Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Aunt Lily's Rules

Aunt Lily and Aunt Vera
I'm 10, I walk into my 83rd Street apartment on a miserably hot afternoon. It's dark, the lights are out to pretend it's cool, and there's my mother's Aunt Lily sitting in her underwear at the kitchen table drinking coffee like she's dressed for tea. Nothing on, but a giant white bra and big fat pink panties. I circle the table, my mother's sisters, Joan and Barbara are there but they have clothes on.

I say hi to everybody, and give Mom the eye and a head tilt to join me in the next room.

"Mom, what's with Aunt Lily?"
"She's hot."
"No, she's nude."
"No she's not silly. She has her underwear on."

I walked away spinning circles on the side of my head with one finger.
Aunt Barbara, Aunt Joan and Mom

A week later, Mom throws a Tupperware Party on a record heat day for early June. There are strange faces on my couch and a few of Mom's friends. I was drenched with sweat from playing ball down Carl Schurz Park. I tore my clothes off, threw them in a pile, kicked them under my bed, and put on a fresh pair of Fruit of the Loom briefs and went to the refrigerator. The sweat on my back and belly returned, but I sighed when I felt the chilled air leaving the fridge as I pulled out the ice water. I took the old Mott's apple juice bottle to the kitchen table and plopped on a chair to catch a tiny backyard breeze coming in from the living room window. Where I sat gave the ladies on the couch a clear view of me and me of them.  My pot belly was pooling sweat. They stopped their gabbing. One had her mouth wide open. Mom facing them turned around, saw me, and came into the kitchen.

"What the hell are doing?"
"Drinking, cooling off."
"Why are you in your underwear?"
"I'm hot."
83rd Street backyard

She grabbed me by the neck and directed us towards my bedroom.  I didn't bother arguing. What was the point? Aunt Lily had her own set of rules.

If you like my work check out my memoir, 
"I Hate the Dallas Cowboys - tales of a scrappy New York boyhood." Available at Logos Book Store or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Carl Schurz Park, 1964

The book has 103 Amazon five star reviews out of 103 total reviews posted. We're pitching a perfect game. My old world echoes TV's "The Wonder Years" ~ just add taverns, subways and Checker cabs. 

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