JOURNAL NO. 27
January 1980 - February 1980
Age 22

"Will I be reading this sad little notebook sometime in the future and smiling, because I know that everything turned out OK eventually?"









 

Saturday night 9:20 p.m.
January 19, 1980

Continued from last journal.

(Scott's) kids are still up, but they're playing quietly on the floor behind me so I'm just ignoring them. I am just fried. Sitting on the sofa, cautiously sipping a beer, half-watching "Love Boat," unable to concentrate on anything longer than a minute or two. Scott swore up & down, right & left that he'll be home by 10 p.m., but the signs all point the other way ... he left the apartment with tequila, drugs and Bruce. I'll be lucky if I even see him before morning. Sigh.

How do I feel tonight? Physically, right at the bottom of the heap ... tired but artificially buzzed, shaky, foggy, flushed, nervous. The toot that Scott left me is either really crappy or else I'm developing a tolerance. I've wailed through a good half of it & haven't really gotten what I wanted out of it.  Shucks.

Just put the kids to bed - amazingly, they went willingly and without complaints. (I expected at least 30 minutes' worth of tantrum.)

Aside from feeling horrible physically, underneath it all I'm in a fairly tolerable mood. No real "big" problems at the moment ... a few minor concerns, but nothing that requires stewing. (Those minor concerns include my weight; breaking the news to Grandma & Grandpa about moving to Oregon; my reluctance to leave Redmond, especially this apartment with all its memories; my job at Ridgway; our friends; job-hunting in a strange city. Etc. Nothing all THAT serious, really.) The most difficult parts of moving, for the most part, are over - giving my notice at work and telling my family about it. With the exception of Grandma & Grandpa.

In the next week or so we begin the process of packing all of our belongings into cardboard boxes and preparing for the actual move itself. That's still a fairly familiar experience for me ... five moves in eight years, or something like that?

Looking around this apartment ... trying to "memorize" it. What a place of love, transition and change this apartment has been. I already know that for the rest of my life, I'm going to look back on these 15 months in this apartment as one of the happiest & most important periods of my life. I grasp at these last days and try to make them stand still ... trying to commit everything about this place, my office at work, the streets and the neighborhoods to memory, so I can take it all with me.

How do I feel about Scott tonight? Well ... I have to admit that I'm a little peeved at him, for suddenly deciding to go to this party & sticking me with his kids and a lot of shitty cocaine ... but I can't really blame him. It's 11 p.m. already and he's not home yet, so I would imagine that he's getting moderately-to-heavily crazy, in spite of the way he felt when he left (just as burned out as I've been all day), and I'm purposely not going to allow myself to get all hot about it. It's not that big a deal.

I do love him, more sincerely and deeply than any man ever before in my life. I'm certain of that. The thing that first made me love him - our ability to talk to each other - is still the most important thing to me. If we ever lost that ability, it would be the beginning of the end ... I have no doubt about that. The ability to communicate is what any good relationship depends on.

The other qualities that I love about this man of mine, in no particular order:

... His scrupulous honesty, where the important things are concerned. His amazing ability to talk to ANYBODY about ANYTHING; the way he knows a little bit about a lot of things. His infectious sociability. His innate intelligence. The conscience that he struggles to disguise. The compassion that he sometimes claims he doesn't feel, but which becomes evident when the people he loves need him most. His amazing tolerance of my indiscretions. His ability to forgive me my faults (usually!) His total lack of bashfulness. His inquisitiveness. His aggression. His neat, tidy, organized way of looking at things. His sense of humor. His ego. His appreciation of my talents, and hi understanding of those things I have no aptitude for. His understanding and absence of judgment toward those things in my past that were not beautiful.

He snores, and he snores LOUD. He drives too fast and too recklessly for my comfort sometimes. He's almost fanatically neat, tidy and clean ... Felix Unger to my Oscar Madison. He nags. He expects me to be more outgoing & sociable, in certain situations, than I am capable of being. He worries too much. He talks about aluminum every chance he gets. In the heat of an argument, he refuses to stay and scream it out the way I would - he leaves. He isn't as tolerant of my strange, sudden shifts in mood as I wish he could be. He refuses to show any jealousy, outwardly at least.

But who am I to number his faults? Or to point a finger at what's "good" about him and what's "bad"? He is what he is. I've made some changes in him, and in his lifestyle, but the basic Scott will never change, unless he makes the changes himself. And I'm glad! If he changed, he wouldn't be the Scott I know and love.

 

 


Tuesday morning
January 22, 1980

"The Scott I know & love" left the apartment last night at 7:30 with Bruce (again) and hasn't called or been home since. I'm angered and worried and annoyed beyond measure. Besides that, our stereo and speakers are gone, and I haven't the slightest idea whether Scott took them sometime this morning while I was at work, or if they were stolen .. or what.

And then  --  just like that  --  everything changes.

Lunch:

Oh ........ my god.

Right now I'm about as cool and rational as I could be, and I'm going to attempt to be very calm about this ...

Scott just called from Kirkland to tell me that he isn't taking me to Oregon with him ... that he doesn't love me ... and that it's irrevocably over between us. I am probably feeling the most destroyed, stunned, hurt and terrified of my whole life.

I can't even write about it. Frankly, I'm amazed that I've managed to remain this controlled this long. Right now I'm going to clean up the apartment - I'm not going back to work - but beyond that, I haven't the faintest idea what I'll do with the rest of my day ... or with the rest of my life , for that matter. 

I have never felt so utterly devastated.

 




Wednesday 1:00
January 23, 1980

I am utterly destroyed. 

I can't even function ... I'm just wandering around the apartment in circles, unable to focus on anything. My whole world has just come to a screeching halt, and I'm sick and empty and full of hate for myself.

