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Tag: weed

Excerpts From a Diary 39

[Holidays, 1989-90]

[December, 1989]

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

[January, 1990]

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

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

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

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

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

 

Excerpts From A Diary 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!

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 30

[January]

Watching some college football game with Teddy.  We just got back from getting some groceries – spending our last $10.  It seems so strange to have no money!  Everything got spent going to Cleveland for Tish’s wedding – I would have just as soon stayed here.  I thought we could stay with Mom & Bob but between Jesse & Doreen & their kids & Helena & Geoff & their kids, there just wasn’t enough room.  So we had to get a motel room.  Which really wasn’t that bad – we were able to party & watch the bowl games the night before the wedding.  I just hate spending money when I don’t have any coming in.­

Oh well – Thursday’s Teddy’s payday & Friday’s mine – so on Saturday we’ll go to Wegman’s & stock up.  Our cupboards are getting bare – with the holidays, all the money’s been being spent on things other than food & I’ve been concocting dinners out of what we have & whatever we’ve been able to get at the last minute.

My stomach’s been killing me all day – woke up at 9 a.m. with shooting pains – absolutely the worst I’ve experienced in years – all day long – absolutely takes my breath away.  Shit that runs like water, only water would feel so much nicer.  This burns.

I finished Legend by Fred Lawrence Guiles – definitely the best biography of Marilyn Monroe I have ever read.  Well researched – well written.

I have to make tacos for Teddy – I can’t imagine eating one myself!  Bouillon for me!  I have to make lists for this week – get things ready for tomorrow & work.  Today nothing got done – I was in too much pain.

***

So.  Tish’s wedding.  It was definitely the nicest wedding I have ever been at.  The church was all decorated in poinsettias from Christmas – all red & white – & Tish was dressed in a very plain white velvet gown that was hand-made for her – it was a Azzedine Allaia design & it was gorgeous – dozens of little pearls going down her back – she had lost a ton of weight & looked fabulous.

Helena was her matron of honor in a sea-green ankle-length gown that concealed her four-month’s pregnancy.  The four other maid of honors wore shiny emerald green knee-length dresses that were typically puffy & looked more like something for a nightclub than a wedding.  Mom was wearing a pale pink Chanel suit – her go-to look – & Tish’s new mother-in-law – who is incidentally the executive secretary of Edmond Durant, so we are well acquainted – wore a shiny dress of deep rose.  Rocco was one of the groomsmen & the rest were friends of Brad & his one brother.  Brad – Tish’s new husband – was dressed in his Marine Corp dress blues.

Jesse & Doreen were there of course & most of the family & friends on both sides & all of Brad’s friends & family.  It was a very large wedding – amazing, given that it was right after the holiday & January weather can be very iffy.  But the weather held & it was a sparkling bright day.

I wore a sheer flowered shirt-waist – shimmery shades of pink & gold & green on a field of cream – with a lace camisole & petticoat underneath it & my boots.  I had a forest green blazer which I removed when the dancing started.

During the ceremony, I sat in church & thought about everything.  I was disappointed in not being chosen to be “in” the wedding but I supposed that you can’t have two matron of honors.  I’m not sure why though – there’s always more than one maid.  It really doesn’t make sense.  These silly rules.

But where had flaunting the rules gotten me?  I hadn’t even wanted to get married so I did everything I could to have an unconventional marriage – getting married in the park, wearing a red dress, wearing my boots.  & within what – six months? – I was deeply in love & having a passionate affair with another man – one of my husband’s best friends.  It was a soap opera – it was worse than a soap opera.

My sister Helena had three children & soon would have four & I knew Tish would be pregnant very soon – at a family picnic last summer, I had overheard Brad saying to her, “We’ll have them just like that” – looking at one of Helena’s youngest toddle across the grass.  & I had felt such a giant hole within me.  No man had ever said anything like that to me – never ever.  My experience was men not wanting children.  Jon insisting on me having an abortion.  Jesse complaining about Doreen being pregnant all the time – although he clearly loves his children – probably more than he loves her.  Teddy has told me more than once than he doesn’t want children – he doesn’t even want cats.  He doesn’t want any responsibility at all.  He would be happy just being my “manager” – which means not doing anything at all – since I am the one who books most of the jobs & I am the one dealing with the public – he just holds onto the money & drives me around – important work but hardly being a “manager”.  & how much longer could I go on dancing?  Teddy talks about me being a “Buffalo institution” but whoever heard of a stripper being an “institution”?  & I really need to get serious & finish up college & move onto some other kind of work.  Whether in law or something else.  But I can’t be a dancer for the rest of my life – as much as I loved to perform – I’m going to be 27 this year & that’s almost 30!  & I swore I’d never dance after 30 – which is three years from now but still.  When I started dancing, it was supposed to be temporary – until I found other work.  I mean – I never did – but dancing took over my life to the point where I never really looked for other work.  It was a good thing that I fell into the law office job.  But I don’t know how much longer that is going to be working out.  There’s all kinds of new people there – new part-timers, temp workers, all kinds of new faces.  I know from working in the bar that when there are new people, old people are going to get the shaft.  That’s how it works.  & I have never forgotten my conversation with Edmond Durant.  Law is a very conservative place & stripping is not.  Even though my work is impeccable, I have been waiting – for quite a while – to be laid off or fired.  I’m surprised I haven’t been.  But I’ll have to go back to school – I don’t mind – I really want to finish up my degree.  I just know that Teddy will have a major fit.

That was another thing I was thinking about in the church.  How I was married to Teddy – who I really do love – but how he’s just not right for me.  He’s enthusiastic about me dancing – but that’s about it.  We never have sex.  It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even bother him about it anymore because I don’t want to deal with the rejection & if he doesn’t want me, he doesn’t want me.  I tell people he’s my very best friend – which I suppose is true – but I have other “best” friends – Jesse – Gigi – even Anna, at the law office – even Tish, my sister standing at the altar, repeating her vows.

