Wednesday, May 17, 2017


As I sit here this dreary Saturday afternoon before Mother’s Day, the steel gray clouds that umbrella the sky, ironically showering me in a deluge of precipitation, the cold wind, and dampness closer to winter than spring, it reminds me of memories that take me way back.

Living in Brooklyn as a child, the apartment was the center of my life, with Mom and Dad, a certain pall would emanate from the air that lent itself to sleep inducing rituals that Tony, aka Dad, would adhere to. This was something to behold and I did. As Dad sat in his chair, his fingers locked into the belt of his pants, the gentle shifting of the body from upright vision to downright slumber, his eyes would signal the advent of naptime. 

As I stood at the edge of his chair, the newspaper fallen to his chest, the signal was frequent, the flashing of the lids, the position of the eyeballs up in his head and the final sound, the sleep rattle, the slow nod and total peace, his body positioned to go the distance until dinner time.

This was Dad and I so wanted to be like Dad. He smoked and I pretended I smoked, exhaling the imaginary smoke just like he did, I even practiced my Italian swear words, just like Dad! He drank coffee, so I put milk in a coffee cup with a saucer and along with the imaginary cigarette, usually a pencil placed in one of the ash tray slots, read the New York Daily News, backwards from the sports pages to the headlines, kind of like rewinding the reel and playing it backwards.

But the apartment set the stage for sleep conducing, somnolent carefree existence, with the quietness of death and the silence of the lights, Dad was on his way to the pillow ball slouched in his chair. It was so quiet, you could hear everything you heard in your life as it played out between your ears! Then the rain hitting the windows followed up by the snore!

The snore would enclose the room by 2 feet on each side, lowering the ceiling until you felt you had to stoop to get around. You took your shoes off out of respect for Dad and his ritual of “Resting my eyes!”

Dad was the master, soundly crafting the skill to pass on to generations to come, of which I hold dear to all the tradition I hold.

As I looked out the windows at the gloomy landscape of rooftops and concrete backyards, it added to my gaiety of knowing that someday I too would be performing on such a stage. And so, friends, dear readers, and countrymen, I bid you adieu as I pinch out the light of consciousness and descend into the abyss of happy naptime and a good snore.

Wake me gently when dinner is ready.


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