a message from parma

No not Parma Ohio, Parma Italia stupid.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Marley 9 months

Please welcome a new addition to my house. Marley. I weakened and realized I could not live without a cat in my house plus once again we have visitors of the rodent kind and a quick ferocious street cat is the only way to rid these nasty creatures. I went all the way to Brighton Beach to a woman's house who rescues cats. I was originally looking at Siamese kittens but they did not look so great.

This woman was a bit of an animal hoarder, and somewhat loopy. She had over 40 cats that needed rescuing. When I saw Marley I was smitten. I took her home on the Q train, and within minutes of being in my apartment, Marley disappeared. She hid for over 4 days. I really thought she ran away. I could not find her anywhere in my apartment.

I called the woman back and told her I could not find this cat. She said "oh I should have told you to lock her in a room for a few days." Great, now I had the trauma of trying to find my cat somewhere within the vicinity of my apartment. I finally found her in between two walls in my bedroom closet. With some trickery I coaxed her out of her hole with some food. She finally succumbed to hunger and I then closed the hole.

It's taken a few weeks but she is becoming a cute frisky member of the house, chasing her tale, her catnip mouse and taking long naps on my bed. I still miss Tucker, but Marley who looks exactly like Anita is a nice addition to the house. Now if I only felt the same way about the thing growing inside me....

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The village

I live on a block where rumors grow and small minds wander. Bored, ignorant, uneducated, out of work by choice, inhabitants who fill their lives with monotony of shopping, cleaning and Dr.'s visits have nothing better to do than make up stuff about people and their sex lives and peculiar bad habits. They are afraid to leave their environs of a five block radius succumbed by the growing fear of the unknown and the "outsiders" who move into the village with their Ikea furniture, slim laptops and out of state cars. The “outsiders” a.k.a. struggling educated professionals opt for the cheaper rents among the charm of sounds of spoken Italian, children playing ball in the streets and the smell of rice and beans. Little do they know that they become the object of provincial angst and anxiety.

The "villagers" are constricted by their fear and ignorance, and crippled by their addictions to religion, drugs, and gossip, as they try to grasp at a life remembered of 15 years ago. Once must wisely ask was life really better back then when shootings were weekly, playgrounds were needle ridden, and no one walked the streets after 9 pm? The myopic villagers gawk at outsiders who wait for a weekly delivery from Fresh Direct or take out Thai leaving for work before 8 am and returning home tired and weary after 6 pm. Do you blame them? Why would anyone want to shop at the village grocery store that smells of cat piss, sells expired milk and offers an abundance of Goya products?

The villagers follow the warped wisdom of "the mayor". A nice man who spends his days in the red brick indentation by the senior home chain smoking, drinking deli coffee offering tales of the neighborhood and its inhabitants back in the day of over 30 years ago. "The mayor" is your typical New York City politician; he welcomes the newcomers with his three-faced advice. Meaning he will always agree with whomever his is currently speaking with. He tries to keep the peace and claims to enjoy the sexual company of both genders. As with most politicians, he recreationally spends his free time discretely within the debauchery of the big city specifically, west village leather bars.

I offer this tale from first hand experience. I too was an outsider who moved to the neighborhood, attracted to the cheaper rents, village charm and close proximity to the city. After the big move and weakened by 9/11, I made myself available as just another friendly neighbor offering the villagers rides to their Dr.’s, Western Beef, Target and BJ’s. I babysat the village toddlers, tutored school-agers, took trips to the beach in stifling hot weather and gave away my larger sized clothes during my post 9/11 dramatic weight loss. I felt the neighborly obligation to do all these nice things as a result of my suburban childhood and lefty upbringing.

Although, I helped out often, both the villagers and I understood that I was still an outsider. I did not realize to how far reaching their close-minded nastiness operated. To make matters worse, after the trauma of 9/11, I succumbed to the charm and flirtations of Z. We enjoyed our differences and laughed together at how ridiculous villagers can be. Z was just as angered by the limited village thinking (as he too was a victim of nasty gossip and crazy village thought.) I still watch him struggle while straddling between the two worlds. He hears more of the nasty gossip than I do because being such a nice guy, he still hangs out with the mayor and welcomes the outsiders to the ‘hood.

I know he embraces the forthcoming change and enjoys the diversity the outsiders offer. I agree, outsiders can be annoying, by complaining too much about the noise, not saying “hello” when greeted, and appearing terrified when approached by crazy crack whores looking for change or cigarettes. After four years of living in this particular village I have learned the proper way to deal with the indigenous creatures is to show no emotion and just walk away. You may think “ick how disgusting, clean up those festering sores, get a job, go to rehab, I barely have enough money to pay my rent” but not show it.

My family and friends wonder how can I possibly endure the oppressive atmosphere of the village, along with the harassment from my crack whore neighbor and building neglect from the landlord. I wonder too, but feel I don’t have much choice at the moment. Z and I both feel stuck in our cheap dumpy apartments and at the moment I don’t have the money or energy to move. I hope my patience pays off and we the tenants of my building become victorious in our never-ending fight with our slumlord.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

the Illusion shattered

Thank you all for your condolences regarding the loss of Tucker. I have been dealing with a lot of stuff lately and have been fighting not dealing with any of it. I guess the death of a loved one, being pregnant, having an unsupportive significant other, a crack head neighbor, a serious bouts of depression is a lot to deal with. I try to keep occupied by work but even that is not challenging enough for me.

One friend stated, " I get the feeling that you have some really mixed feelings about the baby coming which is totally normal and I am not going to pretend or try to tell you that is is all easy, because it's not."

Gee thanks, I knew it was not going to be easy but I never knew everything had to hit at once for me to make any progress. To suffer is to grow I guess.

I don't think I had any grand illusions about my life but I thought I would have a little more help but as I learned from a very young age, you only have yourself in order to survive.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


At 5:30pm yesterday, Tucker S. Shapiro passed away in my kitchen. His heart as big as it was, stopped working and he died shortly before I arrived home from work traumitizing my other roomate. I tried to hold him as long as I could for the past three days after a hopeful visit with his Dr. Poor Tucker stopped eating, and feebly fought death until his last gasp of life. He spent the last month or so sleeping a lot eating whatever he wanted, usually bacon, chicken and lots of butter. He probably had a high cholesterol count but he live 15 1/2 very long and exciting years travelling between Boston and New York City. I loved him like no other man in my life. He was my best friend and the only consistent support through all my traumas and joys of life. I will always love and remember you Tucker, nothing or no one will ever replace you in my heart.