I looked at Jesse sitting with Doreen & I knew that I loved him & I wanted him more than any man I had ever known but I knew that it was impossible.  He wasn’t going to leave her.  He might say he would – he was going to let me hang on forever.  But he wasn’t going to leave her.  Not as long as she was the mother of “his” children.

I sat there in the church & thought – I have nothing.  Nothing at all.  No marriage.  No children.  No career I can brag about.  No degree.  Nothing.  Nothing at all.

I had never felt so depressed in my entire life.

***

[April]

I’m in our living room with Teddy & Randy.  Randy is buying some coke & complaining about living at Jesse & Doreen’s.  He’s taking some back to Jesse – who was having an argument with Doreen when Randy left the house – apparently, that’s all they are doing lately.  Doreen is pregnant again & wants to move out of the city.  Jesse doesn’t want to move because the house they live in is more than big enough for several kids, Doreen’s mom & Randy – if Randy stays with them – but Doreen wants to be in the suburbs.  Randy says he’s had it with all of them.  He’s supposed to be joining local 129 up in the Falls so he says he’ll move up to Niagara County to be closer to the Hall for his classes – he says he’s not driving back & forth from Buffalo.  “But I’ve had it with both Doreen & her mother,” he said.  “I don’t know how Jesse puts up with it.”

I have to say that Randy is really good-looking.  In ten years or so, he should be devastatingly handsome.   He doesn’t have Jesse’s blue eyes but his eyes are really beautiful – hazel, almost green – flecked with grey.

Randy brought over a 12-pack of Labatt’s Blue & we’re drinking beer.

I have a tape on – Talking Heads – “More Songs About Food & Buildings” – on the other side is Pretenders 1.  I have “The Honeymooners” on TV – no sound of course.  I love “The Honeymooners”.  Sometimes it’s hard to take – Ralph’s such an asshole but when he gets humbled, his face touches me.  Jackie Gleason has so many great faces.  Norton’s great & so is Alice.  Alice is great at the sarcastic reply.  But gee – I’d hate to argue like that.  Well – Ralph’s a macho asshole – what do you want.

I compare “The Honeymooners” to “I Love Lucy”.  Of course, the families in “I Love Lucy” are a lot more affluent – & “I Love Lucy” had a far larger budget – that’s obvious.  Also, “I Love Lucy” was a lot tighter – everything was totally rehearsed – no ad-libbing, no surprises – well there were some, but they were absolute accidents.  There’s quite a bit of ad-libbing in “The Honeymooners”, as well as blown lines – it’s fun to watch them recover.  Sometimes you don’t even notice until a few lines later & then you realize – a few things don’t fit so well – they’re trying to get that blown line to fit in.  But it’s great – it’s spontaneous – Jackie Gleason & Art Carney really knew how to play off each other.

I think the difference between the two shows are because of where the people had come from.  “I Love Lucy” was created & performed by people who had movie careers – a more formal, structured, organized type of job.  Jackie Gleason started in burlesque.  Shows in burlesque were thrown together pretty fast – the stripper who was headlining & the top comedian & the rest of the act would come into town & work at the local theatre with the local people – skits & comedy pieces were put together based on basic comedy skits used for years & years but updated to fit currents events & the locality & of course ad-libbed to fit the bill.

I would have loved burlesque.  I would have been a star.

Quite a beer buzz on here.  Not to mention lines & doobies.

10 p.m.  The hockey game is on the radio.  I hate listening to hockey – I hate listening to sports, period – unless Rick Jeanneret is doing the play-by-play.  He really makes you see what’s happening – he talks so quickly & distinctly & descriptively & emotionally.  But fuck – you have to watch hockey – any sports.  Besides, it’s not like they’re winning or even playing particularly well or anything.  I mean, the best they can do is lose.  We’re going to end up in last place anyway.

That beer buzz was driving me nuts.  I like a couple of beers – especially in the summer when it’s hot – but beer is such a slouchy slushy high.  Roly-poly – like a typical movie drunk.  I feel so full.  Like a roly-poly Polly-wolly.

I said to Teddy, “We need vodka.”

“We’re broke,” he replied.

Teddy got paid today but of course it’s all gone.

So I went over to Doug & Danielle’s with my empty vodka bottle & a joint & borrowed some of theirs – Doug had just bought a gallon.  We smoked the joint while I fed Davy.  Then I returned home & made a vodka & soda for me & a vodka & tea for Teddy.  Now we’re playing backgammon.  I have lots more to write but I’ve lost 4 games in a row & I have to kick ass & beat Teddy.  I can’t let him win!

***

How I miss The Canteen.

***

“Moreover, he was gifted with an almost photographic memory.” – Wyn Craig Wade, about William Alden Smith.

What a gift!  How often I read this about gifted, great, inspiration people!  How I envy it!  My photographic mind is one that is a double exposure – of half blank – or badly focused – or totally blurry.  Like dreams.  Or certain colors or images stand out unnaturally – again – like dreams.

But I remember so much more than I say I do.  Details – colors – smells – emotions – songs on the radio.  Everyday life is forgetful – la-di-da within my daily course – until something fucks up the habit.  But the fuck-up is why I remember.

***

Midnight.  Lonely, lonely, lonely.  Teddy’s already in bed – he says he’s loaded.  How can that be?  I made his drinks for him & they weren’t that strong & he didn’t have very many.  He needs so much more sleep than I do.  I don’t sleep unless I’m exhausted.  Also – when I wake up – I’m awake.  He takes forever to wake up.  I’m always hungry when I wake up.  Often it’s my stomach growling that wakes me up.

