Diary of a Dancer
12:10 PM- Plush Palace – Wed 19 Oct 77 Dance night, then dance the next day kind of rough. And
days are bad when the weather’s good – no one comes in. I seem to have
a lot of bills – just turned on the heat – but I’m meeting them. Making some
inroads today on Thomson’s Life of Frost. Randy fired Robin – Yvonne
needs $300 immediately because she just bought a piano. Well good luck
getting it out of this crowd is all I can say. Paz’s “on call” because she left
her husband and moved into the motel across the street. Let’s hope she
shows up. Last time I saw her she was pretty depressed; said she gave
him “the best four years” of her life. I have to get this all down in case I need
it someday. R used to be especially pissed when I got nostalgic for
dancing. But dancing is its own little world.
7:30 PM- Plush Palace – Thu 20 Oct 77 This aft I was getting ready for work phone rang, I say
hello and Ryder’s tight little voice says: (very meaningfully) Hello.
I turned the radio down (Lakmé) and said casually as I could, “How
He said he should enroll in FBI school after all the
trouble he’d had tracking me down.
(It couldn’t have been that hard since Mom and Dad’s
house sitter has been giving my # to all and sundry.) Said he was
punished now for being a non-communicative procrastinator who
should fling himself off the 14th St Bridge. I told him I lived in Beltsville
and danced in Virginia, refused to give further details. I didn’t let him
get away with any of his garbage. He said I’d been in town since Sept 8
without contacting him. I said he’d made it pretty plain he didn’t like what
I had to offer. Then why did I come back? I said, I like it here. Creep!
Like he owns the world!
He said, will you eat with me? Hmmm. Something rattling
in Pandora’s box. While I hesitated he said don’t make me disguise myself
as a girl scout cookie salesman (he could get away with it, too.) He said he
hasn’t gone out to dinner since our last night at Alfio’s!!! (I guess the Emmys
don’t count but I said nothing.) Said he’s having to give back his furniture
and sleep on an air mattress because he can’t make the payments. Aww.
This is the idiocy of buying furniture on time, but I still say nothing. So we’re
meeting Babe’s Sun at 3:30. Seems fairly safe… Rushed to library and took
out every true murder book I could find. Just in case.
2 Nov – Plush Palace – 6:05 PM. R called this morning to “report in!’ Just to chat about his
day! No more of that, I said. I’m busy. Slam. I don’t chat and I’m not sorry
it’s too late to learn. Actually feeling amazingly happy. Kiki showed me
how to cut off my corn with an exacto knife. All better! Still in Vol I of Life
of Frost. He was a repulsive human being, all right. Nowhere near as fun
as Agatha. Precious equilibrium recovered.
8:30 PM 8 Nov 77 I gave him the full treatment, poor guy. Red Italian boots,
glittery eyeshadow, tight, tight jeans. Deliberately drove Conn Ave but no
markers from the past reached out their claws. Felt strong and blissful.
I was first there (of course) so could order carafe of wine and think. Thinking,
I’ll just explain to him that my idea of friendship and intimacy requires a
degree of truth telling that appears to freak him out.
He wore his high heels, too. His hair is blonder, longer
and messier than I remembered and it suits him. Off to the Bahamas
next weekend, he says for a “dive”. He wore the pinky ring I gave him
(he says he can’t get it off.) But that holy glow, that shine he used to have
is gone for me. I get it that he doesn’t know the pain he caused –
shallow people can’t. And that’s pitiable, really. He’s not just deaf
in one ear, he’s deaf in his soul.
He has a carefully worked out a “barstool rationale” for
what happened to us; we became lovers before we became friends.
I have no comment. Postponing sex would not have helped – and it
might have made things worse dumping all the responsibility for timing
on me. I think when he saw how easy it was to draw blood he couldn’t
help doing it, and I was a fool and an idiot. I ordered the fruit and
cheese plate but left before it arrived. Realize how much I want all
this to be in the past. No future of any kind exists for us. Not even
in fantasy. The future is what matters. Told him to give my regards
to the folks at the Shalimar. He said he’d give me a buzz.
