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Tag: The Grateful Dead

Excerpts From a Diary 39

[Holidays, 1989-90]

[December, 1989]

I took a silver dollar from my bank & went to Falco’s. I thought, if I buy myself one beer & nurse it, maybe I’ll run into someone who’ll feel like buying some more.  Sure enough, Rolf Johnson was there – newly wed – not that marriage makes any difference to a guy like Rolf.  If that marriage lasts, I’ll be amazed.  I’ll be amazed if it lasts 5 years.

When I got home, Teddy was already there.  He had good news & bad news.  The good news was a 3-drawer filing cabinet for the office.  The bad news was that when he went over to our old place on Minnesota Avenue to get the messages, Paulie told him to get the phone out of there – because they’ve rented the apartment.  Whatever happened to selling the house?  I tell you, I’m not surprised.  I can just imagine what kind of third world wonders he’s got moving in there.  I mean – the place hasn’t even been painted.  It’s really a dump.  I’ve been in crack houses that look better than that place!  It just leaves a really bad taste in our mouths.  Teddy got everything out – we still had a few rugs there – but he forgot the maps on the walls – for booking parties – so we’re going back to grab them after he comes home from work.  I also discovered that my modeling portfolio is missing.   I hope no one’s home when we go – I want to run down cellar & look for it.  I mean – I’m sure Paulie took it.  Even if they’re home – I’m gonna look for it.  It’s mine – it’s the only portfolio I have – I don’t have any copies!  I’m so glad we got out of there!  What assholes!

***

Lying in bed – watching the Today show.  I feel so sick – my stomach is absolutely killing me – it’s really been hurting lately – could I have an ulcer? – or maybe it’s just the flu.  But it doesn’t feel like the flu.  It just hurts.  I get moments of nausea.  I feel so tired.  I took two naps yesterday & I was still falling asleep at 10 last night.  Maybe I’m just depressed.  I feel so fat & so ugly.

Mark says my poems are great but – Forethought Books doesn’t publish poetry or fiction.  Why the fuck not?  It seems to me that he could have told me that before I got my hopes up – but it is probably my fault anyway – for dreaming & not being business-like – I know better than that – oh well – he’s getting with me on Thursday.  Published or not, I need guidance.

Later.  Missy woke me up.  She wanted to play.  I chased her around for a while before I got into the shower.  I still feel lousy.  I haven’t eaten yet – I’m not hungry – I figure when I do eat, I’ll just have a poached egg.  I’m planning meatloaf for dinner – Teddy loves meatloaf & if I can’t eat it, I can store the leftovers – meatloaf never goes to waste.

I’ve got the Grateful Dead on.  I’m gonna read until “Perry Mason” comes on.  After that – there’s a movie I wanna watch – camped out here on the sofa with my books, notebooks, pens & a stomach ache.

***

It never rains but it pours.  The phone strike is over but we still have no phone.  The checks Teddy wrote to pay the bill bounced – & now they want the payment in cash & you can’t have a phone installed until your bill is paid – so now Teddy wants me to go to Anthony Falco & borrow the money.  He wants me to ask for $200 – to be paid back Saturday night after we work – but Saturday night’s job is only $135.  Teddy said “don’t worry” if we don’t have the whole $200 – “it’ll be OK” – but it won’t be OK – I don’t operate that way.  I’ll ask for $150 – which I don’t want to do anyway.  I am sick & tired of asking Anthony for money.  Personally – I don’t see why we have to pay the bill & get a phone today anyway.  We’ve been without a phone for so long – I don’t see what a few more days will matter.  I’m gonna have to call my regular clients anyway.  I wish Teddy wouldn’t put me into these situations!  I hate asking for money!  I just hate it!

On top of that – my cartridge ran out this morning.  Life sucks!  I’m so sick of being broke!

Later.  Well – in a much better mood!  I went & called NYNEX myself – it’s not NY Telephone anymore – & I set up new service – not one word was said about paying the bill – & since service won’t be on for at least a week – we can have the bill taken care of by then.  Also – I don’t have to go through the indignity of asking Anthony for money.

***

Watching a Marianne Faithfull movie – really dumb – really hokey 60’s bullshit.  I wanted to sleep in this morning but Teddy took so long getting out of here that I couldn’t get back to sleep once I got back to bed.  I got up & cleaned the house – changed the cat litter – took the garbage out – took a shower – cleaned the bathroom – put in a load of wash – later I have to go to Falco’s & get Anthony to cash a check for me – $200 from Uncle Joe.  I hope Anthony will – I’ve been over there several times in the last few days & either I’ve just missed him or he just got back from the bank or something.  It’s so annoying to have $200 & not have it.

Well – I should get ready to go out – it’ll take a while – so many layers to put on – hair & make-up – I really don’t feel like going out – that’s the whole problem.

***

Another full moon – I did a ritual this morning when I was alone & ended up crying.  I wish we had a phone!  It’s a week since I called the phone company – what’s the big hold-up?  It’s such a drag!  Meanwhile – my career is over – this coming weekend is usually a big party weekend – all that money I’m not making!  I could cry!

Our money woes are mounting.  We’re eating well & we have weed so I can’t complain but we’re already behind on the rent & we’ve only been here a short while.  Luckily all the other bills are small & easily taken care of.  The trouble is – it’s Christmas.  It’s just the wrong time of year to be out of a phone – out of work – & out of money!

Anthony couldn’t cash my check.  He says he’s gotten so many bad checks lately that his dad said, no more cashing checks.  God!  When it rains, it really pours!  Anyway – I stayed there drinking all afternoon.  Rolf stopped in – on his lunch break.  I said, “You come awfully far for lunch.”  “The bars are boring in Lockport,” he replied.  I could really fall for him.  He’s so arrogant – really an asshole – he makes me think of Napoleon – the way his lip curls – the way his eyebrows arch – his whole pampered rich boy attitude – the kind of jerk I’m famous for falling for – a different kind of macho – GQ macho – but strip off that suit & he’s the same as the rest of them.  Oh well – nothing will ever come of it – & just as well, too!

***

I am so depressed I hate myself.  I can’t stand feeling this this – so disoriented – so horny – so scared – so disgusted.  The realization that my career is over.  I have to start looking for a “real” job – & I have no desire whatsoever to do that.  The realization that I’m fat & ugly & getting old & have a giant zit on my cheek.  I’ve been putting poems together for the Just Buffalo competition but without the $25 entry fee, what’s the point?  Life sucks!  I could smoke a joint & make myself feel better but have so little, I really should conserve it.  I try to tell myself that there’s plenty of people with no homes & no food & no joints – I’m really lucky – I have my health – I have a loving husband & 2 beautiful cats – etc., etc. – but I feel hopeless anyway.

***

I feel terrible.  I barely slept last night – too much coffee after dinner – & Missy kept waking me up – & I was dreaming I was opening for Blaze Starr – I was dancing to “B-A-B-Y” & twirling my red skirts – oh well.  I woke up all congested & coughing.  I also feel a little nauseated – I can’t figure it out.  I’m supposed to get my period on Sunday – it’s probably just PMS – plus the usual depression – Teddy & I are both severely depressed.  He’s afraid we’re going to be evicted.  He tried calling his mother all day yesterday but she wasn’t there – god, what a drag – having to ask for help!  Goddamn Paulie!  What an asshole!  Knowing how we needed that phone & answering machine!  I bet no one’s moved in there!  I’ve been racking my brains trying to figure out a way to get back – get revenge – some simple little revenge spell that wouldn’t rebound too badly – but all I can think of is the apartment on fire – & then I’m afraid I’ll end up watching my own place on fire – oh life sucks.  I feel sick to my stomach.

Later.  Danielle just left.  She brought a coffee cake & some real tasty weed – I only wish I felt better so I could appreciate it more.  I’m glad she came by – she left brochures from all the campgrounds they stayed at – all state parks.  She said it was a really good trip.  She also brought me a giant pine cone.

***

Noon.  I feel better today.  Not my cold – that’s still hanging in there – but my spirits are better.  It snowed a foot last night – it looks so excellent – the first thing I did today was shovel the driveway, the sidewalk, back to the garbage & the driveway next door – the old farts’ house – & their sidewalk.  Then I came in & ate & cleaned the house & then I was so exhausted that I laid down for a while.  I got up at 11 a.m. & took a shower, put a load of wash in & then put on my Christmas tape & danced & sang with Shadow – I put on a real show for my babies.  But it doesn’t take much to tire me out – I’m gonna take it easy the rest of the day.

***

Another workless weekend.  It really snowed Friday & Saturday – another foot, easily – I shoveled for several hours Saturday & really paid for it Sunday – massive backache.  Yesterday I baked a bunch of cookies & decorated them & did the same this morning.

Teddy got through to his mother – but no money.  He didn’t come out & ask her – just told her about our woes & she said she had sent a card – which led him to believe that there was money enclosed in it – which there wasn’t.  Oh well.  He should have just asked for help – instead of implying that we need the help.  When I asked someone for help, I don’t dance around the subject, I fucking nail it.  Anyway – he called the landlord & talked things over with him & I guess things are alright.  & I called Bonnie out at her tavern by GM & I’m working there next Friday – I can hardly wait.  Oh, if I only had one more job!  A Thursday night job – but I don’t know how it’ll even happen.  Hopefully, I’ll make good tips at Bonnie’s Tavern – I’ve got to!  I’ve got to!

***

Another depressed day.  These days are almost crippling.  I feel so lousy anyway – I have my period & a cold – I took some cough medicine & went back to bed this morning but Missy wouldn’t let me sleep – meowing, meowing – she wouldn’t shut up!  Oh, I know she wants to play – I just feel so awful – it’s so hard.  I have no appetite – although I know I’m hungry – I’d have an egg but we’re out of bread & what’s an egg without toast?

At least Pat will be over later on with some weed.

Afternoon.  I am beyond depressed.  A certified letter just arrived – from the landlord – stating that we owe $1100 & that if money owed aren’t received by 12/28, we’ll be evicted & taken to court.  I thought Teddy said that everything was alright.  I know that when he sees this letter, he’ll say – don’t worry, everything will be ok – he gets paid on Thursday & the whole check will go to the landlord & so will his next two checks – so all we have to worry about is eating.  & who needs to eat, right?  Also, we can get another loan from the Credit Union next month – he’ll tell me not to worry – things will be alright – but when?  When?  I just hate this!

I’ve been trying to write to take my mind off things but it’s so hard.  Writing about dancing just makes me depressed.  Writing about The Canteen – about dancing, drinking, drugs – about dollar bills stuffed in a g-string – oh, I miss it so!  Oh, those great Christmases of 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985!  Money to burn!  Drugs omega!  Lots of presents for everyone!  I feel so helpless now.  So weak & ineffectual.  So needy.  I keep trying to look ahead & be cheerful but I can’t.  I keep telling myself that we’re lucky to have each other – good food, weed, a nice place to live – things will work out – things will be fine!  & I know they will be fine!  But right now, they suck!

***

War with Panama.  I don’t think Brad is being sent – thank the Goddess!  How I hate these stupid wars!

I talked to Mom last night.  I wanted to ask for help but I knew she would never say yes so I didn’t.  She & Bob are stopping in on Christmas Day.  It’ll be the first time I’ve seen them since the reunion – a year & a half.  I was really depressed when I called her & I kinda wish I hadn’t called but I’m also glad that I did.  She gave me a lecture on “doing the right thing” – which I presume is not dancing & not doing drugs – which is out of the question now anyway – & it occurred to me that I’m almost 30 years old & she’s still lecturing me!! Oh well!

