Daryl and I had the good fortune of coming out of the Palace Theatre on Times Square last Saturday evening, after enjoying the spectacular “Priscilla – Queen of the Desert,” during a monstrous thunderstorm. After the show, I had silently wondered why the theatre patrons had exited so slowly but thought it was possibly due to the collectors for the Broadway Cares for AIDS program in the lobby. As we rounded the corner down the mezzanine stairs, I understood why the sluggish exodus.
I looked outside and saw torrential rain and wind making Times Square look like an amusement park on steroids. Flashing animated billboards, honking horns, windswept water, lightning and thunder all creating an apocalyptic crescendo of near manic proportions as we began our sidewalk adventure to our destination – the Courtyard Marriott on 40th Street.
As Daryl and I dared to maneuver our way out onto the marquee covered sidewalk, we were immediately swallowed by a sea of umbrellas. A multi-colored calliope of movement as we would raise, then lower, then raise again our own umbrellas to weave our way through stuffed streets of foreign faces and thronged energy. We leapt over flooded intersections as streams of plastic bottles and soaked playbills danced feverishly around clogged street drains. Flashing walk and don’t walk characters told us what to do, as we continued to waft through this hoard of drenched humanity.
We turned off of Broadway and onto a less crowded 42nd Street as the wind fought with our own umbrellas turning them inside out then back again as sidewalk strangers ducked in and out of awning covered buildings. The cold wind sliced at our soaked bodies as we continued to dodge taxis, pedestrians and bold flashes from the sky.
I could not help but notice all of the discarded skeletal umbrellas that were tossed to the sidewalk in crumpled heaps as if they were thrown forcefully from the sky. Lonely handles reaching to us as if we could save them from their hapless fate as flashes of lightening from the echoing heavens highlighted their silver ribs in tortured twists of sizes and shapes. Canvassed covers buried in the splashes of water they were once made to protect.
We ran past Bryant Park as the dark statue of its namesake sat stoically on his seat as if mocking the storms fury. As we turned onto 40th Street, our destination came into view as our breaths grew more rapid and heavy. Sopping into the hotel lobby like two drenched rats, we sloshed and squeaked on the marble floor to the elevators.
Daryl pressed the “UP” button. We stepped in and took our ride to the sky.
AOL SPORTING NEWS FEED:
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has been slapped with a $100,000 fine for using a gay slur, directed toward referee Bennie Adams, after being issued a technical foul during Tuesday night’s win over the Spurs, according to several reports on Twitter.
“Insensitive or derogatory comments … have no place in our game,” NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement.
Care to repeat that Mr. NBA Commissioner? You mean to tell me that the word FAGGOT has never been used in the locker rooms or during practice games? Bryant got caught. The NBA got caught. The sports community got caught. And most importantly, the American viewing public got caught.
I was taken aback by the casual attitude of many “responders” on the AOL web news post who stated that it “really shouldn’t be a big deal. Kobe was just angry and said a word that while derogatory, wasn’t actually directed at or even HEARD by the referee.” Wow. Here I thought we, as Americans, were actually moving forward.
First of all a $100,000 fine for Mr. Bryant is what he pays for lawn service. Secondly, the word faggot IS highly offensive to many people gay AND straight. Finally (and unfortunately unavoidable), if a white player had used the N-word, the offender would have been suspended if not fired.
Perhaps, Mr. Bryant’s weak “public relations” apology is enough — perhaps not.
We need to learn from this.
by RICHARD RHODES
If you’re afraid you can’t write, the answer is to write. Every sentence you construct adds weight to the balance pan. If you’re afraid of what other people will think of your efforts, don’t show them until you write your way beyond your fear. If writing a book is impossible, write a chapter. If writing a chapter is impossible, write a page. If writing a page is impossible, write a paragraph. If writing a paragraph is impossible, write a sentence. If writing even a sentence is impossible, write a word and teach yourself everything there is to know about that word and then write another, connected word and see where their connection leads. A page a day is a book a year.
My son at the age of 23 is currently on a several month upswing in a path of addiction.
I am falling in love with him all over again as we talk several times a week from his facility in Arizona. I am smart enough to know that his struggle is far from complete, but at this stage of his life he is the most lucid, the most honest and the most progressive I have seen him in years. He has no computer or way to see this rather elementary but heartfelt poem, so I shoot it out into the world, in hope that it finds it’s way to him…
this path you choose
go onward still
one step ahead
the sun too bright
as sky blinds blue
clouds lead the way
to hope for you
no worry son
in ways so new
for you I pray
bring peace to heart
and solice too
dear son of mine
your soul is true
still barely lost
keep searching though
leave past behind
forgive the cost
beyond the darkness
through light of day
see hands of faith
to lead your way
push farther now
to take this ride
to make it to
the truth inside.
Filed under Life..., Poetry
Hooray! The sun is out, the temperature is fast approaching eighty degrees, and the breeze is light. Summer’s beginning whisper is here at last and car windows are down. So why does the music from YOUR piece o’ crap car need to shout at me?
I don’t get it.
On second thought, yes I do. I was young once. Truly I was! I tell my kids stories of when I used to smoke pot and swallow just about anything that didn’t swallow me first; I share stories of keg parties in fields with bonfires that used to go on, even until the light of day. They look at me and say… “Sure Dad, like the book Go Ask Alice right?”
I do remember at around the age of 16, piling a record SEVEN people into my 1967 candy apple red sun-roofed Volkswagen Beetle and trying to shift into second gear while having my hand up someone’s ass on our way to a party at Westtown Mews. It was insane and I just had a problem saying no if others needed a ride. We would be listening to 8-track tapes of David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” or Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.” We’d have the windows down, with cigarettes ablaze while singin’ at the top of our lungs. Looking back now, I don’t think WE ever really cared about who else’s world we were invading with OUR sound.
Today though, I need to be more open minded and non-judgemental; more free-wheeling; more fly by the seat of my pants! Who cares if I’m stuck in traffic on Interstate 95 next to you with the base so low it rattles to the very core of my bones, while I feel my eyeballs slowly vibrating out of their sockets? Who cares if the words fuck, bitch, gun, kill and nigga literally rape MY ears? I’ll just start peckin’ my head along with your music and hopefully you’ll be freaked out enough to think that an older person likes it… and turn it off.
Just call me Santa Claus! Or maybe I’m the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Glinda the Good Witch all rolled up into one.
Daryl asked for a “ménage á trois” for his birthday, and lo and damn behold I got him one (see photo). How the heck did he know that the wine store would even have that? Funny huh?
I’m just glad he didn’t ask for a million dollors, a new car or a buff boyfriend ’cause I didn’t see them in the bordeaux aisle.
On the day you were born there was a plan.
Some might say God.
Others claim that fate had her complex way.
Perhaps it was just our simple approach,
as we played our game of life to win
and bring you here today.
This exact spot
at your place in this world.
Whoever is responsible,
whatever flows and ebbs of time
have placed you gently
onto this sand at my feet,
I raise my glass
into the vast blue sky
higher, then higher still
for I am thankful for you,
and ever grateful to all things
that have brought you here today.
Happy Birthday Dearest Daryl.
Filed under Life..., Poetry