Scott is coming by at 5:30 to pick up some clean clothes. I want so desperately to be in control while he's here - to be strong and not break down in front of him - but Journal, I ache inside so terribly that I know I'm going to just fall into a million pieces.

 




Thursday morning
January 24, 1980

Leaving for work. Outwardly calm; inwardly haggard and defeated. Not sure if I can bear to spend another night alone in this horrid apartment ... I am so crushingly, unbelievably sad and alone. I don't think I slept at all last night in that big, cold bed.

His visit last night broke my heart. He kissed me and held me and said that he still loves me, "but ..."

I'm trying to be practical and not cling to the one tiny shred of hope he tossed to me like an old bone, but frankly it's the only thing that is keeping me from going completely out of my mind.

Home for lunch:

Surviving, more or less. Everyone at work has been unbelievably kind and supportive this morning, and I have very purposely buried myself in paperwork so I don't begin to think about Scott and break down.

Life is so hard right now, Journal.

I stopped at 7-11 and picked up a few things for the refrigerator. I haven't eaten anything in a couple of days, but that's due more to inertia than self-denial. Pearle came in this morning and cleaned the apartment ... that helps a bit. There is still no joy in my heart, and no life in the apartment that used to be so dear to me. I wonder when it will all begin to come back.  When will I be happy again? Right now optimism is an unreachable goal. This pain in my heart is the most crushingly debilitating thing I've ever experienced in 22 years of ups & downs.   I can't seem to think of one single positive thing in all of this.

Evening

Home. ("Home" ... ?) Funny how it used to be - I couldn't wait for 5:00 to roll around so I could get out of the office and hurry home. Now - today - 5:00 was the worst moment of the whole day. I've talked to Dad, Mr. I., Phil, Bobbi, Leslie and Toby on the phone. I've read magazines. I ate something (yes! I ate!), a piece of bread and peanut butter. Just now I took a shower, and wrapped in the brown velour sweater I gave to Scott for Christmas '78, I am preparing to slip into the sweet oblivion and nothingness of sleep ... at 7:30 p.m. There is nothing for me to do in this apartment but give in to nothingness.

Scott ... where are you right now?

 





Friday lunch
1/25/80

Not much better ... if anything, worse. Overcome by an uncontrollable case of the "weepies" while I was sitting at my desk ... I've still got them. I feel so fucking helpless.

Slept all right last night. I started out on the sofa because I couldn't bear the thought of our bed, but I got up at 1 a.m. and went in there anyway. The sheets still smell like Scott. He left his toothbrush in our shower ... his hairbrush is in the bathroom.

Scott called me once yesterday afternoon, once late last night and once this morning, but each time he was just checking to see if Randy had called yet. Last night I told him that I love him, and all he said was "I know." This morning he sounded hungover and unhappy, and I wonder if he's feeling even a measure of this horrendous pain and suffering that I'm going through.

Jesus Christ, Journal ... I don't know how much longer I can tolerate this before I crack completely. I've managed to put on a very good front for my friends and family, simply out of pride, but inside I am ripped apart. Hollow and bleeding and filled with an ache I've never known before. Everything that was good, and solid, and positive about my life one week ago has been pulled right out from under my feet. I feel: betrayed. And hopeless. And completely without optimism, or goals, or joy. All my joy is dead.

Every once in a while, when the pain leaves me for a minute or two, I start to think about life options, trying to map out a vague strategy as far as my immediate future is concerned. I must survive this, one way or another.

I can't even count the number of well-meaning friends, relatives and co-workers who have tried to comfort me with the old adage about "time healing all wounds." Even Scott had the nerve to say, "Everything must pass." All very well and fine for them. Just pat Terri on the head and pacify her with vague, trite old clichés, and she'll immediately spring back to life, right?  Nothing doing. This is the best they can do for me??  What about gut honesty? How about a few REAL, practical, realistic observations? Suggestions? Comments? Why doesn't someone tell me why the fuck my relationship with Scott has blown up in my face less than a week before our move to Oregon?? Why can't someone tell me how the hell I'm going to find an affordable and BEARABLE place to live? How am I supposed to just "get over" Scott?

"Home" from work 5:30 p.m.

Newly "home" from work ... and the feeling of the moment, Scott-wise, is anger. I am so incredibly, goddamned pissed off at him right now. Over the past couple of hours I've been taking a mental inventory of the things Scott has thoughtlessly and recklessly stripped me of. The interminable sorrow has been replaced, however briefly, by burning anger. It will probably only last until he calls me this evening, or until I wake up in the morning ... but regardless of how temporary the anger is, it's certainly a more energizing emotion than defeat.

Someday, when all of this has passed, I'll probably look back and think about all the wonderful things that I "gained" by being dropped on my heart at this point in my life. Right now, though, when all of life is January 25, 1980, all that matters is the barrage of excruciatingly negative emotions I'm feeling RIGHT NOW.

These things, among others, are those which I believed were "mine" one short week ago:

1. A loving, honest, two-way relationship that had been the rock of all my security the past year and a half. The man I loved. The friend I valued most. Someone to scratch my back, tell my secrets to, make popcorn with, write poems for, take showers with. Someone to share the best of times with. Someone to depend on in the worse of times. My soul-mate, my confidante. The dearest and most important person in my life.

2. A future, lovingly planned for and anticipated, in Oregon.

3. A nice home. This Redmond apartment is "mine" for a few days more ... than I have to find any dumpy little hole-in-the-wall that my pitiful salary will afford me.

4. My beloved cat. I can't keep him. He'll only be a handicap when I try to find a new apartment. Toot has been a part of my little "family" and I love him very much. Now I am forced to give him up.

