shut off for a while.  Eventually be seduced.  Slowly. Sweetly.  Sincerely.  I wonder if I call Jesse – would he want to get together later?  I wonder if he’s working?  Probably.  But maybe he’ll take a long lunch.

***

At The Canteen.  Why am I so anxious?  What’s the matter with me?  Is competition eating me up or is there really a reason? – I know there isn’t.

I was eating a ham & cheese sandwich at the bar & Gigi did a swimming pool act & I felt terrible!  I watched & thought – I can do it 10 times better than that!  More sensuous.  More serious.  Well not always – sometimes I laugh just like Gigi did.  But I felt bad – I know I’m a better dancer than she is & I’m certainly way more beautiful than she is – she’s pretty but she’s fat –  let’s face it.  Guys love her giant tits but she’s got a giant gut to go with them.  She’s one big girl all the way around.  Big body – big boobs – big laugh.  She’s a bump & grind type of dancer & of course I can do that, too.  But Gigi can’t do the subtle stuff.  She can’t dance to Linda Ronstadt’s covers of “What’s New” or “I’ve Got a Crush on You” – she can’t move her body in that slow, jazzy way.  It’s beyond her.  Actually – I don’t like using props – like the swimming pool – I only do it because John Canton likes that kind of thing – I think it’s a pain in the ass, actually.  I don’t mind doing floor routines – I bought myself a big blue blanket for them – but as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing sexier than a slow dance – even if you never take anything off at all.  You do it all with your eyes.

Oh – what is the matter with me?  It sounds like I’m a petty & vain kind of person.  I’m not that kind of person.  & everyone knows I’m the star.  Why am I acting like this?

Any other dancer would have left town by this point.  Gone to Canada – gone out West – most of the dancers I started with are dancing somewhere else.  Of course most of them were biker chicks & it’s easy – when your old man is with a motorcycle club – to pick up & leave when he’s on the road all the time, too.  All those girls travel light – they don’t have hundreds of books like I do – they don’t have a home like I do. How am I supposed to leave when I have Teddy – & Jesse too?  & girls like Leandra – she’s still in town but she just had a baby – Teddy & I went over to her place the other day to pick up acid for camping at Stoneybrook State Park & she had the little guy on her lap – David, his name is – she had a new tattoo of his name in Harley wings on her chest – he was naked & as we sat & talked, he got a little hard-on & started to pee – & she held out her hand & caught the stream of pee in her cupped hand.  I never would have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

Katie – “Kitty Kat” – graduated from college & nobody’s seen her since – I ran into Margie tending bar at a small Riverside tavern where I was doing a stag one night & she complained bitterly about how Katie “abandoned” her after she became a computer programmer – “Like she didn’t know me at all,” she said.  “We were best friends.  We roomed together, we were on the circuit together, traveled all over the country together.  & now she won’t answer my calls – she changed even changed her number to an unlisted number!”

I heard Stormy was murdered in a knife fight in a strip club in Pittsburgh – I don’t know if that true – it is definitely true that Misty was murdered by her boyfriend but he got off – since she was “just” a dancer & a prostitute – never mind that he turned her out & made her stay out until she made so much money a night sucking cock & beat the shit out of her if she didn’t produce.  Laura Lee got her nursing degree & is working at Buffalo General but she still comes around & parties.  Kendra went to San Francisco with a rich older woman.  & I’m still here.  Charlene had her baby & hooked up with a Erie County Sheriff & moved out to North Collins.  I’m still here.  & like I said – I would leave – but I can’t.

***

The day after my 25th birthday.  We came home from Stoneybrook State Park late Saturday afternoon – I did two stags Saturday night & two last night.  I didn’t want to go to work this morning but Teddy ragged at me so much that I went & I ended up being very glad that I did.  Anna brought in a cake that she made, a nice card, a tape she made of new tunes & two large photographs of me she took several years ago.  She’s a really good photographer.  & the tapes have some tunes that I happened to hear on the radio when we were camping – two by this band called Lone Justice – I really like “Ways to be Wicked” – I want to add it to my set.  I also love Alison Moyet – “Honey for the Bees” is exactly the kind of tune I want for my set!  I’m so glad – I needed some new music to pump up my sets.  Teddy is always telling me that they’re fine “the way they are” but I think that you always have to be changing things to keep them interesting.

In all I received lots of nice presents – but it was a much quieter birthday than previous ones.  Last night at work, they opened a bottle of champagne for me & we were all doing shots of vodka gimlets.  But I really took it pretty easy this weekend.  I was so deliriously tired – especially Saturday night.  No cocaine – the first weekend in months.  I never realized how much I depended on it to keep going.

***

No joints!!   I’m going nuts!  Bouncing off the walls!

***

At the law office.  Anna’s late – or maybe I’m early.  I couldn’t believe all the green lights I got on my way here.  Anyway, I’m standing by the phones on the second floor, waiting for her.

***

Last week I started to write but things got in the way – this is the first moment I’ve had alone in a while – at least that I felt like writing –

I’m sitting in my car – Teddy s getting money to get some weed.  We’re on a lovely gravel dead-end road off Niagara Falls Boulevard – very rural – houses along the canal.  It’s a warm day – sunny.  Buttercups growing along the side of the road.

I was in a poetry reading at Neitzsche’s last week Thursday – Jon called & said that Harry G. was trying to get in touch with me.  I called Harry & left a message on his machine & later he got back to me, inviting me to read.  I loved it & I think I was well received – I wore tight jeans & a black lace t-shirt & my red pumps – nothing like what anyone else was wearing – I sipped a vodka gimlet as I read – oh here’s Teddy.

***

Oh – I thought I would have to buy a new notebook but thank god last week Lynnette picked you up & yesterday she gave it to me when she came into The Canteen at 5.  I was so happy – I felt so lost all week without my notebook.  Even if I barely write at all, I want to be able to carry it around – my security blanket.

Lynnette was the best person to pick up my notebook – she write too & she respects privacy.  Although it really wouldn’t have mattered if she had read it – this diary has very little writing & mostly lists.

Teddy & I had a really excellent weekend in Sherkston – camped at the edge of the beach – but here in town we’re arguing again.  He says it’s my drinking – it’s gonna break us up.  I didn’t say – but I think it’s true – it’ll only happen if he lets it happen.  His temper is as dangerous as my liking for vodka – although I do like vodka & soda, I don’t drink as often or as much as he says I do –  he makes it sound like I binge everyday – sun-up to sun-down.  I couldn’t do that if I tried.  My body can’t handle that.  I get drunk on Thursdays – that’s really it.  He says he’s “only reacting” to my “actions” but I call it over-reacting.  He’s just sick of me partying with the boys – flirting & doing shots.  Well I don’t blame him there.  I’d rather party with Teddy than with anyone else.  But what the hell am I supposed to do in that bar all day?  Who sits in a bar & doesn’t drink?  & it’s what I’m paid to do!  When we’re at Sherkston, it’s drink drink drink – but Teddy says that’s different.  Well, of course it is.  It’s ok if I’m drinking with him.  He just doesn’t want me drinking with anyone else.  I don’t see the fucking difference.  Drinking is drinking.

***

Searched at the border – coming back into the US.  With Teddy’s record, delays are inevitable.  But they never found the joint I had nestled in between my labia lips – in a baggie, of course – although they patted me down.  They checked us out pretty good – searched the entire truck – separated us for questioning – the whole 9 yards.

Flew into town – got Teddy’s paychecks – went to Wegman’s – filled the truck with gas.  Now we’re at Tom’s – for cocaine & weed – whoo-hoo!  We have to go to the meat market, Consumer’s, Doug & Danielle’s, TripleD International, Bernie’s, Jesse’s – make deliveries & pay off our debts while we have money – then fly back to Canada.

***

Tired.  Burned out.  Getting off on acid.  Everyone’s at Wayne Johnson’s wedding except Teddy & me & Doug & Danielle’s dog Daisy.  I really wanted to go but everyone is here at Sherkston & someone had to stay here with all the campers & with the dog.  Teddy doesn’t mind but I do – I love weddings & I do like Wayne – I worked his stag a month ago & I would have loved to have been at the wedding.  It seems like I’m at all the underground events & never get to go to the real ones.

I’m so horny – I’m depressed – I woke up in tears after dreaming about sex all night.  I’m feeling better now that I’m getting off although I’m hornier than ever.  I know I won’t get anything from Teddy – it’s been months – of course it’s summer & Jesse is working all the time & so I don’t get to see him either.  Although every time he comes to the house, he makes it plain that he wants me.  I mean – big deal if you can’t or won’t make it happen, ya know?

Last night was really stormy.  I saw some fabulous bolts of lightning over the lake.  I was so tired though – I had worked at The Canteen– after a night/day of total delirium & little sleep.  I did well though – $50 in tips.  My horniness always pays off – onstage at least.

Today is windy – cloudy – sunny – thundering in the distance.  The weather report said to watch for a huge storm late this afternoon.  I hope so – I love storms – then I hope the weather calms down for our last night here.  I have a stag tomorrow night.

***

Twilight – the hills across the lake are deep purple – shrouded in lavender mist – the lake, faintly rippling, reflects pink, gold, lavender, several shades of blue – everything is calm & expectant before nightfall, darkness, the full moon.

***

The beach at its height.  I’m really sad we’re leaving cuz here we are in the midst of everything – heat, oiled bodies, cool cars, a hundred sound systems playing a hundred different tunes – it’s great.

On the other hand – I’m homesick – plus I have stags tonight & a family picnic at Letchworth State Park tomorrow – Mom & Bob are up from Cleveland – so as great as it is here – I’m always happy to go home.  I need a decent night’s sleep before I see everyone – Jesse – & Doreen with her giant belly – brings back that I can’t have children because of my dancing career – as much as I would love to have them.  & Jesse & I would have such beautiful children!  Our bone structures are compatible – unlike his & Doreen’s.  Zach is a sweet child but he looks like a cabbage patch kid.  I mean – I guess that’s ok if you like cabbage patch kids – but I don’t personally find them particularly endearing or even very cute.

Also I can hardly wait to see Gigi – I’ve really missed her.  I want to tell her about Tom – our new coke & weed guy – I’m really into him.  I would so like to fuck him!  But I never will.  It’s not good business to fuck a connection.  But it’s fun talking to Gigi about  it!

***

Sitting at the bar at Murphy’s, having a beer before I go next door to work.  Ruthie behind the bar – Marian sitting at the other end.  Mo’s already next door.  We always meet here to have a drink before our shift.  Ruthie worked with Mo years ago – they were both dancers – back in the late ’60’s, early ’70’s – they both say it was a much better time to be dancing than it is now.  I believe it.  I think it was a much better time back then in general.  Marian is almost 70 – she’s a really great old babe.  She’s here every day at opening for her morning martini.

I saw Marian one Saturday night – Teddy & I were going from one stag to another – travelling on Delaware Ave. & at the intersection at Hertel, Marian was crossing – totally drunk, dropping something & trying to pick it up without falling over – “Hey, I know her,” I said to Teddy.

“That drunk old babe?” Teddy grinned – or grimaced – not bothering to keep the disdain out of his voice.

Drunk old babe?  Will I be that way?  I hope not – but who knows.  I like to get drunk & getting old is inevitable.

***

Labor Day weekend.  At Sherkston.  Storm time.  It was cool & cloudy when we woke up – we took a tour of the park – smoked two joints & bought a paper – all the while noticing the every-darkening clouds & the ever-growing raindrops.  Now it’s really coming down.  No thunder or lightning – although you can hear it on the radio – the static it creates.  We haven’t had a decent thunderstorm all summer.  I mentioned this to Janice – the girl camped next to us – & her husband – of 13 years! – Dwayne.  They must have gotten married when they were in junior high or something, they’re so young.  They have 3 kids.  They’re from Fort Erie, although Dwayne’s originally from Buffalo.

Time to make breakfast – pancakes, Canadian bacon, apples, coffee, tea.

