Location: Springfield, MA, Norwich, CT & Phoenix, AZ
The 2nd - Bob was worried about Kim going to Florida. She was going to the same area where Bob's second wife was murdered. Supposedly Bob and Dorothy were only married for 3 days when Dorothy's sister became ill. When she went to the sister's house, her brother-n-law came on to her. The guy shot Dorothy, her sister and himself too, I think.
Tammy called to let me know that the Norwich Housing Authority had called. They had a studio available at the moment, and said that as soon as a 1-bedroom was open across the street, I could move in.
Then I got a message from Ann Marie, the girl that left an ad for a feminine woman. Although she sounded a bit too serious for my tastes, I was curious enough to set up a time to meet her.
The 3rd - Tammy saw the studio and said it was too small. We figured as much.
The 6th – Met with Ann Marie. She was 27 years old, 5' 3" tall, and she weighed 120 pounds. She was in great shape and had a great body.
I spoke with Jessie and Andy and had both Fran and Kevin on the phone at one point, too. All they did was go off on each other… as usual.
The 10th – Feeling frustrated with my family for their constant criticism of me when they were far from perfect themselves.
The 11th – Wishing more and more that I lived where it was warm all the time. I was sick of snow and I hated winter clothes. I wanted to be able to run around in shorts and skimpy tops all year.
As many problems as Bob had, I enjoyed our late night chats when neither of us could sleep.
Got a package from my folks with the pictures I sent them and asked that they return since I didn’t have copies. Also some coupons for cigarettes, cat food, coffee, chocolate pudding and feminine products.
Tony and I went to a Chinese restaurant, and I had a very positive talk with Tammy. We got a lot of stuff out in the open.
The 17th - I spoke to Ann Marie again and we had a very pleasant talk. However, she seemed to be a bit critical of some of my ways, like my inability to drive. Honestly, even if I didn’t have a driving phobia, I couldn’t possibly afford a car at the moment.
We discussed how my therapist said I push people away subconsciously, but I really did feel justified to do so at times and that it was in my best interest, depending on the person and situation. All I knew was that I looked ahead that night and I didn’t see Ann Marie in my future.
The 22nd - Due to the fact that I didn't have a lease, the landlord could ask at any time that I move. I spoke with Peter, who said he was giving me till March 1st, as a young couple was pressuring him about moving in. I told him it wasn’t my fault that last December I was 100% sure I was moving and that my mom unexpectedly backed out of helping me make that move. I said I'd take him to court if I had to and that the law doesn't allow you to fuck with someone who's on SS or SSI so easily. I went through this with my old landlord and even though I won in the end, I wasn't about to put up with it all over again.
He spoke with Tammy and he said he would "work with her," so to speak, and try to have a little compassion and understanding. I spoke with George today as well and he said, “You could have stayed forever and ever, it's just that you did say you were moving.”
I did, but nonetheless, I explained to him what caused the delay and he said to just hang in there, as things do get better, and was sympathetic to both sides. The couple was living with their in-laws and going crazy. I was isolated with nothing and nobody and also going crazy.
Tammy was able to get the girl at the NHA to move me to the top of the list. Also to get mom to keep her word about paying for the move. Tammy's got some friends to help move me and she's gonna rent a U-Haul.
I called and spoke to a woman name Mary Jane. She told me a few things about the apartment. One thing is that it was on the 1st floor, which made me a little nervous. I was told I’d be next to a couple with 4 kids. It was very basic. Small, no carpet, no dishwasher, no disposal, no laundry facilities on the premises, etc. But now my rent would be just $138.
The 26th – Kim returned from Florida with a great tan. She gave me this really cute satin pillow, which was small and had silk flowers and ribbons on it. She also gave me a glass butterfly and elephant, plus tiny porcelain heart-shaped jewelry box.
The 28th - I got two prank calls from the same guy who called my other number. I was 99% sure at that time that it was connected to Maliheh.
On the 8th I moved to the NHA in Norwich, Connecticut and I absolutely and totally hated it. The apartment was a microscopic dumb, and part of the large family’s apartment next to me extended above mine. The walls were paper-thin and I could hear every single move they made. I couldn’t tell whose phone was ringing. I couldn’t get any sleep or even hear myself think when I was awake. Barbara and Dave’s 4 kids never sit still for long. There were three boys and one girl in their four-bedroom apartment.
I liked being closer to Tammy and the girls but I hated everything else. Norwich had such a screwy public transportation system and you kind of had to spend a lot of time riding around the town just to get to a place that was only a few minutes away.
Although this project was in a nicer neighborhood than the one I had been in back in Springfield, the kids and chaos was everywhere. Everywhere. The little brats were screaming indoors and outdoors and it seemed that the only time I could get a break from them was at night.
