Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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Nyle Frank is a writer and songwriter who lives in Chapel Hill, N.C.
I once visited a man who had just checked into Room 111 of an old hotel. He knew neither letters nor numbers. A friend asked his room number. “I’m in the room with three sticks,” he said.
Many families possess tales of their occasional flirtations with opulence. Ours concerns Great Grandpa Kemsmier. Short of cash, he decided to sell his small matzoh business. The new management expanded into wines and other kosher delicacies — changing the company name to Manischewitz.
Some mornings you have a feeling everything’s going to go right. I got mine when this blond girl in an old Studebaker, wearing light blue shorts, a cotton blouse, and sunglasses perched on top of her head, stopped to pick me up. She said she had the whole day off with nothing to do.
I was actually going away. I must have waited a whole year for it but, right then, I was really depressed. If you could have seen it around my place last night you’d know what I mean. Everybody thought I’d never come back. Nobody came right out and said it, but my oldest sister, Jeannie, kept telling me how sad my hat looked.
As soon as we were seated at the Su-En, the couple left for the restroom. While they were away, an Oriental woman walked in, sitting next to me. Yoko Ono! Seconds later, in came John Lennon!
She got her dogs and some tough little kids after me, and I was forced back to the highway. I can’t prove this, but I felt there were rifles aimed right at me.
Hitched to the University of the South at Sewannee, Tennessee. School was out and there were few people around — my last visit I stayed at Beta Phi fraternity — so checked it out again — no one around, but back door conveniently open, so I made myself at home.
Wish I could say something about love, lust, marriage, jealousy and divorce. Boy, have I made a royal mess of these. I think my major problem has always been to reconcile my desire for a “true love” with a more universal kind of feeling. They are both so different.