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Tag: Sherkston

Excerpts From a Diary 34

[Holidays, 1988]

[November]

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

I want another line!

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

The Bills are losing.

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

[December]

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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Excerpts From a Diary 33

[Summer, 1988]

[June]

Oh, my stomach is so tender!  I must have a touch of stomach flu – or maybe it was the awful combination I threw into my belly yesterday – I had a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast – 4 cups of coffee as I wrote all morning – then Paulie came up with beers – so I drank 3 beers & two shots of whiskey – & of course Paulie wanted the rent & of course we didn’t have it so I had to let him lick my pussy & then I had to blow him – which I hate to do – but after 3 beers & a shot it’s not too bad.  Besides what am I going to do?  We don’t have the money – we don’t have the money. & he as a small dick & he always cums fast & it’s really not a chore.  Plus he eats pussy like a champ.  I always cum when he eats me.  I protest of course – I don’t want to have sex with him but – it’s not like Teddy ever eats me out.  & even when I see Jesse – which is hardly ever nowadays – it’s always a hurried affair – a quick fuck & he’s gone.  Anyway – my stomach.  So after Paulie left, I had lunch – spaghetti with hotdogs & barbecue sauce – which was yucky – but it was all I had – & it gave me terrible heartburn on top of the beers & the whiskey – & the sperm, I guess – so I popped some Rolaids & took a nap.  I woke up coughing & I coughed for over an hour.  Teddy came home & I was still coughing so we went over to Danielle’s & she gave me some cough medicine – really yucky stuff – & then we came home & I had a slice of pizza.  Which messed up my guts even more.

At least we have some real food today.  As soon as my stomach feels better, I’m gonna have a poached egg on toast.  I hope I feel better soon – I have a really busy weekend.

Noon.  Fuck!  I ran out of cartridge!  I have 5 more poems to print out & the 1984-1986 notebook is done.  This is the largest notebook yet – 101 poems.  This is so frustrating!

& WTBS took off “Perry Mason” at noon & put on “ChiPs” – yuck!  No more murder with lunch!  “ChiPs” is so fucking stupid!  Who the fuck watches this shit?  I’m in a lousy mood.  I called John Grady about getting another cartridge – he said if he could get over here today, he would, but he’d definitely be here tomorrow.  I left my typewriter set up in the kitchen & I filled memory so I can print out as soon as the cartridge arrives.  I had lunch – dusted & vacuumed – put away yesterday’s laundry.  I can always refer back to Tuesday’s list – not that I don’t know what needs to be done.  & I can always mend!  Seems like the mending is never done.  But fuck!  I want to write!  Well – I guess I’ll smoke a joint & watch “I Love Lucy” & do my stretching exercises.  I’ve got a bunch of new books from the library too – I can always read.

***

It’s a perfect grey day – cool, rainy – sky totally cloud-covered.  Matches my mood – burned-out, a little depressed.  I’ve had the answering machine on all day – I just don’t feel like taking any calls.  I worked so hard this weekend – partied real hard too – I just can’t get going.  I’ve been watching TV since I got up – “The Dick VanDyke Show” & “That Girl” &  & just now “The Story of Alexander Graham Bell” starring Don Ameche, Loretta Young & Henry Fonda.  I did get all the garbage out in time for the collection & I dusted & vacuumed.  But I don’t feel like doing a damn thing – just sitting here.  Later on, I’m having my hair done – another perm.

Oh good! Teddy’s home.  He always cheers me up.

***

In Anne Frank’s diary, on December 24, 1943, she quotes Goethe:  “Himmelhoch jauchzend, zu Tode betrübt” – “On top of the world or in the depths of despair.”  That is certainly me.  I know a lot of it is cocaine addiction – you feel so good or you feel so bad.  But I refuse to believe that is all because of cocaine.  I was depressed for years before I got into cocaine – or any drugs for that matter.   Or drinking.  Or anything.

I never got my hair done yesterday – a mix-up on the time prevented it.  Now I have to wait until next week.  I really wanted it done more than a week before the family reunion, so it wasn’t so tightly curled.  Oh well.  You can’t always get what you want – boy, do I know that maxim.

I guess my big problem is the same old problem – I’m horny & I can’t figure out what to do about it.  I’ve been trying to seduce Teddy for weeks.  It’s just isn’t working – I need an affair.  I’m damned if I do & I’m damned if I don’t.  I wish Jesse would stop by – I could call him – but I bet he’d say no – or worse yet, laugh.  Besides, he’s being “faithful” to Doreen – why, I’ll never know.  I can’t imagine that he loves her any more than he did when we were passionate lovers five years ago.  In fact – I know he doesn’t – he comes over here to get high & complain about her.  & I’m the faithful listener – more faithful to Jesse than he’ll ever know – always here for him – always ready to listen – to comfort – to make him feel like a man – as much as I can – since he won’t let me love him with my entire self.  Oh – once in a while – when his own need overwhelms him.  But that’s it.  & then I won’t see him except when he comes over to buy or sell drugs – until the next round of complaining begins & I know that soon, he’ll be wanting me again.

How did I come to this?  How can I be so sexy – so desirable – so wanted by so many men – & so frustrated – so alone – so needy?

Afternoon.  Well, I guess sometimes what you wish for does come true.  Jesse – oh, what a man!  He makes my body sing!   Every part of it!  Oh, how I wish life was different!

Night.  Teddy came home from work with his back muscles all pulled – he’s flat on the couch & I’ve been waiting on him all evening.  I don’t mind – I feel so much better – so much more relaxed.

I just read Poems 1984-1986, which I finished today.  It has 100 poems in it.  Poems 1971-1983 has 57 & Poems 1980-1983 has 87.  I write more & more – I was amazed how many poems there were.  I started on 1987 but I need a new notebook to put them in – I’ve filled every notebook I own.  I wonder how many poems there’ll be?  I don’t think there’ll be as many this time – I need to fall in love.  With someone new.  Jesse is wonderful & there’s something to be said to be the mistress of a man for so many years.  But – I need a change.  I know I need a change.  Maybe my luck is changing – maybe – maybe –

***

I don’t feel like writing today.  I’ve worked really hard all week long.  Today I feel like going to Falco’s for lunch – have a beef & a brew – I have nothing here.  I have $10 for Danielle & $4.05 in spare change.  $4.05 is enough for a beef & a beer.  Right now I’m eating toast & drinking coffee.  Great breakfast, huh?  I forgot to buy eggs – actually we blew off going to the store in our hurry to score an 8-ball of coke.  Last night in bed I was really bummed out cuz we spend most of our money on cocaine – & I’m out of food – also laundry detergent – I’m using Joy dish soap to wash my clothes – & I forgot my mother’s birthday! – me!  I never forget a birthday!  I even talked to her yesterday – she mentioned that Bob bought her a dehydrator for her birthday – it went right over my head – I didn’t remember until later last night when we were playing backgammon & I wrote the date on our tally sheet – I was so embarrassed!  I want to send her flowers but I can’t afford it this week – I’ll have to do something next week at the family reunion.

But I was really sad last night.  We get all the important bills paid – late – but there’s a pile of piddly bills gathering dust – oh, I don’t want to think about it.

