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Tag: joints

Excerpts From A Diary 38

[Fall, 1989]

[October]

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

We moved the rest of the plants yesterday.

[November]

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

“Hey, you OK?” asked Mark.

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

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

***

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

***

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

How the wind is blowing!  Winter is coming!

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

“What’s the matter, darlin’?”

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

I just finished a poem called “Shadow”.

***

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

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

***

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

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

Well – this isn’t getting my poems published.

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

[December]

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

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

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

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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 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 19

[Winter-Spring, 1982]

Bitterly cold.  It’s dead at work.  They’ve laid off almost everyone.  I know I’ll be let go after inventory next week.  I’ve already been looking for work, but there’s absolutely nothing.  Nobody’s hiring at all.  The restaurants are dead.  That’s what I would like – a job in a restaurant – waiting tables in a place like Your Host or The Wehrle Restaurant or someplace like that.  Someplace where I could make tips & have flexible shifts so I could go back to school.  I really want to go back to school.

I’ve been hanging out with this guy named Tom when I’m at work. Tom said that no one here grooves. He says few people have a sense of style & no one seems to know or care what’s going on.  He said I was the first person he’d met at Sibley’s that he could talk to.  He’s been a music head since he was pre-adolescent, too.  He plays piano & clarinet.  He was in band & orchestra like I was – he wants to learn guitar & get in a rock’n’roll band.  He wants to get the hell out of Buffalo & go to New York City or Los Angeles or somewhere.  He says that he feels like nobody has ever understood him & he has never fit in anywhere he has ever been.  I know the loneliness he suffers from.  Like there everyone else is dead & I’m still alive – or – like everyone else had a vital part taken out of their brain at some point in their life – some part that I still retain – & the few people I meet that are like me – & it’s impossible for them to think like I do, or even comprehend the difference.  I know this from Donovan & to a lesser extent, Teddy.  Both of them like my artistic self – like the poems I write & write for them –  but they really don’t understand them.  I think that particular self of me really scared Donovan.  He realized – or thought he realized – that he would never understand me & so he gave up.  He gave up!  I would have never given up on him!

Anyway, back to Tom – we have a lot in common – but unlike Tom – I like the disco beat of the jukebox – I like to watch the people – especially the blacks, because they dress so well – & so many of them – real imaginatively.  Tom’s a high-class punk & that’s that.  But I like everyone.  I really do.

***

Another argument with Teddy this morning.  I left for work & I was halfway there & remembered I forgot something so I went back home & he was already gone – I had smoked a joint while I was driving & I heard “Uncle John’s Band” on the radio so I had calmed down.

Why am I so moody?  I know my moodiness is a real turn-off.  I don’t mean to be a bitch – I know I don’t realize how bitchy I am – it just happens.  I try really hard to keep going – to stay happy – but I get so tired of trying.  I hate work – one of the reasons I started school is because I hate work so much.  I’m really angry because I can’t go this semester.  I know I’m blowing it because I’m not going.  But what am I supposed to do when there’s no money?  I feel so powerless.  I feel so frustrated.  I know I shouldn’t take it out on Teddy.  I should let him sleep in the mornings – why do I wake up so early? – I should let him alone sexually – I should stop complaining.  What’s the matter with me?

I feel so torn up.  I’m so angry.  I want to go to school – I want to finish my degree.  I want to go to school, I want to go to school, I want to go to school.

***

In Tonawanda.  At the unemployment office.  Teddy’s inside, signing for his weekly benefits.  I’m sitting in the car, waiting for him.  There’s a funeral parlor right across the street.  Today there’s a funeral.  The people are all coming out.  There’s a lady that can barely control herself crying, she’s so broken up.  The police just arrive to escort the cortege.  I wonder if this is for the girl & boy – both sixteen years old –  who were murdered by a 17-year-old boy?  It’s a large funeral – cars are everywhere.  The people coming & going from the unemployment office are mostly on foot.  Here’s a sailor coming out – in dress whites & a navy blue wool jacket.  His head must be cold, with that super short hair.  Most of Teddy’s friends grow their hair long & grow beards in the winter for warmth & then cut their hair & shave in the summer.  I never heard of that before, but of course most of the people I grew up with were academics or writers or artists.

Teddy has been in unemployment for an hour & a half.  All just to sign that he hasn’t worked this week.  He says there’s a whole new section set up just for GM –  because of all the lay-offs there.  I just saw a guy walk out, with the same look & walk as Donovan.  I wonder what he does.  I wonder what Donovan is doing nowadays.  Is he still working?  Did he ever go to college?  Does he ever think of me?

Now they’re bringing out the casket.  Everyone is in their cars, they have their little flags on, & their lights on.  The cop puts on his lights & the cortege starts away.  One day after another.  I wonder what cemetery they’re going to.  They’re all gone now.  I wish Teddy would come.  But you can see through the windows –  into the office –  the place is absolutely packed.  Oh – here comes Teddy.  Time to put away the notebook.

***

I woke up when the alarm rang, which corresponded to the last note of a Janis Joplin tune playing in a dream about – Jesse?  I was dreaming about Jesse?

I went downstairs to Paulie & Cindy’s to offer to help drive to Niagara Falls to rescue the Camaro that Cindy left there yesterday when it broke down.  They didn’t need my help, but I stayed a while – had a cup of coffee & talked.

I came upstairs & got back in bed with Teddy.  I was hoping he’d want to have sex but no.  We got up together & he left for work, after telling me what to do today.  I ate an orange, smoked a joint & read Anaïs Nin.  Now I’m going to take a bath, wash my hair & then write about Roxy.  Roxy is a story I’m writing in the style of Anaïs Nin’s erotic short stories – very dreamy & poetic.  Kinda like naughty urban fairy tales.

Well, good luck goes in pairs.  The Grateful Dead is on the radio & Teddy called.   Just to say the roads are barely travelable since it’s so icy & that he loves me.

It’s funny how many things I have to do before I can actually sit down & write – make the bed, check the gas meter & call in our reading, clean my desk.  I guess cleaning my desk can wait.  I can write at the table or anywhere.

***

At times I go blank.  Just an enormous slow nothingness enveloping my brain – null, void, empty.   Sometimes the emptiness feels white – pure – cold – like snow.  Sometimes it feels like a hard rock.  Granite hard.

I am frightened of no work – no money – constant worry – & what all that can do to harm our relationship.  I am frightened of not being able to help Teddy get money to pay the rent, pay the bills, make the bike payment.  I am frightened of being so dependent.  I am afraid that the love he feels for me is not strong enough to understand the worst that could happen.  At the same time, I know that these worries will cease as soon as I find work.  Oh fuck!  These moods that rock me.  I’m pretty lucky, most of the time things bounce off me – I don’t absorb it until it’s pounding me in the head.  Things are beginning to hurt.  I’m making mistakes –  bad mistakes – my emotions are pushing around my good sense.  At times I feel a little vacant.  I know I’m smart enough to come through this gracefully – winningly – but I could lose it.  Generally I’m up but it’s so hard to deal with Teddy when he’s so down.  I’m learning to get used to his temper.  I hate it but I’m beginning to understand why he blows his top the way he does.  After all he’s – the phone is ringing –

A few minutes later.  It was Teddy.  He’s having a good day.  He’s really relieved because Paulie isn’t upset about the rent.  Well – Paulie’s not upset because I told him that I would give him a blow-job if we didn’t have the rent by the end of the month.  But Teddy doesn’t know that.  He told me to go down & talk to Paulie &  “smooth things over” with him about the rent & that was Paulie’s suggestion – I mean – Teddy could have gone down there himself to “smooth things over” with Paulie himself but he sent me – what did he expect?  I had to promise something.  & you never know – maybe I’ll come up with the rent by the end of the month – although that means coming up with two month’s rent.  Cuz March is almost the next day, right?  But I’ll worry about that when I get to March.  It pisses me off that Teddy put me in that position but I’m not going to think about that right now.  Anyway – Teddy said he fixed Ken’s car & that he had a lot of work to do.  He said he would be home at 4:30.  I have a lot of work to do before then – about two hours.  Tonight we’re going to the Sabres game.  They’re playing the Bruins.  I want to clean up the house & type out poems for the Women’s College Poetry Book.  I’ve been getting together groups of poems to send out for publication, but I don’t have any stamps.  At least they’ll be ready to go when I do have stamps.

I knew that writing would make me feel better.  I know that writing will save me.  I’m pleased with my creative life.  I wish there was only my creative life – well, my creative life & Teddy.  I wish I didn’t have to spend so much of my time doing boring stuff.  I mean, most of the damn day!  Teddy gives me a list of things to do before he leaves the house.  It’s amazing I have any time to write at all.

When I was working at Sibley’s at Christmas, I used to write poems on little pieces of paper & slip them into my boots.  All those small pieces of paper are in a cubby in my desk –  I haven’t looked at them since I shoved them in there.  I really haven’t had the time.  The little time I have for writing, I’ve used to write the story about Roxy – I think about her all the time.  I am reading erotic literature & poetry to keep me focused.  I am so horny I can’t stand it.  I think I made up Roxy to compensate for the life I don’t have.   I guess it doesn’t make sense to complain about not having a sex life when there are men who want to have sex with me but I don’t want them.  I mean – I don’t want to give my landlord blowjobs because we’re late with the rent – & that’s not a sex life anyway.  That’s a pathetic life.

I did write a few new poems this week.  I just wish I had more time.

***

11:05 p.m.  Right now Bernie, Tommy, Peter Marx, Brad Summers & Teddy are playing RISK in our dining room – jazz on the radio –  bowls of hash going round.  Today I have been getting high all day.  Felix Jajko came over at 9:30 a.m.  He’s one of Teddy’s oldest friends.  He’s really well named – he rather looks like a cat – a long lean cat – with short brown hair & bright brown eyes.  He’s always in a good mood.  & really – everyone is Teddy’s oldest friend!  Anyway, Felix’s wife Sue had a baby last night – their third child – a little girl named Sophie Elizabeth.  Paulie came up with some congratulatory joints.  When Teddy left for work, I took a bath & washed my hair – dressed – cleaned the house – made phone calls & then Brad Summers stopped in.  Brad is a truck driver.  He hauls gravel in the spring & summer & is laid off all winter.  He has a plow on his pick-up – he plows driveways when there’s snow.  He had hash, so we got stoned.  We talked about doing acid – small v large weddings – he’s engaged – marrying for compatibility instead of for love.  I think he’s marrying for compatibility while his fiancé – Marybeth – is marrying for love.  After he left, I went downstairs to Paulie’s.  He gave me a ride to Bethune Hall – the Art Department at UB – where I applied to be a model for the art classes.  I don’t mind posing nude.  I hope I get the job – it doesn’t pay much but at least it’s something.  Then I came back & hung out with Paulie & his best friend & cousin, Javier Santiago.  Javier is a sexy blonde Puerto Rican hunk who is also out of work.  He’s just out of the Marine Corps – he has “USMC” tattooed on one bicep & a crucifix on the other.  He said that if he didn’t find a job soon, he was going to reenlist.  “It’s not so bad,” he said.  I drank two large goblets of white wine – whoo!  I hardly eat at all –  I hardly drink – so I get blasted real easy.  Javier had some killer weed – I was really stoned.   Paulie reminded me about “owing” him a blow-job & suggested that I show them my tits.  I laughed them off but I wasn’t showing them anything.  Paulie had to go to work  so I went upstairs & then Teddy came home.  I had a wicked headache from the wine but after a nap I felt better.  I feel great now.  I know I’m gonna have to be careful around Paulie.  If I had been anymore wasted, things would have been much different this afternoon.  Both of them were ready to take advantage & I’m well aware of that.  I know I act like Janis Joplin at times but that’s not really who I am.  I think one of the reasons I act so free & easy & wild is because I am actually so uptight & prim & puritan & the two parts of me sometimes fight & sometimes balance out.  I get in these situations because I’m acting like something I’m really not.  & then I’m doing things I really don’t want to.  I mean – they feel good at the time but then – I don’t know, I’m too stoned to figure it out right now.  I’m just glad that Paulie had to leave & I was able to escape upstairs.

Last Friday, I went over to UB at 2 p.m. for this free event – bands until midnight, one after another.  When I got there, the Beez were playing – very pop, very young, very optimistic.  You could tell they idolize the Beatles, Elvis Costello & Rockpile, but also did songs resembling Journey & REO Speedwagon.  Most of their stuff was original & musically, they were good, but the lyrics were weak, corny rhymes, pseudo-intellectual subject & macho love songs.  But their Beatles covers were flawless.

The next band was the Nelson Rockafarber band, formally the Alfonse Tomato band.  Mac plays drums with them.  I saw them last April & they really sucked.  But they have a new guitarist, Nelson Farber, & it’s an entirely new band.  Their first tune was an instrumental, a long psychedelic jam, flowing into a hard-rocking r & b tune.  They were great!  The guitarist blew me away!  He just stood there & played, it was great.  Then Beth, their singer, came out.  She’s a really good singer, great range.  Really uptight, though.  No report with the crowd, no moving with the music, nothing.  Mac says she’s really neurotic, she’s got a lot of problems.  She’s overweight & drinks a lot. I hope she gets her shit together cuz she could be really great.

The next band were the Elements, who were – as always – great.  They have a new single coming out next week.  I danced, even though I was wearing my winter hiking boots with the red laces.  I love those boots!  They’re so comfortable.  I wear them when I exercise, they’re great for leg lifts.  I can really feel my muscles work!

I’ve been reading Linotte, the early diary of Anaïs Nin.  She started hers when she was 11, just like I did – well, I was almost 11.  It makes me laugh so much, she makes me think of me, the way she writes about a boy she’s in love with, or remarks about the war, making totally emotional statements about the supremacy of France but then implores the Virgin Mary to save France – surely if France were so supreme, she wouldn’t need the help of the Holy Mother.  Her descriptions of her hated school activities & her friends are wonderful.

The other day I was on the 6:00 news – the house across the street was torched.  Now people stop me on the street & tell me how great I was on the news!  Perfect strangers!  It really flips me out.  I love it.

These guys are arguing over this game like little kids.  Now we’re ordering subs from Boulevard Subs & Pizza.  Two roast beefs, mayo & oil & onions – one roast beef, oil, no mayo, no tomatoes, no onions – one cheeseburger sub, mayo & onions.  Of course I’m calling – they all agree that I have the nicest voice.

