Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In those days...

...I WASN'T VERY STREET-WISE... as I walked through the dark, labrynthine warren of the Combat Zone to my own garret along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, a toney part of Back Bay I lived in light years & many fears ago, a naif to the world and very as-yet untried & unenlightened...

...I well recall throwing half-finished cigs into the gutters and watching the down and out scabrous bums of the day practically club one another to get to the smoldering butt in the filthy street, as I walked away laughing, an 18-year-old know-it-all with an attitude and a lot to learn, and learn that lesson I did as, fast forward 25 years, it was I - ME - scrambling for the butts in the gutter tossed by show-off kids!

...turnabout being fair play (this too I had learned) I had to laugh. another point in this embryonic period of my life, we are talking 1961 and 1962, I in my unworldly ignorance was cruising afoot when I saw a man walking briskly along alone in the early Fall evening, through the Common which runs down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue, an easy mark I think as I draw alongside him, he stepping lively in his three-piece herring-bone tweed suit, pointed-toe boots, pale blue shirt, fancy Brooks Brothers tie, and a walking-stick umbrella tapping along beside him.

This should be good...

(I am not going to apologize for this, I have paid in many ways for decades, and - as you will see - I also paid for it immediately and have remembered the lesson all my life and become much enlightened since this incident, but not alone because of it; one grows and comes to know.)

Anyway...he looked like a pushover.

"Give it up," I said to him, "...gimme your wallet or else..."

...he grinned bigly...

...then went to work on me with the brolly! I created a monster! He was like Johnny Depp fer Cris'sakes, jabbing and poking that goddamned thing into my ribs and the next one was in my ass Jack because I was running away from this crazy bastard as fast as I could go and he was just as fastly hitting me with that umbrella and finally tripped me from behind and put the dukes to me without ever mussing up his fuckin' vest... could call it an object lesson in crime control.


...plays an unending loop in my mind...
It is so beautiful a melding of instruments and sound that I am held speechless, spellbound.

It is, in my humble estimation, one of the best pieces of music to ever
come down the pike and for myself, think it should definitely be my going away
music, but not yet, not yet...o, listen to is so can
almost hear the encomiums pouring down on your anointed head as your ashes are
strewn willy-nilly over the back 40, or is it opprobrium being heaped upon my
poor mortal's earthly remains?

I'm sorry already, sheeesh...get a Handel on it. I make light of it but
it is a glorious work of art and I can listen to it as often as I can view a beautiful painting and never tire of it...

Yet, something about it is so bittersweet it breaks down every false
courage I ever had, leaves could I explain...I SLAP my forhead!? How
explain indeed. There's no explaining some things.

Violins counterpoint to cello to bass to is all too much.

...then again it could be the Kahlua...


...I have been meaning to tell a Friend of mine, ' because I come with a lot of baggage, sort of a goyisha Woody Allen, mayo on my angst; he's got his klezmer/jazz clarinet, I got Hank Williams Jr. "...nobody wants me, I'm nobody's child..." Do you need the grief?'
And besides I would say, 'I'd probably bore you in no time at all; I mean yawn/ho-hum boredom; I've been told I'm much better on paper than in real life and having been around me for so long I can attest to that.'
Withal I require fealty unbound almost to the point of mouth agape at every pithy remark I utter and a sort of 'Yes, my liege' look at all times on your pretty, heart-shaped face. And all too soon what I now consider your o-so-clever repartee, I would be calling your bitter invective and a harangue against all that I stand for! (Huh? Duh?)
Then there's the cooking you'll have to do and my entree with dinner is...well, I could go on, but all in all you see it's better I don't call, come over or write very often. Please try to control your anxiety at this sad turn of events and don't do anything rash. It'll be tough for awhile but you can get by without me.


...who was doubling as a recalcitrant subscriber I sent a second red-dot reminder - six blank pages titled "Not From The Dump" and sure enough the prod worked because a few days later, there in the incoming was a 20 dollar check and once again a reader was euchred, ah, ushered into the fold...
I put the check in my wallet and thought no more of it until today when I
signed it and put it in my checking account and noticed that in the place where you put what the check was for he'd written 'Junkmail'...

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