… with tender, loving care and lots of Febreze®, but we’ll get to “fragrance management” later.
This is not a dig to people living on the streets. This really happened to me… NO LIE.
It’s not as pathetic, on my part, as it sounds (Okay -maybe- it was.)
He was a young, Eastern European from the country of Georgia, and hot— a scruffy cross between Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell, not to mention–
(Ohhhh, yes… it’s all coming clear and a lot more palatable for you, huh? Don’t answer that.)
The swarthy percussionist, 16 years my junior, claimed to be working on an online degree in international law or something like that, through a program from his homeland. I believed him… he was smart as a whip and a true hustler. The former was because both of his parents were professors, back on his native soil… the latter, from trying to survive the streets of New York.
No matter where he was, he’d have his portable drum kit and some sort of classic literature to read. He actually introduced me to the beautiful work of
author, Chrétien de Troyes:
“Love without alarm or fear is like a fire without flame or heat, day without sun, comb without honey, summer without flowers, winter without frost, sky without moon, and a book without letters. Such is my argument in refutation, for where fear is absent love is not to be mentioned. Whoever would love must needs feel fear, for otherwise he cannot be in love. But let him fear only her whom he loves, and for her sake be brave against all others.”
This “May-December” romance was an impossible dream for me, but I stayed optimistic (Hey, it was working for Demi and Ashton.)
When we first met, I was a lead/ back-up vocalist for a cover band who did weekly gigs at a local bar in Times Square, NYC.
We always had guest musicians including, one of the former lead singers of Carlos Santana’s group along with a major turn-over rate of vocalists who couldn’t handle the chaotic, impromptu song lineup from the bandleader. Unbeknownst to me, my future “man~child” was a part of that musical circus. Before our official introduction, he had sat in to play, weeks earlier, without my noticing because I was newly getting acquainted with the roller~coaster ride that was our show.
I thought that he was in his early thirties… not barely 23.
The night that he insisted on escorting me to my front door, train ride and all, it had been revealed that he thought that I was around 26…27, not pushing 40.
He had hoped to be invited in, but when unsuccessful, walked off into the night to his place in the prominent area of Jersey City… I’d later find out that he had broken into an abandoned home (not his first) to take shelter in one of its rooms.
The “little drummer boy’s” lack of refuge was more of a chosen adventure rather than an unavoidable state of dire straits; Our talented foreigner who spoke Turkish, Russian and English, in addition to his native tongue, had arrived in the States on a scholarship because of his high intellect that provided him with a student visa. The then 17-year-old virgin would innocently come to America for his education to unexpectedly transform into a reckless drop out, leaving his school (in Utah, of all places) and adoring host family behind, only staying in contact with them, occasionally. He’d also develop a preoccupation with internet porn, the apparent cause for his girlfriend of four years ending their engagement.
He was on a real winning streak.
There are many stories of immigrants who legally visit a country on a visa that eventually runs out then, stay in their chosen land to find work getting paid “under-the-table”. The Georgian’s tale was no different. His choice of occupation to survive, when not performing, was waiting tables at a trattoria on the Upper East Side and doing the occasional stint as a lifeguard (this last vocation, a true pleasure for him as he adored being immersed in water).
Yes, if you haven’t heard, some people who live on the streets do have jobs.
One of my highlights with the imported “boy~toy” was seeing how “the other half” live by spending part of the night outside of Washington Square Park, in the Village area of downtown Manhattan. We sat on the sidewalk in 23-degree-weather, in the middle of December, accompanied by two of his homeless musician associates, one slightly crazy. A third one had been there, early, but disappeared into the park, looking for “stuff”… probably, pot. He never returned, all suspecting that he had gotten busted by the authorities.
There was I, bedecked in a long, fancy, faux- fur/suede coat that my mother had bought for me on the Home Shopping Network or QVC (wouldn’t she have been so proud to know where it was sitting?), completely out-of-place, but warmly welcomed by his friends who were pleased to meet me and thought that I was cool for even agreeing to be there. I joined them for a Bohemian-style jam session that included my vocals, the Georgian’s accoutrement and an acoustic guitar owned by one of the fellows who suggested breaking into an abandoned house for shelter as cops passed by to case the joint.
It was an awful thing to hear, but I couldn’t blame them for wanting to be somewhere else, other than freezing concrete. The only luxury that they… we had was a metal, trap door on a portion of the pavement that provided rising heat through the cracks from below.
As we huddled, the mildly mad one… a young, blonde guy with dreadlocks proudly spoke of his girlfriend who was a few months pregnant. I couldn’t fathom what the future would hold for that couple and a baby.
I was not used to that world and didn’t plan to be.
That moment really let me know how blessed I am and was the incentive for this cougar to allow the little cub with sticks to briefly move into her condo.
Oh, yes… I did.
Up next, ChocolateGeisha will spill the sake on how to live with a sapling, plucked from the park.
©2011 Heidi Rodney-Nakanishi and ChocolateGeisha Spills the Sake!™