***

I’m sitting in the living room.  It’s another beautiful day.  Sunshine is streaming through the windows.  It’s already 60 in here.  This apartment is so sunny.  That’s one of the reasons I wanted to live here.  The apartment on Traymore Avenue was so dark. Jordan, Teddy’s roommate & owner of the house, was always starting remodeling jobs & never finishing them.  There was plastic hung all over the house & work materials everywhere.  I did prefer that neighborhood.   There’s so much more on Hertel Avenue – everything was so handy.  Fish market, meat market, deli, shoe repair, pizza, subs, bars, Italian grocery, head shop – everything within two or three blocks.  But I love it here in University Heights.  I really do.  I also love North Buffalo.  & I think someday I would like to live on the West Side – I really like it over there.  Also Allentown – I want to live in Allentown someday.

On Wednesday night, Teddy’s mom invited us to dinner.  She served Beef Burgundy on wide noodles, French beans & water chestnuts in butter sauce & a salad.  She put avocado in the salad.  We drank Bully Hill wine, which was really good.  Teddy’s mom – she wants me to call her “Betty” – & her boyfriend Jerry like to visit the wineries – they’re really into wine.  They had an after-dinner wine to go with dessert, but I liked the table wine better.  The after-dinner wine was too sweet.  Scotty’s cousin Dave was there too.  He lives in Conesus & is a student at MCC, in a program that trains him to fix hospital equipment.  He’s been interning at Mercy Hospital & stays at Betty’s while he’s in town.

Betty gave me a bookshelf.  It’s made of metal, very sturdy.  Nothing I would buy for myself – I’m into wood – but I do need another bookshelf so I put it in the dining room.  Our place is really beginning to look nice.  We need a few more chairs for the living room.  Our couch fell apart the other day.  Teddy &  Bernie sat down on it & it fell to pieces!  It was hilarious! We’re buying another couch from Doug & Danielle.  When they got married, they had four couches between the two of them, plus chairs & end tables & all kinds of stuff, so they’ve been getting rid of their excess furniture.  We probably won’t get it until the spring.  We’re got a dining room table from Betty.  It’s large & round & has a hot spot in the middle.  The chairs are orange fiberglass – really ugly – again, nothing I would every buy – even back in the 60’s when these must have been real hip – but oh well, beggars can’t be choosers.

I’ve been reading non-stop.  Right now I’m reading a biography of Sarah Bernhardt.  It’s really good.  She had the worst mother.  Before that, I was reading about the Chinese Revolutions, which was really interesting.  The more I read about China, the more I like what happened there. & they have really great poetry – especially their women’s poetry.

Coming up next on my reading list is An Unfinished Woman, by Lillian Hellman, which I bought for fifty cents at a junk shop.  My favorite reading is about women.

I had to ask my mother for help with my car insurance.  We’re living on Teddy’s unemployment check, which is only $105 a week.  Teddy told me the other day that if he can’t get year-round employment at Conover Trucking & Camping Sales, he’s going to quit at the end of next summer & get something else.  I’m so glad.  The other day we went Harley Haven with Tommy & Teddy talked to Max, the owner.  Max is in the middle of enlarging his business.  Teddy’s done work on Max’s camper in exchange for work on Teddy’s bike.  Max says he’s pretty sure he’ll be hiring a full-time counter person/shop man & that Teddy would be perfect for the job.  The position won’t be open until later in the summer.

***

I found a job at Buffalo Auto Wrecking – as a secretary – but the owner Frank had me driving all over Buffalo – handing out his flyers about his business – which wasn’t that bad – I’ve been in every car dealership, collision shop, lube shop – you name it, I’ve been there.  Two full weeks at 40 hours, at $4 an hour.  Last week, 24 hours at $4.  Then Frank calls me into his office & tells me that all his employees have to have a “health examination” in order to work there & he used to be a “pre-med student” & he still has his stethoscope.  I laughed in his face.  I couldn’t help it –  it was so ridiculous.  I told him I had my own doctor & I left for the day.  Since then, I haven’t heard from him.  I’ve been called every day but nothing. I talked to Ray who said that Frank had not been in.  Today Kathy called.  She said that there was a big problem with Frank & his brother – his brothers said they wanted one secretary – Sharon – who works 20 hours a week – & that was all.  Kathy said she was employed by Frank herself –  going to car auctions & making deals.  She said that he would call me next week – take me to lunch & that I was definitely laid off.

***

So.  I need another job.  The legitimate routes – resumes, interviews, placement agencies – are not working.  At least not fast enough.  I saw an ad in the paper – I’ve seen it for the past few weeks, in fact – for a “go-go dancer” at a club called The Pipka Palace on Clinton Street.  I drove over there & smoked a joint before I went in.  It certainly didn’t look like any kind of palace.  Just an ordinary Buffalo neighborhood tavern – one that had obviously seen better days – but with a much bigger & brighter sign than the usual tavern.  I went in & talked to the owner, Louie.  He asked me if I had any experience dancing & I said no.  He looked skeptical, but I pointed to the girl dancing on stage & said, “I can dance better than she can & I have a better body, too.”  He said, “Well, you might as well audition now – you can go up in your underwear.”  I laughed. “I’m not wearing any.”  He turned to two patrons. “These modern girls!”  They laughed.  He left & came back with a purple g-string.  “You can wear this.”  One of the girls came & took me to the dressing room & showed me how to put the g-string on.  “You stretch it high on your hips so it makes your legs look long.  Make sure your pussy is completely covered & no pubes showing.”   She showed me the jukebox.  She told me: “You pick your tunes from the juke box, here.  The first one should be upbeat, the second two slower.  Wear your top for the first number, you have to be topless for the second two.”  I chose “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer, “Love Isn’t Always on Time,” by Triumph & “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones.  I was nervous when I first got on stage, but I was completely surrounded by mirrors & I got into watching myself.  I got loud applause.  During the second song, when I took off my top, someone yelled: “You’re hired!”

After I got dressed,  Louie sat down with me & explained the gig:  “There are two shifts, 4 to 9:30 & 9:30 to 2:30.  You’ll get $30 a night to start.  You’re first drink is on the house, after that, you pay for them or get a customer to pay, whatever.  No hooking.  No boyfriends.  I don’t want any trouble.  Customers are not allowed to touch you at any time, anyway.  Do not let a customer feel you up.  Behave like a lady & there’ll be no problem.”

Everyone treated me so fine.  I have to work 4 to 9:30 on Friday.  Teddy’s a little upset – but turned on – intrigued as well.  He & Tommy are coming to catch my set & I think Brad is coming too.  This might be fun.  I have to get a g-string somewhere.  I’m going to need costumes.  I’ll have to raid my own closet, see what I have that will work.  It’s a good thing I know how to sew.

Oh!  I’m so glad!  I’ll be able to make the rent!

***

Last night was my first night at The Pipka Palace.  I was nervous at first, but as soon as I got on stage –  I was cool –  I was beautiful.  On Thursday, Teddy & I went out & bought me a black g-string.  Only one!  It was all we could afford!  During my first set, I was wearing it with a shiny black camisole & the camisole fell off during my first song!  Which is not what I wanted, but it got a huge hand!  The girls worked with – Katie & Margie – offered me a few things – a slinky black number, cut up the side & edged & red “fur” & a white lace shawl, which can be tied on your body any number of ways.  Katie & Margie were giving me pointers all night – what kind of shoes to get, what kind of clothes to get, how to take tips from customers, how to drink all night & not get drunk – unless you want to, of course!  They both have loads of costumes.  I love the feeling of dancing in just a g-string –  just my bare body in the black-light.  Once – as I got on stage for my set, someone yelled, “I like this chick, she just takes off her clothes & dances.”

Guys started buying me drinks – I spaced them well, cuz I didn’t want to get drunk – & I talked to them, making bright answers to their conversations about the steel mill, their sons, their divorces.  One man I met was educated & articulate, a pleasure to talk to.  He put a dollar in my g-string – that’s how I get tipped – twice.  I was flipped out when men started putting money in my g-string – but I asked Margie & she said that’s how it’s done.

I kept glancing around to see when Teddy arrived.  I had dropped him off at Tommy’s on my way to work, & they said they would arrive around 7:30 or 8.  It was almost 8:30 when they got they there – pretty wasted, both of them.  They had been drinking vodka & teas at Johnny’s – pure killer, Teddy said – and they hammered away all the time were there.  They loved my dancing.  They both said I had more spark, more shake than the other two – plus I’m simply much prettier.  That sounded very good to me, since Katie & Margie used to be on the professional circuit & I’m just a beginner.  Both Katie & Margie told me that starting out is great – everyone treats you like gold – but after a while the reputation of being a dancer & the assholes that hang around a strip joint will get to you.  Just like anything else.

Teddy & Tommy hung around until the end of my shift.  Teddy was so wasted, I had to drive home.  I got $30 in wages – $6 an hour – & no taxes taken out.  Plus my tips.  $15!  Not bad for my first night.  We stopped at Jimmy’s for cheeseburgers & onion rings.

At home, Teddy was very passionate.  He ate me for eternities & then fucked me hard.  If this is how he’s going to react to me being a dancer, then I’m all for it.  I mean – he’s never like that!  I can’t remember the last time he was like that!  Honestly – he’s never fucked me like that!

***

Earlier this evening, while Teddy was out delivering bags, I called Jon Kudzma – to get Harry G.’s phone number – at least that’s what I told myself – I really just wanted to talk to Jon.  Harry called me a week ago – something about screening some poems for a band of his called Bad Poets.  Jon gave me a number – he told me that if it isn’t Harry’s, I can probably find out from whomever answers his actual number.  I didn’t know why Jon didn’t have Harry’s number but maybe he moved recently – people change phone numbers all the time.  I did ask Jon how things were going.  I was trying to be real casual & light but I was literally trembling as we talked.

Jon had a lot to tell me.  His old band Zuperman had broken up a while ago but he’s now playing with Gloria Poleti & her band – “Gloria & the Glowtones” – which I think is a really lame name – but I’ve caught them at the Continental & ya know, they’re pretty good – Gloria is really good, I gotta admit – but she’s another one who never seems to see the audience – she seems to be singing to the back of the club – to some mysterious spot over all of our heads – & the music bops, rather than rocks – kinda like Blondie-lite.  I mean – it’s fun – not serious.  It’s funny how safe the punk movement has gotten now that it’s New Wave.  Jon told me about gigs in Pittsburgh & Rochester & a bunch of little college towns & how they had cut singles & were making a little more money but he himself was out of work & looking for a job when he wasn’t putting all his energies into the band.  They’re being managed by Gloria’s husband Rob & Jon had nothing but good things to say about him.  “He’s got gigs for us all the time, we’re always working,” he said.  “& he’s paying for studio time out of his own pocket – that’s how much he believes in us.”  I thought but did not say – that’s how much he believes in Gloria.  The rest of you can be replaced at any time at all.  Jon said they were going back into the studio nest week.  Except for a few covers, they are writing all their own music.  “We’re having double rehearsals,” he said.  “We’re learning a lot – going forward at a faster pace than ever before.”

I told him about my happiness with Teddy – even if I was miserably unhappy, I would have told him I was happy – my writing & my new job.  He was immediately intrigued – about my new job, of course – not my writing.  “What does it feel like?”  he asked.  I was kinda disappointed that he would ask such a stupid question.  But I knew what he wanted to hear.  “It feels great,” I said.  “I love taking off my clothes & dancing.  I get off on it.”  He wanted to know everything – where I worked, what nights, what my hours were, everything.  He showed far more interest in me as a dancer than he ever had as a writer or a musician.  It kind of pissed me off.  I said that I didn’t know my hours this week – Louie hadn’t called me with them yet – which was true.  I laughed & said I would give him a private dance.  “Really?  A private dance?”  His voice got very low & serious. “Just between you & me, would you fuck me again?”  “For sure,” I answered, maybe a bit too fast.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because you were really good,” I answered, like it was a stupid question.  Which it was.

“What made me so good?”

I laughed softly.  Oh – he was fishing, was he?  Didn’t Sara tell him how great he was?  My voice got low – so low that I was almost whispering.  “You fucked me hard – I loved it – the violence of it – the jamming of our bodies together – the sense of calm afterward.”

“You like violent sex?”  he asked eagerly – totally missing “the sense of calm” – but Jon always did miss the point with me.  I know that now.

“I like all kinds of sex,” I answered.  “I like to get eaten out – I like everything.  Is there anything wrong with that?”

“No,” he admitted.  There was a silence.  Then – “What are you doing right now?”

I wasn’t doing anything.  But I knew what he meant.  & I knew what he wanted – I always knew what he wanted.  So I started talking to him.  Jon just loves a good sexy story.  I could tell – the longer I talked – the more he was turned on.  He was almost panting.  I had a hard time not laughing.

He says he’ll come see me dance.  I’ll believe it when I see it but I know he still wants me.

***

The wedding invitations came.  My mother & Bob are getting married April 24.  Jesse & Doreen came over to talk about the wedding.  I keep forgetting that Bob is Jesse’s father & we’re all going to be related.  Jesse wants to get a rooms together at a nearby hotel so we can all party together.  “I doubt there’ll be any alcohol at the wedding except maybe for the champagne toast,” he prophesized grimly.  “I don’t know about your ma but my father takes that A.A. shit really seriously – too seriously.  I mean – I’m glad he’s not a falling down drunk anymore but he’s a different kind of jerk now.”  He laughed that low throaty laugh he has.  “I know I’m going to need a few stiff ones to get through that wedding.”  He laughed again.  Teddy said that maybe we could go in on some coke & they got into a detailed discussion about what drugs to take & other weddings they had been at & how wasted they had been.

We sat & smoked several joints as they talked.  Both Teddy & Jesse had really good weed & they were rolling & talking up a storm.  I was tired – I had worked a double shift & I hadn’t gotten enough sleep.  I was zoned out – smoking joints & sitting there half-asleep.  I watched Doreen – she had obviously washed her hair before she came over & she sat in the sunny window, combing it out – the sun shining through her long red hair & making it glow like a collection of topazes & rubies.  Doreen really isn’t very pretty – her features are really quite coarse – of course she has giant tits – really, too big – but it’s her hair that gives her any kind of beauty.  I have never liked red hair – I remember too well Harriet Anders in grade school with her flame red hair & her know-it-all attitude – & then when we lived in Manchester-by-the-Sea & I went to the Manchester Essex Regional School, there was Erica Brady – she had really dark red hair – I guess it’s silly to hate a hair color because of mean girls in schools – girls I haven’t seen in years & years & probably never will again.  & neither of them had hair as pretty as Doreen’s.  Doreen’s is waist-long – thick – perfectly smooth.

