April 1978 - September 1978
Age 20

"Some dreams just take longer to fulfill themselves, I suppose."


Thursday night

Late. Sitting in bed with a brand-new journal and "Baretta" on TV, thinking about some big things. Really big things. Unfortunately they're too personal to write about, even in a "personal journal" like this one. Nothing I write can ever be totally private - I know that now. Eventually, someone always manages to read what I write. So, what I WILL write about in this book are the things that happen to me, conversations I have with people, the day-to-day stuff that I wouldn't mind letting the whole world read. (If I wanted them to.)

Last night I went to the Mariner's opening game at the Kingdome with Dad and Gramps, and you know what's funny? I spent most of the evening, not watching the game, but instead staring down to the 100 level at the top of Joe DiMaggio's head. He was the guest of honor - the entire Kingdome, 45,000 people, gave him a standing ovation when he threw the opening pitch - and all I could do was sit there and look at that silver-white head and think about how famous he is, how everyone in the Kingdome knew him and millions of other people do too, and how he used to be married to Marilyn Monroe. It was like this was as close to a legend as I'll ever get, and it was awesome.

I wonder what it feels like to be famous ... I mean, really famous, so that even walking down the street would attract people like magnets, begging for autographs. I imagine it must be a terrific feeling at first, a real boost to your ego, but after awhile it would be a drag. No private life of your own. You couldn't even go out to dinner with someone without making the cover of The National Enquirer.

But who cares? I'll never be famous. I'll probably never even know someone famous. I might get some stuff published, a book maybe, but with all the other trillions of authors all over the place, I couldn't even hope to be singled out. I'm not depressed about it, of course  --  all I want is a full, happy life  --  but still, I can't help but wonder what it would be like. Everybody thinks about it at one time or another, I'm sure.



Friday morning

Sitting in the cafeteria with Scott & Co. before class. Tired - I'm really going to be dragging it around today, I can tell. I haven't been getting enough sleep lately and it starts to wear me down after awhile.

A little bit later:

Damn! The Hilton is closed today due to "Lack of Staff." Which leaves me with a couple of hours to kill & no place good to kill them. So you know where I am now? Sitting on the second floor of the brand-new library, tucked away behind rows and rows of books where no one could ever find me. It smells so new in here, like fresh wood and plaster and whatever else they use to build libraries, and it LOOKS new, everything does, even the chairs and the bookshelves and the clocks on the wall.


Sitting on my bed, irritated and restless. This hasn't been a good day - I've got cramps, and I'm feeling cranky - any little thing could make it all blow. Shit, I've got to call my Avon customers tonight, something I really hate to do. I'd like to just sit home tonight and relax, but Rhonda called to invite Scott and I over to her apartment, and she sounded so badly in need of company that I couldn't refuse. I've known that feeling too many times.


Sitting, waiting, watching the window for the headlights of Scott's car in the driveway. We're going over to Rhonda's tonight -- right now he's trying to buy a fifth at the liquor store, and I wouldn't be surprised if he does it.

Speaking of Scott  ...  I spent over an hour today drawing up a Biorhythm chart for him, for the months of April and May, and now he says he doesn't want it. Says he would rather not look at it until he's already lived those months, then look back and see if they were "accurate." In a way, I can understand that, but in the rotten frame of mind I seem to be in today, it makes me feel vaguely unappreciated.

1 a.m.

After an evening of vodka and lemonade and a lot of Columbian between the three of us, I am understandably exhausted ... I should slide down between the covers and konk out, but I have such a brainful of stuff to think about, I probably won't sleep until dawn. I'll talk about it tomorrow.



Saturday night (late)

Geez, I feel like I'm turning neurotic or something ... the only time I can get really angry is when I grab my journal and a pen and write it all down. Scott and I had one of our really asinine fights tonight, and the whole time - while I was seething with rage - all I could think was, "God, I can't wait to write this down." All the fight in me, tonight at least, seems to have dried up and blown away. I just don't even care. I apologized THREE TIMES and he rebuffed me every time, and I honestly don't know what else to I could do, considering the circumstances. When an apology is all you can offer someone, and they won't accept it, what can you do? I didn't even cry. What would be the point? Tears anger him ... apologies bounce right off the top of his head ... nothing works.

I love him, of course. You don't go with one person for two years and then suddenly hate them if they act like a baby one night. You might say you hate them, but you don't. Scott has so much good in him, so much loving, but he isn't as sensitive as he could be. He doesn't seem to care about things that are below the surface ... things don't move him, the way they do me.

That isn't what started this stupid, infantile thing tonight, so that must not be what's truly important. (How do you differentiate between what's important & what isn't?)

This is my theory: accidents happen. They just do. When you accidentally break something that belongs to someone you care about, then you obviously didn't plan to break it. I didn't plan to put my feet up and break that thing in his car, whatever you call  it  --  the shelf underneath the glove compartment  --  and so of course I felt bad when it happened. Who wouldn't? My theory is that if someone you love accidentally breaks something, why get all angry about it? They didn't MEAN to do it, they probably feel terrible about it, and getting angry with them will just create bad feelings all around. So why not just say, "Hey, it's OK, don't worry about it" and then deal with the situation together? Why lose your temper? Why get angry with someone you LOVE?

I love him, and I probably always will. I just don't like him very much right now.



Sunday afternoon 1:00

He hasn't called at all today - usually he calls me as soon as he gets up on Sunday morning. It is a beautiful, sunny day outside, and all I can do is sit here, holed up in my dark little room like a mole or something, and think about how much I dislike him at times, like now. What an utterly self-engrossed, immature little baby he is.

Oh shit, I don't really mean that. I don't dislike him. I love him, but God it's hard getting along with him sometimes, like treading on thin ice all the time, scared to death that any minute you might hit a thin spot and end up drowning. Any wrong word, any little thing that will blow everything apart. Are ALL relationships like this?

I can't understand why he's so angry. I APOLOGIZED. Geez, I didn't mean to break anything ... it wasn't premeditated. We were having such a nice, pleasant evening at the drive-in, and then BAM, just like that, in 30 seconds it was all over. We barely said a word to each other for the rest of the night. It was incredible ... just like a couple of two year old kids.

Well. I'm not going to spend the rest of the day sitting here wallowing, trying to rationalize his irrationality. Too self-defeating. I'm going to DO something.


Feeling a lot better emotionally, physically, etc. I cleaned my room, which never fails to raise my spirits some. A person's "think tank" should be aesthetically pleasing, after all. Listening to music - "Dust In The Wind," Kansas. Drinking a can of (diet) pop. Now I can curl up with the book I'm halfway through ("The Family," by Ed Sanders), or I can work on the picture I've been drawing, or I can read the Sunday paper, or I can put on some shoes and some makeup and trudge down to Albertsons for cigarettes. There are so many alternatives to feeling rotten.


Unaccountably sad, suddenly. That must be the way this day is fated to go - up and down, without warning. I finished reading the paper and drawing my picture, and now I'm sitting here thinking how sunny it is outside, and why aren't I a part of the world today? I just don't even care.


Now it's up again (and out) ... Scott is here, we are watching TV and everything has gone back to normal. As usual I take back everything I said about him. I love him, things are forgiven and I am greatly relieved.



Monday morning

Feeling very good. It is all definitely on the upswing ... emotionally, physically, everything. I thoroughly cleaned the house, did a laundry, etc., and am now sitting in my room watching a soap opera and relaxing. What could be better than being alive? Even feeling bad is being alive, existing, feeling something. How could anyone ever want to die? How could people commit suicide? Tom Horton (the youth pastor at Blvd. Church) once said that people who try to kill themselves don't really want to die, deep down inside - they want to start truly living. That makes a lot of sense. Even at those points in my life when everything seemed to be falling apart, when I tried to tell myself that living wasn't worth it (November and December 1973 in particular), what I wanted most of all was for life to start feeling good again. I wanted to truly LIVE. Now I think I am, because I've reached the place in my thinking where just being alive does feel good, whether things are up or down. Thinking, breathing, moving around, seeing, hearing, all the sensations combined ... how glorious to be able to do all these things. Even pain, emotional or otherwise, is a form of feeling.

I guess I can understand wishing you had never been born, because I've felt that way myself on occasion, but once you are conceived and born and planted here in the world, that's that. So why not make the best of it and learn to enjoy feeling? How else can you love life if you don't enjoy feeling ?



Tuesday morning 11 a.m.

Sitting in the Hotdog Hilton, drinking diet pop. The things in my brain right now, in order of importance, are:

1. Sunshine, and people starting to come to school tanned, and I still look like Casper the Ghost.

2. Two long hours to kill, doing what? And Jerry is driving me home today at 1:00.

3. Doug just walked in so I'm in for one solid hour of boring, one-way conversation.

4. Dad is home today, again, always. Never a moment of peace. I've got to get out of that house before I go nuts.

What the hell am I going to DO for two hours? I have nothing to say in this journal, I have nothing to say to ANYBODY. I wish I had something to read, something to occupy my mind and my time between now and 1:00 ...

Talking to Doug and Leroy ... or, should I say (more accurately), Leroy and I are listening to DOUG talk. And talk. And talk.

Sensation I felt this morning: sitting in the front seat of Jerry's car, hot brilliant sun warming my bare arms.


Layed outside in the sunshine for the first time this year -- something I'll probably be doing a lot of during the next five or six months, weather & circumstances permitting. It was kinda chilly so I didn't stay out too long - had a can of pop, read some Drivers Ed, listened to some tapes, watched Dad put up some fencing on the west side of the yard. Now I'm in my room watching an old "All In The Family" rerun. Should I clean my room? Should I write the letters I owe?

Tomorrow I've got to straighten out my personal mess at school, get back into my classes.


Scott has come over, again. We are watching television and I am worrying about school tomorrow.



Wednesday morning

Financial Aid office. Sitting. Waiting. I am going to get a $200 check, and possibly a job here on campus. The car is starting to feel closer & closer.

Now at home:

I got a job. I GOT A JOB!!! 15 hours a week, $2.65 an hour, working in the registration office every day!!!

PRO:  I'll be making $345 this quarter!

CON: The work will be dull, dull, dull.

PRO: The hours aren't bad, considering.

CON: No more free, lazy afternoons.

PRO:  I'll be able to buy the car, right on schedule.

CON:  If I get caught spending the money on the car, I'll be in trouble.

ANOTHER CON: I've got to ride the BUS home every day again ...


Whenever I get to feeling down in the mouth about being cooped up in a stuffy old back room working, when I could be out in this gorgeous weather, all I have to do is think about that little red Dodge and how nice it will be to have MY OWN CAR for the first time in my life, and suddenly it won't seem so bad.

