When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, NY my home was the place to hang out. My mom was a school teacher in some of the worst neighborhoods in Brooklyn. I don’t know how she did it because she was young and pretty and she must have had to watch her back. Thankfully she taught grade school so the danger was not as bad as it would have been if she taught in Jr. High or High School. I remember one day I took off from school and went with her to her school. The principal didn’t like the idea of me staying with her class so he/she/whoever put me in a different class with kid’s my age. I was small, scrawny, and white, and the other kids were taller, less scrawny, and black. So when we got let out for lunch in the school yard I had no idea about what was about to happen. I should have stayed in my school that day because a whole bunch of kids just beat the shit out of me. I was lying on the cement flaw hurting and crying and this big black lady came over to me and said “Get your ass off the flow (floor)!” She wasn’t a very compassionate lady. But then a nice, also black gentleman who I assume was a teacher took me back to my mom’s classroom. She usually had a second job, sometimes a third. So yeah, I was bullied, mugged, beaten, “mapped out”, jumped, held at knife point, car jacked at gun point. Actually it was 9mm pushed into my stomach, but I’m not knit picking. These kinds of things certainly can be an ingredient of this thing called Depression, but I’m not writing about that now. I just digressed. It’s actually fun to look back on all of the shit that happened to me because as I said in my last post, “I’m still standing!”
So as I said at the top, my mom was young, attractive, and worked alot. And that all added up to “Party at Steven’s house!” Most of my friends parents were old school Italians in Bensonhurst, and they didn’t take any shit. They’d break out the belt if you got out of line. They either had no living room, a living room without a TV that we weren’t allowed in, or a living room with really nice couches and chairs wrapped in thick clear plastic to protect the furniture from getting worn and stained. I hated that shit because the bottom of my ass and the backs of my thighs either sloshed around in my sweat in the summertime or stuck to the plastic in the winter. In the summer I slid off the couch. In the winter getting up from those couches was like ripping off a freakin’ bandaid! And even with that plastic, we couldn’t put our feet up or slouch around. So like I said “Party at Steven’s house!”
My house was different. No plastic covered couches; lots of AC in the summer; no parents around to bother us; and a cozy casual atmosphere. Even when my mom was home it was cool because she was young and trying to manage that whole parent vs. friend thing, and she probably felt guilty about when she wasn’t home, which would make her more lenient when she was. So my house was always filled with friends and laughter unless my stepfather was around. That’s a whole other kind of sick shit for another time – crazy psychopath.
Ok, one more little digression before I even begin to get to my point. When I sat down to write this I was feeling depressed, but this actually took my head out of where it as at, so I’ll get back to it because this is more fun. So as I mentioned before, I was a little guy which made me a target for bullies. I compensated by a. studying martial arts (Big thanks to dad for hooking me up with that! It’s been a life saver, literally!), and b. befriending the biggest guys in the school which also entailed a two step process: a. Show them that I had not fear, and b. Show them that I was crazier then they were. So that all worked out well. Which leads me to this last funny story. Because my house was basically an open house my friends would show up at all times of the night. One night a bunch of us were slouching around, eating pizza, and watching TV, when one of my big friends shows up relatively early at around 11:00 p.m. with a roast beef to eat. It was not a sandwich, and it was just for him. When this guy got too hungry he got mean, so trying to share his food was out of the question, even though he had a whole freakin’ roast beef! You know like what you see the guy at the deli put on the slicer to make you a sandwich! To this day I have no idea where he got that roast beef from. It was hilarious!
So when I grew up I wanted my home to be the place where my kids hung out, and my friends and family too. As far as the kids go, I obviously knew the kinds of trouble that kids could get into so if they were here then I didn’t have to worry. And I loved having them and their friends around as well. It made for some good memories when I wan’t in depression. I have an open floor plan home with an unground swimming pool, and a big barbecue. The furniture has no plastic on it, and the living room is meant to be lived in. I love music, and I used to love to entertaining. So before this last long bout of depression my house was always full. We celebrated everything that we could: birthdays, half-birthdays, anniversaries, half-anniversaries, all the major party holidays, Chanukah, Christmas, Baby Night once a week, etc. Baby Night was when our neighbors across the street and my sister who lived near me came with their babies/toddlers to dinner. It was always loud, chaotic, funny, and fun, until my depression set in and put an end to it. So this is the thing that I wanted to write about because I’m trying to get myself back to the way I was it is not proving to be easy. This is what I sat down to write about. But guess what? I’m tired. I feel better now then when I sat down to write this so I’ll leave it here and pick it up again tomorrow. I’m not going to proof read or spell check this post. It is what it is. Have a good night!