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Inspired Pleasure

Diary of a Dancer

Mon 27th Dec 77 11:00 AM
        See Dracula on Broadway – pure pleasure with some 

honest scares. Frank Langella very sexy. At Italian dinner Mom and
Dad push island hard, but I know the old people would never leave me
alone. They’d be worse than R. Still, there’s something magical about
being protected from the real world by the ferry – places you can’t get
to easily are wonderful just for that reason.
Mom and Dad say further I can’t be serious about my
writing or I’d have a job in publishing or magazines! I’m so rocked back
on my heels its hard to argue. It sounds so sane. But why won’t it result,
really, in another “hostage taking” of my soul, which, so, so regrettably,
appears to be so damn fragile? Becoming one’s self is life’s greatest
challenge – and so far it does seem necessary to abjure group (gang? Team?) endeavors. Writing doesn’t satisfy unless it comes out of the wild side of
me – my secret side. There’s always the temptation to rip open the spider
and get the silk out faster. Dad rolls his eyes – it’s the old “I’m an artist so
I can do what I want” argument again. How to tell him yes, he’s right. Yes,
I’m taking advantage of my education, my family, my “privileges”; it’s who
they made me. No going back to some invented Dust Bowl life of drudgery
just so THEY can “feel superior & good”. They insist they don’t WANT to
“feel good!” It’s about what’s “right!” My turn to roll my eyes.

Detroit, 11:05 PM, Thursday 29 Dec 77
        At the adorably, impossibly 20’s Tudoresque manse my sister 

Merrill is restoring – it’s lovely here. Merrill and her husband say dancing is
“sex work” and “sex work” is “OK” if its “regulated so “sex workers aren’t
exploited.” I get annoyed that nobody can tell the difference between dancing
and prostitution! Lots of things cause “erotic titillation” – breathing for
example. Still, I find I’m inclining toward taking a two-month break in March
and going to the island to write. Is this family management? But one of
the reasons I like dancing is because you can “pick it up and put it down.”
Well, we’ll see.

Thurs night 29 Dec 77 9:30 PM
            I find as I distance from Ryder I remember some good things 

and that makes me happy. He was so unique.  It was fun knowing him,
watching him perform impromptu magic for street children and restaurant
patrons. More extraordinary really than poor old Jervaze who in spite of his
glamorous looks drinks way too much and hates his job. Also R knew me as
a “not dancer” which J doesn’t – maybe that persona obscures who I really
am. I remember the excitement of watching Ryder make his television show – unexpectedly sweaty physical labor in choosing camera angles and shots,
timing, music, close-ups – building the tape as the excitement was happening
– more in common with sports than some couch potato activity like editing.
Greek Town for dinner after the Renaissance Center, so the
night ended in a wild bouzouki. Day occupied with antiquing – especially fun
since I am reading Rumer Godden’s  China Court, which is basically a love
song to things. It made me worry that there are not enough details in
Demon – what should I add? Perhaps buy a Vogue to see.

            Dreamed about Devon last night.  Wonder; what 

he’s up to. Maybe I’m being psychic again. Getting some peace of mind
about him as well. Merrill’s daughter comes to read over my shoulder,
then when I move to hide the diary says,  “Don’t worry, I can’t read cursive. “

    Plush Palace – Tuesday, January 3, 1978 – 9:25 PM
            Back at work. Can’t concentrate on The Murder of Sir 

Edmund Godfrey, which is the book I brought because I keep thinking
Jervaze will drop by. Dead silence from him – no call on Christmas. I sent
him one card but of course I only got back yesterday. I can’t bear to take all
the initiative. Oddly (especially after my dream about him) had a card waiting
from Devon. Maybe I AM psychic. Evidently he regrets that love-letter –
encourages me to “hang loose”. Quotes from Sister Goldenhair. In other
words, don’t try to get him to plan to meet skiing, that’s just way more
planning than he can handle. Kind of a pathetic specimen.

Plush Palace – 10:05 pm Thurs 5 Jan 1978
        Jervaze came in Tues after my 10:00 set – with lots of little 

presents for me, perfume, bears, cards, pins – in a Christmas stocking. He
wore a gold-banded black cowboy hat covered with snow and a shiny black
down parka, his platinum hair swinging around his face – like a visit from an
angel. Or possibly a Chippendale dancer.  He is too pretty; mine eyes dazzle.
He stayed till I got off at 1 then walked me to my car – one kiss – asked me
out very formally for Saturday night. I gave him directions to my place and
he wrote them in a book – tipped his hat, climbed into his Shelby and vanished,
leaving me wondering, is he gay? Is he even real?  I continue to struggle
reading The Young Romantics – artists in 1840’s Paris.


From which house came my teenage lover?
I should recognize the one – where
As a sick moth haunts the moon he
Marked me in my blood.
He’s the one who died.
Women are more flexible
Turning shit to gold like
Earthworms; men are brittle
Sharp and angry, fall so
Easy out of tune. I sharpen
Ears these winter days
For all the sounds I never heard;
Screen doors slamming –
Secrets, arson,
Stolen kisses
Mustered music, borrowed
Penchant; Mayhem – trenchant
Terror – sentient.

