Most of the people in my life are dead.
I am only being dramatic. Most of the people in my life are not dead, they just act it.
The people who were most alive in my life and the ones that I remember the most are dead. That is true.
From an early age, I clung to oldness. I listened to the elderly and was educated by a hundred elderly people every summer on my Grandparents bungalow colony in Monticello, New York.
My Grandfather freaked out that my Aunt had turned 16 and developed big breasts and so he quit having kids on the bungalow Colony in 1966, the summer before,”The Summer Of Love.”
So, there I was the only kid on the Colony with a hundred Grandparents. They all loved me. I got all the attention. I could walk from bungalow to bungalow and get an ice cream from each one… I got fat during the summers, no matter how much I ran around.
I also got a philosophy from folks who had lived full lives. From the age of six till I moved to Israel during the summer of 1973, I was reared by elderly Jews who understood that my parents were not going to give me anything useful and felt it important to teach me how to survive and give me reasons to live…
I took this knowledge with me and to this day, listen to my elders… Of course, I am entering into the childhood of Old Age…
So, I’ve always had my elderly mentors and then once I became a Junkman, I always had my elderly monsters who taught me important lessons in how not to run business. Still, I loved my fuck-ups.
I have always loved my fuck-up employees. They have destroyed my business over the years, given me agita, stolen from me, but still given me stories to tell…
I know I just wrote a lengthy introduction to one of my favorite fuck-up employees, and the introduction doesn’t make sense really and will probably be edited and go somewhere else. Whatever.
Tonight’s story is about Rebel. Rebel was a pool shark who became great at the game after taking acid. Now, some of you know him from Julian’s poolhool on 14th street above the Palladium, till he got kicked out.
Rebel slept in pool halls.
He was a fat toothless bastard who when you saw him in a poolhall walked around like Jerry Lewis knocking over stuff, either because he wanted to get fresh kill or he was totally wired. When you played pool with him he became Jerry Lee Lewis. Call him the killer.
Anyway, he worked for me selling books on the streets of New York. I’d set him up with academic books to sell to NYU students and then he would hustle them for money playing pool later that night.
It was a good deal for both of us except Rebel was a pain in the ass…
So, Rebel sold books for me and a lot of the summer business was at night. I always wanted to pack up by midnight, but Rebel would stay out later and later.
One night it was getting close to one and I was screaming , Where’s Rebel, Where’s Rebel?”
A woman came over to me and Whitey and said,”What does your dog look like?”
I described him to the lady and she said,”Oh, I thought you were talking about your dog.”
“I am,” I said.
She was upset with me and left the store.
I went looking for Rebel and found him laying on top of garbage bags eating a tuna fish sandwich.”
“Rebel, it’s one o’clock in the morning. What are you doing?”
“I got hungry.”
“You could have brought the books back on the handtruck and then lay down on your garbage bags to eat your tuna.”
“The trucks come and pick up the garbage at One O’ Clock!”