But I was able to seduce Teddy last night – finally!  Jesse stops by Wednesday & I seduce Teddy on Thursday – it never rains but it pours!  When I first asked Teddy he said no – he wasn’t into it!  But in bed – holding each other – & not falling asleep – too blasted for that – he felt the urge! – finally!  Oh well!  The Goddess has her reasons – I can only pray She’ll help me again!  How can I make it happen more often?

I’m reading A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller.  I can’t put it down – got a whole page of notes already – I started it at 4 p.m. yesterday.  I’m gonna read a little while – maybe do a little housework – dust & vacuum the living & dining rooms – water the plants – then walk to Falco’s.  Sounds nice!  I wish Teddy would call!

Later.  I’m watching “I Love Lucy” before I go.  I’m realizing – sitting here – that I’m really horny – really horny – really alive – ready for anything.  Hungry, too.

***

Teddy is whistling for me to shut off the light & go to sleep.  I can’t put down A Literate Passion.  I’m copying whole passages from it.  How I long to be in love.  How I long to be in love like this.  I love Jesse & love with him is like riding on lightning but he doesn’t talk about literature & writing – he’s never written me any letters at all – I’ve given him copies of the poems I’ve written for him but he just acts like it’s an everyday occurrence – like girls have been writing him poetry since he was a teenager – which is probably the case.  But it isn’t my poetry – & wow, I would just love to have a lover who would write to me – about writing, about love, about life, about everything.  A complete relationship.  Oh well – gotta go – Teddy is complaining – poor dear –

***

I had to stop writing last night – long before I’d finished.  I should’ve stayed up & read more & written more – I could barely get to sleep – stay asleep – I tossed & turned all night – in & out of dreams – dreams of – Randy.  Although sometimes it was Jesse.  It was hard to tell.

Right now I’m sitting in the truck outside of Herzog’s Drug Store while Teddy’s inside paying the electric bill.  No – was inside.  Now we’re zooming up Main Street.

Now we’re at TCI – to pay the cable bill – well, actually – I’m sitting in the truck while Teddy runs inside.  After this we’re going to pick up the bike.  I can hardly wait!  I’ve been so envious of anyone on a motorcycle & so many drive by the house each day!  I have to drive the truck home.  I know it’s a risk – with no license – but no one else is around to help us & it’s a short way.  It’ll be the first time I’ve driven in 6 months.  I hope nothing happens – I’ll be screwed.

It’s 81 according to the radio.  It’s breezy – just perfect.  I laid out in the sun for an hour today – I barely felt hot – the breeze was so heavenly.  Tomorrow I plan to spend most of the afternoon in the sun.  Today it seemed to take forever to get outside – the housework seemed never-ending!  Well – getting up at 11:30 a.m. doesn’t help either!  I couldn’t help it – I was so tired!  I had the strangest dreams this morning – all with the same theme –

I know it must seem like I’m going crazy.  I think it’s true – I am crazy.  Falling in & out of love like a madwoman – having dreams about my lover’s brother – having sexual fantasies almost every waking moment – having sex with the landlord – actually I’m just – Teddy’s back – I can’t write anymore.

Night.  Oh what a great time we had riding!  Such a lovely evening!  Buffalo in the summer is the finest place to be!  I love seeing everyone’s yards – flower gardens – storefronts open to the sidewalks – new construction – people on bikes – walking dogs – kids – everyone outside.  I know a million cruising routes – I know this town like the back of my hand.  I love being on the back of a bike.  I sit back there like a fucking queen.  I do my best thinking on a motorcycle.

A warm summer night.  Jesse next to me – Teddy on the couch – a silly Beach Boys movie on TV.  Getting high & enjoying life.

***

Today I am filled with a strange joy.  I alternate between housework & reading & writing – it is already really hot.  Fans are whirling in the kitchen – the living room – the bedroom – the radio is on –

Maybe this last week was so full of stress – tears – anger – depression – & the consequential cocaine & alcohol – that the only place to go is up.  Or maybe I have just given up.  Sometimes there is freedom in surrender.  Sometimes you realize it doesn’t mean dick shit anyway.

I cried until yesterday.  I thought I was having another nervous breakdown.  Maybe I did.  It was too much – the stress surrounding the family reunion – the disappointment of the reunion itself – the hurt – the pain – the endless pain –

Knowing that no one is proud of me – not even of my beauty – of course only PapaMac praised me for my beauty – & he’s long gone – nobody else did – & my other achievements pale compared to Tish’s & Helena’s babies – I’m just a fuck-up.

I didn’t even drink at the reunion.  I was really hung over but I usually am on a Sunday.  Teddy didn’t even want to go & I wish we hadn’t.  I always love Letchworth State Park – but I wish we had stayed at home.  Nobody paid any attention to us, anyway.  It was easy to make an excuse & get back on the motorcycle & ride away.

I cried until yesterday.  Last night Teddy & I rode out to Randy’s.  He lives way out in Gasport.  We were picking up a bag of weed.  Randy always has the best stuff – better than Jesse has.  It was a beautiful night.  The moon was a filling crescent – not the slip of a girl of Saturday but a growing light – I saw the features of Her face distinctly.  I breathed in the sweet country air – the Niagara County & Northern Erie County fields that I love so – the breath of the Goddess blew across my face.  A doe crossed the road in front of us – Teddy was about to drop it into second & take off but instead slowed to 45 & then to 25 until she passed – & I looked back up to the moon.  Peace filled me.

***

A small relapse.  Terribly depressed again. I woke up exhausted & went back to bed after Teddy left for work.  My sleep was restless & I had bad dreams.  I can’t remember them very well – the first one had something to do with missing g-strings – Mom had taken them or something – & Tish was arguing that I should audition for “Guys & Dolls” – & I can’t remember what else but I woke up crying.  I fell back asleep almost immediately & this time there was going to be a nuclear holocaust or something.  I can’t remember where I was going or why I was alone.  I stopped into a bar for a drink & the bar was packed.  Young – old – kids – everyone.  Yelling & shouting & singing.  Marlon Brando was there.  I remember being surprised that he was there.  The place was so packed that they ran out of glasses.  My drink was served in a white coffee mug.  It was a Bloody Mary.  It wasn’t what I had ordered but the bartender – some old lady – was already waiting on someone else.

I woke up exhausted – again.

***

Tired & bored.  Just getting things ready to go to Sherkston. I wish we were going back to Stoneybrook State Park but Teddy wants to go to Sherkston & Teddy gets what Teddy wants.  I filled my book crate with books, games, crayons, drawing paper, crossword puzzles, yo-yos.  I have some real gems for this trip – Tropic of Cancer, Diary of a Mad Housewife, The Cider House Rules, The Girl in a Swing, an anthology of poems by women, The I-Ching, & of course, MAD magazines.

It was a tough weekend.  Cancellations – tough audiences – the last party I did on Saturday was filled with assholes who were all aware that Teddy was my husband – & it obviously made a difference – they were yelling things like “Send your husband home!” & “Why do you bring him along?”  & naturally there was no tips – no encores.  We’re short of cash for this coming trip, but that’s life.

