February 1980 - July 1980
Age 22

"...  I look at the ugly scar on my wrist and wonder if I ever really wanted to die ... wondering how I could have ever thought (he) was worth giving up breathing and thinking and living for. Living is such a wonderful thing."


February 18, 1980
Monday afternoon (feels like Sunday)

Beginning another new journal. Hmmm ... this is a distinctly familiar feeling! Ha ha!

Today is Presidents Day or something ... thus, a day off from work. What a day this has been, too. Sitting in the "old" apartment, munching sour cream & chive potato chips, cautiously sipping a beer, waiting for my deep-dish pizza to cook, watching Woody Woodpecker cartoons on TV. I'm been up and doing things all day long, and I'm beginning to wind down now, in spite of the fact that there's more to do this evening. Hungover, primarily, but not unhappy. I'll write some more after I've gotten some dinner into me.



Tuesday after work 5:30 p.m.
February 19, 1980

Felt like scribbling a few brief words before leaving for my appointment at the mental health clinic.

Last Sunday I packed up my kitty and all his gear and drove him down south to Bobbi's house. She and the kids are going to keep him permanently. I feel glad that I've found him a good home, but geez ... I miss him.

God damn Scott.

That same night I met (my old boyfriend from high school/college) Scott S. for a few drinks, and he ended up spending the night with me here at the apartment. That's about all I'm going to say about it. It was a dumb thing to do; he's reading more into it than I wanted him to. But in a perversely virtuous way I feel almost ... virtuous. Both of the men I've slept with since Scott left me  --  Bruce and Scott S.  --  are former lovers. (Like that makes it OK?)  At the rate I'm going, it shouldn't be long before I've invited Steve and Clarence and all my other old flames back into my bed again.

I moved my old bedroom furniture up here from Dad's yesterday; then I opened a new checking account at Rainier Bank during lunch today. There are still some other problems requiring my immediate attention, though:

1. Finish moving furniture to new apartment.

2. Give waterbed to Carl (my new roommate's boyfriend)

3. Boxes and misc. stuff to new apartment

4. Move my desk from Bobbi's to new apartment



Saturday noon
February 23, 1980

Brilliantly sunny today ... I'm sitting here on the sofa in the "old" apartment, sipping a beer (yes, I know it's early) and watching an old Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward movie. Not exactly happy, but then again neither am I sad ... something in between, I guess. I spent my first night in the "new" apartment last night  --  in "my" new room. I have a big queen-sized bed and all my furniture is set up.


After moving into the new apartment  ...



Monday night 11 p.m.
Feb. 24, 1980

Just talked to a friend on the phone ... ate a tuna fish sandwich ... took a shower. Now I'm curled up on the sofa watching "Elvis" and waiting for my new roommate Rachel to get home.




Saturday night 9 p.m.
March 1, 1980

Quietly, comfortably happy. I met a new guy last night when Leslie and I went to listen to (Leslie's boyfriend) Danny's band play at a local club. His name is Holley, he's a 24 yr. old aspiring cop, and he's gorgeous. We talked and danced until the bar closed, and then he came home with me. (Ah! The life of the swinging bachelorette!) He didn't leave until 3:00 this afternoon, and he just called to say he's on his way over again tonight. No big plans -- we'll probably just end up watching TV ... and whatever ...




Sunday morning
March 2, 1980

Still fairly happy. Holley is asleep upstairs in my room; I couldn't sleep any longer, so I came downstairs for a cup of tea and a "quick write." Rebecca is home, too ... asleep in her room ... I wonder what her reaction will be when she discovers Holley is here?

I honestly didn't expect him to spend the night again, but I'm glad he did. He's a nice man and I like him a lot. I'm not prepared or willing for any heavyweight relationships, but it just feels good to genuinely LIKE somebody. I was starting to fear that the whole world was made up of assholes and idiots.

Today I owe Rebecca my first months' rent. Guess that I've finally "arrived."


Home alone, watching TV. Rebecca is gone for the night again. Holley is working tonight. I feel flushed and grumpy ... the excitement of the past two days has given way to CRASH & BURN.

A little later:

Warm, sleepy, freshly bathed. Sipping a beer, watching TV, thinking about Holley, work, money, my new bedroom, my new life, life in general. I am not unhappy. I feel caught up in the whole process of living, and it feels fine. I look at the ugly scar on my wrist and wonder if I ever really wanted to die ... wondering how I could have ever thought Scott was worth giving up breathing and thinking and living for. Living is such a wonderful thing.