***

Bushed.  Teddy & I have been cleaning house all day.  This place looks great.  Every piece of furniture got polished!  Furniture got moved – every inch of carpet got vacuumed.  The blanket on the couch got washed.  The litter box got changed – all the mirrors were washed & wiped until they were completely streak-proof – the kitchen was scrubbed with steel-wool & a tooth-brush.  Right now, I have sweet dough rising – I’m making cinnamon rolls.  Later on we’ll have spaghetti & Italian sausage meat sauce.

Mom & Bob are stopping in tomorrow.  So are Henry & Mina.  I don’t think we’ll see Sue & Brad or Helena & Geoff & I don’t know about Rocco.  I hope so.  I have gifts for everyone.  Nothing great – just little things I made – small crocheted ornaments for the tree & things like that.  Mom & Jerry sent $100 & Mama & Bob sent a $50 Sears gift certificate.  All of the money I made at Bonnie’s went to the rent.   Anyway – yesterday we were really happy – out Christmas shopping – we bought the cutest kitty condo for Shadow & Missy – also stocking filled with cat toys & bizzy balls – plus I managed to get presents for everyone else – of which I am very proud – just little things but who cares? – It was so much fun just to be out & shopping – looking at all the decorations & the people.

***

Just ate the Christmas pizza.  So good!  It’s been a nice Christmas.  It was really great seeing Mom & Bob & everyone else.  They all loved our place.  & they adored the kitties.

The cats loved their toys – Shadow loves the kitty condo.  They were so funny – just like real kids – waking us up early – scratching at the living room door – then not being able to decide which toy to play with first – then playing with a vengeance – playing until they were so tired out they would hardly keep their eyes open but playing on anyway.  They’re so sweet!  They’re so wonderful!  Such adorable Christmas cats!

***

So far, a nice day.  I went out & shoveled this morning – boy, it is cold out there!  Are we having a real winter this year or what?  I’ve straightened up the house & put in a couple loads of wash & now I’m gonna work on my end-of-the-year lists.  Teddy’s at work of course.

***

Listening to Roy Orbison.  Sitting at my desk – looking out the window.  It snowed again last night – first thing this morning, I was out shoveling the driveway & the walk & sprinkling calcium chloride.  Out driveway is the clearest on the street.  Then I came in – took a shower – ate breakfast – straightened up the house – put in a load of wash – always wash to do – & packed away all my costumes.  Teddy will have a fit when I tell him – maybe I won’t tell him – but what the fuck – my career is over.  He’s always telling me that my career is not over.  But facts are facts.  We don’t have a phone & I have no idea when we’re going to get a phone.  & when we do get a phone, we’ll have a new number – so the number on my current card is now useless.  & even if we do get a new phone – whenever that is going to be – & I manage to get new cards – somehow come up with the money for that – there are hundreds of old cards floating around – so I would have to come up with a new picture & a new color scheme for the card – just to make it look radically different from the old card – so guys know which one is the good one.  & my modeling portfolio was stolen – so that means hiring a photographer & doing new shots – which requires more money.  & then of course – getting a new design & having more cards printed.  Teddy doesn’t think of any of this & if he does, he just thinks it’ll happen magically – the money will just appear or something.  It’s fucking over.  I know it is.  I have a party February 24 – but that’s so far in the future that it might not even happen anyway.  I mean, they might hire another dancer & decide they don’t want me.  That was happening a lot this summer.  So I’m not planning on anything.

Besides – I don’t want to dance 3 or 4 parties a night again.  That was just too much.  It was really cool – I mean – I was proud of the fact that I was physically able to do it – but after a few years of that pace, anyone would get burned out – & I’m burned out.  I can’t do all the coke I need to keep going & I can’t do it without the coke.  & I want weekends again.  I want to go camping – I want to go on picnics – I want to go to Cleveland to visit my family – I want to go to the beach.  I don’t want any more burned-out Saturdays & Sundays – so hungover I can barely function – pulling myself together so I can work the next party.  I don’t want to party all night long.  I don’t want to throw up every morning – all morning long.  & I don’t want to be crippled every Monday morning.

I’ve been working hard on my story.  It’s so slow.  I’m so slow.  If I do a little bit every day, I’m happy.  Actually – I do a lot better if I do just a little bit every day – rather than lots of work on day & then nothing more for several days.  Kinda like housework – do a little everyday – you never have a big mess to clean.

***

Jesse stopped by last night.  He got a quarter gram of coke from Pat & bought some weed – it’s really lousy but better than nothing.  It was really nice to see him

I’ve worked really hard this week anyway – I deserve a day off!  This house is a little messy – needs to be dusted & vacuumed – maybe I’ll get to it later.  Actually this place always looks nice.  I dust & vacuum almost every day – one day off doesn’t really make it a mess.

I’m sleepy.  Maybe I’ll join the kitties in a nap.

[January, 1990]

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

It was a partying weekend.  Jesse scored a quarter ounce of coke from Pat – Pat’s been here a lot lately – & brought some hash oil & some truly unsmokeable weed.  It was the worst!  We got a sixteenth out of that deal – really nice – Jesse & Pat both hung out & partied for a while.  Pat doesn’t drink – he’s an alcoholic – he hasn’t had a drink in seven years.  Anyway – I find it fascinating – being able to party & have a good time – without alcohol.  I would love to be able to do that.

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

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

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

 

Excerpts From a Diary 37

[Summer, 1989]

[July]

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

[August]

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

“Sure,” I said.

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

We went to the Erie County Fair today.

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

[September]

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 36

[Spring, 1989]

[April]

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I feel fat & ugly.

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

[May]

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s pouring.

***

[June]

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

It’s cool & foggy.

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

Gotta go.

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

***

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

Excerpts From a Diary 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 25

[Fall, 1984]

It’s been the craziest summer.  I don’t think I’ve ever worked this much.  The law office, the clubs, the stag parties.  Plus camping at Sherkston & doing whatever Teddy wants me to do.  It’s very exhausting.

& whenever Jesse wants me – I go over to his apartment on the West Side. It’s “our” apartment now. That’s obvious – he hasn’t rented it & he’s even gotten a few piece of furniture for it so we can hang out when we’re there.  Sometimes I fantasize that it’s our actual home – that we’re actually together – man & wife kind of together.   I can’t help myself.  I hate my life – I hate how I have no control over anything – I hate how I’m married to a guy who doesn’t want to fuck me – I hate how I’m in love with a guy who is never gonna leave his wife.

***

I’ve been writing a lot of poems – working on ones that I wrote last summer – mostly about Jesse – but also poems about dancers – one about that new girl, Charlene – & one about that girl Stormy, who was around for a little while & then moved on – like so many of the biker-chick dancers do – that poem needs a lot of work.  I’ve also been working on poems about other dancers – ones about Margie & Katie – “KittieKat” – but they’re not as good – it’s funny how poems are – either they work or they don’t.

Most poems I jot down in the notebook I carry with me everywhere I go but sometimes I use whatever I have at hand – bevnaps – bar checks – stationary from the law office – I stick them into my notebook & hope I don’t lose them.  Sometimes I stick them into an envelope – that’s a good way to keep everything together.

Most of the poems about Jesse are about longing to be with him – or about how wonderful it is when I am with him.  Although I think the longing ones are better.  It’s great to write erotic love poems but I don’t think they’re very good.  I feel the emotion but it doesn’t translate very well onto the paper.  Maybe I’m just not a very good writer.

***

Frank Dormer – one of the regulars at The Canteen – is having a party down at his hunting camp in Ellicottville – only a “select” group of people from the bar are being invited & I’m one of them!  Of course Teddy is going too – we’re taking our tent-camper down so we have somewhere to sleep – Frank said there wasn’t enough bunks for everyone – Mo & her husband Duke will sleep on the other side.  I’m giving up several parties to be down there that night but I could really use the rest.

We drove down there & it was the most perfect day.   Cattaraugus County is gorgeous in the fall anyway & it’s the height of the fall foliage.  We missed the road several times but finally found it.  Frank was already there & so was Tex & her doofus of a husband – Ron – & Ramon, the bouncer from the bar – he’s leaving for the Army real soon.  Mo & Duke showed up soon afterward.  I think there were more people invited but either they couldn’t find the place or they just didn’t show.

It was the best time!  Hamburgs & hotdogs on the grill & lots of munchies & I brought my homemade potato salad & brownies & of course we were all drinking.  Naturally, Teddy had plenty of weed & later on we dropped acid – not the usual “going to see God” amounts he likes to do but just enough to see trails & laugh a lot – like I like.   I had the best talk with Frank.  He used to be a Roman Catholic priest!  Ya know – he still dresses somewhat like a priest – always in black – although he was wearing a red & black Buffalo plaid wool shirt over his black clothes – but there is something very “man of the cloth” about him – I found myself confessing all about Jesse to him – I haven’t told anyone about the affair – although Frank told me that it was “obvious” that something was going on with Jesse & me.  I said, “Ya know, I really love Teddy but he’s more like my brother than my husband.”  “That’s not good,” he said, “not good at all.”

I asked him, “Why did you leave the priesthood?”

He tickled my knee. “I liked the ladies too much.”  He said he became a priest & was a Navy chaplain during the Korean War & felt like he was doing “good work” while he was in the service but when he became a civilian & a parish priest, he just lost his calling.  After he left the priesthood, he got married & had two sons.  He owns a printing press & his sons – both older than me – help him run it.  He’s read my poetry & thinks I should write a book.  “You’re a very talented writer,” he told me.

We were up almost all night & then next morning made breakfast over the fire & hung out listening to the Bills game on the radio.  It was a glorious day.  I really hated to come back home.  I love it down there.   Tex & Ron left early but Mo & Duke hung around & we really hit it off – I hope we can party together again soon.  I really like Mo – she’s really one of the reasons I stick around at The Canteen – most of the other girls are going over the border & working at the clubs in Canada now.   Supposedly they make more money up there – it’s all nude – but you have to get working papers & I don’t want to deal with any of that nor do I want to cross the border when I go to work.  I mean – it may be the friendliest border in the world but it’s still an international border.  & if you get in trouble up there, you’re in a foreign country.  & let’s face it – you party in a strip joint.  & that’s not exactly a safe environment.  I feel safe at The Canteen.

***

OH MY GOD.  I was in the kitchen after supper – just doing dishes – nothing special – & Teddy comes up behind me & tickles me, which I hate – if I have told him once, I have told him a hundred times, never fucking tickle me – & I swirled around & almost slapped him – but I didn’t.  I just laughed it off like I laugh everything off.  So then – he put his hands in the back pockets of my jeans – for who knows what reason – & I had a bar check in there with a few lines written on it – the beginning of a poem – just something I had been thinking about the other day – & at the bottom, I had written “I know a man named Jesse” – usually I don’t name Jesse in any of the poems I write about him.  But I was really depressed & I don’t ever expect any of my writings to fall into Teddy’s hands.

He was holding the piece of paper.  “Are you in love with Jesse?” he asked.

“He’s my best friend,” I hedged.

“I thought I was,” he countered.

“Well you are,” I said, “but so is Jesse.”  I went on, a little too hurriedly, “I can tell Jesse things I can’t tell anyone else.  There’s just something about him.  I don’t know what it is.  He’s easy.”

“& I’m not?”

“Well – not always.”  I hesitated.  “You’re demanding.  I mean – that’s a good thing, ya know?  Cuz you make me a better person with your demands.  But Jesse – Jesse accepts me as I am.  That’s a whole different thing.”

I don’t think he bought it.  & now I have to worry – worry – worry.

***

I told Jesse about what happened with Teddy.  “I knew something like this was going to happen sooner or later,” he said.  “I can’t believe we’ve gone this long without him catching on.”

