Diary of a Dancer
Sat. 13 Aug 77 7 good pages writing, then bad letter from R. asking
is our “living together” a ”condition” of “my return”? Where the hell did
he get that? He just wants something to react against. He can’t imagine
a relationship that isn’t controlled by implied threats. He believes in
working and suffering so much then – let him work and suffer. What
would annoy him most? If I don’t respond! Ha ha! Let the panic begin!
Need to become more private – simply to protect myself. For all I know
he’s relishing the torture he goes through.
Devon and I had a glorious date – splendid dinner (steak!)
then made love all over the floor. He played with my body until he got it
roaring and pulsating like an express train. The way he handled me,
gripped me, held me, crushed me even – made me ask about his other
girlfriends. He said no, he never gets as much “touch” as he wants. I said,
“Except with me”. He said, “Except with you.” Over dinner he said
matter-of-factly that we are so alike loving me has always felt “narcissistic”
to him. I bet! Happy, happy, happy… Picked up The Edwardians but
I can’t get into it. Keep seeing Devon’s body plying me, bending me…
I know somewhere out there lies perfect happiness, waiting to astonish me.
2PM Sun 14 Aug 77 Sitting on the deck even though it’s just about to rain,
back from long bike ride watching family barbecues. Will I ever have
children? I feel so exactly balanced between R and D like a ball in the air
– but could fall at any moment. Finished The Edwardians – made me
long to read Trollope. Vita Sackville-West’s work is like a death wish.
Maybe Pevensey Library can rise to some Trollope. Downy woodpecker
2 ft away.
Finished The Dark Island! An outrageous howl of
self-pity! Mom & Dad called all worried about Avril. She & Mason had to
borrow money after selling $4500 worth of stock in June! Dad wants to
deal financially with Mason instead of his own daughter! I was cool and
stayed out of it. I don’t even want to imagine what they say to the others
about me. I sent Avril a letter that said I would buy her a round trip plane
ticket any time she wanted – even for just a short visit. Talk about work
and suffering! I’m sure she feels stuck in every way with this guy. Down
to a dinner of bouillon & smoked oysters.
Tues 16 Aug 77 D’s & my relationship “plateaus.” Each of us may have
given all we can spare. At least there’s no Mutual Punishment. Woman
tried to get me into conversation at mailboxes – she’s an accountant
whose boyfriend works on missiles. God they both sounded like the
dullest people imaginable. Tried not to blanche.
6:00 PM Couldn’t resist $10 phone call to Avril. She’s
hanging in there but doesn’t like Calif so far. She’s not going to school
because Mason thinks he ought to be able to pay for it! So, so sick after
using her money to live on. She’s looking for some clerk job. Still thinks
this guy might be The One, even though sex is once a week and she’s
not satisfied. After that I called Devon who should be back from
psychomotor class but he wasn’t in.
Midnight – Could get psychotic about D not returning
my call – however I refuse. Let the poor man live. He lacks time for an
ACTUAL other girl (although I know there are plenty of letters & phone
calls with girls he cultivates.)
10AM – Wed 17 Aug 77 Devon woke me up in the middle of the night, wondering
if I was “psychic”. He’d had a horrible day – had to take a “pregnant
friend” to the clinic for abortion (not his kid.) This is a new one. Can’t
imagine him lying about something so bizarre – I didn’t ask for details –
just told him it was a “sudden impulse” (true). Called the bank – my
money was in but only $987 (it’s never as much as you expect.) From
shit comes flowers, as they say. Called Marc Kramer and left message
whether I can hitch a ride to Maine with him (he goes almost every weekend).
Finished Life of Waugh. Cramps.
Sat 20 Aug 77 Poor Devon! He brought pizza and a very good brandy
(too good – drinking it woke me up in the middle of the night) suggested
a movie. I said I wanted to Talk. Told him all about my week; everything,
novel, phone call with Avril, breaking up (mentally) with R because I “realized
there’s another way”. Felt it was time to share. He asked if it had anything
to do with him I said it did but he shouldn’t panic – it’s a good thing. He
asked did I want to know about other girls? I said yes. Would I be jealous?
Maybe – but it wouldn’t impact on him. He talked about his friend who had
the abortion – she’s ready to take him on but his feelings for her are “clinical”.
(Uh oh. She’s in trouble. He could be lying to me about Who’s the Daddy
or lying to himself, most like.) She’s 2 yrs older than him.
