JOURNAL NO. 26
September 1979 - January 1980
Age 21 & 22

"... (I knew) that sooner or later I would be forced to make the decisions that must now be made.
I guess I just didn't expect "sooner" to be quite THIS soon."




Thursday noon
September 6, 1979

Home for lunch ... a double screwdriver, lots of ice.  Ordinarily I don't drink my lunch, as I'm doing today - it makes typing a bitch when I get back to the office - but today is different. Today is one of those landmark days you have ten or twenty times in your life, when you run smack into change ... when you're dropped without warning at some type of crossroads ...

This morning I found out, for absolute certain, that Scott has been offered the job in Portland, Oregon, and that he will be moving there permanently before the end of October. Until now it's been an "If & Maybe" sort of proposition. I knew that the chances of his being offered the job were good, and that sooner or later I would be forced to make the decisions that must now be made. I guess I just didn't expect "sooner" to be quite THIS soon.

We'll be moving before the end of October, and it is now September 6th. That leaves me only a few weeks to make the decisions and get things in order. Right now I'm feeling dazed and overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.

This journal will chronicle the next few weeks -- the conclusions I come to, the preparations we make, the move itself. More than ever, I'm going to need the comfort and the support of my journal. So much to think about ... so much to write about!  At least this journal will be an interesting one. And when we're finally settled into our new home in Oregon, I'll begin another new journal, which will chronicle the beginning to my new life.

FEELING OF THE DAY:  Fear.

1:30 p.m.

One double screwdriver has turned into 3 ... obviously, I've decided not to go back to work.

Ohhhhh ....

 


 

Friday night
September 7, 1979

Shaky, tired, run-down ... but not entirely unhappy, oddly enough.

I really fucked up yesterday!  Without going into all the sordid details, I ended up smashed out of my mind and AWOL from work. I made a lot of drunkenly erratic phone calls I couldn't even remember today, and then I got into my car for a two-hour drive (or more accurately, a two-hour "weave") through parts unknown. Luckily, I pulled myself together enough this morning to make it to the office by 10:00, and got only a mild reprimand from Howard, so my job is still intact, thank goodness. It would really be a bitch to get fired a few weeks before I have to resign.

Thoughts:

I'm going to move to Portland with Scott because I want to. That's the most important thing to consider, and the argument that has the most bearing in the long run. Sure, I have hesitations - I've lived all of my (nearly) 22 years right here in Washington State, and it's never easy leaving a place that has been home. The concept that has changed in my mind, though, is that "home" can change. Home is where the heart is.

Right?

Evening (still)

Scott and I are sitting here in bed together, watching TV (the second half of "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"). Naked. Violent rainstorm outside our bedroom window. A little toot -- just enough. Very cozy, relaxed.

11 p.m.

Just hopped into an old sweatshirt and pair of jeans and made an emergency beer run to 7-11.

 


 

Thursday after work
September 13, 1979

A week later. Not a lot has changed. I still don't know when we'll be moving. Everything is sort of at a standstill at this point. My feelings (about the move) have shifted a little, though ... from panic to acceptance, even anticipation. I imagine that my feelings will shift back & forth again between now and the time we actually leave, but for now I feel calm as I face the prospect.

Swelteringly hot in our apartment   ...  one of those post-summer/pre-fall hot spells. I've got a rotten cold and my period started yesterday, so my bod is in a temporary state of disrepair.

A little later:

We've been tooting up a little, which may or may not be a good idea ... my nasal passages are so clogged, I don't know if anything is getting through. It gave me enough of a buzz, though, to get a few slipshod letters written (Bonita, Arlene, Marilyn, Susan P). Now I'm at that awkward "plateau" stage where I'm buzzed enough to want to write, but too buzzed to be cohesive.

My head is all in a swirl. Not only because of the drugs, but because of all the things that are ahead of me that I can't even see. I know that all of life is like that, with corners to turn and no way to know what's around them, but that doesn't make the waiting any easier. Part of you wants to go forward and find out what's around the corner, while part of you says "No, wait - life is short enough as it is, without wishing for the future to happen now."  When you're a little kid you can't wait for time to pass, so you can hurry up and be a grownup. Nothing ever seems to happen fast enough when you're a child. But the minute you start to get older, things begin happening too fast. You start to count your minutes.

Evening thoughts:

Toby will be up in a minute, so I've put on some "presentable" clothes. I'll write more tomorrow, if I can.

One year from right now I'll probably be reading all this - probably tooted up - and I'll have a whole bunch of the answers that I don't have now.

 


 

Friday 6:30 p.m.
September 14, 1979

Damn it - another swelteringly hot day today, somewhere in the 80's - and the apartment is like a furnace. I'm sitting on the floor in the hallway, next to the electric fan, sipping an ice water in an effort to cool off. My cold is worse today, and I felt horrible at work, but I'm starting to come around a little now. I almost wish we could go out and party a little bit, but I guess I don't have the energy it would take to dress and fix my hair and repair my face and the whole business.

Scott told me today that we may not leave for Portland until November.

9:15

Scott went to 7-11 to get some beer and pop ... I just changed into my robe. Randy and Sue were here for about an hour and a half ... I was beginning to think they'd NEVER leave. I hate feeling so cranky and unsociable on a warm Friday evening, but my bod is shot.

One last thought: it only tonight dawned on me exactly how difficult it will be, telling Grandma and Grandpa that we're moving.

 


 

 

Saturday 6:30 p.m.
September 15, 1979

Very upset ... perhaps irrationally, but I don't seem to have much control of my moods anymore.

Scott left the apartment at four this afternoon to spend some time with his mother, promising that he'd be back in a couple of hours. Now he just called from Bruce's house, where there's some kind of big party going on. I just lost control. I couldn't believe it. Lately this has been happening so damned often, it's unreal - he'll say that he's going one place and that he'll be back at a certain time, and then he'll call me hours later from someplace completely different, with no idea when he'll be home. Anyway. I ended up hanging the phone up in his ear after screaming at him, shrewlike, for five minutes. Now I wonder if he'll even bother coming home at all.

