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Tag: Wegman’s

Excerpts From a Diary 41

[March, 1990]

My heart is overflowing.  I cannot believe how wonderful I feel.  I’m listening to “The End of the Innocence” & for the first time it means something other than Jesse.  My whole body is humming – singing – vibrating.  My clit is still swelling – is still on fire.  My cunt still feels him – Pat – he has a big, fat cock.  When I first put my hand on it, I was excited – when I saw it, I was ecstatic.  He made me wait before he gave it to me.  He ate me forever – kissing my legs & thighs – before slipping his tongue between my labia lips – he ate me forever – I had no idea – or I had forgotten – how wonderful gentleness feels – a firm gentleness – how nice it is to be led down the path slowly & surely – & how strong – how deep – how full the orgasm was – I had no idea how much I was shuddering until he placed his hands on my hips & pressed me into the couch.  Then he raised his head & our mouths met – his tasting of cigarettes & cunt – the flavor of sex – then he slipped his cock into me – & we both gasped.  We looked into each other’s eyes & we were Goddess & God – & our orgasms were like earthquakes – we held each other tight – as the aftershocks rocked our bodies –

“I always knew you would be wonderful,” he told me.  “I always knew you would be receptive.  You are so alive – every fiber of your body – electric.”

I should not be writing this – this is very dangerous stuff.  But I can’t help it.  I want to relive it – to savor it again.  I am wet – so wet.  & I still can’t believe it’s Pat doing this to me.

“I’ve wanted you for a long time,” he told me.

“& I never noticed – ”

“You were still hung up on Jesse.  That was obvious.”

“I cast a spell last month,” I said, “to attract someone – I really needed someone.”

“I know, I know,” he was kissing me, “I was sending power your way & you were just sending out power – I could feel it.”

***

“Who knows who long this will last/Now we’ve come so far so fast” – Don Henley

Pat’s love flows over me like this song – if he worked out just a little bit, his body would be excellent.  Look how little I have to do!  I look wonderful.  It’s hard to believe that this is the same body I had at Christmas.  I look better than I have in years.  I feel so good.

I can hardly wait to be with him again.

***

I have been thinking about Pat all day.  It is hard not to talk about him – to bring up his name.  I catch myself staring into space & it is Pat’s image that I see.  His twinkling eyes & sweet smile.  The way he winks at me.  The way our fingers touch & the electricity that we feel when we pass joints.  The way we discover each other –

What changes a person – what is it that makes a person you’ve known & liked but never thought about much – into someone who occupies all your thoughts – all day & all night – waking & dreaming?

***

I couldn’t sleep last night.  It seemed like I could barely breathe.  I have even less of a voice now than before – it’s an effort even to whisper.  I could taste blood on the back of my throat & my heart & lungs feel so cold & tight – my first cup of coffee, thick with sugar & half & half, is warming me wonderfully.  I am downplaying how bad I feel – I want to go to Falco’s to meet Mark Miles & talk about my poetry book – & I’m afraid Teddy will try to make me stay home if he knows the truth.

The night went by so slowly.

***

I am still sick.  I feel totally miserable & yet am beside myself with happiness.  Pat is now teaching me – he gave me a book – Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior – it’s a lot like the Medicine Way.  We are always talking – trading our spiritual knowledge & experience.  He wants me to read Carlos Castanadas.  I gave me a copy of Little Birds – I had two copies – & as soon as Mark Miles can get copies made of my manuscript, I’m giving him a copy.  Hopefully, I can get a new cartridge so I can start another book.  Also, I’m working on a “Pagan Prayer Book”.  I have so many ideas – I am exploding with creativity.  I can’t believe I am still sick.

***

It is becoming a bad dream – Teddy asking questions – making accusations – “Are you in love with Pat?” – I could not deny my feelings – but I denied having an affair.  I spent last night buoying up Teddy – oh why does he have to be so weak?  Why can’t he say “Fuck you, you’re my woman, you’re not going to want anyone else” & then prove it to me – be the man I want & need – I mean – gee whiz – he’s been with me long enough to know what that is!  Instead – he whimpers – he cries – he tells me – “If you have another affair, it’ll kill me, I won’t be able to stand it, I love you so much – ”  & I am once again thrown into the role of nurturer – of the strong mother who protects her child.  But Teddy isn’t my child!  He’s my husband!

Later.  Pat & I talked.  I told him how Teddy confronted me & what I said.  “I couldn’t deny my love for you.”

“There is no denying it.  Yeah, we can stop making love but our love is not going to go away.  Pretty soon I’m not going to be able to live without you & you’re not going to be able to live without me & Teddy is not going to be able to ignore it.”  He laughed.  “What we have to do is get a decoy.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, if I had a girlfriend, or appeared to have a girlfriend, it would prove to Teddy that I had no interest in you & that would let you off the hook & ease up on the drama with him,” he reasoned.

“That sounds like way more drama to me,” I answered.  “That sounds like something out of a soap opera.”  & we laughed.

He kissed me.  “Drama or not, whatever happens, I’m here for you.  You can depend on me.  You can call me, call on me, whenever you need me, I’m here.”

Of course – Jesse said the same thing.

***

Loving Pat makes me love Teddy more.  I feel so tender & I hate the thought of hurting him.  I want to hold onto this phase – living here with Teddy – with our cats – I need time.  Only time will tell.  I wish I could find another mother for Teddy – another woman who will take care of him – someone who doesn’t need sex, obviously!  I’m just afraid that he will really go off the deep end if I’m not around.  I’m can’t help worrying about him.

***

The one good thing is that I’ve stopped drinking.  All I’m doing is smoking weed & doing coke if there’s any around.  & pills for pain.  But no alcohol – not even beers at Falco’s in the afternoon’s – which I really miss – but no alcohol at all.  That’s because of Pat & all our talk about sobriety & living a better life.  & I feel better.  I really do!  I’m losing weight & working out & I feel like my whole life is getting better.

***

Pat was supposed to be over to take Teddy to work & to get money for the bag – which is almost gone – but he’s probably at home, sleeping.  He went out last night – how I wish I had been with him!  I couldn’t stop thinking about him & our love – how wonderful sex is – & how better it keeps on getting.  He was here earlier in the evening & then went out with Kyle – they were going to Brunner’s & I am sure that they went to Falco’s after Brunner’s & closed the place.  Kyle has the really good weed that we want & he always has piles of coke.  So I know Pat was up all night, partying.  Not drinking of course – but snorting coke & smoking weed.

