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Abba Da Gooch

November 15, 2017 Leave a comment

I didn’t know his real name. To all the men at the club, he was Abba Da Gooch. Da Gooch was a colourful character. He’d hang around the poker table for hours until he’d decide to sit in on the game in progress. He played quietly, and sometimes won a bit, sometimes lost a bit. Nobody knew where Da Gooch got his money or what he actually did with his days.

Like a character out of a Damon Runyon novel, he slouched around in loose fitting striped trousers that were crumpled onto his well-worn penny loafers. His shirt was plaid flannel; very out of place in the poker club. His mustache was too long, and his hair was a black, greasy-looking mess under a stained, pork-pie hat.

Da Gooch was something of a mystery among the players. All of the players were what we called ‘rounders’; guys who got around the city, doing various kinds of business, usually for cash. I don’t think they were criminals, just street guys, taking care of business.

I had a job as a courier. One day I get called to a pickup from Templeton Cosmetics. At the Templeton office I am given a small, gift-wrapped box, with instructions to deliver it to Morris Gross, with an address in a very expensive part of town. It was the same as any of a hundred calls, until I got to the large, splendid home and knocked at the door.

A uniformed maid answered the door. I told her why I was there, and she asked me to step inside. She called out that it was for Mr. Gross. The maid walked away, and I stood waiting. After a minute, Mr. Gross came down the wide staircase. My eyes bugged out of my head; Mr. Gross was Abba Da Gooch. His hair was carefully combed, there was no hat, and he looked good.

It was like Da Gooch was another guy. He wore a silk robe in black, with a gold crest on the right breast. His slippers were polished black patent leather. He called me kid, said he didn’t know I was a courier, and took the box from me. He called out for Lorna. A beautiful teenaged girl in jeans and a T-shirt entered from the next room. Da Gooch handed the box to his daughter and asked her to go try it on.

I turned to leave, and Da Gooch stopped me. He said that I was the only one that knew of his double life, and his real name. I assured him it was just between him and me. He slipped me a $20 tip and ushered me out the door. I wonder which life was his real life, the character at the poker club, or the elegant man in the splendid house. And how did he earn his money? Only Mr. Gross knows.

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The Dealer’s Place

October 31, 2017 Leave a comment

The only interesting thing about the dealer’s place was the people who gathered there most evenings. The time I saw them, they had gathered to enjoy “Star Trek” together. I am uninterested in Star Trek, but I lingered to observe the group. I admit that in my case, I was there to buy some grass from the dealer. The dealer was a very nice, shy guy, about 6 feet tall, 30ish, and considerably overweight. His name was Gregory.

Greg also had a small travel agency, where he struggled to make a living. He didn’t like dealing grass, but the travel agency was barely getting by. I later learned that he’d been orphaned while in his teens, and had been making his way in life as well as he could. His disadvantage was that he was not cool… not smooth. Greg was awkward, and that was probably why his apartment was ground zero for a group of socially awkward people.

The most visible person was David. He was noticeable because he talked a lot, always  with unnecessary urgency. One could almost see him vibrating, so tense was he. I later learned that his mother was severely depressed, and drove him crazy. I’m thinking, he’s about 30, why is he with Mom? He expressed shame that he worked at selling ‘diamond futures’, knowing full well that it’s a worthless product and he’s bilking people. His weirdness kept him from getting a regular job, so telephone hustling is the best he could do.

There were two females, as different from each other as possible. They were not together in any way. Sitting on a black bean-bag chair was a very pretty girl in her 20s. She was dressed in Goth style, all black, some veils, thigh-high boots of black leather and a black shawl. She smoked a joint, did not pass it around, and shrunk back into an obscure corner at the back of the room.

Every person in the room was facing the television set. I sat on a straight chair to the side. On the sofa, Greg joined the two that were already there. Next to Greg was a young woman midget. She appeared to be tiny, seated by large Greg. On her other side was Nick, a rather good looking man in his twenties. He planned to be a rock star singer with a band. He was in the process of auditioning bands. Good luck with that.

Awkward people gathered together, perhaps for safety in numbers. The midget asked me to fetch her a coke. Why me, I thought? I rose and stepped toward the kitchen and turned at the apartment entrance hall and left the apartment.

Requiem For A Friend With Benefits

October 31, 2017 Leave a comment

I really didn’t expect anything special to happen; I just wanted to see Julia again. I had a delightful affair with her several years before, and we were always as much friends as lovers. She had a beautiful face. I find that faces almost always fit into a ‘type’. Not that they might look almost exactly like the celebrity, but would be that type. Julia was, believe it or not, an Elisabeth Taylor type, and really remarkably similar in nose, mouth, face shape and dark hair.

Whenever a single mom is saddled with a special needs child my heart breaks for that mom. They are trapped in a way of life that is irrevocable. Julia’s story is one that is, unfortunately, too often repeated. She grew up in a small city where social contacts are limited by fewer opportunities because of fewer people. Often, the prettiest girl in town is from a working class family. Julia’s father worked at the Ford plant and Julia was the prettiest girl in town.