Holley. Is he going to be someone important in my life? A friend? Something more? Or just a brief happy "something" in my life, part of the general healing process? (Half-stoned as I write this, by the way.)  I hardly know the man. I spent the whole weekend with him, and we were about as intimate as two people can be, but that doesn't mean I know him. For all I know he could turn out to be another Bruce, juggling fifteen girlfriends at once.

I feel just like I used to feel in high school, whenever I was thinking about a new boyfriend ... half-insane with the romance of it ... worried, constantly, that I'm about to fall on my face again ... curious about the guy ... crazily preoccupied, unable to concentrate, hearing music in my head. Yes, I like him a LOT, in spite of the fact that I hardly know him. I don't see anything wrong with that. I just need to be very, very careful  --  this time more than any other.




Monday night
March 3, 1980

Wishing that Holley would call.



Wednesday night 5:45
March 4, 1980

Sitting in my room, waiting to begin the familiar routine of powdering, primping and preparing ...

I'm meeting Holley at Gatsby's at 7:30. Nervous. It felt like early spring all day today, and as I was thinking about and anticipating tonight's date, I felt (again) like I used to in high school.



Saturday noon
March 8, 1980

A few words on the state of the life.

Rebecca and Carl are downstairs, laying around and eating breakfast; I am sitting upstairs in my room, which has fast become my favorite place in the world. Funny how these things go around in circles. A couple of years ago I was bemoaning the loss of my beloved little bedroom at Dad's house  ...  living with Scott, I had no small four walls to call "sanctuary," no place to sit and watch TV and listen to records and type and read and be alone  ...  and now I do, again, and it's nice. I love  my new bedroom.

I've showered, set my hair, made up my face. The afternoon stretches out before me, promisingly. Where should I go? How should I use this day?




Tuesday late afternoon
March 11, 1980

Sitting on the floor of my room, mentally gearing myself up for "shrink night" ... must leave for my weekly mental health appointment in 15 minutes. Just had two phone calls, one from my old pal Rhonda (newly settled into her latest apartment) and one from my first true love, Clarence, who says he is in jail downtown and wants me to come visit him (or save him, maybe).

Living in my normal state of half-up, half-down.

Saturday was another "lost" day and night. I think I'm drinking too much again, and I've got to knock it off. I lose control and say things I don't mean, make promises I have no intention of keeping.



Sunday morning 10:40 a.m.
March 16, 1980

Freshly out of bed. I'm supposed to be down at Mom's this afternoon to take my little sister Deb out to dinner & a movie. I feel bound by inertia, though ... this has been such a lazy, do-nothing weekend that it's difficult now, finding enough motivation to get anything done.

Rebecca has been in the hospital for about a week following some sort of intestinal surgery. I didn't even find out about it until Wednesday: I thought she was just staying at her boyfriend's for longer than usual. With her gone, I've pretty much been left to my own devices, getting to know the apartment.




Tuesday night 8:10 p.m.
March 18, 1980

Just back from my weekly mental health appointment. I didn't cry this week. Nearly two months, and Terri is beginning to really & truly recover.

So much going on in my life ... my sketchy accounts lately probably make it seem like nothing interesting has happened lately, when in fact NOTHING could be further from the truth.




Saturday afternoon
March 22, 1980

Two months ago today. Ta-da.




Sunday night
March 23, 1980

Freshly showered and sitting in my room, listening to the stereo and preparing to get a good, LONG night's sleep. I'm exhausted after a hectic weekend, and the week stretching before me promises to be equally busy. My life is starting to heat up again. Lots of things to do and people to be in contact with. Spring is here, and with it a feeling of being alive  --  of being young, intelligent, attractive, full of possibilities  --  and it's a good feeling. I'm happy. There are problems, of course  --  there are always are. But there is nothing insurmountable staring me in the eye; there are an equal number of good things happening, too, and it creates a balance.



There is no mention of it in the journal, but it was right about this time that I had a
visit from my sixth-grade teacher Ralph Iverson and his family
(including his daughter Terri, who was named in *my* honor)
Spring 1980


Monday lunch
March 24, 1980

Spring day ... cool and sunny. Just got my first whiff of 1980 new-mown grass. Good mood. I look nice today, feel good after an eventful weekend. Hope that I see Holley tonight, but even if I don't, nothing could foil this pleasant mood.

Work today is slow, for the first time in months. Last week I rolled up my sleeves and took care of three months' worth of back-filing; consequently, I'm at loose ends today. That's OK, though.

I can't believe that two entire months have passed since The Crisis. It seems like I've lived an entire lifetime between that day and this. So many things in my life have changed. I don't even feel like the same person I was when Scott left me; I suppose I'm not, really. I've done one hell of a lot of growing up in two months. For that reason alone, it's all been worth it. I see now that I needed something to jolt me back into "the real world" ... I was becoming too content and lazy under Scott's protective wing. He was making all the decisions and calling all the shots, while I just sat back and nodded in agreement. Now, for the absolute first time in my life, no one but ME is calling the shots. It's an interesting, exhilarating, brand new experience.

