by M.E. Mishcon

So, when I saw him standing there like that I couldn’t help but shriek and say to Franny: ”IT’S HIM!” even though I knew in my heart that it wasn’t, but like, I really wanted it to be him, so much at that particular moment that I really sort of believed that it WAS him standing there in the middle of Union Turnpike on a Saturday afternoon as though nothing had ever happened to him or to me or to anyone in either of our families, which of course, it had, but for that one second I like, sort of believed that it was all brand new that no one had been hurt or put in jail, or smacked across the face, or run their stockings, or got a flat tire, or anything, and because it felt like, I swear, all magic and starting overish, and in that one second I fell strickly and madly in love with that guy, even though all I was able to see was him from the back of his black ‘Members Only’, and ‘Guess?’ jeans, but the funny thing is, that was more than enough because when he turned around, even though it wasn’t Joey Pontillio, even though it wasn’t the guy who I’ve been in love with for just about my whole life since I was thirteen, even though, it was pretty clear to me that Joey was probably still in the Bronx House of D, and all of that, it didn’t really matter a bit because there was this new guy, with the perfect ass, and black jacket and all, and the absolutely greenest eyes, that made poor Joey’s eyes seem almost brown in comparison, and what happened then, right there in front of Frannie and everyone else standing around MAY’S Department Store on the Turnpike really threw me for an absolute loop, because he smiled, and I realized that in all the time I knew Joey, in all those years that I loved him, let him feel me up, do the bases, and unnatural acts, through all of that, not once, not even one time did Joey ever smile at me for no reason on Union Turnpike, with the guys standing around looking at both of us, because when you got right down to it, the only thing that really mattered to Joey was being cool, and this guy in one single second didn’t seem to give two shits about being cool and that’s why I knew that he was the coolest, the absolute coolest that could be, and if that wasn’t enough wait until you hear his name, his absolute name is so cool that you will die and have a heart attack at the same time because his name happens to be my favorite all-time boy name of the world: Ray, so that’s why I can’t believe that it’s finally happened to me, of all people, me little Marion Kikowski in real and true love for now and always with Ray Marroni, and ready to have his children in a fast New York minute if he’d only do one little thing, and ask me out on a real date that did not involve his car, or his friend Sal’s empty apartment, or anything like that, and it might even happen because he did say that next time he calls me, if he ever does, we will go out somewhere really special, like someplace with a salad bar, and that’s when I’ll know for sure that he loves me, and everything will be alright providing, of course, that Joey’s sentence isn’t up, because by then I’m not a bit sure what I’ll do because Joey is liable to beat him and me up so bad that you could spread us on toast and serve us to the Pope for breakfast, because really when you get absolutely down to it, you’ve got to admit that Joey is a whole lot tougher than Ray, who has never been convicted of a single charge laid on him, let alone, spent an hour in the joint, when old Joey goes there practically on vacation every two years or so, and that means that when his sentence is up I’m gonna have a lot of explaining to do unless Joey has lost interest in girls, which is about as likely as him going straight to heaven, which is not a bit likely, but then I wouldn’t want him there anyway because I am probably not going to get a big chance to kick back in the clouds myself, which is why I think I would miss him, almost as much as I do now, which is plenty, which is why I wish he would quit all this bullshit and cop himself a plea because when you get right down to it I am more than willing to drop all the charges for getting hit and all, if he would be willing to pay for my stockings, apologize, and smile at me, just once, for nothing on Union Turnpike, in front of the guys, and everything.


Photo by Oscar Ivan Esquivel Arteaga on Unsplash