Sunday, January 24, 2016

1993

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

January 1993

The 6th – Decided to take a chance on a unique way to make extra money under the table. I auditioned at a topless club and got hired as an exotic dancer! My stage name was Mystery and it quickly became my nickname, too.

I loved it at first except for when the other dancers played shitty music, the sore feet, and the greedy owners. They were too lazy and cheap to pay their own bouncers, bartenders and DJs, so they made the dancers give them a few bucks each. Still, it was something different that gave me a little extra money, and it sure beat cleaning hotel rooms or flipping burgers.

I met this guy John who drove a taxi and would be one of my regular drivers. He also used to work at this particular club as a bouncer.

The 17th - Mom sent 2 packages. In it were a denim skirt and jacket, a flannel shirt, a troll doll key chain, a ceramic elephant, a puzzle, cough drops, hangers and shoes.

The 19th – Got some new goodies with my dancing money, including a $14 rayon shirt for Andy. I got 2 pairs of panties, plus a matching set of flowered panties with a half-shirt. Then I got 8 different colored pens... blue, green, maroon, purple, pink, orange, aqua and red. Plus I got a pad of unlined paper with colors of deep purple, red, yellow and turquoise.

I called Tonya to thank her so much for the idea of dancing. I never would've thought of it if it weren’t for her.

The 22nd - A horrifying nightmare awaited me one night when I got home from dancing. I ran to shut my kitchen window because it was chilly and almost grabbed hold of a huge spider on the end of it! I'd never seen anything like it other than in horror movies!

I got a gorgeous necklace and anklet from these sisters who sell jewelry once a week where I danced.

The 23rd - Andy and I went to some dark, secluded quiet cemetery. He'd taken me there once before. Then he got spooked because right after he smoked pot, he would get paranoid.

Then we had a scary close call that made me promise myself I’d never ride in Andy's car again when he was high and had joints on him. We had gone to Fry's where I got some smokes and junk food. Andy then started smoking more pot when we saw the cops approaching us. They shined their lights on us and then I stepped out of the car. One of the cops asked if we saw someone jump over the cement wall we were parked by (we hadn’t), and then I breathed a big sigh of relief when the cop took off. I realized that I could’ve gone down with Andy if the cops had chosen to search his car.

After that we took off to some real classy office building. He wanted to show me this beautiful little mini pond with little waterfalls.

Then we returned home, and since we couldn’t make prank calls he called Laurie, a girl who lived in Kara's complex. She was pissed cuz he woke her up.

Back in these days I collected celebrity photos, mostly of Gloria Estefan. I was pissed when I began to realize that my parents weren’t going to send them to me after they had packed my belongings in Connecticut and began sending my things out west. I’m sure that if it had been up to my father I would have eventually received them. It was so like my mother, however, who wore the pants in their marriage, to decide I didn’t need any such thing. If she could have decided and controlled every aspect of my life despite the fact that I was in my 20s, she would have.

Stacey informed me that the empty studio below me was to be set up as a model. I was glad to hear this. Then I wouldn’t have to listen to anybody below me at night.

Work was interesting one night. Three guys and a girl came into the club. I could tell the girl, Linda, was gay. She was average looking, a little chunky, and had straight long black hair cut short in front and on the sides. She looked mean, but sounded friendly. She was Mexican, originally from New Mexico, and spoke fluent Spanish. She was 22 and going to auto mechanic school. I was surprised when she told me she had her own place and a car.

She kissed me in the bathroom and drooled all over me all night long. I gave her a few private dances.

She called me a few nights later and I regretted giving her my number because she was so persistent that it was actually scary. I refused to meet with her.

The 24th – Received some mail from my parents… Cigarette coupons and $50.

The 26th – Was pissed at Andy again, this time for coming between Kara and I.

The new maintenance guy that fixed my sliding glass door made me uncomfortable enough to tell Stacey about it. He asked way too many personal questions and I didn’t feel it was appropriate for someone whose job was to fix things around the complex.

The 27th – Met this guy name Scott at the club who claimed to have connections to well-known people in the music business.

February 1993

The 4th - I got a nice package from Tammy. She sent colored pencils, markers, a paint-by-number kit, and some puzzle books.

I sometimes paid Laurie to drive me to and from work, and one night Andy and Stephanie surprised me and showed up at the club.

