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Tag: Lackawanna

Excerpts From a Diary 36

[Spring, 1989]

[April]

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I feel fat & ugly.

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

[May]

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s pouring.

***

[June]

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

It’s cool & foggy.

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

Gotta go.

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

***

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

Excerpts From a Diary 35

[Winter, 1989]

[January]

I’ve got stomach flu.

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

Time for another cup of tea.

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

The tea-kettle’s whistling.  Oh well –

***

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

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

***

[February]

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m baking him cookies.  No matter what happens – if he finally starts the truck – or it won’t start & he has to get a ride home – he’ll be crosses than a bear – so maybe these little jewels will cheer him up.

Evening.  Teddy just got home – he’s in the grouchiest mood known to man!  Luckily, I just spent the last hour with Paulie – doing bowls & beers & reminiscing about old stoned days – marijuana brownies & high school & getting wasted in various parks.  All druggies have the same memories – only the names & the locations differ.

I got a joint out of Paulie to share with Teddy, so that will cheer him up.  My cookies won’t – they’re a mess!  An experiment that did not work!  Oh well – they’ll still taste good – even if they look like lumps of jelly & mud.

***

Cold, cold, cold!  The thermometer in the living room read 55 this morning – that’s as low as it goes, so who knows how cold it really was!  It reads 59 now & the heater’s been on for over an hour.  It was windy all night but now it’s died down & the sun is shining – if it remains like that, the room will warm up nicely – but the weather has been anything but calm lately!  Seems every hour the picture outside my window changes.

It’s cold in my office – I put the heater in there for an hour this morning but it barely touched the chilly air – moved it around a little – but I’m warmly dressed & have on my gloves with the finger-tips cut off – drinking the last cup of coffee.

I hope John Grady shows up early with my cartridges.  I have so much work to do & I’m dying to start.  I’ve done prep work & busy work for two days now & I’m getting tired of it.  I found a notebook filled with poems I’d forgotten about – letters – copies of things I’ve had published – I want to rework some of these gems.  I want to work!  I want to buy a case of cartridges cuz I’m sick of running out – a case costs $60 – so obviously I’m not doing it soon – but I’m going to!

It’s beginning to snow again.

Later.  I know what to do – I’ll take a nap.  I feel so tired out anyway – it must be the cold.  I had really lousy dreams last night too – I had to keep waking up to get myself out of them.  Maybe after a little refresher I’ll feel like doing something – or maybe John will have arrived.

***

Jesse just called.  I was sleeping on the couch in my office & I almost missed his call & I was half asleep when I answered – “I can just go back to Middleport if you’re too tired to see me,” he said  – but how could I ever say no to that bedroom voice?  He’s on his way over – joy, joy –

***

All the radio stations have been playing lots of Beatles music all week cuz it was 25 years ago that they came to America – I remember it well – even though I was only 4 years old.  But you don’t forget something like that.  The Beatles colored my entire childhood.  I wouldn’t be who I am today without the Beatles – especially John Lennon.  It’s so wonderful to be hearing all this great music!

***

After a few days of thaw, it’s snowing again.  I’ve had a headache every day for days & days – I can’t remember not having one.  It’s the usual pain – pressure behind my eyes – sinuses – left temple – my left side in general – but recently, I’ve been suffering a new one – behind my right ear.  It doesn’t throb – it burns – I’m not describing it very well – but it’s an intense pain.

I have no energy.  I sit at my desk – working – & end up with my head in my hands.  So many things to do – oh well, get back to work.  Maybe I’ll feel better later on.

***

I went to the library yesterday – I got out 11 books – I met up with Jesse & got really wasted.  He was in town to fix tenant’s house – we met up at the Colmore Lounge.  I had never been there before but it’s a nice place.  I was doing shots with the boys & generally entertaining everyone – I hate to admit it but I don’t remember coming home.  I remember waking up on the couch when Teddy came home.  I’m bruised – a giant bruise is appearing on the right cheek of my ass – I vaguely remember falling off a bar stool somewhere & laughing about it – & I scraped my knees – I must have been totally gone.  I do remember Jesse had some painkillers & he shared them with me & that’s probably why I got so wasted so fast.  Booze & pills – what a combination.  It’s gonna be murder dancing tonight but it’s my own fault so I can’t complain.  I wish there was a way I could cover up these scrapes & bruises.  It looks like Teddy beat me up.  It looks like someone beat me up.  I honestly don’t remember what happened.  Of course Teddy was pissed off at me & I don’t blame him.

I was hungover & sick all night.  I spent it on the couch – throwing up into the waste basket.  I am totally ashamed – I don’t remember ever feeling like this before.  & the questions I have to ask myself & can no longer ignore are – why am I so stupid?  What is the matter with me?

***

Andy from the Colmore Lounge just called – I must have made quite an impression on him!  If I remember correctly, he’s quite a cutie-pie.  I don’t remember giving him my number but maybe I gave him my card.  Always doing business.

My left knee’s infected.  I just took a long soaky bath & let it pus up real good & then cleaned it well.  I have a giant bruise on my ass too – Teddy told me that it was barely noticeable & then at the first party Saturday night, the guy who hired us said, “Hey, ya know you got a bruise on your butt?”  I had to laugh.  By the time we got to Sorrentino’s, I was feeling no pain – it was the joke of the evening – me going to the library & getting bombed!  Oh well – I won’t repeat that trick too soon!

Well – today’s the full moon.  I’m gonna meditate & recite poetry to the Goddess & then bake cookies.  Tomorrow I’ll write – tomorrow & the rest of the week.  & read the books I got from the library – I got some really good ones!  Right now I’m reading The Spiral Path – really good essays on women’s spirituality, Goddess-worship & witchcraft.  I’m learning so much!

***

I just put Teddy to bed.  I had to clean up my mess – I’ve been going through newspapers & magazines – clipping articles & recipes – then get his lunch ready for tomorrow & prep the coffee.  I just sat down with my book & realized how tired I am – it’s been another busy day.

The answering machine had music on it this morning – too garbled to tell what it was – I returned the call with “Love is a Rose”.  A later call filled in the blanks from Friday.  Boy, did I have a party or what!  I guess the sex was good, too.

***

A quiet afternoon.  Paulie must have passed out – I hear no music.  Teddy’s doing the taxes on the coffee table – boy, the common people are getting fucked!  Sometimes I think it’s better not to make a lot of money – not to own anything – house, property, car, business, etc.  All the family-type deductions are gone.

It’s snowing.  The kitty-cats are sleeping.  Today I hung their catnip mouse from the ceiling with a piece of yarn & they’ve been playing hard!  So hard they fell asleep!

I’m reading & taking notes & trying to decide if I really want to go back to college.  I mean – I really do – but what do I ultimately want to do?  I have to admit that I have no real idea.

***

I woke up with the worst headache – another migraine – I stayed in bed until 10 a.m. – felt awful until Teddy got home around noon – & it hung in there most of the afternoon – I took a nap from 4 to 5 & it was finally gone.  These headaches are getting worse – I have to see a chiropractor – the pain in my back is one thing – my hip & my knees – but I can’t deal with a headache.

I’ve been arranging my poems into a book – I’ve got more than one book – it’s all I’ve been doing lately – I was up until almost midnight working on it – I didn’t want to go to bed – but I was falling asleep sitting up.  I worked all this afternoon & this evening – I’ll probably work until bedtime this evening too.  No parties tonight – although I wish someone would call – we could certainly use the money.

***

Another quiet day.  I worked on the poetry book – I still have no title – & arranged 3 copies.  I want to give one to Mark Miles – I also thought Harry G. & maybe Anna.  Or maybe Jon.  I’m not sure – besides – I just want to get it done.  It was such a chore just picking the poems – arranging them by type & deciding how many & which ones – a most enjoying chore – but a chore nonetheless.   I’m not gonna try to publish this book or anything – most of the poems are pretty old – it’s a childhood/early loves collection of stuff – but it was a good exercise putting it together – mixing it up chronologically – using the best poems for what I wanted to say.  I’m already planning the next one – to tell the truth, I can hardly wait until this one is done – so I can start the next one.  The next one’s about dancing & dancers – the men in the strip joints – the hustlers, the players – the life.  I’ve been writing poems about dancers for years – going through the poems – again & again, I’d look at a poem & think – hey, this would be good – a lot of the sad songs – the angry poems.

I’m just afraid I’ll run out of cartridge.  I have to pay John off – the check I wrote him bounced – & I have to get more corrector too.  Boo hoo!  Oh well.

I want to work on it more – I’m doing re-writes – but I have to dance tonight & I should really rest my eyes.  So what am I doing to relax?  I’m reading!

***

I’ve been working on “the girlhood of anna brangwen” all morning – well, since my bath & breakfast – I’m not getting anywhere.  I printed out what I wrote & put it away.  Sometimes that’s the best way – let it sit – let it ferment.  Besides, I have others to work out – “tina” – “appleton” – “the knight of cups”.  I dreamed about Jon last night – I dreamed I was watching a video of his band playing.  The Knight of Cups.  Maybe I’ll work on that one next.

At 9 a.m. the phone rang & the machine picked it up – whoever it was hung up but I knew who it was Jesse anyway.  I called back & left a section of “Fast Car” on his machine – he called right back.  Will I see him today?  Do I really want to?  I don’t know.  But these feelings inside of me – I can’t control them – nor I want to, really.  I think of Teddy & I feel so sad – I love him so much – so much!  I know he’s the only husband for me.  But I can’t let my body die either.

***

[March]

It’s snowing.  It’s been cold & windy all day – March certainly came in like a lion!  I went downtown today – to drop off papers at the loan office for a new truck for Teddy – it was freezing downtown!  Ya know – that ice cold blast off the lake!  Oh, I am more than ready for spring!  Maybe if March goes out like a lamb, it’ll be warm, too!

***

It’s cold – cold!  Winter is really hanging on this year!  That January thaw seems like years ago!  Plus – the sky is completely clouded over – no sunshine at all – the sunshine coming through the windows makes a big difference on how warm it gets in here & how fast.  Whoa!  What a sentence!  Oh well – you know what I mean!  Back to the subject of weather – it’s also windy – it’s just plain cold!  Oh, spring!  Hurry the fuck up!

I’m out of cartridge again – seems like I’m always out nowadays.  I’m almost done with my book, too!  I might call it “Jacob’s Ladder”.  I’m not sure.  I have only one more poem to write – I’ve been writing it – “the girlhood of anna brangwen” – yesterday I wrote “the knight of cups” – about Jon.  Anyway, I’m not happy about being out of cartridge again – another detour!  Another flat tire! – but I’m gonna start work on the next book – about dancing – I’ll be reading poems & taking notes all day.  I’m in the living room which is the warmest room in the house.  I’ll read poems – take notes – smoke joints – drink cups of tea – watch TV – do some yoga.  My back really hurts today.  I took a 222 about a half-hour ago – it’s just kicking in.  I wish I had some of the good PK’s that Jesse has!  But oh well!  Even though I feel bad, I made myself look pretty – that always makes me feel better.  I’m wearing a pink turtleneck, jeans, blue socks, white high-tops & I did my hair in a French braid with blue combs & a pink ribbon.  I did my make-up in pink & blue, too.  I put on little pink hoops as well!

Missy’s in heat again.  She’s crying – walking around the house – climbing the bookcase – she’s been presenting herself to Shadow but he could care less.  Actually – he looks confused – like, why is she doing this?  He started licking her cunt & she went nuts!  He looked more confused than ever!  Oh well – in two weeks they’re getting spayed & neutered.  Then there’ll be no more confused, horny, upset kitties at this address.  Except me.

***

Yesterday was so warm & spring-like – well actually, yesterday started out as an ice storm – everything was completely covered in ice.  But after the ice melted, the temperature soared!  It stayed warm into the evening – even into this morning, when it was raining – but it got colder as the day progressed & now everything’s covered in ice again.  The cars approach the red light so cautiously!  There’s really very little traffic.  It’s supposed to get really cold tonight & tomorrow – but by the end of the week, it should be close to 50.  Could it be spring?  I was down cellar on Friday, checking on my bike – last year the tires were flat but this year they seem fine!  Maybe by Friday it’ll be warm enough to ride!  Maybe there’ll be an early spring!  Typical thoughts for March.

Tomorrow I’m gonna do laundry & clean out closets & drawers.  Whatever I don’t wear or doesn’t have sentimental value is going to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.  I have clothes I haven’t worn in years – they don’t fit anymore or I don’t really like them – so why am I hanging onto them?  I’m also – finally – gonna mend the clothes that need mending – some of those have been sitting in the “mending basket” for almost a year!

I was upset because I didn’t make enough money last night to pay off my bill with John Grady so I won’t be getting new cartridge any too soon – so I won’t be able to write – but maybe it’s just as well – I do have lots of sewing to do.  It’s just I’d rather be writing!

***

Tired & achy.  I got up & made Teddy his coffee & lunch & then took a bath.  I was going to wash my hair & then eat but I laid down on the couch for “just a minute” & then I was waking up & it was 11 a.m.!  I got up & dressed & ate but I just wasn’t with it – I just kind of puttered around. I feel – I don’t know – mildly depressed – sad – detached – incomplete.  Melancholy.  There’s any number of reasons for this malaise – the continuing cold weather – being broke – burn-out from the weekend – my bad knee – my bad back – my migraines – my emotional turmoil – there wasn’t a tune on the answering machine this morning – I know it’s just as well – the whole thing was going too fast.  Just like before.  Spinning out of control.

***

Cold!  The thermometer says 8 but the wind chill is minus 25.  & the wind is really blowing!  You can’t see out of any of the windows – they’re all iced up – it’s freezing in this apartment!  My hands & fingers are so cold I can barely hold this pen.  I’m depressed.  I’m supposed to clean the house today – that means doing the hardwood floors & vacuuming the walls, etc. – but I don’t feel like it.  Today’s garbage day but I’m gonna wait until noon to put it out – the wind’s supposed to die down by then.

I just left “I’m Leavin’ It All Up To You” on his answering machine.  I felt like leaving “You’re No Good”.  Maybe tomorrow.