Growing eveningward. Whenever I have nothing to do, I seem to reach for this journal and a pen ... even when there aren't any words inside me. Isn't that nice? It's been so long since I've been consistent about writing in anything - a diary or a journal - and it gives me a capable feeling, like maybe I can be thorough about something after all. I'm bombing out in college, I'm up to my ears in debt (to a certain record & tape company, for instance), but at least I have the ability to fill a notebook. Hmmmm. Put into that context, it doesn't sound like such a great accomplishment after all, does it?

No negative thinking, Terri ... let's stick to the positive things you do!

I like to write. I like the looks of my own handwriting on a piece of paper, my thoughts transcribed into my words. I'm in control here - writing the things that I choose to write. No one cares what I write in here but me.

(When she's high she wrecks our fingernails and eats too much and makes promises we can't keep. That's one reason we don't like her.)



Thursday morning

Slept late today, came to school with Jerry. Sitting in the Hilton, waiting for the appropriate time to go up to the office and start work. The rain came back today, and the wind ... it tore my umbrella inside out when I was walking from the car to the Hilton. Looking outside now, though, I can see the sun fighting to break loose from the clouds. I feel restless. I'll have to take the bus home again this afternoon, until (or unless) I find some other way to get home after work. $200, $340, money from Avon, money from Dad ... money, money, money. "Any hours are rotten hours when you have to work." Why can't I be walking along the street and suddenly find a bag filled with hundred dollar bills?? Or a self-propagating ten dollar bill? Or even the never-ending penny?

Imagine never having to work but still living luxuriously. Or better yet, being paid for something you ENJOY doing. Maybe that's what a writer's life is like, if they really love writing. Being paid for putting your most secret, innermost thoughts and fantasies onto paper. Imagine that. It would still be work, of course, but fun work.

3:00 in the afternoon. I am through working for the day and am sitting now in the cafeteria. I missed the 3:00 bus (50% intentionally) and must now wait another hour for the next bus. What to do for an hour ... ?

There about 16 people in this cafeteria. I've seen the time when every single chair was filled, with hundreds and hundreds of people. Now it's so bare that voices are echoing against the walls. It is sunny now, but a cloudy-sunny, wind blowing, people wearing light jackets. (One person I know - Steve - walks by and we talk for a minute.)

Going home is a depressing thought, although I don't know why. I guess that as long as I'm here at school, I'm on my own, free to do what I please. Going home means holing myself up in my room, hiding from things  ...  from Dad, in particular. Going home means housework and arguments and feeling at loose ends, and headaches beginning, and that vague, gnawing sense of discontent.

Work was OK. I got the hang of what I was doing - validating and mailing transcripts - and the time passed before I knew it. Maybe it won't be SO bad, as long as I keep myself busy all the time. And then there's the reward - getting the car - sort of like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, right? For so long I've dreamed about Terri Vert sitting behind the wheel of her first car, and now it's almost a reality.

Some dreams just take longer to fulfill themselves, I suppose.

Waiting. I am always waiting for something, aren't I? Waiting for someone special to love. Waiting for high school graduation. Waiting for summer. Waiting for a job. Waiting for a car. WAITING. Counting the days and weeks and hours and minutes until dreams come true, until happiness happens. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. I found my someone special, the person I would like to love forever, but only after years of waiting and trying and being disappointed. The waiting for Scott wasn't easy. Neither is the waiting, now, for independence ... for freedom ... for full control of my life.

Maybe I put too much importance on getting the car and moving out. I feel like when these two dreams happen, everything will be wonderful and I will never be depressed again. But if I sat down and faced facts, I would know that it doesn't happen that way. Changes CHANGE things, but they don't necessarily make them perfect.

Even people who have everything are depressed at times. Isn't anyone ever completely happy?

Christians are, sometimes. Even adversity is OK if you've got God in there pitching for you. Some non-Christians probably are, too.

Have I ever been completely, 100% happy? I don't think so. I've come close. I've had some nearly-perfect periods of my life  --  Summer '72, for instance  -- but it's never been 100%. Complete, absolute, euphoric joy. What a neat feeling that must be. Maybe that's what Heaven is.


At home now:

This is what I was thinking about on the bus ride home, looking at some of the elderly passengers around me: it isn't fair that people start out young and then grow old. It should be the other way around, saving the best for last, so you have something to truly look forward to ... sort of the way you save dessert until after dinner. You should be born old, about 100 or so, and then work your way backwards, getting younger and younger, until you're a baby and then a fetus and then a little microscopic egg and then an atom. That way, youth is saved for last.

One flaw in my reasoning. If it worked this way, then people would begin to dread youth the way they now dread growing old, wouldn't they?



Friday afternoon (almost)

Hectic, hectic day. School, work, bus ride home, do a laundry, wash my hair, pack my suitcase, drive down to Lake Limerick for the weekend with Scott and his family. We're going FISHING, can you believe that? (Me, fishing?!)

Better pack a couple pairs of jeans, a couple of sweaters, one heavy sweater, an extra pair of shoes and some heavy wool socks. It might be cold on Sunday morning.

One hour to kill before work.

Sitting in the Hilton with Doug. He is eating a massive hotdog with "the works," while I am sucking on my usual diet Tab.

I could really fall in love with my Speech teacher, Chick Sandifer.  What a sweetheart. Here's something he wrote on his critique of my Speech presentation:

"... You might think about using a clip or some artifact to hold back your hair a
little more - it wants to creep over your lovely face and become the main character."

You don't fall in love with your college teachers. I don't mean LOVE him (in case Scott is reading this) ... I do mean, he could easily become one of my favorite teachers, he and Lonny (my Writing teacher).  Chick is so funny and open and gregarious, the kind of teacher you actually look forward to seeing each day. He makes the class, he really does. Today he accidentally hurt my feelings in front of the class (I won't say how because it's not important), and after class he followed me to the Hilton and apologized and straightened it all out, and then he offered to buy me a cup of coffee. How's that for sweet?


(We also don't like her because she has no backbone.
She keeps letting us down.


When I was a little, I wanted to be a teacher. Now it's impossible - not only because of my grades, which are abysmal, but because there are "squillions" of other people trying to get into the teaching profession. It's too overcrowded.

My dreams from last night - what WERE they? They've evaporated. I can't even pick up the tail end of them.


Writing/riding on the bus, going home. Work was interesting today, lots of new things to learn about. As long as I don't get confused and screw up, I'll be fine. Mrs. Plackett is a very kind and patient person and she puts up with endless questions with a great deal of graciousness. Now I have to go home and prepare for the weekend ahead. Shower, do my hair, do a small laundry, straighten up my room a little, roll up my sleeping bag, pack, etc. etc. So much to do in so little time - we're leaving at 7:00, Scott said today, but knowing the way things usually work out, I should be ready by 6:00, just in case.


Bathrobe, cold bare feet, clean cold bedroom, clothes spinning around in the dryer, open suitcase and rolled sleeping bag on the floor. "Bewitched" on TV. Hair in hot rollers, makeup finished. Sitting. Waiting (again). When will we be leaving for our camping trip?

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I'm really psyched up. I feel like I'm escaping for an entire three days, getting away from Dad & from housework & from all the pressures at home.

11 p.m.

We're here (at Lake Limerick), we arrived safely. Johnny R. is here, his parents are coming later - also Dee & Jack, Greg and Catherine with Jeff and Chris.


Me during one of the many camping trips to Lake Limerick with
Scott and his family, during the years we went together. 
I thought I looked particularly sophisticated here, with my beer and my cigarette.


Saturday afternoon at Lake Limerick

Sitting here alone in the trailer, drinking my nth beer of the day. Cloudy, grey day. Everyone else is outside ... Joann and Rose went for a walk ... Scott, Kim and Johnny are trying to fix a broken chain on one of the motorbikes. I am feeling happy. This has been a nice weekend, so far. The only vaguely disturbing part is that Scott and I are, as usual, picking at each other continually. Christ - when will he stop trying to SMOTHER me?



Evening (late)

Watching Part Three of "Holocaust," and it's just as gripping and terrifying as the first two episodes. The people around me don't seem to be reacting to it the same way I am. Scott says that I'm "over-reacting," and Doug tried to rationalize it all away. I can't believe them! The human race is simply beyond my power to understand.

Why do people kill each other?

Now later. Very, very tired. Things have been going in a swirl ever since I got that job ... never time to relax until late at night, when I should be sleeping. Hoping I'll have my favorite dream tonight, the one that makes me wake up feeling so good in the morning. I've had it for the past two nights in a row.


(We're not supposed to tell you this, but he comes to her
in the good dream sometimes and touches her.)



Wednesday 11:00

I didn't have the good dream: I went to bed in a "funny" state of mind, and had a handful of strange, jumbled-together dreams that I couldn't remember this morning. Oh well. I've found that when you TRY to dream about some specific thing, you usually don't. How frustrating.

I haven't had a screaming-in-the-night nightmare in years.

What am I thinking about today? Good, good mood. I've been talking to people all day, Denise, Cindy K., Doug, Ruth, etc. I've found out some interesting bits & pieces of news about former GHS classmates:

  • Sally S., living in Nebraska now with husband Scott, is expecting a baby in November.
  • Rachel D., former best friend, now living in Seattle with Dave, had a baby girl in February.
  • Another former best friend, Sandy, recently married someone named Phil T.

My God, it's frightening. Everyone is getting married or having kids or both - people who are my age, people I played squareball with during recess and shared a locker with and wrote long, gossipy notes to.


Karen Curtis' wedding: April 29, 7:30 p.m.


Late afternoon:

It is raining outside; storming, actually. The sky is black with clouds, and earlier there was some thunder and lightning. I am home from work, still wearing my school clothes but with bare feet, my face washed clean of makeup, my hair pulled back into a ponytail. I'm sitting in my room, and because it is so dark outside it feels warm and cozy and nice in here. Neil Diamond is on the record player, an album I've never listened to before, and it doesn't sound very good because the needle is old. (Now it's Klaatu, and back to last spring when everything was beginning and ending at the same time.) A big glass of diet pop is sitting on the dressing table in front of me. All I've eaten today was a bowl of bean stew (the beans were undercooked and tough).

(WOW! A flash of lightning just rocketed through my room, and the thunder that followed rocked the whole house. No wonder the dogs are whimpering.)

Tonight I'm going with Mom to Deb's baton-twirling recital. Doesn't that sound like fun, ha ha. Oh well, it's the first time since Christmas that I've even seen my mother, and I've been wishing we could reach out to each other more, even if only a little. Sometimes she doesn't seem to care about me at all ... everything is Debby, Debby, Debby. Sometimes I think she's forgotten she has a 20 yr. old daughter named Terri who could use a real live mother once in awhile.



Thursday lunch

Doug is with his girlfriend Pauline, and I am sitting alone in the Hilton, surrounded by tables full of people (but still alone, for I'm not talking to anyone but you, Journal). Is it true that only neurotics keep diaries and journals? And if it is true, is it a bad thing? I've been keeping a journal, periodically anyway, for the last seven years. Does this mean I'm neurotic? And does that mean that during the times when I wasn't keeping a regular journal, I was un-neurotic??

