Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ah, the Sixties

One of the things I think of in remembering the Sixties is how I didn’t dwell too much back then on days gone by, most likely because at twelve years old by midpoint, I was anticipating my future, longing to be a teenager and be able to participate in all the off-color shenanigans I observed the older neighborhood kids doing. I believe I’ve already mentioned somewhere (several times) how I trailed after the slightly older Carol Reed, who, herself, seemed desperate to hook up with one of the merchant marines, chums of her sister Sylvia (affectionately known as Bunny)’s boyfriend. She also had a mad crush on George Harrison, and I was thrilled to be asked occasionally to accompany her to the candy store half a mile away from our block in order to rummage through the latest batch of what would later become Beatles memorabilia in hopes of snatching up pictures of her favorite moptop. South Brooklyn, even near the Redhook section where we lived, was a magical place back then and looms larger in my memory than it could possibly have been in life with all its Italian and Scandinavian immigrants and their enormous broods. There were kids everywhere, and I envied their rapid and somewhat exotic maturation being of plain old Irish extraction myself, and having to be seen and not heard and follow other arcane rules that lingered long after they had proved useful. The Sixties were not the best time of my life, but in retrospect, they don’t seem so bad, nor bring me down so much as recalling the turn of the century, when fifty was approaching and I was reminded, through unfortunate circumstances and a great need for companionship, that I had not remained on speaking terms with any of those childhood friends.

© Michael D. Brown 2013

Originally posted at 6S Social Network

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Predication

Stanley was happy to see Rodrigo had hired the one female who had applied for the position, believing prior to seeing her comfortably ensconced during their daily fifteen minute break at the coffee machine, that the fey head of Human Resources would surely have favored one of the several muscular young men whom, in passing, he had overheard adlibbing off the mark responses to rhetorical questions. “How’s it going?” he asked her, as she stood drinking from one of the institutional foam cups rather than sitting at the table in a plastic chair and using a mug brought from home as so many of his peers were wont to do. “I see you already know your way around the place,” a throwaway remark, meant to impress her with his awareness, and be taken as a compliment, for he, himself, was quite burnt out by insurance brokering. She smiled, and though he wanted to believe it was in agreement, being in the business, he was fully aware that it was one which meant absolutely nothing. After twelve years, and having experienced umpteen turnarounds, he could see she would shortly be supervising him and the nine younger brokers with whom they shared the back office, unless he finally held true to his word and opted out for his long planned retirement to a sunnier clime.

© Michael D. Brown 2013

Originally posted at 6S Social Network

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Word

When Sister Philip Neri asked us which saints’ names we wanted to take for Confirmation, I hesitated a bit in calling out Justin when all the other boys had chosen simply John or William or Stephen, but I had found the feast of Saint Justin on my birthday in our Catholic calendar, and it sounded mellifluous following Michael Dennis to my thirteen year old ears. Odd, how later my Lives of the Saints told me I was born on the day Little Bennet was celebrated, and that the great apologist was now to be remembered on June first, a month and a half later. So, a mistake, and another thing--we all thought the visiting bishop was going to smack our faces hard when he accepted us into the Army of Christ. We related tales of older brothers coming away with bruises, and in fact, Billy Monahan wet his pants during the pre-communion, but what a disappointment, after girding ourselves for the big one, when his Excellency merely tapped us on the cheek. Shortly afterward, I fell away from attendance at regular Sunday services perhaps because I had lost some of the fear. In relation to my faith, however, the scariest thing that occurred was years later, on the long lonely subway ride late at night, returning from visiting my mother in Brooklyn, when a born again, plain-faced little blond seated opposite, told me with great conviction, “Jesus saves, you know,” followed by a spiel that lasted forty-five minutes without a Word of lie, and I honestly believed he looked like his name might be Justin.

© Michael D. Brown 2013

Originally posted at 6S Social Network

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Loosestrife and Angle Shades

"What a setting," he thought, "so perfect for inspiration, with the cabin, the green woods, the early sunlight lingering until the late hours, the glorious food, and booze, and to be surrounded by so many hard-thinking friends."
Nothing and nobody to interrupt contemplation of a free spirited give and take, except for one, perhaps, whose sentiments, more deeply rooted, often provided a distraction, and brought to the fore a pressing need to make decisions and offer excuses. Sometimes reality is unavoidable.
During the day one might marvel at the abundance of purple and yellow loosestrife lining the path to the beach, while at night the way was overrun by small angle shades, odd to find them in this locale and bothersome to say the least, but probably to be expected, what with global warming and all. The moths were immune to flicking as they quickly returned to settle even on moving targets.
It was kind of like the too-real present intruding on a memory that might have provided an hour's escape.

© Michael D. Brown 2013

Originally posted at 6S Social Network

Double or Nothing

Double or Nothing by Michael D. Brown New beginnings are all very fine, but what happens when one starts having double vision? ...