History Repeats Itself

I’ve just come back from watching protesters march down Fifth Avenue, a block from my house, rightfully outraged over the brutal death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, this past Monday.

The crowd was mixed, meaning not just people of color. I saw a vet I know walking beside a priest, and a group of well heeled high school kids waving small white flags. A mother with 4 kids carried a sign…

BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Police stood vigil.

Unlike the protests in Brooklyn, there was no violence, yet unrest lurked in the air.

Our country right now is like a raw nerve, the virus causing us not to be at our best. Certainly not an excuse, but a gentle explanation.

I walked to The Church of Saint Thomas More that’s still open for private prayer.

I went in and lit three candles.

One for George Floyd, one for our country, and one for Bobby Kennedy who was suddenly very much alive in my mind.

I saw him on the back of that flat truck, speaking to a crowd that had yet to learn of the death of Martin Luther King, earlier in Memphis. Though late, they had waited for him in the rain since, alongside Dr. King, he was their hero.

He was told not to go, it would be too dangerous, but he went anyway, disregarding the notes his speech writer scrawled on a napkin.

Instead, Bobby spoke from his heart.

April 4, 1968

Indianapolis, Indiana.

I have bad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort…

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black…

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

Yes, history repeats itself.

Two months later, he too, would be no more.

God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the  things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

AMEN

SB

 

 

Posted in Faith, History, humanity, New York City, violence, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

Is She Nuts?

YES!!!

One can say, she, meaning me, has been slightly acting out during her prison stay, my inner-devil making impromptu appearances….for instance.

A Purell Dispenser has been installed in the lobby. A nice touch, until a sign was added…

PLEASE ONLY USE ON THE WAY IN

Refusing to be rationed for hand sanitizer, I slyly removed the sign, flipped it over and in a not so elegant hand wrote…

FUCK YOU…and put it back.

HO-HO, to quote Hunter Thompson I heard clap from the ether.

On my way to the drug store to get my heroin refilled, a woman, walking her Bichon with pink ribbons in its hair, said, “You’re looking awfully thin.”

I said, “And you, are looking awfully fat.”

We then have, who I refer to as the Geisha on 5 kept by a tall Swede with unclipped nose hair, who’s been leaving her wet garbage in the hall over night as if Fred Sanford has moved in.

I asked her to please not do that.

I then asked the super to ask her, to please not do that.

He said, what are you so worried about, this is a high end building.

I said, tell that to the rat who will be snacking on that paella she threw out.

When it graced the hall once again, I took the bag, turned it upside down scattering its contents in front of her door…bones, orange peels, tea bags…

ET-CET-ER-A ….and went on my merry way.

Later in the day…KNOCK KNOCK

Susannah, do you know anything about the garbage that was in front of 3A’s door?

You mean the garbage she leaves out all night, every night…that garbage?

Hmm, no…but I smell a rat.      thumbnail-2

Is she nuts?

YES!!!

Posted in animals, Culture, food, humor, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Pandemic By Phone

7:15 A.m.

images-1I’m in the market, in the check-out line.

If you ever told me it would be such a wealth of material, I never would have believed it.

A woman is behind me images-3on her 6 foot mark.

images-1 Another woman is sitting at the…DO NOT SIT AT THE COUNTER…counter, drinking her…COFFEE ONLY TO GO..coffee, talking loudly…NO CELL PHONE USE…on her phone, through her mask as if nothing was out of the ordinary.

I look at the woman behind me and say, “Even a pandemic can’t stop her.”

We both, since we’re about to lose our minds anyway, start to laugh, holding onto our chests like we had just seen Robin Williams at the Improv.

Finally, pulling myself together say, “Ya know, maybe it’s a good sign, that life doesn’t have to skip a beat.”

“Or miss a call,” the woman behind me says.

We have a farewell giggle, as she moves up, and I slip out the side door.

SB

Posted in comedy, Culture, food, Health, humanity, humor, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Scalped…Cash Only

The fact that I’m resembling Elvis has become a concern, so when I get a surprise call from my hairdresser at midnight, I’m overjoyed.

“What are ya doin?” he asks.

“I’m in bed, awake, after falling asleep after lunch, and you?”

“Up for a color and a cut?”

“Well I’m up. Will ya take a check?”

“Cash only.”

Which is why I’m at the all night ATM hummin’ a happy tune.

I tell my doorman who’s like Dillinger in a uniform, who I’m expecting.

“Mums the word,” he says, in islandese so it comes out more like, Mooms the word.

15 minutes later.

Chagall shows up as if we’re doing espionage, giving me a strong urge to put on a trench coat.

He snakes in, looks both ways, mask in place like he’s about to raid the safe, lugging in a huge bag filled with what I can only call, female essentials, proceeding to mow my head like the lawn, using an electric razor I so hope doesn’t wake the building,

There’s so much hair on my floor, I’m thinking of crocheting a toup for a friend.

Then he washes that gray right outta my hair in the kitchen sink, and though now in a neck brace, look a whole lot better, despite it being a little short.

