I am moving a week from today. § Read the rest of this entry…
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This is my first attempt at Writer’s Island. This weeks prompt is Second Chance.
As always I thank Bone for the words.
Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of the first attack on The Trade Center. I will never forget either attack. The fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq is quickly coming. We’re not honoring the dead by remaining in Iraq.
My printer is throwing a fit so I almost run to FedEx/Kinko’s on a very gentrified West 72nd Street. When it was just Kinko’s I used to feel I was in a Al Pacino movie, and would look for all the lonely crazy people. My cable was down more than it was up when I was a reporter and I thought it would be a fate worse than death not to have friends I could wake up at midnight to use their computer when I had just seen a movie and had a six AM deadline. I couldn’t imagine being in Kinko’s through the night. It seemed so transient.
I have had many second chances in life. It almost seems unfair to be constantly reinventing my careers. Same city–three apartments, same friends, but oh so many careers.
There is only one career I crave and I crave it so much I feel like a vampire sucking blood. Who am I to think I can make it as a writer? Lately I have been reading so many good blogs I think I’m not even a ripple.
On March 5, I will take a 90 minute plane ride to a new world for me.
90 minutes by plane but a world away. A new life. A new chance. I won’t be stressing about things costing more every day, or a woman yelling in Fairway:
You, you deserve to die.
I have no idea why she pointed to me and said that. Neither did the other people waiting on the long line. I could understand the man who screamed at me as I almost went to his check out counter instead of the one just across from it.
He told me that I owed him an apology. I didn’t think so, and I’m the former princess now queen of apologizes. I had already told him I was sorry. He wanted something more. Something neither I nor the other people in Fairway could have given him.
I accept people going crazy in Fairway. It’s built so that the aisles are too small and everything looks dirty though the fish is always ranked first in freshness, least in mercury, etc.
I know people who won’t shop there as they don’t want to be yelled at. They want to be distant from the fracas yet really all life in Manhattan is frazzled.I accept Fairway as a normal part of Upper West Side life.
When push comes to shove, and it does all the time there, do I have to accept it?
I write about Fairway too much as it’s the bane and justification of my existence.
The years immediately preceding and subsequent to 9/11 were the worst of my life. My mother was rapidly aging. She was the person I had always gone to for advice, for validation. She wasn’t at all demented but blind. People treated her as if she was demented. Sometimes they didn’t but she thought they did. It didn’t matter. I heard it all. I had no filter that separated her feelings from mine. I tried to consider her feelings. She tried to consider mine. Yet so many times we didn’t act considerate of each other.
I worked in a nursing home. Surrounded by old age I almost became old myself. I felt adrift and alienated from almost everybody. It should have been easy, for me, to find help to deal with my conflicted feelings. The professionals in the nursing home couldn’t understand how I could let my mother live alone.
I would quote them to them. “She has capability in all areas but sight.” They would tell me that if it were their mother they would insist she live in an assisted living facility or a nursing home. “But you’re the ones literally writing the book on the many types of capability. Don’t you understand, stubbornness? Vanity? The want to live an independent life? I can’t tell a woman with capabilty in almost all areas where to live” No, not in this case. She was blind. That she could distinguish medications by putting different sized rubber bands on the bottles–a home care agency test of cognizance–didn’t matter.
That she was sharp and mindful of all possible problems didn’t matter. Didn’t I know I was a bad daughter?
Therapists outside the nursing home would tell me I had to separate. I knew that but how? I didn’t live with my mother. There were five mandatory phone calls a day. If I didn’t call at exactly nine AM she would get sick to her stomach. They didn’t know what I could do. They just knew her dependence on me wasn’t healthy. I knew that also. They refused to believe I was also dependent. I seemed so strong. I stopped believing in therapy. I knew this wasn’t an easy problem but I needed support. I needed to feel that I was a worthy person.
Oh sweet irony. I had gone into this field to learn how adult children and parents could get along. I had gone into the field to look for new ways of housing when people became old. I had gone into it with many expectations that people didn’t want to consider then.
