Sunday, January 10, 2016

1991

Location: Springfield, Massachusetts & South Deerfield, Massachusetts

January 1991

1991 was off to a shitty start. Fran got drunk and went downstairs to Jimmy’s place where he embarrassed his friends Mike and Lisa. Then he came back up to my place where he couldn't stop playing with my hair, slapping Andy and me on our heads, and then he raided the kitchen. That was it, I decided that night. He would no longer be allowed in my apartment.

Tracy was over a few nights later. She had lost a lot of weight.

Then Andy and I got into a huge fight and even shoved each other during an argument. Later on we calmed down and laughed about it. Even so, I really did hate having a roommate at the time. I thought I would enjoy it, as I’d enjoyed roommates in the past, but I guess I had gotten so used to living alone. I didn’t even want a relationship at this time, but just casual sex.

On the 7th I met a nurse named Kim at the ER. I was standing outside waiting for a cab when I spotted the book The Joy of Signing in her hand. It was a book I had learned a great deal from, along with the deaf boy in my hometown as a teenager. We struck up a conversation and exchanged numbers. The married bi-curious nurse visited me soon afterwards.

My health and emotional state was very fragile at this time. I felt I had no one to turn to. Andy lacked in both compassion and understanding and I willed myself to suppress things as best as possible to avoid conflict. I knew that opening up to him would only make me feel worse in the end. Yet I didn’t feel close enough to anyone else in which to unburden myself to other than my journal.

One night I had a severe migraine and was crying for hours in bed till I finally threw up twice. Of course, Andy didn't give a fuck and I knew it so I held it in and suppressed the urge to scream and scream to my supposed best friend who was taking our problems to Brenda, Bonny and others it didn’t concern. I felt it was no one’s business and like he was gossiping about me behind my back. I was still young and so I found this behavior a bit hurtful. I didn’t have the confidence and maturity I would later come to have.

Toward the middle of the month things worsened with Andy and I. I continued to feel like shit and he continued to discuss us with others and even pit them against me, while I discussed us to my therapist and in my journal. It was then that I knew he had to leave and find another place to live. I could no longer stand having him around. He would deliberately wake me up, say negative things that were sometimes downright mean, and I’d had enough of his selfishness and insensitivity. The only good thing was that I managed to go a week without smoking around this time.

On the 20th, Andy rented a room and I was never happier to see him go. Despite all we’d been through, our friendship amazingly survived the storm.

I called Martha and let her know I wanted to take a break from therapy. I really wanted to learn to suppress things and just live with the bad as well as the good without running to others about it, and in my mind at the time, running to a therapist wouldn’t allow me to master this so-called skill.

The landlord wanted to evict me for complaining about how cold the building was. I wasn’t the only one to complain either, yet it was me he dragged to a mediator. He “liked” me otherwise, he told the woman handling our case.

I shut up about the cold, but I wasn’t about to go anywhere till I was ready to… and I didn’t.

Jenny also wanted to take me to court for prank calling her. Was I guilty of that? Yes, I was. Did I regret it? No, I didn’t. Probably not the right answer, but with the way she cruelly dumped me simply because I had some issues to work out that she didn’t have the patience for, I felt I was owed a little indulgence in a bit of harmless, sweet revenge.

When I failed to appear in court she tried to have me arrested by calling the cops and claiming I beat up an old lady in my apartment building named Mrs. Baker. Fortunately for me I was not only out of the building at the time Jimmy said the cops came looking for me, but I knew that the cops would quickly learn that there was no such person in our building. I also figured they’d see that I had a Failure to Appear warrant out on me and put two and two together as to why Jenny made the bogus call she did. I hoped she was charged with reporting a false crime, though I highly doubt she was.

What pissed me off was that (if one could believe Jenny), earlier she had asked the cops for my phone number, saying that her logic was that I had hers. Therefore, she felt she was entitled to mine. Well, some stupid cop gave it to her, and she probably also used her looks for the information, too.

We would get our day in court; just not yet.

Again Fran dragged me into a puddle of drama with his lies and delusions by getting some poor girl named Liz (I think) to believe I wanted to harm her two-year-old daughter. I have no guess whatsoever as to why he did this, but who can figure out the crazy, right? Where I went wrong was by being dumb enough not to cut ties with the bastard altogether after I calmed the woman down and assured her no one wanted to harm her. My guess is that because she refused Fran’s advances (which I heard over the phone courtesy of 3-way calling), he decided to spite her by using me against her. Again, she was smart enough to get that I was sincere in my assurances to her, but I wasn’t smart enough to drop Fran. At least not yet.