I’m reading a new book about the sinking of the Titanic but it’s hard to keep on it.  “Hogan’s Heroes” is on.  I’m restless – if Teddy was up, I’d suggest a walk.  How can he sleep so much?  I read that Gemini’s need a lot of sleep.  Having so much excess energy, Gemini’s use it wastefully – just blow it – go go go until it’s gone.  I have loads of energy but I use my energy more efficiently.  I’m in for the long haul, ya know.  In high school, people used to say, you won’t live to be 30.  I’d laugh of course – & I guess no one will be sure until my thirtieth birthday, right?  But I know – unless there’s some kind of accident – the motorcycle comes to mind immediately – I’m not gonna die.  I’m not self-destructive.  I am – in fact – very healthy.  Ya know – I eat well – do vitamins – heavy duty “stress” vitamins – work out – dance – I mean, I know it’s wrong – health-wise, anyway – to smoke weed & snort cocaine & I know I’ll pay for that someday.  But I really think that’s a long time away.  I don’t care – everyone’s got to die & no one dies of nothing.  I’m not afraid of that.  Ya know, you make your own deal in the end.

It’s after midnight – I didn’t feel like watching “Hitchcock” so I went around the dial.  A really dopey King Arthur movie is on – “The Black Knight”.  No familiar names in the credits.  It’s pretty bad.  It’s color but it’s that halfway color – the “color” that movies were filmed in the 50’s & 60’s when the budget wasn’t large enough for Technicolor.  It looks like the colorized versions of black & white movies.  They look so tacky!  They make me think of old photos that someone had taken color pencils & lightly colored over them – Nana used to do that.

In this movie, the hues are mostly brown & tan.  There’s blues & reds but they’re dark.  At least it’s not like some of those movies – the hues are reddish/purple.  A lot of horror movies are like that.  Real low budget.  I hate horror films – I hate the old tacky ones & I hate the new gory ones.  Who wants to be scared?  What a drag!  Besides the characters in those flicks are so dumb.  Like – they’re in a house haunted & everyone is disappearing or showing up dead – one by one – or the house is just acting weird – & instead of getting the fuck out of there, they have to investigate!  How stupid!  I’d rather watch a sex flick!  & sex flicks are about the most boring things around!  Ya know how you know – right off – a bunch of guys are really nerdy?  When you arrive at a stag & they have the sex film on & they have the sound on!  Sex films should have the sound on ZERO & the stereo on some really great music.  I mean, really.  Sex films always have terrible soundtracks – if you can call it that – & who wants to hear a bunch of moaning & groaning & panting & idiotic sex talk?  It’s not like it means anything.

Besides, I hate sex flicks.  Actually, I’ve seen some good ones & some of the new ones – written & directed by women – are pretty good.  But the Joe Average sex flick is really dumb.  One thing I think is really stupid is that they’ll show a couple fucking & the guy will pull out & cum all over the girl’s face or belly or ass or something.  I know they have to prove that he really came but I mean really.  She always acts like it’s the most wonderful thing that ever happened to her – his cum on her body – rubbing it in like body lotion.  I can’t imagine wanting some dude’s cum on my face.  & being happy about it!  Get real!

Where was I?  I wanna party more!  I want to do snort a line – no, I want to do two nice lines & then have Teddy wake up all awake & alert & do another set of lines & then have a toast & play some more backgammon.  & smoke one.  But then I wouldn’t be writing, would I?

I put David Letterman on.  I’m gonna try the Titanic again.  Well, maybe I’ll take a drink first.  MMM.  I’m drinking a vodka & soda – tall glass.  I love vodka & sodas.

Tish & Brad stopped in tonight.  I was so happy!  Tish & I had a really nice heart to heart.  I told her, “I thought you didn’t like me anymore cuz I never heard from you.”  She said, “Well, I never talk to anyone.”  I guess she’s really happy with Brad & they had a fabulous honeymoon in Jamaica & it hasn’t really ended yet.  I almost thought she was going to tell me she was already pregnant but she didn’t.  But she told me a lot about Mom & Bob.   They’ve been going to all these AA conventions & doing the “keynote” leads – Bob, especially, is in great demand – although I guess Mom does really well with the women’s groups.  They were in San Diego last month.  I haven’t talked to anyone in a long time, either.  I haven’t thought about AA in a long time – I don’t know why I would – partying the way I do.

I dream about everyone all the time.  Usually we’re at Gramma Mac’s house.  So much of me lives in Appleton.  Being in the apple orchard with Papa Mac or out on the boat.  Or sitting in the kitchen – looking out the window – at all the birds at the feeders in the lilac bushes outside the glass.  It’s winter & the seed is all over the snow.  It’s like I’m still a little girl & I never left.  Or I’m trying to get my shit together to go to school but I had a stag the night before & I’m dead.  Or someone is on my nerves & I’m not reacting very well.  Or I’m reacting like a star & not like a member of a family.  I think these dreams are my subconscious trying to put together my life now with my life then.  Synthesis.  I also dream quite often that I’m at school & I can’t get into it – sitting in a class was always a drag & in my dreams it’s unbearable because I’m a stripper – & either I disrupt class or I get into an argument with the teacher or the bell rings & I go to my locker & it won’t unlock – & then I get it unlocked & get my things but then I can’t navigate the hallways – it seems like I’m going in circles in a crowd of students & I can’t find my way out the door to the busses – & then when I’m finally out the door – I miss my bus – I literally watch it driving away without me.  I have this dream all the time.

For years, Teddy wasn’t in my dreams, but now he always is.  In my family dreams, he’s a big question mark because where does he sleep?  I mean, with me, of course – but how can he? – when I share my room with Tish?  Brad rarely factors in this dilemma.  Teddy is usually the reason I fight in dreams.  I mean – I’m in an unbearable situation & then I remember Teddy & I fight back.  Teddy really taught me how to speak up – speak confidently – stand up for my rights.  He’s the greatest.  I love him so much.