Late morning.  He just called.  I vented about my misery & woe & depression.  “Get it off your chest, I’ll listen.”  He wants me to go to Florida with him.   Yeah, right.  I could really use a Florida vacation but certainly not with Jesse.  As much as I would love to go to Florida – or anywhere – with Jesse.  I would go to the end of the world with him – “in a white petticoat” – as Mary, Queen of Scots famously said – but let’s face it — it would be the kiss of death to everything I know & love.  & what about Doreen?  & it the kids?  I know he didn’t mean a word of what he was saying.  I wonder how many of those PK’s he’s chewing.  He said he would bring me some the next time he comes over.

A few minutes after I hung up with him, Teddy called.  He’s gotta work until 4 today.  I told him it’s only 55 in the back of the house.  I feel better though – Teddy always cheers me up.  & I know I’ll be seeing Jesse soon.

I might as well sit in the living room – where it’s warm – with the gas burner – & the sun shining in the windows – & read.  I wish I could go to Falco’s & have a drink but it’s too cold to walk & it’s too cold to leave the kitty-cats shut up in the back of the house with no heat.  Even I’m not that selfish.

It’s just – end of the winter blues.

Evening.  Teddy called me at 2:30 & told me that the loan for the truck has been approved!  He got home at 4:30 & has been walking a foot off the floor all evening.  We just finished dinner – time for the after-dinner joint.

***

Lots warmer today.  Everything is melting.  I’m in a much better mood today – although rather bored.  Not that I don’t have plenty to do – cleaning closets – the ever-present mending – I just don’t feel like doing any of it.  I did dust & vacuum, straighten up & house & put in a load of wash.  But basically – I’m very lazy today.

“Part-Time Lover” was on the answering machine this morning – I was in the tub when it came on – it annoyed me – what the fuck does he want?  I’m married for heaven’s sake!  & so is he!  But I called him back after I dried off & put on my body lotion & baby powder & my bathrobe.  He’s in the same mood – lazy – wants to blow off the day.  I told him to stop by if he’s in the neighborhood – but somehow I doubt I see him.

***

I went for a walk today.  It’s still chilly – 30’s-ish – overcast & sunny – typical Buffalo sky – a little bit of everything – but nice.  The air is cold but it smells like spring.

Naptime.  The kitty-cats are settling down in their little “house” – an overturned box – with holes cut out on the top & sides.  I’m curled up on the couch with a cup of tea & a book.  I’ll probably snooze too.

***

It’s already 30 & sunny – not a cloud in the sky.  It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend.  I’m gonna take a walk later on.  I wish Teddy was picking up his truck today – instead of next week – such lovely weather in which to take a drive!  Oh well – next week’s weather might be just as nice.  I hope so!

I should really dust & vacuum the house – it’s kinda a mess – but I’m so lazy today.  Who cares?  There are books to be read – poems to be written!  Actually – I’ve got a lot of reading to do – if I want to return my books to the library on time.  So I’ll read – plus there’s a Myrna Loy movie on at 9:00 a.m. on TNT.  Or maybe I’ll do what the kitty-cats are doing – sit in the front windows & watch the traffic go by – watch the birds & the squirrels.  Such a nice day – I think I’ll get myself another cup of coffee & roll a joint.

Afternoon  Took a lovely nap with the kitty-cats – floating in & out of consciousness – listening to birds chirping & the sounds of the traffic – motorcycles – dreaming a lush fantasy – waking wet –

The phone woke me up.  A job for tonight!  I am so happy!  We had no jobs booked before next Saturday night & we’re broke – this’ll get us a bag of weed & some groceries for next week – I hope the tips are good!

I just cut the kitty-cats’ claws.  They struggle so much!  It would go a lot faster if they wouldn’t fight.  It’s not like I’m hurting them – I only snip off the sharp tip of each claw.  I gave them a few cat treats afterward.

***

A lovely spring morning.  It snowed early this morning but then it warmed up.  Everything’s melting.  It’s chilly but sunny – clear blue sky & no clouds.

Afternoon.  Teddy’s out going to Wilson Farms for pop & ChicknRoost for wings.  We didn’t work last night so it’s been a long, leisurely day.

We did work Friday night – a last-minute gig – for a bunch of assholes!  It was the most hostile crowed I’ve had to deal with in a very long time.  After the party was much more fun.   Curtis – from The Canteen – stopped over – I haven’t seen him in two years or more.  He had some really good coke & he was in a sharing mood.  He wanted us to go to this bar – Marchi’s – on East Delavan Ave – & ya know, we don’t do that sort of thing much anymore but I guess the moon & the stars were in the right alignment or something – anyway – we went & we got blasted!  I mean, really!  After the bar closed, we went to a party at this guy’s house – actually his garage – there were loads of people & everyone was doing lines & smoking joints.  I’m not sure when we left – of course, yesterday was quite hungover.  But what a good time!

***

Just back from a 40-minute walk.  I walked over to UB – then to Main Street – Main to Highgate – Highgate to Parkridge – then home.  It’s a lovely day – still cool, but sunny & oh! the air smells so good!  I breathed in giant lungfuls.  It made me feel better – I have so much on my mind – even though I’m in a good mood – I feel pensive – sad.

***

I went over to the Amherst Campus today – I took one of the UB busses.  They’re a lot nicer than when I went!  Lots have changed over there – lots of new buildings – gaps filled in – although there’s still stuff that need to be built – but it looks like a campus now – not a bunch of buildings stuck in a field.  I spent 2 hours in Lockwood Library.  I was able to locate some of the books that the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library doesn’t have – although I was trying to locate too many – since I can’t take them out – not being a matriculated student – I have to read them there.  Not thoroughly of course – but I’m looking for certain things – I have questions all ready to be answered – I took a million notes!  I want to go back on Thursday, if it’s not raining.  Tomorrow’s supposed to rain.  Today was gorgeous – sunny & upper 50s.  I’m thinking of finishing my English degree & then getting a Masters in Women’s studies – I want to study Women’s Spirituality more thoroughly.  I was thinking Divinity School but I would have to study Patriarchal religions & I think that might piss me off too much!

***

A very windy morning.  Very warm – but soon to drop in temp – a cold front is moving through.  Perhaps some soon tonight.

Sad today.  I dreamed of Jesse last night.  Standing in the hallway – a hallway somewhere – it was dark – nighttime – I had slipped out of bed to meet him – we stood in the darkness – our hands & lips lightly touching – he ran his fingers over my bare shoulders – we made love – standing there – my back flat against the wall – kisses that lasted until I woke up – I laid in the darkness – petting Shadow – who was wedged in between Teddy & me.

Then I was asleep again & I was at Gramma Mac’s – eating dinner with the family.  PapaMac was there – not eating – not saying much – but smiling a lot.  He was seated next to Rocco – at the end of the table.  I was next to Rocco.  We were eating tiny meatballs & fat noodles in a cheese sauce.  There were other dishes too – I can’t remember what now.  After dinner I was looking at some books – deciding which ones I wanted – when Helena burst in, saying they were all hers – then Mom started in on me too.  I remember screaming at Mom, “You’ve always taken her side!”  I ran out & jumped on my bike & rode away but I had only gotten as far as the church when I realized that my tires were flat.  Rocco rode up behind me & I woke up –

Teddy’s getting out of work at 11 a.m. – we have to run downtown to the Credit Union to pick up the loan papers – then to the insurance office – then to Northtown – Teddy’s beside himself – he’s so happy.  I really ought to get to work – although I’ve been a busy girl already this morning – the second load of wash is in – the refrigerator just finished defrosting – but I’ve got lots to do yet so I’d better go.

***

We got the truck!  It is so nice – drives so smoothly – so quiet – Teddy is beside himself – he’s so excited – like a little boy on Christmas with his brand new bike.  He’s been on the phone all evening.  He wants to party!

***

I’m at my office desk – listening to The Who on the radio.  The kitty-cats are sitting in the right-hand window looking at birds – looking for birds, actually – it’s a very still morning.  Last night, we had a wild storm – thunder, lightning, rain, snow, sleet – right now everything outside is covered with ice.  If it was sunny, it’d look like fairy-land, but it’s completely overcast.  It’s quite dark – it’s supposed to rain & snow some more.  Winter’s hanging on!  Oh well – it’s only March, after all.

***

A lazy day – I slept until 11 a.m.  It was so nice to wake up slowly – silently – no Danny Nevereath silliness on the radio – just the kitty-cats purring.  There were two tunes on the answering machine – “Heart of Gold” & “Missing You” – or parts of songs, I should say.  Anyway – I waited awhile & then called – knowing I shouldn’t but oh well.  After Thursday – oh – I forgot to write about Thursday – it’s just as well – it’s not safe to write about stuff like that – especially if he’s going to start giving me money.  I do need the money – it’s just  – well – I know I am mad.  I have to laugh – I never know if he’s telling the truth – he’s just – oh, the phone’s ringing –

***

It got really cold again last night.  Spring is taking forever this year!  The high today isn’t supposed to be any higher than 20.  Oh well – I’m pretty immobile anyway.  I’ve a cold, my period & my back is really bad – I’ve been getting sharp pains at the base of my spine for several days now.  The pain is intense.  I’m out of painkillers – I’m just doing ibuprofen – I wish I had some codeine, at least!  Danielle gave me one the other day – maybe she’s got another one – I’m gonna call her in a minute.  We’ve got to go to Canada & buy some 222’s.  Maybe if Saturday is nice we can take a ride up there – along the Niagara Parkway – oh no – I’m working Saturday night – but oh well.  I’m going to Dr. West’s tomorrow – I’d go today but the office is closed today – Dr. West & the girls are attending some seminar or something.  I can’t get a break!  To make things worse – John Grady came by & gave me a couple of cartridges – he told me not to worry about the bill & I told him I’d dedicate a book to him – but I’m in such pain – I can’t sit & type!  Besides – Dr. West told me – no work-outs, no housework, no shopping, no walking – stay immobile, take lots of hot baths – so here I am, on the couch, lots of blankets, lots of pillows, books, notebooks, pens, cups of tea, kleenixes, two sleeping kitty-cats, “Hogan’s Heroes” on the TV – plus I’ve got joints so I’m not in a bad mood at all – I’m just hurting!  Life’s so tough –

***

5:30 p.m.  Yesterday I finally got to Dr. West’s.  I was in such pain – plus I was supposed to meet Jesse at noon – but it took so long – by the time Danielle picked me up – 45 minutes late – dropped Deano & her mom’s – got gas – then waited forever at Dr. West’s – oh well.  It was almost 1 before I got home.  I saw him drive around the block & then park on Parkridge.  I put on my jacket & went out.  He was surprised to see me – he was trying to figure out how to leave a note without it being obvious.  “Well, let’s have a drink,” I said & away we went.  I’m drinking too much – this has got to stop.  All of it – the façade is just too hard to maintain.

***

A long tough weekend.  Tears on Sunday – I called home & there was no answer – they were up here – but no one ever told me – oh well – but around 6 p.m. – Tish, Brad, little Brad – whom they are now calling “Junior” – & Rocco stopped by.  Rocco says he’s not becoming a priest.

Monday was gorgeous – in the 70s.  Yesterday it rained – I went out with Jesse & got drunk.  Heavy conversations – I don’t seem to be able to fight the feeling – knowing I should stop – but unable to – madness – total madness – oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

***

Snowing & cold.  You’d never know Monday broke heat records.  It’s just not a few spring-like snow flurries – it’s beginning to pile up!  What a drag!

Emotions still in a turmoil.  I was with Jesse yesterday.  He was in town, doing work on his houses & selling weed & pills.  He’s really into those pills.  Lortabs.  I like them too but you have to be real careful how you drink on them.  He’s so much bigger than I am that I don’t think it’s a problem for him.  He said he’s going back to work soon & we won’t be able to see each other much anymore.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

He drinks his Jack Daniels & Labatt’s Blue & gets drunk & talks.  He goes on & on.  “I love you, I want you – you’re the only woman for me – you are the only one.”  But I can’t believe him – even if I did believe him – I really don’t want to believe.  How can I believe him?  He’s married to Doreen – he has a son & two daughters now – he’s never going to leave them!  I know this!  & even if he’s telling me the truth – that when the kids are “older” – which means out of school – I am assuming high school – so eighteen years from now! – am I supposed to wait around for him?  Wait – eighteen years?  For happiness? & what am I supposed to do in the meantime?  Just be with him when it’s convenient for him?  & besides – even though I love Jesse – & I really do – he’s not the man for me.   If he was the man for me, he’d leave Doreen & be with me.  He’d stop all these silly excuses about the kids & he’d work things out so I could be their part-time mother – I’d be good at it, too!  Kids love anyone who loves them!  But Jesse is never going to make that break.  He wants me just where I am. & the thing is – I really do love Teddy!  I really do.    Teddy’s my husband & I’m happy this way.  I suppose some people might not agree that I’m happy – with my drinking, my affairs, my tears, my confusion – but I am.  The question is not – am I happy – but would I be happier?  Jesse – of course – says I would be happier on my own – but I have my doubts – serious doubts.  I don’t want to break up my happy home – I don’t want to break Teddy’s heart.  Jesse says to stop thinking of everyone else first & think about me – make myself happy.  But how can I be happy if I make Teddy unhappy?  I can handle heartbreak & unhappiness – I can handle pain.  But I’d never be happy again – knowing that I walked all over Teddy’s love.  Jesse says that’s just guilt feelings.  Well – so be it!  Ya know – I may not be a Catholic anymore but I have not forgotten the teachings of my childhood – feeling guilt may be comfortable – even silly – but it’s there for a reason.  I can’t ignore that little voice inside of me – I won’t.  Sitting at the bar yesterday – doing shots & beers & listening to Patsy Cline on the jukebox – Jesse was giving me every argument in the book – telling me I had to make a decision – I had to start thinking of my own happiness, etc.  I turned to him & said, “Listen, Jesse –  I’m not ready to make any decisions & you can’t make me!”  I think I surprised him with my vehemence.  But I’m sick of this!  Good sex is not worth this!

