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Tag: Cleveland

Excerpts From a Diary 39

[Holidays, 1989-90]

[December, 1989]

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

[January, 1990]

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

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

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

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

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

 

Excerpts From a Diary 37

[Summer, 1989]

[July]

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

[August]

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

“Sure,” I said.

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

We went to the Erie County Fair today.

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

[September]

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 30

[January]

Watching some college football game with Teddy.  We just got back from getting some groceries – spending our last $10.  It seems so strange to have no money!  Everything got spent going to Cleveland for Tish’s wedding – I would have just as soon stayed here.  I thought we could stay with Mom & Bob but between Jesse & Doreen & their kids & Helena & Geoff & their kids, there just wasn’t enough room.  So we had to get a motel room.  Which really wasn’t that bad – we were able to party & watch the bowl games the night before the wedding.  I just hate spending money when I don’t have any coming in.­

Oh well – Thursday’s Teddy’s payday & Friday’s mine – so on Saturday we’ll go to Wegman’s & stock up.  Our cupboards are getting bare – with the holidays, all the money’s been being spent on things other than food & I’ve been concocting dinners out of what we have & whatever we’ve been able to get at the last minute.

My stomach’s been killing me all day – woke up at 9 a.m. with shooting pains – absolutely the worst I’ve experienced in years – all day long – absolutely takes my breath away.  Shit that runs like water, only water would feel so much nicer.  This burns.

I finished Legend by Fred Lawrence Guiles – definitely the best biography of Marilyn Monroe I have ever read.  Well researched – well written.

I have to make tacos for Teddy – I can’t imagine eating one myself!  Bouillon for me!  I have to make lists for this week – get things ready for tomorrow & work.  Today nothing got done – I was in too much pain.

***

So.  Tish’s wedding.  It was definitely the nicest wedding I have ever been at.  The church was all decorated in poinsettias from Christmas – all red & white – & Tish was dressed in a very plain white velvet gown that was hand-made for her – it was a Azzedine Allaia design & it was gorgeous – dozens of little pearls going down her back – she had lost a ton of weight & looked fabulous.

Helena was her matron of honor in a sea-green ankle-length gown that concealed her four-month’s pregnancy.  The four other maid of honors wore shiny emerald green knee-length dresses that were typically puffy & looked more like something for a nightclub than a wedding.  Mom was wearing a pale pink Chanel suit – her go-to look – & Tish’s new mother-in-law – who is incidentally the executive secretary of Edmond Durant, so we are well acquainted – wore a shiny dress of deep rose.  Rocco was one of the groomsmen & the rest were friends of Brad & his one brother.  Brad – Tish’s new husband – was dressed in his Marine Corp dress blues.

Jesse & Doreen were there of course & most of the family & friends on both sides & all of Brad’s friends & family.  It was a very large wedding – amazing, given that it was right after the holiday & January weather can be very iffy.  But the weather held & it was a sparkling bright day.

I wore a sheer flowered shirt-waist – shimmery shades of pink & gold & green on a field of cream – with a lace camisole & petticoat underneath it & my boots.  I had a forest green blazer which I removed when the dancing started.

During the ceremony, I sat in church & thought about everything.  I was disappointed in not being chosen to be “in” the wedding but I supposed that you can’t have two matron of honors.  I’m not sure why though – there’s always more than one maid.  It really doesn’t make sense.  These silly rules.

But where had flaunting the rules gotten me?  I hadn’t even wanted to get married so I did everything I could to have an unconventional marriage – getting married in the park, wearing a red dress, wearing my boots.  & within what – six months? – I was deeply in love & having a passionate affair with another man – one of my husband’s best friends.  It was a soap opera – it was worse than a soap opera.

My sister Helena had three children & soon would have four & I knew Tish would be pregnant very soon – at a family picnic last summer, I had overheard Brad saying to her, “We’ll have them just like that” – looking at one of Helena’s youngest toddle across the grass.  & I had felt such a giant hole within me.  No man had ever said anything like that to me – never ever.  My experience was men not wanting children.  Jon insisting on me having an abortion.  Jesse complaining about Doreen being pregnant all the time – although he clearly loves his children – probably more than he loves her.  Teddy has told me more than once than he doesn’t want children – he doesn’t even want cats.  He doesn’t want any responsibility at all.  He would be happy just being my “manager” – which means not doing anything at all – since I am the one who books most of the jobs & I am the one dealing with the public – he just holds onto the money & drives me around – important work but hardly being a “manager”.  & how much longer could I go on dancing?  Teddy talks about me being a “Buffalo institution” but whoever heard of a stripper being an “institution”?  & I really need to get serious & finish up college & move onto some other kind of work.  Whether in law or something else.  But I can’t be a dancer for the rest of my life – as much as I loved to perform – I’m going to be 27 this year & that’s almost 30!  & I swore I’d never dance after 30 – which is three years from now but still.  When I started dancing, it was supposed to be temporary – until I found other work.  I mean – I never did – but dancing took over my life to the point where I never really looked for other work.  It was a good thing that I fell into the law office job.  But I don’t know how much longer that is going to be working out.  There’s all kinds of new people there – new part-timers, temp workers, all kinds of new faces.  I know from working in the bar that when there are new people, old people are going to get the shaft.  That’s how it works.  & I have never forgotten my conversation with Edmond Durant.  Law is a very conservative place & stripping is not.  Even though my work is impeccable, I have been waiting – for quite a while – to be laid off or fired.  I’m surprised I haven’t been.  But I’ll have to go back to school – I don’t mind – I really want to finish up my degree.  I just know that Teddy will have a major fit.

That was another thing I was thinking about in the church.  How I was married to Teddy – who I really do love – but how he’s just not right for me.  He’s enthusiastic about me dancing – but that’s about it.  We never have sex.  It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even bother him about it anymore because I don’t want to deal with the rejection & if he doesn’t want me, he doesn’t want me.  I tell people he’s my very best friend – which I suppose is true – but I have other “best” friends – Jesse – Gigi – even Anna, at the law office – even Tish, my sister standing at the altar, repeating her vows.

I looked at Jesse sitting with Doreen & I knew that I loved him & I wanted him more than any man I had ever known but I knew that it was impossible.  He wasn’t going to leave her.  He might say he would – he was going to let me hang on forever.  But he wasn’t going to leave her.  Not as long as she was the mother of “his” children.

I sat there in the church & thought – I have nothing.  Nothing at all.  No marriage.  No children.  No career I can brag about.  No degree.  Nothing.  Nothing at all.

I had never felt so depressed in my entire life.

***

[April]

I’m in our living room with Teddy & Randy.  Randy is buying some coke & complaining about living at Jesse & Doreen’s.  He’s taking some back to Jesse – who was having an argument with Doreen when Randy left the house – apparently, that’s all they are doing lately.  Doreen is pregnant again & wants to move out of the city.  Jesse doesn’t want to move because the house they live in is more than big enough for several kids, Doreen’s mom & Randy – if Randy stays with them – but Doreen wants to be in the suburbs.  Randy says he’s had it with all of them.  He’s supposed to be joining local 129 up in the Falls so he says he’ll move up to Niagara County to be closer to the Hall for his classes – he says he’s not driving back & forth from Buffalo.  “But I’ve had it with both Doreen & her mother,” he said.  “I don’t know how Jesse puts up with it.”

I have to say that Randy is really good-looking.  In ten years or so, he should be devastatingly handsome.   He doesn’t have Jesse’s blue eyes but his eyes are really beautiful – hazel, almost green – flecked with grey.

Randy brought over a 12-pack of Labatt’s Blue & we’re drinking beer.

I have a tape on – Talking Heads – “More Songs About Food & Buildings” – on the other side is Pretenders 1.  I have “The Honeymooners” on TV – no sound of course.  I love “The Honeymooners”.  Sometimes it’s hard to take – Ralph’s such an asshole but when he gets humbled, his face touches me.  Jackie Gleason has so many great faces.  Norton’s great & so is Alice.  Alice is great at the sarcastic reply.  But gee – I’d hate to argue like that.  Well – Ralph’s a macho asshole – what do you want.

I compare “The Honeymooners” to “I Love Lucy”.  Of course, the families in “I Love Lucy” are a lot more affluent – & “I Love Lucy” had a far larger budget – that’s obvious.  Also, “I Love Lucy” was a lot tighter – everything was totally rehearsed – no ad-libbing, no surprises – well there were some, but they were absolute accidents.  There’s quite a bit of ad-libbing in “The Honeymooners”, as well as blown lines – it’s fun to watch them recover.  Sometimes you don’t even notice until a few lines later & then you realize – a few things don’t fit so well – they’re trying to get that blown line to fit in.  But it’s great – it’s spontaneous – Jackie Gleason & Art Carney really knew how to play off each other.

I think the difference between the two shows are because of where the people had come from.  “I Love Lucy” was created & performed by people who had movie careers – a more formal, structured, organized type of job.  Jackie Gleason started in burlesque.  Shows in burlesque were thrown together pretty fast – the stripper who was headlining & the top comedian & the rest of the act would come into town & work at the local theatre with the local people – skits & comedy pieces were put together based on basic comedy skits used for years & years but updated to fit currents events & the locality & of course ad-libbed to fit the bill.

I would have loved burlesque.  I would have been a star.

Quite a beer buzz on here.  Not to mention lines & doobies.

10 p.m.  The hockey game is on the radio.  I hate listening to hockey – I hate listening to sports, period – unless Rick Jeanneret is doing the play-by-play.  He really makes you see what’s happening – he talks so quickly & distinctly & descriptively & emotionally.  But fuck – you have to watch hockey – any sports.  Besides, it’s not like they’re winning or even playing particularly well or anything.  I mean, the best they can do is lose.  We’re going to end up in last place anyway.

That beer buzz was driving me nuts.  I like a couple of beers – especially in the summer when it’s hot – but beer is such a slouchy slushy high.  Roly-poly – like a typical movie drunk.  I feel so full.  Like a roly-poly Polly-wolly.

I said to Teddy, “We need vodka.”

“We’re broke,” he replied.

Teddy got paid today but of course it’s all gone.

So I went over to Doug & Danielle’s with my empty vodka bottle & a joint & borrowed some of theirs – Doug had just bought a gallon.  We smoked the joint while I fed Davy.  Then I returned home & made a vodka & soda for me & a vodka & tea for Teddy.  Now we’re playing backgammon.  I have lots more to write but I’ve lost 4 games in a row & I have to kick ass & beat Teddy.  I can’t let him win!

***

How I miss The Canteen.

***

“Moreover, he was gifted with an almost photographic memory.” – Wyn Craig Wade, about William Alden Smith.

What a gift!  How often I read this about gifted, great, inspiration people!  How I envy it!  My photographic mind is one that is a double exposure – of half blank – or badly focused – or totally blurry.  Like dreams.  Or certain colors or images stand out unnaturally – again – like dreams.

But I remember so much more than I say I do.  Details – colors – smells – emotions – songs on the radio.  Everyday life is forgetful – la-di-da within my daily course – until something fucks up the habit.  But the fuck-up is why I remember.

***

Midnight.  Lonely, lonely, lonely.  Teddy’s already in bed – he says he’s loaded.  How can that be?  I made his drinks for him & they weren’t that strong & he didn’t have very many.  He needs so much more sleep than I do.  I don’t sleep unless I’m exhausted.  Also – when I wake up – I’m awake.  He takes forever to wake up.  I’m always hungry when I wake up.  Often it’s my stomach growling that wakes me up.

I’m reading a new book about the sinking of the Titanic but it’s hard to keep on it.  “Hogan’s Heroes” is on.  I’m restless – if Teddy was up, I’d suggest a walk.  How can he sleep so much?  I read that Gemini’s need a lot of sleep.  Having so much excess energy, Gemini’s use it wastefully – just blow it – go go go until it’s gone.  I have loads of energy but I use my energy more efficiently.  I’m in for the long haul, ya know.  In high school, people used to say, you won’t live to be 30.  I’d laugh of course – & I guess no one will be sure until my thirtieth birthday, right?  But I know – unless there’s some kind of accident – the motorcycle comes to mind immediately – I’m not gonna die.  I’m not self-destructive.  I am – in fact – very healthy.  Ya know – I eat well – do vitamins – heavy duty “stress” vitamins – work out – dance – I mean, I know it’s wrong – health-wise, anyway – to smoke weed & snort cocaine & I know I’ll pay for that someday.  But I really think that’s a long time away.  I don’t care – everyone’s got to die & no one dies of nothing.  I’m not afraid of that.  Ya know, you make your own deal in the end.

It’s after midnight – I didn’t feel like watching “Hitchcock” so I went around the dial.  A really dopey King Arthur movie is on – “The Black Knight”.  No familiar names in the credits.  It’s pretty bad.  It’s color but it’s that halfway color – the “color” that movies were filmed in the 50’s & 60’s when the budget wasn’t large enough for Technicolor.  It looks like the colorized versions of black & white movies.  They look so tacky!  They make me think of old photos that someone had taken color pencils & lightly colored over them – Nana used to do that.

In this movie, the hues are mostly brown & tan.  There’s blues & reds but they’re dark.  At least it’s not like some of those movies – the hues are reddish/purple.  A lot of horror movies are like that.  Real low budget.  I hate horror films – I hate the old tacky ones & I hate the new gory ones.  Who wants to be scared?  What a drag!  Besides the characters in those flicks are so dumb.  Like – they’re in a house haunted & everyone is disappearing or showing up dead – one by one – or the house is just acting weird – & instead of getting the fuck out of there, they have to investigate!  How stupid!  I’d rather watch a sex flick!  & sex flicks are about the most boring things around!  Ya know how you know – right off – a bunch of guys are really nerdy?  When you arrive at a stag & they have the sex film on & they have the sound on!  Sex films should have the sound on ZERO & the stereo on some really great music.  I mean, really.  Sex films always have terrible soundtracks – if you can call it that – & who wants to hear a bunch of moaning & groaning & panting & idiotic sex talk?  It’s not like it means anything.

Besides, I hate sex flicks.  Actually, I’ve seen some good ones & some of the new ones – written & directed by women – are pretty good.  But the Joe Average sex flick is really dumb.  One thing I think is really stupid is that they’ll show a couple fucking & the guy will pull out & cum all over the girl’s face or belly or ass or something.  I know they have to prove that he really came but I mean really.  She always acts like it’s the most wonderful thing that ever happened to her – his cum on her body – rubbing it in like body lotion.  I can’t imagine wanting some dude’s cum on my face.  & being happy about it!  Get real!

