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Tag: Main Street

Excerpts From a Diary 40

[January-February, 1990]

[January]

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

It was a partying weekend.  Jesse scored a quarter ounce of coke from Pat – Pat’s been here a lot lately – & brought some hash oil & some really unsmokeable weed.  It was the worst!  We got a sixteenth out of that deal – really nice – Jesse & Pat both hung out & partied for a while.  Once again I was really fascinated by the way Pat doesn’t drink but he’s able to party anyway – snort coke & smoke weed & there’s no urge to have any alcohol.  I would love to be able to do that.   I’m tired of the hangovers & I’m tired of all the extra calories.

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

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

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

***

Depressed.  I don’t know if it’s because I slept so poorly or because I’m so horny I could kill myself to relieve the pain.  Probably both.  Teddy’s sick – that’s why I slept so badly – he kept waking me – he’s at work now but he’s sure to be home early.

I think I’ll go to bed & read.  I’m too awake to sleep & too tired to work.

Evening.  Watching the news.  We just ate – pancakes, sausage & home fries.  Teddy’s rolling a joint – we’re almost out – again.  He came home from work early – he’s got a cold.  I’ve been waiting on him all afternoon – studying quietly while he was sleeping.

I filled out an application to enter UB.  I had to write a letter stating why UB should let me back in.  When I got the application a year ago, I couldn’t figure out why UB should let me back in.  Now I do.  I hope my arguments sway whoever decides.  If not – I’ll continue studying on my own.

***

I feel so spaced out.  Even a shower failed to wake me up.  I want to go over to UB with my application after my hair dries but I am so out of it.  Today is the day – the waxing moon – the Maiden Goddess – a time to plant the seeds of success – of new growth – plant then & let them grow – say a prayer to the Maiden – wait for results as the Moon grows full & round & then again wanes – hopefully everything will be alright – no matter what happens – everything will be alright.

***

Oh dear.  Another long weekend.  No joints.  No money.  The Bills lost their last game of the season.  The Sabres lost their fourth game in a row.  Teddy’s depressed – he’s so tired of being in debt.  He has to call his mother tomorrow & ask for money.  We drove by the old place today – there’s no one living in that apartment.  It kills me – Paulie wanted us out because we weren’t paying the rent fast enough – but now he’s not getting rent from anyone.  Even when we had our phone in there, he was getting money from us – we were paying for that.  Now he’s not getting anything.  I wonder what Cindy thinks of that.  I am sure they are arguing about it.  What a fucking idiot.  All because I wouldn’t suck his tiny cock anymore.  We’ve lost hundreds – thousands of dollars because of that asshole.  My career is in tatters – it’s over, really – I have to accept that it’s over.

Oh – another thing – I can’t go to school this semester – my application was in too late – but it’ll be considered for the fall.  It’s just as well – we can’t afford it right now anyway.  I’ll just able to study on my own.

I just want a little part time job to bring in some money – to take the pressure off Teddy a little bit – to buy some weed – & some new clothes.

***

I tried to sleep in but Missy kept waking me up.  It’s such a beautiful day – I hate to waste it.  I should get out & look for work.  Go downtown – maybe Elmwood Avenue or Hertel Avenue – someone’s got to be hiring.

I think I might stop in at the law office & see if they’ll hire me back.  I doubt it but you never know.

I just feel so depressed.

Later.  Just out of the shower.  I tried some breakfast – my usual poached egg on toast – I was taking the egg out of the pan & it slipped off the spoon on to the front burner – what a mess!  I had to laugh.  I guess it is a good thing I didn’t go downtown today – who knows what might have gone wrong.  Ya know – last night I tried doing a Tarot reading & the cards just wouldn’t work.  Sometimes they don’t.

***

I feel like shit.  I have a full-blown cold.  Nevertheless – I went downtown today & applied for a jobs at the mall, at the library & at every single bar.  Then I went to the Credit Union & withdrew some money from Teddy’s account so we can go to Wegman’s when he gets home.  I didn’t go to the law office.  I felt like shit & I didn’t have the nerve.  If I had been feeling better, I probably would have.  I didn’t go to Elmwood Avenue or Hertel Avenue or anywhere else.  I came home – had some chicken soup – & went to bed.  But sleep – sustained sleep – is not for me.  Mike Martin – one of the tenants upstairs – arrived last night – with two of his buddies & they’ve been in & out all afternoon.  Every time they came or went, doors were slammed – feet pounding on the stairs – shoes on the floor above me – college voices whooping it up.  This is not how I want to live!

