Well it’s been a rather strange 24 hours. Actually it’s been a weekend like that. It started out with a drizzly rainy Saturday, just hanging out doing laundry. I was looking forward to just chilling out all weekend but on Friday Bill asked me if I was interested in having Chinese food on Saturday. His friend Tom whom we had jammed with several months ago, had written a script that had a big part written for Bill in it. We were supposed to meet on Canal Street at 4:30 to have dinner with Tom and Carmen at 5:00 at a restaurant in Chinatown.
We stood outside in the cold and damp until 5:30. Tom wasn’t answering his cellphone and the reservation we had to make in person had come and gone while people were lining up on the sidewalk outside. It must be a good restaurant for Chinese food (Joe’s Shanghai on Pell Street). Even if Tom and Carmen had shown up at 5:30 there would be an hour wait for a table and since Bill and I hadn’t eaten, it really wasn’t an option. I was getting tired, and hungry and a little bit in discomfort since my back was bothering me a bit and standing in the dampness wasn’t doing much in my favor.
Bill and I started walking up the Bowery looking for Peking Duck, a restaurant Bill had eaten at years ago. From out of nowhere Bill gets a tap on his shoulder. It’s Tom. Stuck on the 6 train, left cell phone at home, blah blah blah. We found where Peking Duck used to be, it’s now a tourist trap called Dim Sum with a logo on the window that looked suspiciously like RUN DMC’s logo. It may have been done on purpose like that, probably some hip hop graphic designer sold them on the idea.
We ate a lackluster meal. For me, once the food gets cool it’s not savory anymore. How can a chicken and broccoli platter turn so foul? Halfway through the meal it did for me, foul fowl. After that Tom, Bill and I walked to the subway where Tom took his chances with the 6 train headed back uptown. Bill and I rode the N train to Times Square and came back to Hoboken to chill out. We watched Zach Braff on SNL which was very funny, though no Scrubs routines.
Sunday was beautiful at least it started out that way. I woke up and got bagels after Bill went to church. Walked around Hoboken a bit, hung out on Pier A. Nobody really around to hang out with though. I cam home and watched Little Children. After that I was all set to watch the Prestige when my brother Brian called to tell me that our brother Frank had a stroke. Fuck. I told Brian to call Annemarie with the information that he had since I am absolutely no good with that sort of news. I need to write those things down rather than going by what I heard.
As time passed from the phone call I started feeling, I started feeling apart from myself. Just watching things, going through the motions. I spoke with Annemarie later in the night about what happened. She was distressed as was I, and I was probably no good to her. I didn’t know what to say or think, I could only try to be supportive. I do wish she was in NJ rather than California and I’m sure she feels the same, especially in times like these.
I went to work today, Greg Stevens asked me how my weekend was and I told him about Frank. Greg was great and told me I could go if I needed to and take all the time I needed. I mentioned that when my parents were alive I spent so much time worrying about when they were going to die, and now they’re gone I am keeping an eye on my siblings and their families, as well as Bill and his parents. I planned to leave work at 4:00 but then decided on 3:00. At 12:45 Vivek asked me what I was still doing there, that I should go and don’t worry about running the office. I left at 1:00.
Bill was coming out to Hackensack with me, but he was getting out at 3:30 and I didn’t feel like waiting ninety minutes so I came back to Hoboken, changed my clothes and caught a train to Hackensack, Bill was taking the bus and we were meeting at the hospital. We met up and walked in, saw Elaine who looked like she needed a good night’s sleep. Frank looked that way too. He’s having difficulty speaking, finishing sentences. He’s going to need a lot of rehab. Having written that just brought it all home once again. It’s a lot of therapy we’re looking at.