I think I've reached the point where I can say, in all honesty, that I wouldn't go back to that life. I will always cherish the memories of that golden year spent living with Scott. If I had the chance, I might consider going back and re-living some of those happy times  ...  the trip to Maui, for instance, or that weekend in Leavenworth.  But I wouldn't want to start living that same way again now.

When Scott called me at work last week, by the way, he said "Get a lover in your life." Imagine the audacity of the man.




Monday lunch
March 31, 1980

Life marches on. I spent considerable time this past weekend reading a pile of old journals, and as usual when I start digging into my past via the journals, I found myself yearning to become consistent about writing again. There is SO MUCH HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. Good and bad.

Friday afternoon I came very close to having a nervous breakdown. An angry bill collector (the bookkeeper at Nelson's Union 76) called at 7 a.m. and threatened to call the police if I don't make good my rubber check for $95 (for my replaced tire) within 24 hours. I called him a "belligerent asshole" and hung up on him.  

The night before that, Rebecca, her boyfriend Carl and I had an ugly little scene; they said I'm not pulling my weight around the apartment, housework-wise. I was so mortified that I left the apartment and drove to Angelo's by myself, where I sat alone drinking screwdrivers for a couple of hours and trying to salvage my pride.

Then on Friday I found out for sure that Scott isn't going to continue the lease on my Chevette, and that unless I come up with the $4700+ bucks to buy the car outright, I'm going to lose it. I just fell apart. I mean, I lost it completely, sitting there at my desk with Patti and Pete standing right there watching me. My first impulse was to call Gary at the mental health clinic, but he wasn't in his office, so I talked to Donna Brown instead. She was worried about my emotional condition and urged me to check into Overlake Hospital and spend the weekend there, undergoing a psychiatric "evaluation." Part of me really wanted to go, but then when I got home Holley called and invited himself over, and that was the end of the hospital idea. Rebecca and Carl were out, so he and I sat on the sofa watching "The Revenge of the Pink Panther," smoking a bud, doing a couple of toots  --  a NICE surprise!  --  and eventually going upstairs to my room, where we had excellent sex and fell asleep together. In the morning I made him coffee and we watched cartoons together before he left to play racquetball. I didn't hear from him for the rest of the weekend. He said, as he always does when he's leaving, "We'll call you." But "they" didn't.

Saturday night was just awful. I ended up going to Gatsby's, alone and already half-smashed before I even got there, and I brought some nice-looking but totally creepy guy named Gary home. When I wouldn't sleep with him, he left in a huff. I said, "You can call me if you like," and he said "I don't think so." I promptly showed him the door.




Things are beginning to slide out of control.

Wednesday morning
April 2, 1980

I just woke up and looked at the alarm clock  ... it's 9:30!!!!!!!  Oh my God!!!!!  Howard is never going to believe this, not for a minute. I've never overslept for work in my life , and now I'm sitting here, hungover, scared and exhausted, wondering what the fuck I'm going to say when I call in.


Well ... so much for Ridgway Packaging. Howard fired me. Everything is disgustingly fucked up, and there's no end in sight.

In the last two months I've managed to lose:

1. Scott
2. My apartment
3. My car
4. My job
5. My cat




Friday afternoon
April 5, 1980

Sitting at the kitchen table in sunshine, sipping a beer, waiting for Dad to return my phone call, thinking  ... about everything, especially my job.  I loved my job at Ridgway Packaging. Being fired was such a cruel, unexpected, unfair blow. How I'll miss all my friends there.




Easter Sunday
April 6, 1980

Easter Sunday ... and here sits Terri V., dressed in fraying jeans, a college T-shirt and bare feet  --  her "Easter finery"  --  drinking her second beer of the morning. Killing time. Today I'm supposed to drive down to Grandma & Grandpa's and ask to borrow $2500 to buy a car with, and I'm procrastinating something fierce. I'm scared to death  --  I remember when asking to borrow $10 from them was a big deal!!  --  so I'm swallowing lots of beer, very fast, in an effort to loosen up the control center of my brain.




Tuesday morning
April 8, 1980

Totally, completely, absolutely lazy. I haven't a single penny to my name, and I know that I should be out looking for a job, but instead I'm sitting here drinking tea, smoking cigarettes, doing laundry and watching dumb soap operas on TV. The world has forgotten that I exist. Or have I forgotten about the world? I'm not sure which. No phone calls ... no mail ... Rebecca hasn't been home since Saturday night. I look hideous and feel the same.