Despite their constant noise, the kids were a bit helpful, by showing me a shortcut through the woods to the nearest stores. My most regular visitors were nine-year-old Jenny, the youngest child next door, and a child named Layne that lived with her gossiping bitch of a mother in the neighboring strip of apartments to my left.
The nicest adults I remember from the place was a black woman named Pam and a white woman named Laurie. They were in the strip of apartments to my right. I think they each had one child.
The stress was horrible and I was often left exhausted. My frayed nerves and the lack of sleep only compounded my asthma and seemed to make everything harder on me. I wished desperately that I could quit smoking, but all my attempts had failed thus yet. I was becoming desperate and self-destructive and I knew I had to do what I possibly could to change my situation.
The 10th – Tammy and I tried Habitrol patches in hopes of quitting smoking, but it didn’t help.
Ann Marie visited and we did a little shopping together… among other more private things. :)
Despite the pouring rain, the kids would be outside playing LOUDLY until 8pm.
The 11th – Spoke with Bob. His wife Sandra didn’t have much longer to live at this time.
The 15th – Shadow had become both an indoor and outdoor cat.
I spoke with Jessie, but sadly, I lost touch with Steve.
I also continued to be driven crazy by next door’s racket and had to sleep with earplugs. This didn’t always save my sleep either, with the way the floors would vibrate with the kids’ footsteps.
The 16th – When I returned one day to my apartment from the store, I found a note on my door from the NHA. They wanted to modernize the place and mentioned homeowners fair housing laws and shit like that. I intended to be long gone before this could happen, and I let them know it, too.
I felt as bad for Tammy as I did for myself after she went through so much trouble to move me down there.
Fran called to tell me he was being evicted, Jessie called to tell me her man troubles, and I spoke with Cassandra again. I missed her and my old apartment big time!
The 18th – Began to mentally look at my parents as people and not just “mom and dad.” I wasn’t sure if I liked the people that they were very much.
The 22nd – I babysat my nieces, did my laundry at Tammy's place, and wondered if I wanted – really wanted – to keep my parents in my life or not.
The 23rd – Had a grease fire when I cooked something the wrong way and burned it. Tammy heard the emergency call on her scanner, but I assured her everything was under control by the time she called.
The 27th – Got my first prank call from a couple of high school guys. One said he knew Barbara and was also Lyle’s cousin. Lyle was a neighbor in a band.
The biggest surprise was the $30 check I received in the mail from Brenda for the stereo I sold her.
The 6th – April was a month to get all excited for absolutely nothing when I was hired to sing in a band that soon decided they were too busy to continue performing after their day jobs.
It started when I met my neighbor Laurie at Price Rite. She was the one who introduced me to Lyle, who knew a guy in a band and so on and so forth. Laurie was a really sweet person, though, and Lyle was nice, too.
They lowered my rent to a flat $100 since my disability checks were of a lesser amount in CT than they had been in MA.
The 8th – Had to go to the ER due to an asthma attack. Lyle took me. I was in and out pretty quickly.
The 12th – Was wondering why the people next door needed to bang so much. Even at a late hour with their kids asleep, 30 seconds didn't pass without a slam, a bang or chairs and tables sliding around their place.
I had two shrubs right outside my front door and having 20 kids playing hide and seek in them and screaming at the top of their lungs was no joyride. Same went for the bouncing balls off the outer wall of my place, and the way they would climb out next door’s bedroom window to run around on my rooftop (their place extended over part of mine).
The 24th – My sister and I had some arguments, mainly thanks to her wonderful husband at the time.
The 29th - While I was watching TV one night, Ann Marie left a message saying she got a second job meat wrapping at a grocery store. She said she wanted to come see me, but was too busy to do so. Somehow I doubted I’d ever be worth making the time for in her mind, anyway.
The 14th – The stress of the NHA was beginning to come to a head. I felt like shit. I wasn’t getting any sleep. And now the government wanted to take more from my checks.
I had a bad asthma attack this night and was too tired to even call the paramedics. I fought it on my own, regardless of how much of a stupid risk that may’ve been. I eventually passed out.
The 16th – Kevin got a phone and I spoke with him for a while.
My hair was now to the crack of my ass when I pulled it straight.
Mom and dad sent me a package with super nice curtains, a cute little crystal lamp, a beach towel, tanning lotion and a pair of black shorts.
Jessie told me that Steve moved to Chicopee and would soon move to California.
Tammy lent me her electric typewriter, which I thought was awesome at the time. This was about as high-tech as I’d seen back in those days. It had several really neat features and could erase a letter, a word, or a whole line. I had fun with it… until the ribbon broke.
