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Tag: pot

Excerpts From a Diary 37

[Summer, 1989]

[July]

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

[August]

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

“Sure,” I said.

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

We went to the Erie County Fair today.

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

[September]

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

 

 

 

 

Excerpts from a Diary 13

[Late Winter – Early Spring, 1980]

Oh, I feel so much better now.  I just couldn’t take it anymore, I had to get stoned, really stoned.  I only used a little bit of pot – it’s funny how you can make a little bit of pot last & last, while when you have a large amount, it goes by so quickly – but I held it in so long, & believed so hard that I got stoned anyway.

I thought I was gonna go crazy.  I think I did go crazy.  Way crazier than I did last year – but it was a totally different craziness.  You wanna go completely nuts – get sober.  I am not joking.  Sobriety fucks you up in a way that nothing else does.  Well – it didn’t help that as soon as I was out of Buffalo & arrived in Cleveland that my mother packed me off to a hospital somewhere in Pennsylvania – in one of the National forests they have down there – all I remember is that the trip took forever – winding around on Route 6 for hours & hours.  & then stuck there for 28 days – group meetings, one-on-one counselling – & my counsellor was no mellow Marc – it was her was or no way – & she was all AA – I learned within 48 hours to keep my mouth shut & only share exactly what I had to & just get through it.  Which I did.  & I really did need the rest & time away from the booze.  I admit that.  But instead of feeling “sane” like they promised, I just felt crazier & crazier.  & so depressed.  Incredibly depressed.

I couldn’t wait to get home & roll a joint.  & then I had to face the reality of being in my mother’s house – & being in an urban area like Shaker Heights – a rich urban area – so I couldn’t just go outside & smoke – even if the winter weather wasn’t enough of a deterrent – even if I went over to Shaker Lakes park – which wasn’t exactly close to the house.  So it’s been just a few hits here & there – although on the bright side, it’s really stretched this bag much longer than usual – it’s hard to believe that I bought this bag two months ago.  It seems like a lifetime that I was at Falco’s waiting for Teddy.

With this depression lately – & these dreams of Jon & Barrett – & my delayed period – & the pain in my side & cramps – my loneliness & god, everything else, I’m getting more & more tense, & that scares me.  I miss Buffalo much more than I thought I was going to.  Well – it’s not so much that I miss it – at least not in the usual sense of homesickness – there’s no overwhelming desire to go back – but I was decidedly calmer.  When I was economically secure – well, at least the wolf from the door from the door for another month, I was relatively stable.  I mean – I had my ups & downs – but generally I was OK – or else I could keep myself stoned enough not to feel it so badly.  But now – being low on pot, no rock’n’roll, no Chaotic Bliss to dance to – oh, I haven’t danced, really danced, in so long!  It’s been hard.  It’s gonna be a while before I can get any pot – I don’t have any connections here – so I had better get used to it.  I hope I don’t have to wait a month.  Or longer.  That would be terrible.  God, who knows what craziness I might go through.

***

This lack of marijuana problem is really getting bad.  I can barely get to sleep at night although I’m so tired I’m falling over.  And that always happens when I’m not getting high.  In fact, it happened all those years before I started getting high!  I just don’t know what to do.

When I finally fall asleep, I dream vivid, true-to-life dreams, so that sleep is ultimately just cancelled out.  It’s so terrible to sleep all night but to have such brilliant & dramatic dreams that you don’t feel like you’ve ever slept at all.  I wake feeling like death.  Every morning.

I dream – I’m in a room with people I know from UB.  I’m talking to a guy I knew minimally – we are getting to know each other – I’m enjoying myself.  Then Mark Miles walks in & tells me to walk somewhere by myself.  I’m puzzled, but he taunts me: “Are you afraid?”  So I go.  As I walked out the door, I am seized by a sudden joy –  I run to my destination & it is Jon.  He reaches for my hand & leads me to him & we kiss.  A kiss that lasts forever – We walk & talk, holding hands & I feel complete, secure, cherished & desired.