The 10th – Andy, Stephanie and I went out to an Italian place for dinner. The place was dead, but the food was good.

Thanks to Andy, he'd gotten me into another neat hobby. Envelope decorating for letters to friends and family. I got these really cool changeable markers. Six different colors to being with that could be changed with a special marker. If I used purple and scratched over it with the special marker, it changed it to pink.

The 15th – I spoke with Kim who said something about Bob being sued for stealing someone's grill. On that and the accusations of him playing around with young kids, we both believe he was innocent, despite the statistics.

Talked to “Nervous” too, who was drunk off his ass.

The 12th – Had Andy's friend Velma try to straighten my hair, but it was a bust.

The kids at the complex continued to annoy Andy and I on weekends and after school, and Andrea was spiting me for complaining on her wild company by being as noisy as possible every chance she got. I was pissed for myself and I also felt bad for Mary because in order to spite me she was spiting Mary even more.

I began to seriously consider moving and was hoping to find somebody willing to take over my lease. Besides, I could afford a bigger place since I was dancing.

The 14th – Met a girl name Celeste who was bisexual and in an open marriage.

The 15th – Came down with a nasty flu, and Andy turned 31.

The 27th - Saw Ellie on my way to mail a letter. She looked horrible and at first I didn't recognize her. She had gained a bit of weight and her face looked all puffy, haggard and depressed. Her hair looked pitiful, too.

Kara's sister Stacey began dancing at my club.

I got orange shorts with fringes on the bottom. It also had a black ring buckle-like thing at the front of the waist with “diamonds” around it. I also got a gorgeous red shirt with open shoulders and colored gemstones around the chest area. I got one other shirt, too. A black crop top with little white daisies. Then I got a pair of black pumps and 4 journals, putting me with a total of 44 paper journals.

March 1993

They decided the studio below me should no longer be a model, and a guy named Dave moved in there. He was quite nice, quiet and hardly ever home. He invited me over for dinner once and empathized with me as far as the way Andrea was driving me crazy. And Mary, too.

At my wits end with the bitch waking me up, I one day disguised my handwriting and wrote her a note from "Daryl," the guy who moved in next to Andy and behind the bitch. I wrote: I recently moved in behind you in the front of the building. I realize you get up very early during the weekdays but I don't get up till 9:00. Please try getting up quieter.

This, along with Mary talking to her, helped me get more of the sleep I needed till I could get the hell out of there.

But not for long. One weekend she woke me up by banging up a storm as she was cleaning. It was obviously on purpose, too. Because our doors were side by side, I paid her back by knocking real loud on the inside of my door late one night, knowing it would wake her up and she’d wonder if it was her door or mine that someone knocked on.

I also knew she wouldn’t dare come to me about it either. She refused to speak to me. I just couldn’t understand not only how she could have so many kids over and not expect to receive complaints, but also why she was taking it so poorly for so long. It had been months yet she still couldn’t get over it and move on.

Late one night I called maintenance pretending to be her and claiming the toilet had overflowed all over the place, knowing she’d be woken up when someone from maintenance knocked on her door.

One night the deliberate banging was so bad and driving Mary just as crazy as myself, that I warned her and Dave that I’d be banging every chance I got for hours as payback, and I did. Ever since that night she was much quieter.

Met a woman named Leanne and Julia, a gorgeous Mexican girl, at the club. She was 23 and had hair even longer than mine.

Leanne never called, but Julia did. She was crying cuz she was upset with some guy. She said, "I don't mean to keep you hanging. I can't say I'll never be with a woman. I'm sure women are better cuz they're more sensitive, easier to deal with and I'm sure better in bed, but right now I'm so hurt and I don't want to see anyone."

I told her I was a good listener if she ever wanted to call.

Andy and I went to a restaurant called J.B.'s. It was so-so, but we really loved the Black Eyed Pea.

I took an hour and 40 minutes to cut coupons for him one night for the favors he’d done me.

Around the 8th I ran into Diane on my way back from the mailboxes. I’d seen her a couple times in the laundry room. She was a lesbian. She came up to see my studio, then she invited me to her place for coffee. We sat on her porch and had a nice talk. She was 29, athletic, and sober. She went to school and worked in the medical records department at a hospital. I liked her, but nothing ever happened between us. Just didn’t feel any real spark, I guess.

