July 1980 - October 1980
Age 22

"Kind of schlepping my way through life."

No matter what you may think, I do not enjoy suffering. At least, not very much.
- Ashleigh Brilliant -

It's only by appearing sane that I can keep a firm grip on my madness.
- Ashleigh Brilliant -



Saturday afternoon
July 26, 1980

This journal is something of a departure for me ... a different format, anyway, after years of spiral-bound notebooks and standard composition books. Maybe I'll like this better; maybe I won't. We'll see.

Sitting at the kitchen table with a cold beer, ignoring the TV buzzing on the kitchen counter behind me, listening to the loud music emanating from the apartment across the woods from mine. Terri is still in Canada with her pals from Tennessee ... I've been alone for about four days now. She called collect late last night, and then again this morning, and it sounds like she's having a wild time. My weekend, on the other hand, has thus far been something less than wildly exciting ... at least, compared to last weekend. George popped in unexpectedly last night and stayed the night, and I might possibly go out with John tonight, but I've managed to lose my goddamned Drivers License again and I'm afraid to go anywhere (except Gatsby's, and that place is BORRRRRING.)


Sunday 4:15 p.m.
July 27, 1980

Afternoon. Sunny, peaceful, a little burned out ... puttering around the apartment with bare feet and freshly washed and trimmed hair, listening to tapes, thinking about cleaning my bedroom. It could certainly use it. Or should I call Bill and have him pick up some beer and come over? Hope that George comes by, but intuition tells me he won't. I can always "tell" when I'm going to see him.

I went over to John's last night around 7:00. He doesn't have a phone yet - neither one of "my men" do - so I was taking a gamble. But he was there, and we ended up at Gatsby's, listening to the band Rail. Rhonda Ryckman and Bill were there, too. I stayed the night at John's ... slept in his waterbed with the black satin sheets and new red silk comforter !

John and George are so different from each other. John is dark, brooding, slouching, mysterious; George is fair, sunny, tender, quick to laughter. My feelings for them are different, too. I care about them both, but in different ways.

(The words won't come.)

8 p.m.

Getting silly from an afternoon of beer, sunshine and conversation ... Bill called at 5:00 and asked me to come over and look at his new apartment. He's a good friend; it feels nice to have a close guy friend again, with no sexual/romantic/other overtones. I wish that George would come by, but I drove past the tav and his truck isn't there so I don't even know if he's in the area.

Thinking ... about what? My life. Living here; enjoying the feeling of living alone, even if it's only for a few days until Terri comes back from Canada. My job. My car. The men in my life. Wishing that Scott could see me now, and see how well I've managed to survive without him. I am feeling strangely at peace, almost against all odds. Am I going to look back at this particular point in my life and consider it to be one of the better times? Yes, I think that I will. It feels just fine to be alive right now, thank you.


Monday afternoon
July 28, 1980

Sitting at "my spot" at the kitchen table with my customary beer ... three huge loads of laundry swirling around, upstairs in the laundry room. Should I work tonight or not? I probably won't. Cool summer breeze coming through the open patio door ... feels good on my hot, flushed, slightly headachy face. Not an especially good day at work. Some days I really feel a "part of things" at TAC, other days I don't fit in at all. Shades of high school! Mike was hammering at me about payment histories, Patty was getting on my nerves with her incessant perkiness, there wasn't enough work to keep me occupied, etc. I didn't sleep particularly well last night so maybe that had something to do with my grouchy mood. I woke up with a horrible stomach around 3 a.m. and couldn't fall asleep again for hours ... and then when I did, I had an awful dream about Linda B. humiliating me in public. When I finally had to drag the ol' bod out of bed, I felt like shit.



Tuesday late
July 29, 1980

Tired, near-drunk, and almost agonizingly alone ... I was SURE that I would see George tonight but he never showed. Depressed.


Wednesday 6:30 p.m.
July 30, 1980

Still haven't seen George since last Saturday morning, and while the logical, rational part of says to just be cool and not get all bent out of shape about it, the wildly irrational part of me has decided this means I've blown it, and he doesn't care anything about me. (Fool.) I've been thinking about him so much the past few days ... I don't know if that's good or bad.


Tuesday at work
August 12, 1980

Burned out. I made a fool out of myself last night ... got drunk at Gatsby's and acted like an idiot when I saw George with another girl.




