Dear Dear Diary
I avoided the kitchen for 3 days.
Frank was not happy.
He doesn't like to live on delivery food, and he hates going out to eat. Actually, I confess- it's not because he hates going out to eat. He enjoys restaurants where you can sit with the napkin on your lap, have an attendant seeing to your glass, ordering off the menu, letting the attendant clear off the dishes... it's me who really can't stand restaurants. I never know what to order. The food is never as pleasant as promised. They promise you something succulent, multicolored- a rainbow of taste sensation- and you end up with the same brown goop you could have made yourself if you had stayed home. Worse, it tastes funny, because they never add the right flavoring. They forget the garlic or add too much dill. I always drop my napkin. I forget my purse. I can never find the bathroom, and when I do, I can't find my way back to the table. Once, I gave up and just sat in the car until Frank found me and took me home.
He called Angie again. He ordered her to make me bake again.
I begin to wonder about his bossiness. He never used to order Angie around like that. Besides, I thought he couldn't stand her. Why does he even have her phone number? This worries me.
I couldn't tell Angie about the voice. I couldn't tell Frank. That nice couch doctor said I was fine, so I'm not allowed to go talk to him any more. I don't know who else I can talk to, so here I am talking to you.
It was ok, though. The radio stayed off. We made more brownies with Angie's ingredients, and sugar biscuits without. And then I made some Scotch eggs for dinner. I love a good Scotch egg. Boil an egg hard, peel, roll in parmesan and chives, cover in bacon, cover in sausage, cover in parmesan, and bake for an hour or so at 375F. Yum! and NOT all brown. There's yellow and green in there too. I even made a shepard's pie and pineapple upside down cake after Angie left.
It felt good to be back in my kitchen.
I managed to put the tape back in my sock drawer with the others, and I feel like I can breathe again.
Frank will be pleased.
Today I bravely cleaned the bathroom. Usually it's the same routine. Toss the bathmats into the wash with the towel, alphabetize the stuff on the counter and on the edge of the tub, scrub everything, toss bathmats on drying rack and towels in dryer, scrub everything again to make sure I didn't miss a spot, and then put the mats and towels back in place.
But today I had to clean up the candles first. I put them in their drawer. And then I looked at the one thing that is rarely left on the counter. The radio.
It menaced me. It loomed larger than it ought to. I had put the box for the tape in the bottom drawer, and Frank had gotten it back out. Probably because that's where he keeps his razor blades and he doesn't like it when I mess with "his drawer." The liner notes had been tucked back in the box, but it had been set upright. So I could see his picture on the cover; his arms outstretched toward me.
I almost retreated. I could have called Angie, and exchanged a precious jar of strawberry for the favor of her removing the radio for me. Frank would not.
I remembered his planative call while the tape was playing. "Jeanne, Jeanne, Jeanne..."
I grabbed the box and hid his face with my hand. My hand felt like it had been kissed. My fingers burned where I touched it, yet it was not warm.
I reached for the radio, and firmly marched it back into the kitchen. I put the box into the drawer where I keep my rolling pin.
I set the radio back into its usual spot on the counter. It crackled to life as soon I let it go.
"Give me a chance, Jeanne," it said.
I bolted from the room back to the sanctuary of the bathroom.
I did something I rarely do. I know it is the ultimate in relaxation. I laid out the towel, my slippers, my bathrobe, and the Calgon, and heated the bathroom. I even talked Frank into letting me have a match and lit candles. I think he could tell how everwrought I've been, because he came in and lit the candles himself, and gave me a tender kiss before leaving.
Last but not least, I took the battery-powered radio in to the bathroom and slipped the tape inside. I left it safely on the counter. I prepared the rest of the bath, and only turned the tape on as I slipped into the suds.
I am alone.
My reason for living is gone.
I have an empty bed.
There are no thoughts in my head.
I see no point in carrying on.
There can be no rosy dawn.
There is no joy to share.
I reach, but nothing 's there.
Jeanne, Jeanne, Jeanne...
How can I sing?
Who will wear my ring?
I opened my eyes. The water had gotten cold. I shivered. Had he truly said my name?
I got out and dried myself. I looked at the cassette box. I think I remembered that the liner notes have the lyrics. So I read them. They did not include my name.
I imagined it.
I shivered again, and reached for my robe and slippers.
I do not know what to think it.
You distract me, attract me, what am I supposed to think?
You haunt me, you taunt me, you want me to sink
Deep into only you...
Tell me about him.
Tell me why he's in your heart.
Tell me everything you feel inside.
Tell me why you hold me dear.
Tell me why your heart's divided.
Tell me why you love me too.
I am here.
I am waiting.
Won't you please tell me too.
Only this time, before the chorus, I swear, I heard him say, "Tell me, Jeanne."
I shut off the tape and put it in my sock drawer.
God. What if Frank finds out?
Frank did something he never does. He called Angie and asked her to come visit me today. She was asked to bring something for me so that she could keep me busy until Frank got home. No sewing. No cleaning the pantry. And for goodness sake's, don't let her climb anything.
That's what Angie told me he said. She looked sad about the orders. But she brought chocolate chips, so we could bake cookies.
She also brought another tape of Tony Horton's. I have two copies of "Only You" to hide in my sock drawer now. Angie insisted on listening. And she's pushier than Frank ever could be.
Oh that voice! And I can just close my eyes and see him.
When Angie finally left, I could still smell his cologne.