“Or Doreen catching on,” I said.

“Oh she knows I’m seeing someone,” he replied breezily, “but she doesn’t know who.”

“Really.”  This was news to me.

“As long as I come home at night & pay the bills & don’t rock the boat, she’s not going to say a word to me.”  He sounded quite confident.

“I hope you’re right.”

“Oh, I know I’m right.  She wants a father for her children & she wants more children.  That’s really the only reason she wants to fuck, whereas you,” he pulled me to him with his strong arms, “you want to fuck because you are one passionate woman.”  & he started kissing me – which ended the conversation.

But later on, he said, “I’ve known Teddy a long time & he’s not going to stop asking you about me.  He’s like a dog with a bone.  You really should think about your options.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well – you’re not really happy with him, are you?  Why are you staying with him?  Why don’t you leave him?  You don’t need him.  You make enough money to support yourself.  You could rent this place from me & live by yourself & I could visit whenever I want – it would be the perfect set-up.  & then you could go back to school – get your degree – go to law school, get a real job – end this dancing business – it’s great now but you can’t do it forever – & honestly, I really don’t like the idea of all those guys lusting over my woman.”

I really liked the idea of Jesse thinking of me as his woman.  That made me feel really good.  It wasn’t until later on – much later on – when I was in bed, next to Teddy – who was dead asleep, quietly snoring the way he does – that I realized that I would be living alone – while Jesse was still living with Doreen.  I mean – what kind of set-up is that?

But maybe he means to leave her in the future?  & be with me?

***

It gets better & better.  Teddy was waiting for me when I got home from The Canteen this evening.  Thank heaven I wasn’t really fucked up.  I was drunk enough & of course I had been doing coke.  But I wasn’t wasted or anything.  So I was able to think relatively straight.  Thank you, Jesus!  But he was in a rage.  Really bad – I’ve never seen him like this.  “You are having an affair with Jesse!” he crowed. “With one of my best friends!  With your own step-brother!  That’s practically incest!”

“But it’s not,” I argued.  “We’re not blood at all.”

“I can’t believe this is happening,” he moaned.  “Ya know, someone called me.  I don’t even know who.  But he was there today, wasn’t he?  Someone anonymous called me & told me that you were sitting with him at the club & it was obvious that you are very close.”

“So fucking what?”  I wasn’t having any of that.  “I sit with lots of guys – that’s my fucking job.”

“No no no no,” he insisted.  “You wouldn’t sit with anyone else.  You were turning down drinks from other guys & only sitting with Jesse – right?  Admit it – you’re in love with him.  Admit it.  Admit it!”

By this point – I was pretty pissed off.  I mean – I had worked at the law office in the morning & then worked an afternoon shift at The Canteen & then stopped at the B-Kwik & picked up some groceries & I was hungry & tired.  I wanted a hot bath & my bed & my book.  I lost it.  I really did.  Who the fuck was he – when I was making most of the money anyway – who was he to ask me any questions at all?

I should have said, “I admit nothing,” & regally gone off to run my bath.  But I was drunk & pissed off.  I said, “Yes, goddammit!  I’m in love with him!  I’ve been love with him for years!  Now leave me the fuck alone!”  I left the groceries on the kitchen counter & went back out.

I went to Falco’s.  I ordered two roast beef on wecks & got myself a Labatt’s Blue.  While the sandwiches were being made, I went to the phone booth & called Jesse.  “Please pick up,” I prayed.  Thankfully, he did.  “Someone – I don’t know who – probably from the club – called Teddy & told him that we’re having an affair & he’s super pissed off.”

“I know, he just called me,” he answered.  “He wants me to stop seeing you.”

“What did you say?”

“That I would.”

I thought that my entire life had ended.  I was totally shattered.  “Jesse – ”

“Cori,” he said quickly, “I had to say something.  & I don’t want to lose his friendship or his business.  I don’t want to lose you either.  Don’t worry.  We’ll figure something out.  I can’t talk right now.  But don’t worry, ok?”  He hung up.

I sucked down my beer & had another one & a shot of Crown Royal.  “Feeling ok, Cori?” asked Anthony Falco, who was tending bar.

“Yeah, I’m ok,” I smiled.  “Just a little stressed – it’s been a long day.  Thanks for asking.”

When I got home, Teddy was smoking a joint & he was considerably calmer.  “Well, I talked to Jesse & he said he’s going to stop seeing you,” he announced.

“I know, I talked to him too,” I answered.

He was immediately angry again.  “What, you go to the bar for sandwiches & you call him?”

“Well, you called him as soon as I was gone,” I countered.  “Listen Teddy, I don’t want to argue about this anymore.  It’s over – let’s eat our dinner & be friends again.”  I hoped that was the end of it.

***

Depressed.  Partly because of tripping & cocaine last night & Friday night but also because of pregnancy worry – I had to go off the pill because I was “spotting” all the time – I’m going to go back on another one soon but meanwhile I’m off it – & of course I’m still making love to Jesse whenever I can – I don’t know if my period is messed up because of going off the pill or if I’m actually pregnant – what will I do if I’m pregnant??  It would never be Teddy’s – we haven’t made love in forever – even though he is always trying to now – like making up for lost time or something.  & as much as I want Jesse’s baby – I really do – I admit I’m jealous of Doreen because she has his baby – but I’m a stripper – I can’t stop to have a child –  it would ruin my figure!!  & how would I make money while I was pregnant?  I’m not going to do what Charlene did & dance until I’m in my 6th or 7th month – I just won’t.  I know there are guys who are really turned on by that but NO.  & I can’t expect Jesse to support me.  & honestly – I’m just not ready to have a baby.  When Doreen & Helena sit around at the holiday dinners & talk about their babies, it’s not like I have any particular longing to have one & join in on the conversation.  I don’t think – oh, I can hardly wait.  The thing is – I can wait.

& I’m depressed because I’m longing for Jesse – I’m worried about hurting Teddy – money worries – cowering in the shadow of the choice I am going to have to make – worry, worry, worry!  & I, who hate to worry & refuse to do so – I am worrying!

I have to force myself to get up & do some housework – type up poems for publication.  I have no energy.  All I want to do is read, drink wine & smoke joints.  Escape.  Escape somewhere far away where I don’t have to think about anything

***

I got my period but I am still worrying.  Next week is my doctor’s appointment.  I can hardly wait to get back on the pill – regular periods – no worry – steady moods – everything OK again.  I can’t believe my doctor actually suggested such a stupid thing to me & I was so fucking stupid to agree!!  So what if I was spotting – it was really no big deal!!

I was bleeding really heavy yesterday – today was much lighter.  Yesterday was a very uncomfortable day anyway.  Jesse’s job was shut down cuz of the rain so he picked me up at the law office at lunch time & took me to “our” place – gave me a peanut butter & jelly sandwich & made me lie down while he rubbed me.  He was really sweet – & he wanted sex even though I was bleeding heavier than I have in years – my gynecologist said I would be bleeding heavier being off the pill – “Yin & yang, baby,” he told me, “the mixing of blood & semen.”  It was a mess but boy – it was great!  I said that Teddy never comes near me when I’m having my period & he laughed & said that Doreen acts like she’s “completely cursed” – “she even sleeps in a separate bed.”

He called me twice this afternoon!  Once just to tell me he loves me – I love it! – then again to ask me some silly legal question about real estate – I don’t know why he just doesn’t look it up himself.  I know he really didn’t want to know anything about real estate – he just wanted to hear my voice.

He wants me to leave Teddy & rent out “our” apartment myself – he says that I have to be making enough money on my own – just in the clubs – & with my job in the law office, there’s no reason why I couldn’t swing living alone.  & then he could come by whenever he was free.  I’m not sure I like that idea – I mean, he’s still married to Doreen in that scenario – & what about Teddy?  & what about the stag party business?  I mean – I really like doing stags.  It’s a different kind of show than in the clubs.  I hate how Teddy thinks he’s my manager but still – it’s fun.  I don’t know what to do.  Jesse thinks I’m wasting my time with dancing – I should be back in school – which I wanted to do this semester but I just didn’t have the fucking time – or the money – as usual, Teddy has our finances in such a mess that I don’t have a choice but to work as many hours at as many jobs as I can.  I mean – I’m working almost full-time at the law office & I have to go back to UB in January or else I could lose my job there.  & I really don’t want to lose my job at Truman, Durant & Randall.  I like working there.  It balances out my career as a dancer.

But of course – the thought of having my very own place & being able to write whenever I want & whatever I want & not have to hide anything & be able to openly love the man that I truly love – that is so alluring – I just can’t help thinking about it.  I have the apartment decorated already in my mind with my books & my plants & even a few kitties.  I would love a cat but Teddy always says no – we party too much – we’re on the go too much – no cats.

I feel guilty thinking about it – thinking about Jesse all the time – writing about him in my notebook – whether I’m journaling or writing poems – especially sitting here with Teddy smoking our after-dinner joint – but I can’t help it – I’m totally addicted to him & I don’t care.  I need him.  I need what he gives me & I want what he gives me &  –

At that moment, Teddy had an attack of emotional bummer.  “I need a hug,” he moaned, so I held him for a while.  Could he feel I was writing about Jesse?  Can he hear my thoughts?

“The Cowboys” are on TV.  I love that movie.  I’m making popcorn – well, I’m in the kitchen – obviously I’m not making popcorn – I’m writing!  I’m waiting for the burner to warm up.  Anyway, Felix is stopping by soon – I’m so glad – it’s been ages since I’ve seen him.

9 p.m.  Teddy had to run out to pay George Conrad – we’re getting weed & coke off him – as soon as the car pulled away, I was on the phone – praying that she wouldn’t answer –

Jesse answers: “Hello!”

“Jesse!”

“Yes!”

“I love you!”

“You must have the wrong number!”

“That’s ok!  See ya tomorrow!”

“Bye!”

Hang up – Five minutes later, Teddy is back & Felix is arriving & it’s party time again.

***

He told me that Doreen & he were having an argument when I called last night – that’s why he was so gruff.  He said he really needed to hear those words at that moment.  I said, “That’s why I called.”

We both believe in karma.  We both believe that we are meant to be together.  “It’ll all work out one way or another,” he insists.

I was there at 8 a.m.  I had to be – I thought about him all night.  I drove like an Indy-car racer the whole way over – I lucked out on the lights – I flew into his arms.  It is so good to be held by him.  We smoked a joint – talked – looked at Christmas catalogues – then went to bed – made love again & again & again.  Intense heights – emotion.  I was in tears after an especially intense orgasm – Jesse wondering & a little scared – “I’ve never made a woman cry like that before.”  “Don’t worry,” I replied, “it’s just too much feeling – I have to release it somehow – ya know?”

***

Just finished a dinner Teddy praised to the skies – steak, hash browns, salad.  “You can’t leave me,” he told me, “I love your cooking too much.”  I smiled.  “I’m not going anywhere,” I said.  When I was cooking, Teddy was outside, putting a new side-view mirror on his truck & the phone rang.  It was Jesse.  He was hanging out at Muldoon’s, waiting for Doreen to get out of her doctor’s appointment.  “I’m in here with a couple of guys from high school I haven’t seen in years & it’s like a reunion.  I’ve smoked some joints & I’m really drunk.  I can’t believe I’m able to talk to you this long.  I was expecting to say I love you & hear you say, wrong number.”

“It’s our lucky day,” I laughed.

***

Thanksgiving.  I woke up at 6:30 – as usual – even if the alarm wasn’t set.  I finally got up at 8 a.m.  I’ve been watching “Bewitched” & smoking a joint.  Now “I Love Lucy” is on.  Teddy’s still in bed.