August 13, 1980

Going to Gatsby's right after work, and I'm excited ... I'll be seeing Bobby! The latest in a series of Big Romances.


August 15, 1980

PAYDAY!! Joy & jubilation!!! We've been totally flat broke for weeks now and I've hated it. Maybe now I can put gas in my car and pay some people back and buy my own drinks at Gatsby's, instead of taking freebies from Bobby.

Bobby. I can't believe it. He's the bartender at Gatsby's, and we're madly in love. First time I've felt like this since Scott left me, and I'm walking around on air. It all began this week, but already he's telling me that he's fallen in love, and I'll be damned -- I believe he's sincere! Crazy, crazy guy ... beloved by all the crazies that frequent the bar ... me included. He'll be 22 next month and I think he's cute as hell.

As for George ... I don't know. I haven't seen him in two days, since the mutually uncomfortable evening we spent at Gatsby's the other night. Over the past two or three weeks we'd been spending a lot of time together, and I started to really care. I'm not sure why I've "switched" so quickly & completely from George to Bobby, unless it's because Bobby is willing to have a committed relationship (as opposed to George's infuriatingly footloose attitude). I've been having fun dating all kinds of different people this summer, but I know that essentially I am a one-person-person. I like commitment. I feel comfortable with it. Some people can't handle it, I realize, but I need it.


Saturday afternoon
August 16, 1980

Well, it's too late now ... I'm in love. No going back at this point.


Sunday night
August 17, 1980

Terri is taking her daughter L. home; I am sitting in the rocking chair with a beer, thinking about making some dinner, relaxing after another terrific weekend. Storming outside; peaceful and calm within the apartment and within me. I'm in love, and it feels incredible. Unbelievable. Seven months after Scott Wolf managed to so effectively shatter my heart, I have achieved that which I thought was impossible ... I've begun to love again.

Friday night Terri and I went to Gatsby's for the fourth or fifth night running, to listen to the band Child and for me to be near Bobby; we also partied with Terri's new boyfriend Clyde (the guy who rollerskates everywhere), Bob & Kathy M., and Becky & Renee from my office. After the bar closed, Bobby came home with me and spent the night. We spent most of Saturday in bed, recuperating and making love. Last night I went into the bar alone, initially, but there were plenty of folks I knew and of course Bobby was tending bar, so I wasn't really "alone." I stayed the night at his place.


Wednesday afternoon
August 27, 1980

About a week and a half later, and I have some major changes to write about. I don't particularly feel like writing at the moment, but there isn't much else to do and I think what I have to say is important.

I think this was one of those "landmark days" that deserve a blue star in my datebook. In a spectacular display of cool and bravura, I walked into Traveler's Acceptance this morning and quit my job. Boom. Just like that. Actually, to be 100% honest, what I was doing was beating them to the punch ... the grapevine had forewarned me that my dismissal was imminent, and for the sake of my pride, if not my résumé, I thought it best to quit. Feeling strangely unconcerned about it, too. A month or so ago I loved my job, and I would have been terrified by the thought of leaving ... but frankly I was beginning to hate it this past month or so. The office is filled with a lot of pretentious, self-satisfied cretins, and I couldn't stand it. Now begins once again the process of job-hunting. But this time, dammit, I am NOT going to settle for the same kind of lousy salary I got at Lusk, Ridgway and TAC. I've got to have more than $700 a month if I want to stay alive.

As for Bobby ...

I am, at the moment, sitting at his kitchen table with a beer, listening to the stereo. I came over here to spend the night on Monday of last week (the 18th), and I haven't spent a night at home since. He asked me to move in with him, and I said yes ... which is what I really need to write about. If I do move in, and I mean really move in, lock, stock & barrel, it won't be until next month, so I can give Ter enough advance notice. That would also give me time to give it some good thorough thought, and to see what happens with the job situation. All kinds of variables are involved. Ter knows about it already -- that is, she knows Bobby made the offer -- but the only person I've really talked to about it has been my mom, when I called her night before last.

(Interrupted just now by a call from Terri, goddammit. I guess there's another fucking warrant out for my arrest because I didn't pay that $15 speeding ticket, and the police department just called my old roommate Rebecca, looking for me. I still owe Rebbeca $100, and her boyfriend told Terri to tell me that if I don't pay her by 11:00 tonight, they'll tell the police where to find me. Isn't life wonderful?)