Almost as if it was decreed by an irresistible force, the boy from the richest family in town wanted the prettiest girl in town all to himself. He married Julia, to the great disappointment and disapproval of his parents. Some said he did it just to irritate his parents, but I don’t believe that. Julia was not only pretty; she was an intelligent, educated professional woman with a responsible position in a law enforcement department. That rich boy might not have been able to feel a deep love for anyone but himself because of his background, but he certainly could lust after Julia.

Julia became pregnant and the marriage was all it was ever going to be: a standoff between two people, too young and not really compatible. They were together when the baby was born. The infant should have aborted naturally because she was riddled with defects. The child very soon had to be raised in a special hospital that was capable of the trying task. Her mind was not very capable. She was blind as well and generally capable of very little. In short order, the rich boy husband and father was out of there like a shot.

About a year after that, I met her and we had a wonderful affair. I was married and had two children so many people would consider me a louse. I loved my wife and desired her every day… and every day she rejected me, saying “That’s all you ever think about.”

Well yes, I was a turned on kind of guy. And I was really in love with my wife and found her very desirable. She was slender and pretty and typical of her type. Just for the record, I was not a dog myself as I learned from several women other than my wife. For no apparent reason, she decided making love was not for her.

I knew people who were friendly with Julia, and from time to time I’d hear about how she was doing. I’d learned that she’d married again, to a younger man and again became pregnant. The child was happy and healthy this time. However, it seems the pregnancy triggered dormant Multiple Sclerosis within her. The young husband took off.

I got her phone number from one of her friends and called her for a lunch date. The next day I picked her up at her small flat in an old house and took her to a sidewalk café on a small street of high fashion shops and restaurants. I knew she needed canes to walk, so I chose a place where she could get out of the car and go straight into the restaurant terrace and sit at an umbrella table. We ordered lunch and chatted.

“Why did you always welcome me into your apartment whenever I showed up at your door?” I said. “I was a married man, yet I could show up at your place at eight in the morning or three in the morning and you welcomed me with a pretty smile.” She showed that pretty smile again, across the small table at me. It was a hot July day with just enough breeze to make it comfortable in the shade of the umbrella.

“You were safe,” she said. “You were married, so there wouldn’t be any commitment problems for me. I was out of a really painful marriage and I had no desire to get into another one at that time. And you were very good looking.”

Our meals were brought to the table and we continued to chat over lunch.

“You still do it,” she said with a broad smile on her lovely face.

“I still do what?”

“You still look directly into my eyes while we talk,” said Julia. “I loved that about you.”

“Don’t all men do that?” I said.

“You’d be surprised how unique it is,” she said. “You’re a special man.”

I drove her home. The Georgian style red brick house was three storeys high on a beautiful old street of fine old homes and shady maple trees. She invited me in for coffee and I accepted.

In her flat the air was cool after the blazing hot summer sun. The heavy curtains on her first floor windows were drawn. The rooms were in dim light that spilled through the edges of the curtains. Julia put her canes aside and made her way toward her kitchen with careful steps while she used the wall for stability.

I went to her and put my arms around her and held her close. She clung to me with desperation that told me how lonely she’d been. Her mother had sold a property she’d inherited and moved to Jamaica.

I found fasteners for each of her garments and made her naked while we held each other. I lay her back on her bed.

“You have to move my legs,” she said. I lifted her legs onto the bed.

“Does it hurt?” I said.

“It doesn’t hurt,” she said. “There’s no pain.” I heard in her voice a fear that I might not continue, afraid of doing harm.

I made love with her. It was good to be with her again. She was a very good person. Pretty, light hearted and witty. I often wondered how she could be so positive after all she’d been through. She had a disabled first child and abandonment by her husband. Then she had a healthy child that launched her MS followed by abandonment of her second husband. She had a good, close relationship with her mother. She was to join her mother in Jamaica until the illness struck her and changed her life again.

“You’re even better now than you were in the old times,” she said.

“We live and learn,” I said.

We had our coffee after we’d bathed together. At last I had to leave, and we both knew that we’d not see each other again.

“Thanks for lunch,” she said, “and especially the take-home dessert.”

We laughed together and wished each other good luck. We kissed and I departed. That was many years ago and I’ve since learned Julia passed away and her child is being raised by Julia’s mother in Jamaica.

Looking For My Unique Woman

October 30, 2017 Leave a comment

There are some amazing women in literature. I need to find a woman as fascinating and desirable as Lisbeth Salander is in Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’. To find a woman like her, in my reality or in my fiction would be exciting beyond imagination. I need to find a woman equally unique about whom I could write.

In ‘The First Deadly Sin’ by Lawrence Sanders, a bold, sensual woman named Celia Montfort was unlike any other woman I had ever met in a story. She was completely different from Lisbeth Salander and fascinating in different ways. Both characters had large parts of their lives hidden. Not out of fear of attack or anything like that. It just was more comfortable for them to keep themselves to themselves. There was not a lot of soul-searching and plotting to be as unique as they are – it was just the way they are.