Tonight he’s going out with Amy – they’re seeing a movie.  I’m so jealous.  I can’t believe it.  I feel a little silly, actually.  I mean – jealousy is so childish – so not who I am.  But I won’t be able to stop thinking about after the show – him taking her home & fucking her – although we made love all morning long – he got hard twice – but I’m so jealous – I hate it!  I hate it!  I know I sleep with Teddy every night but it’s not like it’s sexual – far from it.  I want him – I want him so badly – it’s gonna seem years until Monday morning.

When Pat said that we needed a decoy, I thought he was joking – I didn’t think he was actually going to get one!  I have to wonder – did he already have her in mind?

He says he loves me but how can he go out with another girl when he loves me?  I know that I had an affair with Jesse for years but that was different – Jesse was already married.  & Jesse has always made it plain that if he hadn’t already been married to Doreen, he would be with me.  Pat isn’t married – he’s never been married – at least, I don’t think so.  So why he is seeing another girl?  Does he really love me or is he just saying that?

Night.  I just finished rearranging my books.  It took me three days.  I don’t know why I started on this fool chore – I mean, I was tired of the way they were – but once I got started, I wished I had left them where they were.  1700 or so books taken off the shelves & rearranged is no small chore.  Yesterday I was in the foulest mood – except when Pat was here – tired, achy, dirty – wading through piles of books – both upright & knocked over – but it’s all over now – everything’s in place & looking nice.

But last night – standing in the middle of the giant mess – looking around at the chaos – I had to think – “Why did I do this?” – I think it’s a reaction to the messiness & chaos of my own life – the business with Pat & Teddy’s reaction to it – I can’t clean up my life as well as I can my books.  Or is taking all my books & rearranging them what I would like to do with my life?

***

Just about to take a shower.  My heart feels so heavy – I am so sad – so slow – I cannot find words to describe my feelings – I sit here, the pen on the paper – words flying by my brains like pieces of paper & old plastic bags flying by in the wind – a typical March day – warm, wet, overcast in that nondescript grey-white cloud cover that is the entire sky – no discernible sun – & I think about Pat’s face – overcome with joy as he makes love to me – smiling down at me like the benevolent suns I have been drawing since I was 16 – but there is no sun today – nothing.

I am so depressed I can’t stand it.

The day is grey but warm.  I’m dying to get out of the house.  I’m feeling better & better although I still cough a lot.  I have lots of studying to do which is what I plan to do today.  If only I could concentrate better.  Sometimes I find myself reading the same page over & over again.  Taking notes help.  Later on, I’m going to Pat’s to invite him over to dinner – leftover chili.  But I don’t know when to go over there – he could be still sleeping with Amy – they could be spending the entire day together.  I have never experienced this kind of jealousy before.  Why did he have to go out with her?  Was that really necessary?  I feel crippled with jealousy – where is the confident, self-assured Cori, who’s in control of her relationships & sees things as they are?  It’s like he sucked all the macho out of me & left only woman – soft edges & all – waiting by the phone – waiting, waiting.  Insecure & trembling.  Wondering if he’s true – if he means the words he says in the middle of love.  Knowing that the flip side of a salesman is a con artist.

The old pain exchanged for a new one.  But I’m hooked.  I need my fix – oh Pat – give it to me!

Might as well jump into the shower.  I really miss that huge bathtub back on Minnesota Ave.

***

I am already going nuts with Teddy home sick.  He is as grouchy as a bear.  I suppose I was grouchy too – these past few weeks – but I was alone most of the time – I wasn’t bitching at anyone but myself – I do struggle with myself – I struggle to stay gentle – I struggle not to snap at him – even though he tries my patience!  Sick or not, I am not going to stay here & wait on him all day.  I have books due at the library – I’m gonna walk there later & get some new ones – find something nice for Teddy to read – mail some letters – breathe in the cool spring air.

***

Reading my diaries.  Searching for answers – for clues.  Starting at the beginning – in 1978, when I first get to college – how I ramble on – what a fucking alcoholic.  But it reads real good – a lot better than I thought it would – that whole business with Jon – it took me such a long time to get over him – it affected every relationship I had after that – up to & including Teddy – talking about the “sun imagery” – Brady Devine & then Jon & now Pat – these guys with red-gold or blonde hair & big blue eyes – what is it about the sun that attracts me?  As opposed to the moon or any other celestial being?

Barrett was dark like the moon.  How strange – I hardly think of Barrett at all anymore. But I was crazy in love with him at one time.  Crazy like the moon.

Night.  Almost done with Shambhala by Chögyam Trungpa – Pat’s book – he was adamant that I read it.  Pat wants me to learn meditation – he talks about Buddhism all the time.  He thinks it’s what my life needs – the only thing my life needs.  He thinks it’s great that I’ve stopped drinking but says in the grand scheme of things that’s secondary to daily meditation & learning the Dharma.

I had a job interview today at Bell’s Supermarket today – I don’t think I got the job.

***

Teddy just left for work on the motorcycle.  We have been having unseasonably warm weather – in the 70’s – really beautiful but fucked up, too.

***

Jesse came over this morning & wanted to make love but I said no.  He was really surprised.  He was standing on the porch & I was just out of the shower – I was expecting Pat.  I wasn’t really sure what to say to Jesse – when have I ever said “no” to him? – when Pat drove up in his little Mitsubishi.  Pat got out & said, “Hey Jesse, how ya doing?” like it was the most natural thing in the world that Jesse would be there, standing on my front porch.   Jesse didn’t miss a beat – “Hey, just stopping by on my way to work to see if Teddy had any good smoke – maybe you do,” he said, giving me a look that told me he knew exactly what was going on.  Pat laughed & said, “Well, in fact I do but not on me, give me a call later.”  Jesse left.

I feel bad about Jesse but what the fuck – he’s married, he’s always been married, he’ll probably always be married.  Pat may be fooling around with Amy but that’s not legally binding & when push comes to shove – I’m the one who’s married.  Legally married.  To Teddy.

Oh my god, how did I get into this fucking mess.

***

Pat & I have decided to wait a year before we make any moves.  Although he wants me now – wants to sleep with me – wake up with me – have coffee in the morning with me.  But he isn’t financially able to share his life with me – or anyone else – he’s barely able to take care of himself. I mean – I know that’s why he’s here almost every evening – it’s to have dinner!  He may be in love with me but he’s also hungry.  I have to be honest about the whole situation. Pat’s like everyone else – he knows better than to try to pry me away from my lovely home & my beautiful cats & my devoted husband.  & Teddy has his flaws but he is devoted.  Other than that – we’ve just been going with the flow.