Anyway. Back to my mother. (I'll temporarily shove thoughts of money and warrants and people who hate me to the back of my brain.) She was surprisingly supportive when I told her that I was considering moving in with Bobby. It wasn't like she was encouraging me to actually go ahead & do it; rather, she was simply amazingly understanding. I think that I sorta expected her to go right through the roof and tell me I was being an idiot -- the reaction, in fact, that I KNOW I'll get from my father! -- but it was almost as though she wasn't surprised in the least. Come to think about it, I guess that she probably wasn't. She just told me to go ahead and do whatever I thought was wisest (which was little or no help, but certainly the best thing for her to offer in the way of advice), and I loved her for it.

As for the way I feel about it ... I'm understandably preoccupied at the moment (quitting my job/money/police/etc.), but I'll try to scribble at least a few thoughts in that direction, for the sake of posterity! Initially, the biggest part of me wants to go ahead with it. You know the way I am about such things. Now that I've already had the experience of living with the man I'm in love with -- thank you, Scott -- I think I've been spoiled. I like it. I like knowing that the person I love is going to be waking up next to me in the morning. I feel comfortable with that. On the other hand, these past few months have taught me to value and enjoy another type of lifestyle ... once I managed to crawl out of the sackcloth & ashes I wore after Scott left, I began to appreciate the freedom that had been unexpectedly handed to me. It's been FUN going out with all manner of different men. The basic unattached swinging bachelorette?! The only thing is that I was lonely a lot of the time, whether I wanted to admit it or not. There wasn't anyone special, and I missed that. What a paradox. Busy all the time, going out and running around and enjoying myself, but still feeling empty and lost inside because I was accustomed to having a particular someone to care about genuinely.


Bobby is at work; Jeff (the other roommate) isn't home yet -- I'm alone, sitting in the recliner in my nightgown, watching TV. I was going to go out for a beer or something, but I made myself a big dinner and took a bath and now I'm just too relaxed to move. I think I'll just slip into bed in a little while with a book and go to sleep early ... knowing that later tonight, probably when I'm asleep, Bobby will come home and lay down next to me. A nice feeling. I do love the man.


Thursday afternoon
August 28, 1980

The next day. Sitting in the kitchen (yes, with a beer) -- trying to work up the nerve to call my family and beg for money. I am NERVOUS.


Saturday evening
August 29, 1980

Burned out from last night, but preparing to go out and do it again tonight, naturally.

Anyhow. Terri was over here last night after the bars closed, and me, Bobby and Chris were sitting around talking and drinking. She read what I've written the last few pages, about possibly moving in with Bobby, and was she PISSED. Her parting words to me, shouted up the stairs as she was leaving, were "Goodbye, BITCH." Oops. She's not tending bar at Dave's Place tonight so I'll probably run into her somewhere during the course of the evening ... either at the tav or at Gatsby's. Should be interesting, anyway. Maybe I should take my boxing gloves?

The financial/employment situation is still horrendously fucked, but at least things between Bobby and I get better every day ... at least, in my estimation they are. It isn't always easy to get a 100% accurate reading from the man because most of the time he's joking around. I would hazard a guess, though, and say that he does love me.


Tuesday 6 p.m.
September 2, 1980

This is very difficult for me to write about, so I'm going to be brief.

On Saturday night Terri, her boyfriend Ray P. and I were in a car accident while we were on our way from the tav to Gatsby's, leaving my car destroyed and Terri with 300 stitches all over her body. Miraculously both Ray and I walked away with only minor cuts and (especially on me) bruises. Terri was driving. She ran a red light about five doors down from Gatsby's and we were hit broadside, rolling twice and landing upside down. Terri and Ray went to the hospital, and somehow I managed to walk in the rain up the street to Gatsby's, where I proceeded to shoot enough straight vodka to require two men (Bobby included) to get me home.

So now I have no job and no car. I don't think I can even expand on it at this point ... maybe later. Bobby is out getting drunk and running around, and Jeff isn't home; I've cleaned this apartment thoroughly, done a laundry and washed my hair, and now I'm so fucking bored I could scream. Even if I have to walk all the way down to Dave's Place, I am going to get out of this apartment for a while, RIGHT NOW.

10 p.m.