Now the news is filled with this problem. Then I felt so alone. After her death, shortly after 9/11 I felt guilt, sadness, despair. Nothing but time could heal this.
I became the person I hated. I became a person who screamed in Fairway. My gait is slightly off. It’s not noticeable except when I’m tired or my psyche is worn out. I would bump into people. They would scream. I would scream back.
The supposed 9/11 affect of people becoming nicer; the halo that was supposed to have surrounded this city; it bypassed me. I felt as if I had become a punching bag for everybody with any problem to dump on.
Later I was to realize that no matter how horrible the problem we have a responsibility to only let it out at the right times. That there were few right times then–that this was a city in deep mourning—I truly should have understood that. Yet my need to mourn my mother should have been acknowledged.
I was right in giving up the friends who told me to stop mourning after six days. But I made my other friends responsible for my happiness and that’s always wrong. I felt so sad and distant from the world that once seemed to belong to me.
It was my straight male friends, and one great girlfriend, who were there for me. I can never participate in straight male bashing. One was physically present whenever I truly needed somebody to cry to. He would drive me where I needed to go, and basically translate my language of despair and need to our friends.
Another knew how to make me laugh. He has known me most of my life and knows I would rather laugh than cry, and needed people who understood that.
I hope that there is never another terrorist attack or Katrina type emergency. But if there is all people affected should be given counseling if they want it
I have moved past mourning my mother. Still I needed continuity. My city, the one constant in my life other than family and friends, was quickly changing into a city I no longer knew.
My best girlfriend would walk the streets with me and point out how many people bumped into me and yet I would be the one to apologize. That gave them license to yell at me. She pointed this out and pointed it out until I understood apologizes were unnecessary. Not everything in the world was my fault. I will always love her for that and much more.
The first time I was able to go into Fairway without feeling scared that I would blow up was my biggest victory in my adult life.
I came back to myself. I’m an improved version as I have gone through the eye of too many storms that hit back to back. I did come out of the funnels stronger.
I never yell in Fairway. Even this past Sunday when the store was wall to wall people, when I was told I deserved to die–something I had thought in the horrible years–even when the man thought my “sorry” wasn’t enough, I smiled.
I don’t want to use all my energy just getting through the day.
This past decade wasn’t all horrible. I watched two young girls turn into wonderful young women. I became closer to my true friends. I met many new people. I learned that America consists of more than the NorthEast Corridor, South Florida, and SoCal.
I learned that despite my disability, dyspraxia/non verbal learning disorder, I can move where ever I want to. I learned that I can take the best of me and make it better.
I have a chance, a true and planned chance at a new life. It hasn’t hit me yet. I don’t really understand that once I sell my apartment and buy something new, my expenses will be cut drastically. It hasn’t hit that when people in North Myrtle say something is crowded, I have to look–and never really find–the crowds.
It hasn’t hit that I will live in comfort with a dishwasher, washer/dryer and things other people take for granted. And it won’t cost more than $1200 a month above the purchase price.
Outside of New York I can focus on what’s important to me. I know the first six months or so will be difficult. I will be selling one apartment and looking for a townhouse to buy. A townhouse, a place with steps and room. It feels like a fairytale. It’s not
More importantly, New York, is the city of too many memories. I find myself reframing my mother’s final years. I wasn’t a bad daughter. I was a daughter who helped allow my mother to live her final years with the dignity she so badly wanted. Somehow it’s easier to understand that outside of New York.
New York was my dream city in my 20′s and 30′s. I have changed. New York has changed. Change is good. Change keeps cities thriving and people growing. New York has a chance to remake it into the model international city. I have a chance to devote my time to my passions, and I have many.
Really I’m just a simple girl from Long Island gone country.
I can’t comment right now so don’t feel the need to. ..
Thanks Bone . I might not be able to comment or post much as I’m hoping to leave next week–finally! Have taxes to prepare for the preparer, files to be cleaned and many many little things. Courting is probably going on hiatus.