Partially I'm angry because I spent a lot of time this afternoon fixing my hair and putting on makeup, hoping that he and I could go out and do something ... but he sounded as though he was having a fine time without me  ...

 


 

Tuesday lunch
September 18, 1979

Lunch hour.  Standing in the kitchen with half a glass of beer in one hand, dying for a cigarette, waiting for Melinda Z. to call from New Jersey. Buzzing from a couple of very nice beans, a gift from Randy. Kind of down today. I don't know if it's just my paranoia working overtime or what, but I have this feeling that something is "up" around the office. Just from what I've gleaned from passing conversations & whatnot, it sounds like Howard is hiring a new typist - at least, he's scouting around for one - and it makes me wonder if my job is on the line. I've screwed up in a BIG way a few times lately, and Howard always assures me that he wants to keep me in the company but that I need to improve in some areas ... so I figured I was "safe," provided I watch my step and not miss any more time at work. Now I don't know. First there was the girl who came in to apply yesterday, and Howard showing an unusual amount of interest in her ... and then today, the lady from the Employment Agency calling about "an available typist." Hmmm.

Some of the people in the office are acting a little funny around me, too ... Max and Patti, in particular. Do they know something I don't?

Oh geez, it's probably all my imagination, and I'm being ridiculous to dwell on it like this. I'm going to have to quit sometime this fall ANYWAY, when we move to Oregon, so I don't suppose it would be too great a tragedy if Howard did let me go. I just don't want to be fired. I'm going to need good references and a solid resume when I start job-hunting in Portland, and being fired from Ridgway wouldn't help much.

Brief recap of the weekend, incidentally. Scott came home at 8:00 Saturday night, full of apologies, and we had a nice relaxing evening in bed, watching TV and getting high. We both fell asleep before 11:00, I think! We really screwed up on Sunday, though. We left the apartment early in the afternoon with half a g., ostensibly to drive downtown and see the movie "Dracula." Before the movie, we stopped at a couple of nice waterfront bars, and to make a long (and familiar) story short, we got drunk, struck up a conversation with some Canadian guy named Brad, and the three of us ended up drinking and carousing until 2 in the morning. Needless to say I felt like SHIT all day at work yesterday, but it serves us right for getting crazy on a work night. You'd think we'd learn, wouldn't you?

Guess it's time to hop in my car and head back to work. Freda is watching the switchboard today and she has a 1:00 lunch date. I'm going to make an effort to stop feeling so downcast this afternoon ... chances are, I'm just imagining the problems at work. If I spend all my time catering to my fears, I'm never going to get anywhere.

 


 

Wednesday lunch
September 19, 1979

Same situation as yesterday ... sitting in the kitchen during my lunch hour. My fears yesterday were groundless. The Employment Agency called Howard again this morning, and he told them that there definitely aren't any openings. WHEW!!

Cloudy day. Busy typing a zillion-page job summary for Dave Cromar, making myself a wish list. Scott has the flu - I'm going to make him something nice for dinner tonight. Maybe my "famous" pork chop and potato casserole thing.

 


 

Thursday
September 20, 1979

Evening. Scott is out to dinner with a customer, and I am home alone again. He had originally planned to take me to dinner with them, so naturally I was very hurt and disappointed when he called me at work and told me the plans had changed. He says he'll be home by 9:00, but I know how THAT goes ...

The apartment is neat, dim and soothing. I'm going to take a shower, smoke a bowl and slide into bed.

 


 

Friday lunch
9/21/79

He didn't come home until 1 a.m. No surprise, really. Sent me flowers at work today to apologize.

 


 

Monday evening
September 24, 1979

Sitting in bed, watching "The White Shadow" on TV, trying to compose a letter to Susan in Pensacola, feeling nice after an unexpected toot. This day wasn't half-bad. I had a slew of posting to do at work, so I was busy all day & the time passed quickly. Scott was a little bit late coming home, but he brought some KFC home with him for dinner, and we're now settling down for an evening of television and reading, as soon as Randy and Ted leave.

Hot and sweaty. Terri V. needs a shower, fast.

Weekend recap: Friday night we had dinner at Vince's, then came home for a quiet evening in bed. Saturday was lazy, Saturday night we hung out at The Towne Crier until closing. Spent all day Sunday in bed, literally!  Recovering!

 


 

Wednesday lunch
September 26, 1979

Well, this was going to be Day One of my new diet, but Scott came home at lunch bearing hamburgers and all my resolve went flying out the door. (He also brought me the new Tim Curry album, "Fearless," and a couple of toots.) Having a busy day. So down in the dumps about my weight - 141 lbs., if you can believe that, and I'm only 5'5". None of my clothes fit anymore, and I feel like twenty pounds of potatoes squeezed into a five pound bag. When I moved in with Scott I weighed 118 ... sigh. I've certainly "blossomed," haven't I? Like a watermelon.

My biggest problem, aside from my unswerving devotion to food in its most fattening forms, is my impatience. I want to be thin NOW. I want to be on a diet for one day and then walk into the office the next morning and have everyone say, "My God, you've lost so much weight!!"  I can't stand the idea that it'll take me weeks, probably months, to start looking thin enough that people will notice.

7:45 p.m.