I’m gonna go – I’m gonna try the Titanic again – I’m tired of writing – I’d rather type – it’s faster – as fast as I can think.  But it’s too noisy – Teddy’s in bed.  Ya know?  What can you do?

***

[June]

My perm turned out really great.  Penny & I yakked it up the entire time – it was great.  She also had a high-pressure excellence-only Catholic childhood.

It was a great way to have your hair done!  I walk in – she handed me a beer – I drank 3 during the course of events.  After she rolled up my hair & put on the chemicals & everything, she pulled out a bowl, filled it with some really tasty weed & lit it!  I said, “Gee – I feel guilty, I shoulda brought a joint – I didn’t think!”

“Girl, shut up!” She replied.  “It’s just really nice to have someone to smoke with!”  She enjoys me – I entertain her, just like everyone else.

I love having curly hair.  It’s so long – long curls cascading down my back – like a princess.

***

[July]

It is so awful to be so addicted – to feel bummed out when you can’t get any – even when you weren’t going to get any but you decided to call – just for the hell of it –

When a friend calls & says she’s stopping by & you think – maybe she’s got – I mean – totally stupid –

So later that night – someone else calls & even though it’s time for bed you jump on the bike & fly over – party all night long – feel like shit all the next day – but party again –

***

[August]

I’d forgotten about my notebook – I was gone & I’d left it behind.  & everything else.  I was traveling on a sparkling white glacier with great rushes & nothing else.  Maintaining a high was becoming tedious.  But what can ya do?  Do another deal – do another line.

***

I’m so lonely – sexually lonely.  I need a friend – someone special – someone who probably doesn’t exist – to spend an afternoon or two – every week – spend it in bed – hugging, kissing, fucking – reminiscing about other lovers & other affairs & trading sexual stories & tricks – I need this.  I really need it.

I thought I had what I needed but I guess not.  Or else – not anymore.  Here & gone.  Whatever.  It kills me – it’s the same old story – it’s the same pain as 10 years ago – 15 years ago.  I had this loneliness long before I knew that it was – long before the words “sex” – “fuck” – “orgasm” – had any real meaning for me.  I know I was experiencing orgasms as early as 7 years old & maybe even younger – that’s what I remember – I know I knew how to make it happen for myself.  How did I learn?  Did someone show me?  I wish I could remember.  Only shadows remain.

But you can only masturbate so much.  After a while – even with orgasm – it’s just an exercise in loneliness.

Oh the pain – how I wish the pain would disappear.  You’d think after all these years – I’d had gotten used to it.  All the knowledge – all the philosophy – all the understanding – of the pain – what it is – how it works – doesn’t help at all.  A potato’s a potato no matter how you cook it.

***

Modeling is so boring.  Having to hold a pose – yuck!  I can barely keep still.  I mean, I can do it – I just don’t want to.  Most of the time these photographers want me in the stupidest poses known to man.  & of course they want sex – to talk about sex, to lick my sex, to have me sexually service them.

When I was younger, it was different – I was more into it – I wasn’t as busy – I wasn’t a dancer & a wife – & totally confident – I didn’t need the approval of the camera – it was more fun.  & I didn’t have a sense of exploitation.

Even then – it was a drag.  They say I’m a natural & I do admit I’m a big ham in front of a camera – a show’s a show & I am always a star – but it’s boring – boring –

Still – I can hardly wait to see the pictures –

I can’t help it – it turns me on – seeing my image –

***

OH MY GOD.  Jesse called this morning – Teddy had just gone to work – I thought that he wanted to get together since Doreen is seven month’s pregnant but he said that she had gone into labor & the baby was born prematurely – it doesn’t look good but of course Buffalo Children’s Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the country so we are all hoping for the best.  Jesse said that it’s a boy & his lungs aren’t fully developed & it’s in an incubator.  I didn’t think to ask his name but I know that they were considering either Silas or Jasper – terrible names, if you ask me.

Mom on the phone from Cleveland: “Of course it’s because of her smoking.  You can’t expect to carry a child to term successfully if you’re smoking cigarettes.”  Which I thought was rather cruel of Mom to say but of course it’s true.  I’ve heard lots of women say that smoking doesn’t harm the baby at all, just makes them “a little underweight” but that’s all bullshit.  There’s plenty of evidence to support that.  Of course the way Jesse smokes, it can’t be easy to quit – not with him puffing away all the time.  He’s a 3-pack a day smoker.  I know Doreen doesn’t smoke that much – she really doesn’t smoke very much at all, honestly – & she hardly parties at all anymore – but still.  I mean – if you’re going to have children, you have to make some decisions about your life.  & not smoking cigarettes is one of them.  I’ve never liked cigarettes anyway – I love smoking weed but cigarettes taste like crap & I’ve never understood smoking them.

***

This has been the hottest summer I remember.

***

Gigi’s disappeared – nobody knows where she is.  Oralie thinks she went back to Pennsylvania or wherever she’s originally from.  I really miss her but she had been getting really strung out – doing a ton of coke & I think heroin too – she looked like hell.  I know she was turning lots of tricks & was busted in that large sting at the Hyatt Regency downtown earlier this year & a few times on the street since then.  She bragged about being with members of the Buffalo Bills but I have a hard time seeing that.  I would think they would go for much higher-class whores.  At any rate – she’s gone.

Oralie & I have been doing stags together.  We each do a set – generally she goes first & then I do a set – & then we do a floor routine together – the guys love when we get down on the floor together.  We make the same amount of money that we would if we were working alone – it’s a great deal for us! We’re not actually having sex together – but it’s awful close!  Honestly – the guys can’t give money to us fast enough!  We split the tips & it’s always a pile of money.

