Diary of a Dancer
Mon 7 Mar 77 Ryder says he talks so much about me associate director
Kerry’s asked to meet me. (He told Kerry he doesn’t deserve
me. It’s the truth!) I said he can’t come to our party at
The Plum – we have no room.
Sex too rough. Experimenting or letting his anger
out? Maybe I’ve stopped lubricating – my body’s ready
to quit even if I’m not. Wants me to wake up and smell
the coffee. Lunch w/Maeve at Carmac’s, me splendid in
orange leather suit, boots, bracelets. Bloody Marys.
I gave her phone bill – also letter from collection agency
about plane bill she said boyfriend paid for. He’s obviously
running a scam on her. She says she found a Bethesda
efficiency $180/month. Had to rush to get back to work –
then saw List of Adrian Messenger with A. Made up writing
schedule for Secaire. But the minute I start I get idea for
another work – story about father/ daughter/ stepmother war–
A Demon Roused. Who’s the demon? Reading The Ring,
the Book & The Poet.
11 Mar 77
Sent home 3:30 because B’Nai B’rith under siege
by terrorists (3 blocks away). Police will tell us when to
come back. Real estate agent leads inspector thru house.
Bad letter from my agent telling me not to try to sell “old” stuff,
write in “new” vein – but she means “like Devlyn”. No more
historicals for me!!!! Got to get out of this stalemated “love”
relationship – when I tax R with things he’s said, he
claims he “doesn’t remember” so we never advance
and I feel diminished. Had to tell him sex is over – I can
see he doesn’t believe me. Must ask for his key back,
that should do it. Dragged A protesting to Freaky Friday –
it was worth it. Barbara Harris Chaplinesque. Told Broadcast
I will work only one full day per week – must go back to dancing.
Read Ellen Glasgow’s The Woman Within. Trying to
rewrite Secaire in third person. Unsuccessful. Dreaming
about houses with deep, cool porches but tax people
giving me only $112. A crying over Mason’s “hideous brutality”
but she won’t break up with him. Ugh. (Feel my relationship mirrored.)
13 Mar 77
Made love with R for what I hope was last time
(he brought lubricant.) His body no longer a key to mine.
Think I’m started on Secaire Final Draft. God I hope so.
R will sulk for a while, then we’ll “talk”. Prayed for the first
time, to the “life source”. Pray away panic and disorder,
pray for clarity, purity, calm. Beautiful long walk. Heat like July.
Storm burst 4:30. Coffee, orange slices, do my nails. Re-
read Great Gatsby, pitying Fitzgerald the while. Someone
should write this novel from Daisy’s point of view. Exciting
way to get back into Courtney – but I don’t want to put it in the ‘20’s.
Told R I’m dating so had to invite Keith to All Night Strut –
he was pleased. Says he’s not hung up on men paying for everything.
17 Mar 77
Everyone fussing about Scenes from a Marriage. It is excellent.
Reading good bio Dorothy Thompson. Novel going swimmingly –
suddenly feel fearless. Sex scene perfect. Why elaborate?
Why elucidate? Need to be out of this house June 1 – can do,
but should I return to dancing or take summer off? Undecided.
Mon. 21 Mar 77
Wish I hadn’t called Ryder but I did. He was very injured
by my sex comments. I said I was very injured by the sex. (He says
he fears me.) Goddamit feel like turning in my phone if this is how
I am going to behave. Watched Upstairs Downstairs, Monty Python.
Felt better. All Night Strut amusing – Keith invited me to Voyage of the
Damned. (He pronounces it Dam – NED. In a class by himself after all?)
Unfortunately not feeling the chemistry. Trying to take what pleasure I
can in high heels and see through blouses. Could we just date? Secaire
solid, beautiful, disturbing. Avril says its very exciting. Found a shack in
Virginia for $200/month. But maybe I have to flee this state to eradicate
R from my soul.
23 Mar 77 Voyage classically awful. Majestically, stupendously awful.
Bad date. I talked too much. Goddamit dating’s awful. Like those endless
“teas” we suffered through in Girl Scouts. Sex is less work (not that I
indulged. He has a repellently gooey corpus.) He took me to Alfio’s
for dinner! Scene of R’s & my first date! Couldn’t resist telling him I
used to dance at Shalimar next door. Keith invited me to his house
in Potomac. I said nix. Dumped on doorstep with closed mouth kiss.
Shudders of relief. Walked in on Mason in a rage over my “betrayal” of
Ryder!! I said he’s dating other people. Mason said but he loves you!
I didn’t say his love is a septic condition. (Because Mason’s love is also a
septic condition. Poor Avril.) Happily to bed with Becker’s Escape from Evil.
2 April 77 Crisis at work sending my first cablegram to France – Keith
showed up looking extremely handsome. Terrible suspicions novel is bad.
Gave Divina a hysterectomy to please Nicky. Not sure it works. Then off to splendiferous bash – literary party. Met Chuck Kornowitz,
editor from Athenaeum. Acted interested in my work – where can we
have dinner? Took him to the Serbian Crown. He is NOT interested in
my work he is interested in me. Damn. Told me the most erotic encounter
he has ever had was with a stranger in an elevator! Feels sex with
complete strangers has not yet been fully explored!!! Not by me that’s for sure.
He drove me home, insisted on walking dogs with me, holding
my hand! Weird but I don’t want to turn him off entirely. (He’s old and ugly –
looks like a Gila monster.) Fighting the impulse to call R and yell at him. Boy
am I sick. Poor Keith does not know I need him for a rabies shot. Against hair
of the dog?
Fri. 8 Apr 77 Agency offers me over-time while files are reorganized. More
cash. We celebrate A‘s new job as fake nurse at urology office. She has
to buy a nursing uniform so patients won’t know. (Doctor not willing to
pay over minimum wage.) Still, it looks classy. Went to Black Tahiti
where I had sweet & sour shrimp. Turns out I need to stay away from
booze because called You Know Who came right over and we
indulged in mad passionate sex all night long. R was delicate and
gentle – brought me to the edge several times before finally pushing
me off cliff. Showoff.
Talked about me like he’d read my work. (Praising it.
Thought I’d be pleased.) Then told me he’d “busy” this weekend.
Steeerike three! Tragically I need a guardian, conservator AND a
bodyguard. (Keith doesn’t have the build.)
Chloe apologized for bad writing workshop with dinner
after at Armand’s. My advice to writers – learn what kind of writer
you need to be and get on with it. Found myself getting defensive
about Devlyn – if I don’t want to write “that way” again it must mean
there was “something wrong” with it!!! Bad advice from Ted Hughes :
“When you find yourself using someone else’s voice, stop at once.”
Nothing ventured nothing gained under that theory. This is not making
me eager to hit the “literary events” as Chloe advised. The “noise”
interferes with my working mind.
Hostile questioning from Mom and Dad who don’t know
why I don’t move closer to Devon!!! All this “playing the field” is
cheapening my brand. Reading Mrs. Starr Lives Alone.