But talking about redheads – another redhead I can’t stand – not that I can’t stand Doreen, I don’t mean to say that at all – but there’s this dancer at work – she calls herself “Rhed” – who knows why the “h” is in there but it is – & she’s got it tattooed on her shoulder so there’s no mistake – surrounded by red roses & bleeding hearts – she’s a biker chick & she’s covered with tats – she’s got these really stupid-looking chains tattooed around her waist – & loads of other stupid looking tats.  Most of the older guys hate tattooed women anyway – they all tell me that I’m beautiful simply because I have no tattooes – but they really hate Rhed.  The only guys who like her are the bikers who come in.  Of course – they like me, too.

Anyway – Rhed’s the type of girl who acts like she’s your friend but she isn’t.  She wanted to give me all kinds of advice that I didn’t need.  & she was clearly jealous of me – I was making tips & she wasn’t.  She’s also the type who lies about her age – she asked me how old I am & I said 21 & she said that she was 26 but she’s 40 if she’s a day – or she’s done a ton of drinking & drugging.  Either way – she looks like hell.  Red hair in several unreal shades & done in elaborate curls & held up with sparkly combs.  Too much make-up covering up really bad skin.  A C-section scar.

I had bought a new g-string – a black lace one with a row of rhinestones across the top.  I was saving it for my last set – I don’t really know why but I was.  Just before I went to the dressing room to change, I saw Rhed on the stage – I thought, gee, she’s got the same g-string that I’ve got.  Which would be a normal thing to think, since the store I got it at – Sweet Nothins in Tonawanda – had a whole bunch of them in all colors.  I would have bought a red & a blue one if I’d had the money.  I could only afford one, so I got black.  Anyway – when I went into the dressing room & looked in my bag for the g-string, I couldn’t find it.  & it occurred to me – Rhed had gone through my bag & stolen my new g-string.  Some friend!  I was pissed off but I didn’t say a thing – I had no proof that it was actually mine & no proof that she stole it & it wouldn’t gain me anything to make a scene – which is what she wanted, after all.  But I decided on the way home that I’m going to get myself a suitcase with a lock.  It’s a lot easier to steal a g-string or a small top out of someone’s bag than it is to steal an entire suitcase.  I’ll see that.  No matter where i am in the bar, I’ll see someone walking off with my suitcase.  Nobody’s going to steal from me again.

I don’t want to imply that I don’t like Doreen because she has red hair – or that I just don’t like her, period.  I really don’t have any feelings for her at all – she’s just another one of the wives/girl friends of the guys that hang out with Teddy.  She doesn’t pay any attention to me, other than to say hello & goodbye to me.  Nor do any of the other girls, with the exception of Danielle – who’s becoming a really good friend.  But Pamela, Nikki – Doug’s sister – Maryellen Logan & Brigid Reagan – Doreen is great friends with them.  I suppose she’s known them since grade school.  They all seem to have known each other forever.  I have never had that luxury with anyone.  I have always moved around too much With the men it’s different.  It’s easier with the men.  Maybe that’s why the women aren’t so friendly with me.  But I can’t help that.

***

I’m sitting in our living room with Teddy & Tommy.  We’re watching the soccer game – Buffalo Stallions & the Baltimore Blast.  I went to my first Stallions game two weeks ago.  They were playing the Wichita team – I can’t remember their name.  The game was really good, although Buffalo practically gave them the game in the last 15 minutes.  But the Stallions are doing really well this year.  I am so pissed off at the Sabres.  They just aren’t capitalizing on anything.

It’s a really nice day but it’s still really chilly.  The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is today – it runs along Delaware Ave from Niagara Square to North Street.  They have a good day for it.  Paulie had his bike out today – he & Cindy put on several layers of clothes – full helmets & face masks.  I have biking fever, but not that bad.  It’ll probably be 5-6 weeks before our bike is on the road – mostly because of the insurance.  Plus Teddy wants to get a windshield.  He always comes up with more ways to spend my hard-earned money!  But I don’t mind if it’s for the Harley.  I can hardly wait to ride.

***

It’s almost 2 p.m. & I am sitting a few minutes before I start my bath & get ready for work.  I just dusted & swept the entire house, including the back bedroom.  I put our dirty wash & Teddy’s tool-box in the sun room.  I didn’t move the motorcycle battery because I didn’t want to fuck with it.  I opened all the windows & let the house air out a little.  I love the smell of the spring air even if it’s cold.  Tomorrow it’ll be even better –  it’ll be warmer & I’ll be home longer & the windows will open all day.  Brad is moving in soon – I’m not exactly happy about this –  but it’ll be money we really need.  It seems like the more I make, the more Teddy spends & the more we need.  It’s neverending.

I was babysitting Dean this morning.  They call him Deano now.  I have never liked babysitting – but of course, Danielle’s a friend & I like to help out.  Felix came by while she was here.  Felix really does love babies & he’s really good with them.  After Danielle picked up Deano, Felix rolled up a huge joint & got me blasted.  Felix was in a good mood about the play-offs – glad that Edmonton is eliminated, sure that Boston will be soon – but is worried about Gilbert Perreault’s contract.  He says he’s not sure if he’ll remain a Sabres fan if Perreault goes.

Because of having Deano here this morning, I didn’t have time to work on my collage.  I really wanted to finish it, but I guess I can do it tomorrow morning.  I had writing I wanted to do too.  I don’t know how anyone gets anything done with children around.  They take up all your time.  No wonder there are so few “great” women writers & artists – who can produce art when you’re taking care of children all day?  Not to mention everything else you’ve got to do?  Of course, I am sure there are way more “great” women artists & writers than anyone knows about – probably hidden away in libraries & museums & who knows where – but really, how many talented women were never able to produce the art that was in them, because of having to be wives & mothers?  & having to go to work?  Like I do now?

***

Just out of my bath.  In a little hurry, I’m running late – I went to the Laundromat with Danielle & she’s always late & by the time I got home it was 1:00 – I changed into my bikini & went out into the sun & napped until 2 – which is when Paulie brought up some barbequed ribs.  Naturally he wanted to fool around – it’s always an argument – I know that we’ve only paid half of April’s rent but I’ll have the rest of it paid by the end of this weekend.  It took me an entire half-hour to fight him off & then ran my bath at 2:30 – then hustled to clean up the house – put away the clothes, etc.  I really have to get moving here or I’ll be late.  Traffic is always heavy on Fridays & crawls up Bailey Ave.  I have a hit of acid for later on.  That should be fun.  I love tripping when I’m dancing!  Just a light little trip.  Just enough to see trails & colors & laugh a lot.

***

It’s so nice to wake up, drink coffee, smoke joints & visit with Paulie, Brad, Felix & Teddy – & then, when everyone leaves, eat my breakfast, wash my g-strings, make a casserole or something else for Teddy to throw into the oven when he gets home from work – clean the house, make the bed, etc. – & then write before I have to get ready to go to work.  I have good hours this week – Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 4 at The Pipka Palace & Thursday & Saturday night at 10 at The Canteen.  I’ll make $155.00 this week & that’s without tips.  With tips, I’ll clear $200 easy – maybe $250 or even $275.  I’m so glad I started working at The Canteen.  Kitty works there & she told me that I would love it there & I do.  But I was getting so many hours at The Pipka Palace that I never had time to go over there.  But a few weeks ago, I called for my hours & I didn’t have any – just Saturday night.  & I was like – what the fuck!  So I got my stuff together & went right over to The Canteen.  It was 2 in the afternoon when I got there – just after the lunch rush – there was a good crowd there for a Wednesday afternoon.  I talked to the owner, John Canton.  The name of the bar – The Canteen – is a variation on his name & also a reference to the gear he & every other WWII vet carried all through the war.  He looked just like Grampa Walton on the TV show.  As soon as I auditioned, he told me I was hired & said he would call me with hours for the next week.  So that was good.  But I was walking up the street to where I had parked my car & he came running after me.  “Can you work tonight?”  Apparently some girl had called off just as I was leaving.  So I worked that night & I’ve been working there ever since.  So now I’m working both bars.  Jesse stops in at the Canteen.  It’s always nice to see him.

***

Last night Teddy held me all night long.  Every time I moved, he moved with me, keeping his legs around me, his arms crossed around my chest.  This morning he mentioned how nice it was to hold me all night.  “Because it was so cold, I guess,” he said.  Then he told me about a dream he’d had in which I was being held captive but a bunch of guys who were gonna rape & beat me & when Teddy tried to save me, they squirted a fluid into his eyes that blinded him.  Maybe that was why he was holding onto me so tightly in his sleep.

***

Today is wintry again.  Every time it gets warm, everyone says it’s the last time for this year & then it gets cold again.

After Teddy left for work this morning, I watched “9 to 5” on the Movie Channel with Brad & Paulie.  We smoked joints & drank coffee.  After the movie, we watched the Dick Van Dyke show, then I got to my housework.  Now I’m going to write until I have to get ready for work.  I have no envelopes or stamps but I want to get poems ready to send for publication.  I wonder why I haven’t gotten a reply from William Morris of the Buffalo News?  I sent him poems a month ago.

***

Teddy got bummed out this morning, when I gave him the money I earned last night.  “I guess I’m just tired of never having any money,” he said.

“But I’m bringing it in,” I answered.

“But you never get to spend your money on anything you want,” he replied.  Which is true.  & I need everything – new jeans, shoes, make-up, costumes for work & conventional work clothes if I ever have a straight job again.  I smiled & said, “The household needs it & if we start thinking in terms of ‘your’ money versus ‘my’ money, it’ll just weaken us.  No matter who makes the money, it’s ‘our’ money.  Besides, in a few weeks, we’ll be doing better, when you’re working more hours.”

I feel somewhat tired today.  I pulled a muscle in my neck & I’m horny.  I’m hungry but nothing appeals.  I danced a while – that always makes me feel better – & I did my work-out.  I suppose I should get to cleaning the house, at least I’ll have that out of the way.  I’m not sure what I want to do today.  Write, of course.  But other than that?  I don’t know.

Things will occur to me as I go along.

***

I’m really sick.  I haven’t felt this bad in a long time.  This is the mother of all hangovers.  I have a headache & my stomach is really hurting.  I did eat breakfast – eggs & home fries – & I feel a little better but all I want to do it go back to bed & sleep.  But I can’t because I have to take a bath & wash my hair & get ready for work.  No matter how bad I feel, I have to work.  I have to pick Kim up on my way so I can’t be late.  Kim’s my best friend at  The Pipka Palace – especially since Kitty quit working there – she only works at the Canteen now.  Kim’s absolutely gorgeous – chocolate skin, big dark eyes, curly black hair.  But Louie can’t stand her – he’s super racist.  I’m surprised he even hired her.  I think he had to – there really aren’t many dancers at The Pipka Palace worth looking at.

I know this feeling will wear off.  I just wish it would hurry up & do it.

Brad is filling the bowl.  It’s been one long party since he moved in.  He says he knows what will make me feel better.  He’s as bad as Paulie.  I can’t believe these guys like to eat pussy so much – of course what they really want are blow-jobs.  I just laugh it off.  I don’t want to get into anything with Brad.  I think these guys would fuck anything that moves honestly.  It has nothing to do with me.

This past Saturday was my mother’s wedding – I worked the night before & slept all the way to Cleveland & then we partied the whole time we were there – not really heavily, since it was an A.A. wedding & we couldn’t be obviously drunk – but we had some cocaine & we were doing small lines all through the reception – running to the bathroom all the time – & afterward, in our hotel room, we were drinking Wild Turkey & cokes – well, Jesse & I were – Doreen wasn’t drinking at all & Teddy was drinking vodka & orange crush – he couldn’t get iced tea.  Of course we had lots of joints.  It was a lot of fun.  I caught the bouquet at the wedding – everyone laughed – but I was like – who am I going to marry?  Teddy?  Do I want to marry Teddy?  Do I want to get married at all?

***

I’m sitting at the dining room table, slightly drowsy, but glad to have to go out soon – I hate late afternoons.  It’s so warm, I love it – I wish we were tripping – it’s the perfect day for it – I love dropping acid in the afternoon & tripping as the sun goes down & into the night.

I have been really horny lately – I always am just before my period & then it seems to die down a little bit.  Teddy gets bummed out because he thinks he can’t satisfy me – it’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy – because so often, he doesn’t.  I don’t know what his problem is.  It’s like he loves me in every way except sexually.  I don’t understand it at all.  He does make love to me, just not as often as I want & never as long or in the way I want him to – Is it me?  Am I too demanding?

***

4 a.m.  It’s so nice to come home & there’s a nice little note from Teddy telling me he loves me & that he’s sorry he finished up the milk.  I’m sorry he finished up the milk, too.  I wish I had known – I would have stopped & bought some on my way home from work.

I had a good night.  It was kinda slow but I had four good customers.  I like to sit with a guy for a while –  have a few drinks – talk – hear his stories – go into his life.  These were my customers tonight – Man #1 was black – about 30-35 – had a 20-month-old son – was separated from his wife.  We watched the hockey game & discussed the Sabres & sports in general.  He was surprised I knew so much about sports.  I didn’t let on that I listen to Teddy & his friends talk about sports all the time & I have picked up most of what I know from them.

Man #2 was a salesman for Bethlehem Steel & a pimp – so he said.  White.  He said he was 40 – although I would have pegged him for at least 45 & closer to 50 or 52.  He bought me several drinks & tipped me $2 twice.  He was generally very nice.  He had quite the rap – going on & on about all the women in his life.  He told me, “You’re not the kind of girl to get picked up by a guy like me, but you’re so utterly perfect.”  If that was a line to get me “picked up”, it didn’t work.  I have no use for pimps.  Or salesmen, for that matter.

Man #3 was an old guy named Bernie.  He also tipped me – they all do, ya know.  He was so jive!  Really funny.  Very horny old man, but he liked my reserve.

Man #4 was also an old guy – I talk to guys that other girls ignore.  He was wearing a 3-piece suit – a tie –  expensive shirt – very respectable.  Educated.  We talked about history, politics & art.  He slipped me money under the table – some guys don’t like walking up to the stage to tip me in front of the whole club.  He gave me $10.  That was excellent!  I hope I see him again.