Where was I?  I wanna party more!  I want to do snort a line – no, I want to do two nice lines & then have Teddy wake up all awake & alert & do another set of lines & then have a toast & play some more backgammon.  & smoke one.  But then I wouldn’t be writing, would I?

I put David Letterman on.  I’m gonna try the Titanic again.  Well, maybe I’ll take a drink first.  MMM.  I’m drinking a vodka & soda – tall glass.  I love vodka & sodas.

Tish & Brad stopped in tonight.  I was so happy!  Tish & I had a really nice heart to heart.  I told her, “I thought you didn’t like me anymore cuz I never heard from you.”  She said, “Well, I never talk to anyone.”  I guess she’s really happy with Brad & they had a fabulous honeymoon in Jamaica & it hasn’t really ended yet.  I almost thought she was going to tell me she was already pregnant but she didn’t.  But she told me a lot about Mom & Bob.   They’ve been going to all these AA conventions & doing the “keynote” leads – Bob, especially, is in great demand – although I guess Mom does really well with the women’s groups.  They were in San Diego last month.  I haven’t talked to anyone in a long time, either.  I haven’t thought about AA in a long time – I don’t know why I would – partying the way I do.

I dream about everyone all the time.  Usually we’re at Gramma Mac’s house.  So much of me lives in Appleton.  Being in the apple orchard with Papa Mac or out on the boat.  Or sitting in the kitchen – looking out the window – at all the birds at the feeders in the lilac bushes outside the glass.  It’s winter & the seed is all over the snow.  It’s like I’m still a little girl & I never left.  Or I’m trying to get my shit together to go to school but I had a stag the night before & I’m dead.  Or someone is on my nerves & I’m not reacting very well.  Or I’m reacting like a star & not like a member of a family.  I think these dreams are my subconscious trying to put together my life now with my life then.  Synthesis.  I also dream quite often that I’m at school & I can’t get into it – sitting in a class was always a drag & in my dreams it’s unbearable because I’m a stripper – & either I disrupt class or I get into an argument with the teacher or the bell rings & I go to my locker & it won’t unlock – & then I get it unlocked & get my things but then I can’t navigate the hallways – it seems like I’m going in circles in a crowd of students & I can’t find my way out the door to the busses – & then when I’m finally out the door – I miss my bus – I literally watch it driving away without me.  I have this dream all the time.

For years, Teddy wasn’t in my dreams, but now he always is.  In my family dreams, he’s a big question mark because where does he sleep?  I mean, with me, of course – but how can he? – when I share my room with Tish?  Brad rarely factors in this dilemma.  Teddy is usually the reason I fight in dreams.  I mean – I’m in an unbearable situation & then I remember Teddy & I fight back.  Teddy really taught me how to speak up – speak confidently – stand up for my rights.  He’s the greatest.  I love him so much.

I’m gonna go – I’m gonna try the Titanic again – I’m tired of writing – I’d rather type – it’s faster – as fast as I can think.  But it’s too noisy – Teddy’s in bed.  Ya know?  What can you do?

***

[June]

My perm turned out really great.  Penny & I yakked it up the entire time – it was great.  She also had a high-pressure excellence-only Catholic childhood.

It was a great way to have your hair done!  I walk in – she handed me a beer – I drank 3 during the course of events.  After she rolled up my hair & put on the chemicals & everything, she pulled out a bowl, filled it with some really tasty weed & lit it!  I said, “Gee – I feel guilty, I shoulda brought a joint – I didn’t think!”

“Girl, shut up!” She replied.  “It’s just really nice to have someone to smoke with!”  She enjoys me – I entertain her, just like everyone else.

I love having curly hair.  It’s so long – long curls cascading down my back – like a princess.

***

[July]

It is so awful to be so addicted – to feel bummed out when you can’t get any – even when you weren’t going to get any but you decided to call – just for the hell of it –

When a friend calls & says she’s stopping by & you think – maybe she’s got – I mean – totally stupid –

So later that night – someone else calls & even though it’s time for bed you jump on the bike & fly over – party all night long – feel like shit all the next day – but party again –

***

[August]

I’d forgotten about my notebook – I was gone & I’d left it behind.  & everything else.  I was traveling on a sparkling white glacier with great rushes & nothing else.  Maintaining a high was becoming tedious.  But what can ya do?  Do another deal – do another line.

***

I’m so lonely – sexually lonely.  I need a friend – someone special – someone who probably doesn’t exist – to spend an afternoon or two – every week – spend it in bed – hugging, kissing, fucking – reminiscing about other lovers & other affairs & trading sexual stories & tricks – I need this.  I really need it.

I thought I had what I needed but I guess not.  Or else – not anymore.  Here & gone.  Whatever.  It kills me – it’s the same old story – it’s the same pain as 10 years ago – 15 years ago.  I had this loneliness long before I knew that it was – long before the words “sex” – “fuck” – “orgasm” – had any real meaning for me.  I know I was experiencing orgasms as early as 7 years old & maybe even younger – that’s what I remember – I know I knew how to make it happen for myself.  How did I learn?  Did someone show me?  I wish I could remember.  Only shadows remain.

But you can only masturbate so much.  After a while – even with orgasm – it’s just an exercise in loneliness.

Oh the pain – how I wish the pain would disappear.  You’d think after all these years – I’d had gotten used to it.  All the knowledge – all the philosophy – all the understanding – of the pain – what it is – how it works – doesn’t help at all.  A potato’s a potato no matter how you cook it.

***

Modeling is so boring.  Having to hold a pose – yuck!  I can barely keep still.  I mean, I can do it – I just don’t want to.  Most of the time these photographers want me in the stupidest poses known to man.  & of course they want sex – to talk about sex, to lick my sex, to have me sexually service them.

When I was younger, it was different – I was more into it – I wasn’t as busy – I wasn’t a dancer & a wife – & totally confident – I didn’t need the approval of the camera – it was more fun.  & I didn’t have a sense of exploitation.

Even then – it was a drag.  They say I’m a natural & I do admit I’m a big ham in front of a camera – a show’s a show & I am always a star – but it’s boring – boring –

Still – I can hardly wait to see the pictures –

I can’t help it – it turns me on – seeing my image –

***

OH MY GOD.  Jesse called this morning – Teddy had just gone to work – I thought that he wanted to get together since Doreen is seven month’s pregnant but he said that she had gone into labor & the baby was born prematurely – it doesn’t look good but of course Buffalo Children’s Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the country so we are all hoping for the best.  Jesse said that it’s a boy & his lungs aren’t fully developed & it’s in an incubator.  I didn’t think to ask his name but I know that they were considering either Silas or Jasper – terrible names, if you ask me.

Mom on the phone from Cleveland: “Of course it’s because of her smoking.  You can’t expect to carry a child to term successfully if you’re smoking cigarettes.”  Which I thought was rather cruel of Mom to say but of course it’s true.  I’ve heard lots of women say that smoking doesn’t harm the baby at all, just makes them “a little underweight” but that’s all bullshit.  There’s plenty of evidence to support that.  Of course the way Jesse smokes, it can’t be easy to quit – not with him puffing away all the time.  He’s a 3-pack a day smoker.  I know Doreen doesn’t smoke that much – she really doesn’t smoke very much at all, honestly – & she hardly parties at all anymore – but still.  I mean – if you’re going to have children, you have to make some decisions about your life.  & not smoking cigarettes is one of them.  I’ve never liked cigarettes anyway – I love smoking weed but cigarettes taste like crap & I’ve never understood smoking them.

***

This has been the hottest summer I remember.

***

Gigi’s disappeared – nobody knows where she is.  Oralie thinks she went back to Pennsylvania or wherever she’s originally from.  I really miss her but she had been getting really strung out – doing a ton of coke & I think heroin too – she looked like hell.  I know she was turning lots of tricks & was busted in that large sting at the Hyatt Regency downtown earlier this year & a few times on the street since then.  She bragged about being with members of the Buffalo Bills but I have a hard time seeing that.  I would think they would go for much higher-class whores.  At any rate – she’s gone.

Oralie & I have been doing stags together.  We each do a set – generally she goes first & then I do a set – & then we do a floor routine together – the guys love when we get down on the floor together.  We make the same amount of money that we would if we were working alone – it’s a great deal for us! We’re not actually having sex together – but it’s awful close!  Honestly – the guys can’t give money to us fast enough!  We split the tips & it’s always a pile of money.

Oralie moved in with Mo’s son Vinnie – or, rather, he moved in with her – he just got out of prison – he was in for dealing drugs & of course that’s what he doing now that he’s out again.  He’s got decent enough coke but I’m not crazy about the cut in it.  It really makes my sinuses hurt!  & it’s so hot & humid this summer that the coke is always cakey & doesn’t want to chop up into nice lines or crush into powder for the vials.

Oralie says that Vinnie is hung like a horse – “the largest I’ve ever had” – which made me think of Jon.  He still calls me.  He called me the other day – wanting phone sex, of course – but Teddy was home & I had to navigate the call in another direction & hang up.  I hate phone sex, anyway.  I want the real deal.  Which I will never get from Jon – I know that.  I went over to his place earlier this summer – Sara was in Brooklyn visiting her parents.  Jon & Sara have a beautiful place on Ashland Avenue – I’ve always wanted to live over there.  I danced for him & he jerked off while he watched me.  We didn’t have sex – I wanted to – but he said he wanted to be “faithful” to Sara.  I’m fascinated by these men who are “faithful” to their wives while they watch a naked woman dancing & masturbate to her image.  How is this being “faithful”?

***

[October]

Teddy had just left for work this morning when the phone rang.  It was Jesse.  “May I come over?  It’s Jasper.”

I took a quick bath & was just throwing on my sweats & a t-shirt when I heard the doorbell.  I ran down the stairs.  As soon as I saw him, I knew the worst.  “He’s gone,” Jesse sobbed, “he’s gone.”

I took him upstairs & held him as he cried.  I have never seen Jesse like this.  Jesse – the strongest of the strong!  The toughest of the tough!  I never would have thought he could break down like this.  Suddenly, I thought – where’s Doreen?  Why aren’t they together?  Shouldn’t they be together?  & I was happy that he had come to me.  That he was crying in my arms.

Finally, he got himself together & pulled away.  He blew his nose – really noisy – & then he pulled out a fat doobie.  “I gotta catch one,” he said.  “I’ve been at the hospital for two days straight – I’ve barely had a cigarette.”

“Have you eaten?”

“I’m not hungry.”  We passed the joint between us.  “He fought until the very end!  He wanted to live!  & he was doing really well!  I’m not even sure how he caught pneumonia – it doesn’t make sense at all.”

I didn’t know what to say.  What do you say?  “I’m sorry” seems so inadequate.  & I didn’t want to point out that it was easier to get pneumonia in a hospital than out of one – especially a little baby with compromised lungs. “What can I do to help?” I asked finally.

“Well, the funeral is going to be the day after tomorrow – I don’t know about Doreen but I know I’ll need some coke to get through it so do you think Teddy can get some?”

I sighed.  He wanted drugs.  Not love.  & from Teddy – not me.  “Yeah sure, I’m sure he can,” I replied.

***

After the funeral.  This was probably the hardest funeral I have ever been at.  You don’t mind when it’s an old person & they were sick & it’s a blessing that they went but this was a baby & it was just a drag.  Although considering that Jasper’s lungs were never fully developed & he might have been prone to all kinds of breathing ailments his entire life, his death could be seen as a blessing as well.  I’m sure Jesse & Doreen weren’t looking at it that way, though.

The weather was chilly but it was a beautiful fall day & we all assembled in the cemetery & the minister talked about God’s will and calling little Jasper to heaven to play among the angels & I thought – what a bunch of bullshit.  God’s will, my ass.

Jesse was completely wasted but maintained his cool.  He had his hair pulled back into a tight ponytail & he was wearing a sky-blue three-piece suit with a navy-blue shirt & a white tie.  I have never seen him dressed like this.  But the biggest surprise was Doreen.  She had cut her long red hair.  Since the day I met her back in 1979 – July, 1979 – she’s had waist-length hair – but now it was a short bob & such a complete change that it was startling.  She was sober.  Completely closed up within herself.

***

Oralie is pregnant so she’s not going to dance anymore.  I am going to miss doing stags with her because we made so much money together.  She said that Vinnie is still going to be dealing coke – she’s not going to be doing any drugs or even smoking cigarettes anymore.  I wonder how long this relationship is going to last – Vinnie partying & her sober.  But you never know.

***

[November]

2:30 a.m.  Two parties tonight.  9:30 UAW at The Mint – Seneca Street at Cazanovia.  Low-key but great – they loved me.  #2 – Columbia Hook & Ladder.  A bunch of bikers – mixed group of Rare Breed & Kingsmen & other guys – wild & rowdy but good guys – know & respect a lady when they are with one – my saving grace –

Leandra Green – whatever her last name is now – was there.  “Hey long time no see!” I said, giving her a hug.  She was dancing a short set between my two & doing the “extras”.  I used to buy acid & coke off her when we worked together at The Canteen.  We worked the 10-3 shift on Thursday nights.  Later she used to give me a quarter-gram of coke every time she fixed – it made me sick – I hate needles – but she begged & pleaded because she couldn’t do herself – & I had a steady hand & was able to hit her vein every time – plus I would always want another quarter-gram.  But I could never understand IV users who couldn’t fix themselves.  Doesn’t that give the other person a whole lot of power over your addiction?

She looks beat.  When I first met her, she was at the tail end of whatever beauty she ever had.  She wasn’t ever really beautiful – she might have been pretty as a teenager – but she’s 35 now & years of drug abuse really shows.  When I first met her, she was tough & good-looking – the drugs were still working for her.  Ya know – drugs make you look so great for so long – then they take take take – you don’t look great anymore.

It makes me wonder – what will I look like when I am her age?  Of course I don’t shoot drugs & never will.  But still – how long can I go the way I am going – without sacrificing my health & my beauty?

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 25

[Fall, 1984]

It’s been the craziest summer.  I don’t think I’ve ever worked this much.  The law office, the clubs, the stag parties.  Plus camping at Sherkston & doing whatever Teddy wants me to do.  It’s very exhausting.

& whenever Jesse wants me – I go over to his apartment on the West Side. It’s “our” apartment now. That’s obvious – he hasn’t rented it & he’s even gotten a few piece of furniture for it so we can hang out when we’re there.  Sometimes I fantasize that it’s our actual home – that we’re actually together – man & wife kind of together.   I can’t help myself.  I hate my life – I hate how I have no control over anything – I hate how I’m married to a guy who doesn’t want to fuck me – I hate how I’m in love with a guy who is never gonna leave his wife.