5. A host of friends and acquaintances who have known us as "Scott and Terri." No longer part of the magic couple, I am too proud and ashamed and sad to reach out to any of them.

6. A huge measure of self-esteem. What is so wrong with me that a man who ASKED me to share his life with him would suddenly change his mind with barely a backward glance?? Right now I despise myself.

7. Any kind of sex life! (He left me the vibrator ... oh boy. But where are the loving arms, the eyes, the words ...?)

8. THE STEREO! I can't even play sad music on the stereo because he fucking took the stereo, too.

8:20 p.m.

I called Bruce's house, hoping to talk to Chris, but Scott answered the phone. We're over, forever. All the brave resolve and bravado I felt an hour ago has evaporated. Now I'm going to die.

 





Saturday morning
1/26/80

The next morning. There is glass all over the kitchen floor, where I smashed our special champagne glasses - the two little ones that I gave him for Christmas '78, to use for private toasts. I think I've also destroyed the sailboat picture beyond repair - I'm not sure how he'll be able to fix it, the way I ripped it apart. Thank God I passed out before I had a chance to destroy anything else. I never went to meet Gerry at the Woodgate Inn, and I never drove down to Dad's for the night, as I promised I would do. Last night was the most horrible night of my life. Scott was cold, abrupt, terse and completely immovable ... it was like talking to a stranger. This morning the sun is shining and the pond is frozen over. I am cold, hungover, sick and totally numb. No tears. No sighs. No real feelings at all ... just frozen solid inside, like the pond.

11:30 a.m. and still immobile. I sit on the sofa and look out the window and chain smoke. I look in the mirror and see a Terri I hardly recognize: I look ten years older. Restless nights, shock, no food, smoking and drinking and crying too much ...

 





Sunday morning
1/27/80

Yesterday afternoon I picked up the apartment a little; folded Scott's clothes, which I had swept to the floor during my violent rage on Friday night; then I showered, washed and set my hair, put on makeup and got dressed. By 6:00 I actually looked like a human being again.

I was hungry - starving, even - and I sat on the sofa watching TV, wondering whether I should take myself out to dinner, or drive to Dad's, or go to 7-11 and pick up some food and beer. In the end, I covered myself with an afghan and feel asleep in front of the TV at 9:00.

I slept a straight 12 hours. Now I've got "Rex Humbard" on the TV; I'm perched on the kitchen counter with a cup of tea and another cigarette. I feel awful. I didn't talk to Scott at all on the phone yesterday, which is just as well. I imagine he probably went to Al & Patty Greenwood's wedding (to which we were both invited), and he probably spent the evening surrounded by our friends, talking and drinking and laughing. I wonder if he ever thinks of me at all. I wonder if he misses me at all. What does he do when he wakes up in the middle of the night and reaches for me and I'm not there? Or does he reach for me at all?

This journal is only one week old, and in that short week everything in my life has been changed without warning. This has been the worst week of my life. I don't even care about waking up in the morning ... if I could, I would just sleep through the next three or four months and hope that when I woke up, it would either be next to Scott or else in a situation a lot less painful and sad as my situation is now.

Don't know what I'm going to do today.

Still morning. Engrossed in reading the journals I wrote when I was 16, during that painful sophomore year in high school when Clarence and I broke up. The parallels between the things I felt that winter & the things I feel now are amazing. I was going through my first genuine heartbreak, and everything looked bleak. All my joy vanished, just as it has now. I vacillated between desperately wanting him back & desperately wanting to find ways to forget him, just as I'm doing now. I didn't eat, I didn't sleep, didn't care much about the way I looked. I looked at every boy I encountered at school or at church as a "possibility" - a way to fill the awful vacuum in my heart. I spent my nights and weekends holed up in the house, watching TV and scribbling morosely in my journal every hour or so.

Sound at all familiar?

Noon

Right now, Journal, you are the only friend I have ... the only "person" I can talk to. Will I be reading this sad little notebook sometime in the future and smiling, because I know that everything turned out OK eventually? Am I ever going to stop loving Scott? Is this pain going to subside, with time? Will I ever be genuinely loved again? Does life end in January 1980, or do I find reasons to laugh and trust and care again ...?

Above all else I feel betrayed. How could I have been so stupid? So damned trusting and naive??

I've taken all the pictures down from the walls and piled them in a corner of the living room. I've dressed and fixed my face and hair, but I know that I'm not going anywhere. There's no place to go.

12:30

Shaking like a leaf. Scott just walked in, to pick up some papers for work. I remained amazingly controlled, but sweet Jesus I want to die right now.

2:15 p.m.

Better, a little. I went to Safeway and bought a few things ... beer and cat food (of course). Also some brown rice, a container of cottage cheese, a can of peas, a bag of kitty litter, a paperback book ("By Myself," Lauren Bacall; sounds appropriate, right?) I look OK, feel kinda mean, and if I can scrape up the nerve I might drive to Waldo's or The Somewhere Else and have a beer. Anything to get out from between these four walls and maybe find someone kind to talk to.

Scott looked fine ... a little haggard and drawn, but otherwise achingly normal. Thank God I'd had the presence of mind to dress this morning and make myself look alive. I had no idea he'd come by, of course, but still I'm glad I wasn't looking rumpled and frazzled. We talked very little. He asked me if I'd made any decisions yet, and I said "no." He said that he was thinking about not buying the condo in Oregon; he might just rent for awhile.  "I'd rather not pay rent on this apartment for another month if I can help it," he said.  (TOUGH SHIT. In the face of all this sudden uncertainty, I plan to stay here through February, period. I need the time, more than anything.)  He left just as suddenly as he'd arrived, and I watched him go without crying, without begging him to "hold" me. I'm proud of myself for that. I've been so disgusted with myself this week, and it felt good to feel good for a minute.