Whenever I'm sad or lonely or depressed - or, on the other end of the spectrum, happy or excited - all I want to do is grab a pen and a notebook and write about it. Even when I'm at that place of neutrality, when I'm not feeling one way or the other, there are still sights and sounds and smells and feelings, whole tiny perfect chunks of experience, which need words to shape and preserve them. When you're old, what else do you have but memories? You can't possibly remember all the tiny details that made up everyday life when you were young. The memories are stored someplace in the back of your mind, someplace secret and unreachable, even the insignificant things like what you wore to school on April 20, 1978, what you had for dinner the night before, the name of your Philosophy teacher ... but you don't have the capacity to remember it all unless you write it down!

Someday when I'm very old and tired and my memory isn't as sharp as it is now, my journals will be precious to me. Even now, reading the things I wrote in junior high or high school, I can feel myself being drawn back to places and times I'd forgotten about ... talking to people whose faces I can't recall ... feeling things I'd forgotten I'd ever felt. Even if I'm crippled or sick or blind or deaf, I'll have my journals, reminding me of the things I've done and the people I've been in love with and the things that have been important to me. Is that such a neurotic thing to feel?

I should write about my mother and my sister and the recital last night, but there are other things in my heart today that are taking precedence. Today I'm happy/sad, full of feelings I can't understand, but I can't write about them because it would hurt too much. Words can't express how angry these restrictions make me feel.  Scott regularly read my journals by this point.

People must think I'm so strange - always sitting here alone, bent over this notebook, always writing about something. An eccentric, an oddity in a world full of people afraid to write, afraid that if they let their guard down for even one minute they will be exposed and vulnerable. ("What if someone READS this??") I don't care. I write, I write a LOT, and I don't care. Keeping it all bottled up inside isn't the way to understand yourself.


Ignoring the gnawing hunger inside of me. It is chastisement.



Through with work, sitting in the cafeteria, feet propped up on a chair, relaxing. The three hours I work go by fast because I'm kept completely busy every minute - opening transcript requests, checking for fines, pulling copies from the shelves, typing envelopes, validating, copying, stamping, sealing, etc. etc. etc. It's not boring yet because it's still all relatively new, but I can see how it could get to be monotonous after awhile.

As of late (this week) I've gotten into the habit of skipping the 3:00 bus and staying at school for an extra hour, until 4:00. It gives me a one hour reprieve from going home, I guess. Isn't it terrible how much I hate going home? It certainly doesn't say much for my home life, does it?

Actually, I don't have it all THAT bad at home. It could be a lot worse. It's just that I'm sensitive about still living at home at age twenty, when all around me people my age are out on their own or married or whatever. It makes me feel atypical and guilty about my lack of independence. Because of that, everything Dad says or does rubs me the wrong way - like I have one raw nerve exposed and he deliberately irritates it. Things are very touchy around there.

On the Bus:

Waiting to go home. I have a good, solid story idea I want to work on.

 Still need to collect Avon money from:

Glessner $12.63
Bassett $8.42
Helen @ Sears $2.09
Gail $17.09

TOTAL: $41.04

My order: makeup, powder, blusher, tan lotion, lattice ring, swirl ring, demo ring, Cologne ice



Sunday afternoon

Another sunny day when all I feel like doing is holing up in my room and avoiding everyone and everything. I'm not in a bad mood or anything -- actually, I'm feeling pretty good -- but I'll be glad when the sun sets & it's evening & I don't have to feel guilty about being indoors.

I'm losing weight. I really am, and it feels so good! Next weekend Scott and I are going to Karen C's wedding, and I want to be thin enough to squeeze into my blue dress. I've really cut down on my eating, and whenever I start feeling a little hungry I have a can of diet pop and a cigarette and I don't crave food as much. I'm down to 125 (from 131) and I plan to keep going until I reach 116 pounds or so. What's that? - another nine pounds? Nothing to it!

I don't have much in the way of energy and I suppose it's because of my dieting, but I plan to start eating (sparingly) again tomorrow, maybe an apple for lunch or something.


Late afternoon:

Stoned, for lack of anything better to do.

Stomach cramps.

"Here Come The Brides" re-run on TV


Late evening:

Stoned, again. Tired.



Monday morning

I got on the scales this morning and - I can't believe this - I weigh 122!!



So busy all the time anymore, never a chance to write. When I got home today, I must:

Straighten my room
Clean the kitchen
Science Fiction assignment
Write to Susan, Dee Dee, Dave
Finish re-sorting 45's
Deliver Avon order to Glessner!!

Tomorrow: tape "America The Beautiful"


Tomorrow I think I am really and truly going to take the written part of my Drivers Test, and strangely enough, I'm not worried or nervous about it yet. I'm not 100% sure I know all the material, but I might as well give it a try - I've put it off long enough, after all. I don't think I'll be overly upset if I don't pass it the first time, either, because at the very least it will give me a chance to see what kind of questions they're apt to ask, and I can prepare myself more thoroughly for the next time.

Geez, I can feel my good mood dissipating again, and I don't know why. Too much on my mind. Worrying, continually. About anything and everything. Money, the car, things at home, school, things with Scott. So much pressure involved in being alive. I wonder, sometimes, how I made it this far. And how much longer will I make it - to the year 2057? (Doubtful. Not if I don't quit worrying about everything!!)


All my plans have been discarded. Scott just called me with some very, very sad news ... his Uncle J. died this afternoon. Words can't express how shocked and sad I am.



Wednesday afternoon

Sitting in my usual seat on the bus.

J.'s memorial service is Friday at 3:00. He died Monday afternoon from a heart attack, during a game of golf. The night he died - after Scott phoned me - the two of us went over to (his cousin's house) to see if D. was there, and to offer our condolences. When we got to the house, though, no one was home, and since it was a warm evening we just sat in the front yard for an hour or so until they got home. Scott and I were both crying. Very sad. We sat on a pile of big rocks, watching the night and listening to the sounds of the evening and gathering strength from each other. There was a small wind, blowing the boughs of the trees around, and dark clouds gathering on the horizon, and one star peeking through the trees. We listened to the noises - some boys playing basketball across the street, dogs barking, passing cars, crickets, the droning of far-away cars and wind and airplanes. Across the street we could see a TV set through someone's window, glowing bright in the darkness. We sat on those rocks for over an hour, waiting, thinking, alternately crying and consoling, smoking, wondering. It grew colder and darker but neither of us wanted to leave. (His cousins) finally came home with D., and there were so few words that could be said. What do you say, after all?



Thursday morning

Life goes on. I know it sounds callous and unfeeling, but even after someone dies, the world still revolves around the sun and millions of other people keep thinking and breathing and feeling and existing. We will all miss J. very much. He was a kind and loving man, and I consider it a privilege to have known him. Now we all pick up the proverbial pieces and go on. Tomorrow will be the first time I've ever gone to the funeral of someone I knew, and I'm a little afraid. But I really feel I need to go, both for myself (to pay my respects to someone I thought a lot of) and for Scott. I know this is going to be hard for him.

What's ironic is that tomorrow is the funeral, and the next night is Karen Curtis' wedding - a celebration of beginning life and love. Life really does go on and on.

I know that someday it will hit a lot closer to home. I'll lose Grandma or Grandpa or someone else that is important to me. And I'm scared about that.


Through with work for the day. My back aches, my feet are tired. I must have pulled a million transcripts today, at the least. And I was right - it is becoming monotonous. Every day I try not to leave the desk a mess, but the next day when I come in there are piles of new transcript requests. It's like housework ...

... Speaking of which - damn. As soon as I get home I've got to plunge into another sinkful of dirty dishes. I think Dad is pissed at me because I haven't been keeping up the house, but when have I had TIME? School (mid-terms no less), work, Avon, the funeral, Karen's wedding ... I've hardly had time to do anything, even personal things like writing in my journal or sending a long-overdue letter to Dee Dee. Everything's going in a whirl and I'm right in the middle of it, trying to keep my head above water.



Do the housework
Straighten my room
Mend my peasant dress
Mend long coat @ seams
Wash off-white blouse


Geez, I didn't even tell you ... I finally went and took the written part of the test for my Drivers License a couple days ago, and I passed!! (Barely - I got 80% out of 100 - any less and I wouldn't have made it.) Now the final hurdle is taking the driving test on May 9th, at 11:20 in the morning. I guess I don't have to tell you how nervous I am about it, but maybe it's better that I don't make myself needlessly paranoid by dwelling on it now. I've got lots of time to work myself up into a panic between now & then.

Full of thoughts that should be written.

  • Why do people have to die?
  • Why do men stare at me?
  • What kind of summer will ‘78 be?
  • Why don't I want to go home?
  • Why doesn't Dwight quit asking me out?
  • Why do my dreams have to disturb me so much?


Looking forward to this summer. If I believed in omens, which I don't think I do, I would take the year to be an omen that this summer will be one of my best. 1972 and 1975 were great - three years' difference between the two - and now there's three years' difference between 1975 and 1978. ???? Isn't it time for another great summer?



Monday morning


I'm really dragging it around today ... I can't even hold this pen. I'm tired, I think I'm dying from cramps, I'm still hungover from this weekend, and I've got to work four hours today. Dwight won't leave me alone, I'm in a horrible mood, and I'd give anything if I could just stay home this week, ALONE, and recuperate.

I've got to deliver my Avon either tonight or tomorrow, the money situation is getting tight again, and Dad has a three day weekend coming up.

Right now I feel about as low as I can get.


Showered, shampooed, powdered, nightgowned and safely tucked into bed ... far far away from my world of problems & worries. Here it is warm and clean and comfortable and safe. I can sleep late in the morning, since I go to school with Jerry tomorrow ... I can stay up late and read if I want to. I've been reading again, whole books at a time instead of just bits and pieces. Today I read "Class of ‘44," and now I'm reading Garson Kanin's "Hepburn and Tracy."



Tuesday afternoon

This will be a "delivering Avon night," but fortunately I don't have many orders this time so it should be easier than usual. Sitting in the cafeteria after work. Tired, a little. Thinking about a lot of different things. Wishing I could find more time to write, but free time is rare & precious these days and usually spent doing nothing but RELAXING.

Mrs. Plackett in the transcript office said today that there's a chance I may be able to work fulltime this summer. She says it would probably be pretty "boring," but HELL, who cares?? Money is money is money, right? (Right.)

I think that if I don't have the whole $500 I need for the car in one month (MY GOD!! ONE MONTH AND TERRI MAY HAVE HER CAR!!), I may ask Grandma & Grandpa to let me borrow it from them. After all, if I am working I could pay it back before the end of the summer.

