Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Dangling, Jingling and Tinkling

Off we went on the subway out to Louise's sister Ruth's place.  I noticed on the train ride that Louise attracted a lot of looks from the other passengers.  She has a very commanding presence.  She has long reddish hair that is past her shoulders and with all of her jewelry dangling, jingling and tinkling people are bound to notice her.  She wears worn out jeans, peasant blouses and sneakers and then their is the make up.  Her philosophy on make up seems to be that more is better.  Her eyelids are the color of a robin's egg and she wears a ton of mascara.  The lipstick is usually a deep shade of red and her nails are always painted another shade of red.  She has a very large bosom that she has remarked has served her well over the years.  She's a talkative woman and enjoys talking about her husbands and did on the train ride, all four of them deceased.  Her favorite was Sam's father who she said that she met while she was modeling in the 50's.  She was doing a spread for Vogue magazine and he was the photographer, after the shoot he took her for a drink and she said that he swept her off of her feet and that's the night her boy, Sam, was conceived.  They were married three months later.  Unfortunately the romance ended when "Husband number 1," was in a bar room brawl and was hit across the head with a bottle of scotch.  It hit him right across the temple and he only lasted a couple of days in a coma and then he was gone.  They'd been married two years at the time of his death.  Louise said that he was a lot of trouble but that he was worth it because, "Oh boy, did he know how to make me feel like a woman!"   She said that the louse that killed him only got 15 years. When I looked around I could see the other passengers were spellbound by her stories.
 
Ruth lives in a big old fashioned apartment building on Mermaid Avenue, isn't that a beautiful name for a street?  When we finally arrived at her door we stood ten minutes buzzing the bell before Ruth appeared.  She has  coiffed red  hair, like Louise's only a bit darker and no white roots,  and the same red lipstick  and red nails.  The second she opened the door there was a loud shriek by the two sisters, "Sweetheart,"  and they embraced.  The next few minutes they were busy chatting loudly, screaming, laughing and comparing notes.  The whole time  Ruth  glanced between the two of us and smiled at me profusely.  When they finally settled down Ruth looked at me and said so you're, "Gracie, you saved our Sam."  That's me Gracie, I suppose.  For the next couple of hours Ruth entertained us with a trunk full of pictures from the old days.  The two of them were laughing and crying as they explained each one to me.  Louise was a beauty and so was Ruth and amazingly so was Sam as a boy.  What happened?  There were so many pictures of Louise with her mother who must have weighed about 400 pounds.  She was always sitting and Louise would pose somewhere near her, either on the arm of the chair or behind her.  The difference in their sizes was striking.  Louise had a beautiful curvy shape and wore glamorous clothing.  She could have been a Lauren Becall look alike.  Her mother sat in the same position in every shot and had the same sad look on her face and the same plain dress on.  The Louise from the photos didn't seem to notice that because she herself always had a large smile showing off her perfect teeth.  Ruth and Louise said that, "Mama was so much fun,"  it didn't look that way to me but they know best.
Louise broke out a bottle of vodka and said, "Gracie Honey you take a walk around Coney Island while Ruth does my hair and we'll see you later."  So off I went to explore Coney Island.

I've got to go... But just want to give a quick update.  Louise is back visiting Sam, he seems to be doing better.  No job yet but I had my phone put in today and that's really it for now.  I'll be back soon.


