I’m sort of at a point where I can go anywhere so I’ll try to stick close the the storylines I began. Meanwhile, Libra is the seventh sign of the Zodiac and there are seven colors in a rainbow—Light through a prism. This is reflected in the renaissance character of the sign who on the shadow side might be dismissed as a dabbler or dilettante.
As I’ve said at the start of this suite of posts: I have been many people, at least seven, yet others have little to no idea of that. But hell is them. And so is heaven. At this point in the saga, there are two basic personas being performed, to remind you—the beach bum and the woodsy suburbanite which might also be called the rich kid; it isn’t truly accurate that the actor playing the character was a rich kid but he thought so at the time so it might still be fitting. We will focus on the beach bum for the most part in the next several posts; but just a few words, first, on the rich kid:
In 1972, at the age of eight, he moved into a four bedroom split level with a “rec room” and a sun room in a new development of an old Dutch town in New Jersey about fifty miles from the George Washington Bridge. He had already began piano lessons and was being clasically trained, perfomring recitals and competiting for ribbons and certificates of efficacy. That character was something of an offshoot. One might imagine, in the movie version, that his mother might be played by Sally Kellerman. Because it was in this regard, and in this regard only, that his real mother was pushy and unrelenting in her desire for him to practice and make her proud.
Anyway, he experienced a great deal of culture shock at first because he showed up in this town of Wyckoff with city wardrobe—kids back in Jersey City wore dress clothes to school; it wouldn’t be suprising to see them in vertical striped trousers and sometimes even sports coats. But for a good visual reference you might think of the way the kids dressed the first season on The Brady Bunch. In Wyckoff, kids wore Levi red tag 501s paried with Puma or Addidas trainers and either logo printed teeshirts or striped rugby shirts with pure wool sweaters, with accents of macrame bracelets, sometimes puca beads, all of which constituted a negligent rich-kid style. These new people played soccer, not stickball. They had basketball hoops on regulation poles instead of chain link garbage cans to sink the ball into. They played ice hockey not bottlecaps, the owned several tennis rackets with cat-gut strings and road skateboards. They wore ski-jackets and left their lift tickets on their zippers. The soundrack to life at this point was Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell and Jim Croce and Seals and Crofts, James Taylor, George Harrison not the tail end of Motown. These people didn’t know a Temptation from a Pip. They didn’t watch Soul Train. These more urban strains were fading fast into memory which, at eight years of age, can be distant in an instant.
I should back up a bit. Mother had a sister from whom she was estranged. When pregant with Light, mother got a call from her. Aunt said: You’re going to have a boy and he’ll be born on my birthday. She was right. Aunt was the Shadow light cast so Mother retreated and the burgeoning rich kid didn’t meet Aunt until he was aged thirteen, though he did receive gifts on their birthday. A good five years before that, while still in 1972, mother ran her shopping cart into her sister’s as Aunt had recently moved to the neighboring town of Franklin Lakes where sister was already a freshman at the regional highschool he too would one day attend.
In September 1972 I had my own room for the first time. It was tiny and featured a lot of plaid, which it always would, in various color schemes, over the next nine years. Still the room had to fit two twin beds because grandmother, Nanny, ” would have to share it about fifty percent of the time. Sister, on the other hand, had a large room with a double bed and all new furniture, yellow, with matching headboard, drapes, bedpreads and shag carpeting. She had a stero and Uncandles. Partly because whe was older, but mainly because she was a nasty, spoiled, sulky depressive, the parents were always overcompensating in hopes she’d lighten up but she only got darker and they not only stopped trying they changed tack completely and she became an outright target of a different kind than her brother. At this point he viewed her as a closed door at the end of the hallway sealed with a two-word spell—go away. The muffled sound of Cat Steven’s song Sad Lisa would play over and over on a near endless loop.
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