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Tag: UB

Excerpts From A Diary 38

[Fall, 1989]

[October]

I have been busy all morning.  I really thought I’d sleep in after what was a bitch of a weekend – Darryl fucked us again – a party cancelled – I caught the guy in a lie & had to tell him to fuck off & die – Teddy & I had a major argument Friday night – I walked out & want to Falco’s & got really drunk – Mike Taylor was there – he used to live with Maryellen but I guess they’ve broken up – we were hustling pool together – hustling college boys – I was the partner who played most of the game – making pretty good shots but always setting up the other guy – & then near the end, Mike would go in for the kill.  Gambling’s not allowed at Falco’s but we were playing for drinks & I got smashed.  Mike walked me home – he was drunker than I am.  Since he & Maryellen broke up, I thought that maybe he was trying to hit on me but he was so drunk I don’t think he was able to think in those terms.  He was barely able to walk a straight line.

Anyway – I was sick all day on Saturday – I had three parties to work – the last one started at 12:30 a.m. – I could barely walk yesterday – but the Bills kicked ass & we got some ass-kicking weed – so I guess the weekend ended up OK – well it ended up great – I was almost asleep when Teddy started making love to me – I was so surprised – twice in one month!  I guess his sex drive is returning because we’re not doing as much coke – or maybe he’s just relieved because the money’s working out – who knows, who cares – I’m not complaining – you know me, I can never get enough – I guess you could say that the weekend ended like it started – since I was with Jesse Friday morning – but that’s another thing – really nothing alike at all when you think about it.  All men are not the same.

Shera never called me – you really have to wonder about some people.  Not even to give me a call.  Well – that’s life – I can’t worry about her – or anyone else – I’m too busy.  I started packing to move this morning.  The pictures are coming off the walls – the books are getting packed.  Some of these pictures have been on these walls for 8 years!  Oh – this place is already beginning to look strange!  It’s such a bittersweet feeling – part of my life is being packed away.  8 years.  I have certainly gone though some heavy changes here.

***

Totally upset.  Totally depressed.  The money from Mom hasn’t arrived.  Without it – there is no trip to San Francisco – there’s no vacation at all.  All is not lost, I suppose – it could come tomorrow – & we could still go.  But we have to get the weed tonight – Pat works until 9 on Thursday – I am totally beside myself.  I am so sick of things fucking up.  This trip is so fucking stupid anyway.  It’s all my fault.  I could have worked all weekend & gone out to dinner on Monday but no!  I had to have a stupid honeymoon!

Jesse called – last week he offered to help financially – but this week – “I’m all tapped out” – sure you are!  Fuck off & die!  These assholes & their stupid bank accounts!  Ya’ll love me so much but can’t spare a lousy $100!  Fuck no!

Darryl hasn’t called either.  We’ll never see that $100 again.

***

Well everything worked out.  I went to Anthony Falco – he always helps me out.  I have to pay him back – of course – but he always helps.  I told him I’d do anything to help him – with my limited resources – a man like that deserves my best blow jobs! – Whatever he wants! – He’s a fucking sweetheart.  I’ve loved him for a long time.

There wasn’t much wood at Mack Lumber – now that it’s cold – & people with wood-burning stoves are burning everything in sight.  But Jesse had saved pieces for us – half a truck-load – stuff from his Christmas presents – mistakes – really nice wood!  & of course – we got weed – a quarter & a gram for $70!  Oh well.  At least we have a little bit.

I have to continue packing – not camping – I did that yesterday – but more packing for moving – I’ll finish taking the pictures off the walls today.  So much to do!  So much to pack!

***

Evangola State Park.  The joys of camping.  We are the only people here.  We had a few neighbors last night but they’ve left.  There’s a Coleman camper set up half-way around the circle but no people.  It’s so quiet – a quiet filled with sound – the sound of the surf – the sound of the wind in the trees – birds – bees – crickets – we are on a point, about 40 feet over Lake Erie – a rocky ledge – so you can’t see the water unless you walk through the woods to the ledge – actually to the fence – & there is Lake Erie – blue-grey & magnificent – white heads on the waves – spray in the air – & the smell of fall – not the crisp, dry fall of the inland but a damp, moldy fall.  The trees are red, orange, yellow, maroon.  The bushes bear berries – red, purple, blue.  There are wild-flowers everywhere.

***

It’s funny how we wake up at our regular times – our internal alarm clocks work really well – we lie in bed & cuddle – it is so toasty warm – the bed is made with flannel sheets, my stag blanket & the camping quilt.  The furnace ran all night, so the inside of the trailer is really warm.  But outside!  The wind’s blowing cold off the lake – the water looks so cold! – I’m wearing layers of clothing – underwear! – my old blue tights – red socks – my warm navy blue sweater with the collar up – jean jacket & vest.  Also my gloves – my writing gloves with the finger tips cut off – & my sneakers, of course.  We have a fire going already & I’m sitting close by!  A hot coffee thick with half & half & sugar warms my insides.  The colors of the leaves are more brilliant than ever.  Blue sky with puffy clouds – white, grey & black – moving quickly away from the lake.  The sun – bright & warm – but behind a cloud at the moment – the wind seems colder than ever.  Winter’s on the way!

***

Teddy’s still in bed.  I’ve made coffees – mmm. As soon as he’s up & about, we’re going to get a paper.  He’s up!  The smell of the coffee must’ve gotten to him.  Charles Kuralt is on TV.  I love that man!  Such a smooth, comforting voice!  Such an excellent bald head!  I’d love to stick my tits in his face!

It’s a grey morning.  The wind has totally died down.  It’s eerie – the lack of sound.  You can barely hear the surf.  Everything seems to be waiting – for what?  The rain?  Gee, I hope it doesn’t rain.  Not that it would bother me to have to spend the day indoors – not with books & football – but tomorrow we pack up & you never want to fold up the trailer when it’s wet.  Well – we’ll just have to wait & see!  Charles Kuralt just said that tomorrow is going to be a beautiful October day nearly everywhere.

Afternoon.  It has turned into a beautiful afternoon.  The clouds have broken up & the sun is shining – brightly through the breaks of clouds – or diffusely through wisps of clouds – now the sun it struggling to shine through a big grey mass.

We have killed the champagne.  Now we are going for a walk – it’s half-time.

***

Getting packed up.  My worked is essentially done – the dishes – cleaning the inside of the trailer – folding the blankets – etc.  I can’t help but feel a little sad.  But I’m looking forward – moving into a new place.  Making new memories – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

It is another lovely day, although cool.  We’re burning up the rest of the wood.  Soon it’ll be time to go – home to see our babies.  I miss them so much!

Noon.  Time to go.  Such a beautiful day.  A lot like our wedding day – seven years ago.

Evening.  Out of joints.  Not likely to get any – that’s life!  I’m in a good mood anyway – got a vodka & tea here – got TV dinners in the oven – just glad to be home with Shadow & Missy.  Tomorrow – cleaning out closets & packing continues.

***

Busy.  I finished cleaning out my dressing room closet – going through every box – discarding or packing my fashion & porno mags.  Mostly discarding.  I don’t know where I’m going to have room to keep all this stuff.  Now I’ve started with the office closet.  It’s 100% worse than the dressing room closet – almost completely filled.  My office is such a mess – a dumping ground for every other room – it’s all get cleaned – tossed out – or packed sooner or later.  As much as I want to keep everything, at this point I am ready to throw 75% of everything into the garbage.  I just don’t have the energy to pack it all – or to find places for it in the new apartment.  We don’t have any storage in the new place & it’s just so much smaller.

Right now, I’m going through my Rolling Stone magazines – of course I am keeping those – putting them in order by date – reading articles – watching a movie – smoking bowls.  I’ve got a cold – I feel dizzy – my head aches.  I just ate some chicken soup & took some more aspirin.  I should take a nap.  But there’s so much that needs to be done – everything has to be packed up & ready to go by next week.  At least I have the time to do it all – if I stay well.  I’m glad I’m well-organized – everything’s been catalogued & put in its place years ago.  There’s just so much of everything!  Oh, I’m such a pack-rat!  I am tossing out less than half of what I have – but I haven’t collected, catalogued & stored all this stuff for all these years to throw it away now.  I just wish Teddy had found us a larger apartment!  What was he thinking?  Of course – none of this stuff is important to him.

Oh, I am tired!  I think it’s time for a nap.

***

I just finished going through all my magazines & newspapers.  What a chore!  It took me days.  As much as I wanted to keep all of them, I just couldn’t.  It really made me cry.  Anyway – now I can get back to packing books.  I have to finish taking the pictures off the office walls & pack up all the knick-knacks.  & the kitchen hasn’t been touched yet.

We got the keys to the new place today.  The electricity was turned on yesterday & the gas will be turned on Monday.  On Monday, Teddy’s dropping me off in the morning – I have to be there for the gas company – & I’m gonna clean the place.  Not that it’s really dirty – for which I am thankful – but it needs to be power-played – vacuumed – the fridge & oven need cleaning – the bathroom – I might even do the windows.

***

At 8:10 p.m., we got the news that a major earthquake hit the San Francisco area – the Bay Bridge collapsed – it was 5 p.m. there – rush hour – massive damage – people dead & wounded – fires burning out of control – we have been watching the news all night.  Keith hasn’t called us but he called Mom – who called us & reported that he is fine & so is his home.  How I wish we had been able to get out there!

Later.  At the new house.  I am so pissed off.  I forgot to bring the ammonia.  I’ll have to ride home – but then I might miss the gas company.  Fuck!  I’m pissed!  I was up half the night – trying to get the packing done – plus with the news from California – & my period – I’m just so fucking out of it.

Fuck it!  I’m gonna clean the rest of the house first & then go home.  What a fucking drag!  I’m so sick of moving!  I can hardly wait until it’s all over!

***

Depressed.  It’s freezing in this stupid fucking house – I can hardly wait to move into the new place with its gas furnace – it’s pouring rain – it’s supposed to rain all day – how are we supposed to move in this weather? – I have a sore throat & a congested chest – I also got my period – fucking bullshit!  Jesse was supposed to show up last night with some weed – but he never showed – never called – fucking asshole!  Why can’t people at least call?

I lit the fire in the living room & made a bed for myself with a sleeping bag & blankets.  I’m gonna sleep this morning – hopefully it’ll stop raining soon – I still have to clean the bathroom at the new place – we have a lot of moving to do today – I have to conserve my strength.

Packing up the kitchen – wrapping each dish in newspaper & then setting them into a box.  Makes me think of working at Sibley’s – packing sets of dishes – crystal – other breakables – to be sent UPS to whatever bride awaited them – oh, I learned my lessons well – even though that was almost 10 years ago – oh, how time flies!

I ought to get back to work.  I’m watching “Perry Mason”.  I feel so fatigued.  My throat hurts so – I should take my aspirin & some more cough medicine.  Maybe a shot of vodka.  Cognac or Drambuie would be better – not that I have any – but that’s life.

***

Sitting in our new living room.  Things are really beginning to look great.  The only room left to set up & unpack is the front room – the office/library.  Tomorrow I’ll start on it.  The job I have been waiting for!  It’s gonna look so great.

The boys upstairs seem nice.  They’re frat boys – TKE.  I had to laugh – TKE was the first party I attended at UB.  Official party, anyway.  It is really weird hearing footsteps over my head.  The kitty-cats were really freaked out by that sound too – they have been freaked out all weekend anyway – the more furniture that disappeared from the old place, the more they were freaking – & Saturday, I shut them up in our bedroom while everyone was here moving stuff & then they got put into Danielle’s cat carrier & then to the new place.  It was cold & rainy/snowy – Danielle took us over in her car – they meowed so piteously – I had never heard that cry from them before.  When we got to the new house, I took them into the new bedroom, closed the door, set up the litter box & left them.  After everything was moved in, I released them.  They have been exploring ever since.