Fast, unedited–and I’m going to have start taping my BFF and my conversations. Though I’m leaving which makes me both happy and sad. This is for the girl who will be my roommate at the old ho home
Lainey and Maris were sitting at a table in the back of the bar. Lainey was choking into her beer:
No, we’re like Grace and what’s her name on Saving Grace
Laura San Giacomo.
She has a name
Yeah, Grace’s best friend
Is that what you think of me, Maris Kane’s best friend?
Maybe, maybe not. Look at him.
They looked at a man in a tight black tee-shirt, black jeans, long black hair tied into a very nice ponytail, and earring. He seemed to be smiling at them. Maris wondered if they should try to pick him up. This time Lainey didn’t just choke but sputtered:
Girl we were retired years ago into the permanent collection of The Old Ho’s House
So? Just shows how great we are. We still have it.
You’re crazy. Look at the girls in here. All size double zero up to two.
Oh come on Lainey. Are we or we are not honky tonk angels.
Yeah 20 years ago, we were called that exactly once by a drunk…
You married him.
True but shouldn’t that tell you something?
Lainey hated to be the rational one. She wanted to believe that their looks could still pack a punch. She wanted this night at the last remaining C&W club in New York to be fun but remind them they weren’t 30 anymore. 30 did seem to last through two decades. But there had to be an end to youth. Maris was holding on so hard….
Lainey really didn’t want to watch Maris unravel, but….
Doug, my dawg of wonderful colors is on vacation. But he left an interactive post to help me design my new house. So help me please!!!
This is long and maybe a bit verbose but my heart is bursting. I forgot to say my apartment’s 600 square feet. Everything I did was with tricks and gives an illusion…
In Manhattan it’s always been about real estate and always will be about it. A good apartment with that intangible “wow” factor brings up the apartment’s worth immensely. Today’s consumer might be perfectly prepared on paper, but falling in love is falling in love whether with a person or an apartment.
*Actually I met them yesterday.
Ten years, seven and a half a months ago, on my birthday, I circled the ad that led to the first apartment I found that said to me: WOW, I HAVE TO OWN THIS. § Read the rest of this entry…
3WW–choice 2–imagined, slight, girlfriend–Gonna win PCH–if you have time go with the one below. I put some time into it!
This was very quick as the other one is long. Personally I think I can’t win PCH as long as I live here–they see the zip code and think “all apartment buildings.” But I don’t really believe in lotteries or pennies from heaven
Every week day as she filled the PCH lotto form without once accidentally ordering anything she imagined what her life would be like if she won.
At work nobody knew she had a brain. As she filled out the data entry forms she would daydream about a world unlike any she knew.
The forms were simple. Rosanna heard people talk about her: “Simple and plain.” “Look at her; she doesn’t even try to dress well or wear make up.” “At least she’s clean.”
As she heard each slight she would imagine a comeback but she knew she wasn’t clever enough to say something that might sting.
Rosanna had been longing for a boyfriend for as long as she could remember. Even more than that, she imagined a girlfriend. Just one that she could have long conversations with, laugh with, or talk about nothing as other people seemed to do so readily.
Most people left exactly at five. She would wait until six as she made minimum wage and the hour overtime was a necessity. Then she would walk the ten blocks to her rooming house where she would timidly smile at whatever residents passed her.
One had once invited her to a movie. Rosanna couldn’t afford the ticket price so she had said no, and the person never talked to her again.
Rosanna knew that this was just a passing phase. She never thought how it had been 25 years since she dropped out of high school. The PCH lotto said that somebody with the initials RS in her zip code had to win, and she knew it was just a matter of time. Yes, sir, she knew it.
I’m up to the interviewing potential realtors stage. A part of me feels guilty that I live in a place where my apartment seems to be coveted–my obsessive prepping seems to have worked. Another part thinks I deserve everything I get plus more
Thanks Bone for the words.
While this is fiction I have been working on versions of it for 20 years. Each time I start new. It’s rough. I’m not sure I did a great job in explaining that in 1969 cute suburban mothers didn’t expect to meet their eighteen year old daughter in the East Village at nine AM when said daughter was supposed to be in school on Long Island. Annie had obviously spent the night at her boyfriend’s and that was a very big deal then.
