New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Culture
26 September 2014updated 27 Sep 2015 3:52am

Suzanne Moore: Strawberry cheesecake, sex motels and the blonde with a heart of darkness

In the first instalment of her new column for the New Statesman, Suzanne Moore recalls wild times with a dangerously alluring friend in early-1980s New York.

By Suzanne Moore

Every woman falls in love with a treacherous woman at some point. Mine was a blonde with a heart of darkness. We met in New York in a hostel.

She was French Canadian. She despised most things and most people. Her utter contempt made her compelling.

And her lies. And her access. She was having an affair with the owner of the Mudd Club. It meant we could go out every night. Of all the things she despised, top of the list were people who went to sleep at night.

We were sharing a dormitory with earnest young women who were studying or working in New York and just wanted cheap accommodation.

“Phoof,” Diane would say. “Why are they so stupid?”

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

The poor stupid women would be woken up every night around midnight by Diane putting on all the strip lighting so we could get ready to go out. Inordinate amounts of glittery make-up was applied while the stupid women groaned, saying they would get us thrown out of the hostel.

Diane didn’t care. Why should she? The first drug she ever had was heroin. “I was a good girl. Now I am having my, how you say, teenage time.”

She liked to go to sex motels where you paid by the hour and then a bell rang.

“I like it cheap,” she used to say.

We never had any money but people who cared about money were second only to those that slept, in her book. If she was down to her last two bucks she would spend it on strawberry cheesecake.

She knew how to live.

One day, she was gone. But she called me at the hostel.

“I had to go back to Montreal. I have a part in a play. It’s a tragedy.”

She had always said she was an actress. A great actress. This seemed possible.

“Where are you living?”

“In a Rape Crisis centre.”

“Christ! What? What’s happened?”

“I needed somewhere to live, you know how it is. I told them I’d been raped by a gang of Hells Angels. I am, how you say, very traumatised.”

“Diane, you can’t do this.”

“Why not?”

“Because you haven’t been raped.”

“You want me to be raped?”

“No, but it’s wrong.”

“They help women in trouble, non? I need somewhere. I make them happy.”

She was having counselling for the gang rape. She said it was going very well. She was indeed an actress. It was all very confusing and I went out of town myself.

She came back to New York while I was away and slept with my boyfriend. I was devastated.

Some months later I got a letter that explained she was just making sure he was good enough for me, because it was me she loved. She had, she said, done me a favour. I just didn’t realise it at the time. 

Content from our partners
The power of place in tackling climate change
Tackling the UK's biggest health challenges
"Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty – with British Gas Energy Trust