Thursday, February 16, 2006

Another time, another place

Jump Jump Joanie and she called me Fast Freddie Five Fingers because I could always walk into the Dominican grocery without money and come out with a pack of juicy fruit when I wanted to. I gave her the name because she loved that crazy latin dance music that poured out of the row house dance clubs and we used to dance on the roof. She showed me what was what up in that roof but she was never my girlfriend and I was the only one who knew. When I graduated from gum to Lucky Strikes I'd stand lookout for her and Crazy Carola from up the street. They got along just fine but it was a secret that nobody knows.

Jump Jump used to push my chest real hard to get me to learn to take a blow and stand my ground and I pushed back until she started growing those reasons for me not to. Once Crazy was still ready to go and I was just standing there so I was convenient. I was old enough and had been around enough to realize that Crazy was into more than just girls.

Jump and Crazy and me used to take the 34 line down to the shore in the summer and find a place away from everybody so we could lie naked in the sun. Crazy brought some mary jane once and we smoked and got high like the black guys four blocks down from where we lived on the west side. I don't know why it's called the west side because there was much more further west of us that there was east.

Jump came downtown with me when I left and gave me a big kiss on the lips like we we the same as all the other lovers on the platform. She told me that her and Crazy were heading to California in a week or a month or two. I got a post card from St Louis when I was in basic. All it said was "keep your............head down". Somebody had scratched out the word, but knowing Jump it was "fucking".

I heeded her advice and made it off the beach into France and then Paris where some of the girls ranked right up there with Crazy. It was a time to rest before we started off for a place on the map called Bastone. The snow was just starting to fall.

Mr and Mrs Gallo,

The War Department regrets to inform you that your son.........

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »
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