***

Teddy & I got the bike out of storage yesterday.  Today we spent the whole day cleaning it, polishing it & waxing the gas tank – it was beautiful!  Sparkling & shining –  black & chrome.  We put on our riding clothes & went out cruising.  After several hours, it began spluttering like it was out of gas, so Teddy switched it over to reserves.  It still spluttered & ran poorly, so we went home.  Teddy thought that the gas filter might be clogged, so he puttered with it while I cooked hotdogs upstairs.  After we ate, we went out cruising again.  Halfway down Main Street, it began spluttering again.  We pulled into Wilson Farms & it stalled.  Teddy started it up again & I hopped off the bike & he turned the gas valve on, because he realized that he had forgotten to turn it back on after working with it.  Immediately the bike was in flames.  Teddy got off the bike & laid it down, then set it back up again.  People were screaming at him, “Leave it alone,” & “Stay away” & the manager of Wilson Farms came running with a fire extinguisher.  Scotty grabbed it & used it, but it was no use.  I stood there – shaking with tears – thinking, there goes our entire summer.

It took forever for the fire department to get there.  We were sitting at the bus stop when they arrived.  I was sobbing.  The bike was gone in 10 minutes.  Actually – only the plastic parts were gone, the metal parts didn’t burn & amazingly – the tires didn’t.  In fact, we pushed it home.  But Teddy says, it’ll take at least $700, if not $1000 to fix it & we just spent the entire winter making payments on it – in fact, we paid more for the bike than almost all our other bills combined.  I don’t know why I’m saying “we” – I made the payments.  But whatever.  & where are we going to get the money to fix this bike?  Oh – I know something will turn up – something always does.  But I’m still in shock.  Teddy is definitely in shock.  He says he made a stupid rookie mistake – he forgot to hook up the gas line after he worked with the gas filter & when he opened the gas valve at Wilson Farms, all that gas sprayed onto the hot engine & immediately ignited.  He’s angry at himself.

We can’t believe it.  I’ve been crying off & on, but my crying bothers Teddy, so I’ve made myself stop.  I feel like I’m not awake, though.  My mind feels vacant – that’s why I started writing – to push it into action.

It’s just – oh my god, we waited all winter for this & now it’s summer & our bike is gone!  Gone gone gone!!

***

I just got home from work.  I’m had a pretty good time.  Now I’m frying myself an egg before I go to bed.  I didn’t drink much tonight.  Last night, I got really blasted.  I can’t binge two nights in a row.  I know people who can party 24/7 & it hardly touches them.  I’m not one of those people.  Even though I was pretty wasted last night, I woke up & felt fine this morning.  Got up & started partying again.

Naturally my egg is ready before my toast is.  I hate that.

I finished another collage today.  It’s called “The Dream” & it’s really psychedelic.  What I do is probably really primitive, but I don’t care, I love making collages & I have fun doing it.  I have ideas to keep me busy the rest of the summer.  The more I do, the more I think of.  The problem is, I don’t have half the materials I need to do what I want to do.  That’s life – a frustrating, but still – make do with what I have, it’s all I can do.

I’m going to bed.  I’m not very tired, but it’ll be nice to lie there & listen to the wind rustling the leaves.  I love the middle of the night.  Everything sounds so cool.  Where I live, you can hear the chimes of the bell tower at Hayes Hall every quarter hour & I love that.  Plus all the trains.  There’s no sound like a train in the middle of the night.

***

The house is so quiet.  Brad is out for the night & Teddy is sleeping.  I’m tired too but so wired I couldn’t sleep if I tried.  I’ll stay out in the living room & write & let Teddy have the entire bed.

I turned off the stereo.  I couldn’t find any music I liked anyway.  All I can hear now is the buzzing of the electric wall clock & the sound of the traffic.  Minnesota Avenue is a connector street between Bailey Avenue & Main Street, so we get quite a bit of traffic going by.  Plus with the light at Parkridge Avenue, there’s always something happening.  At night, with the lights turning green to yellow to red & the car lights going by, there’s always reflections on the walls & ceilings, which is cool.  I like the sound of traffic, especially when it’s raining.

Teddy is deeply depressed about his bike.  No one seems to understand.  Even Jesse – who has always owned bikes – doesn’t seem to get it.  Teddy truly loved that bike.  He’s told me several times that it’s like someone died.  He also said it’s the worst thing to happen to him since his father died.  Teddy put 4 years of work, love, time & lots & lots of money & effort into that bike.  It was his pride & joy.  He says it’s humbling.  It’s like he’s been warned.  Teddy says to watch it burn right before his eyes – to be helpless – especially since we both could have been killed – it was obviously a warning.  Teddy will come out of this a better man – I hope – but it’s so hard, so hard – he’s so restless in the evenings – he doesn’t know what to do with himself – there’s no motorcycle to putter with – no toy to play with.  Nothing to cruise on.  Nothing at all.  It’s so necessary for us to get another bike, to get a bike soon.  How will we be able to do anything if we don’t have a bike?  We can’t go to Letchworth State Park or down to Allegheny or Zoar Valley, because we can’t afford the gas with the car.  We won’t be able to hit 5 or 6 bars in a night, take in a couple of bands then cruise to the river to smoke a joint as the sun rises.  Oh!  I could go on forever, but the real story is just that Teddy & I are bikers & we love to ride – we live to ride & now it’s summer & we have to ride.  It’s gonna take a lot of sacrifice.  We’re not going to be able to do anything else except pay off a new bike, but it’ll be worth it.  I know it is.

I think I’ll lay my head down awhile.  This whole thing is so very tiring.

***

I can hardly wait until Friday when we go to Sherkston & can finally relax & enjoy ourselves camping & partying – it seems like such a long winter & spring.  Teddy is supposed to be getting mushrooms from Jesse.  I sooooo hope so!!  I love shrooms!

It looks Teddy is going to be able to get a new bike.  He should be able to get a loan if his mother co-signs & he thinks she’s going to.  Everything is looking up.

***

I just finished eating & I’m having a cup of tea.  I usually just eat whatever leftover in the fridge before I go to work.  Today it was leftover baked beans.  I love beans.

I put all the camping stuff in the back bedroom.  Teddy calls it our Sherkston Supply room.  I’m going to make a chart to go between the lights, so we always know what we have & what we need.  I have so much to do this week.  The start of any month is always busy.  I need to make a new calendar for the new month – rearrange my books – straighten the side room – do all the laundry – clean, etc.  Since we just got home from Sherkston, there’s a ton of stuff to do.  Sometimes I think I’ll never get to my writing.

***

I am sitting on the front stoop, waiting for Teddy to come home with the – new motorcycle!! I’m so excited!  Teddy has been in near delirium for days.  He has had an upset stomach all day long.  He was picking it up at 4 p.m. – I’m waiting for him now – we’re cruising as soon as he gets home.  For days, it’s been wet & rainy.  Today – it’s sunny, warm – just perfect.  We have a list of places to go, people to see – to show the bike off to.  Oh, there’s so many things we’re gonna do now – things you can only do inexpensively if you have a bike – go to Letchworth State Park, go to Zoar Valley, go to Toronto, go everywhere!  Our summer would be nothing without a bike!

I really wanted to get a Harley Davidson, but Scotty insisted on the new Honda Magna which looks just like a Harley but – he says – performs much better.  I don’t think it looks just like a Harley, but whatever.  It does have the V-twin engine like a Harley – but also front disc brake, an air suspension, it has a shaft drive & tubeless tires & it’s water-cooled.  It has a tear-drop gas tank like the Harleys do & the reserve tank is tucked underneath the seat – you don’t even see it.  It’s a sharp bike, it really is – but of course, it’s not a Harley.  But it’s Teddy’s new baby, so I have to love it because he does.  & I can’t wait to ride, no matter what it is.

For riding, I’m wearing my new jeans, newly repaired boots, a turtleneck, a pullover sweater, my leather jacket & my black gloves.  It’s 68 degrees but once the sun goes down, it’ll be a lot cooler.  It’s better to dress too warm than not warm enough.  Riding when you’re cold is no fun.

Cindy just came home.  “You’re not too impatient,” she remarked.  I wanna ride so bad.  Hurry up Teddy!!

***

Our new bike is great!  It flies!  I mean, so fast I can’t believe it!

Shirley from The Canteen called & changed my schedule from 5-10 on Wednesdays to 10-3.  Shirley is the manager of dancers at The Canteen.  She’s tiny – Italian – with giant glasses & a bouffant hairdo that I haven’t seen in years.  She’s not someone whose bad side you want to be on.  It may be John Canton’s bar but Shirley is the one who runs the joint.  Between The Pipka Palace & The Canteen, it seems like all I do is work.  There’s a few other clubs in town I’m thinking of checking out.  You never know.  Kitty says it’s always good to keep moving around.

***

I’m sitting at the dining room table.  I just washed my hair.  It sure is hot today.  I just remembered the car windows – I had better go down & open them or else it’ll be hotter than hell in there later on when I go to work.

I’m reading a book about Lenny Bruce – real heavy, really hard to put down – but really hard to read sometimes – really devastating.  The graphic scene where he’s shooting up & can’t find a decent vein anymore – that’s hard to take.  He was shooting up 7 or 8 times a day, plus all the other drugs he took.  Reading this makes me realize that I couldn’t be a hard-core drug addict – no matter how much I like to party.  I want no part of that needle.  I don’t have issues with the needle – not really – but I don’t want to ruin my lovely skin & I don’t to ruin my veins – you can’t repair stuff like that – once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.  I remember when Teddy & I were doing MDA, I had a hard enough time doing that – knowing that I was going to get sick & be puking for 10, 15, even 20 minutes before I got off.  & then the terrible depression the next day.  I’m just not cut out for that kind of life.

***

I have been busy busy busy.  Trying to write when I’m not working or doing housework.  I called Leandra about the acid – she said there were 8 hits left.  She’s another biker chick – she works at The Canteen & she always has acid or coke for sale.  She rides with The Kingsmen – I think she’s with Doogie right now – but she doesn’t seem to have any one man.  Anyway – I think I’ll buy one hit when I’m at work today, in case I have to work a double & the other seven tomorrow.  Teddy said to start stockpiling for camping at Sherkston.  I know Paulie will want to buy some.

I have to run.  It’s all I do nowadays, run run run.

***

I just got out of my bath.  Not much time for writing – I gotta stop for gas on my way to work & I am running late as it is.  It took me so long to get my act together today.  My legs ache from riding the bike.  This bike is not very comfortable.  I don’t think it was designed with passengers in mind.  It is definitely not a Harley – V-twin engine or not.  I miss our old bike.

I’ll feel better onstage.  I always feel beautiful when I’m onstage dancing.

***

It’s been a busy morning.  I did laundry with Danielle – we went over to a place on Grover Cleveland Highway – & I went to a meat market next door & bought hotdogs & ham.  I spent $2.25 at the Laundromat & $2.75 at the meat market.  I put the ham into the casserole for dinner tonight.  I figure I can buy milk & hot dog rolls on the way home from work tonight.

Now I feel crummy – Teddy just called & bitched me out.  I hate it when he calls for a “progress report” & I don’t measure up.  I don’t get the big deal.  It’s not like I do nothing here at home.  The piles of clean laundry – the house always clean & dusted & vacuumed & swept – dinner always ready for him – whether or not I’m home.  But if I forget one thing, I’m useless.

I even make more money than he does.  I came up with the down payment on the bike.  I don’t know what his fucking problem is.

& I’m always horny.  I’m always waiting.  I’m always disappointed.  But you never hear me complain about that – not a fucking word.

Later.   I got Teddy’s money order, as he requested.  & the milk & hotdog rolls.  I didn’t defrost the fridge, but I’ll do that some other day.   Now I’m really late for work, but at least I don’t have to hear his shit when I get home.  Not that I would – he’ll be sleeping.  I don’t know why he couldn’t have gotten his own money order.

***

I finally got the fridge defrosted.  It was a really busy day, but I finally got that done.  I wish I had a dollar for every guy who asks me what I do when I’m not at work – like I’m lying around on a bear rug, eating bon-bons.  I wish I could do nothing at all.  Actually – I wish I could read & write & create art.  But – nooooooo!  There’s always other things I have to do.

Now it’s off to work 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 16

[Winter, 1981]

 

It was cold tonight.  It snowed again.  Donovan & I parked in a secluded spot at the North Chagrin Reservation & smoked two joints.  Nobody goes there in the winter.  Especially on such a cold dark night.

I gave him head.  I have been thinking about giving him head all day.

***

Donovan usually calls me at 7 or 7:30 but it was 9 – no call.  I was tired & would have just as soon stayed at home, but i wanted to be with him – I wanted a nice evening at home with him.  Which I know is impossible, but that’s what I want.  I called his house – I thought maybe he was sick or something.  He said he was “sacking out”.  He said he would like to “go out & get high” – what did I want to do?  Nothing!  There’s never anything to do here – I said, “Oh, go for a cruise or something.”  We hung up.  I felt pretty crappy.  Bob said, “If you don’t stop badgering him, he’s going to get tired of you.”  I just stared at him.  I wanted to say, “You’re not my father,” but I just walked away & went up to my bedroom.  I mean, it’s none of his business.  He’s here all the time lately.  I hope Mom doesn’t do something stupid like marry him.  She just got out of that other idiotic marriage.  Bob’s no Dick – he’s actually a really nice guy – but I don’t need a new dad in my life.

But – am I badgering him?  Really?  At 9:00 on a Friday night, I wanna know if I’m going out or not.  If not – I’ll take my clothes off & go to bed & read – there’s little else to do.  Man!  I wish I lived alone!  I wish I lived in city where there was always something other to do than “go for a cruise” – man, I really wish we could have a nice evening at home -instead of the car, car, car – always the fucking car.

***

Last night was actually very nice.  We went to John & Paul Fischer’s – where Jim Kenny, Sue Boyle, Ed Frank & a few others were hanging out, watching TV & drinking.  It was a nice evening.  Afterwards, Donovan & I got something to eat at The Lyndhurst Diner & then fucked.  I was an hour late but no one noticed.  I didn’t care anyway, I felt so great.

***

I hate getting up early.  I guess I don’t have to get up early for Mass, but the house is so noisy I really don’t have any choice.  Or Saturdays – I always feel so dead on Saturdays, cuz I’m usually out with Donovan & even if I’m in early, I’m up late reading or writing.  Even if I want to sleep late, I can’t – after 8 a.m., the house is too noisy & I know that I have to get up & do chores or else I’ll hear about how I don’t help out & I’m so lazy & selfish.  More & more I feel trapped – stuck in a living situation that is so good & yet so sucky.  These upcoming winter months are the worst, morale-wise.  What a drag to be young during a recession, during the winter, in a city that has so goddamned little to offer in terms of entertainment, rock’n’roll entertainment, cheap artsy-fartsy movies, or just a warm place to hang out & do drugs with friends.  I’m so tired.  I’m so fucking tired of waiting for things to get better.

