For a very long time I have always had quite a seriously nasty problem with unresolved anger and impatience. In the sense that I’ve extremely often been treated entirely nightmarishly unfairly by precisely the very people whose trust I should have had the most significant right to count on, I’m no different than anyone else. To my chagrin, though, I tend frequently to get excessively angry. Somehow my ire has never come out in any overly drastic way. I have always had quite an extremely seriously nasty problem with hypersensitivity to noise. Over the years I’ve frequently told the story of the time I worked in the Sales Processing department at Citicorp Retail Services on Long Island. There was a department right next to ours where the people there absolutely constantly yelled and, for some insane reason, laughed incessantly without its serving any known purpose whatsoever. My notoriously bitter anger and resentment, combined with utter impatience, really seethed entirely out of control. Ultimately I should like to think that I can be considered quite an exceptionally good natured, jolly good fellow in general but when my much nastier character defects start kicking into gear, watch out, bucko! I very much like to think that I’ve always given each individual each and every single possible opportunity to treat me with a sufficient minimum degree of respect, and that I’ve always done quite a sufficiently reasonably good job of humoring everyone about all his quirks and attitude problems. There’s that nasty side of me, though, a sort of evil alter ego, that keeps bouncing around somewhere inside me. Under most circumstances I can be counted on to be quite an eminently lovable neurotic. The very good news is that anger and impatience are like fear, ambition, envy and other character traits in the sense that if they aren’t acted upon they don’t count. If someone doesn’t take advantage of a character strength of his, he doesn’t get credit. If he doesn’t succumb to a weakness, he doesn’t get any blame. That’s why I try quite hard not to act very much on my anger.
For many years I worked at Citicorp Retail Services, first on Route 109 in Farmingdale, New York, and then on Old Country Road in Melville, New York. I can honestly say that most people I met there were quite decent and likable, but there were a view notable exceptions. The last department I worked in, up until the time they closed down, was the customer service department. In general the people there were very good and easy to work with. There were a couple of characters, though, who made everyone miserable. One was a devious Puerto Rican guy named Elvys (Elvinko). The other was a mean little blonde named Gayle (Katie Pie). As far as I was concerned Elvinko and Katie Pie were the veritable bane of everyone’s existence. They were constantly gossiping and insulting people. They messed things up and then blamed others, and were quite determined to tell the supervisors and managers about the slightest of missteps from anyone they didn’t like, thereby ensuring that people got into quite a lot of entirely unnecessary trouble. Elvinko and Katie Pie, from the first instant they set foot onto the grounds of the company, provoked dissent among people there. They most certainly brought out the very worst in me. I really should have explained to the supervisors and managers, with proof, exactly how rotten they really were. I should have exposed their filthy disgusting mouths, the way they lied, gossiped and turned people against each other. Their anti social behavior was directed toward a significant enough number of people that it would have been very easy to get many victims of their abuse to back me up. If enough people would have spoken up against these monsters, we could have avoided quite a whole lot of trouble. Unfortunately, though, most people just dealt with them in entirely unofficial ways. The problem with my having to associate with someone of their ilk is that under those circumstances, I’ve always tended to fight fire with fire, because someone that irremediably rotten and self absorbed never even so much as thinks of listening to the voice of rightly ordered reason anyway.
Today I went to a blood drive at the Allegria Hotel at 80 West Broadway in Long Beach. It was quite a nice time. The only somewhat annoying problem was that as always I was forced to walk for about a mile and two fifths to get there. That’s because I still don’t have car insurance. It was on the roof of the building. I made sure I explained all my circumstances, answered the questions on the computer and lay down on the chair to get it all over with. No one passed any remarks, to my surprise, about my Pennsylvania identification. A couple of employees asked if I lived locally, or was visiting the hotel, though. That could have gotten weird because I claimed to live only a short distance away. Two of the blood drive employees were most certainly quite the exceptionally nice lookers. One of the lookers, the blondie, asked specifically how I felt after it was all over with. I made sure I told her that, as always, I didn’t have any kind of problem right then and there. Then I told her, though, that for as far back as I can remember I always seem to get an exceptionally violent headache the day after a blood donation, and that I really wanted to know why. When I worked at Citicorp Retail Services, my supervisor, Carole, used always to whine at me because she could never help noticing a very definite problem with that. The phlebotomist explained that it was most probably from dehydration. She warned me that I should drink quite a lot more fluids from now on after each donation. This may not have been quite such an exceptionally significant decision but I’m most certainly hoping that it can help me avoid any unnecessary further trouble. It’s absolutely an undeniably important decision in the sense that nobody likes migraines and that provoking one unnecessarily isn’t very bright.