& then late Sunday evening – Teddy had already gone to bed & I was almost ready to go – the doorbell rang & I went down to answer it.  It was Jesse.  “Hey, I was in the neighborhood,” he said.  “I have some news.”

He came upstairs & I went to the bedroom to get Teddy.  I knew Teddy wasn’t going to want alcohol but I offered Jesse a drink.  “No, I was just at Falco’s,” he said.  “But I’ll take a cup of tea if you’re making any.”  So I went into the kitchen & put the kettle on.  I got out cups & put tea bags in them & went back to the living room.

Jesse pulled out a fat doobie & lit it.  “You all know that Doreen is due to have another baby in October & everything looks really good this time,” he said, passing the joint to me.  “She’s been after me to get a place in the suburbs but you all know I’m really not the Tonawanda or Cheektawaga kind of guy so I found a place out in Middleport – ”

“Middleport!”  I gasped.  The kettle was whistling – I got up to get the tea.

“Yeah, it’s really nice out there – just a little further out than Gasport – ”

“I know where Middleport is,” I snapped.  “Isn’t there some kind of chemical plant out there?  A fertilizer plant or something?”

“Not where we’re going to be living,” he replied breezily.

“What about your properties here in town?” asked Teddy.

“Oh, I’m keeping them,” Jesse answered.  “They’re income property.  Income is income.  & a reason to come into town once a month – to collect rents.”  He grinned & sipped his tea.  “& hey – it’ll be a nice ride for you guys – on the bike – any number of ways to get out there.”

“When are you moving?”

“We’re moving Doreen’s mom into the Presbyterian Home in Lockport in two weeks & we’ll be moved into the new place by Labor Day.  Doreen really can’t do much after that – she’ll be too big.  She’s fucking huge already,” he said, laughing. “I’m going to be most of the moving anyway.  Randy & me.”

After he left, Teddy & I went to bed & I lay there, unable to sleep.  Jesse was moving away.  Oh – I knew he’d still be coming around – what he said about coming into town to “collect rents” was proof of that – but this was a definite break.  He was leaving.  Middleport is at least 40 minutes away.  I thought – 40 minutes doesn’t sound like much but that’s 40 minutes there & 40 minutes back & that’s not including traffic.  & that’s not including being together.  You can fuck in five minutes but that’s not making love & that’s what I crave – love.  When two people have other lives – other spouses, children, jobs, responsibilities – that mere 40 minutes is enough to kill the entire affair.

I hardly slept all night & today –  I’m terribly depressed.  I feel like the credits are rolling.

***

[July]

Sherkston.  Another windy, cloudy day & now it is sprinkling.  At least it’s warmer than it’s been – record lows this year!  I haven’t worn shorts since I got here.  It’s supposed to get warmer – 80s by Monday – I hope so!  I’m dying to get into a bikini.  I see all these young lovelies around here – they obviously don’t or won’t feel the chill of the air.  I want to lay out in my little red number & pop eyes.  Actually – right now I’m looking pretty good – tight jeans – tight Absolut vodka t-shirt – & a blue flannel that I take off every time the sun comes out.  I’ve been taking it off & putting it on all afternoon!

It’s packed here.  People were arriving & setting up all last night – they’ve been arriving & setting up all day.  There’s been a line out Empire Road – people have been tooting their horns in protest.  They’ll probably be arriving & setting up all night tonight, too.  It’s a fucking party, man!

***

Finally hot!  Except when the sun disappears behind a cloud.

A young daredevil has been entertaining everyone by riding his bike over the quarry edge at top speed.  He has a red life preserver strapped to the front of his bike.  He’s ready to go again.  Teddy just got a picture of him going over.

I’ve been in my red bikini all day.  The looks I’ve been getting!  Well – the bottoms are barely bigger than a g-string.  & the top is as small as you can get before there’s nothing there at all.  Of course I have to suck in my gut as far as humanly possible.  My round little belly.  Well – not so round anymore.  Too many beers!  Too much fun in the sun!  Oh well!

Afternoon.  Eating again.  Chips & dip.  Salami & Weber’s mustard.  Orange pop.  I put on a pair of shorts & my Sherkston t-shirt.  It’s gotten windy & the sun seems to be behind the clouds more than out.  There’s a rainbow all the way around the sun – really beautiful – right now.  It’s moving through a filmy cloud.

***

What a gorgeous day.  Perfect.  Not a cloud in the sky.  I sunned myself all morning & half the afternoon & then Teddy & I took the boat out & went swimming.  We just had lunch – hot dogs & the last of the tuna-mac salad.  In a few minutes we’re going scavenging.  Most of the Canadians have left & of course their campsites are garbage dumps.  In 10 minutes – not going further than 2 sites away – we found 2 empty cases of beer, half a bag of charcoal & a bunch of Chinet plates.  So we’re gonna smoke a joint & go cruising.

It is so nice & quiet now.  The party weekend is fun but it gets stale quickly.  Too much noise!  I must be getting old!  Oh well –

***

Independence day.  Another hot day.  Wispy clouds stretch across the sky.  A cool breeze.  When I got up this morning, I took a shower then Scotty & I went to Ridgeway to return the beer bottles & boy ice.  Then we cruised the park, looking for wood.  Wood we found – also two perfectly good grills – charcoal – chairs – lots of stuff.  We just ate brunch – scrambled eggs, potatoes fried in bacon grease, grilled pork sausages & grilled hard rolls.  Now we’re gonna cruise Wyldwood Beach.  After that – I want to lay out in the sun & get hot – & then we’re gonna take the boat out on the quarry & swim.  It’s supposed to be hot every day!

Night.  At the quarry parking lots.  Teddy is making phone calls – his mother – Jesse.  I am watching the sunset.  A huge orange-gold orb – the sky surrounding it is orange, red, pink, lavender, purple – the few clouds in the sky stand out in bronze.

Today was excellent although I’m under the weather – my period – I’ve felt crampy & achy all day – I’ve taken on lots of water – I’m so bloated.  My hay fever is really bad.  Plus – cocaine withdrawal.  I feel so dead.  I go from nap to nap.

I’m getting so golden – those sunny days are so great!  I should look excellent when I get home.  I don’t spend much time in the sun – it’s so hot – it got to 90 & will every day this week – more than an hour in the sun & I feel so dead – sapped of all energy.  A jump in the quarry always wakes me up.

It’s cooling down.  The low tonight’s only supposed to be 65.  We’re gonna leave the screens uncovered when we sleep tonight – it’ll be quiet & it’s past the full moon – so it’ll be dark.

There’s a bright red cloud over the sunset – it really looks great.

***

Teddy’s gone to Buffalo.  He’s got to stop at the Credit Union – Wegman’s – gas up the truck – Jesse – stop at home to water the plants & grind the package from Jesse – he should be back around 12:30 or 1 p.m.  I can hardly wait.

I’m gonna clean the trailer while he’s gone.  The floor really needs washing.  The water tank needs filling, too.  When Teddy gets back, I’m gonna do a couple loads of wash.  Even on vacation, a woman’s work is never done!