Also – I know he’s still seeing Amy.  I haven’t said anything about it because what can I say.  I’m married to Teddy.  But I’m really hurt.  I’m really hurt that in the mornings, he comes over here to make love to me after Teddy goes to work & he’s probably been with her all night.  Like he’s some kind of Buddhist sex warrior who can fuck numerous women & keep them all satisfied.

I love him but I have never been so miserable in my life.

Anyway – it’s been kinda an ongoing dialogue with Teddy & me.  He’s jealous of Pat – jealous that I’m in love with him – obviously joyously in love – when I’m not totally miserably in love – jealous that Pat & I talk all the time – about spirituality mostly – but also about poetry, music, art, culture, history, anthropology – subjects that Teddy can’t/won’t/doesn’t want to enter into – jealous of the whole thing.  But on the other hand – I have been more loving to Teddy – partly because being in love with Pat makes me love everything & everyone more & partly because I want to prove to Teddy that he’s not going to lose me or my love.

“Just don’t make any plans behind my back,” he said.

“I’m not going anywhere,” I said.

***

Waiting for Pat to return.  Waiting – he’s at least 2 hours late.  He was only going to take us to Wegman’s – no big deal – but I made myself look really nice – tight jeans, tight hot pink sweater, my “fuck me boots” – that’s what Pat calls them – all nicely made up – jewelry, cologne – boy, do I feel stupid.  Teddy’s mad at Pat – for standing us up – for standing me up – Teddy’s so sweet – he knows how I feel – he’s mad at Pat for disappointing me – for not showing up when I made myself pretty – oh, I feel stupid & silly.  Teddy is a wonderful husband – I am an undeserving wife –

***

I am absolutely beside myself.  It is pouring rain – Teddy just left on his motorcycle – he’ll come home with fucking pneumonia – but he didn’t want to call Pat or pay him $5 for the ride – I am still pissed about last night.  I feel so terrible I can’t believe it.  I know it seems like a little thing – but it’s the principle of the thing – I mean, can’t you at least stop by & say, hey, something’s up – I can’t take you, cya tomorrow?  Instead of letting us wait.  Me, sitting there like a fool.  My heart hurts.  It hurt last night – I haven’t been in such pain in a long long time – oh he cares about me – he certainly does – & he has quite an endearing way of showing it!  I can’t believe my eyes.  He’s here.

Later.  Pat wanted to know if Teddy needed a ride to work.  “He’s gone already,” I said.  “Well, can I have a cup of coffee?  I’ll roll one,” he offered.  “Well – ok,” I said reluctantly.  I couldn’t stay mad.  I never can.  Not when I’m in love.

“I suppose you believed his excuse for not showing up last night,” Teddy said later.  But it’s not a question of believing.  It really doesn’t matter to me.

***

Things are more fucked-up than ever.  I hardly know where to begin.  I’ve got a terrible migraine.  & a hangover –  & I’m totally beat-up – Teddy hit me! – my sweet Teddy-Bear!  I can’t believe it!  I’m sitting at Sammy’s Texas Hots – having a coffee & trying to eat some breakfast – waiting for Jesse to arrive.  I’ve been sick all night but I walked over here to meet Jesse – apparently he & Teddy talked things over & I’m supposed to talk it over with Jesse or something.  I don’t know.  Teddy wouldn’t give me any information & I don’t feel like talking to him anymore, anyway.  I woke up this morning & decided that it all had to end – one way or another.  All of it.  I don’t really care how it happens, either.  All I know is that I can’t go on like this anymore.

Yesterday started out like any other day – Teddy left for work like he always does – it was another gorgeous day, so he took off on the bike – I figured that Pat would be over like he always is, so I took a leisurely shower & made myself look really pretty – I was feeling really good & had music on & was singing & dancing & I really didn’t notice that it was way past the time when he should have been at my door.  But I was in a good mood & I had made a coffee cake so I wrapped up a few pieces & walked over to his place.  It’s only four blocks – not far at all – a quick walk – I’ve walked it a hundred times – but never without calling beforehand.

I didn’t think it would matter.  Cuz he loves me, right?  & he was supposed to be at my house anyway.  He probably just overslept.  Which was reasonable – right?

The door downstairs was unlocked & I walked right up to Pat’s apartment on the second floor.  I knocked on his door but no one answered so I let myself in.  I mean – it wasn’t locked, either.  I set the coffee cake down on the kitchen counter.  I was going to call out his name, but something kept me from doing that.

I was quiet.  I was cagey.   I was on guard.

I walked through the apartment.  I could hear – the sounds – the noises – of love – I didn’t want to hear but I knew Pat’s voice – I knew the sound – the low growl in his throat – when he’s about to cum – & I stood there, outside of his bedroom as he pounded Amy – who was being pretty damn noisy herself – & then I ran – ran, ran, ran, ran –

Of course – I went to Falco’s.  I wasn’t even really thinking about where I was going.  I mean – I could have gone home.  I don’t know why I didn’t go home.  I didn’t want to be alone – I guess that’s why I didn’t go home.  I didn’t want to be alone with the sounds of their lovemaking in my head.  I wanted to be in a bar – with the TV on & the jukebox playing tunes & people talking all around me.  I didn’t want to think.  & I didn’t want to drink – I was too upset – but I did drink – I was in a fucking bar!  & what else could I do?  Even with the TV & the jukebox & the other people talking, I still had the sound of Pat’s lovemaking to another woman out of my mind – I needed more than a few shots of Crown Royal & bottles of Labatt’s Blue to drown that out – before I could relax & have a good time.  & I did – for a while – oh yeah!  I had a really good time!  Mark Miles was there & Rolf Johnson & so many others – I was partying my ass off – laughing & singing & dancing – but by then I was so drunk – there wasn’t anything that was making me think of –  fucking christ – how fucked over I had been – not just by Pat but by every dude in my life – including Jesse – & I was thinking about this seriously – listening to Billie Holliday on the jukebox – hanging onto my bottle of Blue – I was beginning to nod out & even though I was singing along to the tunes – really – Anthony Falco called me a cab & shoved me into it & made me go home.  “Because I love you,” he said.  If he had known what I was going home to, he would have thought twice about that.  & I know Anthony – I know he would have thought twice – he would have thought three or four times – he would have never put me into that cab at all.