Later.  We started on the front room.  Teddy hung a lamp & I started arranging my desk.  I had two desks on Minnesota Avenue – one in the dining room, which was basically a correspondence desk & the one in my office.  The dining room desk is now in the dressing/sewing room – the extra bedroom – & will be where I keep & fix my jewelry, make-up, costume design & altar to the Goddess.  So now my correspondence – address books, desk calendar, stationary, etc. – has to be added to my work desk.  Not a big deal & it’s probably better that I do everything at one desk anyway.

I’m tired but it’s so hard to stop – I don’t even want to sleep in tomorrow – I want to get up early & set up the office.  But we’ll see.  I’m pretty exhausted – I’m running – have been running – on nervous energy.

It’s so nice here.  It’s nice being in a place that is all there – all the windows – nothing broken – constant hot water – wall switches & outlets in logical places – a big fridge – a stove that heats up quickly – I never realized how slow & uneven that other stove was.  The main thing is – it’s warm & cozy here.  It’s carpeted in every room – including the bathroom.  I think we’re gonna like it here.

***

Too busy to write.  I slept until 11:30 a.m. yesterday – I was so tired – 2 cups of coffee & a shower later, I was unpacking books & setting up bookcases.  I worked until 12:30 a.m. – pretty much non-stop – except for when Teddy & I went over to the old place to pick up the mail & get the messages & bring back a few more things – & of course when I made dinner.  I got right up this morning & right back to work – I’m up to the R’s – I’ve been drinking coffee all morning but soon I’ll break for some eggs & toast.  I’ll be working on the office all day.

Yesterday I also cleaned the oven – what a job!  It took four applications of Easy-Off & I still had to scrape off the burnt on grease & food.  It’s hard to believe that people can be that slobby.

Night.  Smoking a joint – drinking a beer – eating an apple – watching a program on Channel 17 about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  I have my Tarot cards with me – it’s been eons since I tossed them – since October 2 – I’ve been sleeping with them under my  pillow to get the vibrations up to date – oh, moving certainly has disrupted my life – my habits – my cycles –

***

The end of another busy week.  We’re gonna move a lot of stuff today – lots of stuff that’ll get stored in the cellar – plus the rest of the picture, the frames, my collages – whatever we feel like.  My office – the office, I should say – is now a dream office – plants & books everywhere – it’s beautiful.  I have been waiting my entire life for a room like this.

Every day when we’ve been going over to the old place & playing back the messages.  There’s a strike going on with NY Telephone & we can’t set up new phone service yet.  So we have to keep the old service in the old place so I can keep working.

I got my bike & rode home.  I was just arriving when a truck drove by with two guys in it & they were hanging out the windows to get a look at me – I thought – that one guy looks like Jesse!  Well – guess what!  It was Jesse!  He was out to lunch with a guy on his crew.  They parked the truck & came in the new place to check it out & smoke a doobie with me.  He said he had some fabulous new weed – the joint we smoked was killer – & he would be calling Teddy soon to do a deal.

“Call me,” I said, as he was walking out the door.  “Or maybe you don’t want me anymore.”

“No, it’s not that” he said.  “You know I want you – that hasn’t changed. I’ve been working my butt off, trying to support my family – & I’m getting pretty tired of working all the time!”

“Poor buddy,” I crooned – but inside I was laughing.  Poor buddy, indeed!   He’ll be here – soon enough.  I’d be amazed if Doreen wasn’t pregnant again by the middle of next year.  & then he’ll be here all the time.  If only to complain about her.

***

I’ve got so much to do today – baking a Samhain apple pie – setting up my Goddess wall – typing up my Tarot notes – writing a poem to Hecate – raking the yard – I should get going!

Jesse stopped over yesterday.  He got me totally stoned & left me with a nice bud.

We moved the rest of the plants yesterday.

[November]

It’s snowing.  In the 70’s on Monday & snowing today!  It looks so pretty.

It’s been a busy week.  Tuesday – of course – was Halloween – I baked an apple pie – with a pentacle etched into the top crust – any feelings of disappointment I had because I’m not in a coven & couldn’t participate in a Samhain ritual disappeared while I was making the pie.  For if cooking & baking are not acts of magic & transformation, I don’t know what is.  The same with sewing – all needlework – & gardening & writing & painting & making love – all the things I excel at.  & performance.  I create magic every time I do a show.  & isn’t that what witchcraft is all about?

I have 2 jobs tomorrow night & a few next weekend but that’s it.  Not having a phone is really beginning to hurt.

***

We were in an accident last night – on the way home from our parties – on Bailey Ave – a black dude hit us – he was completely wasted – he was driving a white Lincoln – he U-turned right in front of us – Teddy veered but couldn’t help hitting the dude – he’s inconsolable – his beautiful truck –

We almost went out to Darryl’s – we were in fact on our way – but we turned around & went home – we came home!  We’re real glad we did – things are bad – the truck will cost a lot to fix – but at least we resisted temptation – another futile act – besides we bought a half an ounce today – & tomorrow we go to Wegman’s.  We’ll be going out to Darryl’s much less in the future – if at all.

***

My tapes came!  Well – all of them except the Don Henley one – Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison & U2.  I put the Patsy Cline on immediately – this is the way radio sounded when I was a real little girl – before the Beatles – well the way WBEN sounded – which is what Mama had on in the mornings – in the kitchen, as she made breakfast for all of us.

The drapery rod fell down today – the one in the office – so I thought I’d put in the traverse cord.  Should be easy, right?  I can’t get the damn thing correct & I’ve tried three times – I guess I’ll have to wait until Teddy gets home – he should be here soon.

***

Jesse stopped by this morning.  I was in the middle of work & really not in the mood for him – but he told me that my phone was disconnected – not temporarily disconnected – but totally turned off.  My career is over after this weekend.  I have no more bookings!  I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry!  I mean, this is what I wanted, right?  But – not yet!  Not this way!  Teddy says that the phone will get turned back on & people will be calling again – presumably people who haven’t tried in the last week – or heard that the it’s disconnected – or think that I’m out of business – or whatever – well, there’s nothing I can do about it – goddamn phone strike!  I mean, people move & need to move their phones & with the strike, it’s impossible – what are businesses doing?  Are we supposed to just go without a phone?

Anyway, I decided to look for a job – not that I really want to work – but cocaine or no cocaine – we can’t live on what Teddy makes – well, not comfortably – I’m not really sure how to go about this – I know I don’t want an office job.  If I have a sit at a desk at work, I’m not gonna wanna do it at home & I gotta do it at home – I’m not sacrificing my writing for anything.  I’ll fucking dance in a club before I do that!  & I certainly don’t want to dance in a club.  I mean – without a car – what am I supposed to do – take the bus to work?  Or cabs?  That gets real expensive real fast.  I’m looking for a job as a barmaid – I’m gonna hit near-by taverns first & then spread out.  Teddy hates the idea.  I can’t help it.  I gotta have constant cash flow or I get nervous.  I get worried.

I’m nervous & worried right now.  I supposed I’m overreacting – as usual – but I was never one to wait for trouble – I’ll take off before it gets here – or meet it head on – whatever happens.

***

A lot has happened since Tuesday.  I went looking for work & found nothing – well not a job – but I found Mark Miles – he’s been around – his marriage broke up a year ago & he split town but now he’s back – he works at The Skeptical Inquirer/Prometheus Books – he wants me to write my autobiography!  He says I’m famous – everyone has seen Cori.  & how!  Talking to him improved my mood – I’ve been in a bad mood lately – being with him renewed my confidence – made my future look brighter – if not less vague – oh well – my future’s always been a blur.

But one thing he told me really shock me.  It’s been a while since I’ve talked to Jon but it’s not like I’ve had a phone.  I was trying to remember the last time we spoke – maybe it was six months ago – maybe more.  I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really noticed.  Of course – I read his columns about local music in the Buffalo News.  Honestly though – I’m so busy with my own career that I don’t have time for local music anymore.  It’s not like 10 years ago when I was actually part of the scene.  I wish I still was but I just don’t have the time.  Anyway – Mark told me that Jon & Sara just had their first child – a little girl – with the stripper-sounding name of Brandy.  What – is that their favorite thing to drink?  I know it’s not Jon’s favorite song.  “Did they get married?” I asked.  “Yes,” Mark answered.  “They didn’t have a wedding – I guess when Sara told Jon she was pregnant, he insisted on getting married – they just went to City Hall & did it. Strangers off the street as witnesses.”

I felt really weird.  I remembered telling Jon I was pregnant – it may have been 11 years ago but it was like yesterday.  & he certainly didn’t “insist” that we get married.  He “insisted” that I get an abortion.  Of course – we were both in college & neither of us had good jobs – Jon was working at a bowling alley & I wasn’t working at all – of course it’s not like Jon is making much money right now – as a music critic –  but apparently Sara is – graphic arts is a lucrative career.  Mark told me that Jon was a “house husband” most of the time, “taking care of the baby & writing.”  I thought about Jesse – taking care of the babies when he was laid off while Doreen went to work as a nurse.

“Hey, you OK?” asked Mark.

I laughed.  “Yeah, I’m alright.”  But I wasn’t.  I knew I wasn’t.  What happened with Jon so many years ago had broken me in a way that had never been repaired.

“C’mon,” he stood up.  “Let’s go have a drink.  You look like you need one.”  We went to Falco’s.

***

The phone is back on – I’m glad!  Maybe I will work this coming weekend.  I had a pretty lousy time this weekend – my bad mood again – I need an adjustment in the worst way – every joint & muscle aches.  It’s an effort to stretch every day.  My back is so out of whack that every move hurts – try dancing like this.  & no coke, too – we can’t afford it – don’t want to afford it!  I gotta hang in there – if we keep working & keep away from coke – everything will work out – including a good Christmas – & I will be able to afford to see Dr. West again.

***

I went downtown yesterday.  It was the last beautiful day – today it’s raining – blowing – snowing & freezing – I went out to lunch with P.W. – I called about a typist job, too – I have a job interview at 3 today.  I got bunches of books out.  I had fun – it was a great day!  I took the #13 Kensington bus to the Utica Station & then the train downtown.  Coming back, I took the train to Amherst Street, then a #32 Amherst Street bus to Bailey Ave.  I had to wait a half-hour for the bus but I read until it arrived.  I stopped in a Falco’s for a beer & to make some phone calls – oh & I am working this weekend!  Teddy was right – I did get upset about nothing.

How the wind is blowing!  Winter is coming!

Night.  I forgot to mention that last night Pat stopped in.  He brought 2 joints & a tape – the new Dead album on one side & Live Dead on the other.  Pat’s not even a Deadhead but he knows I am – I thought that was sweet of him to bring those over.  He’s really more into jazz & rhythm & blues.  He stayed for a while – it was such a nice visit.  We really haven’t had that many people over yet to see the place – something I’ve been rather upset about – but anyone who’s been here is amazed that we’re already so settled so maybe they think we’re still unpacking or something.  I’m gonna get the Chistmas & Solstice cards out really early this year – right after Thanksgiving – & add a little note inviting people over.  I love this place so much – I’m really proud of it.

