It was the second week of our junior year at St. John the Baptist.
Mike, Bill and I were listening to “Fame” in our music lab.
“Lennon co-wrote it,” I boasted,”So it must be good.”
Mike reminded us of “Jet” from McCartney’s “Band On the Run” album.
“I thought the major was a lady, suffragette,” he intoned.
When we weren’t too busy ogling all the lovely girls in school, we were always talking about music.
Eventually, to avoid trouble with Sister Christophine, we sat down and behaved. In our heads, though, we were grooving to Bowie.
Each week we, along with the help of Rochelle Wisoff~Fields, attempt to write a hundred~word story, Friday Fictioneers, inspired by a photograph. This week’s photo prompt was provided by her husband, Jan W. Fields.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Memory on the Menu.” Compared to recent memories, I’ve always very much preferred the long ago kind. In an episode of “The Odd Couple”, Oscar Madison reminds Felix Unger of Dorothy Parker’s claim to have hated writing but loved having written. That’s the way my understanding of life is. I see time as being divided into three parts. The future is pure theory. There is, to a certain extent, no point in bothering to think about it. The present is one big responsibility. Even the good things have their share of annoyances. The past, though, from this point of view, is the nicest. Each of us is able to see it, as he can see the present, but he’s not obligated to deal with the hard parts. The recent past still has entirely too many memories of all its annoyances. Life during my school days, or during the times when I was working at some long-lost job, was no more interesting then than my current life is. What makes it so interesting for me to reflect upon those previous times is the very fact that I can’t possibly have them back. I can’t possibly control my past. What is done cannot possibly be undone. Anything left undone cannot possibly be done. I can, however, control it in my imagination. There’s no point in bothering to take such an approach to the immediate past, but it works well with much earlier time frames. There’s quite a significant reason for my having used a picture of a Good Humor ice cream truck instead of a currently commonplace vehicle. Last night I attended the first night of the annual fair at St. Mary of the Isle Church in Long Beach, New York. That truck was there. For me, Good Humor is a perfect example of the best of nostalgia. It was prominent long ago and has been hardly ever seen during current and recent times. That’s the kind of memory that has always truly piqued my interest.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Land of Confusion.”
Over the course of my school days I had always been quite a reasonably good student. Math and science were the two very definite exceptions to that rule, however. As a high school freshman at St. John the Baptist in West Islip, I somehow got put into a biology class, in spite of the fact that freshman biology was intended for students who were good in science. Mr. Richard Morabito, my teacher, frequently called my mother and complained to her that I could never keep up with the work. He wondered if maybe I should start wearing eyeglasses again. When I was a senior I took Mrs. Joan McGrath’s probability and statistics class. She, like Mr. Morabito, knew that I was a conscientious student but that I just couldn’t handle the subject matter. One of the very last things she ever said to me officially as a teacher of mine was that it would be a bad mistake for me to study math from then on. The next year, as a freshman at S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale, I was a liberal arts major. During my first semester I was forced to take another statistics course. During my first week there the professor insisted upon my dropping out of the course because he knew I’d never be able to pass it. Those are only a few representative examples of the horror story that was my life in math and science classrooms. My late cousin Karen, who was a math teacher, once told me that she could never understand how anyone could possibly be a poor math student, considering that it was so logical. Perhaps that’s my entire problem. I must not be capable of handling courses that are too logically consistent. I appear to require the twists and turns that go with the humanities and social sciences.
One day recently I wandered, as usual, into a time warp and met 2004 me for coffee. He was happy to see that I still drink coffee so compulsively. He reminded me of what life was like back then, with all its good and bad news. I told him about what was up ahead of him. He was happy to see that I’m still a lay Carmelite. I tried to explain to him that I still have all the same staunchly conservative ideas now as then, but that by now, they’re more fully developed. I gave him the impression that turning fifty didn’t seem to carry with it any major milestones, that the passage of time would, in many ways, leave me neither in better nor worse shape. I explained to him that both my parents died last year and that that left me with quite a few major irrevocable changes in my circumstances. Having lived for much of the past decade in northeastern Pennsylvania gave me some insights into what life in a radically different environment was like. The internet, of course, was quite a major topic of conversation. My younger persona was quite happy to hear of all the advances that were to transpire during the time between then and now. He got a kick out of all the things people have been doing with sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and all the others. He was so happy to know that I’ve been able to keep in touch with all my oldest friends from school for so long. Most certainly, he was quite disgusted when I told him about everyone’s having a cell phone these days. He reminded me of the days when my cousins and I were on the Knights of Columbus’ bowling league, with the Wantagh council and recommended that I get involved in something like that again. He also reminded me that since my anxiety, temper and migraines have mostly subsided into virtual obsolescence, I should by now be hepper than ever.
“There are three chairs here, ladies and gentlemen,” stated the philosopher king. “They provide a space for will, intellect and memory, as well as for text, context and subtext; melody, harmony and rhythm.”
My classmates and I were all quite smitten with our philosophy professor, Michael Soupios. Reality truly is, in so many ways, broken down into threes. This particular lecture of his also quite easily highlights the distinction between the symbol and the thing itself. It’s so nice to have a professor who’s willing to explain things in simple interesting language. Not everyone can understand the overly abstract.