In the NHA bulletin it stated that there'd be a Norwich city police foot patrol in Oakwood Knoll beginning that month. I eventually chatted with a cop named Warren.
The 25th – With the stress of living at the NHA totally taking a toll on my nerves and body from months without sleep, I finally ended up having both a mental and physical breakdown. I went to the ER and was then transferred to Natchaug Hospital where I was admitted to a small adult psychiatric ward.
I was a little worried at first that they would want to be quick to mask my problems with medication, but they didn’t. They knew that what I really needed to do was find another place to live where I could hear myself think and get the sleep I needed. Granted I couldn’t do it in the psych ward, but I needed to recharge before I went back home to focus on finding a new place to live. I did sometimes request sleeping pills at night because I wasn’t always sleeping much better there than I had at home.
I had one roommate and her name was Lindsay. Some of the staff members were nice while some were high on power play. They kept us busy throughout the day with various groups and activities. I felt there wasn’t enough one to one attention, but I also understood that limited staffing made it harder to dish out individual attention more often.
I was thrilled to learn that my dad would be making the drive up to see me, and I really appreciated my family’s support.
The 29th - Dad and Tammy came to visit me and they brought me some more of my clothes and some personal items.
The 9th – Early in the month Andy and my father shocked the shit out of me by breaking the news that my parents were finally going to send me to Arizona!!!
Before going to the airport, dad took me to take care of some last minute things as we disconnected my life from the east, more or less, and then to cousin Boo and Max's where I really didn't want to go at first. I was glad I did, though, as they were both super nice and let me take a much-needed nap upstairs. Being so busy and excited in the days leading up to my departure left me incredibly exhausted, so it was nice to be able to take a nap and let the others have time to visit with each other. Boo and Max also gave me some money to take with me, which was also nice.
All my belongings (except for furniture, of course) were to be shipped to Andy's studio. I was to stay with him till I could get my own place.
With my cat in a pet carrier, off I went from Bradley airport in Connecticut to Chicago’s O’Hare airport to Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport. It was a very emotional day for me, and my dad was allowed to board the plane with me. Back in those days you could do that. I felt great emotionally, but physically I felt horrible. My asthma was making my chest feel tight and I was beyond beat.
Andy had a delicious pot roast dinner waiting for me the evening I arrived, and took me to take a dip in the pool and Jacuzzi.
Then I threw up twice, haha. I was totally exhausted and worn out, but eventually I was able to get some sleep, even if we had to share a bed in his tiny little second floor studio.
Back in ’92, Phoenix was a very modern, beautiful and affordable place to live. I started off at the Vista Ventana, which had two pools/spas and two laundry rooms. I was able to nab a ground floor studio two buildings down from Andy's the next day, but couldn’t move into it till the 15th. It was only 400-square-feet and I had no furniture, but I loved it. Didn’t care for the thin walls, but the studio was cute for one who didn’t start off with much stuff.
The only negative to spoil some of the excitement was that they were screwing around with my disability checks, stalling my food stamps, and this left me pretty hungry at first.
The 26th – Andy introduced me to “Pez” (Leslie) and Stephanie. Stephanie was gay and resembled Barbara Streisand a bit.
Andy's friend Donna that also once lived back east and was a fantastic singer, was nice enough to give me a twin mattress and box spring, though not right away.
My upstairs neighbor was Robert. He was from Santa Fe, and although he was very nice, I hated how he walked like an elephant.
I wasn’t impressed with my next door neighbor Mark at all. He told me a woman’s purpose was to “please man,” and I didn’t feel very comfortable alone with him.
The 27th – Funds were low and my stomach was empty. While the government was busy screwing me around and stalling my checks (along with the food stamp people), I called a church and they delivered some food, which I was grateful for despite their known attitude towards gays. At that moment I was just too damn hungry to care if I was being fed by a bunch of bigots or not.
Robert was kind enough to give me a few things too, but I knew it wouldn’t last long, of course.
The size of the spiders and roaches were straight out of a horror flick, but I was loving my new environment/climate despite the noise I could do without and not liking some of the people I met.
I was threatened via certified letter to get rid of my cat or get out, since I wasn’t in a pet apartment. Truthfully, I couldn’t have afforded a deposit even if I was. Shadow liked the outdoors, so I thought at the time that if I just kept him outdoors during the daytime, they wouldn’t know he was still around.
I spent a lot of time at the pool tanning until I got sun poisoning, and Andy took me to see the view of the city from some of the largest mountains I’d ever seen, as well as a wealthy town in which many celebrities lived.
The 28th - I met Andy's friend Velma, a hairdresser. I also met Donna and Angel. Angel had just had a baby and Donna was newly married. We’d often chat at the pool, and the two surprised me one day with several bags of groceries. I was so appreciative! Especially since the church gave me food a few days later than they said they would.