Scott and (his brother) Randy are arguing in the kitchen ... I have retreated to the sanctity of the bedroom. No TV, no radio ... just quiet. (The shower is dripping.) Still depressed about how much I weigh. Am I ever going to weigh 118 again?? Scott bought a bunch of groceries tonight, mostly diet-oriented stuff like low-calorie canned fruit, skim milk, imitation mayo and margarine, D-Zerta Jello, etc. All the bland, textureless, flavorless things I hate. Last summer I dropped 15 pounds in less than a month by taking Benzedrine, drinking coffee and not eating food  ... but even that wasn't easy. I guess no way is easy, but the worst and most difficult way of all is eating this artificial, boring low-calorie crap. It takes all the pleasure out of food, and makes dieting seem like drudgery. No wonder people cheat. No wonder I'LL probably end up cheating.

In the face of all the problems in the world, I guess that my extra twenty pounds really don't amount to a hill of beans. Maybe a hill of french fries, though.

 


 

Friday 5:40 p.m.
September 28, 1979

Friday ... thank God. September has zipped by amazingly quickly - Monday will be October 1st already! - but this week was a slow one. Sometimes I wonder why I'm so worried about leaving Ridgway Packaging. It's not THAT great a place to work. The consensus among the men in the office is that I'm all boobs and no brains. I'm patronized, underpaid, overworked or underworked at different times, and regarded as low person on the totem pole. ("In case of fire, Terri will remain at the switchboard.") When the girls go out to lunch together, I'm not invited to join them. I'm the butt of dirty jokes among the sales guys, I'm only making $600 a month - LESS than I made at Lusk Metals! - and I have the worst parking spot.

7:30 p.m.

Restless. Prowling the apartment like something caged ... waiting for Scott to get back from another of his interminable "runs."

8:30 p.m.

Buzzing like crazy, waiting for people to come over (Bruce, Randy and Candy, Randy W. and his new girlfriend Heidi ... ad nauseum ...)

 


 

Tuesday night
October 2, 1979

Horribly depressed today. I've got the flu for the second time in less than a month, and that combined with a lot of other petty irritations has left me with a gigantic case of the cruds. I hope it passes soon; there's nothing worse than feeling low when your roommate is feeling on top of the world. Talk about conflict.

I got a letter from Dick today -- he's in jail in Shelton -- and it's been bothering me for hours, because I don't believe he really wrote it. It's not his handwriting, or at least not the way I remember his handwriting looking. Even more, it's not his style. It sounds forced, artificial and slick ... not the Dick I know at all. He even refers to me as his "little sister," which is pretty odd when you consider the fact that I'm fourteen months OLDER than he is. I don't know what to think ... or how to reply.

And speaking of brothers: Randy left this weekend with his friend Ted, for "parts unknown." Might be awhile before we see him again.

 


 

Saturday 11:30 p.m.
October 6, 1979

Just a quick word. Went to dinner with Ken and Phil and their wives tonight, at The Saratoga Trunk (they are customers of Scott's). I was a good ten to fifteen years younger than most of the people at our table, so I had practically nothing in common with anybody. I felt like such a little kid. Every single person there was a parent, so when the conversation turned to kids, I had nothing to offer. I just sat there and smiled cutely through most of the evening, feeling like "Scott's little girlfriend" ... kind of a degrading feeling.

Tomorrow is Dad's 45th (?) birthday. Scott and I are going to Grandma and Grandpa's house in the morning to see him. First time I've seen Dad since December!

Scott and I left the restaurant at 10:30, picked up a six-pack at 7-11 and came home with half a gram ... now we're sitting in bed watching "Saturday Night Live," Maureen Stapleton hosting. Cozy, relaxed, happy, in love.

 


 

Monday night
October 8, 1979

Briefly - don't really feel like writing. Foggy October night, fire in the fireplace, worrying about Randy - he and Ted are in trouble in Reno.

 


 

Tuesday night
October 9, 1979

Almost 1:00 in the morning; David Letterman is hosting The Tonight Show for the second night in a row; I'm sitting naked in bed with a towel wrapped around my head, Scott is sitting beside me, sucking on a pipe and reading the front page of today's Seattle Times. I'm wound up tighter than a watch spring. I spent most of this evening tooting up and sitting in front of the typewriter, pecking out letters. At 12:30 a.m. I was feeding the cat, putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher and calling Jerry at his dorm. I can't seem to slow down. God only knows how I'm going to slow down enough to fall asleep and get up at 7:30 a.m. for work. EEEK. (Visions of calling Howard in the morning with some far-fetched story about how I won't make it to the office until ... oh ... 10:00 or so. Give or take an hour.)

Hmm. Scott just looked up from his paper and asked me, "Did we fuck up again?"

"Not seriously," I said. Actually, it's too early to tell. Right now I feel terrific, and it's a damned shame ... it's far, far too late AND it's a work night, but I feel marvelous and just want to go on & on, all night. What a waste of a great mood. Morning is when you can tell if you fucked up or not, unfortunately ... and I have a feeling that when the great mood is gone, there's gonna be TROUBLE ...


 


 

Wednesday 7:16 p.m.
October 10, 1979

I ended up getting approximately one hour of sleep last night ... buzzing HORRIBLY until dawn. Even so, I crawled into the office on time and managed to maintain a semi-human mood until I left at 3:00 (said I had a "fever").

 


 

Thursday 7:30 p.m.
October 11, 1979

Very briefly. Scott and I are celebrating one year together tonight ... with champagne, flowers, toots, dinner, music, conversation, candlelight, incense, a blazing fire. It is a crisp, foggy October night, and I love this man, wholly and completely and forever. Sometimes life is magic, isn't it? Every once in a while a dream does come true, doesn't it? Scott is my dream ... our love is my reality. I pray that it will always be so.

Tonight I am as happy - and as fulfilled - as I could ever hope to be.