It was really cold downtown.  I didn’t need to be standing on Main Street – shivering – getting blasted by the frigid wind off the lake – waiting for the train.  Why do I feel like nothing gonna come of it?  Today I want to be nothing but a dancer & a writer.  Having to get dressed & made up & standing in the cold waiting for a bus – & then making transfers – waiting for the train – walking across Lafayette Square with a runny nose, watering eyes & endless sneezes is not for me.  I like to go out when I feel like it – wear what I feel like – clothes sensible for the weather – & do what I like to do – when I like to do it – not when I’m told to do it – & not the way someone tells me to do it – just because they’re my boss – & that’s the way they want me to do it – for some arbitrary reason.

Oh damn!  I hate being broke!  I give anything for a job every Saturday night.  That’s all we need, really.  We wouldn’t be able to do coke – who cares? – but we’d be able to pay the bills & have a little left over for marijuana or the movies or dinner out.  All the things we took for granted.

***

I feel like shit.  A bad headache – a really bad sore throat – really hurts to swallow – hurts all the way down into my glands – my eyes are stinging – I’m on the couch with 6 books – notebooks, pens – my knitting – a roll of toilet paper for kleenixes – I ran out of real kleenixes yesterday – a glass of ginger ale & a cup of tea.

***

Another day of sickness although I do feel better than yesterday.  Not as congested – but much achier.  I slept most of yesterday.  I got up with Teddy this morning & was going to stay up but then I caught myself staring into space – I had no idea how long I had been doing it – so I went back to bed & slept until 9:30 – then got up – ate & took a shower – it felt so good – the hot water on my aching body.  Now I’m not sure what to do – read, I suppose – but I’m having trouble keeping my eyes in focus.  The house is a mess – I haven’t done housework all week.  Maybe I’ll feel up to it tomorrow.  Now I have another migraine – I’m gonna lie down – even though my hair is still wet.

***

I feel much better today.  I’m still sniffling & snuffling a lot & I feel rather fatigued.  I started straightening up the house.  I’ve cleaned & rearranged my desk – now it’s time for a break!  I don’t want to wear myself out & get sick again.  I have some letters to write – other than that – I plan to read.  What else?  I finished my white scarf – knitted with my Christmas size 13 needles – it goes with my good coat.  When we have money again, I want to get more yarn & knit myself a nice shawl.

It’s winter again – cold & snowing & very windy.  I’m glad I don’t have to go out.

***

Just in from shoveling.  My head’s a little congested but other than that, I feel fine.  A little fatigued, perhaps.  We got an inch & a half of powder – easy to shovel.  It’s snowing now – really light.  The sun’s shining – it’s be a great day for skiing or tobogganing.

***

Another warm day.  The street are filled with shlush.  Walking anywhere, your feet are soaking wet in no time at all.  Not to mention ice cold.  I want to go to the Library but I guess I’ll have to wait.

I want to go to the Library to get books I read when I was 10 – ones I don’t own, obviously – Peter Pan – the Betsy books – that series of biographies that portray famous people as children – I remember reading about Louisa May Alcott, Nancy Hanks, Mary Todd Lincoln, Annie Oakley & Susan B. Anthony.  Even as a child, I was interested in women & women’s rights.

Anyway – I am rewriting – remembering – my diary that I kept during my teens – the one I destroyed during my breakdown in 1979.  It is amazingly easy to remember.  Like  falling back into a dream.   I can put myself back easily – the smells, the sights, the sounds – Old Neck Road & Manchester-By-The-Sea – Massachusetts & New Hampshire & Maine – the beauty of New England swirls around me.  Things I wrote.  People, places.  It is quite a journey.  I wonder that I didn’t try this sooner – but I suppose I really wasn’t ready – or maybe I couldn’t find the way back.  So many things are possible now.  Now it’s time for the 80’s to retreat back into the mists – ferment – until I’m ready to use them.  For so long – thinking about family life has been a drag – I almost never write about my family – all my stories deal with persons cut off from family life – just like I cut myself off.  Not it is time to retrace my steps – put myself back into that girl on the edge of puberty – & figure out what went wrong & how it can be rectified – if it ever can.

***

Got a terrible migraine – I woke up with it – I’ve also got my period – I’m really glad – I was beginning to wonder – although it’d have to be some kind of virgin birth or something – since I haven’t had sex in ages – but you never know.  Stranger things have happened.

