Tag Archives: Tom

Time is really relative.

It’s been a weird couple of days. My Timex stopped working and I figured I would do without a wrist watch. Of course it was not a good idea but I tried to persevere and overcome the feeling of nudity without the wrist watch. It didn’t take and I wound up wearing the broken watch for some semblance of normalcy in my life. Still there are clocks everywhere, the cable box, the TV screen, the smartphone and various clocks in the apartment, on the wall and one on Bill’s side of the bed and one on my side.

And not wearing a watch to bed was uncomfortable since I usually have my wrist an inch away from my eye in the morning so I know what time it is without having to get out of a comfortable position to see the digital readout on the alarm clock. I mentioned to Bill my plan of not wearing a watch and he thought it was not a good idea. In November we had no electricity so most of those clocks were useless. And of course maintaining a charged up phone was inconvenient at best.

And I really did want a new watch. A new Timex, this time without the date on the face since it was a pain in the tuchis almost every month. I was going to go to the mall yesterday and asked Rand if he wanted to go and he politely declined. Then the Credo bullshit occurred and I was in no mood to go, so once again I stayed within the Hoboken borders.

Juan was in town and was planning on coming over last night. I had been in communication with him the past few days and his situation was dire. Bill and I offered our futon to crash on if he needed to, but he was staying with his family nearby. Juan came over and Bill went to bed. And Juan did have a harrowing story to tell, harrowing enough that I yelled at him. It didn’t help but it was my first reaction and I resolved to just shut up and listen.

Words were flying fast and furious from his mouth and I for one am glad he is out of that most unprincipled situation. Juan’s sister came by to drive him home a couple of hours later and a plan to hang out today was set. I slept fairly well or so I thought. Bill told me I was talking in my sleep, coherently but he didn’t remember what it was that I said, and that I also was punching the bed, two things I have no recollection of.

I woke up after Bill had left me with a good bye kiss, telling me it was 6:00. I looked at my wrist some time later and then looked at the clock. I roused myself and started my day. I had the talk with Bill about watches at this point, and following Bill’s advice, headed to the mall.

A major storm is approaching and the river was very choppy. The winds were strong enough to push this guy on the wrong side of 200 pounds around on the sidewalk and pier. I made it to the mall and found what I was looking for, on sale in Kohl’s. I went there since my friend Lois works in Kohl’s out in the wilds of NJ. It’s a nice Timex. Not flashy, quite understated with military hours as well, so when someone says 20-oh hundred hours, I’ll know they mean 8PM.

When I was in Kohl’s Bill called. His friend Tom is getting divorced and needs a place to crash. Since Juan turned down our offer, the futon is Tom’s if he needs it. Thing is, Tom might need to crash for a few weeks, so that should be interesting. Already there has been a slight head bump between Bill and I on this matter and I am sure we will talk further about it when he gets home.

That’s it. More words, this time I had something to say, relatively speaking. And I am getting my Credo bills mailed to me rather than using their online service since apparently their online service is fucked up. I will pay by check.






Just Like (Starting Over)

Well today has been a busy day. After some weeks in planning Bill and I finally had our civil union officiated by then one and only Jim Mastro. The whole thing was under 2 minutes and that was a factor in not really telling anyone about it.

I’m sure there was bewilderment and perhaps even some hurt feelings but we didn’t want to waste anyone’s time and when there is marriage equality in New Jersey, that is when people will be invited. Until then a civil ceremony would have to do.

The whole thing started on March 11 when Bill and I went to the Soviet bloc building to fill out paperwork for a civil union with Stine and Alexander. Stine was our witness while Alexander was fascinated by the Soviet kitsch.

They asked when the ceremony would be done and I said July. They said too late, has to be within 30 days so I quickly rethought and came up with April 1. Seemed like an apt day to get civil unionized in my book.

I asked Jim Mastro if he could say the magic words and he was more than happy to help. As April 1 approached Jim suggested meeting at the Guitar Bar before the store opens at 11:00 in the morning. Fine with me, not so fine for Bill since he’s employed.

We thought after work at around 6:00 but that wasn’t too good for Jim.

So we aimed for today, April 3. It worked out for the best for all concerned. Since I was putting it all together somewhat I thought Bill should see if he could find a witness. He asked his friend Tom from work. I had a feeling that was who he would ask.

Tom’s a really nice guy, former Marine and a guard in Bill’s office tower. Jim asked if we were going to have anything to say vow wise and I figured if we did, I could at least say something off the top of my head.

I asked Bill last night if he had planned on saying anything and he felt the same, off the top of his head. As I lay in bed last night, trying to sleep I kept in mind that whatever I would say I would think of right then and there but I tossed and turned trying to thing of what I would say.

Crazy dreams followed. Jake Gyllenhall and I at the Elysian Cafe joined by my friends Connie, her sister Jennifer and Susan Sher. Then a dream about a Caribbean cruise with my sister. Clear blue water. Both dreams had ominous overtones though.

Bill was up first this morning, I followed groggy from not sleeping that well again. A shower, a shave and a nice breakfast fixed all that. We were on our way to the Guitar Bar, Bill trying to keep track of where Tom was.