1. Find a good-paying, comfortable job in this general area.

2. Cut off all ties with Scott.

3. Find a new local church and young adult group to become involved with.

4. Buy a car.



April 10, 1980

BURNED OUT. I go out and get crazy in bars just about every night these days, and my poor old "bod" is suffering. I'll be leaving again as soon as my rollers cool and I finish my "hair of the dog" beer. I'm not thrilled about the person I seem to be changing into. I'm drinking too much, fucking up a lot of important relationships, missing appointments, putting things off ... it's not good.



Saturday night/Sunday morning 2:15 a.m.
April 19/20, 1980
Desire (too loud for the nay-bors)

My first good toot in months, and I automatically reach for my journal, right? God knows I can't afford the stuff, but I bought three-quarters of a gram from Kenny, the drummer for a band I've made friends with at the Saratoga Trunk, while they've been playing there the last three weeks. I expect the guilt to set in when I get up in the morning. I'm supposed to go to a Sonics game with Dan, and last night he said that he'll help me out with money ... the fool.

I owe:

Rebecca, $42.75 for phone bill

Kenny, $78.00 for coke & T-shirt

The question is, will Dan loan me $120 to cover the checks I've written today??

Kenny suggested that I come back to the Trunk at 3:30 (it's 3:03 a.m. now) and meet him after they've finished loading up. He's very happily married, but hell ... I'm not looking for any of "that" anyway. Just some company, for a little while anyway. Somebody to get high with. It's late and I'm coked up. I wish that Randy was here.

I think I'll go to the Trunk now.

4:43 a.m.

Home. It's getting light outside already, and I'm still sitting here tooting my fucking brains out.


1. What the fuck am I doing, sitting here in my bedroom at 5:00 in the morning, buzzed out of my already confused mind?

2. Why the fuck did I buy $75 worth of cocaine tonight when I don't have a penny to my name?

3. Am I going to make it to the Sonics game today?

4. Is Leslie still mad at me? (She was on Friday night, when she & Danny dropped me off at Dan's.)

5. Am I going to have any cola left when I wake up? (Not at the rate I'm going.)

6. What the hell happened to my last journal? I can't find it ANYWHERE.

7. When will I lose the Chevette? And how am I going to replace it?

8. Am I eligible for unemployment?

9. Does Randy W really love me? Do I really love him? Are we just pen pals? Are we going to be together when he gets out of prison?

10. Am I going to find a new job? When? Where? What? What kind of salary?

11. When am I going to be truly loved again? Or truly love? Or both?

It's light outside already ... birds are chirping. I am completely buzzed, and so damned sad. Fat lot of good drugs do you when you already feel small and empty and sad. I am thoroughly and completely disgusted with the person Terri is today. Sure, I'm all fucked-up moneywise, but the things that got me this way are my own failings: drinking too much, lying, procrastinating, looking for escape in all the wrong places. I don't want to die, Journal, but I am so tired of living. Life offers nothing but my own failings ... and there are so many of them.

Am I ever going to be back on my feet again? Am I going to read this journal someday and smile, because I know everything turns out OK in the end?




Monday evening
April 21, 1980

Quiet evening in a clean and orderly bedroom ... window cracked open, stereo playing quietly. Rebecca is at her aunt's for an hour; Carl is downstairs watching TV. I'm not hiding from them, exactly: I just feel like being alone. Hungry, but there's no food in my section of the cupboard ... besides, I'm cutting two wisdom teeth on the left side of my mouth and it is excruciatingly painful ...

I have a 9:30 a.m. appointment tomorrow at Business Careers in Bellevue. (They're the employment agency people who got me my job at Ridgway.) I am bound and determined to be employed again before this month is over. I don't care if I'm slinging hamburgers at Burger King.




Thursday night
April 24, 1980

Well, life is shaping up a little. Tomorrow I start my new job, which I got yesterday  --  I'm going to be the receptionist for a finance company called Travelers Acceptance Corporation, in Bellevue. I'm starting at $700 a month. And today I bought a car --  actually, Grandma & Grandpa bought it for me, for $1,928, which I have to pay back in monthly installments. It's a 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger, fire engine red with black vinyl top. It's kinda strange driving it because it has power steering, and it's much bigger than either the Chevette or my old Dodge Colt.  But it's MINE. Scott can just fuck himself ... I am completely free of him at last. I don't need him OR his car. Who needs a goddamn balding aluminum salesman, anyway?




Sunday afternoon
May 4, 1980

About a week and a half later ... HOT, sunny day. All the world is out in the sun getting tanned, but the heat just makes me feel sweaty and grouchy. Rebecca and Carl are on a picnic; I'm sitting in the cool dark comfort of the apartment with a cold beer and music.

