This took place circa late 1970’s early 1980’s. It is about the worst thing that I have ever put in. It’s what happens when your typing fingers go faster than your mind. My mind needs a blogging break. Zachary is very difficult for me to write about because for so many years I cast him in the role of the horrible person and me as not really good but anxious, (an immediate family trait), not naive or innocent but something approaching that; insecure–yes, and for some reason that boggles my mind I did have many friends. Perhaps in a pre Internet; pre large screen TV era, when everything didn’t cost you your inheritance it was easier to have many friends. I didn’t have aircondtioning; neither did Zachary.
Zachary and I had a favorite bar. The Grassroots’s on Saint Marks Place, which was an exact replica up to the tin ceiling of The Maple Leaf in New Orleans. Owned by the same people also. I know this to be a fact as Zachary was constantly talking about it.
The bartender had long stringy hair tied back in a ponytail; he always wore unbuttoned flannel shirts over tees. The juke box was one of the best in the city; it played music from all eras, and it was always hard to know when to put the money in, so that the songs I wanted to hear would be played before we left.
I had been there many times before I met Zachary. My girlfriends and I were plotting the revolution at Summitt Inc, until we found out that management wasn’t allowed to be part of a worker’s union. Okay we were clueless, but our hearts were in the right place. We had romantizied notions of unions and strikes. I wanted to be Emma Goldman but with my looks, and without condoning violence.
Zachary and I would meet our friends there; really my friends. He had two in New York; no that’s not fair, maybe three. I say this and it sounds so cavilier but the reality was that most people we knew had delayed marriage and babies. I had my first college friends; my third college friends; my friends from the job before Summit, the friends from Summit; the friends I met through people who worked at Summit; I even had high school friends.
For some reason I hadn’t made any in my second college. That might have been because I went to school in the city, worked full time, did volunteer work, and lived in a house on Long Island with girls I had known at my first school
All my friends lived in the city; some in tenements; others in large groups in luxe doormen buildings; others in Queens; some in the Bronx or Brooklyn.
In the back of my head it bothered me that Zachary had such few friends in New York; it seemed to me to be the easiest place in the world to meet people. I didn’t factor in the hometown edge. I didn’t factor in the lack of need to have so many friends, or the want to be with just one person. Honestly I didn’t understand the last two.
Zachary designed a bumper sticker that said something witty about the oil embargo. I don’t remember exactly what it said; but it might still be up on the wall near the bar at The Grassroots. I haven’t been there in many years.
Be careful what you wish for had been my mantra since beginning college. Now I first understand why it was my eternal slogan.