Inspired Pleasure

Diary of a Dancer

12:50 AM Plush Palace – exhausted and bathed in sweat.
Man tried to crawl onstage with me. He was in the mood to dance!
Every dancer (except me and I guess him) is using Darla’s overdose
death (suicide or accident? I say why not murder?) as an excuse to
not dance. I like dancing. Passes the time faster and the tips are
better. Steve managing tonight – he looks just like Dylan Thomas.
I keep expecting a Welsh accent when he warns the old men with
their balls hanging out. Great tales from new dancer Charmian –
she has toured the entire country. Just dancing. (She has the body
of a seven year old. Plasters pasties on her completely flat chest. )
There’s a townhouse in New City I like the sound of but nobody
EVER answers that phone. Tomorrow dinner with poor A and that
awful Mason whom I loathe and despise. Couldn’t get through Babs
Deals’ The Walls Came Tumbling Down – and Crystal Mouse was
so good. Fortunately I have Steven Marcus’ The Other Victorians
which is excellent. Pornotopia, indeed! Should have $1000 in savings
by the 24th June.

3PM Wed 25 May 77
Weighed myself – I shouldn’t have. Lost two pounds but I
can gain it back through thought alone. Reading Gore Vidal’s essays –
like them better than his novels – unsettling man. A says Dad’s taken
hotel rooms for everybody in NYC. New City townhouse a terrible
shock – NOT to be thought of. R. called to invite me to the Emmys
June 4. He had the nerve to say I’ll “always come back” to him. So
I have to be careful not to, even when at night I howl like an animal.
I can’t trust him to “take care” of me.

7:45 PM Thurs May 26
Who knew the worst was yet to come? I was talking to
A at Broadcast Agency and a call came in and it was Ryder. “Hello
Broadcast Agency”. I said, “You’re on the wrong line.” He said, “Your
private line is busy and I’ve got to talk to you. Need to come clean
and beg your forgiveness.” Uh oh.
Yup. He invited another girl to the Emmys BEFORE me
(that’s his story) she said she couldn’t afford to come, he invited me,
then she contacted him to say she managed to get a plane ticket.
So he’s disinviting me! I disconnected him immediately. He’ll be
lucky if I ever speak to him again. I ought to be glad it happened –
I was dithering. Needed a decision maker.
I said to Charmian this evening, “Are you happy? I’m
taking a poll.” She said, “Well, I feel all right. All that bothers me
are asshole men.”
So true! I think the pain is over if I decide it is. Struggling not
to be feel ashamed of ever loving that man. Distance is required.
Distance & discipline. Dancing makes me feel better. I kicked
really high. Audience enjoyed it.

3:10 AM
Home dreading he would be here – if so I was prepared
to scream the place down. He wasn’t. Just a note – saying I was
“right to get rid” of him. Calling himself a worthless shit! He said
he’s “sinned” ever since he met me by refusing to admit how much
I mean to him. The problem is it doesn’t matter. We are the wrong
people for each other.

8:30 PM Fri. Plush Palace May 27 1977
The only place I can sleep is work, dozing off between
sets. Not even masturbation knocks me out. Tempting to make
Mon my last day but I should last out the week – I need the cash.
Still have so much packing to do. Keith in my office the last day of
Broadcast Agency work – I told him about the Emmys – he said it
didn’t sound like a deathblow. Men! I had considered inviting
him to the wedding – this decided me against it.
3 weeks alone in NYC house-sitting for Genevieve
while she’s on her honeymoon. Parents will take dogs. The Blessing
is an awful book. Nancy Mitford not cut out to be a novelist; she’s
really not interested in motivation. Only wants a forum for her retro opinions.

4:30 PM Sat 28 May 77 – Plush Palace
A girl left early so Laverne and I are splitting her sets.
Courtly Jim of the hush puppy body and the Elvis Presley hair
realizes he has to pay us more to keep someone onstage. Good tips –
holidays make people feel richer. Only 3 days left.

7:30 PM Sun 29 May 77
Packed for six straight hours, ate yogurt and chicken,
walked dogs now I’m lying on mattress more exhausted than
I’ve ever been. Shoulders has agreed to store my furniture –
we don’t need a van since his house is right across the street.
Told him he can use whatever pieces he wants. Jim will be in
to pay me Fri so I don’t need to trust the mails. Called phone,
gas, water, elec people. Don’t think I like EM Forster
(where Angels Fear To Tread) – Henry James without the
Henry James. Edwardian didacticism makes me miss James’s
scrupulous objectivity. Why did he write this book? Because
he’s “The Literary Type”. Compare with Woolf’s Unwritten Novel.
Stagger about forcing myself to gulp Yuban. So enjoying throwing
things away.

Wed. 1 June 77 – 8:30 PM Plush Palace
$770 to take off with – not bad I think. Ryder tells me
I am “fleeing.” Damn straight. Mom asked me what was going on –
I said I proposed to Ryder and he turned me down. She was
squeaking on the other end of the phone like a gerbil but I couldn’t
help it. It’s almost true – I didn’t take her advice but showed him
my true self! Too bad!
Reading Forster’s Longest Journey. Still feeling another story
trying to get through. Pretty sick of the glory that wasn’t Greece.
Everyone in book sanctimonious prig.

Forster so foul I reread this diary. Deeply shaming.
Maybe Forster is right: whatever you do, don’t write about what is
actually going on – nobody may ever recover.
Opal took me out to lunch at Apple Tree – painless. Crab
quiche and 2 Brandy Alexanders. An elegant poem unspools in my
head about the difference between hummingbirds and hawks.
Will I go round in circles? Or will I fly high like a bird up in the sky?

Like me the hummingbird
Transcribes inner space
Half wingtip pinwheel
Leaving outer reaches
To the ragged hawk that flies alone
The hawk is:
I am what shall be

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