I should have been more careful – writing last night – because Teddy wanted to know what “secrets” I was writing.  “I have always had secrets to write down,” I said.  “I have notebooks full of them.”  I suppose if you’re writing secrets, you should write them in secret.

The trouble is, I’m so much in love with Jesse that I want to be with him all the time & writing about him brings him closer to me.

I still can’t admit to Teddy that I want out of the relationship although it’s harder & harder to assure him that I still want in.  He knows it, too.  “Do you think I can’t tell?  You’re different – you’re thinking of him – I can tell!  You’re always preoccupied!  I love you & I want to stay with you!”

“I can’t help it,” I answered.  “I am in love with him.  What can I do?  You can’t turn off your feelings like a faucet.  Be patient with me, Teddy.”

“I am patient.  I am more patient than you realize, I think.  But you seem to be slipping away more & more.”

“I’m sorry,” I said.  “Teddy, I wanted to have fun with you this evening & if we get all bummed out talking about this, we won’t.”

“Okay,” he said.  “Teddy bummer time is over.”  We made chocolate-chip cookies, watched the hockey game & passed out on the couch.

I should have told him that if he hadn’t been so stingy with sex to begin with, I never would have fallen for Jesse – so when Teddy tries to make love to me now, it wouldn’t be such an epic failure.  But what am I supposed to do?  I tried to tell him over & over again & it didn’t do any good.

& maybe it wasn’t about the sex.  Maybe Jesse & I would have fallen in love anyway.  I mean – I could have had sex with anyone.  Literally – I have my pick of any of the dudes in the club – in any one of the clubs – if all I wanted was sex.  & not just dudes – I could have women, too.  I could have anyone I want.  But it’s not about sex.  It’s more than that.  It’s much more.

Whenever I think of leaving Teddy for good, I think of our trailer & how we love to camp & how – if I’m with Jesse – I’ll never camp in that trailer again.  My “home away from home” – & then I think – why are you carrying this shell around with you?  But I think of how much it means to Teddy.  Somehow, the trailer seems to symbolize our entire marriage!  It’s just we’ve worked so hard to keep the payments up & – I can hear Teddy saying it – now it’s for nothing.  Or is it?  Didn’t we totally enjoy it when we had it?  & what about Cori? – bored shitless all summer at Sherkston – wondering why on earth were we spending all this money to camp there – isn’t there more to life?  Isn’t there a better way to spend our money?  Or even – gasp! – to save our money?  Worrying about making payments on a motorcycle we barely ride because we’re camping all the time.  & when we’re not camping, we’re working.  Worry, worry, worry – mostly money worries – ever since I married Teddy it’s been non-stop worry.

Oh well – he’s up now – I gotta make breakfast – then take a bath & get ready to go to Cleveland for dinner.  Three hour drive for a one hour meal.  & then the drive home.  But whatever.  Jesse & Doreen will be there with the baby – they’re spending the night – oh, this will be fun.

“Life was easy when it was boring.”    – the Police.

11:45 p.m.  I can’t sleep.  Listening to the Grateful Dead: “Oh the first days are the hardest days, don’t you worry anymore.  Cuz when life looks like easy street, there is danger at the door.”

Teddy’s in bed.  I can’t sleep.  I mix myself a drink, put on the Grateful Dead.  He rushes out & downs my drink in one gulp.  “I’m lonely.  Aren’t you tired yet?”  It hasn’t even been 5 minutes since he went to bed.

I say, “I’m gonna smoke this joint.  Stay here & smoke it with me.”

“No, I have to sleep.”

I have to piss.  I’m on the toilet & he follows me in & sits on the tub.  “I miss you in bed.”

“Honey,” I say, patiently, like I’m talking to a child, “last night I went to bed before you did.  Tonight I’m awake.  I feel like listening to some tunes & smoking a joint & having a drink.  & writing a little.  Unless I’m with you – if you want to join me, my friend the notebook will leave.”

I’m listening to this album & I really want to hear the rest – music really nourishes me so – the Dead especially so.  Like my piece of earth that I need to touch to be alive.  But I think of Teddy lying in bed alone, wanting me & it hurts – am I his earth?  It hurts so to hurt him.

He just came out.  “Wow, I’m fucked up, I’m peeing my brains out.”

“Oh honey, have a toke of this – ”

“No, smoke it, I gotta pee.”  He picked up the book he’s reading.

“Honey, I’m sorry I can’t sleep – ”

“Don’t worry about it.  Have a couple shots – ”

I sit here – toking on this joint which is now a roach on the hemostats – listening to Pigpen sing: “One way or another, one way or another, one way or another, this darkness gotta give.”

2:45 a.m.  Totally fucked up.  Teddy’s in bed.  Wishing for Jesse.  Listening to the Dead.  Wishing for Jesse.  Jesse.  Jesse.

***

I talked to Jesse early this morning – very upsetting.  I had to tell him that I wouldn’t/couldn’t see him anymore in order to save/endure my marriage.  & I was unable to do it.  Instead I told him I was going to “stay on my own” for a while.  He said he didn’t know how I was going to do that with Teddy around.  He said I would be better off getting my own place & not seeing either of us.  “But that’s not what you want, is it, Cori.”  I hung up on him & sobbed for an hour.

I’m skipping so much – how Teddy found my diary Saturday morning & read it & then was in a rage & hit me – he fucking hit me! – I was going to leave but he wrestled me for my car keys & wouldn’t let me leave the house – how I begged Paulie to call Jesse & let him know I was in trouble – how I slept off my hangover & felt better – I was hungover – of course – from work the night before – & of course Teddy was pissed off about that too – me getting home so late from work all fucked up.

Then Jesse called me at 7 p.m. & told me to pack up & he would be by in 25 minutes for me.  & I said no.  Teddy standing there yelling at me – making a bad scene worse.  I was shaking like a leaf.  Letting down Jesse.  Letting down myself.

So this morning – I ended it – or tried to anyway.  I don’t want what’s going on anymore, honestly.  I think Jesse’s pissed off at me & I don’t blame him.  & Teddy – well he’s all pissed off too. & I feel like a complete shit because – what the fuck, these guys were best friends & we’re all family & – what are we going to do?  What am I going to do?

***

Jesse called me this morning – he was served divorce papers this morning.  He said the charges are adultery.  He wanted to know if Teddy had talked to Doreen.  I said I didn’t know.   I mean – they were sitting & talking together at Thanksgiving but I didn’t think anything of it – I don’t think Teddy would be so cruel as to tell Doreen that Jesse & I were having an affair – & would he want to advertise his own embarrassment?  But I don’t know.   I honestly don’t know anything anymore.

***

Teddy just left for work.  He hung out to make sure Jesse didn’t call which pissed me right off – I told him Jesse wouldn’t.  I mean – little does he know that Jesse won’t call because I told him I’d call him – but Jesse won’t call anyway.  I just know.

“I don’t know,” Teddy says.  “I told him not to call anymore two weeks ago.  You told him Saturday night & he called yesterday morning!  & you – instead of telling never to call again, you talked to him for an hour!  So yeah, I’ll hang out & make sure.”

Teddy is so vindictive – so bitter.  “I didn’t ask for this.  He entered my marriage, not the other way around.  I’m just reacting.  I’ve been pushed & pushed & pushed & now goddammit, I’m pushing back!”  The thing is, he’s wrong.  Jesse didn’t enter Teddy’s marriage.  Which is our marriage anyway.  Jesse entered my life.  It’s amazing how Teddy makes this all about him.  Like he’s a victim or something.

I have to get moving.  It’s almost 9.  I have to eat, take a bath, do my hair, dress – I have a dentist’s appointment at 10:30 & I have to be at work at the law office at 1.  I also have to find a place to hide my diary – since now I know that Teddy will read it.  I hate living like this.  But I have to write.

I feel numb & sad again but that’s probably because of Teddy’s rage this morning.  He called back to apologize but also to reiterate his right of vindication.  Which cancels out the apology, if you ask me.

I can’t wait to call Jesse.  Last night, I thought of him non-stop.  I dreamed of him.  I’m dying to know how Doreen got information enough to divorce Jesse for adultery.  Or if there are other women involved.  Although I doubt Jesse will tell me that part of it.  I’m also curious to know if someone “anonymous” called her & told her about Jesse & me like someone “anonymous” called Teddy.

Writing is the only thing that’s keeping me sane.  My mind has been racing a million miles a second – to keep all this in will stifle me.  But I think it’s a drag I have to rip out each page as I write & hide it.  I know I should have done that from the start but hell – the purpose of a notebook is to keep everything together in one place – a place that was carried around with me – to be opened up & relived at will.  “I know I’m a fine one to talk,” I bitterly complained to Teddy, “but reading someone’s diary is as low as you get.”

“Oh, & cheating on your husband isn’t?” he sneered.

“Maybe you should fuck me more than once a month,” I shot back.  Not very nice but I don’t feel very nice nowadays.

“We shouldn’t have secrets from one another,” he retorted.

“I have a whole room full of secrets.  I always have!”  This makes me think of how Helena would read my diary & tell my mother.  & I never suspected because I thought she was above that.  I mean, if you have to read it, OK – I respect curiosity – but to tell – & then to be punished for what I write – !

I am just more honorable than that.  Yes – as an adulteress – I have to lie & cheat & deceive – but those are the rules.  Teddy would say that those are lousy rules – but I live by the rules that I have.  All I know is that I love Jesse & I will do what I have to do to protect that love.  On the same token – I also love Teddy & I will also protect that love.  Contradictory but that’s the way it is.

3:35 p.m.  On break.  Upset beyond upset.  It’s so hard to believe – I’m here at the law office, working – doing research – updating client files in the computer – while the whole time, my mind is racing a million miles a second.  Going over conversations – arguments – pros – cons – as confused & lost as ever.

When I got to work after being at the dentist’s, I called Jesse right away but there was no answer.  I let it ring as long as I could but had to hang up – I had to get to work.  I was coming out of the phone booth in the lobby just as he was walking by – all done up in leathers & chains – looking really menacing.  “Jesse!”  I cried, so happy to see him.  He turned around.  “Where have you been all morning?”  he demanded.  “Why didn’t you call?  I waited around all morning, like a gentleman & then I called over here but they couldn’t find you so I finally decided to come over.  Here’s your tape.”  He handed me a cassette tape.  He’s been making me tapes since the beginning.  I have a whole stack of them.  “Our” songs.

“I didn’t call because Teddy hung out until nine & I really don’t want to call from home anymore & I had a dentist’s appointment.  I just got here.”

“Well, I got go, the bike’s on the street.”  He turned & started to walk away.

“Jesse!”  I caught up.  “What’s the matter?  Are you mad at me?”

“Yes!  I’m upset you didn’t call – ”

“I told you about that – ”

“I’m upset about the whole thing.  Since this weekend.”

“Jesse, I – I really got to get to work.”

“Well, I got to get to my bike.”

“Tomorrow, I have an hour to kill between here & my doctor’s appointment – do you want to meet for a drink?”

“I don’t see the point of meeting.”

“Well, if that’s the way you feel about it!”  I snapped & walked away.  I thought I heard him whine, “Ya know, I have feelings too – ”  but I no longer cared.