It’s cold – snowy – wintery.  I won’t be going anywhere today.  I don’t mind the cold & the snow but the wind gets to me.  The wind makes the difference between an enjoyable winter walk or one you’re just trying to endure.  It’s really windy today.  The trees are bending with it – you can hear the howling & whistling of the wind through the windows.  The sky is that uniformly greyish-white.

***

I don’t know why I’m so depressed.  Probably because we’re out of joints again.  We’re out of money.  I want to dance – to party – to work!  I feel out & fat & ugly.  I want to get wasted – drunk – smashed – tuned in – turned on – stoned.  I want to get laid.  I want, I want, I want – I’m so tired of feeling so needy!  I’m so tired of being so broke!

I woke this morning after a dream that Jesse & I were making love.

Afternoon.  Shera stopped by.  Tonight is an open circle celebrating Imbolc at the Unitarian Church on Elmwood Ave & would I like to go?  I was so happy – I had been hoping for something like this to happen!  She asked Teddy to attend too but he wants to stay home.  So I’m going.  I’m making cookies to take along – the dough’s in the fridge – chilling.  In a few minutes, she’s picking me up & we’re going to Mooncircles – a shop on Lexington Avenue – with a friend of hers.  I’m so excited.  This is exactly what I needed.

***

The open circle was excellent.  You would not believe who I saw there!  Bard Ellison!  With his wife – a skinny blonde with really long hair – they have 4 children!  Whoever would have thought!  I also met an astrologer named Davio  – who I swear I know – probably I’ve seen him drinking at Falco’s or something – since he lives in the neighborhood.  Some of the other guys looked familiar too – but what guy doesn’t?  I also met – well, I met everyone there – the high priestess of Shera’s coven – a beautiful woman named Rae – I talked to her for a long time.  It was really wonderful – although a little hard to remember because I was drinking rosé & I haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve.  We all stood in a circle – & one of the women started singing, “We are from the Goddess & to her we shall return” – & eventually everyone was singing & drumming & ringing little bells to the chant.  We all cast the circle together & raised power & then released it – it was so powerful.  Words don’t do the ritual justice.

Rae was the high priestess of the ceremony & the high priest was her 15-year-old son – a living doll if there ever was one – he had a crown of branches on his head.  The whole thing was excellent.  I loved it – I loved it.  I want to join a coven – I want to be a part of this.

Anyway – it’ll help with my own rituals – just having seen this & participated in this.  Just being there will stay with me.

***

We got 6 inches of snow last night – I’ve already been out shoveling – it’s a beautiful day – sunny – warm, even.  A great day for the slopes.  Or a picnic by a bon fire after hiking through the woods.  I love being outdoors in the winter – if it’s not windy.

I fell asleep after shoveling & I dreamed of Jesse – or someone – the images were blurry but the orgasm was strong.

The doorbell woke me.  It was the UPS man – with a package for upstairs.  I feel sleepy & drugged – I only wish I were.  It is sunny outside – although the sun has come up – I should go out.  Get some exercise – some fresh air.  I wish it was warmer – I wish it was spring – oh, I wish, I wish!  So many wishes – never coming true.

Night.  & sometimes wishes do come true.  & spells do work.  I went out – went to the library – went to Falco’s – had a Coke! – & heard all the latest gossip.  Everyone’s been wondering where I’ve been – on a diet & broke!  Anyway – I didn’t stay long – I came home & changed & was about to start baking brownies when the doorbell rang – it was Jesse – it was Jesse – it was Jesse!  My heart sang.  My dream was coming true – to the last detail – & now I could see his face.  It was wonderful.  Afterward, we went to Max’s & had some beers – the first beers I’ve had in a long time.

He told me he’d heard me calling him.

***

[February]

I slept really well last night for the first time in weeks.   I’m gonna do my nails & make-up – dress up real nice – & go out.  I’m going to look for Help Wanted Signs – someone’s got to want to hire me.

After dressing & doing my  make-up, I looked at myself in the mirror.  I look good – you’d never know I’ll be 30 soon.  How I wish it was 1984 – or 1985 – & I was getting ready for work – jumping into my little yellow Toyota – going to The Canteen – I’m too young to be washed up!  I’m too young to have to trade in my dreams on a more practical model!

I tried calling Jesse this morning but Doreen answered.  I hung up without saying anything.

