JOURNAL NO. 30
November 1980 - March 1981
Age 22

Last night (he) hugged me and said, "This is the last time you're going to have to move for a long, long time."



 

 


November 5, 1980
Wednesday afternoon

Just Like Starting Over

Last night the country elected Ronald Reagan for President of the United States, and today my life begins all over again. (No, the former governor of California has nothing to do with my rebirth!)

... I am utterly, completely, unequivocally happy, and I can't think of a better time to start a new journal. Of course that means interrupting my previous journal (the small white one with the red flowers on the cover) in midstream, but the fact is that I haven't even seen that journal in over a month ... it's down at Grandma & Grandpa's house, along with a whole suitcaseful of equally important personal belongings (including half a bag of weed!!). My stuff has been there since the night that Ray picked me up for our first "real" date, on October 13th. But so damned much has happened to me in the past four weeks, and I was starting to go stir-crazy without a journal to share it all with. Hence the beginning of a brand-new journal ... and back to the old standard black, at that. Sadly enough, however, my time is very limited this afternoon, and I only have time to scribble a page or two of preliminaries.

I will begin by saying that I am, as I said before, unbelievably happy; upside-down-in-love; still unemployed; still without a car; still absolutely flat broke; but amazingly unconcerned, and utterly, inexplicably optimistic about my future, for a change.

Ray is taking a shower and getting ready to dash out to get his hair cut; tonight is his bowling night, and he'll be back here in less than an hour to pick me up. I've got to re-set my hair and wait for my jeans to come out of the dryer, but I'll have time to get all that stuff done while he's getting his hair trimmed.

Last night he and his brother Don went over to Bobby's apartment with me and moved my stuff here to Ray's house. I spent most of this day unpacking and assimilating my belongings into the house I now share with Ray and his sister Sheryl. This is Move #6 of 1980. Last night Ray hugged me and said, "This is the last time you're going to have to move for a long, long time."

Tomorrow I'll try and take some time to tell you how this whole thing began, OK? Right now I've gotta run.







Thursday morning
November 6, 1980

The next morning ... sitting in bed with a hangover, a glass of 7-Up and Ronald Reagan on TV.

Naturally Ray is at work - he's going to be on overtime for the rest of the month, which means he gets up at 4 a.m. every morning. Sheryl is home sick today, probably still in her room. I am burned out but I suppose I deserve it. Drank more than a few Bloody Mary Specials at the bowling alley last night, and before that I drank a bunch of beer, so by the time we wobbled off to bed, I was the one doing most of the wobbling.

No special plans for this day, unless I clear out the storage room. The only problem is that my whole body is stiff and aching from all the bending & lifting I've done the past two days. I feel like a little old lady. I'll probably just spend another day following my usual program of unmitigated laziness ... the same thing I've been doing since the day I turned in my resignation at Travelers Acceptance, two months ago ...

Being lazy was never this much fun, though. Ever since I moved in with Ray, I mean. I'm in love with the man, and I'm in love with his house. I feel almost as though it's "our" house. That Crosby, Stills and Nash song keeps running through my heart:

Our house is a very very very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy 'cause of you ...

I look around this bedroom and see bits & pieces of me and bits & pieces of Ray all over the place, and it gives me this incredibly warm, fuzzy feeling inside.






Friday morning
November 7, 1980

Buzzing wildly from a couple of beans that Ray left for me this morning ... already today I've showered, washed my hair, dressed, done the dishes and run a laundry. Happy that today is Friday - Ray doesn't work tomorrow, so we'll be able to spend the weekend together. No special plans, but Ray & I are at that stage in our relationship where just being together, doing anything, is joy. It's impossible for me to believe that this man and I have been together for less than a month. We're so comfortable and happy together, I feel as though he's always been a part of my life.

It all happened so fast. I hadn't seen him since the night of the car accident, when he and Terry were still going together, and then all of a sudden - about a month ago - he just materialized on my doorstep one night. From there things just escalated at breakneck speed. We decided to live together within days of our first date, and even though I had some reservations, after the way things worked out with Scott and Bobby, for some reason I'm willing to take another chance.

Afternoon 4:25

Sitting perched on the bed in the clean, dimly-lit, comfortable bedroom I share with the man I love ... cautiously sipping a weak drink, as I got unexpectedly sick to my stomach a couple of hours ago. (No, I'm not pregnant.) Pouring rain outside. Merv Griffin on TV (Black Rose, with Cher, singing "Julie." Where have I heard this song before?) Rollers in my hair. Clothes in the dryer. Not one bit unhappy with life ... quite the opposite, in fact. There is NOTHING major bothering me right now, and I feel amazingly unencumbered. Lord, why can't life always be like this? I've spent the past couple of days re-reading some of my journals from earlier this year, and all of that old pain seems so remote and far away now. I wish I could somehow let that Terri V., living in so much agony in January 1980, know how happy she'll be in November 1980.

 




Monday afternoon

Oops! I mean ...
Tuesday afternoon
Nov. 11, 1980
(Nothin' like losing track of the days, is there ...?)

Ray and Sheryl are at work, of course - will be home in an hour. Sunny fall afternoon. Beginnings of a sore throat and another case of the sniffles. Cold beer ... cold feet ... hot rollers in my hair. Listening to a new tape that I have spent hours constructing today, made up of favorite rock songs. My very first *mix tape.*  I haven't really accomplished as much as I wanted today - there are still dirty dishes in the sink, and clean clothes to be folded - but my energy level is kinda low today, in spite of the beans I took when I got up. The past couple of weeks I have been an almost unbearably cranky bitch, but I attribute that to this cold I'm working on. Ray has been marvelously patient with me, even when I've tried to bite his head off. That's the sort of person he is, I guess ... or maybe it's just because we're still in the beginning stages of our relationship, and I can get away with the occasional lousy mood ...