Geez, I'm so excited about the car, and about being freer than I've ever been before ... what a nice feeling that will be.




Suddenly depressed, for no special reason. It rained this morning and I look awful, so that may be a reason? Anyway, I just sat there in Speech class and didn't look at anyone or talk to anyone at all. I had a wonderful dream last night and I keep thinking myself back to it.



Thursday afternoon

Sitting at the bus stop - cold wind drippy nose.

GODDAMMIT. I missed my bus, again, and the next #132 doesn't come for half an hour, so here I sit until then feeling tired and crampy and nauseous and mad as hell. Why do these things happen to me? I'll be so glad when I finally have a car and I don't have to organize my life around a bus schedule.

Sitting, Buddah-like, on this bench. Sun is shining but the wind is cold and so am I. Backache. Nothing to do but sit and chew gum and hope that I don't look too weird, sitting in the HCC parking lot scribbling in a notebook ...

Tonight -- what will I do tonight? Dad's night off, and if he thinks I'm going to loan him ten dollars for a bottle of whiskey and a carton of cigarettes he's got another think coming. (Broke as it is ... ) Scott has been over every night this week, so I don't know if he's planning to make it four in a row or not.



Friday morning

Yesterday was such a thoroughly awful day that I don't even want to think about it, much less write about it. I will say, though, that I left my wallet on the bus - with all my money and pictures and I.D. inside - and I spent a nerve-wracking afternoon and evening getting it back.

Now I've got to get through this day, hopefully intact, and look forward to a long boring weekend with DAD. Isn't that swell.


Got my first paycheck today - $148.00.




Saturday night

Terri Vert is sitting home alone on a Saturday night - strange! - but stranger still is the fact that she doesn't mind at all ... !

Two years ago - maybe one year ago, who knows? - the idea of sitting home on a Saturday night would be enough to depress me for a week. Now I honestly and truthfully don't even care. In fact, I'm having a good time being (relatively) quiet and alone, watching "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" on TV, drinking a Coke, nursing my sore foot (I stepped on a portable heater about ten minutes ago and gashed my right foot open), enjoying the fact that I'm alive and happy and (90%) well.

I wonder where Dan & Marita Kent are right now. (I went to their wedding earlier tonight.)

I'm filled with feelings.



Monday night

I suppose I should write something ... anything ... tomorrow morning at 11:20 I take my driving test. I don't want to make myself unduly nervous by dwelling on it or anything like that, so I'll just scribble a word or two.

Sitting in bed. 10:00 news on TV. Freshly showered, cigarette burning in ashtray, small glass of wine and 7-Up. Spent most of the evening over at Scott's. His parents are in Reno for their anniversary this week. Wayne and Jerry were there too - it was a wine, beer, doughnut and "Celebrity Family Feud" evening.

Surprisingly, I'm not nervous, yet. It seems like I've been waiting ten lifetimes for this point in my life, and here it is. Tomorrow is it. What more can I say?

I think I'll get high (a little), finish my wine, read a little, relax, watch "America 2-Night," and prepare for tomorrow with a good night's sleep.




Tuesday - very late at night

Well, I flunked the driving test, and I can't say that I'm too surprised. I've waited too long - it would have been too "easy" if I'd passed the first time. Anticlimactic. I cried a lot, earlier today, but the tears are gone now. I feel tired and high and worried and sad. Everything in my life, right now, is in the early stages of disorder (housework, my home life, family relations, school, work, etc.) and tomorrow is the day I start patching it all back together.



Wednesday after work

Raining outside. Every kind of tired - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I worked today from 11:45 to 4:00 without a break, and now my back and my shoulders ache. The fact that I failed my driving test doesn't help, especially since I failed it over something so silly.

Since Scott's parents have been in Reno this week, I've been over at his house every night, and I've been tired every morning. I haven't been home hardly at all this week, and although I've taken special pains to keep the house clean, I know Dad is probably mad at me for being away so much. He probably wonders what the hell is going on, and I'm sorta of waiting for the inevitable showdown.

Things are going bad between Scott and I. Even when it's up it's down. Maybe we spend too much time together?

I'm so, so tired.


I spent more time at Scott's house than my own

Monday afternoon

Ten minutes before work. I'm feeling strange today, filled with the usual feelings I can't identify. I desperately need to organize myself and my life and I don't know how to start.


Pg. 293 "There are wounds in all encounters."




Tuesday before work

Hilton. Coke.

Not feeling too sharp today. I look hideous, I've got my period, I've got to deliver Avon tonight and I'm at the low point of my Biorhythm cycle. At least I finally cleaned my room last night, a tiny effort toward organization. But now the kitchen is a mess, and I've got to clean it when I get home. If it isn't one thing, it's another in this life of mine. Am I ever going to look back on May 1978 and wish I could relive it?

Terri V., before you go to bed you have to:

  • Clean kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Deliver Avon
  • Prepare poem for Speech

3:30 (almost)

Right now - feeling (fairly) good again. My current goal, aside from the license and the car (which I don't even want to talk about for a while) is to ORGANIZE myself and my time. I want to feel tidy and clean and in control of everything, and efficient.


Thursday before work

Sitting in the Hilton, a little drunk but not enough to make things better. I've got seven hundred tons of things on my mind, but have neither the time nor the ambition to write about them all. In a few minutes I'll go immerse myself in work and forget all about spring fever, for a few hours at least. I rode out to school with Jerry today and we talked non-stop, about everything and anything. I enjoy being with him again, I enjoy his company. We seem to be comfortable around each other again and it's a good, uplifting feeling. Last spring & that entire disastrous things appears to be forgotten. I can relax and be myself around him once again, thank God.

I have enormous longings inside.



This is my advice to you: don't be afraid of life's perversions.
Don't be afraid to look at life's little atrocities.

Don't be afraid of retarded people who carry lunchboxes and ride the bus.
Don't be afraid to look at a nun and wonder what kind of underwear she wears beneath her habit.
Don't be afraid to watch young people kissing on street corners.
Don't be afraid to hate your mother's guts.

Don't be afraid to look at amputees and wonder how they got that way,
or to look at people in wheelchairs and wonder what put them there.

Don't be afraid to look at yourself naked.

Don't be afraid of money: too much, too little, how to spend, where to spend,
when to spend, whether to spend at all.
Don't be afraid to read obscene words written on stop signs and bathroom walls.
Don't be afraid to write one yourself occasionally.

Don't be afraid of having birthdays.

Don't be afraid to blow your nose in public.

Don't be afraid to say, "Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom."

Don't be afraid of college professors, pregnant women, or people who walk down busy
streets talking to themselves.
Don't be afraid to look at the other people in the elevator.
Don't be afraid to sleep with somebody because you think you snore or because
you look godawful in the morning or because you haven't changed your sheets.

Don't be afraid to perspire.

Don't be afraid to be offensive once in a while, or obnoxious, or obscene,
or vulgar, or drunk.
Don't be afraid to ask for second helpings,

Don't be afraid of the things that scare you -
Of life's little atrocities and perversions -
For after all, it is perversion that makes the world go ‘round.




Sitting in the cafeteria after work, eating the piece of cake my "Secret Admirer" from the Accounting Dept. sent over to me, having a Coke and a cigarette, thinking, feeling. Just for now, for this moment at least, I feel really good. All kinds of little things have happened to me today to make me happy. It's a beautiful sunny day, and I just plain feel better than I have for a while. The old song of my heart - "how good it feels to be alive and feeling things ... "

In a couple of minutes I'll go down to the Financial Aid office and pick up my check for $200. Imagine that.

I enjoy my job, dull as it is. It keeps me occupied and in contact with people, and I enjoy that.



Friday afternoon

Feeling very good, very happy, no matter how temporary it may be. Worked early today, came home early so I could lay out in this gorgeous, 75 degree weather. Tonight Rhonda and I are going to go out and do something!


Rhonda and I had a good time tonite: drove down to Alki, "cruised" around a little (shades of senior year!!) Went to her friend Annette's house in White Center, then to Rhonda's apartment. Home at 1:30 a.m.



Saturday night

Late. Just got home - Scott and I spent the entire day together. More hot, summer weather - we went to Burien so I could deposit some money in the bank, then came to my house, washed and waxed the car, listened to the radio, had a couple drinks. Happy. Tonite Scott and I went to the drive-in, saw "The Hazing" and "Hero Work."



Briefly Sunday night

Had a steak barbecue at Scott's today - his family, plus his next door neighbors - sixteen people altogether. Lots of good food, vodka, tequila, beer - everyone got real loose. It was fun, felt good, I was relaxed, had a good, good time.

Now I'm sitting in bed, freshly showered, watching TV, getting ready to fall asleep. I love Scott, I love his family. Tired and happy.


 Barbecue at my boyfriend's house, 1978.
I felt very much a part of the family.


Monday 11:20 a.m.

Will go to work in a few minutes. Sitting in the Hilton. Sunny today, but cool and windy. A little hungover from all the drinking this weekend, but feeling good otherwise. Had a fun, eventful weekend ... perhaps an indication of what Summer ‘78 will be like, I hope. Tonight Scott is going to pick me up after he gets off work, we're going to go out driving. I take my SECOND driving test tomorrow morning at 11:20 a.m., but I'm not going to talk about it until it's over. I think I'll probably pass this time - I'm going to be disappointed if I don't! - but I'll get too nervous if I write about it now.


Minutes to kill before my bus comes. Worked from 11:30 to 3:00, non-stop ... busy every minute. When I go home, must hurriedly clean the house, maybe my bedroom if I have time - Scott is picking me up at 5:30 or 6:00.



Death is awful:
I hope I don't get it.



Wednesday afternoon

Sitting in the cafeteria, feeling like Monday. I failed my driving test again, and although I'm fairly calm about it now, for a while I felt horrible and angry enough to punch a hole in the nearest wall. Just like the first time, I didn't actually fail - I got an 88 - but I was "disqualified," this time because I made a rolling stop at a stop sign.

DAMN! Won't I ever get my stupid license?? Maybe when I'm 98 years old.

Early evening:

Sitting in Scott's living room with him and his grandma. Seems like I spend most of my life over here at his house. Mel is going to cut my hair tonite, I hope - just a couple of inches. It certainly needs it.



Thursday morning

Sometimes I just don't understand myself - the way I think, the ways I almost willfully try to wreck my own life. Other times I think I understand myself too well. I wish I knew my mother better - what kind of person she was at 20.



Friday, pre-work

Once again in a good mood: it seems to come and go without warning. Sitting in the Hilton. Coke today. Drizzling outside, cloudy skies. I'm going to work for a couple of hours and leave early so I can go home and pack - going to Limerick for the three day Memorial Weekends, will come home Monday evening. Stomach aches, as usual - I've been drinking too much pop lately, too much carbonation. Probably smoking too much, too, but it keeps me going. I've been so tired these past three weeks, doing stuff all the time. I've spent practically every evening with Scott, except for the occasional Friday night with Rhonda. Surprisingly, we don't seem to be getting tired of each other, yet.

