170. Stuff That’s Scaring Me and What I intend to do about it.

My skin is so thin that I feel like I can’t take one more thing, bad or good.

But I know who I am and I know I will handle the things that are overwhelming me.

Here are some of them.

1. I have to introduce the separation agreement to dave this week.

1A – Got no choice. I knew it would come to this and after it’s signed it will be over. I just hope it’s fast.

2. At first I planned to do it all by email but he needs to sign our income tax papers so I will have to see him.

2A see 1A

3. Discuss the agreement without crying.

3A So what if I cry. He should be crying because of what he’s losing. (Don’t think I don’t know how lame that sounds. He’s skipping down the road with his slut, spending all the time he wants on his boat and probably living the life he’s always wanted.I doubt very much that he’s thinking of what he’s lost)

4. Going to that sleep place again on Thursday because it seems that I do have sleep apnea. I”m dreading this.

4A. I will take my big time tranq’s so the time will just fly and my friend Susan will have dinner with me before so I won’t be able to dwell on it.

It’s not like it’s all shitty.

I’m seeing my family on Passover.We’re doing a matzoh/gefilte fish bbq.

I’m going on a trip with my sister who I love so much.

Then hopefully I will begin my new life and get happy .

169. Remember yesterday’s blog? Forget it.

Sure I felt sad.

There will probably be sad moments forever. We were together for a long time and his performing was the high point of our marriage.

I certainly don’t get sad when I hear some guy at the next table going on and on about the origin of the word “fork” but there was a lot of that in my marriage too.

I’m sure that the fact that my lawyer sent me the first draft of my separation agreement added to my down feeling.

Anyway I won’t be seeing him on the stage any more. Big deal.

Maybe I’ll be stepping on the stage myself.

(That’s metaphorically. I sing like a crow)

168. When in hell will this be over????

I was feeling pretty happy today.

I met Julie for lunch and had plans for dinner and to hear a good friend’s husband play in a band tonight.

We got there and I knew a few of the musicians. They came over and kissed me. Some knew about me and dave, some didn’t.

They started to play and I looked at my friend.

She looked the way I must have looked thousands of times.

She was proud and also attracted to her man.

I felt such grief roll over me in a wave.

I surprised myself that the tears welled up in my eyes.

I knew that not only would I never watch dave play again but I would never be that person in the audience again. The one feeling proud and lucky. Sitting at the special table near the bandstand, knowing that he would look at me with a question in his eyes to see how the band sounded.

And suddenly I realized that those special faces he makes while he plays would now be familiar to that stranger.

167. I’ve never been to Nigeria but I was once in Aruba. Maybe that’s it.

I haven’t had the best week.

I have to pay taxes that are more than I expected.

My lawyer sent me the first draft of my separation agreement.

I have to present it to dave and incur his wrath.

All my insurance renewals are due April 1.


I just got an email from the US Ambassador to Nigeria. I don’t know how he knows me but he does. He wouldn’t have my email address if he didn’t.

Anyway I only have to Western Union him $100 and he’ll deliver $15.5 million dollars to my door. Yep, that’s right.

He won’t even have to go through customs because he has diplomatic immunity.

I, of course will pay the taxes on it because I’m a good citizen but all my worries are over.

I’m going to throw out that separation agreement and tell dave he can take his money and shove it.

Gotta go call Western Union.

Talk to ya later.

166. Call me crazy but….

It’s 7 a.m.

I’m back from the sleep center.

No surprise to anyone I was really nervous last night.

David kept telling me that if I have sleep apnea I also have Alzheimer’s. Any time I forget something he nods knowingly.

Since I didn’t have to be there until 9:30 p.m., I wanted to keep busy yesterday.

Rupert and I spent the day up at Stephanie’s with her, her dogs, cats, horses and donkeys.

I went for 2 reasons. I already said the first and the second had to do with the blog I wrote the other day about my assault.

Every single response I got from that was positive except for hers.

I didn’t hear from her for a few days and when I did, she spoke very softly.

“Why did you write that? You kept it to yourself for all these years, why did you have to say it now?”

I knew what she was feeling.

“It upset you, didn’t it?”

“I haven’t been able to sleep since I read it. ” She was still speaking in a very quiet voice.

“You wish I had taken it to my grave , huh?”

She started to laugh, “Yep”

Anyway I wanted to see her and I wanted her to see me so things would get back to normal and she would feel better.

It was a great day. I think she’s starting to forgive me for being such a blabbermouth.