8:45 p.m.  I’m pissed.  Donovan was supposed to call – we were supposed to get together tonight & do drugs & fuck – probably he decided it’s too cold, which is certainly is – it’s not nice out at all.  But I’m still pissed – he could have at least called.  He’s probably been drinking beer all day & watching football & is all burned out now.  I should have called him.  I wonder what happened.

I don’t want to go to work tomorrow.  I hope I feel more into it by tomorrow – probably I won’t be.  I didn’t wash my panty-hose – I haven’t in about two weeks, maybe more, I have just been buying new pairs to put on – so I guess I’ll wear pants.  It’s going to be cold tomorrow anyway.  I’m so sick of the cold.

I’m in such a rotten mood.  I guess I have been in a terrible mood all day.  I haven’t done anything all day, except read Peter the Great.  I even took a nap so I wouldn’t be tired for Donovan tonight & now he hasn’t called & I won’t be able to get to sleep tonight.  I was expecting to have sex & I always sleep well after sex.  Now I’ll be awake all night & feel like shit tomorrow.  I’m pissed off.

I feel like calling him, but what the fuck am I supposed to say?  “You were supposed to call me, asshole.”  I mean, it sounds so petty.  There’s nothing I can do about it.

***

I didn’t sleep well last night.  I had an awful session of coughing that even cough medicine wouldn’t ease.  I can’t shake this cough, but that doesn’t surprise me.

I woke at 6 & dozed until 7.  Tish & I shoveled the driveway, which really soured my mood – which was bad to begin with.  I was pissed off at work, because I was falling over dead tired & I had crystal to pack.  I just felt rotten.  I had clam chowder & toast for lunch – that & an orange perked me up considerably.  I called Donovan & we made plans for tonight.

So – now I’m in a rare form of wonderful – We did the rest of the coke & had wonderful sex – Oh!  I love that man!  It’s gonna hurt like hell to leave him.  It seems so strange to be so close to someone & know for sure that it’s gonna end.  I suppose that’s why there’s always part of each of us that holds back.  I feel it in him – I feel it in me.  I want to tell him that I love him & I can’t.  I can’t tell him because the words “I love you” have been raped by triteness, thoughtlessness, silliness – you always take it with a grain of salt.  It’s so easy to say & so easy to expect so much from it.  If I said, “I love you,” to Donovan, he’d say, “What do you mean?” & what could I say?  I have no idea what I mean.  How can I say –  I love you because I breathe you, I hold you deep inside of me, there isn’t a moment during the day I do not think of you – it just isn’t what you say to a guy like Donovan.  I don’t think he would understand anyway.  I will always love him.  It breaks my heart to leave him but I know, without the sheerest doubt, that there is no other way.

***

I was comfortable in bed, warm, my eyes closed, my breathing beginning to slow when a terrible thought occurred to me:  I haven’t written my diary.  Immediately my stomach growled, I had to piss, I remembered sit-ups I hadn’t done.  I sat up in bed – sleep was ruined.

Now I am wide awake.  I must sleep in order to wake up at 7 a.m. tomorrow, but my mind is travelling, my body alert.  I suppose I wasn’t all that tired to begin with.

Oh well, I’ll read a while.

***

Terribly depressed.  I cleaned the stock room at work & felt awful.  I was worrying about having nothing to do this weekend, plus having to work on Saturday & the possible ill effects of a whole winter this would have on Donovan’s & my relationship & how there was seemingly nothing for me to do about it, etc., etc.  I went outside at on & smoked a joint & concentrated on thinking about the music on the radio – notably the Supremes “Back in My Arms Again” & “Every Man Needs a Woman” by Yoko Ono.  When I came back in, I commented on the weather – a sunny, no wind – & that it’d be a nice day for a picnic.  Then I thought, there’s something to do – go on a picnic with Donovan.  I think I’ll see what he thinks.  I don’t see why he wouldn’t want to.  Drive somewhere, with subs & beers & joints – hang out & enjoy the winter weather.  I feel better already.  Something to look forward to.

***

Being in love is such a drag.  The greater intimacy Donovan & I achieve, the greater the pleasure & the more tender he becomes, the harder it is to think of leaving him.  I am done with secretarial school & my mother says it’s time for me to think of returning to UB or perhaps some other college.  Get a decent job.

But I can’t stand leaving Donovan.  Yes, I do want to go back to UB – finish my English degree – but I don’t want to leave him.  When I’m with him, I go crazy, I’m all over him.  I wanna make make make him.  Sex with him is so great –  if I don’t see him for a few days – even one day – I’m so horny I can’t stand it.  I know he’s the same way too, because he tells me so – & he’s all over me too.

Although we talk a lot – discuss rock’n’roll – especially the Grateful Dead –  politics, books, movies, houses we like, where we want to live, etc. – our relationship is primarily sexual.  Sex & drugs.  Mere companionship.  We could be happy together, because what we like to do – drugs, sex, go to clubs to hear bands, see movies – we’re happy doing together & we do it so well – especially sex.  Oh, Donovan is sheer joy!

But I worry about the parts of me he can’t touch.  My writing, my rock’n’roll dreams.  They need to be realized.  They must be realized.  For those, I have to go to Buffalo.  For my emotions, my sexuality, I need Donovan.

It’s such a mess.  I know what I have to do.  I know, I know, I know…I know what I want, too.

***

It’s still very cold, below 0 every night.  But Donovan’s car has a warm heater & we are kept even warmer with our passion.  Heaven knows, I am much warmer shivering in his arms than in bed under all my quilts.  But that is no mystery.

***

I worked 12 hours today – minus two 45 minute meal breaks, so it’s actually 10 ½ hours – which was pretty dull – I did sends.  For an hour, I sat & worked out a lyric.  It was so cold this morning I came home & changed my clothes – I put on white jeans, socks, boots & a huge sweater over a turtleneck.  I felt frumpy but at least I was warm.  Lately I’ve been feeling so fat but I’m still 120 lbs.  Tomorrow I think I’ll do some speed.  I need to keep my figure trim.

Mom told me that Donovan called around 6:30 p.m. but there was no message.  I wonder what he wanted.  I want him.

***

I’m so horny.  I came on very strongly to Craig Andrews today, I couldn’t help it.  Well, yeah, I guess I could, but I didn’t want to.  Tim W. obviously wants me – he’s fun to flirt with.  I want Donovan most of all!

***

I’m talking to Donovan all the time, even when I’m not with him.  I’m saying stuff like – You have tripped my senses.  I feel more alive.  I notice so much more.  I am aware.  I am more sensuous than I used to be.  I used to be a Puritan.  I didn’t approve of making out in bars, in concerts, fucking in cars, any public display.  Now I don’t care.  Now I will do it anywhere.  I just want more more more.  I don’t care who sees us – it’s a turn-on – I am so horny that I just want to be fucked wherever you want to fuck me – I’ll give you blow-jobs in the theatre – in the park – anywhere & anytime – knowing that someone might see me sucking you off makes me so hot that I am wet thinking about it.

I am turned onto other men.  You have enlightened my senses, made me want so much so often that I turn onto A on the dock or B doing stock in housewares.  I kissed B today, I wanted him so badly.  I want you so badly, I hurt, I hurt all over, all the time.

I’m tripping all the time.  I’m so happy with your love.  I’m filled my lime green mug with water at the drinking fountain today & I watched the green vibrate against the cold stainless steel & I vibrated too, all because of you.

I love you most sexually.  I want to give myself to you.  I cry over you, I love you, Donovan.

***

With Donovan tonight.  I was in heaven.

***

I’m tired & my stomach aches.  I knocked over the mailbox backing out of the driveway.  I slid into it.  I’m sick sick sick of winter.

Later.   Waiting for Donovan to arrive.  I bought a gorgeous dress today – red plaid – Royal Stewart –  100% cotton – totally western – full skirt – tight bodice – a million tiny buttons up the front – ruffle at the bottom.  I can hardly wait to wear it.

I’m writing, not much.  I do so much partying & love-making with Donovan, so much time is lost.  Plus having to work, I can’t write when I’m at work.  I make notes for stories when I can.

***

I have the chills, a head cold, sore throat, rumblings in my bowels.  I am thoroughly burned out.  Last night I got so stoned on coke – oh, we fucked hard hard hard.  Donovan couldn’t get a hard-on after a while.  I was dried out.  “Cori,” he said, “I really want to make love to you.”  It always seems so poignant when he says “love” – he never says he loves me & it’s rare that he says “make love” – usually it’s “fuck”.  Hearing him say my name is very dear.

I laid his head on my shoulder.  “Ya know,” I said, “we’ve fucked every night since Wednesday – we’re just tired out.”

He agreed. “I wish we would sleep together like normal people.”  He voices this complaint almost every time we’re together now.  Slowly I caressed him & myself at the same time.  I climbed onto him & pumped – he came, shuddering & holding me as tight as he could.  “Thank you, Cori,” he said.  I was so touched.  I think he loves me –

***

I have a cold.  I came home from work today, but mostly because it’s so dull.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I hate it – I see all the chores I used to do being done by others –  simply because I had so much to do for Christmas & they had to be given to other people.  But now it’s slow & I don’t understand why they’re still doing my work – there’s no reason for it.  I can easily do it all.  I hate my job!  I’m so bored with it!

***

I quit keeping a diary cuz I got lazy!  Life got about as dull as I don’t know – wintertime blues.  Everyone gets in an evil mood.  The least little remark or mistake sets off arguments that can last days.

I got kicked out of the house last week.  I’m still here but I have to leave – as soon as I can – Mom isn’t speaking to me & she’s being a real bitch, if you ask me.  It came about because to Planned Parenthood & instead of lying – the smart thing to do –  I told Mom outright – when she asked of course – I never volunteer information – & the ensuing argument was short & to the point –  “No unmarried sexually active young woman is going to live under my roof.”  Actually it wasn’t an argument, because I wasn’t allowed to argue back – I wasn’t allowed to say that I was going there for healthcare, not sexcare.  But to my ultra-Catholic mother, Planned Parenthood is about sex, not about health.  & I had to go – I had an appointment – I had waited over a week for it.  I had a yeast infection that was driving me crazy & I had to get checked out for it & I needed the stuff to get rid of it.

So I don’t know where I’m going to go, what I’m going to do, but I’m not really all that upset or mad – life is exciting again – I have something to look forward to!  Something to wake up for!  Man, I’ve been sleeping for so long now.  I’ve had some luscious dreams.  Donovan – what a dream, oh, I’ve enjoyed him for so long!  I really do love him but I know he’s a dream that isn’t going to come true for a long time – if ever.

I might go back to Buffalo.  Jesse & Doreen said that I could stay at their place while I get a job & get my shit together.  Actually, what I would do is go for a week’s vacation & look, then come back here & maybe go back for another week a month later.  Cuz I don’t want to go there without a job – that’s stupid.  I’m not making the same mistakes I did the last time!

The only thing that holds me back from Buffalo is Donovan.  He’s my sexual nourishment & I’m not giving him up/throwing him out so quickly.  That’s why I’m not jumping at the chance to go to Buffalo, but you never know – wait & see.  Oh, there’s a certain joy in not knowing that’s gonna happen!

***

I’m talking myself into going to Buffalo.  I can’t help it – the allure of the spring & summer in Buffalo – as opposed as what’s happening right now – winter in Cleveland.  It’s so hard to combat.  Plus I think I’m falling far too much in love with Donovan.  I think I’m getting sappy.  I need to measure my sexual strength with someone else – someone new – see if I can please him – if I can conquer him.  In a similar way, I need to measure my intelligence –  my creativity with minds who are also creative – I need to be with people who are like me – Donovan is – in fact – quite a lot like me – I talk to Donovan more easily about non-personal/emotional subjects than anyone I can think of – but I need others.  Donovan makes me orgasm so I scream & curse & cry – god!  But as I climaxed earlier tonight, a voice inside was screaming:  Jon!  I want to measure myself against Jon!

I think I will go.  My arguments are so persuasive.  The only thing holding me back is the fear that it’ll be a drag, the scene will have moved to New York City, & that I will have to go a whole summer without a steady man & steady sex.

***

I am having an affair, quite by surprise.  I was working on my collage yesterday evening & Joe Trulia stopped by.  I was really surprised since I haven’t since him in over 6 months.  I heard he was getting married.  Just last night Sharon & I were talking about him while we were having coffee at Arabica.  She was going on about how “devoted” he is to his fiancé.  I said that he had pissed me off because he had just broken up with his previous fiancé & I felt that he had called on me because he was horny & because of my high school reputation.  I wasn’t pissed because he had used like that – since I see nothing wrong in a purely sexual relationship – I was pissed because I had really fallen for him & I hadn’t gotten more than I had.  So last night I was under no illusions, but I still felt the pull because, ya know, I always do.  Joe pulls me, pulls me, pulls me.  It was so weird.  I’m so used to Donovan.  I really noticed it, kissing Joe.  Donovan’s kisses are hard & fierce – his lips are thinner & more muscular.  Joe’s are soft & slow, like kissing pillows.  Joe doesn’t know me as well as Joe.  I want him to know.  At least, some of me.

I was giving him head.  He pulled me up, groaning, “I wanna fuck you!”   “Where?”  cuz there was no room in the car, it was a tiny Datsun hatchback.  “Outside, on the back of the car.”  “But it’s cold out!” I protested.  “No, it’s alright, c’mon.”  So of course I did!  It was strange – I was glad no cars came by – we were pulled over on the side of the road!  He fucked me rapidly & came quickly.

We were driving back & he said, “Ya know, I’m on my way to – ” whatever his fiancé’s name is.  I laughed.  He went on, something about getting married, how he sort of wished he wasn’t, adding, “I’m such a fucking whore.”

I said, “Well – I’m a good person to have an affair with, in fact I prefer it.”  & we were silent for a while, then he burst out with: “Damn!  Tonight was fun!”

“Sure was – ”

“I almost didn’t come to your door.  I’m not sure why I did.”

“You wanted to fuck.”

“If anyone found out,” he was laughing, “her father would shoot me, my mother would be madder than hell – I mean, all hell would break out.”

“So we just don’t get seen together.  I mean, we’re gonna get together & fuck anyway.  We just don’t let anyone know about it, right?  & I’m leaving town soon anyway.”

So it was agreed upon – I’m seeing him, Thursday night, unless of course, he changes his mind.  You never know.  He might decide to do the right thing.  Whatever that is.

***

Wow!  I put 1 quarter into the vending machine & got 4 bags of chips!  I hit the jackpot, right?  Must be a good omen!