If there’s one thing I absolutely can’t stand, and quite bitterly resent, it’s any unwelcome unnecessary noise. I can’t stand any kind of noise in general anyway but at least I’ve been able to resign myself to the kind that’s unavoidably necessary by definition. It wouldn’t be realistic for someone to hang around an airport or construction site and to cuss people out for being too loud. Over the course of my lifetime I’ve always had quite a razor’s edge relationship with sound. This is also true in my dealings with language, the written and spoken word. Nothing impresses me anywhere near as much as well written and well performed music, or when someone writes or speaks articulately. When,however, I have to be subjected to something that’s poorly written or spoken, played or sung, it gets me crazy.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always been compulsively articulate and very conservative. Whenever I either hear, or read, something that’s either inarticulate or of a left wing ideological slant it makes me cringe. Language should be used solely as a vehicle for the conveyance of the truth and not as a means of promulgating an ideological agenda. Besides that I’ve always been quite prone toward getting all my tenses, cases and other linguistic proprieties entirely in order. Everyone knows about my notoriously hypersensitive nerves. For approximately the past two decades we’ve been bombarded with cell phones. Ever since I was a kid I’ve never been able to stand the telephone anyway. I not only don’t like the sound of its ring, or having to talk on it. I can’t even stand to be in the company of someone who’s talking on the phone. Now that each and every single one of us has a phone in his possession at all times it’s quite a major chore for me to attempt to accept it. I’ve never been able to understand why cell phones are considered acceptable in churches and libraries. In the old days, churches and libraries were considered places where peace and quiet was mandatory. Now phones are allowed. A couple of months ago, Mary Anne, Steve and I went to see “Madama Butterfly” at Lincoln Center. I couldn’t help noticing that when the people who are in charge there say cell phones aren’t allowed they really mean it, and patrons respect that fact. In churches and libraries, though, the people in charge claim that cell phones aren’t allowed but they don’t bother to enforce it and everyone leaves his phone on, thereby subjecting the rest of us to endless unwelcome noise. Throughout my life I’ve always been subjected to people with very loud voices, as well as bad music and flagrant misuse of language. I can still remember, from when I worked at Citicorp Retail Services in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, a representative example of the unbearable impact that noise can have on me. When I was working in the Sales Processing department with Sal, Carole and Yolanda, Miz Kitti, Doreen and Kimbley, there was a department within earshot of ours where the employees were unbearably loud and unruly. They literally yelled, and even laughed hysterically for no reason, all day long. It was quite an unbearably torturous experience for me. Unfortunately it turned me into a nasty, anti social little creep. I got very bitterly angry and resentful. There appears to be something about unwelcome noise, and a poor command of language, which I truly find entirely unbearable. I’ve always really liked to consider myself quite good natured, a jolly good fellow. When I have to deal with noise, or with someone who’s inarticulate, though, I truly am subjected to quite a torture treatment. My ability to accept it and to maintain my cheerful side takes quite a beating. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to maintain my cool but it’s quite a frustrating problem. By now I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve learned to accept the simple facts that it’s a loud inarticulate world, and that all I can do is to try, as politely and as firmly as possible, to convince people to be a lot more respectful of others, both by being a lot quieter and by speaking and writing a lot more articulately.