Andy and I went to a club on karaoke night, but didn’t win anything.
I continued to struggle financially in ways I didn’t expect to. Then I was forced to give up my cat. Then Andy and I started fighting. Then I dumped Donna because she was getting too judgmental of me.
Then came Ellie. Ellie was a 48-year-old woman who was also on SSI and SS. She had a lot of problems too, so I was sympathetic but reluctant to get too close and risk getting caught up in the drama.
My parents eventually agreed to send $50 a month to help me out and they also sent some non-edible things that food stamps wouldn’t cover. The food stamps that would be delayed yet another month because some idiot didn’t close out my case back east. So I had to go hungry because someone didn’t do their job.
One night the stress became too much for me, and a counselor from Terros came out to help calm me down.
Andy and I visited some of the local gay bars and I was surprised to find more feminine girls around, though this didn’t mean I had any more luck than I’d had back east. I was still everything a man wanted and nothing a woman wanted back in these days.
Met a girl named Rose Marie at my complex. Beautiful. Italian. A year older than me. And one I stupidly thought would at least make a good friend, since she was straight and had a BF. At first she seemed nice enough, though I didn’t care for the BF. I could tell he had an aggressive side, but then in some ways, so did she, as I would later learn.
They didn’t seem to mind at first that I was attracted to her or the fact that I was on disability. Rose Marie did say, though, that these lesbians used to live next to them and she was afraid of one of them.
Initially they seemed eager to get to know me, telling me I was welcomed to visit anytime I wanted.
I also met a heavyset, homely looking woman named Fay who wasn’t very bright. She too, was on disability. She lived with her son in the same building Rose Marie was in.
Later in the month I tried apologizing to Donna for dumping her, but like most people, and like I wished I could be more often, she wasn’t very forgiving at all. Instead she picked up where she left off with criticizing me, the very reason I cut ties with her in the first place.
The drama with her was now causing me to question whether or not other friendships were worth it, or if I should bother socializing with Rose Marie. I did attempt to visit Rose Marie once. However, Rick answered the door saying she was asleep.
Started baby-sitting an 11-month-old boy named Justin. His mother’s name was Stacey. She didn’t live at my apartment complex, but her sister Kara did with her own 8-month-old daughter, Ashley, and their mother. To be honest, changing smelly diapers on crying babies wasn’t exactly my idea of a good time. But I really needed the money and so I was willing to do it for a few hours here and there, as people needed, after putting up a notice on the bulletin board in the laundry room.
The 13th - I got a couple of packages from mom and dad with household items.
I had started cleaning for Ellie, but decided to stop. She was a paranoid loon with a million problems. I got tired of the delusions and having to hear for hours on end how she was going to die and that there were 5 organizations after her. She also went back on her word as far as paying me went. First she said she could afford it, and then she couldn’t.
By this time I had become very hesitant to meet any more people. Especially after Rose Marie and her boyfriend went a little ballistic on me, thanks to me stupidly trusting Fay more than I should have. It turned out that Faye was jealous of my attraction for Rose Marie, and she told Rose Marie some rather twisted versions of some of the things I confided in her about.
After a few weeks of hoping that Rose Marie would come to me for a visit instead of the other way around, I finally asked her at the pool what was wrong. She told me I didn’t do anything wrong, but after thinking about it she decided that she was too religious to want my “type” around.
At the same time I appreciated the honesty and knew she had a right to pick and choose her friends, I was both hurt and angry.
Shortly after this, Fay told me she ran into her in the laundry room and that Rose Marie said didn’t want to hurt me, but said that Rick had beat up some other girl and was watching her like a hawk. So this pretty much confirmed my suspicions about her being controlled and manipulated by her BF. I suspected she was probably more abused than she had let on, not that it was any excuse to go bipolar on me, being kind and accepting of me one minute, then deciding I wasn’t worthy of having around the next.
As a prank, I put a letter on her door that I received from Bob when neither of them were home. I had never mentioned him to them, and after I made sure my name wasn’t in the letter, I figured there was no way they could know it was from me because the only ones that knew about it was Andy and Fay.
Then came the night she showed up at my door. I was surprised, of course, and hoping for an apology and a change of heart. Instead I got lectured on how she didn’t do women, rumors were going around that I “wanted” her body, she and Rick were fighting (as if that were my fault), don’t leave notes on her door, and she didn’t know how to get the point across other than beating the shit out of me and she didn’t want to, or something to that effect.
Caught off guard and stung by the cruelty and falseness of her words (I never went around announcing to the complex that I “wanted her body”), she left my place and then I found Rick waiting just outside the door when I went to close and lock it. I should have figured she wouldn’t have had the guts to confront me alone.
