נְשָׁמָה

There was a time when, as a five-year-old, I would make mud pies in Central Park for the two old Jewish men who used to sit on the rotting green park bench and kvetch and feed the pigeons with dried bread crumbs, and I made one once with pieces of colored glass sticking out of the top because they made my creations sparkle and was running to show my elder friends, tripped and fell on the sidewalk, slicing my left hand open on a glass piece right where the thumb connects with the palm and was taken across Fifth Avenue to Mt. Sinai Hospital, and the nurse soaked my hand in white soapy disinfectant solution which to this day I have no recollection of hurting, and afterwards they sewed me up with Mom there.  And there was the time on the uptown #6 train when I faced the gang of black teenagers who were fixing to beat up the Hispanic man, and I declared “Jesus” this and “Jesus” that, because that was the only word I figured would scare off those scumbags, and they backed down and went on to the next subway car, whether to find another would-be victim or to repent, I did not know and still do not, only God knows.

Continue reading

Cad

Eddie’s white stretch limo glided by around 5:30 in the opposite lane heading toward campus to pick up him and his girlfriend Ann. My colleague Terry’s eldest child has his prom tonight. Since Terry lives on the school property, Eddie and his date will take their pictures on the grounds, probably standing somewhere in the meadow that used to be a practice polo field when the 117 acres was owned by the publisher of the Boston Globe back in the early 20th century.

My prom, in New York City in 1981, was not so bucolic, nor so romantic. Continue reading