***

Between last entry & this one, Jesse & I made up – I broke down & decided to leave Teddy & move over to the apartment on the West Side – the same old arguments & sob-sessions & emotional manipulations occurred with Teddy – the same old great sex & emotional highs & idealistic plans occurred with Jesse – culminating in a frenzied last Friday night – with Teddy & Jesse both hanging out at The Canteen – all through my shift – actually sitting together & drinking together & acting like best friends & brothers – like some modern-day western – Earl was there, too – me, breaking down in the dressing room – sobbing into a towel – totally out of my mind with sorrow & insanity.  Queen came into the dressing room as I was sobbing & she held me – then she told me to get my shit together since I had a set coming up – she rolled a joint laced with coke & I got really high – I fixed my make-up & went out to dance.   I sat with Earl the rest of the night.  I really didn’t want to go home with Teddy – but I didn’t have a choice.

Teddy breaking my heart with his grief at my leaving.  Almost harder to take than anything.

On Monday, Jesse pressured me about when I was going to move in the apartment on the West Side – “I might have to rent it to someone else,” he said.  “If I have to get a lawyer for this divorce.”

“Jesse, I really don’t know, maybe January?”

“Do you want to leave him?  I mean, what are you doing, Cori?  Do you know?”

“What are you doing?”  I countered.  “You’re going to be divorced, are you going to be living there with me?  Or what?”

“Well,” he said, “I own the house we live in presently.  So until all the legalities are taken care of, I have no plans of leaving.  If she wants to leave, that’s her business.  But we’ll have to work out custody of Zach.”

That didn’t make me feel very secure at all.

I have been in the law library, looking up divorce law.  If Doreen served him divorce papers & the grounds were adultery, she would have to have some serious proof.  It would have to be iron-clad.  More than just some “anonymous” person calling her & telling her that Jesse & me were hanging out together when I’m working.  I mean – she would have to hire a private detective & get pictures & maybe even recordings of phone calls – if that is even possible.  I really doubt she did any of that.  & who else would do that?  I mean – it’s just so unlikely.  Maybe some dude from the club is fucked up enough to follow me around but I honestly haven’t noticed anyone following me.  I do pay attention.  I don’t want to sound like I’m paranoid but when you’re having living outside of the rules of decent society, you watch your own back.  & I don’t see how anyone could have gotten a view into our room where we make love.  It’s impossible.  The curtains are always drawn – it’s on the second floor – it’s impossible.  Even if someone was trying to see – there’s no way they ever could.  The most anyone could ever know is that I arrive at that house at a certain time & leave a half-hour or so later.  Sometimes I’m there longer.  But that in itself doesn’t prove anything.  Certainly not adultery.

There’s something terribly wrong with that story.  I have never thought he was lying to me before – & I really – really – want to believe him now.  But there’s something wrong with it.  Maybe she filed for divorce but there’s no way that the actual grounds are adultery.  She probably wanted to file for adultery.  But that’s really hard to prove without pictures.  & you can’t just have pictures of me arriving at the apartment.  Or even pictures of us holding hands at the Club.  You have to have real damaging photographs – Jesse & me in flagrante delicto.  I mean – there’s no way.  Absolutely no way.

But.  Sooner or later.  The shit will hit the fan.  With or without pictures.  & I’ve had enough.

This morning, I called him at our usual time – I decided to break up with him.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  & guess what?  He broke up with me.  “I can’t handle it.  I love you & I know you love me but you obviously aren’t ready to leave.  You obviously love Teddy & care for him a great deal no matter how unhappy you may be.  My marriage is falling apart because of you & now you’re refusing to leave him.”

“Well,” I said, “I’m not happy to hear this but if it’s your decision, I’ll respect it.  You know I love you.”

“I still, ya know, want to be friends.”

“Well, Jesse, we were friends to begin with, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be now, or ever, ya know?” I added, “& we’re still family, aren’t we?  So it’s not like we’re going to stop seeing each other.  Every single holiday – there I’ll be.”

“I will always love you,” he said.

“I will always love you, Jesse,” I answered.  “& you never know, perhaps in the future, there’ll be a chance for us.”

I have to admit, I’m rather relieved.  It was getting to be too much.  I couldn’t take the pressure – although I loved the excitement – & to a certain extent – the turmoil.

Later, I received a note that Teddy had called.  I went down to the lobby to the phone booths & closed myself into one to call him back.  He said, “Doreen called me.  She wants to use your diary as proof of your & Jesse’s affair – ”

What?”  I was totally aghast.  “You told her about my diary?”

“Of course I did.  I know about this not only because of anonymous phone calls but because of your own stupid writing.”

“Well, she’s not using my diary as proof.  Forget about it.”

“I think – what’s the word you lawyer people use? – if you get subpoenaed, you don’t have a choice in the matter, do you?”  & he laughed.

I thought quickly.  I knew where the diary was – & I knew what I had to do with it.  “Well,” I said lightly, “I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”  I hung up & went back to work.

***

A few days later.  Jesse called.  “Well, you certainly give up easily!”

I sighed.  “You were the one who decided to break up because you couldn’t handle it.  I stayed away in respect of your feelings.”  Also because I do not want to continue anymore.  But I did not say that.

He said – very revealing, I thought – “Last time I told you that, you said that you realized that you couldn’t live without me.”  So did he say it this last night to get that reaction again – with a bigger, more physical commitment?  To get me to move as soon as possible?

***

Teddy reminded me that Doreen wanted to see my diary.  I laughed at him outright.  “You must think I’m a real stupid chick to give you my diary so you can give it to her.  She knew what Jesse was like years & years ago & she chose to stay with him.  If she wants to divorce him, she can walk out the door all by herself.  She doesn’t need my diary to help her make that move.”

After he left for work, I took all the various pages of my diary – from all the various hiding places – & took them up into the attic.  I knew that it would be safest to destroy them but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I pried up a floorboard & put the diary underneath & then hammered it back down.  If Teddy asked about it again, I would tell him that I threw the diary into the Niagara River.

I thought, it’ll be a while before I keep a diary again.

Excerpts From a Diary 24

[Spring, 1984]

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“She wants a minivan,” he groused.

I laughed.  “She would!”

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

“Is she pregnant again?”  I asked.

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

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

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

“No,” I answered.  “Not very many.”

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 23

[Holidays 1983-1984]

Sitting at the bar at The Canteen.  It’s a pretty quiet evening – obviously, or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing.  If Shirley was here, I wouldn’t be able to get away with writing at the bar at all.  But Mo is here & she’s real mellow.  She used to be a dancer & she knows what it’s like when it’s slow.  Plus I always get her high, so she likes me.  Last week was a total party, so I guess it makes sense that today’s dull.  It should start picking up soon.  I hope someone I like comes in.  I know Jesse won’t be in – makes me so sad.  The evening will be so long.

I’m wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, a red g-string, a leopard-print sash & my red pumps.  Real glamorous, right?  I just don’t feel like dressing up.  I’m making OK tips.  Tuesday’s tips always pay for dinner after work.  Usually we get pizza but tonight I want souvlaki from Kosta’s.

I’m writing as fast as I can.  All I have been thinking about is Thanksgiving.  I’ve been reading everything I can about roasting turkeys & I can probably recite the procedure backwards & forwards.  I rewrote Mom’s stuffing recipe, so I have that memorized, too.  We’re having curried corn & sautéed green beans & mushrooms.  & champagne – I definitely want champagne for my first Thanksgiving dinner.  We’re having Doug & Danielle over.  It feels strange not to be going to Mom’s house for Thanksgiving but I know I won’t be able to handle it – not with Doreen there with the baby – I know I’ll give myself away & I don’t want to do that.  They’re going to Doreen’s parents for Christmas.  It’s all planned out.  Everything’s changed since the baby arrived.  Apparently everything has to be planned down to the very minute.  Doreen is proving to be as anal as Teddy.

Jesse & Doreen’s son was born two weeks ago.  They named him Zach.  I’ve hardly seen Jesse since Zach was born.  It’s bad enough not to be able to make love anymore but not to even see him – & it’s even worse now with Teddy.  He’s practically asexual.  He wants it once a month or less.  How did I end up with a man like this?  I’ve always been totally horny – a slave to my body.  I want Jesse – I want him so badly.  I think about him all the time.

***

The night before Thanksgiving.  I’m sitting at home.  Bernie’s here.  I made tacos.  Teddy’s on the phone.  Pretty soon Danielle will be here – we’re going shopping for tomorrow’s meal.  I’d really like to stay home, but this is life.  We’ll have fun – roll some joints – make a party of it.  I worked at the law office today – I was so bored.  After my shift there, I went to The Canteen & had a few drinks & did a few sets – the other dancers hate it when I do that – just strip out of my street clothes – & get tips – but John Canton lets me do whatever I want to do – & he says it looks “good” when I come in with my office clothes on & I get onstage like that – all “classy” like that.  The guys love it too.  I have beautiful underwear now – lace & satin bras & matching thong underwear & garter belts for my stockings – I never wear pantyhose.  Everything I wear is sexy – even if it’s practical & comfortable.

Guess what Teddy told me when I got home from work?  William Morris – the poetry editor of the Buffalo News – called me.  He wanted to talk to me.  Over a month ago, I sent some poems in & I was sort of worried cuz I hadn’t heard anything.  I did SASE but nothing was returned.  Anyway, he hadn’t even opened the envelope until today & he called as soon as he read my poems.  He says they’re great & I’m great & he really wanted to talk to me.  He’s really excited, Teddy says.  I was so flipped out.  I couldn’t believe it.  I mean, I really like my poems, even the lousy ones.  I like reading them.  I think I’m getting better at writing.  Anyway, that really made my day.  I can hardly wait to tell Jesse.  Most of what I wrote this summer was for or about Jesse.  Jesse totally understands the artist in me.  Teddy supports me & is proud of me but he doesn’t understand me.  Teddy is not an artist.  Teddy’s totally great but he doesn’t get it.  Jesse & I operate on another level.  Maybe because we don’t deal with each other on a day-to-day basis.  Who knows.  I would like to think that Jesse & I could be happy living together as man & wife.  But who knows.  I’m so much in love with him.  Here I am – writing about Jesse – & Teddy is sitting next to me on the couch – but not close enough to see what I’m writing.  Teddy loves me far more than I love him.  I get pissed at myself for doing what I’m doing.  Teddy tells me all the time what a great wife I am – never bitchy, a great cook, good earner – which is all true – but I am not faithful – although I would be!!  I would be!!  If only Teddy would make love to me!!

& I’m so reckless – I’ve told Teddy almost all my feelings toward Jesse – it must be the Catholic girl in me – the urge to confess – I said that I consider Jesse my closest friend.  Which he is.  I mean – if I never do make love to Jesse again – oh the very thought makes me so depressed – but if we never love again sexually, I want to keep him as my very best friend – I want to have that kind of love.  True emotional love that lasts forever.  Teddy asked me if I fucked Jesse & of course I lied – I had to.  I didn’t want to – in fact I had set up the conversation in order to tell the truth but I just couldn’t.  My natural honesty struggles with my common sense.

I know I’m probably more in love than Jesse is – if he even is in love at all.  I was so totally in love this summer – I was completely shattered.  This summer was so hard anyway.  But I came to – emotionally – I had to – I had to maintain control.  Plus –  after I lost my ’67 Fury, I lost my independence.  I’m driving my new car now, but Teddy still comes along – he says I’m not ready to drive alone yet.  It’s my first stick-shift.  Plus he’s home all the time.  So it’s a good excuse on his part – he’s not doing anything anyway so he comes along with me to “make sure” I know what I’m doing when I’m driving.  Which – what the fuck – I most certainly do!  My father taught me how to use a stick when he was still alive – back when we lived in Massachusetts!  I know what Teddy is doing!  It’s insulting but there’s nothing I can do about it.  Just smile & say – sure come along – let’s cruise, let’s party.  Back when he was working, I used to jump in the car whenever & go wherever.  I’ve always loved cruising around the city.  So now I have Teddy with me all the time – oh well, that’s life.  It could be worse.

