old friend

A friend of mine came to visit me in Poland for a few days . He flew in from Switzerland where he was playing several gigs . He lived there for several years and developed a following and a knowledge of the music scene there . He is a musician , you see .

Nowadays he lives in a small town in Connecticut , having emigrated north from New York City . He grew up living on 5th Avenue , if I got that right . I don’t know New York City at all at all . I’ve only been there once .

This friend of mine used to come out to LA every year . He’d stay with me in my various LA Basin domiciles and he’d always invite me to visit him in New York . But , you know how it is : I never had the money or the time , or the time and money together , so I never went . Over 25 years or more , I never went .

He had a small pad in Greenwich Village for decades , paying rent-controlled rent and at some point living in Switzerland , and playing in places all over southern England , and generally not being around Greenwich Village much . The landlords get irritated at that kind of stuff . They salivate at the rents they could otherwise be charging fresh tenants , and they jump at the opportunity to find ways to squeeze the long-time and especially absentee tenants out .

Eventually my buddy suspected that the tide would soon turn against him , and that they’d convert his pad into a condo , or the building owners had finally found a local political pal who’d institute a residence rule that would kick absent tenants out , or some such thing , so my friend  accepted a buy-out payment and he invited all of his friends to a good-bye apartment party at his Thompson Street pad .

I got off the phone with him then thinking that the good bye apartment party was a cute idea and I was appreciative of the invitation , but I never really thought I’d go . All the way to New York for a party ?  Mama H didn’t raise no fools !

When I told Ada about the invitation she told me that I had to go . She insisted . Can’t miss it , she said . So I went .

I think I got two hours of sleep that party weekend . I slept at his little place . His brother was there , too , and a few others  shared the digs for the weekend . We weren’t there much , though . Maybe we slept in shifts ; I can’t recall .  We walked all over the area , the Village , and I saw some of that part of the city . We ate Chinese food in Chinatown . We attended some kind of an art party with trendy artsy people with accents and cool haircuts , and we hit some of the local bars . New friends of mine , fellow apartment -party people , gave me a New York necktie as a gift . It had a picture of the twin towers on it . I still have it somewhere . dan and suzanne vega

It was a wonderful weekend , but I’ve felt like an idiot since then —- all of those years I could have gone and visited New York City , had a place to stay and a tour guide too ! Oh , well . One of the missed opportunities in life . Let’s not dwell on that too long or make a list of missed opportunities . It might be a little disconcerting if we were to do such a fruitless thing .

So , anyhow , I’ve visited this guy in Switzerland and in England and in Connecticut and he’s continued to visit me in California , although not nearly as frequently as he did in the old days .

We were walking along a Szczecin, Poland  street a couple of days ago searching for a blue purse as a gift for his wife . She likes blue . He found a good one , I think . He thought so too , but we two guys were on our own at the time  so what , really , do we know about purses ? Luckily , Ada verified the goodness of the blue purchase when we got back later to the apartment . His wife is in Connecticut , so he’ll have to wait for her opinion . dan at ferry stop

Ada went off to do her errands and my old friend and I went down to the river to take a one hour sightseeing cruise . That didn’t work out too well ,  but that’s a story for another day . We went to plan B . I always have a plan B , but plan B didn’t work out either , so we had to devise a plan C right there on the spot . Usually a plan B is enough .

I hope I’m not getting to a point in life where I always have to have a plan C  too , because  the world seems to be  getting crazier , or more scatter-brained and unpredictable , where plans A and B may no longer suffice . Or maybe it’s just me .

I think when you have old friends , though , you’ll be okay . You can come up with plan Cs together without much of a problem , and just let the world spin .

4 Comments

Filed under humor

4 responses to “old friend

  1. And sometimes the best plan is no plan. Or, as the cat said to Alice:
    ” Would you tell me, please, which
    way I ought to go from here?”
    ” That depends a good deal on where you want
    to get to,” said the Cat.
    ” I don’t much care where ” said Alice.
    “Then it doesn’t matter which way you
    go,” said the Cat.
    ” so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added
    as an explanation.
    “Oh, you’re sure to do that’ said the Cat,
    ” if you only walk long enough.”

  2. J

    Oops…guess I wasn’t supposed to read this….but I’m always appreciative of his gifts. He’s a good shopper, and his heart is always in it which makes it more special.

    As for New York…in my opinion, you went there one too many times:)….not a fan of a place where you can’t find a bathroom when you need one!!

    Love reading your blogs….

    • Yeah , sorry . I realized a little too late that I had spilled the beans . Maybe you will act surprised anyway , J. I agree about the bathrooms . I am an expert on that in Szczecin and know every one available , although I discovered a new one yesterday . Actually , it is an old one from the old days . They still charge a fee . I guess they re-opened it for some odd reason , because the mall directly across the street has a free one .

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