Brains on the Half-Shell

A confluence of pk stories, c. 1975:

Getting A Round To It
Puglia’s Restaurant, Hester Street: Sheep’s Brains in the Half-Skull

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Personal / Stories / pk by Age / Art Publisher /
@ K. 2001 05 23

I scribbled this set of stories as part of a note to my section reporting my getting assaulted. Part of that note got moved into Mythology: the remainder I put here, the stories being personal.

Back in my days of PK Fine Arts, Ltd., a girl friend volunteered as secretary, research assistant, and go-fer. There was a task she knew I’d been putting off. One morning she asked when I was going to take care of it.

How many times have we all said it? “Oh, when I get around to it,” I answered.

Instantly, prepared like a magician (or comedian), she pressed something into my hand. It was a plastic disk, much like a poker chip, pale blue. Printed on it in dark blue were the words “To It.”

“There,” she said. “No more excuses. You’ve just gotten A Round ‘To-It’!”

Ginny was something else.

But I can’t tell it without adding another Ginny story:
Once, we’d driven (on business) to New England, stayed in a motel, eaten in the nice restaurant from which I was picking up a consignment of French paintings … but I’d never had a “date” with her. We’d met while dog walking. (Ginny was the only female I was ever aware of who routinely walked her dog along Riverside Drive at midnight, or 3 AM. Then again, she knew a bunch of us guys would be out there. She could group.) But except for dog walking, when together, we stayed in: her place or mine. After a year or two of that I thought I should at least take her to dinner or a movie: especially since she’d bestowed so much free typing, filing, message-taking on me. Finally she agrees.

“So: what’ll it be? Dinner? A movie?”
“Sure. Whatever you want.”
“Which? Dinner? A movie? Both?”
“Sure. Whatever you want.”
“OK. First, dinner: Chinese (what I regularly cooked at home)? French? Italian? Cubano? …”

Same answer. No help. No direction. OK: I’ll decide. I had reasons other than her name to know that she was of Italian ancestry. So, do I go to (… or avoid) what she’d be familiar with? I decide to go to it. “OK: Italian. Now: Little Italy? Luna’s? Puglia’s? …”
“What ever you’d like.”

Christmas! Maybe it’s just as well we never went out. “Puglia’s?”

Nothing. Not a flicker either way. Could it be she didn’t know Puglia’s? Luna’s was my favorite Italian restaurant. One of the few places or things I’d stand in line for, slush up to my ankles. The immortal Mott Street. (Or is it the immortal Mulberry Street?) But Puglia’s was a favorite of the young: the family of mustachioed waiters walked among the boardinghouse style tables, singing, winking, serving wine, pinching bottoms, taking a sip of the clientele’s wine when pressed … She had made no flicker at “Little Italy” either: was it possible that an Italian New Yorker didn’t know the treasures to be found there? That decided me.

“OK. Little Italy it is. Puglia’s. Then up to Grand Street, and desert at Ferrara’s.”

Puglia's Restaurant

Puglia’s Restaurant
Hester Street

Puglia’s was the only restaurant I’d heard of that served sheep’s brains in the half-skull. $1.50. But it was the youth appeal that really decided me. I was in my mid-thirties, but Ginny, though I never knew her age, can’t have been much more than twenty.

We jump into the PK Fine Artsmobile and cruise down the West Side Highway, slalom east across Canal Street, short blocks north, and glory be, there’s a space I can fit the van into on Hester Street, not two doors from Puglia’s. [the other side of Puglia’s from the picture above] The weather is fine. The sidewalk restaurants on the corner where I love to order hot scungili or calamari in the open air have their tables full. The atmosphere is as good as it gets. Best of all, there’s no line outside Puglia’s: whoever may be waiting can fit inside the door. Only one old guy is outside, enjoying the evening on an orange crate in front of the restaurant window. I park. I lock. I move to Ginny’s curb-side and take her arm. Man, this is fabulous: introducing an Italian girl to New York’s Italy.

The old guy gets up. The old guy shambles toward us, unshaved, a little bleary. Oh shit, a panhandler. Just what I need. Or worse. I move Ginny to the curb side so I’m between her and this wino. He walks right up to us. He walks right up to h e r.
His face ticks. “Ginny,” he says.

“Hello, Dad.”

And I thought I was giving her a treat! expanding her horizons! When we came out a couple of hours later Ginny’s father was waiting for us. Getting a better, less apprehensive look, I saw that he wasn’t a bum, neither was he particularly bleary: just an Italian New Yorker sitting on the street in the nice weather. He invited us for coffee. We accepted. We went around the corner to an obviously family-run coffee house: espresso, cappuccino … The owner came over and offered us something not on the menu. We accepted the liberal bracing of brandy in our coffee. God, I love the Italians.

I’ll never forget the first time I kissed her, right after our first couple of games of backgammon: then took her blouse off. “Holy mackerel.” My jaw dropped. “How were you hiding those?”

“I know,” she said. “When I stand on my head, I have to breathe through a straw!”

There, that last was a detail I didn’t have to add, but couldn’t resist. Let me dare one more, on the subject. It was a long time ago, I haven’t said her surname … she might not mind even if I did:
Ginny was stacked, gave more than a mouthful, more than a handful. But that wasn’t her only outsized female feature! She had something only women have between her legs that filled my mouth more than enough to make me feel really queer: her clit was the size of a thumb! It sprang up and bonged you! She could have rung a bell with it!

2016 08 16 Ginny, you wonderful person, I wish I were in touch with you these days: I want to recommend to you the wonderful video I’m watching: on Clydesdales, big work horses.
Back in the mid-1970s when I first met Ginny, paled around with her, Ginny would take the bus to Princeton NJ once a week, there she would do dressage, work with show horses. Ginny loved her horses and a little bit of it rubbed off on me. One day we were driving through Central Park, saw a new team, Clydesdales were gathered in the Sheeps Meadow. Ginny went crazy. Back home, getting ready for dinner, we saw ourselves on TV news.

Well, Ginny, you would love these animals shows I’m discovering. Martin Clunes, Heavy Horsepower: a British presenter. Oh, hell, I bet you already know them. For sure though I’m enjoying it the more because of you. You sensitized me to the subject.
And we made some wonderful love, didn’t we? walking our dogs, and so forth.

Stories by Age

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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