When I first moved to Carroll Gardens [over 5-years ago], the mail boxes in my building were for shit. The door on my box was practically hanging off and mail was stolen from me a few times. Which, if you knew me well, knows how religious mail is for me. More so than email. I maintain that a 4x6 postcard is far superior and a trillion times more personal than 50-scrolled pages of sweet nothings on my computer screen. Cyber space ain't got not DNA on it. Personally inscribed paper does. Nothing beats the flair of someone's handwriting, nor the lilt of accidental smudges and spontaneous scribbles. Plus, I love the fact that it took a modern pony ride and was passed about like a baton to get to my home. I yearn for that bent corner and scuffed postage stamp. The magic of tossing a personalized piece of paper into a blue box and crossing fingers it reaches its destination is far more exhilarating a proposition than clicking the "send" button on your email program. Anyway, enough of that. I love mail. No two bones about it. I could also expose the dark side and rant about how SHITTY Brooklyn mail carriers are, what with their tardy deliveries and that one time I almost beat up a mail man because he wouldn't cover the mail with his canvas flap during rainstorms, delivering mail sopping wet and destroying their contents. I went Captain America on his ass and we give each other the hairy eyeball to this day. Plus, I won't really get into how my mother sent me a check and I never got it, yet somehow it got cashed to a fake name. Nah, I don't want to smear too many blemishes upon the United States postal system. It's one of the oldest machines we got and I wouldn't trade it in for no stinking satellite nor cable technology. Like I preach, there is something fundamentally wonderful about risking a personal artifact bundled in buses and flying through the air to a place not near you and it actually arriving safe, if not sound.
So, I pick up the Daily News, and what does the headline on page 6 read?
"END OF THE LINE FOR DEADLY DAD -- Promised teen 75G to kill wife"
And there he was -- a photo of Bernard. Report says that Bernard tried to hire a 16-year old co-worker [just two days after hiring him at Postal Press] to murder his wife. The kid thought he was joking, discovered he was serious, and set up a sting operation to get him busted. Busted? BUSTED! You are L-Y-I-N-G to me, I thought. Yet, as my favorite tv show host, Richard Dawson used to bark, "Survey Says..." DING-DING-DING-DING. I wasn't 100% surprised. Bernard always had that scary twinkle in eye. Especially on days when I'd arrive to pick up my mail or make xeroxes and he'd just been pumping iron down in the basement. He'd be all pink and stinky and his hair would sport sweaty spikes. One time he told me that I should feed my girlfriend/s oranges, so that when I went down on them, they'd taste like orange citrus. Whenever I would bring a gal-pal into the shoppe, he'd wink at me, crack a knowing smile, and say "Don't forget the oranges." I would brush it off with a fake chuckle and my female friend would wonder what the hell THAT was all about. Now Bernard is looking at 3-9 years in jail.
Shrugging off the filthy grime of crime, Mike & Marie brought Mexican and Chinese dinner over and we worked on their wedding party invitations. Me being the Photoshop genius, I scanned in their goofy pix and designed a nifty fold over card for them to take to Kinko's and print up. It took 3-or-so hours and they insisted we catch the finale of BACHELOR [season 2], a self-esteem nightmare of a show that I've managed to avoid until now. I won't get into the concept except to state that this show should be illegal. If it were a negro millionaire picking and choosing between 25-different hot mama's to propose to, he'd be put in jail for pimping a prostitution ring. Us white folk can get away with anything, as long as we're selling soda, telephony solutions, and cars.