***

I’ve been writing a lot of poems – working on ones that I wrote last summer – mostly about Jesse – but also poems about dancers – one about that new girl, Charlene – & one about that girl Stormy, who was around for a little while & then moved on – like so many of the biker-chick dancers do – that poem needs a lot of work.  I’ve also been working on poems about other dancers – ones about Margie & Katie – “KittieKat” – but they’re not as good – it’s funny how poems are – either they work or they don’t.

Most poems I jot down in the notebook I carry with me everywhere I go but sometimes I use whatever I have at hand – bevnaps – bar checks – stationary from the law office – I stick them into my notebook & hope I don’t lose them.  Sometimes I stick them into an envelope – that’s a good way to keep everything together.

Most of the poems about Jesse are about longing to be with him – or about how wonderful it is when I am with him.  Although I think the longing ones are better.  It’s great to write erotic love poems but I don’t think they’re very good.  I feel the emotion but it doesn’t translate very well onto the paper.  Maybe I’m just not a very good writer.

***

Frank Dormer – one of the regulars at The Canteen – is having a party down at his hunting camp in Ellicottville – only a “select” group of people from the bar are being invited & I’m one of them!  Of course Teddy is going too – we’re taking our tent-camper down so we have somewhere to sleep – Frank said there wasn’t enough bunks for everyone – Mo & her husband Duke will sleep on the other side.  I’m giving up several parties to be down there that night but I could really use the rest.

We drove down there & it was the most perfect day.   Cattaraugus County is gorgeous in the fall anyway & it’s the height of the fall foliage.  We missed the road several times but finally found it.  Frank was already there & so was Tex & her doofus of a husband – Ron – & Ramon, the bouncer from the bar – he’s leaving for the Army real soon.  Mo & Duke showed up soon afterward.  I think there were more people invited but either they couldn’t find the place or they just didn’t show.

It was the best time!  Hamburgs & hotdogs on the grill & lots of munchies & I brought my homemade potato salad & brownies & of course we were all drinking.  Naturally, Teddy had plenty of weed & later on we dropped acid – not the usual “going to see God” amounts he likes to do but just enough to see trails & laugh a lot – like I like.   I had the best talk with Frank.  He used to be a Roman Catholic priest!  Ya know – he still dresses somewhat like a priest – always in black – although he was wearing a red & black Buffalo plaid wool shirt over his black clothes – but there is something very “man of the cloth” about him – I found myself confessing all about Jesse to him – I haven’t told anyone about the affair – although Frank told me that it was “obvious” that something was going on with Jesse & me.  I said, “Ya know, I really love Teddy but he’s more like my brother than my husband.”  “That’s not good,” he said, “not good at all.”

I asked him, “Why did you leave the priesthood?”

He tickled my knee. “I liked the ladies too much.”  He said he became a priest & was a Navy chaplain during the Korean War & felt like he was doing “good work” while he was in the service but when he became a civilian & a parish priest, he just lost his calling.  After he left the priesthood, he got married & had two sons.  He owns a printing press & his sons – both older than me – help him run it.  He’s read my poetry & thinks I should write a book.  “You’re a very talented writer,” he told me.

We were up almost all night & then next morning made breakfast over the fire & hung out listening to the Bills game on the radio.  It was a glorious day.  I really hated to come back home.  I love it down there.   Tex & Ron left early but Mo & Duke hung around & we really hit it off – I hope we can party together again soon.  I really like Mo – she’s really one of the reasons I stick around at The Canteen – most of the other girls are going over the border & working at the clubs in Canada now.   Supposedly they make more money up there – it’s all nude – but you have to get working papers & I don’t want to deal with any of that nor do I want to cross the border when I go to work.  I mean – it may be the friendliest border in the world but it’s still an international border.  & if you get in trouble up there, you’re in a foreign country.  & let’s face it – you party in a strip joint.  & that’s not exactly a safe environment.  I feel safe at The Canteen.

***

OH MY GOD.  I was in the kitchen after supper – just doing dishes – nothing special – & Teddy comes up behind me & tickles me, which I hate – if I have told him once, I have told him a hundred times, never fucking tickle me – & I swirled around & almost slapped him – but I didn’t.  I just laughed it off like I laugh everything off.  So then – he put his hands in the back pockets of my jeans – for who knows what reason – & I had a bar check in there with a few lines written on it – the beginning of a poem – just something I had been thinking about the other day – & at the bottom, I had written “I know a man named Jesse” – usually I don’t name Jesse in any of the poems I write about him.  But I was really depressed & I don’t ever expect any of my writings to fall into Teddy’s hands.

He was holding the piece of paper.  “Are you in love with Jesse?” he asked.

“He’s my best friend,” I hedged.

“I thought I was,” he countered.

“Well you are,” I said, “but so is Jesse.”  I went on, a little too hurriedly, “I can tell Jesse things I can’t tell anyone else.  There’s just something about him.  I don’t know what it is.  He’s easy.”

“& I’m not?”

“Well – not always.”  I hesitated.  “You’re demanding.  I mean – that’s a good thing, ya know?  Cuz you make me a better person with your demands.  But Jesse – Jesse accepts me as I am.  That’s a whole different thing.”

I don’t think he bought it.  & now I have to worry – worry – worry.

***

I told Jesse about what happened with Teddy.  “I knew something like this was going to happen sooner or later,” he said.  “I can’t believe we’ve gone this long without him catching on.”

“Or Doreen catching on,” I said.

“Oh she knows I’m seeing someone,” he replied breezily, “but she doesn’t know who.”

“Really.”  This was news to me.

“As long as I come home at night & pay the bills & don’t rock the boat, she’s not going to say a word to me.”  He sounded quite confident.

“I hope you’re right.”

“Oh, I know I’m right.  She wants a father for her children & she wants more children.  That’s really the only reason she wants to fuck, whereas you,” he pulled me to him with his strong arms, “you want to fuck because you are one passionate woman.”  & he started kissing me – which ended the conversation.

But later on, he said, “I’ve known Teddy a long time & he’s not going to stop asking you about me.  He’s like a dog with a bone.  You really should think about your options.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well – you’re not really happy with him, are you?  Why are you staying with him?  Why don’t you leave him?  You don’t need him.  You make enough money to support yourself.  You could rent this place from me & live by yourself & I could visit whenever I want – it would be the perfect set-up.  & then you could go back to school – get your degree – go to law school, get a real job – end this dancing business – it’s great now but you can’t do it forever – & honestly, I really don’t like the idea of all those guys lusting over my woman.”

I really liked the idea of Jesse thinking of me as his woman.  That made me feel really good.  It wasn’t until later on – much later on – when I was in bed, next to Teddy – who was dead asleep, quietly snoring the way he does – that I realized that I would be living alone – while Jesse was still living with Doreen.  I mean – what kind of set-up is that?

But maybe he means to leave her in the future?  & be with me?

***

It gets better & better.  Teddy was waiting for me when I got home from The Canteen this evening.  Thank heaven I wasn’t really fucked up.  I was drunk enough & of course I had been doing coke.  But I wasn’t wasted or anything.  So I was able to think relatively straight.  Thank you, Jesus!  But he was in a rage.  Really bad – I’ve never seen him like this.  “You are having an affair with Jesse!” he crowed. “With one of my best friends!  With your own step-brother!  That’s practically incest!”

“But it’s not,” I argued.  “We’re not blood at all.”

“I can’t believe this is happening,” he moaned.  “Ya know, someone called me.  I don’t even know who.  But he was there today, wasn’t he?  Someone anonymous called me & told me that you were sitting with him at the club & it was obvious that you are very close.”

“So fucking what?”  I wasn’t having any of that.  “I sit with lots of guys – that’s my fucking job.”

“No no no no,” he insisted.  “You wouldn’t sit with anyone else.  You were turning down drinks from other guys & only sitting with Jesse – right?  Admit it – you’re in love with him.  Admit it.  Admit it!”

By this point – I was pretty pissed off.  I mean – I had worked at the law office in the morning & then worked an afternoon shift at The Canteen & then stopped at the B-Kwik & picked up some groceries & I was hungry & tired.  I wanted a hot bath & my bed & my book.  I lost it.  I really did.  Who the fuck was he – when I was making most of the money anyway – who was he to ask me any questions at all?

I should have said, “I admit nothing,” & regally gone off to run my bath.  But I was drunk & pissed off.  I said, “Yes, goddammit!  I’m in love with him!  I’ve been love with him for years!  Now leave me the fuck alone!”  I left the groceries on the kitchen counter & went back out.

I went to Falco’s.  I ordered two roast beef on wecks & got myself a Labatt’s Blue.  While the sandwiches were being made, I went to the phone booth & called Jesse.  “Please pick up,” I prayed.  Thankfully, he did.  “Someone – I don’t know who – probably from the club – called Teddy & told him that we’re having an affair & he’s super pissed off.”

“I know, he just called me,” he answered.  “He wants me to stop seeing you.”

“What did you say?”

“That I would.”

I thought that my entire life had ended.  I was totally shattered.  “Jesse – ”

“Cori,” he said quickly, “I had to say something.  & I don’t want to lose his friendship or his business.  I don’t want to lose you either.  Don’t worry.  We’ll figure something out.  I can’t talk right now.  But don’t worry, ok?”  He hung up.

I sucked down my beer & had another one & a shot of Crown Royal.  “Feeling ok, Cori?” asked Anthony Falco, who was tending bar.

“Yeah, I’m ok,” I smiled.  “Just a little stressed – it’s been a long day.  Thanks for asking.”

When I got home, Teddy was smoking a joint & he was considerably calmer.  “Well, I talked to Jesse & he said he’s going to stop seeing you,” he announced.

“I know, I talked to him too,” I answered.

He was immediately angry again.  “What, you go to the bar for sandwiches & you call him?”

“Well, you called him as soon as I was gone,” I countered.  “Listen Teddy, I don’t want to argue about this anymore.  It’s over – let’s eat our dinner & be friends again.”  I hoped that was the end of it.

***

Depressed.  Partly because of tripping & cocaine last night & Friday night but also because of pregnancy worry – I had to go off the pill because I was “spotting” all the time – I’m going to go back on another one soon but meanwhile I’m off it – & of course I’m still making love to Jesse whenever I can – I don’t know if my period is messed up because of going off the pill or if I’m actually pregnant – what will I do if I’m pregnant??  It would never be Teddy’s – we haven’t made love in forever – even though he is always trying to now – like making up for lost time or something.  & as much as I want Jesse’s baby – I really do – I admit I’m jealous of Doreen because she has his baby – but I’m a stripper – I can’t stop to have a child –  it would ruin my figure!!  & how would I make money while I was pregnant?  I’m not going to do what Charlene did & dance until I’m in my 6th or 7th month – I just won’t.  I know there are guys who are really turned on by that but NO.  & I can’t expect Jesse to support me.  & honestly – I’m just not ready to have a baby.  When Doreen & Helena sit around at the holiday dinners & talk about their babies, it’s not like I have any particular longing to have one & join in on the conversation.  I don’t think – oh, I can hardly wait.  The thing is – I can wait.

& I’m depressed because I’m longing for Jesse – I’m worried about hurting Teddy – money worries – cowering in the shadow of the choice I am going to have to make – worry, worry, worry!  & I, who hate to worry & refuse to do so – I am worrying!

I have to force myself to get up & do some housework – type up poems for publication.  I have no energy.  All I want to do is read, drink wine & smoke joints.  Escape.  Escape somewhere far away where I don’t have to think about anything

***

I got my period but I am still worrying.  Next week is my doctor’s appointment.  I can hardly wait to get back on the pill – regular periods – no worry – steady moods – everything OK again.  I can’t believe my doctor actually suggested such a stupid thing to me & I was so fucking stupid to agree!!  So what if I was spotting – it was really no big deal!!

I was bleeding really heavy yesterday – today was much lighter.  Yesterday was a very uncomfortable day anyway.  Jesse’s job was shut down cuz of the rain so he picked me up at the law office at lunch time & took me to “our” place – gave me a peanut butter & jelly sandwich & made me lie down while he rubbed me.  He was really sweet – & he wanted sex even though I was bleeding heavier than I have in years – my gynecologist said I would be bleeding heavier being off the pill – “Yin & yang, baby,” he told me, “the mixing of blood & semen.”  It was a mess but boy – it was great!  I said that Teddy never comes near me when I’m having my period & he laughed & said that Doreen acts like she’s “completely cursed” – “she even sleeps in a separate bed.”

He called me twice this afternoon!  Once just to tell me he loves me – I love it! – then again to ask me some silly legal question about real estate – I don’t know why he just doesn’t look it up himself.  I know he really didn’t want to know anything about real estate – he just wanted to hear my voice.

He wants me to leave Teddy & rent out “our” apartment myself – he says that I have to be making enough money on my own – just in the clubs – & with my job in the law office, there’s no reason why I couldn’t swing living alone.  & then he could come by whenever he was free.  I’m not sure I like that idea – I mean, he’s still married to Doreen in that scenario – & what about Teddy?  & what about the stag party business?  I mean – I really like doing stags.  It’s a different kind of show than in the clubs.  I hate how Teddy thinks he’s my manager but still – it’s fun.  I don’t know what to do.  Jesse thinks I’m wasting my time with dancing – I should be back in school – which I wanted to do this semester but I just didn’t have the fucking time – or the money – as usual, Teddy has our finances in such a mess that I don’t have a choice but to work as many hours at as many jobs as I can.  I mean – I’m working almost full-time at the law office & I have to go back to UB in January or else I could lose my job there.  & I really don’t want to lose my job at Truman, Durant & Randall.  I like working there.  It balances out my career as a dancer.

But of course – the thought of having my very own place & being able to write whenever I want & whatever I want & not have to hide anything & be able to openly love the man that I truly love – that is so alluring – I just can’t help thinking about it.  I have the apartment decorated already in my mind with my books & my plants & even a few kitties.  I would love a cat but Teddy always says no – we party too much – we’re on the go too much – no cats.

I feel guilty thinking about it – thinking about Jesse all the time – writing about him in my notebook – whether I’m journaling or writing poems – especially sitting here with Teddy smoking our after-dinner joint – but I can’t help it – I’m totally addicted to him & I don’t care.  I need him.  I need what he gives me & I want what he gives me &  –

At that moment, Teddy had an attack of emotional bummer.  “I need a hug,” he moaned, so I held him for a while.  Could he feel I was writing about Jesse?  Can he hear my thoughts?