***

I just woke up a little while ago.  After breakfast I got a horrendous migraine – the left side of my head was totally throbbing with pain – so I went back to bed.  Teddy puttered around – cleaning up around the trailer – the cooler – killing a bunch of troublesome bees.  He was getting really lonely & bored by the time I woke up.

I still feel like I’m sleeping.  We just had a sandwich & a joint & now it’s time to go out in the new rubber raft, which we bought at Washington Army Surplus downtown.  Teddy’s wanted one for years.  & of course Teddy gets what Teddy wants.

***

The moon just appeared – big, bright, deep yellow – a true harvest moon.  All around it are wispy clouds.  It’s certainly a lot clearer than last night.

Last night was fun.  We partied with Dwayne & Janice – rather, they partied here with us – we have the fireplace – & their friends from Buffalo – Brian & Mel – showed up.  Tonight Brian reappeared with two large bottles of vodka, a bag of weed & 12 ears of corn.

Teddy has the football game on the radio.  The wind seems to be shifting directions & I’m getting smoke in my eyes.

***

Labor Day.  Naturally the nicest day all week is the day we have to leave.  I have everything packed up & in the bed of the truck or stored in the trailer.  We have only to finish cleaning the trailer, collapse it, smoke a farewell joint & go.  Teddy’s stalling, puttering around.  He wants to stay until 4 p.m. or so – I’m dying to get going.  I can’t help it – I love it here & I’m sad to go but I can hardly wait to get home & get unpacked & into the tub!  I feel so yicky – I haven’t washed my hair or shaved since Thursday – I’ve been sponge-bathing & washing my face with Seabreeze – & I feel so yicky & awful I could die.  My hair has long since stopped feeling like hair – I’m not sure what it feels like – soft, tough straw or something.

I’m just tired – tired from camping – tired from partying day after day – tripping – too much alcohol – cocaine – a million joints – I need some quiet time in my bathtub – the water as hot as I can make it & nice soft soap sweet & fragrant.

***

It’s so good to be home – we finally arrived about 2 ½ hours ago – I made tacos then finally got into the tub – it felt so good!  & washing my hair – I was in heaven!

I brought calendar up to date – within 45 minutes of being home, I booked two stags for September 21.  The phone must have been ringing off the wall all week.  We’ve got to get an answering machine!  It’ll pay for itself!  A better investment than all these stupid drugs!

***

Almost 3 p.m.  Man, I’m pissed!  I took the laundry to the Laundromat – put in two loads – then went to the store.  When I returned, they were both done – except one was half-full with water.  I told the attendant & she asked, “Did you put any more money in?”  I said, “I don’t have any more money.”  I mean, I had to scrounge up the 75 cents per load as it was.  So she came over & re-ran it.

What a colossal waste of time!  I ran home & put the one load into my dryer & put away my groceries & I’ll have to go back to get the other load later.

I’m sick of this shit – I wish Teddy would get my washer fixed.  I’m so sick of running to the Laundromat every week – spending money I’d rather spend on singles for the jukebox & lottery tickets.  I’m sick of the fucking inconvenience.  I just have too many things to do & not enough time to do them.

***

Earl’s been transferred to Fort Worth, Texas – today we had lunch for the last time – we went to The Eagle House on Main Street in Williamsville – & then went to Isle Park across the street & drank a bottle of champagne – which honestly tasted like apple cider – then I went to The Canteen & finished off the drunk I’d started – Mo was mixing up killer whiskey sours – I’m really gonna miss him – he’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

***

At the Canteen.  Sitting at the bar.  Teena’s not here – she called at 11:30 to say she would be a half-hour late, which was over an hour ago already.  Darcy’s all pissed off but only because I doubt we’ll get extra pay for dancing extra sets while Teena’s not here – I’m not happy about it either but so fucking what.  I mean, that’s life.  I think Darcy’s really upset because she’s fighting with her man & Teena being late has nothing to do with it.

Shirley’s here – time to put the notebook away.  She gets really pissed when she sees me writing at the bar.

***

I had an interesting little conversation with my boss, Edmund Durant – the second of the three partners.  In the course of talking about writing, the subject of my dancing came up & he was quite interesting – well, he’s a man, of course he’s interested.  Unlike the other two partners, he’s never been to The Canteen & never seen me dance.  He wanted to know if I would dance for the law firm – like at a partners’ meeting & a few select “special” clients – he had to be joking – adding to his proposal, “Unless you would be embarrassed.”  “Not especially,” I answered, laughing, “but you might be.” “I don’t think any of us would be,” he replied. “Well, I’ll give you my card,” I told him.  “You do that,” he answered.

Later, when I was leaving, he was standing by the back door with a lady I didn’t know – his wife? – & he reminded me about my card.  But I have yet to give it to him.  I’m not sure if that’s a good idea.  I mean – since I’ve started here – 2 years ago – the subject of my dancing has never come up.  Anna – my direct supervisor – knows about it, of course – because I have to change my schedule at times to accommodate my changing dancing schedule & because if I know I’m going to be out late doing a stag, I call off “ahead of time” because I know I won’t be able to make it in the next morning.  That way, I can arrange to make up the hours ahead of time & it’s no big deal.  So the department knows ahead of time & nobody is put out.  The whole thing is to get the work done & get it done well.  I don’t know if I like the idea of mixing my dancing career with my job at the law office.  I really don’t think it’s a good idea.  I like keeping my various lives separate.

***

My car is in the shop – I don’t know what’s the matter – something with the steering – or the front right wheel – it feels like I’m driving a bumper car in an amusement park!  & I hate the bumper cars!  It just started doing this today.  But I can’t drive it – it’s unsafe.  So tomorrow I have to drive Teddy to work – then drive downtown – then leave at 1 p.m. & run back out to Tonawanda & pick up Teddy – run run run –

***

Beautiful weather lately – mid to high 70’s – sunny – nights cool & excellent for sleeping.

I’m having a glass of milk & a joint – getting ready for bed.

***

At the law office – I’m early – I left the house early partly because I was ready & partly because traffic has been really heavy lately so naturally today it wasn’t!  I took a little cruise down Fillmore Avenue – up Smith Street – all around that neighborhood.  There are some old, old buildings there.  I could cruise around & look at buildings all day.

I have to write a note to Anna explaining next week’s schedule changes.

***

At The Canteen.  In the dressing room.  Not my normal shift – no one to talk to!  All my regular customer are afternoon people – if we weren’t going to Watkins Glen tomorrow, I wouldn’t be working – I worked yesterday too – 12-5.  I’m not used to being here so early in the week.

I’m working with Lena & “Rock’n’Roll” Sue – real nice girls but typical dancers – light on intellect.

And Shirley’s in her usual charming mood – you know –

I really would like to take my notebook out to the bar & sit & write but if I did, some customer would sidle up to me & want to know what I was writing – like it was any of their fucking business!  Oh I supposed you shouldn’t sit at the bar with a notebook –especially if you’re a star like me – it’s just – even if I don’t write – don’t even open it up – it’s like sitting with someone friendly – a good friend – sitting with my notebook –

But.  It’s nice seeing Lena again – she just got back from Reno & other places out West – she & her sister Mira went out there more or less with Rick James – I know they were both seeing him years ago but I didn’t know they were travelling with him – Lena said that Mira is still out there & making “loads” of money in the clubs out there – I don’t know why she came back – if there’s so much money to be made out there, why would you come back here to make no more than $10 an hour plus your tips?  But who knows.

***

At the law office.  Boy, I got pretty wasted last night – came home & pigged out on tacos & chocolates!  I’m amazed I feel as good as I do today – I hope a hangover doesn’t creep up on me or something.  My head does feel kinda fuzzy – but that’s not unusual!

Today’s the day we go to Watkins Glen!  I get out at 11 – run a few errands – then home to get ready.  It’s supposed to rain – I hope we can get the trailer packed before it does – or gets too heavy.  I hope it doesn’t rain all weekend but with Hurricane Gloria moving up the coast, I’ll be amazed if it doesn’t.

Well, no one’s here yet but I should get to work anyway.  Work makes the time fly!  Well – usually!

***

Watkins Glen Racetrack.  Hurricane Gloria moved up the coast last night from North Carolina, hitting Virginia Beach, Atlantic City, New York City – New England’s probably getting it now.  It started raining last night around 1 a.m. – it poured all night – it’s still raining now, although not as hard.  The wind’s really wild.  Our awning is valiantly hanging in there.  I expected to find it torn off this morning.

We went into town for breakfast – it’s supposed to rain all day & I figured it would be good to get out.  Also we wanted a newspaper.  We ate at Savone’s Family Restaurant.  It was OK – not great – they used cheapo margarine & the sausages weren’t cooked enough.  We read the Elmira Daily – published by Gannett – & was amazed at the junkiness of it.  One article in particular – a front-page story about the hurricane – could have been written by a sixth-grader.  There is no way that writer could ever be hired by the Buffalo News.

The cars are flying around the track.  I love that sound.  They look so cool with the rain streaming behind them – “rooster-tail,” Teddy calls it.  Actually – although we’re camping & it’s raining – two things that really don’t go together too well – it’s really a nice day.  The sky is totally intense & the wet leaves look ten times as colorful & bright as they would normally.  But the day is really a drag.  Stuck inside the trailer all day – ultra damp – chilly – Teddy can’t get the furnace going because of the wind.  I would read but Teddy won’t shut up & I can’t concentrate.

Teddy got the furnace lit – I went outside & held the pizza pan over the vent so no air could get in.  Now we’re sitting inside – getting warmer – while the storm rages outside – the Grateful Dead on the radio – “Somebody likes me,” I said – Teddy’s measuring a half a gram into the vial.  Talk about driving that train!

***

The rain stopped & the wind died down somewhat.  All afternoon we sat in Bernie’s coach, playing Trivial Pursuit with Bernie & Ariana & Bernie & Tina – Bernie & Ariana’s guests.  Teddy & I won.  We’d never played before but it was easy to catch onto.  Because of my constant reading of everything I lay my hands on & Teddy’s knowledge of sports & automotives & all things machinery, we blew the other two couples away.

We’re making a fire.  Doug & Danielle should be getting here soon.

***

Saturday morning at Watkins Glen.  Sun already totally warm – they’re saying a high of 75.  We’ve got Formula-Ones flying around the track – the two Bernies on top of Bernie’s coach – spectators lining up in front of me.  This one group – looks like Ma & Pa & their grown-up son – Ma looks like Mrs. Methodist Church – she has on a white crocheted hat, navy blue pants, a quilted nylon coat – she has frizzy hair & silver glasses – not what you expect a racing fan to look like – but she’s watching each car go by – nudging her old man, making remarks & pointing out the merits of each car.  The husband & son are each wearing brand new Camel GT baseball caps.

Boy, when the sun goes behind a cloud, it gets cool real fast!  I have to get my jacket.

***

What a beautiful day for the races.  We’re all on top of Bernie’s mini-home, watching the cars go by – smoking joints & drinking.  We put on of the stereo speakers up here so we could hear the broadcast but when one or more cars go by, it’s impossible to hear anything anyway.  Last night we all drew two car numbers out of a hat – one of my cars #2 Porsche Marche – hot pink – collided with Ariana’s at the beginning of the race – reappeared for a lap – all patched up – & hasn’t been seen since.  My other car – #22 Chevy Marche – also hot pink – is also missing.  Teddy’s cars are doing well.

It’s such a lovely day.  Since 10:30 this morning – when I took my shower in Bernie & Ariana’s coach – oh, what a joy to wash my hair – I’ve been wearing shorts but I just changed into jeans since in the last half-hour the wind’s come up a little – enough to make it a little chilly.  I packed all our clothing & toiletries.  Now all I have to do – whenever I feel like it – is pack the foodstuffs & kitchen wares.  I like to do my work in little bits – then there’s never a lot to do.

Got quite a nice buzz on.  Teddy & I are saving the rest of the coke for the ride home since I remember last year – falling asleep on the ride home – both of us totally wishing we had saved even a quarter gram!  No – we have even more than that this year & even money!  We’ve come up in the world!

