Two weeks have passed since mother was discharged from the hospital. The days go by like a lysergic geisha show. My daily routine has been reduced to being a home nurse; everything from helping her dress, making sure she takes her medications and changing the inner cannula tube of her tracheostomy twice a day. Some days she’s a trooper and a good patient. Other days she’s bratty and impatient. The relatives are still here, although not as many. The more she recovers the thinner the guest list gets. Since she’s been home there have been only one or two emergency situations that have happened: like running out of tubes and needing more immediately before her air way closes shut or the time she was choking and after some elbow grease on my part (& some wide-eyed chicken shitting from some family) she was able to cough up a big red mucous pearl of a blood clot onto the collar of her night gown. It’s a slow process of recovery but the end of the tunnel is closing in and the way is getting brighter, at least that’s what the calendar says.
I’ve seen so little the past few weeks…
Saw the first donnybrook of the season on Broadway. Five Dominicans were throwing their knuckles against two others, as I dragged from my cigarette and waited for my laundry. Then two magenta haired hoodrat scunts jumped in and every barbershop and the KFC across the street emptied out to watch the shenanigans. I saw the first kid get floored from one of those, around the world, haymakers the kids are using now. I saw him on his back with his arms and feet kicking into the air like a dead roach from a Raid commercial. I started laughing out loud like a negative pregnancy test. When the looney tunes cloud of fists, kicks and slurs started to get closer I closed the laundromat door and casually folded my quilt and continued laughing at the nonsense just outside. Even the two cute Mexican beauty queens working in the jawn were laughing. Eventually the battletoads took the fight around the corner. After a few seconds, I guess some body got glassed in their face or their head stomped in. Everybody was like “Wow". The blue and whites came and pinched one of them Scarlett-Minicans first. Then the ambulance followed as they cleared the scene.
Only in Harlem will you see a dirty ass Chevy Lumina APV minivan with some stained whitewall tires. And you know the owner probably drives home mad slow with some shitty sound system every day after finishing his shift at Foot Locker. He or she probably blasts Cam'ron out the speakers like any other crumbsnatch who peaked in 2006.
I even started seeing a chick, a funeral director. I’ve dated her a few times already and I’ll most likely do it again and again. I like a lot about her. She’s about as square as a 1951 Cadillac Hearse with a juiced up engine, tinted windows and a concealed gun stash compartment; she’s down home anti-social delicious. Maybe for my birthday, who knows, she will gift wrap me that denim chef apron I’ve always wanted or maybe a real Hand of Glory. Maybe I could get a discount if someone I know happens to kick the can. I’ll see her again.
Meanwhile, I saw something the other day that I’ve waited a long, long, time to see and finally I happened to be in the right place at the right time to overhear an Arab Muslim check a casual African American Muslim about the belief. It happened at some smoke shop. There was a guy standing by the Jackpot stand continuously mumbling, "Inshallah.- Inshallah.- Inshallah", as he scuffed the fuck off the face of a five dollar scratch ticket, hoping for divine assistance.
After the fifth invocation, the store cashier leaned over the counter and said, “No. No Shallah. Not for that.”
The guy tried to tap dance around the issue, “Don’t you know he wills everything?”
The cashier shook his head and wagged his finger at him and the ticket, “No! He doesn’t’ and won’t will you the lottery money. That’s not his to help you. You need the devil, Shatan, to help you gamble”.
I held in my snickering and damn near looked like Dizzy Gillespie, even forgot to shoplift. I guess the road to Mecca doesn’t start with commissary after all.
Tuesday - I loitered on line for an open casting call for a Martin Scorsese series for HBO about the city during the 1970’s, you know that magical era that New Yorkers like to remind you of how great things were when they ate asbestos for breakfast and pissed in coffee cans filled with Dee Dee Ramones syringes. I didn’t want to flex my artistic muscles, I just needed some money. I wore my regular clothes; there’s no reason to dress up, I’m the stained toilet seat of the city. I was born, raised and disgruntled in Manhattan. Manhattan – where Frazier beat Ali; home to George Carlin, Jim Carroll, The Hip Sing, The Flying Dragons, Ghost Shadows, The Westies, NYHC, the dirty water dog, Chino-Cubano cuisine, Hell’s Kitchen, L.E.S., the Upper East Side & all the good Woody Allen movies. I was a world away from the twenty-something crowd wearing what they just scored from Trash & Vaudeville the day before. Half of the line was dressed like pirates or disco-chuds. The only person that dressed like an early hip hop b-boy was a white girl. There was a dude dressed like a Ramone but with enraging red elfish shoes and I made fun of him for wearing those $2 for $30 loafers from the thrift store; actually I spent most of the wait just making fun of people directly the whole time, even the hot girls that looked like JEM. At the end of the line was the casting director and assistants who took our names, photographed us and tagged us for eventual whoredom. No one got any porridge. No one ate pudding….
Not much else to report. I haven’t seen much the past few weeks but, I’ve seen enough to get by.
I saw a young black, maybe dark skinned hispanic, dude wearing Dickies, a blue Tupac hoody, carrying a big old school boom box and blasting at high volume, "Moving Out" by Billy Joel. And that alone was enough for me to see that things are getting brighter all around, even the odd and unnoticed parts.