Opening a new bottle of wine for us.

Every journal entry I’ve posted is from the same black binder. It contained such a rich vein of material that I couldn’t imagine any of the other binders being as fruitful. Just for fun I cracked open another binder. First time I’ve done it in a couple of years. I didn’t need go to any further than page 1 to find something interesting.

bin3


October 29, 1994

The girl in apartment 5A was raped in the elevator. I didn’t believe it at first because the news came from the angry, militant lesbians on the 3rd floor. They’re malcontents who are always spoiling for a fight—any fight—so their credibility is suspect. But Cathy confirmed it so it must be so. There was another girl in the elevator with her at the time but she didn’t do anything to help. She couldn’t. She was catatonic with fear. I don’t know what I would’ve done. Probably try to stop it and had my throat slit. I don’t think I could’ve just stood there.

This neighborhood makes me sick. I hate the people. I hate junkies. If my family knew I wasn’t immediately planning a relocation after someone was raped in the elevator they’d think there was something was wrong with me. Maybe there is. I’d move back to Brooklyn tomorrow if I could but I can’t. I’m broke. I’m economically trapped in this beautiful apartment. My golden cage. Where else am I going to get a 900 sq. ft. two-bedroom flat for $550/month? Back in Cleveland, I suppose, but that’s out of the question, too. I asked Cathy and Hilly how they could still live here after someone was raped and Cathy said, “I love my apartment too much to leave it. That’s just part of living in the City.” But she’s wrong. That’s the worst part of New York.

I can hear those sons-of-bitches yelling down in the streets right now. I hate Latino music. It’s obnoxious, dull, repetitious and LOUD. I look across the way at the high-rise projects off in the distance and every single window is glowing blue. A city of zombies parked in front of their TVs all fucking night.

November 15, 1994

I didn’t tell everyone it was my last day of work because I didn’t want a fuss. I bumped into Amy in the elevator and we both wished each other good luck, knowing full well we’d never see each other again. I like her a lot but I’m not ambitious enough for her. I didn’t want to tell Mary because she’s partially deaf and when she gets excited SHE SHOUTS. Then, everyone would know.

Bob knew it was my last day. I like Bob but he’s too gay. I don’t like when men put their hands on me in an affectionate manner without being invited to do so. In fact, I don’t like it even if there aren’t any sexual overtones. It’d be great if I felt like experimenting—I’d be busy every weekend—but it’s just not my thing. I like girls. A lot. If he wants to get a drink once in a while or see a play, that’s fine. Whatever. But I’m glad he’s no longer a part of my daily existence. He invades my space. [Note: He and I became good friends. He was in my wedding party.]

I got crappy balcony, obstructed view seats to see Pina Bausch at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. I asked Ann to go. She was invited to go on opening night with the German Consulate but she couldn’t make it. They wanted to send a car at 5:30 and she won’t close the gallery until 6:00, so she went with me instead. I saw Bauch’s Palermo, Palermo about a year ago at BAM and it was one of the most interesting nights I’ve ever spent in the theater. This piece, Two Cigarettes in the Dark was a pretty dull affair.

I was walking home from the subway and bumped into a really pretty Chinese girl. Not hard. We kind of walked right into each other. It was both our faults. But our bodies made complete contact with one another, touching from head to toe ever so softly. Like a gentle embrace. Afterwards, I couldn’t remember the last time a woman held her body against mine like that. It reminded me of what it feels like and I was sad the rest of the night. I got home and was petting the cats and they leaned hard into my hand.

Cathy and I saw a jazz combo at Sweet Basil’s last Friday. I thought it was going to be dull but it wasn’t. It was fantastic. We sat right under the band’s noses. I love being so close that I can see the piano player’s fingers glide across the keyboard. We were on the Blue Note Records guest list. Our cover and drinks were paid for. When it came time to pay, everyone around us started fumbling for their wallets and purses. All I had to do was sign the bill and hand it back. Everyone was looking at me like I was somebody. Little did they know I’m nobody. Lots of Japanese tourists. The Eurotrash maître d’ treated me like shit but that’s fine.

The new Big Audio Dynamite album is terrific. Ditto the new Bryan Ferry. Ferry’s in town next week for a show and is doing a CD-signing at Tower Records. I might go. I like him.


The way is clear
The light is good
I have no fear
Nor no one should.

Into the woods
Without delay
But careful not
To lose the way.

woods

Into the woods
Who knows what may
Be lurking on the journey?

Into the woods
To get the thing
That makes it worth
The journeying.