CHANGES. Lots of them since I wrote last week. My date with Holley was a lot of fun, but as it turns out it was our last. The next day on the cruise, Dan (his roommate) found out that I'd been out with Holley the night before, and all hell broke loose. It was a very ugly situation, and the upshot is this: Dan kicked Holley out of their house, and neither one of them wants to have anything to do with me, ever again. Leslie and I have irrevocably parted as well ... we haven't talked to each other in a week, because she's so angry with me for "hurting Dan." We hurled some pretty nasty words at each other  --  words that can't be retrieved. I hurt about Leslie, most of all. She was the first close girlfriend I've had in ages, and I miss the companionship.

The biggest change, however, is that I'm moving again ... most likely by the end of this month. Rebecca's sister Madeline needs a place to live, and that means I'm out. Dammit. Rebecca is just as upset about it as I am.   (Actually, she manufactured the whole "Madeline moving in" story just to get me the hell out of her apartment.  I was a HORRIBLE roommate.  Rebecca, if you ever read this: I'm sorry for everything.)   But geez ... every time I begin to feel settled somewhere, something happens to make me feel rootless all over again.

The new job is going really well. The first couple of days were awful, because part of my job is giving credit ratings and payoff amounts over the phone, and since I know absolutely NOTHING about that kind of stuff, it was a real trial for me. Now I'm beginning, slowly but surely, to get the hang of it.  No I wasn't.  I just started making up numbers and giving out random information over the phone.  God knows how many peoples' credit ratings were permanently screwed up because of me.



Friday lunch
May 16, 1980

Kinda depressed ... maybe that's why I'm having a screwdriver with lunch. Worried about money, and about moving ... lonely for Randy Wolf, who I seem to miss more with each day that passes ... bored (already) with my new job. Rebecca is house-sitting for her aunt all weekend, so I'll be home alone ... maybe it will give me a chance to "think." I have no plans of all; in fact, my social life is at a standstill at the moment.

I ran an ad in The Seattle Times (again!) looking for a place to live, and I've narrowed it down to two choices: Lee Steele or Leslie Swanberg. Both are women in their late 20's. Lee has picked out a new apartment in Bellevue that she wants the two of us to move into, The Village East Apartments, while Leslie already has a place in the Renton Highlands. I've met them both and they're pleasant, mature and level-headed. I just don't know which one I should move in with.

In the meantime, I am once again up to my ears in debt. I'm not completely broke, and I'm not starving, but my bills are mounting and there isn't enough money to pay them all. Oh Randy ... would you please hurry up and get out of prison so you can help me deal with this???

Scott's younger brother Randy was still in prison in Reno, all this while. After Scott and I broke up, Randy and I began a flirty 'pen pal' relationship that gradually turned less flirty and more intense for awhile.



Tuesday at work
May 20, 1980

Terminally hungover, and hating myself for it ... went to The Mustard Seed Two last night and got ridiculously drunk for a Monday night. Now I'm paying for it with a colossal headache and an aching stomach. God, I feel lousy ... but ... I'M GOING TO GO SEE RANDY!!

Depart from Seattle on United Flight #641 Friday, June 20 @ 4 p.m.

Arrive in Reno @ 5:26 p.m.

Depart from Reno Sunday, June 22nd United Flight #312 @ 11:05 a.m.


Obviously I can't really afford this, but somehow I'm going to find the money and go. I've got to see him.

I'm going to go look at the new apartment after work, before Lee moves her furniture in.

What did I think of it?

  • Smaller than I expected -
  • Bright, clean-smelling, empty
  • Orange carpeting
  • Bright yellow bathroom
  • The new smell made me a little depressed because it reminded me of house-hunting with Scott, a hundred years ago



Wednesday at work
May 21, 1980

Depressed ... tired ... overwhelmed by a fresh new set of problems, a whole new batch of phone calls to avoid (Business Careers and Leslie Swanberg, primarily). I can feel a headache beginning. Coffee. BBQ potato chip taste in my mouth. Tonight I oughta clean up my room and run a few loads of laundry, but I doubt that I will.



1. Move into the new apartment before June 1

2. Decide whether or not to visit Randy in prison on June 20 (can I afford it?)

3. STRAIGHTEN OUT MY FINANCES (budget, savings acct., pay off debts)



Friday after work
May 23, 1980

Home from work ...  feeling at loose ends. Rebecca and Carl will be gone until Tuesday, I have no plans for this Memorial Day weekend, and there's no one I feel like seeing tonight.

(Ended up going to The Somewhere Else Tavern with new friend from work, Terri Hunt.)