Minutes later:

Writing this in pencil, in case I have to erase it in a hurry (if it looks like SCOTT is going to read it, in other words). He's driving me crazy. He's always NAGGING at me about the stupidest, most pointless, most TRIVIAL things - like a self-appointed father figure. When will he loosen up???



Wednesday afternoon (practically)

One of those days I have every once in awhile, when I walk around sticking my foot into my mouth at every available opportunity ... saying dumb, stupid things I really regret. God. WHY did I say that to Chick in Speech class?? WHY did I talk to that girl behind the counter in the Hilton?? WHY can't I learn to keep my big, fat, stupid mouth SHUT?

Camping this past weekend was really fun. We stayed at Limerick from Friday night until late Monday afternoon, and even though it rained on & off all weekend, we found plenty of things to do to keep us occupied. The Ruvos were there (Harry, Rose & Johnny), and we had a big steak-fry with them on Saturday night.

Tonite: Finish typing Doug's psych paper

Type bibliography for S.F.

Deliver Avon


Time wounds all heels



Thursday night

First night of June. Late, but still stiflingly hot ... it reached the 80's today. I layed outside for two hours today and got a magnificent burn on my chest, shoulders and arms. Tomorrow I take my driving test for the third stupid time, and although I'm not actually nervous about it, I am feeling little twinges of anxiety. I want this so, SO bad, and if I blow it again on some dumb mistake, I don't know what I'll do.




This was a happy day.

Friday afternoon

Slightly past noon ... sitting in the living room, waiting for my hamburger to cook, waiting for Scott to come pick me up so I can go take my test, waiting waiting waiting. Please, Lord, let me pass this time!


Sitting outside in the hot sun ... happy, happy, happy. I finally passed my Drivers Test, and I now have my license, and it's an incredible, happy feeling!!!!!!!!!!!  I feel like I have wings on my heels. I got an 82, which is just barely passing, but who wants to quibble with trifles? All that matters to me is that I DID it, I GOT it. Terri V. can actually go out and DO something about her life in a positive way. In a matter of weeks (days?!) the car will be mine, and I'll begin to become the adult I know I can be.

I remember that after I passed the driving test, Scott let me take the Colt out by myself for the rest of the afternoon.  I spent hours driving aimlessly around Burien, listening to the radio (Yvonne Elliman, "If I Can't Have You")  ...  went through the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru and ordered a Coke, just to see what it was like  ...  went over to my grandparents' house to show off a little  ...  it was one of the happiest, most carefree afternoons of my life.


Monday evening 8:30 p.m.

Quiet. Sitting outside with Scott ... he's sitting next to me in a lawnchair, studying for his "Sales Management and Development" final exam tomorrow. I'm sitting in the other chair, watching the sun set and listening to the sounds of the evening. It was a blistering 94 degrees today, but now it's getting cooler and more comfortable. This has been a long, full day. I rode the bus out to school in the morning for my 10:00 Speech final, worked straight from noon till three, came home and cleaned house. Too hot to even lay outside in the sun - I would have burned to a crisp in minutes.

These are the things I can hear tonight:

  • The wind blowing in the trees.
  • Albie and Lawnmower pacing around the yard, the metal of their license tags clicking.
  • The roar of a passing airplane.
  • Scott shuffling papers from hand to hand.
  • Dad rattling some tools in the greenhouse.
  • A single child shouting far down the road.
  • Cars on the highway below us.
  • Dogs barking.
  • Neighbors next door, calling to each other.
  • A car door slamming.
  • An electric fan.
  • A crow screaming in the treetop across the street.

Very, very quiet. Drowsy. Heavy day's schedule ahead of me again tomorrow.



Tuesday afternoon/early evening

So tired I can hardly move, and I don't really know why. This day wasn't nearly as tough as I expected, although I'm certain I did lousy on my exams. Oh well. I worked till noon and came home early, and even though it's a nice day, a little cloudier & cooler but nice, all I've had the energy to do is curl up and snooze on the couch most of the afternoon. Now it's 5:00 and I can't even get off my bed - sitting here sipping lemonade, watching Channel 11 reruns, worrying about money, wondering how I'm going to get energetic enough to do all the little things I wanted to do tonight. (Scott is going out with Jerry tonight - I wanted to pick up my room, write a few letters, plan my finances, etc.)



Wednesday afternoon

Back to problems. Just when you think you're getting everything solved, more unexpected problems come along and knock you down. It's so damned infuriating. Now I find I'm not "eligible" for work/study this summer - something I was really counting on - Mr. Wood says he might be able to give me 89 hours on General Funds, but that will only be a tiny portion of the money I need. Damn.

$306.00 (in my SeaTrust bank account)

$16.38 (Old National Bank)

$153.00 (paycheck)

$475.38 (where I stand right now)



$12.00 Kim (candles) Spending money

$10.00 Kim (grad. present) Allowance

$50.00 Scott (birthday) Paycheck

$26.00 CR&T Club (bill) Who knows?




I'll have to borrow $350 from G & G, pay back $200 in July?



1. Pay Kim $12.00 tonight for the candles I bought.

2. Go to the bank TOMORROW, cash check, keep out $50, deposit the rest.

3. Shop for Scott - put whatever I don't use BACK IN BANK.

4. Find out about insurance - how much, when - take care of it as soon as possible.

5. Go see Grandma & Grandpa - ask to borrow $375 - outline plan for paying it back.



Thursday on the bus

And of course, there are always solutions to problems ... today I found out that I CAN work this summer, after all, and what's more I can work FULLTIME, 8 hours a day!!



Monday night

Kinda drunk. Almost 1:00 in the morning. Kim graduated tonight and Scott and I went to her graduation party (at Rick Heglund's). Only drank three beers but you can look at my handwriting and see what condition my head's in. Wish I could write more but I just can't.


Tuesday afternoon/evening

Scribble a quick word ... no time for anything anymore. I'm hardly ever home anymore, always out doing things. Will be leaving again in a minute, as soon as the rollers in my hair get cool.



Sunday morning

It's happening again ... I'm starting to write in you less and less frequently, Journal, although all kinds of newsworthy things have been happening in my life lately. I have less in the way of free time since I started working fulltime - no time to write the letters I owe, no time to keep my room clean, no time to read my new books, no time to write in my journal. I'm busy practically all the time, but it's a good kind of busy - keeps me feeling alive and active. A far cry from the listless, bored way I've felt the past couple of summers. No time to sit home feeling depressed anymore. For that, at least, I'm sincerely grateful.

Of course, it doesn't really feel like summer vacation, in spite of the nice weather and the parties and everything. I still have to get up early in the morning and trudge off to school for eight hours, although now it's to go work, not to go to classes. Scott said, "Congratulations - you've joined the working world!" when I complained about it to him, and I guess he's right. I've "arrived." My carefree, lazy summers are gone ... now I'm working for the things that I've wanted for so long.

Last night we went to Scott & Leslie Kelly's wedding reception at the White Shutter Inn, and it was so nice. So many weddings lately.



All of a sudden, everything started to change  ...

A Wednesday Afternoon In Summer

Ten days later, and my whole world has changed.

As of last night I am no longer living with Dad. We had "the" fight yesterday afternoon, too ridiculous to even write about, and what it all boils down to is that I refuse to live with him one more day.

I am staying temporarily at Scott's, and tomorrow I will either go live with Gram St. John or Gram Vert until the end of the summer, at which time I will be moving out on my own.

I'll talk about it later.



Sunday afternoon

I know I should write about all the things that are in my heart and mind right now - important things - but it's all clogged together. I need some kind of emotional Draino: I can't get it out.

I'm still "sitting in limbo" ... still staying with Scott and his family ... still undecided about what to do.

At this point:

  • Scott and his family are being incredibly loving and supportive, letting me stay with them until I make some decisions & get things moving again.
  • Dad has made it clear that I'm welcome to come back, under the condition that I "begin to recognize him as a person" ... which sounds reasonable, of course, but which also means no difference in his attitude.
  • Grandma Vert is not speaking to me because she wants me to make up with Dad - "You're all he has in the world!" - and because she knows that I would rather stay with Gram St. John.

It's all one bug fucking mess and I don't know what do do. My options are clear. But which option do I choose?

At least this journal is becoming a little more interesting ha ha ha



Friday morning
11 a.m. break from work

Life goes on ... sort of.

Taking my first break of the day ... sitting outside on the porch of the Student Lounge, overlooking much of the campus. Utterly alone ... there are no classes on Fridays so the place is deserted. Foggy morning - I can't even see Puget Sound from here, the fog is so dense over the water. This will be "my spot" on Fridays, from now on, now that I've discovered it.

Dad changed the locks on the doors ... now how the hell am I supposed to get in and move my stuff out tomorrow??

Still staying with Scott's family.  It's been two weeks now.


I moved all of my stuff out of Dad's house on a Saturday afternoon, while he was at work. 
Here I'm writing him a "goodbye" letter.  Years later, he told me that he
came home that afternoon, saw my empty bedroom and cried like a baby.

I moved in with my Grandma St. John for the summer.

Sunday evening

Sitting in bed at Grandma St. John's. Feeling very, very sad and low. I've only been here for a couple of days, and already it feels like a mistake. God, why do I screw up my life like this??

The only thing I want to do is go home, but it's too late for that ... there is no home anymore. I blew that.

The other solution would be to move out with Scott, but he won't. He can't afford it (neither can I, I guess) and he's afraid of what his parents would think if we lived together without being married. I would love to live together, right now especially -- the only time I feel good anymore is when I'm with him. He stayed here most of the day. We watched three movies on HBO and ate a chicken dinner with Grandma; but when he went home, my good mood dissipated completely.




Monday lunch

Sitting alone in the cafeteria. Very hungry, but too broke to buy anything to eat.  Still down - about as down as I've ever been. I feel awful, I look awful, and I've never been so uncertain and unhappy.

I feel like I have no "roots" ... no permanent place to be.

I envy people whose parents stay together - who have a solid family unit to depend on. That must be a nice secure feeling.

I'm probably making all this worse than it really is. I'm probably forcing myself to be depressed, subconsciously. Scott keeps telling me to "give it a chance" ... he thinks it's great that I'm staying with Grandma. Of course, he's got his nice stable family to lean on so he can't really know how it feels to be in this position, but he's being almost nauseatingly positive about the whole thing.

It's funny ... feeling homesick for a home that I don't even have. Like an amputee who feels pain in his missing limb.



Wednesday afternoon 2:30

Lunch break. Sitting in the cafeteria with a can of Coke and a cigarette. Gorgeous day - sunshine, blue skies, etc. But in my present frame of mind, I wish it would rain. There's nothing worse than a rotten mood on a sunny day.