Besides all that, I just haven’t gotten any work done at all.  Not beyond first drafts – how can you work when you’re sitting in a bar?  Or when you’re home & drunk & upset after being begged to leave your home & family?  Or sick & hungover & tired from drinking the day before?  Or just so distracted you can’t concentrate?  March has been one hell of a waste.  Today is going much better – although instead of working, I’m staring out at the falling snow.  Seems I’ve had a stomach ache all month long.  Seems like this month will never end – I hate March!  April will be better – I’m gonna work hard – finish my book – start a new one.  No more drinking!

Excerpts From a Diary 34

[Holidays, 1988]

[November]

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

I want another line!

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

The Bills are losing.

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

[December]

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

Excepts from a Diary 10

[November – December, 1979]

I was just leaving campus yesterday after work when I heard a car beeping at me & to my extreme happiness, it was Barrett.  He pulled over & I got in.  “Want to get high?”  he asked.  Of course I said yes.  He drove over to his place & for a moment I was afraid that we were going to be getting high with Rina.  But the house was empty & he told me that Rina was still in Brooklyn but “coming home tomorrow.”

He opened a bottle of German white wine & produced a joint that was perfectly rolled.  It almost looked like a cigarette.  “I’ve been saving this for a special occasion,” he told me & I felt so happy that being with me was a “special occasion”.  “It’s high-grade Hawaiian,” he told me, “sent to me by one of my grower friends who lives on Maui.”  It had a very sweet taste – like smoking tropical flowers.

He showed me a book he had just gotten back from Hammond.  “One of your father’s,” he said, as if I couldn’t see the name on the cover.  It was my father’s celebrated study of sexuality in Lawrence novels – an expansion & continuation of his doctoral dissertation – his first published book & while not a best-seller in the sense that his novels were, it made his reputation in the academic world.  Barrett opened the cover & there was my father’s famous florid autograph – with a charming little note to “Robert Barrett” – to “keep reading & writing & studying Lawrence” – apparently Barrett took my father’s advice.  “If you could have only seen me in 1968,” laughed Barrett, “when I asked him to sign the copy of my book – your father had every gorgeous co-ed at Columbia hanging all over him & here was I – dorky me – all covered in pimples – wanting some of his attention – he was nice enough to talk to me a little bit.”

I sipped the wine & took a long toke off the joint.  “I have never read any of his books.”

“You should,” he said.  “They’re really good.  A lot like John Gardner – his command of mythical & classical motif – but racier by far.  More like John Updike than John Gardner in that sense.”  He laughed.  “I never thought I would be getting high with the daughter of my idol that afternoon in 1968.”

“In 1968, I barely knew what marijuana was,” I laughed.  “I was only eight years old.”

He refilled our wine glasses.  I was beginning to get a major buzz on.

“So,” he said.  “What are we going to do about you & the band?”

“What do you mean?”

“Bard is adamant that you are not going to be singing anymore.”

I almost dropped my wine glass.  “Really?”

“He says that if he wanted a girl in the band from the very beginning, we would have had a girl in the band from the very beginning.”

“Nothing about this band is the same as it was at the very beginning except you & Bard,” I pointed out.

“Yes I know.  & even Bard’s & my partnership may not be remaining the same,” he said, “which you know is the basis of the entire band in all its incarnations.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, my dissertation is finished.  All I have to do are my orals – defend my written work – and then I receive my doctorate.  & then I have to find a job.  I could stay here – if the English Department offers me a job – & I have no reason to think that they will not – but Rina isn’t happy here.  She has never liked Buffalo.  & I have been getting offers from other schools.”

“Does Bard know this?”

“We haven’t talked about it but he knows how this all works – he’s involved in the same process, after all – I would hope that he isn’t just assuming my whole life is the band.”

“But Barrett.”  I held out my glass for more wine because I had sucked mine down listening to him talk.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  “Barrett.  We’re going into the studio to record a demo.   Next week!  Tanner has hired a photographer & we have gigs going into the new year.  After everything we went through when Frankie & Gregski quit the band – I mean, what the fuck – the band is Bard’s entire life – it’s my entire life! – after writing all those songs & working all those hours on them – how can you now be saying that you might not be here?”

He refilled our glasses & relit the joint.  “Don’t worry about it now.  I’m speaking entirely out of turn.  & don’t say anything to Bard about it.  I haven’t even done my oral defense yet.  I could completely fail.”

I took a long toke.  Blowing it out, I said, “You’re not going to fail.”  I felt completely deflated.  Depressed.   Instead of feeling high from the wine & the weed, I felt crushed.

He took my glass from my hand & set it on the table.  “Come here, baby.”  & I went into his arms & kissing him was so fine – soon the depressed feeling went away – the afternoon sun was streaming into the windows & I was glowing from the effects of the wine & the weed & his body pressed against me – his lips were caressing my ear & he was saying, “Let’s go to the bedroom, baby,” when the phone started ringing & I thought, oh no it’s Bard but it was Rina.  She was at the airport – she had gotten an earlier flight home & she wanted Barrett to come & get her.

I was like – fuck!  Barrett was quickly cleaning up the glasses & even drying them & putting them away – he really knows how to hide his tracks – & I put on my jacket & waited for him.  I didn’t want to go home.  I didn’t want to see Bard.  Hearing that he was adamant that I was not going to be singing anymore both pissed me off & made me depressed.  Since it was more or less on the way, I had Barrett drop me off at Falco’s on Bailey Ave, where I could have a few cheap beers & then walk home.

I sat at the bar with a small pitcher of Labatt’s Blue & a small glass & thought about the afternoon.  One pitcher turned into two & then three.  The more I drank, the more I thought & the more I thought, the more none of it made sense.   I thought back to this summer when Barrett told me about touring in the late 60’s & early 70’s & how exhausting it was & all the partying & drugs & the groupies & the VD & the O.D.’s  & how he just wanted a quiet academic life.  So why – why – why – did he join up with Bard to start a band?  & why start a band with the intent to “go all the way” as it was always being put?  Record a demo – try to get a recording contract – try & get the funds to do a whole album?  Play gigs every weekend & as many nights during the week & eventually try to get bigger bookings out of town?  & then do the really big shows – the stadiums & the arenas – make the big money – get on the cover of PUNK & Cream & Trouser Press.  If Barrett really wasn’t on board for all of this – then what was the point?  What was the point of the last five months?

I was pretty drunk when Mac & Teddy & Jesse came in.  “Hey!”  said Mac.  “Bard’s been looking for you.”

“Why?”  I asked.

“I don’t know.  But you had better hang out with us,” he said laughing.  “You’re obviously buzzed & he’s not in a very good mood.  I’ll say you were drinking with us.”  So I hung out with them for a while, playing pool & having a few more beers – not that I needed them.  Jesse bought me a roast beef sandwich – “To soak up the alcohol” – which was really nice of him because I was really getting hungry by that point.  & it must have helped.  I mean, I woke up this morning & I wasn’t hung over.

***

Mac was right when he said that Bard was looking for me.  He told me this morning that when we are at Tommy Calandra’s studio, recording the demo, I am not going to be participating at all other than as “a roadie”.  “We need you to help carry equipment & set things up,” he said, “write set lists & fetch & carry whatever we need – you’re so good at that.  But for the purposes of this demo, you’re not going to be part of this band at all.”  I thought about what Barrett said to me & I almost said, “What band?”  but I kept my mouth shut.  All I did was smile & say, “Sure Bard, whatever you say.” Then I went over to Teddy’s, where I picked up a half-ounce of weed.  I stayed over there for a while, getting high with him & Jesse, then I went to Falco’s & played pool.

***

I’m sitting at the kitchen table with Bard, eating beef-barley soup.  It’s not too good so I threw in a lot of pepper.  It was only 10 cents a can, so that explains why it sucks.  Bard’s eating cereal – his homemade granola – which is really good – he mixes shredded wheat, oatmeal, bran cereal & all kinds of nuts & dried fruits & berries – it’s really filling.  I wish I was eating it instead of this shitty soup I have.

I left work after an hour.  I felt OK when I got there but then I was really sick.  My supervisor was pissed off at me.  “Don’t you ever pull anything like this again,” she snapped.  I had to laugh.  “You think this is funny,” she said.  “But you’re going to get fired the way you’re going.”  Honestly I don’t care if I get fired.  I should just quit.  That would take care of that.  I mean, how I was to know I was going to get sick?  I hardly ever get sick drinking anymore.  Of course I have really cut back on the drinking – partly because I had to, being on the antibiotic – but also because I was simply drinking too much.  But last night I must have drunk a whole lot.  I don’t remember!  There are giant blanks in last night’s memory.  I wasn’t planning on going out – as usual – but I read that the BonaVista on Hertel Ave. was having a lady’s night – ladies drink free from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., which sounded really good to me.  But Mac was going out somewhere else & I didn’t really want to go alone.  Mac said, “Call Marc, he’ll go out.”  So I did.  Marc said, “Sounds great but I have a gig at Ryan’s downtown, with Joey, Lenny & Dan, we’re playing the blues.  Why don’t you come along with us?”  So that’s what I did… & it was great!  What great musicians!  Lenny – oh my god, can he play guitar!  & Dan’s bass was totally cool – fretless, very big & heavy – sounded almost like an upright bass.  Marc & Dan traded off on bass & guitar.  At one point, Joey said, “I wanna play ‘Chamelion’, man, let’s play ‘Chamelion’!”   Marc (on bass) replied, “I don’t know ‘Chamelion’.”  Joey started singing it: “Da-da-da-da-da-da! Da-da-da-da-da-da!” & they worked it out in two minutes & jammed on it for over fifteen.  That was just one of their fabulous jams. I mean – there were all these great spontaneous things going on.

I had a Canadian $5 which I spent on drinks & Marc bought me drinks & Joey bought me drinks & every guy I danced with bought me drinks.  Joey let me wear his hat – “Can you handle the power?” he joked.  “Am I Cori McBride or am I Elizabeth fucking Taylor?” I shot back.  “I guess you can handle it,” he laughed.  Near the end of the gig, they let me sing a few songs.  I was getting really wasted but I handled it.  I sang “Fine & Mellow” & “Am I Blue”.  Going home Marc, Joey  & I sang Beatles tunes.  It was so much fun.

We dropped Joey off at Kosta’s, where he was meeting Lenny & Dan & a few others for breakfast but neither Marc nor I had money, so he took me home.  At my house, Bard was just leaving for campus.  It was really early but he must have been meeting someone or something.  I really wasn’t thinking about it & I really didn’t care.  He said, “You’re drunk!” when he saw me – no hello, no nothing.  & then: “Button up your shirt!”  like he’s my dad or something!  I said, “I have a right to wear my clothes anyway I want!”  Who does he think he is?

Mac was just going to bed after being out all night.  There was still plenty of spaghetti from dinner, so I served up plates for Marc & me.  We played the new Chaotic Bliss tapes.  We’ve been recording here at home – getting ready to go into Tommy Calandra’s recording studio to make a demo to try to get a recording contract.  The tapes are great! Marc & I were bouncing up & down with excitement.  During “Moonshine Meditation” I was squirming.  Marc knows about Barrett & me – he guessed so I told him everything – what there was to tell – it’s not like Barrett & I have ever slept together or anything – but it felt so good to get it off my chest – confession is good for the soul – & Marc was so great about it.  He totally understands & sympathizes & is behind me 100%.

Of course he kissed me – of course it went farther than a kiss.  I was right when I said Marc was like a lion.  When he left, he swore me to silence: “None of your drunken slips,” he warned.  I promised I would never tell.  I mean, I know he has Mary K. – who’s in NYC this week – I don’t want to get in the way of that.  I’m just the other woman.  Doomed to be the other woman.  Maybe that’s why Jon & I didn’t work out – because I’m not supposed to be the one true woman – I’m the other woman.  It really sucks – but oh well, that’s rock’n’roll.

He gave me a ride to work.  I should have just called off but I thought I was OK.  Hey – what did I know – I was still drunk.  But I had eaten & taken a quick shower & I thought I was OK.

When I came home today, Bard asked, “What – are you fired – what are you doing home early?”

“I’m not feeling well, I finished up my work early & came home.”

“Oh, you’re hungover,” he sneered.

“Well, so fucking what?”  I can’t believe his attitude lately.

I have to go.  I have to clean up a cat turd in Bard’s room.  He is incapable of doing it himself.

***

I am so out of it.  I just feel so totally awful.  It is just so depressing.  I haven’t seen Barrett in a week.  I really miss him.  I’m so lonely.  Sure – everyone knows why I drink like I do.  I’m pretty moderate but then I go crazy like I did last night.  It’s incredible.  The blues, man.  I’m so burnt.  I’m sitting here – on my bed – just over a hangover – tired – smoking hash – writing my diary – there has got to be something better!  There has just got to be.  If life is going to be like this, I would rather not live.  It’s been like this for 5, 6 years now – for a long, long time – & I’m tired.  I don’t understand why happiness is so fleeting.  I’m tired of being the other woman – I want to be THE woman.  I want to be the one to someone who’s the one for me.  It doesn’t seem fair.  & then I catch myself being bitchy & I hate that even more.  I’m not a saint or a martyr or even a particularly patient person.  I’m a baby & a brat & I’m hungry – I want it now – & all these feelings just make me cry.  & right now I have to force myself to sit here – so I don’t take a swig out of the bottle of vodka – the Kahlua is long gone – I’ve been mixing the vodka with chocolate milk.

I’m really sick of Bard – he’s totally changed.  Every time I mispronounce a word, he says I’m being “cute” or using “feminine wiles” & I’m doing nothing of the sort.  I really don’t know how to pronounce many words, because I read more than I speak.  I’m tired of his parent trip!  Leave me alone!  I just want to be loved!  I just want something to look forward to!  More than stolen affection from married men or quick love from pretty boys in bars or any of that – I want the real thing.  All I have is the Bliss – & Barrett goes home to Rina & Marc to Mary K. & Joey to Pam & Bard to his fantasies or whatever it is & I’m all alone.

