A Few Nukes Won’t Hurt Anybody

30 Oct

It starts.
One day I’m going to tell you about being an immigrant.
But he knows and instead says: one day I’m going to tell you what it’s like having two boys.
Days are short, nights are shorter, I hope you get to sleep through a few.
The dog. He was named for a Scandinavian god. He came with us everywhere. Even in the little row boat on the Long Island Sound when we floated over to a general store so we could secretly buy Winstons and smoke them on the tennis court while we volleyed.
(I always beat him).
$1.65 a pack.
That was summer in New York City.
Nineteen eighty-one.
And we watched music on television over and over into the night while they drank from jugs of wine and spoke of Reagan. Of walls. Of curtains. Of microphones.
Saved by zero.
His mother had a bumper sticker on the cupboard but I didn’t know exactly how fission weapons worked then and so I let her get away with it.
In the afternoons we lit firecrackers on the dock.
We took trains into Manhattan and walked from Canal Street up to Broad-way, by Penn Station, into Times Square. That was when prostitutes and pimps and porno shops lined the streets. Ron Jeremy was on the cover of every videotape.
Took the train to Flushing.
Back in Chinatown I bought a boom box. When I opened the package, later, there was a heavy rock inside.
He laughed.
Let me tell you about being an immigrant…
…with two boys.
Summers are for exchanging homes. Coming up. Going down. And then it’s over. It’s always over.
One goes this, the other that.

…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


5 Responses to “A Few Nukes Won’t Hurt Anybody”

  1. randy 30/10/2008 at 4:03 PM #

    Wasn’t Frost just lying to himself in that poem? In hindsight he convinced himself he took the road less traveled by… as opposed to actually doing so?


  2. (S)wine 30/10/2008 at 5:55 PM #

    Probably. Frost was a real sum-a-bitch.

  3. Geoff 30/10/2008 at 9:13 PM #

    I was an Ohio boy growing up, going to an Ohio college, and finally had my chance to visit NYC for the first time in late 1984. Times Square was still filled with the porno shops, etc., even then. Me, I didn’t mind at all. It was the New York I’d read about, that I’d seen in the movies. It seemed authentic and alive, the good and the shady. Somehow, having Disney, etc., now in this area has taken a bit of that “character” away.

  4. Janet 31/10/2008 at 1:45 AM #

    Time Square imagery was exceptional chum. I sometimes wish I had the opportunity to live in New York when it was still risque and risky.

  5. (S)wine 31/10/2008 at 6:51 AM #

    Geoff, I agree.
    Janet…it was definitely something, Times Square. Was.

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