Saturday, February 10, 2007

Thought You Was the Cool Fool, and Never Would Do No Wrong

All stories follow pretty much the same recipe. There are 3 acts, the beginning, middle, and end. The first act is long and we meet the important characters. Act two develops the conflicts and the 3rd act solves those problems.


Goodbye, close the book, leave the theatre.



This last month, I have been shown by life's cruel mirror that I have entered the final act. With the passing of a parent, my 60th birthday, and the birth of a grandchild, there is no denying it.


All I need to do now is break a hip.

When I was a teenager, for some reason, I thought I was "cool". This was very important to me and my buddies. We even formed a small group called the Cools Club of America (CCA). Not Rochester, N.Y. mind you, but America! Of course, the population was a lot less in those days.

I was Vice-President. I still carry my membership card after 45 years.

My best friend, Howard Diamond, was President, although I don't recall voting. There were 5 or 6 of us, even that is debatable at this point. We would drive around, stuffed into a Ford Falcon attracting babes.

We even had a theme song -
"If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife".
It was sung by a one hit wonder group called Kid Creole and the Coconuts. We would blast it out of the car radio. This was even before 8 track tapes and Ipods. We just kept driving and hoped it would come on.

One guy is now a twice divorced, unemployed, wasted drunk; another lives in his daughter's basement. The President is up in Alaska, married to a full blooded Yupik native American.

I somehow broke the rule of the Coconuts.
Nevertheless, looking back, I don't think we were ever cool. James Dean was cool. And he was already dead. I don't know what was playing on his radio when he crashed, but I doubt it was King Creole and the Coconuts.


This guy has the good sense to exit the drama in the second act and leave everyone else choking on their popcorn and demanding their money back.
The CCA? We are now a bunch of grey headed grandparents. A jumble of sixtyish Sephardic Hebrews wandering around looking for the promised land where the cool Jews dwell.
Mirrors don't lie and sometimes the truth hurts.
All the years combine
They melt into a dream.

3 Comments:

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous robin said...

LOVE it. I was going to email you wondering where the next blog was, like you have been busy or something... Can't get enough of you and Howie; you certainly picked the cream of the crop when you decided on a best friend. Go work in your garden now - love you big brother - robin

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,
I am the guy picking up half smoked cigars in ashtrays and enjoying them with my beer during the late evening hours.
Did you know that 1 in 10 adults have some degree of mental illness?
I try to live a good life and not bother people (most of the time.) I still earn a meager living and refuse State assistance.
I wish I had a better situation but the degree of my illness limits what i can accomplish. Actually, i am surprised I am writing this...
I was shocked by your curt description of me, even though only a few would realize it was me you were talking about.
I still love you and want you to have the best life in NZ. Let that beautiful wife of yours know she is still welcome to visit anytime.(Mine won't speak to me, even though it has been 11 years since the divorce.) I think the last straw was getting caught pleasuring myself during dinner at a family friendly eatery in my community. Afterall, with the proper medication working overtime, a guy has to do what a guy has to do, whenever and whereever. Not everyone agrees with me but they are probably "normal" thinkers...go figure...

Co-Social Chair
CCA

 
At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ARE cool! How could you not be? You have Bernie's genes.
Lou

 

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