The only thing I'm really looking forward to right now is the big Beach Boys & Kinks concert on Sunday afternoon, at Memorial Stadium downtown. Scott, Rhonda, John, Karen and I are all going together, and it should be great. It makes the week more tolerable, waiting for Sunday.

I look awful today. I have no clean clothes at all, and I feel so dirty.

I'm worried sick about my present financial condition. Grandma St. John wants me to give her $30 a week for room and board, and I'm trying to work up the nerve to tell her that I just can't afford that much.

God. Why me? Why does this all happen to ME?

(Poor poor pitiful me.)




Tuesday night late

It's starting again ... the little problems, building one on top of the other. I try to push it all away but it keeps coming back. Just when I'm engrossed in daily things, the pain and the problems all come rushing back into my awareness. Too damn much to worry about for someone who's only 20 years old, especially since I've been so sheltered until now.

I miss Dad. I miss living at home. I feel sick with pain over this whole terrible month. I keep re-living it and doing it all differently. I have money problems to the ceiling. Grandma expects me to pay her $30 a week and I can't afford it. Doug hates me and I don't blame him. Grandma V. has been trying to reach me but I haven't talked to her in over a week.


Where will I be one year from now? Wherever ... I wish I were there NOW. I wish I were anywhere but here in July 1978.



Wednesday night

Still alive - sort of. I'm not as depressed - not outwardly, at least - but there's a big giant knot of hurt inside my heart. Most of the time I can ignore it - I get engrossed in work or Scott or whatever - but every once in awhile I remember how screwed-up everything really is, and I can feel that knot like a vise, squeezing all the love of living out of my heart.

Sometimes I feel entirely mechanized - simply going through the motions. The joy is gone. It will come back eventually ... I'm not a complete fatalist. But in the meantime, life isn't a whole lot of fun.

I need a god job. I need money. I need to see my grandparents. I need my Dad. I need a place to live. I need a stronger relationship with Scott. I need to come to terms with my inability to meet obligation. I need to know God again.

I need someone to take me by the hand and say, "This is how to straighten out your life."

OK.  Here's how to straighten out your life, Terri:

  • Call your dad and your Grandma Vert, first of all, and apologize to them for being such a big dumb self-absorbed baby.
  • Start paying your Grandma St. John the rent money you owe her.  Pay it on time, pay it cheerfully and pay it IN FULL.  And while you're at it, pick your fudking clothes up off the bedroom floor.
  • Break up with Scott.  He'll cry, and he'll beg you to reconsider, and you'll feel like a total shit  ....  but it's the right thing to do.  It will wipe the slate clean, and allow you to sleep with Bruce Maxwell without feeling like a total skeez.
  • Take a long hard look at your drinking and drug use.  Is it making your life better or worse?
  • Find a job.  Taco Time is probably hiring.  No, it's not 'glamorous,' but it'll put gas in your car.
  • And speaking of your car  ...  remember to CHANGE THE GODDAMN OIL once in a while.


These are the 45's I bought:

"Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad" - Meatloaf
"Take A Chance On Me" - ABBA
"Cheeseburger In Paradise" - Jimmy Buffett
"Runaway" -
"I Can't Stand The Rain" -  (5,000 Volts)
"Hot-Blooded" - Foreigner




Hoping (against hope) that no one will come over and sit next to me while I sit here in the cafeteria, nursing my can of Coke and enjoying a half-hour break from work. Who was it who said "I want to be alone?" Garbo? In any case, I just want to be by myself for a little while, to sit and think and examine all the stuff's that packed into my head.

Randomly, then, these are the things that are uppermost in my head on this cloudy, overcast day in July:

Wearing jeans and a black turtleneck sweater, with my hair pulled back into a messy ponytail - lots of eye makeup - looking nice in an offbeat way. That helps.

That man - that man from the Hilton last spring, the one with the perpetual cup of coffee - has transplanted himself to the cafeteria (as I have, since the Hilton is closed for the summer), and is sitting two tables away, still staring at me.




More big changes.

August 8, 1978
Wednesday afternoon

About a week later.

I have decided to give this summer a name ... "SUMMER 1978 - THE SUMMER OF CHANGE." Very appropriate, especially since I have experienced yet another in a series of swift, unpredictable changes this past week. In fact, this latest BIG CHANGE happened shortly after I wrote that last entry in this journal.

(I can't keep up with my own life.)

I have a new job. As of Monday morning, I am an Assistant Bookkeeper for Lusk Metals, Inc. in Tukwila, Washington. Mom told me about the job on Tuesday night, a week ago; I applied for the job on Wednesday; I was interviewed on Thursday; and I got the job that afternoon. I couldn't believe I'd actually gotten it! It seemed too easy. It's a damn good job, and for me to get it with no pavement-pounding, no classifieds-searching, no sweat at all ... well, that sort of thing doesn't normally happen to Terri V.  I'm not that lucky, as a rule.

HOWEVER ... not being one to look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth, I won't feel TOO bad about the ease with which I got the job, but rather will just appreciate the fact that I DID ...

There are, of course, problems. There always are. For one, I had to tell a few white lies to get the job - nothing terrible, just that I have more math experience than I do -- which kind of makes it tough when Bobbi, my supervisor (and my mother's best friend) expects me to know more than I do. I also hated to leave Highline and the transcript office, and that was a problem. I had built up a certain affection for the people there, and I felt rotten quitting & leaving them flat they way I did. I couldn't even give them one weeks' notice because it all happened too fast.


People mad at me now: Dad, Grandma & Grandpa, Kevin Lanning, Highline College



The next day

Sunshine & warm

Lunchtime. Sitting in the car with the windows rolled down, warm breeze, radio playing, warm Cragmont soda. Tried to write a letter to Karen, but the words wouldn't come. Fairly good mood - tomorrow is "O" day, which may explain it.

Ran into (my old boyfriend) Steve this morning at the gas station - he stood and talked to me for a few minutes. It was nice to see him. His hair is styled and he has a moustache now (!) but he still looks the same. He acted differently, though - more subdued, preoccupied almost. He asked me where I lived, and when I told him I'd moved out of Dad's and moved in with my Grandma, he said, "Maybe I'll come see you." I said, "I'd like that." I don't know if I really would, though - it took too long for me to transfuse him out of my blood. I wouldn't care to go through that again.

Scott and I aren't getting along well at all. Lately he's been griping and nagging at me about everything, and I'm sick to death to it. I love him, of course (?), but lately I almost hate to be around him. He nags about the car ("Did you wash it?" "How much gas do you have?" "You're going to have to get a new front seat." "Why don't you get the passing gear fixed?" "You need new tires!"), about money, about insurance, about my situation (or non-situation, whatever) with Dad, about Avon, etc. etc. etc. until I could just SCREAM. He means well, but it's the way he says these things - as though I'm a ten year old - and the constant-ness of it. I can't be with him for an hour without him starting in on something.

Lately I've been rethinking our whole relationship. What is it based on? Sex? Habit? Etc.? And I'm trying to come to some kind of conclusion, but I can't be objective about it anymore. Maybe I'm thinking this way because the whole summer has been one of change, in practically every are of my life EXCEPT for my love life. My family and home life, my job, school, social life, financial situation -- all of these have been changed in one way or another. Only my relationship with Scott has stayed the same. The question at hand is: should it change too?

Gotta go back to work now. Bye.




Friday lunch

Sitting in my car, at this little park about ten minutes from the office. I wanted Scott to come with me but he'd already made "other plans," so it's just me, again.

Now I'm sitting at a picnic table overlooking the river, in the shade of a massive tree.

Feeling rotten, for a variety of reasons. I've got a COLOSSAL hangover - I went to a party with Rhonda last night until 2 a.m., drank too much, smoked too much,  didn't get enough sleep, couldn't wash my hair this morning. As a result I look godawful - "Basic Yuck," as Bobbi would say - I'm tired, my head is pounding, and I can't go home for another 4-1/2 hours. Terrific. AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF, Grandma left this morning for the weekend, and Debby Jeanne is coming over to stay with me. Swell. A whole weekend alone with my nine year old sister and a case of beer.

Oh shit, Terri, you're not all THAT depressed. Today is Day 14, after all - you just think you're depressed because you overdid everything last night.


She hides herself away in numbers -
Buries her pain in careful calculations.

Numbers help her forget.

She sits on above the river and watches
brown water ferry dead flowers
around the bend and out of reach -
Tosses her thoughts and her private pains
like a bridal bouquet
and watches them drown.

Water helps her forget.

She drives in the night when the highways are dead
and no one can see her -
lets darkness swallow her headlights and hurt -
and never yields.

Darkness helps her forget.



Sunday morning

I am filled with pain.

I saw Steve last night, and Scott has broken up with me. I can't say anything more than that. I love them both but I can't have either one. I would like to die right now.

Sort of.

Evening 9:30 p.m.

Tired, burned-out, run-down. Sitting at the kitchen table with a pile of old ledgers sitting in front of me. Just had an olive loaf & mayonnaise sandwich and a glass of icewater. Wishing I had some Pepsi and a cigarette, but I'll live.

Grandma and Mom got home from their trip about 7:00 tonight. Now Gram is sitting in the living room watching "MacArthur" on HBO. I took Debby home a little while ago.

Shit, Journal ... I so very much want to tell you what happened last night & today, but I'm afraid. It would sound so terrible.

Oh well ... what the hell??

Last night Rhonda and I took my little sister Debby down to the Waterland Festival in Des Moines. We watched the parade, went on a few rides, etc., and then started for home about 9:30. When we got here to the house, Andy C. and his friend Jimmy (a couple of guys that Rhonda and I met at a party last weekend) were parked in my driveway, waiting for us to get home. They brought a case of beer with them, so we invited them into the house to watch TV and get high and talk ... which we did for about 45 minutes.

About 11 p.m. there was a knock on the front door, and it really startled me. I thought it was Scott. I tried to peek out the window to see who it was, but it was too dark. So I opened the door, and imagine my SHOCK when I saw that it was Steve!

I asked him how on earth he'd known where I live, and pointed at my car, parked in the driveway.

He was obviously very embarrassed to catch me with a houseful of people, and seemed reluctant to come inside, so I excused myself to Rhonda and Andy and Jimmy and the two of us went outside and sat on the front porch. We sat out there for almost an hour, just talking. It was so good. I kept expecting to wake up any minute, but it wasn't a dream - he was really there. We talked about our old relationship. "You were the first girl I ever fell in love with," he said. "It took me a long time to get over you." We talked about all the dumb mistakes we made, and about the good times. We talked about the things we've done the past two years since we split up, "catching up" on all the news. It was so good, and I felt so terrific and alive and mellow - looking at the stars, listening to him talk (that old, familiar, lazy drawl of his), knowing that there was no reason in the world that I couldn't be friends with this person ... that our years of non-communication didn't have to continue ... and that I still care for Steve very, very much, and all my attempts to convince myself that I feel nothing at all for him were just so much psychological crud. I will always love Steve, and I refuse to fool myself about it any longer.

