Growing up, Tony was my best friend. Other than my family he was the only person who was ever there for me. He was the only one who pushed me at school to achieve anything. He oozed confidence out of every place you can ooze from. Kids in our school wanted to be astronauts or firemen but Anthony wanted to have his own business. He was going to be the chairman of a global company, that is how high he had set his sights. He was always networking and making contacts out of people he thought could help him along the way. He would march into the principal’s office, sit in the most comfortable chair in there, and chat to anyone who would listen. I never understood where he got the confidence. He came from nowhere, a real run-down neighbourhood and yet he was the way he was – it just didn’t make any sense to me.
The strange thing about my father was during his whole life I only ever remember him being upset once. I am sure he had more days when he was upset but he never showed it, at least not to me. He was the strong, silent type who nothing ever touched… at least not on the surface. Underneath maybe things were different. The only time I ever remember him being upset was when his mother died, my paternal grandmother. I had hardly seen him for a few weeks because he stayed more or less all his non-working hours at the hospital with his mom. She had cancer, so we all knew she was dying but I don’t think Dad accepted it. On the day she died she joked with my dad that if she possibly could, she would send him a sign from beyond the grave to let him know she was looking over him… and so she did.
It must be about fifteen years ago now that Chimpton told me of an event in her life which was very upsetting to her and her family. I wanted to tell her that I understood entirely how she felt but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to face up to an event in my own life. To this day I have never told her of the story I am about to tell you all now. My dad took his own life when I was around twelve years old. I was upset but I was probably still too young to face the enormity of his actions. I am sure it was traumatic for my mom but she never let me see how upset she was. Looking back today with adult eyes, I guess she had to be there for me and my brother and show us how strong she was even if underneath the veneer she was no such thing.
Ihave had so much time on my hands this past couple of weeks and been pretty bored sitting around the apartment. I thought I would reclaim my spot at the beginning of the month where I normally post. While I was recovering from Covid-19, I have been thinking about growing up and how I used to love to play Basketball. I was never any good at it but we had this coach who would fill me with confidence. He could never stop praising me and telling me that if I put in the work then I could make the big time. I never believed him because everyone was so much better than I was but I had a tiny, little hope at the back of my mind that perhaps he saw something in me that no one else did. His name was Coach Sandborn and he had coached all over which also gave me some hope.
Iconfess it is a little late in the month for my Hizzouse but I can offer explanation in the way of this post. It started with my breathing getting laboured to the point I was lying in bed and it actually hurt to breath in and once this arduous task had been completed I couldn’t wait to breath out again. Next thing you know I had a fever and a really dry cough that was pretty persistent. By this time even my addled brain was beginning to guess at a reason for my ailments. I Googled it and discovered that they were doing “in car” tests just a few blocks away from my apartment. I jumped in the car trying to avoid anyone while making the short but painful journey to the carpark. There was a pretty impressive queue forming so I figured that if I didn’t have it then there was less chance of me catching it in my car than if I went to the ER. So in the queue I sat.
Last week saw the seventy-fifth International Holocaust Remembrance Day and I celebrated it – if that is the word – by watching The Holocaust in Colour, a documentary using old black and white film that has been colourized. It brought back memories of a story I heard in my youth from my mother about a woman called Hanni Bienenfeld who managed to survive Nazi occupied Europe in an unusual way. The Holocaust in Colour featured the story of a Jewish woman in Germany who survived by hiding in plain sight. She did not look Jewish and she had blonde hair which very few Jewish people have. Hanni was the same except she was born in Hungary where she worked and lived with a non-Jewish family who ran a bakery.
Hi folks, hope you all had a great Christmas and an amazing New Year, maybe some of you even had a Happy Hanukkah. For those of you who do not know, I am Jewish and was brought up in a pretty average Jewish family. Most Jewish people do not celebrate Christmas but we don’t have anything against those who do – except for one thing. You close all the shops so there is nothing for us to do. In New York pretty much the only things that are open on Christmas day are Chinese restaurants and movie theatres. Growing up I ate a lot of Chinese food and watched the odd movie over Christmas. Personally I would not have a Christmas tree up at home (I am lazy, not for religious reasons) but I do because Natalie, my roommate, insists on it – she is not Jewish.