Scott said he didn't leave because of me, but because of him. So I shouldn't deride myself and sit around feeling angry with Terri. I need to start bolstering myself a little, counting my strengths instead of my flaws. Somehow or another, this piteously screwed-up life of mine must go on. I'm not quite ready to pack it in yet. Somewhere, out in this temporarily scary and lonely world, there is a man who will love me someday with more depth and sincerity than Scott W ever did. (Or Scott S. Or Steve, or Phil, or Clarence, or any of the other failed loves I've known.) Out there somewhere, someone is breathing and thinking and walking around who will someday cherish me honestly. Maybe I've met him already. Maybe I haven't. The important thing is to make myself believe in my own self-worth, and in all the things worth loving in me.

In the coming hours, days, weeks, months, I'm going to go up and down. There will be times, like now, when I feel a little stronger ... a little more at peace with Scott and (more importantly) with Terri ... and there will also be times when I succumb to despair, and longing for Scott, and self-hate. I'm probably going to talk myself into "falling in love" half a dozen times until I find the man who will be true. I'm going to be lonely, broke, frustrated, hungry, drunk, elated, depressed, hopeful, despairing. Six months from now I'll think about Scott and I'll still cry. Ten years from now I'll read these journals, written during "the Redmond days," and I'll ache for the Terri who got in over her head and ended up dropped on her heart. I'll never forget, and I suppose the pain will never completely go away. (Even today, when I think back on that first heartbreak in 1973, I know that pain like that never goes away completely. It's easier to be objective about it, of course, when you're looking back ... you know what happened afterwards, for one thing ... just as you reading this journal, months or years from now, know the immediate and long-term consequences of Scott and I breaking up now ... but I really doubt whether you ever really "get over" it, 100%.)

Almost midnight:

So much for strength and resolve. I picked up a Lusk Metals razor knife tonight and opened a vein in my wrist.

Scott has moved back in with Patty and the girls.

I wish I would have gone through with it and died.

I hate Scott, I hate myself, and I despise the thought of waking up in the morning. The apartment is a shambles of blood and belongings and hate. I've taken two Darvon and expect to sleep soon. A merciful God would make sure I don't wake up in the morning.

 




Monday lunch

Post-"suicide attempt."  I went to work today, of course - and I guess it's pretty obvious to everybody what I did, by the lumpy bandage around my wrist. They're all walking on figurative tip-toe around me. Scott just called to check on me, and instead of the cold, disgusted tone I expected, he sounded worried and caring. He even called me "Babe" - I just let it pass, but it was still a little wrenching. He said, "I still like you and care about you a whole lot." God, that helps. I wish that he still loved me, of course, but at least he doesn't hate me for being so damnably weak.

My wrist hurts like hell. I have about 12 stitches, I think. I did a fairly decent job of gouging myself. I can barely move the fingers on that hand. More later.

 





Tuesday lunch
January 29, 1980

Surviving, still ... that's about all I can say, because that's all I can do.

Scott and Bruce came by the apartment last night about 6:00, and although Scott was incredibly kind and concerned, it's finally beginning to sink in that we're really & truly finished. It took me a week to realize it, but it's the truth. I asked him if he thought there could ever be a chance of our being together again. He looked very sad and said "I doubt it."

I have an appointment tonight at 7:00 at the Eastside Community Mental Health Center, with someone named Gary S. I was supposed to go to the hospital at noon today and have my stitches looked at, but something came up & I had to come home instead. There's a problem with me staying in the apartment an extra month: the manager has already promised the place to someone else. I explained the circumstances to her, and she promised to call me back sometime this morning. (She hasn't yet, so there's one more thing to worry about.  Great.)

Of all possible options, I would prefer to find a tiny apartment - even a studio apartment - here in Redmond, some place I could afford to live in alone. I don't really have the stomach to live with somebody else. I want to just be by myself, some place that's mine alone, and start learning about life all over again. There is so much I don't know ... and there's a lot that I THOUGHT I knew, but which I'm going to have to learn all over again. I'm going to be very poor and very lonely for a long time, but maybe there are resources inside of me that can only come to light when I've been forced to fend for myself awhile.

My piteous attempt at suicide two nights ago was a jolt, not only to the people who care about me, but to myself, as well. I never knew there were any self-destructive urges in me; now I realize that anyone is capable of it, given the provocation. My blood is still all over the kitchen ... I haven't bothered to clean it yet. It's a sort of grisly reminder of how low I'm capable of sinking.

Bruce met me at the hospital after I'd been stitched up, and he took away all the knives and blades he could find in the apartment. A preventive measure, I suppose. I couldn't promise him (or Scott) that I wouldn't try it again, but I don't think I will. Now that Scott is irrevocably gone, the hope that is sweetest in my heart is that someday there'll be that other man who cherishes me. He is the promise that I find worth staying alive for.

 





Wednesday lunch
January 30, 1980

Headache. Not feeling particularly good physically - still not eating or sleeping much - but I AM feeling an inch or two stronger, emotionally. Not a lot, but any progress is better than none at all. Last night I kept my appointment at the Mental Health Clinic, and I found Gary to be very helpful to talk to. I'll be seeing him once a week, approx. $7 per visit, which I hope I'll be able to afford.

The apartment manager called me at work today and said that I can stay for another month - IF I get Toot out of the apartment by tomorrow. Jesus, that hurts. That funny little black cat is mine, and he's been the only company I've had around here since Scott left. I'm getting so tired of watching all the things that I love being stripped away from me, one by one. Any permanence I ever felt is gone. But I really have no other choice. I desperately need those extra 2-3 weeks. Someday, though, I plan to get Toot back, and when I do nothing will ever take him away from me again.