And then there was Angie. Drunk, classless Angie. We were at the club one night when Andy and I noticed her. I thought she was pretty decent looking.
As Andy and I were leaving at closing time, we walked by Angie and her girlfriend and Andy goes, "Now, here's the better looking girl," gesturing toward me.

"Will you lick my pussy?" she suddenly screamed for everyone to hear. Then she gave me the wrong phone number.

Not long after this incident, Andy was cutting through this Laundromat to his mother's store one day, and it turned out that Angie worked there. He said her name and she asked how he knew who she was. "You don't want to know." Andy told her.

On the 25th, Andy and I performed at the club but didn’t win anything, and I was tired of freezing my ass off in my apartment.

The landlord came over and asked me to write the temperature down every time it got cold after putting a thermometer in each room. He also told me he was prepared for the judge to allow me to stay till October, but that he hoped it wouldn't come down to court. Oh, it wouldn’t and I knew it.

On the 27th, Kim came over for me to tutor her in sign language, and a girl named Lisa that I met at the club surprised me with giving me her correct number.

I was getting along better with Bonny and Brenda, but Brenda and I were mostly just friends at this time.

Decided to go to therapy after all at the end of the month, and was glad I did. I got a lot of shit off my chest.

February 1991

Psychic hotlines became a big thing, and as skeptical as I was, I wasn’t any less curious than most folks. I called them up one night and everything they told me was bullshit.

I was doing laundry one day in the basement of my building when I met a girl name Susie who said the band she was in was looking to add another female singer. We harmonized together a bit and she gave me her number. As was my typical luck, though, nothing ever came of our little meeting.

Kathy, Bonny's sister-n-law, trimmed my hair and did a great job.

Jimmy bought a house and moved out from below me. Jai was now living across town and his girlfriend Jenny was living with him.

Toward the middle of the month, Andy came over stoned out of his mind, but in a good mood. He turned 29 around this time. I gave him a card and a bag of hard candy. He was to be moving to Phoenix the following month and I hated being left behind but didn’t see any way I could possibly join him.

Bonny was set to move out in March, Brenda in April. I began to feel like I was losing everyone, though I was hardly close to Bonny.

I was beginning to realize just what a major crack addict Brenda was. Her good “friends” Bonny and Dave got her hooked on the shit, sadly enough.

One night Brenda called me from Bonny’s SIL’s asking me if I would go to the ER with her because she got punched in the nose while she was out. Naturally I said yes since she'd taken me before, but as Andy and I both suspected, she probably went to buy drugs and got robbed and assaulted. According to Brenda, though, she went out to get cigarettes for her and Bonny when a guy came up to her and she rolled down her window. When I asked why she'd roll down her window, she said that for all she knew he could've been asking for directions. Then she said the guy’s girlfriend punched her in the nose when she refused to buy drugs from them. She said the girl also spit all over her window as Brenda was trying to back out her car, which kept stalling, and the girl also threw a bottle at her windshield. The windshield wasn't broken, but I could see that something had spilled out all over it.

I felt bad for Brenda, but also knew I couldn’t risk my own safety by being too close to her. It was definitely time to go our separate ways.

On the 17th, I was listening to music when a strange feeling came over me. I slipped off my headphones and could hear a bunch of yelling and sirens. At first I thought it was a drug bust till I looked out my window and saw tons of fire trucks. One of the nearby buildings was on fire that I knew a lot of druggies to live in.

As annoying as he could sometimes be, I found myself missing Kevin at times. Andy and I agreed that he was probably what drove him away. He knew he couldn’t “compete” with Andy.

On the 20th, Kim called to let me know the only other apartment in her building would be vacant soon. I was interested, but doubtful as I didn’t think I could afford it. A few days later I visited her and met her husband Mark, who was a cop in the neighboring town. I was highly impressed with the apartment, the area, and Mark. He was such an easygoing guy and I felt like I’d known them both forever.

I called my Italian foster mom and updated her on my life, then I called Mary D, mad at myself for letting myself be scared of her for so long after she tried to ambush me and my apartment back on Oswego St. She actually apologized and said she still felt sorry for that day, but I wasn’t about to meet with her. Even if her violent side never emerged again, I’d seen it once and I didn’t want to always worry if something I said or did would bring it out a second time. I may have been too forgiving of those who could be verbally and emotionally abusive, but I certainly drew the line at assault. I managed to keep her from giving me more than a bruise on the forehead that day, but I knew that if I hadn’t been quick enough to defend myself, she could’ve hurt me worse. Maybe even killed me had she bopped my head hard enough in just the right spot.