Well – we have.  We’ve both been working our butts off.  I’m the focal point of the business, of course! – but Teddy’s influence is not to be understated.  I couldn’t do it without him.  Well – I could do it – but not the volume – not the quality.

Lord – the sun feels nice!

***

As soon as the race was over, the whole area thinned out almost immediately.  Our suppers over, Teddy & I are almost completely packed up.  I have to help him take down the awning.

A minute later.  I know as soon as I get into my writing here, he’s going to want me to do something else.  A campsite nearby is playing Marshall Tucker tunes – from over the hill, I can hear Heart.  There’s still a lot of people here – mostly packing up but still partying – it’s the day crowd that’s gone.  Myself – I can hardly wait to leave.  I can’t help it!  Long way to travel tonight & unpacking when we get home.  I wanna get to it!  Before I tire out!

***

Very late at night.  We just got home.  Our answering machine is blinking & it’s filled with messages.  I knew that this thing would pay off.  I sit & listening to messages & jot down phone numbers & names as I hear them so I can call guys back – of course they’re all guys wanting to hire me for parties – tomorrow.  There’s quite a list & I feel really good about that.

The last message on the machine was from Jesse.  “Hey Cori, Teddy – Doreen just had a baby girl – call me when you get in – ”

I decided I would call him in the morning.  The very first call.

Excerpts From a Diary 23

[Holidays 1983-1984]

Sitting at the bar at The Canteen.  It’s a pretty quiet evening – obviously, or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing.  If Shirley was here, I wouldn’t be able to get away with writing at the bar at all.  But Mo is here & she’s real mellow.  She used to be a dancer & she knows what it’s like when it’s slow.  Plus I always get her high, so she likes me.  Last week was a total party, so I guess it makes sense that today’s dull.  It should start picking up soon.  I hope someone I like comes in.  I know Jesse won’t be in – makes me so sad.  The evening will be so long.

I’m wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, a red g-string, a leopard-print sash & my red pumps.  Real glamorous, right?  I just don’t feel like dressing up.  I’m making OK tips.  Tuesday’s tips always pay for dinner after work.  Usually we get pizza but tonight I want souvlaki from Kosta’s.

I’m writing as fast as I can.  All I have been thinking about is Thanksgiving.  I’ve been reading everything I can about roasting turkeys & I can probably recite the procedure backwards & forwards.  I rewrote Mom’s stuffing recipe, so I have that memorized, too.  We’re having curried corn & sautéed green beans & mushrooms.  & champagne – I definitely want champagne for my first Thanksgiving dinner.  We’re having Doug & Danielle over.  It feels strange not to be going to Mom’s house for Thanksgiving but I know I won’t be able to handle it – not with Doreen there with the baby – I know I’ll give myself away & I don’t want to do that.  They’re going to Doreen’s parents for Christmas.  It’s all planned out.  Everything’s changed since the baby arrived.  Apparently everything has to be planned down to the very minute.  Doreen is proving to be as anal as Teddy.

Jesse & Doreen’s son was born two weeks ago.  They named him Zach.  I’ve hardly seen Jesse since Zach was born.  It’s bad enough not to be able to make love anymore but not to even see him – & it’s even worse now with Teddy.  He’s practically asexual.  He wants it once a month or less.  How did I end up with a man like this?  I’ve always been totally horny – a slave to my body.  I want Jesse – I want him so badly.  I think about him all the time.

***

The night before Thanksgiving.  I’m sitting at home.  Bernie’s here.  I made tacos.  Teddy’s on the phone.  Pretty soon Danielle will be here – we’re going shopping for tomorrow’s meal.  I’d really like to stay home, but this is life.  We’ll have fun – roll some joints – make a party of it.  I worked at the law office today – I was so bored.  After my shift there, I went to The Canteen & had a few drinks & did a few sets – the other dancers hate it when I do that – just strip out of my street clothes – & get tips – but John Canton lets me do whatever I want to do – & he says it looks “good” when I come in with my office clothes on & I get onstage like that – all “classy” like that.  The guys love it too.  I have beautiful underwear now – lace & satin bras & matching thong underwear & garter belts for my stockings – I never wear pantyhose.  Everything I wear is sexy – even if it’s practical & comfortable.

Guess what Teddy told me when I got home from work?  William Morris – the poetry editor of the Buffalo News – called me.  He wanted to talk to me.  Over a month ago, I sent some poems in & I was sort of worried cuz I hadn’t heard anything.  I did SASE but nothing was returned.  Anyway, he hadn’t even opened the envelope until today & he called as soon as he read my poems.  He says they’re great & I’m great & he really wanted to talk to me.  He’s really excited, Teddy says.  I was so flipped out.  I couldn’t believe it.  I mean, I really like my poems, even the lousy ones.  I like reading them.  I think I’m getting better at writing.  Anyway, that really made my day.  I can hardly wait to tell Jesse.  Most of what I wrote this summer was for or about Jesse.  Jesse totally understands the artist in me.  Teddy supports me & is proud of me but he doesn’t understand me.  Teddy is not an artist.  Teddy’s totally great but he doesn’t get it.  Jesse & I operate on another level.  Maybe because we don’t deal with each other on a day-to-day basis.  Who knows.  I would like to think that Jesse & I could be happy living together as man & wife.  But who knows.  I’m so much in love with him.  Here I am – writing about Jesse – & Teddy is sitting next to me on the couch – but not close enough to see what I’m writing.  Teddy loves me far more than I love him.  I get pissed at myself for doing what I’m doing.  Teddy tells me all the time what a great wife I am – never bitchy, a great cook, good earner – which is all true – but I am not faithful – although I would be!!  I would be!!  If only Teddy would make love to me!!

& I’m so reckless – I’ve told Teddy almost all my feelings toward Jesse – it must be the Catholic girl in me – the urge to confess – I said that I consider Jesse my closest friend.  Which he is.  I mean – if I never do make love to Jesse again – oh the very thought makes me so depressed – but if we never love again sexually, I want to keep him as my very best friend – I want to have that kind of love.  True emotional love that lasts forever.  Teddy asked me if I fucked Jesse & of course I lied – I had to.  I didn’t want to – in fact I had set up the conversation in order to tell the truth but I just couldn’t.  My natural honesty struggles with my common sense.

I know I’m probably more in love than Jesse is – if he even is in love at all.  I was so totally in love this summer – I was completely shattered.  This summer was so hard anyway.  But I came to – emotionally – I had to – I had to maintain control.  Plus –  after I lost my ’67 Fury, I lost my independence.  I’m driving my new car now, but Teddy still comes along – he says I’m not ready to drive alone yet.  It’s my first stick-shift.  Plus he’s home all the time.  So it’s a good excuse on his part – he’s not doing anything anyway so he comes along with me to “make sure” I know what I’m doing when I’m driving.  Which – what the fuck – I most certainly do!  My father taught me how to use a stick when he was still alive – back when we lived in Massachusetts!  I know what Teddy is doing!  It’s insulting but there’s nothing I can do about it.  Just smile & say – sure come along – let’s cruise, let’s party.  Back when he was working, I used to jump in the car whenever & go wherever.  I’ve always loved cruising around the city.  So now I have Teddy with me all the time – oh well, that’s life.  It could be worse.

The last time I was with Jesse, he said he was going to remain “faithful” to Doreen now that they had a child – personally, I think he’s being faithful to the kid.  I don’t know why we have to stop.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  I don’t really want to take Jesse away from Doreen –  especially now that he’s got a kid with her.  & I really don’t want to leave Teddy – we’ve got the stag party business & I like our life together – basically – it’s just the sex part that sucks.  Why can’t Jesse & I be together sexually?  What’s so wrong with that?  Why is everyone so hung up on sex?  On marital fidelity?  To me, it seems simple.  Teddy is my husband – he has my loyalty, my love, my income & my total support.  Jesse is my lover – he has my passion, my sexuality, my body, my love.  Yes, they both have my love.  I don’t see a problem with this.  Why does everyone else?  What’s the fucking hang-up?

Honestly, I don’t think Jesse is going to stay “faithful” for long.  I think the novelty of being a new dad is going to wear off & also the novelty of being “faithful” to Doreen.  I know where all of this is coming from.  One of his best friends is Tony Padovano – a jazz guitarist who plays with fusion-type bands – he went out to L.A. a few years ago & apparently is doing real well out there – but anyway – years ago, the Padovanos & the Johnsons – as in Wayne Johnson, who is the same age as Tony – lived next door to each other in the same ritzy neighborhood in Eggertsville-Snyder – & apparently, Mrs. Padovano & Mr. Johnson had an affair & each divorced their respective spouses & married each other & moved into one big house with all the kids – it was like the Brady Bunch, only with two last names & a lot of bad feelings – so Jesse tells it.  & then Mrs. Padovano – I guess she would have been Mrs. Johnson by then – started having more children – so with all the stepchildren, there were also half-brothers & -sisters.  There was something like twelve or thirteen kids in the house by the time she was done having kids.  & a cook & a maid & dogs & cats – they were really rich – Mr. Johnson owned a string of laundromats & some retail stores & other businesses – he was a real wheeler-dealer.  He left everything to Wayne – Wayne runs all the businesses now.  Anyway – Jesse said that he was never going to put his kids through all of that.  But I don’t see how any of that would ever happen.  That seems like an extraordinary circumstance.  I’ve seen lots of divorced kids & usually they all don’t live together in one house like that.  Usually one parent or the other gets them & they visit on weekends or something.  & it doesn’t have to be all negative.  Just because Tony Padovano didn’t like the situation doesn’t mean all the kids didn’t like it.  I imagine the younger kids didn’t see it that way – I mean, it was the only family they knew, right?

& there’s all those marriages – & I can name quite a few of them – who should have broken up & never did – kids who saw their parents argue year after & year – or just endure each other – just short of hating each other – staying together for “the sake of the kids” – like that doesn’t lay a number on the kids – sometimes breaking up is the best thing you can do for your kids.  Teddy says that life was much calmer after his father moved out – he missed him but he couldn’t take the arguing between his mother & his father – & he knew that they loved each other – it was simply that they couldn’t live together.  & he loved getting together with his dad – going for rides in whatever hot car he had at the time – going out for dinner – doing all the cool father-son stuff that you don’t do when your dad is living at home.  There are perks to having your parents divorced.  It isn’t all negative.  I mean – there’s pros & cons to everything.

***

Thanksgiving.  I never thought things were going to turn out like this.  When I got home from shopping with Danielle last night, I started making the stuffing – I decided I wanted to have it ready & out of the way – cuz you can’t put warm stuffing into a cold turkey anyway –  & am I ever glad I did that!  I had just finished preparing it & was letting it cool when the phone rang.  It was around 8 p.m. or so – maybe a little later – & it was Leandra.  She said she had a quarter-pound of cocaine that she had to unload really fast – did I want it?  I said, “You had better talk to Teddy.”

So Teddy was on the phone for just a few minutes & he was out the door.  I thought – maybe I should make the curried corn & the green beans – so all I have to do is reheat them before dinner.  I had a feeling that it was going to be a partying night & I wasn’t going to be up to doing much on the holiday.  & I was right.  Teddy came back with a pile of cocaine.  & he was on the phone & then everyone started coming over.  The first person to arrive was Jesse.  He bought half of what Teddy had – for which I was really happy because a quarter-ounce of coke is a lot of fucking cocaine!   & we really can’t afford it!  But I was surprised to see him – I thought they were already gone to Cleveland.  But no – & Jesse stayed all night – partying with us – & we all went to Falco’s because Teddy had to meet Wayne there to sell him a pile – Wayne lives across the street from the bar – & we stayed there partying & closed the bar & I am very sure that Doreen is one pissed off babe.  “She can drive to Cleveland,” said Jesse, laughing.  Jesse & I played pool & basically hung out together all night & it was almost like we were the same old lovers we always were – he held me with his eyes & I could see that he still wanted me – or was it just the coke?  I really didn’t care – I was so blasted that I really didn’t care about anything.  It was a fun night but I was stuffing the turkey & getting it ready & I was sooooo burned out – Teddy was sleeping – somehow – & I was doing lines as I was in the kitchen – finally I got the turkey in & I was able to lie down on the couch – unable to sleep but at least I got a little rest.