***

At this point, I don’t care if I get fired or not.  I don’t care about very much anymore.  I just wanna pay my bills & have a little left over for fun.  Whatever happens beyond that – it just doesn’t matter.

I am bored.  I am so bored.  I am so fucking bored I could scream.  After a week’s work – every damn day – early to bed – early to rise – stuck behind a desk all day – & I want to go out & have fun – I want to rock!  There is no rock’n’roll happening in this city tonight!  How can that be?  What happened to the punk scene here in Buffalo?

***

My mother called me.  She’s leaving Dick & getting a divorce & also an annulment through the Catholic Church so it’s like she was never married to him at all.  She is already gone, apparently.  She spent the last 28 days in a hospital, detoxing from the effects of too much alcohol & apparently too many tranquilizers & she is now going to AA.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when she was telling me all this.  She said that Dick was abusive – of course I already knew that.  & like, no wonder she drank – living with that asshole.  I think I would be wasted the entire fucking marriage if I was married to a jerk like that.

She says she is going to sell the house in Gates Mills & she has already rented a house in Shaker Heights & may buy it but maybe will buy another one – she wasn’t sure.  She wanted to know if I wanted to “come home” – I really wasn’t sure what she meant by that – I mean, Cleveland has never been home to me –  but she said that our “differences could be worked out” & I could go to school there & be part of the family again.  She said that Helena had met a nice young man & was going to get married in the new year – Helena!  She was going to become a nun!  Like forever! – & that Tish & Rocco missed me.  Which I rather doubted but who knows.  She didn’t mention Ross but he’s over in Germany anyway.

On one hand, it seems like admitting failure.  Like the “the hard cold world” has defeated Cori, or something like that.  It costs so much money to live!  Maybe not so much in terms of rent, but heating your place in the winter will put you in the poor house.  It seems like I’m always cold.  I don’t think this place is insulated & there’s no storm windows.  Whenever the wind blows, the windows rattle & you feel the cold air going through the house like a sharp knife.

We eat spaghetti endlessly.  I would love to have a steak.  Or a lobster quiche.  Or anything that isn’t cheap & filling.  I would love to look into the fridge & see loads of food.  & a stocked pantry.  Just too much of everything.  I would love to go to the supermarket & not have to add up in my head as I put things into my basket.

***

I went to lunch with Sara this afternoon.  I was surprised that she asked me but we met on campus & she said she had a gift certificate for The Library & invited me along.  I should have been suspicious but I was hungry & a free meal is a free meal.

She ordered a bottle of Rosé & we each got a crock of French Onion Soup & a Julienne salad.  “I’m so glad to have this time to talk with you,” she said.  “Especially after what you said at the B-52’s show.”

“What was that?”  I thought back to the show, but all I could remember was kissing Barrett in his car.

“How you still want Jon.”

“Oh.  Well.”  I wasn’t sure what to say so I fell back on my usual policy of saying nothing.

“You may be aware that Jon & I have been seeing each other,” she went on – rather smugly, I thought.

“I’m really busy with the Bliss,” I said.

“Well, we’re really getting serious,” she gushed.  “He’s taken me to meet his parents & this past weekend, he took me out to West Seneca to meet his older sister.”

I stopped eating.  “What older sister?”

“His older sister Diane?  She’s a teacher?  Second grade?” Sara didn’t even wait for me to answer her.  “She just got engaged.  Jon took me to the engagement party.”

“Oh,” I said finally.  “Oh yeah.”

I felt like bombs were going off in my head.  No – like loud bells – like church bells – like all the church bells in the world were ringing in my skull.  “I need to use the ladies’ room,” I told her & left the table.

In the ladies’ room, I lit up a joint & smoked about half of it before I was able to calm down.  Jon had an older sister.  Really.  In all the time we had known each other, he had never thought to mention her.  Nor had he ever introduced me to his parents – who were right downstairs every Friday night when he took me to his place to fuck me.  & I had to admit that that’s all it ever was – fucking – not making love – not love at all – I felt like my heart was breaking all over again.

I left the ladies’ room & walked to the bar.  I met Jon in August, 1978 & we fell in love immediately – oh, I will never forget that day – all sick & hungover from drinking with Mark Miles the night before – until I saw Jon – & then my hangover faded away like it never had been.  That first afternoon – hanging out under the trees in front of Hayes Hall – getting high – talking about poetry & punk rock & Shakespeare & sonnets – & where we were from & where we wanted to go – yes, it was love at first sight.  For me, absolutely & I thought it was for him too.  That’s what he told me.  I remember making love the first time in his little bed in his little room – his giant-sized cock – he told me that he had never been able to “get into a girl” before & I was “really” his first one – & he was so big that he hurt me & I left like a virgin again – we were like two virgins – like John & Yoko – I really felt that.  It was such a tremendous feeling.  It’s almost embarrassing to admit it now.  But I had never been in love like that before.

& then getting pregnant.

I did a shot of Old Grand Dad at the bar & returned to the table.

“Are you OK?” asked Sara.

“Yeah,” I answered & smiled.  The bourbon was kicking in & the weed was finally calming me.  I poured myself another glass of wine.  “I’m really happy for you two,” I purred.  “I really hope it all turns out.”  I sipped the wine.  It was a lousy Rosé – it had to be the cheapest wine on the menu – I was sure to have a headache later.  But whatever.  “I sure hope you don’t get pregnant like I did.  But at least Jon can’t use the same excuse with you as he did with me.”

“Whatever do you mean?”

“Oh!  That he was the first person in his family to go to college – that he really couldn’t support a child – he didn’t want to go into the steel mill like his father – so I had to have an abortion.”  I smiled & sipped my wine. “But his older sister is a teacher, huh?  So I guess he isn’t the first person in his family to go to college.”

“You must have misunderstood him.”

“Oh!  For sure!  Because I was so upset!  Being pregnant & all.  & being in love with Jon.  & wanting to have his baby – cuz that’s what silly women in love want to do.”  I laughed.  “But having an abortion was the right thing to do, wasn’t it?  Jon was right, wasn’t he?  & all’s well that ends well – I mean, you guys are getting together so obviously a baby would have gotten in the way of that.”

“Jon never told me any of that.”

I laughed.  “That doesn’t surprise me one bit.”  I looked at my watch & pretended to be surprised at the time.  “Hey – I’ve got an appointment downtown – I’ve got to catch a bus.  Thanks for the lunch.”

I went home & cried like I thought I would never stop.

***

I haven’t had any time to write this week because we have been in the studio every evening recording the demo.  Only four tunes – “Underground Radio” & “Forgettable You” – those are Bard’s – & “Walking Backwards” & “Moonshine Meditation” – Barrett’s tunes.  With all the work that has gone into making those tunes absolutely perfect, you would think that recording would have been perfectly smooth but it has been anything but.  Only “Moonshine Meditation” went off without a hitch & I think that’s really because it’s Barrett’s tune – it doesn’t require Bard at all – it really demonstrates that Barrett & Marc & Joey would be a fabulous power trio – personally I don’t think they need Bard at all.  Or me, honestly.  Just the three of them.

But it’s Bard’s band, really – Barrett may be the bass player but I know now that he’s not going to be around much longer – I can feel it.  & then what happens?  I wish I could play electric bass but even if I started learning today, I could never be the player Barrett is.  I mean, he’s been playing for at least 15 years – that’s a really long time.  I have a hard time making chords on a regular guitar – let alone the bigger, thicker strings on a bass.  & honestly – I don’t want to be behind a guitar.  I like being a front man.  I’m a singer – I’m a dancer – I’m the kind of person who’s right out there.

Even though Bard had said that I was not going to be singing “at all”, the chorus to “Underground Radio” – the “hey hey hey” part – was so weak that both Tommy Calandra & Tanner insisted that I be included to “pump up the sound” – so at least I’ll be included on that cut.  I think that everyone is so used to my voice back there that it’s just missing when it’s not there.  I should have also been singing backup on “Walking Backwards” but Joey took my part.  I was upset about that but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.  & he did sound really good.  I had to admit that.  During a break, Barrett & I were smoking a joint & he said that he thought that a three-part harmony would work really well on that tune & we should start working on that.  I agreed with him but I was thinking – really?  Bard doesn’t want me singing at all & you?  Are you even going to be here in another two months?

Anyway, the tapes will be ready in a week.  Bard’s going to start taking them around to all the radio stations & to all his friends in the record business.  Naturally he’s going to Gary Storm first – he’s got an interview on “Oil of Dog” tonight.  If this goes well, the entire band might get an invite to perform live on the show.  Of course that doesn’t include me.  But I do hope we get a recording contract out of this – of course it means nothing if Barrett gets a job somewhere outside of Buffalo.  I can’t believe he hasn’t said anything to Bard yet.  But maybe he thinks it isn’t worth talking about before he knows anything.

***

Today I woke up & there was snow on the ground & swirling in the air & since I was late I didn’t pay much attention to it but I have been happy all day & getting into the Christmas spirit.  On my way to work this morning, I stopped off at Teddy’s to pick up a bag of weed & he got me high so I was buzzed all morning which was nice.  Because of the election this place has been dry dry dry but now it’s getting better.

Mac is frying potatoes & onions.  Our diet consists of starch & more starch & maybe some tomato sauce & a few eggs thrown in for variety.  I’m drinking vodka & chocolate milk.  This is the poor man’s White Russian.  If there’s any coffee leftover from the morning, I mix that in too.

Lately I’ve been able to get speed – from Teddy, of course – White Crosses at 50 cents a hit or Black Beauties at a dollar a hit.  I would rather do the Black Beauties – they’re a better high & they last longer.  They’re easier on my system, too.  I’ve been getting whatever pot I can scrape up.  The other night I smoked a joint of “Himalayan Thunderfuck” – really! – & got totally wasted – everything was dream-like – it was the best high.

***

I have been very depressed lately but things seem to be looking up somewhat.  One thing I’ve noticed is that whenever I’m really down – as far down as I can go – there’s nowhere else to go but up & my mood does start to improve.

***

I had the most horrendous argument with Jon – about Sara – who has proved to be a back-stabbing bitch – she told him everything I said when we went to lunch at The Library – & he didn’t like it.  “You had no right,” he told me, “to tell anyone about that abortion.”

“Really,” I countered.  “I have no right to talk about something that happened to me, to my body, that affected me & really only me.”

“It affected me too,” he argued.

“Sure it did,” I laughed.

“Ya know, I don’t even know that it was my baby,” he went on.  “It could have been anyone’s.  You just said it was mine.”

At that point, I really lost it.  If we hadn’t been talking on the phone, I might have thrown something at him.  “IT WAS YOURS.  YOURS & NO ONE ELSE’S.”  I tried to calm down.  “I wasn’t fucking anyone else.  Just you.  Only you.”  I was starting to cry & I struggled for composure.

“You fucked Mark Miles the night before you met me.  He told me.  & if you do the math, it could be his.  Easily.”

“ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME?”  Again, I struggled for composure.  “Listen, you fucking dickhead asshole, maybe I fucked Mark that night – honestly I was so wasted I don’t remember.  But as far as I’m concerned, that baby – that FETUS – that mess of TISSUE WITH YOUR NAME ON IT – was YOURS & NO ONE ELSE’S. TAKE FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY ALREADY!”  I hung up on him.

But he surprised me today by calling me today & apologizing.  I was really surprised – Jon never apologizes.  But it doesn’t change anything – Jon & Sara are definitely together now.  He told me that when the semester is over & her roommate moves out, he’s moving in.  I was like, oh really.  I wasn’t going to argue with that either – I mean, all those arguments we had about moving in together & he had all these stupid reasons – how he couldn’t afford it & his job in Lackawanna & all that – it was all a bunch of bullshit.  He just didn’t want to.  Cuz I wasn’t that important.  Not like Sara is, evidently.  I was never even introduced to his family.  Like she already has been.  I suppose he’s going to marry her & have babies with her too.  He didn’t want my baby.  Denied that it was even his.

He actually told me that we would “always be friends.”  Oh – OK.  I can see where this is going.  So anything I have with Jon means that I’m the other woman there too now.

Last night Chaotic Bliss was practicing – they play in the living room all the time now – they played for several hours while I sat on the couch, writing.  I don’t even hum along anymore.  What’s the point?  I’m just the roadie.  Anyway, Rina came to pick up Barrett.  Usually she waits in the car for him, but last night she came up & waited in the dining room as they finished up their rehearsal.   It was the usual scene – talking about the tune, working a last few little licks out – I was a part of it, like I always am.  “You always know what we need to do!”  Barrett said to me, smiling.  I lit a joint & passed it to him.  Out of the corner of my eye – since I wasn’t actually looking at her – I saw Rina look at me & then at him.  But it doesn’t matter – because I’m just the other woman & I don’t matter.

***

I just told Mac to get up.  Bard’s up too, for some reason.  He doesn’t have a class today – usually he sleeps when he doesn’t have to go to campus.  I can’t stand it when we’re all up in the morning – it’s too hard with only one bathroom.  I’ve been up since 6:15 so my shower is out of the way – all I have to do is my make-up, which I can do with a hand mirror if I have to.  I don’t want to be late – although I have to admit I really don’t care anymore.

I was in Cleveland all weekend.  Mom’s new place in Shaker Heights is lovely & she looks better than she has in years.  She has a room all ready for me if I want to live there.  I just don’t know.  She talked AA the whole time & even offered to take me to a meeting.  I haven’t been to a meeting since I was in the hospital in April & I just don’t want to go to one right now.  Maybe Alcoholics Anonymous is the place for me.  Maybe someday.  I don’t really want to stop drinking so much as I want to stop getting sick & hungover.

My return home here was relatively undramatic.  Bard was up when I got home.  We talked a while.  When I hugged him, he hugged me back.  I hung out & read Gone With the Wind & got high all afternoon & washed my hair.  The more it grows in, the prettier it is.  I know that sounds really vain, but it’s true.  The super-short punk look really isn’t for me.  Maybe I need an entirely new look.  Anyway I fell asleep on the couch & woke up only when Barrett arrived at 6:45 for the Bliss rehearsal.  Joey & Marc were late, so Barrett & I talked – really about nothing.  The emotion was killing me.  I just wanted to touch him – to feel his lips on mine again.  Bard walked in & I know he felt the current between Barrett & me.  I could tell by the way he was looking at us & scowling at me.  I left the room when they started playing – I went into the kitchen & had a cup of tea & was reading.  Bard came in & I asked him about the demo tape, “Do I give Jon the copy of the tape I have or do you have another one for him?”  Jon wanted a copy to review for The Spectrum.