This morning I placed an ad in The Seattle Times in the "Wanted To Rent" section:

EMERGENCY.
Respectable, employed 22 yr. old female desperately seeks
Eastside apartment and roommate to share. Approx. $200/month.
Have some furniture, utensils.
Must have place to live March 1 or sooner.

Also, I put a notice in the Student Union office at Bellevue C.C., with a few more details but the same basic plea. If neither of these ads work, then I'll try putting something in the Bellevue paper, but hopefully I'll start getting some responses soon. I would still FAR prefer to live alone, but Gary pretty much explained to me last night how difficult that would be, on my salary. Oh well. Toss out your pride, Terri, and take what you can get. Hopefully I might find somebody who will become a dear, important friend. I could really use one. Or, at the very least, a tolerable, decent roommate who will let me get back on my feet and back into the world of the Surviving Wounded ...

Sigh. Back to work. More tonight, if I can find the time to write in the midst of my incredibly busy schedule. Hardy har har.

Home - Evening:

This is by far the worst part ... coming back to the apartment after work each evening. Nothing here to look forward to at all.

Evening:

Just sitting here on the old "perch," wearing the jeans (still splashed with blood) I was wearing on Sunday night ... writing things (letters, bare snatches of poetry, lists, objectives) ... making random phone calls to whoever is home to listen to me ... getting a little silly on beer ... trying to hold it together. I miss the stereo, and the comfort of loud music. I miss the comfort of waiting for Scott to come home. I don't want to miss him, but I'm missing him anyway.

Tomorrow would have been my last day at Ridgway; now I'll probably be working there until I'm gray. Tomorrow, also, is the day that Scott plans to come and move the last of his things out of the apartment, I think. If so, I don't want to be here. Jesus.

 





Thursday
Home from work

Absolutely shattered. Scott was here today and moved out all his things ... including the TV and the PHONE!  Holy Christ. What am I going to do without a phone??? I never imagined for a moment that he would take that, too, and I'm coming completely unglued. Being able to talk to supportive friends and family on the phone was my only protection against total isolation. Now I'm cut off from the world and scared shitless. No music. No TV. No phone. Just a lot of bare walls, empty closets, and Terri feeling the worst she's ever felt in her whole life.

 




Sunday morning
February 3, 1980

A few days later. After I came home from work and found the phone was gone that night, I drove over to The Sea Galley and met Leslie (a woman from my office) for a few drinks. I ended up smashed, of course, but it was good to get out. Dave, my next door neighbor, had a spare phone and he's letting me borrow it for the time being. During work on Friday I got several phone calls in response to my ad - which I'll talk about a little more, in a minute.

Friday after work I met Randy F. (a guy who works at Creative Color, and who I talk to frequently when he comes to Ridgway for Art Department meetings) at The Saratoga Trunk for a couple of drinks. He's really a nice guy and pretty cute, and I might date him some more in the future, maybe. Right now it's impossible to find any men appealing, and that's going to take a while to change. I might have stayed out with him later on Friday, but I'd already made a date to meet Leslie and Danny (and Leslie's cousin Dan) at 8:00 at The Somewhere Else. The four of us drove downtown and partied at a place called The Bahamas until the early hours. Leslie wasn't necessarily trying to "fix me up" with Dan, but it was pretty obvious that Dan likes me and wants to see me again. We were supposed to go out last night, in fact - I'd also arranged to call to Randy around 6:00 and maybe set something up - but as it turned out I was so completely and horribly hungover all day yesterday that I unplugged the phone at 5:00, and soon after I fell asleep, fully clothed, and didn't so much as twitch until 9 this a.m.

Toot is still here, and I live in constant terror that the manager is going to walk in any minute, see my cat, and kick me out on the spot. I have to find a home for him today, but haven't the faintest idea how or where to begin looking. I love that cat ... God, how I'm going to miss him. He's been so confused since Scott left - he follows me absolutely everywhere around the apartment, obviously afraid I'll leave him next. The horrible part is that's exactly what's going to happen. I only hope I can find someone kind and decent, someone who will show him love and tolerance.

But now for the Big News. I think I've found a roommate and a nice place to live, and if everything works out I may be moving sometime after next weekend. My fingers are crossed ... also my toes, my legs and anything else crossable. Her name is Rachel, she's 20, and she's living in a two bedroom fourplex in Bellevue, not far from Ridgway Packaging. She was the first person to answer my ad, and I drove over to meet her yesterday afternoon. Her apartment struck me as warm and comfortable ... and so did she. I sensed a certain guardedness in her as we sat on the sofa and talked, but that's understandable, I guess, given the awkwardness of the situation. She reminded me a lot of Rhonda. Maybe that will help us avoid some of the pitfalls that Rhonda and I fell into ... just being able to anticipate them, I mean. At any rate, I very much hope this situation is going to work out. Rachel struck me, on the whole, as being that person who could be a friend as well as a roommate. I'd like that.

11:30 a.m.

I've set my hair, changed into clean clothes, put on makeup. The apartment is still in utter chaos, but I've no plans and no motivation to pick up until I move. I moved my old record player our here to the living room, in an effort to break some of the aching silence. When he moved his stuff out on Thursday, Scott left behind a few scattered things, here and there ... I keep stumbling across them. (The Maui license plates .. a couple of pairs of boxer shorts in the laundry basket .. his toothbrush, still in the shower.) The sooner I get out of this apartment, the better it will be, all the way around. I'm certainly a lot better and a lot stronger today than I was a week ago - the day of the razor knife - but the walls of this apartment, stripped as they are of most material signs of Scott - still practically scream with memories. It's not good for me to be here any longer than I absolutely must be.

2:15 p.m.