The meal turned out OK – amazingly – we all managed to eat, even though we were all coked out & hungover.  I called Mom & she said that Jesse & Doreen arrived late & that Jesse seemed to “have a cold” – I said, “Oh, it’s going around.”  It sure is.

***

Halfway through December & I am working more than ever.  Three days a week at The Canteen – two nights a week at The Pipka Palace – two nights at Auric’s Den – but I won’t be there much longer – it’s way out past the airport & I really don’t like it there – but meanwhile I’ll work out the length of my contract & then leave.  Plus I’m doing stag parties – right now it’s Christmas parties – I’m booked up through the holiday.  Thank heavens for that – because Teddy is dealing coke that he’s getting from Leandra & her boyfriend Kyle – another Kingsman, of course – but naturally Teddy is doing almost as much as he’s dealing & instead of turning a profit, we’re actually falling behind!  So I have to work as much as I can.

***

Doreen’s father died.  He had a heart attack – I feel bad for her – nobody wants to deal with a funeral right before the holidays.  Plus for the rest of her life, every time Christmas comes around, she’ll think of her father’s death.  Teddy’s going to go to the wake – I can’t – I’m working that night.  The funeral is private – just for the family.   Her brother Bobby is coming up from Florida – I’ve never met him.  Jesse says he’s a jerk.

***

Jesse came over last night.  I was home – a rare night at home.  I was working on a new outfit – hand-sewing red spangles on a black spandex halter dress that I had stitched up on the sewing machine earlier in the evening.  Jesse was pretty pissed off – I could see that at a glance & his opening words confirmed his mood.  “Doreen’s crying, the baby’s crying, I had to get out of the house,” he complained.  I thought – what?  The baby isn’t even a month old & he’s got to escape its crying?  “You want a drink?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, “but what I really want is some coke.  Teddy just called me & said he just reupped.”

“Yes he did,” I answered.  “He’s in the bedroom, weighing out grams.”  I walked to the hallway & called to Teddy, “Jesse’s here.” Then I went to the kitchen & mixed drinks for everyone.  Teddy came out – excited & upbeat as usual – carrying the hexagon mirror.  We all sat together in the living room.  Lines were laid out & snorted.  Jesse started talking almost before he had gotten his blow up his nose.  “The will was read today,” he told us.  “Really no surprises – the house goes to Doreen’s mom, most of the money – Doreen & her brothers get a share – not a lot but enough to take a trip or buy herself some new clothes – which she’ll need if she doesn’t lose the baby weight.”  He sucked down his drink & I took his glass & went into the kitchen to make him another one.  When I came back, he continued his rant.  “Doreen’s mom is already thinking of selling the house & Doreen wants her to move in with us – so she can watch the baby when we’re working – which isn’t a bad idea, actually – but damn!  I really don’t want to live with my fucking mother-in-law!”  He did another massive line. “I’ll have to redo the back of the house & make it into an in-law apartment – but I guess it’ll keep me busy during the winter when I’m laid off.”  He did another line.  “But that’s not the half of it.  Remember that ’53 Panhead Doreen’s dad had?”

“That old Harley he’d ride once a year?” Teddy replied.

“Yeah,” Jesse answered.  “Well, he left it to me in his will.”

“Wow, excellent!”  I enthused.

“Well – Tommy doesn’t think so.  Neither does Bobby.”

“Bobby doesn’t even ride.  He’s never ridden motorcycles – he’s never wanted to,” Teddy said.

“Bobby just wants to sell it & get the money from it.  & Tommy thinks he should have it cuz it was his father’s, even though he’s always gone out of his way to ridicule Harleys & anyone who rides them.  Old man Miller made fun of Tommy’s café racer,” Jesse added, laughing.  But he sobered up after another drink.  “It was one hell of an argument after the will was read.  Not just the Harley but his hunting guns – he left most of his stuff to me & not to Bobby or Tommy or to Doreen.  Not that Doreen would want those shotguns & neither Bobby nor Tommy hunt but of course Bobby will sell anything you give him & Tommy always followed Bobby’s lead in anything anyway.  But I was always real close to the old man & Bobby & Tommy just weren’t!  Bobby’s just a jerk!  Doreen’s the only one who really likes him but she’ll see the good side of the devil.  & then Bobby & Tommy were both saying they going to contest the will & the lawyer saying that if that happens, nobody gets anything at all – including Doreen’s mom – so then Doreen was all upset at all of us – like I was the one who caused this shit storm – I didn’t ask for that Harley, but I don’t plan on giving it up, since the old man wanted me to have it – I was born in ’53 – I’m sure that’s why he wanted me to have it.”  He did the lines that Teddy laid out.  “& I want those guns, too.  That Remington is one sweet shotgun.  I’ve shot it dozens of times.  The old man & I used to hunt every year, before he got so arthritic he couldn’t climb a tree anymore or even walk very far.”

Jesse left soon after that – Teddy said, “That family always did argue about every little thing.  Old man Miller is probably laughing wherever he’s at – I’m sure he wrote that will & gave that ’53 Panhead & those guns to Jesse just to piss off Bobby.  He never did like him.  I was never really sure why.”

***

Christmas.  A weird Christmas – on a Sunday, which never feels right to me.  We’re in Cleveland – I worked every night this week, including yesterday – The Canteen was open until 6 p.m. – then Teddy & I drove to Cleveland – well, he drove, I sat next to him & kinda of dozed.  I’m so burned out.  But I was able to get everything I wanted for everyone – shopping after work, before work – whenever I could fit it in.

Jesse & Doreen aren’t here – they’re at her mother’s – the first holiday after her father’s death, which can’t be easy.   But everyone else is.  Helena announced that she’s expecting her second child probably in June or early July.  Little Vanessa is a doll – will there be a Virginia or Clive to go with her?

I’ve got to go – it’s time for dinner – prime rib & mashed potatoes & mixed green salad & half a dozen other sides – always too much food at our family functions but I guess that’s the point – it’s a feast.  It’s just I’ve been doing so much coke this past month & lost so much weight that I really can’t eat much anymore.  Still – it all smells heavenly.

***

The day before New Year’s Eve.  I just got home.  I went shopping – I needed a new pair of shoes for work – which I got on sale at Baker’s downtown – I love that store.  I got the most adorable pair of red pumps – very plain but so comfortable & they make my legs look fabulous.  Then I went over to Jesse’s.  He is working on his house – turning the back apartment into an in-law apartment for his mother-in-law.  She’s moving in next week.  He had to redo the bathroom – she needs a railing along the walls because of her arthritis – & fix the steps going into the kitchen & add a doorway so that her apartment & his house are now connected.  He’s almost done.

Doreen & the baby are staying at her mother’s while Jesse’s working on the house – because of the dirt & dust & noise – so it was the perfect time to sit & talk about US & this business of him being “faithful” now that they have a kid.  He rolled up a fat doobie & we did talk.  Or anyway, he did.  “Well, the thing is, Cori,” he told me, “with my mother-in-law living here now, it’s not like you’re going to be able to come over whenever you want anymore & just hang out like you used to.  & I’m going to be working much more – they’re going to make me a foreman, so I probably won’t be laid off all winter long anymore.  I’ll be working, even if the rank & file aren’t.  & I have to work now – I’ve got a kid.”

I didn’t say anything.  I was thinking about how wonderful love was with him & how I didn’t want to give it up.

He continued, “I still want you.  I’ll always want you.  I want you more now than I ever have.  That isn’t going to change & Cori – ” he took the joint from my hand & placed it in the ash tray & then took both my hands in his – “Cori, I love you.  I know that now.  Maybe it was just sex this summer – yeah, I know it was – cuz Doreen was pregnant & I needed an outlet – but you really got to me.  You really did.  You’re the woman I’ve always wanted – ” he broke off.  I waited.

After a minute, he continued, “& now Doreen is talking about getting pregnant again as soon as possible & I don’t know if I want four or five or six kids, like she’s talking.  I don’t know if I want to go to church & be a straight-laced dude like she now wants me to be.”

I looked at him & smiled sadly.  “Jesse, I can’t make these decisions for you.”

“They’ve already been made for me,” he answered.

“Only if you think so,” I replied.  I got up & was going to leave but he pulled me back down.  “Don’t go,” he said.  “What’s the point of staying?” I asked.  “I want you to stay,” he told me, “please stay.”

So I did.  & it was good – so very good – better than ever.  We’re made for each other – our bodies fit – like they were built for each other.  & just breathing in his scent – my face buried in his chest hair – oh –

& I’ll tell you something – no matter what Jesse says – about being faithful to Doreen & his family – about his mother-in-law moving in – about becoming a foreman in the union & working all the time – it’s not going to end.  Because he can’t stay away from me – he just can’t.

***

New Year’s Day, 1984

Hungover.  Although I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would – we tripped & did coke & drank – we were over at Wayne Johnson’s New Year Party until 2 a.m., then closed Falco’s – which was ok – I mean, it was a lot of fun.  It was New Year’s Eve!  So I’m hungover today.  I guess you’re supposed to be hungover on New Year’s Day, right?

It was a fairly good night.  Jesse & Doreen were over earlier in the evening – mostly to buy coke – they left Zach at Doreen’s mother’s – & you could tell Doreen was pissed off about something – either because Jesse was buying coke or that she was away from the baby or something.  Jesse did up almost his entire gram hanging out with us & having drinks & I don’t think she was happy about that, either.  She wouldn’t have any alcohol & no coke at all although she did smoke a few toke off the joint we passed around.  She said she wasn’t breast-feeding anymore, so it can’t be that she’s afraid the kid will get drugs via her breast milk.  I don’t know what her problem is – she used to party like the rest of us.  But – people change.  I feel bad for Jesse.  I had a feeling they were going to be arguing for their New Year’s toast.  I’ve said it a hundred times – if you’re a partier, you have to be married to a partier, or it won’t work.  Doreen deciding that she doesn’t want to party anymore is like changing the rules in the middle of the game.  What’s Jesse supposed to do?  What would I do if Teddy decided he didn’t want to party anymore?  Really – that’s the only thing we have in common.

After they left, we went over to Wayne’s & by then the acid was kicking in – & I have to say, I really didn’t enjoy myself much – I was tripping too much to be at a party – you have to be able to interact with other people when you’re at a party – I was tripping too intensely for that & anyway – tripping is more fun when you can just hang out & listen to music & dance & watch the trails coming from the tips of your fingers.  But Teddy wanted to trip, so we tripped.  It’s always overkill with him.  I peaked around midnight & then I was coming down & able to really party.  By the time we went to Falco’s, I was me – the Cori everyone knows – singing, dancing – but I was sick this morning & I’m super tired right now.  & kinda depressed.  It’s another cold, blah day.

& I’m wondering – when will I see Jesse again?  Will I see Jesse again?

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 8

[August – September, 1979]
At last moment to write. Barrett got me a job in the English department at UB – technically I’m in the mail room, which is fun – I see everyone’s mail, including Barrett’s – but I am also covering for people on vacation & this week, anyway, I have been doing some accounting work – me! Whoever would have thought it! – but I really like it. It’s like a game. It really is. Just like math. I never thought I was any good at math, but I’m not bad at it. I just have to pay attention. There’s just so much to remember! But I think I’m getting better & everyone tells me that it takes time. I think I make so many mistakes simply because I want so badly to be perfect.
Right now I have full-time hours – 35 to 40 hours a week – but when school starts, they’ll cut me back to 15 to 20 hours – which is all this job requires anyway. I’m just shuffling mail around. I wasn’t going to go back to school this fall but Barrett thinks it’s a good idea & he helped me pick out classes. He’s such an incredible help to me. Lately I don’t know what I would do without him. I’m taking Early American Lit, American Poets, the Victorian Novel & Modernism. Really a lot of difference in all of those but I registered so late there wasn’t much left.
I am always tired. I come home & I am exhausted. Bard says I’ll get used to it but I wonder. I am living with Bard & Mac now. Mark Miles took off to Canada & John Frederic moved to the West Side. I didn’t want to stay alone in that house so I moved over to their place. I am still sleeping on the couch but I don’t care.

