Today’s post illustrates some of the daily tension, the close-to-violence environment, that was part of our growing up.
Before that, however, here’s an update on Chapter Two of “The Goldfinch,” the world-respected, Donna Tartt novel.
Note that the entire summary from the start of the novel to date can be found on the Web Site: Pages; Goldfinch, The – Summary.
Home from the museum bombing, 13-year-old Theo doesn’t find his mother home.
He spends a long and tormented evening, night, and early morning alone, concussed, hungry, wet, cold, and afraid, waiting for his mother to return from the bombing of the museum. The doorbell shatters the silence and the prospect of seeing his mother propels him to the door where he finds, instead, two strangers, “dressed like a pair of substitute school teachers, but though they both had kindly expressions on their faces, I understood the moment I saw them that my life, as I knew it, was over.”
The girl can write. Donna Tartt, “The Goldfinch.”
Today is Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Good morning, my friends.
This is my ninety-third consecutive daily posting.
It’s 6.01am and we’re in for another hot one.
Just got a new pair of sandals to help with the heat.
Wikipedia summary of what’s on the screen: The Music Man is a 1962 American musical film starring Robert Preston as Harold Hill and Shirley Jones as Marian Paroo. The film is based on the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name by Meredith Willson. The film was one of the biggest hits of the year and highly acclaimed critically.
I’m at my desk.
Dinner is my dinner party for symposium group: a delicious-looking Lasagna and a Roasted Chicken.
Progress on web mechanics:
I think I have discovered how to capture pictures on my computer.
I lost the method I had learned when I recently had the computer juiced up by adding more ram.
Anyway, today’s post, an excerpt from "Dom's, an Odyssey," illustrates some of the daily tension, the close-to-violence environment, that was part of our growing up.
Mike interrupted us and he and I walked to a corner for some privacy.
“Connie’s outside. She saw Paul and doesn’t want to come in. They hate each other.”
“Yeah, I wonder why?” I said sarcastically.
Connie was a very tough, masculine-like, small-time lesbian drug dealer and loan-shark who could snap at a misspoken word and maim the offender. She was always in trouble with the law or with another North Ender or, sometimes, even with one of the boys. That she had survived to age 40 was pretty remarkable.
She and I had a friendly relationship and she always came directly to me whenever she had any kind of problem. I always found time to listen and always gave her an honest evaluation of her situation, often saving her substantial legal fees in the process. Despite the camaraderie, I was still very happy she knew that her nemesis Paul Carr was my good friend and that Mikey, Al and I were associated.
“What does she want?’ I asked Mike.
“She’s pissed off we don’t let her do business here. Someone told her about Big Daddy being here all the time and he’s not from the North End and he’s black and he deals. She wants a part of the action.”
“What action? We don’t do any action. Michael, she’s exactly why we set everything up the way it is. She’s trouble. She doesn’t respect anything or anybody. It’s always, “Give me some more,” with her. She’s never satisfied with anything. I’ll talk with her.”
“You want me to come with you?”
“No. That’ll give her more standing than she deserves. No, I’ll remind her that I help her in a lot of ways and I ask nothing back from her. It’ll be okay. It’s not the first time she’s mentioned this to me. Mike, let’s close the Football Room. You have half a dozen people in there. Ask them to join the others. The party will feel more alive if it’s clustered in a smaller space and the staff can prepare the room for tomorrow.”
I went outside to see Connie. She was on the corner of Fleet Street. We said ‘hello’ and I repeated everything I had said to Mike, finishing with another thought that I wanted to make sure she understood.
“Connie, I have a lot of friends, all different. I don’t ask any of them if it’s okay to be friends with the others and I try to help every one of them whenever they ask. I don’t permit any dealing in the restaurant, whatever you think. I had dinner with Big Daddy tonight and he left before any of the party got here. I don’t mean that my guests don’t smoke or do anything. But I don’t know about it and I don’t want to know. Do you think I would permit Paul Carr to jeopardize his career?”
“Hey, I’m not asking for that. I know I can do some business with these people but if you say you can’t, okay. You’re being honest with me. Why can’t Mikey tell me the truth?” She was either looking for a graceful way out or a reason to start a feud with Mike.
“Connie, Mikey doesn’t lie. You know that. Whatever he told you was the truth. He probably isn’t as frank with you as I am. I think I’ve earned that right.”
“Naw, you’re alright,” she admitted. “Alright, listen. I’m not coming in. I see that Irish asshole in there.”
“Yes, another friend.”
“Yeah. You seem to have a lot of friends. You’re very lucky.”
“I’ll see you soon, Connie. Good night.”
“Yeah. Good night.”
As I walked back into the restaurant, the fatigue, the excitement, then tension and Connie’s last remark struck and I wanted to be alone. All alone.
I went to the bar and got another bottle of San Pellegrino then went upstairs to my apartment which was wonderfully quiet. It wasn’t cold but, wanting a fire to watch, I struck a match and lit the starter paper which quickly flared. I put on some Bob Dylan and sat on my rocker to watch with fascination as the paper ignited the kindling which heated and flamed the split logs. My mood quickly centered itself. I took a drink from my cold bottle of sparkling water and I mused.
“You’re very lucky,” she had said.
I was hurt by that. I worked hard to make and keep my friends and I didn’t consider that ‘luck.’
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