I got home & Teddy was already there.  I had no idea it was that late.  I was really drunk.  & ya know – I had done some lines of coke & some pills – I don’t even remember what.  It was that kind of day.  You know – your average get kicked in the guts & go out partying & do whatever is put in front of you kind of day.  & Teddy was pissed off – I mean, I’ve talking about quitting drinking & not drinking & going without drinking & actually not drinking for several weeks now & here I was, rip roaring drunk.  But I had a really good reason – right? – except I couldn’t tell Teddy that reason.  Except that I did tell him.  Cuz I so drunk I was unable not to tell him – I was so drunk – I had to tell someone.  & Teddy – he was my best friend, right?  He had always been my best friend, right?  Except now he wasn’t my best friend.  & I realized that he hadn’t been my best friend in a very long time.  He had only been my husband.   & really – not a particularly good one.

He told me:  I’m a slut – a whore – I’ve got a drinking problem – a sex problem – yeah, me – I’ve got the sex problem!  –  & I’m the worst wife in the world – me! – can you imagine! – with this immaculately house – my fabulous meals!   He went on: Because of me, we have nothing to smoke & no connection & he has no ride to work in the morning & everything sucks because of me.  Naturally I argued with him – I was drunk, after all – which is when he went completely nuts – slapping me across the face, which made me fly across the room into the filing cabinet.  I remember hitting it really hard & my mouth filling with blood.  I slid to the floor.  “Serves you right,” said Teddy.  I went to the bathroom & cleaned up the cut on my mouth – I thought I had maybe lost a tooth but they were all still there – but my mouth was already swollen & beginning to bruise.  I went to bed.

I wasn’t quite asleep – in that floating stage of not-sleep but not-awake – but almost passed out – when I heard something – it sounded like ripping pages – I got up & found Teddy totally destroying Pat’s books – the ones he had loaned me about Buddhism – & a few library books, too.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I had been raised to regard books as sacrosanct.  You treated books with respect!  “I feel better now,” he gloated.  “I feel like I’ve struck back at him.”  I thought he was a complete idiot.  I went back to bed – praying to the Goddess to help Teddy.  Praying to the Goddess to help me.

I was sick all night – getting up to throw up numerous times – but by the morning, it was all over.  Teddy was up before I was – he had coffee made & he was on the phone.  When he got off the phone, he told me to come here to Sammy’s to wait for Jesse.  That he’d been talking to him & that they had a plan.  I don’t know what that means.  He wouldn’t tell me.  He’s not talking to me.  The coked-up guy who would never shut up is not talking.  But whatever.  I still feel pretty sick but I’m trying to hang in there.  I must look pretty bad, because people look at me & look away.  Some people have walked into the diner & then walked right back out.

Here’s Jesse.

***

In Cleveland.  Hard to believe I’m here.  Everything happened so fast & while I don’t really believe in what I’m doing, it’ll help me buy some time until I do know what I’m doing.

That doesn’t make any sense.  But nothing makes any sense anymore.  Quite honestly, I don’t think anything has made any sense in a very long time but I was so determined to hold onto the patterns of everyday life that I didn’t see the unmanageability of my own life.

To continue the story I was telling yesterday – I was sitting in Sammy’s Texas Hot’s, trying to eat two eggs over easy with home-fries and a piece of ham with a cup of coffee with two creams and sugars & a tall Pepsi with lots of ice.  I was sick to my stomach & wanted nothing more than to go throw up but I was determined to eat my breakfast because I knew that I needed the sustenance.  But it wasn’t easy.

Jesse walked in.  For a moment, it was like it was 1983 again & I was flooded with feelings of love – like the first time I ever made love to him & I knew that I was his woman.  & I was confused – why did I go out & get wasted – because of Pat & Amy – if it was really Jesse that I loved?  Why should I care if Pat was making love to another woman?  What was the matter with me?

Jesse slid into the seat in across from me in my booth & gestured to the waitress.  “Coffee and a doughnut,” he ordered and lit a cigarette.  After he received his breakfast, he said, “Teddy thinks you’ve got a drinking problem & you need help.  & you also have a sex addiction.”

I burst out laughing.  “Yeah, right!  That from the dude who only wants it once a year!”

“His attitude is that if you really love one another, sex shouldn’t matter.”

“That’s a very convenient attitude,” I snapped.  “I don’t think you would put up with that shit.”

“No,” he admitted.  “But we’re not talking about me.”

I tried to eat some potatoes.  “So – what does Teddy think I should do?”

“He’s pissed off.  Right now he just wants you out of the house.  I think he’s gonna change his mind & miss you once you’re gone.  I think you need a time-out – ” he chuckled – “& you could definitely benefit from some rehab.”

“Oh – ok.  So I do have a drinking problem.”

“Well, according to Teddy, you haven’t been drinking these last few weeks – maybe a whole month? – which is great – you’ve been staying out of the bars & you haven’t been drinking at home – you’ve been making an effort.  So on some level, you must think that you, do, indeed have a problem.  & c’mon, Cori – ” he lit another cigarette – “you’ve always been a hearty partier.  You can drink almost anyone under the table & you do drugs with the best of ’em.  So don’t act like this is all Teddy’s idea, because you have been talking to Pat about this for a long time – that’s his hook – that’s how he gets all you babes – I’m not trying to hurt you, Cori, honestly – ” he took my hands in his – “he talks sobriety – but I would never call him sober.”

“Well, he doesn’t drink,” I argued.

“Well, that’s good,” Jesse agreed, “but I’ve partied with him plenty of times & he’s a major coke head if I’ve ever seen one.  & I’ve seen plenty of ’em!  & he’s a hustler & a con.”

“You’re jealous,” I accused.

“Let’s get out of here,” he said.  “You’re just pushing that food around the plate.”  He threw a twenty on the table & steered me out of the diner & around the corner to the side street, where his van was parked.  Once inside, he lit up a fat doobie & we smoked.

“Yeah, I’ve been jealous,” he admitted.  “What the fuck – that day I came over & you said no & then he drives up – that blew me away.  I know you’ve had other men here & there – ” I started to protest but he waved me away. “Get real, Cori, it’s who you are.  It’s how men react to you.  You can’t help it.  But this was different – I saw him go after you like you were a project.  I could have told you it was a con, but you never would have believed me – & maybe I hoped that it wasn’t a con – that it was the real deal & he was going to be the right guy for you.”