I hope they pick up the garbage today.  If they don’t Teddy & I are going to go to the office & complain.  I mean – we’re paying top dollar here.  & the barrels have been full since Saturday.  Now the trash is on the ground because of the bottle scarfers & the seagulls.  This place is really trashed – especially Quarry 2 & 3.  It was nonstop partying over there – nonstop bedlam.  On Saturday night – especially – it sounded like a football game.  I wandered back there for a moment – it made me think of a Fellini movie about hell – bonfires everywhere – a huge one in the middle of the field – flames way over everyone’s head.  A thousand stereos – all of them cranked – blasting a thousand different heavy metal tunes.  People running around – staggering – crawling – screaming at the top of their lungs.  Hot rods zooming through lines of tents – haphazardly pitched anywhere.  Walk a few feet & it’s impossible not to be swept into it – carried along by the madness of the mob.  I quickly retreated & returned to my safe quiet campsite.

Now that field is a garbage heap.  Mounds of burnt picnic tables, tents, chairs, tires, cookware.  Birds circling – fighting over food – bird shit everywhere.  The smell of old smoke & decaying food.  It’s disgusting.  Why are people such assholes?  & why hasn’t it been cleaned up already?

***

In Ridgeway.  Looking for blocks of ice.  Nobody seems to have them anymore.  Blocks keep 10 times better than cubes.  You need cubes for mixing drinks but that’s about it.

Teddy’s back.  He found one.

Later. “Home” again.  “Home” – our lovely trailer on our lovely site.  We’re each seated on one of the two benches which are of course storage bins are well – & with the table, another bed.  We have the little 12-volt fan on – mostly aimed at Teddy – he’s always hotter than I am.  I’m hot but I’m comfortable.  There’s a nice breeze blowing through – feels so heavenly.  It got up to 95 today.

***

On the Peace Bridge.  We’re behind a cream puff red ’60 Corvette.  In perfect condition.  Hard to believe such a lovely car was made by Chevy.

Doug & Danielle & the kids joined us last night.  We were ready for company.  We had our first argument yesterday!  A silly thing – I can’t even remember what it was about.

Later.  Ever feel like you’re getting fucked?  Jesse didn’t have our package – he said he sold it cuz he could get more from his connection only his connection wasn’t home – he said he’d bring it up tomorrow cuz he’s taking the day off from work – well I guess we’ll see, right?  I had to wait in the truck while Teddy was talking to him – on the phone, we never went over there – so I didn’t get to see him either.  Now I’m again waiting in the truck while Teddy’s in the bank – trying to find out why they won’t cash my check.  The teller said why but it’s a piss-poor reason.  It’s hotter than hell out here.  I can hardly wait to get back up to Sherkston.

***

Hot, hot, hot.  Another steamer.  I am glowing – golden.  I have been basking all afternoon.  Teddy & I had the greatest swim an hour ago – the quarry water is warm – warm!  It’s never warm!  It’s always ice cold!  Now he’s calling Jesse & Randy – Jesse never showed up today – not that I was particularly surprised – being bummed out about not receiving out package was only half of my disappointment.  But I am so used to being disappointed that I just shrug it off & go on.  I looked beautiful all day – felt beautiful – like some tropical flower in full bloom.

I am longing to be kissed.  Passion kisses – full kisses from which you have to come up for air.  My mouth is so ready – I’m so ready – so totally in heat.  Longing, longing, longing.

***

Home again.  A cold front went through last night – it’s cooler – cloudy.  A perfect day – I don’t know if I could take another steamer.  I have too much housework.  Last night, we got home & dumped everything.  The only thing I did was defrost the fridge – it really needed it – the freezer was solid snow.  That’s all – I can’t get motivated at all today.  I told myself – smoke a joint & finish your book & then hop to!  Oh well.  When Teddy called me this morning, he told me not to work too hard.  “Just take it easy.”  I thought, gee, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem today.  I said, “But I hate a messy house & I feel guilty laying around & reading when you’re at work.”  He answered, “I’ve told you before that’s ridiculous.”

As soon as I hung up with Teddy, the phone rang.  It was Jesse.  “Maybe I can find some motivation for you,” he said.  Maybe.  Maybe.

Afternoon.  Well, I finished my book & most of a joint so now I supposed I have to get to work.  I already straightened up the living room a little – well I straightened up the newspapers.  I suppose I should start in the kitchen – wash the dishes – clean the coolers – put away the groceries.  Or maybe throw in a load of wash first – I just don’t feel like doing any of it.

Later.  Jesse stopped by with some “motivation”.  He left a small package.  I probably shouldn’t have taken it but oh well – that’s what drug addiction is all about, I guess – I’m glad he stopped by.  Sometimes I wonder what I’d do without him.

***

Jesse stopped by again today.  I had just made some onion soup but naturally my appetite disappeared when he pulled out his bag.  We did lines & sat & talked until he had to go back to work.  Of course he was complaining about Doreen & the upcoming move.  I think he just wants someone to talk to.

***

It’s pouring – a real, good soaking rain.  I love a morning rain.  We’ve had a couple of thunderstorms over the weekend – a really impressive one early Sunday morning – but not what we’ve needed – steady rain.  Not until now.  I suppose it’ll be stickier than ever.  I was going to go to the downtown library today – maybe I still will – if the rain stops early enough – of course – when it rains, I have to wonder – will Jesse stop by?  Of course – they don’t always stop his job when it rains.  I think he just leaves for a couple of hours – says he’s got something to do & takes off.  He’s the foreman – he can do whatever he wants.

I’m lying in bed.  I’ll call Teddy in a minute.  I was awake so much last night – I got up several times to check windows – to see if it was raining in.  With the fans on, I can’t hear if it’s raining or not.

Midmorning.  I can’t believe I fell asleep & overslept again – it was 10:15 when I awoke – after strange dreams – it’s stopped raining but it’s foggy & looks like it could pour any second – one of my favorite movies is on – “Bell, Book & Candle” – with James Stewart, Kim Nowak, Jack Lemmon & Elsa Lancaster.

***

[August]

It seems ages since I last wrote.  I’ve been so busy – reading, studying, learning – writing poem after poem – sending things to be published.  I went to the downtown library last week & I’ll probably go this week too.  I have fallen into a schedule that seems to work – sleep late Monday – straighten up the house – study until Teddy gets home from work – Tuesday clean the house, do the laundry – go to the library – Tuesday night when Teddy goes to work, write – Wednesday, Thursday & Friday – write.  Dance all weekend – recover on Sunday & Monday too, I guess – or else I’d be cleaning the house on Monday & writing on Tuesday.  Usually on Monday all I want to do is sleep.

It’s a noisy day today.  Someone is mowing their lawn – the sweet smell of cut grass – & someone else is hammering a porch – I can’t see very well from here.  I can see the guy hammering though.  Now I can hear a power saw.

Downstairs it sounds like Romper Room – one of Cindy’s friends who has kids the same age as Melissa & Marco are visiting.  Bandit’s in the back yard – he’s crying & moaning & barking – he wants to play with the kids.

***

Teddy left for work at 8 a.m.  I went back to bed.  I was almost asleep when the doorbell rang – it was Jesse.  He was looking for cocaine.  “Did you guys ever score Saturday?”  “Yeah we did, but it’s long gone,” I laughed.  “Are you in a hurry to go to work?”