My insurance settlement still hasn't arrived (for the car accident). Terry swears that she put it in the mail a week ago, but so far the only mail I've gotten while I've been living here have been letters from Randy and from Melinda. Damn it. As soon as that thousand bucks gets here, I can go out & get a car, and after that a job, and then I can begin to feel like part of the real world again. Of course I won't lie: I've THOROUGHLY enjoyed this life of leisure since I resigned from TAC two & a half months ago. But the only things that I can't stand about my lazy life are not having a car and not having any money of my own. Right now I have about $1.50 - in change - to my name.

Sometimes it's hard for me to believe I'm as happy as I am. Looking back on this whole crazy, eventful year, I suppose it was inevitable that I would come full circle eventually and find some measure of peace with life again. I think about everything that has happened to me in 1980 - losing Scott, the silly attempt at suicide, the six different addresses, the eight different roommates, the two jobs, the two cars, the accident, the innumerable men I've gone out with - the ups & downs, the moments of intense pain, the moments of intense happiness (what few there were until now) - and I think it's somehow fair that I'm once again able to wake up in the morning and feel no pain. Nothing of true consequence ripping me apart. I'm a realist, though, and I don't expect it to last forever, but while it's here I don't see any harm in savoring it. I deserve to be happy, for a change.

Evening

Listening to the tapes that I've made the past two days. I guess that I must be getting drunk, since my handwriting is deteriorating so rapidly. Ray and I are going to try and get his van started, but something tells me it's not going to work. He's sitting across the kitchen table from me, ski-jacketed and pissed, and I think maybe we'll have to write off the van for a day or two.

Interrupted to talk to the man ...








Wednesday afternoon
November 12, 1980

Sitting in bed with a box of Kleenex, a stack of old journals and Merv Griffin on TV.








Friday evening 6:00
November 14, 1980

Didn't feel like writing much the past couple of days. I've been deathly ill with my annual autumn cold and a rotten mood to boot, and when I wasn't busy feeling sorry for myself or snapping at Ray, I was just too damned lazy to write anything. Sitting at the table with gin on ice, waiting for Ray to come home ... he's about an hour late, but I refuse to be dumb about it. His van is still out of commission and until he gets it running again he's at the mercy of his friends for transportation. Last time he called, he was down at Dave's Place, waiting for Mike to give him a lift home. That was an hour ago. I hope that we go out tonight, but he has to work four hours tomorrow so we'll probably have to be moderately restrained if we do.

I'm starting to go crazy again ... I realized it last night. Without a car and a job and money of my own, I am completely dependent on Ray for everything, particularly social interaction, and that's not fair to him because he has a life of his own and shouldn't have to spend every waking, non-working moment entertaining his girlfriend. Last night when he was three hours late getting home, I threw a royal tantrum and made him feel like a heel. I hate it when I do that, but I seem to do it with every boyfriend I've ever had, don't I? When I get my car and a job I expect that things will change, and that I'll go back to being the independent, social Terri I was last summer. I don't mean that I'll start sitting at Gatsby's every night again, but at least I'll have the option to go out on my own on those nights when Ray is otherwise occupied.

I barely see him enough as it is, what with his crazy work hours, but I'm not complaining about that because the time that we do spend together is always terrific. With the single possible exception of my horrible mood this past week, there have been no major problems between us at all in the one month (yesterday) that we've been together. So far he seems to have all the best qualities in the men I've loved most in the past, plus a few unique qualities of his own, and none of the bad. I'm sure that in time we're going to discover things in each other that are slightly less than idyllic, and - knowing me - there will be some rousing good battles. But in the meantime I'm enjoying these beginning days & weeks together, and I know that I'll look back on this period of my life as being one of the very best. Fall 1980 ... and falling in love with Ray P. I know that I will always associate the two together.








Saturday afternoon 4:00
November 15, 1980

Waiting for Ray ... making a tape of favorite Simon & Garfunkle songs. He left for work this morning at 5 a.m., ostensibly to work for four hours and then come home, but it obviously didn't turn out that way. He called a few minutes ago from Dave's Place and said that he's "on his way," as soon as his brother comes and picks him up. Amazingly, I didn't snap or bitch ... I'm in too good a mood. It's a beautiful fall afternoon ... cold and crisp and golden. I'm alive, I'm in love, Randy is getting out of prison in 60 days or less (!), my insurance settlement is in the mail, it's Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday ... it would almost be a sin to be unhappy!

Don't know if Ray and I will be going out anywhere tonight. By the time he gets home (it's 4:45 now), he'll undoubtedly going to be dead to the world, and I wouldn't be surprised if he just decides to pack it in for the evening. If we do go somewhere, he'll probably fall asleep on me anyway. Naturally, I've got the itch to go out, but then again I got plenty of sleep and he didn't ... plus, I spend so much time alone in this house that it's understandable for me to want to get out on a Saturday night & be around other people.

Now Sheryl is home, washing the dishes behind me, and I'm trying to look "busy" to justify not helping her. Ray still isn't home - it's almost 5:00 - and I know that the minute he walks through that door he's going to head straight to bed. I wonder if I should even bother showering and washing my hair ... ? I wish that I had a car. Then, even if Ray didn't feel like going out, I could go out and do something anyway. As it is, I'm completely reliant on him for transportation and social life, and it's a helpless feeling I haven't had since back in the "old days," before I had a car and my license, when I had to count on Scott S. for everything ...

Ray's home. (No he's not: it's that asshole from Animal Control again.)

7:00 p.m.

Just did a small toot ... Sheryl and I are flying around this house like a couple of caged animals, babbling madly at each other, while Ray is asleep in our room. I don't know if we're going out - he came home and headed right to bed, just as I predicted - but I've got my makeup on and my hair in rollers, just in case. I ate a couple of beans, too, so if he does happen to wake up and take me out I'm probably going to be awake forever. That's OK.