On the 26th, I learned that I passed the police exam with an 81%.

March 1991

Peter M, the owner of Kim’s building, ran a lumber business on the first two of three floors. The top floor housed two humungous apartments that were over a thousand square feet. They had a unique layout and were very modern and loaded with extras… dishwashers, garbage disposals, trash compacters, motion sensors, alarms, cathedral ceilings, skylights, a washer and dryer in the bathrooms, and even a Jacuzzi in the tubs.

Kim and I spoke with my mom and at first she refused to listen, but Kim soon melted her right down with all the good the place had to offer. Mom was impressed with the area, which she was familiar with, everything the apartment had to offer, the price, and Kim and Mark. She kept telling Kim what a guardian angel she was, and was true.

And so I would give my landlord Russell S my notice to move in April, something he was no doubt thrilled to receive.

The night I saw the apartment, Kim and I went roller-skating at Interskate 91. I had a blast. She visited me soon afterwards in Springfield, and took some stuff of mine up to her place for me.

Brenda wanted to have sex one last time before we moved. I refused and she admitted that the coke and crack or whatever she was doing was screwing her up and ruining her life.

On the 12th, Andy drove across country and moved to Phoenix. I was happy for him, but sad to say goodbye.

I continued to have scattered asthma attacks that could sometimes get bad enough to land me in the ER.

I also had a urinary tract infection at this time.

Kim and I grew closer and I realized that she liked me. As in really liked me.

At the end of the month, Andy made it to Phoenix and was really happy. He said it was beautiful and that there were so many stores and everything was cheaper. I was both excited to move to S. Deerfield, but also longed to join him in the desert.

April 1991

On my father’s 60th birthday I moved to S. Deerfield. It was so much quieter there and the air was so much cleaner. Gone were the naughties of the night yelling on the streets over drugs and johns. Gone were the honking horns. Gone were the many sirens. Gone was the sense of danger.

I got a new stereo for $275 and that included a turntable, dual cassette, AM/FM radio and the CD player.

Kim was so great and a really sweet person. She was everything I’d look for in a person. I felt I could never express how grateful I was for all she'd done for me, including surprising and delighting me with a new pair of roller-skates. I loved them.

I will admit she wasn’t what I was used to having for friends. She had a good job, made good money, and she was very stable. Unfortunately I’d had a knack for attracting mostly broke losers that were sometimes not all there. I didn’t care if one had money or not, but I preferred a more mature and secure person in my life that was drug and alcohol free. So Kim was a welcome change.

I felt safer and I felt happier, but I was feeling a little lonelier at times, too. Away from everyone I had known or still did know, the isolation and boredom could get to me at times.

May 1991

Kim, Mark, and I went to Hampden Beach early in the month. Before we left I had an appointment with my asthma doctor, and he agreed I was getting much better.

Kim gave me a musical note mobile and got me a beautiful spring jacket, a dress and a bracelet.

Chatted on the phone with this guy Tony that I met when I was out roller-skating.

Found myself becoming depressed and bored at times as I settled into life in South Deerfield. I looked back in my past journals (which were all handwritten at the time) and found that I’d left out a great many details of the things I’d write about. I took on the task of writing about my life since going out on my own in much broader detail.

Steve and I were missing each other, and we talked about the possibility of him moving into the area when he visited one night. We had a great time. We talked, watched a movie, and he gave me $40! I was broke, too. He loved the apartment, of course.

The next night, Jai came up for an hour or so. That was nice, too. He and Kim knew each other, it turned out.

Met this lesbian that dialed me by accident. I wasn’t impressed with her masculine looks or her gruff personality, so we never met again.

Went to this lake with Kim. Her grandparents lived there as well as in Florida. We went in a paddleboat and I swam quite a bit and got some color.

That evening, Kim, Mark and I went to Interskate 91 and I had a blast there, too. I really skated up a storm, but boy did they play shitty music. I met an older man there who was a dancer and he knew my uncle Marty. Small world indeed.

June 1991

My dad visited this month and after he returned home to Florida and got the pictures he took developed, he sent me some as well as some of other family members.

As I sat in a little breakfast place one morning that reminded me of Dunkin Donuts, I realized that while I didn’t miss Springfield at all, I wished the place had more stores like Food Mart.