71 thoughts on “Opening a new bottle of wine for us.

  1. I’m glad you cracked open this volume, Mark.

    I would have been terrified — and gotten myself into trouble as well most likely by acting loudly and loutishly in that elevator. That’s always been the plan in the back of my mind if caught in that horrifying circumstance. Help by commotion and distraction and hope they flee.

    My favorite part of this installment is the parallel between the unexpected bump with the woman and your cat upon returning home. Take what you can sometimes.

    I love the shot of your dear eldest leading the expedition into the woods so purposefully. Great work all the way around, my friend.

    • It takes a very young fool to stay in that environment after something violent like that has happens. But we stayed because that’s what we all were back then. Young + foolish. You can’t IMAGINE what it costs to live in that building now. It’s beyond my means.

      You can go so long without human touch that you forget what it’s like. Take it from me.

      Thanks for your kind words, Mark. Always a thrill coming from someone who has actually made a living doing this sort of thing.

    • Thanks, tons. There were times when all I had were those two stupid Siamese cats. There were times when they were all I needed or wanted. I never laugh at people who are hung up on their pets. I sympathize.

  2. I’m impressed you got past Bob’s touchy-feely habit and became good friends with him – other men would have just avoided him like the plague. It’s one bright spot amid all the gloom.

    • This IS a gloomy report in retrospect! Broke. Lonely. Bad performance art and unwanted sexual advances. Where’s the silver lining.

      To Bob’s credit, I told him I wasn’t interested and never would be and that was the end of that.

  3. We have all been young and foolish and some of us still are in our old age. I can not blame you for not moving if you had a nice apartment. Moving would probably not have benefitted you much as rape can happen just about anyplace.

    Cats are the best for soothing one’s mind and making you feel better. I know that mine do as they sit on my chest and stare directly into my eyes. I’ve always wondered why cats stare at their humans. Or why they get so much pleasure from hand butting.

    The photo of you and the girls seems like a nice leisurely walk in the woods. It’s great your daughters are still of an age where they enjoy going out with you. Once they get to 15 or 16 years old, I’m wondering if they’ll be keen on going for a walk with their parents.

    • Thank GOD I didn’t move! That place turned into a paradise once the neighborhood flipped. It went from somewhere to avoid to being highly desirable. Now, it’s all trust fund kids and financiers. But it was rough going for a few years. Moving into a bad neighborhood is a young man’s game, that’s for sure.

      I miss having cats. Those two Siamese were always happy to see me when I walked through the door. And I think it went beyond just providing their meals. Many time, they were all I needed. I was perfectly content.

      My oldest is 13 and is just now entering that phase where she can’t be bothered with me. It’s the saddest thing ever.

      • I’m very sorry that your eldest already has other interests. It is very disheartening to discover one day that your child no longer needs you but that is the child’s thinking and we know that in reality that is simply not the case. They need you perhaps even more- but just do not realize it. Of course children must learn independence and many other good character traits. The best that you can do is let your daughters know that they are loved and then try your best to guide them in the right direction. It will not be easy. I’ve been there and done that.

      • I am torn between following your sage advice and locking them in the basement until they’re 32 so no one can hurt them. I hope to find some middle ground to occupy, as each extreme is not tenable.

  4. Your journals are so full of amazing details and images. I’m glad you opened this one too.

    At that age, I lived in an area that, had she had any notion of the crime going on, would have given my mother insomnia. I too shrugged it off because it was affordable and convenient. And because I had a huge German shepherd (who kept away my loneliness). I like you, accepted the dangers. Unlike you, I didn’t keep journals.

    Every time I read one of these posts I wish I had!

    • Thanks for your generous words. I wonder if this will pick up steam and get all happy vs. this list of miseries? The problem with the journals is that’s where I dumped all my troubles, so they tend to have a gloomy tint.

      Maybe this is sexist but it’s much worse for a woman to live in that kind of neighborhood. That’s what I was amazed that the two girls I mentioned refused to move. But they were SPACTACULAR apartments. I see their point. Sort of.

      Sometimes I regret keeping journals. The stuff I don’t post—the really gloomy stuff—makes me sad.

      • I don’t know about sexist, but I guess we must be careful about everything we say now! It IS harder for women. But my dog would have protected me — he did in fact save my life. He was quite possessive. Of course I would have had to open the door first … wait a minute, stop assaulting me — I need to get my dog out to kill you! But I was oblivious. And while I didn’t do stupid things often, I DID do them! Luckily I survived.