I’m cooking spaghetti. The sauce is ready – part homemade & part jar. We’re waiting for the water to boil. I’m starved. I haven’t eaten all day.
Bard said, “You’re cooking? Great!” Either I do the cooking or Bard does. His favorite book about food is Diet for a Small Planet so he makes a lot of vegetarian meals but they are very filling & usually very spicy.  He makes the best chili I have ever had – no meat but you would never miss it.  I never had vegetarian meals before I met Bard.  Now I cook vegetarian all the time.  I cook while the band is practicing so there’s a hot meal for them when they break. No wonder they like me!
I’m beginning to burn out. All at once.

***

Bard’s in Colorado, for his high school reunion – the tenth year reunion – so there was no gig last night. It felt so strange to be at home! I’m sure that my body felt that it should be drinking, dancing & laughing & a mini-dress & colored tights. I missed it.
Bard said he hasn’t been home in 5 years – he hasn’t seen his high school acquaintances in 10 years. I wonder if he’s having a good time. I miss him – far more than I thought I would.

***

Bard’s back! Mac & I went to get him from the airport. We picked up a pizza on the way home & ate & listened to tunes all evening.
Before I went to bed, I hugged him & he hugged me back. I said, “Oh Bard, I missed you.”
“Why?” he asked.
“Cuz – ” I laughed. “I dunno, I just did.”
“Cop out,” he accused. True – but what would he have said if I had told him that I really did love him? Not the clingy kind of love he fears but a true friendship kind of love? But I never seem to be able to say what I really want to say.

***

I’m dead. I slept tonight with Bard, although not exactly by design. Last night, he & Mac were going out to dinner – I said I had already eaten & I was exhausted from working anyway. I fell asleep on the couch like I always do.
I didn’t wake up until David came up, looking for sugar. David S. lives downstairs with two other guys. He is a British Jew – very cosmopolitan & good-looking – recently we have become lovers – but I was too tired to even flirt. I fell back to sleep.
I woke again at 4 a.m. I heard voices & got up to see whose they were. Bard & Mac walked in, drunk & surprised to see me. I was indignant – “How come you didn’t take me drinking?”
“We thought you were too tired,” said Bard.
“Actually,” explained Mac, “there was no real plan to drink, it just happened. We had dinner & started drinking.”
“& forgot about you,” added Bard.
“Everyone always forgets about me!” I wailed.
We sat on the couched & smoked a joint & talked until Mac passed out. Gary said, “Yeah, I’m tired, too.”
I was tired, although more awake than I had been earlier. But I didn’t feel like going back to sleep. Bard went to the john & I pretended to thumb through some magazines. When he returned, I asked, “Do you want company?”
“Yeah, sure,” he said softly, “sure.”
In his room, he shut the door, then shut off the light. I undressed. I don’t know why I felt so shy – I simply did.
“Where are you?” called Bard softly.
“Over here,” I whispered. I reached out & he embraced me. He kissed me – which totally surprised me with its passion & fire – & led me to bed.
His lovemaking went on for hours, it seemed – & he pleased me immensely. But what I really loved was the sight of his white teeth shining in the dark – I loved that he was smiling as he was loving me – that it was enjoyable to love me – & the way he smoothed my hair back so tenderly. I came to orgasm several times. Sometimes he hurt me – the way he thrust – I grit my teeth & put up with it because he was trying so hard & I didn’t want to hurt his feeling & I don’t like to show pain anyway – but after I cried out he became very tender & sweet.
We lay there & the sun was already beginning to rise – it was getting light outside & the birds were chirping. I snuggled up against his shoulder cuz I was really tired. He said:
“This is the first time I’ve felt like making love in about a year.”
& I thought – Oh, I’m so glad it’s me.

***

God, I’m wired. Last night’s gig was great. God, I gotta get used to little sleep! It’ll be good for me. I would like to be awake for more hours per day cuz I get so little done. I work from 8 to 5 every day & get maybe an hour to myself. When I get home from work I’m wiped out & in the mornings too dead & too busy at getting my shit together for anything. All my writing is way behind & what writing I do is letters. I’m way behind with my letter-writing & I hate to write letters when there’s so much other writing to do. I haven’t written the novel in ages. Everyone’s so happy that I have this stupid job – especially my mother – & it’s such a pain in the ass. I work all the time & I barely make enough money to make ends meet. & I never have time to do anything that I want to do. & now that school has started – this morning – I’ll have even less time. I don’t know how I’m going to handle everything. The truth is I don’t want to do anything but the band. Chaotic Bliss is the most important thing!
& then when I go out, I’m so tired I can barely hold up. Last night I only danced two tunes cuz I was so tired I wanted to die. & I was so winded! I couldn’t believe it! I can dance for hours without winded or tired at all! I forgot to pay John our sound man or give Bard spare cash in case of problems when they take the P.A. to Cheektowaga. It’s a forgivable error – & an understandable one – but I can’t let these things happen. I am now the bookkeeper – I can’t let anything happen to the money. It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re tired. Plus I just hate being tired! & I hate being tired the next day, like I am now – & I’ll be tired tomorrow. & you can’t play with numbers when you’re falling asleep. It is just drudgery. Usually I’m really into my work – I love it, I really do – but when I’m tired, I just can’t do it. The day also goes a lot slower when I’m tired. When I’m awake & into it, the day flies by & I have fun. I also get depressed when I’m tired. I’ve been so depressed lately. I miss Jon very much. I don’t know why – it’s been really bad lately. I’m going to see him Friday at the Jumpers going away party at McVan’s & I’m half anxious & half scared. What if he brings a girl? I have absolutely no idea how I’ll react. I’m not sure I can handle it – but I’m not sure I can’t handle it either. I am very lonely, although I live with Bard & Mac & the rest of my time I’m with Chaotic Bliss. I have good friends who really care & a good job but something’s missing & that’s why I hang onto Jon – which isn’t really true either, since I don’t really have him – it’s just the idea of Jon. I fall in love all the time – I flirt with almost every guy I meet – but I haven’t fallen in love with anyone like I fell in love with Jon. I’ve never had a high like that one. Just remembering it makes me smile & I feel like that again – all the hope, the anticipation, the delightful confusion – the way I used to look at him & try to figure out if he was good-looking or not – memorizing every little thing about him. I miss the feeling I had when we were new in love & everything was sparkling & special. It was like the huge rush you get when you smoke really good grass – only infinitely better cuz it’s emotional – it was the best.
I’m just a wreck – I want it & yet I don’t want it & I get so depressed because I’m so lonely. Eddie didn’t come back to school – he wrote me a long letter telling me that he was making too much money in Brooklyn & he would come & visit before the “snow flies” – he sold his Ducati & he has a Harley now. I was really looking forward to seeing him again – more than I ever thought I would. Everyone I know seems to have someone or something else in their life – not me.
But I can hardly wait until Friday night. I hope it turns out alright. I think it will. I’m a wreck, trying to decide what to decide what to wear – but I guess in the long run it doesn’t matter. I just hope I don’t end up depressed.

***

Last night was great. Wow – it was great! It was a really warm day & Barrett came by my office to give me a ride home. The band was assembling – unbeknownst to Bard – to celebrate Bard’s birthday – which is August 31. He’s 28. I baked a chocolate cake for him & everything
At the house, everyone was there except Bard. “He’s sleeping?” I suggested. “Well, who’s gonna wake him up?” All heads turned to me. “Oh, no, I’m not going there. I’m not his old lady!”
In the end, we all decided to wake him. “It’ll be great!” Joey insisted. “We’ll all just burst in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ with a lighted cake, man, it’ll be great!”
I stuck twenty-eight candles on the cake in a messy, punked-out anti-design & Joey & I lit them. We filed down the hall – laughing softly – then Joey threw the door open & they pushed me in with the cake & we stood there & sang. Only I couldn’t sing – I was laughing too hard. Bard looked like he was just born – blinking & squinting in the light – covering up his body with the sheet & moaning: “You shits – go away – fuck all of you – ”
I set the cake on the bed & he blew out the candles. “Now get out of here,” he said. “I’ll be out in the a few minutes after I wake up,” he added.
They loved the cake. They all had two large pieces & it got praised to the skies. I was so happy! I love to cook & I love to be praised.
After a while, everyone left promising to meet later at McVan’s for the Jumper’s party – except Joey, who had somewhere else to go. Bard’s & my ride was coming at 9:15 p.m. – Bard shaved & I did my make up in the time we had at hand. I have never done my make-up better. I just thought – fuck it – & put everything into it. I painted my nails real vampy red & my lips & cheeks were also red – blushing cherry & juicy cherry. My lip gloss even tastes like cherries – cherry cough medicine.
I wore a tight t-shirt belonging to Bard – I accidentally shrunk it when I did the laundry – it says “019890”, which is the name of a local underground punk newspaper. I was nervous & impatient all the way there & as soon as I got in the door – of course Bard & I were on the guest list – I went to the bar & got myself a beer.
I saw Jon right off – he was dressed completely in white – as usual – his hair longer than ever & blonder than ever. He said he’d heard that I had a job in the English Department & that I was doing alright. “Yeah, ok,” I said. I wanted to say, if you call working all the time for almost no money & being tired all the time is doing alright but I decided not to. I talked to Harry G & hung out with Bard. After Mark Freeland did a fantastic solo set, I found myself with Jon again & all his Lackawanna friends, who all seemed to know who I was, although they had never met me. Talking to them, it occurred to me that Jon had never taken me anywhere – just to his house. I never became a part of his life at all. Just a small part – I wonder why.
Jon bought us beers. “Is it true that I broke your heart?” he asked.
“Yes,” I answered. “I’m still not quite back together again, but I’m doing alright.”
“Well, you know,” he said, softly, so I had to lean forward to hear his words, “ I suppose you broke my heart, too.” He went on, “I’d heard that you thought I was being too critical of you.”
“You were,” I answered.
“It was only because I cared.”
Oh, how nice of you. Pick me to pieces because you care. I said, “I’m better off on my own.”
“You’ll never be alone!” he laughed. “Your big problem is that you never realize that people do care, which is why they get pissed off when you’re stupid.” He turned & talked to a pretty girl next to him. Just turned away from me, just like that. To talk to some other girl. He turned his back on me.  After telling me that I’m stupid, in fact. I felt like shit.
Billy Pirhana & the Enemies came on & I jumped up & started dancing. At first there was only me on the dance floor, then Roxanne joined me & then there a few more & more until the dance floor was jammed. I thought – sit down! I like having the dance floor to myself. I can’t dance when I can’t move.
After their set, we went out to smoke a joint. The club was unbearably hot & nearly everyone was going outside to get some air & to get high. It was a beautiful night.
Inside, a bottle of champagne had been opened to celebrate Bard’s birthday. Usually I don’t drink champagne but tonight I liked it. Probably cuz I was already drunk.
They played Beatles songs over the P.A. & everyone danced & sang along. The Beatles are the best! Jon leaned over to me & said, “All these Beatles tunes, you must be in paradise.”
The Jumpers came on & everyone was up, moving toward the stage. I wanted to be up front too, but I kept to the back. There was more room in the back & I danced – I danced, danced, danced – I danced until I thought I would explode – I couldn’t stop.
They played over an hour – easily – then took a break. Everyone went outside again. I sat with the Lackawanna group again & we all got high. Several joints were going around. I sat & listened to them talk, acutely aware of being an outsider – but they were all so nice to me. Oh, to be part of a set! To live in the same place all your life & have the same friends you’ve always had! Every year I find myself with new friends. I’ve never settle down. There will always be insecurity. There will always be loneliness – always aloofness. It’s my curse.
But I sat & listened & laughed. Sean turned to me & smiled – which warmed me all over. He has a quiet calmness which is not unlike Barrett’s.
Back inside McVan’s, the Jumpers played for another hour – or maybe longer – & several encores. Everyone was dancing – everyone was sweating – everyone was wet all the way through. Sweat ran off my face – my hair was wet – my perfect make-up was running off in streaks. I never felt so good in my entire life.
The Jumpers had finished playing, but not many people were leaving. Jon went somewhere with his girl. I felt all tight & hard inside. Sean pulled me to him & started kissing me – which was nice – but – but – I wished whatever it was that was inside of me that was hurting me so badly would break – break –