Monday, July 19, 2004

no visitors

What a Weekend!  Methodist Hospital has banned Louise from visiting Sam.  I don't really blame them because it seems that whenever Louise visited, Sam's condition worstened.  I'm sure that the nurse's are relieved since Louise was constantly bothering them about something or other.  Friday evening they had to get the security guards to physically remove her.  It couldn't have been fun separating her from her boy.  Who will bring him his gin?  Poor Sam. It seems she was sneaking him in a pint or two every visit.  She was so upset when she came to my door that evening.  She asked me to come back to the hospital with her right away but I was able to calm her down with promises that I'd go with her in the morning.
The following morning we went there first thing but there was nothing that they would do.  They said that it was the doctor's orders that sam have no visitors until his condition showed some improvement and that Louise could speak to the social worker or doctor but that neither would be available until Monday morning.  Louise tried a couple of different approaches, crying, shouting and pleading but nothing worked.  The security guard was called and we were unceremoniously shown the door.  I could see that Louise wasn't finished so I tried to convince her to relax and that it was in Sam's best interest.  After a few minutes she caved in.  She said that Sam needed his rest and maybe it was best that she didn't visit for a couple of days (like it was her own idea.) 
When I suggested going back home she said no that we (like in the two of us) were going to visit her sister Ruth in Coney Island.  She hadn't seen Ruth in quite some time and she really needed her hair done, with that she pulled her hat off exposing 5 inches of white roots, "See what I mean Gracie, Honey?"   And that was the beginning of one of the craziest and most interesting weekends that I've ever had.   I'm in love with Coney Island now and strangely enough the more I'm with Louise the fonder I grow of her.  She is so complex and really a very lovely person.  I consider myself lucky to have met  her.  More later...


Friday, July 16, 2004

I'm feeling hopeful

I just discovered the editor in this blog.  I'm not too cool with doing web stuff but I'm willing to learn.  I didn't realize that I could change the color of the text till now.
I'm feeling so much better today.  The sun is shining here in Brooklyn and I'm feeling hopeful again.  I'm going to walk around a bit more and see if I can find some place to work.  There's a health food grocery store not far from here, so I may give that a try.  Louise has been spending a lot of time at the hospital with Sam.  He seems to be doing much better but they have to run a lot of tests still. It's something with his heart.  I wonder if his heart was ever broken.  Louise has taken to calling me Gracie as in, "Here comes my Gracie." Great! I've been here about two weeks and already I've been adopted.  That's all right, what harm can it do?
I've noticed that when I'm out and about this ring gets a lot of attention.  It make me feel a little uneasy.  I guess I'll have to get used to that.  I thought about not wearing it but I think that would really hurt Louise's feelings and it is beautiful, so I'll just keep on wearing it. 
I wrote a list of my goals.  I think that seeing them in writing will really help me to focus on them.  Here they are:

  1. Get a job!
  2. Look into schools (This is a little embarrassing but I have to get my High School Diploma because I was unable to finish school back home.  Not that I didn't want to.)
  3. Study the Brooklyn & Manhattan subway maps (I'm a little leery of Manhattan, it seems so big and there are so many people rushing around but I want to get to know it)
  4. Get the phone put in
  5. Buy a TV
  6. Buy a camera
  7. Buy a new PC
  8. Buy a new radio

and that's it for now.  Am I too materialistic?  Buy, buy buy!

I want to paint in here too and get some other stuff like a bed and at least one more fold up chair.

This morning  I was looking out of my window andI realized that I am home for now, whatever that means.  My apartment faces the back yard and it's very over grown with weeds and vines and there are beautiful birds there.  This is their home and mine too.

I think now that I've discovered the editor the time will be more accurate and eventually (especially if  I can get that camera) this blogie thing of mine will be a lot more fun.

I was thinking of calling William.  He's a sweet guy but he's a lot older than me.  I'll have to see.  I do keep thinking of him.  I liked when we laughed together.  I like his laugh.

 


