Tag Archives: Family

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! Another excerpt from my book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’ Available on Amazon.

My Father, Carl Marcus 1978.

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From the chapter, “Going For A Drive”

 

“What’s a shnorra Daddy?”

“Mikey, it’s men or women who freeload and sponge, like leeches at corporate or government jobs because they have no original thoughts, business sense, or ambitions. AND EVEN WORSE, they have no panache or hustle. You never want to get caught up in that garbage kid, it’s a dead-end life. A real fucking horror show.”

“OK, Dad.”

He turned up Frank Sinatra and ran his gold rings on the Caddie’s plastic steering wheel. He sang “My Way” as he gunned the red Eldorado up the 101 past Cambria. My father drove us all over California. We motored from Point Conception to the Mexican border, from San Fernando to San Francisco, Burbank to Barstow and all the nooks and crannies in between. He feeds us Ghirardelli chocolates, Pismo Beach clam chowder; date shakes from Hadley’s, root beer floats from A&W, fried shrimp from Howard Johnson’s, and pea soup from Andersen’s. On many occasions, he would wad up the check and stick it in his pocket, and we’d just walk out. “Let’s play a game kids. It’s called dine and dash.” If the waitress ever stopped us on the way out, he’d say, “must have slipped my mind,” then pay the bill. Once in our travels, my father took us to Fedco. He had acquired ‘paid’ stickers that a manager friend stole from the cash register. These stickers were used for big-ticket items that couldn’t be bagged. He’d slap a sticker on an item (toasters, irons, roller-skates, bicycles, even a color TV he put on a dolly) and we’d walk out.

When he was tired he’d pull into a rest stop and say, “OK you little cuties, shut the fuck up now. I’m sleeping, and I want silence.” He had no problem throwing an open fist into the back seat if we woke him. He called it “backhand therapy.” At home, he called it “wall-to-wall counseling.” My sister and I would sit back there wired on sugar and freak out about waking him. Then he’d wake up, and we were off. We also played road games. “Hey kids, you want to play house of horrors?”
 There was silence.

“How do you play that game Daddy?” My sister asked.

“We think of the worst possible scenario that could occur in a house filled with children.” More silence, for what seemed like an eternity. “For example, a banister that is sharpened like a shaving razor, and when you slide down it cuts you in two, haha!”

“Ok dad,” I said nervously.

“Or a special well lit room where they take a hole punch to your eyelids so your pupils are always exposed to the bright lights.”

“Eww,” said Lorraine.

“Or a chair with tacks and nails on it that you’re forced to sit in.”

“Dad, how about being stuck in a car that plays Frank Sinatra, over and over and over, forever?”

 

GET IT NOW!

#1 Son And Other Stories is available now on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999614185/

Also, check out my Interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast.

http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-876-michael-marcus-dr-steve

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Young Scars (1985)

TBT… The Angry Young me

 

Just a young man

So seasoned at lying

At 17 years old

I

Rob

You

Blind

You believe me when I blame someone else

I piss on your favorite things

I torch whatever I can

Burn it all down

I must be really mad

Why?

You exposed me to sex

When

Was 

Much

Too

Young.

Sacred sex.

You showed me criminality

You stripped my sensitivity away

It was your matter-of-fact fuck it all attitude

that fueled my rage

I rebel.

You purged and cleansed the household of me

Then I’m gone in a drug-induced haze

 

I got high with you and your wives

Listened to your stories

Believed your lies

Then you put me away when I robbed you.

You threw me out.

You wondered why

You introduced me to all.

Sex, drugs, and Sinatra

You lived the life of all that was evil shallow and toxic.

Why do I hate?

Why am I still so fucking full of rage?

I can’t let it go

I don’t want to judge

I can’t stop

So

I

Just

Live with it…

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Another excerpt from my book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’ Available on Amazon.

THIEVIN’ PINK PILLS AND PSYCHOTROPIC THRILLS

Monday night, Jeff’s apartment, Q-107, 11:30 pm. I was pacing back and forth because I couldn’t get the patio sliding door off its tracks; it usually wasn’t a problem. How the fuck…? I had to get in. What do I do now?

I knew Jeff kept an English cookie tin of pills in his studio apartment, he’d showed it to me a couple of weeks ago. I needed to steal it; I needed to get high. I needed to throw the ultra-heavy little hibachi through the sliding glass door: Crash! Slam! Chinkle, chinkle, chinkle…

I rushed into the apartment. There was briquette dust in the air and all over the floor. He had concert posters and Playboy centerfolds taped to the walls: Hendrix, Mott the Hoople, Humble Pie…complete with black lights. The floor was strewn with dirty socks and underwear. The coffee table had paper plates with food still on them from the weekend, along with an open container of Vaseline and Swedish Erotica porno vids.

