- © 2011-2018 My eBooks, Notes From A Working Cat, A New York Diary and Model Behavior: Friends For life are available @ http://www.amazon.com by tapping on their covers.
I saw her strolling, her golden blonde hair picking up the late afternoon light. She had an ice cream cone in one hand, a Chanel purse, the other.
I remember trips to the Met, sated in Renoirs, Lunch of the Boating Party her favorite, descending down those great steps. buying cones from the Mr. Softee man parked at the curb.
She’d get a double cherry dip, while I had mine straight, never failing to drip some on whatever I was wearing making her laugh.
We’d then meander down the Ave., looking in all the windows, picking and choosing what we’d buy if we had that kind of money.
She had alimony from her long time husband who abused her so much, she didn’t even want it, saving it for her young sons their father neglected.
She co-owned a travel agency with two good friends, loving planning trips she had no desire to take. She loved New York so much, said she felt like a fish out of water whenever she’d leave it.
We first met at the dry cleaners when she was picking up one of her beloved raincoats. She liked walking in the rain, happy and content, the air at its sweetest, she’d say, wrapped in a Burberry.
I sent her a card that said…she was so special, that they named a month after her.
When I saw her today, that cherry dip a dead giveaway, I had to rub my eyes and look again remembering, June died of cancer over 20 years ago.
But it was her, I could have sworn it was her, and it did look like rain.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1881)
My pal, Mr. Imma, otherwise known as Sorryless, inspired this with his comments concerning the self-absorbed habits of the very rich.
I was in my late 20s, my clarity impressive, when I lived in my garret of an apartment with nothing in it but an old black and white TV set, a used mattress that was given to me, and my esteemed wicker chair that still nobly graces my bedroom.
It was a muggy summer’s day when I found it at Housing Works, the charity thrift shop, still in existence championing the homeless and those suffering with AIDS.
It was 35 dollars, a fortune back then, especially for me who lived on brown rice and beans, but fell so in love with it, like it was waiting for me to take it home.
I carried it 5 blocks and three avenues with great pride, bumping into Marty Fab, I’ll call him, and his snooty wife on the esplanade at Park and 77th.
I wore old denim shorts, a Hanes T. and Keds, my uniform back then, while they, in all their rich splendor, looking like Astors, gave me their best condescending smile.
I remember it well, the seeds of that cub reporter taking it all down.
“Oh, you got yourself a little chair I see,” said Marty, while his wife, who never speaks directly to the servants, the category I, as Daisy Mae fell into, gave me an icy stare.
I didn’t let them dampen my joy, I’m happy to recall.
“Yes, isn’t it great?” I said, skipping across the street as the light changed, stopping every few feet to rest.
It was a brief encounter that I believe had become significant in memory because of what happened to them…this elite couple who on paper had everything, including a beautiful baby girl.
Their marriage fell apart, him moving into a hotel, she becoming much more successful than he in the art world, not caring what it did to his self-esteem, while he to this day, remains a devoted drunk.
The only thing going for him now, with his wife’s earnings, is to drink at the Saint Regis Hotel, ironically once owned by an Astor, in an overpriced suit, staggering his life away.
As for me, I’m very content with everything I have, while my chair, that if could only talk, would lecture on what’s important, and what’s not and how money doesn’t buy happiness. Sigh
When F. Scott Fitzgerald said…the rich are different from you and me, he wasn’t kidding, seeming to occupy a different planet than the rest of us.
Who are the rest of us? We the people who live nicely though modestly, appreciating all we have.
There’s also a smattering of smugness, as if we should all be entering through a backdoor.
I can only speak for myself, but I do better with less, realizing my needs are met pretty simply. Little things are what I bask in…a long, sudsy bubble bath, soft PJs to slip into, a silo of Skinny Pop next to a book on the nightstand.
The other thing that always surprises me is how miserable wealthy people seem to be. The more they have the more anxious they appear, retaliating by taking it out on you.
I recently did some work for a woman who seemed bothered I was content with my single lifestyle.
“Are you gay?” she asked, rather inappropriately, just because my hair is short and my goal in life isn’t lassoing a man for financial gain.
I tried, one not to hit her, and two, to explain that all my relationships were organic in the sense where, if I met someone that turned my head and I theirs, we went from there without asking for our mutual tax statements.
It’s actually how I conduct everything. I don’t even buy food until I’m hungry since I won’t know what I’ll want. Better eat that chicken before it goes bad when I really want eggs, doesn’t appeal to me, life’s short after all, but I’m digressing.
This woman is also on 20 different medications, has trouble with her array of employees who work in her three homes, and is cheap on top of it.
That’s the part that leaves me bewildered. They have so much yet penny-pinch as if they have nothing.
Me? If I have a dime and you’re broke, I’ll happily give you a nickel. If I have more money than you, I’ll buy lunch. Receiving is in the giving, so that miserly streak is as foreign to me as Arabic.