I asked about a part-time job at a nearby seafood restaurant since I was desperate for extra money, but the guy didn’t need any help at the time and I didn’t care for the way he was overly flirtatious.

Andy was still enjoying Phoenix, but couldn’t stand the people, something I would come to understand sooner than I knew.

July 1991

One night at Pearl Street I met this hottie named Maliheh. She knew Kim from sign language class. Maliheh was totally hot despite being close to my height, something I didn’t usually prefer. She was very skinny, and while she wasn’t feminine, she wasn’t masculine either. She had a nice tan, dark eyes and dark straight hair to the middle of her back. I was stunned to learn she was 34. I thought she was my age at the time.

She too, liked to sing and play the guitar, but talk about being a whole different person over the phone than in person! In person she asked me to dance, gave me her number, and kissed me on the cheek on the way out.

After I got home and had time to reflect upon things, I knew that yes, I was attracted to her, and yes, she seemed like a nice person. But that protective side of me came out and warned me of what shit I might be in for and certainly didn’t need in my life.

We chatted once or twice by phone and she didn’t seem eager to get together as we had talked about doing at the club. Finally I left a message on her machine, thinking I was doing the right thing due to her apparent lack of interest and my not wanting any drama, and told her we should just be friends.

When I hung up the phone, though, I was pissed at myself and felt so bad for the message that I was in tears. What opportunity might I have just thrown away, thanks to allowing others who had burned me to make me so paranoid?

But then the call from Maliheh in response to the message turned up that anger and sadness tenfold when she went off on me about it. She didn’t appreciate my “Dear John” message, she told me, I was the one with the 20 questions, etc.

Then why did she give me her number, and where in my message had I ever implied I was breaking off a relationship that hadn’t had a chance to start? I wondered.

Pissed and hurt, I lashed out the only way I knew how to back then and began to mind-fuck Maliheh through the phone. I crossed her with people and left her utterly confused. She was the hysterical bitch she’d proven to be while I sat back in the darkness with a vengeful smile on my face.

Despite my sweet revenge, my life was crashing in on me. The loneliness. The lack of money. The lack of singing opportunities. Everybody wanted to hire people with experience, but how was I to get that experience if no one would give me a chance in the first place? I wasn’t the greatest singer in the world, but I was decent enough.

Soon afterwards my parents sent an additional $50 a month to help out, which I appreciated, and Kim and I went to Hampden Beach in New Hampshire.

Andy saw Gloria in concert and mailed me a tour book from the show.

Jai and Jenny came up and we had a nice visit.

The landlord decided I needed a new kitchen counter, so some guy spent two hours on that and making my head spin with his very loud sanding machine.

August 1991

I got the Gloria tour books from Andy, which were beautiful.

Tammy, Bill and the girls came up and we had a great visit.

I went to an older couple's house for a cookout that were friends of Kim's. Kim and Mark, however, were gone to Vermont because it was their anniversary. Bob and his wife Sandra picked me up, then brought me home afterwards.

The day before, Kim, Bob, Sandra and I went to a fair in Cummington where I got some cute things.

Then one evening the 4 of us went out bowling. It wasn't too bad either as we were the only ones there and I didn't bowl as bad as I thought I would.

September 1991

I was spiraling into a pit of depression at this time and wondering why I bothered to go on living. I felt like nothing was working out. My hatred and mistrust of people in general deepened, as did my anger. I began seriously considering moving down to Connecticut near my sister. What was the point of a big beautiful apartment if I had no life to go with it and was just going to be miserable all the time?

I was also having sleep issues more often where my schedule would bounce between night and day, never knowing why.

My mother visited this month, and while she brought some food and clothes, all we did was fight for the most part. She accidently knocked over my guitar and broke two strings. At first I wrongly blamed her cuz I was pissed at her, but I knew it was an accident. She said she’d send me a whole set of new strings, which I appreciated, as she could afford to replace them and I couldn’t.

We went out and browsed around the Yankee Candle Co. and ate lunch outside at their picnic table. We also looked into some other shops, which were newly built at the time, which had mostly jewelry and knickknacks and plenty of old stuff. She bought me a bracelet and some beads and some of that colored flossy yarn that's more like string. Last night I made my nieces bracelets.

In my moments of boredom I wrote a song called A Light in the Dark. It really reflected how I was feeling at the time.

Kim was kind enough to pay to have my cat Shadow fixed, and so I could get new journals. I really appreciated that!