 


 

Saturday morning
October 13, 1979

Now it's Saturday morning. I've just finished showering and dressing, and am now having my first cup of coffee and cigarette here in the living room. Scott left yesterday for a weekend-long sales seminar in Bellingham, so once again I'm home alone ... this time for three days and two nights. I stayed home from work yesterday, mainly because I was burned out from our big "anniversary celebration" the night before. Scott packed and left about 1:00 yesterday afternoon, and after he was gone I just layed in bed like a lump, eating, dozing, watching TV, reading. This morning I woke up at 11:30 and probably could have given in to more of the same, but in a rare burst of energy I decided not to waste a day. I showered, shampooed, swallowed a Molly and made a cup of coffee, and now I'm preparing to roll up my sleeves and clean this filthy apartment. (No exaggeration - this place is in the worst shape it's EVER been in. I almost wish Scott could see it, just for the shock value.) I easily have two hours' worth of cleaning ahead of me. After that, when my hair is dry, I'll probably have to drive to the store and pick up some groceries, since I pretty much ate everything yesterday!

We have a houseguest, by the way ... a little orange & white kitten that I've nicknamed "Otto."  Later I changed her name to "Molly," in honor of my favorite amphetamine.  I thought it was the height of cleverness to name our pets after drugs.  I eventually hope to find her owners, but until Scott comes home it's pleasant having two cats around the apartment again.

 


 

Monday lunch
October 15, 1979

Well, back to the old grind again after a nice, impromptu four day holiday ... I've been incredibly busy all morning trying to catch up on paperwork, and there's still a stack of projects on my desk ten miles high. Feels kinda nice to be back, though. This weekend with Scott in Bellingham was nice for the peace and quiet, but I got bored and lonely and it feels good to be surrounded by other human beings again.

Rhonda came by for awhile on Saturday night but left before 10:00, which was just as well since there was an uneasy tension between the two of us. She brought me news of the "old gang," though -- said that John and Karen are married now and have a baby son -- also said that she ran into Scott S. and Jerry W. at Music Mart in Burien, but that they very pointedly ignored her. (No surprise, considering.)

Scott got home last night at 10:30, a little drunk and a lot apologetic (he originally had promised to be home "early in the afternoon"). I made egg sandwiches for a late supper, and then we sat in bed and talked a little and made love before falling asleep. Late or no, it's nice to have him back. I expect that tonight should be relaxed and easy.

The orange kitten is still with us, and in spite of myself I've grown really attached to her. No one has called to claim her yet, and by now I hope they won't because I want to keep her! She's very sweet tempered, and she and Toot are getting along famously. Even Scott has started to accept her as part of our little family.

 


 

Tuesday night 9:45 p.m.
October 16, 1979

Standing in the kitchen, wearing a hot sweater, talking to Scott, buzzing wildly. Good toot.

1:00 in the morning. I honestly didn't mean to stay up this late, particularly since I have my Third Quarter Objectives conference with Howard first thing in the morning, but I accidentally got caught up in writing my Objectives outline (15 pages!!), plus a letter to Georgia Rodriguez in Illinois and Bonita Stognief in PA - and the time just flew past me before I knew it. Now I'm awake, mainly because I'm worried about Scott. He left almost two hours ago to visit RT for a minute, and he isn't home yet. 1:00 in the morning on a work night?!?! Where in the world could he be, my God? I've tried calling RT's, and Steve's, and Bruce's, and I don't get an answer anyplace. I can't help but worry. I know damned well that he's somewhere tooted up to the max, and that he probably went out to get a couple of drinks to take the edge off, probably with RT, and he'll come through the door any second with tequila on his breath, apologizing like mad ...

All day long I've had this queer, uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's nothing I can explain -- just a "still" feeling, as though I'm perched right on the edge of disaster, and any minute someone's going to push me off and over and down. Something awful is about to happen, I just know it. Scott's been busted, or Randy's been caught, or Grandma has had another heart attack. I hope I'm wrong, but until Scott comes home all I can do is stand here by the phone losing sleep, doing little tiny toots that will make it impossible to sleep later, and worry. Might as well call RT's house again.

2:30 a.m.

Trying to sleep, but now it's totally impossible. Scott called from R's, and my worry was justified -- two cops walked into RT's tonight while they were playing poker, and they confiscated a large qty. of illegal stuff -- without any arrests, though. Now Scott is cornered in RT's house, though, because one of the same cops is parked quietly, a block or two away ... waiting. I can't remember ever being so scared. My heart is positively frozen with fear. Lord Jesus, full of grace ...

 


 

Thursday night
October 18, 1979

Two nights later, and time again to make some comments on the state of my life.

Everything is fine, first of all. The other night turned out to be nothing more than a case of hyper-buzz and wild exaggeration. The police did come to R's door, but it was merely for a routine check on his brother Steve, who is on probation or something. There were no drugs in sight, no confiscation, no arrests. The policeman parked at the Post Office a block or two away could have been there for any reason. Scott was wildly buzzed and high when he called me at 2:30 a.m. (he'd been freebasing, I found out later) and he exaggerated everything. I ended up getting about an hour of sleep altogether, and he came home at 7:30 a.m., just as I was crawling out of bed to get ready for work. He didn't go to work at all, but I'd missed 2-1/2 days from work already just last week and couldn't afford to miss any more. I made it through the day, but just barely. Most of the time I sat at my desk in a semi-comatose state, trying to function. Today was much better.

(We have a) new Plant Superintendent at Ridgway ... Bill Pechin, gradually phasing out Dick F. (who is dying of cancer). Power failure at 2:30 -- lights, phones, machines, everything was out for nearly 15 minutes, creating a lot of panic and confusion and totally destroying a press run in progress at the time.

11:30 p.m.

You're not going to believe this, Journal -- hell, I don't even believe it -- but we're fucking doing it again. We had just managed to get our bodies back to normal, more or less (after screwing up on Tuesday night), and now here we are again already, with more of the same ... Scott is out in the kitchen drinking beer and doing toots with a couple of guys (Mike I knew, don't recognize the other) ... a "Traffic" album playing too loud on the stereo ... and here I am in the bedroom, sitting cross-legged on the waterbed, dabbing my runny nose with a wadded Kleenex and listening to Johnny Carson's monologue. I'm all tooted up and I feel terrific, and I know that I'm not going to fall asleep until 5:30 a.m. and then go to work on two hours of sleep, feeling like shit. Hmmm. Why does this keep happening, anyway? And why so often on WEEKNIGHTS, when eight long hours of work loom directly ahead? Some weird form of self-destruction ... ?