“The Cowboys” are on TV.  I love that movie.  I’m making popcorn – well, I’m in the kitchen – obviously I’m not making popcorn – I’m writing!  I’m waiting for the burner to warm up.  Anyway, Felix is stopping by soon – I’m so glad – it’s been ages since I’ve seen him.

9 p.m.  Teddy had to run out to pay George Conrad – we’re getting weed & coke off him – as soon as the car pulled away, I was on the phone – praying that she wouldn’t answer –

Jesse answers: “Hello!”

“Jesse!”

“Yes!”

“I love you!”

“You must have the wrong number!”

“That’s ok!  See ya tomorrow!”

“Bye!”

Hang up – Five minutes later, Teddy is back & Felix is arriving & it’s party time again.

***

He told me that Doreen & he were having an argument when I called last night – that’s why he was so gruff.  He said he really needed to hear those words at that moment.  I said, “That’s why I called.”

We both believe in karma.  We both believe that we are meant to be together.  “It’ll all work out one way or another,” he insists.

I was there at 8 a.m.  I had to be – I thought about him all night.  I drove like an Indy-car racer the whole way over – I lucked out on the lights – I flew into his arms.  It is so good to be held by him.  We smoked a joint – talked – looked at Christmas catalogues – then went to bed – made love again & again & again.  Intense heights – emotion.  I was in tears after an especially intense orgasm – Jesse wondering & a little scared – “I’ve never made a woman cry like that before.”  “Don’t worry,” I replied, “it’s just too much feeling – I have to release it somehow – ya know?”

***

Just finished a dinner Teddy praised to the skies – steak, hash browns, salad.  “You can’t leave me,” he told me, “I love your cooking too much.”  I smiled.  “I’m not going anywhere,” I said.  When I was cooking, Teddy was outside, putting a new side-view mirror on his truck & the phone rang.  It was Jesse.  He was hanging out at Muldoon’s, waiting for Doreen to get out of her doctor’s appointment.  “I’m in here with a couple of guys from high school I haven’t seen in years & it’s like a reunion.  I’ve smoked some joints & I’m really drunk.  I can’t believe I’m able to talk to you this long.  I was expecting to say I love you & hear you say, wrong number.”

“It’s our lucky day,” I laughed.

***

Thanksgiving.  I woke up at 6:30 – as usual – even if the alarm wasn’t set.  I finally got up at 8 a.m.  I’ve been watching “Bewitched” & smoking a joint.  Now “I Love Lucy” is on.  Teddy’s still in bed.

I should have been more careful – writing last night – because Teddy wanted to know what “secrets” I was writing.  “I have always had secrets to write down,” I said.  “I have notebooks full of them.”  I suppose if you’re writing secrets, you should write them in secret.

The trouble is, I’m so much in love with Jesse that I want to be with him all the time & writing about him brings him closer to me.

I still can’t admit to Teddy that I want out of the relationship although it’s harder & harder to assure him that I still want in.  He knows it, too.  “Do you think I can’t tell?  You’re different – you’re thinking of him – I can tell!  You’re always preoccupied!  I love you & I want to stay with you!”

“I can’t help it,” I answered.  “I am in love with him.  What can I do?  You can’t turn off your feelings like a faucet.  Be patient with me, Teddy.”

“I am patient.  I am more patient than you realize, I think.  But you seem to be slipping away more & more.”

“I’m sorry,” I said.  “Teddy, I wanted to have fun with you this evening & if we get all bummed out talking about this, we won’t.”

“Okay,” he said.  “Teddy bummer time is over.”  We made chocolate-chip cookies, watched the hockey game & passed out on the couch.

I should have told him that if he hadn’t been so stingy with sex to begin with, I never would have fallen for Jesse – so when Teddy tries to make love to me now, it wouldn’t be such an epic failure.  But what am I supposed to do?  I tried to tell him over & over again & it didn’t do any good.

& maybe it wasn’t about the sex.  Maybe Jesse & I would have fallen in love anyway.  I mean – I could have had sex with anyone.  Literally – I have my pick of any of the dudes in the club – in any one of the clubs – if all I wanted was sex.  & not just dudes – I could have women, too.  I could have anyone I want.  But it’s not about sex.  It’s more than that.  It’s much more.

Whenever I think of leaving Teddy for good, I think of our trailer & how we love to camp & how – if I’m with Jesse – I’ll never camp in that trailer again.  My “home away from home” – & then I think – why are you carrying this shell around with you?  But I think of how much it means to Teddy.  Somehow, the trailer seems to symbolize our entire marriage!  It’s just we’ve worked so hard to keep the payments up & – I can hear Teddy saying it – now it’s for nothing.  Or is it?  Didn’t we totally enjoy it when we had it?  & what about Cori? – bored shitless all summer at Sherkston – wondering why on earth were we spending all this money to camp there – isn’t there more to life?  Isn’t there a better way to spend our money?  Or even – gasp! – to save our money?  Worrying about making payments on a motorcycle we barely ride because we’re camping all the time.  & when we’re not camping, we’re working.  Worry, worry, worry – mostly money worries – ever since I married Teddy it’s been non-stop worry.

Oh well – he’s up now – I gotta make breakfast – then take a bath & get ready to go to Cleveland for dinner.  Three hour drive for a one hour meal.  & then the drive home.  But whatever.  Jesse & Doreen will be there with the baby – they’re spending the night – oh, this will be fun.

“Life was easy when it was boring.”    – the Police.

11:45 p.m.  I can’t sleep.  Listening to the Grateful Dead: “Oh the first days are the hardest days, don’t you worry anymore.  Cuz when life looks like easy street, there is danger at the door.”

Teddy’s in bed.  I can’t sleep.  I mix myself a drink, put on the Grateful Dead.  He rushes out & downs my drink in one gulp.  “I’m lonely.  Aren’t you tired yet?”  It hasn’t even been 5 minutes since he went to bed.

I say, “I’m gonna smoke this joint.  Stay here & smoke it with me.”

“No, I have to sleep.”

I have to piss.  I’m on the toilet & he follows me in & sits on the tub.  “I miss you in bed.”

“Honey,” I say, patiently, like I’m talking to a child, “last night I went to bed before you did.  Tonight I’m awake.  I feel like listening to some tunes & smoking a joint & having a drink.  & writing a little.  Unless I’m with you – if you want to join me, my friend the notebook will leave.”

I’m listening to this album & I really want to hear the rest – music really nourishes me so – the Dead especially so.  Like my piece of earth that I need to touch to be alive.  But I think of Teddy lying in bed alone, wanting me & it hurts – am I his earth?  It hurts so to hurt him.

He just came out.  “Wow, I’m fucked up, I’m peeing my brains out.”

“Oh honey, have a toke of this – ”

“No, smoke it, I gotta pee.”  He picked up the book he’s reading.

“Honey, I’m sorry I can’t sleep – ”

“Don’t worry about it.  Have a couple shots – ”

I sit here – toking on this joint which is now a roach on the hemostats – listening to Pigpen sing: “One way or another, one way or another, one way or another, this darkness gotta give.”

2:45 a.m.  Totally fucked up.  Teddy’s in bed.  Wishing for Jesse.  Listening to the Dead.  Wishing for Jesse.  Jesse.  Jesse.

***

I talked to Jesse early this morning – very upsetting.  I had to tell him that I wouldn’t/couldn’t see him anymore in order to save/endure my marriage.  & I was unable to do it.  Instead I told him I was going to “stay on my own” for a while.  He said he didn’t know how I was going to do that with Teddy around.  He said I would be better off getting my own place & not seeing either of us.  “But that’s not what you want, is it, Cori.”  I hung up on him & sobbed for an hour.

I’m skipping so much – how Teddy found my diary Saturday morning & read it & then was in a rage & hit me – he fucking hit me! – I was going to leave but he wrestled me for my car keys & wouldn’t let me leave the house – how I begged Paulie to call Jesse & let him know I was in trouble – how I slept off my hangover & felt better – I was hungover – of course – from work the night before – & of course Teddy was pissed off about that too – me getting home so late from work all fucked up.

Then Jesse called me at 7 p.m. & told me to pack up & he would be by in 25 minutes for me.  & I said no.  Teddy standing there yelling at me – making a bad scene worse.  I was shaking like a leaf.  Letting down Jesse.  Letting down myself.

So this morning – I ended it – or tried to anyway.  I don’t want what’s going on anymore, honestly.  I think Jesse’s pissed off at me & I don’t blame him.  & Teddy – well he’s all pissed off too. & I feel like a complete shit because – what the fuck, these guys were best friends & we’re all family & – what are we going to do?  What am I going to do?

***

Jesse called me this morning – he was served divorce papers this morning.  He said the charges are adultery.  He wanted to know if Teddy had talked to Doreen.  I said I didn’t know.   I mean – they were sitting & talking together at Thanksgiving but I didn’t think anything of it – I don’t think Teddy would be so cruel as to tell Doreen that Jesse & I were having an affair – & would he want to advertise his own embarrassment?  But I don’t know.   I honestly don’t know anything anymore.

***

Teddy just left for work.  He hung out to make sure Jesse didn’t call which pissed me right off – I told him Jesse wouldn’t.  I mean – little does he know that Jesse won’t call because I told him I’d call him – but Jesse won’t call anyway.  I just know.

“I don’t know,” Teddy says.  “I told him not to call anymore two weeks ago.  You told him Saturday night & he called yesterday morning!  & you – instead of telling never to call again, you talked to him for an hour!  So yeah, I’ll hang out & make sure.”

Teddy is so vindictive – so bitter.  “I didn’t ask for this.  He entered my marriage, not the other way around.  I’m just reacting.  I’ve been pushed & pushed & pushed & now goddammit, I’m pushing back!”  The thing is, he’s wrong.  Jesse didn’t enter Teddy’s marriage.  Which is our marriage anyway.  Jesse entered my life.  It’s amazing how Teddy makes this all about him.  Like he’s a victim or something.

I have to get moving.  It’s almost 9.  I have to eat, take a bath, do my hair, dress – I have a dentist’s appointment at 10:30 & I have to be at work at the law office at 1.  I also have to find a place to hide my diary – since now I know that Teddy will read it.  I hate living like this.  But I have to write.

I feel numb & sad again but that’s probably because of Teddy’s rage this morning.  He called back to apologize but also to reiterate his right of vindication.  Which cancels out the apology, if you ask me.

I can’t wait to call Jesse.  Last night, I thought of him non-stop.  I dreamed of him.  I’m dying to know how Doreen got information enough to divorce Jesse for adultery.  Or if there are other women involved.  Although I doubt Jesse will tell me that part of it.  I’m also curious to know if someone “anonymous” called her & told her about Jesse & me like someone “anonymous” called Teddy.

Writing is the only thing that’s keeping me sane.  My mind has been racing a million miles a second – to keep all this in will stifle me.  But I think it’s a drag I have to rip out each page as I write & hide it.  I know I should have done that from the start but hell – the purpose of a notebook is to keep everything together in one place – a place that was carried around with me – to be opened up & relived at will.  “I know I’m a fine one to talk,” I bitterly complained to Teddy, “but reading someone’s diary is as low as you get.”

“Oh, & cheating on your husband isn’t?” he sneered.

“Maybe you should fuck me more than once a month,” I shot back.  Not very nice but I don’t feel very nice nowadays.

“We shouldn’t have secrets from one another,” he retorted.

“I have a whole room full of secrets.  I always have!”  This makes me think of how Helena would read my diary & tell my mother.  & I never suspected because I thought she was above that.  I mean, if you have to read it, OK – I respect curiosity – but to tell – & then to be punished for what I write – !

I am just more honorable than that.  Yes – as an adulteress – I have to lie & cheat & deceive – but those are the rules.  Teddy would say that those are lousy rules – but I live by the rules that I have.  All I know is that I love Jesse & I will do what I have to do to protect that love.  On the same token – I also love Teddy & I will also protect that love.  Contradictory but that’s the way it is.

3:35 p.m.  On break.  Upset beyond upset.  It’s so hard to believe – I’m here at the law office, working – doing research – updating client files in the computer – while the whole time, my mind is racing a million miles a second.  Going over conversations – arguments – pros – cons – as confused & lost as ever.

When I got to work after being at the dentist’s, I called Jesse right away but there was no answer.  I let it ring as long as I could but had to hang up – I had to get to work.  I was coming out of the phone booth in the lobby just as he was walking by – all done up in leathers & chains – looking really menacing.  “Jesse!”  I cried, so happy to see him.  He turned around.  “Where have you been all morning?”  he demanded.  “Why didn’t you call?  I waited around all morning, like a gentleman & then I called over here but they couldn’t find you so I finally decided to come over.  Here’s your tape.”  He handed me a cassette tape.  He’s been making me tapes since the beginning.  I have a whole stack of them.  “Our” songs.

“I didn’t call because Teddy hung out until nine & I really don’t want to call from home anymore & I had a dentist’s appointment.  I just got here.”

“Well, I got go, the bike’s on the street.”  He turned & started to walk away.

“Jesse!”  I caught up.  “What’s the matter?  Are you mad at me?”

“Yes!  I’m upset you didn’t call – ”

“I told you about that – ”

“I’m upset about the whole thing.  Since this weekend.”

“Jesse, I – I really got to get to work.”

“Well, I got to get to my bike.”

“Tomorrow, I have an hour to kill between here & my doctor’s appointment – do you want to meet for a drink?”

“I don’t see the point of meeting.”

“Well, if that’s the way you feel about it!”  I snapped & walked away.  I thought I heard him whine, “Ya know, I have feelings too – ”  but I no longer cared.

***

Between last entry & this one, Jesse & I made up – I broke down & decided to leave Teddy & move over to the apartment on the West Side – the same old arguments & sob-sessions & emotional manipulations occurred with Teddy – the same old great sex & emotional highs & idealistic plans occurred with Jesse – culminating in a frenzied last Friday night – with Teddy & Jesse both hanging out at The Canteen – all through my shift – actually sitting together & drinking together & acting like best friends & brothers – like some modern-day western – Earl was there, too – me, breaking down in the dressing room – sobbing into a towel – totally out of my mind with sorrow & insanity.  Queen came into the dressing room as I was sobbing & she held me – then she told me to get my shit together since I had a set coming up – she rolled a joint laced with coke & I got really high – I fixed my make-up & went out to dance.   I sat with Earl the rest of the night.  I really didn’t want to go home with Teddy – but I didn’t have a choice.

Teddy breaking my heart with his grief at my leaving.  Almost harder to take than anything.

On Monday, Jesse pressured me about when I was going to move in the apartment on the West Side – “I might have to rent it to someone else,” he said.  “If I have to get a lawyer for this divorce.”

“Jesse, I really don’t know, maybe January?”

