What scares us to death does not make us stronger …
I once read a survey that said more Americans are afraid of spiders than they are of death.
Since I have an amazingly ridiculous and incurable phobia to arachnoids, and I equate moving with death, “ergo” (don’t you love any excuse to use that word?) … I think of moving as uncovering a nest of hairy things … then like the witch … being crushed under the weight of it.
Not much fun.
I did, however, think it was funny enough to write an entire rolling monologue that translated into one of my journals … The Mad Mother From Brooklyn.
We lived in a cramped one-bedroom apartment, the two kids in the bedroom and mom on the sofa in the living room. Have I ever told you the number of sofas, floor mats and other strange beddings I’ve slept on? No?
This apartment had a long front hall I quickly converted into a playroom for the kids and the dog. Soon after moving we also acquired a cat.
The living room was my bedroom and office, it was where we ate all our meals, where I played loud music, studied, and where I played games with dozens of urchins from the building. Emotionally, I am torn. I consider the five years we lived in this Bensonhurst, Brooklyn apartment to be the best years of my life.
However, the landlord, who lived on the fifth floor of the building, was not very generous with the steam heat. The radiators were cold most of the winter. The last and fifth winter, we were trapped during over 20 major snow storms and one record-breaking blizzard that paralyzed the entire north east of the country.
To give the landlord his due, I left in the middle of the night owing five months rent. To immortalize her, the night I escaped the deep freeze, I wrote on the ceiling: The Mad Mother from Brooklyn Lived Here in bright red crayon.
The last traumatic move for me was the year I left Northern Manhattan and moved to South Florida.
I have learned to live with the culture shock since this area is better known as New York South. I have adjusted to the climate change, the lack of alternate side of the street parking, no busses on every street corner, and no subway rides downtown. In time I even began to enjoy the quiet. But I have never stopped missing Brooklyn.
Speaking of Brooklyn, I’d like to introduce you once again to Antoinette.
Antoinette is my alter-ego, soul mate, my legal middle name, and the main character in my Third Eye Mystery Trilogy. Before she grew up to be a photojournalist for The Associate Press, Antoinette “Toni” Gallucci was the central character is a young adult book I have played with for six years. Her story, Sunset Park, spans fourteen years of her life from seven through her twenty-first birthday.
Another character from those stories is Michael Russo. Michael might be that kid I talk about occasionally. The only boy I didn’t hate and my trusted side-kick, Petie.
For the next two weeks it will be my pleasure to tell you the tale of Antoinette’s separation from her childhood friend, Michael Russo.
Introduction to Moving Day …
School was dismissed and the kids scattered. Some of them walked up the long hills adjacent to Sunset Park and were never heard from again. Many married young, birthing and raising a new generation.
It was a fresh start as the kids and their parents threw off the remnants of the yesterdays that defined them and embraced a vision of tomorrow they waited to realize.
For the kids who grew up in the areas surrounding Bay Ridge, the incredible vistas from bike path along Shore Parkway, adjacent to the Brooklyn Narrows, spanned these changing times.
It was in the ebb and flow of the waters, in the endless stream of people and traffic, the change began to define itself.
Dancing to another beat, both parents and children had yet to learn, eventually everything old is new again.
What change of scenery has caused
the most trauma or joy in your life?