Pulpdiddys Permutations My Way

I’ve been writing Pulpdiddys Permutations many years now and several weeks ago felt it was time for a change.  The change is not because I am burnt out but because the nasty stories which is our current history has caused me to shy away from writing.  Frankly, it’s too ugly.  I still am a news junkie and when reading it still have my peculiar take of it.  The battle to stay afloat amongst the vast majority of the constituency, especially in a world in which the wonders are so great that we all can benefit, is a battle which depresses me because it should not be.  What we should be doing is focusing on worldwide problems first, like Climate Change, instead of pretending they don’t exist.

Basically, the old format has been this – Monday – Sunday writing about politics or social issues or economics except for Wednesday which I reserved for Neurotic Man, and Friday, which was Thursday repeated, and Sunday which was an explanation of the purpose of the column.  But I realize I’ve had it, I’m pulling a Duran.  So Neurotic Man will be taking a rest and the rest of the format will remain the same in which I write my memoirs.

While rare instances of man helping man remains, the rise of so much cynicism and jealousy and greed have forced me to re-examine the past, starting with my own.  Where did the dreams of fairness and democracy start, and where did they all go?

I know this is simplistic but we all began somewhere and mostly it is different.  While all stories can be similar, essentially, they are the same.  Well, for my story it all began in the city of New York, Borough of Brooklyn, Section of Brighton in the apartment of my loving family that will be re-examined for fun and maybe a few truths along the way.  And if it doesn’t work out for either of us there’s always the possibility of the return of Neurotic Man.

______________________________________________________________

THIS IS THE WAY I’VE RECENTLY BEGUN EVERY SUNDAY

During the last weeks my chronic back pain has slightly lessened and I am now but a sixty-four-year-old man bent into a re-examination of the sidewalk.  I still read a lot but my revulsion with much of the news I read continues to grow and has become white hot anger so I must put the memoir aside and focus once again on the inhumanity I see performed by those supposedly elected to be servants of the people.  The sad, sad, thing is that they are not supposed to be despots. With what that horrible group has done and continues to do has helped me decide Pulpdiddys Permutations will re-appear with my take on the news at least for a little while.  And then my itch to get back to the memoirs must, well it must be scratched.

Christmas has just passed and so has New Year’s but the reason for them has not and that is to be good to each other – for all time.

___________________________________________________________

Here we are again, back to the memoir, talking about the past, which seems as current as the present, at least for me.  It is narcissism, my telling my story. But with every contact with someone in my past comes a hint from what the future might bring.  Thank you for allowing me this time and for me to tell my story.

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Back to Culver City

I had about half a year before Lennie and I left Culver City for San Francisco.  Meanwhile, I would be working.  Attached to the restaurant chain was a commissary where we cut steaks, made soups and salad dressing, prepared specialty items, and stored dry goods. I ordered the meats and the dry goods and ran yield tests and performed analysis and costs on the products.  One of my dad’s friends, one of the VP’s got me the job and I developed some efficient ways to do a couple of the analysis so everyone felt good about my hire.  I had no idea where I wanted to go to school and when and what kind of job I wanted to do.  It was still a tie between the kind girl and the intriguing girl as I felt an attraction to them both.  All my extra money was gone between my European vacation and my Dad spending my savings.

I worked lots, dated lots, and my heart wasn’t in political causes like it was before.  There was too much bickering, too much in-fighting and too much ego. The causes were still right and just but for now I had lost my way.  I went to a party on New Year’s.  The next day would be a rare day of not having to go to work early in the morning.  I didn’t drink at the party, a rarity up until then but fell asleep anyway driving home.  My head broke the windshield – the last thing I recalled was my head retreating from the spidery patterned glass.  The Van I ran into belonged to one of the guys who did politics with me.  He came rushing outside at the noise and I wished him a merry new year and regretted it right after saying it.  I withdrew, worked and sometimes spent the night with the kind girl at my parent’s house until my depression was too great for her.  For the first time I was beating myself up and looked forward to moving with Lennie.

