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Friday, May 19, 2017
Let the Good Times Roll
A hot, humid July morning it was. I'm in the water at Pells with two others when a car drives into the dirt path and stops at The Tree. The driver is in his early twenties and we watch as he steps to the front of the car, unties his sneakers placing them on the hood of the car, then steps to The Tree. I watch for a minute or so as he begins the maneuvers necessary enabling him to climb the sixty feet of tree length up to the two two-by-fours that are rope-tied onto a fork in a branch that extends over the water of Pells. The three of us wade over to shallow water and away from the middle of the water, watching as he steps upon the branch to those two platform boards readying himself for the plunge. Branches sway, the entire top of The Tree may bend and sway from any mild gust of wind that passes by. Adjusting his feet on the wooden boards and for a brief moment to shake his hands and arms loose from tension he lifts and extends his arms out from his sides before leaning forward and with a spring from his legs to push himself forward and into a headfirst free-fall, … crashing into the water with a soft splash. A moment of time and the guy surfaces to begin a few short strokes and paddles towards the bank and the stump of The Tree, stepping up the roots protruding out from the dirt bank he leans against the car while placing his sneakers on he feet, then gets back into the car and drives off. I'm impressed.
Kevin has climbed the tree up to those boards and then jumped feet first. I don't want to climb any tree to such heights much less fall into the water from that high up. The rope swing is good enough for me.
I'll occasionally take my brothers 250 Kawasaki out for a spin any early morning for an hour or so. Just buzz around the area, not too far any which way. Turn on a full moon to light up the roads and inside passing forests and fields and the moments are cool.
I cross the bridge at Pells and roll along the straightaway towards the first left-hand turn.
I know the roads in this area well, so I accelerate the Kaw up to a good speed knowing the angle of the left hand turn that's approaching. A full moon black-light will brighten the open field of dried golden brush on my left and right sides but the turn I'm approaching is inside a collection of pine trees on both sides of the road which causes the turn to display only the Kaw's spotlight of light piercing into a dark tunnel of blackness as I approach. The thought in mind as I ready myself and the Kaw for the lean into this turn is to approach from the far right side of the road and then hug the left side of the road as I round the turn exiting over at the far right side of the road. I know what I'm doing … , like I'm racing motocross.
That voice. This time the words conjured are less important then the sense of a challenge that has been inflected into the words.
Take the outside … all the way around the turn, and sure, like I'm racing motocross and as if passing two, three, or five motocrossers who have just crashed or are stranded with some jockeying to disentangle on the track during a race. I'll just zoom past them on the other side of the debacle. And so I veer over to the right side of the road as I speed towards the turn, then begin leaning the bike over and as I maintain both wheels of the Kaw skimming securely two or three feet from the curving edge of the far right side of the road the double hi-beams of car headlights suddenly appear and brighten the Kaw and the entire left side view of everything in front of me. The jolt of adrenaline is quick but I don't have time for thought as I watch those bright hi-beamed headlights swerve lower and then out of sight as I continue to round the curvature of the right side of the road and eventually to right the Kaw level. As fast as the snap of the fingers the moment came and went, … and that voice I'm recognizing is …?
Later I'm to wonder why I didn't see the reflection of those headlights on the trees along the far right side of the road as I was approaching the turn.
Headlights were turned on after the car began to accelerate from standstill.
That voice. It is me. I'm learning to recognize and soon to better appreciate exactly what it is; what that voice means: The Creator is with me.
BCI Detective Appolonario was known at the B's residence for other affairs, and while watching Appolonario stepping up the driveway while he worked on his van, Kevin took the plastic bag of assorted barbiturates he carried with him and threw them … somewhere, he said. Kevin later told me that that somewhere happened to be the hood of his mother's car parked a distance down the driveway.
I told Kevin on the bus home from school that yes, I'll be there, to help him with the van, but after supper Moms said if I leave for the evening they'll lock the doors later. They'd never said something such as this to me before, after I would tell them I'm going somewhere after supper, and the next day at school I'll learn Kevin got arrested at his house, and still a couple days later I'll see Kevin in school and events and circumstances before and after his arrest being what they were, the thought comes to Kevin that I had something to do with or I knew that he was to be arrested that evening. Kevin was my partner in crime, so neither he nor I want to take these suspicions and thoughts too far and eventually our relationship resolves to circumstances beyond our control.