Later, my dream changes.  It is chaotic.  Something terrible has happened & Jon is gone.  I wake & my pillow is wet underneath me & it is time to get up.  I am more exhausted than ever.

I know – I know –  that Jon was the one & maybe someday there will be someone else but it won’t be the ONE.  He was IT, & I can never get back to that.  I might as well forget –

But I can’t – I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.

Another night, another dream.  Or maybe it’s the same night.  They all blend into one another.  I am sitting in the living room on LaSalle Avenue & the band is all there.  It is summer & the windows are open & there is a nice breeze – the curtains are moving just so – those Irish lace curtains Bard had hanging there – I don’t know why I can remember that – but I do.  It is the rehearsal before a gig & we are getting high & having drinks.  Barrett has the joint & smoke is swirling around him & he is reciting “Bold as Love” – “My yellow in this case in not so mellow, in fact I’m trying to say it’s frightened like me & all these emotions keep holding me from giving my life to a rainbow like you” – as he hands the joint to me – smiling into my eyes & then giving me a shotgun – blowing sweet ganja smoke into my mouth – but then it’s a different dream altogether –

If only I had a joint!  If only I could smoke these dreams away!

***

I hate sitting at the kitchen table, drinking tea, not quite tired but soon I will be – it’s after dinner & I want to smoke a joint – part of one or a bowl and catch a little buzz & take a nice bath & go to bed & read myself to sleep.  It’s almost as bad as taking a bath & getting all warm & soft & going to bed alone.

I want, I want, I want a lover.  I want a kindred spirit.  I want my own place & the freedom to be Cori.  & the luxury of sharing myself with someone who appreciates me.

***

I must strive to control my emotions.  I simply can’t go around uptight & angry because I want a lover!  I guess I mean control the emotions that are negative.  I guess I mean controlling them to a degree that I can be upset – no, you can’t be upset & not feel upset.  I guess I shouldn’t even try to talk myself out of it, they’re there, they’re not meaningless.  It’s just I hate feeling this way.  I wish I could take it, be content – at least, not unhappy – when I can’t take it.  But I don’t know how.  I just want so much.  I feel like my body is open wide, screaming.  I wanna be touched.  I could scream.  I don’t want to go to bed alone.

I’m so tired.  Now that I’m working I don’t have time for anything.  Once in a while I get together with M.  He’s working here in Cleveland now.  I take the bus downtown & meet him at the studio & we go out for a bite to eat or something.  I never drink but sometimes I do a small line of coke.  M always has the  best cocaine.  I love the way it feels but then I never sleep & the next day at work I am dead on my feet.

M gave me a book, The Sensuous Woman, for crissakes, which I’ve been reading, & it’s really boring – nothing new as far as I can see.  I’ve been reading erotic literature since I was seventeen & this is really lame compared to Anaïs Nin & Francine DuPlessis-Grey & some of the other women I’ve read.  But even more so, how the fuck am I supposed to be a sensuous woman if I’m never having sex?   Well – not exactly never – maybe twenty minutes a week if I’m lucky.  & it’s not like I’m having sex – I’m giving him blowjobs which is not the same thing at all.  He likes me to “talk dirty” to him – he likes me to call him up when he’s on the air & talk all kind of kinky stuff to him.  Which gets real boring real fast, let me tell ya.  I was better off before.  Now I’m wanting it all the time again, cuz god knows, if you have it once you gotta have it all the time – like dope.  You gotta have your fix.  I’m so keyed up – I’m like a junkie.  I just want it & want it.  I am becoming more & more aware of certain men – men at work & men on the street & men everywhere.  I am vibrating right now.  It reminds me of when I was sixteen & Paul & I had just broken up – for the third or fourth time – & I was standing against the lockers in the band hallway & John R. stood next to me & I was so aware of him – his muscular body – everything about him.  & god, the trouble I’ve been in – the hurt – just about every single major hurt in my life has been caused either directly or indirectly by sex.  Yeah – really.  The way everyone hated me when I was fourteen & going to Manchester Junior-Senior High School & that prick Cortney Adams said that he had sex with me – which was a lie – & then the entire football team was saying that they had me.  I denied it – of course I did – I couldn’t believe that anyone would even listen to anything so ridiculous.  But everyone did – even my teachers treated me differently – most of my friends dropped me – just a few loyal girlfriends stuck by me.  It was a terrible time.  I almost killed myself.  I was only fifteen years old.

