My memory isn’t as sharp as I wish.

I remember the changes in New York City in the 1980s, but don’t remember when or how they started. It seemed like overnight the city became flooded with homeless people.


I ditched my last substance addiction on May 28th, 1988. I was at a party talking to the wife of a friend. As we conversed, I put a Marlboro into my mouth and said, —You know, I wish I could give these things up. —So why don’t you? I mean right now, —she responded. I […]

Ambulatory Surgery

When I get home from my Spanish conversation class, there is a message on my answering machine informing me that my operation time has been changed from 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 25 to the same time on Friday, May 26.

There Are No Bakers Any More

Alvin Benstein, proprietor of Benstein’s Bakery, was a fireplug of a man. He had played football at Abraham Clark High in Roselle along with New York Giant legend Roosevelt Grier. There were autographed photos of “Rosey” with his arm around Alvin on the walls of the bakery.

A Woman Named Juana & Two Named Maria Luisa

When director Maria Luisa Bemberg, Argentinian film maker, encountered Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, probably when she read The Traps of Faith by Octavio Paz, she found a kindred spirit. It is not surprising that Bemberg would make a film about Sor Juana because they had much in common despite the almost three centuries […]


The snowfall had diminished, almost stopped, when the doorbell rang. He thought it must be Jitterbug and his older cousin Malik, the two neighborhood kids who normally came around to clear his driveway and sidewalk after a snowstorm. However he opened the door and discovered a young woman armed with a large snow shovel. —Clean […]

The Quarrel—Take One 

The quarrel began because I wanted to go jogging in the evening snow storm. Our Vine Street apartment was only two blocks from the outer loop of Warinanco Park. Warinanco offered two jogging routes: the inner loop of 1.7 miles and the outer loop of 2.5 miles. I preferred the outer loop and often ran […]

Coming At Us From All Sides

It’s all but final now. Last efforts to force Roselle’s City Council to produce a detailed environmental impact statement have failed. The woods across the street are history. Surveyors have appeared in recent weeks as well as people in hard hats who look at charts and blue prints and then point at the woods. They’re […]

Bicycling To Oblivion?

Thursday’s bike ride converted into a series of adventures and misadventures. During the eventful trip, I fell down two times while getting on or off my Cannondale 400 Hybrid, I rescued a damsel in distress whose bike was disabled, and was nearly killed by a cretin who was driving a car. Incident #1. During the […]

Confessions Of A Dealer

(told by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous) In Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Tim Roth plays the gang member Mr. Orange. Mr. Orange is an undercover cop. Mr. Orange’s coach for his undercover work is a cop named Holdaway (Randy Brooks). Holdaway tells Mr. Orange that he needs a “story” to entertain his fellow […]

Red-Haired Cop

The fat red-haired cop was talking to the attractive blond woman who was working at the Swissair information desk. He seemed oblivious to everything else going on in the terminal. I would have been too. She was smiling. And she was dazzling. I was not happy for many reasons: the girl was speaking to the […]

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