“Well – there aren’t very many copies.  Do you mind?”

“It doesn’t matter if I mind.”

“What do you mean, it doesn’t matter if you mind?”

“It just doesn’t matter. It’s not my place to mind.  I’m not really part of the band, am I.”  I gave him a really hard stare.

“Not your place – what is this shit – not part of the band – !”

I got up & went into my bedroom.  A little later he came in.  “What’s the matter with you?”  he asked.

“Nothing,” I answered.

“Well, you’re in such a bad mood.”

“Well, I thought you didn’t like me hanging out when you rehearse.  I get bad vibes.”

“Bad vibes!  Who’s giving you bad vibes?”  I glared at him.  He glared back.

I said, “Well, do you mind if I sit in there & embroider?”

“Of course you may!  You’re always welcome, you know that!”

So I sat there – where I wanted to be.  It was almost over anyway.  Barrett said he had to go, but then he hung out – long after Marc & Joey had left.  He told Marc, “I’ll have a beer but I really can’t stay long,” but he had several beers & smoked a bunch of joints.  First he & Bard played “Mariella” – Barrett playing Bard’s acoustic guitar – & then he turned to me & said, “Now I want to hear Cori sing.”  So I sang, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” – which I knew he knew – & it was exactly how I felt anyway – & then I sang “Crazy” & a few other Patsy Cline tunes – & he sang some 50’s ballads – to which I sang harmony – & then we sang “If I Fell”, trading off on lead & harmony vocals.  It was so much fun.  Barrett sings with his eyes closed but he’d look at me every so often.  I just couldn’t take my eyes off him.  I’d laugh when he’d lose his place in the corny ballads he was singing – oh I loved it.  After we sang “If I Fell,” he said he had to go.  I followed him out to the door but of course Bard hung out too & I couldn’t get a private word in.  The door was barely closed & I yelled, “Wait!” & bounded down the stairs.  He was between the first landing & the second one & I hung over the banister – just an inch or so from his face.  “Barrett!  Will I ever see you again?”

“You see me all the time.”

“You know what I mean.”

He said – so softly that I almost didn’t hear him – & even now I wonder if I really did – “Rina is going back down to Brooklyn to check on her mother.  We can meet in a few days.”

Oh – I could die!

***

Hey!  I’ve got the Christmas spirit!  It snowed today & on the radio I heard “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby.  When you hear Bing, you know it’s Christmas!

I quit my job.  It’s the end of the semester & I don’t care anyway.  I don’t know what I’m going to do & I don’t give a flying fuck.  It’s Christmas & it’s snowing & the whole world is beautiful.

Just hearing him call me “Baby” – even if I’m just another girl he calls “Baby” – oh I don’t care if I’m one of a hundred – I love the way his voice sounds when he calls me “Baby” –

I’m in a good mood!  I am really in love!  Maybe tomorrow I’ll be depressed about it – who knows – but now I’m so high on it – just flying away –

Walking home from Barrett’s in the snow – oh – I was so happy I could die.  I never knew making love could be so wonderful.   Gentle – sweet – kisses as soft as snow fluttering in the streetlight.

Oh I am so much in love.

Excerpts from a Diary 9

[October, 1979]

I’m more depressed than ever.  We’re gigging – I’m even singing a song or two & back-up on Barrett’s tunes – Bard is adamant that it isn’t any more than that.  Since we hired Tanner & he handles the door & the money now, there isn’t much for me to do unless I’m performing.  So now I’m dancing almost the entire night.  & when I’m not dancing, I’m drinking.  & I am drinking way too much.  I mean – there’s really nothing else to do.

Even Tanner argues with Bard that I should be singing more.  “She’s got a great voice – you should use her!”  Bard replied that I wasn’t part of the “original” vision of Chaotic Bliss.  I wasn’t part of this conversation – in fact, I was outside the door when I heard it so I was in essence eavesdropping – so I couldn’t debate the issue – but I wanted to say, “What original vision?  The vision that had Frankie & Gregski in it?  Didn’t that vision get blown to pieces?  & just what part of that original vision had Marc & Joey in it?  Why don’t you object to them being in the band?”  But I kept my cool & counted – almost to 80 – before I let myself in.

Still – I have to wonder – what’s Bard’s big deal about me.  Everyone in the band thinks I should be up onstage with them all the time.  Not for one or two songs a gig – usually late in the night.  I know the adage “girls fuck up bands” but it’s not like there’s not punk bands with girls fronting them – look at Patti Smith & Debby Harry.  & they’re just the most obvious two.  There’s dozens of them.  & it’s not like it’s a new thing anyway – I mean, Janis Joplin fronted Big Brother & Grace Slick fronted Jefferson Airplane.  There’s absolutely no reason for Bard to resist adding me to the band.  Especially since everyone else thinks I’m a positive addition.

***

I keep on thinking that maybe I’ll meet someone who’s right & I’ll be at peace.  But then I think of Jon & that was so right & it still fucked up.  I just don’t know what to do.  I did everything he wanted me to do.  I mean – every little thing he wanted – he got.  I changed the way I dressed – I acted – I spoke – everything.  & it still wasn’t enough.

Tonight’s the kind of night when I’ll read Janis – by David Dalton – & get into her raps on the Kosmic blues & love is a carrot – & it’s so true but I keep trying cuz it’s all I know how to do.  If I had any money, I’d go out & have a few but I don’t even have enough money to buy a quart of beer at the corner store.  I like going to bars because if I have at least enough money to buy myself one beer, usually some guy will buy me the next one & the one after that but I don’t even have a quarter for a cheapo draft beer.  Life can’t get any worse when you don’t even have a quarter for a cheap-ass draft beer.

I want to stop hurting!  I want to get rid of this pain!  I want to get rid of loneliness!

***

I dropped out of school.   I just couldn’t get into my classes this semester & I didn’t want a repeat of last spring.  Better to resign before I’m liable for classes I don’t care about & I have to finish somehow or another.  I’m still working part-time in the English department but honestly, I’m not sure how long that’s going to last either.  I just want to sing in the band & gig every night.  I don’t know why we aren’t getting more gigs.  Tanner is as into the band as the rest of us but it’s like pulling teeth to get a decent gig.  But oh well.  At least we’re still playing at least once a week.  & I still have a little money coming in from my job.  I am so happy!  I could just sigh with happiness when I come home from work & see my nice flat & my kitties & Bard & Mac.  I bought a bunch of plants & they look really nice in the front windows.  I love decorating.  I think I could be a really happy housewife to some good man.  Lately I’ve been sorta depressed but even when I’m depressed – the things in my life that makes me happy make me so happy!  Like books & plants & cats.

I’m at work now – the last half hour before I go home to my boys & my cats! I can hardly wait to get there!

***

I’m at home now & so is Chaotic Bliss.  Mac is sitting here with us.  Barrett, Mac & I are smoking reefer.  Soon they’ll play.  When I got home, Tanner & Zu were here, talking about taking out a loan & getting a better sound system – apparently that’s one of the problems with working certain clubs – the sound system that the Bliss has now isn’t good enough for most of the places that they want to play.  Zu says that if we can get this loan & get the sound system we need & deserve for the kind of music we’re doing – he’ll be our “exclusive” sound man & work only with us.  That’s an issue because sometimes we need him & he’s working some other gig.  I am so down with this.  I don’t want anything but the Bliss.  If rock’n’roll is an investment as much as any other art form, then I want to invest!  I can’t be a mail clerk in an University English department all my life.  Or a housewife – or anything.  Music is everything – I just love it – I am so exhilarated & awed & stoned by it – it’s my whole life – it’s all I want – it’s all I have ever wanted.  Every year, I’m a little more into it – I’m a little closer to my goal – whatever it is – I mean – I don’t know yet what I am specifically meant to do but I feel like I am getting closer – all I know that it is music.

At least I know something – Marc told me that when the Bliss hits it – when they start really going somewhere – I go with them.  Like, I’m not going to be set aside when they go number one with a bullet.  & last Saturday Joey told me, “Of course you go.  You’re part of the Bliss.”  At the bar, Barrett told the bartender that I get the half-price on drinks they offer to the band cuz “she’s part of the Bliss.”  It really raises my self-esteem cuz sometimes I get so insecure.  I’ve been kinda depressed lately – so what’s new – & hearing things like that really helps me feel better.  Cuz I really respect & admire these guys.  I listen to what they have to say.  The fact that they want me around – & that they watch out for my interests – means so much to me.

Of course – the part of me that has a full-time shit-detector up & running & working overtime – that part of me thinks – well why shouldn’t they watch out for me?  & why shouldn’t I get the same half-price drinks as the rest of the band?  Aren’t I in the band too?  Don’t I sing in the band too?  But I really try not to think too hard about those things.  I know it’ll just make me more depressed.

Even though I am still close to Barrett – & we are very close – I know that Bard somehow threw a wrench in there somehow – because Barrett isn’t around as much as he used to be – of course he’s got classes to teach & his dissertation to write – but he always did & he was always coming around to see how I was doing.  Now it’s so much more furtive – like we know we have to hide.  Bard almost always – not to mention insultingly – brings up Rina when I mention Barrett’s name or am talking to him – & the other day he told me that he’d “kill” me if I had an affair with Barrett.  Me!  He’d kill me!  Like I’m the only person involved!  What about Barrett?  But I guess he can’t kill Barrett – he plays bass!! Still, it’s a double standard & it sucks!

Last night I was talking to Marc about drinking & drugging.  In particular, my excessive use of alcohol & whatever drug is available.  He told me, “You’re sometimes so dumb.  I have to tell people, really she’s smart!  But while you’re so smart, you do the dumbest things!  You have the ability to make the most accurate observations – you’re so totally aware.  & then you go & get completely wasted – you just blot out all that awareness.  I don’t get it.”

Since I don’t have Barrett to talk to anymore, I talk to Marc & tell him my problems.  Marc is like talking to a comforting lion.  He’s like the guy who’s going to make everything alright but you have no idea how he’s gonna do it.  It’s just his presence – he’s so large & calm.  Like a bearded Buddha.  He worries about my recklessness.  I think it’s sweet that he worries.  He reminds me that he knew me before any of the “other guys” – “I knew you when you were almost dead”, he said the other day, “& the way you’re going, you might end up back in that same hospital ward.”

“I’m not going there,” I promised him.

“I’m afraid you’ll end up somewhere worse,” he worried.  I laughed.  But even as I was laughing, I knew that it really wasn’t something to be laughing about.  I spend way too much time being hungover.  & way too much time unable to remember what happened the night before.

***

Another boring Saturday.  I woke up around 10:30 – puttered around a little – Mac & I are going to the store later to buy things to make spaghetti – like real meat!  It’ll be so good.

I never told you about Thursday night’s gig.  It was really good but not many people came.  I’m beginning to think that Chaotic Bliss is not a McVan’s band.  Other bands play McVan’s & draw lots of people.  Bard is working on splitting the gig with Billy Pirhana & the Enemies.  But I’m afraid the Enemies won’t want to cuz the Jumpers are opening for the B-52’s at UB.  I don’t see anyone wanting to split that gig that particular night & I don’t see anyone coming out to see the Bliss when they could be seeing the Jumpers opening for the B-52’s.  I love the Bliss more than any band in the world but that’s just the truth of the matter.  & I would love to see the Jumpers opening for the B-52’s, too – what the hell – I’m not gonna lie!  This is the Jumper’s first gig in Buffalo since they left Buffalo months ago.  I’ve seen Terry Sullivan around but for the most part they’ve been on the road – at least they haven’t been gigging in Buffalo.  Anyway – Chaotic Bliss’s gig last Thursday – they were great – they really rocked – but there just wasn’t anyone out to hear them play.  I had lots of fun anyway – smoking pot with the waitresses – Callie & Deanna – then Deanna’s boyfriend came in with wings & we all munched.  By then it was obvious that no one was coming in & if they did, it was too late in the night to charge them cover, so I started dancing & had a really good time.  & then because it was obvious that no one was coming in, Bard “let” me sing a bunch of songs & the few people that were there – & Callie & Deanna – gave me a standing ovation – jumping up & down & cheering – which I could tell Bard didn’t like.  But it’s about time he woke up to the fact that I can sing & I’m an asset to the band.

Joey gave me a ride home since I had to get up in a few hours.  I crashed, got up, dressed & went to work.  Only 3 hours sleep – but sometimes it seems like I do better when I don’t have very much sleep.  I worked several hours – then went out to Amherst to my ob/gyn’s.  He told me that I have corrosion of the cervix & a left tubular infection.  So now I’m on medication – I can’t drink for a whole 12 days!! & he wants me to lose 15 pounds.  I weigh 130 – which doesn’t seem like too much to me.

I was glad to get home – it was raining & getting cold.  Today is overcast & cold.

***

The spaghetti was great!  I have never made a better sauce.  We listened to the White Album first, then to all of Elvis Costello’s.

Mac & I are smoking a joint.  I’m thinking about how much I still miss Jon.

***

After work today, I went to UB & over to the Spectrum Office.  I was arguing with myself the entire way.  I walked in & I felt like a fool immediately.  Jon was there & he looked at me & he knew why I was there.  He looked really busy.  John Frederic was there & Dave M. & I said, “I’ll come back at a better time,” and walked out.  I felt like crying as I walked home.

I’ve got this huge problem.  Like – I’m horny but I just can’t stand sex.  Well, not that but – like, David, my lover – I just can’t stand for him to touch me anymore.  I don’t really want anyone.  Well I do but I don’t want sex – I want something more.

I’m numb.  I don’t know what to do – except nothing!  I really want to be with Jon but I’m so proud – I won’t beg – he wouldn’t respect me if I did – & I wouldn’t respect him if he fell for begging.  So there’s nothing to be done.