Thursday, July 15, 2004

There are at least two sides to Grace

There are at least two sides to Grace. One half of me wants to run and the other wants to stay. I'm so exhausted and my thoughts and feelings are a sort of jumble.
I spent most of the last two days looking for work with no success and I'm not feeling really positive about that at this point and then there's Louise and Sam. One minute I'm celebrating my freedom and the next I'm taking care of them. In a way it doesn't seem fair. I was thinking that I could move but that's crazy. I can't move because I don't have the money for that and besides I just got here. I haven't even set this place up yet.
Yesterday after spending the entire day speaking to store managers and filling out applications I was so tired. Half the time I didn't even know where I was. It's easy to get lost in Brooklyn. As usual when I opened the front door I could hear Louise yelling but this time it was different, she sounded like she was hurt. I started to run up the stairs and when I got to the landing she said, "Honey, you're home. Something's wrong with Sam." She was crying and her mascara was running down her cheeks. I wanted to scream myself, what did she mean, "Honey, you're home?" Yes, I'm home but that doesn't include her and Sam or does it? She asked me to come in and have a look at Sam. I didn't want to but she was trembling and she had this sad and desperate look in her eyes, I couldn't say no. The place has a long dark hallway that winds around and leads to the living room and kitchen and there are all these other doors leading to who knows where. The living room is really large and Sam was stretched out on his back on the floor gasping for air. His face was bright red and the whole place smelled like beer and sweat. Sam was only in his undershorts and I could see that with each breath his huge stomach was rising and falling. It was one of those moments when I ask myself, "what am I doing here?" It felt so unreal. Louise hadn't called 911 so I asked her where the phone was and I did. A little while later we were all together in the back of an ambulance. When we got to Methodist Hospital they rushed Sam into the ER and Louise and I were sent to the waiting room and that's where we stayed for the next 5 hours. Louise was crying off and on and saying how I had saved Sammy's life and I was thinking to myself that I don't know how I got mixed up with them. Then it was my turn to cry. Louise wears a lot of jewelry. She has big hoop earrings and rings on each of her fingers even her thumbs. She also wears about ten bracelets on each wrist and has about six different necklaces. I guess she wears all of the jewelry that she owns all of the time. Anyway, she worked a ring off one of her fingers and told me that her mother had given it to her. It's the most beautiful ring that I ever saw. It has a deep red oval shaped stone surrounded by little pearls and there are these triangular blue stones on the sides. She said that her mother hid it during the war and that when she gave it to Louise she said it would always keep her safe and now she was placing it on my finger and telling me that it was blessed and would always keep me safe too. That's when I started to cry. It made me think of my own mother and how I wished that it were she there giving me the ring and how I have nothing of hers and probably never will. I couldn't stop myself from crying and Louise was holding my hand and telling me that everything would be all right. She was crying too. She had such a look of love in her eyes and told me that I'd saved Sammy's life and maybe I had.
Sam was admitted to the hospital and Louise and I didn't get home till after 2am. I'm so tired and don't really know what I want. I'm looking down at this beautiful ring and it makes me feel so sad, I'm unemployed, alone and wearing the ring of a princess. Life is strange. I know I'll never go home because there really isn't one to go to any more but is this my home? I feel lonesome for the things that are gone. I can't stop crying and my heart is breaking in two.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I think I'll call him sometime

Last night I had a great time. I went over to 7th Avenue and wound up stopping into Starbucks for a cappucino. While I was sitting there an attractive gray haired man looked up from his laptop and said, "Hello." I got this funny feeling in my stomach, it kind of flipped a little. I said hello back and he came over and sat down next to me. We wound up talking for hours and he asked me to come along with him for some dinner. I said sure and we went a couple of blocks over to a gorgeous Italian restaurant. I think he must've dropped a couple of hundred dollars, we both had lobster and he ordered a bottle of French white wine. I thought I was dreaming. His name is William, (not Bill, Billy or Will, thankfully.) He's an executive at IBM and he was just recently divorced. He said that he was new to Brooklyn too and that his X got the house in Westport. He talked a lot about his life. He's so interesting. He had been raised by his maternal grandmother on a farm in New Jersey after his parents divorced. He loved the farm and his grandmother but missed his parents and saw little of them after the divorce. He was five years old when he had gone to live with her and it was only the two of them and the workers. He said that she was always singing around the house and called him her, "little man." She told him that one day, when he grew up that he would be a very important lawyer. He laughed when he told me that and said that that was only one of the things that she'd gotten wrong.
After dinner he said that he'd take me home but I thought that it might be better if I walked home alone. He asked for my number but I had to say no since I haven't had the phone put in yet. He had this doubtful look in his eyes and said, "C'mon Grace, I've got to see you again." I told him that I definitely wanted to see him again and that I'd call him, so he gave me his card and said that he'd be waiting to hear from me. He kissed my forehead and said, "Goodnight, sweet Grace," and my stomach did another flip. When I was walking home I had this dreamy feeling. Is this really happening? I think I'll call him sometime but he is a lot older than I am. I guess he must be around 40 or so. I never met someone like him back home. Goodnight, sweet William.
When I got home I found Louise in the hall banging on her door. It seems that she and Sam had had an argument and he wouldn't let her back in. She said that Sam does this now and then when he's in one of his moods. So, I found myself, again, sitting on my floor listening to Louise's stories of her girlhood in Coney Island. Great!

