Goodbye Supernatural World!
(Photos by Bald Punk – Calvary Cemetery – Click twice to fully enlarge)
In the post about our search for the ghost of a slave named Hardy, I had told you how we found him mowing a church lawn on a bright sunny day, and how he even came with us on a car ride. I want to add that although he didn’t look like a ghost, he still was one. I have no idea how it works, and don’t ask me.
The other day I got roped into driving Benny “the cigar store Indian” over to Calvary Cemetery in Queens. The bastard was waiting by our car for us. He was sitting on a stoop and had a newspaper stretched between his knuckly, old-man hands. The bastard made like he didn’t see us. I would have ignored him, but my lady friend(LF) called out his name like he was Gandhi and skittered over and gave him a great big hug.
The pizza and Chinese delivery guys(aka num and nuts) both looked like they saw a huge bug between their eyes–and not a slight, shy little man who couldn’t be more than 140 pounds. I’m pretty sure I felt the same way, but only rolled my eyes.
Some of the stuff that I’ve seen around Benny has terrified me. I wasn’t in the mood for that kind of crap, or even for him. Moreover, I have no idea who Benny really is. He’s claimed to have been reincarnated three or four times. That’s enough to give me pause.
But my LF adores him! And believe me, I’ve tried to tell her to be careful. She thinks I have something against him–
WHICH I DO!!!
Before I knew it my LF is leading Benny to our car and num and nuts are sashaying about them trying to seem excited, dipping at their knees while looking like they’re tossing rose pedals. I know I’ve said it a billion times, but those two guys are whacked.
Yet I commiserated with them. They are leery of Benny, but live to please my LF. With regards to the latter, if she accidentally walked head first into a brick wall, they would follow with big grins. Of course they don’t have the sense to stop her, that’s another story though . . .
When I caught Benny grinning in the backseat, sitting next to my LF like he was the king sh-t, I had to bop him down a few notches. “Little man,” I said snootily, “why on God’s green Earth do I have to go out of my way to drive you to a cemetery?”
“Some friends are buried there, and I want to see if I can contact them,” he said.
“Unbelievable!” I cried and laughed so sharply that I rattled everyone, including myself.
We were going to my friend Rocky’s apartment in the Bronx to kick-it big-time. Food, bevos, and the Yanks in HD wide-screen were in the plans. Btw, Rocky’s Italian and it’s his real name; his father’s, too. Plus don’t confuse him with my other friend Rockhead.
Calvary Cemetery wasn’t totally out of the way because we had to drop something off at my LF’s sister’s apartment in Greenpoint. Afterwards we shot up Queens Boulevard. It was still a pain because I was jonesing-bad for food and Yankees Pregame.
We pulled up to the cemetery. I hit the gas as soon as Benny got out. My LF said to hold up. “Benny’s coming with us to Rocky’s,” she said in an ethereally sweet tone, the way I’d imagine the Virgin Mary might say something.
Yet that didn’t stop me from cringing. I turned away and went cross-eyed. My face contracted like I’d bitten into a super-tart lemon. *I must be the only nut who hangs with a homeless guy, I thought.
Benny didn’t go into the cemetery. He stayed on the sidewalk. He leaned against the wrought-iron fence and chatted with the thin air.
My LF and num and nuts went for a walk. I leaned back on the car’s fender and listened to the radio.
When Benny was done, I asked him why he didn’t go inside.
“My friends came to me,” he said.
I wasn’t satisfied with his response, so I added, “Is it because burial grounds are sacred?” I thought he might have an aversion to them because of the Indian in him.
“Some are,” he said.
“When you’re talking with a ghost,” I began in a spiteful tone, a little chaffed that he didn’t elaborate, “to seem less nutty, maybe you should stop with the hand movement, and talk lower. Especially when people are near.”
“That’s a good idea, you’re right,” Benny retorted. “You should do the same.”
“What do you mean?” I said, a millisecond later. My LF and num and nuts rejoined us.
My eyes bulged. He was right. I stepped one way, then another, motioned with my hands like I was making a point. My lips were fishy. Num and nuts stared at me with puzzled looks–as they always do.
I remembered that in Bryant Park, I had seen people look at me while I spoke to the memory giver. It never occurred to me that I was the only one able to see him.
I thought of all the nuts I’ve passed on the streets, since I was a kid, babbling and yelping to themselves. Now I was one of them.
Making things worse, I caught Benny smiling at me like we had just come to an agreement. I found myself thinking how we were partners in a surreal, Salvatore Dali world. It was one inhabited by angels, ghosts, demons, and countless other creatures.
“That’s it!” I bellowed. “No more ghosts, no more angels, no more nothing! You hear that old man? Next time you take me to see a ghost or even an angel, and I don’t care if it’s Grace, that’s it! I won’t have anything to do with you.”
Benny tightened his eyes and gave an amused smile.
*My LF pointed out that Father Mychal Judge spent loads of time with the homeless,and that I need to be more respectful. I promise I will. Sorry if I offended anyone.
Here are all the posts in this series: Episode Twenty – October/November 2009
Edgar Allan Poe Cottage in the Bronx (Pics only)