Life on Mars?

Sunday mornings used to mean going to the bakery in Hackensack with my father. I don’t remember going to church with him, but the bakery I do remember. It was hardly ever fun. Always some drama, some incompetence of the world would always piss him off. We’d get rolls and jelly donuts and crullers. Of course these couldn’t be touched until we got home.

My father, smoking his Kent’s would grip the wheel as if on the run from the law. He probably did something wrong, I’m sure of it. I had a run in with incompetence this morning myself. In Hoboken at the Bagel store. I’m just minding my business while waiting for my 2 bagels when I hear some male voice say a bit faintly, “Excuse me Sir, could you move up?” I didn’t think he was talking to me. The voice repeated itself, only not as faint, ‘Could you step up sir?’

I turn around expecting to see a homeless person for some reason, but it was a guy in a red windbreaker, black hair, and sleazy moustache. ‘Could you move up?’ I looked past him, there was only one person behind him. There were two other people waiting for their orders two, and I left the space in front of the register, in front of me, open.

‘Could you move up?’ ‘Why? What’s the difference?’ I knew my bagels were on their way. ‘Just move’. No way was I going to move now. I got my bagels, paid for them and said, ‘There you go. Step up’

‘Go choke on your bagels.’ He muttered, and I replied, ‘Go choke on this’ while not pointing to anything in particular, though I’m sure his imagination did most of the work on that. I could see if he had a walker, or something, a cane perhaps, but he was just standing there, itching to move forward.

I left, thinking that as I walked to the supermarket, he was going to sneak up on my and clock me. It was weird. I shouldn’t leave the apartment without having had my coffee. I wasn’t looking for trouble, trouble found me. In a red windbreaker. I suppose he could be even less of a morning person than I am.

And a person could die choking on a bagel. Someone choking on ‘this’ would be saved by the removal of ‘this’ from their mouth, no death there.

So I went to the store, bought some groceries and went home, while keeping an eye out for a red windbreaker and a sleazy moustache.

I did my usual breakfast thing, bagels, eggs, newspapers and coffee. Every weekend morning same thing, only usually without threats. I decided to actually go to the city today. Used to do that all the time, but as I got older and more ‘set in my ways’ the hassle of commuting lost its charm. There’d better be a paycheck at the end of the commute. Nice carrot, nice stick.

So I decided to go the Cheim & Read gallery in Chelsea to see the Andy Warhol Male Nudes exhibition.

25th between 10th and 11th Avenues it was a beautiful day as I walked down 23rd street from the PATH station. Not many Chelsea bunnies, which was fine by me. Nothing against them yet nothing much in common with them either.

Didn’t seem like many galleries were open which should’ve been a sign… I walked to 25th street and of course, the gallery was closed. And of course, no hours were listed. I remember galleries in Soho being open on Sundays; I guess this is a Chelsea thing. Go figure.

So I light up a cigar and start to wander over to the Metropolitan Pavilion where WFMU is having their record fair. My brother Frank had a table selling records, so I figured that since his co-pilot Bob couldn’t make it, I could show up and give him some time away. As I stood outside the hall, I called Frank’s cell while I finished my cigar. Nope, Frank still hasn’t mastered the idea of having the cell phone close by, much less having it turned on if he had it on his person.

So I finished the cigar and walked in. Frank gave me a free pass so that was easy to do. After looking around for a red windbreaker, I wandered inside. I found Frank relatively quickly, which is odd since it’s usually packed and he’s behind a table like the hundred other record sellers.

He asked, I offered and took his place behind the counter. It was pretty cool, being able to show off my geekiness regarding some of the music for sale. One woman asked me about Graham Parker while holding the Parkerilla album. I told her Squeezing Out Sparks was better. Also had to tell her who old Graham was, how he was compared to Elvis Costello, but actually Graham was around first, blah blah blah.

I saw Tom Verlaine walking around. He went through some records in the boxes in front of me, and I took a picture of him. Or actually a picture of Tom Verlaine’s shoes.

Didn’t want to be too obtrusive.

Frank turned up and I soon left the table, looked at a few things, bought a collection of David Bowie’s videos. Way cool.

After that I left and walked over to Farfetched. To my surprise there was Harry…in a red windbreaker! And a sleazy moustache!

No, it was Harry but looking quite svelte in black. Harry is my former boss of sorts.

He never really told me to do anything. Well, anything legal. We’ve been pals for years and years. He’s in that Pantheon that includes Julio and Mr. Pedro Ramos. I hung out for a while talking, using the loo. He had me take a picture of his tattoos.

We stood outside smoking cigarettes before I said goodbye and made my way to St Marks Place. Lucky me, though the surgeon general would disagree, but they had Gauloises. I bought what looked like the last box.

Walked to the PATH at 9th street and caught a train within minutes. Rod2.0 was right. There is something about the men on the PATH train. Nothing happened but there were one or two guys that struck my fancy. They had a heartbeat and testosterone. That’s all it takes these days.

4 thoughts on “Life on Mars?

  1. hbarnes52

    I wish there was a better picture of me or my tattoo; and hell I’m not sveldt, I had surgery.

  2. hbarnes52

    I’d like to see those un-published pictures.
    I hope they’re not from the night we both want to forget.

  3. hbarnes52

    Let me retract the last post; you as Maggie Thatcher, in the words of Mastercard; priceless. go ahead show the pictures.

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