Sunday, May 22, 2016

Garlands of Roses in ChinaTown, Flushing Queens

For several excellent reasons I won’t get into, we watched the Kentucky Derby at a dive bar in Flushing Queens-- dead center, ChinaTown. On the TV, we took in rich whitebread billionaires swanning about in silken spring-themed blazers, white pants and expensive looking hair. 

Meanwhile, my immediate vicinity smelled like day old Coors and someone smoking Newports upstairs. Patrons slumped in their barstools, maybe for weeks. 

It’s possible that the pock-faced man suffered from an overactive bladder, but curiously, every time he went to the rest room, he chose to go with a new buddy, someone who wandered in off the street. It reminded me of my childhood. There was a lot of economic activity inside the men’s room at the Washington Tavern in my hometown. The restroom in there was like a tiny farmers market. Except in the stalls there were no apples or summer squashes and small bills were preferred. 

Remaining on the topic of my hometown… I was kinda thinking things there might be riding an upswing, but last time I saw my mother she commented on the people with diabetes who walk on the trail through Rivers Park (i.e. the spiffed up, mulched up “green space”  which used to be called “The quarry behind the Handy Mart” when I was kid).

“And they litter!” my mom continued, still on the topic of the people with diabetes. “There are insulin needles all over the side of the trail.” My mom said she was talking with a few of the park volunteers. No one really anticipated so many diabetics to be such avid hikers. 

Nothing for nothing, nothing changes.

Back in the days when you could go to Rite Aid and get as much Sudafed and Robutussin D as you could afford or jam down the back of your pants, no one ever wondered why so many junior high school students suffered from year-round sinus infections. 

And I'm sure the pock-faced man in the bar in Flushing Queens was just making sure that restroom patrons with diabetes or sinus infections could find the paper towels.
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