I’m so depressed I could cry!

***

As if things couldn’t get any worse, Teddy smashed up his truck this morning.  He spun out on some black ice this way to work & smashed it into another car.  Knowing Teddy, he was probably going way too fast for the conditions.  Danielle came to get me & take me to Millard Fillmore Suburban, where he was being treated for minor injuries – the truck was towed to B & J International – although they don’t do collision work & he’ll have to find someone to do the work.  I guess insurance will cover it – I don’t know – I guess he’ll have to ride the motorcycle to work now – or get a ride from someone – it’s just always something!  I can’t stand anymore of this!

***

I got a letter from my ob/gyn yesterday – my pap smear is unusual & I have to go in for more tests.  Along with the letter was a pamphlet – “The Pap Smear & Your Cervix” – which was very informative – it told me everything about the cervix & who’s in risk to get cancer – women like me, for example – & what can be done about it.  Maybe this is what’s wrong with me – it’s not a yeast infection at all.  All I can do it go find out – I’ll call Dr. Franz tomorrow.

Actually – today I wasn’t as depressed as I usually am – I was in a rather good mood.  I cleaned the house – did two loads of wash – changed the cat litter – took the garbage out.

***

Nothing new to report except the weather.  We got a foot of snow on Thursday – then freezing rain all day yesterday.  This morning it looked like fairy land.  But around noon, it started raining again & now it’s really coming down.  Hail – lightning – high winds – a tornado watch.  The sky is really opaque – thick dark cloud cover.

***

In a bad mood.  Got my period.  Out of money.  Out of weed.  It’s really cold out – snowy – icy.  I did a couple of Teddy’s pain killers – waiting for the floating feeling to take over.  So depressed.  I want a line – I want a drink – I want to go to a party & dance my blues away.

I hate looking for work.  I don’t want to be a typist or a cashier.  I’m an entertainer!  I want to entertain!  Oh, the infinite unfairness of everything.

***

I feel terrible.  I’ve got a cold – my head feels like it’s filled with cement.  Missy kept waking me up this morning – so here I am – awake, barely – but no longer able to sleep.  We did the last of Teddy’s pills last night – Pat wouldn’t or couldn’t get us anymore weed – we think he’s into his man for so much money that he can’t ask for a thing.  I don’t think Pat is going to be around much longer.  I bet he skips town soon.

It’s going to be another long, dull day.

***

I’ve got it bad – a cold, flu, whatever – I’m not going anywhere today – not to look for work – nowhere.  I feel so tired.  My lungs ache & my head hurts.  I can’t believe I’m sick again.  & it’s cold out – really cold & windy too.  I hope it’s nicer tomorrow – since I have to go downtown.  I wish spring would hurry up!  I hate February & I hate March too – winter drags on forever!

***

Why does it have to hurt so much?  Why does it feel like my heart is breaking?  Why do I still want him so badly?  This ache – this endless aching – a man with strength – who can pick me up – who can enclose me in arms of steel – who can enable me to lay down all my burdens – all my worries –

I love Teddy but I am so tired of having to be the strong one.  The almost unendurable pain.

***

Just out of the doctor’s – my ob/gyn – I had a 3:00 appointment but I got here early & he was able to take me right away.  Pat brought me.  He’s been hanging out with me most of the day – he’s been coming around a lot lately.  He’s a practicing Buddhist – we’ve been discussing meditation – spirituality – the spiral path – all kinds of things.  Anyway – after he dropped me off here at home, he went to get Teddy from work & now I’m just waiting for him to get home again to receive my call.  I’m making him dinner tonight – Pat will do anything for a meal.

***

I’ve lost my voice.  I was coughing nearly all night.  I was awake half the night anyway – never has a night seemed so long.  I kept thinking about Pat.  This morning, the coffee pot was filled with the coffee he brought yesterday – some rich Brazilian brew – tastes almost like chocolate.  I wonder if he’ll come back this morning.  He’s not sure if he’s working or what.  We spent nearly the entire day together yesterday.

Night.  Pat was here all afternoon.  He came for dinner – the second night in a row – & he’s here now – rolling joints & smoking.  Things are changing – changing quickly.  He wants to be my lover.  He says he’ll pamper me – he’ll be good for me – he gave me the whole pitch – he is, after all, a salesman.  He’s not the kind of guy I go for – you know I like them big & tough & macho – like Jesse.  But I really like Pat.  He’s the first guy I ever met that I can talk religion with – a big plus – given the state of my head & my heart & my soul.  I don’t know if I could fall for a dumb guy – someone who didn’t measure up to my level of intelligence.  Actually – I fall for story-tellers – most of my men are excellent story-tellers.  Pat spins one yarn after another.