Anyway. The mood was more or less shattered when I nonchalantly asked him who he was living with, and he said "Oh ... this girl named Debbie." That was no surprise. I've known about Steve and Debbie B. for a long time. But then he put his face in his hands and sighed and said "Yah ... she's pregnant, she's gonna have a baby any day." That hit me like an atom bomb. I was totally, thoroughly stunned. Fortunately, though, I was really calm and nonchalant about it - I sensed that he needed to talk about it, and I didn't want to put him off. "Are you going to marry her?" I asked, and he shook his head. 

"So what are you going to do?" I said.

"Support her, I guess," he said. "I love her, you know, in a way."

Well ... it went on like this for a long time. He was really upset, and I was thanking God that I'd been home to listen to him.

Scott and Wayne came over while I was still sitting on the porch with Steve, and Andy and Jimmy were still sitting in the living room with Rhonda. I saw their car pull up and my heart just sank. I knew that there would be hell to pay, or at the very least an ugly scene, particularly with Steve being there. The old hostilities between Scott and Steve are as fresh today as they were two years ago. According to Rhonda, Scott sorta stalked into the living room, looked at Andy and Jimmy sitting there, and said "Where is she?" "She's on the porch," Rhonda said.

I turned around as he opened the door, but I didn't get up. "Hi?" I said, kinda uncertainly, but he didn't say a word - he just stood there and stared, frozen, mad as hell. "I'll be in in a minute," I said, but he closed the door and a few minutes later I heard him driving away with Wayne.

Journal entry stops at this point.  When Steve left, later that night, we stood in the doorway and kissed goodbye.  "I will always love you," I told him, and then I watched as he walked away.  I knew I would never see him again.


Late on a Sunday night ... the end of another wasted weekend, perched on the edge of another long work week. "Darling Be Home Soon" is playing on the record player, and the words are hanging above me and inside me and are part of me. I am hurting and happy at the same time ... singing and crying, living and dying, dreaming and waking.

It's OK to be alive. Pain is OK ... so are anger, and resentment, and disappointment. It's OK when people let me down and use me and hurt me, because, ultimately, I still have me.


She finds her sweetest peace in sleep,
Her greatest victories in dreaming.
The morning offers her nothing but her own failings
So she hungers for the night -
For the quiet sunken darknesses -
And for the escape that the smallest hours afford her.




Tuesday night

Sitting at the kitchen table - almost 10:30 at night. Coming down from a good high.  Wicked cramps  -  period started this morning, thank god. Wet hair wrapped in fuzzy pink towel. Grandma is sitting in the living room watching a tribute to Irving Berlin on TV, the cat perched on her lap.

I bought the car last night   ...  gave Scott a check for $700.   Ta-da. Just like that!  I had to borrow the final $150 from Grandma & Grandpa, but I've got until they leave for Hawaii (one month from now) to pay them back. The rest of the money came from my old Highline College job and my last two paychecks from Lusk Metals. Scott bought a bottle of pink champagne and we "celebrated" ... I even tossed a little onto the car, to christen it.

I'm happy, of course, but the whole thing is anticlimactic, in a way. I've been driving the car regularly for almost two months now! I don't know ... I'm just in a weird frame of mind. So much to think about lately, and I'm always too busy or too tired or too tired or too something to write about it ... it's all piled up inside my head.

Thinking about:

  • Listening to Bing Crosby sing "White Christmas" for the last time (in August??)
  • Moving out with Rhonda in a little over a month.
  • Finding some bedroom furniture.
  • Steve and Debby having their baby.
  • Car insurance.
  • Work tomorrow.
  • Bruce Mitchell and Dick S. and Larry F. killing flies in the office.
  • Scott asking me to marry him.
  • One Wet Mitten.
  • Tired.


My dream: Pat W. tried to kill me, twice. The first time he was shooting at me in a department store but he missed. Not being one to give up easily, he came over one night when Grandma was out and Scott and I were watching TV. He broke into the house, shot Scott, and then set the house on fire. During the scuffle I managed to get out of the house thru the back door and run over to Johansen's to call the fire department and the police. Scott lived, for which I was grateful, but the house was destroyed, including all my precious journals & diaries & photo albums.

I think I'm going to buy a huge, fireproof strongbox for my journals.



Saturday evening (almost)

 Almost evening. Sunny. Clean dried hair waiting for hot rollers, waiting for tonight. Scott is on a fishing trip so Rhonda and I are going to do something - what, I don't know yet. Of course I would like to go see "Rocky Horror" at the Neptune, but I seriously doubt that Rhonda would go for it - we've seen it the past two weekends in a row. I could go see it every weekend - it gets to the point where I actually HUNGER for that movie. It's scary how hooked I am.

Still hungover from last night. Scott, Jerry, Ron, Katy McKay and I all went to The Other Side of the Tracks to listen to John & Karen play, and the waiter served us beer without asking for I.D. I got ridiculously drunk and have been paying for it all day long. I'm drinking too much again ... it seems to come & go in cycles.

Changes this past week:

1. Scott bought a Chevy can for $1500, so I don't have to feel guilty about leaving him without a car.

2. Rhonda is depressed about Rod - he's engaged to another girl, which leaves her exactly nowhere in his life.

3. This is important - I talked to Dad on Wednesday night! I simply got tired of this not-speaking-to-each-other shit and called him up, and (wonder of wonders) he couldn't have been nicer. We talked for a long time, and all the things were said and apologies made and we're friends again. God, what beautiful relief. One less thing to feel rotten about.

I am in love with my new car, my job, Tim Curry and The Rocky Horror Picture Show and life in general. Super duper.


Late that night:

Almost 2 a.m. Very, very sleepy - we had an evening of wine (Tyrolia - I really like it) and weed and music and conversation. Nothing exciting, but it was nice - the kind of evening I really enjoy once in a while. Rhonda and I talked about what it's going to be like when we get an apartment together, and we started comparing eccentricities - listing the weird or annoying things we do that might possibly drive the other person crazy. Shit, I sure thought of a lot for myself! I crack my toes. I talk in my sleep. I take 45 minute baths. I'm grouchy in the morning until I get my coffee fix. I shove things under my bed. I put things off.

Patchwork, dog alarms and crumbs in our bed:

What is our world coming to?

We used to pride ourselves on organization,
"Uncle Sam wants YOU to clean up you room!"

Now we are lost in laundry mountains
and slinking in late at night;
Too much beer weighing our thoughts down
and too many things put off until morning.

Blood is flowing in the wrong veins,
And we never remember to let the Boys out.

(Written earlier in the year)



Monday night
August 28, 1978

Coming down from another high ... seems like I spend my whole life sleeping, working and getting high. I'm not complaining, though - I'm feeling better about my life, at least. I'm ALIVE!! I'm always going to be alive!!

On another track:

I'm going to try and write in my journal more regularly. There is so much more that I want you to know ... whoever you are, reading all these journals. I know that you exist, yes, but since I can't learn more about you, I might as well let you know more about me.



Wednesday early evening

August is drawing to a close, and so is this journal. I'm going to try and make this notebook last until the end of September or until Rhonda & I move into our apartment, whichever comes first. That will be a new beginning, and a new journal will be appropriate.

Sitting at Grandma's kitchen table, nursing a beer, still wearing my work clothes. I'm going over to Rhonda's in a while to get high, but I've got to wait until after dinner (chicken noodle casserole for the third night in a row).

Today was work, of course, and thunderstorms during lunch ... carbon ink all over my hands ... writing (another) letter to Sparky during lunch ... Merle's birthday, celebrated with salami and cheese ... typing seventeen orders. I like my job. I especially like the people in the office. There is a warmth and camaraderie there that I enjoy, especially between Bruce and Dick and Kirk and Bobbi and I. I'm not completely a part of it yet, but I feel I'm getting there. I still make a lot of embarrassing mistakes, and Kirk (my boss) has a way of making me feel real stupid and slow at times, but it's only because he's eager for me to learn.

My day is divided like this:

6:30 a.m. Get up

6:30 - 7:30 a.m. Put on makeup, set hair, drink 2-1/2 cups of coffee, smoke one cigarette

7:35 a.m. Leave for work

7:35 - 8:00 a.m. Drive to work listening to "Rocky Horror"

8:00 - 12:00 Type orders, answer the phone (17 times today), file, general confusion

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch

1:00 - 5:00 More of same

5:05 Leave for home

5:05 - 5:15 Drive home listening to "Rocky Horror"

5:15 - 11:30 p.m. Eat dinner, get high, wash hair

11:30 p.m. Bed



Thursday night
August 31, 1978

Another high coming to an end. Alone in the house - Grandma is at a negotiations meeting. Nice day. The mood at work today was high - tomorrow is our big office party, to celebrate two years that Lusk Metals Northwest has been in operation. It's being kept a surprise from the bosses, so there's a conspiratory feeling in the air. Bruce was just as nice and funny as he could be. I guess I've changed my opinion of him. I used to think he was high-handed and irritating, but now I really like him. Anyway, work was actually fun.

After work, Rhonda and I went out to dinner at Teraro's in Burien, and then did some shopping at Fred Meyer. (I had to get some stuff for the office party, and then I splurged and bought three 45's - "Summer Nights" by Olivia Newton John & John Travolta, "You Needed Me" by Anne Murray, and Linda Ronstadt's new single, "Living in the U.S.A.") I also stopped by Scott's for a while, but we started picking at each other so I left early.


Before I move out with Rhonda, I've got to get:

1. Bed frame

2. Two pillows

3. Sheets & pillowcases (two changes)

4. Bedspread

5. Light blanket for my bed

6. Nightstand of some sort

7. Bedside lamp

8. Towels (bath & hand)

9. Tea kettle




I'm going to be dead tired tomorrow. Today was such a good day ... will this weekend be?



September 7, 1978
Thursday night (late)

Again things have changed. A lot of tension in the air at work today - maybe it was in the air, the calm before the storm - Kirk was especially wired today. Anyway, I've been making a few (relatively) minor blunders at work, and I think that Kirk senses some of the new closeness between Bruce and I, which could get us both into a lot of trouble. So between those two things, I felt like maybe my job was on the line. It just felt like Kirk was watching me more closely than usual - watching to see how I handle four phone calls at one, double-checking all my orders, etc. - waiting for me to screw up or something.