I usually feel just terrific when I'm on this kind of high, and the first thing I do is either sit down in front of a typewriter or pick up a pen & notebook ... cocaine makes me want to write!  ANYTHING!  Letters, journal entries, lists, memos, anything. It makes Scott want to talk - "babbling madly" is what we call it -- but it gives me this tremendous urge to put my thoughts down on paper. The only trouble is that the stuff I write when I'm all coked up is usually garbage!!  Which makes it all seem kinda pointless and sad, doesn't it?

12:30 a.m.

So buzzed I hurt. Sleep is something I used to do in a former life ... my body is completely incapable of it now. I am seriously considering hurling myself down the staircase at Ridgway in the morning, so I can harmlessly break a bone or two and come home early and sleep. Desperation can make a person a little insane.

 


 

Friday lunch
October 19, 1979

Feeling burned-out, run-down and depressed. I asked Scott to leave me a couple of toots for my lunch hour - I left him a note this morning - and not only didn't he leave me any, he didn't even leave a note explaining why. I swear to God, I don't know how I'm going to get through the next four hours. I feel horrible. I finally fell asleep on the living room sofa at 3:30 a.m. ... Scott's snoring drove me out of our bed. I got to work an hour late, but at least I made it.

7:30 p.m.

Well, I managed to get through this day and stay in one piece ... barely. But I couldn't get much in the way of actual work done, and by 5 p.m. my whole body was trembling frantically. I'm so relieved that it's Friday night, I could cry. Max covered the phones for me so I could slip out fifteen minutes early.

 


 

Wednesday night
October 24, 1979

Several days later. The weekend was very nice. Friday night, in spite of the fact that I was terminally burned out when I came home from work, Scott and I ended up sitting in bed with toots and beers until 3 in the morning. Scott went down and picked up his kids Saturday morning, and they stayed with us for most of the weekend. Brittany's birthday was on the 18th, so this was our way of celebrating, belatedly. It's the first time we've had the kids since ... when? Sometime last spring? So it was a little strange, all over again. I can't believe how much they've changed since the last time we had them.

Me with "Brittany" at Idyllwood Park
1979


 

November 6, 1979
Tuesday night

Almost two weeks later. Life is still placid, calm and unchanging. We celebrated Scott's 27th birthday on Friday night, October 26 ... he came home from his Spokane trip that evening around 9:30 or so, and after he opened his presents (I bought him an Eric Clapton album, "Slowhand," and two nice sweaters, one beige and one dark blue velour)

(interrupted)

Very late this night. After work tonight I went out for a beer with John Rea and Dave Smith from the office -- then Scott and I went out to a couple of bars.

 


 

Sunday evening
November 11, 1979 9:39 p.m.

Forcing myself to write, even though I don't really feel like it. I'm growing lax again about this. Earlier this evening -- about 5:30 or so -- I had a nice buzz from some good toot, and I had this TREMENDOUS urge to pick up a pen and write ... but unfortunately I ended up drinking a few beers (first at Denny's with Bruce and Scott, then later here at home when Randy and Candi  stopped by), and now I just feel burned out and incapable of expressing myself. What a shame.

 


 

Saturday night
November 17, 1979

Once again forcing the old fingers to pick up a pen and write, even though I'm not in the mood. Good toot again, but not the kind that makes writing come naturally ... more of a pure buzz.  Plus a few beers.

Mindy and Brittany are sitting on the kitchen counter beside me, nightgowned and chattering, eating macaroni and cheese. Scott drove down to Auburn and picked them up this morning while I slept (until almost 1 p.m.!!), so it's another weekend of non-stop noise and toys spread all over the living room floor.

Life goes on. I've been happy this past month, in a pleasant, routine sort of way. Autumn has made the area breathtakingly beautiful this year.

 


 

November 27, 1979
Tuesday night

Briefly, as I just finished my last toot and burn-out should ensue shortly ...

It's winter now, and I scrape the ice off my car in the mornings. No snow yet, but I'm watching the sky and waiting. Thanksgiving last week was pleasant; Scott and I and his mother drove down to my mom's for a turkey dinner + all the trimmings. First time I can remember ever having Thanksgiving with that side of the family!  Mom and Ken, Debby (sporting a new "frizz"), a retired and gray-haired Gram St. John, Uncle Jerry, Aunt Jody, and a talking, two year old Kelli Ann. Scott was properly charming and funny; Scott's mom Fran fit right in and spent of the time in the kitchen, chatting with Gram. We drank a lot of beer, ate far too much, and had a generally good family holiday.



Thanksgiving 1979
Oh my god look at my grandmother giving him the stink eye!
At the time I thought my family was as charmed by the BASG as *I* was.

Randy is in jail in Reno for armed robbery, and probably won't be released for 18 months. We got a letter from him today, and Scott is understandably depressed. He's made arrangements to fly down and visit Randy this weekend - his Dad is also going to fly in from Erie and meet him there. That means, of course, that I'll be alone again this weekend, but in the face of everything that's happened, I would look like a real heel if I complained. Might as well be brave about it  ...  stock up on frozen pizza, beer, magazines and typewriter ribbons, and enjoy my solitude. We have our annual Ridgway inventory on Saturday, which I'm somewhat less than thrilled about, but at least part of my weekend will see me busy doing SOMETHING.