Just went to the grocery store and picked up a new cat box for Toot, as well as some litter, some food, a new flea collar, etc.  Dave's girlfriend next door offered to keep him overnight, and I'll probably take her up on her offer. I'm not looking for short-term solutions, though, and I'll obviously have to come up with something more permanent, FAST.

Almost happy right now, in spite of the problems with my cat. I talked to Randy on the phone for about half an hour - also talked to Dan - and fortunately neither one of them was angry about my not showing up or calling last night. In fact, they both want to take me out again - a fact I find tremendously flattering. I'm in no shape or mood to get involved with any man right now, and they both know that, but I still find their kindness and attention to be terrific for my self-esteem. I hope to reach a point, in fact, where I can date a lot of interesting men without fear of complications ... and without was has always come naturally to me - getting too involved too quickly. It would be pathetically easy for me to talk myself into falling in love with scarcely a thought. (Even now, in fact, I find myself thinking about Randy and dissecting him, point by point, looking for something in him to fall in love with.) That's certainly not fair to the men involved, and even less so to me. I've got to learn to quit equating happiness in terms of men. The logical part of me knows that. The emotional part of me still needs to be convinced!

6:15 p.m.

In the past two hours I've gotten five phone calls regarding my ad ... Dan called again ... Dave came by to "check" on me ... and I talked to Dad, Mom and Phil.

 





Monday lunch
February 4, 1980

Only time for a quick word. The sun is shining bright today; I'm wearing new clothes and a bright yellow jacket, and, incredibly, I am actually feeling good today. Almost two weeks since that awful Tuesday lunch hour when Scott called to tell me he was leaving. I'm still in pain, of course, but for the most part what I feel today is a bona fide good mood. One by one, my problems seem to be finding solutions. Bobbi F. called me at the office today to say she'd be "happy" to give Toot a home. I couldn't believe it! Also, Dad told me yesterday that I'm welcome to take my old dresser and bed, which solves yet another major worry. I'm confident that the arrangement with Rachel will work out, I have my visits with Gary S. to count on, my social vistas are opening up a little, and I feel & look good today.

6:30 p.m.

Taking a breather. I've been sorting through drawers and cupboards tonight, trying to weed out all the stuff which is either too painful or too junky to keep.

7:00 p.m.

Wonderful. Just tried to make a phone call and discovered that the phone is - once again - dead. This time for real. That fucking asshole had the service disconnected.

7:15 p.m.

Jesus Christ. So much for my good mood. I went across the hall to borrow the telephone and locked myself out of my apartment. Fortunately a guy from Administration came over and let me in, but FUCK ... just when I start to feel human again, Scott finds some subtle, unexpected way to make me feel dead all over again.

8:45 p.m.

Well. My cat is gone. (As well as the TV, the stereo, all of Scott's stuff and the phone.) Dan came over to pick up Toot, and I feel so hollow. This apartment is stripped and bare. The ghosts remain, but none of the love.  It's only me here now.

 





Tuesday, early evening
February 5, 1980

I've somehow managed to come to terms with my temporary loss of phone privileges ... I called GTE first thing this morning and, sure enough, Scott had the service cancelled. The shmuck. At first I was completely irate and wanted nothing more than to put a bullet through that pea-sized heart of his, but a day spent busy with work and friendly interchange with my co-workers managed to mellow me somewhat. I'm still amazed by the depths of insensitivity in this man I praised so lavishly at the beginning of this journal. I left a message for him at Lusk Metals, but of course he never called. So much for remaining "friends." I still love him, but I'm discovering the presence of other feelings as well ... surprise, to name one. I think I really overestimated him, and that's a surprise! Maybe I'll be more objective next time ... whenever "next time" turns out to be.

I've also discovered an amazingly fervent desire to STOP LOVING HIM ... as opposed to the way I felt a few days ago, when I wanted to prolong my feelings of love in hopes he might eventually come to his senses and beg me to come back. Now I just want to rid myself of every last clinging shred of love and longing. I'm fucking tired of hurting. The pain is too exhausting. I don't want to waste the energy anymore.

 





Wednesday lunch
Ice water and cigarettes
February 6, 1980

Still feeling fairly good. I've gotten used to seeing the apartment in its present (bare) condition, and now I sit here on my "perch" and look at the living room, trying to recall what it looked like before Scott hauled everything away. What memories. I'm not dwelling ... simply remembering. Memories too good to throw away.

I've got a date with Randy tonight. At this point I'm not completely sure whether I want to go or not.

After work:

Amazing how easy it's becoming to come back to the apartment each evening, without feeling that wrenching hurt when I look at the empty walls. If I can get used to this, I guess I can get used to anything! Starting to rev up a little over the prospect of my date with Randy ... I plan to make myself look beautiful in a minute or so, but first a relaxing, quiet moment with a cold beer and my journal.

Good day, workwise. I've never been more inundated with paperwork, but the timing is perfect ... I'd rather keep busy.

Got a beautiful letter from Randy (W.) in the mail today; also, a surprise call from Bruce G., offering condolences and more pat maxims about ‘other fish in the sea' ("Put me on your list of admirers," he said). Still no call from Scott, of course, but calls from Dan, Bobbi, Jean Nelson (Chris's wife), Kim Anderson, Rod Mason that were "emotionally bolstering." People really care, after all. Gary S. from the MH Clinic called also, concerned and gently reproachful over my failure to show up for my mental health appointment last night.

12:15 a.m.

Just home from my date with Randy - feel compelled to make a few disjointed observations. Yes, he "tried" to kiss me, and yes, I "let" him. In fact a lot MORE could have happened, there in the dark quiet of his room, and God knows I was susceptible enough ... but I called a halt to it (tomorrow is a work day!) and I feel strangely happy/sad. What a strange feeling to have absolutely restrictions. No parental authority, no anxious roommates, no curfew, NO ONE watching the clock for my return. Totally, completely, 100% in charge of my time and my life for the very first time. Odd!