I’m so psyched.  I wrote a new set of lyrics yesterday,  called “Danny Boy” – about Joe – & I think they’re really good.  I’m working on a new collage – it’s really good.  All of a sudden, I’m waking up – I’m creative – I’m writing!  It’s great!

Last night, I was at Donovan’s – we were partying in the cellar, with like, 10 guys from Red & White – one of the frats at the high School – Donovan’s brother’s Chris is the president –  & I was really bumming – it was not my scene & not what I wanted to do – it was stupid.  Donovan was saying that “not that many albums are released” in a year & I wanted to puke – I thought, you have no idea what gets released – the whole world could be released & no one in South Euclid would ever know about it.  I have got to get the hell out of here!  I’ve got so many ideas!  I’ve got so many things to do!

***

It just flashed to me – just now – driving into the Finast parking lot with Donovan.  I was thinking about Gone with the Wind where Rhett tells Scarlett that if Ashley had really loved her, he would have stopped her from going to Atlanta to get the money for the taxes on Tara – it occurred to me that it’s the same with Donovan & me.  If Donovan really loved me, he would be trying to keep me from going to Buffalo.  Of course I’m not going to Buffalo to sell myself to a man like Rhett Butler.  But still.  He doesn’t want to make the emotional or the financial sacrifice.  That’s what love is – sacrifice.  I would have sacrificed for him.  I would give up the other men – I would give up everything.  But he refuses even to discuss it.  So now I think –  what the hell, it’s over.  I guess I wouldn’t have made such a good bargain, because love is making a gamble against all the odds & I would have lost.

***

Last night I was in tears.  When Donovan touched me, it was like my body was burning, I couldn’t stand it.  He said, “What’s the matter?” & I gave him some logical “I’m fucked up cuz of my period” reason although that’s not really it.  I was drinking 7 & 7’s & doing so many bong hits I lost count.  He took me home –  it was only 11:30.  I’m depressed because I want him to want to live with me – to want me – to want to be my man & he obviously just wants to party with the boys.  He just wants a girl he can fuck when he wants her – not a woman full-time & all the time.

My relationship with Donovan has changed into a love/hate type of thing – not hate, really, but I’m pissed off – I’m really pissed.  I’m pissed because he wouldn’t help me out, like I wanted, like he could have, if he had wanted to take the emotional risk.  I’m pissed that he didn’t want to hold onto me – I’m pissed that I’m so easily replaced.  Most of all, I’m pissed that once again, I got attached & he didn’t.  For whatever reasons.

I told him: “I can’t stand leaving you!”

He replied, “Yeah, but you can’t do anything about it, so why think about it.”  Which is what I say about everything that doesn’t concern me – why think about it – but this does concern me!

Granted, it is true that I don’t belong here, it’s not my scene.  Probably no one knows my unhappiness better than Donovan.  Our relationship has always been transient – he knew that I saw other guys, he knew about Joe Trulia.  I always got the feeling that Donovan just wanted a girlfriend, someone to take out & fuck – a mere companion – he’s really not all that attached to me – he would have broken up with me long ago if the sex hadn’t been so good.  I mean, from the start, he didn’t take it seriously because I didn’t take it seriously.  We just stumbled into it – we were horny.  So even though we spend 4 nights out of 7 together, we never expected to stay together – so here we are, breaking up.  This is really getting dragged out too, which is worse.  But hell, I guess he thinks just because she’s leaving doesn’t mean he has to stop seeing me.  It totally mystifies me why he wants to see me all the time, yet he’s letting me go without a cry!

***

Donovan told me: “You’re irresistible!”  Sometimes he comes out with these statements.  He’s corny, he’s romantic, even.  Sometimes, though, he’s such a realist.  It’s strange because he’s not even 19 yet.  I am a realist but I resent it, I’m bitter about it.  I make fun of my realism.  I’m a cynic & I make fun of that too.

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.

Excerpts From a Diary 6

[June, 1979]
Man, I don’t even know what day it is & I just realized it’s June. I don’t know why I bother to have a calendar – I rarely look at it & I never change it until 4 or 5 days into the new month cuz I just don’t realize – I’m too busy partying.

***
I talked to Mom today. She & Dick are very upset about my grades but they’re sending me money to get me through the next month, by which time I have to have a job or I have to go back to Gates Mills. But I’m never going back there. Crony told me today that he might be going to California at the end of the month & I don’t have a job by then, maybe I’ll go with him. Of course Eddie told me he was coming back for me at the end of the summer. So I want to be here for that. I would hate to miss Eddie. But – California! I have always wanted to go out there. Of course Crony might not go there, either. He was pretty wasted when he was talking about it.
I visited Bard Ellison tonight. It was our best visit yet. I think it’s going slow but that’s alright. Better slow & steady than fast & fucked up. & I think he needs a long time to make up his mind. & it gives me time to hang out – feel my oats a bit – I need a little freedom but I need a little hope too.

***

Oh man, I’m so excited. I was hanging out at Bard’s yesterday afternoon, listening to his band – Chaotic Bliss – tune up & practice a little before their gig & Bard said that they needed to find someone big & tough to take money at the door & make sure no one got in without paying. They talked a while about various guys & I said, “Well, I’m not big but I’m tough – I’ll do it.” & I talked them into it. So I went to McVan’s with them for the 7:00 sound check & hung out until opening. People didn’t show up for the longest time – it’s slow on Sunday nights – so the drummer – Greg Bodinski – “Gregski” – & I hung out together & talked. Once we found out we’re both into the Beatles, we traded acquired knowledge. He’s just a senior in high school. He’s kinda plump but real cute.
When people started coming, I was tough. I was amazed at all the excuses people will use to try to get in for free. “I’m with sound.” There is no sound man. “I know Bard Ellison.” Everyone knows Bard! Or they said they knew Barrett. A few said they knew Frankie or Gregski but not by name – they said they knew “the guitarist” or “the drummer” which is a dead giveaway that they really don’t know anyone at all.
Late into the second set, this humpty-dumpty dude came up. “I’m the band’s manager,” he said.
“That’s nice,” I replied. “It’s a dollar-fifty cover.”
“Listen, you don’t understand, I’m the band’s manager.” He put his hands on my shoulders & I shook him off. “Got any i.d.?” I was smiling but I wasn’t letting him in.
Well, he really was the band’s manager – Fred Fuller, his name is – & he was impressed with me, so he took my name & phone number – & I have a permanent job. “This band is going places,” he told me, “& you’ll go too.”
This is so great! This band is musically & lyrically the best band in Buffalo. The Jumpers are great but they aren’t intellectual like Chaotic Bliss. & I’m a part of it now! This is what I’ve always wanted! I belong!

***

Last night we played a private party at the Belle Starr out in Colden & everything was fucked up. We thought there was gonna be a P.A. system but there wasn’t one. Fred called around & got a sound man but then there weren’t any microphones. Honestly I don’t know why they don’t bring their own stuff just to be on the safe side. I know I would. You’d think Fred would be on top of this stuff. Then they found a mike – just one – but no stands. The band was supposed to go on at 10 but it was past 12:30 before they did. Gregski & I hung out together most of the time – he borrowed money from his sister so he could buy beer. He’s so sweet, so nice, so pretty – I want him. I was so high all night – dancing, cruising around, laughing, making other people laugh. “You’re always smiling,” said Frankie, the guitarist, who is obviously hot for me. “Cori’s very happy lately,” remarked Fred to Bard. “I think it might be Gregski,” said Bard.
“He’s so pretty!” I gushed to Bard. “& he’s younger than I am! Like everyone I know is older than I am!”
Writing up set lists, I talked to myself. “He’s cute, but he’s so young. You know he’s too young for you. Don’t get involved!”
Finally, they had to go on. I was the human mike-stand, holding the mike for Bard – or Barrett – whoever was singing at the time. They did a lot of jamming, so they didn’t have to sing too much. & then when they did sing, Barrett insisted that I get up there & sing with them – they were doing Beatles tunes & I belted out harmony – totally impressing everyone. “Wow, a rock’n’roll Ethel Merman,” said Bard. It was really fun. & I got paid, too – when they divided up the money, I got an equal share – only $2 – but I told Fred, “It’s just so much fun. I mean, I want to make money, too, but I’m here for the fun. It’s just so much fun.”

***

Chaotic Bliss has four members. Bard Ellison does lead vocals, plays viola & writes most of the songs, especially the lyrics. He commands most of the attention because he dances, he beams – he is so joyously high on rock’n’roll. You watch him & you can’t help but feel great, cuz you know he’s having the best time of his life. Plus he looks so bizarre – his shoulder-length frizzy hair – his tall thin body – his little kid grin – he might talk a good line about “punk rock” but there’s really nothing punk about Bard. He’s an old-time hippie who is rocking out with the kids. & he’s loving every minute of it. & he brings out the most bizarre instruments to rock out with – an autoharp – an ukulele – things you never see in a rock’n’roll band, let alone a punk band. He is supposed to be spending the summer writing his dissertation but he admits that he doesn’t give a damn about anything but rock’n’roll. I totally understand where he is coming from.
Robert Barrett – just known as Barrett – plays bass & also sings & writes songs. Like Bard, he is writing his dissertation but he is much more serious about his work. He’s been playing in rock’n’roll bands since he was a young teenager & has never been out of a job. He’s played some really big gigs – some of the big music festivals – & he’s seen or partied with everyone. It was the daily grind of the rock’n’roll life that made him want to become a scholar – he’s really an intellectual. But he’s a really good bass player. He’s solid, ya know what I mean? Never loses the beat – always right there with the firm bottom. Also – I think he exercises the most power in the band. If I had to say which guy was the leader of the band, I’d have to say it was Barrett. Which is funny, cuz it’s Bard’s band.
My feelings about Frankie Marone are ambiguous. He’s a good guitarist – good, not great. He’s a better rhythm guitarist than lead. He really drops the ball whenever he has to fill eight bars in the middle of a song. But he’s a good driving rhythm guitarist. He’s good-looking is a suave macho cool way – blonde, well-built – & he’s certainly very nice to me – but there’s something there I don’t like. Maybe cuz he isn’t quite natural. I don’t know if I would go so far as to call him a total phony but – maybe half a phony. I don’t know – I could be way off here. But that’s what my instincts are telling me & my instincts are rarely off. He’s very pleasant though – I like him – on a very superficial level.
& then there’s the pretty drummer – Gregski – from Cheektowaga. I call him “Wonder Boy” cuz he’s such a fantastic drummer. & he’s such a sweet kid – he really is. Bright – enthusiastic – loves to party.
They are so tight – such a tight, tight band. They haven’t even been together all that long, but they are really great. They are all excellent musicians. Musically, they have everything they need to be a great band, all they need is a following. & of course – lots of practice. I really believe in this band. I really do – they’re great.
Tonight they were working on new tunes, so there were some personality clashes. Barrett was clearly in charge & he tends to treat Bard – especially – like a child. Sometimes they would be squabbling & I would think – what a bunch of silly children. I can also see where Gregski may rebel in a while. I mean, he’s 10 years younger than the rest of them. Bard & Barrett, anyway. He told me how they often treat him like a “total kid.” In the next couple years, he’s going to really change. I think of the changes I’ve gone through in the past twelve months – they’ve been monumental. He’s still in high school & lives with his parents – he’s still a little kid in so many ways.
As I was sitting listening to them practice, I was humming harmonies & wondering if they will let me sing again.

***

Yesterday & today – yuck. It’s been terrible. First of all, it’s been so steamy hot that tempers are short & I can’t sleep at night – I’m never good when I can’t sleep – plus I still haven’t found a job – the phone company wants $100 deposit – a fucking $100! That’s ridiculous! – & I’m tired of my housemates. Mark Miles has been one of my very best friends since I first met him at Mayfield High School – he was really the first friend I made there. I understand he’s hurt & confused about Sara breaking up with him but it’s all part of Jon breaking up with me. I mean – that’s obvious. & it’s obvious that it’s been going on for a while. But I don’t get why Mark is taking it out on me. Like I’m the one who screwed it up with Jon & that’s why Jon is dogging Sara & that’s why Sara doesn’t want Mark anymore or some such shit. I was over at Bard’s, blowing off steam & when I got home again, I was locked out – this house is never locked! It’s a good thing it’s real easy to break into. I have to start remembering to carry my key.
I went out last night with John & his two friends C & D. What a waste of time that was. We went over to the Elmwood Strip. First we went to No Name’s, which wasn’t half bad, because the baseball game was on. I love baseball – I don’t care who’s playing. After the game, we went down the street to Mr. Goodbar, a disco. I hate discos, but I felt like dancing. However, it didn’t take long to become thoroughly depressed from the music & the people. I left for C’s place – John said he’d follow me later.
He showed up a little while later. He said he was almost sure of a ride home. “Great,” I said, “I’ll wait here.” I fell asleep on the couch. When I woke up, I figured that John was still at the bar, so I got up to walk down there. I saw a guy in a car & I asked him what time it was. “Four-thirty,” he answered. “Four-thirty!” I exclaimed. I wondered how I was going to get home from Elmwood Avenue at four-thirty in the morning. “Do you need a ride?” he asked. “Where are you going?” I asked.
“Winspear,” he answered.
“Oh great,” I said & got in. We talked as he drove & he asked me if I wanted to get high. “Sure,” I answered. He parked at Medaille College – nobody was around & I wasn’t happy – & he rolled a joint. We smoked it & as I expected, he put the moves on me. I said, no way. He got aggressive & I kicked him in the balls with my wooden clogs. “You fucking bitch!” He yelled. “I was just trying to be nice to you!” I thought, I’m out of here & jumped out of the car & ran away. I could hear him trying to start his car but the battery was dead. He was yelling at me to come back, but I wouldn’t.
So I walked all the way from Medaille College – not a bad walk, actually – but I was wearing my high-heeled clogs, not shoes you want to be walking in. But it was warm & the sun was coming up – the sky was pale blue & pink, changing as I watched it. I would have enjoyed myself if I hadn’t been scared shitless. Black dudes in long cars would stop & offer me rides & they don’t take no very easily. I was so scared.
I was getting blisters from my clogs so I took them off & walked barefoot. I felt a sharp pain – I had walked through broken glass. I limped down Main Street, getting more & more tired. My foot, which was bleeding, was becoming swollen.
Then I stubbed my toe. I was right around Hertel Avenue. The impact didn’t even hit me – I just stood there – numb – watching my big toe turn red – the skin pushed back & the nail broken. Then there was pain & I felt like puking. But I brushed away tears & started moving again – just slower & lop-sided.
Finally I was home. I hopped up the stairs & down the hall to John’s room. He was in his bed, sleeping. “John,” I said, “you fucking asshole.”
“Cori,” he said, waking, “you’re home. How’d you get home? I was so worried when I got in & saw you weren’t around.”
“You were worried? You fucking left me stranded, you asshole! Look at my foot, I can barely walk!”
“Wow, how’dja do that?”
I went to bed. I didn’t even bother to clean it off. There’s blood all over the hallway & bathroom floors but I haven’t cleaned that either. I’ve been soaking this foot all day – at Bard’s – & my toe is lots better. He has Epson salts & he keeps changing the water. But the glass is really wedged into my heel. For a long time, I thought it was out, because it wasn’t hurting, but now it hurts more than ever. I stuck a needle in the hole to see if I can pry it out & it’s definitely in there & very well lodged. I’m just too tired to do anything about it now. I was at a party tonight but I had to leave cuz I couldn’t walk & I was in so much pain I wasn’t enjoying myself. I’m so pissed. I can’t believe I’m hurt like this.