 


 

Friday night
November 30, 1979

Scott is in Reno now, and I'm home alone on a freezing Friday evening ... the last of November. Tomorrow is December. I just took a hot shower, washed my hair, put gooey junk all over my face and did my nails, and now I'm snuggled under the comforter, munching potato chips and watching TV. Alone, but not lonely. Quietly happy. Scott called a couple hours ago from his hotel room in Nevada - his dad is there too - and they're both already full of tequila. I miss the companionship of having him beside me in our bed, but once in a while it feels selfishly nice to be alone ... free to throw my clothes on the floor and let the dishes pile up in the sink and leave the closet doors open if I feel like it. When I came home from work tonight the apartment was immaculate, just the way Scott likes it; four hours later, I've turned the place upside down. I love it. I can have the heat on, in the WHOLE APARTMENT, all day and all night long. I can wear my frumpy old flannel pajamas. I can leave my dirty glasses and dishes on the headboard for two days. I can leave the stereo on in the living room when I go to inventory tomorrow morning, so that music is playing when I come home. I can go to bed with four layers of moisturizer on my face. I can sleep two nights straight through, without being awakened by snoring ...

 


 

December 1, 1979
Saturday evening

Early.

Sitting in bed again, following pretty much the same program as last night ... leafing through magazines, waiting for my makeshift dinner to heat up, doing an occasional crossword puzzle, watching TV, talking to Toot (who is doing his Ray Charles impersonation here on the bed beside me) and thinking about Scott. Lazy day, for the most part. I had to get up at 6:30 a.m. for inventory at Ridgway, but the actual physical count was over by 10:30. It was even fun, actually ... lots of good-natured kidding around and camaraderie. I spent the rest of the day watching the rain & writing letters.

 


 

December 11, 1979
Tuesday night 8 p.m.

Briefly. Had some nice toots, which prompted me to finish writing out my Christmas cards, but it's gone now and I want to shower and smoke some pot shortly, before the inevitable burn-out ensues. Thinking. Alone. Scott is out to dinner in Seattle with an Important Customer tonight. I'm beginning to come down with another sore throat and cold, and I feel a little punky this evening, but I'm in fairly good spirits overall. The Christmas season has descended in full force ... I woke up to the first snow of the season yesterday morning, and even though it melted almost immediately, it's cold enough to do it again. Last Friday night was our Christmas party for Ridgway employees, and today Pam and Max decorated the tree in the reception area. I've finished addressing all of my cards, but I haven't even begun my shopping yet.

 


 

12/20/79
Thurs. night

Sitting in bed next to Scott, momentarily buoyed by a fine toot, feeling satisfied with life in general. I stayed home from work today -- called Howard at 8:30 this morning and told him that I had the "stomach flu" (when in fact I was merely terminally hungover after a late night of carousing with Scott and Bruce). I didn't just sit around on my duff all day, though ... I took myself out for an omelet breakfast at Cindy's, then braved the Bellevue crowds and did a huge chunk of my Christmas shopping. I haven't bought anything for Scott yet, and there remain a few odd things for other people that I need to pick up this weekend, but I got a satisfying amount of it done today and that pleases me.

My 22nd birthday last weekend was low-key but pleasant. I was down with the flu and spent most of the day in bed, but it had snowed the night before - a lovely surprise - and Scott served me breakfast in bed and waited on me throughout the day, so I felt properly pampered. He gave me several new albums, a Scrabble game and a Blues Brothers poster. We went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, The Butcher, but made an early evening of it and came home with a bottle of champagne by 9:30. The next day we put up the tree and decorated the apartment.

Scott is now in the kitchen talking to Bruce, who stopped by bearing gifts.

 


 

Friday 2:30 p.m.
December 21, 1979

The next day. Right now Ridgway's Christmas party is in full swing downstairs in the plant; my assigned hour to watch the telephone switchboard is 4:00-5:00 this afternoon, and since I had time to kill I just hopped into my car and came home for awhile. I spent about an hour at the party, drinking Scotch and talking to people, but I'm not feeling especially socially inclined today and decided I'd rather pick up a six-pack at 7-11 and get a little lubed here at home, before I drive back to the office for my phone shift. Across the room, the Christmas tree is shimmering and glowing; outside, it's raining like crazy. I feel very good right now ... a little high, a lot happy. Playing my favorite records on the stereo, sipping a beer, feeling relaxed.

 


 

December 26, 1979

Don't feel much like writing, so this will be brief and illegible. The day after Christmas ... always a downer of a day. Work today was hectic and tense ... piles of paperwork, and everyone in the office was grumpier than usual. Post-Christmas blahs, I suppose. I have the same problem so I can't fault anyone.

Scott gave me a tape deck for my car for Christmas, and since he's on vacation this week, he took my car today & had it installed for me. I'm TOTALLY thrilled with it, and it was definitely the high point of my day. After work we went and had a drink at Presti's, went and "visited" Chris, then came home to host a parade of people knocking on our door ... Vince ... Rick & Scott ... now Ray, standing in the kitchen behind me, talking to Scott.

 


 

January 5, 1980
Saturday night 7:15 p.m.

My first journal entry of the new decade, and it will be just as brief and sketchy as any other. Full of thought and things that deserve mention, but I'm too distracted to write as much as I would like ... there are a million people coming and going out of our apartment tonight (Bruce ... Ray and some buddy of his named Buck ... Tony - later? ... Bruce and Robin G.?) I stand here in the kitchen in the midst of it all (Ray is shouting obscenities over the phone), trying to ignore it, but enjoying the activity, enjoying being surrounded by people we know. A month from now we'll be in Portland, totally removed from anything in the way of a friendly/familiar face. Better appreciate it while I can, huh?