The last time I was with Jesse, he said he was going to remain “faithful” to Doreen now that they had a child – personally, I think he’s being faithful to the kid.  I don’t know why we have to stop.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  I don’t really want to take Jesse away from Doreen –  especially now that he’s got a kid with her.  & I really don’t want to leave Teddy – we’ve got the stag party business & I like our life together – basically – it’s just the sex part that sucks.  Why can’t Jesse & I be together sexually?  What’s so wrong with that?  Why is everyone so hung up on sex?  On marital fidelity?  To me, it seems simple.  Teddy is my husband – he has my loyalty, my love, my income & my total support.  Jesse is my lover – he has my passion, my sexuality, my body, my love.  Yes, they both have my love.  I don’t see a problem with this.  Why does everyone else?  What’s the fucking hang-up?

Honestly, I don’t think Jesse is going to stay “faithful” for long.  I think the novelty of being a new dad is going to wear off & also the novelty of being “faithful” to Doreen.  I know where all of this is coming from.  One of his best friends is Tony Padovano – a jazz guitarist who plays with fusion-type bands – he went out to L.A. a few years ago & apparently is doing real well out there – but anyway – years ago, the Padovanos & the Johnsons – as in Wayne Johnson, who is the same age as Tony – lived next door to each other in the same ritzy neighborhood in Eggertsville-Snyder – & apparently, Mrs. Padovano & Mr. Johnson had an affair & each divorced their respective spouses & married each other & moved into one big house with all the kids – it was like the Brady Bunch, only with two last names & a lot of bad feelings – so Jesse tells it.  & then Mrs. Padovano – I guess she would have been Mrs. Johnson by then – started having more children – so with all the stepchildren, there were also half-brothers & -sisters.  There was something like twelve or thirteen kids in the house by the time she was done having kids.  & a cook & a maid & dogs & cats – they were really rich – Mr. Johnson owned a string of laundromats & some retail stores & other businesses – he was a real wheeler-dealer.  He left everything to Wayne – Wayne runs all the businesses now.  Anyway – Jesse said that he was never going to put his kids through all of that.  But I don’t see how any of that would ever happen.  That seems like an extraordinary circumstance.  I’ve seen lots of divorced kids & usually they all don’t live together in one house like that.  Usually one parent or the other gets them & they visit on weekends or something.  & it doesn’t have to be all negative.  Just because Tony Padovano didn’t like the situation doesn’t mean all the kids didn’t like it.  I imagine the younger kids didn’t see it that way – I mean, it was the only family they knew, right?

& there’s all those marriages – & I can name quite a few of them – who should have broken up & never did – kids who saw their parents argue year after & year – or just endure each other – just short of hating each other – staying together for “the sake of the kids” – like that doesn’t lay a number on the kids – sometimes breaking up is the best thing you can do for your kids.  Teddy says that life was much calmer after his father moved out – he missed him but he couldn’t take the arguing between his mother & his father – & he knew that they loved each other – it was simply that they couldn’t live together.  & he loved getting together with his dad – going for rides in whatever hot car he had at the time – going out for dinner – doing all the cool father-son stuff that you don’t do when your dad is living at home.  There are perks to having your parents divorced.  It isn’t all negative.  I mean – there’s pros & cons to everything.

***

Thanksgiving.  I never thought things were going to turn out like this.  When I got home from shopping with Danielle last night, I started making the stuffing – I decided I wanted to have it ready & out of the way – cuz you can’t put warm stuffing into a cold turkey anyway –  & am I ever glad I did that!  I had just finished preparing it & was letting it cool when the phone rang.  It was around 8 p.m. or so – maybe a little later – & it was Leandra.  She said she had a quarter-pound of cocaine that she had to unload really fast – did I want it?  I said, “You had better talk to Teddy.”

So Teddy was on the phone for just a few minutes & he was out the door.  I thought – maybe I should make the curried corn & the green beans – so all I have to do is reheat them before dinner.  I had a feeling that it was going to be a partying night & I wasn’t going to be up to doing much on the holiday.  & I was right.  Teddy came back with a pile of cocaine.  & he was on the phone & then everyone started coming over.  The first person to arrive was Jesse.  He bought half of what Teddy had – for which I was really happy because a quarter-ounce of coke is a lot of fucking cocaine!   & we really can’t afford it!  But I was surprised to see him – I thought they were already gone to Cleveland.  But no – & Jesse stayed all night – partying with us – & we all went to Falco’s because Teddy had to meet Wayne there to sell him a pile – Wayne lives across the street from the bar – & we stayed there partying & closed the bar & I am very sure that Doreen is one pissed off babe.  “She can drive to Cleveland,” said Jesse, laughing.  Jesse & I played pool & basically hung out together all night & it was almost like we were the same old lovers we always were – he held me with his eyes & I could see that he still wanted me – or was it just the coke?  I really didn’t care – I was so blasted that I really didn’t care about anything.  It was a fun night but I was stuffing the turkey & getting it ready & I was sooooo burned out – Teddy was sleeping – somehow – & I was doing lines as I was in the kitchen – finally I got the turkey in & I was able to lie down on the couch – unable to sleep but at least I got a little rest.

The meal turned out OK – amazingly – we all managed to eat, even though we were all coked out & hungover.  I called Mom & she said that Jesse & Doreen arrived late & that Jesse seemed to “have a cold” – I said, “Oh, it’s going around.”  It sure is.

***

Halfway through December & I am working more than ever.  Three days a week at The Canteen – two nights a week at The Pipka Palace – two nights at Auric’s Den – but I won’t be there much longer – it’s way out past the airport & I really don’t like it there – but meanwhile I’ll work out the length of my contract & then leave.  Plus I’m doing stag parties – right now it’s Christmas parties – I’m booked up through the holiday.  Thank heavens for that – because Teddy is dealing coke that he’s getting from Leandra & her boyfriend Kyle – another Kingsman, of course – but naturally Teddy is doing almost as much as he’s dealing & instead of turning a profit, we’re actually falling behind!  So I have to work as much as I can.

***

Doreen’s father died.  He had a heart attack – I feel bad for her – nobody wants to deal with a funeral right before the holidays.  Plus for the rest of her life, every time Christmas comes around, she’ll think of her father’s death.  Teddy’s going to go to the wake – I can’t – I’m working that night.  The funeral is private – just for the family.   Her brother Bobby is coming up from Florida – I’ve never met him.  Jesse says he’s a jerk.

***

Jesse came over last night.  I was home – a rare night at home.  I was working on a new outfit – hand-sewing red spangles on a black spandex halter dress that I had stitched up on the sewing machine earlier in the evening.  Jesse was pretty pissed off – I could see that at a glance & his opening words confirmed his mood.  “Doreen’s crying, the baby’s crying, I had to get out of the house,” he complained.  I thought – what?  The baby isn’t even a month old & he’s got to escape its crying?  “You want a drink?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, “but what I really want is some coke.  Teddy just called me & said he just reupped.”

“Yes he did,” I answered.  “He’s in the bedroom, weighing out grams.”  I walked to the hallway & called to Teddy, “Jesse’s here.” Then I went to the kitchen & mixed drinks for everyone.  Teddy came out – excited & upbeat as usual – carrying the hexagon mirror.  We all sat together in the living room.  Lines were laid out & snorted.  Jesse started talking almost before he had gotten his blow up his nose.  “The will was read today,” he told us.  “Really no surprises – the house goes to Doreen’s mom, most of the money – Doreen & her brothers get a share – not a lot but enough to take a trip or buy herself some new clothes – which she’ll need if she doesn’t lose the baby weight.”  He sucked down his drink & I took his glass & went into the kitchen to make him another one.  When I came back, he continued his rant.  “Doreen’s mom is already thinking of selling the house & Doreen wants her to move in with us – so she can watch the baby when we’re working – which isn’t a bad idea, actually – but damn!  I really don’t want to live with my fucking mother-in-law!”  He did another massive line. “I’ll have to redo the back of the house & make it into an in-law apartment – but I guess it’ll keep me busy during the winter when I’m laid off.”  He did another line.  “But that’s not the half of it.  Remember that ’53 Panhead Doreen’s dad had?”

“That old Harley he’d ride once a year?” Teddy replied.

“Yeah,” Jesse answered.  “Well, he left it to me in his will.”

“Wow, excellent!”  I enthused.

“Well – Tommy doesn’t think so.  Neither does Bobby.”

“Bobby doesn’t even ride.  He’s never ridden motorcycles – he’s never wanted to,” Teddy said.

“Bobby just wants to sell it & get the money from it.  & Tommy thinks he should have it cuz it was his father’s, even though he’s always gone out of his way to ridicule Harleys & anyone who rides them.  Old man Miller made fun of Tommy’s café racer,” Jesse added, laughing.  But he sobered up after another drink.  “It was one hell of an argument after the will was read.  Not just the Harley but his hunting guns – he left most of his stuff to me & not to Bobby or Tommy or to Doreen.  Not that Doreen would want those shotguns & neither Bobby nor Tommy hunt but of course Bobby will sell anything you give him & Tommy always followed Bobby’s lead in anything anyway.  But I was always real close to the old man & Bobby & Tommy just weren’t!  Bobby’s just a jerk!  Doreen’s the only one who really likes him but she’ll see the good side of the devil.  & then Bobby & Tommy were both saying they going to contest the will & the lawyer saying that if that happens, nobody gets anything at all – including Doreen’s mom – so then Doreen was all upset at all of us – like I was the one who caused this shit storm – I didn’t ask for that Harley, but I don’t plan on giving it up, since the old man wanted me to have it – I was born in ’53 – I’m sure that’s why he wanted me to have it.”  He did the lines that Teddy laid out.  “& I want those guns, too.  That Remington is one sweet shotgun.  I’ve shot it dozens of times.  The old man & I used to hunt every year, before he got so arthritic he couldn’t climb a tree anymore or even walk very far.”

Jesse left soon after that – Teddy said, “That family always did argue about every little thing.  Old man Miller is probably laughing wherever he’s at – I’m sure he wrote that will & gave that ’53 Panhead & those guns to Jesse just to piss off Bobby.  He never did like him.  I was never really sure why.”

***

Christmas.  A weird Christmas – on a Sunday, which never feels right to me.  We’re in Cleveland – I worked every night this week, including yesterday – The Canteen was open until 6 p.m. – then Teddy & I drove to Cleveland – well, he drove, I sat next to him & kinda of dozed.  I’m so burned out.  But I was able to get everything I wanted for everyone – shopping after work, before work – whenever I could fit it in.

Jesse & Doreen aren’t here – they’re at her mother’s – the first holiday after her father’s death, which can’t be easy.   But everyone else is.  Helena announced that she’s expecting her second child probably in June or early July.  Little Vanessa is a doll – will there be a Virginia or Clive to go with her?

I’ve got to go – it’s time for dinner – prime rib & mashed potatoes & mixed green salad & half a dozen other sides – always too much food at our family functions but I guess that’s the point – it’s a feast.  It’s just I’ve been doing so much coke this past month & lost so much weight that I really can’t eat much anymore.  Still – it all smells heavenly.

***

The day before New Year’s Eve.  I just got home.  I went shopping – I needed a new pair of shoes for work – which I got on sale at Baker’s downtown – I love that store.  I got the most adorable pair of red pumps – very plain but so comfortable & they make my legs look fabulous.  Then I went over to Jesse’s.  He is working on his house – turning the back apartment into an in-law apartment for his mother-in-law.  She’s moving in next week.  He had to redo the bathroom – she needs a railing along the walls because of her arthritis – & fix the steps going into the kitchen & add a doorway so that her apartment & his house are now connected.  He’s almost done.