Didn't go out after all ... I'm stranded. I just realized that I don't even have a pair of shoes or a jacket or I might have walked somewhere, anything to get the hell out of here for an evening. Goddammit anyway. I really loved that car. The thought of it sitting in some cold, dark junkyard somewhere, like a crumpled cigarette, makes me sick. The thought of Terri behind the wheel of my car, driving it through that red light while I was screaming at her to knock it off ... just before we were hit ... makes me feel ... unbelievably, seethingly angry. Not necessarily at Terri so much as at my own dumb luck.


Wednesday afternoon
September 3, 1980

Bobby was already gone when I got up this morning at 11:00. I don't know where he is, but frankly I don't care a whole hell of a lot. I feel like I'm in a monastery ... I'm getting so tired of being cooped up in this apartment with nothing but dumb soap operas and ice water to keep me occupied.


Terri came over and we went down to the tavern for about an hour this afternoon. Bobby was "just coming in" as we left, and he was "just leaving" when we got back, and I'm trying very desperately not to pull my "poor little me, I was just in a car accident, why don't you love me anymore" routine  ...  but it was HARD. In the past two days we've barely spoken ten mutually coherent words to each other, and I just don't understand it. I feel as though I've done something horrendously wrong with this budding relationship of outs but I'll be damned if I can put my finger on what it was. Maybe he's feeling emotionally strangled because I'm so stuck now, without a car or a job, and he's afraid that I'm trying to rob him of some measure of freedom. I'm not. Even if none of this shit had happened this past week, I would STILL desire a few minutes of his time, here & there. I still feel as though I barely know the man, and I would STILL like to know exactly who it is I've fallen in love with!   At this point I know him peripherally at best. I know a little bit about his general character but practically nothing about his background, and nothing, period, about the innerworkings of his heart and his mind. I guess I'm used to knowing such things about the men I choose to be genuinely involved with. I've been spoiled. I expect men to talk to me. I expect, in return, to be able to talk to them.

Kathy McC. and I are going out tonight ... thank God. We haven't much money, but that's not the issue. Just to get the hell out of here for an evening is important to me. We're deliberately NOT going to Gatsby's.

The hurt gets worse
And the heart gets harder ...


Friday morning
September 5, 1980

Extremely sad. As soon as he gets out of the shower, he's going to come down here and tell me either that he doesn't love me anymore, or that he's changed his mind and doesn't want me to move in with him. Or both. Probably.



Saturday afternoon
September 6, 1980

Things are not going exceptionally well ... and that's an understatement. Bobby and I are still barely speaking to each other and I'll be damned if I know why. At the moment he's laying on the couch watching the U.S. Open, and I'm in the armchair next to him. I can count the number of words we've exchanged today on the fingers of one hand.


Sitting at home ... by choice. I've decided something, sitting here listening to the rain pouring down outside. I've decided that the thing I have to do is come right out and ask Bobby whether or not he feels that the relationship is worth developing further. I'm just afraid I know what the answer will be.


Monday morning
September 8, 1980

Watching "All My Children." (Billy Clyde has just locked Benny & Estelle in the mausoleum ... Devin & Wally aren't getting along ... Ellen and Mark are worried Wally will find out about Devin's affair with Sean ... Chuck is at the cemetery, looking for Benny.) I hesitate to make any absolute critique of the situation with Bobby, but it seems to be just a little bit better. Maybe I'm imagining it, but I could swear it's improving.


Thursday afternoon
September 11, 1980

Taking a break from cleaning the apartment to sit down with a cigarette, a beer and a pen, and scribble a few words. Don't know where Bobby is; he tore out of here in a big hurry about an hour and a half ago, mumbling something about an "emergency" at Gatsby's. He slept on the couch again last night, but that's nothing out of the ordinary. I guess that the bedroom upstairs is going to be "mine," and he'll sleep up there with me whenever the mood strikes him. I'm worried about the man's libido ... or rather, his lack of one.

Monday night when I was out with Terri (and later, with One-Armed Rick), I ran into Bobby at The Somewhere Else and we finally talked. Granted, we were both pretty high, and nothing much was settled to my complete satisfaction, but then again this is proving to be one of the stranger relationships I've ever had & I'm learning to expect the unexpected. Bobby is completely undemonstrative. In fact, most of the time now he completely ignores me. The weird part is that it didn't start out that way, one brief month ago -- he was the one who was pursuing me, with amazing ardor, and I was the one who was ignoring him . Strange how things turn around.

