My dad called it Easy Street. Isham Street was anything but. A tough Irish neighborhood that would spawn the likes of author Jim Carroll, New York's Inwood neighborhood in the 1940s was a place where the priests hit harder than the bar fighters. And with an Irish bar on nearly every corner, that was hard to do.
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Brother Edmund enters the classroom, snaps his fingers, and as is the custom every day, 60 boys in school regulation jackets and ties rise crisply to attention. The room is hot, the air unnaturally still. When all goes to plan, and Edmund has taken his place at the head of the class, he will snap his fingers again, and in unison the boys will sit. Failure to sit or stand on cue means a trip to the Left Field Foul Line, a stringy chalk line hand-drawn along the room's northern border, and a meeting with The Persuader, a hand-worried piece of hickory saved for one purpose: enforcement. Of course, there is a choice. Any boy deemed guilty of any infraction can avoid The Persuader and instead opt to accompany Brother Edmund down to the gym and strap on the gloves for three rounds. Rumor has it only one ever tried. And he landed in the hospital for three weeks. But today is not going to plan. And when some smartass in the 12th row snaps his fingers before Edmund reaches his post, half the class sits. Edmund coolly points his finger, "You, you, you, you, you....Left Field Foul Line." And 28 boys who know what is coming shuffle across the room. The guys at the front of the line get it worst: seven or eight whacks. Those at the rear, maybe only two. But someone has to be first. Someone always has to be first.
Sometimes life just gets, well, crazy aggravating demoralizing mind-flattening...and you just have to wade thru the shit storm until it all settles down. Lately my routine has been: kid care, look for gigs, do what work I have, sell stuff on eBay, go to the pawn shop, negotiate with collection agents, etc.
Sorry that the blog has suffered. Will try and be more diligent about posting. But until then... an old poem...