“Do you want to leave him?  I mean, what are you doing, Cori?  Do you know?”

“What are you doing?”  I countered.  “You’re going to be divorced, are you going to be living there with me?  Or what?”

“Well,” he said, “I own the house we live in presently.  So until all the legalities are taken care of, I have no plans of leaving.  If she wants to leave, that’s her business.  But we’ll have to work out custody of Zach.”

That didn’t make me feel very secure at all.

I have been in the law library, looking up divorce law.  If Doreen served him divorce papers & the grounds were adultery, she would have to have some serious proof.  It would have to be iron-clad.  More than just some “anonymous” person calling her & telling her that Jesse & me were hanging out together when I’m working.  I mean – she would have to hire a private detective & get pictures & maybe even recordings of phone calls – if that is even possible.  I really doubt she did any of that.  & who else would do that?  I mean – it’s just so unlikely.  Maybe some dude from the club is fucked up enough to follow me around but I honestly haven’t noticed anyone following me.  I do pay attention.  I don’t want to sound like I’m paranoid but when you’re having living outside of the rules of decent society, you watch your own back.  & I don’t see how anyone could have gotten a view into our room where we make love.  It’s impossible.  The curtains are always drawn – it’s on the second floor – it’s impossible.  Even if someone was trying to see – there’s no way they ever could.  The most anyone could ever know is that I arrive at that house at a certain time & leave a half-hour or so later.  Sometimes I’m there longer.  But that in itself doesn’t prove anything.  Certainly not adultery.

There’s something terribly wrong with that story.  I have never thought he was lying to me before – & I really – really – want to believe him now.  But there’s something wrong with it.  Maybe she filed for divorce but there’s no way that the actual grounds are adultery.  She probably wanted to file for adultery.  But that’s really hard to prove without pictures.  & you can’t just have pictures of me arriving at the apartment.  Or even pictures of us holding hands at the Club.  You have to have real damaging photographs – Jesse & me in flagrante delicto.  I mean – there’s no way.  Absolutely no way.

But.  Sooner or later.  The shit will hit the fan.  With or without pictures.  & I’ve had enough.

This morning, I called him at our usual time – I decided to break up with him.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  & guess what?  He broke up with me.  “I can’t handle it.  I love you & I know you love me but you obviously aren’t ready to leave.  You obviously love Teddy & care for him a great deal no matter how unhappy you may be.  My marriage is falling apart because of you & now you’re refusing to leave him.”

“Well,” I said, “I’m not happy to hear this but if it’s your decision, I’ll respect it.  You know I love you.”

“I still, ya know, want to be friends.”

“Well, Jesse, we were friends to begin with, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be now, or ever, ya know?” I added, “& we’re still family, aren’t we?  So it’s not like we’re going to stop seeing each other.  Every single holiday – there I’ll be.”

“I will always love you,” he said.

“I will always love you, Jesse,” I answered.  “& you never know, perhaps in the future, there’ll be a chance for us.”

I have to admit, I’m rather relieved.  It was getting to be too much.  I couldn’t take the pressure – although I loved the excitement – & to a certain extent – the turmoil.

Later, I received a note that Teddy had called.  I went down to the lobby to the phone booths & closed myself into one to call him back.  He said, “Doreen called me.  She wants to use your diary as proof of your & Jesse’s affair – ”

What?”  I was totally aghast.  “You told her about my diary?”

“Of course I did.  I know about this not only because of anonymous phone calls but because of your own stupid writing.”

“Well, she’s not using my diary as proof.  Forget about it.”

“I think – what’s the word you lawyer people use? – if you get subpoenaed, you don’t have a choice in the matter, do you?”  & he laughed.

I thought quickly.  I knew where the diary was – & I knew what I had to do with it.  “Well,” I said lightly, “I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”  I hung up & went back to work.

***

A few days later.  Jesse called.  “Well, you certainly give up easily!”

I sighed.  “You were the one who decided to break up because you couldn’t handle it.  I stayed away in respect of your feelings.”  Also because I do not want to continue anymore.  But I did not say that.

He said – very revealing, I thought – “Last time I told you that, you said that you realized that you couldn’t live without me.”  So did he say it this last night to get that reaction again – with a bigger, more physical commitment?  To get me to move as soon as possible?

***

Teddy reminded me that Doreen wanted to see my diary.  I laughed at him outright.  “You must think I’m a real stupid chick to give you my diary so you can give it to her.  She knew what Jesse was like years & years ago & she chose to stay with him.  If she wants to divorce him, she can walk out the door all by herself.  She doesn’t need my diary to help her make that move.”

After he left for work, I took all the various pages of my diary – from all the various hiding places – & took them up into the attic.  I knew that it would be safest to destroy them but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I pried up a floorboard & put the diary underneath & then hammered it back down.  If Teddy asked about it again, I would tell him that I threw the diary into the Niagara River.

I thought, it’ll be a while before I keep a diary again.

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 18

[Summer-Fall, 1981]

When I hate something & it can’t be avoided – working at Jenss – at AM&A’s – eating at Roy Rogers or Friendly’s – whatever – I figure it out – I spend my time thinking about it – since working requires so little of my brain that I am always thinking of this or that to relieve the tedium – figuring out why I hate it & how that works against me & for me so I can understand it better & usually – I start liking whatever it is I was hating as I come to understand it.

Sometimes I still hate it & leave it behind but miss it when it’s gone – it’s stupid, I know.

***

Tomorrow I’m going to start looking for another job.  I’d like 40 hours a week at $4 an hour – at least.  I can’t survive on any less.  This $3.10 an hour bullshit can’t cut it.  I’m also going to try to find a roommate.  I asked Karen at work if she would like to get a place.  If not Karen, then someone else.  But trying to make it on my own isn’t working.  It’s lonely & I’m always broke.

Donovan thinks I should get a roommate –  he’s all for Karen & me having a place together.  But of course he would be, that lets him off the hook.  He came up from Cleveland last weekend & hung out with me here in Buffalo & we tripped & went to Niagara Falls.  But it was too intense & I was actually glad when he left.  I love him too much.  & with Donovan, I’m getting an attitude similar to the one I  had with Barrett – that it’s enough that he loves me.  I’m satisfied with that – I mean, I’m not a selfish bitch crying more more more.  I’m satisfied that he loves me & I don’t want more.  But I do want more.  & that sucks – ya know?  It really sucks!  Cuz I need him!  I just need him!  I need his love every day & all through the night!  He says he doesn’t know if he could handle being with me all the time.  He says he isn’t ready.  I can understand all that –  I can understand where he’s coming from & I appreciate the love he’s offering – that it’s all he can do right now –  but at the same time, I’m disappointed.  I have huge needs that aren’t being met.  What can I say?  I have a right to be satisfied, I have a right to be taken care of.  I mean –  it’s one thing to masturbate – to get yourself off – but it’s not the same –  it’s just not the same as being kissed & hugged & having someone go down on you & make you cum & cum & cum.  I wish I didn’t feel this way.  I wish I didn’t hurt so much.

Later.  Teddy just called.  I’m going to go partying with him tonight.  I’m well aware that I’m on the rebound.  It’s over with Donovan –  no matter what he says.  He wants me when he wants me & that’s not enough for me.

I did write him a letter.  I said I would wait for him – that I wasn’t giving up.  That maybe it would take years, but I would be here – but what the hell, what difference does it make?

***

I feel utterly & totally miserable.

Teddy & I tripped last night – on this really nice microdot that makes you grin like no end!  It’s such nice acid!  Plus a quaalude later on to mellow it out a little.  We partied with Jesse & Doreen & then cruised on his Harley then parked – he said he was getting “too fucked up” to drive – & walked to Delaware Park.   It was nice.  In bed, I lost it – I was really exhausted – too many drugs, too much alcohol – I keep going somehow – & all the tears I’ve been storing up & not crying – in fact I’m crying now – anyway, he kept on asking why I was crying & I couldn’t tell him – I just couldn’t – so he gave me a shot of bourbon & a Pepsi chaser & a joint & rubbed my back & didn’t ask questions.  Eventually, of course, we talked – after I cried a little more – I expressed my love & disappointment for Donovan as coherently as I could.  He was really comforting.  He asked me why I was sleeping with him & I sort of sobbed –  “To be close.”  He told me I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted.  After a while, he asked me about Donovan –  how we met, etc. & I told him everything, & as I was talking, it hit me – since I left Cleveland, Donovan’s & my encounters have been so fraught with emotion – I can barely stand the intensity.  It makes me think of the last couple of months with Jon.  Never knowing whether he truly loved me or not – or knowing that he did but I was on my own anyway.  That maybe someday we would be together – well, that “maybe someday” is killing me.

Another thing – Donovan won’t ask me to come back.  What I really wanted when I announced I was leaving Cleveland was for Donovan to make me stay.  Teddy asked me if the thought that Donovan sees/fucks other girls bothers me.  I said that Jesse had asked me the same thing a few months ago & I said that yes – I was jealous but I got off thinking that he knows how to turn them on cuz I taught him how to do it – I’m proud of that.  We were quiet a long time – I don’t know – maybe we were sleeping & I said, “Oh it’s gonna take a while getting used to you,” & he said, “That’s what it takes,” or something like that.

I don’t know what is happening anymore.

I don’t understand why I can understand where Donovan is at – why his reactions seem perfectly logical – emotional/logical –  cuz he’s “young” – I don’t understand why I can intellectually comprehend the situation & why I’m emotionally breaking up over it.

It’s – this thing with Teddy just happened, ya know, out of the blue – & I guess I need it – what Teddy is giving me I want from Donovan.  Wow!  It’s that simple, I never thought of it before.  Except that Teddy isn’t Donovan.  I mean, nowhere close.  He’s ok but he doesn’t send me to heaven like Donovan does.

Late afternoon.  I can’t understand – sorta – why I need to be so close – so badly – just the physical nearness.  My heart aches – literally aches –  the longing for Donovan is so great.  But I’ve fucked the relationship up from the start.  I never took it seriously until it had become so serious that it was eating me alive – that’s what it feels like.  I don’t know how it happened – I swore I’d never let it happen again – that I would become so emotionally & sexually dependent on one man that I would lose all equilibrium – all rationality.  I know I’m looking at this too emotionally – but I have tried – I have tried & tried again – to be totally intellectual about it & I have failed miserably.  I keep telling myself that just because he doesn’t want to live with me doesn’t shut off the entire relationship.  I mean – I have to learn to shift my emotions to another plane so that I can simply love him & not expect anything – get together when we can –  keep in touch.  So once again, I have to put up with something I don’t want to get the little bit I do want.  He wants to keeps the distance.  I mean – I would just as soon end it all now.  What’s the point?

It’s funny – the other day the first time I had ever mentioned Jon in front of Donovan.  That’s another thing that occurred to me.  Donovan & I know nothing about each other.  I mean –  I know Donovan –  the man, the Deadhead, the partier, the Union member, the guy who carefully deposits his paycheck into his bank account each week.  & he knows about me – Cori – who writes, who’s going back to college, who loves to sing & dance & party.  But we don’t anything about each other’s relationships.  Ok, he knows about Paul K. & all that shit that happened in high school – who doesn’t?  But I don’t know about any of his girlfriends before me – honestly I never cared – I mean, I was almost 20 when I met him – why would I be interested in some high school romance that he had?  I always assumed he had other girls besides me.  I just never really cared.  OK –  maybe I did –  but I didn’t think I could do anything about it & it wasn’t cool to care.  I don’t know how many times he’s been in love or if I’m the only one.  But really – I wonder why we’ve never talked about it?  Of course – that’s my policy – don’t ask questions.  Don’t ask questions & don’t volunteer information.  His business is his business.  My business is mine.  But when you’re in a “love” relationship with a person, wouldn’t you want to know all about them?

I mean – last night, when we were walking around North Buffalo – Teddy & I talked – he said he had been married for 5 years but he’s been divorced for the past 2 or 3 or something.  He said she was a good lady – they were happy together – at first – but as time went on, she bitched more & more about his drug use – she had been a partier, but quit after they got married, for reasons Teddy still can’t figure out – making him first quit psychedelics & then pills & then weed – which is what ended the relationship.  He said the divorce was real friendly but the marriage had to end.  & then he met Shera & he was happy with her – of course I knew about Shera because Mac lived with Shera before Teddy did & he was very bitter about how that all turned out – but oh well.  Shera’s with Teddy’s roommate Jordan now.

Teddy seems to be really into me – unless he just wants a babe cuz Shera’s with Jordan.  Who knows.  He’s always got weed & he’s usually got acid.  Hanging out with him takes my mind off Donovan – which is a good thing.  He’s not much into sex.  But oh well – you don’t get everything.  & there’s always a party around him.  Jesse & Doreen & Dorren’s brother Tommy & so many other people whose names I can’t remember right now.  It’s a lot of fun but I just wish everything had turned out differently.

***

This weekend Teddy & I went camping up in Sherkston, Ontario.  The weather was mostly cloudy, but cleared up Monday.  I like it cloudy anyway.  There were 3 couples with us.  Doug & Danielle are Teddy’s oldest friends & have a new baby, Dean.  He is one of the smallest babies I have ever seen.  Doug & Teddy work together.  Jesse & Doreen were also there & another couple, Sam & Pamela.

We had killer mushrooms & a new drug I have never heard of before – MDA.  It’s like coke & acid & speed all mixed together.  I got sick off it, but once I threw up, I was off like you wouldn’t believe.  Like riding a comet across the sky for 12 hours.  Feeling like I was in love with the entire world & everyone in it.  Thirstier than fuck.  I could have drunk up the entire lake.  I really didn’t want to drink on it – just water.  I just wanted water.

Oh!  I almost forgot to tell you.  When we bought the drugs – the MDA & the weed & the acid for the camping trip – we went to this friend of Teddy’s who lives over a men’s shop in Williamsville – Kyle, I think his name was – but Patty O. from Cleveland was there.  We were like – hey!  What are you doing here?  He was up visiting his folks – & doing some business – he didn’t say so but that’s the gut feeling I got.  I’m wondering if the MDA came from him.  But I didn’t ask any questions so I don’t know.

***

Tish called Friday night.  She likes college but she’s homesick.  She said there was a mixer on campus but she couldn’t go to it because she was only 17.  I told her to go anyway.  She’s such a goodie-two-shoes.