All of a sudden – things look exciting.  I can’t sleep at night thinking of the possibilities.

***

I woke up without a voice again.  I have been coughing up tons of phlegm & other crap out of my lungs

Pat just left.  He brought me some weed & I made him breakfast.  I don’t know what to make of Pat.  I mean – he doesn’t even begin to resemble the “man of my dreams” – he’s barely taller than I am – I’m sure I’m stronger than he is – in fact, that’s one of the things that attracts him to me – my physical strength.  I also feed him – I play into this mother fantasies.  Also –  there’s a lot of girl in Pat & there’s a lot of boy in me – the way he curls up to me next to me sitting on the couch & presses his body next to mine – the way he lays his head on my shoulder & sighs – it’s all so very feminine – & makes me feel very masculine.  I’m pretty macho anyway – but in love, I want to be taken – to be possessed – to be subdued.

But on the other hand – it is wonderful to talk to Pat – talking about religion – talking about recovery.  More drug stories – sex stories – sex, drug & rock’n’roll stories!  He is all ready – to treat me like a queen – he is already treating me like a queen.  He wants me.  & you know how I love to be wanted.

But something holds me back.  That too, bothers me – I like not being able help myself – that feeling of – I’ve got to have that man! – & that’s not that case with Pat.  It’s another practical decision – someone to take care of my body.  My heart is untouched.

Of course – I can’t jump in bed with Pat – or anyone else – until I hear back from Dr. Franz.  I’m glad – I’m very glad – it buys me a little tome – more time to think – to weigh my options – to figure things out – & the fact that wanting to think about it tells me pretty much all I need to know.

***

& now I no longer need to think.  Pat came over this morning before he went to work.  We smoked joints – & kissed – he is a wonderful kisser.  I haven’t made out like that since high school – it was funny – our clothes never came off – but we were in the throes of passion – rubbing our bodies together – fucking with our clothes on – it was wild.  I laid back & he put his hand on my crotch & massaged me – rubbing my clit – circling it – caressing it – but my sweat pants never came off.  It was marvelous love –

I can hardly wait for tomorrow.  His dick feels large & hard inside his pants.  I sat on top of him & rubbed against him.  Anais Nin writes that a Hindu makes love to his wife 10 days before he takes her.  “For ten days, they merely caress & kiss.”  What do Buddhists do?  Does he mean to make me wait?  Oh I don’t know if I can.  I am so hot – so wet – so wanting.  & I still can’t believe it’s Pat doing this to me.

Oh, the joy of a new lover.

His bag of weed is in my pocket.  Oh joy – joy –

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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.

Excerpts From a Diary 27

[Summer, 1985]

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

Lord – the sun feels nice!

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

Excerpts From a Diary 24

[Spring, 1984]

Anna, at the law office, suggested that I go back to college & finish my degree & then get a paralegal degree – or even go to law school.  She says that a bachelor’s in English & then a paralegal degree will get me a job in any law office in any city in the country & would increase my ability to ask for & get a better raise during my yearly reviews here at Truman, Durant & Randall – but the first step is finishing my bachelor’s.  She said I had gone to Cleveland Business Institute & even though my “night life” obviously interfered with my “day life” at times, there was nothing wrong with the quality of my work.  “I’m not telling you anything that one of the partners has not already suggested to me concerning you,” she said in her slightly breathless way.  “But if you don’t start putting some effort into your education and your personal future, you won’t have a future with Truman, Durant & Randall.”  She laid a hand on my arm.  “Cori – it’s not really my place to say – but your night job – I know it’s lucrative for you in terms of cash flow – but think about where you want to be in five years – ten years.  Think about some of the older women you know – in the clubs – do you want to be like them?  Or would you rather be a paralegal – or even a lawyer?  Because you can.  You have the intelligence & I know you have the drive.”