Then there’s a girl he met on the train – they’re just friends
so far so he doesn’t know her well – but he’s curious. Then there’s the
English girl – he definitely wants to bring her over but neither of them
can afford it so far. He seems to have a sex/romance dichotomy going so
I’m not jealous exactly – it would be like being jealous of someone’s fantasies. However, it doesn’t make me respect him more. And he instinctively
knows that – he can’t be the daring demon lover or swaggering ski coach
with me when I know too much about him. Fortunately, I suggested we
bring the mattress up to the deck – we had a big, hilarious struggle through
the house but it was worth it. Wonderful making love in the fresh night.
He can’t believe girls like giving blow jobs – I said, do you mean you
don’t like going down on me? He said, no, no, no I LOVE it you are
like a flower. I said see? Depends on the person. Gave him the full
treatment making him yelp like a coyote.
Cold in the AM like Maine – hard to get out of bed but he
was worried someone would see us so we had to push mattress through
sliding doors to dining room floor at 6 AM. Layers of secret lives! He is
SO DIFFERENT from the way he seems but aren’t we all! Drove to the
Idyllwild Mkt for breakfast – got lost as least six times but who cares it’s
a glorious day – bought peaches, blueberries and mocha java beans.
Then we went swimming – stopping after at the mailbox. Rejection of
Secaire from HBJ! What a blow and in front of Devon of all people!
Worst of all was editor’s comment – I had fallen between 2 stools – “straight”
and “gothic.” Ugh. Lowers my opinion of myself in my own eyes.
Fortunately, I didn’t cry.
Devon did his best to comfort me. He compares it to
skiing which is 4,000 failures to one success. Said it’s ridiculous to
consider myself a failure. I thanked him said he really cheered me up –
he said it made him look forward to ministry!!! (He can’t wait to get his
hands on some “troubled young women”.) He’s going to a 3 day
retreat at Peterborough. Period coming on. It doesn’t faze D. Reading
Harold Nicolson’s diaries which are quite a treat. I was afraid he would
be all Churchillian.
2;30 PM Mon 22 Aug 77 Can’t write, so ready to return to Maine. So desperate I
watched TV (Rhoda: Apotheosis of the Career Girl). Feeling crushed
about Secaire and Demon is not far behind. When your mind is divided
it’s hard to go on. I always feel genre works actually have the potential
for highest dramatic quality – mystery, discovery, transformation, revelation
– telling the complete truth about everything but I just don’t know how to
convey that. Also, I’m kind of worried that Devon will see my departure as
“because” we punctured the fantasy with honesty ; ie I’m “punishing” him
(that’s what Ryder would think, plus he would howl “I deserve it” then behave
even worse) and of course it sort of is true . “New data” does affect
everything. But I miss the dogs & worry about them. Dad has yet to figure
out their gender (calls them both “boy”).
Went clothes shopping got GOREGOUS skinny jeans!
Look so good. Called D but had to leave an awkward message
with Random Guy (ugh I hate that.) Thank God for diaries! Best therapy
possible. So much cheaper than a shrink. Diagnosis? Sheer greed. I
always want everything.
9:45 AM Wed 24 Aug 77
Great conversation with D. He feels exactly the same way
I do (kind of unsettling) wants to continue with me but doesn’t want anyone
to find out about me, etc. I.e. ambivalent. We just want everything we can
get as pleasantly as possible. Said he’d take me to the airport Fri – I asked
if it was possible he could spend Thu night – he said he’s make it possible.
Should be ecstasy. I’m very up for it.
Tonight call M & D ugh. They always try to make me feel
like a flake. I tell them life’s like sailing – since you don’t know what
the waves or weather are going to be like its only sensible to make
adjustments accordingly. (My father taught me that.) Pack and clean.
Yuck. 7:20 PM Dull evening. Ceaseless rain & cream of wheat for dinner.
On the other hand feel great – happy and serene. Have to note that so
this book is NOT a constant wail of desperation & entitlement. Gross
reading about Borden case. But it piques the poetry nerve.
LIZZIE BORDEN: “Not I But the Moon”
Not I but the moon
Decrees each loss of blood
You confided slyly, Besom-Breast!
I’ll crochet a horsehair head for you and
Lacework- stitch your flesh, my darling
You and Scrimshaw Pate – He
Who Must Know Better.
Hot wax outlines a new broom’s sweep in
Sacred dust: chorus of shoe-buttons popping like
Potato-eyes. Oh, I shall dine on you
My darlings, rolling you in
Pig viands, I dredge your souls in
Righteous lard. I am the sanctified enemy
Of the paper cut people:
My hymn shall rock
The laughing house.