Scott and I returned late this afternoon from a five-day house-hunting expedition to Portland. We left early on Monday afternoon, the 31st, spent New Years Eve & four consecutive nights thereafter at the Greenwood Inn in Beaverton, and just returned an hour or so ago. (I haven't even unpacked my suitcase yet!) We spent three days driving around with a real estate agent, Shirley Johnson, looking at a bunch of different houses in the Beaverton/Hillsboro area. Scott made offers on a couple of different houses, but was turned down each time. Needless to say, we were quite disheartened and depressed about it, but yesterday Scott submitted an offer for a gorgeous four bedroom condominium in a complex called Tanasbrook.

More tomorrow - interrupted.

 


 

Sunday 7:30 p.m.
January 6, 1980

BURNED OUT.

 


 

A week later, 9:13 p.m
January 13, 1980

As before in my life, there are many things that I feel compelled to record in my journal right now, but not enough discipline to sit down & commit myself to a good scribble. I've had a couple of exceptionally effective toots and am all out of people to write letters to, so I thought I'd try to outrun the buzz and get some things written before I start to fade.

Scott is in the living room, deep in conversation with his friend Phil. I look rock-bottom horrible, so I'm hibernating here in the bedroom (where I've spent most of this weekend). Some terrible movie on TV, "The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders II" or something - just on for background noise. I'm sitting on our rumpled and soggy bed with Toot, surrounded by Sunday papers and letter-writing paraphernalia. The toot is terrific and I'll probably be up insanely late, but I've literally been on this bed for two days and I'm definitely not hurting for sleep.

Our move to Oregon is now less than three weeks away, and it seems as though everything is starting to happen at once. Although the initial panic I felt at the beginning of this journal has been largely replaced by acceptance, and even anticipation, I still see myself trying to make these final "Redmond days" stand still.

It snowed almost every day this past week ... almost ten inches between Monday and Thursday. That was really magic.

On Friday I turned in my notice at Ridgway Packaging. It was just as tough as I knew it would be, but at least the hardest part is over with. Actually, that's not true. Resigning was hard, but harder still will be breaking the news to Grandma and Grandpa V. I did finally tell Dad, about a week ago, and he's offered to be the one to tell them. Coward that I am, I may take him up on it. Dad was surprisingly supportive and positive about the move when I told him. I think that I underestimate my father sometimes.

At any rate, the news is out at work. I padded the story a little and told Howard that Scott & I are getting married. Howard is a deacon in his Mormon church and has the kind of moral, Walter Cronkite face that you don't talk to about adultery. But he was also more supportive and encouraging than I would have expected. My last day at Ridgway will be Thurs. January 31st, and then we'll move that weekend.

About our new home. We didn't get the deluxe (four bedroom) condo at Tanasbrook that Scott made an offer on ... we found out he'd been turned down on Friday, and needless to say Scott was depressed and angry, and I was disappointed, because it was such a beautiful place & I'd already started making decorating plans & all that.  Dropped on our heads again. Fortunately we had a fall-back position, and as far as I know this one is definite. It's another unit at Tanasbrook, smaller and less expensive. It's not as architecturally impressive as the other one, but it's still nicer than our present apartment & I believe we'll "survive" ... !

One good thing comes of our taking the smaller unit: our finances won't be so tight, so I won't have to go out and get a job immediately. I can take a few weeks off to relax and adjust and get "mentally prepared." Oh boy ... does that sound good ...

We went through this condo with our real estate agent once, and then also went through the other units immediately afterwards, so my impressions of our home-to-be are a little muddled.  Orange carpeting ... somewhat musty smell upstairs that put me off a little ... odd-shaped bathroom upstairs ...

Getting late - 10:13 - but I'm not too worried about it yet. I can't believe how much I've managed to write tonight. Wish I were always this prolific. Most of this journal was written while I was tooted up, now that I think about it ... I'll bet that whoever reads it in the future, if anyone, will consider me some kind of obsessed cocaine junkie, don't you think? Hmmm. I don't think I am, of course. Coke is my favorite drug, admittedly, and I have a good time writing my brains out on it, but I think to believe that I control the drug, rather than the drug controlling me. Obviously, though, I'm not the most objective judge of the situation.

Obviously.

 

I'd desperately like to have one last little "up," but now it's 11:05 and Scott is out in the kitchen with Phil still ... I believe he's forgotten I'm here. Sigh. Maybe if I crash & bang around a little, I'll jar his memory and he'll come, bearing more drugs.

Once we're settled in Oregon and out of reach of our friends with drugs, I imagine you'll see a dramatic decrease in our coke usage. Which will be a good thing, I realize. At the same time, there are other changes I would like to see take place ... part of the "starting-all-over-fresh" process that Scott and I both want so much. I want to find a successful way to lose the 30 lbs. I need to lose. I weigh a disgusting 150 lbs. right now and I hate myself for it. I also want to expand my social life more, and find at least one close female friend ... find a more challenging and better-paying job ... become more financially-oriented, opening a savings account for starters ... and lots of other dreams.

Somehow I have a feeling that the best and most exciting part of my life is right around the corner.


Was I right?

 


 

Monday 7:30 p.m.
January 14, 1980

One small toot -- the only one for tonight -- prompts me to scribble a quick entry for today. Burned out and wrung out all day long at work today, the result of too little sleep last night. Tonight is a "recovery" night.

 


 

Wednesday 9:10 p.m.
January 16, 1980

So buzzed and feeling so awful I can hardly write ... but still I'm doing toots. Some people never learn, right? I've been totally hungover all day today at work - Scott and Bruce and I went out last night and got a little crazy at Hector's, and I paid for it all day long. But with the move to Beaverton drawing so close, I find myself more given to throwing caution to the winds as far as partying & craziness go.

10:10 p.m.

Scott has gone out to the store for cigarettes, and I'm sitting here alone watching "Best of SNL," sipping ice water, buzzing, hoping I don't get sick to my stomach. Hoping I'm not pregnant. I don't think I am, but I was inadvertently erratic about my b.c. pills last month so I'm monitoring everything very closely this month. That would be the absolute LAST thing we'd need.

