Sunday, June 27, 2010

the comedy continues...

Even this I had to laugh at... More dysfunction across the river.

Scene: A courthouse with a strange sounding name.

Players: Me and a clueless clerk.

" How can I help you?"

" I am looking for a criminal indictment from 1941."

Eyes go wide followed by a grin with laughter. Guess this isn't your run of the mill question in this joint.

"Oh boy! That's gonna be hard." She wanders over to a computer. At least it supposed to be a computer. It looks like the word processor I use to use in high school with the black screen and bright green letters jumping at you. She asks me for the name and I give it to her.

(Pause) " Do you have his social security number?"

Did she really just ask me that????

" Uh, no. Social Security wasn't used then."

"What's the victim's name?"

" Fleg..."

" Do you have his social security number?" Mind you, she still has that goofy grin on her face and I am trying my best not to look at her crooked.

" No, he died before social security was even a concept."

She still insists on giving me a form, telling me Archives would take at least a month to look and that if I could get the social security number it would make things easier.

Would love to know what's running in the tap water through this town.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

cheesecake, limonata soda and faces in dreams

We always agree to meet up at least once a month. It never happens and two, three, six of them go by before the timing is right.

Meet up on Mulberry street, eating dinner in the slightly warm restaurant, across the street from the one that still contains bullet holes from a gangster feud over 70 plus years ago ( or is it 80? I forget). Head down the street to the little cafe that I always go to for cheesecake as it's a special treat for me. Plus I love how the owner has been sitting outside, on the same street for forty years.

It's nice to be remembered by someone like that who has seen so many souls pass by. He has seen me in there a few times before.

" How was dinner? You like? You getta pasta?"

" Yes it was nice."

" I have a nice cake for you, you like, on me."

I get cheesecake. She gets pistachio gelato and some of the nice cake.

Conversation veers off into the realm of how we ended up in the places we are in our lives now. The importance of being able to face your demons head on as much as you can.

" You know, I knew a woman once who said " I want it to be that when I dream I can have a face behind it' and I told her, you never see faces in dreams." she remarked.

That's true most of time. The handful of times I did see a face it was of the ghost with the broken nose. And he was staring at me saying nothing. Which usually coincided when I wasn't writing enough.

Meanwhile the owner bid us farewell, he was supposed to leave a half hour before but he promised the next time he saw us he would have another cake made up.

"Ciao now, goodbye!"

I enjoyed my cheesecake, she enjoyed her ice cream and the nice cake.

And we both enjoyed the conversation.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

sums it up nicely

walking after my day job to clear my head, only to stumble on this as I went home to my other job in front of my computer. The one that despite the frustrations and occasional writers block, creates an even balance for me soul wise.
People work much in order to secure the future, I gave my mind much work and trouble trying to secure the past.
Think that's a nice job description.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

looking glass

my camera taking a picture of me peering through the lens of something too sophisticated for my taste.

got to look at myself through the lens of a friend's high powered camera. The tiredness showing in my eyes and on my face. The realization that I really need to take a break. Been running on an empty tank for quite some time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

piss poor management

go across the pond on a whim, maybe this time might yield something different.


Scene: Police Department

Players: Me, police officer behind partition.

" How can I help you miss?"

" I need investigative notes on a shooting from 1935."

" Holy Shit!"

" Just tell me where I can go please, I've been bounced all over."

Up the elevator to the Homicide division. ( note: you never want to be there under any circumstances) a cold empty hallway: I get blank, suspicious looks, I put on my best shirley temple smile with my hands clearly visible.

One barks: " You a relative?" ( maybe I need to say that next time)

" I'm researching the victim."

" You gotta send a letter to the director for permission across the street"

Letters get me no where in this town, so I bypass that and head straight over. Those detectives are a little bit more friendlier, the one stops laughing when he sees I'm glaring at him.

" Ah, miss that's hard, ya talkin 75 years ago, see those records from back then were moved a hundred times, one place had a fire, the other there was water damage." So God struck twice to rid Babylon of it's sins in the form of old records? Must've been a slow year then.

Bounced back home gritting my teeth, not so much from hitting a road block but more at how poorly kept things are and no one cares until someone comes calling for it. Well, as long as there's a will, there's a way and I'm gonna find it. Somewhere. Just need a bigger flashlight and a whole new bottle of patience.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

the diner on wheels

I love diners, always have and especially here as they are a rapidly vanishing entity. Keep your six dollar cups of coffee and give me the small cup sitting in a saucer wet on the bottom from it being filled to the top for $1.25.

There is only one located near where I work, but instead of chromed seats and waitresses balancing plates of hot food, this one is on wheels. In a small beat up truck that sits on the same corner everyday near the Staten Island Ferry. I was in heaven the first time I found it, wandering around for something different. Guy who runs it has been there for close to 40 years, has a toothy grin and trades jabs with all the regulars. After visiting two or three times he remembered me and I was included into the fold.

" Who has the best grilled cheese sandwiches?" he says pointing a finger at me.

"You do!" He smiles his buck tooth grin and winks. Yesterday he asks:

" Ya married?"


" If ya don't mind me askin miss how old are ya?"

" 28"

" Ah, ya still a baby!"

" That's what they tell me."

" Ever been married?"

"Nope." His smile gets even bigger if it's possible.

" Ahh!! smart girl!" he says tapping his head and speaking with the kind of accent only natives of this city are blessed to have and everyone else wishes they could imitate. "You don't want the drama!"

He asks what building I work at and I tell him. His face turns to surprise then gratitude. "You come from all the way up there??! Hey Joe, you hear how far she comes from for us?"

He leans out the window and takes my hand in his suntanned one. " You could go to any place round here for a sandwich and you come to me. God bless ya sweetheart! Wanna pickle? And be sure to take some chips!"

I bid him a good weekend and he tells me to be careful crossing the street.

So if you're ever down near the ferry look for the truck that says All American Diner, and they guarantee their food will be the best you'll ever have.