& It was just sex – cuz I was sexual & they weren’t.  Not that I was having sex – because I wasn’t – although I had – but only with my boyfriend – but I suppose that was enough.  & who knows how much talking he did.  But – more than anything – it was my aura.  I have always had a very sexual aura – I never really thought about it until Shera told me about it – although on some level, I think I always knew.  But that was why she didn’t rent that room to me.  She didn’t want a woman with my “sexual aura”  in her house.  I guess she felt threatened – although she never said that.  But what other explanation is there? So once again – punished for something that I can’t really control or help.

& it was the same in Gates Mills – very relationship I had was characterized by sex.  This is probably I somewhat hate sex.  I love it & I hate it.  Cuz it has caused me so many problems.  Even with Jon – the sex was so fabulous – but there was the pregnancy & I depended on him sexually & emotionally.  I probably would have depended on him less emotionally if I hadn’t been so dependent on him sexually.  But it’s all bound up together – sex & love.  I don’t know how to do one without the other.  I really don’t.  I mean – I know how to do sex without love but I don’t know how to do love without sex.

I think that part – or all – of my problem is that I’m frustrated & stifled in this life.  It’s hard to believe that when I lived in Buffalo, I had the freedom & the facilities to have sex every night but there was no one – & now, there’s two dudes right off the bat & I’m “held prisoner” as M puts it, by the house rules & moralities of my mother.  The irony is incredible.  It really sucks.

***

My mother has changed in so many ways but in many other ways, she’s the same person she’s always been.  The biggest change – of course – is that she’s no longer drinking.  I can’t remember her without a glass of wine in her hand.  Every afternoon – as long as I can remember – as she made dinner, she had a glass of red wine.  Probably more than one but as a child, you aren’t counting.  & then she would have martinis ready for Dad when he got home from work – UB when we lived in Buffalo & Wellesley College before he died.  Always a pitcher of martinis in the fridge ready for him when he arrived.  It was always a party when he was there.  Of course, lots of times he never came home until very late & she drank the martinis herself.  He was always loaded in those days, too.  & after he died – when she married Dick – that was completely “Days of Wine & Roses”.  Only Dick was no loveable Jack Lemmon.  He was a complete Dick.  I never met a man so perfectly named.

So now she’s gotten rid of all the reminders of drinking that she had & she is working on a crewel piece of The Serenity Prayer – she was always good at needlework, even as a drunk – & she goes to a meeting almost every day.  I stopped going to meetings with her because it’s just too annoying – she’s becoming the Reigning Queen of Northeast Cleveland AA & combined with her status as Her Most Royal Catholic Majesty, it’s just too much.  I get really tired of hearing “You must be so proud of your mother,” like she really accomplished something.  I guess she did but it’s like an anti-accomplishment.  I mean – quitting something – whatever it is – isn’t doing anything.  It’s stopping.  It’s not like finishing college or doing a hundred gigs in a year to become the best band in the world or writing a best-selling novel.  Stopping drinking is stopping drinking.  & nobody who drinks can deny that when you stop, you feel better.  & you look better, too.  My mother is especially vain – she used to be a model – & looking 10 years younger than she did a year ago means more than anything to her.  She’s always been really superficial when it comes to how people look.  Always dieting & always bitching at me – especially – for being even a few pounds “overweight”.  That has not changed at all.  & she is still totally uptight about sex & morality & the rules of the Catholic Church.  at the same time, she is absolutely chomping at the bit to start dating again, although she would never admit that.  If it wasn’t for AA’s rule about not getting into new relationships until you have a year’s sobriety – & she’s not actually divorced yet – Dick is dragging it out – I am sure she would be seeing one of the guys she’s met in AA.  But she definitely is the belle of the AA ball here in Cleveland.  Which she is enjoying way too much.  So I stay away from any meeting where she’s holding court.