My parents will hang the phone up on Kevin if they know it's him; he has to have one of his sisters call and to have a female voice greet my parents on the telephone and then to ask for me. Kevin has told me each time when either of my parents had seen him hitchhiking back to his house from Hopewell that they'd just drive by. Why the animosity? Kevin's older brother Joe once told Eric that my father is a puss, or some such term, doing so for reasons I was never privy to. Joe beat up Eric after Eric became belligerent, and at the dinner table Dad is all proud of Eric as Eric relates the story to everyone. Joe would later attend Rensselaer Polytech in Troy and, …? long story short I can only surmise my brother Eric had one day informed Joe of me and my faggot nature as an attempt to bond with certain of his other, better smarter classmates. Eric may be "smart," but he lacked social etiquette if what I'm describing actually did happen and was the cause for the fight. I imagine after my brother Eric confided with Joe about me being a faggot, Joe began to question Eric how he knew I was a faggot in which he got the response, "He was playing in the woods with some boys and – blah, blah, blah, …, it's a congenital thing. My sister has Down's syndrome, too," my brother will add with the air of an exceptionally smart person who is able to tie together genetic mutations with social behavior. I knew Joe to be a critical-thinker and further presume now he would then ask why Eric is saying such things about his own brother to strangers. Again I can only presume my brother answers Joe with a sense for the honor, courage, and the love of family in his mind, Eric to retort, "My father wants everyone to know about Kurt, and if you see him doing something strange to report it to me or someone in our family." Joe would then ask, incredulous, "Your father wants you to tell everyone your brother is a fag and then to ask everyone if they see your brother doing something weird to tell you about it?" And Eric the Noble will say, "Yes." to this Joe will say, "Your father is a jerk," causing my brother to want to fight, get beat up and later that evening to have the fodder for a story at the dinner table, thus causing Dad to beam with pride for the honor that the oldest son in his family has upheld.
If one can understand the environment wrought from the mentality of my parents and brothers because of … because I'm on a mission of God and events in my life had to follow a deviant path and course in order for my life to accomplish whatever the Creator has in mind, …
"I have got to get out of the house first chance I get, and stay out."
Kevin was living with his father in Seattle as a condition of probation. He wasn't to set foot in New Yawk for I don't know how long they banned him. I'm expelled from school and so begin working for a paycheck at Taconic Fabricators. Moms drives me there but I could walk to the place within an hour's time. Each day Taconic Fabricators will produce fifty to sixty of those blue metal US Postal mailboxes bolted to the cement of street corners for shipment by truck to who knows where. Most of my time there and I'm riveting any section of metal(s) together to then have it be passed further down the assembly line, but I can be placed at some other task such as unloading trucks that have arrived or I'm with others cleaning sections of factory floor spaces that are disordered for some reason. A couple months at Taconic Fabricators and one day the supervisor says someone is downstairs to see me. Ten minutes I have to go outside and to see whomever. It's Kevin, with his van, and he's not supposed to be in New Yawk? Perhaps his probation is over? I furgetz … , and it's great to see him again. Been over a year since I last seen him.
Angela Sandig. Nice girl. Both parents of German stock. Mother and father separated, with Moms waitressing evenings at a German restaurant off Route 9, the apartment is a place to hang out after school, for awhile, if one has previously gained her confidence. Sometimes she has her other girl friends over at the apartment and she'll tell you at the door you can't come in. You just can't, she says. Other times, sure, come on in. Just ask her if she wants to get high, and if she does she'll let you come in …, for awhile.
Angela has two sisters, Judy is twelve or thirteen when I first meet them and Monica is like six or seven. But all I or anyone does in their apartment is to eventually go into their upstairs bathroom and smoke a bone, and then eventually leave. I told Angela I don't think it's good for Monica to be in the bathroom with us when we smoke, but Angela says she's not letting her out of her sight. After we smoke we return to the living room, sit around with no music, no kind of chit-chat or games like spades, … Angela may leave for somewhere else leaving Judy and Monica on the couch and the both of them just watch television or read or begin picking their noses …, go upstairs and Angela is filing her nails or brushing her hair in front of a mirror …, I have little money in my pockets and no plans for a future to talk about with her …, if I had a large sum of money I'd think of thoughts that would tickle her fancy but at this time what is happening in the family is just too weird to understand and wrap my head around, then put into words to have it make sense in a conversation with someone like what Angela could become.
Eighteen years old and I'll introduce Angela and Judy to my parents one afternoon. Thirteen year old budding Judy came out onto the patio deck first, and I could see Moms skin turn pale and the blood run from her face. When Angela then stepped into view my mother breaks out into a self-conscious chuckle, and after introducing the two of them by name my mother is still with an occasional chuckle, nodding her head as my father begins to light a pipe of tobacco, then to fold a newspaper on the patio table and begin staring down and reading. No hello or howdy words from either of my parents to Judy or Angela. I look at Judy and Angela and want to say something but the notion that they staged a presentation to my parents, having Judy stroll into view first, … I ask them if they want something to eat or drink, a sandwich? is no, so let's just get out of here.
Another time I'll bring Angela and Judy to the house in the evening. Maybe the both of them will be in bed or ready to do so and I can show them around the house for awhile. It is a nice house, with a few things of interest in it. But alas, my father is a jerk. He really is.
Only my father is in the house. Where everyone else is I don't know.