“I should be but I’m not,” he answered.   After he left, I went back to bed – totally sated & satisfied – I dreamed all morning – one vivid dream after another.  I woke up slowly – almost painfully – I was still held by hallucinations.  Did Jesse stop by or was that a dream too?  Dream or not – it was heavenly –

WTBS has a two-hour “Gunsmoke” on – I love Westerns.  James Stacey is in this one.  Eighteen years ago – how I loved him!  I remember when he was Johnny Lancer.  Such a tragedy – losing his legs in a car accident – all because of a drunk driver.

Afternoon.  I would like to get fucked until I don’t want to get fucked – or I don’t want to have sex at all.  I wanna fuck forever – I wonder how long it would take for me to get sick of sex – I wonder how many men it would take.  Or women.  Or robots!  Or aliens!  Ok – I’m joking – but – I wonder if my body would wear out before my desire would.  I wonder – if then – my desire would be permanently sated – or if it would again flare up?  Oh I am constantly on fire.

***

Where do the days go to?  They fly by – faster & faster.  This coming week will be no different.  Today was a day of naps – the first cool, non-humid day in weeks.  It is certainly turning out to be a long hot summer – the longest & hottest in years.  For days on end, it has been in the 90s.  Tomorrow I will write & sun myself.

Wednesday we’re going to Letchworth State Park for a picnic with Teddy’s family.  I’m taking a potato salad that I’m making Tuesday night.  On Thursday we’re going to the Erie County Fair & then I have to go to my drunk driver class – my second-last one.  Then it’s the weekend again – a full schedule of parties.  Summer’s going fast – faster – fastest – which is always sad – except that it’s been so hot I’m kinda glad.  I really don’t like hot weather.  I like fall & winter.

***

For the first time in weeks, it’s cool.  For the first time in weeks, I’m wearing sweat pants, a flannel shirts & socks!  For the first time in weeks, the fans aren’t on.  It’s really nice for a change!

I have so much to do today – laundry, housework, reading, writing – so much reading & writing!  & we’re going to the Fair later – I can hardly wait!

Yesterday’s picnic was great – we took lots of picnics & ate lots of food – hamburgers, hotdogs, roasted corn, salads – it was great.  It was wonderful seeing Mom & Jerry – too bad we have to wait all the way until Christmas to see them again!

***

We just ordered a pizza.  It’s raining – pouring – has been since 2 p.m.  Totally dark & grey all day.  Summer’s winding down.  Next week at this time we’ll be camping – I can hardly wait.

I’ve been so busy – reading, writing, studying, taking notes – my fingers ache from holding a pen.  Plus a started a new inventory of my books – I have so many more than I thought – so many I had no idea I had – I buy them thinking I’m going to read them & then I forget about them.

***

Planning for our Sherkston trip – which had to be delayed cuz I got screwed over on a job this weekend & we spent too much partying with the home boys.  Darryl’s disappeared – no one knows where he is.  He was really getting wired – really losing it – I hope he can get his shit together.

I’ve been so busy – inventorying my books – writing – reading.  Tomorrow I’ll do laundry & pack.  Teddy’s on vacation.  He’ll help me – or get in my way – whatever.  We’re broke – almost out of food – but at least we’ve got weed!

***

At Sherkston.  A lovely warm day.  Sunny.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Plenty of flies & bees.  It’s been great since we got here.  George, Alice & Cryssie were here when we got here – Doug & Danielle & the kids arrived the day after.  It’s beautiful – I’m going for a bike ride in a minute.

Afternoon.    Teddy, Deano & I took a long bike ride!  We rode all over the park – through the seasonal sites & stopped at the playground – Teddy sat & rested while Deano & I played on the swings – I was really flying – the monkey bars, the rings, the sea-saw.  Teddy pushed Deano on the merry-go-round – I was bushed by that point.  We rode home & then Teddy & I jumped into the quarry – ah!  So refreshing!

Now we’ve – Teddy, Danielle & I – have just finished a doob & dogs are on the grill – potato chips & beer – a light breeze – I’m reading a good book about Gertrude Stein & I’m totally convinced that this is what life is all about –

***

Withdrawal.  I can hardly stay awake.  I need a line!  But sleeping feels so good.  After I wrote this past afternoon – we fucked – really! – & napped for four hours – until almost 8 p.m.!  It was sunny when I passed out – twilight when I came to!  & I was confused.  I was still in the grip of dreams.

I am the first one in again.  Of course I don’t go to sleep immediately – I read – I write – or make notes on the novel.  But I am so tired.  So so weary.

Later.  It started raining last night – it poured.  Now it’s cool & foggy – I hope it stayed like this all day.  I’ve always loved raining days – days when showers sweep by – leaving everything sweet-smelling.  The grass looks greener too – all the colors are brighter when the sky is grey.  It’s really a beautiful morning.

Evening.  We slept until 2 p.m.  & then dropped acid.  For a while, I was tripping my brains out & was beautiful – I am still beautiful but I am drunk – I am losing self-confidence – I want to eat everything in sight – I want a line – I want a line – I want a line – I want a line – I want a line –

I want to sleep forever –

Night.  Dinner at Doug & Danielle’s.  Potluck of barbecue ribs, stuffed crab tails, home fries, pickled vegies.  I’m in our trailer – alone – making myself a cup of tea.  It’s raining again.  I can’t believe the pain I’m in.  Physically sick.  Every muscle & bone aching.  My hip is killing me.  Tired – arthritic.  Weary.  One thing – one thing.  One thing – everything.  I am sick – sick – sick – sick –

It’s pouring.  It sounds so lovely pounding on the canvas – a percussion lullaby to sing me to sleep.

***

I feel much better today.  We just finished dinner – ham steak & potatoes au gratin.  We watched the football game all afternoon – the Bills won their home opener – & after that we all rode our bikes to Elco Beach.  Teddy & I are going on a cruise in a little bit.  Tonight’s our last night.

***

Labor Day.  Home again.  We got home about 4:30 p.m. – took our baths & went over to Doug & Danielle’s for dinner.  Now we’re home – after stopping at Wilson Farms for milk, half & half & fudge bars – smoking a joint & watching Monday Night Football.  I’m freezing – I’m wearing a flannel nightshirt, my bathrobe, socks & have an afghan thrown over me.  Last night a cold front moved through – a big storm – high winds & heavy rain.  We were up a long time though – inside when it rained – outside by the fire when it stopped.  I did a lot of drinking this weekend but wasn’t hungover once.  I felt a little queasy this morning when I got up to pee but it was gone hours later when I woke up for good.

My poems were rejected by the News – I read the form letter & tossed it on my desk – later this week I’ll get to re-reading it – I guess I’ll file it.  Maybe I would reply – fuck you? – I’m stewing about it, obviously.  After this tough weekend, I didn’t need any bummers – but that’s life.  I guess I’ll just have to try harder.  I have so much work to do anyway.