Unfortunately I’m between jobs right now. My last two jobs were one with Citicorp Retail Services and one with the postal service in Melville and Bethpage. I could never stand the postal job because it was so physically hard and strenuous but at least it was something. The work was very boring and required a lot of heavy lifting. Many of the people there were hard to get along with but that’s a part of any job. My circumstances in Bethpage were especially difficult to handle because I was often forced to work the graveyard shift there. Most of the people in management were at least reasonably decent and easy to get along with. The only one who was a troublemaker was Marjorie, a surly black woman. There was a union there but I never got significantly involved with it. Of all the people I knew, Kevin and Anton were the most significant union officials. The one advantage to my having worked there was that I got a chance to meet a lot of very interesting characters. Before that I worke at Citicorp Retail Services in Farmingdale and Melville. In the first department I was in, Sales Processing, from the late 1980’s until the early 1990’s, everything worked out quite well and we all got along quite well. Sal, Carole and Yolanda were in charge. Most people there were quite decent and good natured, Besides the inevitable fighting and personality conflicts it was always quite a happy environment. Then after a while that department was eliminated. I got moved to Customer Service. That department was harder for me to handle because there were a lot more trouble makers there. There were still quite a few very good people too but there were entirely too many who were genuinely bad. For a while I was also a sacristan at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst. At that job I used to have to deal with a wide variety of diocesan priests, professed Religious and parishioners every day of the week. It was a nice part time job. I was required to get everything ready for the daily Masses and novenas, as well as weddings, funerals and other things that were required to keep things going at the parish. That was yet another environment where I was expected to deal with very many eccentric characters. having lived for most of my life in Lindenhurst I really knew my way around the parish and got along quite well with most of the people. I’ve never been a good salesman. In the 1980’s my eighth grade history teacher tried to get me involved with Amway. That’s a really good job for someone to have if he’s a capable salesman but I simply don’t have the aptitude for that kind of thing. That kind of job is very good for my teacher and his wife, who’ve always been better than I at dealing with people in that way. My cousin Gary tried to get me involved with Primerica Financial Services. Unfortunately even though we attended all the meetings and classes, and did well on the tests we were required to take, it didn’t work out for us. I consider it quite a worthwhile experience though. It’s always good to know as much as possible about insurance and the financial world.
At least since I’ve been an adult I’ve never been able to sleep the least bit well. I often tell people that I haven’t gotten five minutes of sleep since the presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon. As far as I’m concerned I qualify as an insomniac. No matter what I do, I always end up lying around wide awake in the middle of the night, and frequently go back to sleep for only very short periods of time. I know that I get some sleep because I often end up perceiving circumstances that couldn’t possibly happen were I awake. Frequently I dream of the long ago past, and my dreams are populated by people who are long deceased, or whom I don’t even remember ever having met. At least once I dreamed that my cousins Vinnie and Noreen, who both live very far away, were in another room as I lay in bed in the very pajamas I was wearing that night. I heard both their voices as literally as if it were real. Over the course of the past few decades I’ve tried all kinds of gimmicks to help me sleep. I usually avoid coffee or anything with caffeine late in the day but that doesn’t help. People have told me that I go to bed too early. When I’ve tried to go to bed late at night I’ve woke up with bad headaches and in a bad mood. I’ve found, over the years, that it’s best for me to go to bed as early as possible, preferably before 9:00 p.m. , and to get up extremely early too. As anyone who’s ever been in my company late at night can tell you, I’m not an interesting character when I’ve stayed up too late. When I worked for the postal service in Bethpage, I often was forced to work overnight, from 8:45 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. One of the most horrible parts of that job was the fact that it was impossible for me to sleep during the day. Having been to high school reunions and several other overnight occasions, I’ve noticed that no matter what my circumstances are at night, I simply can’t possibly sleep for any significant length of time during the day. I can remember once, though, in the late 1980’s when I was working at Citicorp Retail Services in Farmingdale, when I fell asleep for a few hours late in the afternoon. When I woke up to a clock that said it was sometime after 7:00, I couldn’t figure out whether it was a.m. or p.m. I need as much dark, and as much peace and quiet as possible, to sleep well. Noise has always been an unwelcome part of my life. Over the course of the past few years I’ve always lived close enough to airports that I appear constantly to be subjected to the perpetual sound of jets flying by. It literally never seems to end and I’m quite hypersensitive to that. I’ve never been able to sleep in a moving vehicle either so travel presents yet another problem. Unlike many people I can’t watch television , read or listen to music to pass the time in the hope that it will put me to sleep. Those kinds of things only make me groggy and even more frustrated. They increase my risk of getting a headache. By now I’ve learned quite well how to handle all this annoyance. My inability to sleep well has even become quite a part of my image. Instead of bothering to complain I simply deal with it from an early to bed and early to rise standpoint.