Monday, July 12, 2004

I'd better hide that other beer.

I went out to the store to pick up a few things. When I came back I could hear laughing and hollering as I made my way up the stairs. I recognized Louise's voice and figured that she'd left her front door opened. I was surprised when I got to the landing to see that it wasn't Louise's door that was opened but it was mine. Sure enough Louise was in my apartment. I don't believe this. I asked her why and she said that Sam was just checking to make sure that my water was on. She said that the super always has a spare key. Sam stepped out of the bathroom and he is a big man that looks around the age of Louise but that's her son so he just must have aged badly. His hair is greasy and he's missing a couple of his front teeth. The assortment that are left are kind of strange, big and yellow. When he looked at me he had a strange look in his eyes, I think he's in love. Sorry Sam, I don't think so. Anyway, he was holding a Japanese beer in his fat hand. That's amazing I just bought two bottles of that same beer last evening. Guess what? It was mine. After I finally got the two of them out I checked the fridge and sure enough there was one missing. What am I going to do with these two? I may have to get the lock changed. Why me?
Anyway, I'm going to take a nice long shower and and change into something really cute and head over to Park Slope. It's a beautiful neighborhood and just a short walk from here. I want to get to know my new neighborhood. I hope the gruesome twosome aren't here when I get back. Ahh, that's not nice. I still hope that there not here. I'd better hide that other beer.

I filled out an application at Starbucks

I just got back from Jennifer convertible. That was a wake up call. I don't have enough money to even buy their cheapest couch. I mean I have enough but that would just about wipe me out. I guess I'll be sleeping in my sleeping bag for awhile longer. The sales woman told me that they're not hiring right now and that I should check back in a month. I can't wait that long. I filled out an application at Starbucks and they told me that they'd get back to me. Really? I haven't had the phone put in yet so I guess they'll just drop over.
Last night my neighbor, Louise, came to my door. She looks to be around 65 or so, and she asked if it would be all right if she came in to talk. I figured what harm could it do, so I said sure. She came in and sat on my only chair. So I sat on the floor. She apologized for all of the shouting and said that her son has a lot of problems and he has a very bad temper. Great! Anyway, about 3 hours later I told Louise that it was time for me to sleep and she said, "Honey, you don't have a bed. Why don't you spend the night with me and Sam?" Can you imagine that? I told her that I would be all right but I thanked her, she really is sweet but I couldn't get rid of her. I guess she was avoiding Sam but I don't have time for this. When she finally did get up she came over to kiss me and I could smell alcohol on her breath. I asked her what to do about the water and she said, "Honey, I'll send the super over," and as she got to the door she started to scream at the top of her lungs for Sam. I asked her what she was doing and she said that Sam's the super. Great! He never came to the door and she shuffled back in to her place and I've heard nothing else since. I need a shower and that's not happening till Sam comes. Great!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

The Sink Isn't Working

I just went into the bathroom to wash my makeup off and when I turned the water on nothing happened. I went into the kitchen and tried that and nothing happened there either. Great!
Now what? I was going to go next door but when I was about to knock on the door I heard a lot of screaming coming from inside. It sounds like I'm next door to Bedlam. I would try one of the other floors but I'm feeling a little creepy now. I'll wait till the morning.
Somebody's at the door...later.

I'm Outta Here

I slammed the screen door behind me last week and ya know what? I'm out of there.
And now I'm here. Wow. Finally alone in my own place.
I'm Grace and I just got my first real break. My mom left me $5000 and it just came through, finally. The first thing I did was call Greyhound and made a reservation and the next thing was to pack. I left a lot of stuff back there, they can have it.
I got to Brooklyn last week and found a nice hotel to stay in till I found this place. It's expensive and small but who cares? I've got the money now. I'll make it. The apartment is great it's a couple of blocks from a park and a museum. I love it! Tomorrow I'm going to find a Jennifer's Convertibles and get myself one.
I don't know anyone here yet so I'll just make this my place to share my adventures.
I think when I get to the sofa store I'll see if they need any help there.

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