Today I soaked my foot almost all day. At intervals, I’d pull back the softened skin & enlarge the hole – then I’d let it soak again. Just a minute ago, I pulled back more skin & saw the piece of glass, shining in the light – I squeezed my heel & it came out, with blood & pus. I cleaned my foot & dressed it & bandaged it. Now I’m gonna wrap a plastic bag around it so I can take a shower. I’m meeting Chaotic Bliss at Bard’s, before we go to the gig at McVan’s tonight.

***

Wow, what a gig. We got there & our sound man didn’t. There was some fuck-up – some total lack of communication. We couldn’t get another one, either – although Bard deserves a gold medal for trying. Barrett & I are really pissed off at Fred – he couldn’t be found & this is definitely his fuck-up. Bard is much more forgiving.
So I went around, giving people’s money back & telling them that there was no P.A. but the band was gonna jam anyway. I think giving the money back to the people impressed them, because they all stayed.
The band was never better. What they lacked in vocals, they made up for in excellent solos, tight back-up & Bard’s incredible mime act. He is one out-there dude! & people were really into it! & the band was really into it, too, they were obviously enjoying themselves – I don’t think I’ve ever seen Frankie smile as much – not while he’s playing anyway. They did all their tunes, except the ones that had to have vocals. They were great!
Fred showed up late in the second set & wanted to know why was there no P.A. & where was the sound man? Barrett wouldn’t talk to him.
Going home, we stopped at Mighty Taco & munched. We were all so high & giggly – we just talked about the gig constantly. I’m writing it up for the new newspaper in town, “Rockers”. Fred was going to, but I was so exuberant & talking so excitedly about the band that he told me to. Barrett agreed that I should, since I was there for the entire show. Plus, I’m really into this band. They’re great, that’s why! They really are.

***

I have a job – I’m 90% sure of it! It’s a typing job at a credit bureau – minimum wage to start, then a raise after 30 days & benefits – Blue Cross/Blue Shield, life insurance, disability, sick days – everything. I can type 53 words a minute – I had never known that before. I can actually type faster than that, but not accurately. I told John – the guy who interviewed me – that with practice, I can & will get better. I want that job.
The reason I’m 90% sure of the job is that this guy always hires from Ruth – my employment agent – they’re personal friends – & I’m the only girl she sent to him. I think I made a good impression – I hope so!

***

Oh wow – I just woke up. I was pretty sick all day but I just realized it would be from lack of sleep as much as too much beer. Oh – last night was fun fun fun – I can barely remember it but that’s cool too – that’s how I know it was fun.
Around 3 in the afternoon I went over to Bard’s – the band was hanging out – they were gonna practice, then go to a gig at McVan’s with 8 other bands. It was another one of Mark Freeland’s extravaganzas to promote his bands.
We got there at 9 p.m. & didn’t go on until 3 a.m. In between, we drank several pitchers of beer, smoked a handful of joints & I myself had at least 4 bottles of beer on top of that. Plus, we had been doing shots of bourbon before we even left Bard’s house. So we were all quite wasted. Bard wasn’t – he never joins in with the drinking & the smoking. But the rest of us were partying hearty.
I wore a blue & white mini-dress, navy blue tights & my red mary-jane flats. I had on lots of eye make-up & all of my silver jewelry. I got asked to dance a lot. When I was asked whom I was with, I said, “Chaotic Bliss.” They’re my boys.
I was standing at the side of the stage, listening to Davy & the Crocketts with Gregski. We sauntered back through the dark hallway backstage to the dressing room. I don’t know what we were talking about – I can’t remember – but in the noise & darkness our heads were close together to hear what we were saying to each other & I’m not sure if he kissed me first or if I kiss him first – only that we stayed in the darkness a long time – a very long time.
& then, after the load-out, I was beating up on Frankie, to prove that I was tough in retaliation to his accusation that I wasn’t tough at all – & his kisses were deft & practiced – & his tongue wound around mine like a snake wound around a mouse. “Would you like company tonight?” he asked. “Sure,” I answered, without really thinking about it. In bed, I pulled myself together enough to fuck reasonably well, but in all actuality, I was too drunk & tired to be any good at all. We slept, our bodies entwined, which was nice – but as it got lighter out – it was 5:30 when we went to bed – the heat & the humidity increased & so did my headache. He left me in the early afternoon & I was glad to be alone. I don’t like being sick around other people. But I regretted that sleeping with Frankie hadn’t turned out entirely great. I mean, it doesn’t matter to me – but maybe it doesn’t fit into his macho image. Which won’t bode well for me.
I just got rid of my headache & I’ve finally woken up. I have to shower & then get over to Bard’s cuz we have a gig tonight.

***

Wow! I’m stoned, man! I’ve been stoned &/or drunk like all the time lately. I can barely write. Last night I bought half an ounce. I just couldn’t stand being without weed. I thought: fuck the bills, I’m gonna get me some marijuana. Went to bed stoned – woke up stoned – smoked some more. I can’t even write – I can barely hold a pen. I wanna dance – I wish it were night & I was out dancing – yeah.

That job fell through & I’m so depressed I could cry but I refuse to let myself cry over something so silly. I have to call the employment agency cuz they have another interview for me – but I just don’t want to. I’m so tired of this dress-up play-act game – especially since I don’t know how to play & I seem to be losing. I’m so sick of this!

I went out job hunting today but not much luck. I miss the band. I saw Bard yesterday which was nice – our band’s the best! Sunday’s gig was great – people were up & dancing – me too! I was bouncing in my seat & Fred said, “Go on, dance. I’ll watch the door.” We’re getting a following. At last!
However, there are major problems brewing. Gregski doesn’t like Fred at all, nor do I, really. & now Barrett says he’s picking up “bad vibes” too. Fred says money was stolen from the door – which is impossible – because I’m always there – I don’t even take a piss – so in essence, he’s accusing me of stealing. & why would I steal from my band? The band I love? Plus I get paid out of the money from the door, too. Stealing from the door is stealing from myself.
But there’s always problems, right? I guess that’s normal.

***

I have a job! Really! I went out this morning & went all over Buffalo, applying everywhere & finally was trudging up Main Street from Hertel, depressed as hell. I was passing Broadway Joe’s, a bar run by this disco wimp who picked me up hitch-hiking one night. It doesn’t get much business. Anyway, there was a Help Wanted sign in the window, so I went in. & walked out a half-hour later buzzed with beer & employed.
I went right over to Bard’s house. “I have a job!” They were all happy & even happier when I delivered an ounce of weed to Mac – Bard’s roommate – but there was definite tension. They were in no hurry to start the rehearsal. Bard told me this morning, “Frankie got a lot of hassle from his family because of the lyrics of ‘Son of Man’ & he’s redefining his priorities. He says he wants to go to school.”
When they finally went down to the basement & started the rehearsal, they worked on “Dog Breath”. Fred was there – more bad vibes. Bard disappeared upstairs for a while & returned with a bunch of disco albums. Without any forewarning or any words at all, he started smashing them – throwing them against the basement walls & on the floor – until there was nothing but a pile of black plastic. When he was done, he went back to playing his autoharp like nothing had happened. The room was a total mess of broken vinyl.
The rehearsal slowed down & stopped. Then the fireworks started.
Frankie said that, as a Christian, the lyrics of ‘Son of Man’ offended him & he wanted them changed – “Just three little words” – or he wouldn’t play the song. Then he changed it to – change the lyrics or he’d quit the band.
Bard said that the three words weren’t important in & of themselves, but the song as a whole was important & changing any part of the whole would be artistically & morally wrong. If you changed the words, then you change the song & then it wouldn’t say what he wanted it to say.
Frankie’s rebuttal was that Chaotic Bliss is not Bard Ellison – Chaotic Bliss is the entire band – Bard, Barrett, Frankie & Gregski. Something clicked in my brain that this may be the real problem. This & Frankie’s family hassling him – if they are, indeed, hassling him.
Fred was trying to be the father figure – Barrett & I got the giggles because he was so ridiculous at it. So Fred tossed Barrett & me out. We went upstairs & watched TV for a while, then Barrett went back down & I sat on the stairs, listening. Basically, it was more of the same. Barrett made a beautiful speech defending Bard’s rights & feelings as a artist. It was great – I wish I could remember it cuz I’d write it down here.
Frankie left after that. Bard, Gregski, Barrett, Fred, Mac & I sat in Bard’s kitchen, smoking pot & discussing the situation. Bard read his poem “The Pope on Christmas Day”. It was beautifully offensive. I left after that.
We’re meeting tomorrow at 11 a.m. I’ll be there earlier, of course. But now I need to sleep.

***

I walked into the house yesterday at 11:45 – way later than I had wanted to arrive – but I overslept. I listened at the cellar door, but there was absolutely no sound at all – a bad sign – when all is well, they can’t wait to play – so I dashed upstairs. I walked into the kitchen & they were all sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee. We all said hi, then Bard said, “Frankie’s just announced he’s leaving the band.”
“Oh,” I said & sat down.
Frankie said, “It’s just that…with you, the Bliss is your primary interest, your primary goal. But it isn’t mine. I should have said so from the start & I’m sincerely sorry that I didn’t, because I did you a great disservice. But I’d be doing a greater disservice if I kept on playing & later quit.”
There were the same questions over & over again – why did it take so long to realize this? How much of this is family pressure? How can he cut off a possibility for the future? Etc. Frankie replied, “I want to be a speech pathologist.” He left soon after.
Barrett, Bard, Gregski & I hung out all afternoon, talking about the situation. “Anyway,” said Bard, “we should not settle for any guitarist until we find the best one in the world.”
“That’s a good idea,” I agreed. How I wished at that moment I played guitar! Gregski fired up a joint & passed it to me. Bard suggested that they write a song, “so that today isn’t a complete waste.” For about an hour, Barrett pounded on a guitar with only 5 strings & Bard & I traded lyrics, while Gregski thumped & pounded an accompanying rhythm & finally we got it finished. Barrett left soon after that & Bard, Gregski & I walked to Might Taco to get burritos. Talking – of course – about Frankie’s decision to leave. We all think there’s more to it than the lyrics of a song or wanting to be a speech pathologist. But if Frankie doesn’t want to talk about what’s really going on, there’s nothing any one of us can do about it.

***

Last night’s gig was terrible. We had the worst competition – 999 was playing Stage One. I would have loved to have seen 999 – I don’t want to be disloyal to the Bliss but still. & there was almost nobody at McVan’s at all. & then, Gary’s A-string broke on his ukulele & he didn’t have another one – or the one he had didn’t fit – so those songs were shot – then Frankie’s amp broke & then Barrett’s did. I mean, it was one thing after another.
& I was depressed because Frankie now treats me like I don’t exist. I should have known, right? I poured out my troubled to Barrett on the way to McVan’s – “He doesn’t flirt with me anymore,” I complained, hurt but not exactly caring. “If he had never flirted with me, I wouldn’t care. But he was only flirting with me to get me in bed & now that he’s had me, it’s like I don’t exist.”
Barrett said, “It seems to me that you’re taking life by the horns, which is admirable & takes a lot of courage. But you’re gonna meet people who are gonna take advantage of that quality of yours & put you down, or at least try to put you down. They’ll use your independence for their own ends & then revile you for that independence.”
“I don’t get that. I’m not that kind of person.”
“You gotta toughen up, baby,” he smiled at me. I smiled back. “Bard & I were wondering,” he mentioned, “how much you taking Frankie home that night had to do with him quitting.”
“Yeah, I was wondering, too.” I sighed. “But that’s not my fault, Barrett. Him quitting the band.”
“I know that, baby,” he answered.
& then Fred was down on me, but he always is lately – it occurred to me that maybe he blames me for Frankie quitting the band, too. It bothers me that Bard might blame me. If Fred blames me, so be it but I don’t want Bard blaming me. It’s not my fault. If that’s the way Frankie is, that’s the way he is. Anyway, the night sucked. The few people who came in were hecklers. The band quit the stage without finishing the set & we packed & left without smoking a joint & hanging out in the back room like we always do – talking about the set & congratulating each other about a great show.
The only good thing was that Frankie – supposedly unhindered by whatever his hang-up is – played better than ever. “I feel so relaxed, now that it’s all out,” he said. What an asshole.
(Later). Saturday night was far better. The Jumpers were opening for Alex Chilton at McVan’s. I wasn’t going to go but after I caught a buzz in the early evening I decided to get out of the house & party. I wore a black velveteen mini dress I found in a thrift shop – black tights & my red mary-janes. I did my eyes up in black & I looked fabulous. It was cold out – for a coat, I wore a man’s maroon smoking jacket – also found in a thrift shop. It has plaid lapels & cuffs & large pockets. It goes down to my knees & looks like a coat. I love it.
I got a ride to Hertel & Elmwood, then I was on my own. I hate thumbing there – it’s too dark, too unpopulated – there’s a corner bar & that’s about all there is. I really hadn’t been out there very long before someone stopped. A guy on a motorcycle! He was Latino, very handsome. I strapped on the helmet & got on behind him. Oh, I love motorcycles! I have always wanted a boyfriend with a motorcycle. I loved riding with Eddie, the few times he’s had his bike running. He took me right to McVan’s – I was so very thankful. He wanted me to party with him all night – he was going to some bar downtown – but I said no. Maybe I should have said yes?
At McVan’s, I sat with Gregski & his friends, all of whom were charmed by me – I was in a very good mood – laughing & making fun of them. & then I felt it – I turned & there stood Jon. & of course, that was the reason I said no to the guy on the motorcycle – I was hoping to see Jon – I’m always hoping to see Jon. I wanted to go talk to him but then the Jumpers came on & took the stage & started to play & I was right up & dancing because there is no keeping still to rock’n’roll. I danced every tune – I danced with everyone who asked me – & then I danced back to where Jon was standing. “Dance with me,” I said. We danced several tunes, actually talking a little bit as we danced. “I’ll see you later on,” he said to me, moving away. I smiled at him – I felt like I owned the world.
I sat & drank some beers & caught my breath. I saw Sean standing across the dance floor, by a speaker & I went over to him. “Cori!” he said & kissed me. I was so very surprised & so very pleased. We danced until the end of the set. I said, “Come smoke a joint with me.”
He said, “Well, Jon’s with me, do you mind if he comes along?”
“Shit, I don’t care, the more the merrier!”
We went & found Jon, then went out to Sean’s car & smoked. Jon & I argued lightly, like we always do. He questions every little thing I say – jumps on my statements – points out all my inconsistencies – & demands total accuracy. Since I was buzzed on beer, I had quick witty retorts. It’s only when I’m straight that words come slower than I want them to. Around Jon, anyway.
After a while we went in & stood in the back. Jon went to take a piss & Sean asked me, “Are you going out with anyone? Cuz I’d like to see you.”
“Sure,” I said & touched his hand.
“At the rate we’re going, it’ll be another month before we ‘just happen’ to see each other again,” he laughed.
“I know,” I agreed. Which is really OK with me. I like Sean – but I’m still in love with Jon.
Jon came back. We started talking about the new Joni Mitchell album & he told me about a collage of photos he was putting together. “You should come over & see it,” he said. “We can get a pizza or something.” & fuck our brains out, I added silently.
Alex Chilton came on & we made a dash for the stage. He was alright – not great. The bass & the drummer were rarely together – like they had never played the tunes before. The rhythm guitarist was really good, though. Jon said, “I think the back-up band is the Philly Nuggets.”
We were dancing – I wanted to die. His hand on my thigh – then my ass – then my back – my shoulder – I was dying. He brushed up against me & I could feel his hard-on & I could have screamed – I could have fainted. Instead I clapped with the rest of the crowd & flashed a smile to Sean.
That night – in bed – I sank into sleep & wished I was with Jon.