***

No work tonight.  It feels so weird to be staying home.  We worked last night.  We spent our money on food & home necessities.  We joke about how we would love a line but it feels better to eat – to be warm – to have the bills paid – to have a bag of weed.

***

I’ve been under the weather all day.  I really need an adjustment – I decided to borrow money from Anthony & go to Dr.West’s tomorrow.  I have continual headaches – my neck is stiff – my whole body aches.  With Thanksgiving shopping on Wednesday – a party on Wednesday night – & cooking all day Thursday – I just don’t want the pain – I want to relax & enjoy myself on Thanksgiving.  Not hurt – I hope Anthony can lend me the money.

***

I couldn’t get the money from Anthony.  Oh well.  I feel a lot better today anyway.  Well – actually – I felt pretty bad this morning – a really bad migraine – I woke up with it – so I slept in – I didn’t get up until 10:30 a.m. – & I still had the stupid migraine – everything went wrong – every little job – the cellar fridge – the litter box – turned into a large job – I didn’t feel good until I got into the shower.  I did my nails while I watched “Perry Mason” – then made up & went out.  I looked really good & my headache had gone away – so even though Anthony wasn’t able to help me out – I felt so good – I barely cared.  & Anthony was really sweet about it – he always is.  I know he loves me – which is all that matters.

***

Tired.  Depressed.  A bad headache.  A stiff neck.  I’m homesick.  This time of the year is so tough on me – on one hand, I’m happy we’re staying home – I’m doing a turkey dinner & everything that goes with it – & on the other hand, I miss my family.  Teddy keeps saying, “I’m your family, Shadow & Missy’s your family” & of course he’s right – but still – I miss Mom – I miss everyone.  It’s been – how long? – since June, 1988 – when I saw them last – & it wasn’t the best reunion – but oh well.  Dwelling on it won’t make me feel any better.

I suppose things would look brighter if I had a joint to smoke.  & I suppose having my period is contributing to my depression.

I guess I’ll go bake the pumpkin pie – gotta be done anyway – besides – baking always cheers me up.

***

Feeling much better.  After I wrote for a moment, I laid down for a moment & was out cold for an hour.  I woke up & couldn’t get up – I finally dragged myself out of bed & started making the pie.  I put on my Patsy Cline tape to keep myself company – with the boys upstairs gone, the house is so quiet — & the next thing I knew, I was sitting at the kitchen table – sobbing into a towel.  I was totally gone – a complete wreck – then the doorbell rang.  I wiped my face off & answered the door – it was Jesse.  Yes – I’ve been avoiding him – trying to pretend he doesn’t exist – but at that moment – I was never happier to see anyone.

“What’s the matter, darlin’?”

“Oh Jesse – I’m so depressed – I’m so homesick!”  & then I was in his arms – sobbing, sobbing – oh, his comforting bulk – his physical largeness – my face pressed into his sweater smelling of cigarette smoke.  He started attacking Teddy – saying how insensitive he was – not going to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving when that’s where I wanted to be – & of course the more he denigrated Teddy, the more I defended him & Jesse started to laugh – “Get off your high horse,” he said.  “I see you’re feeling better,” he added dryly.  Before he left, he massaged my back & cracked my spine & neck – it was such a blessed relief – a release of tension.  I have been so tense – so tense – too tense.

The rest of Wednesday was great.  Teddy took me out to lunch at Cayuga Snack Bar – a Thanksgiving tradition.  Then we came home & napped all afternoon.  When we got up, we went to Falco’s.  I was hoping to run into Mark Miles but never showed – his boss M.B. did & I introduced myself.  We went home & Pat showed up with a half an ounce of weed & a gram of coke.  We went to that party in a great mood.  I’ve never danced better.  It was a really good party.  Afterwards, we stopped back in at Falco’s & then home again to party & play backgammon.  I was definitely under the weather for Thanksgiving though – the turkey didn’t get in until 1 p.m. & I went back to bed after that.  But when I re-awoke at 2:30, I felt great.  We smoked joints – munched on cheese & pepperoni & crackers – pickles & olives – celery & carrot sticks & Marie’s blue cheese dressing – until dinner was ready at 6 p.m. – & dinner was great!  Everything tasted wonderful!  Of course – cleaning up took a long time – but I did it in stages – in between joints – but it was nice – a really nice Thanksgiving.

***

Watching the Bills-Bengals game.  We’re on top – 17-0.  We’re almost out of weed again – down to roaches – Pat says there isn’t anything to be had – at least for today.  That’s life.  Curtis turned up again – he has some acid!  I really hope we can get some!  It’s been close to 2 years since we last tripped.  Is that possible?  We used to trip all the time.  Cocaine has really ruined the drug market.  I mean – it’s all anyone has – there’s little weed – even less LSD or shrooms or buttons or any other hallucinogens – you can get pain killers, but that’s about it.  I miss tripping.  I really do.

I’ve been working on a collections of poems called “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Seductress.”  I want to have it done & in Mark Miles’ hands by the end of the week.

I also need to get laid.  It occurred to me that I’m constantly hungry & constantly eating because I’m constantly horny.  I really have to do something about this.  It doesn’t help to masturbate more.  In fact – it makes it worse – I want to be with someone – not by myself – I want passion – there really isn’t any passion in masturbation – except in fantasies – & I’m sick of fantasies – I want the real thing & I want it regularly – & often – not every few months when Teddy finally feels like it.  Or once a year!  I mean – what the fuck!  I love him so much & I don’t want to hurt him but I can’t go on like this – I’ll end up as fat as a sow if I do – not to mention completely out of my mind.

Something else – I keep thinking that I’d like to have a baby – especially if I’m not going to be dancing anymore.  Teddy doesn’t want children – he’s said so many times – but I still think about it.  I would really love a daughter – I already have a name picked out – Janine Rebecca.

***

I slept in today.  I didn’t plan to – but something about Mondays makes me want to sleep.  Maybe it’s just a habit left over from our drug days.  It just feels so good to lie in bed & drift off into fantasies – hope that they come true – masturbate & call for Jesse – I can’t help it – fall back asleep – & wake hours later – feeling guilty because I have so much to do.

But I’m up now – drinking coffee & writing.  I’m ignoring the housework today.  Oh – I’ll probably straighten up the house during “Perry Mason”.

I just finished a poem called “Shadow”.

***

I just finished my book.  Well – I have to type up the table of contents – but the all the poems are typed & in order.  The sections are:  High School Lovers, The Knight of Cups, The Rainbow, & Man on a Motorcycle.  I only used a fraction of my poems – maybe around 100 of them – & I’m already thinking of the next book – the wild life – love affairs – dancing & drugs – & eventually I want to do one about spirituality – maybe called it Myths, Dreams & Visions – include my Goddess poems & my dream poems.  But that’s all in the future – I’m just glad to have this book done.

I’m scared about showing it to Mark – or to anyone for that matter.  I’m afraid he won’t be interested – or he’ll read them only as a courtesy – or he’ll think they suck – or they’re amateurish – or immature – or something else that will make me feel like shit.  I’m so scared.

***

I’m finished.  I did the table of contents after my shower this morning & corrected the only two typos after breakfast.  Then I cleaned the house for the first time in days – housework always gets neglected when I’m writing.  Now I have the new Dead album on.  I should go out & call Mark.  I’m just so frightened – really scared – of rejection.  One thing I realized when I was working on this book was that the pain & rejection I suffered ten years ago still burns.  Also – I am amazingly angry about it – I used to be depressed – but anger & depression are really the same emotion – kinda like positive & negative poles of the same lousy feeling.  Anyway – I’m not over the pain – I’m not over wishing that things could have different.  Also – the feeling like no one’s ever really taken me seriously – least of all Jon – which is why some of my most extreme anger is directed at him – that affair almost destroyed me & what for?  Things would be so different now!

I’ve been having really telling dreams lately – dreams in which I’m angry – I’m fighting – I’m jealous – & I’m acting on my feelings instead of getting depressed or ignoring them or partying away the pain.  I’m not always right in fact in some dreams I really overreact – like beating the shit out of someone for $12 – but it does show that as happy as I am with my new home – with Teddy – with the cats – I am really angry – angry because I want to be taken seriously as an artist – & I want sexual passion – I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so angry.  I’m working out the anger I feel in my dreams instead of in my conscious life because I can’t work it out in consciously – I’m so afraid of hurting Teddy – I really love him – but I can no longer deny – if I ever did – that this marriage is not what I really want.  I mean – within 6 months of my marriage – I was having an affair with Jesse.  & one of the poems I wrote for Jon – do you keep on wanting me? – was written a week before the wedding & published in the Buffalo News shortly afterward.  I mean – I told the entire world that I was thinking about a past lover – just as I was getting married.  But Teddy – I love him so much – he loves me so much – why can’t it be enough?  & what’s missing?  Because I know something is missing.  Something is very wrong & has been from the very beginning.

Well – this isn’t getting my poems published.

Noon.  I just called Mark.  We’re getting together on Friday at noon.  He’s enthusiastic – at least he sounded that way.  I’m so nervous!  Oh Mother!  I want everything to turn out well!

Night.  At turns exhilarated & scared.  Afraid I’m making too much out of nothing – my imagination is going nuts – running wild – I don’t know how I’ll live until Friday.  Oh, I wish I hadn’t gotten so fat!  Actually – I look pregnant.  Oh well – I’m still thinner & in better shape than I was at any time up until April & May of 1980 – when I was doing those great black beauties – oh how I wish I could still get those! – oh well.  I’m still great looking!  I still have a great figure – just a little more of it.  Besides – I’ve always been sexy – large or small.  I just feel a little more confident when I’m small.

I know – I know – it’s my writing that’s important – not my looks.  It’s just looking good makes me feel better & more confident in all areas of my life – hey, I need all the help I can get!

I’m just dying – Friday can’t get here fast enough.

***

Bored.  I finally finished a poem I’ve been working on all summer long & now I just can’t get into anything else.  I shoveled the driveway & front walk & put the garbage out.  The cats are crawling all over me.  I’ve got a lot of books out from the library – I guess I’ll read the rest of them this afternoon.  I’ve got chicken rice soup on the stove – I’ll have lunch & read & probably take a nap – I’d take a walk, but it’s blowing cold & snow.  I should transcribe a diary – or inventory some books – I just don’t feel like doing anything.

***

[December]

All made up.  I must have changed my clothes a dozen times – now I’m in my green sweater – green, the color of money – color of life – the color to attract love – & my jeans & boots – I considered a dress but fuck! – I’m comfortable in jeans & let’s not get carried away here – plus it’s cold out & I dress for the weather.  I’m so nervous!  There – I just put on some perfume.  A shot of perfume is a shot of courage.

Noon.  At Falco’s.  I’m so afraid he’ll never show.

Afternoon.  Well, he came over & we talked – mostly about people we both knew – but since he had to get back to work, he couldn’t stay long – he took the manuscript & left – he said he’d read it over the weekend & get back to me – I have such a feeling of anticlimax – & oh god – I am dying for a drink – dying, dying, dying!  Oh, I am so sick of being broke!  I can’t even borrow any money off Anthony because I’m not working this weekend.  All I have is a bicentennial quarter.  Oh Jesse!  Where are you when I need you!

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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 35

[Winter, 1989]

[January]

I’ve got stomach flu.

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

Time for another cup of tea.

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

The tea-kettle’s whistling.  Oh well –

***

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

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

***

[February]

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

It’s beginning to snow again.

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

[March]

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

It’s just – end of the winter blues.