Back to me and my latest trauma.

I made plans to have dinner with Susan and Allan.

They picked me up at my house and we went out to eat. I had 2 drinks with dinner. Information that I had no intention of revealing to any doctor or whoever questioned me at my destination.

I swear I could have been in the mafia.

They drove me to the sleep center.

Susan insisted on coming up with me partly because she is the most empathetic person I’ve ever known and since she doesn’t want to go to the dentist alone (I once held her foot while she had a tooth filled), she assumed that I’d want someone with me. She was right.

The other reason was to find out if it was some kind of scam. You never know.

We got there right on time.

It was on the 12th floor of an office building and it was kind of desolate at that time of night.

We took the elevator up.

The place itself looked legit so we went in.

A young girl showed me to my room

When we got there she wanted to take a full body photo for the record but she couldn’t make her camera work so I offered to lend her my iphone and said I’d email the picture to her.

I wasn’t so reassured that she liked that idea and started to take the picture with my phone.

I felt a bit better  when another woman who was clearly in charge came over , took the camera and made it work.

There was a man in the next room who was not happy. He was standing in his room shouting

” I told them I can’t sleep in a room with no windows.”

I was walking Susan out as he was speaking and when I passed him I said “Hello”

He slammed the door in my face.

Looks like no love connection there.

We each had a private room with a bathroom.

It was very neat and like a hotel had shampoos and lotions etc but as grouchy down the hall mentioned, no window so our means of escape were limited.

Before bed I was wired up. I do mean wired. I must have had 100 wires glued (you heard me GLUED) or taped to my head, face, chest and ankles.

I wondered how I would sleep with all that on but  the woman assured me I would.

I was told to lay on the bed and she spoke to me over the loud speaker. Giving me instructions so she could calibrate all those wires.

“Without moving your head, look up, then down, then to the left, then to the right.”

There was a camera aimed at the bed.

The study began.

I slept fitfully and periodically someone would come in and adjust my wires. I counted the minutes till I could go home.

I was woken up at 6:15 a.m and disconnected.

Much to my chagrin I was told that I would probably have to follow this up with another sleepover.

I got home and scrubbed the glue out of my hair.

I told Liz and David about my night.

I said I think that I may have sleep apnea.

David tsked and said “They can fix that, the Alzheimers, not so much”.

I was home.

165. ‘Nuff said.

When my sister read what I wrote yesterday she said “We are so close I can’t believe you went through that and didn’t tell me.”

She really understood though. This situation was an embarrassment to my mother and to me and silence was the way we dealt with it.

My sisters and I were raised not to be any trouble.

When visiting people the only answer my mother found acceptable to “Would you like a drink or something?” was “No, thank you”.

Marcia asked me how life continued after this. Did it change?

I think it didn’t change but then I did remember one thing.

I’ve always loved dogs. I’d had 2 at different times of my childhood but neither of them lived very long.

When this happened I told my parents  I was getting a dog.

My mother was always against it. Dogs were messy and I worked and part of the care would be on her.

She didn’t object.

I know this sounds strange to all of you that I would need their permission because I was in my early 20’s but I was still living at home then.

In my head I saw a doberman or a shepherd.

I went to Macy’s pet department  where I found Norman. He was a thin basset hound who was a close out., reduced from $140 to $89.

He was older than the other puppies and when they let him out of the cage he kept walking around and resting his head on the soft dog beds. Maybe not much for security but I didn’t think about that. The minute I saw him I knew we were meant for each other. I rarely went anywhere alone again.

There were  so many replies to yesterday’s blog entry, mostly from women. The comments were so personal that I’m thinking that my story isn’t that unique.

I was so touched by what I heard  from strangers and from my friends and family who knew nothing about this.

Marcia asked if I felt any different for having told my story. I thought not. I didn’t feel freer or anything but I’ve never been that much in touch with my feelings.

I did keep remembering things. One of which was that when the police asked if I had been raped, I did say no.

They all knew it wasn’t true but I could see my parents were glad I said that.

Here’s something else. Even after writing all this I still can’t say the word. I can write it but I can’t say it.

Even though I hadn’t thought about it in many years it has affected my whole life, often without my realizing it.

When Julie first moved out of her parents house I begged her and my sister to have her move into a doorman building. They thought I was being overly cautious and they chose a brownstone.

Any of you who have followed Julie’s writing know that for a period of time she and her family moved into an apartment house with no doorman in a drug infested neighborhood.