***

I went over to Bard’s this afternoon & Barrett was there. They were talking about last night’s gig & had decided to quit gigging for a while until we had a new guitarist & could really burn ass. “I just can’t stand another night like last night,” said Bard. It’s true. I think with another gig like that, Bard would have a nervous breakdown or something. I worry so much about him.
Anyway, Bard was going over to Barrett’s for dinner & he invited me too. He had to take a nap first & I hung out with Barrett while Bard slept.
Barrett is truly amazing. He talked for so long today – out on the porch, while Bard slept – he taught me how to roll joints – the right way, he said – he said that when he was at Columbia University, he had a physics professor who taught him how to roll joints – the right way – along the laws of physics, of course – so that they burn properly – not too thin & not too fat!  I had difficulties in getting them exactly right so he had me rolling one after another & we smoked every single one of them – I had a half an ounce & we smoked the whole thing! I asked him about gigging in the late 60’s & early 70’s & he said, “I really don’t like to talk about it.” & then went on to tell me all about it. Meeting Janis Joplin & Jimi Hendrix & the Grateful Dead & the Jefferson Airplane.  & everyone else you can think of!  All the drugs & the drinking & seeing the world. “Were you one of Janis’ ‘pretty young boys’?” I teased him. “One night & one night only,” he admitted. “She was something else. I could never drink enough to keep up with her, that’s for sure.” He told me how she would be onstage, a bottle in each hand & never miss a beat. “But she was totally wasted the entire time.” I asked him if her death made him want to leave the scene. “Not her death per se, but the death of other people much closer to me – too many O.D.s & car wrecks when people were trashed behind the wheel.” I could identify with that – my father dying drunk behind the wheel – as he well knew.  It seemed like we had a lot in common. “So I left the life,” he told me. “I went back to school, got married, started work on my Ph.D. & I’m much happier than I used to be.” We laughed a lot in the warm gold sunshine & by the time Bard woke up & joined us in the late afternoon sun, I felt that I had gained an ally.
Supper was good. Rina, Barrett’s wife, made chicken wings, broiled in lemon & soy sauce – there was rice, corn on the cob & a salad. I couldn’t decide if I liked the chicken or not, but I ate a lot anyway. I mean wings – they’re supposed to be deep-fried & smothered in a mixture of hot sauce & melted butter, right? These even had the tips still on them. But they were alright. Rina’s from Brooklyn – she doesn’t know about real chicken wings. But she had a library to die for – one room with bookshelves from ceiling to floor – I was so envious – & all the Anaïs Nin diaries – & she let me borrow some books – although none of the diaries, which are signed copies. Signed copies! I wouldn’t let those out of the house either! Barrett loaned me some D.H. Lawrence novels – Lady Chatterley’s Lover & Women in Love.  He had every copy of my father’s novels – which pleased me to no end.
Bard talked to Fred on the phone about quitting gigs for a while. Shameless me, I sat & pretended to read about the Rolling Stones while listening to Bard’s side of the conversation. It was easy to tell what Fred was saying, even without hearing what he was actually saying. Fred thought that Chaotic Bliss should finish out the contract at McVan’s. He thinks we should go right on gigging regardless, but Bard vehemently – as vehement as Bard gets – disagreed. Although the gig for next Sunday is definitely on.

Excerpts from a Diary 1

Some of the names have been changed for obvious reasons.

[Winter, 1979]

(The State University of New York at Buffalo)

Back at school. Finally. Not that I really want to be in this hot & stuffy room – oh, I long to open a window! & Brenda’s new boyfriend hasn’t showered his entire life & Jane & Anya are definitely sleeping together but it’s not that bad living here – I just wish it was closer to Jon!  He was all I could think about the entire trip back.  It seemed like forever since I had seen him or heard from him – did he still want me?  I felt like I had been a prisoner in Gates Mills since Christmas.  It had only been three weeks but that was enough for me to be almost out of my mind.  When I got back, I went right over to the Main Street Campus & went to the Spectrum office – even though it was Sunday – & of course Jon wasn’t there – but MJ & SL were, so I left a message that I was back & looking for him. When I was back in my room, unpacking my stuff, Jon called. He said, “Stay where you are, I’ll come get you.” So he did – amazingly fast – I was a little shy & a little scared – cuz I hadn’t heard from him in almost a month – I mean, obviously he still liked me because he was coming for me – but I felt very confused at first. But it was alright! He took me to his place & we got high & ate pizza & drank Lambrusco & listened to tunes & fucked just like old times – it was great.
But the Tuesday after that, we had a godawful argument. I was upset about him not wanting to hang out after the Spectrum copy was done – like we’ve done every Tuesday since we got together. I don’t even know what-all we said to one another. I mean, Jon & I never argue. & here we were, screaming at each other on the phone. I shouted, “I hate you!” & hung up on him. I couldn’t take anymore. Then I went upstairs to Bro’s room & got stoned with him & Crony. When I was up there, Jon called me to apologize – I was so surprised. Of course I didn’t know this until I came back down from partying. But I called him back & we decided to meet the next day.  We talked a long time & he was like another person. Not the anxious lover who had picked me up as soon as I got back to school. He told me, “I can’t make you happy. I’m not right for you.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I have been totally happy with Jon – what was he talking about? & I had turned my back on my family for him – had an abortion for him – what the hell was he talking about? I tried to agree & disagree at the same time. “Maybe I’m not completely happy, but who is? & without you, I’d be a hellovalot more unhappy!  How can you think otherwise? I love you!”
He was talking about breaking up & “just being friends” & I was like, well of course we’re friends, haven’t we always been? “Why do we have to break up?” I asked. “Do you want to see another girl?”
“Maybe,” he admitted & I felt as bad as I have ever felt. I turned away so he couldn’t see me trying not to cry. “Listen,” he said, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Things were good for about a week. Then he was depressed again – he said he had an argument with his parents about me – because he wants me to spend the entire night with him. Then he switched gears – so I thought – & started talking about our relationship – he can talk a problem to death – about every little thing that was wrong with it or could be wrong with it or could use fixing – & then he started in on how “sometimes” he wants “something different” – what, like wanting a different car? – & how he fantasizes a lot. Well, doesn’t everyone? But when he said that he wanted to take out another girl – it hurt – but not as bad as the first time I heard it. Although I told him, “It hurts my ego that you are tired of me.” He insisted that he wasn’t tired of me, he just wanted “variety”. & that he still loved me.
After he had left & I was getting stoned with Bro & Crony, the whole thing really hit me. He doesn’t want me anymore. The relationship that was supposed to be THE ONE for me was falling apart.

***

On Thursday, we were supposed to meet, but he never showed. He has never blown me off like that before. I walked around with Mark Miles & blew off steam. “I can’t take it anymore,” I complained. “I feel like a fucking yo-yo. One minute he loves me & then he’s saying he wants something else. I love him & I can’t stand this! I’m going to have to set him free because I’m not any good for him.” Mark thought I was over-reacting & nobody can set another person free, because we’re all free anyway. “If Jon wants to end the relationship, then he has to do it,” he told me. “You don’t have to do it for him. Make him do it.”
But I was upset & I was tired of feeling like shit. I was ready to end it all & live without him, if that’s what I had to do. I walked into the Spectrum office on Friday morning, all ready to break up with him & martyr myself on the altar of true love.
He said, “Let’s cruise, I wanna talk.” & even though I had just decided to break up with him, I thought, oh no. We walked out to his car & cruised downtown, getting high & listening to tunes. He told me about another huge argument he’d had with his parents. It was a carry-over of the other one he’d had with them about me. I guess Jon just freaked out & said stuff like: “Why shouldn’t she spend the night? Are you afraid we’ll fuck all night? Why shouldn’t I fuck her? If you’re afraid I’ll fuck her in my bed – ya know, I could fuck her in the back seat of the car, you motherfuckers.” I wonder if he really called his parents “motherfuckers” – that’s really harsh. I couldn’t imagine ever using that kind of language in my parents’ presence – well, maybe Dick, cuz he is such a dick – but never my mother – & I can’t imagine arguing with them about that kind of thing – you just don’t.  Well maybe he does.
We talked a long time about our respective parental problems – we have a lot of the same ones – & we have different problems, too. & then he said: “Ya know – what I said the other say – I never meant that I wanted to modify our relationship in any way – I like it this way – I’m not looking for alterations.” So what am I supposed to do? How can I set free a guy who doesn’t want to be set free? Especially when I don’t want to let him go?

***

This past week has been great. On Monday, Jon, Helen J. – the arts editor – Mark & I had lunch together in the Rat – actually, it was more like Helen & me insisting that Jon eat whether he liked it or not – cuz Jon eats so very little. He says there’s nothing ever to eat in his house. Jon said to me: “Well, you don’t take very good care of yourself, either.” “I take vitamins,” I retorted. We had a very good talk – actually, it was mostly Jon & Helen & Mark but I love to listen – they were talking about being an editor, how to write the perfect article, where the arts fit into a newspaper’s viewpoint – also the problems of the Spectrum. I interjected a few thoughts & supplied words for Jon. We’re always doing that for each other. When he took me back to the dorms, we sat in the car & talked – he was depressed about his parents – & other things. He said, “I’m very confused at the moment & I think I confuse you too.” I said, “I’m getting used to it,” which is true. He laid his head on me & I held him – I’m so maternal – & as I was getting out of the car, he said, “Thank you.” “What for?” I asked. “You help me,” he answered. That’s the nicest thing he’s ever said to me.
Tuesday & Wednesday, we talked on the phone – he didn’t come to campus – & on Thursday, there was a wine & cheese party at the Spectrum, which was lots of fun – I got pretty buzzed cuz I hadn’t eaten all day – Jon had to leave early & he asked me to go to Drop/Add for him. I said, “Alright,” & he said, “Oh, you’re great, you’re great,” in front of Harry G. That really flipped me out! I don’t know how or if he talked about me to his friends, but he never compliments me in front of other people! He left & I went to Drop/Add for him & then back to my room – & I got really fucked up. It was really strange cuz I really didn’t notice it – I had 3 or 4 glasses of wine – on top of the other wine at the Spectrum – & 3 or 4 joints – then some more wine – what I like about Thursday nights is that I have no classes on Fridays & I can party as much as I want – oh, I woke up on Friday – yesterday morning – so hungover! I felt really sick. Then somewhere around noon, I felt better, so I showered, got dressed, made up & went to see Jon. We went downtown with a friend of his, Sean, who lives in Lackawanna & needed a ride home. We had so much fun – they were telling me about how they used to streak all over the place. “We weren’t just mooning out of the boys’ john or running through the girls’ gym class. We were serious streakers.”
& last night, we really had fun. It was the First Annual Buffalo Music Awards at McVan’s Nightclub on Hertel Avenue & Niagara Street. We almost didn’t go – we were both really tired – but we had promised to take Sean with us. Sean is so nice. He says, “Does anyone want to smoke a joint?” like he’s really saying, “I know you don’t want to but I’m asking just to be polite.” We had the best time. Gary Storm was there – he has the best radio show in Buffalo – “Oil of Dog”, which comes on at 3 a.m. – he was one of the emcees – Dale Anderson, of the Buffalo News, was the other one. There were 9 bands – at least – & any number of free-form jams – it was great. The Enemies & the Jumpers & Mark Freeland’s Electroman & George & wow, I can’t remember all the bands!  No bouncers at the door & the smell of reefer all night long. Also it was really dark in there – the walls painted black & red light bulbs in the light sockets – totally cool. I loved looking at the people – all dressed up in punk gear – I really need to start re-doing my wardrobe. & the dancing! You can really dance to this music! It isn’t like disco – you don’t need to know the dance steps – you don’t need a partner – it’s just – get up & start jumping! Shake it! Move it! I shouted to Jon, “This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time!” We left sometime after 3 a.m. We smoked more joints on the way to Amherst – I was already beginning to black things out – the way I do. I got to bed at 4:30 a.m. I woke at 11:30 a.m. & Jane asked me, “Who called last night?”
“No one,” I answered.
“No, someone called at 4:30 & you talked for a while.”
“You sure? I don’t remember any of that.”
“Yeah, Brenda remembers & so does Anya.  Brenda said, ‘Who calls at 4:30?’ & I said, ‘Shut up Brenda, go back to sleep,’ & you kept apologizing.” All day I’ve been trying to find out who called me. I still have no idea.
Anyway, last night was great! Even though it seems like a long time ago already. I wasn’t even hungover this morning. I wonder how I pulled that one off.