Oralie moved in with Mo’s son Vinnie – or, rather, he moved in with her – he just got out of prison – he was in for dealing drugs & of course that’s what he doing now that he’s out again.  He’s got decent enough coke but I’m not crazy about the cut in it.  It really makes my sinuses hurt!  & it’s so hot & humid this summer that the coke is always cakey & doesn’t want to chop up into nice lines or crush into powder for the vials.

Oralie says that Vinnie is hung like a horse – “the largest I’ve ever had” – which made me think of Jon.  He still calls me.  He called me the other day – wanting phone sex, of course – but Teddy was home & I had to navigate the call in another direction & hang up.  I hate phone sex, anyway.  I want the real deal.  Which I will never get from Jon – I know that.  I went over to his place earlier this summer – Sara was in Brooklyn visiting her parents.  Jon & Sara have a beautiful place on Ashland Avenue – I’ve always wanted to live over there.  I danced for him & he jerked off while he watched me.  We didn’t have sex – I wanted to – but he said he wanted to be “faithful” to Sara.  I’m fascinated by these men who are “faithful” to their wives while they watch a naked woman dancing & masturbate to her image.  How is this being “faithful”?

***

[October]

Teddy had just left for work this morning when the phone rang.  It was Jesse.  “May I come over?  It’s Jasper.”

I took a quick bath & was just throwing on my sweats & a t-shirt when I heard the doorbell.  I ran down the stairs.  As soon as I saw him, I knew the worst.  “He’s gone,” Jesse sobbed, “he’s gone.”

I took him upstairs & held him as he cried.  I have never seen Jesse like this.  Jesse – the strongest of the strong!  The toughest of the tough!  I never would have thought he could break down like this.  Suddenly, I thought – where’s Doreen?  Why aren’t they together?  Shouldn’t they be together?  & I was happy that he had come to me.  That he was crying in my arms.

Finally, he got himself together & pulled away.  He blew his nose – really noisy – & then he pulled out a fat doobie.  “I gotta catch one,” he said.  “I’ve been at the hospital for two days straight – I’ve barely had a cigarette.”

“Have you eaten?”

“I’m not hungry.”  We passed the joint between us.  “He fought until the very end!  He wanted to live!  & he was doing really well!  I’m not even sure how he caught pneumonia – it doesn’t make sense at all.”

I didn’t know what to say.  What do you say?  “I’m sorry” seems so inadequate.  & I didn’t want to point out that it was easier to get pneumonia in a hospital than out of one – especially a little baby with compromised lungs. “What can I do to help?” I asked finally.

“Well, the funeral is going to be the day after tomorrow – I don’t know about Doreen but I know I’ll need some coke to get through it so do you think Teddy can get some?”

I sighed.  He wanted drugs.  Not love.  & from Teddy – not me.  “Yeah sure, I’m sure he can,” I replied.

***

After the funeral.  This was probably the hardest funeral I have ever been at.  You don’t mind when it’s an old person & they were sick & it’s a blessing that they went but this was a baby & it was just a drag.  Although considering that Jasper’s lungs were never fully developed & he might have been prone to all kinds of breathing ailments his entire life, his death could be seen as a blessing as well.  I’m sure Jesse & Doreen weren’t looking at it that way, though.

The weather was chilly but it was a beautiful fall day & we all assembled in the cemetery & the minister talked about God’s will and calling little Jasper to heaven to play among the angels & I thought – what a bunch of bullshit.  God’s will, my ass.

Jesse was completely wasted but maintained his cool.  He had his hair pulled back into a tight ponytail & he was wearing a sky-blue three-piece suit with a navy-blue shirt & a white tie.  I have never seen him dressed like this.  But the biggest surprise was Doreen.  She had cut her long red hair.  Since the day I met her back in 1979 – July, 1979 – she’s had waist-length hair – but now it was a short bob & such a complete change that it was startling.  She was sober.  Completely closed up within herself.

***

Oralie is pregnant so she’s not going to dance anymore.  I am going to miss doing stags with her because we made so much money together.  She said that Vinnie is still going to be dealing coke – she’s not going to be doing any drugs or even smoking cigarettes anymore.  I wonder how long this relationship is going to last – Vinnie partying & her sober.  But you never know.

***

[November]

2:30 a.m.  Two parties tonight.  9:30 UAW at The Mint – Seneca Street at Cazanovia.  Low-key but great – they loved me.  #2 – Columbia Hook & Ladder.  A bunch of bikers – mixed group of Rare Breed & Kingsmen & other guys – wild & rowdy but good guys – know & respect a lady when they are with one – my saving grace –

Leandra Green – whatever her last name is now – was there.  “Hey long time no see!” I said, giving her a hug.  She was dancing a short set between my two & doing the “extras”.  I used to buy acid & coke off her when we worked together at The Canteen.  We worked the 10-3 shift on Thursday nights.  Later she used to give me a quarter-gram of coke every time she fixed – it made me sick – I hate needles – but she begged & pleaded because she couldn’t do herself – & I had a steady hand & was able to hit her vein every time – plus I would always want another quarter-gram.  But I could never understand IV users who couldn’t fix themselves.  Doesn’t that give the other person a whole lot of power over your addiction?

She looks beat.  When I first met her, she was at the tail end of whatever beauty she ever had.  She wasn’t ever really beautiful – she might have been pretty as a teenager – but she’s 35 now & years of drug abuse really shows.  When I first met her, she was tough & good-looking – the drugs were still working for her.  Ya know – drugs make you look so great for so long – then they take take take – you don’t look great anymore.

It makes me wonder – what will I look like when I am her age?  Of course I don’t shoot drugs & never will.  But still – how long can I go the way I am going – without sacrificing my health & my beauty?