“I understand your fantasy,” Rick tried to tell me, “but don’t lurk and just leave us alone.”
I supposed that going to the pool that happened to be right by their place was considered “lurking.”
After the hurt and shock wore off I became extremely angry and stormed over to their place. Dave, the security guard, took one look at just how pissed I was and called the cops, but nothing ever happened because they didn’t have the guts to open their door and confront me on their turf.
I quickly cut ties with Fay. Kara, Stacey’s sister, was kind enough to drop an egg on Rose Marie’s little red sports car for me as a way of saying “thanks for your shit, bitch.” This kind of revenge may’ve been wrong and immature, but that’s just how I was back then.
Around this time I moved to Andy's building and never saw Fay, Rose Marie or her stud ever again.
Kara, whose baby I sometimes watched as well, moved with her mom across the street to a larger apartment at another complex that was more affordable.
Three weeks into the month and I got my first taste of a monsoon storm. Pretty intense. Fun, but also a bit scary.
I was breathing easier, but still hungry. I thought it pretty pathetic that my parents could live high off the hog while I couldn’t even fucking eat. Or afford a phone. Any calls I had to make were made from Andy's, long distance ones to family being collect.
Was relieved to learn my parents survived Hurricane Andrew that year.
I met two really nice girls who were roommates named Tara and Tonya at the pool. I didn’t see much of Tonya, but I saw Tara every now and then. She could draw really well, and she gave me some helpful tips and pointers as I too, sometimes had fun drawing.
At last my food stamps arrived on the 27th, nearly 3 months after moving to Arizona. I was so psyched and I literally cried tears of relief.
Andy and I both agreed we were sick of Ellie’s many moods and Fay’s many lies. I was tired of their games and other issues. Andy said it was still worth meeting people, though.
Was it really?
Fay eventually came over with a peace offering. A little table for my patio. We had a good talk and I told her how I felt.
By the end of August I’d really come to hate Mark, the guy next door. He was occasionally fun to be around, but overall his attitude stank. He seemed to hate the whole world… gays, women… you name it, he hated it. All he could do was rank on my friends, talk about sex, and pressure me about getting stoned with him, which I had no desire to do.
Andy and I went to see the Twin Peaks movie, Fire Walk with Me this month.
I got some really cool stationary with neon cats for a buck at Walgreens for keeping in touch with friends and family back east.
Andy cracked me up. We recorded him trying to sing a song in Spanish. He had the headphones on while he tried his best to follow a song of Gloria’s. It was so damn hilarious!
I enjoyed chatting and drawing with Tara, but not the night Ed scared me. I heard a knock on my door one night and I thought it was Tara. I still lived on the ground floor at this time. When I opened the door it was a guy named Ed that I’d met at the pool. We'd had some good talks and he said he knew this girl who was gay that he thought he should hook me up with. Anyway, he was at my door with a beer, obviously smashed, saying he was just wandering.
Yeah, right. He just had to "wander" to my door and right onto my patio? He never said or did anything to harm me, but I could just imagine what was going through his mind as I locked my door and headed off toward the pool.
Robert and Mark were pissing me off even more. Robert with the stomping over my head, Mark with the sexual harassment. Fed up with their shit and not liking a ground floor unit, I jumped to the opportunity to move to a second floor studio behind Andy, but not before jumping out to scream at Robert for waking me up at 4am one morning on his way to work. I called the office about his shit later that morning and he started walking normally after that. I knew some of it was “payback” for my lack of interest in him.
The new studio would be an identical layout, only with beige carpet instead of blue. I would be above a guy named Jeff and next to a woman named Andrea. Andi, as she went by, was hideously ugly and I suspected she was probably gay, too.
Gordy, the maintenance guy said he needed extra time to paint and fix whatever needed it, so I couldn’t move in until the next month.
I continued to be hard up for money and called cousin Boo to explain my situation to her. I told her I'd never ask for money ordinarily, and to please not tell my parents (though I’m sure she did). She said she knew the move was rough, would be delighted to help, and to consider the money a birthday gift.
Later in the month my parents sent more of my stuff out to me… my typewriter, twin sheets, a twin blanket, legal documents, old albums, my tools and two awesome outfits.
I got a quick letter from Tammy along with $50 since she sold my couch.
Met a gorgeous girl named Melissa at the pool. She was reading a book on addictive relationships, saying she was too clingy and always jealous of her BF. I’d always avoided the jealous type. As far as I was concerned, anyone that jealous was not only not right in the head, but potentially dangerous as well.
I finally got a phone at the end of the month. This was certainly a relief to have in case of an emergency.
Met and chatted a few times with Rachel, who lived diagonally below Andy at the front of the building I was to be in (I was to be in the back) and she was very sweet.