All characters one creates must quite naturally be based on characters one has known in life. Usually, one takes characteristics from several acquaintances and weaves them together into one interesting character. I am pondering my unique woman as I begin to create her. I remember a time several decades ago, when I found myself in a huge rockabilly nightclub in Savanah, Georgia. Center stage there was a young blonde woman singing and shaking. There were two physical characteristics of that woman with which I will begin my search for my unique woman.

She was more than six feet tall with a gorgeous avalanche of lively, radiant, bouncing blonde hair flowing out from the ten-gallon straw hat she wore. Her shape was hidden behind her large bib overalls. The effect was enticing, because her large breasts, narrow waist and parts of her hips flashed creamy white skin through various openings in the overalls. Bare feet projected out of the long legs of the overalls.

I hope to use her as a framework for my uniquely exciting woman. If I can properly imbue her with unique characteristics, I might be able to write stories about her as a heroine or anti-heroine. I expect a challenge because of her unique size. Admittedly, it does give me an open opportunity to use her size to justify some of her unique characteristics. At the same time, it might go against my ability to make her sexy or intimately appealing. I will just have to start a story and let it lead me to answers.

Microcosm Of Canada-USA Character

October 26, 2017 Leave a comment

I received an incorrect bill from The New Yorker magazine. I telephoned PayPal about it. After a few minutes of terrible, croaking music, a very cheerful young man came on. He asked what I needed, I told him, and he cheerfully asked permission to ask me security questions. We went through the routine, and when he was sure I was me, he asked permission to connect me with The New Yorker.

I wondered how this young man could stay so bright and cheerful, when his job is to deal with the problems of unhappy people. After a few moments, he came on and cheerfully asked permission to connect me with the USA office of The New Yorker.

The New Yorker guy sounded like he was hung over and pissed off that he had to deal with peoples’ problems. “Yah” he said. I told him the problem. “It says you gotta cancel before the sample end.” I reminded him that nobody reads the fine print, and he should cancel the charge and the subscription.

“Yah. It’ll be returned to your account. Depends on how long PayPal takes, it’s got nuthin’ t’do wit’ me.” All the time sounding like he resented me and my problem.

The late Robin Williams once said, “Canada is like a church group upstairs from a Crack House.” The contrasting behavior of the Canadian person and the USA person is typical.

Lust Affairs Don’t Matter

October 25, 2017 Leave a comment

When a brilliant man or woman in public life has an affair with another person, it has nothing to do with the ability of the man or woman to perform their professional duties.

The ridiculous grandstanding done by Ken Starr against Bill Clinton is unforgivable. He subjected this great man of genius IQ and wonderful diplomatic powers to enormous humiliation and stress over a simple blow job. Both Clinton and Monica were fully dressed as shown by the President’s DNA on Monica’s clothes.

In less childish societies, such as France and Italy, it would almost go unnoticed. In the United States of America it is reason to defile the presidency. Starr and the assholes behind him knew very well that it didn’t matter to his professional performance except for the fuss his enemies made about it. I’m damn sure they were all doing the same thing, one way or another. Starr looked to me like a guy who’d happily present his behind to any man that would like to enter it.

Then it’s Petraeus. He’s a war hero and a man who has served his country heroically. Now he’s ruined ‘cause he screwed his biographer. I wonder what she is going to win for having blown the whistle on him herself – she the ‘other woman’ and all. A more sensible society would put that where it belongs – nowhere that matters. If he shared any secrets with her, he needs to suffer the problems. BUT, if he just enjoyed sex with her, it’s no fucking business of anyone in his professional life.

People are people, and one lover in life is almost unnatural for men and women. We have to deny our natural animal instincts as much as we possibly can to have a civilized society. But when a man or a woman changes lovers, or takes more than one or two lovers, it’s nobody’s business but the participants. It should not reflect on their professional acumen.

Wealth, Location & other disadvantages

October 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Creative people who come from wealthy families have less to struggle for than do impoverished creative people. A person from a simple, working-class family has dreams to pursue: a new car, a new smartphone, a home on a hill – things that draw the person ever forward, like a carrot on a stick.

A person who grows up in a small village is not exposed to a wide variety of environments. The experience the city person has is much more varied. . Underground trains to all parts of the greater city are mere steps away. Underground gardens and waterfalls, surrounded by stores offering styles and labels from the designers of the world, are not experienced by the remote village person

Theatre options, concerts and movies are available in great numbers. Art gallery openings and museum exhibits are frequent. People from virtually every nation travel the streets of the city. Every profession and every job position is available to those who pursue them.

Wealth in a creative person can be a distraction. One does not dream of a nice car that one already owns. One has a fine home, respect, and most importantly; alternatives. One who has alternatives has the finest life.

When one has a fine, high quality life, one has little inspiration to pursue risky options. One who has suffered deprivation because of location or poverty, has a lot of reasons to push hard against the vagaries of life.