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

Excerpts From a Diary 31

[Winter, 1988]

[January]

I’m sitting in the living room easy chair – the multi-colored zig-zag afghan over my lap – sipping a vodka & tea & munching pretzels  Teddy’s on the couch, reading the newspaper.  The Seattle-Houston game – of course – is on – it’s tied – in overtime – a really good game.

It’s the last day of Christmas – for me, anyway – tomorrow I’m taking down the tree & the lights & putting away all the Christmas knick-knacks.  I think I’ll leave the snowflakes in the windows, though – they look so pretty.

This is what I want to do in the New Year –

  1. Keep my diary more diligently
  2. Read as much as possible
  3. Be more cheerful & complain less
  4. Write as much as possible
  5. Diet & exercise
  6. Find a new job
  7. Finish up my degree

Quite a list – I could add a few more, I guess – there’s so many things I want & so many things I could improve on.  I feel bad about losing my job at the law office but I guess it was a long time coming & I kind of feel relieved – although I do miss it.  Edmond was really good about it – he said he would have kept me on – but the other partners didn’t want a stripper working for them & my “fame” as a dancer has just gotten too large for them.  Plus – to be honest – there were just too many mornings where I came in just a little too hungover to be respectable – & I know it.

***

We’re both camped out on the couch – smoking a joint – watching TV.  Today was a moody day.  I woke after having dreams of my family – Rocco was a little boy – a cat who attacked my orange shoes – I was wearing them – like I would ever wear orange shoes! – & just before I woke – Jesse.  Woke into a fog that only a hot bath could get me out of.  I took the Christmas tree down & put all the ornaments away & that is never fun.  Although by the time I had everything put away & dusted & vacuumed, I felt a lot better.  & besides – Teddy was home by then & he always cheers me up.  I finished The Color Purple today – what a great novel.  I’m 4 for 4 – four books read in four days – for 1988.  I know I can’t keep this rate up but it’s fun.

It’s totally winter – cold & getting colder.  We haven’t gotten any oil for the furnace, so it’s really cold in this apartment – the gas burner in the fireplace keeps the living room toasty & the electric heater keeps the bedroom warm.  I think we might be able to go all winter without buying oil.  It isn’t exactly safe with the gas burner but Teddy keeps a window cracked so there’s fresh air.  I have to have fresh air no matter how cold it is.

***

I’m beat – I have a stag at 10:30 tonight – no cocaine – oh, life is tough.  I’ve had a hangover most of today.  Yesterday Rocco came to visit – we went to Nietzsche’s on Allen Street for a Jack Kerouac show – “…but I wanna be sincere” – it was really good – at least the first two hours – which was all about Kerouac – his bio & readings from his novels – but after that, local poets began reading their own works which were pretty bad – we left during the second poet & went to Falco’s.  Teddy met us there & we went home to drink & snort until 4 a.m.  Needless to say – today was a waste.  Oh well –

***

Oh, woe is me!  I scarcely know where to start!  Only – I can’t believe this is happening to me!

On Wednesday, I went back to work at The Pipka Palace – the first time there in over 3 years – the first gig in a club since The Canteen closed.  The Toyota’s brakes had gotten really bad – we haven’t had the money to have them fixed – of course we always have money for coke – & I didn’t want to drive it – I asked Teddy to drive me but he didn’t want to – he told me to take it easy – to use the emergency brake – I’d be ok.

Well – of course I didn’t take it easy.  I mean – I was ok driving there – although it wasn’t easy stopping on slippery roads during rush hour using an emergency brake.  But I did it – I’m a pretty good driver.  & I would have been ok – I guess – but it was a total party during my shift.  Everyone was happy to see me again.  & I had a total ball.  I had so missed working in a club.  It’s such a different vibe than doing a stag.  Of course The Pipka Palace isn’t The Canteen but still I had a great time.  I made lots of money in tips & naturally drank a lot – more than the legal limit but that’s not very much nowadays.  I was drunk but I’ve been far drunker before.  Just before I left, I was talking to two dancers I hadn’t seen in years – Black Annie & Joon – & Annie rolled up a joint laced with coke & naturally I took a few tokes.  That’s the last thing I remember – no – I do remember trying to call Teddy & not being able to manage getting the quarter into the slot of the phone as he answered – The Pipka Palace has one of these new-fangled phones were you pay when the person answers & if you don’t get the money in there in time, you lose the call.  & I lost his call, like 3 times.  So then I got my stuff together & got into my car & started to drive home.  I remember driving up Jones Street & turning onto Clinton Street.  But after that, there’s nothing.  & even what I remember is a blur.  The next thing I remember – kinda – is smashing my car into the pole at William & Bailey – absolutely totaled the car.  It’s amazing I’m still alive – it’s amazing I’m not seriously hurt – no broken bones or anything.  Seriously – I jumped right out of the car!  I didn’t even know I was hurt until the next day.  Of course – I was feeling no pain!

So naturally – there’s a coffee shop at that corner & there was a cop car sitting there.  It took them no time at all to get their coffee & donuts to go & come out to check me out.  I was in hysterics.  I was beyond scared.  The dude was cool – he’d seen me dance & he was a friend of Paulie’s – but the babe was an asshole.  She was not impressed that I was the dancer for all the police stag parties & she didn’t like Paulie, either.  So of course I was charged with DWI.

The rest – going downtown – getting booked – I refused a Breathalyzer because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do – it wasn’t like I could call my lawyer & ask him – I wasn’t read my rights or anything – it isn’t like on TV.

Anyway – I would’ve spent the night in jail but Paulie got me out after a few hours.  He traded a bottle of Scotch for me.  I was never so happy to see anyone in my whole life.

The phone’s ringing –

***

[February]

So depressed – so very depressed.  I’ve been to court – my DWI was dropped to a DUI – my fine was $250.  Without the breathalyzer, there wasn’t any real evidence against me so there wasn’t any DWI.  My lawyer told me that was really the best thing I could have done.  He charged me $400.  It just kills me – I went back to work to make the money to pay off my book & record club bills & to get myself new things – shoes & clothes & fabric & trim to make costumes – & I end up further in debt than ever!  I’m so tired of being broke!  I can’t do dick shit without fucking up!  When did I take on this bad luck?  Oh, nothing’s ever really been different – read my old diaries – nothing’s ever been different – nothing ever will.  Oh, I’m beginning to believe it myself.  That I am nothing but bad luck personified.

I was so desperate – I called Jesse.  Of course – he was busy – just running out the door to buy tools or something – who knows – who cares.  It’s been over a month – too long a time – I’m just so horny – so depressed – so uptight – I can’t help it – I need a release so badly.  How can I be so beautiful & so unwanted?  Oh – that’s not true – I get calls & come-ons from guys all day – I swear – the phone rings all day with these jerks.  But the men I want – my husband, especially – have one excuse after another – all “good” excuses to be sure – I can’t help wondering if it’s me.  What’s the matter with me?

Oh well – roll another joint – read another book – take another escape route.

***

I’m so horny I want to die.  I’m so depressed I can barely get myself motivated.  I ran out of typewriter cartridge yesterday so I can’t write – both of my favorite pens ran out of ink – oh I guess I’ll sew – make myself a new outfit for work today – but I don’t feel like it!  I wanna get laid!  I want hours of touching – feeling – everything you do when you’re hot in love/lust with someone – oh this pain that never goes away!  Oh this pain – this knowledge – this knowing that makes it worse.  The only person giving me orgasms is myself.  I’m sick of this solo act – sick of it!

***

Working on poetry with MTV on.  I’ve retyped everything from 1971 to 1985, which is when the typed copies end, except for “Jesse” & those poems from August & September of 1986.  Everything else – much of 1985 – most of 1986 & all of 1987 – are still in my notebook/diary – waiting to be found.  I forget most of what I write.  I expect a lot of surprises.

Well, back to work.  First, some aspirin.  I’m here with my cup of tea & a joint – ready to do what I’ve always done – write, write, write.

***

Almost the same entry as yesterday!  Poetry, MTV, a cup of tea & a joint.  I found so many poems yesterday – so many more than I expected – stuff from 1983 & 1984 – things I totally forgot about.  I mean, I wasn’t even going to go through that notebook but then I thought I’d put all the diaries in chronological order & it was when I was flipping through the notebook to find out what dates to write on the cover that I found the poems.  For years now I’ve been writing things into notebooks & thrown into a box & forgotten about them.

***

Coffee & joints!  Sixties sitcoms on the TV – the shows of my childhood.  What influences!  Such unreality – never meant to be taken seriously.  No wonder the poor children of the sixties can’t handle the eighties & have to be wasted all the time.  This world is too cold & dark & real!  Oh well – Actually, this sixties silliness gets a bit tedious.  But I love looking at the cars & the clothes.

What should I do today?  I think I feel like sewing – I’ve written all week – except Monday, when Teddy took the day off – I never get anything done when he’s around.  I think I’ll make myself a purple g-string & a bra to match – trim it with black lace – actually, I don’t feel like doing anything – except read – lie around & escape – but I might as well get something done today.

Later.  I can’t get a break!  I was ready to jump into the tub & Felix called & said he’d be over & then Donny McCain stopped in.  We were all smoking a joint when Jesse called. “Any goodies over there?”

“The only goodie over here is me,” I replied, “& you haven’t been so hungry for my kind of goodie lately.”

“Well, I’ve been busy,” he answered.

“Yeah, sure,” I shot back.  “Well – call Teddy later – I’m not sure what’s going on – something or another.”  So that’s that – although if Felix & Donny hadn’t been here, I would’ve asked Jesse over to sample some “goodies” – but maybe the conversation would have ended the same way – probably.

Well the “goodies” just arrived – & I am so glad – so glad!  Nothing like a thick white line to sweeten the pain – pang? – of a lover who doesn’t want to love anymore.

***

I feel like shit.  I had a good weekend – fun at work on Friday at the Pipka Palace – fun partying with Teddy on Saturday – fun at a stag on Sunday – & delicious souvlaki afterward.  I made lots of money – which is all gone now – of course.  On Friday night – actually 3 a.m. Saturday – we discovered mice in the kitchen – since then & now we’ve caught five of them!  It’s just awful.  I’m not afraid of mice but I hate thinking of them all over my nice clean kitchen – making it not clean anymore.  I’m so glad I have everything in Tupperware – mouse-proof!  Oh, as soon as the weather gets warm – warm enough to open windows & spring clean – I’m gonna spring clean with a vengeance!

I’ve been working on Teddy to let me get a cat since before Christmas & now I really want one – he says a little kitten can’t catch mice – but it’ll make me feel better – & what the hell – little kittens who can’t catch mice turn into big cats who can.  Besides – I want something to love – something small & cuddly & babyish & who needs me & something a lot smaller than Teddy – who is certainly cuddly & a baby.  But he isn’t furry & he isn’t small.  & he doesn’t give me what I need.  Kittens are another kind of baby.

Maybe I’ll go out later – after Perry Mason.  I have $6.25 in change – I could go to Falco’s & drink a little.  Although I shouldn’t – I’m gaining weight.  Teddy says I “still” look great & I know I have a lot of pounds to go before I look bad – but this is how it starts, A? I was reading an old diary of mine the other day – I had taken notes from an astrology book – it said Taurus women depend on sex & food for security – it’s true – I’m not getting laid – so I eat & drink.  What am I going to do?  This depression has been going on for years.

