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The NuNu Wave

April 1, 2007

” Paulie, come, sit, sit down, have a sangwidge wit me…I know you’re hungry”. Pop was smiling as he put his python arm around me to drag me closer for the kiss.” What is it Sam, three o clock or some shit… this kid gotta have a beak on”?” Yeah Pop, I am hungry….whattya got Sammy”?, says I looking at Goose and winking. Goose was drooling and smiling, just popping his lips. Fuckin’ happy to be there. I was jealous for a second. Lucky man, the Goosie. No fighting, scuffling and lying about shit, no Mass on the freezing mornings of Lent or the fake happiness at the good fortune of some dope you can’t stand when the Boss is watching. I get the bliss-ignorance deal..and the fat, dumb and happy thing.But then again, Goose would never know a good fuck with a soft warm babe who had you convinced that she gave a shit. Or laughing so hard you couldn’t breathe when you see that dope you despise get what he had coming…in spades. Or a perfect Chivas – rocks with a twist or a Cappacol with peppers and provalon on fresh bread from the corner.”For you, Mr. Stroonz”, booms Sam, ” I got cappacol and provalon, and fresh bread your Pop just brought from the corner”.” Your Aunt Ruth sent some peppers in oil….put these on, Paul, she makes the good peppers”, Pop says, and shoved an uncovered tupperware at me, across the stained doily. It caught on the edge and spilled dark olive oil onto the cloth. Pop didn’t notice the slosh, just continued shoving. He was getting kinda bad…..not really seeing things, or noticing things, forgetting the time and a burning cigarette. I knew it was just a little while and He’d have to go to a “Place” somewhere to be looked after. He for sure should not be driving.The long, slow slide was well underway, and I had been ignoring it for too long. The missed spots when he shaved and the corners of his mouth that most of the time were crusted with dried sauce or whitened-up spit had been telling me, just like the weights in his eyes.A little bit of me died every time I saw him, and he was dying too. We both knew. He knew he was gonna have to go, and he knew I was gonna have to take him somewhere down a fuckin’ Primrose lane.Deeply involved in making the sandwich, I missed Sammy silently taking Goose to the other room and when I looked up it was just me and Pop.” Paulie…how you getting along….you got money, feeling good… how you”? With the wave of the hand, just like his Dad, NuNu, in the back of the old shed at the scrapyard.

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