There are many little stories in it. Coming of age stories usually bore me. This is the prologue for a book of interconnected stories about six friends. It begins almost a decade later. Annie’s stories are all in the first person. The others are in the second or third. I would like Annie’s stories to have an urgency and immediacy the other stories don’t have. It’s called West of Broadway as the whole Upper West Side is as is much of Manhattan. Jordan, in this story, lives East of Broadway. This is very rough. I won’t be posting the other stories, but I welcome feedback on this one.
The East Village
My boyfriend’s building was typical of thousands of tenements in the city. As I walked up to the sixth floor I tried not to breath the usual smells; a commingling of pee, cat pee, cabbage,rancid gross meats, beer, Lysol, cigarette and pot smoke. Only the last was at all tolerable. I have an exceptionally acute sense of smell. It’s saved me, and some others, from falling into the deep sleep during a gas leak so I’m grateful for it. Then again I spend more time throwing up than most people.
By the time I reached Jordan’s apartment I would run to the bathroom. His two bedroom apartment was unexpected for a hippie apartment. It had the requisite mattress in the living room with an Indian print bedspread covering it and pillows, coffee table made of cinder block and wood and second hand chairs, but the large ashtray wasn’t overfilled with butts. There were no empty beer bottles, or garbage of any type.
Jordan had about twelve best friends, 30 next-rank friends, and we ran with a crowd that numbered at least 150.
Jordan’s room had a mattress that went from closet to windows. He painted the ceiling dark dark blue and pasted hundreds of silver glittery stars. Sometimes five of us would sleep on the mattress. Except for Best Friend # One, Fat Dave, we were all thin. The morning I woke up with Best Friend # Two Ian’s finger up my right nostril everybody but me found it funny. Some of Jordan’s best friends were girls; some of mine were boys. In the world we had made, everybody was equal.
The apartment was on East Sixth Street and overlooked an alley that faced McSorley’s. We weren’t drinkers. It was no big deal that they didn’t let girls in. It was important that The Fillmore East was down the block. When the windows were opened we could hear the music. Sometimes we would go up to the roof and listen. Other times we would go to the stage entrance and walk in with the groupies.
I had fallen in lust/like with Jordan my first month of college the previous fall. My Byronic ideal thought I was the hottest girl in school; he wanted me to be his girlfriend. It made me laugh when I thought how easily people were fooled. My clothes were different than the other girls. They were a mix of Carnaby Street, Paraphernalia the store, and East Village vintage. I felt as if I were all facade with no substance. It was a good facade. Luxe hippie/mod without a trace of Long Island.
Girls wanted to be me. The rare times I was in the dorm in the college in an estate on the North Shore of Long Island they would follow me around wanting to learn my secrets. I was nice as I hadn’t yet learned how to be cruel. I was and wasn’t intoxicated with my own aura. From the first hour at Freshman Orientation I was desired by many and hated by a few. I have never understood why some years I will be the most popular girl around, and other times nobody wants to know me. I can be pretty or very plain; lovable or not; funny as anything, and even more boring. I, Annie Roseman, am considered complex by all therapists. When a therapist tells you, you’re complex and/or interesting, run.
I hadn’t expected to meet somebody like Jordan. Somebody I would intuitively understand. Somebody who felt a part of me as if we had known each other forever. This couldn’t be real. I had to be dreaming it. It wasn’t ideal. By March we had broken up and gotten back together twice.
That night it was going to be just us. Jordan wrote poetry and articles for, and was an assistant at Chute, a sort of Rolling Stone. My Lord Byron really was a poet.
I had called him at work that morning and said I needed to see him alone. When I took the train in from Long Island that afternoon I rehearsed what I was going to say but really had no idea.
He looked scared when he opened the door. I could tell he had imagined all scenarios and came up with only one plausible one.
I missed two periods. You know how irregular I am, but…and I haven’t slept with anybody else.
I wasn’t saying….
You were possibly thinking.
This is a lot to take in
There’s a slight possibility. Probably is a false alarm.
