Thursday, April 16, 2009

To Be 16 On The 16th

Frank Sinatra spoke of his life in terms of various time-frames as in: “It was a very good year.”

Sixteen. It was a very good year for becoming a licensed driver. “Licensed” is the operative word here, as my brother had me behind the wheel of our ’53 Plymouth (I think) something like a year before then. It was a very good year for living out beyond where the cops generally patrolled and you could teach your brother how to drive without worrying that you might get caught.

Sixteen. It was also a good year for getting my working papers. I don’t know where I got them, but they made me legal for working at the drugstore, after two years of being an illegal at the tiny grocery store next door. I was now the idol of Lordship, one of the very few soda jerks out there. Also, keeper of the secrets of the men who came in and whispered, “I’d like to see the pharmacist,” which meant, “I want to buy a box of rubbers” (we never heard the word “condom” in those days, as they were forbidden in the State of Connecticut, under a never-enforced law).

Sixteen. It was a very good year for starting my writing career at the Bridgeport Post, a little bit here and a little bit there. Writing and re-writing, trying hard to get it right, reading what other people wrote and realizing the Reader’s Digest was literary mush.

It was a forgettable bad year, too. Best forgotten.


Post a Comment

<< Home