***

I went out walking during my lunch to get high, smoking my joint like a cigarette.  But the wind’s picked up, it’s chilly & kept putting out my joint.  I saw the flashing light of the store security & I thought, fuck this shit, I’m getting outta here!  I’m definitely more paranoid than I used to be & I don’t like it.  I guess it really is a necessary evil cuz I really don’t wanna go through all the bullshit I’ll go through if I’m caught.  I really take a risk by smoking in the john, but I gotta take that risk or else I’ll go crazy.

Walking back to the May Company, I thought –  it’s been a long time since I’ve sat in a room & calmly smoked a joint, right & proper.  I’m tired of all this waiting for the right moment, looking for the right place – running to the john every half hour to grab a few hits – putting on perfume to cover up the smell – & then spraying the entire bathroom – which is insane, let’s face it.  I have a small one-hitter which contains the smoke but I am still paranoid about getting caught – which takes away from my buzz, too.  I haven’t been stoned in so long.  I just keep this semi low buzz that’s barely there – just enough to fuck my sense of reality somewhat.

***

There’s a pile of hosiery in the corner that I really should get to washing – it’ll only take a few minutes, but I really don’t feel like it – I’ll wear a pair of socks & my boots to church tomorrow, I don’t care – that early in the morning I don’t really care what I look like – I don’t even bother to put on make-up.  Man, I hate getting up early – I just hate it & for something that’s as much as let-down as church is – I don’t know why I hate going to church here.  I loved it in Buffalo.  I remember going to noon Mass in Buffalo – just wake up, shower, catch a buzz, put something on & go – I loved it so much, just sitting there in church, listening to the text for the day & singing.  Now it’s a drag – it’s an effort, something I do – not because I want to – but because I have no choice in the matter.  It just isn’t right – things shouldn’t be this way.  No well – put up with it a bit longer – maybe by the end of the summer I’ll be able to move out – I hope so.  It’s nice here – the good points are very good indeed – but the bad points are so very bad.  I mean – I don’t understand why having a nice place to live means you have to give up all your freedoms.

Last night I went out with Pat O’Hara, from the 24-Hour Club – he’s known as “Patty O” in the rooms – he’s originally from Buffalo – his parents still live there – but he went to a private boarding school in Virginia & college in Colorado & then dropped out & hitch-hiked all over North America & is now here in Cleveland because he had nowhere to go after he got out of rehab.   His older brother lives here – he’s a doctor – Pat stayed with him for a short while but recently got his own place.  He had a lot of reefer & we cruised, just doing bowls – he had a full tank of gas – it was like the good old days before you had to worry about gas prices & shortages.  It felt so good to be STONED.  We had such a good conversation – I remember bits of it – other parts I don’t – basically it was Pat talking – he told some good stories that maybe I’ll remember later on – some time when I’m stoned & it’s easier to remember – I’ll write them down.  I do remember that he used to be an I.V. user – he said that he would shoot “anything”.  “I loved the rush,” he told me.  We stopped for coffee & I asked him about smoking weed & being in AA.  He told me that the most important thing was not drinking.  “There’s nothing wrong with marijuana,” he said.  “Marijuana will help you stay away from alcohol.  The main thing is don’t drink.”  Later on we went to his apartment on Superior Road in East Cleveland that he shares with two other guys from AA.  His room was tiny.  We turned off the lights – more cosmic – but lamented the lack of candles.  He gave me head until I thought I was going to die.  I came & came & he lapped it up.  We fucked, long & hard.   It was one-thirty & I said I had to get home.  It was way past my curfew but it was worth it.  “Thank you for a wonderful night,” he told me.  “Any time,” I replied.

***

Eating at a diner with M somewhere along Route 6 on the coast of Lake Erie.  Absolutely the best cheeseburger ever.  Charred outside, pink inside.   Cheese perfectly melted.  White American cheese, like they had in Massachusetts.  Covered with onions & a slice of tomato on a hard roll.  Fries fat & greasy but needing salt.  Fastest service I’ve ever experienced.