We had roast beef with brocolli and cheese sauce. I even cut up red bell peppers in it. Almost a rainbow. Frank thinks I feel better now. I'm not so sure. I'm staring at the tape on the desk next to me. I'm not sure if I can put it away.
I hid in the sewing room today.
I sorted my grandmother's laces. I remember a little the day my mother gave me the Bear Market bag full of pretty scraps. She just said, "This was Grams, and I don't want it." I squirreled and didn't think of it for years. I try hard not to thnk of that day, but I pressed one of the daisies in my Joy of Cooking. It was the safest place to hide my sadness- within my Joy.
There was home made lace and I wondered if my grandmother ever made the lace herself, or if she had saved it from her grandmother or other relation. There was checkered ribbon that I remembered from a dress she had made for me. There was even some alancon that I recognized as being part of her wedding gown, from the portrait that hung in my parent's hall.
I remembered another piece of lace I squirreled away in a plastic bag, and I found it too.
Frank found me there in the pile of lace holding the tiny dress and crying my eyes out. He didn't say anything, not even to scold me for not having started dinner. He just took it from my hands and set it on the desk. Then he held me until I stopped crying.
Sometimes, Frank is a very good man.
Let me see if I can explain.
That man has an overwhelming maleness about him. He is there, and I can feel him there, dominating, emananting, filling the room with himself. It's not just a general "Come and have sex with me" vibe, although that is there too. I close my eyes and I can see him as naked as any child who experiences the joy of escaping his diapers and running out of the house, and there is that sort of joy in the feeling. He does radiate "I have a penis and I know what it's for" but it's not just sex. Men have mental penises that they use to determine their compentence and eagerness to do anything.
"It is time to shovel the walk," they think. "Therefore, I must get out my penis, and I shall shovel the walk. It shall be done with great flair and precision, and when the neighbors go by, they shall be astounded by the efforts of my penis." This is how every man thinks, deep inside.
There is more there, with Tony. It is like wolves. He entered the pack as the Alpha. He has never been the zeta or the omega. He has always been without flaws. He would take care of me in every way he could, whether it be in the bedroom, or stocking my dream kitchen, fulfilling my fabric desires, being a loyal and dependable father, or ballancing the checkbook. He would do anything I asked. He would anticipate needs I never knew I had until I saw them fulfilled by him.
He is a god.
I am changed in knowing he exists. I had never believed before. I do not know what I should do. My memory is not so easily scrubbed when my soul has been touched.
I saw a video today. Angie had taped it for me. She has the MTV, VH1, music video channels, but we don't have cable. I miss cable, but Frank doesn't like it when I watch TV all day. I understand. I burn dinner or forget to make it entirely when I am watching TV. Mom always called it idiot box, and I can confess I know why. You don't have to think any more. It will tell you everything you ever wanted to know, to see, to feel...
And Angie showed me Tony Horton.
Watching him move as he sings... he reminds me of some tiger working its way through the wild looking for prey. He is very aware of how he moves, and it is calculated to stir, entrance, and seduce. He looks at me looking at him, and I know he sees inside my soul.
I could not bear to watch it twice. He knows me now. He knows everything about me. He even knows about that poor 3rd grader who shoved me out of the way in line for the school bus when I was in kindergarten, whom I brained with my Grizzly Adams lunchbox. And I haven't even told Frank that story.
I don't know if I should be pleased or frightened. I made Angie take it away, and I cannot listen to my tapes tonight. I am afraid to cook dinner.
But I cannot explain this to Frank. He'd never understand why I had a Grizzly Adam lunchbox.
The old bint next door let the cat out 12 times today. I wrote down the times on the grocery list. That cat went out 3 times between when the mail man arrived and when I actually went out to bring it in. And I only waited 23.5 minutes before exiting our door. I like to make sure the mailman will not be making a second trip with a package. He walks our block first with the envelopes and magazines. Then he drives by and stops in front of your house if you are getting a package. That way he doesn't have to carry heavy things.
He's a sensible man.
I am too shy to speak to him. I never know when it is proper to wave, or just smile and nod, or if I should just wish him a pleasant day, or if I should comment about the weather. He really is out in all sorts of weather, and his schedule only varies by 30 minutes on poor weather days. That alternate mailman who comes on Saturdays isn't a real mailman- it's a woman. And she'll come anywhere in 4 hour range.
It takes me 19 seconds to bring in the mail if there is no package. I have tried to make my time even faster, but thebox's door sometimes sticks. Regardless, I can do it very well without even looking at the bint. Today, however, it took me nearly 30 seconds. The bint had time to call at me, and I took the time to ignore her. Because the old man next door had picked that moment to get *his* mail. I have seen him a grand total of 14 times, and we have lived here for 3 years. He very pointedly ignored me and the bint. I smiled after I came inside. I envy him sometimes, since he has our house between himself and the bint. I'm suprised the old spinster isn't trying to go courting him. That way she'd have a life to run and leave my life alone. But then, he's a smart old man, and lives his life alone.
Sleep has been difficult lately. I have been haunted by that last song I listened to- and I typed the lyrics here last night. I like to just read the lyrics too.
According to the paper in the box, he wrote these words himself. I have to wonder who he was thinking of. Is she pretty and nice? Would she keep his socks darned if they could be together?
And why can't they be together? He's a Rock Star. He can have anyone he wants. Isn't that the perogative of being rich and famous?
If I couldn't be with the one I loved because I was rich and famous, I would never want to be rich and famous. Such passion is without cost. I would do anything I could for it. I would love to be loved like that.