Every time I visited her I thought I would pass out whenever I got into the elevator. I lived in dread that the elevator would stop and someone would get in with me.

Funnily I never associated it with my experience. I thought it was just good common sense.

To everyone who says I’m brave, I’m not brave enough to write about this any more so that’s pretty much all I have to say on the topic.

Now on to preparing for my sleep center experience.

164. My lips were sealed. Warning: this is not for the faint hearted

Gawker had an article about Robert Downey Jr exposing a story that was generally known but never spoken about around Hollywood.

It was about a famous movie star beating and raping Natalie Wood.

I was discussing it with my sister Marcia and she suggested it was the sign of the times. He was a superstar and even if he weren’t it was always the woman’s fault . She did go to his room. She was clearly “asking for it”

“Remember what happened to you?” she asked.

Even after close to 50 years I felt a chill.

“I remember”

I was going to a party with friends. I worked in the South Bronx as a case worker and these were work friends I was going to meet. I was bringing Bob Dylan’s new album with me. Nashville Skyline.

I lived with my parents at that time. My car was parked in an underground garage.

Just as I was about to start my car I felt a presence at my window. I turned with a smile thinking it was a neighbor.

It was a latin man in his 20’s or 30’s. He had a huge knife in his hand.

He shoved me over and got in the car next to me.

My first thought was “I’m sitting on my album”

“I’m going to rape you”

I was wearing a jersey dress with a belt of the same fabric tied at my waist.

He put the knife at the belt and was about to cut it . “Stop” I said and I untied it.

Why I worried about a $30 dress I’ll never know.

He put the knife on the backseat and did what he came to do.

I kept my eyes closed hoping that he’d know I couldn’t identify him.

It never occurred to me to grab the knife even though I was sure he was going to kill me. I couldn’t stop shaking.

When he finished and he was lying on top of me I did something so strange that even then I couldn’t believe it.

I said ” Are you alright?”

He jerked his head up and looked at me with surprise.

He got up and jumped out of the car and ran.

Now that I think about it. It isn’t so far from how I behaved in my divorce.

I was deeply wounded by dave but I am still helping him and feeling sorry for him.

It makes me wonder what is wrong with me. Who knows, maybe my asking my rapist that question saved my life and maybe not getting dave mad at me will save me now.

I sat in the car too afraid to get out and run to the elevator until neighbors that I didn’t know came into the garage to get their car . I called to them to help me.

I just said I had been robbed. I was too embarrassed to say anything else.

They walked me to the elevator and offered to go upstairs with me. I refused their offer. Even then I didn’t want to be any trouble.

I got into my apartment and called my parents. It must have been a Friday night because they were at their weekly card game. They said they’d be right home.

I went into the shower and scrubbed myself clean.

When they got home I told them I had been attacked. They didn’t ask for any details and I didn’t give any.

My father called the police.

A short time later 2 policemen came to my house. I was  in a robe and my hair was wet.

I don’t remember much of that interview. I don’t think they asked if I had been raped and I didn’t volunteer the information. I couldn’t have said it in front of my father anyway.

I think the shower I had taken spoke volumes to them.

They left and we all went to bed. I couldn’t sleep. Finally I went into the living room and lay down on the flowered couch. Shortly after my father came in and sat with me. We didn’t speak we just sat there.

My father was always more in tune with us than my mother. He was the one who worried about us and waited up for us when we went out on dates.

We never spoke about it again. In fact I never spoke in any detail about it to anyone.

A few weeks later a detective called and said they had arrested someone and wanted to know if I would come down and identify him.


“I think that’s wise” he said. He knew that a trial like this wasn’t going to be pretty and I guess they had him on other charges or something.

So that’s my secret. this is the first time I’ve ever opened up about this to this degree to anyone.

I continued going to work in the South Bronx but I never made home visits alone.

I seemed the same but I never was the same.

If I could have sued that guy it would be for putting fear in my life.

163. Even Hitler had friends

Stephanie asked why I haven’t written lately.

It’s because I’m in limbo.

Until I go to the sleep center I can’t be thinking about anything else.

Since I have to show up at 9:30 at night should I be wearing my pajamas carrying my pillow?

Is David right that I should keep one eye open because someone will try to fondle me in my sleep?

I shouldn’t believe him because he spends his life trying to upset me.

He’s in Spain now and he wrote that he was thinking of going to a bull fight and taking a lot of pictures. He said he would send them to me but he won’t because I’m such a tattletale and I’d tell Liz and she’d kill him for making me sad.