Excerpts From a Diary 28

[Holidays, 1985]

That stag at the Three Coins last night was a drag – a million delays – I swear, some guys think that they are the only party I have in a night & I can hang out & wait around for all their stupidity!  Fucking Italians!  They’re the worst!  Oh – not all Italians but these stupid mobsters or these mobsters wannabes – whatever they are!  They’re more interested in gambling than seeing a pretty girl dance!  Fuck their stupid card games – their poker games & their blackjack!  & they tip like shit.  We got to our second stag at Columbia Hook & Ladder an hour late & the third stag at Wales Fire Hall so late I’m surprised they still wanted me to dance.  All in all it was a good night – it could have been a terrible night – I made $482.  I would have made over $500 if we hadn’t had been so late to the second two stags.  Of course – I never would have booked the third stag way out in Wales anyway – that was Teddy’s stupid idea – he never seems to consider how long it takes to get from one place to another.  It was only a few minutes from Three Coins to Columbia Hook & Ladder – they’re both in North Tonawanda – but almost an hour to get out to Wales – that’s almost Wyoming County out there.   I have to really talk to Teddy about booking jobs & about proper charging for going way the hell out there.  I mean – that’s a long  ride.  Not only out there but coming home, too.  Tonight I only have one stag – at Quinn’s Pitcher’s Mound – at the corner of Kenmore & Military.

I have a piece of glass in my foot & it hurts.  I have to dig it out – I already got some of it – but I’m gonna wait till I take my bath.  It’s already been in there at least two or three days anyway.  I’m surprised it’s taken this long for it to hurt.

We just got home from running errands – to John Fleury’s for an 8-ball – to the cleaner’s – to the drug store to pick up developed film – out to Eastern Hills Mall to get my new boots.  I adore these new boots!  I just finished water-proofing them.  I have to let them sit 24 hours before wearing them but I just might wear them out tonight anyway.

It’s dark & dreary out – been raining several hours.  Traffic’s slow & stupid.  I’m glad to be home – I wish my foot would stop hurting.

***

I’m sitting in the car – Teddy’s inside at Jimmy’s house – paying him.  Jimmy’s another coke connection – he’s Paulie’s cousin – we have at least four or five now – Teddy wants to be able to always score when he wants to score & he says one connection can’t always deliver.  We’re on our way home from a stag.  The hockey game is on the radio – it just started – that’s how I know what time it is.  I have absolutely no idea what time it is.  But hockey games always start at 7:30.  The stag would have been great if I hadn’t been so hungover from last night.  I didn’t even want to drink – that’s how hungover I was.

***

Today’s our third anniversary.  We started celebrating this morning by smoking some hash before we went to work – then, after work – while we did a load of wash – we went to Falco’s for some drinks & a game of pool.  I won – I’m getting really good at pool.  Of course, I play all the time.  In an hour, we’re going to Mom’s for cocktails, then Mom & Jerry are taking us to dinner.  We’re going to the Old Red Mill Inn.  I’ve always wanted to eat there.  I hope it’s good.  After dinner, Teddy & I are going to drink champagne & snort coke & – hopefully – make love.  I guess that’s pretty standard anniversary shit but who cares.  It would be great if Teddy actually makes love to me.  I would be happy to have no champagne & no coke if that happened.  On the other hand – champagne & coke makes the no sex part a lot easier.

Business is booming.  We now book a stag a day.  It’s so wonderful being a star!

***

Soooo tired.  I didn’t get to everything on my list today – when do I?  — but I worked on my story – which is more important anyway.  Also I finished reading the new biography of Colette – excellent!  Totally cool life.  I love how she took control of her life after being controlled by her first husband.  & how she was a dancer & then a celebrated novelist.  I can only hope that my life turns out as well.  But reading doesn’t get my chores done.  I can’t help it – I would rather read or write than do hand wash or mend.  It seems like I’m always mending.  I wish I could just toss away my old clothes & buy new ones.  But I can’t afford that – I have to remake old things into new things or else I’d never have anything new.

Now I’m reading a book about Catherine the Great – I was halfway through it when I picked up the Colette biography – I’m gonna push to get through it.  I have so many books piled up to read – to many papers to take care of – so many projects.  There aren’t enough hours in the day!

Earl’s back in town – he said he sold his house & is packing up.  We’re going to go to lunch tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to champagne & onion soup.  Oh, how I wish he was staying here!  Oh well – it’s for the best – he really loves his new job.  But he says he misses me.

***

Man, what a drag!  My car died – again!  I just got it back Monday night!  They put a new fuel pump in – the nice black dude who helped me  said that the fuel isn’t getting to the engine – so who knows about this new fuel pump.  I’m not sure about these dudes at B & J International.  At least it died pretty close to home – off of Olympic Ave., near the Kensington Expressway.  I walked to B & J International.  Now they can’t get their tow-truck started – really inspires confidence!

It pisses me off cuz I didn’t want to call in sick to the law office – I’m not sick anyway – it’s my damn car – I hate calling in for any reason whatsoever!  Plus I have so much to do today when I get off of work – go to the laundromat – go over to Jesse’s to see the new baby – well, actually to see Jesse – I could care less about the new baby, honestly – & to get Halloween stuff for costumes for stag parties & for work – I DON’T NEED THIS SHIT!! Oh well, it could’ve died on Fillmore Ave. or Sycamore Street & then I would have really been up shit creek.  I’m also glad I wore sneakers – the heels on my new boots are already worn down & walking 10 blocks or whatever it is from the Kensington to here – Hewitt Avenue – would’ve really demolished them.