I was quiet, smoking the joint.  It was making me feel better – settling my stomach – calming my nerves.  “So – what do you & Teddy think I should do?”

“I called my father before I came here & he & your mom think you should go there for a little while – I think once they see your face, they’ll want you to divorce Teddy immediately, but that’s your choice – but they’ll want you to go to rehab & get sober & do all the stuff you were talking about anyway.  & regardless if you stay sober – that doesn’t really matter – just do it for now – you could use the break from all the chaos & when you go to make a decision about the rest of your life – to stay married to Teddy or not – at least you won’t be making that decision when you’re all fucked up on booze or coke or even weed.”  He started the van.  “So right now – fasten your seat-belt – we’re going to your house & you’re going to pack a suitcase – just a few things that you need – & I’m going to drive you to Cleveland.”

“You’re driving me to Cleveland?  Right now?”

“Yeah.  When we get to your house, just go in & get what you need & don’t say anything to Teddy – don’t prolong this.  Just in & out & we’re on the road.  OK?

But Teddy wasn’t there anyway.  I don’t know where he was, but I didn’t care anyway.  I didn’t bother leaving a note for him since I figured he knew where I was going.  I packed the small suitcase with my favorite clothes & a backpack with my current notebook & some favorite books.  My toothbrush, my razor & that was it.  Kissed the kitties good bye & I was gone.

***

I fell asleep on the way to Cleveland.  I was exhausted.  Jesse saw me nodding out & he said, “Go in the back – there’s a bunch of blankets back there – you’ll be more comfortable.”  I curled up on a bunch of old quilts that smelled like campfire & kerosine & went right out.  I was aware of the radio but that was it.  I woke up when I felt the van slowing down & stopping.  I sat up.  “I need gas,” Jesse said & got out of the van.  I got into the passenger seat & looked at myself in the rearview mirror.  I was a real sight!  My mouth was all swollen & bruised & I had a big bruise on my right cheek as well.  But I was feeling better.  My migraine was gone & I wasn’t feeling sick anymore.

Jesse got back into the van.  “Hungry?”

“Starving,” I answered.  He drove across the street to a McDonald’s & went through the drive-through.  I ordered a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, a large fry, & a Coke.  Jesse got a Big Mac, fries & a coffee.  Back on the road, we ate & then he fired up another doobie.  “This will probably be the last one you’ll smoke in a long time,” he said.

We smoked in silence, listening to the radio.  “Every Breath You Take” by the Police came on.  For the second time in the day, I flashed back to 1983 – when it was our song – when I would play it on the jukebox at The Canteen & Jesse would sit there, at one of those little round tables in the back, drinking a Jack & Coke – & even though there were other men in the club – even if the club was packed – the way he looked at me & the way I felt about him, it was like he was the only man in the club.  He was the only man – for a long, long time.

I started to cry, hearing the song.

& it occurred to me that I was repeating the past – going back to Cleveland after crashing & burning in Buffalo.

“C’mon, babe, don’t cry – it’s gonna be alright,” Jesse soothed.  I turned to him.   I was still crying but I calmed down since the song was ending.

“Is it?  Really?  How is it going to get better?  So I go to rehab somewhere & I get sober.  Big fucking deal.  So I’m sober & everyone cheers.  I have no more career, I have no job, no money, nothing.  I have a stupid little AS degree that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on – I need to upgrade every single one of my skills.  & I don’t want to be a fucking secretary anyway!  & I still have to finish my English degree – & what am I going to do after I do that?  Be a teacher?  Me?  Who the fuck is going to hire me? – & my marriage is over – if it ever was a marriage – I do love Teddy but how do you have a marriage without sex?  That’s just being roommates!  & I’m not interested in that.  I want a real fucking marriage.  & there’s never going to be anything with you – ”

“Now c’mon, Cori – ”

“What?  Am I to go on fooling myself?  That you’re going to eventually leave Doreen & live with me & be my old man?  & while I wait for this to happen, what am I supposed to do?”  I demanded.  “I want children, Jesse – that’s one thing I realized when I was seeing Pat.  That I want children very badly.  I don’t have a career as a stripper anymore & I don’t think I even want that back.  & I do want to get sober.”  Honestly – until that moment – I really didn’t know that I wanted sobriety.  But I knew – in a flash, really – that I wanted it.  I really did.  “I want to get sober – I want to finish school – I want kids – I want a decent man!  A real marriage!”

“Well, I think you’ll achieve all that,” he answered, “especially since you sound like you really want it.  But you’ll be back.  You always come back.  I’ll be looking forward to seeing the sober you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts From a Diary 40

[January-February, 1990]

[January]

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 really 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.  Once again I was really fascinated by the way Pat doesn’t drink but he’s able to party anyway – snort coke & smoke weed & there’s no urge to have any alcohol.  I would love to be able to do that.   I’m tired of the hangovers & I’m tired of all the extra calories.

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 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 was ever actually an asset as a partner – I needed him to drive me around & to play my music but he wasted too much money – he ruined the business, as far as I’m concerned.

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!  So 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.

***

Depressed.  I don’t know if it’s because I slept so poorly or because I’m so horny I could kill myself to relieve the pain.  Probably both.  Teddy’s sick – that’s why I slept so badly – he kept waking me – he’s at work now but he’s sure to be home early.

I think I’ll go to bed & read.  I’m too awake to sleep & too tired to work.

Evening.  Watching the news.  We just ate – pancakes, sausage & home fries.  Teddy’s rolling a joint – we’re almost out – again.  He came home from work early – he’s got a cold.  I’ve been waiting on him all afternoon – studying quietly while he was sleeping.

I filled out an application to enter UB.  I had to write a letter stating why UB should let me back in.  When I got the application a year ago, I couldn’t figure out why UB should let me back in.  Now I do.  I hope my arguments sway whoever decides.  If not – I’ll continue studying on my own.

***

I feel so spaced out.  Even a shower failed to wake me up.  I want to go over to UB with my application after my hair dries but I am so out of it.  Today is the day – the waxing moon – the Maiden Goddess – a time to plant the seeds of success – of new growth – plant then & let them grow – say a prayer to the Maiden – wait for results as the Moon grows full & round & then again wanes – hopefully everything will be alright – no matter what happens – everything will be alright.