***

Chaotic Bliss usually practices in the cellar but the cellar’s flooded – luckily they got the equipment out of there before it was an issue – so they’re playing in the living room. It’s so much nicer up here, with the windows letting the light in – it’s late afternoon, a warm day, so it’s a golden light – but soon it’ll start fading cuz it gets dark fairly early now. The furniture is pushed to one side of the room & I’m sitting on the couch. This house is really getting congested. I love it!
I’m sitting here, smoking a joint. Every so often Barrett walks over & takes a toke. They’re working on “Work Out”, a song by Joey. I love it, what a rocker. Joey doesn’t look like a rocker – he looks totally jazz – but man, can he rock. This band is so much more improvisational now – they’ll just go off & jam in the middle of a tune now – they never used to do that. Bard’s songs are great for extended jams – or they can jam on a single riff – punk rock jams, whoever would have thought it? I am experiencing such great musicianship – hanging out with these guys. Do you know how lucky I am? Just hearing them play – watching them play – does me good – let alone listening to them talk. Their discussions about music!  I feel like I am taking a music class – theory & history & culture & the way they feed each other & intersect.  They practice so much better than they used to -much more focused.  I was watching Barrett play this riff out of “Work Out” – over & over again & it killed me – what musicianship. Watching Joey play – I’m totally amazed. What a fucking great drummer he is. But of course, that’s what he does – he doesn’t have a day job, like the other guys do. Joey’s job is drumming. Bard & Barrett are both professors-in-training & Marc’s a counselor. Everyone has so much to do – their day life & their night life.
It amazes me that Barrett – laid-back, low-key professorish Barrett – can write & rock’n’roll like he does. Barrett is so grown-up. He’s the most grown-up person I know – I mean, when he was my age, he was already a success – playing all those big music festivals in the late 60s & early 70s – touring the world – doing all the things I would have done if I lived at that time. & he’s totally mellowed out, but he still rocks. I have so much respect for Barrett – although I don’t know much of his life, really – just what he’s told me – which really isn’t very much – but I feel a lot. Barrett is really good at letting you know how things are without saying a word. Just the little bits he’s told me & the way he’s told me about them tells me that he must have been really fucked up at one time & he doesn’t want to go back there.
If I can grow up & end up like Barrett, I’ll be happy.
Time to work on one of my tunes. YES!

***

Tonight’s gig sucked. The Bliss burned ass but sharing the bill with two cover bands sucked! But we made $55 profit & definitely held the crowd by their fucking teeth, man! Except for the ultra-cool, ultra-cold-as-ice girlfriends of the “Phantoms” – who wore ultra-cool black leather, silver studs & cowboy boots – The Phantoms themselves were macho men who made complete fools of themselves by bringing too much equipment for McVan’s & blowing the fuse three times! Thanks to our sound man, John, they finally got their act together – while we sat at the bar & laughed. One of their fans tried to pick me up – I got rid of him by talking intelligently about music. That always works. Talking intelligently always works. I told Bard, who said, “Yeah, it works with girls, too.”
They sent me out to get junk from McDonald’s & I walked down the street – smiling at myself in the shop windows – stoned – thinking, I’m just a groupie, after all. I prefer to call myself the bookkeeper or “earth mother” – which is what Bard calls me – but I’m just a groupie. We worked on one of my tunes the other night – “Macho Man” – which I think sounded really good & even Marc & Joey liked it & even Bard had to agree it’s a kick-ass tune but he still doesn’t want me singing “officially” with the band. “At least not until we get a new manager & someone to take care of all the things that you do now,” he said. “You do too much to add performance to it too,” & I had to agree with him – even if I have to wait longer. But I am dying to be on stage with them! I know I can sing & I want to be part of the band! Not the stupid groupie!
I had been depressed earlier in the day – “Why are you bummed out?” asked Bard. “I’m alright,” I answered, not wanting to admit that I felt self-conscious about my looks with all those super-thin girls the Phantoms had with them – but walking along Niagara Street, I felt fine – I felt different – the same fears were there – the same hang-ups & desires but it was different.
The other night when I saw Jon, I thought beforehand that I would die – but I didn’t. When he danced with other girls – I wasn’t jealous of them – I was simply jealous that I didn’t have somebody too. I’m lonely. I’ve always been lonely. I’ll probably always be lonely. I love Jon – I always love him – I want him whenever I see him – my god, do I want him – & I’ll always hurt – but somehow it doesn’t matter anymore. It just doesn’t matter anymore. it’s there but it’s cool. I’m used to it. I can forget.
“I think I grew up,” I said to Barrett at the bar. I’ve changed, I’ve hardened. & I finally – a finally – let go.

***

At Mass. The priest is talking about the Sacrament of Sickness, which used to be call Extreme Unction. He talked about various sicknesses – mental or bodily sorrow, greed, depression, hard-heartedness, vanity, envy, etc. It’s an interesting idea, but actually this sermon isn’t too great.
I like this church – St. Joseph’s University. It’s very big & very beautiful – although I’m sure it was much more beautiful before it was modernized. I love the stained glass windows. There’s a lovely rose window right in front. The organist is really good, too. I hate bad or apathetic organists. I love Mass, I love it. I get such a good feeling from going to Church. I really do believe it helps me go through the week. It also helps me measure the passing of time – the holidays & the year.

***

I did my personal bookkeeping & the band’s bookkeeping. I am so broke – just $34 in the bank & several hundred dollars in debt. But I am surviving & that’s what counts.
I thoroughly cleaned the house yesterday. I had to really scrub. The kitchen & bathroom floors were so dirty that you couldn’t tell the real color of the linoleum. Now it’s real pleasant here again. We rearranged the living room – made it real homey.
But there’s also problems. Our landlord wants us to get rid of the kittens & of course we don’t want to. There’s been talk of moving. I’m not sure – everything’s up in the air.
There’s no gig tonight. Joey’s gone to New York City to record a demo with his jazz combo & there’s 2 upcoming gigs in which Gregski will play. It’ll seem strange to have Gregski back after Joey.
There’s really nothing to say. I have the laundry to do, but other than that, it’s just a quiet day at home. It’s so nice here.
I went to UB’s Fallfest last night – Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes were headlining – & it was quite nice, particularly since I had a backstage pass – so I had a good time hanging out – & today was Buff State’s Fallfest. It started at 1 p.m. I showed up around 5 – I mostly wanted to see Steve Forbert, who was headlining. I also wanted to see if Jon & Sean were there.
As I walked up Elmwood Avenue, I passed Mark Freeland, who was walking with a friend & he waved & said hi. I was so surprised & so pleased! I was even more pleased when George recognized me & said hi because he’s one of the most handsome rock’n’rollers in Buffalo.
A friend of Barrett’s came up to me & introduced himself. “Is Chaotic Bliss here? I heard they were playing.” I was pleased that rumors like that were circulating. I was also immensely pleased that I was associated with the band & being asked about their whereabouts. I sat with Barrett’s friend & his friends for the first part of Steve Forbert’s set – oh, he’s so cute – I fell in love with his face & hair & lovely body & the way he sang his songs – then I saw Harry G., so I hung out with him for a while. I like Harry. I like him even though I thought his novel need a lot of work – or just plain sucks – although I would never say that to him. He mentioned that “Kudzma, Sean & them were around somewhere” – we set out to find them & we did. They were all very wasted – Jon not as much as the others, of course – but the others were definitely fucked. Although I could see Sean’s eyes light up when he saw me. They did – they really did! I sat down & talked to Jon about writing. But the others were so lively that conversation was almost impossible.
Jon proposed leaving, so we all got up. He had Sara’s car for some reason – he had to drive back to her place to give it back to her. “Why do you have Sara’s car?” I demanded.
“Well, I didn’t leave the fallfest until late last night, so I just stayed there.”
I was silent. I felt like I did when I was a kid & I fell out of a tree & I landed on my back & had the wind knocked out of me.
“Rather quiet, aren’t you?” He sounded pleased with himself & I turned to him, smiling.
“Have you heard Rachel Sweet yet?” I asked & started laughing. I knew he hadn’t – Bard just got the record. She’s fabulous – I love her song “B-A-B-Y”. Bard says it’s a cover of an old Stax tune but of course that’s why it’s so good.
At Sara’s, I went over to Sean’s car. Screw Jon. We made a date to go to the Masthead. Then I hung out at Sara’s for a while. I told her I was over Jon. “Oh, I’m so happy,” she said. She told me how Mark Miles was treating her – how totally fucked up he was. I nodded. “I saw him last week & I couldn’t believe it.”
I walked home, thinking about everything. I’m so happy, I thought. I’m lonely but I’m happy. I think one reason I’m happy is that I have a home – I have somewhere to go. Before – Jon was all I had. I haven’t had a home since I left home – which sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. It’s so necessary to have somewhere to go where you feel safe. Home – what a lovely word & a lovelier feeling.

***

I went out with Sean last night. He said he didn’t have any money & I said I would treat. Cori, queen of generosity. I really don’t know why he called me if he didn’t have any money. Maybe Jon told him I pick up the tab when he doesn’t have any money. You gotta wonder. Anyway, we went to the Masthead to see George & all the punk rockers were there. I was a little pissed. “Why don’t all these people show up to see the Bliss, man?” It was a rainy Monday night, too. We drank a few beers, talking & joking, me laughing all the time. I did most of the talking – I talked about the Bliss & poems I was writing & things I wanted to accomplish. Sean doesn’t talk much, although he can make conversation fairly well. I can talk to anyone & can usually get anyone to talk to me – it’s an art – the art of conversation – & it’s fun, too. Drawing people out & getting them to share their lives. Anyway, we left after the first set to smoke a joint & ended up just hanging out in his car, making out. “Why don’t we just get a 6-pack & hang out & talk more?” We decided to go to Delaware Park but we were so stoned that we kept missing it. Sean doesn’t know Buffalo at all & I was having problems seeing – it was raining pretty hard. Finally we gave up & parked outside of the Zoo, on Amherst Street. It was nice – just sitting there, drinking beers, listening to the rain – talking, smoking another joint – eventually making out some more.
So like – it was the first time I’ve gotten laid in a car in a long time! It was really cramped & the fear of cops driving by or someone walking their dog – or some other undesirable coming by & looking into the windows – although it was raining really hard for that – Sean was more afraid of that than I was & kept glancing at the windows – personally I barely cared – I was turned on – I loved the streetlights shining on us & the few cars that drove by. It was so excellent simply because of that! Getting laid next to the Zoo! What a trip!
It was pretty late by then – 2 a.m. – I had classes in the morning & then work in the afternoon – so he took me home.
“Did you have a good time?” I asked. Oh, dangerous question – bad question – unwise question – but I had to know. We are both too close to Jon but to feel a little nervous – I knew that he was nervous at the beginning of the evening. I was nervous – I’ll always feel Jon’s presence in my life.
“Yes, yes! I had a good time,” he answered. “Yes, a great time!”

***

Chaotic Bliss – minus Joey – was practicing & I was sitting there – listening & applauding during breaks – cuz they just worked up a beautiful little number called “Mariella” – a beautiful ballad in 5/4 time. It just rolls – it’s so lovely, I can hardly wait until we have Joey to play it. Bard was jubilant – I haven’t seen him smiling so much in days. He’s always in a bad mood lately – he’s sick, he says – he’s always tired – he’s either bitching about the cats or worrying about the landlord. I understand that. His class was cancelled because not enough kids signed up for it so all he’s doing is writing his dissertation & living on his savings & what he makes from gigs. I know his level of anxiety there because I have hardly any money myself & I am thinking about modeling again. I saw some new ads in the Spectrum & I could easily pull in an extra $100 in a few hours. I need to lose a few pounds & grow my hair out.
& he really hates how Barrett – & now Marc – are pushing to get me onstage, get me singing – I often sing harmony during rehearsals – they both say that I would be the perfect addition to the band – they point to how my dancing is getting almost as much talk around town as the band’s music – I’m part of the show in that respect. Which Bard resents as well. It’s not fair. If I’m an asset, why not use me? Use whatever works? Does it have to be a boy’s club? I mean – there’s plenty of women fronting bands – or just in them – bands Bard loves – women he adores. Why the opposition to me? I would just hate it if this ruins or at least puts a strain on our relationship. I value Bard’s friendship – I love him. I don’t want him to resent me!

