GOOD NEWS: This is the best stuff I've ever drawn! My editor is ecstatic. The pages are sophisticated and multi-layered and have a cohesiveness to them that bring a lot to ponder over. My job is to make the efforts seamless and the visual narrative flow. Serve the needs of the story. The hope is to catch the extra attention of those who experience the tale. Get them as excited to read it as it was making it. My favorite voyages are the ones that spirit you away and foist suspension of disbelief yet ground you with the sensibility that the team that brought you this wholesale entertainment were having a blast -- letting you in on a ticket to ride.
Wednesday night I ate dinner with my Father, Reha B. [my dad's first ever girlfriend from way back in the day], and her husband Frankie B. Obviously, I consider the B's family, since they have been around me all of my life. They are two sweet & happy Italians who live in Merrick, Long Island, travel the world, and see Broadway theatre and concerts, twice a week. Frank started his trade as a Pharmacist by car (the polar-opposite of Arthur Miller's tragic Willie Loman in "Death of a Salesman") and now is vice president/publisher for a major Pharmaceutical magazine. Reha was/is housewife who held many jobs, including travel agent. They have a daughter named Gina who is approx. my age and works in the corporate world. Gina was probably one of the first girls I ever had a mini-crush on when girls went from being like boys to something so different, intimidating, and exhilarating, that it challenges my attention above and beyond any cliffhanger, puzzle, or mystery, to this day and most likely, forever.
We congregated at Flor de Mayo, a Chinese/Cubano restaurant that I've been going to (at it's various locations throughout the years) since I was an idea in my father's balls and a lucky egg in my mother womb. We ate, caught up, talked current events, and made merry.
I have a short list of food establishments that I have been going to all my life. Food that has informed my candor and step. Places that have stood the test of time and become personal landmarks: Flor de Mayo, La Carridad, H&H Bagels -- all in the upper west side [where I grew up], Wo Hops in Chinatown, Nathan's in Coney Island, and recently, Ling Ling Young Young in Carroll Gardens, and Blue Ribbon in Park Slope, are the chosen few. Even Nick & Eddie, a place that I helped brand and worked at for 4-years in Soho, which has come and gone, makes that list. Ergo, why Blue Ribbon, N&E's surviving sister, where I am made to feel comfortable, welcome, and desired. Sure, there are others that I went to growing up with my family, Like Ralph's Italian restaurant in mid-Manhattan, or Hunan Cottage (with it's awesome Orange chicken) in the upper west side, but my short list are the ones that I return to. Made the impact. The one's that remind me of what "home" is no matter the accidents I have been in, the broken bones, the blood, the scars, the proud flesh, the women I have loved, the music that changes in my stereo, the comix I read and make, these places/these restaurants remain constant. My eternal pilot flames.
Thursday night brought levity to my resolve with SBX and proposed a mission in my heart. Poor dear. On the very tippy-top end of this harrowing divorce and negotiation with Mr. Ex, she is struggling with the emotions of failure and loss. Fighting for 2 & 1/2 years to get what's right [fighting 10-years to rid what is wrong], with two angels to keep her confused about the toils of marriage. I threw all ego to the gutter before entering her basement walls and cuddled her, stroking that blonde mane, as she let some of that shield go and shed a few tears. More than ever, I knew that I had to take care of her. She is so strong [to a fault], that it takes only but a tender touch backed by true promise to shatter her shield and massage that secret Achilles. Rarely does SBX succumb to need, and I was glad to be there for her time of pain. I am going to make her know, every day, that she can count on me and allow her to NEED more than just WANT. As she always declares "I don't need anything but food and water to survive. I choose to be with you because I want to. But, I don't need you." And for such a victim of heart-breaking betrayal, I want to prove to her that it is okay to need me more than just want.
Friday night was a free-for-all of watching DVD's and eating boxes of pizza. A few calls yielded the presence of Vanessa W. & her pal Juliet. Doug B. & Eric S. Mike & Marie, and Lena. I rented FRAILTY, Bill Paxton's directorial debut which played out like a feature length TWILIGHT ZONE. Mid-way, I guessed the two twists that would occur at the end, but missed the very last curve ball. Simple stupid but entertaining when bunched up on a rainy day with your pals in the dark on a futon. Then, I insisted we watch THE WARRIORS. Mike and I waxed heavy nostalgia for the Manhattan and Coney Island of 1979, the years that made us who we are today, and it made me wonder what the fuck Tony Scott thinks he going to do with the fucking remake??? The more I think about a remake, the more it angers me. If anybody could write a proper update, at all, it would be the wild mix and talents of NiggerKojak, Larrondo, and Me. Popped in a 3rd movie as we watched the awesome vampire kung-fu of BLADE 2. Guests began to count sheep, Vamps were given due silver & garlic, and taxis were called. I stared at my lava lamp as red volume stretched and split. I dreamed of Baseball Furies and steamed dumplings.