Lenny

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Guns

Congress, who seems to find any major bill pertaining to jobs or recovery of the economy beneath them, especially after dealing with the issue of words that they don’t abide by anyway, have now decided that the lowest common denominator when it comes to guns is great.  According to a bill that passed the House it’s okay to carry concealed guns no matter what state you are in.  Of course this was pushed by the Repubs who are always whining about state’s rights – unless it’s an issue that they want help from the Feds to push down our throats.  So, a state I write that has stringent gun control registration finds itself at the mercy of any wack-o from a state with more lenient concealed gun laws.  Of course the bill has to pass the Senate.  Have you ever tried to harvest syrup from a maple tree in the dead of winter?

Rickie Perry wants Congress to work half-time.  After all, it works in Texas!  Unless you’re poor, on death row, of any minority, desire a quality education or believe in civil rights or cares about the environment.  It’s true that there’s a good argument that it doesn’t matter much whether this do nothing Congress meets half time or no time at all.  Except for the consumer protection thing or the healthcare thing (baby steps) or the possibility that the function of Congress was not only to pass laws but act in check on the other two branches (who act in check on each other and Congress).  If it wasn’t for the Feds the state of Texas employment numbers would be abysmal, the education system sucks as does human rights, and as for the economy, hey it’s the stimulus funds that kept you guys out of the toilet.  Texas miracle?  Hah!

Another nightmare during the day involving guns.  Since allowing gun ownership hasn’t protected us and neither has partial licensing why don’t we go with a ban for five years and come back to the table and look at the results.  Meanwhile, please let me know anyone who uses an AR-15 for sport or who has defended a country with same I’m all ears.

Guns

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Great Foreboding

With great foreboding I found myself back in Los Angeles.  Though it would be many years until the illness that was present would take my father’s life I could sense a weakening in him.  My mom looked worried without expressing why.  My younger sister and brother seemed fine, just like young people with their whole lives ahead of them but my journey, wacky and on a crooked road led to me feeling ill-equipped with assisting them during the maturation process.  I had to make a decision including if there would be a commitment to one of the girls I was going out with before my departure.  I didn’t have a clue about going to college or getting a job.

I had just won the biggest lottery.  The military in those days filled their ranks with young boys being soon changed forever in the jungles of Vietnam.  After I returned my old job was offered and I was back ordering product and dispatching more to the restaurant corporation my father worked for and at times I did also.  Lennie, who was usually the procrastinator, convinced me to attend San Francisco State with him. I didn’t think much of the school but sharing an apartment with Lennie seemed like a fun idea.

My old friend Ron was dating my sister and they both seemed very happy.  Kelly sometimes stayed with my parents but mostly disappeared on local trips.

As for dating, I did what I did so well – I remained indecisive.  The girl I occasionally went out with was kind and there was something making me feel uncomfortable with kind.  There was another girl very mischievous and very demanding that I also went out with but who I was scared of.  The fear kept me distant yet coming back for more.  As much of a dolt as I presently remain I was more so in those days.  Three steps forward, four steps back.

Great Foreboding

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On My Way Out of Town

My feelings were mixed when I was on my way out of town.  One of my uncles was dropping me off at JFK on his way to work.   I thought about Brighton Beach and how grungy it seemed to me when that was never the case when I lived there.  The hustle bustle was about the same but I could tell there were more Russian Jews than when I left New York the first time. The buildings seemed smaller, the boardwalk seemed smaller, or at least it seemed to me.   My relatives all seemed much older and except of course for my cousins the youth and vitality had passed the family by.  I have no idea how much family members earned but if I had to guess the New York branch was mostly lower middle class.  I found it was easy to love them especially with the love they expressed for me.  I was glad that I visited but Now I had become a California Boy.  On the flight I worried about how my family was and worried about my friends and Simeone I would say I hope would become my girlfriend.  I’ll talk about more of them as we continue on this process and I didn’t have a clue how anything would turn out.  What I now understood was that I worried about most things – my personal intensity was not a stranger anymore.

Out of Town

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Abuse

You can have opinions and you can have fact and it’s a fact that men in this country are comfortable with abuse. They deny it, try to marginalize it, bury it in a pit of labeled false facts, abuse the person (mostly women) a second time and give voice to an outrage that is sick and layered as much as an elaborately layered Halloween costume (if hate and spite and envy and jealousy had layers).  I don’t know about other countries because any observance I have of them was as a traveler over four decades ago and too quick for most mirages to crumble.

