Browsed by
Month: April 2022

Requiem

Requiem

(Gabriele’s journal – March 16, 1991) (Nick’s narrative – April 7, 2022) After Gabriele leaves, I sometimes make another cup of cowboy coffee for Tito and me. Partially his age, but mostly because of his demeanor, I admire him more than the others. He is soft-spoken and unassuming. The year prior to moving to the Hill, he had been the top waiter at Sammy’s, the famous Roumanian steakhouse just a few blocks up Chrystie Street, north of Delancey. He had…

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Ma Bell

Ma Bell

(Gabriele’s journal – January 23, 1991) (Nick’s narrative – April 14, 2022) Everyone recognizes that Tito will die soon if he goes untreated. They also know that they, too, will face the same Wolf sooner rather than later. Life on the Hill with its manifest and latent violence, its diseases, is a community of the immune compromised. The best, if not only, defense is denial. When the wolf is at the door, it’s best not to open it and face…

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Oracle

Oracle

(Gabriele’s journal – May 10, 1991) (Nick’s narrative – April 21, 1991) The apartment at first was a refuge, providing brief escapes back into our previous lifestyle, but we became as addicted to the Hill as the others. Except for the day jobs, one or both of us spent day and night on the Hill, and the behaviors, routines, and ethos of our old life soon evaporated. We belonged to the Hill and the Hill belonged to us. So my…

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Ragman Hermit

Ragman Hermit

1798 watercolor by artist Archibald Robertson. Bayard’s Mount and Collect Pond. (Gabriele’s journal – September 23, 1991) (Nick’s narrative – April 28, 1991) I was startled by its appearance but I knew instantly that it was an ill omen. A couple months prior, Tito had claimed he was going to the hospital, but no one knew which hospital, or whether in fact he had even gone. In any case, he was missing, maybe dead. His hut had been taken over…

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