Tag Archives: New York

Saloons Instead of Salons

This is how perception has re-formed amid the Mojave and the Southern Nevada mountains – bands like the Eagles and the Pure Prairie League sound more appropriate here than they ever did down in Arizona’s Sonora Desert and certainly back East in New York. Those guitars and keening voices cut through the Mojave’s harshness.

Although the poignancy of the bands’ ballads further emphasize the region’s emptiness, each offers relief to the barren horizon and the few figures populating it. Hmmm. Figure that out.

People often ask whether I miss New York, and if so what do I particularly miss. My pat reply is usually, “Whatever I miss was already gone before I left.”

Until recently that response sufficed because it was the only truth. Continue reading Saloons Instead of Salons

Betsy

Of the three, shouldn’t Zygyac have been the most reprehensible? After all, dusted as he claimed to have been, he’d sliced and diced his lover, a la Sid Vicious upon Nancy Spurgeon.

An Iron Curtain émigré, Zygyac had always emitted an off-kilter vibe since his family’s arrival in Quarropas. Yet no one ever could’ve foreseen the doughy, pasty-faced boy growing into a hulking and heaving beast who behaved in such a mindless manner. Other felonies? Yes. Murder? No.

Alibi, though? Projecting him as a murderer, that image didn’t tax imagination. Who knew? Maybe he had. Intimidate as he did those under his thumb, knowledge of bodies rendered inconvenient might remain uncirculated despite his current incapacities.

No, Moret was the worst of this rogues gallery. His, unlike Zygyac’s and Alibi’s transgressions, have been worsened by discovery, time, and scope.

Sure. Zygyac took a life, while Alibi committed depravity. Nonetheless the law dealt with the former and karma, if it truly exists, laid the latter as low as possible.

All things told, though, that pair left small numbers of victims in their wakes. Even now, who knows how many people suffered through Moret? While women predominated, at least one man served as collateral fodder.

Betsy among the wounded, first and foremost. The ripples emanating from her are exponential and generationally tragic. Have there been others like Betsy? Certainly there were numerous unknown girls Moret shoved into premature womanhood. Continue reading Betsy

Girl Clash

Now and then news from Quarropas, once my New York home, wends its way West and gives me pause to consider the arc of our world. Is it by design? Are there patterns in its seeming randomness? One beyond the ken of us simple mortals?

Two years ago, the notable event among locals which received widespread coverage was Eddie having stabbed Mike to death then in, oh, let’s say, remorse, or recognition of his heinous act, Eddie blowing himself up. As much as nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, who the hell could’ve foreseen real-life ending Grand-Guignol playing out in sleepy Quarropas?

This latest incident is bloodless, though pleasantly mortifying. Continue reading Girl Clash

Who Was Oisk?

A vintage sportswear retailer issued a baseball catalogue a short time ago. Its cover featured a forlorn boy amid the ruins of what had been the quirky splendor of Ebbets Field, one-time home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. They had abandoned the ballpark and borough for Los Angeles. Their old address was being razed for low-income housing.

The dejected boy toted a bat and glove. By his demeanor both destruction and departure confused him. Doubtlessly he had been a true-blue Dodgers fan.

Can’t imagine such devotion today. Sports franchises routinely extort municipalities for taxpayer funded improvements and fresh facilities. Free agency has broken once solid binds between players and fans.

Even our old baseball cathedrals are no longer sacrosanct.

There should’ve been an outcry and defense for old Yankee Stadium similar to that which spared Grand Central Terminal sharing the fate of McKim and White’s Penn Station. Instead, wrecking balls demolished the House That Ruth Built. And while the team simply moved across 161st Street, the old edifice’s aura remained put. Monumental as the new structure is, the Yankees’ glorious continuity is broken.

Ghosts do not travel. Not even in the Bronx. Continue reading Who Was Oisk?

Niggling and Nettlesome

What visitor doesn’t arrive in Las Vegas believing its “What happens here, stays here!”© slogan? O.J. Simpson did. Where’s he now?

Those weighty limiting inhibitions out-of-towners have dragged along from Boise, Iowa City or Little Rock get stored at McCarran International upon arrival and are barely, or in some cases gratefully, retrieved just in time for the return trip to real life.