I told her he was thinking of scaring me and he had to do a whole tap dance claiming he was only kidding. That’ll teach’im.

He’s coming home on Saturday night and Liz and I are picking him up at the airport and going out to dinner at a restaurant in Queens that looks like a scene from “The Sopranos”.

He’s going to try his best not to pay for me but I’ll get all teary and Liz will make him.

Here’s the mystery. I’ll be so happy to see him.

162. What if your full potential is being a lazy slob?

I might have mentioned that Cheryl is my adopted daughter. The story behind this is way too convoluted so let’s just accept it as a given.

Even though she was in her forties when I adopted her she was really cute and easy to love.  As I do with every member of my family I take full credit for her accomplishments. Since in my family there are no flaws I never had to address that.

She’s written a million books plus she was in some horror movie when she was in high school that made her some kind of icon. I think it was called “The Evil Dead”

She and I are like peas in a pod. I like to think that I could have been a movie star if I had had a more pleasing hair style.

Anyhoo (thank you, Julie, that never fails to crack me up) as I was saying, Cheryl and I could not be more alike if say I had adopted her when she was 20.

We both like reality shows and gossip websites. When we talk about what movies to see, we always say the same titles at the same time.

My sister says that she can’t figure us out because she believes us both to be smart but we are only attracted to stupid books, tv and movies.

Again, anyhoo (hahahaha) Cheryl is visiting me because she was meeting with her writing partner who lives in New York.

She has been on a deadline of May 1 and for the past few months she had been taking care of her husband, kids and dog while working on her book every other waking moment of the day. She’s been under an amazing amount of pressure.

Saturday when she met her friend, she found out  that the deadline wasn’t May first but October 1. She was both chagrined and relieved.

Sunday was another of those near spring days. At least that’s what we heard. We never left the house until dinner time.

After breakfast we were trying to decide what to do and I said “Any interest in watching “Arthur” before we plan our day?

“Sounds good”

That’s the last time we got out of my 2 Lazyboys (aptly named) except to bring our lunch in from the kitchen, a mid afternoon popcorn snack and only because we couldn’t think of a good place to send out from did we take an hour break to go out to dinner after which we picked up where we left off.

After “Arthur”( by the by we both strongly disagreed with the critics because we found it to be a joyful romp). we spent the day watching “Psych”, fortunately I had taped about nine episodes, peppered with “The Mentalist” because both us us being writers, well she’s a writer, I have a diary, we were afraid of getting in a rut.

The absolute best part of the day was that there was no one there to look at us with contempt because we weren’t putting our time to good use. Actually I think we were.

161. Sometimes I realize I’m just too attractive for my own good

I might have mentioned that I snore.

Since I’m planning a trip with my sister, Marcia, and we’ll be sharing a room, I’m doing whatever I can to improve this situation before we leave.

I went to an ENT doctor.

He’s arranged for me to go to a sleep center to see what the source of my snoring is. He said I’d be contacted in a few days and they’d set up an appointment for me to come and have a sleepover date.

Shortly after my niece/adopted daughter, Cheryl, arrived to spend the weekend, they called.

I was told that I should arrive at 9:30 at night. Dangerously close to my real bedtime.

I’d be in a private room with my own bathroom. No TV but they have wifi and I could bring my ipad and a book. The woman on the phone said I could bring my own pillow if I chose to.

No sooner had I said, “That won’t be necessary” when Cheryl made a gagging face and said “Ewwww Of course you’ll bring your own pillow. Cooties!!!”

Since Cheryl is a successful writer and intellectual I figured she knows from whence she speaks so I will bring my own pillow.

Later that evening Cheryl and I were sharing the cocktail hour with David . Lizzie is visiting her parents in Sante Fe so he was relatively glad to see me.

I told him that they had called from the sleep center.

I was clearly a bit nervous about the whole thing so he did what he could to comfort me.

“You know it’s quite common for people in those places to get fondled in their sleep?” he offered

I tried to ignore him but that did give me something to think about. What to wear?

I was planning on buying some new, frilly nightgown.

In light of what David said I thought I’d be better off  sticking to what I usually wear, a Ralph Lauren tee shirt. Plus I’ll add some slacks. And a belt.

I guess I’ll pass on buying anything too flowery. Don’t want to make myself too alluring.

Look what happened at the pool the other day. I practically had to beat combover off with a stick. That’s what comes with not wearing your bathing cap home.