Thursday, October 27, 2005

Worlds Collide

Circumstances require me to be the very soul of discretion.


A month ago, my Best Girl Buddy moved back into town
after finishing graduate school.
Last night, I moved my Partner In Crime into the apartment
which Best Girl Buddy and he will now share.
Best Girl Buddy is working for The Lieutenant.
Partner In Crime is interviewing with The Lieutenant, and will likely begin work there as well.

My individual conversations with
Best Girl Buddy / Partner In Crime / The Lieutenant
usually include a paraphrase of this statement:


*sips Dewer's rocks / Diet Coke / Martini twist*

"Now you can't tell this to ANYONE,
Best Girl Buddy / Partner In Crime / The lieutenant."


So I don't. But they're not the only ones.
The walls between the compartments of my life
are thin ones, constantly subject to erosion.
I'm worried about breaches, and not just for my sake.

Philadelphia is a small town, and getting smaller.
Every day.

Monday, October 24, 2005

53rd. and 9th.

After leaving the restaurant, we found ourselves in the path of a traffic diverting procession as it circled the block. A swarm of diminutive, brown skinned faithful (I would be a GIANT in Central America) clustered alongside purple robed acolytes at their devotions, rhythmically stepping along with the swaying progress. The tiny men hefted a kind of flower bedecked Catholic palanquin, bearing the gold framed image of the Virgin of Something or Other, plaques in Spanish describing her miracles, and towering bee hive mounds of red roses. A heady fog of thick sweetness issued from the trailing incensers. WE never had anything so wonderful at Christ Episcopal.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Chelsea Nights


1. Lay square dinner napkin flat on table top.

2. Fold top hem down to center of napkin, keeping it parallel to bottom hem.

3. Fold bottom hem up to center, meeting top hem, forming a horizontal rectangle

4. Turn folded napkin over so that top and bottom hems face the table top.

5. Fold left hand hem over to meet the right hand hem, forming a square.

All for corners of the napkin will now be meeting in the center of the right hand side of the folded square.

6. Rotate the folded napkin so that the napkin corners are positioned at the top of the square.

7. Using the left hand, grasp the two left hand corners with thumb and forefinger, being careful to leave the hemmed edges between them unrestrained. With the right hand, similarly grasp the right hand corners.

8. In one fluid movement, draw the napkin corners apart, while raising the now elongated form to the crown of the head, pulling it taught at the temples, there by forming "ears".

9. Wait for flash.

10. Order another round.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


My favorite venue in Philadelphia is The Trocadero Theater, an 1870's vaudeville house in what is now Chinatown. Through neglect and indifference, and a fifty year stint as a porno/kung-fu grind house, it has entered the 21st century a rare survivor from it's age.
Almost completely intact inside and out, it is a crumbling, delightfully eclectic monument to post Civil War romantic excess; a musty time capsule. Entrance is through multiple pairs of tall narrow glazed doors capped with arcs of leaded glass in Juicy Fruit colors; lyres, urns, and masks of comedie and tragedie. The lobby retains mosaic floors, broad stairs with sweeping railings above gourd like baulasters, deeply paneled walls and pilasters picked out in arnished gilding supporting thickly coffered ceilings. In the domed auditorium, reed thin Corinthian cast iron columns support horseshoe balconies edged and festooned with robustly cast moldings, wreaths and swags. A tent of nylon mesh above keeps chunks of the frescoed ceiling from raining liability lawsuits down on the crowds below. On show nights, national and international touring acts occupy the former burlesque stage. When the hall is dark , a bar and smaller stage in former function rooms off the first balcony form a showcase for local and emerging alt/hipster entertainments; playing their dues while imagining headlining glory on the venerable stage below.

Bob Mould played there last thursday, after the previous night in NYC. Best buddies Jill and Joe accompanied me to the show. We were delighted to run into my furry friendly pal Vinnie; Bob fans all. Veteran singer/songwriter/guitar legend Mould is a hard working performer, diligently laboring to insure that ticket holders have a good time. Jill and Joe had a ball that night, grateful for the experience, and Vinnie confided that he'd never imagined that he'd see quite such a performance, or have such a good time doing it.

Thanks Bob.


The big burgundy Chevy wagon would tear into the driveway, tires screeching on the asphalt, declaring my Mother's return from a a morning at the market.  She'd slam it into park, throw open the door and race for the steps.


Mom would cry, clawing at the latch and tearing open the screen door.

Any boy unlucky enough to be sitting on the toilet in the green and yellow powder room off the kitchen, would already have his Toughskins hiked up, barely wiped and hopping away from ground zero as my Mother rounded the dining room table.

"Peepee! Peepee! PEEPEE!"

She'd toss her bag in one direction, fling her nylon trenchcoat in another and shoot through the kitchen door way at speed, grabbing the corner of the birch end cabinet and sling-shotting around it as she made the corner. She'd spin her tail toward the bowl as she sailed into the tiny room, skirt pulled up by one hand, panties yanked down by the other.   The stream would begin before she made contact with the pale yellow seat.


Disaster was safely averted. Again. My Brother and I would go outside to the still running car.  One of us would reach in the open  drivers side door, remove the key from the ignition and snap it alongside its mates in Mom's tan leather keycase, and click the door shut, then head back to assist the other. Together we'd remove the dozen or so brown paper bags from Almacks, Big G or McQuades; a weeks worth of groceries for three boys and a working man .  We'd  lug them into the kitchen and set them on the dark maple turned legged table in the center of the room, taking care not to step on Mom's coat each time we passed the open bathroom door.
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