Sunday 4:30 p.m.
June 1, 1980

Sitting in my new apartment for the first time. Again. I should point out that since this journal began almost four months ago, four major areas of my life have changed: 1.) My place of residence 2.) My job 3.) My car 4.) My love life.

I spent my first night here last night, and most of this day has been spent assimilating my stuff into the apartment.


Randy calling me at Rebecca's this morning at 7 a.m., looking for me  ... somehow I need to pay Lee $300 in the next two days ... "Incense & Peppermints" on the stereo, pouring rain on the window ... Lee and her friend Ron are out having tacos for dinner, and I'm sitting here drinking beer and listening to KZOK's Oldies Night on a LOUD stereo ... wearing Scott's green sweatshirt, Rebecca's black and white T-shirt, my jeans, and wet bare feet ... what's wrong with the needle on the stereo? ... that cute guy at work, Richard what's-his-name ….




Wednesday night
June 4, 1980

8:30 p.m. ... still light outside, at the close of another gray, nondescript day. For that matter, my mood is gray and nondescript. I am piteously fucked for money. I had to write Lee a check for $300 and I know it's made of solid rubber; when it bounces, she is going to SHIT BRICKS. We're not getting along so hot to begin with. All I'll say about her is that she's finicky, overbearing, controlling as hell, and wayyyy too intense for someone as lazy and sloppy as I am.


I'm also late with my $160 car payment to Grandma and Grandpa, which I feel just sick about, and with my $90 payment to Business Careers. I don't have a penny in the bank; I checked today. I owe Rebecca money, too ... also the Seattle Times, the police department (for a speeding ticket), Puget Power, Overlake Hospital (for the night they stitched up my wrist). I have four dollars in my purse and an eighth of a tank of gas in my car. Things are so thoroughly screwed that I've been thinking suicide again ... holy shit. I have no idea what to do about ANY of this.

I am absolutely, completely overwhelmed.

The damned phone is ringing off the hook, and I'm scared to death to answer it because it will be someone who's pissed at me about something. There's nowhere to turn. What can I do?? Go deeper into debt and try to find someone who will loan me a few hundred dollars? Run away and hide? Drink myself into a stupor?

God.  Please.  Enough is enough. This has been the worst year of my life ... ever since that afternoon in January, when I answered the phone and heard Scott telling me he was leaving. I remember I dropped the phone and slid to the kitchen floor in shock, and from that moment on there has been no cessation of the pain and struggle. I am simply not capable of taking care of myself in this stupid world  --  financially, emotionally, mentally or any other way. I can't handle money, I can't pay my bills, I can't act responsibly, I can't stop drinking. I can't stand being alone, but I can't stand the people in my life right now. I can't stand being unloved, but I can't bring myself to look for love. I don't know what I want.

I've got to take a second job, I guess. Get my outstanding debts paid off. Come to an understanding with Lee. Come to an understanding with MYSELF. Stop hiding. Stop drinking so much.



Saturday afternoon
June 7, 1980

Doesn't feel at all like June ... cloudy and overcast. Not a lot has changed. Saturday afternoon now. Listening to some of Lee's tapes, drinking a beer ... my third in the two hours I've been out of bed. Lee is out somewhere, I assume with her date from last night. They came crashing into the apartment at 2:30 a.m. and sat drinking champagne, playing The Beach Boys on the stereo and shouting until about 9 a.m. I joined them once, briefly, at 4 a.m. or so  --  long enough to smoke a cigarette and offer up a mild but ineffectual protest about the noise. My social life is temporarily out of order. I'm supposed to go out to dinner with Curt tonight, but he doesn't have my new number so I don't know how to get in touch with him. I guess that I don't actually care, one way or the other.

I am in limbo. I don't know what I care about. I've been thinking about Scott a lot this past week. His picture is hanging in the dining room  --   our picture, the old-fashioned one we had taken in Leavenworth last year (a hundred years ago). He looks smug and self-satisfied  ...  I look wide-eyed and perched between some precarious balance of certainty and uncertainty. The picture bothers me sometimes, but I insisted on hanging it prominently in Rebecca's apartment, and now in this apartment too.

I have a new part-time job, beginning on Monday, at TACO TIME of all places. Five nights a week, 6-9 p.m., for $3.10 an hour (min. wage). Jesus. That will be my spending money and not much more, but at least it's something. I just walked into the place on Thursday night and got the job, just like that. Whooppee.

It's 4:00 in the afternoon now, and my day is only beginning. I'm feeling smooth as silk from the beer, but there's no escaping the fact that I'm only hiding from my problems. Loneliness. Money. Budding alcoholism. Inability to discipline myself.


