Enemy of order
Is not entropy as strong as growth?
Why is down-going evil?
Impartial god opens new venues
There is no blame
A sacred new world won't run from shadows
Will pray for light
It is up to us and no other
Karma is conscience remembered
Wake up and die right.
s. wrote this on the eve of his first day at work at continental can co..he had made a deep vow that he would keep this job for two years.
realizing that his sphere of influence was limited to waifs, hoydens and tramps like himeself, s. had written his father asking for help in finding a job.
bob had given him the phone numbers of three classmates from law school at north western. john simons was one of them. he was vice-president of continental can co., the largest container company in the world, with over 500 plants.
so there he was in the systems department coding in accounts receivable a college graduate job while attending the ninth grade in night high school. it was an easy job and s. graduated to the last row next to the head of the department. that meant that he could read a book in his drawer when his business work was done.
every now and then mr. simons invited him to the top floor of the continental can building on third ave.. this was a sumptuous office with maids dressed in black and white traditional french maid outfits; the pretty little 'ballerinas' with white lace aprons served the top executives coffee or tea and cocktails whenever required.
and they would chat over coffee and crumpits for a good twenty minutes about this and that. eventually, s. was invited to the house in chappaqua, westchester, where he met charlotte, 'jack''s wife and their children. mostly, he would stay the night or over the weekend. in other words s. was 'adopted' again.
it gets a little horatio algerish now with charlotte telling a sad story about her daughter jan who had married an architect from Cameroon. she lived there only a couple of years, got pregnant and suffered the untimely loss of her husband to an airplane crash.
jan was flying back home and would arrive soon. would s. kind of take her under his wing and comfort and entertain her? that was the gist of charlotte's request . of course, more than delighted, sight unseen. and when s. saw her for the first time he was even more thanking his lucky stars because she was beautiful.
self-portrait by jan herself.
so jan and s. became fast friends and enjoyed each other's company enormously, and it must have distracted jan from her loss just as charlotte had hoped.
so here was s., once again squiring a lady with a strangers baby in her womb.
school was four hours a night though and five nights a week so s. only spent the weekends at chappaqua. jan told s. that her father had dropped a hint that his liquor cabinent was showing a little wear and tear from these weekends. s. just laughed knowing that they could certainly afford as much tia maria and courvoisier that he could drink.
but when s. asked jan to marry him and she said no he wanted to know why not. she simply said because she thought he drank too much. he was surprised and hurt because he didn't think he was so bad. it seemed normal to drink as much as he did. s. had not crossed the 'line' yet and the only personality change was that he just became more entertaining and funny. as a matter of fact, he didn't even appear to be tipsy and never lost his balance or the ability to control the alcohol. you could say 'he could hold his liquor'.
meanwhile, back at the can company s. was taking advantage of his protected position as a protoge' of the vice-president and racked up the company's all time record of latenesses and absences. and the company had been in business for a hundred years almost. when his boss, george safer, had moved on to a higher position, his second in command, steve something or other, screwed up his courage and fired him. s. did not quite achieve his goal of keeping a job for two years as he had vowed he would do. he was short by six months.
but he remained on good terms with jan and the simons's.
the house was on several very private acres. it was quite a sylvan paradise for skinny dipping in the pool and playing badminton or crocette.
once on the fourth of july they were all invited to donald smiley's private island in the long island sound. mr. smiley, another classmate of s.'s father was president of macys. it was a gala party with motor boats ferrying the guests from the shore to watch what you might call the first "macys fourth of july fireworks show".
the island was designed like a ship and the top floor called the "crow's nest" was the master bedroom. s. and jan laid in bed and watched the fireworks through the bedroom's picture window with a magnum of "dom perignon" and a silver platter of french hors d'ouevres.
another time they were invited to a concert at carnegie hall by virgil day, a third friend of s.'s father and a good friend still of jack simons. it was a 'black tie' occasion.
the princess of sweden was served champagne in the neighboring box. this stirred our powerful host, vice-president of general electric to disappear for bit. about ten minutes later two ushers served champagne to his guests. s. caught the eye of the princess and hoisted his glass to toast the lovely princess. she smiled happily and raised her glass in response. naturally, this was a high point in the life of this vagabond artist.