***

I have a lover, David, who lives downstairs –
But lately, I don’t feel like I want David to make love to me anymore.
I still go downstairs because I am so horny I almost have to – but it is so meaningless – just beating off, really –
We laugh & drink tea & smoke reefer & argue & eventually fuck – but I always leave feeling very cold. I just don’t feel as if I’ve been touched.
It’s very depressing.

I feel all tight & rebellious today. I’m not watching to see that I don’t swear & the office is full of strangers. It’s not conscious – I have to really psych myself to play the game – & I can’t psych myself today. Basically I like this job but I’m so tired of it. I’m also tired of my classes. I want to write what I want to write & I want to read what I want to read. I want to be myself & not have to play these silly games all the time. I’m simply tired of it all.
I just want to be with Chaotic Bliss. Singing with them & dancing their tunes. Really nothing else matters to me.

***

At the Schuper Haus. It’s been a nice night. Lots of people are here. I’m not sure what time it is – it could be after midnight – it probably is. I’m sitting with Tanner, our new manager, & Zu, our new sound man, & my band is playing – god, they’re great.
It’s really strange, because for the longest time, Barrett & I were really close – we used to talk all the time. I remember sitting on the stoop outside of McVan’s, smoking reefer & talking – before gigs on Sunday – just us two. He’s tell me pieces of his life – not much really – but I feel like I know what he’s been through – I feel a lot. But lately he’s been somewhat distant. Can he tell I’m in love with him? What difference does it make? I’m gonna fall out of love soon enough. I always do. I know he’s busy with his poetry class & writing his dissertation & the band & of course he’s married but I really miss talking to him & being with him. I can’t help wonder if Bard had something to do with this too. I don’t know what’s up with Bard lately.
So I’ve gotten very close to Marc. At first I was somewhat aloof with him because he had been my counselor but now I talk to him all the time. I have to talk to someone. At first he made me think of a bear but now I think he’s more of a lion. But he’s so gentle. He really is. & so very understanding. & man, can he play the guitar! He’s tons more than just a rhythm guitarist! I’m so glad I wanted him in the band, although I really didn’t know what I was talking about! It’s hard to describe Marc. He’s just so laid-back & mellow that you just don’t see all what’s underneath. I mean, I don’t either – I just know. His lady, Mary K., is also great. She’s tiny – dark – with a huge smile & big eyes. I really like her & what’s more, she really likes me. She said to me: “Where do you get your energy? You’re so exuberant!” I like that word. She loves to see me dance. “You’re such a good dancer! Where did you learn? Did you take lessons?”
“No,” I answered, laughing, “it’s just me – spontaneous reaction to the music, I guess.” I laughed again.
She said, “When you dance – it makes me feel all – good inside. You have so much joy in your dancing.”
Of course, things like that I love to hear! It’s nice to know that people like to see me dance & that they know who I am & I’m part of the show! Of course not everyone – I get bad vibes from Bard – heavy bad vibes. I don’t know why he hates me but he does. I can’t ignore it anymore. He treats me like shit. He treats me like a groupie. He treats me like Fred used to. Seems like there’s always some aggravation. We argue all the time. I can’t stand it.
My relationship with Joey was real slow at first. I always though he didn’t like me but tonight when he saw me – he’s been in New York City for a month – he said “Cori!” & kissed me. He kissed me!
Later, I watched Barrett & Joey play a game of chess – it was great – they analyzed each move near the end, showing alternate ways of winning – & I felt shy, simply because I know almost nothing about chess – just the basics – & because I admire the two of them so much.
Before the gig started, Marc, Joey & I were upstairs, talking & then Marc went downstairs & it was just Joey & me. I had been rolling joints & I asked Joey if he had always been sober or if he had once partied & then quit.
“I used to do a lot of drugs, yeah,” he said. “Psychedelics & lots of pot, of course – I haven’t smoked pot in a year. I just haven’t felt like it. I’m not sure what would happen to my head if I smoked pot.”
So then we talked about rock’n’roll & jazz & then dance. “You dance really well,” he said. “Do you take dance? You should, it’s so good for your body.” Then we talked about sports – he’s really into sports – & I mentioned that I used to play soccer. “Really?” he said. “Girls with big tits usually aren’t into sports.”
“My tits aren’t all that big.”
“They’re not small.”
We started talking about music again. He complained about the life of the road – never really knowing what was up next. I could tell that he was just digging it so I teased: “Well, the life of a groupie is hard too.”
“Don’t say that.” He was serious. “You’re no groupie. You’re too intelligent to be a groupie.” I laughed & he insisted, “Really. You’re sharp.”
I dug that praise, baby! He knew it too & grinned at me. I like him. He’s so sexy but that’s beside the point, really. He doesn’t carry his sexiness around his neck like an albatross. He’s so cute – & he’s so very cool. Very jazz, but also rock’n’roll.
Later in the evening, I started getting bummed out, cuz everyone had someone & I didn’t. I was sitting alone, drinking during Davy & the Crocketts’s set – I just wanted to be with someone. Plus Rina was there & she was making it plain that she was Barrett’s woman – was I so very obviously in love? I wasn’t sure. I didn’t care. I just kept drinking.
Then Barrett – who hadn’t danced at all, not even with Rina – leaned over & said, “May I have the pleasure of this dance?” & I broke into a huge smile. I love dancing with Barrett! We danced & danced & then the tune was over & I kissed his cheek. I was warmed all over. What a way to end the night!

Excerpts From a Diary 5

[May, 1979]
End of the semester. I managed to finish my Mina Loy paper on time & I gave it to Mr. Barrett. He was impressed that I was able to get it done on time & that it was longer than the required pages. “I look forward to reading it,” he told me. “I hope you like it,” I answered.
We stood talking for a few minutes – he asked me what I was going to be reading this summer & I replied “Anaïs Nin” off the top of my head – although I have lots of other books to read – & while he was telling me about D.H. Lawrence, who walks in but Bard Ellison! It turns out they’re really good friends & they’re in a band together! Or they’re trying to get one going or something. They have a drummer but they’re still auditioning guitarists. They have a gig next week at the Masthead, over by Buff State. Bard had a stack of flyers he was putting up everywhere. I thought it was impressive that they already had a gig but not even really a band. The name of the band is “Chaotic Bliss”.
Bard wanted to see me this Friday night but I’m going to the Cheap Trick concert with M. I’m kinda sad, actually – I think I would rather hang out with Bard & hear about this new band.

I failed my Women’s Poetry Class because I never showed up for the poetry reading at the women studies college on Winspear Avenue – I knew where it was – I’d been there before – but I had been partying with Bro & Crony earlier in the day because Crony was leaving for his home in the Adirondacks – “But I’ll be back,” he said. “It’s gorgeous up there but there’s nothing there! I’d rather be here. You can do anything here.” I thought I would be able to party with them & then take a short nap & make it to the reading OK but I never woke up. So I really fucked that one up. The thing is, if I had just taken an incomplete & left it at that, I would have been OK – I was the one who insisted that I was fine & I could make it to the reading. So yeah – I really fucked up.
My other class I have to finish by the end of July. I have to write a paper on how the capitalist patriarchal culture screws over women & keeps them from being able to fully participate in society or become the person she can become – or something like that – I’m not even sure yet. I have two months to flesh it out & get it to my professor. But I’m just so happy about having to finish up that one class because that gives me a reason to stay in Buffalo – & stay close to Jon. You never know – I might be able to get him back.

May 4 was the Cheap Trick concert in Rochester. I went with M. from the Q station. M. & the Q station is everything Jon hates & used to rant about all the time – the slick corporate element taking over radio stations & squashing out all creativity & spontaneity & true musicianship – the AOR-set lists & “classic rock” hits which are crowding out all the new music – the bloated budgets of some bands, while others starve as they roadie their own gigs & sleep in their vans to save money.
But I wasn’t thinking about that when I was going to Rochester with M. He had some killer cocaine & I was already half-blitzed out of my mind & feeling fine. I was thinking that maybe tonight was the night I would start my career as a groupie – although at almost age 19, I was a little old for that. Most girls start way younger than that.
Backstage wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. The concert was at the Dome & it was shabby, to say the least. There was a spread of various cold cuts & cheeses & stuff like that but no shrimp & caviar & champagne. Not like you read about in magazines. & it wasn’t any wild party. It was really quite subdued. & I was the youngest girl there. I mean – if those other girls were younger than me, then they must have spent years partying. They looked like that anyway. Rail thin & wearing cheap silk-like dresses – although it was way too cold for anything like that – & none of them looking any too healthy.
& Cheap Trick themselves! I mean – they rocked – it was a good show – but they were so old! & so tired looking. Even before the show, they looked like they hadn’t slept in – I dunno – weeks, months, even. A good long time. Rick Neilson looked really bad – big dark circles under his eyes – but he was really nice to me. He gave me a bunch of guitar picks & a Cheap Trick button.
After the show, we partied with them on their tour bus – both Robin Zander & Tom Petersson chided me for drinking Rolling Rock beer when I could have had Heineken – but I hate Heineken & I don’t drink beer that I hate. They were both paired up with the skinny chicks that were backstage. M. pulled out his vial of coke & one of the girls had opium, which we smoked in a glass pipe – I have never smoked opium before – it was really cool – real dreamy & slow & soft – it’s hard to explain – but I really loved it – especially paired with the coke.
I spent the night in the motel – in M.’s room – I wish I could say that I had an orgy or something with them but the truth is, I passed out as soon as I hit the bed & the next thing I know, M. was waking me up & it was morning – I couldn’t tell if he was pissed off about how I didn’t even give him a blowjob – but I was too out of it & I really didn’t care. I wasn’t hung over – I was just – kind of sick. & really tired.
I was glad to get home. Even if “home” was the dorms & I had to start packing to move out. I’m moving in with Mark Miles & John Frederics. But I have a few days to get my shit together.

***

Eddie’s going back to Brooklyn for the summer. He says he has a job with his cousin & he can make some real big money before the fall. He doesn’t know if he’s coming back to school but he said that no matter what, he is going to come back for me. That made me feel really good.
He gave me a ride on his Ducati, finally put back together & running smoothly. It was in pieces most of the semester. Eddie’s room looked more like a repair shop than a college dorm. His roommate complained to the R.A. but there was nowhere else for Eddie to work on his bike or even to store it. The R.A. & the roommate both were customers of Eddie’s so the problem was easily solved. Marijuana always makes friends.
It was thrilling – flying around campus on the back of his bike – holding on as tightly as I could – since there was no backrest to keep me on. When he cornered – we were almost parallel with the road – my knee was an inch from the pavement – it was terrifying & electrifying at the same time – it took my breath away –
He dropped me off at my dorm. “I’ll be back,” he said. “You have my phone number, call me, don’t disappear on me.”
As he drove off, I thought about his promise to return. & that he has never kissed me.