Doreen & the baby are staying at her mother’s while Jesse’s working on the house – because of the dirt & dust & noise – so it was the perfect time to sit & talk about US & this business of him being “faithful” now that they have a kid.  He rolled up a fat doobie & we did talk.  Or anyway, he did.  “Well, the thing is, Cori,” he told me, “with my mother-in-law living here now, it’s not like you’re going to be able to come over whenever you want anymore & just hang out like you used to.  & I’m going to be working much more – they’re going to make me a foreman, so I probably won’t be laid off all winter long anymore.  I’ll be working, even if the rank & file aren’t.  & I have to work now – I’ve got a kid.”

I didn’t say anything.  I was thinking about how wonderful love was with him & how I didn’t want to give it up.

He continued, “I still want you.  I’ll always want you.  I want you more now than I ever have.  That isn’t going to change & Cori – ” he took the joint from my hand & placed it in the ash tray & then took both my hands in his – “Cori, I love you.  I know that now.  Maybe it was just sex this summer – yeah, I know it was – cuz Doreen was pregnant & I needed an outlet – but you really got to me.  You really did.  You’re the woman I’ve always wanted – ” he broke off.  I waited.

After a minute, he continued, “& now Doreen is talking about getting pregnant again as soon as possible & I don’t know if I want four or five or six kids, like she’s talking.  I don’t know if I want to go to church & be a straight-laced dude like she now wants me to be.”

I looked at him & smiled sadly.  “Jesse, I can’t make these decisions for you.”

“They’ve already been made for me,” he answered.

“Only if you think so,” I replied.  I got up & was going to leave but he pulled me back down.  “Don’t go,” he said.  “What’s the point of staying?” I asked.  “I want you to stay,” he told me, “please stay.”

So I did.  & it was good – so very good – better than ever.  We’re made for each other – our bodies fit – like they were built for each other.  & just breathing in his scent – my face buried in his chest hair – oh –

& I’ll tell you something – no matter what Jesse says – about being faithful to Doreen & his family – about his mother-in-law moving in – about becoming a foreman in the union & working all the time – it’s not going to end.  Because he can’t stay away from me – he just can’t.

***

New Year’s Day, 1984

Hungover.  Although I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would – we tripped & did coke & drank – we were over at Wayne Johnson’s New Year Party until 2 a.m., then closed Falco’s – which was ok – I mean, it was a lot of fun.  It was New Year’s Eve!  So I’m hungover today.  I guess you’re supposed to be hungover on New Year’s Day, right?

It was a fairly good night.  Jesse & Doreen were over earlier in the evening – mostly to buy coke – they left Zach at Doreen’s mother’s – & you could tell Doreen was pissed off about something – either because Jesse was buying coke or that she was away from the baby or something.  Jesse did up almost his entire gram hanging out with us & having drinks & I don’t think she was happy about that, either.  She wouldn’t have any alcohol & no coke at all although she did smoke a few toke off the joint we passed around.  She said she wasn’t breast-feeding anymore, so it can’t be that she’s afraid the kid will get drugs via her breast milk.  I don’t know what her problem is – she used to party like the rest of us.  But – people change.  I feel bad for Jesse.  I had a feeling they were going to be arguing for their New Year’s toast.  I’ve said it a hundred times – if you’re a partier, you have to be married to a partier, or it won’t work.  Doreen deciding that she doesn’t want to party anymore is like changing the rules in the middle of the game.  What’s Jesse supposed to do?  What would I do if Teddy decided he didn’t want to party anymore?  Really – that’s the only thing we have in common.

After they left, we went over to Wayne’s & by then the acid was kicking in – & I have to say, I really didn’t enjoy myself much – I was tripping too much to be at a party – you have to be able to interact with other people when you’re at a party – I was tripping too intensely for that & anyway – tripping is more fun when you can just hang out & listen to music & dance & watch the trails coming from the tips of your fingers.  But Teddy wanted to trip, so we tripped.  It’s always overkill with him.  I peaked around midnight & then I was coming down & able to really party.  By the time we went to Falco’s, I was me – the Cori everyone knows – singing, dancing – but I was sick this morning & I’m super tired right now.  & kinda depressed.  It’s another cold, blah day.

& I’m wondering – when will I see Jesse again?  Will I see Jesse again?

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 21

[Winter,1983]

12:30 a.m.  I’m getting really tired.  I worked at the law office from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today then came home & made pot roast – my first one ever.  Paulie stayed for supper – Cindy was out somewhere.  Later Bernie & Peter Marx came over & we all played cards.  I won by hundreds of points.

Teddy is shaving some hash for a joint.  This will probably put me out but that’s OK.  I feel like I want to write but I’m tired & soon I’ll go to bed.  I hate making these excuses but it’s true.  It just feels like I never get anything done.  I’m just feeling guilty because I played cards instead of working on my novel.  Which is a joke, really – I write so little that every time I sit down to write, I have to reread what I wrote just to remember what I did write the last time I wrote – whenever it was.  Which I can never remember.

This pen sucks.  I really need to get some good ones.  Lately, they have been running out – it’s amazing how they all run out at once – today, two I reached for were empty.  I should go buy cartridges for my fountain pen.  I really love that pen but it’s so hard to find cartridges for it.  Damn! –  I should have called Sandy about my tape. I gotta get it back.  I hate loaning anyone anything.  It’s always a hassle getting stuff back.  But they always act like I’m such a bitch when I say I don’t want to loan my things.  Nobody seems to understand that I can’t replace the things I have when they get lost or stolen or broken.  They all think I’m making oodles of money & I can get whatever I want.  Nobody understands that every cent I make gets handed over to Teddy & I really don’t have any money of my own.

Maybe I’ll call Jon tomorrow.  I always chicken out.  I want to tell him that I dug his article in Sunday’s paper.  I think it’s so cool that he’s got a column in the Buffalo News about the new music here in town & around the country & the world.  I want to tell him what I think about what he wrote.  I want to tell him quite a few things, actually.  When I called last night, Sara said he was sleeping.  She didn’t sound too happy that I called but who knows.  Maybe that’s just my imagination.

Good tunes on the radio.  They had an hour of the Dead on earlier.  Now Gary Storm’s Oil of Dog is on.

***

7:10 p.m.  I’m watching/listening to the Sabres-Edmonton Oilers game.  The radio broadcast is so far superior to the television play-by-play that we always turn the sound off on the TV & turn the radio on.  There’s just a few seconds lag between the two broadcasts.  But it’s worth it to hear Rick Jeanneret call the game.

Teddy’s passed on the on the couch – he’s had a headache all day.  He must be pretty tired.  I’m surprised he’s missing the game.

It was so warm today – up to 55.  It’s so great.  It’s hard to believe it’s only February.  I wonder what March & April will be like.  We’ve had such a mild winter this year – the mildest I’ve ever seen.  It’s like a present.  Down South & out West they’ve had bad weather all season.  They can have it.  It’s about time we got a break.  I love winter – I love the snow & the cold – but I also love it when it’s warm like this.  When I woke up this afternoon – around 2 p.m. – we didn’t go to bed until 6 a.m. – it was 75 in the living room – with the heat on & the intense sun coming through the windows.  I turned off the heat & opened up the doors going out on the porch, letting in all that warm fresh air.  Across the street, the students had put their stereo speakers on their porch & were blasting Grateful Dead concert tapes.  Eight guys were in the street, playing Frisbee & singing with Jerry’s guitar.  I love it when it gets warm & the street comes alive.  Everywhere you looked – there were runners – children playing – people on bikes & roller-skates – hot cars brought out of storage & being revved up.  I can hardly wait to get the bike on the road.  We have to wait for our license plates to come – it could be up to a 10-week wait.  Of course Teddy had to get vanity plates with his name on them.  If he had just gone to the DMV & gotten whatever they had given him, we’d have them right now.  But he always has to have something special.

I finally called Jon.  I kept telling myself – what are you afraid of?  He had another article in today’s paper.  We talked about that – about local music – about the upcoming Dead concert – about my dancing & stag parties & my modeling gigs.  I told him about the weird-ass guy who wants me to piss on him & how I am totally unable to do that.  I mean –  of course I am totally unable to do that!  I don’t understand why anyone would want to be pissed on.  I know it’s kinky shit that pays well but it’s just not me.  & this weirdo wants it in his mouth, too!  I just can’t get into it.  I’m going to give the job to my girlfriend Queen – she loves that kinky shit.  She’s the one who told me that I wasn’t asking for enough money & this dude was taking advantage of me.  She’s the best!  I just don’t know if he’ll want a black chick.  Some of these guys are real racists that way.  On the other hand, that might really turn him on.  Anyway – Jon was really interested.  Of course he was.  I really didn’t want to talk about it but he kept asking me one question after another in that way he has – like he’s a cop psychologist or something – prying into my life whether or not I want him to – like I do want him to but not in the way he does it.  He does it in a way that makes it all seem so much more sordid than it is – I mean, I’m not pissing into this idiot’s mouth, am I – but Jon keeps asking me stuff like “What does it feel like” & all I feel is pissed off that I have to deal with assholes like this when all I want to do is make money.

Teddy’s awake.  He’s upset at the shitty game.  Time to make him feel better.

***

Teddy went back to work today.  He’s been laid off for almost five months.  It seems really strange not to have him around in the mornings.  On the other hand, it’s kinda nice to be alone.  It’s so quiet.  I love not having the TV on.  I took a bath, did my hair, got dressed & packed my costumes for work later on.  Then I called the insurance company & the parking bureau.  Now I’m boiling a potato.  I’ll serve it up with melted cheese & leftover veggies.

Yesterday was a great day.  We dropped acid & then be-bopped around town all day.  I love tripping & being out in the sun – walking around all smiles & stopping in here or there for a drink.  I can hardly wait to ride!

I’m reading War and Peace.  I’m taking notes to keep the people straight & I made a small family tree so I know all the connections.  But it’s a great book – one of the best I’ve ever read.  I’m so into it.  I would love to write a novel like this someday – a big novel – with intertwining families & the backdrop of a major war.  I would also like to know more about Leo Tolstoy – what his background was & how it contributed to the writing of this story – also to the writing of Anna Karenina – which I also love.

***

So fucking busy lately.  Been completely tired out – had to call off work at the law office on Tuesday – I was too tired to go in.  Teddy & I are both working as many hours as we can.  When we’re at home, one of us passes out on the couch – usually me.  I go to bed earlier than he does, but then I get up earlier.  I don’t mind getting up early – it’s just having to get my shit together – eat, dress, make-up.  I love getting up early – just to sit on the sofa with a joint & a cup of coffee – watching the sky as the sun rises.

***

Around Thanksgiving, I met a guy named Dan – at The Canteen – I don’t remember that much about our first meeting except that he told me about the dancers in  Québec – how they wear moonboots onstage cuz it’s so cold.  I had a hard time believing that but whatever.  It was our second meeting when we really started talking.  He was married a week after I was.  Something about us really clicked.  Ya know – the way it does.  We made plans to meet one Wednesday afternoon.  I was supposed to take the afternoon off from the law office – which I had trouble justifying to myself – cuz I hate missing work for any reason whatsoever.  Plus my conscience was kicking me in the ass – or wherever it kicks ya – about Teddy – even though we seem to have no sex life at all anymore – I still don’t want to be unfaithful to him.  So the next time we saw each other, we agreed not to meet – he was having conscience problems too.  But the sexual spark was still there.  “I gotta have you in bed,” he told me – I get excited thinking about it – the way his voice sounded.  When he left, I followed him out & we embraced in the vestibule between the inner & outer doors – a long French kiss – our bodies pressed together.