Tom was bringing his wife Carmen, their son Sebastian and Carmen’s daughter Ashley and her son, all coming in from Harlem. We got to the Guitar Bar where Jim and Ruby Mastro were waiting. Spoke with Meghan Taylor Mastro on the phone, beating herself up for not being there like she said she would. It was OK, it would have been nice though.

Sorry Harpy.

We were thinking about heading over to the Hudson river to do the civil union thing but Tom and company arrived late and we wouldn’t make it there and back in time for Jim to open the store at 11:00.

Jim suggested the back of City Hall so that’s what we did, on the grass, in the sun, next to a big tree. All very nice. Chris Repella witnessed along with Tom and she also took some pictures. Ruby recorded it on a flip cam.

I set up my camera to record it all. You can see it but you can’t really hear it so I’m depending on Ruby’s video.

After all that Jim and Ruby went back to the Guitar Bar and Bill and I went with Tom and company to the Spa restaurant, a true greasy spoon for breakfast. My second, their first.

Then a walk to Pier A where we ran into Tariq. He went off to get some plectrums and I strummed his guitar a bit which had a calming effect on Tom and Carmen’s kid. The sun was certainly beaming.

We were soon joined by Ruby and her sister Lily and a friend. They were all heading into the city to take part in a pillow fight in Union Square.

Tom and family were headed out to New Jersey in their Zip Car and so Bill and I walked them to the car and thanked them once again. Then Bill and I came home, he was off to rehearsal for yet another play, this time playing a child molester. Eww.

I uploaded my video, tagged the pictures Chris took and an hour or so later was headed to Pier A to play the guitar again. No guitar improv this time, no one there to back me up. I did play for about 45 minutes but it had gotten considerably colder and so I came home.

And that’s where I am now.

We hope to have a party in Hoboken on July 11 for all of this to do, and of course I’ll keep you posted.

You, meaning you.

Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned

Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned

'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

And of all my entries, this is #1,599.

The Chill is On

An early dinner again. 3:30 or so. Have to get ready to head up to Larchmont NY for my uncle Joseph’s wake. I’ve written about my uncle. He was irrepressible if that’s the proper word. He was the youngest of my mother’s family, 6 years younger than my mom. 30 years older than me.

My brothers and sister always enjoyed having him stop by for a visit. His ribald humor was just what we needed to hear. I don’t think my father liked him very much. I just got back from his wake.

As most wakes go, once the big ones are out of the way, it’s a social event. Maybe that is how it gets when you get older. You spend more time conversing with the living rather than sitting and bemoaning. Sometimes it’s a lump in the throat, sometimes it’s a chuckle.

I spent most of the time with my South Jersey cousins, Rosie, Eileen and Madelyn. Just reminiscing, talking about the boards of photographs. A photo of my mother and her brothers with their father from 1968.

I have to get a copy of that. Madelyn said she had a copy so I should contact her or her brother Neil. I did have pictures that I brought up to Hillsdale on Christmas Eve. I was going to take them with me, but Frank was looking at them. I figured he’d do a good job, at least a better job that what I did when I had the photos.

The only picture that I could remember that would have been something to show the girls was a picture of Annemarie with Eileen in Wildwood Crest sometime around 1970. Anne and Eileen both looking like they’d rather kill the photographer than stand there. You can almost hear their exasperated sighs over the sound of the ocean.

I took the train up to Larchmont, after a bus ride driven by a driver who didn’t know what to do once he was diverted out of the tunnel. I was going to say something, but I was in no rush at all. I knew there would be 3 trains that I could catch so I was in a comfort zone of time.

The driver wound up driving up Eighth Avenue towards the bus terminal and most of the passengers getting off the bus a block away. The temperature was in the low 20’s and with the wind chill coming in off the water and amplified by the canyons of buildings, the wind cut like a knife.

All one could do was keep moving, no matter how many layers of clothes you might have had on.

I rode the train to Larchmont with all the other commuters and was able to finish off 2 copies of the New Yorker. Still in November on that front. One was the Food issue and I didn’t read most of those articles. I had a brisk walk to the funeral home from the train station.

The old Irish proverb came true, the wind was at my back and the road rose to meet me.

I came in and hung up my coat and hat and as I was about to sign the book, my cousin Joe spotted me and gave me a great big hug. He was glad to see me albeit under such circumstances. He was quite busy greeting various people and introduced me to a few of them.

Then he walked me over to his and my cousins and I sat with them for almost all of the time I was there. They asked how Bill was which was nice. And of course they asked about Frank, Annemarie and Brian.

No one ever brings up the Long Island Powers cousins, since no one has seen them in decades. I wouldn’t know them if I fell over them. But that’s how some families are. There’s no book, no template. It’s all how you deal with what and who you got.

I’m glad I have Rosie, Eileen and Madelyn and their other sisters Ginger and Theresa and of course their brother Neil. Some plans should be made for a reunion, preferably when Annemarie is in town.

Right now it’s 18 degrees and I can still feel the cold from being outside an hour ago.

Eileen, Me, Rosie, Joe and Madelyn- The Powers cousins

Eileen, Me, Rosie, Joe and Madelyn- The Powers cousins