Andy left a TV guide and some hair and skin care products outside my door. Or so I thought it was him that left the 4 tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and lotion. When I thanked him for them later on, he said he knew nothing about it.

Enjoyed hanging out with some people, including Stephanie, at the pool.

In the middle of the month I got a job dancing at a club closer to where my new apartment would be. It was a much bigger, classier club. The dressing room was a lot roomier and I liked that there were lockers for our stuff as well.

Once again I was hit with the flu.

Scott, who said he repaired government homes and could get furniture that was left behind in the homes, continued to do nice things for me, but also put doubts in my mind as far as his claims to connections to the music business.

He’d just moved into the same really gorgeous apartment complex I was going to be moving to. The only problem was that Stacey was spiting me out of any chance to have someone sublease my place till the lease expired in June. It was obvious. The reason why, however, wasn’t. Was she really spiting me? Or did she have a secret crush on me that was causing her to do what she could to keep me there, as some had wondered?

Believe it or not, I sort of developed a crush on her. And then something hit me that I wondered about. Could she be behind the items left at my door? I then left a message on the office machine thanking her for the beauty samples left by my door figuring she’d deny knowing anything about it if she hadn’t. But she never mentioned them next time I saw her.

Although I never got a refund from Velma, she got me a straightening iron at a discount.

April 1993

On April 5th I moved to my new apartment and I loved it. Scott, who said he had a warrant out for his arrest due to tax-related issues, helped me move. I was sure to pitch some extra hangers and a few other things onto Andrea’s patio on the way out.

It was beautiful and I loved the extra space. The only time it could get noisy was when screaming kids were in the nearby pool.

I met the couple below me, Steve the security guard, and his girlfriend that worked in the office. Her name was Bonnie.

I also met my neighbor and future husband, Tom, who lived between Scott and I. He brought me to K-Mart one day where I bought a much-needed Dirt Devil vacuum for $69.

Did some clothes shopping throughout the month, too. I got both street clothes and costumes.

The bad news was that I had the second asthma attack that landed me in the ER since moving to Arizona, but at least I finally got to meet Celeste. She was pretty good looking but nothing ever happened with us other than some kissing. She was recently divorced and not sure what she wanted in life.

May 1993

I got a letter from my dad which half upset me, half pissed me off. I was getting really sick of my parents’ shit and their insults. Even Tammy blasted dad for the letter full of judgmental insults.

Met a dancer named Marcella that I really like, but as fate would have it, she had just moved in with her boyfriend.

I liked Sasha, another dancer, but she could be annoying. She knew Scott and I were good friends and that I hardly saw him, but she hogged his attention when he would come into the club anyway.

One night it was so dead at the club that I told Scott I was afraid I’d get evicted if the place didn't pick up or if no positive results came out of L.A. He laughed and said, "No you won’t. I've got tons of money coming in next month."

In order to get further away from the pool, I moved to an identical 2-bedroom apartment in back of the complex. Tom helped me this time, as I now realized that Scott was full of shit about everything he said, and I also didn’t want to get sucked up in whatever legal drama was going on with him.

The guy below me was quiet, but the college kids that moved in next door more than compensated for the lack of pool.

I began hanging with Tom more, who would sometimes give me rides. He was a very mature, calm, open minded guy in his mid-30s.

He would soon be moving into his brother’s 2-bedroom house that included a pool. His brother was getting married and moving into his wife’s house, which was nicer, newer and bigger and also had a pool.

I spoke with Kim who was very annoyed with Bob's obsession for her. We decided to play a joke on him via anonymous letter.

June 1993

 Had an ok talk with my parents, but knew they’d soon be back to their usual shit.

I also auditioned and switched clubs again due to the one I was at being so dead lately. But then they told me they needed dancers in Bullhead City, which was too far away, so I then decided to try private room dancing for a while. It was one of those jobs where you’d make money in spurts. You also got totally naked instead of stripping down to just a G-string, and the customers were allowed to touch you in non-private areas. I didn’t mind since it was just a job in my eyes.

There were fewer girls working there, and we had our pictures published in The Beat.

Andy and I messed with Stacey one last time over the phone. She stiffed him out of his deposit, and turned my name over to collections.