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvLikiVraHE My full name is Lawrence. I was named after my mother’s father, who died a few weeks before I was born. Most people have always called me Larry, with the exception of several teachers of mine and a few other authority figures and people whom I’ve been expected to deal with under exceptionally significant official circumstances, who call me Lawrence. My last name is a fairly large Italian name and everyone always has such a hard time when he tries to learn how to pronounce it or to spell it. Although I don’t have a middle name my confirmation name is Joseph. Over the course of my lifetime I’ve been known by several nicknames. Because I grew up having to associate with an Uncle Larry Senior and a cousin Larry Junior, both older than I, we had always been big Larry, little Larry and Baby Larry. After a while I got sick and tired of being known by such a childish name. When I was a kid, my Uncle Frankie had often called me Sam Spade, after Humphrey Bogart’s character in “The Maltese Falcon”. When we bowled together with the Knights of Columbus, my cousins got into the habit of calling me B.L.T. and it’s stuck with me ever since then. I first met Kitti when we were working together at Citicorp Retail Services. Very soon after we first met she started calling me Larrabee, after Robert Karvelas’ character on the 1960′ television show “Get Smart”, so I started calling her Miz Kitti, after Amanda Blake’s character on the 1950’s and 1960’s show “Gunsmoke”. We still call each other those names on e mail messages. Unfortunately I haven’t been active in my current Knights of Columbus council, Assumpta 3987, in Luzerne, Pennsylvania, but when I was really active in my first council, O.L.P.H. 794, in Lindenhurst, New York, there were very many people there who could never remember my name. I ended up getting into the habit of answering to Joe, Tom, Frank, Bobby and several others over the course of the time I was there. Although they have a humorous colorful side names can be very important too since they deal with ontological concerns and give people a kind and degree of power over others. Because I’ve always been involved with the culture war, as a staunch conservative, I’ve always been determined to point out to people how dangerous it is to get into the habit of letting liberals determine for us how we must refer to people, things, and circumstances in general. Names must never be used, from an ideological point of view, as a means of control. He who controls someone’s identity controls his life.
On September 16, 1999, I turned forty years old. It was nine days before my father’s sixty sixth birthday. At the time I was working in the customer service department at Citicorp Retail Services on Old Country Road in Melville, New York. I was also a part time student at Adelphi University in South Huntington. My parents appeared not to have bothered to make any plans for a significant party for me. My big day came and went without any significant attention beyond a perfunctory cake, cards and presents. Something happened, though, that should have struck me as somewhat odd. All my mother’s relatives from northeastern Pennsylvania came for a visit from out of nowhere. As a general rule they never bothered to show up for just any birthday or average occasion. That alone should have made me quite suspicious. Since my parents , and relatives in general, had always been quite the colorful characters, though, I just took it for granted that it was yet another of their offbeat moments. Aunt Mary Theresa, Uncle Frankie and Fran were there, as well as Aunt Lauren, Uncle Jim, Noreen, Michelle and Doug. During the time between my birthday and my father’s my parents kept trying to convince me make plans to go bowling with my cousin Larry. My cousins Larry, Gary, Joe and I were on a bowling league, for many years, with the Knights of Columbus’ St. Jane Frances de Chantal council in Wantagh. On the morning of my father’s birthday Larry called and we made arrangements to go to a local bowling alley. That day there was something going on at Immaculate Conception Diocesan Seminary in Lloyd Harbor and I really wanted to go. It was quite a good thing that I chose to go with Larry though. We had bowled a few games when his wife Rose called claiming that her car had broken down in the neighborhood of Katie Daly’s, an exceptionally nice Irish restuaurant on Merrick Road in Massapequa. Larry and I got into our cars and drove to the restaurant. We pulled into the parking lot, walked into the restaurant and it turned out to be such an exceptionally nice surprise party for me. After a nice big meal there we all went back to the house and kept things going for the rest of the night. Perhaps I should have known, throughout the entire week, that something must, by definition, have been going on but sometimes I can overlook the obvious.