Bet I can finish Demon by Thanksgiving. Avril coming.
Lucky I have a second bedroom. Furnish it with Kliban posters, a
thrift shop bureau and a mattress on the floor.
12 Nov 77 6:25 PM Plush Palace I finally called R. (He’s been leaving me messages.)
I said if we were going to have a relationship of any kind – the friendship
that he wanted – we would have to have rules (I got the idea from Nancy
Mitford.) He said he was so glad I called, he’d been having the most awful
day. Took my card out of his rolodex but couldn’t bring himself to destroy it
and put it away in a drawer. What rules he said. I said we’d have to think. No idle calls? No talk about past? He said, “Please forgive me” but of course I can’t. I said
“Forgive me.” He said there’s nothing to forgive,
Dancing suddenly OK? I said we’re done with all
that stuff. Starting over. But I’m very busy working a lot and writing a
lot and he said he’s very busy working a lot. No expectations. We
both said fine and I’m pretty sure he’s as relieved as I am.
We’re going to Looking for Mr. Goodbar Thurs –
I want to see it too. He knows how I love movies. It’s perfect
weather to pick up Avril at the airport and drive to Galesville tomorrow
for brunch with Mom & Dad at the marina. There’s a big white
farmhouse on Old Annapolis Rd I always look at longingly.
Plush Palace 4 PM Wed 15 Dec 1977 Shaking like a leaf. Ryder called the club saying he
was called early into work tonight – change of plans. Called his work
immediately – “Mr. Arlen’s desk.” Left her a message saying I got his
message but do not call the club. Hope this stymies him till after
Christmas but I know he is going to say we need each other’s workplace
for last minute plan changes.
I say is THIS IS NOT DATING. WE ARE NOT DATING. You can’t be
trusted with my workplace #.
Then I start looking desperately for Jervaze to come in.
He’s supplying me lately with that all-important fantasy vitamin of which
I have been so deficient for so long. Can’t even THINK about R to the
background of Disco Inferno.
Sat – 18 Dec 77 9:30 AM Very dissatisfied with life and self and, as usual, in
complete confusion as to what to do about it. I suspect I should not be
making any big investment decisions, like buying a house and furnishing
it but I am sick of being such a goddam wanderer. Avril has been
accepted at U of MD – my job is to finish this goddam novel. If I could
finish it maybe March, April and May could be my traveling months.
I thought March skiing could be nice – in Devon’s back yard.
I am in danger of making an idiot of myself over Phil
Jervaze – “Adonis” as I privately call him . He seems very attracted
but is not making the first move. I’ll have to bring him along somehow.
Going tomorrow to Renaissance Music at the National Shrine. Should
I wear my rhinestones or can I restrain myself? Avril says I’m doing a
good job taking her mind off of Dipstick, (my name for Mason). Bought
her $80 worth of clothes – she can pay me back when I need help with
the January rent.
The Plush Palace 20 Dec 1977 – 4 PM Avril called to say that Ryder called again – trying to find out my
holiday plans from her. Says he might have to work. I am surprised to
be shaking so much. I am very unhappy about this level of communication.
I was actually hoping not to have to deal with him till after Christmas.
Would prefer not to give him an opportunity to go into his act. I’ve learned
if I call his work I get his secretary. Left the message I will be “out of town”.
Favor, Alysse., The trouble is, telling a game-player you don’t play games
is all part of the game to them! There is absolutely nothing I can do to step
out of this thing except bore him to death. We will see each other fewer
and fewer times, the emotional content will be constantly plummeting,
and meanwhile, the chicks on the side he has summoned up for contrast and amusement will be clamoring for center stage. Let them have it.
And I have my own magic pill in reserve – Jervaze.
That anyone can drift through life so far unironically with shoulder
length platinum hair, platinum mustache and a white cowboy hat, drive
a 72 Shelby and work for the Pentagon titillates my Yankee soul. But
that’s what’s so much fun about the fine commonwealth of Virginia.
It’s full of these people. Uh oh. I hear the rhythm of Disco Inferno,
audience’s current favorite. Dust myself with body glitter and I’m up.