I think I may have found a job, but I'm purposely restraining myself from getting too excited in case it turns I don't get it after all. I've done so much walking and pavement-pounding this week that my feet are covered with blisters. I'm not going through an employment agency this time, so that leaves me no other recourse but to comb the "Help Wanted" ads and knock on doors ... a decidedly screwed proposition, particularly since I don't have a car anymore and that limits my mobility quite a bit. Anyway, I should know for sure by tomorrow whether or not I got the job, but I think there's a good chance that I did.

As for moving in with Bobby and Jeff, I guess that I'm going to go ahead and do it. No real surprise. I have to be real honest, though, and say that my heart isn't it anywhere near as much as it was the night he asked me. Too much has changed. In a short two weeks it has turned into something more nearly akin to a business proposition than anything else: rent split three ways, and that's about it. We're not actually going to be "living together" -- we'll be roommates. I'm not deluding myself. I expect nothing more from the man than an occasional hello and a request for my part of the rent money.



Tuesday night 10:00
September 16, 1980

Absolutely bone-tired and footsore ... I've done a hell of a lot of tramping around today and I just got home. No one else is here; the apartment is a disaster area. Bobby doesn't work tonight so my guess is that he's at the tavern, working on a thorough drunk.

I've decided not to take the job at Jack Lynch Appliance; not enough money, primarily, and not enough challenge. I'm going to keep looking. I've FINALLY got a decent pair of new shoes, so I can walk all over Bellevue without fear of more blisters.



Wednesday afternoon
September 17, 1980

A light - or two - at the end of the tunnel??

Last night Bobby actually came upstairs and made love to me, on his own volition, very sweetly and tenderly ... complete with a "You know what? I still love you" at the end. Goddammit. Just when my heart was beginning to harden a little, he turns me upside down again. Against my own better judgment I love this turkey and I'm going to go ahead & move in. I would like to be a callous, unfeeling woman, but I can't be where Bobby is concerned. When he wants to be, he can be a very, very special person.

I have a job -- I think. Actually it's between me and two other people, but I just feel it in my bones. I know I'm going to be the receptionist for Pace Development Corporation. I made a terrific showing this morning; so good, in fact, that they immediately told me I'm among the top three being considered, and I should come back tomorrow morning at 10:30 for a second interview with the vice president. I have all of the qualifications and I just KNOW that I could get this job if I apply myself. It's right down on the street, right on the bus line, so even if I don't get a car right away I'll still be able to get to & from work with relative ease. Starting salary is $800 a month, which would be wonderful. All in all, getting this job would be an absolute Godsend.

I didn't get this job. I seem to recall it had something to do with the typing test ...  one of the other applicants had a higher score or something. 



Saturday noon
September 20, 1980

Completely at loose ends ... all I've been doing the past couple of days has been watching TV and sleeping, alternately. I've been deathly ill with a cold that just won't let up, so my energy reserves have been at an all-time low.

Billy is back from California for a few days, by the way. He called me out of the blue on Thursday night and we went to Gatsby's for a few drinks. I'm hoping that I get to see him tonight because there's still so much I want to talk to him about.


7:15 p.m.

Haven't heard from Bill or from Michael, so I'm assuming that I'm staying home tonight alone ... Bobby is at work and Jeff left with Kelly hours ago. I just ate half a hit of acid for lack of anything better to do. Should be interesting.


It is.


Tuesday afternoon
September 23, 1980

Well ... where do I begin? I have so much on my mind that it gives me a headache just thinking about it all.

I'm at Dad's house. I took the bus down here yesterday, and I plan to stay here for a few days, and then perhaps a couple of days with Grandma & Grandpa. My purpose for the visit is twofold ... originally I was just trying to get away from Bellevue for a few days and seek the refuge of family until I could figure out what I'm going to do ... but then I learned that Jasper died on Saturday night and I knew that Dad was undoubtedly heartbroken, and could probably use some company, and as it turns out I was right.


September 24, 1980

Not accomplishing anything here (at Dad's). The past two days have been utterly, completely lazy. I've got the tail-end of a bad cold and a nagging cough that won't disappear, and I just don't feel like doing a damned thing. When Dad gets home from work tonight he wants to go out to dinner, so at least I took a shower, washed my hair and made up my face.