Andy moved to another apartment but said the neighbors were noisy.

Also, Andy ran into the con man and began to follow him. So they pulled over by my old apartment and chatted 1.5 hours. Scott swore to Andy that he was going to give him the VCR back that he promised to fix, but of course he never did. He probably sold it right away. He no doubt also never knew Bill Toddman, never intended to take me to L.A., and never worked for Pepsi (after claiming he repaired government homes).

Then I received a nasty letter, which I assumed Scott’s girlfriend Crystal wrote, but I was hardly worried. That was another thing Andy said he said… that several times he wanted to come fuck me up (for trying to get him to keep his word), but that Crystal stopped him.

Was I really supposed to believe that a girl who hated me would stop him?

Finally, he said Scott said he saw no point in helping me since he couldn’t get anything out of it in return. In other words, my friendship wasn’t enough.

July 1993

Began to spend more time at Tom’s two-bedroom house. Although I didn’t like the layout and the fact that it was an older house built in 1950, it had a nice block-walled backyard and swimming pool.

Tom was big on electronics and computer related things. He began to teach me how to use his computer so I could type letters to friends and family.

Andy visited one day, bringing us goodies from McDonald’s as well as money he owed us. He also gave me a gorgeous black shirt with streaks of bright colors.

Business was slow, and Lea, the owner of the club I danced at, had to let some dancers go. Because I was one of the newer ones, I was one of the ones that was let go. This was at least the story I was told anyway.

My parents sent a bunch of old family pictures, which were interesting to see.

I met the couple that moved in next door, and got a call from my doctor saying that my white blood cell count was too high.

August 1993

Tom and I continued to get along really well and it was decided that I would move into his house with him in September. I looked forward to it not just because of the college kids next to me that wouldn’t shut up, but because, as I realized and was afraid to admit at first, I was falling in love with the guy. :)

I began dancing at another club, but wasn’t there for long. I decided to take a break from dancing and see what I might want to do next. Tom was ok with that. I think if anything, it eased his worries a bit since I was in a bit of a risky business.

I began typing up all my handwritten journals.

I received a summons to appear in court for a conjunction against me that Andrea was seeking because, as I totally admit, Andy and I had been trolling her with prank calls/mail. Since I was the one she dealt with directly, it was me she was after. Thanks to Stacey divulging information she wasn’t authorized to divulge, Andrea knew right where to have me served.

When our court date arrived, I wasn’t surprised to see that Andrea had Stacey in tow, but I was surprised at how much lying both of them did. Stacey accuse me of things I had absolutely no knowledge of whatsoever, and it was obvious that someone else was trolling Andrea right along with Andy and I. Either that or they were making things up thinking it would help their case.

It didn’t. The judge said they couldn’t prove that I was responsible for what they were accusing me of, so until they could gather more evidence of me doing something a lot more substantial than what they were saying I’d done, he wasn’t going to issue the conjunction. It didn’t matter, though, because in the end Andrea got what she wanted… no more games from me. Andy agreed to leave her alone as well.

I can’t deny that the best part of that day was the look of embarrassment, humiliation and frustration on their faces as I left the courtroom with Tom who had accompanied me. That much was priceless after all the grief they had put me through.

October 1993

During the time of the lost journal entries, I moved into Tom’s house in early September. A month or so later, a large Mormon family moved in next door, along with their dog. Their kids and dog got on my nerves at times during the day with the houses being so close. When they’d play basketball out front it’d sound like they were bouncing the ball off the walls of our house because it was so close to us to begin with. It could get pretty obnoxious at times, though the couple was very nice.

We threw acoustic tiles in the master bedroom windows and sealed the edges with a Styrofoam spray to block some of the sound. We didn’t do it just because of next door, but to block sounds in general. A quiet bedroom was always important to me.

Kim, her boyfriend Phil, and their deaf friend Alex came to visit for a few days, but Tom was working graves and didn’t get to meet them. We went to Sedona and did a variety of things. We shopped, we ate, we went horseback riding, etc. One day we hung out back by the pool.

After not being in touch with the family since the mid-80s or so, my brother Larry (then a trucker) visited our parents in Florida with his son and daughter. Tammy was the one who called and told me about it. At first I had mixed emotions about reuniting with him. After all, he was the one that dumped me.

