Monthly Archives: May 2007

What’s The New Mary Jane?

Thor’s Day. God of Thunder. Had a chariot driven by a goat, or maybe goats. Son of Odin, half brother of Loki, married to Sif (at least in Marvel Comics), and has a hammer that he uses as a weapon that magically comes back to him after he throws it at evil doers. When I was growing up we used to play superheroes and someone would play Thor and throw a sledge hammer around. It was way too heavy to go too far and actually hurt anyone but we were young and quite immortal at that time in our lives.

I grew up across the street from an asphalt playground that had six swings, three seesaws and two basketball hoops. We would play punch ball or kick ball, occasionally something involving a basketball, usually Horse or Around the World, very rarely playing an actual game of one on one or two on two or whatever combinations thereof. That was what the older kids would play. At night we would play hide and seek in someone’s yard or manhunt which was all over the neighborhood in everyone’s yards. WABC was always playing on someone’s transistor radio. There were a bunch of us that always hung around each other.

Scott Williams, Kathy Grant, Christine Kincaid, Susan Lucas, David Plauchino, occasionally joined by George Moncho or Michael DeBraun (who was a difficult kid sometimes). Christine and Susan had swimming pools which made them very popular during the summer months. This was all going on pre-puberty for us. Nothing can really compare to the eternal summer nights of childhood. I was the oldest of our group and Scott Williams was the youngest. We were a group of good kids that rarely if ever got into trouble. And I did write rarely. That meant no cop cars ever brought us home to our parents.

Came close once or twice. Scott, David and I used to go shoplifting at Two Guys frequently. They would steal dog chains, I would steal blank cassettes. They didn’t get caught, but I did. One day while shoplifting solo, I got popped with a cassette in my pocket. I was leaving Two Guys department store when I heard “Excuse me sir.” I knew I was collared. The pock marked store detective brought me into a room in the basement where I was browbeaten into signing a confession dictated by the store dick.

I of course folded under pressure and did whatever he asked while torrents of tears streamed down my face when he threatened to call my parents. I begged him not to while he made me promise to pay the 2.99 back to the store the next day. He also tried to ban me from the store, but I pleaded with him, saying that I go here all the time with my family, so he compromised and said I couldn’t go there unescorted without my parents. That seemed reasonable but didn’t last long. I never shoplifted again, and for years afterwards I would feel paranoid in different stores, thinking that I was being watched and followed by store detectives.

I don’t know why that part of my life popped in, but you never know where you’ll wind up sometimes.

Sleeping Gas

Wednesday which is weird since Monday was a holiday and yesterday felt just like a Monday, so there is this discombobulation with this time frame. Last night Juan came over and hung out with Bill and myself, watching one of the Beatles dvd’s from the Anthology. Found out my niece Cory has an infected tonsil. Annemarie called me with that news. As if they didn’t have enough to worry about in Garfield. Jeezy Creezy. Bill crashed and I kicked Juan out around 11:30. Slept badly last night though I woke up relatively rested. Could have used another hour or two. Bill was up and ready to go. I showered, shaved and had some cereal and sure enough I too, was out the door headed to the bus stop. Got on the bus and read the New Yorker. I finished listening to Juan’s cd and it’s definitely one of his best. Next in the queue was Bob Marley and the Wailers, Kaya which sounded great as I walked through Bryant Park.

Got to work on time. Everything ho hum, samo samo which is more than fine by me. No need for any stress in my life. Got enough, thank you very much. I did have an errand to go to Chinatown to find out what exactly the printer is doing to our stationery. I couldn’t understand them over the phone on Tuesday so I thought it best to go down and see for myself before giving my approval. They had very thick accents and after I re-explained what my company wanted done I was glad I went down there and talked to the face to face. The work will still have to be double checked because from what I heard they’re notorious for making spelling erros. That is next weeks plan.

I was in at 8:00 and out by 3:00. I walked across town and caught an express bus to Hackensack, filled with Bergen county commuters. They all fell asleep as soon as the bus hit the road and I too nodded off for a spell. Must be the oneirogenic fumes. I got off a block too soon for some reason, perhaps groggy from the bus and had to walk to the top of the hill as the bus drove up. I got to the hospital and saw Elaine and Frank in the hallway. They both were glad to see me and Frank patted me on the back and Elaine gave me a big hug.

We walked back to the room, I gave Frank, Revolution in the Head by Ian McDonald. It’s all about every Beatles recording session and who played what on it, what they were thinking etc. It’s a fun read especially if you’re a Beatlemaniac and you’re actually listening to the songs as you’re reading about. I knew he would enjoy that. I also got him a few more British music magazines, and a very funny article from the Onion, and an article by co-founder of Spy magazine, Kurt Andersen about being with Phil Spector. The three of us just sat and talked as if we were in the kitchen in a garden apartment on Main Street in Lodi NJ. That’s how cozy it was. Frank is still having difficulty speaking and sometimes it seems like we’re playing charades, with Elaine and myself trying to guess the second word, and how many syllables was it?

Elaine had to go around 6:00 and Frank and I talked about our mother and father and Brian and Annemarie and about how I didn’t go to college yet seemed to have turned out alright though there was the insinuation that there’s something missing in my life because I didn’t pursue a higher education, but that could be me being a touch sensitive. Juan was nice enough to come up to Hackensack and drive me back. He’s here now writing out his resume and I’m giving him terrible advice on how to write a resume.