Thursday, July 17, 2008

Worse Than A Teenager

The other week I was in Barnes and Noble near Union Sq. browsing through all those beautiful books that I can’t afford when I heard my name called out. It was Clara, the ex wife of my old friend Freddy coming towards me. At first I didn’t recognize her, as she had lost a ton of weight, and was looking svelte and fabulous. Although I had had some problems with her in the past I was delighted to see her, and we exchanged hugs and kissy poos. “My Clara but you are looking well and swell,” I said. “Thanks Ira Joel lets take our bodies up to the café and sit and chat for a bit, if you have the time? “I do, I do indeed have some time for a cup of java, dear Clara,” so we took the escalator up to the 3rd floor café. I grabbed a table, pushing some tourists out of the way, and Clara went up to the counter to get us some of their overpriced coffee. “I’ll take a blueberry muffin, Clara if they got one.” Moments later she arrived back at our table and we settled in for a chat and some brew. “So Clara tell me what has been going on in your life since you dumped Freddy.” Well I’m trying to be very productive and as you can tell I’ve dropped lots of pounds, one must get in shape if one is back in the dating game” “Well you look really good.” I guess Ira Joel you heard that Freddy took off for a new life in Utah.” “Yes I did.” “What the hell ever possessed him to do that? I just don’t get it, I hope to hell he’s not going to convert now to Mormonism, I mean his converting to goyism was bad enough if you know what I mean. Has he lost his mind or what? “Well Clara I wouldn’t worry about him becoming a Mormon, but hey you never know with Freddy I mean one moment he’s living the good life in Brooklyn and then the next thing you know he’s packing his car and driving across country to live in Utah”. “You know Ira Joel when we were briefly married, and even before we tied the knot and were just living together he wouldn’t stop bugging me to leave everything I know and love and move to Salt Lake City with him”. “Imagine that, I mean I have my business, family, friends and my house here, why the hell would I ever want to leave Queens and move to the desert?” “And he wouldn’t stop.” “Day in and day out over and over, he would drive me crazy with this Salt Lake thing” Clara’s voice was getting louder, and people at the other tables were starting to stare. “The problem with Freddy, Ira Joel was that he had too much free time on his hands”. “His retiring from teaching was the worse thing to happen to our relationship”. “I would come home from my office all tired and worn out, just ready to collapse on the couch and watch a few of my shows on the tube, have dinner and then turn in, and he would start in.” “How so Clara?” ” Well besides the Salt Lake thing he would want to go out and see a movie, or take in a play or go to some lecture by some person I never heard of on some subject that I had no interest in. I would tell him no Freddy I’m tired leave me alone.” “Why would I want to go hear a lecture about puppet making in 17th century China, I mean for Christ’s sake give me a break”. “And it would be worse on the weekends”. “Let’s go here, lets go there I swear he was worse than a teenager, he couldn’t be still for a minute.” I would just like to relax on the weekend, maybe go shopping for groceries watch a few TV shows, do some knitting, but he just could not sit at home, always on the go”. “Yes I know, but didn’t you realize that when you married him?” “He changed Ira Joel he got more manic, more lets do this and that and I finally could not stand it anymore”. “And then there was the problem with his retirement”. “How so Clara?” “Well you know he was forced to leave teaching.” “Yes and I must say that I was rather upset that you didn’t support him during that crisis, and the false charges that the student brought against him.” “Is that what he told you? “Yes and I believe him.” “Well let me tell you the story straight my friend.” “This was not the first charge that a student brought against him.” I brought the cup of coffee from my lips to the table, a bit taken aback by this statement that Clara just made. “What do you mean, are you saying that there were other charges?” “Ira Joel that was the third charge of sexual harassment brought against him.” “I supported him as much as I could, but I really had to think of myself, and the scandal that he was bringing down on our heads.” “There were 3 different girls who said that he made unwanted sexual advances towards them.” “He didn’t tell you that I bet not.” “Finally the school board made a deal with him either he takes early retirement or they would bring charges against him” “I would be ruined. It would be in the papers, the radio, television, You Tube. I just sat there and stared at her. “Why are you lying Clara?” “I’m not lying. “You asked for the truth and there it is.” This was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. Of my 2 close boyhood friends, Freddy was the least likely to try anything like that, I mean if you just mentioned the word sex to him, he would turn as red as a vine-ripened tomato and flee from the room. Now my other old childhood friend Howie was a horse of a different color altogether. A pussy hound from the word go, he would love nothing more than regal me and Freddy with sexual jokes, stories and tales about his many conquests with the opposite sex. And this was when we were just 15. Howie would love to see Freddy turn red and get embarrassed at his off color stories and he would laugh and laugh at poor Freddy’s discomfort. When we were teens and would go to a movie that had a mild sexual scene, I could feel Freddy in the seat next to me squirming. When I finally realized that I was gay, Howie would pump me for information about my sexual adventures. “So was he big” He would ask. “What did you two guys do in bed, maybe I can learn a few new tricks from you gay guys.” Freddy on the other hand, stayed far and away from any kind of sexual talk, and the idea that Freddy would hit on some young female students was just too far fetched for me to buy and I said this to Clara. “Fine with me Ira Joel you believe what you want.” “Clara I screamed, he’s a Catholic and everyone knows Catholics don’t lie.” And with that I stormed out of the café, out of the bookstore. into the street and down the subway at Union Sq. back to Brooklyn.


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