Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Personal / Stories / pk Chron / College /
I just told a story, Lawyers List, about Alan and how he wasn’t qualified to understand poverty, or budget; here’s a pair of stories on the same and related subjects:
I’m standing on the street corner, playing to spend a semester’s worth of my long saved wealth on my one expenditure: jazz records, when I spied Alan. “Can you lend me $10?” Alan asks. “Sure,” I say, postponing my trip to Sam Goody’s record emporium and trimming my budget for when I did go.
I ran into Anton, the friend through whom I’d met Alan, and told him the story. “What?! You loaned Alan $10?! Now you’ll eat franks and beans for a month so he could have sirloin again for one evening!”
Alan hadn’t said what he wanted it for, I hadn’t asked him; but Anton assured me I’d never see the $10 again. Except I did. Alan went out of his way to pay me back. Anton must have all but thrashed him!
Another time, I’m in Birdland, my beloved Birdland, with Myron, my beloved friend, Myron, the genius, the jazz pianist, and Tony, our roommate. Tony was a year younger than me, recommended as a roommate by Myron, looking to reduce the rent for each: Myron was three years younger than I: he entered Columbia at fifteen: and had 30 points of A+ the first semester!
I’d been frequenting the jazz club named for Charlie Parker since I was fifteen myself. But I never drank there: I couldn’t afford it. I drank, but not where prices were higher than 15¢ for a glass of beer: Birdland in 1958 a bottle of beer was $1.25, or $1.50.
Myron says, “Paul, can you lend me $5?” Sure. I hand Myron a $5. A minute later Myron comes back with three bottles of beer, gives one to Tony, takes one himself, and gives one to me.
“Oh, thanks, Myron,” says this idiot.
And of course Myron pocketed any change. And of course Myron never paid me back: that $5 or any other $5: and his rent checks bounced … and so forth.
It was years before I understood what had happened in Myron’s case: he displayed toking pot, he displayed a love of opiate-based cough syrup, but he concealed the extent of his heroin addiction, as he had concealed its onset. But it must have been early: by the time he was sixteen or so. By the time he was seventeen this genius could hardly complete a sentence, in English or any other language.
Myron went off to graduate school, in London: where he soon found himself in jail: for multiple registering as a junkie. The society gave him heroin once he confessed he was an addict: but then he registered again as Myron Freeman, and again as Myron Schlemiel … or as Marvin Persky … I don’t know what names.