But you could be?
I’ll go to Planned Parenthood in the morning and find out. If I am I’ll go to the nurse in Queens all the girls go to.
You’re having our baby
And play the violin strings. Jordan, if I am pregnant, it’s a tiny embryo.
But Jordan was in some dreamland I wasn’t privy to.
If it’s a girl, we’ll name her Isle–that’s I-S-L-E not aisle. If it’s a boy, Peace.
Oh good for a second I thought we were going to have to spend a lifetime explaining she wasn’t conceived in a store. Jordan, you just turned 20. I’m eighteen. You make like two cents an hour. You’re dodging the draft–wait you don’t want a baby so we’ll have to get married and you won’t be drafted?
How could I have a baby with a man who wanted to name a girl Isle and a boy Peace? I wasn’t into traditional names like my parents, but I wasn’t even into spice or season names.
He did look shocked that I could even think such a thing.
Annie, we’re going to get married someday. It might as well be now.
Jordan your parents aren’t speaking to you. My parents will die. They’ve met about 40 of your friends but never you.
I’ll meet them. This time I won’t park near their house and throw up.
Did you ever find it strange that our reaction to almost everything is to puke?
Don’t say “puke.”
I smiled. We were sitting on the living room mattress smoking cigarette after cigarette and drinking grape juice. Donovan was playing in the background. Donovan, Melanie, “puke” was a four letter word, drugs were an abomination. I was in love with the straightest* draft dodging hippie radical in America. And he hadn’t met my parents who would have loved him.
Jordan was living under a cloud. He had been thrown out of school for “associating with known drug dealers.” In reality he had been arrested at The 67 Moratorium. An honorable arrest even my parents would have appreciated. His parents would have treated him like a conquering hero. Jordan made a face every time I smoked weed. Some of the best friends were as straight as Jordan. Others smoked and tripped, but Jordan didn’t mind. It was just me who was supposed to be the Madonna who slept around, but not recently.
Jordan and I stayed up all night talking. Usually we found it difficult to converse when alone and kissed or told soliloquies but that night we spoke. Jordan couldn’t understand why I as an adoptee could so easily have an abortion. I didn’t see where my being adopted was an issue. He was fascinated by my adoptee status. I was bored with it. My family was my family. I hadn’t had birth mother fantasises since I was twelve.
I wasn’t a great student as I didn’t go to most of my classes. My English teacher would see me and and practically accost me:
You were such a great student last semester. You’re so talented. Why can’t you just come to class? Or do the work? Don’t come to class. Do the work.
My teachers seemed to have fallen under the Annie Roseman spell. Everybody knew me. Most people forgave me my bad habits. I had forgiven the Resident Assistant and roommate who tried to get me expelled. They had my cigarettes analyzed for weed. The school security director made sure that I got my own room in the basement and was exempt from Freshman curfew–10:30 PM on week nights and One AM on weekends. My night was just beginning at 10:30.
I liked having fun. I loved going to Chinatown with 30-50 kids from school, concerts at the bandshell in Central Park, being in The East Village, hanging out in houses on Long Island Sound towns, in the lawn on campus, outside the cafeteria where Jordan and I had first arranged to meet each other after The End of The World Dance. I resisted going out with out him. He wasn’t a student and after Senior Year in high school when my boyfriend was a “former student” now activist in a more radical/SDS faction, I had resolved to date only students.
Every day for 22 days Jordan worked his charms. He would buy little presents for me; kaleidoscopes, sparkling anythings, neon yoyo’s. It didn’t feel like a courtship or I didn’t see it as one and yet…..When I caved in, I fell all the way. I had no choice. He was the boy I had dreamed about all my life.
Why was I saying:
Jordan if I am pregnant and that’s a big if, we can’t go through with it. We like to have a good time besides everything else.
Annie, if you go through with it, I’ll throw myself down the subway tracks.
You have vertigo, and can’t even look at the tracks.
I knew he was being melodramatic and wouldn’t go through with it. It was a lie. Jordan specialized in “slight lies.”