More tomorrow.

 





Thursday lunch
Feb. 7, 1980

Still feeling buoyant and miraculously alive.  Partly because of the good time I had with Randy last night, but also because I feel so in control of what I do, where I go, who I associated with, how I structure my life. It's new and surprisingly nice feeling ... not at all the hopeless panicky feeling I expected when Scott handed me the reins to my life last month ...

A little about last night. I ended up getting lost while trying to find Randy's house in Bellevue; I had to call him from a phone booth & have him come "rescue" me. We swung by his house and I briefly met his roommates; then Randy took me to dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant in Seattle. After dinner we walked across the street for a drink at Jake O'Shaughnessy's, but it was packed to the rafters so we decided to skip it. We sat on a bench outside of Jake's for a minute, and that was where he kissed me. Nice. We ended up back at his house, laying on his bed in the dark (Willie Nelson on the turntable) and doing everything but. We were both really excited but I just wasn't prepared to make love yet. It's going to take some time. It was nice, though, being kissed and held, and doing the same for someone else.

Evening:

7 p.m. ... home, briefly, and on my way out again. Met with Gary S. (finally) at the MH Clinic after work. Just time now to change my clothes, patch up my makeup and scribble a quick word before I go meet Leslie at Gatsby's. Gary was obviously pleased with the progress I've made, but he thinks I may be trying too hard to bury the pain beneath a whirl of optimism, plans, change and social life. He's probably right, to a point, but for the most part I can't HELP but feel optimistic. More tomorrow.

 





Friday night
Getting Ready To Go Out (Again)
February 8, 1980

Date with Randy tonight ... I'm meeting him at Gatsby's at 7:30. Newly showered and shampooed, I am damp, clean & pink, preparing to do my face. Totally burned out from last night (which I'll HAVE to tell you about in a second) ... and I know that this is going to be a very early evening for me. Randy will be disappointed, but my body is shot. I don't even feel like drinking, much less making love or staying out all night.

 





February 9, 1980
Saturday 1 p.m.

Just out of bed. I slept twelve straight hours, and I feel human once again ... even energetic, a bit. Sitting on the sofa with the morning paper and a cup of tea, dressed and ready to begin an afternoon of cleaning and packing.

Last night I had a couple of drinks at Gatsby's with Randy, and then we had a nice steak dinner at Clinkerdagger's. After that, he came up to my apartment for a beer and some conversation, but I was real upfront with him and told him that I didn't feel good and that I just wanted to be alone and get some sleep. (I said it slightly more tactfully than that.) He was very sweet and understanding, and he left at midnight. He wants to go out tonight - I'm supposed to call him - but I've decided that I'm not as interested in him as I thought I was, and I don't especially want to date him again. Maybe I'm being too picky. I think the good qualities of my relationship with Scott have spoiled me. When I listen to Randy, I feel as though he can talk for fifteen minutes and say nothing at all.

Thursday night, a very strange, wonderful and unexpected thing happened. I'll put it briefly. I met Leslie and her girlfriend Cathy for drinks at Gatsby's at 7:00. We talked for a while, and then Leslie suggested we drive out to the U-District, where her boyfriend Danny's band was rehearsing. When we got to the house where they were playing, BRUCE WAS THERE ! It was an unbelievable shock to see him!! He and I talked for a long, long time, about Scott and about my life and about life in general. He invited me to drive to Marysville with him to see Toby and Jean, and I said OK. (It was great seeing Toby again ... even better seeing Jean. They're both pleased to see me recovering.) Then Bruce drove me all the way back to Gatsby's so I could pick up my car. It was 1 a.m. by then, but he wanted to have a drink so we went into the bar until it closed. Then he came home with me - a mutual decision between friends. We made love and fell asleep together in the waterbed, and in the morning we each went to our respective jobs. It was a strange, nice, one-time encounter pity fuck that I'll never forget, and I feel very good about it.   

A few hours later:

Looks as though I'll be staying home tonight. I don't want to go out with Randy, or Dan, and there are no other prospects. Probably just as well anyway. I did a lot of packing this afternoon, but I have at least another three days' worth still.

I'm beginning to dread the thought of moving ... the actual physical process, that is. Very hungry. I plan to clean up and put on a little makeup, and then maybe go out and find some dinner ... maybe I'll even cook something here at home. Wishing like hell that I had a TV, but maybe I'll pick up some new magazines and spend a quiet evening reading, eating and relaxing. I'm not at all unhappy. I'm a little lonely, granted, and somewhat at loose ends, but I'm no longer grimly convinced that life without Scott is impossible ... or without any man, for that matter.

 





Sunday night

A TV ... again! At last! Drove down to see Dad this afternoon and picked up my old TV. Geez, it really makes a difference around this barren, disheveled apartment.

 





Monday after work
February 11, 1980

Harried and grumpy today. Too much paperwork, too many phones ringing, too many "little" problems floating around in my head. (Getting Toot back from Dan and down to Bobbi's house ... moving ... avoiding Randy  ... money ... etc. etc.)

Scott called me from Portland this morning. Quite a surprise. We discussed financing the car - $114 a month, whew! - and the state of each others' lives, all very impersonal and outwardly friendly. There was an undercurrent of tension but for the most part we were amazingly adult.

 





Wednesday night
Feb. 13, 1980

Journal:

I don't seem to be reaching for your every fifteen minutes anymore ... a healthy sign? A big part of that awful, initial pain is gone. I still think about Scott, and I miss him at odd hours of the day and night, but at least I've found some relief from the crushing, 24-hour-a-day hurting.

