Sunday, December 04, 2005


Photo of my windows (center) facing Columbus Avenue. The window I jumped out of is around the right corner of the building.

I lived for a time at 46 W. 73rd St, and then moved next door to 48, which was on the SE corner of Columbus Ave (&73rd St.). My parents had separated, and my father lived in Freeport, Long Island. I stayed with him on weekends, being picked up either on Friday night, or Saturday morning. I had made some friends in Freeport, and preferred to be able to see them on Friday nights, of course. Well, one week, when I was about 12 years old, I thought I should be able to travel from Manhattan to Freeport alone on a Friday night. Mom would have none of this, of course. Dad would be coming in the morning to take me out to Freeport, and that was that. I was banished to my room, with 2 windows overlooking Columbus Ave, and a third window just one floor above the roof of the store next door.

I don't know exactly what posessed me that night, but I look back to my wish to be like Shaft, Spider-Man, and the Werewolf at that age, just as a guess. I put some clothes in a plastic bag, and scraped together the money for the subway and LIRR fare (I think it was $2.35 for the LIRR during off peak hours, and either 35 or 50 cents for the subway, though I'm not sure at all), and JUMPED OUT OF THE SIDE WINDOW, ONTO THE ROOF OF THE BUILDING NEXT DOOR. I sprained my ankle on that first jump, and then had to climb down the store's fire escape ladder, and hang- jump down onto Columbus Ave, about midway between 73rd and 72nd streets. I was hearing the theme from Shaft in my head as I limped down 72nd St. to the subway, and then to the LIRR, on my way to hang out with my friends in Freeport.

By the time I got to the Freeport LIRR station, it was past my usual curfew, and I had to walk the 2 miles to dad's place, because I had no money for a cab. I was starting to realize that this was not going to be worth what I had invested in it. Boy, I didn't know the half of it. When I arrived at St. Marks Ave, where dad lived, he was waiting at the door. NOT HAPPY. He invited me in, and asked me if I knew why my mother had so many nervous breakdowns. Of course, I had no clue. I was always the last one to know when mom got "spooky", as we called it, and I often unwittingly encouraged it. Little did I suspect, maybe not even during this incident, when my dad told me explicitly, that I might have added to her stress. Dad wasn't the only one; my older brother used to tell me that I (again, "unwittingly") used to put all kinds of pressure on mom. I didn't see it then, but do now. Now I see my fiance worrying about her adult (20 yr. old) daughter going out alone, and I understand.

There are alot more stories to be told about my life at 48 W. 73rd St. As I find the words to articulate them, I'll be writing them. This is what NEXTLEAV is for, after all. The personal side, and other stuff I wouldn't post on LEAVWORLD. Hope it's interesting, and helpful.

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