Tuesday afternoon
November 18, 1980

Watching Curt Sanders and Phoebe Tyler ranting and raving on "All My Children," cautiously drinking a beer - a little hair of the dog. Ray and I went down to Dave's Place last night to watch the Seahawks game on the big screen, and of course that meant we drank a helluva lot of beer. Afterwards we picked up some food at Jack In The Box, brought in home and ate it in bed. Burned out this morning, but happy. I have a feeling that Ray and I are going to be together for a long, long time ... it just feels "right." I know how patently cornball that sounds - and I know that I've said it a thousand times before, about other men in my life - but I really MEAN it this time.

It's funny. When Scott walked out on me in January, I wondered if I would ever be able to trust another man again, and now I believe that I trust & love Ray even more than I ever did Scott. Of course you can't really "measure" that kind of thing - it reduces love to something calculated and methodical - but at least I've learned that it is possible to love again, even after your heart has been shattered.

FLASH!!!!

I got my $1,000 insurance settlement today!

YAY!!!!

That means that I could have a car as soon as next week ... and a new job soon after that ... and then I can once again be part of the real world. DAMN, that makes me feel good!

2 a.m.

Very, very high. Even though everyone has left (Joy, Rob & kids and Mike R.), I'm still sitting out here at the kitchen table trying to calm down enough to go to bed. (Ray has to be up in two hours!! Jesus. I'll probably still be sitting here.) The really awful part is that I have a great buzz on and my brain is going ninety miles an hour, but my handwriting looks like shit, I really ought to go to bed - although WHY, I don't know, since I don't work! - and I can't seem to keep a cohesive thought intact long enough to write about it. Completely out of drugs, except for three beans that Joy left me for tomorrow, but I don't think I could go any further up anyway.

(In case you wonder, Dummy, yes you DID call Scott's mother tonight and offer her the moon. Are they handing out any Stupidity Awards tonight?)

 



(A couple of pages seem to be missing here)








Tuesday afternoon
November 25, 1980

A few days later ... sipping a gin & tonic, making another tape, thinking. Gray, dusky day. Shadow (Sheryl's dog) and Mindy (Sheryl's boyfriend's dog) are chained up in the carport outside, nosing around in the garbage cans ... Smokey (Ray's dog) is prowling around the living room, crying to be let out. Things have been relatively quiet and easy the past few days. On Friday night Ray and I drove out to Carnation with his friend Joy, to listen to some band playing in a tavern, but I was pretty high and don't remember much of the evening beyond 11 p.m. or so. On Saturday night we went to The Somewhere Else to listen to Cathedral. Did it ever feel STRANGE to be back at the old tav!! Considering all the nights I spent there with Terry last summer. It was a really bizarre sensation, feeling like a stranger. I talked briefly to Darrell and Rob, but Bobby (W., not H.), Jeannie, Donna, Liz, etc. all very pointedly ignored me.

The only halfway interesting development of late is that I've missed a period and there is a possibility that I may be pregnant. Ray knows about this; I broke the news to him as we were sitting at the tav on Saturday night, between our second and third pitcher of beer. At this point I have no comment ... it's going to have to wait until Ihave the time, the energy and the impetus to write about it. As it is, Ray and I haven't talked about it again since that night, and he's probably hoping he imagined the whole conversation!

If I am pregnant, though, it's only by three weeks at this point ... in fact, if my body is still going around in the same precise, textbook 28 day cycles as usual, I am exactly, to-the-day, three weeks gone. Which gives me more than ample time to find out for sure, consider the options, discuss it soberly with Ray, and decide on a course of action.








Wednesday morning
November 26, 1980

The next day. Burned out. Ray and I had a long, serious talk and we reached a very important decision - a landmark decision, in fact. We're going to have a baby. We really and truly are. I'll write more about this later, after I've picked up the house and pulled myself together.








Sunday night 6:00
November 30, 1980

Briefly. A cold, dark, damp November evening. Ray has taken a quick run to the store, to pick up some things for tonight's dinner. I opted to stay home, wash the breakfast dishes and watch an old Star Trek re-run. Extremely worried. The past week or so I've floating around on Cloud Nine, ecstatic because Ray not only accepted the idea of me being pregnant, but actually seemed excited about it. Yesterday and today, though, I've been having dull, aching pains that just don't seem to quit, and I have to admit I'm scared. It's not like menstrual cramps - it's hard to describe - but whatever it is, I don't like it. I really want to have this baby; that is, if I even am pregnant to begin with. I love Ray, and I love this small maybe-baby inside of me. If I lose it, and if it turns out to be due to my past "mistakes," I'm never going to forgive myself. The times when I've been pregnant and didn't want to be ... and now that I want to be, I may not be able to ... doesn't that just figure?

Friday night Ray and I went to The Somewhere Else again, this time to hear a band that turned out to be pretty awful (The Bones). The only true highlight of the evening was when we were talking about maybe having a baby. Actually, we were talking about names ... Jesse for a boy ("Jesse James," Ray said), and Melissa for a girl ("Melinda," Ray said) ... and also about the various reactions we can expect from our families. We also talked about putting me on Ray's insurance, looking for a different place to live, maybe next year, our feelings about children, etc. etc. Anyway, the point is that we both acknowledged my possible pregnant as fact, a HAPPY fact, and now, if it turns out I've blown it somehow, I'm going to be miserably unhappy. All I can do is take it easy and wait to see what happens.








Monday night 6:00
December 1, 1980

A little depressed. Ray and Sheryl are both out having dinner with their parents, to celebrate their dad's birthday - a dinner to which I was very pointedly not invited - and I'm sitting here with a beer and an old "Welcome Back, Kotter" re-run, feeling flushed, cranky and monumentally sorry for myself. I wish that I had a car again. Lasy night I had my millionth dream since the accident that I'd gotten another car - this time it was a white Dart - and as usual when I woke up and realized it was only a dream, I felt like crying. I'm tired of depending on Ray for all of my transportation & social needs.








Tuesday 3:30 p.m.
December 2, 1980

Pouring rain outside ... cold enough to snow, actually, if it weren't so wet. Smokey and Shadow are laying at my feet: I'm sitting in the living room watching TV after another lazy day of drinking beer, watching soap operas and making tapes.