In between seeing slot machines and liquor stores at the airport, and later regretting busting the holiday budget at casino table games while developing monstrous hangovers through overpriced Strip drinks, the sober comportment which defined them at home dissolves. That probity probably winds up somewhere in the Mojave.

Likely in one of those San Berdoo meth oases across the border in California. Continue reading Niggling and Nettlesome

The Idol

Forsaking the East required me to pare possessions. Fortunately or unfortunately, I lack a lot of sentimental feeling so few precious heirlooms weighted my way West. Instead, I brought along plenty of memories. All of which bear greater substance than most of the dustcatchers dispersed or abandoned in Quarropas.

One item borne along means absolutely nothing to me. It had been father’s. Looking at it now foments all sorts of questions because having observed him the thing is inconsistent with who he was. Or at least the man he presented. Continue reading The Idol

An Appetizer

Using the most chance of coincidental encounters, Trevor wends towards certain confessions with his long-ago lover Lesley serving as his confessor.

Beryl must’ve known.

Thankfully or teasingly, she never confirmed Trevor’s suspicion. No need to, he supposed, for the unknowing preyed upon him harder than any naked accusation. His own anxieties about the matter created a greater imposition than Beryl’s confronting and exposing him.

Smugly, a little too smugly, almost throwing back at Trevor the same level of superiority he’d use, Lesley further aggravated his lingering apprehension by agreeing with him – then doubling down.

“Oh, Beryl knew. But instead of out-loud drama, she played on your guilt. You know, that feeling you say you’ve never bothered having. She plucked that tight string. And plucked it good, too, huh?” Continue reading An Appetizer

Dreadful People

It’s a displeasure crossing paths with certain kinds of ex-Metropolitans in Las Vegas. Not those who’ve self-exiled themselves to Nevada rather than Florida from the Bronx or Brooklyn after careers in the trades, lifelong housewives in tow, both of whom lovingly lament forsaking “their New York City,” yet on a dime can recite chapter and verse complaints about how the modern boroughs now resemble strange worlds populated by aliens.

No.

That group has earned its loud plaid pants, white shoes and belts, as well as teased-to-giggling blue rinse coifs. The vast majority of them are to be revered. Their generation raised mine.

Pampered as we growing Boomers were, especially compared to parents who endured the Depression then won World War II, they also gave birth to the consumer society by indulging us their children. Nonetheless what gift can replace any nurturing parent? Continue reading Dreadful People

Shoulder to the Wheel

Three Augusts ago I resided at ease in suburban splendor. So much so I took several vacation days to visit Kewpie in Miami. She’d been laboring on film shoot. Warren joined us.

When she wasn’t eye-rolling on-set shenanigans or prima dona outbursts, we treacherous three gamboled along South Beach. Had I known my carefree days were short, I would’ve behaved way more carelessly.

Hmmm. Just might suggest that as my epitaph.

Two years ago, Quarropas, the old hometown, remained somewhat recognizable. That was if a long-time resident squinted. By this time last year, it was less splendiferous since every soul making that loaded word “home” a desirable refuge had died away.

August 2014 marks my first year in Las Vegas. Continue reading Shoulder to the Wheel

Saturated Flesh

Both women must’ve been epiphanies. There are no mirages in Las Vegas unless one is homeless or high.

At the bank to pay bills and withdraw cash, two uncommon sights filled my view. Uncommon for Las Vegas.

These visions were tall, slender, dressed in pleasant near peasant summer wear. Billowy dresses. Sandals only remarkable for their utility rather than bizarre design. Shades. Long and free hair bounced along the smooth shoulders of each.

Amazing. No wild-style coif that defied convention. No tinted tresses which burned retinas. Nor any sour couture that assailed good taste.

Neither had disfigured herself through ink, piercing, nor had succumbed to the apparent Southern Nevada female extremes – hypertrophy or obesity. These were normal women, no? Femmes I might’ve lent cursory views before relocating to Las Vegas. Now, though, they became revelations.

Each was a plain beauty. And I was grateful. Continue reading Saturated Flesh