Her name was Louise and she had blonde hair, blue eyes and underware as white as Christs' linens. I was crazy about her, had been since kindergarten. Guess you might say she was my first real crush and erotic fantasy! And when I discovered what had happened between her and Butch Callahan, well, she might just as well have pulled my heart out of my chest and stomped on it! I was only twelve years old at the time. Louise was eleven. It all began in the summer of '57 when me and Butch and the rest of the Duane Street Bombers went to a movie. We always went in gangs. And we always sat through the movie a couple of times. Anyhow, on this day, Butch found a beautiful gold locket at the Astor theatre.
I might have found it myself, but i was too busy watching "Gort" the robot. The movie was, "The Day The Earth Stood Still". Had I found it, I don't believe anything would have happened. But I didn't...and it did. Now Butch was always kidding me about Louise, ya' know, asking me things like, "hey, is she givin' up da' cakes"? and things like that, and I would turn seven shades of scarlet and tell him, "Knock it off, Butch, she ain't like that"!
Well, there was no doubt about it, it was an expensive gold lockett, and on the way home I asked, "Hey, Butch, how much you think you can get for it, man"? "Don't know, man," he said, and smiled, showing uneven front teeth. "But i'm gonna' find out". Now Butch was a real hustler, a con-man, know what I mean. Like, he would call a pizzeria, order a large pie with pineapples or some other crap on it. Then, when nobody came to pick up the pizza, the owner would toss it in the dumpster out back, and Butch would run to get it when the coast was clear. Shit like that, ya' know.
Well, I always walked Louise home from school. But that Monday following the movies, she just took of without me. I had to wonder why. But I knew the route: over duane, to the narrows, and under the bridge at Vallkill creek! That was the way we always went. When I got to the Bridge, I heard voices below. They eminated from the long, metal drain that ran adjacent to the viaduct. They were unmistakable. It was Louise and...heaven help me, Butch Calahan. I didn't have the guts to look.
On the one hand, I wanted to go in there, rip hisarm off and beat him to death with it; on the other, I believed if I didn't see what was happening, maybe, just maybe I could convince myself it didn't!! And so with my heart triphammering and with the taste of rusty nails on my tongue... I moved on. Do you remember the movie, "Quo Vadis" where this christian guy is in the arena with a charging bull, and he looks up at the heavens and cries, "God give me strength"! Well, that was me during recess the next day at school. Butch had the guys cornered and was telling them what had happened he was talking about Louise like she was a pizza with pineapple on it!
Suddenly, and like a man possessed, my brain became inundated with blood and my body spasmed like a high tension wire! I suddenly became the raging bull, and Butch the Christian. Only God was on my side; or so i thought! Butch beat the crapp out of me. But that didn't hurt as much as the sight of Louise wearing that lockett. No, I didn't walk her home that day. But i saw her wearing it. And when she came over to show it to me, her blue flashing, she said in a small, almost apologetic voice, "Do you know what I traded for this, gabriel"? Apparently, she thought I just drove into Brooklyn with a truckload of turnips, and so I snapped, "Yeh, something you can never, ever get back, and something you can never, ever give again to someone, no matter how much you love them"!
Here is a little anecdote I would like to share with you; it came to me as I was perusing your link on the subject of rejections! While it is true I have been published on many occasions, I probably have enough rejection slips to wallpaper the Louvre in Paris!! Perhaps even the sewers of Paris! But here goes:
this young writer suddenly and enexpectedly dies and finds himself standing at the gates of paradise with St. Peter, where Peter tells him, "I must first take you to the netherworld below where you will view torment the likes of which you have never seen before"!
And here, Peter takes him down below where the young writer sees an infinite amount of writers, hunched over an infinite amount of typewriters sweating and agonizing, a sight not to unfamiliar to him. Later, Peter takes him back "upstairs" where the young writer views very much the same sight: Writers, agonizing over typewriters..! "I don't get it" the writer tells St. Pete "heaven and hell look very much the same to me, what's the big deal here"? "Well, yeah, almost the same," Peter replied. "Only HERE.."he gestures with a hand, "YOU GET PUBLISHED"!!! Ya' gotta' love it!
You, who by choice, is no longer half my heart. A hot day...on the steps of a brownstone...! Nicky slaps a bare foot against hot macadem And tells me,"cool,girl", Her caramel-colored fingers pulling out the,"cool"; Rich mama's in the balcony of the Bijou, baby, And you don't have to sit here flappin; Your knees to cool down; And so I follow her lead to where Icy-cool pops of red, green and cherry, Trickle down naked breasts and bellies; But it's "cool" Nicky tells me, Rich mama and baby blue-eyes At the kitty mattinee'; All this and five big ones ahead; Not bad When there's not much else to do On a hot Day On the steps Of a Brownstone
And when I think of the girl, The mood IS blue; And I settle back, feel the thoughts Ramble through my brain As a spectre of the unbroken; Feel my memory stretch out as some artists Canvas on a board; Feel the pain settle in; But not ordinary pain;Rather, It's pain as that of the Burning bush, Where one is forever to feel the fire, Tho never to be consumed; And then come the emotions, Dripping down, As endless, sanguine neon signs On a road going nowhere; An exercise in futility Filled with myriad Lifeless Faces, Sans Eyes! Yet they See despair! And now come the voices Sounding as cracked glass, Shattering the silence of my Self-induced Solitary mood, Awakening the girl within The still, blue waters.