At Christmas our Apartment was decked out in Poinsettias
that we'd pulled from the dumpsters down at the Docks.
They added color to the place and were displayed on the Mantle Shelf, living
room table and in the kitchen. Some were a little wilted but after a trimming, looked just fine.
When College began
letting out for the Christmas Season we were getting homesick.
We wanted to get back to hang out at Giblins Bar in West Orange
and the Grasshopper in Cedar Grove to see old friends and I
to see Veronica.
We all made plans to return with the exception of Toad who was going to spend Christmas in Cambridge.
Weeks earlier, in need of Cash I pawned my Yamaha Guitar.
The Pawnbroker explained that since I'd "customized
" it with my "Decoupage" job,
it wasn't worth all that much. He gave me 20 bucks.
At the time I had the presence of mind to hang onto the case and now with Christmas approaching I would sell
it and use the extra cash to buy a bus ticket home.
On a cold December morning with Christmas in the
air, accompanied by our housemate, Daisy, I hauled it up to Harvard Square.
In front of the Holyoke Center I laid the open case on the ground with
a 15 dollar price tag and it wasn't long before a student stopped to check it out.
He wanted to make sure of a proper fit so he ran back to his
dorm and returned with his Ax, nestling it in the case...... Mission accomplished.
The next day I was on a bus home. Ollie had already split a
couple days before.
I would call him when I returned and we would make the rounds.
Back in New
It was good to be home. There was still tension in the house which
caused a lot of pain for my younger siblings but there was nothing I could do about it, just go with the flow.......
As soon as I hit town I called Alf to see how he was doing.
Christmas and Alf went together. It was important to see him and although
he was beginning to wither under personal burdens, the Holiday Season still made him upbeat.
The next day he dropped by and we spent time catching up on
the latest news.
When New Years Eve rolled around we made the rounds at various Parties among people we knew and
people we'd never met.
At a party in Montclair I was lost in a sea of strangers.
With minutes to go until the New Year was ushered in, I spied Alf
standing in a doorway looking as lost as I was and I pushed my way through the crowd as quickly as I could and got to
him just before the stroke of Midnight.
"Hey Alf," I said, "listen Man, thanks for being my
friend all these years."
"You got it Ace! Same here."
And looking me square in the face shook my hand with great Sincerity.
"Happy New Year, Davey."
me feel good. Alf knew me as well as anyone on the planet......and had been my friend since we where both young kids........
As much as I wanted to see Veronica, I knew it wasn't in the cards so right
New Years I
hopped a bus back to Beantown.
Boston had just received a heavy Snowfall and I remember tramping down unplowed
streets on my way home from the Subway.
It was the first time I'd seen the City under such a thick blanket of White.
As I approached 269 Broadway, I beheld it from a distance.
It was almost like a Movie Set, its ramshackle
porch covered in snow.
Was this really my home? Did I really live here?
I felt like a Soldier returning home from the war.
the stairs to the third floor and turning the key, was met by Toad who explained that we had Visitors.
In the living room were two Hippies sitting on the floor atop
"This is Jason and this is Barbara," Toad said, "They're
new in town. I said they could stay here for a few days."
I was a little taken aback
having strangers in the house but right away I could see they were okay.
They'd just arrived from California and were up against it, homeless
and without much money but they were gentle people and we got along fine.
Jason had a Parlor Guitar and would play
Music and they drew pictures for us to hang on our walls.
It was the only way they felt they could repay us even though it wasn't necessary.
Over the next
few days I watched as Barbara would get upset for no apparent reason.
One moment they'd be talking calmly and the next she was in tears lashing
out at Jason.
"What's the matter?" I asked, after witnessing another episode.
tones, Jason said, "She comes from a very neurotic family."
Barbara made no attempt to protest, she
just put her hand to her forehead and sobbed.
I knew what it was like to have the World closing in on you.
You might have a place to stay tonight but what about tomorrow and
the next day?
What about Money and Food? How long can you go on living like that?
The uncertainty can really get you down........
A few days
later they were able to find a more permanent place and things were back to "normal" at Miss Dales Farm.....
One-by-one the stragglers drifted back, Roger, then Ollie and my brother Eddie who along with Leo,
would come and go on a regular basis, sometimes staying away for weeks.
As soon as I returned, I was back at B.U.
In those days Campus Security was lax.
There was little need for it and the people working the front desk would just wave me in.
This was a good
interlude for me.
working a steady job and it was okay with Sarah that I kept odd hours.
In the morning she'd go off to
class and I'd sleep late then go over to Cambridge to hang out and get a change of clothes before taking the Subway back
to Beacon Hill Gulf.
Sarah sensed my pain.
At times when I became pensive, she'd ask directly. "What's
But my situation was too complex and I was too young to fathom it.
I thought about the Meditation. The knowledge of it returned again
and again but I still wasn't ready for it so I continued to struggle.
I don't know how Sarah put up with me.
She could plainly see the over the top behavior of my friends and
and how we promoted
each others lechery.
One of her favorite ditties of the time was "Oh, Demon Achohol" and I knew
damned well who it was meant for each time she sang it......
At night I'd lay in bed staring at the ceiling
as profundities paraded through my head.
I was again trying to express myself through poetry.
It wasn't always good, in fact most of it was pretty bad.
Anyway, I awakened one morning in the dorm and wrote this down....
There are no problems, only people
We're all gonna die someday
ashes, we all fall down
There's sand dunes and scrub brush
To walk in between
In between the lines
and going back
Looking over shoulders at light through cracks
Dust near draperies to watch
As your eyes
And your lids shut down
the good old days?
They're all gone
Time to change, time to grow
Everything passes away
the beauty, that's where it's at
Long brown hair or Stetson Hat
No time to wonder why
you let slip by..........to the past
The things in between that never last
The moon has ceased to bear witness
Now the light comes over the hill
In the different colors
it sometimes will
I've got no complaints, been keeping my body warm
Anyway sometimes it's nice to
go sailing in a storm