So I went over to UB & registered today.  I’m taking Modern Poetry & Restoration Drama.  I wanted to take more but I couldn’t fit anything in with my work schedule & Teddy is really against me going to school anyway.  He says I don’t have the time & we – I like that “we” – don’t have the money & I should be focusing on building the stag party business so that I’m working private parties every night & I’m not in the clubs anymore.  But I like being in the clubs.  I would like to simply bartend in a regular bar, honestly.  I just like hanging out with people.  Not all the time – that’s why I like being at home & that’s why I like the research aspect of the job at the law firm.  But I couldn’t just be one thing or the other.  But Anna is right – I’m not going to be young & beautiful forever & I am going to have to have a back-up plan – going to college is the only way to ensure a decent future.

***

I’m in the living room. Teddy’s out – he went to Scott Carlson’s to deliver a bag.  He lives on the tenth floor of a gorgeous old apartment building – it’s all condos now.  The view is fabulous.  I would have gone along, but I have to wait for a phone call.  Besides, I’m hungry.  All I’ve had today is some Progresso minestrone soup & milk.

I have a Grateful Dead tape on.  I just made this one.  I’ve been making lots of tapes lately.  I bought a new needle for the turntable last week – no, it was the week before.  Life is going by so fast I can’t keep up!   I love making tapes.  When I listen to the tapes I made last summer, they’re so funny – so full of mistakes.  All good songs, though.  Naturally – why tape lousy songs?

I went to see Marge Piercy read poetry last Thursday night.  She’s one of my favorite authors.  It was really good.  I was surprised, though – she read like she was reading poetry – not quite a monotone – not a monotone at all actually – but not musically or naturally.  She stood at the podium & read off her sheets of paper.  It made me think a lot about reading.  I’ve never read my own poetry – personally, I don’t write to be read aloud – simply because I never do read it or say it out loud when I’m writing.  I just write – it’s in my mind.  But I was thinking – well, maybe I should start.  I think my poetry is very colloquial – very natural sounding & it should be read just like that – like a person talking.  Not like “poetry”.  So much of my poetry are monologues – a character speaking.  I wrote a poem the other night when it was slow at work called “Love Song of the Aged Stripper” – T.S. Eliot obviously an influence – it was a fictional monologue.  I would really like to recite my poems from memory – not read them.  I would really like to perform them.  I was amazed that the poetry reading wasn’t that way – Marge Piercy just stood there & read – that it wasn’t a performance.  I had never been to a poetry reading & didn’t know what to expect.  No one clapped, either – when she was done with a poem – they just sat there in silence.  I started clapping for her – performance is performance – & a performance deserves applause.  At the end, I went up to the stage & got my copy of Vida autographed.  Vida is an excellent book – one of her best.

I’m doing OK in school.  It’s really hard to go to school after working all day.  I have a paper to write & it’s just so hard to do.  Part of my problem is that I just don’t argue well.  I just don’t care enough.  & I don’t think in intellectual terms.  I think in terms of music & sensory images & feelings.  Maybe I’m too young – too anti-intellectual – too sensory-oriented to understand what the professor is trying to say.  I totally love this class – Modern Poetry – the poems we’re reading – I just have problems writing about them.

I have no new poems written.  Well – actually – new poems exist – but they’re not typed up yet – they’re just handwritten in my notebook – a poem isn’t “finished” until it’s typed up & usually the real work starts there.  I just haven’t had the time to get to them.  I’ve been going full-tilt boogie – working as much as possible – extra hours at The Canteen – which is the only club I’m working at now – stag parties – the law office – school – spring cleaning at home.  Somewhere along the way, I like to sit in the evenings with a good book & relax a little bit.  Usually I fall asleep.  I’m so exhausted all the time.

I haven’t seen Jesse.  The few times Teddy has sold something to him or gotten something off him, he went over there on his own because I was working or at school or something.  I think about him all the time.  I write about him – poems of longing – poems of loss – poems of love.  My notebook is filled with Jesse but never his name.

Well I’d better get going – take a bath, do my hair – in case I get called into work, I’m ready to go.  The phone is always ringing.  Everywhere I go, I’m being introduced & acknowledged as “the best dancer in Buffalo”.

***

I’ve been cleaning all morning.  I didn’t have time to clean but oh well.  I just can’t stand a messy house.  It depresses me.

***

I have to call Teddy at 4 p.m. & tell him to get me – if I’m not working a double.  Earl is taking me to work.  Teddy wanted me to take a cab but Earl called so I’m getting a ride with Earl – save the cab fare. Teddy likes it better when I don’t drive to work & then he picks me up – but of course that way he can control when I get home – I’m not hanging around the bar all evening.  Not that I actually hang out at the bar all night long – just for a drink or two when I get off my shift – I mean, lots of times, I’m talking to guys about stage parties – I’m doing business.  But he cops an attitude if I’m not home within 15 minutes of my last set on stage.  We’re supposed to be going to Doug & Danielle’s to discuss camping at Sherkston.  I made a list of what we’re taking & what we need.