Rachel and her boyfriend Clayton are supposed to come by tonight to look at the waterbed, which Clayton is thinking of buying from me. Last night Randy came over for a few hours, in spite of my decision that he's "all wrong for me" ... I still don't think I could ever be serious about him, but he's a nice guy and he provides diversion and reassurance that I'm still worthy of attention. (This isn't completely fair to him, I realize.) I'm going out with him again tomorrow, Valentines Day. I couldn't bear sitting in this naked apartment on Valentines Day! Don't know what we're going to do yet, but at least ONE thing is for certain: I don't want to sleep with him. Sleeping with Bruce the other night was one thing; that was more a mutual expression of caring between two old friends. Sleeping with Randy, however, is out of the question. Temporarily, anyway. In the meantime, I'm trying very hard to look beyond his faults and make him into a friend & companion, without holding him up against Scott's memory in unfair, scrutinous comparison.

 





Saturday afternoon
February 16, 1980

Quiet ... relaxed. A little sad, but nothing serious ... I watch it come and go. The apartment is neat, warm and peaceful, an old "Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea" episode on TV. I'm clean and curled and dressed, but don't really plan to do anything this evening. I've seen Randy a few more times this week, and we had tentatively planned to go out tonight, but I'm honestly not in the mood. A little bit of Randy goes a long way.

On Thursday night - Valentines Day - he took me to dinner at Domani, an Italian restaurant in Bellevue. The whole time we were there I kept flashing back in memory to the time Scott and I had dinner there, and I very deliberately chose against ordering the chicken parmagiana again!

Last night we just sat here in my apartment and watched TV ... nothing overly exciting. He's a nice man, and I certainly appreciate

(interrupted)

7:30 p.m.

Was interrupted. Randy dropped by, unexpectedly - speak of the devil? Fortunately he sensed I wasn't in the best of spirits and left after a short while. He wants to do something tomorrow night & I said OK.

Terrific smells emanating from the kitchen. I'm baking some chicken breasts in teriyaki sauce - my own concoction - as well as a pot of Japanese mixed vegetables and the world's largest baked potato. I drove to the grocery store and bought all the stuff for dinner, as well as a few other odds & ends - breakfast materials, a couple of paperback books ("Kramer Vs. Kramer," "Birdy"*). I figured I really deserve to cook myself a nice, ample dinner, and the actual physical preparation of it has lifted my spirits. At the moment I feel domestic, self-supporting and HUNGRY!

 





Sunday morning
Feb. 17, 1980

Just woke up after a long, restless night filled with dreams about Scott ... now I feel vaguely sad and lonely as I sit here, sipping my mint tea and enjoying the morning's first cigarette. I guess that the truth of it is that I've got to get out of this damned apartment before I completely lose my mind.

Afternoon
Send In The Clowns

Time to bring this feverish, unhappy little journal to a close. Less than a month ... geez.  That must be a record for me. In three weeks everything about my life has changed - and nothing has. I'm completely different - and completely the same. Scott is gone, and with him most of the plans and expectations I had for us, as a couple; on the other hand, his unexpected leavetaking has gifted me with a whole new set of life plans. Newly plunged into my current circumstances as I am, who am I to decide which life would have been "better"? For all I know I may be entering the most wondrous, joyous, fulfilling part of my life. How do I know?

I will never forget the Redmond days, and the life and love I shared with Scott W. I will never forget the beautiful things that happened in this little apartment.

Right now I'm on my old "perch" on the kitchen counter - probably for the last time ever. Toot is outside on the balcony, watching the ducks in the pond below. It is raining and cold ... Judy Collins is singing "Send In The Clowns."

This is one of the most poignantly sad and beautiful moments I've ever known.

 

 

The song is over ... so is the mood. "Reality" is my life, sitting cardboard-boxed in front of me. The memories will always remain, even when someone else lives between these four walls ... echoes, ghosts, remembrances ... long after I've followed Scott out the door into a new life on my own. God, how I loved the man. What an influence he had on my life. Every man that I choose, from this time forward, will doubtless have some Scott W. in him. I'll never be able to forget him completely. Other loves - perhaps greater, more genuine loves - will occupy my heart in time. But there will never be a time when I look back on my days with Scott without sadness over the girl I was, and over the way it ended.

I wish him luck. I wish him love, and concentration, and sensitivity, and tolerance of those things he can't dismiss as easily as he dismissed me. The man is a sad man, torn between obligations and his desire to be obligation-free. I wish him, above all else, his freedom.

As for me, these are the things I wish for myself: inner strength. Resolve. Motivation. Friendships. Laughter. Creativity, and effective use of such. And love. I wish for myself, more than anything else, the special joy that only love can bring. I can't know how or when or in what form love will come into my life again, but it is the anticipation that sustains me now. Perhaps it's weak of me to live for love, but at least it's a goal ... and at least I'm alive.


 

SONGS LISTENED TO DURING THIS SAD LITTLE JOURNAL:

Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
Refugee - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
In The Heat of The Night, Heartbreaker, No You Don't - Pat Benatar
Jane - Jefferson Starship
Longer - Dan Fogelberg
Baby Don't Go - Karla Bonoff
Walkin In The Sand - Aerosmith
She's A Lot Like You - The Cars
IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW HOW TO LOVE ME - Pat Benatar

 

 

 

Days, only
Separate that hour from this;
Yet men live and die in lesser liftetimes.

I see a wrist, scarred.
Glass on the kitchen floor
Garbage bags stuffed to overflowing
with those things that remind me too much of you -
A tie, a magazine, a bottle of cologne.

In a fit of agony I swept these four walls clean
of all reminders of you.

That was a week ago.
I am better now
but the blood and the glass remain
and the garbage bags remain untouched
As if waiting for me to reconsider
and save them.






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