Monthly Archives: March 2011

I Shall Not Be Moved

It’s a drizzly and cold Thursday in the spring, March 31, 2011 to be exact. I woke up and heard the rain as well as some mechanical sounds somewhere in the neighborhood. I did not want to wake up and get out of bed, but still that is exactly what I did. I wasn’t too happy about it but something had to be done.

I stepped into the shower after I set up the coffee maker and poured some cereal into a bowl. 5 minutes later I was drying off and hearing the coffee maker beep, alerting me that the coffee was ready. I shuffled about, getting dressed, checking emails and sending out resumes.

When I was growing up in Lodi, I remember seeing a movie starring William Hurt & Sigourney Weaver, Eyewitness. William Hurt played a smart guy who was happy to be a janitor at night and I thought at that time that being a smart guy while doing menial tasks was good enough for me. It sort of still is, but it’s now almost 30 years later and I’m working retail which is pretty much menial in itself.

It was cold and drizzly when I headed out, and the mechanical sounds I heard were of a tree being chopped down outside the nearby public school. Don’t know why they were doing it, it has been going on around Hoboken on and off the past half year. I didn’t stick around to see the damage done.

I enjoyed a cigar and walked up to the bus stop, talking to Bill on the phone as I stayed far away enough from the bus stop so as not to offend my fellow passengers. I’m probably known as the cigar guy around Hoboken these days. And I probably smell of cigars which I think is fine since that generally means no one will sit next to me on the bus if they don’t have to.

On the bus, instead of looking at the gray gray town of Hoboken through the bus window I read instead Keith Richards autobiography which is actually really good and a lot of fun. I’m sure he used a ghost writer, a very good ghost writer since it flows so easily and it’s quite descriptive, reading about growing up in Dartford, Kent in the 1950’s.

But instead of listening to the Rolling Stones, I listened to the Pet Shop Boys as I walked through the bus terminal. The day was OK at the cigar shack. Marcus was back from his vacation in the Dominican Republic and I hadn’t seen Calvin since Sunday.

It wasn’t that busy but for the first time in a week or two, the man cave was filled, mainly with new people. It was too cold and rainy to go outside and smoke cigars so they stayed in the cigar shack. It was an amiable group, most of the guy fascinated by a young woman who sat there telling her tales of Harlem while smoking cigarillos.

Once again I inadvertently had the top sales and once again it was all in the luck of the draw. In this instance, I merely answered the phone and took a phone order. The store as usual, slowed to a crawl, leaving Thomas and myself not that busy.

A customer or two came in but nothing major. I left the shop a little earlier, 5 minutes earlier and since the weather outside was crap, I took a subway which pulled into the station minutes after I descended the stairs.

That enabled me to catch a bus ride home with Hyman Gross who seemed happy to see me. I was glad to see him.

Snow is expected tomorrow but I am hoping that is just a cruel April Fool’s Day joke.

I Shall Be Released

Back in the shack. It’s Wednesday. Bill woke me up with a kiss goodbye this morning and oh how I was not so receptive to it. I think I muttered ‘leave me alone’ before he left.

We joked about it later, how if something happened I would be interviewed and I would say tearily, “My last words to him were ‘leave me alone’. Then he got hit by a bus on the 42nd floor of his building.”

I woke up to the last notes of the Beatles singing All My Loving which I took to be a good sign. I got out of bed at 7:45 and went to the bathroom before deciding that it was way too early so after I did my business I went back to bed, only to get out of bed about a half hour later.

I got it together enough and headed out the door, enjoying a cigar and waiting for the bus. It was a cool spring morning which was nice. No rain and not too cold. I rode the bus to the terminal, reading the New Yorker from last week, all about the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

I got to the cigar shack building and farted around outside until it was time to go in. I was in and out of the cigar shack a few times today. Marcus and Calvin were out and left the cigar shack to Thomas, the Bradley and myself.

It was once again a day of laughter, though not as laid back as it was last Saturday. At one point as I was going through a revolving door and elderly woman was leaving as I was entering. The guy before her was in a hurry and pushed the door hard causing the door to hit her arm.

She turned and started yelling at me and cursing me. I yelled back to her that it wasn’t me, it was the guy before her, and then I called her an old bag. Yes, an old bag is what I called her. It could have been worse and she probably didn’t hear me.

I was able to enjoy a cigar in the man cave and since I was alone I was able to elevate my leg and read the rest of the New Yorker. Elevating the leg helped stretch it and I was not as uncomfortable as I was before I did that.

Now it’s almost 8:00, with just Thomas and I in the shop. Sales were good so far and that will probably be about it for the day. None of the regulars came in today, in fact one of my favorites, Gil Martinez up and left for San Francisco.

Too bad (but good for him), he was a real nice guy. He got a better job offer and since his wife was from the Bay area, he felt it was time to make that leap, which is braver than anything I would do.

No, I’d rather stay in the tri-state area and call old women stuck in revolving doors, old bags. I wrote all of the above in about 20 minutes. Not bad, eh?

The last hour crawled and once again I had top sales. All in the luck of the draw. Whoever answers the phone or gets the next person walking through the door can make a big sale.

Me? I answered the phone. I did not expect to do $2400.00 in sales, with both Thomas and the Bradley being better salesmen than me. That’s all it is, luck. Shark-like behavior can do the job as well and Thomas is proving himself to be quite an able shark.