A really nice guy named Randy, which I met when I first moved in, fixed my typewriter.
Since it had been a while, Andy and I decided to go visit Ellie. We figured she may not want to see us but she was totally thrilled. I ended up getting my pink denim mini skirt and bringing it over to glue on beads, shells, sequins and colored glue she had. It was fun and the skirt looked great.
I told her I was transferring studios and gave her my number. Andy gave her his number and she gave us hers.
Then sure enough, as we were leaving she became furious, saying I didn't help her clean up, but I most certainly did. Andy said she seemed so cured until we left, but that was so typical Ellie.
The 1st – Andy and I went to a karaoke contest. Neither of us won, but we had fun.
I took a walk over to what was going to be my new apartment in 8 days and asked the girl who’d been living there if I could take a quick glance at it. She didn’t have a problem with that. I liked how the patio was more private, not just because it was off the ground but because there was a large tree in front of it.
The 3rd – I got a letter from Kim. She was nice enough to enclose stamps in it for me, too.
The 11th - A guy named Dennis and his brother Brian that I met at the pool helped me move into my new studio. Dennis and his mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease, took me grocery shopping with them as well.
The place started off quiet with the only occasional annoyance being that I could hear kids playing in the common areas.
Andy took me out to a buffet in exchange for doing his laundry. Both Rachel and Stephanie ended up joining us.
One night I could have sworn that someone was peeping out at me through their blinds in the building next to mine while I was on my patio. I didn’t give a shit, though. I wasn’t about to let anyone intimidate me.
A pool pal named Tina put fake nails on me, and Rachel gave me a few things she didn't want. A pillowcase with teddy bears, two shirts, a rug that wraps around the toilet, and a nightgown.
The 13th - Andy and I went to check out several bars. I exchanged numbers with a girl named April. I eventually called her and we ended up having a fairly good talk for a little over an hour. Then sure enough, she failed to show up at my place when she was supposed to.
Randy came up to see my new place and he hooked up my VCR for me. He also told me that it was him who had been leaving the TV Guide at my door. He left it twice, which was nice of him. I thought it was him or a guy named Mike I recently met somewhere around the place.
The 12th - Velma trimmed my hair. Personally, I thought Ellie did a better job, as crazy as she was. Velma trimmed more than I asked her to.
Mary, the girl below Andi and next to Jeff, was very nice. She couldn’t walk too well due to having cerebral palsy, but her speech was fine. Unlike Melissa, Fran's friend.
I got a package from my parents with paper towels, Kleenex, toilet paper, a really nice cream-colored shag rug for the bathroom, a nice shirt, and nightgown. Also, some liquid dish washing soap, but I told them not to send any more unless it was for dishwashers.
The 20th – Andy, Mary and I began feeding a stray cat we named Moon Shadow. He was a lot like Shadow only he was black and white rather than orange and white.
The 21st – Andy and I got some strange voice messages from Ellie. Definitely not right in the head, we realized.
One day when I went to open the door for Moon Shadow, an electric typewriter was sitting there! I ran down to the Jacuzzi to see Randy who I knew would be there, but it turned out to be a real bummer when we discovered that the motor was shot. He called the guy who gave it to him, swearing the guy was honest and that they’d done business together before. I told him not to worry about it, though.
The 26th – Jeff let me pop some popcorn in his microwave since mine was too wimpy.
All I had to fix was the space bar on the Smith Corona electric typewriter I grabbed at the thrift store.
The 30th – It was around this time that the apartment manager, Stacey, began harassing me, sometimes in some very strange and questionable ways. Part of it was my fault. I was guilty of prank calling Robert in the middle of the night for waking me up when I lived below him, and then I also prank called Ellie as well. Only difference was that they didn’t have me on tape while I still had Ellie’s crazy message on my answering machine in which I played for Stacey, casting a shadow of doubt as to just how much of a “troublemaker” I may be. Still… I was sorry I ever bothered to give Ellie a second chance.
Judy and Paula, who also worked in the office, were very nice. It was only Stacy I had a problem with. Actually, it wasn’t just me that had a problem with her. Others had problems with the bitch as well. She was a very strict and controlling person much like my mother.
Where it got strange was that she called both Andy and I down to the office one day, but she met with us separately, Andy being first. We never knew her reasons for this. Maybe in her mind she just didn’t want to give us a chance to get our so-called “stories” straight. Either way, it felt as if we were children being sent to see the principal.
Being criticized for making prank phone calls was one thing (not that this particular thing should have been any of her business), but then she started accusing me of vandalism I knew absolutely nothing about. Andy did say, however, that one night he woke up to the sound of glass breaking and thought it was his car. He got up and checked it out, but all was fine and he didn't see anything that looked to be wrong.