***

Guess what?  Thursday night’s gig is off so I can go see the B-52’s!  Great!  I’m dying to go!  I don’t have a ticket but I’ll figure out some way to get in.

Work is terrible.  Work is really piling up & I could scream.  I’m so bored there.  It doesn’t help that everyone is so nice.  I wish they were jerks so I could feel justified in quitting.  I can hardly wait until the weekend.

***

I almost didn’t get to go to the B-52’s cuz it was sold out.  Bard was supposed to go with Barrett – but only because Barrett was supposed to be taking Rina but Rina’s mother in Brooklyn fell & broke her hip so Rina went to Brooklyn to take care of her mother.  On the day of the concert, Bard got sick with the flu – so sick that if we had been playing a gig, he never would have been able to perform.  I was really worried about him.  He had a temperature of 101.  But I got Bard’s ticket & I got to go to the show with Barrett.  I felt like Cinderella being told she could go to the ball!

I wore my blue & white mini dress – navy blue panty-hose – red shoes – red jacket.  Red nails & lips.  Dark eyes, as dark as I could make them.  Barrett came dressed in his black beret he bought in Vienna & his wool cape.  He’s so cool!  There is no one like Barrett!  Bard morosely said good night to us & went back to his sick bed.

It was sold out!  Everyone who was anyone was there.  Jon was there, looking more handsome than ever.  With Sara, of course.  With Spectrum people & Lackawanna people.  & Barrett & me.  Jon & I talked – I could have died to feel his breath against my neck as he spoke into my ear – & he talked to Barrett about the Bliss, of course – pumping him for a story.

Sara & I were talking – she was saying how much she hated the Spectrum gossips & I agreed – like I cared – then we were talking about clothes & other superficial things & I said that I wanted something – some article of clothing or something – some cool new jacket I saw in a thrift shop on Elmwood – & she said, “Well, you can’t always get what you want,” – I guess paraphrasing the Stones or something – & I replied with, “Yeah, I know, cuz I want Jon.”

She said, “Oh Cori,” real sympathetic but what the fuck – I didn’t believe her for a minute – I could see through her like an open window – I mean, what the fuck – she’s got him – & I don’t!  & it was so fucking obvious – Jon & I were looking at each other every few seconds – there was a real current going between us.  Even Barrett noticed it – he told me later, “Well, he was certainly aware of you.”

So then Sara asked about Barrett & we put our heads together & talked in low tones since he was right there & I bragged bragged bragged about Barrett.  Then I looked up & Barrett was looking at me & I just laughed & said, “Yeah, I’m talkin’ ’bout you!”  Then Sara moved away & I started talking to Barrett.  He looked at me & I felt somewhat shy.  It’s hard to say what happened next because I wasn’t quite sure what was going on at the time.  It was hard to hear, for one & I was somewhat stoned.  I had been smoking some killer hash oil & I had a flask of Grand-Dad.  But I think he said something like, “I can’t be around always, I have to be concerned with other things,” & I said, “I don’t want someone around all the time, I just want friends to be around some of the time & to be loyal.  I can’t handle a full-time relationship or a heavy affair.” & we talked about the concept of having many lovers & many friends.  polyamorous.  It is a concept that greatly appeals to me.

The B-52’s were great.  I mean totally fabulous!  The most original band I have ever seen or heard anywhere in my entire life!  Incredible lyrics – so full of humor!  & they rocked!  Everyone was dancing!  Barrett & I danced together – oh, it was so great!  & the Jumpers were fabulous too!  They had a bunch of new tunes & Terry strutted back & forth across the stage like he was a Buffalo-born punk rock version of Mick Jagger & they really got the crowd ready for the B-52’s.  The Jumpers can get a crowd ready for anyone.

It was over all too soon.  Barrett & I stood & watched the crowd depart – waiting for Hammond, this British guy Barrett knows from the English department, in case he needed a ride home – but he never showed so we left.  Barrett asked me if I wanted a beer & of course I said yes.  I was really happy because I had been hoping that he would ask me out after the show & I had really doubted the possibility of it happening & here it was happening!

We went to the Sign of the Steer.  Not my favorite place but oh well.  I ordered a  Grand-Dad & Coke & Barrett got a draft Blue.  We talked about Jon.  Barrett told me his observation about how “aware” Jon was of me.  “If he’s supposed to be in love with Sara, he’s not very exclusive,” he said dryly.  It made me wonder about what was really going on a year ago – when Jon & I were supposed to be so “in love”.  Was it really what I thought it was?  Maybe that’s why it fell apart so quickly?  Because Jon was never as “exclusive” as I was?

We also talked about Bard.  I asked him why he thought Bard was so against me being in the band.  “I think it goes back to his original vision of Chaotic Bliss & there was never a girl in the band,” Barrett said.  “It has really nothing to do with your talent & you are obviously a very talented performer in many ways – not just as a singer but your stage presence – the way you move – the way you dance – every eye is on you – ”

“He’s jealous,” I pointed out.

Barrett sipped his beer.  “Maybe,” he conceded.  “You could be right.  Bard could be very afraid of the Janis Joplin effect – the girl singer in the band who becomes the entire band.”

“I’m no Janis Joplin,” I laughed.  I gestured to the barmaid for another drink.

“No,” he agreed, “you’re much prettier than she ever was.”

We sat in silence for a while, sipping our drinks & listening to the music.  The bar was noisy & filled with college kids.

Barrett said, “We used to discuss your relationship & I told Bard that he was a fool,” adding, “you were there, ready & willing to love & be loved & he just wouldn’t allow himself to be loved.  You don’t have to feel bad about Bard.  You did everything you could.”

“But I fall in love so easily,” I answered.  “It makes the want that much more immediate.”

“Yeah,” Barrett said, “I fall in love easily too.”  & we just looked at each other.  It was just like that – that immediate – that real.  We talked some more & finished our drinks.  Barrett has this way of calling me “Baby”.  I know it doesn’t mean anything – he told me that he called all the girls on tour “Baby” because “that way you never have to remember any names & you don’t have any remembered names coming out at the wrong time.”  But I love hearing him call me “Baby”.  I’m sure he calls other women “Baby” – I don’t know – I don’t care – I just love it when he says it to me.  He says, “Hang in there, baby.”  I know he means it.

He drove me home & I said cya & opened the door & kissed his cheek.  He said, “Come here, baby,” so I closed the door & went into his arms – & he held me & kissed me – again & again – & he said, “I don’t want to ruin our friendship.  & I don’t want to ruin my marriage.  But I want both of you.  & Rina’s in Brooklyn – it would be so easy just to take you home but you gotta understand – & Bard – I can’t – ”

I said, “I’m cool.”

“If you need a friend, I’m around.”  He took my face into his hands, touching my cheeks my lips with his lips.  & then I left – I had to – it was too much – I ran into the house – up the stairs – to the living room where I smoked a joint – looking out the front windows at the rain – I was so glad that Mac was out & that Bard was sleeping –

& now I am more emotionally torn & battered & more in love than I have been – since I first went out with Bard.  Only this is different because Barrett wants me & lets me know that he wants me – I could never tell with Bard – Bard has always been an enigma.

I have not been able to concentrate all day.  I want him.  I want him.  I’ve been in love with him since he wrote “Moonshine Meditation” – my song.  It is my song!  When he screams, “Oh baby give yourself to me!” I could die.  I really could.

But he’s married!  To Rina – who doesn’t like the Bliss anyway – because it takes up so much of Barrett’s time – she wants him to be a straight academic – no rock’n’roll for Barrett – & I do understand why he’s faithful to her – but he did talk about being polyamorous & having many lovers & friends – which is not exactly the same as being faithful to your wife.  So yes, I guess I’m just a little confused.

***

I woke up & felt like I had been crying.  My eyes seem a little puffy.  I feel really numb.  Something’s the matter with me.  I’m sitting here – tears streaming down my cheeks.  I have a Billy Holiday album on.  I think I could be a blues singer.  I think I could really sing.  Really really sing.

I’m a mess.  A mess.  When I cry, I know something’s wrong.  I don’t usually cry.  I should listen to something to make me dance.   I wish Chaotic Bliss had a gig tonight.  I forget everything when I’m dancing to their tunes – especially “Moonshine Meditation”.  I only dance a few tunes – usually at the very end of the night – when getting cover at the door isn’t important anymore.  I’m known for my dancing.  The other night, a guy told me that he comes to see me dance as much as to hear the band play.  That made me feel really great.  If I’m not allowed to sing, at least I can dance – at least I have that.

I was thinking the other day that when I was with Jon, I lost my identity.  I wasn’t Cori anymore – I was Jon’s girl.  When we were out with others, I was fairly quiet – I never flirted, I never danced – Jon was really the only friend I had in those days – he was my whole life.  I mean – there was Mark Miles – of course – & there was Eddie & Bro & Crony – but Jon was my whole life.  When I lost Jon, I lost everything – or so I thought – but it was really a way to regain myself.  I started making other friends & doing other things.  Reclaiming parts of myself that I had suppressed & allowing myself to flourish again.  When Jon & I met, I was a very free, independent & probably the most together I’ve ever been – Jon took that from me & it’s been really hard getting it back – but I am getting it back.

Excerpts From a Diary 8

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

Excerpts From a Diary 7

[July, 1979]
Yesterday’s gig was the best yet. Believe it or not, there was no huge crisis! No heart attacks! There was quite a crowd & we not only broke even but made a profit!
Barrett didn’t want to take Gregski all the way out to Cheektowaga so he said to use my charms on him to keep him in Buffalo. We were all in Bard’s kitchen after the gig – it was maybe 1:30 or 2 a.m. Gregski got up to go the john – I intercepted him in the dining room on the way back. I lightly punched him & he gently tackled me & we rolled around on the floor – then I kissed his lips – & he stuck his tongue full into my mouth. “Stay with me,” I cajoled, my fingers teasing his cock, “stay.”
“I have to call my parents,” he said. As he went to the phone, I stood in the doorway & OK’d to Barrett.
It was a fun night! All we did was laugh & giggle & fuck all night. & what a fuck! He’s so good! He’s rough along the edges – but oh! He has so much potential! & it would be so much fun to teach him! Oh, how I would love to.
I only got several hours sleep, then I had to get up for work. Getting up early is bad enough – leaving a warm body is worse. I wanted him so badly!
Work isn’t bad. Cleaning is dull but easy.  Yucky – there’s no way around that.  But I doubt I’m doing it for very long.  Vinnie put me behind the bar & he was impressed at how quickly I took to it.  But bartending is super easy – especially when you’re serving nothing but shots & beers. Mostly shots of bourbon or rum & glasses of Genny draft. What I really like is working the grill. I really like to cook. I think I’ll look for a cooking job in a little while – I can see that this place isn’t going to work out – there’s too many jerks here. But for now, it’s ok.
I came home, hoping that Gregski was still around, but he had gone. I went to bed & slept for several hours, then I went to Bard’s. They were auditioning a keyboard guy named Horowitz. I don’t know if that’s his first name or his last name, that’s all they called him. He’s short & shaped like a pear & has a small, rat-like face, with a big nose. His hair is very short & dark – his skin pale.  He looked very unhealthy.
He’s a fantastic keyboardist. The farfisa sound adds so much color to the tunes – a Doors flavor – & the synthesizer adds a Who vibe. & he’s certainly crazy enough – Chaotic enough – although he made me think of a puppy jumping & yipping for attention – the way he presents his material to the band. But he’ll be alright.
What was great was that when we were talking about the possibility of Horowitz joining the band, I was given a vote – equal with the other members! That means so much to me! It makes me so happy & so proud that Barrett & Bard think that my opinion is worth that much. So often – during a rehearsal – I’ll be sitting upstairs in the kitchen – reading or writing & having a cup of tea – & one of them will come up & ask me what I think. & really listen to what I have to say & want to know why I think the way I do. I mean, it means so much to me that they respect my views & take them into consideration.
Oh, everything’s alright! It really is. I just wish I didn’t have to get up for work tomorrow. I hate dragging myself out of bed. & I wish I had someone to sleep with.

***

Yesterday was unreal. I don’t think I’ve been that tired in a hundred years. I put in a full day’s work, then went to Bard’s to sleep. I really hate that bar. All the guys are jerks. I’m making decent money but I still wish I had something else to do. I was crying & Bard held me for a while.

***

This morning I got to work & found half my work already done, which pissed me off. There’s never enough to do! I hate just sitting there. I hate bars – I really hate bars. I hate just sitting around! What boring, unimaginative people go to bars!
Roy asked me to barmaid tonight – so I will – for the money. I don’t like Roy, though. I don’t like anyone there. It won’t be long, just until 7 p.m. Barrett’s having a cookout & Bard & I are going after I get off work.

***

What a shitty night last night was! Right from the start, it sucked. I got to work at 4 & Roy told me I had to work until 9, not 7. So I called Bard & told him to go to Barrett’s without me & I’d be by later. So I was pissed off about that.
Roy taught me how to mix gimlets, because that’s what he was drinking, but most everyone else was drinking draft beer & shots. I didn’t want to drink but Roy said I had to be “sociable” & it didn’t take very long for me to put on a good buzz.
It wasn’t busy but it was steady for a holiday afternoon. But I was so bored. What a boring clientele! Mostly old farts & younger dudes playing pool.  In Janis Joplin’s terms, “No talent” at all.  & I so resented missing Barrett’s cookout.
Then things got really bad. Roy called me into the kitchen & showed me his wallet full of twenties. “There’s plenty for you if you play ball with me,” he said, handing me a twenty. Then he tried to kiss me & grab my tit. I escaped back to the bar. I wished I had said, “What, you only have one ball to play with?” But of course you always think of those great lines after the fact.
I said I would stay until 9, so I did, but I left. Roy was pissed off. “You can’t leave! You have to stay until Vinnie gets here!”
“Fuck Vinnie! I’m leaving! I quit!” The bar cheered & I walked out the door into the blinding sunlight.
I thumbed up Main Street to Barrett’s. I was so drunk I could barely remember where he lived. Finally I got there. I sat in the kitchen & cried.  Eventually I calmed down enough to tell Barrett & Bard what happened. They were both outraged – Bard was quite angry.  “Nobody should have to go through that kind of sexual harassment!”   Bard made me eat & Barrett made me tea. After a while, Barrett took Bard & me to Bard’s house. Bard made me more tea & wouldn’t let me go to bed until I had 2 or 3 cups & several glasses of water. He then put me to bed & I immediately feel into a deep & lethargic sleep. During the night I woke – or thought I did – several times – & I felt heavy & brain-aching & sick. But I only fell back to sleep again.
When I woke up, I was alone. I got up & dressed but I still felt strange. In the bathroom, I looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes hurt & they looked funny. Bard was sitting in the kitchen drinking tea. He seemed like he was waiting for me.
“Hey,” I said.
“Hey,” he replied.
“I cried a lot last night, right?”
Bard nodded.
“I was really drunk last night, wasn’t I?”
“You certainly were,” he said.
“I don’t remember it.”
I wasn’t hung over. I just felt really strange. I just wanted to sleep.
So now I’m out of work again, all because of that fucked-up bastard! But – that was a really lousy place to work. I mean, out of all the boring bars in Buffalo, that had to have been the most boring.