Waiting for Ray. Itching to get out tonight, but knowing I probably shouldn't, if only for the sake of my health. Still feeling those bothersome, painful cramps. An occasional dose of Tylenol usually lets me forget about them for a little while, but in the back of my mind I'm always worrying. I don't want to get my hopes up too high, in case those hopes are dashed to pieces sometime in the next couple of days. I can't get over the irony of the whole thing ... the one time I really want to be pregnant, and even more importantly the one time when the father wants me to be, too, it's beginning to look like I might lose it. Dammit.

Of course, the thought occurs to me every once in a while, during rare moments of optimism, that I may not be losing it at all. Maybe these cramps are somehow normal. Please, Lord?

Listening to "Storms," Fleetwood Mac, and thinking about all the nights and pain and tears between the first time I heard this song and now. Surprising how much water can pass under a bridge, isn't it?








December 4, 1980
Thursday 7:30 p.m.

So fucking depressed I can't stand it ... I don't even know if I can write about it. Ray is a complete asshole, and right now I'm so pissed off, and sick, and lonely, and in pain, I can hardly stand it. If he would rather go out and get high with his buddies than stay home with me for the first & only night this week, then fuck him.

I'm not pregnant. I'm sitting here in bed, sweating and bleeding like a stuck pig, and it HURTS. It also hurts to know that Ray finds me so disgusting, he can't even bear to spend a few hours with me. I've been waiting all day for him to come home. I'm so goddamned tired of being alone all day and all night for days on end.








December 15, 1980
Monday 4 p.m.

Several days later. I was obviously in a very ugly mood when I wrote my last journal entry, and equally obviously I didn't mean a word of it. Ray isn't an asshole. Our relationship has changed a bit in the last month ... it's become a little less ridiculously idyllic, a little more down-to-earth ... and we're beginning to discover the good AND the bad in each other.

This is my 23rd birthday. Hurrah. ("She's A Rainbow" ...)

Growing dark. Listening to an old Beatles' song ... thinking about John Lennon, who was senselessly and brutally murdered one week ago tonight. Ray and I were sitting at Dave's Place with Scott and Leslie, watching Monday Night Football and drinking beer, when a news bulletin came on saying Lennon had been shot. I took it hard. We came home and I sat on the floor in front of the TV, watching the late news and crying.

Twenty three years old. Hmmm. I've spent this day much as I spend any other ... I slept until eleven, watched soap operas, showered, cleaned up the house a little. Lately I haven't felt at all like drinking - I don't know why - but today, in order to "celebrate" all alone, I've been working on the half-case of Rainier that Ray left me this morning. Originally he was planning to call in sick and spend the day with me, but at the last minute he decided he couldn't afford the lost time (Sheryl just walked in) so I spent the day by myself. I suppose I don't care ... much. I'm getting pretty used to my own company. Maybe things will change after the first of the year ...?

Got a card from Randy W. today:

Hope to wish you a Merry Xmas in person, but
if I can't I'm covered.
Love ya,
Me.

Nobody in the family has bothered to acknowledge my birthday, but I suppose that's par for the course, considering the fact that I've been pretty thoughtless about remembering anyone else's birthdays. You get what you deserve. I've been so awful to my family this past year ... too engrossed in my own life, with all of its changes, ups and downs, to keep touch with them as much as I used to. As a whole they seem to be fairly disgruntled with me.

You and I have memories
Longer than the road
That stretches out ahead ...

Where will I be one year from right now? Celebrating another birthday ... but where? With whom? Under what circumstances? Will I be happier than I am right now -- or sadder?








Tuesday morning
December 16, 1980

Well, my birthday was certainly LOW KEY, to say the least. Ray baked me a cake and then took me out for a beer at Dave's Place, and both of my parents called me (a real surprise!), but that was it. I was a little bit hurt that Ray didn't even bring me a birthday card or a present* - the "little kid" in me - but I guess I'm too old for that kind of stuff.  Better get used to it.  Oh well. One interesting thing to note, however. While sitting at Dave's Place, Ray and I somehow got onto the subject of me getting pregnant, and he told me that he wants to keep trying!!! In fact, he said "If you're not pregnant by April, I'm taking you to see a doctor."



"Ray" and I at Grandma St. John's
(and look!  there's my groovy Uncle Jerry sitting on Grandma's freezer!)
Christmas Eve 1980




December 23, 1980
Tuesday night

Sure haven't been able to write consistently this month, have I? Maybe the fact that I don't feel much like Christmas this year has something to do with it. I feel absolutely none of the usual thrill & anticipation this year, for reasons unknown. That's not to say that I'm unhappy. I'm not. I just haven't been able to get into the spirit of things this year. The house is decorated, and a tree is standing in the living room, but Sheryl did all of the work and all of the decorations are hers. I decided to just keep my Christmas stuff in storage, hoping that maybe next year I'll be in a home that's completely my own - or, preferably, mine and Ray's. This year there has just been too much internal conflict between Sheryl and I. I feel like this house is much more hers than mine, and that consequently she has more right to decorate for the holidays. But I have to admit that it stings a little. Some of my decorations have been on my Christmas trees since I was barely old enough to walk, and not seeing them in their familiar places on the tree, for the first time I can ever remember, is one reason why I feel so "un-Christmasey." (The marshmallow Santas that Dickie and I made ... the green paper chain I made in grade school ... the felt mouse that Scott Wolf and I bought in Lahaina ... etc.) I didn't even bother to send out any cards until late last week, and as a result I've only gotten a few because no one has my new address. (Got a card from Rhonda today, at least.)

Sitting here drinking a very weak mix of Black Velvet and flat 7-Up, wishing that Ray would get his ass home ... lately he's been coming home later & later every night. Immediately after work each evening he goes to Daves Place to swill beer with his buddies. It's almost 7:00 now, and I know if I called Dave's right now, he would be there.