"You were supposed to bring the car back at nine," he says as I stand at the kitchen table with Angela and Judy. It's maybe ten, ten-thirty, eleven o'clock, who knows, who cares; not like it was a necessity and if it matters whether the car is in the garage for the rest of the night or it's being driven at the time. By this time, clockwork determines Dad has downed at least five Manhattans since 5 PM when the first one is consumed. Seven days a week starting at five o'clock and he's drunk by nine o'clock. The way he is now talking to me in front of the girls is only to deliberately humiliate me in front of them. The guy is a complete toad.
"Alright, alright," I say and then try to usher the two outside and back into the car. But Dad says no, I'm not driving them home, he is driving them home. Years later I'm to recall this incident, and I simply wish I had thought to call the police that night on Dad.
"Yes, officer. My father is driving with two female passengers. A brown Chevy Impala traveling west from Hopewell Junction to Fishkill on Route 82. They just left a minute ago so they may be entering Hopewell Junction any minute, otherwise they'll be traveling west towards Fishkill. My father has had at least four or five Manhattans and I'm concerned for the safety of the two passengers while he drives under the influence of that many drinks, officer."
Were I to have caused my father to be arrested for DUI would be the single most rewarding event and memory of my life! As long as I lived in that house I would never let him forget I was the one that caused him to have handcuffs and a slap on his wrists. The girls were not in danger is probably why I didn't think to call the police. Dad goes slow and pays attention to what he's doing while under the influence, I know, but just to slap him back for the humiliation that night by causing his arrest for driving them back would only be another factor for why my father really isn't too swift in the social skills department.
The Sandig clan moved from Fishkill to Peekskill, and I drive down to visit their apartment late one afternoon. Judy answers the door and she tells me Angela isn't there and she doesn't know when she'll be back. Fourteen year old Judy greets me at the door and remains in her underwear as we talk about this and that and that and this. I watch her reach up for a box of cereal and …? she's definitely coming of age. Young, healthy, fertile, …? what's not to like? I'm almost if not twenty, and she's putting on a show for me now. The flirt. I ask her to tell Angela I was there, and then leave. Duh.
Kevin and I did another ds soon after he arrives back from Seattle. He tells me he hitchhiked back from Seattle. He met this guy Lance who he then began sharing rides with until Lance got arrested for shoplifting in some town and Kevin is hitchhiking on his own again. Pure luck gave him one ride starting from just outside the city of Denver all the way to the Taconic State Parkway; some guys going back to college at Boston. They exchange addresses and if Kevin is ever in the Boston area the next few years to give them a call. He does call and we'll be there this weekend.
I call Angela and she says she'll go with me to Boston with Kevin and Donna. A couple days after this phone call and a couple short days before we'll leave I'm having bad thoughts. Angela will taste amphetamine? and then the barbiturates I'll clue her to so that she doesn't have to go bonkers? Cannabis is one thing but these pharmaceuticals are another. Angela, her sisters and her girlfriends I suppose are alright but they're not cool. I met Mrs. Sandig once at their apartment in Fishkill. And I have thoughts of her mother years from now finding out that it was I who gave Angela her first taste of these quality euphorics, after I imagine that I've returned to this area ten years from now and to then learn Angela has overdosed with some silly nigger types she had recently found and was hanging out with for any dope to get high with and, … Mrs. Sandig now hates my guts?
Believe it: I am cool. I'm a cool dude now and I was back then. My conscience is clear. No regrets, no remorse, I am a product of my environment.
No mind, no human brain can not enjoy the way these euphorics make you feel. My Moms would even tell me those type of drugs cause euphoria, and you're supposed to like them. You have to. I'm to imagine Angela would share them, tell others she knows where to get them, and she just doesn't give me the impression she could be made to understand what she is getting into by indulging with these quality drugs I have. She doesn't yet have the mind of a soldier, where the power of life and death are in your hands, and with these drugs it is easy to die if you're not cool. Cool like some soldiers are cool. I could've pulled Angela, and I probably would have done so at this time had I the resources enabling me to control future events in my life better. As it is Angela isn't cool, and I soon call her back to tell her I've changed my mind, the trip is off, and I'm never to see or talk to her again.
Donna invites her friend Kathy and the four of us travel to Boston.
This guy Kevin knows is somewhere, in class maybe when we arrive at the Victorian house he shares with other students. With a couple hours to roam around the town of Salem, we stroll the streets and parks. Bronze plaques will tell us this is an area where they burned those accused of witchcraft. Kathy and I stroll under an open window of a three-story residential structure, and we stop to listen to this man and woman talking.
"You're a witch. I know you are," a male voice intones.
"Stop it. Stop. You know I'm not. Why are you saying that?" a female voice pleads.
"Damn you, woman. What do you take me for, a fool?" replies the male.
Kathy and I stand and look at each other incredulously, and then step away.
"Maybe they're rehearsing a play or something," Kathy says later. I just give a chuckle at the thought, whatever was going on that afternoon.
The pork slices inside the egg buns are delicious. We eat these instead of anything fishy or lobsterly because of price. Frugal rules for the time being.
…, to be continued.
Posted by Kurt L Hanson