somebody lit a stick of dynamite. it blew a hole in the ass of columbia university's glorious statue, her primness, the 'alma mater'. a girl was arrested on campus for "living with her boyfriend". sixty other students insisted they be charged also. then there were demonstrations and the student revolution had bugun. not because of the administration's prudishness but to end the bombing of vietnam.
police sent in to crush the student occupation of campus buildings cracked skulls and arrested 700 students. a different war was erupting in the states. the call it 'civil rights'. martin luther king was murdered. then eight weeks later robert kennedy was killed, shot in the head.
s. spent most of his time reading. the enormous leather chairs in the library at columbia swallowed you up and were ideal for a midday nap. scholarship, grants and student loans kept s. going for three years. 19 credits a semester didn't leave much time for anything but reading and romance. work study was a little income. enough anyway to pay the way of any of his nine girlfriends. elie the girl from mitilini with her innocent moon face used to sneak him into her dorm late at night.
a beautiful indian girl with blue-black shining hair and soft skin the color of red clay pottery was naive enough to say, "why are you interested in me." there was still jan to see now and then, mary from his 'group', nancy, who he had met at the "pardox" was devoted, wendy from england (oh he really loved her a lot but she loved him too much. that scared him. they broke up three times. she kept coming back, looking more beautiful each time. but he was firm.) a periodic tryst with sue ended in screaming at each other. s. went on to her roommate then. that was linda. but jean was still the very best in his mind. when they married many years later, he would joke at dinner parties. "yeah, i picked her from a cast of thousands…" jean didn't much like that joke.
but most of the time it was reading reading reading. reading and thinking, thinking and writing. s. lived on the top floor of a brownstone on park ave. near 98th street. he walked to school in morningside heights, through central park on winding paths.
it was the walk home that was spooky. but he walked along mostly fealessly whistling, dreaming, scheming. somebody followed him into the vestibule one night jabbing in space with his switchblade knife. s. stayed calm, gave the shaking guy 35 cents and a subway token. he searched his enormous expandable brief case and all his pockets;more books. suddenly he blurted out "sheeet man, you aint go nuthin' but books!" then he was laughing. and leaving him there in the dim hall turned back and handed s. back his token and change.
julie and the boys, demian and jonathan, lived five blocks north on 103 st., an apartment that s. would inherit soon. every now and then he would come over and babysit for julie. that's when the story telling began. with stories from his head and a song our two, he put them to bed.
one day as she tells it, julie was watching some young guys playing stick ball in the street. she was on the ground floor and leaning by the open window, caught the eye of some guy and invited him in for a cup of coffee… a flash in the pan, but the cause of the entry of jason into her brood. nine months later, of course.
soon after jason was born, bob f. married julie and s. inherited the ground floor apartment. and school went on. and the 'work' went on. what was the work like then? sundays he'd take the subway to the end of the line very early in the morning and catch the new haven train to north white plains. after a ten minute walk to the diner there, he'd have breakfast with other 'train people'.
some of the people who drove to 'armonk' would stop and pick up people to take them the rest of the way.
to be continued, "armonk"