***

At The Canteen.  In the dressing room.   I don’t feel like working today.  It’s kinda dead out there – no one I really feel like talking to & I’m not into small talk – god I hate small talk!  It’s so boring – “What’s new?” – ya know, nothing ever is – with me, anyway – I go to work every day – do stag parties on the weekend – not much ever changes in my life.  I wish I was home – hanging out with Teddy.  Or better still – that Teddy would walk in with some coke & do some partying!  Or even better – that we were at home partying.

I just wish I could sit at the bar by myself & have fun just hanging out but naturally everyone always wants to talk – I’m just not in a talking mood.

***

Another day of rain – how many has it been in a row? – ten? – eleven?  It’s totally dark & foggy out – street lights still shine at nearly 9 in the morning.  Looking out the window from my computer terminal, I can see the buildings downtown – I can only make out the ones I know are there anyway.  Makes you wonder what today would have been like when Buffalo was a boom town – with the trains & the factories going full blast & the boats in the harbor & on the canal & the sounds of prosperity everywhere.  Probably today would be as dark as night – smelly – the fog holding in & intensifying the pollution of a midwest megalopolis.

***

Jesse was over this evening.  He bought some weed & coke to take hunting – he’s taking his younger brother Randy down to West Valley for opening day of deer season – Randy’s seventeen now & has been hunting down in Ohio with friends for over a year but as Jesse says, “He needs a man to hunt with, like my father hunted with me but he doesn’t do that anymore – not since he got sober” – which really doesn’t make sense to me – you’d think that not being drunk would make a man more conducive to good hunting, not less.  But all Bob wants to do is go to A.A. & talk about his “strength, hope & experience”.  I know that Jesse goes down to West Valley ever year to hunt but it’s more of a getaway from Doreen than an actual hunting experience – Doreen won’t touch venison – I love it but Teddy of course won’t eat it at all or anything killed like that – he’s totally a supermarket meat man.  Teddy can’t eat turkey if he sees it coming out of the oven – he says it looks too much like “the carcass” – which is idiotic – but that’s the way he is – it’s the same with a roasted chicken – I have to completely carve it & bring it to the table on a platter – which increases my workload & makes the meat dry.  But that’s life.

***

OH MY GOD.  Jesse just called from Buffalo General Hospital – he’s there with Randy – apparently Randy fell down a hill down there in West Valley & somehow his gun discharged & blew a hole in his foot – Jesse tied a tourniquet around Randy’s leg with a bandana & I guess that saved his foot – but he’s going to have a hole in it for the rest of his life – which sounds really suspicious to me, because wouldn’t the foot heal?  Who walks around with a hole in their foot?  But who knows?  I think the doctors are trying to scare Randy but honestly – who the fuck knows.  Maybe there’s dozens of dumbass men walking around with holes shot in their feet.  I never thought about it.  Jesse says he’s on painkillers & he’s going to be OK.

This is totally changing Thanksgiving.  Instead of everyone going down to Cleveland, Mom & Bob are coming here & we are all going to have dinner at Jesse & Doreen’s.  & because Doreen is really not much of a cook, she is going to do a ham – cuz really, how do you fuck up a ham? – & I am going to do the turkey – since I know how to roast a turkey & dressing – & bring it over there, all cooked – & everyone else is bringing everything else.  Mom is baking pies in Cleveland & bringing them up.   I’ll probably do the a big green salad as well.

***

Thanksgiving.  Everything turned out ok although it was super crowded at Jesse & Doreen’s & the new baby – Allison – cried almost the entire day – I had such a headache by the time we left – I didn’t even want to take any leftovers or anything – I just wanted to get the fuck out of there.  I hate a crying baby!  Zach was the same way when he was a baby & he wasn’t really much better now at two years old – whiny & complaining.  What Mom calls “the terrible twos”.  I guess all the people freaked them out but still.  I don’t know why Doreen doesn’t nurse her babies – both Zach & now Allison are on formula – so naturally they’re fussy & unsatisfied.  Mom said the same thing.

Randy was on crutches but he seemed to be OK.  Still on painkillers but he ate well & had a few beers – he had killed a nice 8-point the day before the accident happened & he was real happy about that.  He’s going to have it mounted.  Seventeen years old & he’s got his first mount! Jesse was twenty-five before he got his first one & then – of course – Doreen wouldn’t let him get it mounted because she hates that kind of thing.  Would never have it in the house.  He still has the antlers – it’s hard to believe Jesse giving in on something like that.  But whatever.  Randy’s turned into a very handsome young man – almost as tall as Jesse – fairer than Jesse & with hazel eyes that are almost green.  Bob was really pissed at him about the accident, though.  I couldn’t get it – I mean – it’s an accident.  That’s why they’re called accidents.  Again – I was really glad to get out of there & back to our quiet home.  Teddy had some coke stashed & we partied when we got home.  I was glad he had thought ahead.

***

I’m down – I feel weighted down with heavy emotion – desires – longings.  Last night we were supposed to pick up an 8-ball – John Fleury was supposed to call & drop it off on his way to a wedding reception but that never happened.  Actually – I don’t care about that – I would have liked to have partied but on the other hand, I’m glad I got a good night’s sleep.  It’s everyone else – the constant phone calls – “Where is it?” – knowing that certain people think we’re dicking them around when actually we’re the ones being dicked around.  It’s the domino effect – & we’re the ones in the middle of the falling dominoes.

I laid in bed & fingered myself to orgasm & thought of Jesse.  Why does he want me sometimes & not other times?  When we got together the other day I thought I was going to die.  Oh – his magic dick.  I love how it feels in me! Dying dying dying for more.   Hating everything – having to work all day – never having enough time to meet a lover – well – I’m Teddy’s wife – guess a lover is not part of the picture anyway.  But it’s part of my picture!  I can’t help it – I’m horny – I’m horny almost all the motherfucking time!  I want a good fuck – I want his cock jamming inside of me!