 


 

Thursday 8:00 p.m.
January 17, 1980

Home alone this evening. Just had a wonderful, half hour talk with my father on the phone ... now sitting, bathrobed, in the living room watching sitcoms, brushing my hair, sipping beer. Scott & Bruce are somewhere in Lynnwood (at last check). With my characteristic intolerance, I was shrewlike and screamed at him over the phone when he called to "check in," and now - also characteristically - I regret my lack of cool. I only hope he comes home tonight at all. I don't understand why I always overreact when he decides to go out and do something without me. While I'm yelling and screaming over the phone at him, I can SEE myself doing it and I hate myself for it. It certainly doesn't do anything positive for our relationship. Scott resents it like hell. I don't blame him. On the one hand, I beg him to call me on nights like this, just to let me know where he is ... and then when he does call, I act so entirely infantile and childish that I can't even believe myself.

Postscript:

I sat alone and drank beer, got moderately high, talked to people on the phone (Dad, Mom, Fran), and was completely back to normal by the time Scott and Bruce walked in, both of them full of tequila and sloppy apologies.


 


 

Saturday afternoon
January 19, 1980

Burned out.

The girls are staying with us this weekend ... Patty dropped them off about half an hour ago, and already there are toys & misc. junk EVERYWHERE. Feeling sweaty, dirty, hungover, buzzed and twitchy. Once again we partied with an apartment full of virtual strangers until 4 a.m. - this time with a neighbor from down the hall, Pete, his girlfriend Lee, and two of their friends visiting from San Diego, Larry and Randy. It was pretty fun, and a few toots right now are helping me feel semi-human, but I'm TIRED underneath it all. We've been running, hard, for a month or so now, practically nonstop, and it begins to catch up with you after awhile.

I'm sitting here on the kitchen counter with my letter-writing crap and a glass of ice water ... wearing the only pair of jeans that fit, a sweater of Scott's, my "rooster" ponytail hairdo and no makeup. (Tony is on his way up.) The girls are swarming around the kitchen, chattering nonstop. They haven't been here long enough to be irritating, but I foresee tension a few hours or so from now ... once the incessant screaming and hubbub become unbearable ...

End of the toot.  Afternoon ... the sun is shining; the pond is frozen over completely. Cool breeze from the open sliding glass door across from me. An old "Twilight Zone" on TV - Roddy McDowall trapped in a house. This journal is almost completed. Five months between the first page and the last. I think that I'll go ahead and begin writing in a new one immediately, rather than waiting until we're in Oregon ... that way I'll be able to chronicle The Big Move, and the settling-in process.

This journal saw me grow a little in at least one way ... I came to accept the move to Oregon as a fact, and even began to anticipate it.

Negatively, I put on far too much weight, and I feel AWFUL about the way I look. None of my clothes fit anymore, and I'm so bloated that Grandma V. actually asked me if I was pregnant. I eat compulsively, without even paying attention to myself. And I drink beer. The combination of the two have made me heavier than I've ever been in my life, and I desperately want to do something about it before I lose all self-esteem. Hopefully that will be one of the changes that Oregon will prompt in me.

Feeling a little queasy. Too much toot on top of a hangover ain't the world's most intelligent combination.

"Alpha" - Vangelis (my new favorite song)

Now Scott has taken Brittany and gone out grocery shopping, leaving Mindy and I alone. Supposedly Ray is on his way over with more toot for Scott, and until he gets here I can only sit and quiver and crave. Junkie.

9:00

Scott is gone again ... he and Bruce are driving down to Kent to make an appearance at Al Greenstone's bachelor party, and that leaves me here alone with Brittany & Mindy ... babysitting!  My nerves are fragile and frazzled. He left me what he called "almost two whole g's," which I am slowly working my way through, but I suspect that it's been heavily stepped on (for placebo purposes?!)  I'm writing two letters, working on a paperwork project and finishing this journal, all at once. (I just switch off to something different every couple of minutes or so ... my attention span is somewhat limited.) The girls just took a bath and got into pajamas, and hopefully will begin to wind down here shortly.

As for me, I'm incredibly buzzed ... which is perhaps a "highly" appropriate way to close this journal.

Bye!

 

 

 

THE LAST OF THE REDMOND DAYS ARE ...

Answering a million questions at Ridgway about the move ... writing to Randy in a Reno jail four or five times a week ... weighing 150 disgusting pounds, and not having anything to wear that fits anymore ... meeting Leslie Wilson at The Somewhere Else ... snow, for four days, and Bruce staying at our place ... a new tape deck in the Chevette ... "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" ... peyote buds ... the new "Star Trek" movie ...

 

THINGS I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO:

My marriage proposal, my wedding, and a happy marriage to someone who knows me inside and out.

Having kids ... a son, a daughter?

Owning my first house jointly with the man I love.

Growing my hair all the way to my waist, losing a bunch of weight and looking terrific at my 10 year high school reunion ... and my 25th!

Publishing my first poem, and then my first novel.

Visiting all the places in Europe that I've always read about.

 

 

FAVORITE SONGS DURING THIS JOURNAL:

"Hey St. Peter" - Flash In The Pan
"Driver's Seat" - Sniff 'N The Tears
"Rolene" - Moon Martin
"Bootleg Woman" - Moon Martin
"Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin" - Journey
"The Shape Of Things To Come" - The Head Boys
"Cool Change" - Little River Band
"You're Only Lonely" - J.D. Souther
"Tusk" - Fleetwood Mac
"Storms" - Fleetwood Mac
"Refugee" - Tom Petty & The "Heartbreaker" - Pat Benatar
"No You Don't" - Pat Benatar
"It's All I Can Do" - The Cars
"Jane" - Jefferson Starship
"Confusion" - ELO
"Roxanne" - The Police
"Alpha" - Vangelis









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