***

Oh dear.  Another long weekend.  No joints.  No money.  The Bills lost their last game of the season.  The Sabres lost their fourth game in a row.  Teddy’s depressed – he’s so tired of being in debt.  He has to call his mother tomorrow & ask for money.  We drove by the old place today – there’s no one living in that apartment.  It kills me – Paulie wanted us out because we weren’t paying the rent fast enough – but now he’s not getting rent from anyone.  Even when we had our phone in there, he was getting money from us – we were paying for that.  Now he’s not getting anything.  I wonder what Cindy thinks of that.  I am sure they are arguing about it.  What a fucking idiot.  All because I wouldn’t suck his tiny cock anymore.  We’ve lost hundreds – thousands of dollars because of that asshole.  My career is in tatters – it’s over, really – I have to accept that it’s over.

Oh – another thing – I can’t go to school this semester – my application was in too late – but it’ll be considered for the fall.  It’s just as well – we can’t afford it right now anyway.  I’ll just able to study on my own.

I just want a little part time job to bring in some money – to take the pressure off Teddy a little bit – to buy some weed – & some new clothes.

***

I tried to sleep in but Missy kept waking me up.  It’s such a beautiful day – I hate to waste it.  I should get out & look for work.  Go downtown – maybe Elmwood Avenue or Hertel Avenue – someone’s got to be hiring.

I think I might stop in at the law office & see if they’ll hire me back.  I doubt it but you never know.

I just feel so depressed.

Later.  Just out of the shower.  I tried some breakfast – my usual poached egg on toast – I was taking the egg out of the pan & it slipped off the spoon on to the front burner – what a mess!  I had to laugh.  I guess it is a good thing I didn’t go downtown today – who knows what might have gone wrong.  Ya know – last night I tried doing a Tarot reading & the cards just wouldn’t work.  Sometimes they don’t.

***

I feel like shit.  I have a full-blown cold.  Nevertheless – I went downtown today & applied for a jobs at the mall, at the library & at every single bar.  Then I went to the Credit Union & withdrew some money from Teddy’s account so we can go to Wegman’s when he gets home.  I didn’t go to the law office.  I felt like shit & I didn’t have the nerve.  If I had been feeling better, I probably would have.  I didn’t go to Elmwood Avenue or Hertel Avenue or anywhere else.  I came home – had some chicken soup – & went to bed.  But sleep – sustained sleep – is not for me.  Mike Martin – one of the tenants upstairs – arrived last night – with two of his buddies & they’ve been in & out all afternoon.  Every time they came or went, doors were slammed – feet pounding on the stairs – shoes on the floor above me – college voices whooping it up.  This is not how I want to live!

It was really cold downtown.  I didn’t need to be standing on Main Street – shivering – getting blasted by the frigid wind off the lake – waiting for the train.  Why do I feel like nothing gonna come of it?  Today I want to be nothing but a dancer & a writer.  Having to get dressed & made up & standing in the cold waiting for a bus – & then making transfers – waiting for the train – walking across Lafayette Square with a runny nose, watering eyes & endless sneezes is not for me.  I like to go out when I feel like it – wear what I feel like – clothes sensible for the weather – & do what I like to do – when I like to do it – not when I’m told to do it – & not the way someone tells me to do it – just because they’re my boss – & that’s the way they want me to do it – for some arbitrary reason.

Oh damn!  I hate being broke!  I give anything for a job every Saturday night.  That’s all we need, really.  We wouldn’t be able to do coke – who cares? – but we’d be able to pay the bills & have a little left over for marijuana or the movies or dinner out.  All the things we took for granted.

***

I feel like shit.  A bad headache – a really bad sore throat – really hurts to swallow – hurts all the way down into my glands – my eyes are stinging – I’m on the couch with 6 books – notebooks, pens – my knitting – a roll of toilet paper for kleenixes – I ran out of real kleenixes yesterday – a glass of ginger ale & a cup of tea.

***

Another day of sickness although I do feel better than yesterday.  Not as congested – but much achier.  I slept most of yesterday.  I got up with Teddy this morning & was going to stay up but then I caught myself staring into space – I had no idea how long I had been doing it – so I went back to bed & slept until 9:30 – then got up – ate & took a shower – it felt so good – the hot water on my aching body.  Now I’m not sure what to do – read, I suppose – but I’m having trouble keeping my eyes in focus.  The house is a mess – I haven’t done housework all week.  Maybe I’ll feel up to it tomorrow.  Now I have another migraine – I’m gonna lie down – even though my hair is still wet.

***

I feel much better today.  I’m still sniffling & snuffling a lot & I feel rather fatigued.  I started straightening up the house.  I’ve cleaned & rearranged my desk – now it’s time for a break!  I don’t want to wear myself out & get sick again.  I have some letters to write – other than that – I plan to read.  What else?  I finished my white scarf – knitted with my Christmas size 13 needles – it goes with my good coat.  When we have money again, I want to get more yarn & knit myself a nice shawl.

It’s winter again – cold & snowing & very windy.  I’m glad I don’t have to go out.

***

Just in from shoveling.  My head’s a little congested but other than that, I feel fine.  A little fatigued, perhaps.  We got an inch & a half of powder – easy to shovel.  It’s snowing now – really light.  The sun’s shining – it’s be a great day for skiing or tobogganing.

***

Another warm day.  The street are filled with shlush.  Walking anywhere, your feet are soaking wet in no time at all.  Not to mention ice cold.  I want to go to the Library but I guess I’ll have to wait.

I want to go to the Library to get books I read when I was 10 – ones I don’t own, obviously – Peter Pan – the Betsy books – that series of biographies that portray famous people as children – I remember reading about Louisa May Alcott, Nancy Hanks, Mary Todd Lincoln, Annie Oakley & Susan B. Anthony.  Even as a child, I was interested in women & women’s rights.

Anyway – I am rewriting – remembering – my diary that I kept during my teens – the one I destroyed during my breakdown in 1979.  It is amazingly easy to remember.  Like  falling back into a dream.   I can put myself back easily – the smells, the sights, the sounds – Old Neck Road & Manchester-By-The-Sea – Massachusetts & New Hampshire & Maine – the beauty of New England swirls around me.  Things I wrote.  People, places.  It is quite a journey.  I wonder that I didn’t try this sooner – but I suppose I really wasn’t ready – or maybe I couldn’t find the way back.  So many things are possible now.  Now it’s time for the 80’s to retreat back into the mists – ferment – until I’m ready to use them.  For so long – thinking about family life has been a drag – I almost never write about my family – all my stories deal with persons cut off from family life – just like I cut myself off.  Not it is time to retrace my steps – put myself back into that girl on the edge of puberty – & figure out what went wrong & how it can be rectified – if it ever can.