        Avril and I found a perfect black sequin tube top while

we were out promenading yesterday – I’m going to wear it with my
black silk trouser suit.  She thinks she found herself the perfect
apartment too – a studio in a skyscraper with a great kitchen, huge closets,
only $216 month utilities included, says she is going to look for another
week before she decides. Financial fount M & D don’t want her living with
me because I am a “harmful influence.” We saw Armon in a bit part on
TV last night – there weren’t any credits, but I knew it was him.
Listening out of one ear to gossip – Gina says the bartender
at the Starlight is bisexual and that Tony the bagman is her male lover.
She is big, he is little, I can’t imagine them together. He is called the “bagman”
because he runs between the clubs in a Lincoln filled with bags of money.
Gina also says that she is a priest in a mail order religion and that her
breasts are real and her ex-husband raped her nine-year-old daughter. 
I can tell for a fact those hard breasts are fake so it does make it tough
to believe anything she says. 
Last night went out with Erika to see the new Bunuel
(in spite of her claims to revere him she failed to notice he used different
actors for the same part) and to eat at Chateau Gesundheit. Depressing
conversation about how terrible men are – says her ex-husband is a cross
between a psychopath and a momma’s boy – she naturally assumed
because of R that this would be my favorite subject. She also says all exotic
dancers and showgirls were molested as children and as a result are lesbians who hate men. Asking or inviting? All I can say is that all little girls have unpleasant memories of Adult Men but this is just a chip on her breeze.  A breeze I think
I better stay out of in future, perhaps. I also get tired of hearing the Marxist
slant on Life. Love doesn’t exist, people do everything for “self-interest”, etc.
etc. If that is true they are doing a piss-poor job of it. I think people live for
fantasy and some people’s fantasies are very, very cheap.
Hoping drinks with Maeve will be more fun.

        Midnight - 6 Jan- 78
        Crazy with love.  Jervaze and I had one of those unforgettable 

dates last night – Took him to my favorite restaurant in Ellicott City – Coco Lane
and we talked for hours. He loves dogs – wants to raise Grand Pyrenees. His
favorite cats are English blues. Wanted to be a vet except he always hated
school, so that’s how he got into working with his hands and he thinks there’s
no way back now. He loves WC Fields and horror movies. 
The thing I love about him most (apart from his astonishing
beauty) is his natural courtesy, his dignity (he is very polite to anyone in a
service position – the exact opposite of R who acted as if being exigent
was the same thing as being discriminating. Status.) He has such an aura of gentleness and calm, just like those big dogs he loves so much. His isolation,
I like too – he’s the only male I’ve met in quite awhile who doesn’t travel in a
pack. He has a brother in the same job locally – that’s why he came up from
Alabama – but he plainly thinks suburban Virginia is the “fast lane” and I don’t
disabuse him.
He eats seafood by preference and wants to live on the water.
He probably drinks too much and could be an incipient alcoholic. My parents
would be totally, totally appalled but of course it doesn’t take much to appall them.  Alas, he hasn’t finished my book – claims he’s “working on it”. I am
waiting for him to outright say he doesn’t understand it – maybe when he
knows me better.
When he kissed me goodnight he only kissed me – a relief
at the time, since it was one less worry. Now of course I wish I had some clearer indication from him that he finds me even attractive. Is he polite or am I resistible? Don’t want to be resistible – we’ll have to change that.

 Sat -1 pm 7 Jan- 78
        I’m at the Starlight – our club owner owns this one too – it’s huge.  

How I hate this stage. It isn’t a true stage but a runway winding through the
audience, which means you must keep walking all the time – and they try to
fill it by having several girls up at once. One can’t build any audience hypnosis – people pay less attention and have more business meetings – and tips
really take a nosedive. The bartender is a grizzled old lesbian who stares
right up my crotch – supposedly to see if my stocking seams are straight
(they aren’t. Fortunately she doesn’t offer to do them for me – but she still
watches.) Four of the other girls tried to get me to let them smoke dope in
the dressing room – I told them no. They’ll have to go out back with the alley
Thank God Glee – who has a lot of class – backed me up. So
the two of us had the dressing room to ourselves, which made a pleasant
change from watching the others trying to disguise the scars from their breast operations. Book I brought – The Pleasure of Ruins – does not go with this atmosphere in spite of its title.
R called me here – says he found me thru Randy who
was impressed because Ryder’s on TV! I flatly told him he is scaring the life
of out me with this behavior.

         But he seems to know just how far to push things, amazingly 

we had a wonderful talk! Gentleman Jim lets us talk in his office: very respectful
of our “privacy”. He obviously thinks we are dating. Wonder if he will tip
R to the fact that I have a “honey on the side” at the Plush Palace? Jesus!
I told R I am sick of his “psychotic twin brother” (good idea for a novel,
actually) and he really laughed – admitted he has “a Jekyll-Hyde” thing
going on. (It’s actually worse than that – it’s really Hyde and Mr. Nastier
Hyde – but didn’t say that. Keep conversation light.) He promised to stop
calling me at work.

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