I searched under the bed: No.
The closet: No.
The bathroom: No.
The refrigerator: Yep! The cookie tin was in there and loaded with pills. So many colors and designs! I grabbed an Alpha Beta paper bag, threw the tin in the bag and walked out the front door.

I quickly walked to the exit of the building. I ducked inside a doorway. I saw the little Oakwood security cart hum by, the guard looking like business as usual. No sense of urgency, just making his rounds. I was in and out in probably two-and-a-half or three minutes. Oakwood has twenty-six buildings, lettered A through Z, three doors each. Five guys handled all the security, two vehicles. Easy pickings.

#1 Son And Other Stories is available now on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/0999614185/

Also, check out my Interview with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast.

http://wtfpod.libsyn.com/episode-876-michael-marcus-dr-steve

 

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When Carl Met Mary

April 1959

     Mary Agnes Lydon was a registered nurse living in Miami and working at Cedars of Lebanon hospital. She had come from New York that same year to escape the cold winter. She worked the swing shift. Mary preferred this shift so she could go to the beach with her friends before duty, as well as hang out in the clubs and dance after her shift. This was a far cry from Beach 115th street in Far Rockaway, where Mary grew up. It was comically referred to as ‘The Irish Riviera’ by the locals. Mary had shared a one-room bungalow with her two sisters three brothers and her mother and father.

     Around the same time in 1959, Carl Marcus had just arrived in Miami. He had just been released from Elmira State Prison in February 1959. Carl came up hard in the Bronx. He was raised in a sixth-floor walk-up with his 2 brothers and 3 sisters. At 16 he was convicted. Now he had completed a 6-year bid for a stack of charges including theft, breaking and entering and grand larceny. while he was in prison Carl Had learned from another inmate that you could open vending machines with a simple pair of vice grips. Upon his release, Carl and his friend Hal hit the road. Hal had just done a three-year bid for passing bad money, specifically washers and slugs rolled as coins, real coins on the end of each roll, with slugs and washers throughout the rest of the roll.

     Off they went roaring down the eastern seaboard Route 95 south in a 1959 black Cadillac convertible, hot-wired and stolen by Hal Blake from a Jack Bernstein’s Used Car Autorama (a car dealership in Flushing, Queens). They’d hit rest stops, laundromats, gas stations, hotels, automats (fast food restaurants where simple foods and drinks are served by vending machines), anywhere and everywhere that coin operated machines existed. Carl went into these establishments armed with Vice Grips while Hal stood guard. Carl would pry open the machines with the tools just enough to access the container that housed the coins and he’d empty them quickly and methodically into a pillowcase which then went into a briefcase.

Nickles, dimes, and quarters, bags and bags of coins. In the wee hours, they’d roll the coins in the car, Hal, dosing each roll with the proper amount of slugs and washers. Minutes after the banks opened Hal and Carl would separately hit as many banks and grocery stores as possible trading the coins for cash. They’d quickly move on to the next town repeating the process over and over again. Carl Marcus told me that they cleared about $17,000. Give or take a couple of hundred in loose change.

     In April 1959 mary and her friends were hanging out at the Boom-Boom room in the Fontainebleau hotel. A couple of different guys were hitting on Mary. She was quite the looker, black Irish, brown eyes, long brown hair and dressed impeccably. Carl barreled his way through the crowd. At six feet four inches, sporting a shark skin suit, a gold-tone watch, and alligator shoes. He approached her and gave his spiel said he was looking at real estate ventures in south beach, where he was from, and what his intentions were. They made a date for dinner the dinner.

     The following night Carl picked Mary up and they swapped New York stories, Carl telling Mary how the Irish Catholic kids called him Kike and Christ killer and beat him up on the beaches of Rockaway. He stopped the car and asked Mary if that was what her brothers or cousins did. Mary laughed and said, “yep!” after a walk on the beach he took her home.

     He picked her up two nights later at the end of her shift at the hospital telling her they must go quickly that he had a surprise for her. They pulled up to an exclusive club where Frank Sinatra was about to perform. It was sold out. Carl offered the Maitre’ d $50.00 and they sat at the edge of the stage. Mary was totally in shock, and Carl beaming with satisfaction. After that night they spent almost every day together between Mary’s shifts. One night when they were all hanging out in Hal’s hotel room the cops barged into the room and apprehended Hal for alleged having sex with an underage girl. The police took Carl mary and Hal down to the station. Mary was swept up in the excitement, she had never been in trouble with the law. After a lot of manipulation and lies, Hal, Carl, and mary left the station.