***

I moved into my new house yesterday. It’s on Heath Street. I share it with Mark Miles & John Frederic. John has the bedroom across from mine. Mark sleeps in the downstairs bedroom. The house was so dirty – it still needs a lot of work, but at least it’s livable. I am so glad to be moved in – I can hardly wait for the rest of my stuff to come.
This house is large. The front room is Mark’s – it must have been a porch at one time, but is closed in now. Then there’s a large living room with a lovely but extremely worn rug on the floor. There are several easy chairs that are also quite worn. We have the walls decorated with posters – when we get a stereo, it’ll be really nice. The kitchen is large, but oh – what a mess. It’s gonna be a long time before I have that room in order. The dining room is nondescript – just another room, really. The stairs going up are in the corner of the dining room & they are very steep & winding & have old, hand-braided rugs on each step that will trip you when you’re drunk. Upstairs is the bath – very dirty – maybe I’ll get to it later this week. There are two rear bedrooms yet unclaimed by tenants – John & I have the front bedrooms. My room isn’t large but it isn’t small, either. The walls are painted pale blue & I’ve got them covered up with my pictures. Of course I put up my Janis Joplin poster immediately & the Beatles poster from the White Album. There’s no curtains on the windows but a large tree covers up the view. I love having a tree outside – I feel very secure around trees. It’s a maple tree.
My bed is a big double bed & it sags in the middle but it’s alright. I have to get used to sleeping in it – I’m so used to single beds. There’s boards I can use for shelves if I can find bricks or some other base to set them on.
My room is the best room in the house.

A new notebook for my birthday. A new notebook for a new diary.
Never again will I listen to anyone tell me that my diary is worthless, stupid or a waste of time.
Never again will I kill my diary like a symbolic suicide. If I want to die, I kill me – not the diary.

***

Today was hungover & tired-out but I dutifully went downtown to find a job. I went to an employment agency – I heard it’s the easiest way to find work. I only wish I had a phone. Using the pay phone on the corner of Main & Winspear doesn’t cut it. I had an interview at Victor’s department store at Genesee & Pearl at 2 p.m. – I hope I get it, although I doubt I made a very good impression. The whole time I was wishing I could throw up. I should stop drinking. I should really stop drinking. Going downtown on the bus I was even thinking that maybe I should find a meeting. That’s how bad I felt. The thing is, I didn’t think I drank all that much last night. In fact, when I woke up, I felt fine. The hangover grew on me. Now I feel alright but I slept all evening. I should eat but I’m not hungry. That’s the problem, I never eat.
Last night I went to see Joe Jackson at Stage One with Bard Ellison. Actually, I was on the guest list, but I was with Bard – I’ve been seeing him for a few weeks. I can’t believe it, actually. It happened so suddenly – right after Eddie left – & I’ve been so busy moving into my new place I haven’t had time to think about it, let alone write about it. The first time we went to the Tralf to see a friend of his play radical jazz & then we ended up spending the night together – it was the first time I had made love with anyone since Jon – & it was so wonderful – strange, though – because it wasn’t Jon. It was almost a relief to have finally made love to someone else – & someone as seemingly as sweet as Bard – because he was so very sweet as he made love to me. I spent the night with him last night. We didn’t make love but that’s ok. Just being together is fine with me. & honestly – I don’t know if I’m ready for all that – anyway.

***

Bro is marrying Deanna at the end of the month & they’re honeymooning in Paris. Bro came by & picked me up to take me to the beach. We went to Canada – he said the best beaches were in Canada. I remember going to my grandparent’s cottage in Long Beach when I was a little girl. We went to Pleasant Beach after going to the brewery & getting a case of Brador Beer. We had subs too from Boulevard Sub shop & of course Bro had a bunch of joints rolled. It doesn’t seem to bother him – crossing the border with weed.
It was a really hot day – one of the first really hot days of the season. But the lake was still shockingly cold. There were ice burgs in the middle of the lake & where the water hit the shore, there was a line of fog that was waist high. We were the only people on the beach.

Bro has always wanted me. Even though he has always been going out with Deanna & she is one jealous babe. But she doesn’t live on campus & he considers himself a ladies’ man. We have partied together a hundred times & almost every single time, he has made a pass at me. He almost always got out a Playboy or a Penthouse magazine to show me the newest poses of the models & he was the one who advised me to start modeling because I had the perfect figure for it. More than once, he has pulled out his dick & stroked it in front of me.
But I have never wanted him.  I’m glad he’s getting married.

***

3:00 a.m. “Oil of Dog” is just starting. I love the way Gary says, “I’m Gary Storm & I’m here to bring you nothing – nothing – nothing but love.”
It’s Jon’s birthday. I hope I get to see him today so I can wish him a happy birthday. How I wish we were still together.
Mark left for New York City this morning. Oh wait, that was yesterday. Thursday morning doesn’t start until I wake up & it’s daylight.

***
Tonight John & I got dressed up & went to Mulligan’s on Hertel, a well-known disco. It was their “rock’n’roll” night – what a joke. It was full of disco queens & macho men on the make. John & I danced & stole other people’s drinks but it was really a drag. I can’t stand that plastic pick-up disco scene. I was glad when we left.
John is crashed on the sofa. I’m still wide awake. But then, I slept most of today. I’m gonna go out & call Bard from the corner phone. I so wish we had a phone! Having to go out to make phone calls is a drag. I know he’s awake because he told me he always listens to Gary’s show.
(morning) I called Bard & went over to his place & hung out all night. I just don’t know – I kept thinking, do you like me? Do you want me? Please want me – I want you to want me – can you feel me wanting you – I wrote a poem & stuck in the back pocket of my jeans. He looked at me & smiled but did not ask. He’s a writer too – a poet – a rock’n’roller. & I’m screaming silently – screaming screaming screaming – because I’m sitting in my bed, lonelier than hell – thinking about Bard – feeling so uncomfortably horny & wishing that John in the next room would wake up so I could seduce him.
He did kiss me goodbye. But maybe he does that to all his girlfriends. I hate feeling like this – never knowing what’s going on –

***

Oh, it’s another lonely night. John is out somewhere. I’m alone here with the radio. Alone with the radio & my diary like a hundred nights before.

***

I am not going to call Bard today. I am going to stay away. I am not going to ruin this relationship before it’s even got a chance to get going by being clingy & insecure. I am going to stay home & write.
(night) I did call Jon. We finally talked about our relationship – without arguing about it – where we saw things differently & what problems we had & why. For the first time, I was able to say, this is how I felt & why I couldn’t tell you & this is what I was trying to tell you & why it wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to. I said, “You must understand that a lot of the things I thought you were saying or doing may not have been happening in actuality – ” – again, letting him off the hook. But it’s better than perpetuating the same old patterns of accusation & denial.
I did accuse him of playing a “yo-yo game” with me, because what the fuck, that’s exactly what he was doing – Mark & John & Eddie & even Bard says that’s what he was doing. He protested, “But that wasn’t what I was doing!” Once again, I let him off the hook – “Yes, but that’s what it seemed like to me & that’s what you have to take into account.” So I let him think that it was just my emotional problems that created the “yo-yo game”, not anything he actually did. But I know & everyone else knows that’s not the truth. & he’s got to know the truth too, if he’s honest with himself.
I told him about falling in love with Bard Ellison. “That’s good,” he said. I’m sure he thinks it’s good – it means I’m not in love with him anymore. It frees him. But I wailed, “It’s terrible! I don’t want to fall in love! I hate falling in love. I always get hurt.”
“Well, you let yourself get hurt,” he told me. So it’s all my fault.
“I can’t help it,” I said. I mean, what am I supposed to do? Stop feeling?
But it was so good to talk to him. I didn’t realize how much I had missed him. He said he thought that the abortion had fucked us up. I don’t agree, but if that’s what he thinks, that’s what he thinks. “That was the problem,” he insisted. “After that, we weren’t the same anymore.” If he wants to have regrets, he can – I don’t – I can’t – it’s over & done with & I am not going to cry over something that I no longer have any control over. Besides, it was all him anyway. I’d be having a baby now, if not for him.
So now that we’ve talked – now that things are settled between us – maybe we can be friends. But I’ll always want him – always love him – always – till the day I die – & beyond that. & I’ll always hurt because I can’t have him.

***

I was at The Spectrum office today, making telephone calls – looking for work – & I hung out because there was going to be a meeting & there was food – I’m not one to pass up a free meal. Jon was there – looking more desirable than ever.  His hair is blonder than ever & he looks like John Lennon in his new wire-rim glasses. He was as animated as ever – going on about how heavy metal is going to make a comeback – I don’t know about that – while Mark Miles made me the butt of his very bad jokes. I don’t know what’s up with Mark lately.
After the meeting, I hung around as long as I could without looking as if I was waiting for Jon – finally I just left but he soon followed. We walked together & talked – naturally, a continuation & elaboration of our talk the other day. Of course. Jon always has to talk everything to death. & sometimes he was really hard on me & I felt miserable. It was really much better the other day & I wished he had just left it alone. He said that I had “refused” to see that the relationship had “ended”. I was really confused – as far as I could see, there was no real ending until I ended it in March. & even then, all through April, he was still acting like he wanted me. I mean, how was I supposed to know when it was really ending? How can a person refuse to see the ending of something that has no real ending? I wasn’t going to argue this with him – I know better than to argue with Jon.
“It was the best relationship,” he said, as we shared a joint, “are you kidding? Man, at times, it was downright brilliant.” So fucking brilliant you had to end it, I though bitterly but I kept my mouth shut. We talked of the possibility of having “another” relationship. He was leery, of course. “But we aren’t the same people,” I said. “We’re older, we see things differently. We came through all that drama from before, we’ve learned what not to do.”
We talked of relationships with other people – Bard Ellison, of course – & his interest in other women – I didn’t bring up Sara but that’s obvious – & music – all the concerts I’ve been going to – more than he’s been to lately. He seemed jealous that I am getting out so much. I thought that was petty. I mean – he broke up with me.  & now he’e resentful because I’m going to more cool shows than he is?  Really?
Finally, he asked, “Do think that we will ever have sex again?”
“I should hope so!” I burst out, almost indignantly. “You were the best lay I ever had!” I laughed. Then more seriously & quietly, I said, “I would really like to. I think I could handle it. I don’t hurt anymore – it would just be friends having sex. Nothing heavy.”
“I would like to have recreational sex with you again,” he said & I smiled, although inside I was thinking – you couldn’t call it “making love”? “Recreational sex” sounds so – like tennis or golf or something. Like it really doesn’t mean anything. Or you get a prize at the end of it. Blue ribbon for the best fuck.
Since it was beginning to rain, he offered to drive me home. We went a roundabout way since Main Street is a construction mess – because of the new subway – talking the whole way – about doing interviews – he wanted to know how Gary Storm does them – he seemed jealous that I was around when Gary was interviewing Joe Jackson & Tom Robinson. I just happened to be there – because of Bard – I really wasn’t part of the story. We stopped in front of my house. “You have the whole thing?” he asked. “You want to come in?” He grinned.
I showed him around the house, downstairs & up. “This is my room,” I said, leading him in. “It looks like your room,” he said, closing the door. He sat down on my bed & stretched out, watching me. I sat down next to him, prattling on about Cheap Trick – “I don’t even listen to their songs anymore. If one comes on the radio, I turn it. It was fun partying with them but I’m really not that kind of girl.” I was very nervous.
“What kind of girl are you?” He asked.
“I’m just an ordinary girl,” I replied. “Not a groupie – not a music journalist – just a girl – ” I bent down & kissed him & he kissed me back.
He asked, “Are you sure you can handle this?” “I’m sure,” I answered. Inside, I was thinking, I’m dying, I’m dying, I’m dying –
It was so wonderful – Jon is the only one who knows how to touch me.
We were in the middle of it when John thumped up the stairs & went into his room. “I can’t do this,” Jon whispered. “But you are doing it,” I whispered back. John then knocked on my door. Jon & I hastily put our clothes on. I went out to talk to John but it was too funny & I nearly collapsed laughing. “What’s the matter?” demanded John. “Oh – nothing.” I went back into my room. “Lock the door,” hissed Jon. I did, trying to do it quietly. I almost died laughing. Jon laughed too, loud & full. We sat on the bed & I gave him head. John finally went downstairs & Jon & I resumed making love. I have not felt that good in a long time – a very long time. Not since the last time I made love with Jon. & it’s “making love” – not “recreational sex” – I don’t care what he says.
We sauntered downstairs. “Don’t you dare flip out,” he warned. “I won’t,” I promised. He left & I hugged myself & danced in the kitchen. I was so happy!
Then I went upstairs & looked at my double bed & I never felt so lonely in my entire life.