***
Mac & I went over to Shera’s to talk about the possibility of me moving in there. She lives in an upper apartment on Springville Ave, in Amherst, just over the border from Buffalo.  She’s renting a small bedroom off the kitchen.  She seemed real receptive & said she would give me an answer on Sunday.  It’s a real cozy, homey place & I would love to live there. I need a home. I need to say, “I’m going home,” & mean it.

After that, Mac & I rolled a bunch of joints & went cruising in his  ’68 MG Midget. He’s been working on it night & day. We cruised all over Buffalo – over the Skyway – down into Lackawanna & down Route 5 past the Ford Plant. It was so much fun – like being on a rollercoaster without a track.
While we cruised, we talked. Or Mac talked & I listened. Shera & Mac used to live together & then Teddy moved into the little room I am thinking of renting. Now Teddy sleeps with Shera & Mac is sleeping alone in the small bedroom at Bard’s apartment. Mac is still in love with Shera. Shera still sleeps with Mac once in a while. Just enough to keep him miserable.  Mac is still deeply in love with Shera & says she is the only woman he will ever love.

***

Last night I hung out at Bard’s, as usual – curled up in his quilts & crashed on the couch with the cats. Chaotic Bliss was practicing in the cellar but that didn’t bother me – it was a rock’n’roll lullabye. When they came upstairs, I woke up & I was horny – I flirted with Gregski, who teased me back & we rolled around on the porch together. We were making use of the rug in Mac’s bedroom when his parents came to pick him up, so we were both frustrated.
Today Gregski was impossible. I was tired & irritable – everything he said or did got on my nerves. I saw with Bard & Barrett after the rehearsal & poured out all my troubles like I always do. The conversation switched from my problems to Gregski & Chaotic Bliss. His irresponsibility, his apparent lack of interest, his immaturity & selfishness. “I just ignore him,” said Barrett.
“I know – that’s what I should do – I should stop ragging on him,” Bard said, “but it’s gotten to be such a habit.”
“I should stop flirting with him,” I said.
“Why?” asked Barrett.
“It’s another bad habit, honestly just like Bard ragging on him,” I replied. Barrett looked at me like he was going to say something but then Bard said, “My job is to stop ragging on Gregski & to ignore him & let him go his merry way – & not be so uptight about the Bliss.” But I know how Bard feels. It’s hard not to be uptight – not to want the band to be the best it could be – not to want the gigs to be great always – not to want success now, not later – Gregski’s lackadasicalness is definitely in the way of getting to where I know Bard wants to be – where I want to be, too.
“My job – ” I faltered.
Barrett smiled at me. “You know what your job is.”
Yes, the hardest & most enjoyable job of all. Babysitting an 18-year-old brat & all I have to offer is sex & a similar love of the Beatles.
After Barrett left, mac wanted to know if I wanted to take another ride with him in his MG which of course I did. We cruised around town for a while, ending up at Shera’s. There were all kinds of people there – Teddy – who wasn’t anything like the monster Mac made him out to be – & Jesse & Doreen, who live in the garage apartment behind the house – & visiting friends Maryellen & her boyfriend Mike. All the guys had Harleys & they were all revving them up & talking bike talk – I felt bad for Mac, because only the girls wanted to see his car & I could tell he wanted the respect of the guys. Then Jesse walked over to Mac & clapped him on the back & asked him to pop the hood & let him see the engine. The other guys soon followed suit & Mac was soon happily showing off his car.
All the girls had long beautiful hair & they all had gorgeous figures. Doreen’s hair was the most gorgeous red I had ever seen & Maryellen had a figure to die for. I felt short & dumpy & stupid with my self-butched hair. But we all got totally stoned on several joints – Teddy rolled several, as soon as he rolled one & lit it, he rolled another one & lit it – & Jesse was filling his bowl & I don’t think I’ve been that wasted in a long time. When Mac & I got back to Bard’s, I fell asleep on the couch again. It seems like I’m doing a lot of sleeping on Bard’s couch lately.

***

I’m tired & hazy & dizzy. I was sick all day. I drank far too much last night & I don’t even know why. I usually have a reason for drinking heavily – I’m depressed or I’m out of weed – which usually ties in with being depressed – & I didn’t even know I was unhappy. There really was no reason to be. I actually felt really good. I’d felt good all day. We played the Masthead & there was a really good crowd. Roxanne, the blonde who goes out with the lead singer of the Killers, was cocktail waitress & we quickly became acquainted, much to my pleasure. I’ve been seeing her around since the Buffalo Music Awards back in February & she is so hip & so hot. She admired my dress – I was wearing a blue & white print mini-dress with sheer navy-blue panty-hose & my red Mary Jane flats – one of my favorite outfits. The bouncer told me I had great legs. I was having a great time within seconds of arriving there.
“I’m gonna get drunk tonight,” I told Gregski before the gig started.
“Why?” he asked.
“I don’t know, I just feel like it,” & I laughed.
I drank & drank & danced up a storm – it wasn’t until I started dancing that other people got off their asses & danced too – & did shots & laughed & flirted & smoked dope & had a great time until things started slipping away from me & I felt like throwing up – only I couldn’t because I hadn’t eaten all day.
I could barely stand during the load-out. I felt like I was outside of myself – watching myself being drunk. It was so weird. I stood next to Barrett’s car, holding myself up. “Hang in there, baby,” Barrett said gently & Bard added worriedly, “Are you gonna be alright?”
“I’m alright,” I said. Gregski & Frankie came up & attempted to help me walk around but I shook them off. “I’m alright, I’ll be alright.” I said it forcefully. As if saying it would make it so. I repeated to myself, I’m alright, I’m alright – the song played in my head long after it was evident even to me that I wasn’t.
The rest is a muddle. We had to take the P.A. out to Cheektowaga, where it’s stored – they have a storage unit in a warehouse – & I remember sitting there in the car as they moved the equipment – there was a train going by & it seemed so noisy – & then getting up & out of the car & walking maybe 10 steps toward the edge of the parking lot & falling on my knees on the gravel & puking – puking beer still fizzy from inside of me & tasting awful. Barrett came up from behind me & steadied me – his hands gentle & firm on my shoulders.
A sob rose up out of me. “Oh, Barrett, why am I so unhappy?”
That’s all I remember.

***

This afternoon, I was on campus, turning in my Women’s Studies paper – somehow I managed to write six pages about the “reality” of women in the “very patriarchal” system that is rock’n’roll today – using books that Barrett had loaned me & my own Rolling Stone magazines – & feminist tracts of course – I think it was pretty good. Anyway, I ran into Barrett – & of course we got to talking. He mentioned my drunkenness the other night & how I had clung to him. “Are you so very unhappy?” he asked gently.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I mean – sometimes I’m real happy & sometimes I’m not. It’s either one or the other.”
We walked along the tree-lined paths of the campus. Past Hayes Hall & the velvety green lawn stretching down to Main Street. I saw the tree where Jon & I had sat the first day we had met & I knew exactly why I was so unhappy. Suddenly I was talking – telling Barrett all about it – how we met the second day of my orientation – how I was so hungover from partying with Mark Miles the night before that I couldn’t register for classes & I had gone to the Spectrum office looking for Mark – to get him to register for me – & while he was gone doing that, I heard this voice talking – about music, about art, about writing the perfect article – & when I raised my aching head to see who it was who was talking – & saw him – for the first time – that long blonde hair & those big blue eyes & that slender yet muscled body – my hangover slipped away like a bad memory – like it never was. “It was love at first sight,” I told Barrett.
I told him everything. About how great it was at first & then how I got pregnant & Jon didn’t want the baby – how he convinced me to have an abortion – & I did – & I never regretted it – except that it didn’t do shit to keep Jon with me. “You sound bitter,” Barrett mentioned.
“I don’t know – how would you feel? I mean – I would be almost ready to be having a baby right now – & I guess that would mean that I wouldn’t be hanging out with you guys. & you know – I really love the Bliss!” I laughed. “But on the other hand – it was something I did for him – & he didn’t really appreciate it – not in the end. In fact, he blamed me for the whole thing.”
After that, I showed him some of the lyrics I had written – most of them more or less about or for Jon – but a few for Bard & one that I wrote after that night with Frankie – & he was really impressed. “You’re a really strong writer,” he told me. Then he made a suggestion that made me really happy. “Why don’t I take some of these & see if I can work up some melodies to go with them & maybe we can have you sing one or two of them with the band? You’re part of the band anyway – & a female voice is always an asset. & we already know you can sing.”
So now I feel really hopeful – hopeful for a better future. I’m so glad that Barrett is my friend.

***

Tonight was the top of the world & it was great!  Chaotic Bliss opened for the Jumpers for an orientation thing at Buff State & it was so much fun! I wore my old red-checked mini-dress – from 8th grade – the one with all the buttons down the front & the full skirt – with black tights & my red shoes. I was the only one who danced to Chaotic Bliss – I don’t think the kids knew what to think of them – it was almost like I was performing, too. When they played their new song, “Midnight Meditation”, I was totally in heaven – I love to dance to that song. It’s Barrett’s song & it totally rocks.
Roxanne was there & it was great to see her again. She was sitting with some other girls & they were passing around a vial of something – breathing it in deeply & then passing it to the next person. Roxanne handed it to me & I followed suit. It smelled somewhat like bleach. I handed it back to her & then – I was hot. My fingertips burned & I had a rush in my head. Everything looked the same but it was all different. It was melting. Everything around me was melting & my eyes were melting, dripping into my lap. Then I shivered & it was over.
Later I asked Barrett about it. He told me that it was amyl-nitrate – street name “snappers or poppers”. He said, “That’s really punk, that’s about as punk as it gets.”
We sat upstairs in the room designated as a dressing room & got high & talked about our apparent success & our new guitarist. We had been auditioning guitarists for the past few weeks & had heard plenty of really good guitarists – but there was only one that was perfect for the Bliss. That was Marc – a friend of Mac’s – they played together in a band when they were in high school.
This is the same Marc who was my therapist when I was in the hospital. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him.
For a while, Bard & Barrett wanted this guy named Kurt in the band – I didn’t like him & I didn’t want him. I wanted Marc from the first time I heard him play. We discussed it endlessly & by the end of the discussions, I had swung them over to my thinking.
Fred also wanted Kurt. He clearly dislikes me. It’s more than bad vibes now – it’s definite dislike. He resents me. Maybe it’s dangerous to say it but I think it’s because I have more influence than he does & he knows it. He had nothing to do with this whole finding a guitarist process – he doesn’t even receive a vote.
Later we all went down to catch the Jumpers’ set. I had been teasing Gregski relentlessly & Bard pulled me aside. “If you say one more nasty thing, I won’t let you hang out anymore.” Bard does not make idle threats – I was really bothered by this. I didn’t think I was being particularly mean to Gregski. “Am I very nasty?” I asked Barrett. “No, you are very cutting & witty,” Bruno answered. But of course, “cutting & witty” is just a sophisticated way of being “nasty”. & Gregski may be lots of things but he isn’t particularly sophisticated. Not yet, anyway.
“I can’t help it!” I burst out. “Greg is such a fucking disappointment & such a lazy fool – how can someone so talented & so ambitious be so irresponsible & dull? I can’t help it – things pop out of my mouth before I think & even if they are nasty – I can’t help but think he deserves it.”
“He does deserve it,” Barrett answered.
We stood, watching people dance. “C’mon.” I danced away, leading Barrett by the hand. We danced together several tunes & then I saw Gregski standing with Randy, his best friend, who used to play guitar in the Bliss but was kicked out because he was too irresponsible. Gregski has never forgiven Barrett & Bard for this. Also there was Randy’s girlfriend who used to be Gregski’s girlfriend. I can’t stand her. I don’t know her but I can’t stand her. It’s really just a gut feeling – I hate her smug smile – you can tell she doesn’t care about Randy except to use him to hurt Gregski. All this I know from what Gregski has told me & from instinct. I mean, I really don’t care, except how it affects Gregski – & Chaotic Bliss. It’s really all about Chaotic Bliss.
After dancing with Barrett, I danced with Gregski – he protested that he didn’t dance but of course I know better – & I danced with Roxanne & anyone who wanted to dance with me – but I really loved dancing with Barrett. There is something about his smile – the way he looks at me – so quietly reassuring –
Afterwards, waiting for everyone to show up & bring their things around, I helped Barrett shove amps – the big ones – into the car & then he & I hung out & talked. We wished we had some pot. Bard joined us – & the conversation – but it seemed like he was pissed off about something. “Are you mad at me?” I asked.
“No,” he replied sullenly. I didn’t believe him but then, with Bard, you can never tell.
We were driving away & I had already slid down into the seat between Barrett & Bard & put my feet up on the dashboard, when we passed some pretty boys walking home from the dance. I heard one of them yell: “Hey there goes the girl in the red-checkered dress!”
& Barrett yelled out his window: “You better believe it, baby!”