Next, she got on me for going to my second studio before I moved in and asking the girl if I could quickly take a peek at it. If the girl had had a problem with this then why did she let me in? She could have said no.
She mentioned something about “people not understanding my friendship,” and me asking people to come up to my place and trying to get their phone numbers, hinting that I was trying to pick up women for sex. That was certainly not the case, of course, and any numbers I did have were given to me on people’s own free will. I certainly didn’t force anyone to give up their number to me.
I had to laugh at the part where she accused me of going through the phone book as well. Not that I recall ever doing that, but were phone books suddenly illegal or something? I wondered.
She told me the office would no longer accept any packages under different names, which was strictly out of spite, of course. Why else would she have cared whose name they were in? And yes, I sometimes ordered things in fake names.
Then she went back-and-forth, admitting that she didn’t know me in one breath and then being all judgey in the next. Also, nosy about personal matters that didn’t concern her. Why didn’t I get a part-time job or do volunteer work? Why did I not go live in Florida where my parents lived?
How was any of this her concern and what right did she have to ask me this?
Then she insisted I was lonely and I should meet more people a split second before telling me I should keep to myself. In fact, I later learned from Andy that she suggested he dump me. I was like, OMG, you’re kidding me?! How unprofessional was that?
She also informed me that she knew where I was and what I was doing, and that if someone didn't tell her, she'd find out anyway. I began to wonder if she was spying on me and why.
I would have handled her much differently and in a much smarter manner had she hit me with this shit when I was older and wiser. Instead of listening to her accuse me of shit that I had nothing to do with, and butt into my personal life that didn’t pertain to her as manager of the apartment complex, I would have made it simple and told her to mind her own business and then left the office. But I was too nice and too forgiving in these days, not to mention naïve. I should have reported her as well, though I honestly wouldn’t have known where to go for that. I think she knew this too, and took advantage of my naiveté.
Instead of returning to my studio half amused and half annoyed like I would be these days, I returned to it both angry and scared. If dealing with some of the tenants hadn’t put a damper in my willingness to trust others, Stacey certainly had. A counselor from Terros came to my place to help calm me down, but she was still there. In fact she was everywhere from what I’d learned that Kara and I ended up checking my vents for bugs or cameras of any kind.
Ellie continued to do crazy things. While the counselor was there she called screaming about some “mess.” Then she left plant soil outside my door. The next day I swept up the soil and stormed over to her place in a rage where I dumped it.
“Put it in a letter,” she said, slamming her door at the sight of just how pissed off I was.
I knew she was terrified of me, but I didn’t give a shit. I’d had it with people and I ended up screaming outside her door for a few minutes as well as trashing her patio.
I never heard from her again.
That night 3 firecrackers were thrown up toward my place and I wondered if it was connected to Stacey, Ellie, Mark or Robert. Even worse, I worried that Stacey would accuse me of this stunt if she wasn’t behind it herself, and I doubted she was. Firecrackers just didn’t seem like Stacey’s thing, as little as I knew about her other than that she was a bitch.
I began to feel like I was living in a giant house full of children with Stacey as the housemother, rather than an adult living with other adults in an apartment complex in which she was the manager of.
I discussed her possible motivations with friends and we came up with a handful of different theories from my being Jewish to her having a crush on me she couldn’t handle. Or maybe she had a problem with those on disability or exotic dancers. She may’ve even hated gays. There was simply no way to know for sure why I suddenly became the focus of her obsession. I just wanted her to back off or go make someone else the center of her obsession.
The 1st – Screaming kids continued to be annoying during the daytime, but there was nothing I could do about it. They had a right to be outside playing.
Mary called asking if I had a mop because her toilet overflowed, but I didn’t even have a broom yet let alone a mop.
Emily went to Andy saying that she wanted to apologize to me but was afraid of me and that was why she didn’t go to me directly. Andy told her that it had nothing to do with him, which was the proper thing to say, IMO.
The 3rd - Andy and I went to South Mountain. I'd never witnessed scenery so beautiful before. Just when I thought you could see forever on Squaw Peek and Camelback Mountains, well, you could really see forever on this one. Downtown Phoenix was gorgeous to me back then. It was so classy and modern looking.
I met a lesbian in the laundry room who looked the part and was also very nice.
Bill Clinton was elected president.
The 6th – I had to go to the office to put in a work order to fix the lock on my door, which was getting harder to open. As I walked into the office I was bummed to see that only Stacey was present. I simply told her the problem and left.
I swore I’d take that bitch to court if she harassed me again!
I got a package from my parents. They sent towels, which I had enough of. Some jellies and jams which I never used, a pad of lined paper, typing paper, a pen, toilet paper, a purple colored basket, 4 different neon colored pencils, coupons, tape, scissors, and a cigarette case.
