Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
4/24/16 Miles Davis…Milesones
Last Thursday, I drove into Brooklyn to see the Part II of Shakespeare’s play Henry IV. I am not about to write a critique of the play since I did not know a breath of either Part I or II, but I was there with Emma Tess since my beautiful brown haired daughter loves Shakespeare. The performances were by the Royal Shakespeare Company at BAM. Sir John Falstaff was played by Antony Sher who was spectacular as the corpulent and cowardly character. I have seen one Shakespeare play previously when Al Pacino played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Lincoln was influenced by Shakespeare. One of three books on his desk while in the White House was the works of William Shakespeare. In the darkened theatre on both nights I let the words ease into my ears and at times had to scrutinize the passage or sentence to make sense. There were moments when I was lost and scrambling like slipping on slick patch of ice, but soon enough I was stable after being brought back to where I had to be. Honestly, the first part of IV Henry was less serious and perhaps I was better able to listen without as many distractions. Before I go on, let me share a famous quote from Falstaff regarding honor, “What is honour? a word. What is in that word honour? what is that honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? he that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no. Doth he hear it? no.” The first night was special for Emma and I, we took the train from Ronkonkoma and had about an about to kill before the start of the play. After a few minutes walking around Brooklyn, we found a burger joint and sat down. The place was crowded. We ate and walked back to the area where BAM is. Found the theatre and walked in and up a steep flight of stairs which honestly would be a challenge to a Navy Seal. Found our seats and settled in. I was amazed how many people were coughing and sneezing and burying their wet mucus nostrils into a napkin and discharging as loudly as possible said contents into their soiled fabric. Taking the train into BAM or the Atlantic terminal is easy. Transfer at Jamaica and in a few stops you’re at the Atlantic terminal. Easy. Getting home is a pain in the ass since the train leaves a little after 23:00. During intermission I asked an usher how long the second act will be. She tells me how long, and we look at the time and our watches and make the correct estimate that we will have enough time to make the train. The play ends and we slowly make our way down the steep steps. People are clutching the railing for dear life as Emma and I bounce down each step between the clutchers and make a break to the exit. We’re free. We jog down the street, get into the train terminal and head down to the platform and onto the train with enough time to spare. We could have walked…The next night I searched for tickets for Part II and paid more, better seats and this time I was driving. We had time and made it to BAM with time to spare, but not enough to get something to eat. I had a chocolate bar and Emma Tess had a cookie. We found our seats. Second set of orchestra. In other words…in the back. Three elderly ladies sat behind us and one said she’d need a hearing device. The usher brought it to her and yet this woman chose to make comments throughout the first act not realizing or noticing the agitated heads turning, the ssshhhh’s and other obvious hints to shut up. During intermission it was addressed very professionally and there was not a peep. Emma Tess and I drove home and make it back faster – by an hour and we didn’t have to run…it was a memorable night and an honest discussion since there have been many changes in Emma’s life. She regrets some. I hope she heard my message, follow your love which for Emma Tess is photography…be the best, work hard at it, believe in yourself.
Thank you for reading this.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Sunday, April 3, 2016
04/03/16 11:54 Home, listening to the strong winds blowing through Long Island
Uncle Rocky passed away on Friday night. It was not a surprise. He was diagnosed with emphysema more than twenty years ago. The last ten years he had an oxygen tank to assist his breathing. He’s been pushed in a wheel chair for the past few years. His quality of life may have been impacted and yet his strength and easy smile would warm any room. For the past few weeks he was in and out of the hospital. His body was slowly dying. On Thursday, he was transferred to hospice. Aunt Barbara, his wife had a dream on Friday; their granddaughter, who had passed years before at 15 told Barbara (in the dream) that Pop was going to join her that day. Just before 22:00, he passed, surrounded by family and much love. Rocco was courageous, accepting his impending death and as he said, “Not wanting to be a burden on his family.” He knew he was not going to get better. The family and Rocco had the opportunity to say their good-byes and most of the family were prepared to let him pass. Not that it is easy for anyone to say good-bye. My father-in-law was and still is distraught with the idea that his older brother is dead. The thought that we will not see Rocco presses into our hearts and minds. There is the funeral arrangements, the wake and the mass. His body will be cremated. Flowers to be ordered, donations to hospice. I understand the hospice staff were warm and comforting with the family and let them know what stages were taking place. After they administered the morphine he declined rapidly. Friday night, Ali and I were at the high school where Joe was in a one act play. Ali left during intermission since Joe was not on the stage in the second play. After the second play, I dropped him off at the diner where he met friends. I took Bella home and came upstairs to read. Ali sent a text to let us know of the passing. I picked up Joe at the diner, his phone had died so he was not aware. I broke it to him. Bella started sobbing in the back seat. Joe was crying. We picked Emma up at work and went inside Target. She was crying and I hugged her. We walked around the aisles aimlessly for a couple of minutes. A message came over the loud speaker that the store was closing in five minutes. We met Emma Tess outside and drove home. Inside the car, there were sniffles. Under the stars and night clouds…we thought of Rocco…Rocco Maniaci may you rest in peace with all those who departed before, and may you be welcomed by them within a new love.
Thank you for reading this.
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