***

Tonight was Frankie’s last gig with us & probably Gregski’s too. We have had it with Gregski. His “I don’t care, do what you like” attitude has abdicated himself from the band. He has semi-announced that he is leaving after the demo is made. But who knows. Like Bard says, “Gregski is such a dildo-brain, you never know where he’s at.”
Marc, our new guitarist, has a friend, Joey Sinclair, who is one of the three best working drummers in the city – Gregski, believe it or not, is another – & he wants to play with us. He plays jazz but can really rock’n’roll – he’s already jammed with Bard, Marc & Barrett. Just fooling around – not even doing Bliss tunes – playing all kinds of stuff – I was singing too. Barrett’s all for the change. “If Greg doesn’t want to hang out & work hard & really give all for the band & if it’s such a painful ordeal just to play gigs, let alone rehearsals – ” Gregski has refused to come to the rehearsals for fitting in Marc & Horowitz – “then I say, he can split. Obviously he’s not into it.”
But Bard still wants Gregski around, although I think it’s more of a thing about Gregski rejecting the band – & Bard – rather than a true desire to have Gregski play with us. “At least now we have a weapon,” he said. “We can say, Greg, shape up or else. At least he’ll realize that he isn’t the only good drummer in Buffalo. Joey Sinclair can drum circles around Gregski. & he’s not too great to let us play his songs.” That was another thing. Gregski writes songs, but he won’t let Chaotic Bliss play them.
“When are you gonna tell Gregski?” I asked.
“We’re having a meeting tomorrow at one,” Bard answered.
“But he probably won’t show up until two,” Barrett added, laughing.
Gregski brought some of his friends along. RT & some other losers. They sat up front & neither smiled nor showed any emotion at all. Before we left for the gig, they were all listening to the White Album, just sitting there, staring into space, not moving nor talking. I thought, what a bunch of dead beats. If these are the friends Gregski has, it’s any wonder he finds it hard to be with guys like Bard & Barrett, who think & move & get things done. Unless Gregski can say fuck it & do something different than what his friends are doing – or not doing – he’ll never do anything.
Once Bard, Barrett & I were talking about Gregski’s attitude in relation to the Beatles – his idols – especially Paul McCartney – which says a lot right there. I mean, Paul’s great but he’s just Paul. Bard said, “He takes it all so seriously. He has no sense of humor. He doesn’t see the humor in their songs! He just worships them.”
I agreed, adding, “I think the worst injustice you can do to anyone is worship them cuz then you’re not being objective. It’s as bad as totally demolishing them. Either way, you’re unable to see who they are.”
“& this Paul McCartney thing,” said Barrett, sipping his bourbon out of the bottle cap. Bard take his in shots & I swig right out of the bottle. “I mean, really. Paul McCartney is good at what he does but he hasn’t done anything in 10 years.”
“Do you think Gregski is going to join Frankie’s new band?” Frankie is starting a band called “Frankie & the Fun Guys”. So much for speech therapy.
“I think,” Bard was getting drunk, so he was speaking very slowing, thinking it out before he said anything, “that Gregski plans to make demo tapes, playing all the instruments.”
“Like Paul McCartney,” I laughed.
“I think Cori has it,” Barrett said, nodding to Bard.
Anyway, the gig went quite well – although Frankie really played up the fact that it was his last gig with the Bliss & played his “best”. But Frankie’s best is always the same – his solos are always the same – week after week – the same rifs, the same licks – I could sing them note for note. He’s so boring. & he doesn’t even realize it. In fact, I’d say the attributes that make him boring are the ones he’s the most proud of.
A girl came in, half-way through the gig – short & thin with butched red hair & a cute vixen-type face. At first she obviously hated the music – she walked back & forth, shaking her head & frowning. But I think she must’ve talked herself into liking it – or it grew on her. Anyway, after a few of my solo dances, she same up to me & told me to let her know when I was going to dance again, because she wanted to dance too. A sneer rose in the back of my mind at anyone who wanted “really bad” to dance but only if someone else was dancing. But I smiled & said sure. After all, I can remember similar times in my life – when I was too shy to dance alone.
But when the time came, she barely danced – she moved her arms & legs in some sort of rhythm & barely moved from her post up in from of the band. I saw looks exchanged among the band & Barrett caught my eye & we both grinned. I stopped at the end of the dance & caught my breath. I drank a coke & watched her. She knew all the tricks, but not how to be subtle. It was so obvious that she wanted to get laid & she wanted someone in the band.
She asked me who I was & I said, “I’m with the band.” I saw the click in her brain & she smiled & said, “Will you sit with me? It’s so lonely up there all alone.” & I laughed under my breath.
Near the end of the set, we went to the ladies’ room, where I let her use my eyeliner, but she didn’t know how & got it way too thick on the upper lid. Her skin was too fair for black, anyway. A dark brown would have been fine for her. Anyway, she drilled me about the band, especially Gregski. “Oh, but he’s practically jailbait,” I said wickedly.
“How old is he?”
“Only eighteen.”
“Oh that’s a baby!”
“Why, how old are you?
“Er – twenty-five,” she faltered, which told me that she was probably at least a few years older than that.
She stuck to me like glue. She told me her name but I can’t remember it. After the set was over, I went to the stage to start helping take things down & she was right by my side. She wanted to know how I was going to get home. “Well, I’m with the band,” I told her, like I was explaining something to a child, “I go with them.”
“Oh…” she looked disappointed. “I hitched here & I would rather not hitch home.”
“Well, why don’t you ask Gregski for a ride? He has a car.”
Later, I saw her leave with Gregski & his friends. Barrett, bard & I laughed as we drove away. “I bet she sucks off every single one of them,” Bard commented.
“She was really looking to get laid,” Barrett said. “Man! She used every trick in the book.”
We stopped in an all-night deli to buy stuff to make pizza. We bought capicola instead of pepperoni or sausage – this was Bard’s idea. While he was paying for it all, Barrett & I looked over the magazines. I thumbed through the new Vogue, sighing over the new fashions. Then I complained: “But of course they’re designed for tall, thin women, not short dumpy babes like me. It’s not fair. These clothes are lovely & I can’t wear them.”
“Who needs fashion?” asked Barrett. “& who says you’re short & dumpy?”
At Bard’s, I whipped up the pizza & shoved it into the oven. Just then, Horowitz & his girlfriend Olive showed up. They have this endearing quality of showing up when there’s food to be had. My temper soured. I hadn’t eaten all day & now there wouldn’t be enough to go around. It was even worse when Frankie & Fred showed up. Of course they’d want some – Fred always helps himself. He’s the kind of guy who will take your last beer without even asking first. He once told me that he never buys pot – but he’ll smoke other people’s – which is why Barrett & I started keeping our weed for ourselves & those we choose to smoke with. Not leeches, like Fred.
We sat around, talking & Fred announced he was leaving August 10. “Buffalo is really hurting my head & my peace of mind,” he said. “I feel like the sooner I get out of Buffalo, the better my life will be. I’ll make sure you have a new manager. I’ll set everything up…” He went on to talk about lighting crews, roadies & future success. “I want to see this band go to the top.” Which is exactly the same thing Frankie said when he announced his departure. I love these people who care so much about the Bliss’s success that they do everything in their power to sabotage that success.  Or simply do nothing.  Walk away & work for some other band.
Then Fred started talking about money & closing the account, since Frankie was leaving & he was leaving. He was talking about what everyone was going to get, giving himself an equal amount! What manager gets an equal cut with the band?
I wanted to know what my cut was. I reminded him that when he hired me, he said that I would be paid & I would have a “permanent” position with the band. He acted like he had no memory of this at all. He said, “I’ve never heard of a paid groupie.”
Both Bard & Barrett defended me. They both said I was part of the band & worked as hard as anyone else. “We couldn’t do it without her,” Barrett said. “& she’s going to have a larger role – she writes songs – good songs – & she can sing. We think she would be a valuable addition to the band musically as well as everything else she does around here.”
“Well if you add her to the band, you’re truly whacked & I’m glad I’m leaving.” Fred then accused me of stealing the door money. He said it was always short. He said, “I don’t like you, I never have & I see no reason to. You’re irresponsible at the door, you turn people off with the way you treat them – I’ve seen people walk out after talking to you – ”
“Because I told them they had to pay to get in & they didn’t want to, so they walked out,” I explained tiredly.
“You’re lousy for the band. I don’t care what anyone says. Women are bad for bands.”
I glanced at Barrett. He shook his head, as if to say it wasn’t true.
He went on & on. I was too tired to argue with him. I didn’t know what to say anyway. What are you supposed to say when you are being attacked like this? Is there anything to say? Fred summed it up with a wild hand gesture toward Bard & Barrett – “But they love you! I’m leaving so I don’t matter. We’ll probably never see each other again.” The meeting broke up soon after that.

***

I am so depressed. I’ve been down a lot lately anyway & last night only shoved me down further. I feel so worthless. I wrote Bard & Barrett a letter, first to put down all the things I wish I’d said to Fred but didn’t – “You didn’t defend yourself too well,” said Barrett, driving me home at 5:30 this morning. “I know,” I replied, “he hit me where it hurts the most – my sense of worth, my sense of belonging & I was just too tired to fight back.” – then I got into my sense of self, my worth, the groupie question – “I don’t know why it bothers me but it does” – & then my loneliness, my insecurity & my want/need of a boyfriend/lover/companion – “I want to be someone’s old lady” – & Jon, of course. I poured out so much but I felt better afterward. I left it on Bard’s desk so I suppose he’ll read it & pass it on to Barrett – oh what if they think it’s dumb? Oh, they won’t I must be really insecure if I don’t even trust them – I just feel like maybe it was unnecessary – oh maybe they’ll feel like “What is she telling us all this for? What are we supposed to do about it?” Oh, I am so insecure, so scared. I even cried today – & I rarely cry – I just feel so awful.

***

At least I can laugh again. I have been everyday looking for work & in this humid heat I have to walk everywhere – or hitch. & I hitch a lot. I rather like it except I could scream every time a man stops for me. Why don’t women stop for women? I would stop for a woman if I had a car. If you care about stopping rape, women have to watch out for each other. I wonder why they don’t.
Since job hunting is so depressing & my spirits are pretty low anyway, I usually stop in at Bard’s for a dose of Chaotic Bliss. They’ve been practicing for hours every day to fit in Marc, Horowitz & Joey. I met Joey at Marc’s house – talked to him a while – & gave my ok to Bard. Marc told Joey: “If Cori didn’t like you, you just may not be here.” Which may or may not be true – after all, we need a drummer no matter what. Like I said to Bard, “Even if Joey is a complete asshole, we’d almost have to have him, cuz he is one excellent drummer.” Gregski is, of course, out.
I sat with them on Tuesday & Marc remarked that I looked better than I did on Monday – “a little less like a hunted animal.” Barrett put his arm around me & said, “I read your letter,” very quietly, adding, “Hang in there, baby. You’re doing alright.” Bard simply told me to get some sleep but he’s cool – & he gave me a hug, which is very unlike him. Bard’s not demonstrative. In fact, I’m the one who’s always hugging people & showing how I feel.
Today, though, I can laugh. It’s usually like that – I snap with the depression, then I can laugh. I’m still depressed but I can make fun of it & myself. I walked into Bard’s living room today, where they were all assembled & announced, “I’m fucking sick & tired of looking for work & I’m going on strike!” They all laughed & Marc handed me a beer. But the atmosphere was tense. I sat & listened.
Basically, it was about the difficulty of fitting Horowitz in. All the arrangement must be changed or altered – and nobody – except for Horowitz & Bard – feels like putting in all the extra hours. Barrett said he simply doesn’t have the time, with his job at the University & his dissertation & his marriage. On top of that, both Marc & Joey feel that this is not the band they thought they’d joined & wanted to join – this band with keyboards – implying of course that if Horowitz stays, they’re not going to. The discussion went back & forth & didn’t seem to be getting anywhere, so I went home. Later that night, I returned & Bard told me that Horowitz was out. He was very upset. “It was awful, it was awful,” he kept repeating. “But what could we do? We can’t afford to lose Marc & Joey.”
“Of course,” I soothed. “You’re a rock’n’roll band. Horowitz was taking you in another direction. There was nothing for you to do but kick him out. If he had been willing to compromise – ”
“Or if we had,” Bard put in bitterly.
“But then you would have lost your essential character. Marc & Joey are good rockers & they fit in. Horowitz didn’t.  You did the right thing.”
“Oh, I know we did the right thing!” Bard shook me off him. He didn’t want to be comforted. He never does. He never wants to get close to anyone – & I think that’s dangerous – we had those few times together – people need to be close to other people. I want him to be close to me! I don’t understand why he keeps me at arm’s length.
As I was leaving, he said, “I hope this isn’t going to be an issue with you.” I know he meant Barrett’s announcement the other night that I wrote good songs & I could sing & that “they” were going to work me into the band. I knew when Barrett said it, he hadn’t said anything to Bard about it – he was backing me up in front of Fred – he had a really good buzz on too. It didn’t occur to me at the time that Bard might have a problem with me singing with the band but now I am beginning to wonder. Maybe he thinks women are bad for bands, too.

***

Tonight’s gig was great. The new Bliss is the best Bliss! Wow, they burn like red hot iron! How could I think that Frankie & Gregski were irreplaceable? Now I see what an unimaginative drummer Gregski was.
Fred lurked around but basically left me alone. He bitched about the money, but I told him to fuck off. “The money is fine. Count it. Do a head count. Do some math. I don’t need your shit.” & I walked away. He leaves August 10.
With this new band, there’s almost no tension. None! They are all the same age – 28 or 29 – Marc’s the baby at age 26. They are all professional. There’s no ego hang-ups. We hung out & joked around – it was total comradeship & ease about their gig. They’re such a straight band – only Barrett & I smoke pot & they’re all light to moderate drinkers. I could easily drink all of them under the table. How did I get in with these mellowed-out hippie hangovers? They’re great rockers & that’s what I dig.
They’re not even punk. I don’t know what they are. They’re fucking great – that’s what they are.