***

A cup of tea after my bath.  I did a lot of work today – washing blankets & inventorying my books.  I’ve listed over a thousand already – about half-way.  I’m reading 20,000 Years of Fashion.  I have so many books to read – so many things to learn – so much writing to do.  One project after another.  My poems being rejected really bummed me out.  My emotions have really been yo-yoing lately – I feel so good or I feel so bad.  Today I’ve been down – up – down.  Right now I guess I’m going up – except that I just took a bath & the sight of my body depressed me – I look so fat – I have a giant zit on my chin – my hair needs cutting – I just feel so fat & ugly.  I know I just got back from vacation & one weekend dancing & partying & I’ll be back to my usual sleek form – I know all this!  But what your head acknowledges, your heart refuses to realize – oh well.  I guess this is just the pattern of my life.

***

You know – sometimes I guess I’m just dumb.  Teddy’s fit to be tied – he’s mad at Jesse & he’s not real happy with me either – I guess if anyone comes over with an 8-ball of anything – in this case, crank – I should always get a gram off whoever it is – Jesse did leave me a little because he always leaves me a little & I did tell him that I wanted Teddy to try it & that we’d probably want to get some – he said he’d call &/or stop by later – only of course he didn’t – we waited up until after midnight – Teddy called first thing this morning & Doreen told him Jesse left at 6:30 – well, he’s got to be at work at 7 – Teddy just called from work.  He’s stewing.  But I believed Jesse – that he would return – when will I learn?  It’s just – it’s just nothing.

Later.  Teddy just called back to tell me that he’s not mad at me anymore & that he loves me.  Also – to get whatever I can.  I apologized for being so stupid.  “I guess I’m still the naïve little Cori.”  “Well, I guess that’s true, although I was thinking of another word,” he replied.  “I really did believe him when he said he’d be back,” I insisted, “I mean, why would I think he was lying?”

Teddy said, “Cori, he’ll say anything, especially when he’s high as a kite – he probably meant it at the time.”  Oh yes – a man with his head in the clouds will say just about anything.  & a woman in love will believe him – when will I learn!

***

Tired.  Beat.  Burned out.  I couldn’t get going this morning – laid on the couch until almost noon.  Busted ass all afternoon though – defrosted the fridge – cleaned the house – worked with some plants – did 3 loads of wash – about a million dishes – seemed like a million – made western sandwiches & home fries for dinner & an apple tart – well, kind of an apple tart – I made pie dough & rolled it out & peeled & cored an apple – I only had one – & seasoned it with butter, sugar & cinnamon & then folded it up & baked it.  Just now I put a butter-cream icing on it & sprinkled cinnamon & sugar on it.  It looks too good to eat!   But Teddy is demanding a piece so I’d better give him one.

Oh, it is yummy – absolutely melts in your mouth.  My pie dough is made with butter – it makes a golden-yellow crust that lighter than air.  You just have to have the butter at the correct temperature & firmness when to cut it in.  Too hard or too soft – it won’t work.

Well – I’m gonna jump in the tub & soak a while – I ache all over.  Then I want to finally sit down & read.  It’ll be an early night – which is alright with me – I have a thousand things to do tomorrow.

***

I feel terrible.  I have my period – really bad – really heavy bleeding – really bad cramps.  I also have a touch of the flu – I’ve had diarrhea all morning.  Oh – & it’s such a beautiful fall day!  A lovely day for a bike ride – but I can barely move.  I’m camped out on the couch – pillows – blankets – books – notebooks – pens – “Perry Mason” on TV – the front door & windows open, letting in the sweet air – such a drag to feel so awful on such a beautiful day!

***

I feel better today.  I’m barely bleeding at all – no cramps – what a change!  I slept all afternoon yesterday – I was sleeping when Teddy got home.  We blew off grocery shopping – I reheated pizza for supper.  Today I’m being Jo Housewife – going through old magazines – uh!  A large gust of wind just blew through the front window & knocked over a large glass of plant cuttings onto me – I’m soaked!  I have to go change & clean up.

Evening.  This lack of marijuana problem is beginning to get to me.  We just finished dinner – burgers & fries – & I want an after-dinner joint!  Teddy’s on the phone with his Aunt Barb – getting his cousin Rob’s number – his cousin Rob usually has really good weed – talking about going far afield!  Cousin Rob lives near Conesus Lake!  I am more than ready to jump in the truck & take a long ride.

The line’s busy – the line’s busy – the line’s busy – the line’s busy – finally!  He’s talking to Rob now.  Doesn’t sound good.  Of course Teddy’s yakking up a storm – hurry up & tell me what’s happening!  I might as well go down cellar & get the wash out of the drier – maybe I’ll knock on Paulie’s door & find out if he knows anything.

Nothing!  Nothing, nothing, nothing!

***

Just finished dinner – tacos.  Still have nothing to smoke.  Oh well.  The trouble is – when there’s finally some available – it’ll be twice the price.  It happens every year.  10 years ago, an ounce was $40 – on average – I remember buying an ounce for $35 & being told “This is the last $35 ounce you’ll ever see.”  & it was.  Now ounces are double that.  I bet after the new year, they’ll be triple that.  It’s such a drag.  It’s so frustrating.  There’s nothing you can do – you feel so helpless.  You can get cocaine anywhere – but no weed.  A lot of the heavy coke users we know don’t smoke weed anyway but Teddy & I have always liked to do a line & then smoke a joint – besides, we don’t snort everyday – just on the weekends – when we’re working – or partying – or both – whatever – but marijuana’s an everyday habit.

Oh well.

Evening.  Teddy’s upset.  He’s sick of waiting for people of waiting for people to call back – never calling back – taking their time coming over – never arriving – he’s lying on the couch – looking dejecting –

Today we went to the Buffalo History Museum to see the Home Front exhibit.  We looked at everything else, of course.  We watched the Apostle clock chime – I’ve loved that since I was a child.  Then we walked in the park.  It was nice.

Teddy says he feels weird.  “I want some ganga.”  He’s going through the phone book again – again.

Nobody has anything.  I have never lived through anything like this.

Excerpts From a Diary 32

[May, 1988]

Finally, the weather is warming up – acting spring-like.  It was sunny when I got up – I opened some windows when I got up but it’s clouding up & cooling off now – big black clouds rolling up from the lake – a chill in the breeze.

I have my period – it arrived after Jesse left on Friday.  I hate having my period on the weekends – when I have to work – but at least I didn’t have it when Jesse was here – I was able to fuck him!  I was so horny!  I’m always so horny right before my period.  Mondays are the best time to get my period – when I’m tired & want to sleep all day anyway.  But oh well – that’s life.

Dennis just called – he’ll be over to collect his money – he’s right up the street – we owe him for this weekend’s coke.

Later.  I just heard the most raucous laughter – I had to get up & see – 3 teen-aged girls & a boy – no more than 15 years old – & he had them in stitches!  I had to laugh too.

