Messrs. Sherman and Peabody were working on a new machine at S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale. The details of their experiment were largely Unknown, except that it was an attempt at traveling through time.
One day, after a history class of mine, I decided to sneak a peek at their brainchild, to see how they were progressing. As I wandered over to Nathan Hale Hall, I politely greeted a lovely Svelte classmate of mine, distracted by the Curls in her hair and the Bounce in her walk.
Because I had a math class coming up in about an hour, I was forced to Rush through my adventure. When I got to Hale Hall , the first thing I noticed was a professor’s Speech as he rambled on beyond an open classroom door.
When I got to the room I was looking for I put on my I.D. Tag, and proceeded to Insert my card into the slot on the door. Inside the room was an overwhelmingly Complex device, which emitted an ominous Heiligenschein. I honestly don’t believe such an insane machine is a possibility, beyond merely theoretically but hey, sometimes a guy has to Temporize a bit.
In spite of how weird it all is, I honestly hope there may be some way for time travel to be a reality. Because of my always having been smitten with such a lifelong interest in the 1960’s, I’m looking forward to a chance to travel back to that era.
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.
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.
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.