Today’s Valentine’s Day in the USA and other countries as well, by virtue of commercialism and a reason to feature certain products for your lovers, to spur sales of flowers and chocolate, jewelry, give away appliances and trips on game shows, plus the obligatory weddings and proposals, on TV, in Times Square despite the bitter cold, no coats on even, and just a veil against the whoosh, possibly being swept away by the wind, not your newly married spouse. Remember in sickness and in health, as u swore an oath, publicly, to those folks out there, and your spouse.
Those of us who have never had a proposal in so many words, even if it was close to that, like promises to go shopping for an engagement ring next day, together….but it was mere opportunism, because a guy saw a good deal 4 himself, and figured a $2K diamond ring was a good deal vs sleeping alone w sleep apnea 4evermore, not even knowing that, because no one slept w him! Yeah, hungry 4 sex, and a maid, and someone to watch over him, to check his skin, assess his health problems, and be a cure all to a low standard of living in the ghetto Bronx, at the time…I was his ticket out! But this girl is wide openly aware of schemes, and tricks, and manipulation, so it didn’t last, even past that one night spent together…
I took him home and said bye, rather than be a fool. I am a strong, independent woman, perhaps jaded, wise, but fortunate also, to know what words r said, and which aren’t, to know the inner meaning, and to see those who would be actually good, in truth, and those who r rank opportunists…I have noted that had my own parents had had this ability, I would not even have been born. How ironic! They found the situation more tolerable than spending 4ever w their parents picking at their emotional wounds.
The man in question was a nurse’s aide at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, caring 4 my father, right near the end of his life it turned out, as he was post-op from total hip replacement surgery, w many other co-morbidities at the time. He was 82 yrs old. He wanted me, all right. I was flattered and watching it, as I visited my father, and we grew closer over the course of several weeks. He was upwardly mobile, studying on his laptop also, as nurse’s aide isn’t a viable career to pay the rent in the Bronx even. U need a roomie or a spouse, or someone to share with. Even in walk-ups, w intermittent hot water and intermittent heat outages being common, boil water on the stove, pour into a stopped up sink, and wash from that, a whore’s bath we called it, that strategic smelly body part wash at a sink, crouched over, splashing water everywhere, w washcloth in hand, a lick and a promise…too many times myself w that too, over many many years of degradation as such.
Freezing cold houses as the boiler broke when it got extremely cold, and tenants get sick, and die even, from the roaches’ carcasses under sinks, walls, causing potentially fatal asthma, in the defenseless children, and u get sick over and over again, because New York is dark and dank, and freezing, if u r poor, living in the Bronx, w no viable way out….and every infection leads to further damage, permanent, of lungs, despite not being a smoker myself, but having lived repeatedly w other smokers, parents, boyfriends of mother, roomies at college, when that was permissible…and asbestos at various jobs, including as a nurse at St. Ann’s School, where I served, caring for the local children, walking up many stairs daily there, inhaling all the time, white flaking asbestos…so my lungs r my ticking time bomb, of no fault of my own….multiple pneumonias, COPD chronic bronchitis, spirometry annually, inhaler, being unable to exert anymore because of those damned lungs, which I cannot escape, because it was 4 too long, and now it’s too late. I was in the Bronx mostly from 1964 until 2011, but for stints at colleges near and far, and a 1 year experiment in Miami FL.
I will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery , near where I spent the greater chunk of my life, because it’s non-sectarian, and very beautiful there, a National Historic Landmark, a point of local pride, and also because my mom and I lived near it, and we will die w separate religions, officially, so we needed a place where our division was not an issue, as there it isn’t. She died in 2014. I have a friend who wants to go w me there, to visit, and we will, next spring, as the trees r so lovely blooming then, and the grounds r very welcoming. I put up a vase on the mausoleum, of marble, so beautiful, filled w artificial flowers, in memory, because mom always bought me flowers and chocolate 4 Valentine’s day, in commiseration of not having a boyfriend or a husband, but I am that strong, independent woman, aware of all forms of love in this life, even while I lament the lack of THE ONE.
I JUST WANTED MY LOVE TO BE THE ONE WHO WOULD HOLD ME CLOSE AND KISS ME, EVEN ONCE, BEFORE I DIE. It isn’t right that only my dear beloved passed mother is the only one who could be the substitute love. I deserved better than that, even if it can’t be.
But also, very grateful 4 those close friends who r my consolation, and they r not fickle, nor opportunists, they just love pure and simple, 4ever, and they r my reason 4 going on. Tonight’s a great way to celebrate life: Hotel California, The Eagles, live in concert, NYC, w a dear friend who also loves them…just a song, let’s see…I Can’t Tell U Why, the Eagles. Or You’re My Best Friend, but that’s Queen.