Well, it looks as though Lee and I aren't going to be able to .............



Tuesday late
June 17, 1980

Ten days later?

1. Terri Hunt and I have rented an apartment together ... only Lee doesn't know about it yet.

2. Richard What's-His-Name not only knows I'm alive, he wants to take me out.

3. I'll see Randy in a couple of days when I fly to Reno to visit him in prison.




Saturday afternoon
June 21, 1980


1. I didn't go to see Randy this weekend.

2. I'm moving into my latest apartment today.

3. I am passionately in lust with my boss at TAC, Mike Jason. I spent the night with him on Thursday night.

4:00 p.m.

FLASH. Mike and I are going out tonight.





Sunday night late
June 22, 1980

Just got home ... I am freshly showered and shampooed, sitting at the kitchen table (it smells like stroganoff in here!), with a bottle of 7-Up and a final cigarette. Full of thoughts about my boss and the 24 hours we just spent together. Dinner last night at The 13 Coins in Seattle, several drinks, a couple of good joints. Back to his place to watch Saturday Night Live. Slept in this morning until 10:00, then took a cooler of beer and went for a long drive in his Corvette. Then back to his place to nap for a couple of hours, followed by a dinner of grilled steaks and a TV movie.



Monday 5:30 p.m.
June 23, 1980

Feeling fairly happy. Sitting here in the kitchen with a beer, wondering if I'm supposed to go back to TAC and work tonight. It's kinda strange sitting at my desk during the day now, watching Mike. A week ago he was just the boss, and I was more than a little intimidated by him. Now he is still the boss, but he's also something more  ...  a person . A friend, I guess. He's twice divorced and a lot older than me, and I realize that nothing can really come of this, but geez ... it feels nice to CARE about someone again.

Other bits and pieces: ... Lee called me at work this morning and "informed" me that I have until the end of the month to move out (HA! HA! I ALREADY HAVE MOVED OUT, YOU DUMB CONTROLLING BITCH!!) ... feeling horribly guilty about Randy, and wondering what plausible excuse I can give him for not showing up at the prison last weekend. ("Uh, gee Randy, I was too busy having hot inappropriate sex with my boss!?")




Tuesday night
Before returning for the night shift at TAC
Raining / Hungover
June 24, 1980

Terri and I went out drinking with Richard and Linda from the office after work last night, and I got thoroughly smashed ... and somehow during the course of the evening I let it slip that Mark and I were dating. Linda, who has also been going out with him - apparently much longer and more seriously than me -

(entry ends abruptly)




Same time
Same place
Same rain/Same hangover

-- absolutely blew her TOP when she heard. She stalked out of the tavern and went like a steamroller over to Mike's apartment to hurl ugly words at him. I don't know what exactly was said, but the upshot is that Linda quit her job in anger, and Mike called me into his office this morning to tell me we have to "put a halt" to our personal relationship. Damn. Me and my big stupid mouth. I walked around in a total funk all day yesterday, although today I seem to be getting over it. I really do care about Mike, and I'm feeling bad that we had to end things so early. But it could be worse, I know  --  I could have lost my job for opening my big mouth to Linda  --  so I came out relatively unscathed. Live and learn, I guess. (Added to my list of Personal Commandments: "Thou shalt not fuck thy boss, even if he DOES drive a really hot car.")





Saturday afternoon
June 28, 1980

Depressed. Less than 80 cents to my name ... being pursued by eleven different creditors, half of them threatening legal ... no gas in the Dart ... Terri isn't home ... no plans for tonight. Dirty hair, clean apartment (thanks to me), loud stereo, cold, tired. Smoked some of Terri's pot for wont of anything better to do. Now I'm sitting here examining my fingertips and talking to the spider on the kitchen ceiling.




Terri and I threw the best after-hours parties on the Eastside that summer.

Saturday noon
July 12, 1980

Just finished picking up the remnants of last night's party ... beer bottles and ashtrays filled to overflowing everywhere. Terri and Tim are still in bed, but I woke up a couple of hours ago, turned around in my bed and looked into the face of a man I didn't even KNOW, and literally jumped out of bed. As it turns out, the whole thing was utterly chaste. He fell asleep on my bed with all his clothes on around 6 a.m., when the party finally died, and long after I'd already passed into blissful unconsciousness.

Questions of the day:

1. When did John leave? (John Ragin, a new flame ... among others.) And why?

2. Why was I such an inconsiderate boob around Bill G.? He's a new friend of Terri's and mine, and technically he was my "date" last night, but the minute John walked through the door I discarded Bill like an empty pack of cigarettes. He was obviously hurt, but I was drunk and unconcerned and I don't even remember him leaving.