In the early 1990’s I was working at Citicorp Retail Services, in the Sales Processing department, on Route 109 in Farmingdale, New York. Eventually we moved to Old Country Road in Melville, New York. My immediate supervisors were named Carole and Yolanda. All the people in that department were really good and likable. I enjoyed working with them. During the time we were still in Farmingdale Yolanda’s husband Stanley died. We all went to Stanley’s wake. Unfortunately one day while at work, only a fairly short time after Stanley’s death-it wasn’t any more than a few months later-something came up and I made a casual flippant remark about death. It was an otherwise entirely harmless thing and under much better circumstances no one would have even bothered to think twice about it. Because of Stanley’s recent death, though, Yolanda’s feelings were badly hurt. She was visibly shaken. The other people in the department told me that I never should have said such a thing. Fortunately it didn’t put any permanent strain on my relationship with either Yolanda or anyone else in the department. I felt truly bad for quite a while afterward though. I’ve always been a bit hypersensitive anyway and have never been able to handle being subjected to any extra strain. Another character defect of mine is the fact that I’ve always been prone toward saying things without first considering the context of the circumstances and how people may be counted on to react. That time, because of my having inadvertently said something that dealt with such a very personal matter, it led to a lot of trouble.
On Wednesday, November 13, during the late afternoon I broke my left arm. It’s always struck me as somewhat interesting that it happened on the grounds of my high school, St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, in West Islip, New York, because I was in the class of 1977. During the late 1980’s and for most of the 1990’s I was very active in the school’s alumni association. In 1983 my eighth grade history teacher from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School in Lindenhurst, New York, convinced me to get involved with Amway. At one of St. John’s alumni meetings I convinced one of the school’s long-time assistant principals, Sister Noella, to buy some Amway bubble gum remover from me for the tables and desks in the school. She’d been on the administration for as long as anyone can remember. During the late afternoon of that fateful Wednesday, after I had arrived home from my job at Citicorp Retail Services in Farmingdale, New York, I drove over to the school so I could deliver the bubble gum cleaner to Sister Noella. When I got inside the school I went over to the lobby outside the cafeteria. Instead of patiently walking to the administration’s office, I tried to run. Unfortunately I tripped over a bar that went across the floor, and I fell flat upon my face. My left arm was broken. Within the next few minutes I walked to the administration’s office and explained to Sister William Marie about what had happened. I then walked over to Good Samaritan Hospital, right next d00r. I couldn’t even sign myself into the hospital because I’m left handed and my right hand is entirely incompetent when it comes to writing. They made me scribble something anyway. I was forced to stay in the emergency room for quite an obscenely long time without any attention. Eventually I was treated by Dr. Glen Arvin and his nurse Terry. My mother, and my cousin Larry from Massapequa, arrived to take me home after I was already stupefied from all the anesthesia and other medication I was forced to take. The next morning I explained everything on the phone to Carole, my immediate supervisor at Citicorp. My shoulder and elbow were broken. Because of the gravity of that kind of a break everyone took it for granted that I would inevitably require both an operation and a lot of physical therapy. Throughout the next few months I couldn’t drive and I was subjected to a lot of extra boredom and annoyance. I tried to learn to write with my right hand but that led to nothing but trouble and frustration. With lots of help from other people, though, I got through it all quite well. I never needed physical therapy or an operation. I went to a physician’s assistant a few times for check-ups. When the big day finally came, and my father drove me to the physician’s assistant one last time to have my cast taken off, I practically passed out because of the weird sensation I was subjected to when it was first removed. Other than that, though, most of the immediate aftermath of my broken arm was only relatively minor.