I finished the cover for NIGHT FALLS ON YANCY STREET #2, and discovered that my writer/comix cohort, Evan Dorkin has an online journal:
On Thursday, Frank Pledge asked me to play a small part in the short movie he's making for FOX's experimental, online movie project [or some such]. Today's location was set in DUMBO. I don't know the details and specifics, and I don't really know FP's movie title. I think it's called SABOTAGED, or something like that. All I did know was that I was to wear all black, a pair of cool shades, and steal a purse. Simple. Easy as pie. The way we were playing it was: FPs mom starts walking towards the street corner and I come whipping around out of nowhere, snatching her purse as a masked thug comes running towards and passed me [like two thieves crossing paths and giving a professional nod], as the hero, who was chasing the thug, switches his attention and comes running after me. He shouts, I look back, and run forward until FP yells "cut!" We did a few takes and they went fine. Rob Consentino locks down the set, FP yells "action," and David Ford grabs the make believe magic on the digital camera:
FPs mom starts her innocent trek towards the street corner. I see the masked thug running towards us and I ignite my stealthy decent onto the magnificant purse filled with gold [motivation, people]! All three of us enter the frame as I SNATCH the purse to her dumbfounded surprise and turn the corner, sprinting down the block. The hero screams "CAR!" and I turn my face towards him, thinking he said "Stop Thief!," and whip my attention back again towards the end of the block when a hatchback comes RAMMING into me, full throttle, practically crushing my legs into the building, as I tried to stop my ascent and smashed my entire left side into the back of the vehicle, flipping over its hood and crashing into the sidewalk below. Within seconds I was standing up in shock and completely confused. Where had the car come from? Why did it run me over? How did I survive the accident? I was reeling. Everybody came rushing to my aid as I stumbled, feeling the pain compete with my adrenaline rush, seizing my muscles. The driver, a dirty blonde bohemian had the look of fear in his black eyes. He thought I was actually snatching the poor ladies purse, mistaking me for a REAL thief, and went STARSKY & HUTCH on me with his hatchback. He claimed that a criminal had stolen some ladies purse last week and thought I was the bad guy, never once noticing a crew nor camera. Ergo, his attempt to crush me. Now, wait...WHO was the criminal? Too dazed to consider his vigilante act, I was seeing stars and playing doctor on myself. My left thigh was smarting from the punch of the car and my foot was burning from blue flames. My left wrist and forearm was giving me the most trouble as titanium splinters raked at my tendons. Ligaments screamed from the nuggets of napalm in my wrist and my head was woozy with nausea. Dizzy yet standing, I made a tough guy out of a broken lie, and let the vigilante go. Happy to oblige, the Bohemian split dodge and everybody exhaled with relief. FP wanted another take or three and the adrenaline ponied up some manic action. We did a reverse angle and I was driven back to my apartment to lick sore wounds.
The damage began to settle in and take over as I spoke to my editor, Andrew Lis about the accident and he was concerned. We went over scheduling dilemmas, the latest cover, and my promise to have the first 3-issues of NIGHT FALLS ON YANCY STREET in the can, and in the midst of #4 by June 2003's debut. I got a hold of some pals and my Dad yelled at me for not going to the hospital. He was so upset by it that he actually called my mother and chewed her out. Jeez Louise! SBX gave a late holler and I caught her up to speed. She was in a long and tedious meeting at Pfizer and was off to a Parent/Teacher school conference with the girls. I tried to pencil half a page, succumbing to aches and throbs. Wishing I could crawl under SBX's rock. Perhaps take a hot, 24-hour long bath. I stared at the tiles in my shower stall and slumped to my knees. I didn't feel very good.
The evening brought in more concerned phone calls laced with one fundamental message: "Go the emergency room, now!" Frank Pledge called to check up on me and I told him what was what. He hopped into a van and picked me up in the pouring rain, taking me to the hospital on Atlantic Avenue, across the street from Montero Lounge. The nurse took my vitals and I registered with the hospital. FP got the A-okay from FOX to pay my medical bills under the workman's compensation law once I got hit with the fat invoice. Fuck you very much, America with your excellent health plan. That settled, we played the emergency room waiting game and sat like two Archie Bunker's, staring out at the BQE, while sick and sad Puerto Rican's watched the free basketball game on tv. SBX called a few times on my cell phone to check up on my status and she finally hit the hay. A pretty doctor named Dr. Shwartz took me in behind a sterile curtain and sized me up. I was concerned that my nausea was a symptom of a concussion and she ascertained that I had been banged up bad, but nothing too terrible. I would not fall prey to a coma tonite. I thanked FP for the good looking out, released him of his honorable duties, and wished him luck on the rest of the shoot. My wrist concerned Dr. Shwartz and we took x-rays which yielded negative fractures nor breaks. She wrapped my sprained wrist in an ace bandage and prescribed a weeks worth of Motrin and rest. Unable to hail a cab, I walked back in the rain with no umbrella and a pint of Butter Pecan ice cream with Motrin sloshing about my battered brain. Got home and hugged my cats.
And yes, it's true. I'm typing all of this with my one good hand.