“I fed you a piece of glass and you said ‘Thank you’”. That’s what she said as we sipped our wine, listening to Artie Shaw outside on our roof over looking 72 Street.
It had been almost 20 years from that day and she still starts every meal with that toast, that memory, that ceremony of how we first met.
Christmas Eve in 1977 I was on my way from Denver to New York City. It was a layover flight in the middle of a huge ice storm and all I wanted was to land safely in NYC, take that hour long cab ride into the city, walk up the 12 flights of stairs into my parents warm and tiny home in Brooklyn while my mother screamed at me to take my shoes off and then rushed over to give me a painfully safe and long hug.
I was in my early 30’s and was working in sales at that time. Nothing special had happened in my life so far. I came from a strong Irish catholic background, my grandparents were from Boston via Ireland and my parents acted like they had been in NYC all their lives. Up to date in every latest fashion, every new business venture and they were regulars at mass and the local deli weekly for the fresh cut meat and current gossip. They loved the Jews in our neighborhood because they were the only real entertainment my parents had. Being an Irish catholic in the heart of Jewish central left our family open to plenty of talk and hearsay, which my mother secretly loved. She loved being talked about. She was tall with thick, wavy dark red hair with these piercing blue eyes and just enough freckles to give her a slight tan. And my father had thick dark hair with some special grey streaks streaming past his ears to his brows. He loved his fashion of corduroy and polo shirts and my mother loved her tailor made suits. ‘Even though she was only a housewife was no reason to be left out of fashion’, she would always say to me. I could really care less about keeping up with the neighbors. So what that my father had great hair, a high paying job for our neighborhood in sales and my mother could out dress Vilma and Dolores down the block. I only cared about one thing: and that was love.
That bite of love hit me when I was a young boy and I saw the movie, “Double Indemnity”. I was strangely turned on when I saw how weak and vulnerable Walter was towards Phyllis. He was putty in her hands, he had no choice but to love her. As I watched that movie over and over, and even sometimes with my own father as he wept at the end, I was struck by the impact that the power of a woman who loved and deceived had with in the heart of a man. Every man around me acted as if the women were nothing but something sweet to smell and to taste every once and awhile. Even my own father tried to put on the act as the man of the house, even though I could always tell who really ran the house and who made the final decisions. It was if they were playing a game that they knew they had to play and somehow got enjoyment out of playing these roles. When in the end my mother commanded and my father obeyed. It was as simple as that. She would be out at the store for hours buying the exact food she wanted, then she came home, opened the bottle of whiskey, put on Duke Ellington and started cooking. Never did she have curlers in her hair, never did she wear her pajama’s around the house. She was always done up to the 9’s so that when my father came home, all he could do is look at his beautiful wife, eat and drink. There was no room to say anything. She was perfect. She did what she wanted and everything she did tasted good and was laced with her choice and her control.
Around midnight they would get into these roaring fights where she would have too much Scotch and he would be tired from the long work day. I would hear them in their closed room knocking furniture down and fighting with grunts and screams. My mother wanted to make love every night. Not just once or twice but many many times. I would hear my father complain about his back or his long day and I would hear my mother slap him and say to ‘wake up and to ‘look what he has right in front of him”. As a child I was fascinated by these fights, then as a teenager I got confused and somewhat angry at my father. How could he not want to please my mother after all she did for him during the day. The nightly arguments would always end up in loud lovemaking sounds that strangely put me to sleep. I felt safe when my father was pleasing my mother and I felt at peace when my mothers voice started to descend and the climax was over. Those nights where I layed in bed, hearing the music of marriage between my parents confirmed my passion to find this kind of love in my own relationship one day. And I swore to myself that I would always satisfy the woman at night, even if my back was broken.
The next morning was my favorite part. If it had been a good night between my mother and father then my mother would be up extra early and would have already come from the deli where she would get fresh milk and make freshly squeezed orange juice. I would wake up to sizzling bacon and as I walked into the kitchen she would say, “milk or oj” and then give me a big wink. I always loved making that decision because she knew I could not drink milk, my stomach was too sensitive, but she let me choose anyway. I always choose OJ and she would sneak me some bacon before breakfast was served. Homemade biscuits and gravy with bacon and sausage patties that topped the scrambled eggs filled my belly and filled my fathers heart. He would walk in looking exhausted but with this huge grin on his face. He would go over to my mother, who was looking absolutely beautiful, and kiss her on her cheek three times. I started to notice that the louder the nights the more he would kiss her. She would never acknowledge his kisses but kept cooking. As we all sat down at the table she would have this sly grin on her face as she poured the gravy over his biscuits and then they would laugh and we would all dig in to the delicious food.