***

We got another mouse last night.  Downstairs, the problem is really bad.  We were down there earlier – Cindy was having trouble setting her traps so Teddy set them.  A mouse ran through the living room while we were there & Teddy found a dead one – stiff as a board – under Melissa’s dolly’s cradle.  I guess the poison Paulie set out worked – but what I hate about poison is that you never know where that mouse is gonna end up dying.  Of course – it is so dirty down there anyway.  I’ve been worried about all my magazines in the side room – a mouse & his family could make a great nest in my piles of Rolling Stones – & everything else I have there.  The closet is packed with magazines.  It’s a mess in there.  The entire room is a mess.  I’ve been putting off cleaning & organizing in there until spring – until the poetry is all typed & in notebooks – everything else has been put on a back burner until that’s done.  But I suppose I should start working on it – I’ve put it off way too long.

My arm is cramping – time to stop writing.

***

Watching the Olympics – the US-DDR hockey game – the US is losing.  Time’s running out – it looks like we’re out of the medal round.  The US teams are doing really lousy this Olympics.  No wonder – unlike so many other countries – particularly the Soviet ones – the US government doesn’t support its athletes at all.  It’s so maddening.  Communism is evil but private industry is all-good.  Kodak is the “official film” – Coca-Cola is the “official soft drink” – etc.  This is how we support our athletes?

I have so much to do this week – well, so much I want to do – I really don’t “have” to do anything – I have to clean the kitchen – defrost the fridge – mop the floor – because of the mice, the fridge & the stove have been moved out from the wall to set the traps & of course it’s dusty & dirty since those appliances haven’t been moved since we moved in.  I guess right now it seems like a big job because I’m so burned out from working & partying all weekend – I don’t want to do anything – I don’t want to do anything – much less scour walls with 6 years of dust & dirt on them.  I’m sure there’s plenty of mouse turds back there too!  Yuck!  Well, once I get into it, I’ll get into it – really precise statement there – I mean – just making something dirty & yicky into something clean & nice is always fun.

Of course that’s not all – there’s laundry – dusting & vacuuming – watering the plants – garbage – & always writing.  But honestly – right now all I want to do is another blast & another drink but we’re out of coke & out of vodka so that’s life – I guess I’ll have another beer & play solitaire – I’m sick of thinking about housework.

Besides – it’s late – too late on a Sunday to be doing coke – since Teddy has to work tomorrow – & gee whiz – we have been partying all weekend!  It was a good weekend – good parties, great guys, a lot of tips, a lot of money – I saw that the bills were paid.  It’s always good to get the bills paid!  It’s nice to make money & have a lot of fun partying while you’re at it!  If I could only manage to make more than we spend!  If only Teddy didn’t have to get everything he wants!

***

I just woke up – played back the answering machine – the first message was from Jesse – “Hey babe” – oh that seductive voice! – so I called right back – but he was just leaving!  Of course!  “You should get up earlier,” he said.  “Oh geez!” I exclaimed.  “It’s winter & I’ve done all my housework this week!  I deserve to sleep a little.”  I added, “You should just come over & wake me up!”  It kills me – I was dreaming about him –

***

[March]

Such a busy weekend – 5 stags.  In such pain – such pain – I’m finally feeling the impact of the car accident – I’m seeing Dr. West once a week – he’s a chiropractor that both Jesse & Danielle go to – he’d like me to get into the office for adjustments twice a week – I can’t afford it – I’m really hurting & he knows it.  He knows I’m hurting in more ways than just my back – we carry on whispered conversations – since every word spoken naturally is easily heard in that tiny office – it’s like Grand Central in there.

I found out on Friday that Rocco is going to become a priest.  I’m sure Mom & Bob must be besides themselves with pride & joy.  I feel more like a misfit than ever – how did I ever get stuck in this family?  Why do I have to change so much – impossible change – to fit in & merit pride?

Sometimes I’m so down I don’t know what to do.  When I’m alone – doubts surround me.  As soon as Teddy arrives – they all vanish – at least in to the corners of the room.  But when I’m alone – I’m lonely.  & I’m horny.  & all my dreams seem far, far away.

***

Teddy will be home soon to take me to work – I’m all packed – made-up – dressed-up – & bejeweled.  I have some good tunes on – I’m singing & dancing – getting myself into the mood – like doing deep-knee bends – stretching exercises for the head & heart & soul.

I feel pretty good today – minimum back pain – & I finally seduced Teddy last night!  We dropped acid – the first time in ages – eons! – & acid always makes you horny – whereas Teddy & I agree cocaine doesn’t do it anymore – especially Teddy – he doesn’t want to make love when he’s wasted on coke at all – he’ll talk all night about it but not do it.  On acid, of course, talking can become pretty futile pretty damn quick – how can you talk when you’re dying with laughter?

Anyway – it was great – a great break.  A mini-vacation.  I feel much better – much better.

***

I’m waiting for Danielle to come & take me to Dr. West’s.  My appointment is at 1:30 & it’s 1:25 right now but of course Danielle is late.  Danielle is always late.

Evening.  I’m in love – with Dr. West.  I love the way he touches me – the way he smiles.  I know he’s attracted to me – that’s easy to assess.  I just love being in love.  I love loving 2, 3, 4 men – I love to love –

***

I’m watching “Perry Mason”.  It’s on every day at noon – I wouldn’t miss it.  I’ve always loved murder mysteries.  After “Perry Mason”, “I Love Lucy” is on.  Other women watch soaps – I watch old TV shows – I don’t need living color to enjoy a story.

I’ve been reading The Spiral Dance by Starhawk & taking lots of notes.  I started doing some of the meditations in the mornings.  I really want to learn all I can about women’s spirituality & wicca & witchcraft.  I like the idea of a women’s religion & a goddess-oriented spirituality.  As soon as I have the time, I going to go to the library & get as many books out as I can carry.  I’ve got a list going.

***

Busy as a bee!  I’ve been spring cleaning all week – the house is lovely – oh, the weather’s great – warm – sunny – spring!  Although it’s supposed to get chilly again – over the weekend – that’s life!  Oh, I’m dying to go camping!  This is the slowest time of the year – seems like it takes forever for the temperature to get high enough to do all the things I love to do – lie in the sun – camp – ride the motorcycle – go on a picnic – oh I can’t wait!

Well – the weekends are full – the phone’s ringing off the wall – so many jobs!  The happy homemaker & the infamous stripper – soon to be student again, I hope! Oh well – back to work –

***

Wasted.  I can’t sleep.  Teddy’s in bed – his nose hurts – he’s done for.  But of course – I can’t sleep.  I’m sitting in the kitchen – heating up chicken soup & reading Camille – should I have another drink?  Do I really want one?  I do & I don’t.  “I don’t” is winning – I haven’t had a bite or two of breakfast since this morning – or yesterday morning – whatever – & nothing else except vodka, 7-Up, birth-control, Contac & four aspirins.  Yes, I’d better forget about another drink & have some soup!  Besides – if I go to bed without eating, I wake up at 8 or 9 a.m. starving & sick to my stomach because of it.  But I might be sick anyway.

No more vodka!  No more toots!  Ice water & chicken soup.  Oh, I need to lie down.  I’d like to sleep a long time.  I’d say forever but isn’t that death?  I’m not ready for that – I suppose if I was, I’d be shooting smack.

***

Oh, it’s so nice today – it much be 70 or more – it’s hot, anyway!  I’d really like to lie in the sun but since I have a cold, I’d better not.  My right eye is all enflamed – when I woke up it was all red, puffy & half-closed – I was really upset because I have a birthday party to dance at 4:30 p.m. – & it really hurts.  I went over to Danielle’s & she put some drops in it.  I rode my bike – Paulie was home & brought it up for me – it was so great to ride around.  I’m tired now – time to nap before having to take a bath, shave, wash my hair, curl my hair, put on my make-up – hope my eye is better by then – put on my jewelry, my perfume, my attitude –

***

[April]

Teddy just ran up to Wilson Farms to get some aspirin – I told him to buy a can of chicken noodle soup & Pepsi when he was there.  Tonight we babysat for Doug & Danielle – they went to the hockey game.  Well – he’s back now –

2 a.m.  Teddy is going to bed.  I am staying up a bit.  A really good documentary is on – about the earliest movies – their story-lines, production – the rise of the nickelodeon – the “first” film that told a “whole” story – Thomas Edison – the rise of the moguls – the building of the movie houses – the evolution of MGM & the other filmmakers.  But the best part is all this old footage – old, as in pre-WWI – the way people dressed & acted.  Oh, what are movies anyway?  Just doorways – or windows – to the past – windows you look through – since you walk through doorways & there is no way I can walk into the past.  & these windows are pretty cloudy with dust & dirt.

I ramble.  I wanted to make a note – about how the big movie houses were for movies as well as vaudeville shows.  But then the movies became more popular than vaudeville.

I ramble.  I have to pee.  Wait – what do I have to say?  I can’t remember.  I told Teddy I’d only be up another 5 minutes & I’ve been up way longer than that – well it always is.  The documentary is over – I’m going around the dial.  MTV?  Hate this video.  CNN?  News more than once a day is boring.  What’s this?  “Perry Mason”!  Great!

***

Wasted.  I have really nothing to say.  Then why do I write?  Habit, I guess.

***

Just home from Dr. West’s.  Sex talk – the whole time he worked on me.  He went into his office & put on cologne when I arrived.  Just before I left, he turned on the “sander” – the massager — & caressed my sides – my breasts – my hips – & last my crotch – my clit melted – it’s still tingling –

Part of the conversation when like this – he said, “It’s hard, being married, so many pretty ladies, but I don’t know who to trust.”

I replied, “I know exactly what you mean.”  & I certainly do.

“Can I trust you?” he asked.

“Yes, you can,” I answered.

I told him about Monday.  I had a birthday party to do – a last-minute call – at Murphy Manufacturing – for the boss, J.  I was in the most foul mood – I’d partied heavily all weekend – staying up all night – bending time – drinking to excess & of course lots of cocaine.  Puff & toot!  Anyway – by Monday I was completely burned out – muscles aching – just plain tired.  I was horny too – I’d been on fire all weekend & I slept all Monday morning & had the wettest dreams – I was still wet when I was doing my show – I was on fire!  I was a volcano!  Molten fire!  Of course – J. was a hunk – lovely hard muscles – a chest covered with hair – only 32 years old – I was horny & wet & he knew it – he was horny & hard.  For the first time – at a stag, anyway – I wished Teddy wasn’t there – I wanted to go into an empty office & get the living daylights fucked out of me – it was the most uncomfortable feeling – part shame – part frustration – part erotic desire that I was unable to mask –

He called my cunt “roast beef” – I had never heard that before.  Most men compare female sexual parts to seafood.  I guess it’s because of my long lips.  I quipped, “Real food for real people.”  He was saying, “I love large cunts, I like them better than large tits, I wanna eat you, suck on your large cunt, you want me to, I wanna fuck you, I have a big fat cock – ”

But alas – or maybe thank goodness – I went home with Teddy – then we went to Anderson’s for roast beef sandwiches – which was ironic when you think about it –

But I couldn’t stop thinking about him & I wished I could go back there all alone.

***

I’m sick – I’ve been sick for days.  Saturday morning I woke up with no voice & it’s been downhill since then.  I had to work Saturday night – of course – with the usual energy booster – of course – & Sunday I was shot.  Monday & Tuesday I felt terrible – bummed out & pissed off about being sick – like my body has let me down – betrayed me – I’ve got so many things to do – Teddy says to lay back & relax & get better but Jesus Christ, the last thing I want to do is relax!  He says I don’t know how to relax anyway – getting sick is enforced relaxation.  I finished all my library books & I’m reading Gone With The Wind again.