But he never showed again.  It’s all for the best, I told myself.  I don’t want to hurt Teddy & in every air-tight-he’ll-never-know plan is a fuck-up factor.  & then Jesse started coming in at least once a week – sometimes more – & I forgot about Dan.  Jesse was laid off from work just before Thanksgiving & so he had time to kill.  Jesse is one hell of a sexy man – all the girls want him.  But I’m the only one he sits with & drinks with.  We’ve become very close in a very short period of time.  Jesse fills my fantasies & my sex dreams.

Anyway – last week, Dan showed up again.  I couldn’t believe it.  He tipped me & I was smiling as I told him, “I thought I was never going to see you again.”  When I got down from stage, I joined him at his table.  “I was sure that I had scared you off,” I said.

“No,” he answered.  “I got really sick for a while then I went to  Québec on vacation plus I was staying home more.”

“Oh?” I raised my glass to his as we toasted each other.  “& now you’re not staying at home anymore?”

Naturally, we made plans again.  Thursday night, Teddy works & I don’t – so that was the obvious time to meet.  On Monday night, he came into The Canteen.  “You won’t stiff me, will you?” he asked.  “Of course not!” I replied.  “I can hardly wait, in fact.”

Which was true.  I had struggled & fought with my conscience but I was so frustrated & horny I didn’t know what to do anymore.  Teddy & I haven’t had sex in over a week – & only because I made an issue of it – I don’t think he would ever have sex if I didn’t pressure him about it & I never came & he was too tired to fuck, so it really sucked.  I mean – I have to be honest.  All day Sunday, I was so keyed up – trying to be cool about it but so horny I couldn’t stand it.  On Monday, when I saw Dan, I knew I had to have it – have to have him – & it was going to be great.

“I have a dentist’s appointment in the morning,” he told me, “so I’m blowing off the entire day of work.  The appraiser’s gonna be in at 2, then I’ll be over at The Canteen.”

Yesterday, I was in a great mood.  The Canteen was incredibly dull – considering that it was St. Patty’s day – but I was singing & partying.  I kept eyeing the door – waiting for Dan to walk in.  2:00 – 3:00 – 4:00.  At 4:30, I realized that he wasn’t going to show, but I hung out until 5:30.  Finally, I left – I had drunk a few too many – & I was really pissed off.  I was pissed off because I had finally gotten the guts to do something about my never-ending always-increasing horniness & nothing happened!

I went home & called Jon.  I never should have – I was too drunk & too horny.  Talking with Jon requires a certain kind of verbal control of which I was definitely lacking last night.

“This is the weirdest conversation I have had in a long time,” he said.

“Yeah, probably since the last one you had with me,” I answered. “Well, I had too many shots at work, as you probably can tell.”

“I sure can.”

It was a bad conversation. I said things I shouldn’t have.  But I’m not worrying about it – nor am I worrying about Jon.  It’s just isn’t worth it.  Worrying is such a waste of time anyway.

Today I was bummed out.  At The Canteen, I danced really well.  I was talking to John Canton.  I really love him.  He’s 72 – big, white, gruff – but totally cool.  He got me an Old Grand-Dad & I smoked a joint.  Do I work in a great place or what?  Then I was talking to these two guys who own a video company & want me to make X-rated videos.  Just me with a dildo.  I think they have ideas of more – like filming the two of them doing me – but I’m not into that – I have to consider who would eventually see it – I mean you never know.  But I told them I’d think about it.  Just talking about it was making me hot – even if I would never do it.

Then I saw Jesse.  He always enters the room like a king.  Our eyes meet & we smile at each other & it’s like electricity.  I said excuse me & went over to join Jesse.

About a month ago, Jesse told me that Doreen is pregnant.  He’s freaked out & pissed off & even feels betrayed.  “She didn’t even tell me she was going off the pill – she just did it,” he complained.  “I mean – it’s something that we’re supposed to plan together.  I’m laid off half the year.”  Jesse’s a Union Pipefitter so he’s laid off most of the winter but he also buys & sells houses & owns the one he lives in – as well as several others on the West Side – so that’s income.  & Doreen works – she’s a LPN – she has a job at one of the nursing homes – she’s been there since she was a candy-striper.  So it’s not like they’re destitute or anything.  Although I guess after the baby, she won’t be working anymore – or at least for a while.  Jesse used to run weed & coke & meth & acid from Mexico – & he still gets great drugs once in a while – probably from one of the guys on his crew or one of the truck drivers.  But he says he’s really sick of working construction.  He says real estate is the way to go.  He’s applying for his broker’s license.  When he gets his own office, he says he’ll hire me to be his secretary.  Jesse makes my flesh tingle.  It’s hard to watch him without getting totally turned on.  I love the way he moves – the way he’s always in control.  Jesse’s on a power trip.  He’s a total Capricorn.  I wouldn’t even have to know that his birthday was January 1 to know that he was born under the sign of the Goat.  He’s a climber – he’ll climb any mountain – real ones or metaphorical ones.  He’s tall & strong & has a deep throaty laugh.  He smokes Marlboro Reds.

I told Jesse about Dan – a little – Jesse has been unfaithful to Leslie so many times that it’s easy to talk to him freely about these kinds of things.  He doesn’t sit in judgment on me.  It’s like he’s my Rhett Butler – I don’t have to worry about being dishonest with him – & I don’t think I could hide a lie from him anyway.  When I talk to Jesse, I feel like Scarlett O’Hara must have felt like when she talked to Rhett – like she had taken off a tight pair of dancing shoes & put on a comfortable pair of slippers.  I just feel like he understands every word I say.  I’ve never felt like that with anyone before.  Besides – I want Jesse really bad.  I know Jesse wants me – or at least likes to watch me pretty closely – why else would he come to The Canteen every week?  He leans back in his chair & watches.  I love to be watched – I love getting totally sexy onstage when there’s someone I want in the room – someone to direct my want & sexuality outward to – even if I never look directly at him.

Even if he just comes over to the house – it seems like he’s watching me pretty intently.  Or if we go over there.  I’m so amazed that Teddy & Doreen haven’t noticed.  But maybe I’m making too much of something that really isn’t there.

Oh, I’m terrible.  I’m just so horny.  I gotta have something – I gotta do something about it.

***

I’m sitting with Teddy, watching the Sabres game.  They’re playing Hartford, who’s already out of the play-offs & playing like it.  We went to the Montréal game at the Aud this past Sunday.  We lost but we had beaten them the night before.  I wore my Sabres t-shirt that Scotty bought me at that great Boston game – the Sabres were down 6-1 & came back to win 7-6, ending Boston’s 13-game winning streak.  I really get the looks in that t-shirt!  I love it so much.  I totally love being a sexy babe.  It’s so much fun.

My big thing right now are feathered roach clips – I have dozens of all colors – I use them to keep my dresses from falling off the hangers – I clip them to my G-strings – I put them in my hair – they’re so versatile.

I’m tired.  We just got back from Betty & Jerry’s – we had dinner there.   They just got back from a month in Costa Rica.  They had a lot to tell.  They brought us nice presents – a bottle of Black Velvet for Teddy – a bottle of Chablis for me – a leather wallet & tooled leather belt for Teddy –  handmade leather sandals for both of us – & a soft green leather handbag for me – I really like the handbag.

But I’m too tired – I’m falling asleep sitting here.  If I hadn’t had coffee at dinner, I’d probably be sleeping right now.  Wednesday night everything catches up to me.  It’s good, though – cuz I’ll go to bed & get to sleep in an extra hour or two tomorrow & not have to hurry when I get up.  I have a routine – every day has its pattern – which is what keeps me going.  I have too much to do not to have a rigid schedule to keep me working efficiently.  Thursdays are the best cuz it’s the first day I don’t have to get up at 6:30 – I don’t have to leave the house until 11:00 – I work at The Canteen, which I love – I always dance well on Thursdays because I’ve slept well the night before – plus Teddy works on Thursday nights & I don’t so it’s like having a day off – I take my time getting out of The Canteen –  go have a bite to eat – go shopping – whatever.  Fridays are also nice but I always have to hurry when finish my shift at 5 on Fridays – Teddy wants me home – & the bar is always filled & everyone wants me to stay & party.  Teddy always has a million things he wants to do & he hates it when I’m late.  Actually, Fridays can be a real drag, except that on Fridays I usually see Jesse.

***

I have to mink oil my boots.  Since winter has decided to return, they’re all wet & covered with salt.  I really want to read Edie: An American Biography, which I’m really into.  When I’m done with that, I’m going to start The Ballad of John & Yoko.  Every spare minute I have, I read.  Gotta keep my head alive.

***

So tired.  The alarm went off at 6:30 & I got up & ate & dressed but I ended up calling off my shift at the law office.  I hate calling off but I just couldn’t wake up.  I camped out on the living room floor, watching The Today Show with Teddy.  Felix showed up with coffee & joints.  After they left, I put on a Laurie Anderson tape & passed out on the floor.  I got up on hour ago – the phone was ringing.  I thought it was Teddy but it was Jon.  I was really surprised.  We talked for about an hour – about dancing in Canada, new bands, sex, etc.  I’ve regained some of the upper hand again.  I wish we could just be two people talking to each other on the phone but there’s too much pent-up sexuality – or something.  I wonder if we will ever be totally natural with each other.  I remember the day we met – it was so fine.  Now – I know he just wants me to talk dirty to him on the phone – get wild – get him off – & I’m just not into that.  I’m tired of talk – I don’t want to fucking talk – if you want me, you know where to find me.  I’m seducible – I always have been.  I would love to have sex with Jon again but fuck talking about it!  I guess that’s how he stays faithful to Sara, huh?  I don’t care who you are – I’m not interested in talking about sex – I want to do it.

It’s like this guy I met at The Canteen – Mike – I really like him but he talks too much about how he doesn’t want to “just make love” to me, he wants to make me happy – if only I give him “a chance” – he goes on & on about it – it gets boring.  I’m not going out of my way for anyone.  One of Tex’s friends took me out for dinner several weeks ago – Bobby Blue-Eyes, a biker who rides with the Rare Breed – we stopped here so I could drop off my dancing stuff & he fucked the living daylights out of me – it was great.  & then we went for roast beef on weck at Unger’s on Bailey & East Delavan – we had a couple of beers.  I haven’t seen him since – Tex said he went back to Kentucky – he probably has a woman down here.  It really doesn’t matter to me.  Actually – I’m not into having lovers.  I don’t know if I want to deal with the hassle of a secret relationship.  I guess I would deal with it if I was in love with the man – it’d be worth it for love – wouldn’t it?   But there isn’t anyone in my life like that.

& I really do love Teddy – I don’t want to hurt him – I just wish he would fuck me like Bobby Blue-Eyes did.  Or just fuck me, period.  He just doesn’t do it at all anymore.  I don’t get it – I’ve become more beautiful – more in shape – more toned – my hair is long – I’m everything a guy could want – & he doesn’t want me.  I know he loves me.  Why doesn’t he fuck me?

Excerpts From a Diary 19

[Winter-Spring, 1982]

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

“Why?” he asked.

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

“What made me so good?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

“But I’m bringing it in,” I answered.

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

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

Things will occur to me as I go along.

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Now it’s off to work again.

Excerpts From a Diary 18

[Summer-Fall, 1981]

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

I feel utterly & totally miserable.

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

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

I don’t know what is happening anymore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

I’m getting too fucked up to write anymore.

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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