I wanted that kind of woman. I wanted a woman to tell me what to do and how to do it. I remember as a boy during my nightly fantasies I would envision a woman yelling at me to strip in the corner and for me to turn around. She would slowly and silently come up to me and press her naked body against my back as I was facing the wall. She would then wrap my eyes with a cloth and move my hands around her naked body but never would I get to see it and command my hands on my own. For some reason her power and resistance turned me on. It was as if she was my father resisting and I was my mother yearning. I had various girlfriends through our high school and college. But none ever stuck with me more than a year. Never did I bring a girlfriend home to meet my mother. Because never did any of my girlfriends compare to the strength and power that my mother owned. And I knew that my mother would either devour the women’s insecurities or compliment their confidences, so I had to be careful who I chose to show off or to slaughter. Once I graduated from college I got a job in sales that took me to the west coast. My income was flowing and my home life was all set up and secure, but the women out in the west were horrible. I was used to the strong-minded and sometimes ruthless women of New York and the women in the west were too weak for me. When I came to Los Angeles in the early 80’s, I found nothing but easy horny bimbos with fake blonde hair and no ass to grab. Every woman was skinny and every woman wanted to be on tv. They had nothing to say and I had nothing to grab on to. Even the few women I slept with didn’t do anything in bed except make loud obnoxious noise. Their frail bodies just flopped on the bed while I had to do all the work and this horrifically fake sound came from their mouth with in 2 seconds of penetration. Yes they liked my Brooklyn accent but I was not that good to give them an orgasm with in the first minute, I knew they were fake. I went for years beating the bush of these LA bimbo’s until I finally gave up.
It was Christmas eve 1983 and a huge snow storm hit the west. I was on my way back to NY for Christmas and the storm kept me in a long layover in Denver. I was pissed and most importantly my mother was pissed. Which was actually a turn on considering every woman I had been with the past few years didn’t even know what anger was bc she was too busy fasting or meditating on the beach. No personality, no passion. So when I called my mother at 4pm on Christmas eve and told her I would probably not be in till midnight, for once in a long time, I heard personality and I felt passion. My ear was almost blown out by her screaming pain of me not being home for dinner. I could smell the meat simmering in the background and she made me taste every delicacy I would be missing if I did not command the pilot to fly me home to NY immediately. She even demanded to speak to the pilot of the plane, But I talked her out of her irrational request. Finally at 8pm we boarded our flight from Denver to NYC. It was a packed flight and I was one of the last to board. So finding my seat towards the end of the plane, hungry, tired, horny and lost in my life in the west, I crashed in my seat just wanting to be in my mother’s arms as soon as possible. After our take off we had the usual flight attendant streaming past our seats offering people their drinks and taking meal orders. How exciting…having rubber airplane chicken for dinner on Christmas Eve. After 3 scotch and sodas, anything looked good. I heard the words “Chicken or beef?” But my eyes were rolling in the back of my head and I did not know if it was a dream or if it was real. “CHICKEN OR BEEF” yelled the woman this time, and I immediately woke up from my drunken trance and said in a haste, “Jeeze, I didn’t hear you, calm down, I will have…” and then I saw her. This tall, dark haired, busty women with dark eye make-up slightly smudged. No smile just a face of anticipation, commanding me to hurry up and pick chicken or beef. All I could say was “Thank you”. She looked at me in confusion, still standing with two trays in her hands and said “ Chic…ok…whatever, here you go…enjoy”. She put one of the trays down on my seat and walked away. I knew in that moment that I was in Love. I bit into that rubber chicken with absolute ecstasy. I envisioned her pulling me up out of my seat by my tie and dragging me into the bathroom of the plane. Stripping my pants down and forcefully lifting her skirt up, she didn’t even bother to take her hose off, she just pulled them down and ripped them to create some more space. It was so uncomfortable in that bathroom, so awkward and harsh and strange. It was perfect. I was just about to climax in my day dreaming when “CliCK”. I bit into something sharp and my mouth started to fill with some blood. I spit out what was a sliver of glass and my tongue was barely punctured, but just enough to produce some blood. I thought it might be worse then it was and I started to panic. The people next to me hit the emergency button and my Flight Attendant Love walked slowly down the isle to see what was the matter. She simply pulled my hands away form my mouth, lifted my jaw open to see inside, swabbed my mouth with paper towels and said “ Don’t eat any more. You will be fine.” She came back with a small bottle of scotch and said “Drink this, shut your mouth and don’t move the rest of the flight”. I smiled and shook my head as I stared into her eyes.
As I was walking out of the plane, she handed me a card with the name Harry Mosqowitz, attorney at law. The day after Christmas I called Harry and we created a court case to sew the airlines for the piece of glass in my chicken. And it just so happened that Harry was the father of my Flight Attendant Love, Silvia, and he happened to live in Brooklyn right next to my family. After the first day in court she was standing outside the courthouse chewing gum, smoking a cigarette and smiling. We locked arms, went to have coffee which led to scotch which led to a settlement of a million dollars in my favor which led to her quitting her job that she hated anyway which led to our marriage which led to this day almost 20 years later. ‘Thank You’, I always say to her, ‘for the sweat blessing of your sharp glass”.
A fantasy in Brooklyn, a twist of fate and a lot of Scotch.