        Journals are a mixed bag. Because I didn’t keep them I figure my would be lyrical — perfect prose mixed with poetry and philosophy. Right?

        I did keep some in high school. I haven’t looked at them in 20 years at least. And I haven’t stopped cringing since then!

      • We all do dumb things in our youth. You’re 22 and you think you’re invincible. I can look back wistfully because nothing really bad happened. I dread when my kids go through that phase. Sleepless nights ahead.

      • I had to look up NSFW! I can’t access jack squat from work. We have mega-firewalls. Any reading/ commenting needs to be done from my phone. It’s most inconvenient.

      • WP notifications are weird. I didn’t get this reply. Just stumbling on it back on your page. So to me it looks like “It’s the only thing keeping me going” was a reply to my watching NSFW videos at work when in fact it’s your lustful episodes that are getting me through this existence.
        Really? You never ran across NSFW before? You’re a babe in the woods (into the woods).

  5. I’ve never kept journals (well except for a diary I kept when I was eight). It must be fascinating to go back in time to your earlier self. Whether we think we do or not, most of us change over the years–or at least evolve–and it would be interesting to have objective proof in a journal of how far we’ve come.

    • Those stupid journals are all I had to talk too. I was too broke for therapy, otherwise I’d have gotten some. A lot of that stuff is really, really sad. It’s not that I was so depressed overall, just when I wrote in my journals. It made me feel better afterwards. This is why I’m always on the threshold of burning them. I don’t want my daughters to get hold of them. They’d get the wrong impression.

  6. Neato – love the dense interactions and small details in here, like the cat leaning into your hand after you bumped into that Chinese girl (or are you speaking in code, ha?!). Everything’s code. Or code(d). Like the BAD reference, a snapshot in time. Many stories wedged in here like a burrito. One of my favorites of yours yet. The zombie glow, blue. Triggers a memory of me living in North Philly in an artist’s loft, thinking the building across the road from us was on fire, but our friend said it’s just the bums cooking the pigeons.

    • I was too young and dopy to write in code or metaphor. There were no underlying meaning then and there aren’t any now.

      I went back and listed to that BAD album after I wrote this and it still holds up pretty well. Even better than some of his Clash stuff. I seemed terribly sad at the time. I’m going to read-on and hope things improve by page 40.

      Does ‘bums cooking pigeons’ have a deeper meaning? Sometimes, a bum cooking a pigeon is simply that.

    • Hey! This comment needed approval, which means this is your first visit. Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I’ll send you $1.

      Ahhh…Tower Records. Take my hand and follow me into the Way Back machine and I will show you many fascinating artifacts. Just wait until you see what a VHS tape is! And a busy signal! You just missed a post about a fascinating device called an answering machine. Buckle-up.

      • First comment but I been lurking, bwa hah hah hah! Can I have my $1 in Bitcoins?

        Speaking of $1’s, I spent many at good ol’ Tower. I miss it. I don’t miss VHS, though, or mimeograph handouts (even if they smelled kind of good and made you a little dizzy).

      • Lurkers get .35¢. Sorry. You’ve no one to blame but yourself.

        Record stores (and bookstores, for that matter) were a thrill. I could kill hour after hour thumbing through album bins. Gone now. Thanks, Jeff Bezos, for destroying cool stuff and turning people into lazy slobs.

  7. Thanks for the new bottle of wine. What an opening. Jeesh. I don’t know that I could have continued living there. If I did, I would be in fear all the time. I understand how people hold on to their apartments for dear life though. That would be a hard call, because a rape could happen anywhere. Wow, look at you and your very active social calendar. And, you saw Pina Bausch. I’m jealous. I’ve only seen videos. Her work is always interesting, although sometimes you have to be patient. I remember Big Audio Dynamite! I used love them and Byran Ferry, too. You have good taste. Is that the last Tower Records on the planet? You should go do it!

    • Ultimately, it turned out to be a good thing but at the time, I have to admit, I was completely trapped. I didn’t want to go back to Ohio but I couldn’t afford to move to a better neighborhood. That girl did end up leaving the building. Who could blame her?

      It’s funny that you mention my social calendar. When I was in the middle of it, I thought I wasn’t living any kind of life and that I was just meandering through each day waiting for something to happen. Stuff was happening all the time! I just didn’t realize it.

      That Tower Records is LONG GONE. There AREN’T any record stores anymore and the world is a poorer place for it.

      Thanks, as always, for your comments. Always insightful. Always welcome. Did you look at that video at the end of the post? I had you in mind when I inserted it.