If having money means having no soul, I think I’ll stay a Franciscan thank you very much, living in grace amid bubbles and snacks, adhering to the law of the jungle, to remain calm, sharing my bananas. 🙂
A Pit is doing his business while his owner patiently waits.
I tool by and say to the dog, “Look how much your dad loves you.” The man, irritated, rolls his eyes and says, “He just takes so long to find a good spot.”
The dog looks at me as if to say, “What does he want from me? It’s not like he has to hurry when he has to go.” The guy shakes his head as he scoops.
I’ll admit, the dog poops like a Marine, but maybe grumpy should have gotten a Toy Poodle instead….or goldfish.
A hotdog vendor is doing his own advertising by eating one weenie after another. I marvel at his cast iron stomach. The smell alone of whatever is in one, makes me feel faint. I smile at him and say, “You seem to be enjoying what you sell?”
He says, “No, but I try to eat as many as I can since I don’t get paid much.”
If only I had a Tums to give him.
As I cross the old bridal path, remembering how lovely it was when they still had horses galloping by, I stop at the water’s edge to admire the view.
I see an array of geese cruising by like a fleet of feathered sailboats. There’s a group in particular that catches my eye. Parents and two kids…the dad in the lead, mom bringing up the rear while their offspring frolics between them.
Seeing where the term, goosed comes from, I watch one tease the other, Mom coasting in as if to say, “Now that’s enough there missy. Leave your brother alone.”
The father, in his own world, just stays the course, enjoying the nice spring weather.
Nature is really something.
She’s mischievous, unpredictable, colorful and occasionally cruel, yet still, what a gal, in all her dazzling, spring splendor.
12 dead in Virginia Beach.
Been hearing in my head the song Neil Young wrote about the Kent State shooting on May 4, 1970… 4 dead in Ohio, though there’s no connection. Well, that’s not exactly true. Guns are guns, no matter who’s toting them legally or otherwise.
The first gun I ever saw was my father’s hunting rifle he kept in the garage. He belonged to the Newtown Fish and Hunt Club where he’d go do manly things like drink beer and shoot helpless animals no bigger than his work boot.
I had just turned 4 when I came upon dead baby rabbits still warm, laid out on our back porch. Balloons from my birthday party I remember, were still stuck to the ceiling.
When I went to play with them, my mother grabbed me by my ponytail.
“Don’t touch them. They’re dead,” she said.
“You mean like Uncle Danny?”
Took a while for my little mind to digest this since I used to play with my uncle too, so I then asked, does that mean there would be no Easter Bunny anymore.
I remember adding them to my prayers.
The 12 people in Virginia Beach who did nothing but go to work, were like those bunnies who did nothing but cross a field at the wrong time.
I’ll pray for them like that little girl who prayed for those bunnies.
Will it ever stop?
Tin soldiers and Nixon’s comin’
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drummin’
Four dead in Ohio…
He’s a year old if he’s a day, just starting to toddle, careening down a hill in Central Park like a little car without breaks.
Mom is behind him, smiling, her honey blonde hair waltzing in the breeze, while an elderly white Lab nobly stands watch.
He walks slower these days, this 4-legged member of the family, arthritis assaulting his hips, like any long time nanny or granny… Nana in Peter Pan.
But he can still tender his charge like a tiny ship, making sure as he tumbles a familiar face is always there to greet him.
I watch this mini episode of a present day Lassie, my heart strings pulled, knowing, the little boy’s first loss, will be the first friend he ever made.
I talk openly about being in a 12 Step Program, two to be exact. The rule is, anonymity for others, but you can come clean as long as you keep it about yourself.
To be open and honest, candor flowing, is my greatest goal, thinking of enrolling in the John Waters’s Online Course..Spilling Your Guts in 4 Easy Lessons…All Major Credit Cards Accepted.
That all said.
When those winds come, how do we proceed? I’ve had challenges my whole life and maybe youth made them easier to conquer, because I feel as if I’m losing ground, not to mention my wallet that I swear, plays Hide and Seek at least once a day.
My forgetfulness concerns me, not to mention a chronic case of distraction. Saturday after hysterically retracing my steps, located my Debit Card at Barnes and Noble that a woman apparently behind me in line, rescued, unable to catch up with me since I tend to gallop like a Greyhound late for a race.
It scares the wits out of me, this early dementia? Oh we all do it, says my friend Ed.
But do we?
He also said, a doctor told him, if you’re worrying about dementia, you couldn’t possibly have it. If I knew where that doctor was, I’d send a bouquet.
My mother, who in one way or another inhabits my being, her strength I’ve mysteriously inherited, gets me out of bed every day regardless. Just now while having a substantial sob still made coffee after taking my vitamins, making the bed and donning my running clothes.
Right foot left foot, chants in my head like an Olympic Mantra.
When Bette Davis said, old age ain’t for sissies, All About Eve wasn’t just whistlin’ Dixie, Lincoln’s favorite tune, by the way.
I guess if I can still remember Abe whistling, I must have at least one marble left.
That all said….
where the hell are my keys?
Better check the fridge.