WISH LIST / FALL & WINTER 1980

1. A CAR!
2. A JOB!
3. New watch
4. Long-sleeved white sweater
5. The Buggles, "Living In The Plastic Age"
6. Cannister set
7. Standard folk guitar
8. ACDC, "Back In Black"
9. The new REO Speedwagon album (don't remember the name)
10. Piano
11. 35mm camera
12. "The Fire Starter," Stephen King
13. Hanging planters (4)
14. Red silk blouse
15. Towel rack for bathroom
16. Fuzzy slippers
17. Subscription to "Soap Opera Digest"
18. Silver typewriter charm for bracelet
19. Bathrobe
20. Three large photo albums
21. Pair of tennis shoes
22. Jordan or Jamie ?!
23. "Chronicles of Narnia," C.S. Lewis
24. New vacuum cleaner
25. "The Tide Is High," Blondie
26. Denim jumper
27. Magazine rack for l. room
28. Frame for pics of Dick & me
29. Personalized stationery
30. New winter coat
31. Diamond stud earrings




Listening to "Alpha" (by Vangelis) and considering all the feelings the song evokes ... for as long as I live, I will probably always consider this the song that saved my life. Last January and February when Scott was gone so suddenly and there was no one left and I wanted to die, just listening to this song made it easier to go on. Funny how important some music can be to a person.  I always refer to "Alpha" as 'the song that saved my life.'








Friday evening (early)
January 2, 1981

Quite a lot has happened in the ten days since my last entry, and I can see myself beginning to fall into that old familiar pattern of abandoning my journal and allowing long stretches of my life to go by unrecorded ... sigh. Christmas and New Years have passed, relatively uneventfully, and now it's back to the process of ordinary, every day living. Sitting in the kitchen at the moment in (cold!) bare feet, tentatively sipping the first beer of the evening, listening to the stereo and waiting for Ray to finish washing enough dirty dishes to accomodate a small army. I sorta hope that we go out somewhere tonight -- I've been cooped up in the house all day and am beginning to feel claustrophobic! -- but no plans have been made as yet. If we do go out, it will undoubtedly be to Dave's Place for beer; we even spent New Years' Eve there (with Dave and Cathy, Scott and Leslie, and Randy). We spend so much time there. I really don't mind, I suppose, since it's nice to have a familiar spot filled with recognizable faces* (especially since I won't set foot into Gatsby's these days, my home away from home last summer).

* This was about two years before "Cheers" was on TV, but I think what I meant was a place "where everybody knows your name" ...

Anyway. I seem to be in reasonably good spirits these days, regardless of the fact that my life isn't pointed in any particular direction. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it will be weeks, maybe months, before I have a car (and a job) again. Most of my $1,000 insurance settlement has been eaten away by December's rent and Christmas presents, and the amount remaining couldn't even buy a decent pair of roller skates, let alone a car. Ray is going to pay my part of the rent for this month, and since my other financial needs are relatively small, my present lack of money isn't crushing me, the way it did last summer or last fall when I was "living" with Bobby. I can get by on a few dollars a week with no sweat. Still, it would be nice to have money of my own again, without having to depend on Ray for every nickel and dime. I want to start working again as soon as I can, even if it's only part-time. I refuse to allow myself to fall into the same financial trap with Ray that I slipped into with Scott W.. It's a comfortable and EASY thing for me to do, especially since I'm basically a lazy person and I don't particularly enjoy working, but after what happened a year ago when Scott left and I was completely stranded fincncially, I'm not willing to put myself into that kind of vulnerable position again.

New Years Resolutions for 1981? Nah. I don't think so. My excuse is the same as everyone else's ... I always end up breaking them anyway. Even if I wanted to make some sort of resolutions, I wouldn't know what to pick, since I now know how unpredictable life can be. One year ago, if I had had ANY inkling of what 1980 held in store for me ...

2 a.m.

Very late! and very high! that same night. Ray has just jumped into his van and driven to 7-11, hoping to talk the salesperson out of a six pack, after hours ... not that we really need it. A lot of beer, a couple of beans and close to half a gram of c. have me wired enough to provide energy to the entire West Coast. (Oops ... he just drove up. Did he? Nope.)








Tuesday afternoon
January 6, 1980 1981!!!

Sitting in bed watching "All My Children." (Palmer Courtlandt just offered Sean Cudahy a job; Langley just told Phoebe that he's fired Benny.) Waiting for my lunch - a baked potato - to finish cooking. Trying to recover from last night.

Now it's later in the afternoon but I'm still not feeling a hell of a lot better. Sheryl is slamming doors and cursing angrily about something, but I'm choosing not to pay any attention to her. Lately she and I have been at odds with each other practically every minute, and I just try to stay out of her way as much as possible. Thank God Ray is around to act as a buffer; otherwise the situation would be intolerable.








Sunday afternoon
January 11, 1981

Tensions have escalated between Sheryl, Ray and I the past few days, and now a formerly uncomfortable situation has become impossible. On Wednesday night there was a huge blow-up, involving not only the three of us but Ray & Sheryl's parents, as well. For an hour or two it looked like I might have to move out of the house in order to keep peace in their family. Luckily, it has been more or less resolved. Sheryl has been staying at Jeff's house almost every night this week, and on those rare occasions when she comes home, we all ignore each other. It's not exactly a pleasant situation, but I'm so tired of Sheryl's constant histrionics that even this stalemate is a welcome change.

Sunday night. Ray is making a run to the store for a few things for tonight's dinner ... I'm sitting here on the sofa watching "Solid Gold" (Jim Stafford co-hosting), hoping like crazy that Sheryl doesn't decide to come home in the fifteen minutes that it will take Ray to go to Safeway and back. Geez ... this is ridiculous, isn't it? Sheryl and I got along so well when I first moved in. Now things are so ugly. We disagree about everything. Everything about her rubs me the wrong way, and vice versa. I suppose it was bound to happen ... I can't seem to get along with female roommates!

Ray said that as soon as he gets his tax return, he wants to find a place for the two of us ... JUST the two of us. I wonder if this will ever come to pass?