***

Got a terrible migraine – I woke up with it – I’ve also got my period – I’m really glad – I was beginning to wonder – although it’d have to be some kind of virgin birth or something – since I haven’t had sex in ages – but you never know.  Stranger things have happened.

It’s cold – snowy – wintery.  I won’t be going anywhere today.  I don’t mind the cold & the snow but the wind gets to me.  The wind makes the difference between an enjoyable winter walk or one you’re just trying to endure.  It’s really windy today.  The trees are bending with it – you can hear the howling & whistling of the wind through the windows.  The sky is that uniformly greyish-white.

***

I don’t know why I’m so depressed.  Probably because we’re out of joints again.  We’re out of money.  I want to dance – to party – to work!  I feel out & fat & ugly.  I want to get wasted – drunk – smashed – tuned in – turned on – stoned.  I want to get laid.  I want, I want, I want – I’m so tired of feeling so needy!  I’m so tired of being so broke!

I woke this morning after a dream that Jesse & I were making love.

Afternoon.  Shera stopped by.  Tonight is an open circle celebrating Imbolc at the Unitarian Church on Elmwood Ave & would I like to go?  I was so happy – I had been hoping for something like this to happen!  She asked Teddy to attend too but he wants to stay home.  So I’m going.  I’m making cookies to take along – the dough’s in the fridge – chilling.  In a few minutes, she’s picking me up & we’re going to Mooncircles – a shop on Lexington Avenue – with a friend of hers.  I’m so excited.  This is exactly what I needed.

***

The open circle was excellent.  You would not believe who I saw there!  Bard Ellison!  With his wife – a skinny blonde with really long hair – they have 4 children!  Whoever would have thought!  I also met an astrologer named Davio  – who I swear I know – probably I’ve seen him drinking at Falco’s or something – since he lives in the neighborhood.  Some of the other guys looked familiar too – but what guy doesn’t?  I also met – well, I met everyone there – the high priestess of Shera’s coven – a beautiful woman named Rae – I talked to her for a long time.  It was really wonderful – although a little hard to remember because I was drinking rosé & I haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve.  We all stood in a circle – & one of the women started singing, “We are from the Goddess & to her we shall return” – & eventually everyone was singing & drumming & ringing little bells to the chant.  We all cast the circle together & raised power & then released it – it was so powerful.  Words don’t do the ritual justice.

Rae was the high priestess of the ceremony & the high priest was her 15-year-old son – a living doll if there ever was one – he had a crown of branches on his head.  The whole thing was excellent.  I loved it – I loved it.  I want to join a coven – I want to be a part of this.

Anyway – it’ll help with my own rituals – just having seen this & participated in this.  Just being there will stay with me.

***

We got 6 inches of snow last night – I’ve already been out shoveling – it’s a beautiful day – sunny – warm, even.  A great day for the slopes.  Or a picnic by a bon fire after hiking through the woods.  I love being outdoors in the winter – if it’s not windy.

I fell asleep after shoveling & I dreamed of Jesse – or someone – the images were blurry but the orgasm was strong.

The doorbell woke me.  It was the UPS man – with a package for upstairs.  I feel sleepy & drugged – I only wish I were.  It is sunny outside – although the sun has come up – I should go out.  Get some exercise – some fresh air.  I wish it was warmer – I wish it was spring – oh, I wish, I wish!  So many wishes – never coming true.

Night.  & sometimes wishes do come true.  & spells do work.  I went out – went to the library – went to Falco’s – had a Coke! – & heard all the latest gossip.  Everyone’s been wondering where I’ve been – on a diet & broke!  Anyway – I didn’t stay long – I came home & changed & was about to start baking brownies when the doorbell rang – it was Jesse – it was Jesse – it was Jesse!  My heart sang.  My dream was coming true – to the last detail – & now I could see his face.  It was wonderful.  Afterward, we went to Max’s & had some beers – the first beers I’ve had in a long time.

He told me he’d heard me calling him.

***

[February]

I slept really well last night for the first time in weeks.   I’m gonna do my nails & make-up – dress up real nice – & go out.  I’m going to look for Help Wanted Signs – someone’s got to want to hire me.

After dressing & doing my  make-up, I looked at myself in the mirror.  I look good – you’d never know I’ll be 30 soon.  How I wish it was 1984 – or 1985 – & I was getting ready for work – jumping into my little yellow Toyota – going to The Canteen – I’m too young to be washed up!  I’m too young to have to trade in my dreams on a more practical model!

I tried calling Jesse this morning but Doreen answered.  I hung up without saying anything.

I’m so depressed I could cry!

***

As if things couldn’t get any worse, Teddy smashed up his truck this morning.  He spun out on some black ice this way to work & smashed it into another car.  Knowing Teddy, he was probably going way too fast for the conditions.  Danielle came to get me & take me to Millard Fillmore Suburban, where he was being treated for minor injuries – the truck was towed to B & J International – although they don’t do collision work & he’ll have to find someone to do the work.  I guess insurance will cover it – I don’t know – I guess he’ll have to ride the motorcycle to work now – or get a ride from someone – it’s just always something!  I can’t stand anymore of this!

***

I got a letter from my ob/gyn yesterday – my pap smear is unusual & I have to go in for more tests.  Along with the letter was a pamphlet – “The Pap Smear & Your Cervix” – which was very informative – it told me everything about the cervix & who’s in risk to get cancer – women like me, for example – & what can be done about it.  Maybe this is what’s wrong with me – it’s not a yeast infection at all.  All I can do it go find out – I’ll call Dr. Franz tomorrow.

Actually – today I wasn’t as depressed as I usually am – I was in a rather good mood.  I cleaned the house – did two loads of wash – changed the cat litter – took the garbage out.

***

Nothing new to report except the weather.  We got a foot of snow on Thursday – then freezing rain all day yesterday.  This morning it looked like fairy land.  But around noon, it started raining again & now it’s really coming down.  Hail – lightning – high winds – a tornado watch.  The sky is really opaque – thick dark cloud cover.

***

In a bad mood.  Got my period.  Out of money.  Out of weed.  It’s really cold out – snowy – icy.  I did a couple of Teddy’s pain killers – waiting for the floating feeling to take over.  So depressed.  I want a line – I want a drink – I want to go to a party & dance my blues away.