I've been fighting the ridiculous urge to call Bobby, on one pretense or another ... just to hear his voice. He probably isn't home anyway, though, so there's no point.


Thursday afternoon
September 25, 1980

MASSIVELY hungover. Last night I went out with my old high school/college boyfriend, Scott S., and didn't get back to bed until 8:00 this morning ... now I'm really dragging my ass.

Decision made: I am going to officially move in with Bobby, if he'll still have me. I really miss him -- I realized that last night. I'm actually homesick for Bellevue! Moving in with him creates new problems, though: $147 worth of rent that I have to come up with in the next ten days, AND moving my stuff out of the old apartment and into Bobby's. Who can I get to help me??


Another decision made, just now. When I go back to Bellevue (in Saturday?) I'm going to go and apply at Kelly Temporary Services. It's time to get this show back on the road.


Saturday afternoon
September 27, 1980

Thinking about going home in a couple of hours. I'm tired of hiding, and I'm anxious to meet my problems face-to-face. Besides, Dad has given me a little spending money and I've got "the itch" to go out tonight ... IN BELLEVUE. The only catch is that Dad's going to be disappointed that I'm leaving so soon.


Monday night
September 29, 1980

Bobby and Jeff are out together somewhere; I'm home alone, half-drunk, lonely, pissed.

Bobby made a big point of asking Jeff last night to go to the movies tonight ("Hopscotch"), and I was very pointedly not included. I'm beginning to hate this whole situation. If I had even an ounce of pride I wouldn't be settling for this degrading, unsatisfying pseudo-relationship. As it is, I don't have a hell of a lot of choice. I want very desperately to stay here on the Eastside, for one thing. For another, I don't want to go back and live with anyone in the family. Doing that would be admitting humiliating defeat: staying with Dad last week convinced me of that. Shit. What the hell do I do?? Live in a situation that makes me feel like excess baggage, maybe waiting for Randy to get out of prison and come "rescue" me ... or go crawling home to Dad with my tail between my legs, acknowledging my own pathetic inability to manage my life ... ??

An hour later:

Drenched. I walked in the pouring rain to buy more beer to feed my soul.


Wednesday night
October 1, 1980

Unbearably depressed, although the monthly shuffling of hormonal combinations may have as much to do with it as the piteously screwed condition of my life. I have just finished consuming an entire frozen sausage pizza and, in a halfhearted attempt at getting drunk, one half of a six-pack of beer. No one home but me, "The Eyes of Laura Mars" on TV, and this prevailing loneliness. I enjoy my own company as a rule, but too much of anything gets old.

I believe I've come up with another "scheme," money-wise, but I don't want to talk about it right now. I should know tomorrow. I also don't want to talk about my relationship with Bobby, because it's non-existent. I don't want to talk about my job, my car, or my financial situation for the same reason.


Monday afternoon
October 6, 1980

Kind of schlepping my way through life ... drinking too much, sleeping too much, spending my days listening to music and watching soap operas, definitely not accomplishing anything. I'm a mess.

Bobby and I had quite a talk late Saturday night, after everyone else had gone to bed or gone home. The gist of the situation is that he's decided he doesn't love me, but he still "cares" and I can continue to live here as long as I don't get too serious ... or something like that. We were both real high at the time so I don't know how much of it was sincere, but the truly confusing part was that after this whole conversation was over we proceeded to make love.


Friday night/Saturday morning
October 10 or 11

Totally screwed up, but amazingly cognizant. Terri's old boyfriend Ray P. showed up at my door tonight, completely out of the blue, to let me know that he had some of my clothes and records stashed at his house. (Terri stashed them there, after she moved out of our apartment -- I think she was trying to rip me off.) He and I ended up going out and playing poker with two other couples, friends of his (Dave & Cathy, Scott & Leslie). I had a ball. I've never played poker in my life, but I had fun!  4:00 in the a.m. ... oh shit. I'm sitting here upstairs in the bedroom, listening to "Rocky Horror" on cassette, drinking a beer.


next        previous        home        archives        want to throw a rock?    

© secraterri 1998-2008
all rights reversed reserved!
comments/questions/spelling corrections HERE
~ nil bastardum carborundum ~