I do feel a bit better today – not so tired & appetite’s coming back a bit.  That’s one things about being sick – what a great diet.  My belly is completely gone.  Mostly I’ve been drinking – coffee, tea, pepsi, beer, milk, iced tea, water – I’ve been dying for lemonade.  Oh the weather’s been so lovely – warm, sunny – soft breezes coming through the front window – oh what a drag to be sick!  I was going to go to UB for a series of lecture on radical poetry – but oh well – that’s life.

But I do feel better – when I cough, I’m able to move the phlegm in my lungs.  It makes me think of a frozen ice floe finally able to move – like the Niagara River.

I’m hungry again – thank goodness we have plenty of food.  Lots of soup – which is probably what I should stick to.  If I start feeling too good, Teddy will get mad at me for not taking it easy – pushing myself for I’m ready.  I have a busy busy busy weekend – completely booked up – including a Sunday gig – as a favor to Anthony Falco.  I guess Teddy’s right – I’ll have to continue taking it easy.  But I’m so bored!

***

I’m beat.  Today was the first day since I’ve been sick I didn’t go back to bed after Teddy left – I stayed up & cooked myself a nice breakfast – two eggs over easy & a slice of baked Virginia ham & toast.  Then I defrosted the fridge – laundered my costumes – stripped & remade the bed – cleaned the bathroom – straightened all the rooms – & dusted & vacuumed the living room.  There’s more to do – I haven’t done housework all week – but I’m tired out now.  This place looks presentable though.  It was really beginning to get on my nerves.  Teddy says I’m silly – to worry about the housework when I’m sick – but I can’t help it.  I hate a messy house.

***

Look at this handwriting – man, am I fucked up.  It is a total effort to make the pen move along the paper – on the pale blue lines – making each character even & precise & legible.  The news is on – the weather – fucking A!  Winter again!  Cold air, sharp wind & flurries – oh, it sucks!  Winter is really hanging on this year.

I hate writing when I’m this fucked up.  I feel like a child – writing so slowly – like it’s an effort!  It is an effort!  By the time I’ve written what I want, my mind has raced way beyond where I’m at – it’s so frustrating – & I’ve got a wicked cramp in my forearm –

I guess I’ll stop –

But oh – I’m so happy I want to write forever!  Oh, my arm hurts!  I guess I’ll have to sit here & feel good – laugh –

I put Teddy to bed – he’s so burned out – such a heavy weekend – lots of stags & lots of partying.  I burn out a lot easier than I used to – I can’t handle the druggie life as effortlessly as I once did – a few years ago I made so much fun of Teddy cuz he couldn’t keep up with me – being 7 years older – oh how I used to laugh – but the laugh’s on me now.  Cuz now I’m feeling it.  My back’s a mess & my knees are going.  I can hang in there better than Teddy partly cuz I still have my youth pride – though it’s slipping away – more & more – it’s getting really hard – oh my knees – & I’m so tired.  Still I’m young enough to continue ignoring that fact.  I don’t wanna give up – I know I will soon have to – Teddy is proof of that.  I am proof of that – I am really tired.  I’m sick of my muscles aching.  Time to change – soon, soon.  Whether I like it or not.

***

So much has happened since I last wrote – mostly I’ve been sick – really sick – more sick than I’ve been since 1981 – when I O.D.’d on MDA – last weekend was a nightmare.  & of course, the thing that gets me through a weekend of stag parties is the same thing that is making me so sick!  It’s a vicious cycle!

The Canteen Reunion party was Tuesday, April 19 – I supposed I was still sick then but I refused to admit it – nothing would have kept me from that party.  & it was a great party & I was – without a doubt – the star of the show.  & I put on one of the best performances I have ever done – as sick as I was.  Linda Ronstadt’s “What’s New” was my opening song & it brought down the house – opening with a floor routine.  Monday I had a hangover & Wednesday would be even worse.  But Thursday I was so sick I would have welcomed a hangover – a hangover would have been much better than whatever sickness I was suffering – the flu – pneumonia – whatever it was.  I suppose I should have gone to the doctor.  But I was so sick – I just wanted to sleep.  Even now I am still under the weather – although much better.  Better enough to go out to dinner with Doug & Danielle – we went to the Anchor Bar for wings & then to Falco’s – it was Craig’s 34th birthday – & of course I have to work tonight & tomorrow night.  If I can get through an ordeal like last weekend – especially Friday – when I didn’t even have coke to ease the pain – this weekend will be easy – easy –

Excerpts From a Diary 26

[Spring, 1985]

I have been sick all winter.  I don’t think I’ve ever been this sick – sick in body -sick in heart -sick in soul.  I haven’t been able to shake it.  I have gone from cold to flu to bronchitis – I had to start taking antibiotics – which made me sick to my stomach – it’s been never-ending.

I’ve been terribly depressed.   I haven’t wanted to continue living, honestly.

We went to Florida for Christmas – Teddy said he didn’t want to spend Christmas in Cleveland with the family & Jesse & Doreen & the baby & for once, I agreed – although I really didn’t want to be in Florida for Christmas.  There is nothing Christmasy about Florida.  But it was a nice trip – we drove down – taking back roads & having a nice time – Teddy got a pile of coke & a half a pound of weed before we left & we had the cooler in the back seat so I could mix drinks whenever so it was fun.  The Corolla got over 40 miles per gallon – amazing!  I love that car!  When we arrived in Naples, Betty met us with screwdrivers, made with fresh-squeezed orange juice from oranges from her own orange tree.  I don’t even like screwdrivers but these were fabulous.  & we had bloody marys on Christmas morning – it was a pretty drunken trip, actually.  I was waking up really sick every morning & on the trip home, it occurred to me that my throwing up wasn’t because of being hungover – I was actually pregnant.  I knew it had to be Jesse’s – Teddy was still not making love to me & Jesse & I had been together a few times in December.

I saw my doctor & he confirmed my worst fears.  He said he didn’t do abortions – he’s Catholic – but he referred me to a Jewish ob/gyn & on New Year’s Eve morning, I went in for an abortion.  We were broke from the trip but Earl was nice enough to give me the money for it.  The abortion in 1978 was $120 & this one was $300.  I told Earl I could pay him back when I was  back to work but he said not to worry about it.  “You don’t owe me a dime,” he told me.  He’s truly a mensch.

When I had the abortion in 1978, I remember going out with the anesthesia & coming back & crying – sobbing – but this time I don’t think I ever truly went out – the doctor gave me Demerol intravenously – & I looked at the modern art paintings on his wall but I really never went out – maybe for a moment or two.  It seemed so very dreamlike – it was over in a minute – so maybe I did go out.  But I never cried.  It almost didn’t even affect me.  When I went back out to the car, Teddy had two bumps of coke ready for me & when I got home, I got drunk on red wine.  Teddy went to CVS to get Lortabs for me – the doctor gave me a script for pain – & when he was gone, I called Jesse – “It’s over,” is all I said & hung up.

It was New Year’s Eve but for once we didn’t go anywhere – we stayed home & I fell asleep before 10 p.m. – I was so tired.  I suppose the combination of Lortabs & red wine probably had something to do with that.  I woke up on New Year’s Day & I thought about how it was Jesse’s birthday.  Teddy was sleeping & I got up & went into the living room & looked out on the falling snow.  I was bleeding & finally – I was crying.  I never felt so terrible in my entire life.

I was supposed to be taking it easy but we were broke.  I went back to work at The Canteen a few days later – with a tampon in – another no-no – & I started hemorrhaging onstage.  I ran off the stage & into the dressing room.  I was holding a towel inbetween my legs & Shirley came in.  She generally doesn’t work the daytime shifts but she was there that day.  She demanded to know what was going on.  “My period started & it’s real heavy,” I lied.  “That’s no period,” she said.  “What’s really going on?”  Shirley can be a real bitch but I realized at that moment that she really did care.  “I had an abortion on New Year’s Eve,” I admitted.  “I guess I came back to work too soon.”  I looked up at her.  “But we’re broke, Shirley.  I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t need the money.”

“I don’t care if you owe the mafia & the IRS both a million dollars, you’re not gonna work in this condition!” she snapped in that bitchy way she has.  But her eyes were warm & worried & I knew her nagging voice wasn’t expressing the way she really felt.  “Get your stuff together & get your ass home & get the rest you need!  You just had surgery!  You need to recover!”

So I went home & spent the rest of the day on the couch.  Later that evening, Shirley’s son Ronnie – who is the new bouncer at the club, since Ramon joined the Army – although Ronnie is diminutive & really not the bouncer type – came by with $75 in assorted bills.  “They passed the hat for you,” he told me.  I burst into tears.  “Ma said you can’t come back to work for two weeks,” he said.  “Two weeks!”  I cried.  “I’ll be homeless!”

I did go back to work at the law office & one day I walked over to UB & I registered for spring classes.  Teddy was adamant that “we” couldn’t afford for me to go to school but I told him point blank that I was going to lose my job at the law office if I didn’t continue my education.  I took my science requirement – Women’s Biology – & a women’s poetry class.  The things I have been reading have really helped me with my own writing – I have been rewriting almost all the poems I wrote last year & even the last several years – really working hard at them.

I have been trying not to keep a diary since I didn’t want Teddy to read it anymore but it’s so hard.  But since I haven’t seen Jesse since the middle of December & he & Teddy have had a long talk – apparently patching up their long-time friendship – both personal & business – Jesse hasn’t been chasing me at all.  He hasn’t been coming to the club or calling me or anything.  Which is terribly depressing.  &  – Doreen is pregnant again.  Isn’t that lovely.  I aborted my child & she’s gonna have hers.  Of course.  But I couldn’t have my child.  I have to remain slender & beautiful so I can dance every night & make money so we can pay our bills.  So there you go.

But no matter what – I am determined not to let anyone know how terrible I feel – my spirits – which are so moody – a rollercoaster, Teddy says – but with a new resolution to be cheerful & mellow – always in a good mood & cool to be with.  Kinda like I was before I married Teddy & dancing & stardom & perfection!

***

Sitting at the bar at The Canteen – in my corner, blissfully alone, until who knows when – there are several customers who would like me to sit with them – they’re giving me “the look” – but hell – they haven’t bothered to actually ask Cissy to send me a drink or anything – & I managed to walk across the floor without noticing them – but that’s quite easy for me nowadays – I am a star – the star of the club.  If I don’t want to notice a guy, I don’t.

On Tuesday, I stopped down here after working at the law office & John Canton gave me a vibrator.  More about that later.  But when I was here, I asked Frank Dormer if he would loan me $10.  He said he didn’t have it on him at the time, but he would on Wednesday.  Great, I said, I’ll stop down tomorrow.  So yesterday, I arrived at 1:30 – Kenny was here, so I sat & talked to him for a while.  2:00 passed – no Frank – 2:15, 2:30.  I said to Kenny, “Let’s go next door & see what’s up.”  We walked next door to Murphy’s Bar & there was Frank, walking to Jack Murphy, the owner of the bar.  “Hello!” I said brightly.  “Hello old man,” Kenny said, “Murph, get us three a drink,” but Frank declined saying, “I’m going next door for a taste.”

“You’re going to be there for a while?”  I asked.

“Oh yes, a half hour or so,” Frank assured me.

“I’ll see you next door then,” I said.

“We’ll take care of it then,” he promised.

Kenny & I only had one drink at Murphy’s – we spent no more than twenty minutes there – if that.  Yet, when I went back to The Canteen, Frank wasn’t there.  “Mo,” I asked, “has Frank been in?”