      • Oh yes!! I did watch. The arms are quite something, aren’t they? And how the line fell into the darkness and how he carried her there. Ah, thanks for thinking of me!
        Actually, I think we closed the last Tower Records here in Sacramento a few years ago, come to think of it. Now, I must google it. 🙂 My dad had a bunch of jazz collections, all records! I will probably keep them all even if I never listen to them. I don’t have a record player. I guess I could always get one. Isn’t that funny how you didn’t know how busy and social you were. That means you were having so much fun!

      • That means I was too much of a whiner to realize I was in the middle of the adventure of my life. Thank Bog I wrote it all down. At least I can enjoy it in retrospect.

  8. Synopsis: father locks young daughters in basement.Forgets that diaries from his sleazy past are kept in basement…

    So, how are you going to go with this storyline? Grim. dreary O’neill? Woody Allen angst? Mel Brooks chuck-everything-at-it humour?

    Your early days are a great read.Just keep ’em coming, please.

    • That is TOO FUNNY. I hadn’t considered that. Their view of the world will be shaped by reading my journals for the 10 years I’ve got them locked up. I might have to rethink that.

      I have no idea how this plays out. Many of the things I read are a complete surprise. Totally forgotten episodes. I suppose it’ll steam along the way they always have. Either sadness or euphoria.

  9. I’m stupid enough to have gotten my throat slit in that elevator, trying to do something. I can’t help trying, even when it’s clearly going to get me in trouble. I hate the dark parts of this world. I can’t stand them. Fight a battle even if it’s a losing one? Yeah, that’s the Lewin anthem right there. It’s how come I’m so incredibly successful and all… yeah right.

    It’s amazing how your journal piece constrasts with the walk through the woods. For we who feel that we never go anywhere… we have gone far, no?

    • We’d probably have died in the process but, seriously, how would you feel if you HADN’T done anything? You’d spend the rest of your miserable days thinking about it, wouldn’t you? I would. I’m a giant coward—can’t fight a lick—but I’d like to think I’d have at least TRIED.

      The Lewin Anthem should replace that 12-step thing about acceptance.

      I walked through the woods of the Lower East Side only to come out the other end in suburbia? Is that what you mean? Sometimes I wish I’d have stayed lost…

      • Have to try. Christ (excuse my language) if we can’t stand up for people when they’re brought to harm right in front of us, how on earth will we ever help anyone at all? I can’t fight or anything like that at all, hate violence, hate the people who think violence is all cool, but you gotta try. You have to. It’s required. Some cosmic truth makes it required.

        There’s a 12-step thing about acceptance? Ah crike, another thing I have to look up.

        Nah, I mean days of yore now into days of walking through the trees with kids in tow. I don’t know how I got older and had kids and have a family and a life and a house and stuff to do all the time… it’s so different from where I was not long ago it seems. But it’s a good thing. I don’t want to be alone again, I like this stuff. I love it.

      • You and me both, brother. (Or is it you and I?) I pictured myself married eventually but never thought it would actually happen. And kids + the suburbs were never part of the plan but here I (we) are! How do I feel about all that? Scroll up and look at that pic. That’s all you need to know.

  10. This was lovely/gloomy.

    I’m jealous. I wish I’d had the discipline to keep a journal, because I really don’t remember early-20s Peg. She’s as much a stranger to me as any random person on the street, except that I’d know her face anywhere.

    • I didn’t realize just how gloomy this was until everyone started pointing it out to me.

      I have anxiety attacks all the time about these journals. What if they fall into the wrong hands, i.e., my daughters? I don’t want them reading this stuff. And you should see the stuff I won’t post! It’s salacious. They wouldn’t recognize me.

      I get a genuine thrill when you show up here. Your, like, one of the presidents of the cool kids club. You and Darla.

    • Do you know what’s even worse than leaving a job? When it’s your birthday and everybody stands around in the conference room and sings to you. It’s so uncomfortable. Why did they do it?

      That woman and I were truly two ships in the night. We bumped together gently, almost embraced, looked at each other, half smiled and walked away in different directions. I’m just glad she didn’t slap me. I had completely forgotten about that moment until I saw it in my journal. That’s what these things are good for. I also read stuff that gives me the blues.

  11. You were a writer before you even knew it. Or were you aspiring even then? Your journal entries are beautiful, bittersweet, wistful, all kinds of things. The paragraph about the Chinese woman (who is now Asian) was like a short story.