Anthony Falco called at 11:15.  I wonder what he wanted.  It’s always so nice talking to Anthony.   He’s a flirt, that one.  Always a new girl on his arm.  He probably wanted some coke for the weekend.

***

Earl is one of my best friends.  He’s a customer at work but he takes me out to lunch – often he’ll come by the law office & pick me up & take me to some downtown restaurant – we really like Chef’s – & often, we go out to dinner on the nights that Teddy works.  Since I don’t see Jesse anymore, Earl has really come to fill in the big hole that Jesse left – not that I’m having an affair with Earl, cuz I’m not.  We’re just friends.  But he’s a real sweet guy & what the hell – he’s got money – if he wants to spend it on me, why shouldn’t I let him?

I met Earl quite accidentally – last May, around my birthday – I knew that The Canteen was going to throw me a giant birthday party on my birthday & I was telling all my best customers to show up for the party.  I saw Earl sitting at the bar & I actually thought he was someone else – I was drunk, ya know? – & I told him, you remember to come to my party!  So when he showed up to the party & I was sitting with him having a drink, I realized – I didn’t know who this dude was!  But I got to know him really well.  & he’s the nicest dude in the world.  Big – too big, really – he loves to drink & eat & party – he smokes Marlboro Lights – & drinks Miller Lite – dozens of them – he’s the president of one of the milling corporations here in town.  He’s from Arkansas, originally – “Just a good ole boy,” he calls himself – married of course – he calls his wife “Big Red” but I guess her real name is Barb.

All the girls call Earl my sugar-daddy but it’s really not like that.  But he does buy me really nice things.  Which is good, since it seems like the more money I make, the more ways Teddy comes up with to spend every last dime of it.

***

I got to work – at the law office – real early this morning.  I’m having a cup of coffee & looking out the window at downtown Buffalo.  It’s foggy this morning – Lafayette Square is half-hidden – the tops of buildings obscured.

***

I had to take a break – I was so sleepy – my eyes wouldn’t stay open.  Guess I’ll lay my head down for a few minutes, then drink my tea.  I like hiding out in the law library & getting a little snooze in.  But no more than 10 or 15 minutes – I don’t want to be caught sleeping – & honestly, if you nap longer than that, it just makes you more tired.

***

I did pretty well this semester.  B’s in both my classes.  I was hoping for A’s but it’s not easy going to college when you’re working in a nightclub almost every night & at a law office three days a week & doing seven to ten stag parties every weekend – plus all the housework, laundry, shopping, cooking – no wonder I’m exhausted all the time.  Yes – cocaine keeps me going – but I think it’s part of the problem as well.  But what am I supposed to do?  Still – I’m glad with my performance at UB & I can hardly wait to go next fall.

***

Jesse called this morning.  I had just gotten out of the bath.  He said, “Do you mind if I come over?”  I was supposed to go to work at the law office but I said yes to Jesse – it’s been forever since I’ve seen him alone.  I called Anna at the office & said that I couldn’t make it in – I never give a reason – if I can’t make it in, I can’t make it in.  I always make up whatever hours I miss & my work is impeccable.

I quickly dressed in a pair of tight jeans & v-neck t-shirt that hugged my tits perfectly & showed just enough cleavage to be sexy but not trashy.  I put on a trace of make-up & a few pieces of jewelry.  I was nervous – so nervous.

I could hear his Harley – the ’53 Panhead he had gotten from his late father-in-law – roaring up Main Street – long before he turned onto Minnesota Avenue.  I watched him as he parked it in front of my little yellow Corolla – his long legs backing the bike up to the curb.

I ran downstairs to unlock the door & let him in.  He was magnificent in a black leather jacket, new black jeans & shiny black boots.  When he took off his jacket, he had on a blue & black Buffalo plaid shirt on – unbuttoned halfway – so I could see his gorgeous hairy chest.  His dark auburn hair was combed back off his forehead & showing signs of receding but still long & curling on his shoulders & his beard was beginning to get grey.  He looked Faustian – devilishly handsome – tall & strong & all man.

I thought I was going to die with love & want & feelings that had been bottled up for too long.