“No,” she said.  & the bar was empty – it wasn’t like she could’ve missed him – as if Mo would – she & Frank are best friends.  Of course she could have been lying for him but Mo is one of my best friends, too.  & what the fuck – I only asked him for $10 – it’s not like I want to borrow $100 or even $50.  It’s a stupid $10 that I’ll make in the first hour that I work tomorrow.  & if he didn’t want to loan it to me, he could have said so.  Why are guys such idiots?

Anyway – the vibrator.  John said to use it in my act but I’m not sure about that.  Teddy would probably have a fit if I did something like that.  Although I could probably double my fee.  But I took it home & wow!  It rocks.  It really gets me off & it’s a real nice thing to have – especially when you have a husband who doesn’t seem to like sex.  & a lover who doesn’t seem to want to love anymore.  All I have to do is keep it filled with fresh batteries.

***

I’ve been cooking a lot of great stuff lately.  Teddy got me a copy of Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook for Two – I found a fabulous recipe for beef & vegie stir-fry & another one for stuffed peppers.  The stuffed peppers recipe I changed a little – I used rice instead of bread – it turned out really great.  I started a personal cookbook.  It’s a 3-ring notebook & I either type up recipes or print them out on notebook paper & put them in there.  I love thinking about new ways to prepare food.  I really wish I had my shit together in high school because I really love to cook & I think I could have been a really great chef.  But oh well – that’s life.  Anyway, Teddy looks through my cookbooks & picks out a picture & that’s how we decide what to have to dinner.  We’re really into shopping, too.  We go to Wegman’s – we spend a couple of hours there!

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 19

[Winter-Spring, 1982]

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

“Why?” he asked.

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

“What made me so good?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

“But I’m bringing it in,” I answered.

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

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

Things will occur to me as I go along.

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Now it’s off to work again.

Excerpts From a Diary 18

[Summer-Fall, 1981]

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

I feel utterly & totally miserable.

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

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

I don’t know what is happening anymore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

I’m getting too fucked up to write anymore.

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

Excerpts From a Diary 16

[Winter, 1981]

 

It was cold tonight.  It snowed again.  Donovan & I parked in a secluded spot at the North Chagrin Reservation & smoked two joints.  Nobody goes there in the winter.  Especially on such a cold dark night.

I gave him head.  I have been thinking about giving him head all day.

***

Donovan usually calls me at 7 or 7:30 but it was 9 – no call.  I was tired & would have just as soon stayed at home, but i wanted to be with him – I wanted a nice evening at home with him.  Which I know is impossible, but that’s what I want.  I called his house – I thought maybe he was sick or something.  He said he was “sacking out”.  He said he would like to “go out & get high” – what did I want to do?  Nothing!  There’s never anything to do here – I said, “Oh, go for a cruise or something.”  We hung up.  I felt pretty crappy.  Bob said, “If you don’t stop badgering him, he’s going to get tired of you.”  I just stared at him.  I wanted to say, “You’re not my father,” but I just walked away & went up to my bedroom.  I mean, it’s none of his business.  He’s here all the time lately.  I hope Mom doesn’t do something stupid like marry him.  She just got out of that other idiotic marriage.  Bob’s no Dick – he’s actually a really nice guy – but I don’t need a new dad in my life.

But – am I badgering him?  Really?  At 9:00 on a Friday night, I wanna know if I’m going out or not.  If not – I’ll take my clothes off & go to bed & read – there’s little else to do.  Man!  I wish I lived alone!  I wish I lived in city where there was always something other to do than “go for a cruise” – man, I really wish we could have a nice evening at home -instead of the car, car, car – always the fucking car.

***

Last night was actually very nice.  We went to John & Paul Fischer’s – where Jim Kenny, Sue Boyle, Ed Frank & a few others were hanging out, watching TV & drinking.  It was a nice evening.  Afterwards, Donovan & I got something to eat at The Lyndhurst Diner & then fucked.  I was an hour late but no one noticed.  I didn’t care anyway, I felt so great.

***

I hate getting up early.  I guess I don’t have to get up early for Mass, but the house is so noisy I really don’t have any choice.  Or Saturdays – I always feel so dead on Saturdays, cuz I’m usually out with Donovan & even if I’m in early, I’m up late reading or writing.  Even if I want to sleep late, I can’t – after 8 a.m., the house is too noisy & I know that I have to get up & do chores or else I’ll hear about how I don’t help out & I’m so lazy & selfish.  More & more I feel trapped – stuck in a living situation that is so good & yet so sucky.  These upcoming winter months are the worst, morale-wise.  What a drag to be young during a recession, during the winter, in a city that has so goddamned little to offer in terms of entertainment, rock’n’roll entertainment, cheap artsy-fartsy movies, or just a warm place to hang out & do drugs with friends.  I’m so tired.  I’m so fucking tired of waiting for things to get better.

8:45 p.m.  I’m pissed.  Donovan was supposed to call – we were supposed to get together tonight & do drugs & fuck – probably he decided it’s too cold, which is certainly is – it’s not nice out at all.  But I’m still pissed – he could have at least called.  He’s probably been drinking beer all day & watching football & is all burned out now.  I should have called him.  I wonder what happened.

I don’t want to go to work tomorrow.  I hope I feel more into it by tomorrow – probably I won’t be.  I didn’t wash my panty-hose – I haven’t in about two weeks, maybe more, I have just been buying new pairs to put on – so I guess I’ll wear pants.  It’s going to be cold tomorrow anyway.  I’m so sick of the cold.

I’m in such a rotten mood.  I guess I have been in a terrible mood all day.  I haven’t done anything all day, except read Peter the Great.  I even took a nap so I wouldn’t be tired for Donovan tonight & now he hasn’t called & I won’t be able to get to sleep tonight.  I was expecting to have sex & I always sleep well after sex.  Now I’ll be awake all night & feel like shit tomorrow.  I’m pissed off.

I feel like calling him, but what the fuck am I supposed to say?  “You were supposed to call me, asshole.”  I mean, it sounds so petty.  There’s nothing I can do about it.

***

I didn’t sleep well last night.  I had an awful session of coughing that even cough medicine wouldn’t ease.  I can’t shake this cough, but that doesn’t surprise me.

I woke at 6 & dozed until 7.  Tish & I shoveled the driveway, which really soured my mood – which was bad to begin with.  I was pissed off at work, because I was falling over dead tired & I had crystal to pack.  I just felt rotten.  I had clam chowder & toast for lunch – that & an orange perked me up considerably.  I called Donovan & we made plans for tonight.

So – now I’m in a rare form of wonderful – We did the rest of the coke & had wonderful sex – Oh!  I love that man!  It’s gonna hurt like hell to leave him.  It seems so strange to be so close to someone & know for sure that it’s gonna end.  I suppose that’s why there’s always part of each of us that holds back.  I feel it in him – I feel it in me.  I want to tell him that I love him & I can’t.  I can’t tell him because the words “I love you” have been raped by triteness, thoughtlessness, silliness – you always take it with a grain of salt.  It’s so easy to say & so easy to expect so much from it.  If I said, “I love you,” to Donovan, he’d say, “What do you mean?” & what could I say?  I have no idea what I mean.  How can I say –  I love you because I breathe you, I hold you deep inside of me, there isn’t a moment during the day I do not think of you – it just isn’t what you say to a guy like Donovan.  I don’t think he would understand anyway.  I will always love him.  It breaks my heart to leave him but I know, without the sheerest doubt, that there is no other way.

***

I was comfortable in bed, warm, my eyes closed, my breathing beginning to slow when a terrible thought occurred to me:  I haven’t written my diary.  Immediately my stomach growled, I had to piss, I remembered sit-ups I hadn’t done.  I sat up in bed – sleep was ruined.

Now I am wide awake.  I must sleep in order to wake up at 7 a.m. tomorrow, but my mind is travelling, my body alert.  I suppose I wasn’t all that tired to begin with.

Oh well, I’ll read a while.

***

Terribly depressed.  I cleaned the stock room at work & felt awful.  I was worrying about having nothing to do this weekend, plus having to work on Saturday & the possible ill effects of a whole winter this would have on Donovan’s & my relationship & how there was seemingly nothing for me to do about it, etc., etc.  I went outside at on & smoked a joint & concentrated on thinking about the music on the radio – notably the Supremes “Back in My Arms Again” & “Every Man Needs a Woman” by Yoko Ono.  When I came back in, I commented on the weather – a sunny, no wind – & that it’d be a nice day for a picnic.  Then I thought, there’s something to do – go on a picnic with Donovan.  I think I’ll see what he thinks.  I don’t see why he wouldn’t want to.  Drive somewhere, with subs & beers & joints – hang out & enjoy the winter weather.  I feel better already.  Something to look forward to.

***

Being in love is such a drag.  The greater intimacy Donovan & I achieve, the greater the pleasure & the more tender he becomes, the harder it is to think of leaving him.  I am done with secretarial school & my mother says it’s time for me to think of returning to UB or perhaps some other college.  Get a decent job.

But I can’t stand leaving Donovan.  Yes, I do want to go back to UB – finish my English degree – but I don’t want to leave him.  When I’m with him, I go crazy, I’m all over him.  I wanna make make make him.  Sex with him is so great –  if I don’t see him for a few days – even one day – I’m so horny I can’t stand it.  I know he’s the same way too, because he tells me so – & he’s all over me too.

Although we talk a lot – discuss rock’n’roll – especially the Grateful Dead –  politics, books, movies, houses we like, where we want to live, etc. – our relationship is primarily sexual.  Sex & drugs.  Mere companionship.  We could be happy together, because what we like to do – drugs, sex, go to clubs to hear bands, see movies – we’re happy doing together & we do it so well – especially sex.  Oh, Donovan is sheer joy!

But I worry about the parts of me he can’t touch.  My writing, my rock’n’roll dreams.  They need to be realized.  They must be realized.  For those, I have to go to Buffalo.  For my emotions, my sexuality, I need Donovan.

It’s such a mess.  I know what I have to do.  I know, I know, I know…I know what I want, too.

***

It’s still very cold, below 0 every night.  But Donovan’s car has a warm heater & we are kept even warmer with our passion.  Heaven knows, I am much warmer shivering in his arms than in bed under all my quilts.  But that is no mystery.

***

I worked 12 hours today – minus two 45 minute meal breaks, so it’s actually 10 ½ hours – which was pretty dull – I did sends.  For an hour, I sat & worked out a lyric.  It was so cold this morning I came home & changed my clothes – I put on white jeans, socks, boots & a huge sweater over a turtleneck.  I felt frumpy but at least I was warm.  Lately I’ve been feeling so fat but I’m still 120 lbs.  Tomorrow I think I’ll do some speed.  I need to keep my figure trim.

Mom told me that Donovan called around 6:30 p.m. but there was no message.  I wonder what he wanted.  I want him.

***

I’m so horny.  I came on very strongly to Craig Andrews today, I couldn’t help it.  Well, yeah, I guess I could, but I didn’t want to.  Tim W. obviously wants me – he’s fun to flirt with.  I want Donovan most of all!

***

I’m talking to Donovan all the time, even when I’m not with him.  I’m saying stuff like – You have tripped my senses.  I feel more alive.  I notice so much more.  I am aware.  I am more sensuous than I used to be.  I used to be a Puritan.  I didn’t approve of making out in bars, in concerts, fucking in cars, any public display.  Now I don’t care.  Now I will do it anywhere.  I just want more more more.  I don’t care who sees us – it’s a turn-on – I am so horny that I just want to be fucked wherever you want to fuck me – I’ll give you blow-jobs in the theatre – in the park – anywhere & anytime – knowing that someone might see me sucking you off makes me so hot that I am wet thinking about it.