Then this afternoon he said, "Terri, I'd like to see you in my office before you leave this afternoon," and that really did it. I broke into a cold sweat and the shakes - I even convinced myself into a pounding migraine. I was wound tighter than a watch spring for the rest of the afternoon, expecting the worst. I was positive that I'd lost my job and that was what Kirk wanted to see me about. I even imagined (hallucinated?) that all the people in the office all knew I was being fired ... I thought I saw Bobbi and Bruce giving me sympathy looks. So by the time I went in to talk to Kirk, I was so tense I hurt all over. So what happens? It turns out I'm getting a $50 a month RAISE for the "fine job" I've been doing!!

I haven't seen Scott since Monday night, when we came home from the ocean, and I've only talked to him twice on the phones, both times very briefly. I don't know what the problem is. I just don't feel like seeing him or talking to him. I'm sure he must be wondering what the hell is going on. As a matter of fact, I wish I knew myself.



Scott and I break up.

Friday night
September 8, 1978

Sitting and waiting - not very patiently, I might add. It's almost 8:30 already and still no word from Bruce. Today at lunch (we went to Perino's while my tires were being changed) he took my phone number and we made plans to do something tonight, but so far he hasn't called. The phone is maddeningly silent. I'm going to go straight out of my mind if it doesn't ring soon.


Scott and I broke up tonight. My decision, not his. I'm hurting inside, but I have to be free.  Two and a half years together, and all of a sudden it was over, just like that.  I remember that he cried.

Bruce called at 9:30 and we're going out to dinner tomorrow night.



Monday night

Grandma is at a meeting tonight so I am home alone ... 11:00 already but I can't seem to wind down enough to go to bed. So much on my mind. I am CRAZY about Bruce, but I'm trying hard not to be. It's such a strain being next to him all day at the office without being able to talk to him intimately, or smile at him, or anything, except in a professional way. Especially after Saturday night! Rhonda, Kent, Bruce and I went out to dinner together at Reuben's Plankhouse in Bellevue, and then went to Bruce's house for drinks and late TV. We all got really high, and it was the most fun I've had in a long time. I stayed the night at Bruce's house - didn't get home until 4:00 Sunday afternoon. That was really nice - he is such an appealing, intriguing person and I enjoy being with him. In fact, if I came right out and admitted it, I would say that I care about him a GREAT DEAL. I just wish that I knew how he feels about me. Am I just another "diversion," or could he really care in return? He seems so different at the office - so absorbed and motivated by his work - that occasionally he makes me feel dumb when I slip & he corrects me. But then when we're alone, he's someone else again. Funny, self-confident, relaxed.

I don't know what I can do to make him love me. Maybe I don't even want him to. I don't know. He's obviously attracted to me - I don't think this past week has been a put-on - but the whole thing has got me so frustrated I probably wouldn't even recognize insincerity.



Wednesday night

Very late. Still high from the champagne and weed at Rhonda's. We found our apartment today! The Court One apartments in Kent. We'll be moving in on October 1st.

My relationship with Bruce is coming along slowly but not so surely.



Thursday night

Almost midnight, but I most definitely can't sleep yet; so happy and so high I could probably float away. Bruce took me out to dinner tonight, to the Black Angus in Burien. We tried to get into the bar but naturally they checked my I.D. so that was out. So he sat there and drank Dirty Mothers while I nursed a couple of Cokes. But it was nice in spite of that. Afterwards we snorted some speed and got some beer and went to Rhonda's. Randy (W.) and Mike, two guys from work, dropped by and I bought some more speed from Randy.

Why am I so happy? Because I really like Bruce a lot - he does things to me that no one has done in a long, long time. Emotions that I thought were shriveled and dead inside me are suddenly coming back. Not necessarily love, but excitement, and freedom, and the desire to be with him all the time. It's nice to be excited about someone again.

(I'm trying not to think about Scott, and what all this is doing to him ... )

I'm happy also because we have our apartment - I paid the $100 deposit today. I feel like a whole new era in my life is just beginning. It's not a feeling that I can identify or explain - I just know that a very special and important part of my life is around the corner. Who knows, maybe it's already begun?



Sunday afternoon
September 17, 1978

Feel like writing a lot today, but I know there are other things I should be doing instead. What if Bruce shows up unexpectedly, like he said he might? I look so goddawful, you'd have to see it to believe it.

Sitting on my rumpled bed drinking lukewarm coffee, smoking my second-to-last cigarette, buzzing on speed and listening to Jesus music. How's THAT for a contradiction of lifestyles?! The old God-centered Terri vs. the world-centered Terri.

Thinking about all kinds of stuff ... Bruce, primarily. This has been a terrific weekend. I've been with him three nights running, and it's approaching something like habit. Last night I think I fell in love with him, but that's something that I'm going to try and ignore for awhile. We were sitting in the Hoagy's Corner parking lot, and I was watching him eat this gigantic sandwich, and all of a sudden I thought, "OH God, I think I love him." Nothing magic - no bells ringing or fireworks going off - actually, it was vaguely depressing because there's not a damned thing I can do about it, knowing that he's too committed to his job to risk it by falling in love with the secretary ...

Friday night Bruce and I went out to a theater in Bellevue and saw John Belushi in "Animal House" -- a gross, vulgar movie that was also so funny I thought I was going to cry. After the movie we got some weed and some beer and went to his house. Craig was gone so we just turned on the TV and got high and relaxed. I ended up spending the night, as I figured I probably would. We didn't get to sleep until nearly four in the morning. In the morning we woke up next to each other and it was beautiful. We took a shower together and sat in the living room drinking coffee and eating speed. I sat at the table and read the paper and listened to Bruce play his guitar. I was surprised - he's damn good! I didn't even know he could play! The whole thing was like a scene out of a movie ... after spending a wild night together, we sat in the living room with a magnificent view of Lake Washington, lazy guitar music, coffee, talking. So nice.

When he brought me home, he came in and had coffee with Grandma and Mom and I, which kind of eased my embarrassment a little. I mean, that was really a potentially awkward situation, waltzing into the house at noon after an all-niter with a new boyfriend. But Bruce just plopped himself down in a chair and made himself completely at home. He has that wonderful rare ability to talk to anyone about anything, and before I knew it he and Grandma and Mom were chatting like old buddies. I was amazed and relieved.

Last night we went to a wedding out in Kenmore, some friends of Bruce's. I didn't know a soul and I felt out of place, but Bruce stayed beside me for most of the evening so there was at least one familiar face! Reception afterwards, and then a party at the house of more of Bruce's friends. We ate speed, smoked a lot of hash and weed, and drank Blue Nun. Bruce got really goofy. I've never seen him so high before, and it was really strange. It was after we left that party that we stopped at Hoagey's Corner so he could grab something to eat, where I had my Great Revelation. He brought me home soon after that and I was in bed & asleep by 1:00.

When he was kissing me goodnight, he said "If I'm in the area tomorrow - and I KNOW I will be ...." and he sort of left it at that. What? He'll stop by? Or call? I'd like to see him, naturally, but part of me is saying, "Give it a one day rest, Terri. Take some time to do some serious thinking."

Here's where it stands, as of now. Part of me thinks I'm in love, mainly because I'd LIKE to be in love with somebody - anybody! - while the smartest part of me isn't. It's just that thinking I could be is so much fun.



Early Monday evening

Feeling rock-bottom awful. My period started today, I'm run-down from heavy dieting and speed-taking, my back aches. Work was nerve-racking today - Kirk jumped on me again over little mistakes on my part - Bruce all but ignored me. God. What a day. I think I'm probably in an OK mood underneath all this, but too many small irritations have ruined this day. Now Rhonda is on her way over - we're going out to dinner and she says she has "something she wants to talk to me about." Oh Lord ... what next?


All she wanted to tell me was that Jeff will sell us a pound for $150. Sounds like an OK arrangement, except that I seem to be getting out of the weed habit again ...

Went to Skippers and then Budget (I bought Dan Fogelberg, "Souvenirs," and "The Best of Stealers Wheel"). STOMACH CRAMPS.



Tuesday night before bed

Bruce and I haven't spoken one personal word to each other since he brought me home on Sunday night; we see each other all day long in the office, but there our relationship is strictly business and there are no opportunities to really talk. For that reason it's impossible for me to gauge how he feels. Actually, he can be a real bastard around the opposite - the polar opposite of the way I know him away from Lusk Metals. We're entirely different people outside the office.

I was hoping he'd ask me out to lunch, but then Kent dropped by and whisked him away and that was that. I sat at my desk and talked to Bobbi and Charlotte all hour.

Larry Fischer was fired yesterday. I didn't really like him much, but I was sorry he was fired. I live in continual fear of losing my job, particularly on those days when Kirk decides to land into me about something. I don't know what I would do if they let me go. Today I worked really long and hard and got a lot of things done, and even Kirk noticed how busy I was and commented on the way I was "buzzing" around the office. (Buzzing. Hardy har har. If he only knew. Good old speed!)

After work, again I was hoping Bruce would approach me and suggest we do something, but Scott W. was sort of hanging around so I just left and went straight to Rhonda's without bothering to go home first.

Why doesn't he at least CALL me?

I can't wait to move out ... two weeks from today!!! Two long, interminable weeks of waiting. Will I make it??



Late the next night:

Incredibly tired - sharp headache forming in the front of my head - but wanted to write. Bruce took me out to dinner tonight. I am so crazy about him it's driving me nuts.



Thursday afternoon

Lunch hour. Sitting at my desk listening to Bobbi and Charlotte discussing food. Bruce has gone to Boeing, Kirk is OTL at the Doubletree, Dick has slipped off somewhere (probably to Southcenter, where he goes practically every day). Feeling pretty good today. Tonight after work I'm going to do a little shopping - maybe pick up some new shoes and a bedspread. Moving day is growing closer and closer. I wonder what my life is going to be like in two weeks?! Probably damned tight financially, at first, until I get adjusted to paying bills and buying food, etc., and until I get my next raise. But aside from that, I'm looking forward to it.

So much has happened in this journal ... I hate to see it end, in a way. I haven't always written as consistently or as thoroughly as I would have liked, but my new life has made free time scarce. Tonight I'm going to buy a new journal.

In the nearly half a year that this journal covers, the following has happened:

I got my Drivers License after three nerve-racking attempts, and I bought my first car. I moved out of the house under unpleasant circumstances, but made the best of it & am now about to move into my own apartment with Rhonda. I found (or re-discovered?) Rhonda and now I have a best girlfriend again, after months of starving for female companionship. I quit my dead-end job at the college and found a new & exciting job at Lusk Metals. I made the decision not to go back to school. My relationship with Scott S. is over after two & a half years, as far as I'm concerned, and I've found a new man who excites me and makes me feel alive again. I'm looking better - I've dropped 18 pounds so far, cut my hair, and am dressing a lot better. I feel better, I have more energy, and at long last I'm the one in control of Terri V.'s life. After 21 (almost) years, I'm the one who makes the decisions.

I've been depressed for so long - feeling like life would never happen to me. Now it is.


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