Jordan was on time for work the next day. That was a first. I took my time dressing. I had an elitist edge and didn’t want to be taken for just another hippie girl. I wore a purple velvet jumpsuit, silver parachute material boots, and a silver velvet coat. When I left the house I walked near The Cooper Union Museum. I saw a group of middle aged affluent housewives get off a bus. One looked a bit too familiar. She never would have seen me if I hadn’t screamed:
Every woman turned around. One ran toward me. I wanted to tell her why I was there but she screamed as she pounded me, then grasped me. I was six inches taller than my mother but she had the strength of the madly angry.
You’re supposed to be in school—on Long Island
Don’t mommy me.
Her friends, who all knew me, got her off me.
You will call tonight. Your father has to know and I can’t be responsible….
My mother, my adoptive and only one I had ever known or wanted to know, knew there was no way in hell I had come in from Long Island that morning. Her good fantasy daughter was gone. In her place was an East Village hippie who was obviously coming from the “unknown” boyfriend’s apartment.
I never made it to Planned Parenthood but went back to the apartment and cried. That night I got my period. I looked in the toilet and stared at a huge clot. Was it? By the next morning I had stopped wondering.
*I’m using “straight” in the 60′s sense of not being cool. It’s different than being a nerd. There weren’t any positive connotations to the word. Not in my world.
This is dedicated:to the boy who
was 19 and perfect and the man who is an amazing friend. Still ironic
you were born on my father’s birthday–in a good way.
I was just telling somebody a story about two guys I have known. One intimitely and forever though not forever intimitely, and the other just kind of forever. Both are rather well known in their fields which I will leave as pop culture.
Then I realized, not for the first time, I have had a whole incredible life that’s never been talked about here or will be in a memoir because while I will tell good friends stories about my life as it did happen, I don’t feel comfortable talking about my true personal life–even things that happened many years ago. Courting and hence Google presents a very distorted view of my life.
Sometimes I wish that I were a very different type of person. One who would really say anything rather than giving the illusion of saying too much.
I put my friend’s letter in about the super delegates because this is an election
unlike one I have ever seen. Here’s an oped on letting the people decide. hey even I’m too young to really remember Kennedy’s election.
I will vote Democratic as I personally believe it extremely important that a Democrat occupy the White House. I believe that Ralph Nader was the true reason Gore didn’t win.
In this current election I have seen people who were totally disenfranchised become involved. I have seen them begin to believe a bit in America as a true democracy. I find that wonderful.
Hillary is a machine candidate, (here’s Frank Rich on her) and here’s something more personal. New York made a remarkable recovery after 9/11 or did we?
Bloomberg who few people truly like but most people respect has moved as much money around as he can. I can’t afford to live in Manhattan anymore and will sell my apartment, shortly, to somebody who does have several million in “disposable” income, and access to much credit.
Is that what we want Manhattan to be? Anybody who has read this blog for any length of time knows that 9/11 changed my life and not in a good way. I don’t have warm and fuzzy feelings about how great the people were. I remember the people and I do speak in glittering generalities as being worn and not able to deal with my personal tragedy.
It was the first time in my adult life I felt out of place. Time heals and I have put my mother’s death into perspective. There should have been help for people like me. I am a licensed social worker who did offer to begin support groups for people who lost loved ones around the time of 9/11 but not in it.
The man who lives upstairs from me is a drunk, fortunately in recovery now. He had to move back to the building as he was deemed a security risk living in The Boat Basin. He fell not once but many times every night for months. I would incorporate his falls into my dreams. Every night I would dream of people falling from The Towers. They would have my mother’s face as she died from a fall. She lived in the city; I live in Manhattan.
Yet I wasn’t eligible for the free help that was given so readily to people who had a second cousin once removed die in the attacks. I can’t forget that. I can’t help but believe if we had an administration that gave a damn–and senators who cared it might have been different. Every person who lived in the city was affected yet we were the only city not to have rallies, not to have the little things that help people heal. It was everybody for herself.
Yes that began my dislike of Hillary. She could have done so much for the people of New York City. She chose not to. She should have been screaming for the promised aid to come to New York then not to Montana and finally to New York three years later.