Friday noon
January 16, 1981

Sheryl is moving out today. Just last night Ray and I were sitting down at Dave's Place, wishing aloud that this would happen ... and then this morning I woke to the sound of slamming doors and Sheryl packing her things. Her mother is here to help her, and the three of us are being civil, anyway. For the most part, though, I want to keep myself holed up in the bedroom and out of the line of fire. I don't know if Ray knows about this yet. I was going to call him at work, but he's coming home early anyway so I'm just going to wait.

AT LAST ... Ray and I have a house all to ourselves!! No more constant bickering with his sister!!!

I have to admit, though, that I'm a little worried about the financial implications. Ray isn't exactly noted for his expertise in handling money, and since I'm even WORSE, I'm afraid that we're going to end up in trouble one of these days. Especially since we're trying to start a baby. Having a baby isn't cheap: we're not too starry-eyed to realize that. I've got to find a job pretty darned quick & start putting some money aside. Of course, I'm only assuming (once again) that I'm going to get pregnant. We're still trying but haven't had any luck. I refuse to give up hope, though.

I wonder where I'll be a year from now ... and whether there'll be a small person bouncing on my knee, with Ray's hair and eyes and my ears ...? And if so, whether it'll be Jesse or Melissa ... ? And if so, what his/her last name will be ... ?!!








Monday night
January 19, 1981

Ray is puttering around in the kitchen preparing dinner ... last night's roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. I'm hungry. Sitting on the sofa, half-watching a "MASH" re-run, sipping my 7-Up, relaxing. He stayed home from work today because he wasn't feeling well this morning ... we spent most of the day in bed.

Yesterday Sheryl moved most of her stuff out of the house, and I spent the day cleaning the kitchen and living room and assimilating my belongings into the empty spaces she left behind. Now the house feels like it's "mine," and it's a good, solid feeling ... a feeling of ARRIVAL. I feel as though Ray and I are beginning the rest of our lives together.








Friday afternoon
January 23, 1981

God damn Smokey has taken off again into the pouring rain, and the old fart across the street hasn't left his window for one second. Just what we need - another run-in with our creepy neighbors.

4:30 p.m.

Waiting for Ray to come home. We're thinking about going to see a movie tonight, but that depends on how he feels when he gets home. I don't know, though ... every time we make real "plans" like this, we wind up down at Daves Place anyway.

The old creep across the street called and made all kinds of threats over the phone, including one to have Ray arrested. (And now Ray is half an hour late getting home, and I'm beginning to wonder ...??) I've locked Smokey up in Sheryl's old room in case the creep is serious and really does send the police over here.

ONE WHOLE YEAR HAS PASSED SINCE ...

6 p.m.

He came home ... whew. I was really beginning to get nervous. Beyond the obvious fact that I would hate for him to spend any time in jail, there is also the plain fact that if he did go to jail, I would be stranded here alone in this house. Scary thought.

He's washing his hair and getting ready to take me out ... I'm sitting in the kitchen with a beer, killing time. ("Accompany Me," Bob Seger.) We've got to run an emergency errand for Mike Ross first - pick up his spare car keys - and then I think we're going to try and make the 7:50 showing of "Stir Crazy" at The Overlake Cinema.

Helped Randy and Phyllis move into their own apartment last night. Randy and Ray have become friends since Rand was released from prison last month.








Monday afternoon
January 26, 1981

Terminally hung-over ... but then again, so is most of the country, I would suppose. (Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday.) Ray and I went over to Dave & Cathi's house to watch the game.









Wednesday afternoon
January 28, 1981

Continuing this a couple of days later. The house is an absolute disaster area - especially the kitchen & our bedroom - but I can't seem to rev up my engine enough to get off this sofa and roll up my shirt sleeves. Ray never says anything or complains when he comes home and the place is a mess, but I feel like I'm letting him down, anyway. He knows that I am FAR from being a model housekeeper.








Friday 4:30 p.m.
January 30, 1981

Feeling harried and harrassed. Problems all day long, with Smokey, with the plumbing, with my own energy level. Ray - bless him - just got home, uncharacteristically early, and brought me a much-needed cold beer. He's standing here in the kitchen, wordlessly rifling through a drawer full of old bills ... something tells me that his day was no less aggravating. I doubt that we'll be going out tonight because we have no money and he's still getting over the flu. We don't go to Daves Place anymore, anyway - Ray had some kind of falling-out with Dave, and he's stopped going there as a result. It's probably just as well. I'm too cranky to be taken out in public without a muzzle anyway.

6:30

I was right. We're not going anywhere. Ray brought home a case of Rainier and looks dead-tired. I guess I called that one pretty accurately, huh? He said, "We may go out later tonight," but I wouldn't put any money on it.








Sunday afternoon
Feb. 1, 1981

Happy, for no specific reason ... the whole house smells like pine and furniture polish and cinnamon incense. Ray and I have spent the past three hours cleaning the place from top to bottom. He's still hard at work in the bathroom - at last peek, he was kneeling on top of the dryer, wiping off the ceiling with a sponge - but I, having conquered the kitchen and the living room, have elected to take a break. The stereo is insanely loud ("Sheer Heart Attack"), my beer is cold, and my world is (temporarily, at least) clean and organized.

As predicted, we didn't go out Friday night, but ended up having a good time nonetheless, thanks to that case of Rainier, an excellent joint (a gift from Guy W.) and a rousing session with the stereo. I passed the evening making a tape of old favorite rock songs, which I'm listening to now. I'm not sure what time we got to bed finally, but there was nothing but test patterns on the TV when we finally crawled off to bed. Last night was more of the same, although on a CONSIDERABLY smaller scale.

Pleased with life at the moment. The only thing that would make it perfect would be having a car, but you can't have everything, I guess. I have now been unemployed & without a car for five full months. August seems like eons again. Had the disturbing, recurring "Moving Dream," again last night, but the morning always comes, and with it the knowledge that I am home and secure and loved. I wish I were always this content.