The 11th – Bob called, and then Fran called saying that someone kicked his door in and made mince meat out of him, landing him in the hospital.
Andy discovered that Moon Shadow was neutered right before I noticed that I hadn’t seen the cat in a day or so. I began to wonder if Stacey was behind his disappearance.
Was still in touch with Dennis, Randy, Tara and Tonya.
The 13th – Met a deaf girl, Jane, and we signed together.
The 16th – Kim moved into her own apartment and told me that Carol, the detective I dealt with back east, lost her son due to some tumor.
The 19th – Andy and I went to the mall and I got a couple of journals (I hadn’t yet gone digital) and that made a total of 35 journals that I had at the time.
EMTs came out because Rachel had a panic attack. I almost had an asthma attack that same night.
I hung out at the pool and talked with Dennis and his mother, as well as a woman named Sandy.
As I sewed on a button on a pair of Andy’s shorts for him, I really wished he wouldn’t stomp when he walked. Our studios were adjacent to each other and the whole place would shake like hell when he’d walk like an elephant.
The 24th – Andy flew up to San Francisco to visit his sister.
The 25th – Chatted with a girl named Sandy at the pool.
Rachel called asking to borrow the pool key and apologized for calling only when she wanted something. She offered for me to spend Thanksgiving with her and Peter, but I told her I already had plans. I spent Thanksgiving, which was the following day, at Kara’s apartment with her mother, stepdad and daughter.
The 1st – Dennis took me to see my PCP for asthma medication refills, and Andy took me to the King's Table which was an all-you-could-eat buffet.
One night we also went to Marie Calendar's. I got some good quiche there and he got London broil.
The 2nd - Got a package from my parents, which contained mostly jewelry and household items.
The 3rd – I found myself annoyed with Kara. I told her to call before coming over. Instead she just came over and woke me up. Her kid annoyed me just as much. If she let it go it would trash the place. If she held it down it would scream.
The 4th – For my 27th birthday, Dennis and Bea gave me a card with $5. My parents had flowers delivered. Andy got me two very pretty journals. He also took me to Denny’s where they give you free birthday dinners.
He and Velma visited for a while that night. Andy made himself and I pork chops. Velma cut his hair and gave me a b-day card and a pretty purple hairbrush.
Began to wonder what Randy was up to. I hadn't heard from him lately. I later learned he’d been sick with the flu.
The 6th - While I was over at Andy’s I heard glass smashing in the parking lot. I checked Velma and Andy's car, but they were fine. Then I realized I didn't want to be seen in case someone did do something bad that Stacey might try to pin on me.
The 10th – Bob called and told me he moved, but was still in Turners Falls.
Dennis’s mother died, and Tara visited me.
Jeff moved out from below me, and naturally I worried about what may end up below me next.
Against my better judgment, I spoke with Andy and Kara via three-way calling. Andy had taught me long ago that friend mixing could be a very bad idea. Especially when he tended to drag others into our problems when he would get pissed at me.
The 13th - I got two hilarious cards from my parents and $120! My bills were all paid, so I planned to go shopping and just have fun. I knew it’d be quite a while before I got the chance to do it again.
The 14th – Was at the doctor’s feeling miserable. Very congested.
Had to have my hot water tank fixed because the hot water would run out in 5 minutes or less.
The 19th – Had a scary asthma attack that landed me in the ER.
Maintenance pissed me off by waking me up early to see if I had any leaks in my bathroom (I guess downstairs was flooded or something) and I went off on them for it.
They woke me up the next day too, as they warned me they would have to. Only this time they had Stacey in tow with them. If I hadn’t been so exhausted and felt so shitty I would have LMAO at how they needed her to escort and protect them.
The 25th – Got in another stupid fight with Andy, who made a point of being extra noisy thanks to the spiteful, immature ass he could be.
Stacey refused a package at the office containing a porcelain doll I ordered in a bogus name, so the mailman did me the favor of delivering it straight to my door. The doll was a blue-eyed blond dressed in old-fashioned clothing and about 14” tall. She wore a sky blue dress.
The 28th – Was EXTREMELY annoyed with Andrea’s 15 little siblings that she had crammed into her studio next to me during a holiday visit. The noise was horrendous. Mary, who lived below her, got the brunt of it. They were running around, slamming, banging and bouncing off the walls like crazy. Even Andy could feel the vibrations and his place was diagonally from hers. He thought it was something I was doing at first. The chaos went on not just all day, but all through the night, too. I felt like I was back in the NHA.
The 31st – Following the death of his mother, Dennis moved out of the complex, and on his way he gave me round glass shelves on an olive metal frame. He also gave me a stepladder, a small table, and a TV stand.