***

I just finished doing stretching exercises.  I’ve been disgustingly lazy all winter long.  Of course – I had the car accident & I’ve been so sick – & I did let myself get run down – but there wasn’t any way around it – I had to work & I couldn’t rest & relax the way I should have.  I know it sounds silly but when I got in the car accident & got so badly hurt & got busted & everything that’s followed – losing my car & my license – & all the pain I’m still suffering – my back & my knee – I just lost heart.  The last several months I really haven’t given a shit about anything.  I know it’s wrong & I should have fought it – made myself care – but I was beyond that –

But it’s spring now & my birthday soon & I feel better.  Although I’m still moving slow – I did my exercises slowly – after smoking a joint & thinking about it.  my back is still in pain – the last few days have been pretty bad.  But doing the exercises over time should help.  Besides I have to – I’m getting fat!  At least – I look fat – my tummy’s fat – when I look in the mirror – although Teddy says I look lovely – as sexy as ever – & I know I am – but I still think I’m fat!  I must be – I seem to be eating so much lately.  That is – when I’m not blasted silly.  It’s gotten to be a real yo-yo existence – high all weekend – straight all week.  It used to be high all week – or at least most of the time.

Oh well – phone’s ringing –

***

Afternoon.  Watching “The Price is Right” – smoking a joint – a tall vodka & tea next to me – Teddy’s working late – he won’t be home for another half-hour or so.  He’ll be sweaty, hot & tired when he gets here.  I’ll have a bath ready for him to jump into when he gets here – & a tall ice-cold glass of Pepsi.  Today was – is still – such a lovely day.  Cloudy & cool at first but it’s been brilliantly sunny & hot – the first time this year – all afternoon.  I put on my bikini & went out on the porch for an hour.  Talk about stopping traffic!  Policemen waving hello – deliverymen hanging out their truck windows – college boys trying to act cool & macho – one dude went by with his tongue actually hanging out!  Oh, I get no end of amusement from these idiots.  When I was going back in the house, the school up the street was letting out & these two little black boys were walking by.  They saw me & of course started giggling.  The bolder of the two addressed me: “Hi, naked woman!”

“I’m not naked,” I told him.

They were giggling so hard they could barely walk straight.  I could hear them all the way up the street, “Nekkid woman!”  I was picking up my stuff & I heard: “I’ll be stopping by your apartment later tonight,” & even louder giggles.

“I don’t think so, son,” I answered.

“You got a husband?”

I laughed.  “Husband or no, don’t you think you’re a little young for me?”

“No, no, I don’t!”  & they were almost crawling – they were giggling so hard.  I disappeared into my apartment.

***

After the warm weekend – it got to 82 on Sunday – a cold front moved in & temperatures dropped.  It’s still really nice though.  Today is cool & cloudy.  The trees are all flowering – the new green leaves so bright on the trees & especially the hedges where they stand out against the older growth.  My little bird who lives in the trees in front of the house is on the porch railing, singing his lungs out.  He spends a better part of the day singing there.  I don’t know what kind of bird he is – maybe a finch – he looks like the goldfinches I used to see in Clarence Center – but he’s greyish-brown with white-tipped feathers & kinda red on his head & back – but barely – like a dye growing out.

I have to go wash my hair & get ready to go to see Dr. West – I already called & flirted with him on the phone – feeling good today –

Afternoon.  It is so tough getting Danielle to motivate – I got to her house a full hour before we finally got into the car to go to Williamsville – I hate being late to appointments!  Oh well – it’s just something you gotta get used to.  It pisses Teddy off to no end – it gets on my nerves too but there’s nothing to be done about it – it’s just the way she is – so why get upset?

I drove Dr. West wild today – not that I have to do anything except lie there & breathe sex – the easiest thing in the world for me to do – I do it effortlessly.  He gets himself worked up easily anyway – telling what he’d do with me – etc. – stealing kisses – etc. – drives me wild too – although part of me stands back & makes fun of the whole thing.  I mean – it really is stupid.

Later.  All wound up & no place to spin.  I couldn’t sit still – couldn’t concentrate – I put two new batteries in my vibrator & back against the pile of blankets in my dressing room – in the middle of an excellent fantasy – the phone rang – I forgot to put on the answering machine – I let it ring – then I got up to get it – after all – maybe it would be something interesting – but not such luck!  Another dumb Joe trying to hire me for Saturday night.  Hey – that date was booked solid weeks ago!  Leave me alone!

***

It is thundering & lightning – I just saw the finest flash – the perfect end to a gorgeous day.  A burned out day – of course – recovery day – like all Sundays.  We had our usual Sunday dinner – pizza – from Via Veneto on the corner – pepperoni & meatballs – mushrooms on my half – hot peppers on Teddy’s half.

Oh – I’m tired.  Teddy’s in bed.  I stayed up to watch a new “Perry Mason” movie.  It’s really pouring.  I have to check the windows –

***

Another storm.  It was sunny all morning long – what I saw of it – I got up at 11 a.m. – I put on my tan accelerator before dressing – assuming that the fine weather would last through the afternoon – but oh well.  That stuff makes my skin so soft.

Teddy’s home from work today.  This morning he was all upset – rushing around – barking orders.  He’s got a hay-fever head cold.  Now he’s mellow – laying on the couch – & the storm is on the outside of the house – not the inside.

***

I wander around the house – I am dazed – I am confused – lost – but exultant – joyous – pleased – pleased – pleased –

When Anthony Falco stopped by today to drop off money for Teddy I had no idea what would happen – I wasn’t expecting anything – but oh my my – he was wonderful – wonderful – wonderful – I always knew he liked me – but not like that!

Now I know what Anaïs Nin meant about the veils of an Oriental woman – using the veils to hide herself from all view except from her lovers – the creation of a literature that is all sensory – passionate – emotional – but not concrete – not “factual” – not factual in the sense of facts such as who, when, where but only how & why – & only just enough to tell the real story – the woman’s inner story –

I am not making sense.  But it doesn’t matter – because I know – I know – I know –

I feel so alive!

***

I’ve read all my diary entries in this notebook – I must sound like a crazy woman – which I suppose I am.  I’m still riding on yesterday’s euphoria – dying for a continuation – my mind is racing – will he or won’t he call – oh – the usual thoughts of a woman in love – in love – in love –

I can’t help thinking about him – I’ve been writing all morning – mostly fixing typos on old poems.  Naturally – right now I’m watching “Perry Mason”.  It’s one I remember from when I was a kid.  This is my break – at 1 p.m. I’ll go back to work – writing – I did all the housework yesterday.

I gave thanks to the Goddess yesterday.  I was so happy.

***

So tired today.  I supposed it’s because yesterday I partied all day – I had a wonderful time – birthday shopping – buying an entirely new outfit at Sibley’s – denim & lace – & then dinner at Coachman’s Inn – Teddy had ordered a birthday cake when he made the reservations – totally unknown to me – you could have knocked me over with a feather when our waitress & other servers & kitchen help came to our table carrying the cake & singing “Happy Birthday” – I cried.  It was a great meal – giant whiskey sours – French onion soup – house dressing on the salads – filet mignon for Teddy & prime rib for me – I was stuffed when I walked out of there – very stuffed & very sleepy.

My only disappointment was that we didn’t go to Falco’s – I wanted to see Anthony – also it was the first birthday in seven years I didn’t go to Falco’s – but we were really sleepy after all that rich food – not to mention almost broke – so I wasn’t going to argue the point too vehemently – in the long run what different does it make?

That is my whole attitude today.  What difference does anything make?