I will vote for her if I have to but it will be reluctantly.
I’m sorry I’m playing the same old song. I don’t enjoy it. I had to totally remake myself after 9/11. It wasn’t easy and it took time. I did but the psychic scars remain.
Happy birthday Bone. 35 and finally almost maybe possibly somewhat an adult
I want to thank writerKat for giving me an award for excellence. I live to write and write to live which isn’t a great thing when I’m supposed to be emptying book shelves.
I read Jonathan’s blog once a week–every post. It’s like reading a great serial. He and his wife Wendy just adopted three children. Jonathan shared the process. Now he’s sharing the day to day life, and I can’t help but tear up..
I should edit this to explain my mother asked me to describe what I ate as she ate about five foods–all good for you. She was little and petite.
The plumber asked her for a plunger. She knew he was licensed as the building wouldn’t use unlicensed plumbers but still….Then he and the building handyman told her that she might have to buy a new toilet. Just when she thought she was through with most of this. Just after the tub that practically touched the toilet had been reglazed.
Other women would be apt. Other women would know what to do. High powered execs by day, home handy person by night. She was the only one thinking “daddy, why the hell aren’t you on this earth?”
Not that her father would have known what to do nor would the men she had been with. In her world it was the women who could do the handy work. Just not her.
She thought back to the time she was moving to East 63rd Street and her father had made a graph of the apartment with accompanying little cardboard pieces of furniture. It had embarrassed her. He wasn’t moving. She was, but he talked about “our apartment.”
He turned out not to be intefering, and was respectful of her privacy. She missed him and thought further back to the time he had taken her out of school to see the circus. Later she found out he hated the circus but thought every lttile girl should go.
He took her to Yankee Stadium to see a game as every little girl should….He liked basketball and betting on football games.
Daddy took her sister and her so many places in the name of education, culture, and “they should have the experience.”
The one place he couldn’t get away with a one time or once a year experience was the beach. She loved it too much. She remembered the time she was turning some birthday and had just broken up with somebody. She trudged out to Jones Beach–subway, train, wait for the bus–two and a half hours in all. She walked from the West Bathhouse to the water. The West Bathhouse beach is one of the widest in the world. It was over a hundred degrees at the beach and the walk from the water to the Bathhouse seemed to take forever.
The ride home would have taken at least four hours. So many people trudging to the bus stop. Too few buses to the Freeport train station. She did what any normal girl from the Island would do, she found a phone booth:
“Daddy can you pick me up?”
The ride would have taken less than half hour at night in the dead of winter. in summer it could take up to an hour. It took her parents over two hours. Her father couldn’t pretend he wasn’t angry:
Beach bum. I raised a beach bum. Only a beach bum would go to Jones Beach on the hottest day of the year and it’s a Saturday–all the weekend traffic.
I’m sorry daddy. It was stupid of me. But tomorrow’s my birthday and I wanted to celebrate by myself at the beach.
You’ll stay at the house tonight?
Of course. Have to celebrate my birthday with my favorite parents.
Did you wait in the heat?
No did you know that there’s an airconditioned ice cream parlor in the Bathhouse? I waited there and had a small sundae.
Her mother chimed in
Oh good you were comfortable. Can you describe the sundae?
They went to a diner on Jericho Turnpike. First her mother made her model her lavender halter sleeveless dress with matching Candy mules:
Nice. Sexy but Pia darling if you lose anymore weight, you’ll lose your figure.
That’s kind of the point mommy….
Her father interrupted:
There’s a string hanging from the dress.
They went into the diner. Her parents immediately played “YMCA” and danced to it. Nobody else had parents like this. She spotted people they knew–a major ex boyfriend’s aunt and uncle. They were smiling. So was everybody but her.
She doesn’t remember where they went for her birthday dinner. Someplace with even more varieties of fish probably. She doesn’t remember anything else about the weekend but how her parents saved her from going home by public transportation and then humiliated her.
She would give anything to tell them how much fun they were. She probably did. They lived long enough for her to forge a true adult relationship. Still she would like to thank them for everything.