Instead, I calmly asked him if he wanted a cup of tea.  “Sure,” he said.  “I have some killer weed if you want to smoke & a little bit of blow, too.  & it’s a beautiful day – when your hair dries, do you want to go riding with me?  What time does Teddy get home?  Do you have to be anywhere at any particular time?”

I really thought I had died & gone to heaven.  “I was supposed to work at the law office today,” I told him, “but I called off.  Teddy doesn’t get home until almost 4.  We have all day.”  We sipped our tea & smoked his fabulous weed & did a couple of lines – I didn’t even need them to feel great!  I got up to braid my hair & get a few more layers on before we went out to ride & he put his hand on my breast – it was like I had been touched with fire.  “God, you’re beautiful,” he said.

I have never ridden a bike that that old Harley!  Wow!  What a feeling!  I never want to be on any other bike ever again!  It’s like how I feel about Jesse – I never want to be with any other man ever again.  We road down to Zoar Valley & up & down those roads for a while & then stopped in at the Zoar Valley Inn for a beer & a burger – really good – we sat outside in the sunshine & ate.  The bike gleamed in the sun.  “I really love this bike,” Jesse said.  “I really didn’t want it at first.  I had to do a lot of work on it – engine work – & I had to get a different seat so I could take Doreen for rides & then she decided she didn’t want to ride anymore!  She doesn’t like the bike – says she doesn’t feel safe on it.”

“I feel safer on this bike than I ever have on Teddy’s Honda Magna,” I told him.

“She wants a minivan,” he groused.

I laughed.  “She would!”

“What the fuck am I going to do with a minivan?  They’re not big enough to sleep in, so they’re no good for camping – but she doesn’t want to camp anymore anyway.  She really doesn’t want to do shit anymore.”  He laughed his short hard laugh – the one I don’t like.  “Except have more babies.”

“Is she pregnant again?”  I asked.

“Not yet.  & she acts like the only reason to have sex is to produce babies.  Like it’s a holy mission.  She waits for when she thinks she’s ovulating & that’s the only time we ever do it.”  He lit a cigarette.  “God, I can’t live like this anymore.”

I wanted to say, you chose this life, but I kept my mouth shut.

“Do you get many days off?”  He asked – finally – after a very long silence, during which we watch the Cattaraugus Creek flow by.

“No,” I answered.  “Not very many.”

“Me neither.  I called off today too.”  & he laughed.

“Maybe we should start coordinating our days off – when we call off – or something,” I suggested – very hesitantly.

“I usually don’t know ahead of time.  But – ”  he threw his spent cigarette into the middle of the parking lot – “I would rather spend my free time with you than with anyone else.  So maybe you have an idea there.”

He got up & started the Harley & I waited for him to gesture to me to get on.  I swung my leg over the back of the bike & felt its reassuring vibration between my legs.  Slipping my arms around his leather-clad waist, I whispered, “Jesse – ”  Was I praying?  I don’t know.

But before he took me home, he took me to one of his – oh so conveniently – vacant apartments on the West Side.  So if I was praying – my prayers were answered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 19

[Winter-Spring, 1982]

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

“Why?” he asked.

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

“What made me so good?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

“But I’m bringing it in,” I answered.

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

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

Things will occur to me as I go along.

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Now it’s off to work again.

Excerpts From a Diary 18

[Summer-Fall, 1981]

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

I feel utterly & totally miserable.

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

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

I don’t know what is happening anymore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

I’m getting too fucked up to write anymore.

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

Excerpts from a Diary 12

[January, 1980]

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

“What’s up?”  I asked.

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

“What’s the matter?”

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

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

***

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

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

 

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

 

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

“You mother us,” he replied, smiling.

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

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

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

“You’re impatient,” he observed.

“I am,” I agreed.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

“Bard will be here,” I answered.

“I don’t mind if you don’t.”

“I don’t mind.”

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah – today – this day is my life.

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What do you mean?”

“You have succeeded in demolishing Chaotic Bliss.”

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

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

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

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

“You told her what?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What?”  I couldn’t believe my ears.

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

“I moved around a lot.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No, but telegrams are rarely good news.”

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

I ran out the door into the swirling snow.

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

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

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

“I need to see Barrett.”

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

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

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

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

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

“Everything is constantly changing,” he told me.

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

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

“I already miss you,” I whispered.

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

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

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

I walked away in the swirling snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 6

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

Excerpts From a Diary 5

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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