This is America, like Jack Kerouac said, the small diners and beach side hamburg stands that leave such a delicious aftertaste as you cruise along the water front smoking an after-dinner joint – man, I love to cruise – M has a brand-new Audi with a kick-ass stereo system – he obviously likes having me with him although I really don’t know a thing about him – but I never ask him any questions about his life because I figure what he does when he’s not with me is his business & none of mine – it really doesn’t matter to me at all.

What matters to me is –

I wanna write like Kerouac – I mean, I wanna be THE voice for my generation – like, with Kerouac, you hear strains of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker – the all-night joints in New York City before drugs became illegal & the talk all hype.  You hear the first tormented cry of rock’n’roll – whoever it was that picked up a guitar one night & plugged it in & blasted out his pain.  I want to be like that – I wanna write like a fast car with a six-pack on the floor, passing joints, tunes blaring on the radio.  I wanna write like it feels to dance all night to a good rock’n’roll band in some dive in Buffalo & then go for tacos at 5 in the morning.  I wanna write like a tight pair of jeans.  I wanna write like my first hit of marijuana in my lungs in the  morning.  I wanna write like the best rock’n’roll tune ever written.  I wanna write the best rock’n’roll tune ever.  I wanna write poetry that sings like music & prose that reads like poetry – that’s what I want -that’s really all I want.

***

I have been thinking of the house I should like to live in some day.  My dream home, I guess you would call it.  It is a house of many rooms – a tall city house.  Perhaps in Boston or San Francisco, or even a city in another country – I’ll know when I see it – if I ever do.  The cellar is strictly for storage – it would have to be a dry cellar, of course.  The first floor has the kitchen – large, airy – & the dining room & living room.  There are oriental carpets throughout the entire house – no shoes are to be worn inside.  There’s a fireplace in the living room.  There is also a piano in the living room – playing the piano daily is something I want to do the rest of my life.  There’s a large front porch off the living room.  Indoors, there’s lots of art & plants.  Comfortable furniture, dark wood.  Stained glass &/or cut glass designs in the windows so that when the sun shines through them, it makes beautiful designs on the floor & walls.  The back rooms are the laundry, sewing rooms & wardrobe.  I would like to have an entire room just for my clothes.  I would like to have that many clothes – to require an entire room as a closet.  One of the rooms opens out into a garden, where I grow herbs, vegetables, flowers.  It is surrounded by a fence & roses grow up & over the fence.  & lots of other flowers – I want to have a jungle of flowers.

On the second floor is the library.  The entire second floor.  Floor to ceiling bookcases & more comfortable furniture & oriental rugs.  Another fireplace.  More plants & art.  Also on this floor is the stereo system, although the entire house is wired for sound.  The back rooms are where the magazines & other collectables are kept.  There’s a small kitchen on this floor, too, so I don’t have to go running downstairs every time I want a cup of tea or an apple.

On the top floor – a remodeled attic – is my bedroom, which is just that – the room in which my bed is placed.  There’s a fireplace in here as well.  There’s another room up here where I can write in privacy – roomy & light, with a large skylight & the walls covered with a collage of my heroes & heras & other inspirational pictures – everything I need to be centered & productive.  Throughout this house there are plants, music, art, cats, a dog – perhaps a maid – someone who can help me with housework & sewing & errands.

There will not be a man in this house.  He will live a couple of blocks away & will visit.  When I ask him to.  & only then.

I think I have been thinking a lot about where I want to live because although I really like this house Mom has bought, I really don’t want to live here.  It is nice.  Shaker Heights is nice – I like Cleveland Heights better – but I don’t know if I want to stay here at all.  There’s something about Cleveland that just isn’t me.