It has always been with us, a confusing aspect of the American myth.  We took off our hats to women but divided them between being a lady and a whore.  When a lady said no it meant she was being coy, wanted additional pursuit.  As for whores, the theory was you could do with them as you wished.

Being a Jew gives me a hint what it is to being a woman in America, but that comparison is silly.  Each has its sadness its problems.  Women were not taken seriously, consequently not paid equally, with certain jobs outright verboten.  But both and women were not to be trusted, having their own secret plan.  Many years ago, my group attempted to incorporate.  The corporate lawyers my lawyer and I met were three things: white, men and not Jews.  Being men and white was easy to spot.  The Jew thing is something you more likely sense and us Jews could tell we were surrounded by Goys as surely as our ancestors at a pogrom.  Years later we could sense there are now Jews present in the corporate halls but still almost exclusively men.

I am not comparing women to Jews or Trans Genders or Minorities of any sort.  Lots of Jews have joined those on top (lots haven’t) and it appears they are comfortable with abusing others.  Everyone facing abuse has it bad, real bad.  How strong we all would be if the oppressed worked together.  But then again, maybe nothing would change.   Women make up over half the population and they still are treated bad.

Abuse

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Pulpdiddys Permutations My Way

I’ve been writing Pulpdiddys Permutations many years now and several weeks ago felt it was time for a change.  The change is not because I am burnt out but because the nasty stories which is our current history has caused me to shy away from writing.  Frankly, it’s too ugly.  I still am a news junkie and when reading it still have my peculiar take of it.  The battle to stay afloat amongst the vast majority of the constituency, especially in a world in which the wonders are so great that we all can benefit, is a battle which depresses me because it should not be.  What we should be doing is focusing on worldwide problems first, like Climate Change, instead of pretending they don’t exist.

Basically, the old format has been this – Monday – Sunday writing about politics or social issues or economics except for Wednesday which I reserved for Neurotic Man, and Friday, which was Thursday repeated, and Sunday which was an explanation of the purpose of the column.  But I realize I’ve had it, I’m pulling a Duran.  So Neurotic Man will be taking a rest and the rest of the format will remain the same in which I write my memoirs.

While rare instances of man helping man remains, the rise of so much cynicism and jealousy and greed have forced me to re-examine the past, starting with my own.  Where did the dreams of fairness and democracy start, and where did they all go?

I know this is simplistic but we all began somewhere and mostly it is different.  While all stories can be similar, essentially, they are the same.  Well, for my story it all began in the city of New York, Borough of Brooklyn, Section of Brighton in the apartment of my loving family that will be re-examined for fun and maybe a few truths along the way.  And if it doesn’t work out for either of us there’s always the possibility of the return of Neurotic Man.

_____________________________________________________________

THIS IS THE WAY I’VE BEGUN EVERY SUNDAY FOR THE LAST TEN WEEKs

During the last ten weeks my chronic back pain has slightly lessened and I am now but a sixty-four-year-old man bent into a re-examination of the sidewalk.  I still read a lot but my revulsion with much of the news I read continues to grow and has become white hot anger so I must put the memoir aside and focus once again on the inhumanity I see performed by those supposedly elected to be servants of the people.  The sad, sad, thing is that they are not supposed to be despots. With what that horrible group has done and continues to do has helped me decide Pulpdiddys Permutations will re-appear with my take on the news at least for a little while.  And then my itch to get back to the memoirs must, well it must be scratched.

Christmas has just passed and so has New Year’s but the reason for them has not and that is to be good to each other – for all time.

______________________________________________________________

Here we are again, back to the memoir, talking about the past, which seems as current as the present, at least for me.  It is narcissism, my telling my story. But with every contact with someone in my past comes a hint from what the future might bring.  Thank you for allowing me this time and for me to tell my story.

