Into the Sicilian-American lives of Sadie and Frank Scherma came a cute, bouncing baby boy: me! I am a child of Brooklyn and I cannot escape my roots. As a teen I wanted to be a man’s man, so I joined my high school football team; Sadie objected, but I got Frank to sign the permission slip. I tried my best but really, it was not a good fit. Then I studied to be a Roman Catholic priest for about four years and after Frank had a religious revival and Sadie got used to the idea, I left to become a Latin teacher in the Public Schools of New York City [uh huh]. I went on to become a guidance counselor, a college adviser, and then a psychologist. At present I have a practice with adults in Greenwich Village.
When I was embarking on a new graduate degree, Sadie would ask me plaintively, “Don’t you know enough yet?” I replied, “Oh Sadie, I have so much to teach you and Frank.” I took them through my religious phase to my spiritual and from my straight relationships to my gay ones. “When does it stop?” Sadie inquired. I said, “Never.” I was always trying something new even though it was not my nature to do so. I went off to Fiji to find God, off to the Seminary to find Jesus, off to loving men and women so that I could be simply who I was.
I was a drunk. A 29 year-old out degenerate by night, a hung over school teacher by day, at a prestigious upper west side school, no less. I’d had another all-nighter and wound up on my friend Doug’s veranda in the East Village at six o’clock in the morning with derelicts like myself. Sunk into […]
-1- Once upon a time, there existed a New York City economy where a young person fresh out of college could, with a straight face, think in terms of “building a career.” Imagine such optimism. The notion of “career” seems so trite now, forty-plus years on, so immaterial, in this age of downsizing, outsourcing, off-shoring. […]
Stepping outside the slightly threadbare art deco hotel lobby—which I refused to perceive as anything but Busby Berkeley glamorous—I melded into the midtown throng. While no one looked like Holly Golightly, I was not going to be disappointed on my first day in New York City. Not if I had any say in the matter. […]