***

Mmmm – just out of bed.  I don’t like sleeping after 11 a.m. – feel so guilty when I think of Teddy at work – but I would probably will be in bed if Rose next door hadn’t started mowing her lawn.  She has the most noisy lawn mower known to man & she mows at the pace of a snail.  I know she’s an old lady but still.  It’s a postage-stamp size of a lawn – it shouldn’t take an hour to mow it!   I hate the sound of lawnmowers!  But I do love the smell of freshly cut grass.  Oh, I have so much to do & no energy to do it with!  The house is a mess – the maid does not work on weekends – the maid barely works on Monday.  Well – maybe she’ll just have a late start.  I’m gonna have breakfast – then watch Perry Mason at noon – then lay in the sun until 2 p.m.  Laying in the sun isn’t really “relaxing” – I mean, it is relaxing – but ya know, in my business, a tan is mandatory – & then continue with the house.  Tuesday & Wednesday I have to get ready to go camping on Thursday.  So much to do – I’m not going to get any writing done this week either.  Of course – if I hadn’t slept until 11 a.m. maybe I would’ve had the time to write – but then I hate to write when the house is a mess.  Oh well!  I guess I should get up & make breakfast & start in on the dishes – boohoohoo!  I hate washing dishes!  I’m so lazy today!  So burned out – too much partying – too much cocaine this weekend – but that’s life!  Gotta get my act together no matter how much I want to sit & do nothing.

***

Busy, busy, busy.  Packing to go – making macaroni salad, bacon-onion dip & barbecue sauce – making & revising lists – doing laundry.  Hopefully Teddy will get his check today – then we’ll be able to go to K-Mart, Wegman’s, Mack Lumber, Consumer’s, etc. – this afternoon & evening – & then we can leave bright & early tomorrow morning.  If have to wait to shop tomorrow morning, then we’ll have to run around all day & then pack & leave afterward – not until after noon – & there’s be a delay on the bridge & that’ll be a drag.  I want to go!  Plus – we’re broke & there’s nothing to eat!  Well we can have salami sandwiches.  But – I want something better than that.  I’ve been eating salami for days.

***

Stoneybrook State Park, site #114.  We’re having a great time – beyond a great time.  We got here around 12:30 on Thursday – we were all set up & settled by 2 p.m.  We got wasted that night – 2 hits of acid apiece – snorted up all the coke – & drank almost half the vodka.  Needless to say, yesterday was very low-key.  We slept half the day & ate the rest of it & was in bed by 10 p.m.  This morning was a joy – waking up & listening to the birds & the sounds of the water in the creek rushing down the hill – the birds chirping – other campers – kids playing.  It is so quiet here.  Not a thing like Sherkston’s party-all-day-all-night-music-never-stops atmosphere.  It is really great.  Also, most of the campers are families.  You never see this many kids at Sherkston – it’s really nice.  I just love the quiet – it’s what I really needed.

***

Clara Barton Street – Rte. 36 – Dansville, NY.  I love Dansville.  I told Teddy I’d be more than happy to live here.  This is Teddy’s family’s hometown.  Well here we go – no more writing.

Later.  Cooking breakfast.  Actually, I guess it’s lunch.  Teddy’s doing Canadian bacon & toast on the grill & I am making homefries & eggs over easy inside.  It seems more overcast than yesterday.  There’s no rain in the forecast but I suppose you never know.  I’d enjoy a brief thunder & lightning storm/rain shower.

After we eat, we’ll read & smoke joints & then we’re gonna hike along one of the trails.  I want to take a bunch of pictures.

***

Ready to leave – boohoo!  The trailer’s all folded up – the bed of the truck is packed with dirty laundry – the empty case of beer – empty coolers – half-eaten boxes & cans of pretzels & peanuts.  We did eat almost everything we brought.  We ate & drank almost non-stop!  But now it’s time to go – boohoohoo.

Doug & Danielle stopped by yesterday – we were so surprised!  They stayed several hours – we walked around the park & showed them everything – the kids threw rock after rock into the stream & screamed when they had to leave.  We all ate dinner together – sharing dogs & chops, chips & chicken salad & my homemade German potato salad.  They don’t want to go to Sherkston for the July 4 holiday – they want to go to a place near Pembroke called Sleepy Hollow.  I’ll go anywhere – I don’t care – as long as it’s quiet.  I’m tired of Sherkston’s party atmosphere – I party for a living – when I go on vacation, I want peace & quiet!  Plus – Doug has to work every day & the Peace Bridge is a real drag – Teddy is real sad, of course – he says it’s the end of an era.  Well – it’s always the end of an era, isn’t it?  One way or another?

Time to go.

***

10 a.m.  Making up some breakfast – 2 fried eggs & toast & coffee.  I have so much to do today – I’m sure my household chores will extend into tomorrow – it’s so hot that I’m not going to bust ass or anything.  There’s supposed to be major thunderstorms tonight – a cold front from central Canada will be moving through – so tomorrow when it’s cooler, I’ll do the heavy housework.  Today I’m mostly gonna pick up – straighten up around the house – the camping gear we just set down anywhere because it was so hot & we were so tired – we just brought everything upstairs & let them lie.  There’s also a multitude of dishes in the sink – naturally I didn’t feel like doing any dishes last night.  Oh – I shouldn’t have gone back to bed after Teddy went to work this morning!  But the bed looked so cool & inviting & I was so horny – I thought I would pleasure myself & then get up & get to work but after I came, I drifted off into dreamland – I woke up more tired & disoriented than before.  A few cups of coffee always cures that – today it seems like even coffee isn’t working very well.

Oh, I’m lazy today!  I wish I could go to the beach!  I swear, if someone called & said, “Hey let’s go,” I’d drop everything!  But oh well.  I read in Sunday’s paper that there’s an hour wait to get over the Peace Bridge.  I guess if you want to go to one of the beaches in Canada, you have to start early in the day!  I haven’t spent a day on the beach in a long time.

All this writing is not getting my work done.  I ought to make a list:

  1. Defrost fridge
  2. Get garbage together – empty waste baskets, newspapers
  3. Laundry – darks, lights, costumes, blankets
  4. Dust & vacuum, sweep kitchen
  5. Make bed & straighten up bedrooms
  6. Clean desk & baskets
  7. Do paperwork
  8. Make booking calendar for July & August
  9. Create new sets
  10. Create new costumes
  11. Lay out in the sun
  12. Make grocery list
  13. Decide what to wear to dinner tonight & get it ready
  14. Straighten up sun room
  15. Clean coolers
  16. Mending – black lace teddy – green pillow
  17. Sweep front porch

Number 13 will be a toughie because I don’t know where we’re going to dinner.  Betty & Jerry are up from Florida & they’re taking us to dinner tonight.  I wish Teddy had asked where we’re going.  I’m sure they made reservations.  Oh well – I have all day to think about it.

The minutes are slipping by – I gotta get some work done!

Excerpts From a Diary 27

[Summer, 1985]

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

Lord – the sun feels nice!

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

Excerpts From a Diary 19

[Winter-Spring, 1982]

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

“Why?” he asked.

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

“What made me so good?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

“But I’m bringing it in,” I answered.

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

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

Things will occur to me as I go along.

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Now it’s off to work again.