I’m tired of working all the time.  I’m tired of never having enough money to buy a new outfit or even the trimmings to make a new outfit out of an old one.  Or even a desperately needed new pair of shoes – the ones I’m dancing in have holes in them – I’ve told Teddy over & over again that I have to have new shoes – but no, the money goes to drug deals or to car payments or rent or the fucking heating oil – always something other than me – & I’m the one making the money!  I have no say!  I’m so tired of this!

& now – after the other day – & I can’t believe it happened – after barely being with him all summer – waiting all fall – will it happen again?  The way he kissed me – only Jesse can kiss like that – I know he wants me as badly as I want him –

Stopping at the Parker Liquor Store & buying a jug of red wine before going to his rental on the West Side – vacant again – & making love for hours – he took a big swig of wine & let it dribble out of his mouth into mine & then all over my breasts & then he licked it off – oh – I am wet thinking about it – how I want him – I only want him!!   He is the only one!

***

I’m in the car – in the parking lot – waiting for Teddy – he’s in the bank, cashing a check.  Then we’re going to run a few errands – pay my doctor bill – buy some papers.  Tonight Bernie’s coming for supper again – Ariane’s out of town on business.  We’re having Mexican pork chops & rice.  I’m hungry right now!  I wouldn’t mind a Texas dog or something.

I wish Teddy would hurry up.

At Top’s.  Teddy is inside, paying the electric bill.  Next is the doctor’s, then back to Danielle’s – we bought her a pack of papers.  Then home – I can hardly wait.  I have so much I wanna do – so much I’ll probably not do.  I’ll end up smoking joints with Teddy & Bernie & instead of getting up & doing something all nice & stoned, I’ll melt into the couch, reading or doing crossword puzzles.

***

I’m not at work – I arranged not to go because of the big stag tonight – working 8-11 at the law office, 12-5 at The Canteen & then a stag tonight seemed a little much.  Especially since last night, I got very little sleep – although I didn’t know that when I asked for the hours off last week – but Thursday nights are generally sleepless due to the usual 8-ball deal & the subsequent late-night partying – it’s easy to figure on burned-out Friday mornings.  Teddy kinda floated off to work today – he says he didn’t sleep a wink last night.  I know I floated in & out of consciousness – which isn’t exactly sleeping.  Just now I started feeling sick.

OK.  That passed.  Last night I went out shopping & drinking with Crissy – it was so strange not being with Teddy.  I really missed him.  Everyone tells me we’re together too much – all my girlfriends are constantly asking me out – trying to get me out with the girls!  But I’d rather be with Teddy!  Even though I was having a good time, I was glad to get home & show Teddy what I bought – finally a new pair of shoes! – & a few other things.  He & Jesse were snorting coke when I got here.  I was so glad to see Jesse – oh, that man makes me so horny!  This morning, he stopped by to drop off money for a deal – I gave him a cup of coffee.  & sugar – lots of sugar!  The special kind of sugar – the kind that only I have! Just like Teddy, he hadn’t slept a wink last night – I had to laugh – I was the one out drinking!

Oh – time for a hot bath – I feel so divine – I love to get fucked in the morning!

***

Anaïs Nin, in the fourth volume of the Early Diary writes: “I adore, I worship Hugh with my body and soul.  But I have a surplus of affection, of enthusiasm, which is pent up because he does not need it all.”

That is exactly my relationship with Teddy.  Although we are closer than ever & spend more time together than most couples, there is so much inside of me – so much affection – so much good sex – so much more than Teddy needs or demands from me.  It’s such a drag to constantly need more – to always be horny – always wanting – satisfied for short moments only.

Sometimes I want so intensely – I can feel the kiss – the pressure of his lips – his tongue – the look in his blue eyes when he told me:  “I can hardly wait to get laid off – I want to fuck you every day –  or whenever it’s convenient for your sweet little cunt” – I am dying.  I am perpetually in heat.  It dominants me – whether I am in the law office – in the car – enjoying a moment with Teddy – dancing – I can’t escape it.  I love it – passion – desire – sweat – cum – the never-ceasing rhythm – the smells & sounds of lovemaking – the complete sensual life – oh what am I to do –

***

Another grey day.  Sitting at the bar at Falco’s, while my wash dries.  A great idea:  a Laundromat with a bar inside.  So while you fold your laundry, you can have a drink.  Actually, my wash is probably done – but I’ve got this drink to finish!

I feel good today.  I have a stag tonight & I can hardly wait.  Out in Angola-on-the-Lake – what a drag!  Oh well – we’ll have a good time partying on our way out there.  I’m dying to dance!

***

New Year’s Eve – getting ready for our party.  We’re so low on cash – last night Teddy poured over the list – trying to cut a few pennies here – save a dime there – so we’re not getting olives or vegies other than carrots & celery – he plans to buy the bargain blue cheese dressing instead of Marie’s.

I’ll be so glad when this season is over.  Party, party, party!  I need a few months of quiet – time to writer – sew – create art – rest.  I have no bookings for 1986 yet – but if 1986 is anything like 1985, I’ll be busy busy busy!

But at this point, I’m just looking forward to next week.  Last week I found a bunch of poems in a notebook I’d forgotten about – I want to work on them – get them typed up & done.  Writing is all I want to do in January.

Well, I have to go wash dishes – straightening up my dressing room – start moving around plants & books so they’re not damaged during tonight’s party.  & I have to bake a cake – January 1 is Jesse’s birthday – he doesn’t know it yet but tonight’s party is also going to be a birthday party for him.  I love him so much!

A wife may love her husband but nobody loves a man like a mistress does.

Excerpts From a Diary 27

[Summer, 1985]

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

Lord – the sun feels nice!

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

Excerpts From a Diary 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.