Tuesday afternoon
February 3, 1981

Ray is staying home for the second day in a row ... he called in, claiming to still have the "flu." At the moment he's at the hardware store, picking up parts to fix the shower head. I'm in the living room, which has deteriorated into a mess again, watching the last few minutes of "General Hospital" and sipping a cold beer. My days are so short anymore. I don't even get out of bed until noon, as a rule, and then I don't get moving until 3 p.m. or so. By the time Ray gets home in the afternoon, my day has more or less just begun and his is winding to a close.

My period started yesterday, so that blows that for another month. In the back of my mind I'm beginning to worry a little, although the rational part of me knows there's probably nothing wrong at all.








Thursday
February 5, 1981

Ray stayed home yesterday and today, so I've pretty much had him all to myself this week ... and it's been nice. I seem to love the man better every day. Each day there's something new to discover about him. If I was worried at the outset about a lack of depth on his part, four months of living with him have convinced me otherwise.

He left a couple of hours ago to pick up his paycheck and give his parents the rent. While he's been gone I've picked up the house a bit and listened to some of my "thinking music." For some reason I'm in an introspective mood today, and the special music helps.

While I was cleaning I accidentally found some pictures of Ray and one of his old girlfriends (Loretta W.). Would you believe that I'm actually jealous, looking at snapshots of Ray with his arms around some other girl?








Friday
February 6, 1981

Ouch ... does my head hurt today. Ray and I went down to the newly-reopened Towne Crier Tavern in Redmond last night, and am I ever hurting today. He wants to go back down there again tonight, but I'm not sure if I have the stomach for ir. I'm sitting here at the kitchen table looking at an open can of Rainier and trying to work up the nerve to take a sip of it, but to no avail. After we got home from the tavern, we sat around the living room smoking some more of that good dope and fooling around on the floor (!) until 2 a.m. The past week has been long, lazy and wonderful. Ray has stayed home from work every day and we've had all kinds of time together.








Tuesday
February 10, 1981

Tuesday night, and COLD. They've even predicting a little snow tomorrow. Ray went back to work this week. He was home for a while this evening, but at the moment he's out running errands. I've been feeling run-down today and decided to stay home and wait for him. Sitting on the living room floor with a glass of beer and an old "Barney Miller" (Levitt is high on amphetamines!); Smokey is laying beside me. I don't have anything wildly exciting to write about ... life remains much as it has been since this journal began - placid, pleasant, routine. I don't mind. I love Ray, I love living with him, and I love taking care of this house we share.

Grandma Vert called on Sunday afternoon, ostensibly just to chat, but I could call she was really trying to find out what Ray's intentions are. She asked me point blank, "Are you going to marry this one?" and I said "Yes, probably."








Wednesday
February 11, 1981

It snowed last night, just as predicted ... only about an inch, though, and it's expected to turn to rain later. A little stoned. Waiting for Ray to get home - tonight is bowling night, and I'm going for the first time in three weeks. Randy called a while ago and we had a long, crazy conversation.









Thursday
February 12, 1981

Suffering from one of the all-time worst hangovers of my life. Sick to my stomach, pounding headache, the shakes. I don't even remember how many gin & tonics I ended up drinking last night at the bowling alley. Just smoked a couple of bong hits in an effort to quell some of the nausea ... it's made me feel sooo laid-back and sleepy. I don't even have the energy to get dressed.








Friday the 13th!
February 13, 1981
Mattie's Rag

Waiting for Ray to come home ... we're going out tonight. I finally recovered from my hangover and got a few things done today, but it was definitely touch and go for a while there. Randy called last night and wanted Ray and I to go out drinking with him, but I just couldn't do it. (For one thing, I felt like shit; for another, Randy wanted to make it a "foursome," and I'm not real anxious to see him with another girl. Unfair of me, I know, but true nevertheless. I still have some very special feelings for Randy, and selfish as it sounds it would be hard for me to see him with someone else.








Monday afternoon
February 16, 1981

This is Presidents Day, a national holiday, and therefore Ray is home for the day. This has been an exceptionally pleasant weekend, and I'm feeling even happier than usual. On Friday night Ray and I went to The Somewhere Else and listened to Head First, a band that was one of my favorites last summer. Saturday morning Ray bowled in a city tournament, and I went along to watch. Saturday night we had an impromptu poker party here at our house, with Dave & Cathi, Scott & Leslie. We played cards and drank gin & tonics until nearly 3 a.m. Ray and I spent all day yesterday in bed, trying to "recuperate" from our party.








Wednesday
February 18, 1981

Afternoon ... and General Hospital. Another lazy, relaxed, typical afternoon in the life of Terri V. If only my life were always this simple and problem-free. Today I've cleaned up the kitchen and done a fairly large laundry, and now I'm sitting here on the sofa watching Heather Webber prepare to murder Diana Taylor on G.H. Ray's van is out of commission again so we've got to depend on other people for transportation again. Ray bowls tonight, so we'll probably have to get a ride from Dave.

Monday was the 14th day of my cycle - my most fertile day - so now I have another two weeks to wait and see if I'm pregnant. Having those funny, cramp-like pains today but I'm not worried. I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude.







Friday
February 20, 1981

I've just finished cleaning the house and have now taken a seat on the sofa with a strong gin & tonic and Charlie Callas on "Merv Griffin." Friday. Wondering if we'll be going out tonight ... only if Ray can come up with a car to borrow, I guess. Last weekend we used Cathi's car (which, incidentally, she's thinking about selling me maybe later this spring). I've been feeling run-down and headachy the past two days, but that has more to do with inactivity than anything else. I've grown so damned LAZY these past four months. It's almost frightening. There's always plenty of housework or laundry to do, or letters to write or things like that, but the thing I don't like is that my brain isn't getting any real exercise. I've been reading like crazy, but that isn't enough. I spent 12-14 waking hours in this house, every single day, with no one but Smokey to "talk" to. Ray and I don't go out nearly as often as we used to because our finances are kinda tight. He gets home between 4:00 and 7:00 every night, which leaves me with only a scant few hours of honest-to-God human companionship every day. It's awful. Some days are worse than others ... today was one of those days, I guess. To make things even worse, our telephone has been dead for more than a week, so I can't even sit down and call Grandma or Randy when I'm feeling overwhelmed by "the lonelies." I'm about as cut-off from the world as I could possibly be.