I am turned onto other men.  You have enlightened my senses, made me want so much so often that I turn onto A on the dock or B doing stock in housewares.  I kissed B today, I wanted him so badly.  I want you so badly, I hurt, I hurt all over, all the time.

I’m tripping all the time.  I’m so happy with your love.  I’m filled my lime green mug with water at the drinking fountain today & I watched the green vibrate against the cold stainless steel & I vibrated too, all because of you.

I love you most sexually.  I want to give myself to you.  I cry over you, I love you, Donovan.

***

With Donovan tonight.  I was in heaven.

***

I’m tired & my stomach aches.  I knocked over the mailbox backing out of the driveway.  I slid into it.  I’m sick sick sick of winter.

Later.   Waiting for Donovan to arrive.  I bought a gorgeous dress today – red plaid – Royal Stewart –  100% cotton – totally western – full skirt – tight bodice – a million tiny buttons up the front – ruffle at the bottom.  I can hardly wait to wear it.

I’m writing, not much.  I do so much partying & love-making with Donovan, so much time is lost.  Plus having to work, I can’t write when I’m at work.  I make notes for stories when I can.

***

I have the chills, a head cold, sore throat, rumblings in my bowels.  I am thoroughly burned out.  Last night I got so stoned on coke – oh, we fucked hard hard hard.  Donovan couldn’t get a hard-on after a while.  I was dried out.  “Cori,” he said, “I really want to make love to you.”  It always seems so poignant when he says “love” – he never says he loves me & it’s rare that he says “make love” – usually it’s “fuck”.  Hearing him say my name is very dear.

I laid his head on my shoulder.  “Ya know,” I said, “we’ve fucked every night since Wednesday – we’re just tired out.”

He agreed. “I wish we would sleep together like normal people.”  He voices this complaint almost every time we’re together now.  Slowly I caressed him & myself at the same time.  I climbed onto him & pumped – he came, shuddering & holding me as tight as he could.  “Thank you, Cori,” he said.  I was so touched.  I think he loves me –

***

I have a cold.  I came home from work today, but mostly because it’s so dull.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I hate it – I see all the chores I used to do being done by others –  simply because I had so much to do for Christmas & they had to be given to other people.  But now it’s slow & I don’t understand why they’re still doing my work – there’s no reason for it.  I can easily do it all.  I hate my job!  I’m so bored with it!

***

I quit keeping a diary cuz I got lazy!  Life got about as dull as I don’t know – wintertime blues.  Everyone gets in an evil mood.  The least little remark or mistake sets off arguments that can last days.

I got kicked out of the house last week.  I’m still here but I have to leave – as soon as I can – Mom isn’t speaking to me & she’s being a real bitch, if you ask me.  It came about because to Planned Parenthood & instead of lying – the smart thing to do –  I told Mom outright – when she asked of course – I never volunteer information – & the ensuing argument was short & to the point –  “No unmarried sexually active young woman is going to live under my roof.”  Actually it wasn’t an argument, because I wasn’t allowed to argue back – I wasn’t allowed to say that I was going there for healthcare, not sexcare.  But to my ultra-Catholic mother, Planned Parenthood is about sex, not about health.  & I had to go – I had an appointment – I had waited over a week for it.  I had a yeast infection that was driving me crazy & I had to get checked out for it & I needed the stuff to get rid of it.

So I don’t know where I’m going to go, what I’m going to do, but I’m not really all that upset or mad – life is exciting again – I have something to look forward to!  Something to wake up for!  Man, I’ve been sleeping for so long now.  I’ve had some luscious dreams.  Donovan – what a dream, oh, I’ve enjoyed him for so long!  I really do love him but I know he’s a dream that isn’t going to come true for a long time – if ever.

I might go back to Buffalo.  Jesse & Doreen said that I could stay at their place while I get a job & get my shit together.  Actually, what I would do is go for a week’s vacation & look, then come back here & maybe go back for another week a month later.  Cuz I don’t want to go there without a job – that’s stupid.  I’m not making the same mistakes I did the last time!

The only thing that holds me back from Buffalo is Donovan.  He’s my sexual nourishment & I’m not giving him up/throwing him out so quickly.  That’s why I’m not jumping at the chance to go to Buffalo, but you never know – wait & see.  Oh, there’s a certain joy in not knowing that’s gonna happen!

***

I’m talking myself into going to Buffalo.  I can’t help it – the allure of the spring & summer in Buffalo – as opposed as what’s happening right now – winter in Cleveland.  It’s so hard to combat.  Plus I think I’m falling far too much in love with Donovan.  I think I’m getting sappy.  I need to measure my sexual strength with someone else – someone new – see if I can please him – if I can conquer him.  In a similar way, I need to measure my intelligence –  my creativity with minds who are also creative – I need to be with people who are like me – Donovan is – in fact – quite a lot like me – I talk to Donovan more easily about non-personal/emotional subjects than anyone I can think of – but I need others.  Donovan makes me orgasm so I scream & curse & cry – god!  But as I climaxed earlier tonight, a voice inside was screaming:  Jon!  I want to measure myself against Jon!

I think I will go.  My arguments are so persuasive.  The only thing holding me back is the fear that it’ll be a drag, the scene will have moved to New York City, & that I will have to go a whole summer without a steady man & steady sex.

***

I am having an affair, quite by surprise.  I was working on my collage yesterday evening & Joe Trulia stopped by.  I was really surprised since I haven’t since him in over 6 months.  I heard he was getting married.  Just last night Sharon & I were talking about him while we were having coffee at Arabica.  She was going on about how “devoted” he is to his fiancé.  I said that he had pissed me off because he had just broken up with his previous fiancé & I felt that he had called on me because he was horny & because of my high school reputation.  I wasn’t pissed because he had used like that – since I see nothing wrong in a purely sexual relationship – I was pissed because I had really fallen for him & I hadn’t gotten more than I had.  So last night I was under no illusions, but I still felt the pull because, ya know, I always do.  Joe pulls me, pulls me, pulls me.  It was so weird.  I’m so used to Donovan.  I really noticed it, kissing Joe.  Donovan’s kisses are hard & fierce – his lips are thinner & more muscular.  Joe’s are soft & slow, like kissing pillows.  Joe doesn’t know me as well as Joe.  I want him to know.  At least, some of me.

I was giving him head.  He pulled me up, groaning, “I wanna fuck you!”   “Where?”  cuz there was no room in the car, it was a tiny Datsun hatchback.  “Outside, on the back of the car.”  “But it’s cold out!” I protested.  “No, it’s alright, c’mon.”  So of course I did!  It was strange – I was glad no cars came by – we were pulled over on the side of the road!  He fucked me rapidly & came quickly.

We were driving back & he said, “Ya know, I’m on my way to – ” whatever his fiancé’s name is.  I laughed.  He went on, something about getting married, how he sort of wished he wasn’t, adding, “I’m such a fucking whore.”

I said, “Well – I’m a good person to have an affair with, in fact I prefer it.”  & we were silent for a while, then he burst out with: “Damn!  Tonight was fun!”

“Sure was – ”

“I almost didn’t come to your door.  I’m not sure why I did.”

“You wanted to fuck.”

“If anyone found out,” he was laughing, “her father would shoot me, my mother would be madder than hell – I mean, all hell would break out.”

“So we just don’t get seen together.  I mean, we’re gonna get together & fuck anyway.  We just don’t let anyone know about it, right?  & I’m leaving town soon anyway.”

So it was agreed upon – I’m seeing him, Thursday night, unless of course, he changes his mind.  You never know.  He might decide to do the right thing.  Whatever that is.

***

Wow!  I put 1 quarter into the vending machine & got 4 bags of chips!  I hit the jackpot, right?  Must be a good omen!

I’m so psyched.  I wrote a new set of lyrics yesterday,  called “Danny Boy” – about Joe – & I think they’re really good.  I’m working on a new collage – it’s really good.  All of a sudden, I’m waking up – I’m creative – I’m writing!  It’s great!

Last night, I was at Donovan’s – we were partying in the cellar, with like, 10 guys from Red & White – one of the frats at the high School – Donovan’s brother’s Chris is the president –  & I was really bumming – it was not my scene & not what I wanted to do – it was stupid.  Donovan was saying that “not that many albums are released” in a year & I wanted to puke – I thought, you have no idea what gets released – the whole world could be released & no one in South Euclid would ever know about it.  I have got to get the hell out of here!  I’ve got so many ideas!  I’ve got so many things to do!

***

It just flashed to me – just now – driving into the Finast parking lot with Donovan.  I was thinking about Gone with the Wind where Rhett tells Scarlett that if Ashley had really loved her, he would have stopped her from going to Atlanta to get the money for the taxes on Tara – it occurred to me that it’s the same with Donovan & me.  If Donovan really loved me, he would be trying to keep me from going to Buffalo.  Of course I’m not going to Buffalo to sell myself to a man like Rhett Butler.  But still.  He doesn’t want to make the emotional or the financial sacrifice.  That’s what love is – sacrifice.  I would have sacrificed for him.  I would give up the other men – I would give up everything.  But he refuses even to discuss it.  So now I think –  what the hell, it’s over.  I guess I wouldn’t have made such a good bargain, because love is making a gamble against all the odds & I would have lost.

***

Last night I was in tears.  When Donovan touched me, it was like my body was burning, I couldn’t stand it.  He said, “What’s the matter?” & I gave him some logical “I’m fucked up cuz of my period” reason although that’s not really it.  I was drinking 7 & 7’s & doing so many bong hits I lost count.  He took me home –  it was only 11:30.  I’m depressed because I want him to want to live with me – to want me – to want to be my man & he obviously just wants to party with the boys.  He just wants a girl he can fuck when he wants her – not a woman full-time & all the time.

My relationship with Donovan has changed into a love/hate type of thing – not hate, really, but I’m pissed off – I’m really pissed.  I’m pissed because he wouldn’t help me out, like I wanted, like he could have, if he had wanted to take the emotional risk.  I’m pissed that he didn’t want to hold onto me – I’m pissed that I’m so easily replaced.  Most of all, I’m pissed that once again, I got attached & he didn’t.  For whatever reasons.

I told him: “I can’t stand leaving you!”

He replied, “Yeah, but you can’t do anything about it, so why think about it.”  Which is what I say about everything that doesn’t concern me – why think about it – but this does concern me!

Granted, it is true that I don’t belong here, it’s not my scene.  Probably no one knows my unhappiness better than Donovan.  Our relationship has always been transient – he knew that I saw other guys, he knew about Joe Trulia.  I always got the feeling that Donovan just wanted a girlfriend, someone to take out & fuck – a mere companion – he’s really not all that attached to me – he would have broken up with me long ago if the sex hadn’t been so good.  I mean, from the start, he didn’t take it seriously because I didn’t take it seriously.  We just stumbled into it – we were horny.  So even though we spend 4 nights out of 7 together, we never expected to stay together – so here we are, breaking up.  This is really getting dragged out too, which is worse.  But hell, I guess he thinks just because she’s leaving doesn’t mean he has to stop seeing me.  It totally mystifies me why he wants to see me all the time, yet he’s letting me go without a cry!

***

Donovan told me: “You’re irresistible!”  Sometimes he comes out with these statements.  He’s corny, he’s romantic, even.  Sometimes, though, he’s such a realist.  It’s strange because he’s not even 19 yet.  I am a realist but I resent it, I’m bitter about it.  I make fun of my realism.  I’m a cynic & I make fun of that too.