     That night all drove off, back up Route 95 north. Now they were back in  New york at the Plaza Hotel. Carl had a fake line of credit and used that phony line of credit to throw an engagement party for his sister Susan. The next morning the jig was up. The front desk called the room and questioned Carl about the alleged line of credit and the bank in Miami that it was drawn from. He said he would call and straighten it out. He hung up and he and Mary quickly packed and ran down 15 flights of stairs and roared off. They were married and settled in Freeport Long Island where they had two children, Lorraine, born June 1961 and Michael (me) born in 1964.

 

 

 

An excerpt from my book ‘#1 Son And Other Stories’ Available on Amazon

Going For A Drive

 

Motoring up the 101, he pointed to the north and said, “See that area there? That’s where all the low lives live.” Then pointing towards the beach he said, “That’s where all the winners live kids.”

“What are low lives dad?”

“Scumbags!” he shouted, “columns of human waste, they live in clapboard houses, or if they’re lucky, stucco shit holes with screaming shmucky kids! They work dead-end jobs with fat wives and 30-year mortgages and 5-year car notes, they have pension plans and punch a fucking clock all day, just plain shnorras.”

“What’s a pension daddy?” My sister asked.

“Baby Lorraine it’s when assholes work year after year for twenty or thirty years, and in the end, they only get a little bullshit stipend.”

“What’s a shnorra Daddy?”

“Mikey, it’s men or women who freeload and sponge-like leeches at corporate or government jobs because they have no original thoughts, business sense, or ambitions.

AND EVEN WORSE, they have no panache or hustle. You never want to get caught up in that garbage kid, it’s a dead-end life. A real fucking horror show.”

“OK, Dad.”

He turned up Frank Sinatra and ran his gold rings on the Caddie’s plastic steering wheel. He sang “My Way” as he gunned the red Eldorado up the 101 past Cambria.

My father drove us all over California. We motored from Point Conception to the Mexican border, from San Fernando to San Francisco, Burbank to Barstow and all the nooks and crannies in between. He feeds us Ghirardelli chocolates, Pismo Beach clam chowder; date shakes from Hadley’s, root beer floats from A&W, fried shrimp from Howard Johnson’s, and pea soup from Andersen’s. On many occasions, he would wad up the check and stick it in his pocket, and we’d just walk out. “Let’s play a game kids. It’s called dine and dash.”

Little Mikey Maniac

Early on I remember being very bored.

I loved playing with matches. I torched the backyard. Nobody knew it was me. I was a good liar. That was the first of many incidents with flame. Garages, beds, vacant lots, my fingers.  

Stealing was wonderful too.  The shrink said it was to get attention. I disagree. The feeling I got from stealing and burning things was a feeling of power.  I imagine it was the same feeling a stockbroker gets from greenmail or inside trading.  Probably the same feeling a woman gets who marries for money and has young cocky studs on the side.  The same feeling a dictator gets when…well, you get the picture.  

Power is relative from age 5, right to the grave.  

I stole a socket set from a neighbor, Steve.  I pretended I was a mechanic. I lay under the bed for hours, running wires in the box spring, tightening nuts and bolts. Loosening and re-tightening nuts and bolts.  I was so bored and lied constantly.  

My uncle PJ was staying with us.  He had come out of the service.  I don’t recall if he saw any action or not.  Nor was I even old enough to be interested; in war or peace or women or money or masturbation or drugs, gambling, or tobacco and alcohol.  

I just really enjoyed stealing and burning things…  

oh yeah, back to my uncle.  He would sleep in the spare room upstairs.  I remember mom, dad, and sis being gone, Uncle PJ was asleep, I had run of the house. Wow, that still excites me having the run of anywhere. Anyway, I had a G.I. Joe talking doll.  I used to pull the string and hold it up to my uncle’s ear while he slept.

“Up the hill, men”, the doll squeaked.

“A-Ten-Hut!!!”  This command seemed really loud.  My uncle would jump outta bed, grab the doll.

“Hey, what the hell?  I’m trying to sleep!”

I would look at him. Laugh. And walk away.

He smoked a lot of pot at that time. Once I found his pot and fed it to our Doberman pinscher, Heidi.  That really pissed him off. Mom and dad weren’t happy either.  

But the dog seemed fine.  I loved that dog. The first dog I’d ever seen, played with, lived with. Good old’ Heidi. Once I tried to put together a slot car set I had received for Christmas.  

I was told not to touch it.  I didn’t listen. I never listened.  What they knew was slowly killing them–and I was next in line.  

So I attempted to set up the slot car set.  It didn’t work out. The dog chewed up pieces of track. Then she snatched one of the cars and ran.  That’s when I panicked.  There were only two cars.  “Heidi!  Heidi!”  She didn’t listen, nobody listened, not even the dogs. She chewed up the slot cars chassis.  My uncle was plenty mad when he got up.  He put the track together and even the chewed up car worked. He wasn’t too bad, my uncle PJ. But I was on my way to being a nightmare, for all of them.

REST IN PEACE PJ.