    Yep, you sure did live in a scary place. My building was a safe, cushy elevator building with a doorman. I loved that apartment. But I love my life now. It’s very much like what Trent said. I never saw myself in the burbs with a kid. But what a tragic loss if I hadn’t done this. I can’t imagine life without my son.

    That video was intensely cool. I watched it twice. It’s amazing what images can be created using hands and arms. Does the choreographer have a vision he’s going for, and knows how to create using the body? Fascinating stuff.

    Thanks for letting me know about this post.

    • I wanted to be a writer from my late teens on. But I was always so consumed with fear of failure and low self esteem that I never made an effort. Some encouragement might have helped but since I didn’t go to school, none was forthcoming. I hope to save my daughters from a similar fate. Teach them not to be so goddamn afraid.

      Are you telling me you weren’t on the LES at that time? I thought you were. This dispatch was written on Clinton St. between Houston and Stanton. Where were you?

      So far you’re the only one to comment on the video. I’m surprised. I thought it was moving.

      Chinese/Asian = lol.

      • I lived on 2nd avenue, between 10th and 11th street. Right near the Second Avenue Deli.

        As prone as I was to making bad decisions, that was one of the good ones I made. I knew I would be returning home at wee hours of the night, and I didn’t want to be wasted at 4 am, fumbling for keys in a vestibule. So I picked a building with a doorman.

        You probably even know the building I lived in! It was rent controlled, and I wish I had never given up that apartment. *sigh*

      • I ended up owning that place on Clinton Street. It converted to condos and we bought it dirt cheap. I eventually sold it, much to my complete regret. We should form a support group and wallow in our bad decision.

        I’m typing this from the beach at Sea Bright. A beautiful morning. C’mon up!

  12. I was wondering where on the LES your apartment was located back then until I read your response to Samara. Your journal entry brought back my own memories of life in the 80s and 90s. About 25 years ago, a woman living a floor below me got mugged in my UWS building’s unlocked outside vestibule. That was during the height of the crack epidemic and a lot of homeless drug addicts were living in Riverside Park. She told me that her attacker grabbed her by the throat. She was completely traumatized, but as terrified as she was, it did not deter me from continuing to live here. Like you then, I couldn’t afford to move, but no way would I tell my family in San Francisco about what happened to her. I had been lobbying my landlady for years to put a lock on that outside door. Back then, burglaries were frequent, too. My rathole was broken into twice. That mugging was a turning point and we got the lock. At least my knuckleheaded landlady didn’t wait for someone to get killed. Now, my block is like Mayberry. And my landlady’s now middle age son who was about eleven when I moved here is overseeing this brownstone. Every time I run into him I think he’s Greg Kinnear. And yeah, your old condo would be worth a mint in today’s real estate market. As someone who’s been real estate shopping in Manhattan since April, who is a five time loser in the co-op buying war, I can say with authority that it’s quite a seller’s market these days. Speculators with deep pockets are paying buckets of cash for affordable small studios housing that I imagine they’ll flip at much higher prices in a few years. It’s obscene. All I want is a nest with an elevator and laundry for the next twenty or so years, however long I have left before I descend into drooling idiocy.

    That video was lovely. Pina’s choreography was brilliant, so imaginative. Did you see Wim Wendors 3D film, “Pina”? My bud, Milton, thinks it was the best use of 3D ever.

    • Isn’t it astonishing when you look back and think of how truly awful Manhattan was and what it is today? That apartment I lived in on Clinton Street converted to condos. By then, the neighborhood was gentrified and safe. Do you know who lives in that building now? Trust fund kids and financiers. I couldn’t afford to move back there if I wanted to. My bride and I left New York because we couldn’t afford to raise kids there. The middle class isn’t welcome there. I put up a bit of a fight to stay but Avenue B is no place to raise kids. I gave it up. At least I still work in the city and get to see it every day.

      Thanks for your comment. Even though it was a horrific story it made me melancholy. Now why would that be? PBS ran Annie Hall tonight. I miss that place.

      • Ah, “Annie Hall”! I first saw it on the day it opened in the Regency II theater in San Francisco and I knew, “I’m going to live there!” I wish it had occurred to me to say, “I’m going to own there.” My siblings and I sold our family home in San Francisco, divided what we made three ways, so I have some change to play with, but buying in Manhattan is Hell on Earth. You practically have to be a sultan to own on this island! (Or, “Trust fund kids and financiers”.) The focus required to real estate shop is like a laser beam. You have to pounce quick, which I do, but even my broker cannot believe how I have lost places, buying real estate in this borough is so fierce. Brooklyn might be the hip, cool and trendy borough, but believe me, Manhattan remains the jewel everyone wants to own. I will own, or my name is not Rufus T. Firefly.