I hate looking for work.  I don’t want to be a typist or a cashier.  I’m an entertainer!  I want to entertain!  Oh, the infinite unfairness of everything.

***

I feel terrible.  I’ve got a cold – my head feels like it’s filled with cement.  Missy kept waking me up this morning – so here I am – awake, barely – but no longer able to sleep.  We did the last of Teddy’s pills last night – Pat wouldn’t or couldn’t get us anymore weed – we think he’s into his man for so much money that he can’t ask for a thing.  I don’t think Pat is going to be around much longer.  I bet he skips town soon.

It’s going to be another long, dull day.

***

I’ve got it bad – a cold, flu, whatever – I’m not going anywhere today – not to look for work – nowhere.  I feel so tired.  My lungs ache & my head hurts.  I can’t believe I’m sick again.  & it’s cold out – really cold & windy too.  I hope it’s nicer tomorrow – since I have to go downtown.  I wish spring would hurry up!  I hate February & I hate March too – winter drags on forever!

***

Why does it have to hurt so much?  Why does it feel like my heart is breaking?  Why do I still want him so badly?  This ache – this endless aching – a man with strength – who can pick me up – who can enclose me in arms of steel – who can enable me to lay down all my burdens – all my worries –

I love Teddy but I am so tired of having to be the strong one.  The almost unendurable pain.

***

Just out of the doctor’s – my ob/gyn – I had a 3:00 appointment but I got here early & he was able to take me right away.  Pat brought me.  He’s been hanging out with me most of the day – he’s been coming around a lot lately.  He’s a practicing Buddhist – we’ve been discussing meditation – spirituality – the spiral path – all kinds of things.  Anyway – after he dropped me off here at home, he went to get Teddy from work & now I’m just waiting for him to get home again to receive my call.  I’m making him dinner tonight – Pat will do anything for a meal.

***

I’ve lost my voice.  I was coughing nearly all night.  I was awake half the night anyway – never has a night seemed so long.  I kept thinking about Pat.  This morning, the coffee pot was filled with the coffee he brought yesterday – some rich Brazilian brew – tastes almost like chocolate.  I wonder if he’ll come back this morning.  He’s not sure if he’s working or what.  We spent nearly the entire day together yesterday.

Night.  Pat was here all afternoon.  He came for dinner – the second night in a row – & he’s here now – rolling joints & smoking.  Things are changing – changing quickly.  He wants to be my lover.  He says he’ll pamper me – he’ll be good for me – he gave me the whole pitch – he is, after all, a salesman.  He’s not the kind of guy I go for – you know I like them big & tough & macho – like Jesse.  But I really like Pat.  He’s the first guy I ever met that I can talk religion with – a big plus – given the state of my head & my heart & my soul.  I don’t know if I could fall for a dumb guy – someone who didn’t measure up to my level of intelligence.  Actually – I fall for story-tellers – most of my men are excellent story-tellers.  Pat spins one yarn after another.

All of a sudden – things look exciting.  I can’t sleep at night thinking of the possibilities.

***

I woke up without a voice again.  I have been coughing up tons of phlegm & other crap out of my lungs

Pat just left.  He brought me some weed & I made him breakfast.  I don’t know what to make of Pat.  I mean – he doesn’t even begin to resemble the “man of my dreams” – he’s barely taller than I am – I’m sure I’m stronger than he is – in fact, that’s one of the things that attracts him to me – my physical strength.  I also feed him – I play into this mother fantasies.  Also –  there’s a lot of girl in Pat & there’s a lot of boy in me – the way he curls up to me next to me sitting on the couch & presses his body next to mine – the way he lays his head on my shoulder & sighs – it’s all so very feminine – & makes me feel very masculine.  I’m pretty macho anyway – but in love, I want to be taken – to be possessed – to be subdued.

But on the other hand – it is wonderful to talk to Pat – talking about religion – talking about recovery.  More drug stories – sex stories – sex, drug & rock’n’roll stories!  He is all ready – to treat me like a queen – he is already treating me like a queen.  He wants me.  & you know how I love to be wanted.

But something holds me back.  That too, bothers me – I like not being able help myself – that feeling of – I’ve got to have that man! – & that’s not that case with Pat.  It’s another practical decision – someone to take care of my body.  My heart is untouched.

Of course – I can’t jump in bed with Pat – or anyone else – until I hear back from Dr. Franz.  I’m glad – I’m very glad – it buys me a little tome – more time to think – to weigh my options – to figure things out – & the fact that wanting to think about it tells me pretty much all I need to know.

***

& now I no longer need to think.  Pat came over this morning before he went to work.  We smoked joints – & kissed – he is a wonderful kisser.  I haven’t made out like that since high school – it was funny – our clothes never came off – but we were in the throes of passion – rubbing our bodies together – fucking with our clothes on – it was wild.  I laid back & he put his hand on my crotch & massaged me – rubbing my clit – circling it – caressing it – but my sweat pants never came off.  It was marvelous love –

I can hardly wait for tomorrow.  His dick feels large & hard inside his pants.  I sat on top of him & rubbed against him.  Anais Nin writes that a Hindu makes love to his wife 10 days before he takes her.  “For ten days, they merely caress & kiss.”  What do Buddhists do?  Does he mean to make me wait?  Oh I don’t know if I can.  I am so hot – so wet – so wanting.  & I still can’t believe it’s Pat doing this to me.

Oh, the joy of a new lover.

His bag of weed is in my pocket.  Oh joy – joy –

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 36

[Spring, 1989]

[April]

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I feel fat & ugly.

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

[May]

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s pouring.

***

[June]

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

It’s cool & foggy.

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

Gotta go.

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

***

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

Excerpts From a Diary 34

[Holidays, 1988]

[November]

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

I want another line!

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

The Bills are losing.

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

[December]

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

Excerpts From a Diary 33

[Summer, 1988]

[June]

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

I woke up exhausted – again.

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“When are you moving?”

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

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

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

***

[July]

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

Teddy’s back.  He found one.

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

[August]

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

I want to sleep forever –

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

Nothing!  Nothing, nothing, nothing!

***

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

Oh well.

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

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

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

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

Excerpts From a Diary 32

[May, 1988]

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

Oh well – phone’s ringing –

***

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

“I’m not naked,” I told him.

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

“I don’t think so, son,” I answered.

“You got a husband?”

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

I feel so alive!

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

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

Time to go.

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpts From a Diary 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 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.