Question: When is all of this going to change?

And: Will I be sorry when it does?








Tuesday
Feb. 24, 1981

Early morning ... 6:30 a.m., to be exact. Mike Ross just came and picked up Ray for work ... I'm sitting in the living room with a cup of fresh hot coffee, watching Richard Simmons. Smokey has run off again into the rain, but I've got the door cracked open and I'm hoping he'll come home before the neighbors across the street wake up. The coffee tastes wonderful. Drinking it this early in the a.m. evokes memories of that first cup of the morning at work. Raining gently outside. This will be another gray soggy day. Hungry. Scrambled eggs? Bacon sandwich? Wait until lunch and eat my one remaining black to stave me off till then?)

Ray is thinking about letting his friend Mike Myers move into the spare room for a month or two. Lately Mike has been coming over practically every day, and he's been pathetic in his none-too-subtle attempts to get an invitation out of us. He's a nice enough guy but I'm not wildly ecstatic about the idea. I suppose I'm afraid another roommate will interfere with my relationship with Ray - ESPECIALLY if it's Mike Myers, as he spends most of his time on our sofa watching TV. I'm afraid he's going to be around the house constantly, and Ray and I will never have a minute alone.

8 a.m.

Ate a scrambled egg sandwich and feel much better. Raining harder now. Sure wish that damned dog would come back.

Ah! No sooner said than done ... a verrry wet and bedraggled Smokey just came slinking in through the door. Now I can relax. I might even go back to bed ... three cups of coffee haven't done the trick, and I'm still tired.









Feb. 28, 1981
3:30 a.m.
At Grandma & Grandpa's

These envelopes were the only pieces of paper I could find at this ungodly hour of the night, but I'm so sick and miserable and lonely right now that I had to write something or I'd go right out of my mind. The old attic bedroom is warm and comfortable, and by all rights I should be able to close my eyes and go to sleep ... but without Ray sleeping beside me, I'm lost. God, I miss you, honey. Where are you right now?? Are you still out partying with your friends? Do you even know that I've gone??

Lord, I love him, and I'm so afraid I've lost him. I was so stupid. I tried to apologize, but Mike just said "You don't have any friends here" and everybody walked away. I just wanted to sink into the ground and die. Calling a cab and coming home to Grandma was the only thing I could do ... the only place I could turn. Even Ray didn't stick up for me. I have never felt so universally disliked and alone.

Honey, if you ever read this, please know how much I love you. I never meant to be a "burden" to you, financial or otherwise ... and I never meant to embarrass you in front of your friends, but it seemed like everyone was ganging up on me, even you, and I was mad. I kept telling everyone, "Yes, I agree with you, but I don't think this is the time to be discussing it because everybody's getting upset," but no one would listen to me. They just kept hammering away at me until I fell to pieces.

I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm going to try and get hold of Ray tomorrow, but I have this sick scared feeling inside of me that he won't return my phone call. If I've lost him ... God, I just want to curl up and disappear off the face of the earth if I've lost him. Ray, I love you. I'm so sorry.








March 1, 1981
Sunday evening

One of the more emotionally upsetting weekend I've had in awhile, although things appear to have levelled off now. For awhile I sincerely thought Ray and I were finished. I spent Friday night and all day Saturday at Grandma & Grandpa's, but I was so lost and lonely without Ray that I had Dad drive me home last night. The whole episode was so stupid. Ray and I haven't had much of a chance to talk things over yet because Mike Myers moved into one of our spare bedrooms yesterday and there hasn't been a single moment of privacy; however, things appear to be OK between us. Ray never holds much of a grudge.

I don't even want to talk about the argument, except to say it was mostly a case of everybody being too high and too easily ignited. Especially me. I doubt that Mike Ross or Dave McK. will be able to forgive me as readily as Ray has - particularly Mike, since at one point I slapped his face! But right now the most important thing to me is reaffirming my relationship with Ray.

Later

Evening. Time to bring yet another journal to a close. Sitting in the bedroom I share with Ray, which at present is clean, warm, comfortable and smells of Musk incense. "The Amityville Horror" is just starting on TV. Three newly-rolled, fat joints are laying beside me on the bed. Ray is taking a bath ... Mike has fallen asleep out on the sofa. A vase filled with cherry blossoms sits on Ray's dresser ... Smokey is poking his nose in the door, politely asking to come in. ("All right, Smoke, c'mon in.")

I have a lot of things to think about and important decisions to make. I'm feeling slightly "crampy" and I think I'm probably going to start my period tomorrow, right on schedule. If so, I think I'm going to abandon my foolish plans to get pregnant now. We just can't afford it. I'll see a doctor, and arrange for some kind of birth control, and Ray and I will wait until a time when we're both more financially and emotionally secure.

Other decisions must be made as well, most of them about money, but now is not the time to make them ... not tonight. Tonight Ray and I are going to lay here on the bed and smoke those joints and watch our horror movie and make love. For the first time all weekend I feel relaxed and comfortable and happy.



  My New Years Resolutions
(OK, OK, so I made some after all!!!)
1. Car
2. Job
3. Baby
4. Continuing relationship w/Ray
5. Better communications w/my family in 81


 
JANUARY 22, 1981 ... HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Terri. YOU SURVIVED!
Betcha never thought you could do it!)



FAVORITE SONGS DURING THIS JOURNAL:
Love On The Rocks - Neil Diamond
You Shook Me All Night Long - ACDC
I Love A Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbitt
Goodbye Marie - Bobby Goldsboro
Keep On Loving You - REO Speedwagon
The Tide Is High - Blondie
Turn Me Loose - Loverboy
Passion & Gi'me Wings - Rod Stewart
Ah! Leah - Donnie Iris









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