Her parents had been older though she never thought of them as old. If her father had lived he would be 94 on 2/16. She would have loved for him to have been a part of the Internet revolution. But that became her destiny. Maybe that’s what life’s about. She’s not in the mood to philosophize .
She only wants to see them once more. To find out all the other things they hated but did anyway. Today she just really wants to cry to her daddy.
Oh she’s a real adult, but there are sometimes, you just need your parents, nobody else.
As people who have been reading Courting for awhile know I adored my parents. My father was less handy than I am if such a thing is possible but he was a successful man so people didn’t tell him he needed to buy a new toilet when the plumber didn’t even bring a plunger or special toilet snake–and he did come for a consult Wednesday. It turned out of course I didn’t need a new toilet. The handyman probably told him I’m good for big tips. Not in this case.
Lucia’s nephew also known as my friend and landlord in Myrtle Beach’s son, and many other things, all nice began this letter to be sent to Democratic Senators re the Super Delegates. Super Delegates are Congress people and patronage delegates. In many places Obama seems to be winning the popular vote but losing the Super Delegate vote. I think Kenny’s letter speaks for itself but I would like to add one thing–as a New Yorker my presidential vote has never fully counted, it would be wonderful if my primary vote did.
Dear Senator (insert here)
I am compelled to write you outlining my views and concerns, as a constituent as well as a consistant supporter and contributor to both the DSCC and the Barack Obama 08 Campaign, of the activities I perceive taking place within the Democratic Party.
With that said, I want you to know that:
1. I will vote for Hillary IF she earns the nomination fairlyâ€¦.meaningâ€¦.she is ahead in the delegate count w/o the super delegates.
2. With the current momentum, Barack will more than likely earn the popular vote. If the Super Delegates are the only reason that Senator Clinton wins, many will view that as THE OLD GUARD trying to maintain a strong hold and PREVENT the change that Barack promises to bring. I will not be fooled into thinking that THE OLD GUARD (Republican, Independent or Democrat) want the type of change that Obama is speaking of. It is WE THE PEOPLE that want the change. People of all colors, sexes, religions, orientations and party affiliations coming together for change thereforeâ€¦â€¦
3. If and ONLY IF the nomination is STOLEN, I WILL VOTE REPUBLICAN (since there is no Independent candidate to consider at this point). There are many things that I can say about the Republican Party, but I can’t say that they GAVE the party nomination to their candidate.
I don’t want there to be any confusion here. There are quite a few Obama Supporters that ARE NOT democrats and if Obama is cheated out of his/our victory, the democratic party will be turning away hundreds of thousands of voters while demoralizing the youngsters that are getting involved for the first time.
A bait and switch strategy cannot and will not be rewarded which is why I am begging you and to let you know that as a constituent am serious. All I am doing is reacting to what all of the news outlets are already telling usâ€¦â€¦Clinton is winning despite being behind in the delegate count. Why? Because the super delegates are not in line with their constituents. Sitting on our hands and hoping for change doesn’t make it happen. Senator Obama has told us that change has to be fought for.
I am not accusing the party of cheating, but you have to ask yourself why the super delegate votes are being counted and broadcast this early when their vote only counts in the event of a brokered convention. If it goes that far, the party should recognize the will of the voters and I implore you as a superdelegate to vote with your constituents. Anything other than that, in my opinion, is unfair at best and not worthy of my support.
I am a proud New Yorker and American, and I, like many others, will not stand behind a candidate that did not earn the PEOPLES VOTEâ€¦.
Pia is exhausted. She does have the whitest bathtub in town–just reglazed–and can show the prospective buyers the three year guarantee. The Bank of Pia is back in operation as her “contractor” is sick. He kept saying that he would pay out of the money she gave him She wants the supplies out by tomorrow and for the contractor to pay for a cleaning service so the cleaning woman doesn’t have to do anything “dirty.”
Pia thinks her apartment might be ready by next week but damned if she can tell. It’s been so long she can’t tell up from down. § Read the rest of this entry…