His girl had been gone for three weeks. He was going out of his mind…
His psychiatrist called it a female dependency. He called it loneliness coupled with horniness. He spoke to her often. She usually called while he was asleep. The strange thing is when she called, he was usually dreaming about her. She would wake him out of a dead sleep at 3:00 AM, The Witching Hour. He would be in a deep sleep dreaming about her. Her lithe sexy body, her porcelain skin, smooth as silk. Her lips and soft touch. Her cute voice. They went through so much together. Their bond was unbreakable. They could just look at each other and know, that they both knew. She was a brilliant artist, funny and clever and an amazing chef.
That morning she called and told him she’d be gone another three weeks! That meant a month and three weeks altogether. “No fuckin’ way man!” he said to her. He had a week of paid vacation left, but still owed rent, the IRS, unemployment and disability overpayments. He found a reasonable fight. And was on a plane to Japan five days later. “When the going gets unmanageable, the unmanageable go to Japan,” he told his mother. His sweet mother. She bailed him out of so many problems. She helped him through more than he would ever know. She got up at 7:00 AM to pick him up at 8:00 for his flight at 12:30 PM.
So now he’s on the plane with a thirst. He hadn’t had a drink in months. Trying the sobriety thing. But a thirst, a vodka thirst came over him, an obsession that he was warned about and experienced so many times in the same fucking untreated state. He drinks and reads.
He dozes off and dreams a horrifying dream.
He’s on the same plane but now every other passenger is a sumo wrestler. They’re all arguing and screaming. Two start wrestling right in front of him. They’re grunting and smell like Roquefort cheese and garlic, big balls of garlic. One throws another against the emergency door and it flies open. Sumo wrestlers are getting sucked out of the plane. At one point, three are jammed in the door and the cabin repressurizes. A sigh of relief of all the wrestlers seems to happen at once, it’s operatic, it’s soothing. But then one of the three farts, it’s loud like there’s an oboe in his ass, and the three sumo get sucked out.
Everyone is screaming again. He sits in his seat, horrified and amazed all at once, he has NO idea he’s dreaming. Suddenly his belt snaps and he gets sucked out too. There are hundreds of sumo wrestlers in the sky like babies with diapers dropped from a wayward stork. He grabs a sumo wrestler and uses him as a makeshift airbag, to break his fall. Before hitting the ground he awakens suddenly, sweating, so happy to be on a plane without sumo wrestlers. He eats, drinks, and converses with the other passengers.
He thinks about seeing his girl. He’s never traveled this far. Christ. Arizona, San Diego, and New York tops. But Japan…man oh man, he got the bite. He would travel to a cave in outer Mongolia for this girl. She was special. She was touched, a depressed manic-depressive alcoholic drug addict. She called it ‘the double overhead dual diagnosis.’ Pop Tarts and Prozac were her primary diet. He obsessively thought about her, he read and drank and drank, straight vodka, so many little bottles. Then made the mistake of eating. He sat and sweated and fell back to sleep.
He woke up dry heaving, ran to the lavatories but they were all occupied. “Jesus Christ, is there an open fucking toilet?” he cried. Finally one opened. Once in the lavatory, the decisions had to be quick. He has to shit, but he had to puke, could he do all that and piss too? He sat on the toilet and shit and pukes so quickly it didn’t make it into the sink. The vomit was in his underwear and pants. “Oh god, what a fucking mess,” he said aloud. He stripped, attempted to wash out his boxers. “Oh screw this”, he said as he threw the chunky chicken and broccoli multicolored drawers into the garbage. He washed his jeans out, cleaned off his shoes, and actually felt good.
A flight attendant approached him. “You need something…water, juice?” “Yes, ice water,” he said. She walked away. He had been on the plane 8 hours now. He spent twice that in factories and meaningless jobs, 12 hours of travel to see his girl in another country? Sure, why not.
TBT… The Angry Young me
Just a young man
So seasoned at lying
At 17 years old
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
You exposed me to sex
You showed me criminality
You stripped my sensitivity away
It was your matter-of-fact fuck it all attitude
that fueled my rage
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
Live with it…
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.
He puts on an Affliction exercise outfit, with matching workout gloves, high heel Chucks and grabs a stopwatch. Before we leave he asks me if I like his outfit? I say yeah it’s fine, he tells me it was made for him, exclusively for him by a top designer at the Affliction company. I don’t know what to say. Then he tells me it cost 4500.00. I still say nothing. Which works.
We go to the gym in the complex. After about ten minutes of light weight lifting (between vaping) he says his ribs hurt and we go back to the unit. He spends time with his GF Serenity then he showers. She comes into the living room. CNN blairs. I’m sucked into a mainstream media loop of terrorist hell. She’s wearing a t-shirt only, seems nice but looks crazy in the eyes. If eyes are the window to the soul, well, these windows lead into a dark place. She speaks to me and tells me about his relapse two months ago. He ran away from a Malibu rehab and called her, she stated that they met just weeks before at the ‘Spiritual Solutions By The Bluffs’ meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.
They went to the Chateau Marmont and she says that being from Bellflower she was very impressed and overtaken by his class, elegance, grace, and impeccable taste. So then he coaxes her into getting drugs. So she texts Sinbads and he brings coke and heroin up to the room. She said his disease, the disease, whatever tricked her and she accidentally relapsed but only did two lines. So she immediately blew her nose and flushed it out with Evian water. She said she still has 17 months of sobriety and she’s not giving up her time. To be safe she spoke to her sponsor, she referred to her as a hardcore bitch, Ex-Chola from Venice etc etc…So Sylvia told her that her clean time is between her and her higher power, and IF anyone has a problem with that tell them to go take a flying fuck off the Santa Monica pier, don’t put up with that shit Mija.
Anyway back to the hotel, she said she kept a close watch on him while he snorted coke and heroin so she could save him if need be. But then unfortunately then she fell asleep and when he snorted out of a fresh balloon turns out it was Fentanyl, and when she woke he was foaming at the nose and mouth, she said “Pulp Fiction” style. She called 911 and so then he needed Narcan and those paddle thingys. Then she goes into detail about the relationship, they don’t go anywhere, he just wants to watch the CNN and the Game Show Network. He doesn’t hug or kiss me, he’s really not that intimate and they only fuck occasionally, and the lights have to be off. Or, he won’t fuck her at all.
Her eyes start to water and she says he calls me fat and stupid. Then she asks me if I think she’s fat and stupid. I tell her I don’t know her. She says of course, I’m sorry. I guess you wouldn’t know my IQ. But then she asks me if I saw her on the street would I think she was fat, and am I YOUR type, would you fuck my body type of girl? I tell her that this is all inappropriate and I’m really am not comfortable with this conversation. She goes in the bedroom and comes out with a big purse with a small Maltese dog in it, gives me a dirty look and leaves abruptly…
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.
Yo! Gimme’ big hit of that oil-based shit!
That sweet crude that rips apart my brain, sends me on another plane!
Dig deep in that sack for a big oily head banging blast!
Man, it’s good in all countries, shit’s going fast!
Where else can I find an oily trip?
Who else can I blast?
Who’s giving me lip?
Who gives a mad fuck ‘bout that Nuclear trip.
I need to see murder for that oily shit!
I fix fiend, and frack for that liquid crack!
Clock my dollars often so I can get another sack.
I don’t care who lied, cried, or died, inject me with oil and keep me satisfied.
Climate change, warming sphere I don’t give a fuck!
Another drone strike sounds like your bad luck!
I need mine now, I ain’t playing with you!
Gimme my fuel, or I’ll fucking blast you!