For some reason I haven’t had a best friend since I was I kid and I still don’t have a soul mate. When I lived in Jackson Heights Earl was my best friend. Then I moved to Lindenhurst around the time I turned twelve years old. For my first few years over there Jimmy was my best friend. After a couple of years he and his family moved to Arizona, and eventually ended up in California. Both Earl’s and Jimmy’s birthdays are on Halloween. In case anyone’s interested in filling either of those positions I’m quite free. It would help if any prospective best friend could provide guaranteed proof of a Halloween birthday. Best friends are supposed always to be available for each other’s various adventures, both serious and casual, happy and sad. Having read Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quijote” a few times by now, I can see that it’s the obvious prototype for all sorts of best friend stories. On Facebook I’m a member of a page for fans of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” and one for fans of “The Honeymooners”. Best friends get to have a lot of lopsided adventures, like the Don and Sancho, Felix and Oscar, and Ralph and his pal Norton. Best friends get to have a lot of stupid obnoxious misadventures in common and to blame each other for everything. They have inside jokes and a language of their own. Although each of them gets to have other friends and connections in general their specific relationship at all times must take precedence. In each of the specific friendships I’ve referred to here, there’s a horrendously lopsided kind and degree of dysfunctionality in each individual that is incessantly forced to do battle with all the quirks of the other. Best friends get to rankle incessantly upon each other’s nerves. Norton, to Ralph’s undying chagrin, always plays “Swanee River” at the beginning of each song. Felix torments Oscar with incessant whining whenever his socks and underwear aren’t precisely alphabetized. Don Quijote nudges Sancho about his precise duties as a squire. Everyone should get to have a best friend. Ever since “Laverne and Shirley”, I’ve always thought that Lenny and Squiggy were the title characters’ masculine counterparts. That made for such a very interesting contrast. It’s too bad I don’t have a best friend now. I most certainly appear to have quite a significantly lopsided enough approach to life for some unsuspecting good natured character to be able to play off of so very well.
Surprisingly, I haven’t classified anyone specifically as a best friend since I was a kid in Queens. Does that make me somehow a bit offbeat? If it does then it’s only one of my very many eccentric qualities. I left Jackson Heights in September of 1971. Up until then Earl and I had always been the best of friends. His parents were both from Puerto Rico and he’s lived there for most of his lifetime. He and I haven’t met in person since our early teens when I went back to 92nd Street a few times to visit. It’s not that I haven’t had any friends whatsoever since then. It’s just that, with the possible exception of Jimmy in my very early days in Lindenhurst, there hasn’t been any specific individual who’s been designated to play Lenny to my Squiggy. Jimmy soon moved to Arizona and eventually ended up in California. Earl and Jimmy are now on my Facebook friend list, so maybe they can take turns as my honorary Lenny. I’ve always enjoyed keeping in touch with a few favorite cousins of mine from Long Island and western New York. We’ve always hung around together ever since we were little kids. Maybe they can count, sort of, as best friends-ish of mine. We’ve always gotten along reasonably well and have lots of inside jokes and shared experiences so it’s kind of like the same thing. Being the best of friends with the recent version of me seems to be entirely too big a responsibility for any one individual.
Pittston’s annual Tomato Festival was a couple of weeks ago. As always I made sure I went a couple of days. Each year I see the same guy from the San Cataldo Society. He always recognizes me & reminds me that I showed up the previous year. This year, instead of a basket of cheer, he sold a basket of lottery tickets. I had a really nice time but it’s more about eating than anything else. I didn’t get anything to eat this year. Each day, on my way over there, I could never help noticing that on Main Street in Pittston, there was a nice little barber shop that only charged five dollars a haircut for the duration of the festival. I made sure I got one. I usually go to Rose Chairge in West Pittston but I couldn’t resist the price. It was raining when I went there. I parked in the library’s parking lot & walked down to the barber shop’s neighborhood. This month’s lay Carmelite meeting went really well too. We always meet at 9:00 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month at the Little Flower Manor in Wilkes_Barre. We always welcome new members. Nothing significant or drastically different happened at the meeting. St. Monica’s Guardian of the Redeemer men’s group still meets regularly too. St. Barbara’s Catholicism meetings are over. The last one was last night. Br. Patrick went to California for the summer so Fr. Phil covered for him. Gino & Michelle have succeeded in adopting officially their three kids, who have all started their first day of the new school year today. Uncle Frankie’s birthday party went well. He was just recently away for a week to visit Fran so I ended up having to get his mail for him. Yesterday was Jo~Anne’s birthday. She’s one of my oldest friends from Queens. My nephew Michael’s twenty~fourth birthday was on August 24. He had a really nice day with his girlfriend Erin. My parents spoke to him on the phone.