November 1993

Next door woke me up one day when I was napping and they were having furniture moved in and something moved out as well. The bumps and bangs made me feel like I was back in apartments for the day.

Their dog was always, ALWAYS outside, which could get a little annoying at times as it too, sometimes woke me up. But as I was learning, most westerners didn’t seem to allow their dogs indoors. This was something I could never understand. Why get a dog if you didn’t really want a pet? As in something that was part of the family and your home?

I had a funny dream one night where I was over their house having coffee with the couple. The house didn’t really have a fireplace but it did in the dream. The guy went to light a fire, and as I looked through the flames and to the back wall of the fireplace, I realized I could see straight into our house. The woman laughed and said something like, “We can spy on you anytime.”

Tom knew this older couple that had a bunch of cats. One of them was really fat and needed to be put on a diet so we agreed to keep it at our place for a while so that it wasn’t hogging all the food.

As for my own weight, I was only 97 pounds at the time and with allergies that were getting worse.

Real early one Sunday morning Tom and I went to JB's for breakfast.

We also went to Wal-Mart. I got a leopard print bodysuit, two exercise videos, a journal, and neon fabric glue.

We also went to the mall. I got another journal, some makeup, and a hair removal system for $50.

A friend of Andy's trimmed Tom’s and my hair.

In the middle of the month I awoke with a bad asthma attack. Tom called 911 and they came and gave me two breathing treatments.

I spoke with Mary B from the old apartment complex, and just when she was relieved when Andrea moved out, some guy moved in who had wild late-night parties. I felt bad for her, even though next door could get on my nerves bad enough at times, as nice as they were. At least they had quiet periods. This guy apparently didn’t.

Played Nintendo games for the first time. I decided I liked the Duck Hunt game the best.

We got a very friendly and playful guinea pig in shades of brown. I soon settled on the name of Piggles for him.

Became phone friends with a DJ named Gina that worked at a local radio station. For a handful of months I’d call in at night on the party line.

December 1993

I talked to the guy who lived next door at the time. I said I was sorry that I went off on his wife about all the noise when they moved in and that I should've been more understanding, and he said that they understood and that there were a lot of people there, etc.

So they settled in and quieted down and then the house across the street picked up the noise from there. The teenage boy that lived there decided to have his buddies over for band practice on a regular basis, sometimes waking me up.

It really pissed me the fuck off. What was the point of finally getting to live in a house if you were just going to feel like you were still in apartments?

My brother finally surprised me with a call, although I think it’s safe to say that I figured his call was coming sooner or later. Even so, I was caught off guard at first and unsure of what to say. If I had to start all over again I’m sure I would have hung up on him. Yes, he had a great sense of humor but he was otherwise a hypocrite and an asshole.

His son Larry was 13, and Jennifer was 10. He said he wasn’t going to get involved in any family disputes (which later prove to be a bullshit statement) and that he only contacted Tammy to please mom and dad. At first this made me wonder if he only contacted me for the same reason.

He was a trucker who often traveled the country, and even said he’d been to the strip clubs I danced at. It was no secret that he was a player, so this didn’t surprise me in the least. In fact, when he tried to tell me he was friends with Jenny C, a former friend of mine, I knew they were more than just friends, not that it mattered to me. It was his life and he could do what he wanted with it.

So he and Jen came to visit one day. Jen, who I hadn’t seen since she was a baby, had hair below her ass and looked a lot like her mother, Sandy.

My parents moved to a 2-bedroom condo in Palm City. They eventually sent us pictures of the place, which was quite beautiful. I liked how modern looking at was.

Got a bunch of neat stuff between my birthday, Hanukkah and Christmas. Mostly clothes, writing and arts and crafts supplies. Tom also took me to Red Lobster where I got a combo of shrimp, lobster and crab legs.

I met his brother David one day, but Tom wasn’t home when he stopped by. He and his wife Evie were expecting their first child.

Cruel became my card game of choice on the computer.

Tom talked on the phone here and there with an old friend of his named Wendy, and another friend, Geri, was moving out of state. I didn’t mind Wendy, but I didn’t like Geri because all she did was judge me even though she had never met me. I think deep down she was jealous of my relationship with Tom. I knew Wendy wanted him but she was married.

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