Pulpdiddys Permutations

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Back to Brighton Beach

I said goodbye to my U.N. scientist friend and Kelly and I turned toward Brighton Beach.  After several years in California the old hometown seemed drab, dreary.  In the scheme of things Brighton wasn’t old, it was America old.  Nothing like what we saw in England or France or Italy or Spain, but old enough.  My aunt and her husband and her daughter still occupied the old building.  The building seemed smaller and the hallways thinner than I remembered.  We looked around for a day or two but then Kelly was off, he was itching to get back to California with his new guitar.  One night in Madrid drunk on anisette at a party in a park Kelly was upset with guitar playing and smashed it against a concrete bench and took a step and passed out on his feet dead drunk and fell straight down to the ground, his head missing the concrete bench by inches.  His morning was full of regrets – he regretted drinking so much and having the hangover he had and he missed his guitar.  My cousin took his to a guitar shop so that he could buy a new Martin D 18.  He was right, he couldn’t play that mutha the way it deserved to be played.  With the new guitar in hand my uncle dropped him at the airport.

I saw a couple more of Jewish Aunts and their families and my Grandfather and his newest wife.  I saw my Greek Grandmother and my Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.  I am glad I saw them yet somehow didn’t reflect this might be the last time I saw them. Grandma used to call me boy and spoke in her broken English learned from watching soap operas.  My Aunts and Uncles spoke to me in English and my Cousins didn’t say Christ Killer once. I had been itching to go home and after a week a Greek uncle, Nick, took me to the airport.

Brighton Beach

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Roger and Prakash

We met Roger and Prakash by accident.  So much of our contact with them was an accident.  They had a Volkswagen they bought at the factory and were driving it around Europe.  We said hello to them in Paris and goodbye to them in that same city.  Then several weeks later in San Sebastian.  Travelled in Madrid and said goodbye but then hello on the Spanish Riviera and then most of the way to Nice.  Prakash was a terrible driver and Roger was always yelling, ‘shit to you I’m new in town.’ We met up again at the juncture of Yugoslavia and Italy and then travelled through Northern Italy and then goodbye once and for all.  All of it was by accident.  Sometimes our Zigs and Zags were in sync and sometimes not.  Days went by, weeks, months.  We drank and ate and sang and loved.  But Rom got homesick.  He was forming a budding romance with my sister Faith and missed her.  We went with him to the airport and said goodbye but I could tell our days ere numbered.  We had traveled around and met people and had a good time.  We saw all the sites and the art and participated in events.  Kelly was getting bored and Ron was gone – it was time to go home so the two of us got BOAC seats to New York.

But then there was a strange thing, there was a BOAC strike. We were stuck in England with dwindling savings.  One day complaining to BOAC at the airport about our plight Kelly and I were adopted by a United Nations scientist from Malawi who said a few words to BOAC and we all got hotel rooms free of charge.  Ditto on a driver and an allowance for meals. Treated well, the positives of standing and of money. Eventually the strike ended and the three of us had the first plane out of England.

Roger and Prakash

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Foreign Traveling

After I graduated High School I decided to do some foreign traveling.  I took some AP tests and passed them so I decided this was my reward.  Thinking of reward was actually silly as I didn’t do any prep work before the tests.  If I remember correctly I passed in English, World History, American History, and Algebra.  Three semester credits each.  15 being a semester and I had 12.  Taking the tests was a fluke.  A high school teacher who knew me well (and Swanson) let me know my history and English teachers had told her it was a waste of time for everybody involved for me to take the tests.  My counselor knew that pissing me off would be the motivation I needed.  The teachers said I would get A’s (which I wasn’t getting) if I passed the tests.  They thought it great sport.  I thought they were assholes.  The counselor worried because I didn’t study.  I told her you either knew the shit or didn’t and she agreed.

I didn’t apply to University – Lennie and I had our hearts set for moving to San Francisco when I got back from Europe. We both took a year off from school – he traveled around in Western United States and me in Europe. The trip to Europe began in August. We knew little of where we were going and it was fine.

One more thing before the plane took off.  I had a brilliant principal at the High School by the name of Church.  We talked (both of us) and even when the students had protested the Vietnam War he went to bat for us with the School Board.  And whenever we could we had his back.

My parents threw a big party for us travelers before we left.  Most of the people were mine and they were close to a hundred.

I went to Europe with Ron and Kelly with little plans and little money.  We touched down at Heathrow and slowly made our way south.  From Dover we took a Hydro Ferry to France. We took a train to Paris and stayed for many days.  On one of those days we met that odd par of travelers, Roger and Prakash and the trip changed.

Foreign Traveling

 

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