October 1991

I got a very nice letter from mom along with 18 pictures to add to my photo collection. Dad's 60th b-day party with Charlotte and Jim and other friends were in some of the pictures. One was of Ruth and Marty on their 33rd anniversary renewing their wedding vows. Several were of my nieces and one of me.

The morning of Oct. 22nd was a nightmare. I had a massive asthma attack in which I knew instantly I'd never be able to fight on my own. Mark was a great help and a good support to me. The EMTs even told Mark he did the right thing as I needed oxygen and to go to the hospital. It was so scary and I was so bummed out about it that after they gave me the updraft and they left the room, I cried. Mark took care of letting the EMTs in and also locking the door after they took me away and calming Shadow down. He picked me up after and bought me a coffee and himself some beer.

November 1991

Andy sent me a few pictures of himself, along with a coupon for my favorite coffee at that time. He also sent some cigarette coupons.

I had a little chat with Nervous. Not much had changed in his life.

I stayed at Tammy's at the end of the month for Thanksgiving, and even let her read part of my journal.

I got some new markers and a coloring book along with a couple of journals when we went shopping. Remember, back in these days I wrote everything by hand.

Tammy was a great cook and it was nice spending time with her and the kids, though other family members were present as well.

December 1991

Dad called on the 2nd, which was nice, because I was depressed. Chatting with him cheered me up.

Bob and Sandra took me out to run errands, such as stopping at fuel assistance. We ran into Mark and his partner doing a sobriety test on some female driver.

Kim boosted my spirits on what was turning out to be an incredibly boring 26th birthday. She took me to Ponderosa where I had the steak and lobster combo.

When we came home, Kim told me to give her a few minutes to make a phone call. After waiting 5 minutes or so, I knocked on her door. She opened it and was in the dark holding a cute little cake with pastel colors. I blew out the candles and there was a sudden flash. At first I thought it was Mark till I realized he was working. Kim flipped on the lights and there was Bob! She had called him on her car phone while I ran into a store to buy some smokes.

I got a large photo album from Kim, which I had put all my drawings in. Now they'll be safe. I also put some songs I'd written in there along with family and celebrity photos. Then stuck Kim's card in it, too. It was so cool; the card she gave me.

She also gave me a cat mug and a wooden black cat you stick on top of a doorframe. It looked like it's about to jump down from the frame. She also gave me a little one that sits upright.

Lastly, she gave me a big huge Hershey's chocolate kiss.

Bob gave me a wooden napkin holder he made himself. He carved dogs out of it.

I got some really cute things at a place called Mix-n-Match with Bob and Sandra. It was a super nice bargain store. I got a placemat to put under Shadow's bowl, 2 lipsticks, cat litter, a pen, stationary, 2 bottles of nail polish and some ranch Doritos all for $11.

I then had 25 paper journals kept on the headboard-shelves of my waterbed.

I received a package that was one of those free trial offers. 40 cheap pairs of earrings along with some groceries and household items. Some of the things I got in that trial package are nice. Pasta, lemonade mix, Windex wipes, Ajax, pretzels and a can of cat food.

I got a birthday card with $25 from mom and dad, which I quickly spent.

On the 10th, I met with my counselor, Cassandra.

My parents sent a package. There were two cartons of Cambridge ciggies, some powder, a lighter, a neon braided bracelet and two very pretty barrettes, and a key chain, too.

Kim gave me tons of stamps, which was really nice of her.

I spent some time next door one night with Kim and Mark. Their Christmas tree was lovely.

We were all surprised to spot an ad in the Valley Advocate personals stating that a thin, feminine, 27-year-old female with a great sense of humor was looking to meet another feminine thin female around her age. The word feminine was capitalized.

Tammy and the girls came to visit at the end of the month for a few hours.

Kim and I went to the Hampshire Mall one evening, and then we went roller-skating.

I returned home one evening at the end of the month. After a few good hard tugs on my doorknob, which was frozen with ice, I saw a Dunkin Donuts napkin. It was from Cassandra saying that twice she attempted to see me and that she'd try again. That made me feel so good as I missed her and really needed to see her.

I even missed Bob. Bob and Sandra were really nice people despite all their troubles, but I saw less and less of them cuz their car broke down and Sandy was terminally ill with cancer.

Kim gave me a few pictures she took and made copies of. They were of me moving in with Mark and Kim helping me. There were also two pictures of me sitting at Kim's piano with Shadow and a few taken by Bob the night of my birthday.

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