***

Things are going really good.  I got stung by a bee yesterday on my foot & other than swelling & feeling a little out of it, I’m ok.  Teddy put an FM converter into my car & fixed the antenna.  He’s so great.  I’m so glad I know him.  He’s helped me out so much.  He has a few vices.  He’s a TV addict, for one.  He turns the TV on even if he’s not watching it.  But he watched TV almost all the time.  He cried when people win the big “Showcase Showdown” on “The Price is Right”.  I mean – that’s really weird!  We’ve had a few arguments.  He has a terrible temper – although it flairs up & then it’s gone.  But I hate arguing & it stays with me far longer than it stays with him.  He forgets about them –  I don’t.  Teddy’s a challenge.  He’s always razzing me & I have to be on my toes to get a retort in.  He’s like a brother in that way.  He says I’m growing on him.  I’m happy about that.  He’s so good to me.

Soon school starts.  I’m so happy to be going back to UB.  I wish I didn’t have to work as well but that’s life.  At least I’m able to go.  The Dead concert is September 22 –  I was in line at Ticketron as soon as tickets went on sale.   & we’re moving into a new apartment – Teddy used to live there with Jordan before Jordan bought the house where they live now – but he wants to have a place for just us.  He’s friend with the landlord who lives downstairs – it seems like Teddy is friends with everyone.

***

Our new landlord, Paolo Rodreguez – everyone calls him “Paulie” – is a really great guy.  He’s another partier – always has weed, always has a beer to offer – & he’s a bigger Deadhead than Donovan is – amazing!  He’s going to the Dead show on the 22nd, too.  We’re all going.  It’s going to be a great party.  His wife Marion isn’t any kind of a partier.  She’s super straight – blonde, blue-eyed – I can’t see what the two of them saw in each other.  They argue all the time.  But maybe they like making up.

***

Oh my fucking god!  I got to the Dead show & was walking up the steps to the Aud with Teddy & Jesse & a few other of our friends & there was Donovan & a bunch of his friends from Cleveland – & I thought I was literally going to die – & then Paulie grabs Teddy & gives him this giant kiss right on the lips!  It was like – whoa!  Nobody knew what to say or do!  But it took my mind off Donovan!  I didn’t see him the rest of the night.  & it was a great show!  I tripped & danced all night.  Of course I missed all my classes the next day but oh well.  It was worth it.

***

I woke up depressed.  I grabbed my keys – rolled some joints – ran out the door.  It was barely dawn – the sun was just coming up over the Buffalo rooftops.  I cruised around for a while – up Bailey to  E.Delavan to Fillmore back to Main & then to Minnesota to home –  smoking & listening to tunes – at home I ate & now I’m feeling better.

I hate waking up depressed.  This is the first time in a long time, but I had this dream last night – which I can no longer remember – but it was about Donovan.  Being with Teddy has largely driven thoughts about Donovan out of my mind & I haven’t heard from him anyway.  I know I shouldn’t let dream affect me so much but when I’m in the dream, the situations & emotions are real & when I wake up, I’m still in the grasp of the dream.  I’ve woken up exhilaratingly happy from dreams but also horribly depressed –

I felt bad about getting up & leaving Teddy the way I did this morning & when I got back, he was gone –  he had to work.  But I was depressed & I knew driving around would make me feel better – it always does.  I learned a long time ago not to wallow in my blues, I have to get out & move around, drive around, do something.  I’ve mellowed out a lot since I met Teddy – a of course, having endless amounts of weed to smoke will do that – but there’s still plenty of depression & anxiety still lurking in my shadows.  I just have to learn to deal with what I don’t want to look at, because they’re there – in my dreams.

***

I’m sitting with Teddy & this other guy, Dave, smoking a joint.  Dave is really weird.  He knew Timothy Leary & was on the bus with Ken Kesey.  He lived in San Francisco during the Acid Tests & apparently a big part of his brain is still there.  Bard Ellison told me all this about Dave – he’s known him for years.  Dave gives me the creeps.  I get a real malevolent vibe from him.  Teddy doesn’t like him either, but he owed Teddy money, so here he is.  Teddy doesn’t believe in people stopping in for a minute, they have to stay a while.  He says that it doesn’t look so suspicious if people stay a while, it’s like they’re friends & hanging out, as opposed to customers.  Anyway, Teddy & I have to leave in a minute, so we don’t have to put up with Dave for very long.  We have to take the bike to Tommy’s place off of Bailey Ave, where it will winter with Tommy’s two bikes & Chris’s bike.  Chris is Tommy’s roommate, the guy from whom I bought my beautiful leather jacket.  It was his mother’s – she wore it one season back in the 50’s & then got married & started having babies & then put it in the closet & never wore it again.  It’s beautiful – real old-fashioned thick 50’s cowhide. Chris is good-looking in a Mick Jagger kind of way & a real sharp dresser.  He has a really weird girlfriend named Lorrie.  Tommy can’t stand her.  She’s Irish – or she says she is –  & says she’s a witch.  Her mother is only 37 & hangs out with them, along with a 12-year-old daughter who apparently parties with them.  Tommy says they’re all creepy as fuck.  They all dress in long, flowing dresses, capes, ruffles – the whole Stevie Nicks look.  I mean, I like those clothes too, but not every day.  I mean – it’s not practical.  & they all drink to excess.  Straight liquor right out of the bottle.  But even if you didn’t see them doing it, you’d know they were that kind of drinkers – they have that look.  Like they would drink gasoline if it would get them drunk.

Teddy & I are moving into our apartment on Minnesota Ave.  I’m sad because I really like this neighborhood – Hertel Avenue near Delaware Avenue – it has everything here – a good cheap cleaners, a shoe repair, a deli, a gas station, a fish market, a meat market, Rib City, Lunetta’s Italian Restaurant, the new wave boutique & the best head shop in Buffalo just a step away.

I gotta go – we’re going downtown with Bernie Agrioli – a friend of Teddy’s & a great character – to pay the cable bill.

An hour later.  We’ve been downtown with Bernie & stopped in at Tommy’s to get him high.  He was all upset.  Apparently Jesse has left Doreen – he’s shacked up with some blonde over in Riverside – “some biker chick he met at The Canteen,” Tommy said with obvious disgust in his voice.  Tommy & Doreen are very close.

“It won’t last,” Teddy said.  “It never does.”

“That’s not the point,” said Tommy.  “It disrespects my sister.  They’ve been married six years & he’s done this how many times?”

“That’s what I mean,” Teddy insisted.  “It’s not a big deal.”

“It’s a big deal to Doreen,” Tommy argued.   Teddy shrugged & the matter was dropped.

***

Jesse’s gone back to Doreen.  We were over there on the bike.  We’re putting it away for the season & this is our last ride.  Jesse said, “Mine is going into storage too, let’s go for a little ride as well.”  I could tell Doreen didn’t want to go – according to Teddy, that’s one of reasons Jesse strays – Doreen doesn’t like to ride – which I don’t get at all, cuz I love to ride! – but she put on jeans & a jacket & we cruised around the city & then ended up at Falco’s for a drink.  Doreen & Teddy sat at a table while Jesse & I played a game of pool.

I couldn’t hear what Doreen & Teddy were saying but I could catch snatches.  She was talking about Jesse – how much she loved him – & I think Teddy was telling her that she should leave him for good & find someone who was going to treat her like she “should be treated”.  “I know you’re right,” I hear her say, as I bent over to take a shot, “but I love him too much to ever leave him.  & he knows that.”

Was I imagining it or was Jesse looking at me with more warmth than usual?  I must have been imagining it because after the game, he went & sat next to Doreen & put his arm around her.  He seemed like he was happy to be back with her.

After that, they went home & we went to Tommy’s to put away the bike.  We’re storing it in his garage.  Teddy was on the bike – I was driving my car.  We hung out at Tommy’s for a while.  Tommy is happy that Doreen is reunited with the man she loves but overall he is very sad.  He’s laid off from Chevy again & he wishes he had a girlfriend.  He complains a lot about the bar scene – what a drag it is.  I want to set Tommy up with Karen from Jenss, but Teddy doesn’t think he’s her type.  I think any girl would be Tommy’s type.  Chris stopped in, with a girl named Angie – I guess he was seeing her before Lorrie – Tommy seems hopeful that he ditched Lorrie for good.

***

Another night.  Tommy is over. We’re all watching the Sabres-Mapleleafs game on Canadian TV.  Teddy & I are just getting off on acid.  He got two free hits in the course of a weed deal last week & then lost them.  I found them under the desk, under the brick that holds up the short leg.

This game is already tied up.  The Mapleleafs just got another one.  I’ve really become a Sabres fan since I’ve gotten to know Teddy.  The fortunes of the Sabres & the Bills are life & death situations around here.  I went to my first hockey game a month ago & I had a great time.  I really want to go to the game New Year’s Eve.  It’s called “Pucks & Tux” & you get all dressed up in your finest & go to the hockey game – isn’t that the coolest idea?  I want to get an evening gown & drop acid & have a ball.  Teddy would look great in a tux.  Of course – all men look great in a tux.  Women do too for that matter – look at Marlene Dietrich.

I have to work tomorrow, 12-5.  I’m working at Sibley’s at Main at Eggert.  The big store that used to be a Hengerer’s.  I remember going there with Gramma McBride – years ago – she bought me the cutest sundress.  I remember it really well – different patches of yellow & pink & green gingham – cut really low in the back & with matching panties – it’s funny how I can remember the clothes I had as a little girl.  I’ve always loved clothes – even though I was such a tomboy – part of me always loved to wear pretty things.  Or even my brother’s things – I always loved to dress up – see what I looked like in different kinds of clothes.  Anyway – I’m working in Linens – which is boring as all fuck – not many people buy towels or tablecloths as Christmas presents – a few do but not many –  but oh well, it’s a job.  At least I’m getting a lot of hours.  I must have gotten a decent reference from The May Company.

I’m getting too fucked up to write anymore.

***

I’m sitting with Teddy.  We’re watching Monday night football.  I just typed the first draft of a paper for my poetry class.  School has been really tough this semester.  Trying to work & go to school & party with Teddy has been almost impossible.  Teddy just doesn’t get it that school is work.  He thinks that anyone can sit down & write a paper & then it’s all done & that’s that.  I mean – that’s not how it works.  My grades are going to suck this semester.  I’m thinking of taking a break for next semester & just working.  Teddy’s laid off now & we’re really going to need the money.

They’re giving me lots of hours at work.  Between work & school, I hardly have any time for anything.  But I’m glad to be working –  I’m always glad to be working.  I’m getting to know the department better.  Boy, is it ever disorganized.  & nobody knows anything.  I often find myself answering questions about policy & procedure from people who have worked there a long time, but I have to remember – they worked for Hengerer’s – not Sibley’s – this stuff is new to them – while it’s old to me.  Sibley’s policy is no different than May company’s.

***

Thanksgiving.  Shaker Heights at my mother’s house.  Helena & Geoff is here, as is Tish, home from college & Rocco.  I am here with Teddy.  Bob is here.  Jesse & Doreen is here & Randy & Ruthann & her husband Steve & Theresa & her boyfriend David.  A table so overflowing with food that it is almost obscene.  Lots of drinks, both alcoholic & non-alcoholic.

Helena & Geoff have a happy announcement – she is going to have a baby sometime next June.  There were toasts to that.  & then of course, my mother had to upstage her.  “Bob & I have an announcement,” she gushed in that way she has – even sobriety couldn’t get rid of that.  “In the kitchen, just now, he asked me to marry him & I said yes.”

Another toast.  Jesse was sitting next to me & he said, “So it looks like we’re going to be brother & sister.”  Smiling down at me with big dark eyes that seemed to be saying what?  I didn’t want to think about it.  I had a buzz on & I didn’t trust myself.

I just laughed.  “I guess I have to drink to that, huh?”  lifting my glass.  We clinked our glasses & drank.

Excerpts From a Diary 17

[Spring 1981]

It seems like fucking years since I left Cleveland.  I don’t miss it.  I don’t miss it at all.  I’m more alone here – I spend most of my time & energy behind a typewriter.  I’ve been doing so much writing.  I am sleeping less & eating less too.  I’m happy.  I really am.

I miss Donovan – I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.  I’m really horny.  & I miss the Grateful Dead – I miss hearing them all the time as we cruised around smoking joints.  I need to collect all the albums that Donovan had.  I bought a book called The Summer of Love – it’s all about Haight-Ashbury in the 60’s & so much of it is about the Grateful Dead.

I bought two hits of acid but I really don’t want to trip alone, so I’m just keeping them in my jewelry box.  I’m dying to trip.  This past weekend, the Jimi Hendrix movie was playing at the Granada Theatre but I didn’t go.  Friday night I went to this benefit dance that Mac’s band was playing at – which was kinda dull, honestly – but then I went to the Continental to see Electroman & they rocked!  They really burned ass.  I danced all night long!

I was going to move in with Mac – I had given him money, even moved some of my things in – but I changed my mind.  It’s a cellar apartment & the windows don’t open – I have to have open windows.  I can’t stand closed-in rooms.  Probably what I’ll do is sublet an apartment for the summer & then find a place in the fall – that’ll give me more time to look around, get something I’ll really like.  It’s not bad at Jesse & Doreen’s.  I get high with them & I can type all night if I want to.  But I’ll be moving out soon – I really want my own place & I can tell Doreen really doesn’t want me there.  She’s got a jealousy problem, that one.  But I guess Jesse gives her plenty of reason to be jealous – they’ve been married 6 years & he’s had several affairs already – he’s even moved out a few times.  But he always comes back.  I guess that doesn’t really help the problem but she’s all over him constantly – if he’s five minutes late from work, she wants to know where he was.  That kind of thing would drive me crazy.

My job sucks.  I knew it would anyway.  I mean – I’m selling shoes – of course it’s going to suck.  There’s been a sale this past week – lots of people – & it’s been a lot of running.  I sold $2000 worth of shoes this week – $1000 Thursday & Saturday combined – Friday is my day off.  I don’t like it, but I can do it.  It’s also a drag because my boss wants to screw me, & I don’t want any part of that.  The first month of a job is pressure enough anyway, because if you don’t work out, they can end your service – terminate you just like that – which is why I’m really kicking ass to sell as much as I can, because I want to be so good he can’t recommend termination, which is what I’m afraid he’ll do if I don’t sleep with him.  I can’t stand this problem.  I’m really pissed off about it.  The girls I work with are naïve.  One girl is from Amherst – she used to live near us – literally on the same street.  She’s a senior in high school but we get high together.  My boss gets high too – we’ve smoked a couple of joints together.  I’ve been really burned out lately but my energy level is still so high!  I’ve only slept a few hours a night – I’ve worked 7 hours – then I go out & party all night or write all night.

