Clifton-Aldan Ted doesn’t remember being here except maybe for a restaurant that is lost in the molasses sea of memory. There’s different parts of Delco he likes and parts he’s avoided except when needed. CA never was.
Joe is non-political. He’s gone through bouts of socialism, also depending on the woman, but he thinks
“Eisenhowever” as his older brother calls him, is just “fine”. Adlai seemed well “not strong enough” and anyhow “neithr party will help him get laid”. A good Socialist rally in an adjacent city, well….
Local Politics, however, are another matter. He attends Holstock City Council meetings on a regular basis, more for some conversation when he meets his “buds”. “course he says that why he goes torecord hops.” There are other reasons, Anyway, the November ’57 first Monday Borough Meeting was where he met “the Edward”.
Lansdowne was where a Peace Activist group used to meet under the aegis of a Jim or a Dave or a ???. He was incredibly spacey and charismatic and his efforts almost always almost worked, He was wiry with dark hair and a non-stop motor and Ted got tired of the hous long meetings at the upstairs above the Lansdowne whatever diner long before Mary did. He also knew Lansdowne had a Quaker meeting but this was one he had never attended.
The Edward was what the Heathners would call “an odd duck” or, if they were among themselves, someone who’s “light in his loafers”. It wasn’t because of his erudition, though they found that odd but acceptable, being a Professor and like that. No, they “knew” he loved men and they felt odd about that but not hateful. Perhaps if the local Churches had taught that, they would of…But they were all, even Joe, “raging heterosexuals”, some with wives, some with girlfriends, some with both. Now if he had been a Republican……
The Fernwood Yeadon station was an anomaly. Ted had no idea what a “Fernwood” was. Yeadon was where he would go to see a movie that only he wanted to see. Mary refused to ever return because “it felt like a dive”. There was part of Ted that liked and remembered “dives”. Also he sometimes wanted aloneness, from wife and, now, son. And he could feel like a single man again, if only for the length of the movie.
Joe and the Edward sometimes hung out for no reason yet, except they did. Joe found him different, stimulating, though not speaking to any part of him he kept hidden. Just…they shared some musical interests and could speak of the world outside their streets, outside Holstock, maybe even outside upstate New York, outside the 1950’s. Maybe there was something that was about to happen but Joe thought not. 1960 would be just the same as 1959 and so on….
Angora Station was next and Ted was afraid he’s have to leave his secret world(s) and get ready for another damn anti-war demo that didn’t mean anything, didn’t change anything and why did they go except :”hat’s what they did”. Until such time as they didn’t. but then they would be doing other things, maybe raising backyard chickens, a garden, or somethig else he would regret agreeing to.
Once the Edward invaded a dream or two, Joe began to worry. Did it mean… but he decided he had dreams of hockey games and bar nights and even work invading his dreams at night. Was he drinking too much, being alone. Maybe he was drinking too little. Maybe he needed a permanenty woman even if it wasn’t that illusive “love thing”. After all, all men end up having that thing called a wife, just like all women…. It was hard being a man named Joe with too many thoughts, tooo many fears, too many…
49th Street remembered Ted of a woman he was passionate of in a time long ago. A black woman, not that it mattered, (he would call her Afro-Philadelphian now) who was strikingly beautiful but with a paralysed hand that made her skittish around men, men she feared would….He had told her that the hand didn’t matter to him. It was true, he looked at her legs in anticipation, her thin breasts, her smooth necks, her red lips……She either saw something in him he didn’t know about or she saw that in all men that showed interest in her. She could of had him but he necer could of had her. He wondered….
“Ted, are we ready for all of this?”