How short?

Like I’ve enlisted in the Wacs, that sounds rather apt, doesn’t it?

As Chagall is about to leave, Dillinger covertly asks, “Hey, could you give me a trim?”

And he does, right there on the sidewalk.    

Only in New York folks. Only in New York.

SB

 

 

 

Posted in Beauty, creative writing, Fashion, Home, humanity, humor, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 61 Comments

Freedom Writer

I’m very patriotic, not quite certain where it stems from.

Could it be the Flag that waved from our porch every Memorial Day and 4th of July?

My dad was in the Royal Air Force during World War II, something he never talked about. When you think he more or less drank himself to death, it’s easy to do the math.    thumbnail-1

Am I a Proud American because of him you think?

Or are the framers the ones who straighten my spine whenever I hear the Star Spangled Banner, whether it’s from Arlington or a Yankee Game.

Is it Lincoln?  images-3

Teddy?   images-3

John Kennedy Junior saluting his dad?   Unknown-3

All I know is, no matter what shape America is in, I still stand by her in full-fledged faith, believing she’ll rally since she’ll always be the greatest country in the world.

Memorial Day is in honor of all the men and women who served her nobly, without complaint.

My dad was in his 20s when he shipped out, much like the boys in Vietnam whose names grace the iconic Wall in Washington. images-4 Unknown-1

My dad came back, at least physically.

They did not.

I visit The Vietnam Memorial images-4 now and again, and maybe the tears I shed reading the names of the fallen, are what makes me that Proud American.

God bless them.

God Bless America.   Unknown

SB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Beauty, creative writing, Culture, Faith, Family, grace, Gratitude, History, humanity, inspiration, war, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 49 Comments

The Pleasure of Your Company

images-3 Mother Nature never fails to lessen my fear of things.

As I wander through Central Park, she speaks to me through her many representatives.

The trees for instance, big and imposing, flirt like green gigolos.

“Hey girlfriend,” says a mighty Oak, “remember when I was naked? images-1But look at me now!”

The Azalea bushes also tease, Unknown their pink heads bobbing in the breeze, while the dogwoods giggle like tipsy go-go girls.

And those wacky squirrels having sex right out in the open, proving spring fever is still in the air.

Sex, really? During a crisis?

They stop and look at me…yeah, what a better time, calling me a nut, and who knows more about nuts than they do.   Unknown-1

When I think the Governor thought of closing the Park, I shudder.

Mother Nature, having a seat at the table must have said…

You know how much I like you Andrew, being so cute and all. When I think of that scrawny Pataki…oh, and that horny Spitzer, but I’ll get to the point. Don’t you even think about padlocking my door, or Albany will be courtin’ an avalanche. Ya hear me Andrew?

And the Governor said, Yes Mother, I do. images-1 🙂

SB

Posted in animals, Beauty, creative writing, Gratitude, Health, humor, inspiration, nature, New York City, Politics, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 86 Comments

Those Iconic Steps

It’s no secret I love Kurt Vonnegut, and feel as if we’re forever friends.

Sometimes we discuss things, especially writing dilemmas. images-1.jpeg But he’s pretty good with life’s problems too, like when my feelings get hurt by some random shun.

He too was very sensitive, helping me up off the mat, offering his spectral hankie.

Unknown-1.jpeg I’ve been walking a lot since the onset of my singular social life, so I went to visit his longtime home in Turtle Bay.

Where I’d normally respectfully, stand across the street, this time I boldly sat on the steps almost as if he invited me to.

You see, that was where he more or else, breathed his last, the day he tripped over his beloved dog, Flour’s leash, hitting his head.  kurt600.jpg

I thought about that as I sat there, deciding it was a good way to go when he left the planet on April 11th, 2007 at age 84, as if he simply laid down for an eternal nap.

It might have even been his idea, to go and not stick around. I’ve heard this theory so often that sometimes you’re given the choice, that I’ve begun believing it.

He was struggling in his later years, in an unhappy marriage, living isolated on the third floor of the house, its steps I now graced.

He also felt unappreciated as a writer, something that pains me since, so many of us are Kurt fans.

In any event, I sat and thought of him wondering what I’d do if someone came out in protest.

I was fully prepared to defend my stay, declaring homage to a man who deserved it, but never had to.

I then, mask in place, hands shoved in my jeans, walked home as if Kurt was strolling beside me.  images.jpeg

And so it goes.

PS  He was sexy, wasn’t he?

Oh don’t be modest Kurt, you were!!!

SB   🙂

 

Posted in animals, Books, friendship, grace, History, humanity, inspiration, New York City, readng, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 64 Comments

Down With The Upper East Side

I’ve had it.

Don’t be surprised if you see me on the news.

Every day there’s a new sniper shooting.

Let me recap:

We now have those adorable seasonal runners who think they own the Park.

You can’t miss them in their brand new togs, Fendi fanny packs for the women, Lululemon for the men.

And we mustn’t forget those phones, strapped to their bulging waists like .38s.