3. Holley has popped back into my life again unexpectedly, and I have a tentative date with him tonight ... is that gonna happen again?

We must have had forty people in this apartment last night, and I only knew maybe a quarter of them. Lately life has been one continuous round of drinking & partying, and I'm not sure if I'm pleased or concerned about it. Terri, Bill, Mark and I started out at Gatsby's last night, drinking doubles, and the next thing I knew we had half the bar over here for an impromptu after-hours party. Then John walked through the door, and I just lost control. I don't even remember going to bed, although I must assume I went with John .. shit. I don't know. I drink too fucking much and then I can never remember anything the next morning.





Thursday 5:10 p.m.
July 17, 1980

Sitting at the kitchen table, feeling kinda middle of the road ... life is settling down again, into something of a routine. Work is become a little too routine, as is my love life. Holley and I didn't go out last weekend  --  that ass didn't even call, in fact.






Thursday 5:30 p.m.
July 24, 1980

Exactly a week later and full of things to write about. Wondering if I have the energy to write about it all. I am seriously considering staying home tonight ... not going back to work & not going out anywhere. I've been out every single night and I'm bordering on exhaustion. George said he might come over tonight; I hope that he does. More about George in a second.

I will quickly talk about what has happened this past week, without going into too much detail.

Terri was fired from her job at TAC on Monday, and yesterday she took off with a van full of guys from Tennessee, whom she'd just met, for a basic Fear & Loathing run to parts unknown. I don't expect to see her for at least a week. In the meantime, I've got the apartment to myself and I've already managed to turn it into a total shambles. Fun.

Before she left town, Terri went to court yesterday and was awarded custody of her daughter L., commencing in two weeks. I am torn. Part of me is happy for Ter, because it obviously means the world to her to have her daughter with her again, but on the other hand I'm not thrilled at the prospect of sharing my apartment with an 18 month old. I don't know what I'm going to do about it yet ... must think.

Last weekend was, without question, one of the finest weekends of my life. I've fallen head over heels in LIKE with two terrific guys, and I partied outrageously the whole weekend. On Friday night Terri and I drove all the way down to Tacoma, to The Back Forty Tavern, to meet one of the guys from the Federal Way branch of TAC. We talk to him on the phone all the time, and we were curious to meet him. He turned out to be gorgeous but conceited: he wouldn't even sit at the same table with us. Ter and I began to feel uncomfortable in that strange tavern, so far away from home   --  we began to miss our beloved Somewhere Else  --  and so we decided to drive back to Bellevue. Before we left Tacoma, though, we took a couple hits of blotter acid that we bought from a friend of Brad's, and by the time we got back to the Tav we were starting to get off. George was there, and for some reason I ended up with him for the rest of the evening ... which was precisely what I wanted. I met George a couple weeks ago at Gatsby's, and he's been over to our apartment a few times, and he struck me as being the kind of man I could really be interested in. More about that later. Anyway, that night we went to an after-hours party, and then he came home with me and stayed the night. We were in bed until 4:00 Saturday afternoon.

After George left on Saturday afternoon, John popped in unexpectedly and asked if I wanted to eat some acid with him! Can you believe that?? (NEWS FLASH: George just called from the tav. He'll be here in half an hour.) ANYWAY. That night John, Terri and I ended up going to a great party in West Seattle. I ate some liquid acid on a cookie but I never really got off, probably because I'd had acid the night before, but John got verrrry high. He spent the evening playing the piano, drinking beer and dancing by himself on the front lawn. John spent the night and then we spent most of Sunday together.



Saturday 2 p.m.
July 26, 1980

Groggy from too much sleep ... George came by last night at midnight and spent the night. He left this morning at 10:30 for work, while I ignored the phone and slept a few more hours. (JOHN stopped by last night, while George and I were in bed! I didn't let him in  --  I told him I was "sick." I think he and I may be going out tonight, but he's so utterly unpredictable that there's no telling whether he'll show up or not.)

This journal has taken me through five months of nearly constant changes. Now it's time to move on to the next one and see what else will change in this crazy life of mine.





  • "Walkin In The Sand" - Aerosmith
  • "If You Think You Know How To Love Me" - Pat Benatar
  • "Back On My Feet Again" - The Babys
  • "Where Does The Loving Go?" - David Gates
  • "Clean Clean" - The Buggles
  • "Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight" - Bob Seger
  • "Century City" - Tom Petty
  • "Watch Her Strut" - Bob Seger
  • "You May Be Right" - Billy Joel
  • "I Don't Like Your Face" - The Heats
  • "Lost In Love" - Air Supply
  • "The Rose" - Bette Midler
  • "Roadrunner" - Greg Kihn

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