I really miss Donovan.  I was really pissed off at him & I wasn’t going to write to him –  but I have written to him –  of course – I have to, it’s what I do.  Now that I’m out of the situation, I can see it more objectively.  I did forget that he was only 19.  Of course, he only wanted to party with his friends & of course he wasn’t ready to settle down with a girl yet.  What guy is?   Donovan probably won’t be ready before he’s 30.  Living here with Jesse & Doreen really made me see that.   Jesse’s 28 & he still isn’t ready.

***

I was thinking about Donovan & me.  I was talking to Jesse about the whole thing today & he gave me hope.  He’s really great to talk to.  Anyway – I think that maybe there’s a chance.  It would have to be in a few years.  Donovan has to grow up – he has to grow up to meet me where I am now.  If only he was two or three years older than me!  In some ways, he is.  He’s really smart about his money – he saves every penny – he budgets – but he isn’t stingy – he’ll always buy you a beer!  But emotionally, he’s a kid.  It’s so weird.  Our emotional/worldly states developed exactly opposite.  I want him to have 3 or 4 affairs – I want someone to break his heart.  I was going to, but I fell in love with him & I couldn’t do it.  It would’ve been better to break his heart –  way last summer.  So many things would’ve been better.  That’s how it is –  you know at the time what’s better & you know after it all what would’ve been better, but you always gamble that this time you can make him “really” love you – whatever “really” loving is.  Can anyone “really” love?  I don’t think so.  Not right now.  Maybe it “just happens”.  But – it “just happens” so often.  I think there’s more satisfaction out of sexual/financial companionship – like marriage –  but not based on love.  Love may or may not grow but unless you plain can’t live together, you could be together for years & be totally unhappy.  That’s the last thing I want.

Jesse & Doreen have a huge problem in their relationship – jealousy.  It’s really Doreen’s problem.  She’s really jealous.  Jesse seems to be able to take it or leave it but maybe that’s his persona.  But no person can maintain a relationship when you’re eaten up with jealousy – always wondering where the other person is, what they’re doing, to whom they’re talking, flirting, fucking – always having to have assurances of his – or her – love, never truly trusting.  Jon made me see this.  He always talked about the bird in the cage theory –  that if you leave the cage door open, the bird may never want to fly away – yeah, but the bird might fly away & never come back.  Or the bird might fly away & come back again & again & you’ll never be able to depend on it.  Or the bird might get caught by a cat & eaten.  End of bird.  End of relationship.  So is it a good idea to leave the cage door open?  Whatever – You have to think about why you’re jealous & figure out how to change it.  Because jealousy will ruin you as a person.  It’s a destructive emotion & nothing good comes of it.  Honestly, if my husband “cheats” on me, what have I lost?  I’m still the best lay he’ll ever have.  It’s his loss, not mine.  OK, maybe it’s my loss, but – A man can love a woman, truly love her & still fuck someone else.  & vice versa.  I mean, sometimes it’s not about love, it’s just about sex.  It’s fun – it’s like play – it’s adult play, isn’t it?  I guess commitment is something else.  I don’t know what that is.  It’s not an open door, I know that.

***

I found a place to live.  It’s a room in an upper on Lisbon Avenue – 95+, furnished.  Only for the summer, but that’ll give me time to find something else.  I’m really psyched.   I really want my own place.  I move in next week.

***

It’s true that Donovan & I, as a couple, couldn’t go on as we were in Cleveland.  It was too constrained, the whole fucking in the car before Cori’s curfew etc. got to be too much.  But we never really talked about it – we never tried to come up with a solution to the problem.  Plus my yeast infection, ya know, I bet he wondered if it was true or just an excuse. & I talked about Buffalo all the time.  I suppose he was tired too.

I remember getting really pissed off & hurt because he wouldn’t get a place with me when I got kicked out – I felt shamed.   I know Donovan was hurt, but fuck it –  he’ll never say so, he’ll probably wonder what right does he have to be hurt, like I do, or maybe he doesn’t think about it at all.  I don’t think he wonders about his emotions.  I think he just accepts them.

I wish I knew that he thinks & feels.  I don’t want to get hurt again.  I guess I just have to gamble but – I want him so badly & I don’t want to fuck it up.

Oh well, being apart this summer will decide a lot of things for the two of us, but this fall, where will I be this fall?  A winter alone in Buffalo, I can’t handle.  I hate the thought of it completely.

But right now, the thought of him fills me so that I’m happy, I’m smiling.  Oh it feels good to be in love!

***

I couldn’t sleep so I smoked a bowl of hash.  I wish I could sleep because tomorrow I have a lot to do.  I have an interview at Jenss Department Store at 10 a.m.  I’m not sure for what job, but Jenss is an excellent store.

I keep thinking about the Dead show at Cornell University.  It was great being backstage – great meeting the band – especially Jerry Garcia – great doing all that coke – but seeing Donovan on the street – that was really incredible.  I couldn’t believe it.  I never expected to see him – I mean, I knew he’d be there – but what were the odds of running into each other?  I’ve written a few poems about it.  I can’t get him out of my mind.

***

Donovan called.  It was really nice talking to him.  After he called, I went out & drove around the city & smoked some joints.  Now that I live alone, I don’t know what to do or where to go.  There’s no one to hang out with at night anymore.  I don’t know anyone too well, partly because I don’t want to.  Sometimes I go to Falco’s.  7 & 7’s are only 70 cents there.  But it’s very lonely – even if I do meet someone & strike up a conversation.  I keep thinking about Donovan going into town & having a few beers – maybe alone –  maybe with someone else –  & I get so pissed, I’m so jealous, I’m so lonely.  It pisses me off that I went to all the bullshit of getting a job here & moving & everything & now that I’m here, I want to go back.  I keep wondering if it’s worth it.  I miss him.  I want him back.  I know that things were really shitty between us & we were probably going to break up anyway, which is why I wanted to move so badly.  I was really hurt & resentful.  I was already missing him when I saw him at Easter & the time we went out a few weeks ago really charged me.  When I saw him at Cornell, I was so happy.  I wanted to stay with him.  I think about him all the time & fantasize & feel like I’m going crazy.  I’m so horny & my tits are almost always erect.  I’ve been seeing other guys, but I usually get bored after the second or third time & start wanting Donovan again.  I haven’t gotten laid since the last time I saw him in Cleveland & I want to, I need to.  Nobody touches me like he does.  Something in me matched something in him, & that is why the sex is so good.  We know how to please each other.  We know how to laugh & talk & be friends.  I miss that, I miss our friendship.

***

It’s funny how cheerfulness becomes a habit – how when I feel the worst, I can still smile & keep my voice light – because my job demands it.  To me, this is what makes my job so hard, so tedious – the constant cheer, the constant interest in one’s customers – the constant mask I must wear.  & then you realize that it is always there & the pain seems that much harder to bear because I’m unable to let it go.

***

I’m not dead or even crazy anymore.  I don’t know what happened to me.  I just crashed – I was doing really well & then I wasn’t.  I stopped writing – I stopped everything.  I could barely get to work.

It’s just – I don’t know.  I don’t know what happened to me.  Did I go crazy again?  Like in the spring of 1979?

I don’t know.  It’s so hard to figure anything out.  & I’m all alone.  I’m all alone.

This loneliness is killing me.

Excerpts From a Diary 14

[Summer-Fall, 1980]

I found Eddie’s letters last night.  I’d tucked them in with some other papers & forgotten about them.  They bring back a torrent of feeling.  I miss Eddie.  I haven’t written or talked about him in a long time.  I can’t believe he was so stupid as to start shooting heroin.  There’s so many ex-junkies in the rooms.  Everyone says there’s better sobriety in AA than in NA.  I’ve never been to an NA meeting – I never had a problem with hard drugs.   Honestly, I’m getting sick of AA – not that I want to start drinking again – but the weather is getting nice & I have better things to do than to sit & listen to someone go on about their drinking days.

***

A year ago today, Bard Ellison called me to ask me out.  It seems like 4 years ago.  I feel 5 years older than last year, 10 years older than when I first met Jon Kudzma.  So much has happened & honestly – there are such incredible gaps in my memory – so much I simply do not remember at all.

***

On my lunch.  It is hot & windy.  I can hear the store flag flapping in the wind.  It is not a beautiful place, this parking lot.  But there are trees up on that hill & grass.  I should bring a blanket to sit on, up there.  I’ve pulled down my dress to my breasts so that they can get sun.  A blossom, blown off the tree by the wind, just fell into my iced tea.  I should bring a thermos full.  I spend too much money at Friendly’s.  I have just enough time to get a sandwich & an iced tea & come out here to sit & smoke a joint in solitude.  Then I go back to work stoned & happy to handle unhappy customers & solve problems.

I have been seeing one of the stock boys here at work – the first time I saw him he was coming out of the men’s room opposite the credit office & I was like – who’s that gorgeous boy? – over 6-foot tall & built like a linebacker with long hair & a mustache.  A few days later, I was on the loading dock checking the manifest & I saw him again & I realized that he was a coworker & I went through the office files to find out who he was – Donovan Murphy, just turned 18 – compared to the other guys I have been seeing for the past several years, way too young for me.  & I wrote him off because of that.

But one Friday, I was handing out checks – usually Diane does it but she was off for the day – & he was at the window, picking up his check & I couldn’t help but flirt with him.  I noticed he had a Grateful Dead t-shirt on.  “Hey, you’re into the Dead,” I said.  “The Grateful Dead Movie is playing tonight at Cleveland State.”

“Yeah I know,” he answered.  “Ya wanna go with me?”

So I did.  & afterwards we parked & fucked – he was really good raw talent – as Janis Joplin would’ve said – real teachable.  He must have liked me too because he started asking me out every Friday – we’d see a movie or go to a show or catch a band at a club.  He has a fake I.D. so he can get real beer & alcohol – technically I’m not drinking so if I can’t get real beer, it’s not an issue – but these silly distinctions Ohio has makes me miss New York.  Anyway – he’s really into the Dead.  Like totally.  Calls himself a “Deadhead” & everything.  He’s been going to Grateful Dead shows since he was twelve years old & he has a bunch of concert tapes – plus all their albums – even the crappy ones.  He’s also into Bob Dylan, The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the Allman Brothers.  Quite a change from the punk rock I was listening to back in Buffalo.  He knows almost nothing about punk – but unlike so many guys I know, he’s willing to listen & learn.  He genuinely likes music.  & I think he genuinely likes me.

***

I finally tripped!  Donovan went to Ashtabula & bought twenty hits of acid on Friday night – I was pissed off because he was supposed to call me & he never did – apparently he dropped as soon as he got them & he was tripping all night & forgot about me.  But we went out Saturday night & it was so great.  We dropped right after he picked me up & we went out to this small club in Medina.  We picked up a hitch-hiker on the way out there & he sold some to him & he also sold 10 hits at the club.  Donovan’s a real enterprising kind of guy.  Me, I’d want to hold on to them, but Donovan made a profit on what he sold & he’s going to buy more.  He may have sold even more when we were there, I wasn’t really paying attention.  I was watching this young professional in an expensive Ralph Laurent tropical print shirt & a pair of faded blue painter’s pants play pool.  Medina has a lot of young professionals from Cleveland – they go out wearing expensive shirts & old jeans – they’re just out of grad school & they just landed a job at some big corporation.  There was a terrible band playing, it was one of the worst I’ve heard in a long time.  I was longing to dance but of course the music sucked.  I was just standing there waiting to get off.  I was tugging on Donovan’s arm: “When’s it gonna start, when’s it gonna start?”  I was jumping up & down, almost.  Donovan was smiling.  “Well, you’re pretty hyper, that’s a good sign.”  I said, “I feel pretty good – like I’ve done some good speed & smoked a few joints – like I could go all night.”  I felt totally good – usually I have some depression hanging out somewhere – even when I’m really happy, there’s that shadow hanging over me.  But last night it was all gone.  The band was setting up for a second set & I couldn’t stand it, so we went out to the car & smoked a joint.  All of a sudden I started laughing – I couldn’t stop – & Donovan said, “Stop laughing!  Go ahead!  Try to stop!”  I couldn’t do it.  Every time I tried, I just busted up again.  Eventually, I sobered up.  “So this is tripping,” I said seriously & started laughing again.  It was like I could make fun of myself & everyone else & everything so much easier!  I mean – that’s what I do all day at The May Company – make fun of people.  Imagine it tripping!  We drove all over the place & eventually parked in a cornfield & fucked.  It was beautiful – I got home at 4 a.m.  I said, “Oh, my mother is gonna be mad at me tomorrow, she’s gonna be pissed!  Oh well, what the fuck.  It’s worth it.”  I went upstairs & went to bed.  My back really hurt cuz the skin had been rubbed off in the car – by the cheap carpet – & I put some Vaseline on it to make it feel better.  I lay in bed & watched the sky lighten outside my window – watched the darkness swirl – I felt like when I was a little kid & I used to pretend that my bed was really a giant’s shirt pocket – or a raft – I was just lying there on this raft, floating – I didn’t get any sleep at all last night.  My mother called me to get up at 6:30 & I was still tripping – I got up, washed my hair, got dressed for church – church was great.  I shook hand with everyone & grinned.  I couldn’t stop grinning.  But it was nice to get back into bed – get some sleep.  I slept until 1 p.m. & then got up & ate pan-fried perch & Mama’s great homemade French fries – I’m still tripping.  I feel really great.

***

For a while, I went on a rampage –  I just went wild, in the manner of the 18-year-olds I hang with – did acid, drank a lot, stayed out until 4 a.m., etc.  –  & ya know my mother didn’t dig it & she clamped down on me like she did when I was 18.  As if I were still 18.  I rebelled – we argued – I compromised.  I really didn’t have a choice – I have no money & nowhere to go.  At least there was a compromise to be had.  I guess I’m more reasonable than when I was 18 & I can also see that my mother is trying to be more reasonable too.  She just wants peace & quiet & I am not quiet when I am drunk.  I think I am quiet.  I am probably noisier when I think I’m being quiet or trying to be quiet than if I just was normal.  But like all drunks, I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing.

Sometimes I’m frustrated.  Sometimes I feel so goddamned stifled I wanna burst!  But I feel like I’m growing into myself.  Basically it’s just coming to terms with my loneliness, finding ways to make it work for me.  Striving for patience, for an inner serenity – “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” – I say that prayer a lot.  I mean, it’s just growing up – realizing what I can do & cannot do.  Figuring out my goals & how I’m going to achieve them.

