In 1972, in the Bedford Park section of the Bronx, I lived in a “hippie” house, with various and asundry roommates coming and going. There were the requisite band members and their groupies. Ace Frehley played in our basement. That was just before he joined Wicked Lester who not soon after changed their name to KISS.
But he looked nothing like this. And I’m not saying he was a “hippie” so don’t go quoting me on that.
There were also the dealers and the drugs. More psychedelic than hard. it was still the 60’s. Yes, I know it was 1972, but that didn’t stop us from staying in the 60’s. If you were there, you know what I mean.
About six months prior to “Going Home” I reconnected with one of those guitar playing, dope dealing, hippie types… on Facebook. As was I, he was all grown up now. The first contact in 37 years. It was a thrill. And as happens in this social networking 21st century world of ours, he put me in contact with two other former roommates from said house. And we made plans to meet in New York in September.
There was one guy who had a crush on me. That was 37 years ago. But, when I heard he had written a book and that all of the characters from “the house” were represented, I was a little nervous. We emailed, he sent me his book, I read, I drank. Then I re-read with yellow highlighter in hand and another bottle of wine by my side. It was a small book. It was a big bottle.
Has anyone ever written a story about you?
It’s not necessarily a positive experience, especially when the proverbial nail has been it on its head. Reading about the cold, unemotional, shall we say, bitch, I was 35 years ago was not an easy task. Probably because I think it may have been true. (Although I never would have admitted it all those years ago). Ask my ex-husband, he would certainly have agreed with my old friend. But let’s not go there right now. I will just share this and you will most likely get the picture.
(she) relies on me for friendship and emotional support, but prefers sex with other guys.” she likes to be wined, dined and taken care of without any of the emotional involvement”.
And my favorite line: “like a tropical disease she had run her course, leaving the patient emotionally gaunt but alive”.
The book was published in 2001, so perhaps he hadn’t forgotten. But I still found solace in the fact that he called it fiction.
I spent the last two days of my trip with the girl who had been my BFF (before the phrase was coined, of course) from Kindergarten through High School. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it why there had been no contact for 40 years! I guess forever meant High School. Thanks (again) to Facebook, she found me around the time of our 40th High School Reunion. What a wonderful time we had reminiscing. (and drinking) She’s the friend who lives around the corner from my cousin. “The old, fat guy who ‘s been jogging past her house” for the past seven years I wrote about previously. And they both live in the same town as Bill & Hillary (who weren’t jogging) but we went by and took pictures of their fence. I’d post it right here
but I’m afraid of the FBI.
But, back to my reunion with the guys. It actually was kind of anticlimactic. (excuse the pun). Yes, It was fun, everyone looked great. At least we all told each other we looked great. I think there were just too many years, too many people talking about those years and too little time. The book?....not mentioned. I’m waiting for the right time and place to have that discussion.
One interesting thing (another small world moment). Of the five of us at the table that night in Peekskill, four of us had Rheumatoid Arthiritis. Yes, I was thinking the same thing. It must have been the drugs!!
I now have a scrapbook of my adventures this Fall. On the last page is a picture of my girlfriend now right next to her picture from my high school yearbook where she wrote we’d be friends forever. Well, maybe so. We just skipped the middle years.
Then there is the picture of the three guys in 1972 (one is holding a joint) right next to the picture of the same three guys in 2009 (one is holding a cane).I love that page in my scrapbook. It seems like yesterday. Where did the time go? I’m so glad I went home again!