Sunday, September 12, 2021

Some Things I've Been Thinking About


Here are a few things I have been thinking about today.
I loved driving a taxi in New York. It allowed me to be part of the armpit culture there. I learned where dog and cock fights happened when dog and cock owners got into the cab and told me where to go. I learned about where the real gambling was going on when people I'd pick up at the airport asked me to take them to a game. Initially I had no idea. But I made a point of finding out where the games were and what the stakes were and what the code words were and when clients asked me for a game I asked them "what stakes" and their answer led me to take them exactly where they wanted, got me a fee and got the doorman a fee to allow them into the games.
I learned where the whorehouses were and used a few when i was scotched on cocaine and booze; I learned where the best gay places were for the fellas who got into my cab with chaps and no underwear. I learned where Catholic masses were held at midnight and where free meals and clothing were had for the poor and forlorn. I knew the after hours clubs the pre-hour clubs, the police and hospital workers bars were that were allowed to operated 24/7 because the unions protected the workers who had odd shifts. I got to work as an undercover for the cops a couple of times that were frightening; I got to work with the mob which was just as frightening.
Most of that was born in taxi driving. Some in New York kitchens that I ran.
There is so much, the colors were unimaginably fascinating. For a kid in New York it was wonderful. Stopping at a topless joint to have a beer at the M and M club on Little West 12th street and having the mob throw me though the front window because I disrespected their favorite transvestite. Having a stand at the Feast of San Gennaro, the biggest Mafia party in New York.
I loved having five of my plays produced off-off Broadway and writing stories and falling in love and smoking dope and selling dope.
This is a ridiculously self-indulgent. I probably should have been feeding people who did not have enough to eat, or making rain for those who did not have potable water.
So why do I bother you with this? To say that I am still alive despite this pandemic, despite being ill, and that I want you all to know that. I am not quitting yet. That is selfish, and you can hate me for it. But it's the only solid ground I have left to stand on before I sink supinely into the muck of this world. So hate me or forgive me or use me to keep yourselves from falling into the terrible sinkhole we face. I wish you all strength, strength, strength. Revel in who you have been and what you have done. Do not forget that in these hazy times, okay? Even if it isn't perfect, it is still a past to grab on to to keep from sinking.

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