One of the things I’ve got going at The May Company is making the silly people who work there laugh – all the phonies who think that fine clothes & the right make-up & hair are the most important thing – make them realize that to laugh & have fun is not antithetical to doing a good job while you’re working.  I wanna break through that – I wanna make these people laugh –  at the same time, gain their respect for being a hard fucking worker.  I’m doing it, too.  I know that sometimes I’m too much, which works against me – I’m kinda like Pollyanna – that obnoxious child who goes around making people smile & everyone’s lives better – only I’m the sexy stoned version.  I would like to stay in management.  I think I have a talent for it.  Plus, business needs a good shot of rock’n’roll.  It’s far too sanctimonious & self-important.

Mom thinks I should enroll in secretarial school – she says since I already know how to type, it wouldn’t take me long to get a degree & then I could get a decent job as an executive secretary – she says there are several excellent business schools here in Cleveland & I could easily attend classes after work.  But not if I’m partying all the time with Donovan & the boys.  I really don’t know if I want to be anyone’s damn secretary.  I would really like to go back to UB & finish my English degree.  But she does bring up some good points – like, even if I go back to UB, I could have a job as a secretary & be able to support myself.  So I’m going to look into it.

Basically, I just want a nice place to live & a comfortable income, lots of books & friends who drop in & gossip & talk about the arts & jam – & a job that’s right for me.  Oh, I want so much.  It’s so good – wanting that much.

***

I started taking classes at Cleveland Business Institute – it’s right downtown & I can get there easily on the bus after work – it’s sooo boring but at least Mom is happy – I’m taking shorthand & business procedure.  I passed the typing exam but the skin of my teeth – I can type like a whiz but my accuracy could be a little better – they advised practicing in the typing lab.  But once class is over, I just hop a bus & go home – the last place I want to be is at that school.  & I can type at home, on my own typewriter.  Of course it’s just a manual machine – not the nice IBM Selectrics that all the offices will have – which of course makes a big difference.  But I just want to go home when I’m done with class.

Even though I’m in school, I feel like I’m marking time – not really doing anything – just working & partying – working & partying.  At first it was fun – partying in the parks – getting laid in the back seat of Donovan’s car – but now the novelty has worn off.  It’s time for a little seriousness.  But I don’t know what.  Business college isn’t it.  I feel like I’m reaching but it seems like so much air – so much nothing.

But oh well.  It’s summer – at last – & that’s probably one of the reasons for my restlessness – I just wanna burn burn burn.  Sometimes I’m into having a party – sometimes I just lean back & watch, cuz I have trouble digging it – I felt more at home with my Buffalo friends – well, maybe I did.  It’s just a little hard – a twenty-year-old chick with eighteen-year-old pretty boys.  I have never had any interest in young men & here I am with these boys.  I laugh cuz they’re so amusing but I can’t say why I’m laughing – they wouldn’t understand & I don’t want to bruise their fragile egos.  I really like Donovan –  I’m so much in love with him sometimes –  but other times I feel so much older than him & I wonder why I’m with him.  We have really good sex – some of the best sex I’ve ever had.  The first time we did it, I thought – this boy is good, I’m gonna hang on to him.  I mean, it was all about sex.  Lately, we’ve been getting a bit bogged down in predictability.  The lack of a place to fuck is a problem – all we have is his mother’s car – a Buick Skyhawk – which is not a car you want for sex.  It’s almost impossible to move around in that thing.  Now that it’s warm, we can open the hatch-back.  The thing is, sometimes we have absolutely nothing to say to one another.  If it wasn’t for music & sex, we wouldn’t have anything at all.

I wanna talk to Jon.  I long for him so much lately.  I don’t know why.  I guess – I just want to talk to him & see if he’s changed as much I’ve changed.  I understand now that I couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t before.  It’s strange.  I don’t know what I want, but I swear to god, I’d try again & I don’t think the odds are so against me now.  Cuz before it was me who hurt me – my messed-up-ness.  My neediness.  & that’s gone now.  I mean, really gone.  I know how to deal with someone like Jon now.  Always be strong & never – ever – let him know how much you love him or need him.  Or love him.  Never give him that weapon to use against you.

***

I can’t sleep at night.  So often I’m so tired, so beat, but my mind can’t relax – my body twitches, my feet are hot, & I can’t sleep.  I lie there, listening to the clock chimes, not really thinking, just playing tunes in my head.  Empty your mind, think of a koan, say a rosary – but in the end, it’s just the tunes, playing, playing – the tunes in my head that never stop.

I’m so bored.  I’m can’t even read anymore.  There’s not a single novel that intrigues me – I just bought a load of books at the library book sale! – & I almost have to force to study my Greek history which only a few weeks ago was so interesting.  I don’t want to read, I don’t want to write, I don’t want to listen to tunes.  I don’t want to play the piano, I don’t want to sit still – I don’t want to do anything.  I think I’m going crazy or something.  My intellect, my interest in life is dying, or it’s sleeping – I wonder when it’ll wake up.  If it’ll wake up.  I’m so depressed.  I’m so homesick.

***

I think I’ll move back to Buffalo.  I’ll work through Christmas at The May Company & then when things quiet down after the January inventory & all the sales, I’ll start negotiating a job at Hengerer’s or one of the other big stores.  I would only move if I had a job & I had things budgeted out so I know I could make it.  It’ll take thought, it’ll take time & it’ll take patience.  But I’m sure that it’s right.  I was happy in Buffalo.  I was happy even with all the shit I went through.  I’m fairly sure that with my present head I would be happy.  For one –  I know I must live alone.  There’s no one I know with whom I want to share a household –  no one relationship with whom I would trust that situation.  Plus – I want to project myself as Cori – in the singular – not part of Chaotic Bliss – or with Jon Kudzma or anyone else – but by myself.  A single woman.  A free woman.

I’m just not happy here!  There’s not enough interesting people to take the place of the friends I had in Buffalo, or the rock’n’roll scene I loved so much.  There is a scene – a huge scene – it’s just not my scene.  There’s nothing for me to do here, anyway.  I can’t go on living at my mother’s & I can’t move out –  I can’t afford to live alone in this city & I don’t have anyone to live with.  Donovan’s too young – he’s not ready yet.  He’s a wonderful companion – I love him dearly & lord knows the sex with him is the best I’ve ever had but I am under no illusions about our ability to live together.  We’re too different – he’s too young for anything like that.  Plus – I simply have an overwhelming desire to live alone.

Anyway, it’s a goal.  A reason to start saving money.  Fifty dollars in the bank – every week – without fail.  I have to start budgeting again.  Cuz I’m gonna need a lot of things – a lot of money – to move.

***

Last night I had the most beautiful dream I’ve ever had.  It’s the type of dream you wait your whole life of dreaming, the kind of dream that goes on & on & never gets weird or depressing or gets off the point.  It was just – oh man – what you’d like to come true – but it was just so wonderful – you know life can’t be this way.  I feel like the angels really blessed my sleep last night.

Tish & I were somewhere – visiting some other city.  I’d say Buffalo, but it didn’t look like Buffalo in my dream.  It was a more beautiful Buffalo – a Parisian Buffalo – if there ever could be such a thing.  It was nighttime – everything was lit up.  We went into a fast food place for some eats – there was the place where you would order & then a gathering room with some tables where you would eat.  Tish got a bowl of chili & I got a hard roll filled with chili.  It was really good.  I can still taste it – it was so yummy.  We were sitting there, having our meal & Mark Miles joined us.  We were all talking & laughing at the same time.  He was so excited that we were there.  He was telling us about everything that was going on & I got the impression that all the cool people from high school & from college were living here – in this city – in this very neighborhood – & everything was really happening.  I was like – wow, I got here just in time!

I turned & there was Jon.  Like it always happens, I feel his presence before I see him & there he is.  He was dressed in white & his hair was straight & he wore his old, thick glasses – the ones he wore when we first met – not the John Lennon wire-rims he has now.  Actually this part is a little blurry – maybe I was waking up a little or something.  Jon didn’t see me – he was leaning over to talk to someone & I thought, oh it’s another chick, as usual, it’s another chick, of course it is – Then there he was at my shoulder.  He wanted to know how I was doing.  I told him I was going to school to become an accountant.  He said, “But is that what you really want to do?”  & I was confused – because I have always wanted to be a writer & a rocker & why would I want to add up numbers all day long?  But I need a job that will give me security & that’s the kind of job that provides security.  Actually, this part of the dream is a muddle – I can’t really remember what happened next.

No, I remember.  Jon kissed me – & the kiss went on & on.  Then we were entering the house in which he was living.  It was old.  The front door was thick dark wood & had glass panes on either side & there was a little lobby inside – dark woodwork all the way throughout the house – hooks for coats & he hung my green coat on one.  He took me through the entire house – which was a mess.  Outside, there was a garden & you could see the University beyond – the tops of the buildings.  Hayes Hall.  The Old Lockwood Library.

He told me he worked for the University.  He said he wrote all day.  He took me to his room & we laid together on his bed, but did not make love – all he did was kiss me & hold me.  His hands on my skin felt beautiful.  As I fell asleep in my dream, I awoke in real life.  I lay there & relived it again & again.  Now that I’ve written it, it seems so flat, so nothing.  But I feel like something happened to me.

***

To whom do I write?  I sit & sit & – perhaps something “noteworthy” has occurred – I hold my pen over the paper & nothing happens.  The words slip off my mind & dissolve & there’s nothing following up.  I don’t know if I’m tired or just bored.  Or maybe it was just a dream I had when I was younger – that I was a writer, an artist – all gone now in the name of so-called financial reality.

Inside of me I think I hear a scream.  But who knows.  It’s pretty damn weak.  Besides I don’t have time to listen to it anyway.  I’ve got to get ready for work now.

***

Oh wow!  Donovan bought a car – a ’77 Chevy Impala – light blue & in fabulous shape for what he paid for it – & we went to Buffalo.  He wanted to see the scene that I had been talking about.  & there really isn’t any scene anymore – I hate to say it.  McVan’s was featuring heavy-metal bands.  I remembered what Jon had said in the fall of 1978 about the return of heavy metal & how everyone had laughed.  But he was right.

So we went to the Schuper Haus to see Frankie & the Flirts – Frankie Malone’s new band – I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to see that jerk again.  But they weren’t bad – in a Romantics kind of way – very pop & bouncy.  Jon’s band – Zuperman – opened, although we got there too late to see them.  But Jon was still there & my heart was beating so – I couldn’t breathe – I couldn’t think – it was a good thing Donovan was there to steady me – he had no idea who Jon was to me.  Jon & I talked for while – mostly about current events in each other lives & who knows what I said.  He’s with Sara!  They live together!  He went on & one about how happy he is!  About how she gives him “freedom” & how “when the door is open, the bird doesn’t want to fly away.”  Oh, really.  I don’t recall chaining him to a fence – or putting him in a cage – I just wanted him to love me & not play games.  Does he play games with her?  Oh yeah, she’s so fucking perfect.  He doesn’t need to.

He touched my hair.  “Wild, wild perm,” he said.  “Yours too,” I said.  His is super short.  “I can see your ears.”  “I had it cut Wednesday,” he told me.  “I had this done yesterday,” I said, laughing.  “It still smells like a perm.”

“Who’s this young stud you’re with?” he asked.  “Or is this your younger brother?”

All of a sudden, I realized he was jealous.  I laughed.  “He’s a friend,” I said.

I also talked to Frankie Malone & to Gregski – far less traumatic but still noteworthy – I got hit from all angles last night.  Bard was there, too.  He was all but rude to me – he had obviously been drinking, which I guess is par for the course now – accusing me of having an affair with Barrett & breaking up Chaotic Bliss – but Barrett would have left anyway.  He finished his doctorate & he got a job at Stanford.  But Bard acts like it’s all my fault he doesn’t have a band anymore.  Ya know – I don’t have a band anymore either.

By the time Donovan & I were back on the road, I had laughed it off – I don’t let this kind of emotional stress get to me anymore.  Jon says I’ve noticeably changed.  Me too, I see it too! Well, a new hair-do & losing 25 pounds is certainly a “noticeable change”!  I was really disappointed by the whole New Wave scene here in Buffalo.  For one, the chicks were all so fat & dowdy-looking – they were all in the same old look.  Like – they were stuck in a bad 50’s zombie movie or something.  I don’t know – maybe Vogue got to me.  Seeing haute couture everyday as a matter of course.

***

My sister Helena’s wedding.  I am disappointed not to be a bride’s maid.  She picked Tish to stand up with her – why she couldn’t have both of us, I don’t know – but Geoff only  has one best man, so I guess you can’t have two bridesmaids.  Still – of course she would pick Tish.  Nobody picks me.  That’s just the truth of the matter.  Not when there’s another choice.

It’s a very small wedding – at St. Dominic’s – & then a brunch at Tanglewood Country Club – Mom apparently knows someone there – from AA, of course.  No alcohol served at the wedding – no champagne toast – there was sparkling grape juice instead.  The food was really good.  Eggs benedict & chicken cordon bleu & a really fabulous rice pilaf.  Now they’re honeymooning at Geoff’s family’s cabin in the Adirondacks – they’ll be back in two weeks, when Geoff starts his new job at Case Western Reserve University.

***

I have so much trouble sleeping.  I suppose it has a lot to do with my general confusion with career choice, boredom, lack of go –

I want to write, write, write!  I want to be a writer.  But the lack of a project stalls me.  I write, 5, 10 pages & it is nothing, no plot, no hook, nothing.  I struggle with a poem & end up pushing it away.

I am very angry.  I am angry all the time.  I hate my job.  I hate business school.  I’m tired of pushing myself beyond what is reasonable – I mean, in relation to my recreational pursuits.  I hate my life.  I wish, I wish I could get some sleep.  But I guess – that’s life.

***

My dreams are so vivid.  One night Jon, another Barrett, other times Donovan or John R. or anybody.  Very sexual, often violent in feeling &/or action.  I wake up drained.

Daytimes are becoming are & are more dreamlike than ever – at least in a very long time.  I am quite often dizzy, things seem visually hazy, my eyes lose focus regularly.  I am depressed, angry, short-tempered.  I hate the person I’m becoming – hard, bitter, brittle.  I hope it is just a phase.  I would like to change, to be nicer, gentler, more sensitive, but I am so busy, sends to do, supply orders, teletypes & customer always interrupting my train of thought & line of action.  I am always masking my thoughts & feelings.

***

Another night with Donovan.  They are all the same.  Catch a show, get high, fuck.  Tonight we went to see a movie about Jimi Hendrix at Cleveland State.  Afterward we parked & fucked.  Then we sat & drank bourbon & smoked joints & talked.  I was wearing a short dress & dark stockings & black mules.  The shadow of my legs pleased me.