      • Lots of scenes filmed on the UWS. Remember the Thalia? The movie ends with Woody and Diane standing on the corner of 63rd and Broadway across from Lincoln Center. You watch the scene through a diner window. It’s such an iconic image. It broke my heart just a little bit. Leave Brooklyn to the hipsters. Manhattan is where it’s at.

        I’m seeing “Fish” on Tuesday. I was waiting for Larry David to leave the production. Other than that, it’s been a quiet month for the theater. Seeing ‘John’ at the Signatute on the 7th. Very afraid. You?

  13. Another wonderfully engaging entry. I’m not sure that one awful thing happening is reason to move, awful things can happen anywhere, and usually a criminal doesn’t strike twice in the exact same place do they? Although I guess if he wasn’t caught and there was a possibility he was an actual resident in the block, then that’s a different story.

    I saw on one of your comments about your 13 year old entering the phase of not being interested in you. I wouldn’t worry, she’ll go in and out of that through the teenage years, but you’ll still have wonderful moments where you’ll know how much you mean to her, trust me, you will! My eldest is 16, and yeah, I generally come second to any arrangements she might have with friends, but then yesterday we lay outside on the grass in the sun for an hour chatting and laughing, and then came in and baked cupcakes together, and in the evening, she, I, and my 13 year old son sat and watched a film together. I actually love seeing them becoming independent and turning into adults, and when they choose to spend fun time with you, you know it’s because they want to and not just because they have to which is the case when they’re little!

    • It’s true that awful things happen everywhere but it feels like a personal attack when they occur in your own home. I was broken into while living in that building. I came off the elevator, walk down the hall and saw my door ajar. I knew right away. For a few months after that, walking into my apartment made my flesh crawl just knowing someone had been in there. But you rise above it because you’re young and flexible and you’re out of options. You stay. In the end, I’m glad I did.

      I read a whole slew of parenting books and I knew this separation from my daughters was coming. It didn’t take me by surprise. But, do you know what? I don’t like it. Not one bit. I know it’s healthy and normal but I don’t like it.

      • This crime thing is making me think a lot. I’ve been the victim of crime a few times at different places I’ve lived, of varying severity, at the lower end I had two cars of mine stolen from right outside an apartment I was living in, within a few weeks of each other, I’ve also had my house burgled three times in the past (once when I was still a teen living with my dad, and twice in my late 20s living with my boyfriend), and in more recent years I was the victim of a violent attack in the actual house I’m still in now. None of those made me feel like I wanted to move from the property or area. Somehow I guess I must separate the crime from the location in my mind, and now I’m thinking maybe I’m unusual in that, I don’t know!

      • What an harrowing tale! I’m genuinely sorry to hear about all that—what do I call it?—misfortune. I can’t speak for how you were affected but I was mugged three times while living in Brooklyn and it stayed with me for a long, long time. Lots of revenge fantasies. I had to make a conscious effort to set aside the fact that each time I was assaulted it was by a minority. It was a while before I got rid of the knee-jerk reaction of crossing the street every time a group of black kids approached me. It’s an impressionable thing to have happen. But, despite all that trauma, like you, I never thought about moving. You find a place that you love and it’s hard to let go.

  14. Do you find it strange that you never considered returning to Clevo? I was the same way, didn’t mind visiting but didn’t want to go back, partly i’m sure for familial reasons and partly cuz i was “being a criminal” which is much easier to do without the local gossip filtering back to the family, of course i was never much interested in moving to NYC or LA, Chicago maybe, almost packed up for New Orleans and Raleigh NC, and Savannah, Georgia but never my beloved hometown, Cleveland is like that crazy girl you fell in love with but you knew it wouldn’t last but when you think of her it’s always fondly… and doesn’t that picture say a thousand words, i could write volumes but you already know…

    • I love visiting but I’d never move back. I did once. I left for about four years and then moved back for a few more. That was in the 80’s and that was it. I never looked back. I got to NY, looked around at all the broken, dysfunctional, sadness and thought to myself, “My people!” I decided to stay and suffer. It turns out in hindsight (aka, my journals) I wasn’t suffering at all. It turns out I was having a fairly decent time of it. Not professionally. Never that. But a better time than I remember.

      Nope. Not surprised at all that I never considered a return. That’s why they call it the past. It’s past.

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