Another problem with this house is that it’s crowded.  I know that Tish is going to college next year & Rocco wants to go to military school – he’s trying to get a music scholarship – so I am sure Mom bought this house with an eye to the future when she would not have a houseful of kids.  But still.  I really hate having to share a bedroom – share a bathroom – share everything.  So often when I’m playing the piano, I have to stop because Rocco needs to practice – & of course Rocco takes precedence over me – since he’s working toward a scholarship & I’m only playing the piano.  “Gregory’s needs are more important than your wants,” Mom is always saying to me lately – in that voice of hers – which is really quite insulting.  I know he’s her baby but I should count for something, too.

& soon, Helena will be home to prepare for her wedding.  Even though she & Geoffrey have been living together – although apparently not sleeping together so she be a virgin when she marries – really – she is coming “home” before her wedding.  I am not sure who is going to give her away.  Maybe Rocco.  This has been a topic of great discussion.  I think Mom should do it but she refuses to because she’s a woman.  Which is utter nonsense.  But of course the whole concept of being “given away” is utter nonsense anyway.

***

Something occurred to me while doing my exercises & listening to “Precious” by the Pretenders – my favorite album at the moment.  I’m precious.  I treat my body like I’m precious – bathing in sandlewood oil, dieting, exercising – I should treat my inner body like I treat my outer body – I mean, I’m precious & I am not to be given to just anybody.  Why not?  Sometimes it feels like I’m wasting time, especially in terms of the emotional risk I go through.  I would like to break my emotional dependence on sex.  Then perhaps I would be able to be fulfilled emotionally.

***

The Grateful Dead is on the radio.  “Truckin’.”  I haven’t heard the Dead in so long.  I used to hear them all the time – at Ellicott Complex.  What a long strange dream that was.

Been stoned these last few days.  Ya know – as much as I can be – which isn’t much – but it’s enough.  I bought reefer after a week’s abstinence & it feels nice.  AA’s a great place to buy weed.  You just have to watch out for the old-timers.  & zealous newcomers like my Mom.  Between work & AA, I’m pretty burned out by the time I get home & have a bite to eat & do my work-out.  I’m usually able to get in a couple hours of writing.  It’s hard – cuz after 9 or 9:30, this house must be silent – since everyone goes to bed!  & someone always complains about the typewriter & why can’t I just “write by hand”.  Also there’s always bullshit to do:  iron my clothes for tomorrow, write business letters  -always looking for a better job – take care of finances, etc.  Consequently, I get very little time to actually write.  It seems like I am always starting over.  Whatever it is.  & it’s not very much.  Trying to make the Chaotic Bliss experience into a novel but maybe I’m still too close to it – too many emotions.  But I do think it would make a great novel.  The great American rock’n’roll novel.

& I don’t have any place to work here.  I would like a corner desk, with cork lining the walls so I could pin up my notes & leave them there instead of having to carry everything around all the time.  I wish I had a desk.

See – Mom just told me to turn down the stereo.  & I have the headphones on!  I like my music loud!  I don’t care if it’s bad for me.  Some things I don’t care if they’re bad for me.  I mean, who cares.  I’m detached from soft music – I can’t experience it.  I want it there – in front of me – right now – so I can feel every beat – be every nuance – dance, sing, jump.  I wanna be possessed by it.  It’s my lifeline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excepts from a Diary 10

[November – December, 1979]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What do you mean?”

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

I almost dropped my wine glass.  “Really?”

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

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

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

“What do you mean?”

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

“Does Bard know this?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why?”  I asked.

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh, you’re hungover,” he sneered.

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

“How you still want Jon.”

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

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

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

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

I stopped eating.  “What older sister?”

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

“Oh,” I said finally.  “Oh yeah.”

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

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

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

& then getting pregnant.

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

“Are you OK?” asked Sara.

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

“Whatever do you mean?”

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

“You must have misunderstood him.”

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

“Jon never told me any of that.”

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

“It affected me too,” he argued.

“Sure it did,” I laughed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

“It doesn’t matter if I mind.”

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

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

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

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

“Nothing,” I answered.

“Well, you’re in such a bad mood.”

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

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

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

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

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

“You see me all the time.”

“You know what I mean.”

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

Oh – I could die!

***

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

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

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

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

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

Oh I am so much in love.

Excerpts From a Diary 8

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

Excerpts From a Diary 7

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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