I’m walking east to west, normally a pretty walk this time of year, Nature looking her best, when a woman starts screaming for me to move further away as she’s approaching…

ON HER PHONE.

I was so far from her, I couldn’t even make out who was yelling at me, since she was the size of an ant.

Where’s that mosquito repellent when you need it?

I said, “Madam, I suggest you work out at home if you’re that frightened,” and to my credit said it kindly though duly enraged.

It’s happening much too often, the high and mighty, demanding you accommodate them like house slaves.

Cut To…

woman on a bike, parked, her belly the size of Budda’s, yelling at everyone going by whose mask was down.

Who the fuck died and made her Columbo?

But here’s the best of all.

I’m coming back from my run walking by The Great Lawn. My bandanna is down because no one was remotely near me, when I see a woman with a Pekingese.

I flip my mask up, but apparently not fast enough for her.

“I expect you to keep that mask on while you’re in our Park?” she says, in a voice that could crack ice.

“Our Park? Did you buy it, because I didn’t know it was for sale.”

“You think you’re so cute,” she says, cradling her dog like a baby.

“Actually, I don’t since, you’ve obviously not seen my hair.”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“Where’s your sense of humor,” I say, still trying to keep it light…abuse light we’ll call it.

“My Bebe deserves to be protected, and you waltzing around mask-less is unacceptable.”

The poor dog is now embarrassed, and my fuse is lit.

‘Well, why doesn’t your dog have a mask on then? If I’m supposed to protect her, who will protect me against her?”

She stared at me like I had 2 heads.

“Hey, it’s not a trick question, and for the record, your dog looks a whole lot better than you do, and further more, DON’T YOU EVER ADDRESS ME THAT WAY AGAIN…

Okay, Zelda?”

This is why I must never own a firearm.

Unknown

 

 

 

 

Posted in animals, Culture, humanity, humor, nature, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 49 Comments

Masked Etiquette

I’ve been adhering to the mask rule pretty well, keeping myself right above the title, so to speak meaning, I’m in, but only about an inch.

First of all, rather than a surgical mask that makes me look as if I’m about to perform an appendectomy, I’ve been wearing a bandanna.

I find it’s easier to breathe in, and looks a little better, that’s if you don’t mind the Wyatt Earp look.

Hey, Ralph Lauren made a fortune from it, which is what I tell myself every time I’m about to say, Yup.

When I run early in the morning it stays around my neck. If someone’s coming towards me, I pull it up.

That’s the rule. If you’re not 6 feet apart, you have to wear face covering, as Amazon is now fashionably calling it.

Lucky for me, I have them in assorted colors to coordinate my outfits.

Had a young Latina lady yell to me, “Hey, where you get that green banny?”

“Excuse me?” asked Miss Connecticut.

“Yo bandanna. It’s ah-mee green.”

“Chinatown,” I said. What I didn’t add was, 1989, but hey, I’ll just bet if she tooled on down to Mott Street, she’d find one.

Nothing like being a fashionista during an epidemic.

I’ll tell ya.    Unknown.jpeg

Yup!              Unknown-1.jpeg

SB

Posted in Culture, Fashion, Health, humanity, humor, New York City, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 88 Comments

Something Smells Fishy

I’m at the market on my corner waiting for the sushi man to make my fresh salmon quinoa roll he makes me for lunch, every day.

The fact that it’s only 7:20 a.m., and he has tons of work to do since, they’ve cut the manpower down from 3 to 1, yet stops just for me, leaves me humbled.

Another man, 70s, well heeled in his Lululemon exercise togs with a perfect crease, is behind me with steam about to gush from his ears…a man, I gather, not used to waiting.

I’m now at the other end of the deli case after asking for spinach pie, Victor has gone all the way downstairs to get for me, rather than just saying, sorry we’re out.

You know why?

Because I’m kind to him, that’s why, kindness reaping its own reward, whether expected or not.

That said…

back to entitled man.

My roll is made first, to his visual annoyance, so he says sharply to sushi man, “Can’t you work any faster!!!”

My Norma coming out, tools over and says, “Sir, can I speak to you?”

He looks up as if I should pay an admission price for his attention, but I, undeterred say,”Can you hear me, through your mask?”

He doesn’t answer.

I gaze over at sushi man.

“That fellow is here all alone, with no help. They’ve only been open for 20 minutes, and I myself feel so graced that he’s even here…sir can you hear me, because sir, when you come right down to it, is sushi really essential? I say, appreciation is in order, don’t you sir, when you think about it?”

I slink back to pick up spinach pie, a great name for a rapper by the way, not waiting for entitled man’s response, which may not be good.

As I take my order from Victor who throws in a wrapped roll, I hear in a very imposing voice, “Young man, I just want to thank you. And you have a good day.”

Hey God, if you’re listening, I think it’s time you’ve made me an honorary Apostle.

Don’t you?      images

 🙂

SB

Posted in Culture, Faith, food, grace, Gratitude, Health, humanity, humor, money, New York City, words | Tagged , , , , | 100 Comments