Written on the train: This stop is Mount Kisco. The next stop is Chappaqua. This is the train to Grand Central. I’ve just got on the train back to Manhattan after leaving my friend Miriam and her husband Joe’s barbecue. A very unsettling noise just occurred which was the sound of another very fast train, whistle blowing going in the opposite direction, the train shudders from the wind pressure flying past.
I had a very good time this afternoon. Lot’s of food and Miriam’s husband made sure I always had a can of Guinness in my hands. I don’t recall how many cans I had, it was a considerable amount but while eating constantly I didn’t get drunk per se. I do know I had 2 cigars while discussing politics with other guests at the table.
Now we’re in Chappaqua, home of the Clintons. Very pricey here in upper Westchester, obviously if Bill and Hillary live up here. It’s funny, Pedro lives in Otisville, two hours from Hoboken, but easier to get to since I just have to hop on a train from Hoboken. This trip to Yorktown Heights, near Sleepy Hollow is just under an hour, but I have to go to the city via bus to catch a train from Grand Central, then a winding cab ride from the train station to Miriam’s house.
Handsome conductor taking tickets. It would have been nice if Bill were able to join me on this excursion, but he’s rehearsing for a short run of the play Pap Smear, which I gave a disparaging review last year, which was found by the playwright who sent the link to the cast, including Bill. So I have strong doubts that I will be seeing the latest version of Pap Smear. Guy across the aisle from me on the train looks like a decrepit Burt Young, or rather a stand in for Burt Young. Not looking too well and a bit unsteady on his feet, handsome conductor is looking out for him.
So the barbecue was a lot of fun. Got to meet Miriam and Joe’s daughter Mareah. She’s a gem, and looks just like Miriam did as an infant, especially when shown a picture of Miriam as a baby. A carbon copy if I say so myself. To me she looked more like Miriam than Joe, but being 13 months old that could all change with time. I was sitting at a table where a political discussion was going on. We were democrats mainly, an independent here and there.
No republicans though Westchester is a republican strong hold. Some for Obama, some for Clinton some undecided. It was rather passionate for me, fueled by Guinness and Padron cigars. I was being forthright, and the others seemed to be jockeying for my attention. Whenever someone had something to say it was me they looked to.
For me it was like a press conference where I would pick the next person to say something, or getting them to wait while someone else finished whatever it was they had to say. I had to juggle, listening and signaling to the others to wait their turns. No fisticuffs occurred and the discussion wound down as the sun went down.
This station is Valhalla. I’ve got relatives buried up here somewhere in this land of Vikings.
I’ve known Miriam for about 15 years. We first worked together at Skyline Studios in midtown where I was the receptionist and Miriam was an assistant engineer. She worked with Siouxsie, John Cale, Tupac, Puff Daddy, though not all at the same time.
We were an odd pair Miriam and I. We fought a few times, sometimes so pissed off at each other that we wouldn’t talk to each other for weeks on end which made for a tense work environment. One time she threw a portable Sony tape recorder at me after I antagonized her when she left a meeting about her attitude.
Out of all the people we worked with at Skyline, we’re the only one’s who have kept in touch with each other. Tried contacting some others from then but they’re unavailable despite some searches online. Miriam later got me a job at Arista after Skyline closed. I worked on Patti Smith and Whitney Houston albums, though they weren’t recording together. That would have been something though. Probably unlistenable but still…
It lasted a few months and t was then I realized, my dream of working for a record company wasn’t that good a dream after all. Perhaps Steve Fallon was right when he told me I was born 10 years too late. White Plains, White Plains next stop. From here it is express to Harlem 125th street. 4 gelled up good looking guys get on with a chick, looking like background from Growing Up Gotti.
The guys all with trace beards and spiky hair and tight t shirts with stenciled words on them like, ‘destroyer’ or ‘electric’ written on them. They had a case of Coors Light that they were guzzling before they got to Grand Central. One of them was USDA Prime Beef who was difficult not to stare at.
A harmless group though they used the words faggot and fag a bit much, not in a sexual way but to describe a former friend of theirs that they wouldn’t have anything to do with anymore. They were taking digital photos of each other and I offered to take a picture of the 5 of them. They appreciated it and gave their best tough guy looks, thanking me profusely and treating me with respect afforded to someone who was old enough to be their father.
They were off to the clubs, trying to talk the girl with them into going to a strip club to look at tits. She definitely didn’t want to go since she looks at tits all day long she said. For me this trip reminded me of going to visit co-workers of my father when I was growing up. A trip to Staten Island was exotic for 5 year old me back then, visiting the peculiarly named John Small, or people named Phil and Lucianne somewhere out in the wilds of New Jersey. Just names from the past.
So now I’m doing the same thing with people named Pedro or Miriam and instead of running around like a 5 year old, I’m sitting at the table smoking cigars and drinking with the rest of the grown ups.
Now the train is running express, the kids next to me offered me a Coors but I refused explaining that I’ve been drinking all day. That was something they couldn’t understand, if I was drinking all day, why stop now? Got to Grand Central around 10:35, bus from bus terminal is 11:00 and I had to pee. After that I was on the street at 10:40, and talked with Bill to find out when the next bus would be leaving.
I wasn’t going to make it to the 11:00 bus and the one after that was at midnight. Hanging around the bus terminal late at night is a slow painful way to pass the time so I decided to take the Path. Walked over there, got through the turnstile when the train doors closed. I ran up in time to slip in when they opened again, finding myself in the middle of a jam band headed home after playing outside somewhere.
Too tired to write this all last night so here it is now. And here are some snaps of the barbecue.
Joe and Mareah
Miriam and Mareah
Mareah and me
The Mazzerella family
Me and the girls