Music needed for this post (listen and repeat):
this brings me back to days of my youth, my father had a “provisions” route back in the day, and when I was off from school I went to work with him, in essence a provision route worked thusly, my dad (with me in tow) would travel to the meat processing plants and supply warehouses in Elizabeth and Newark NJ, pick up the raw product (whole briskets, fresh chop meat, huge wheels of cheese, snack products, fries, deli salads, condiments, you name it), and then deliver them to local bars, taverns, restaurants, and yes, the occasional strip club (we’ll get to that detail), remember there was no Costco or Restaurant Depot, it was a good business from the turn of the century forward but of course it was phased out by progress like many things, my dad had this big yellow truck, it was like driving around with the mayor of every town, I swear he knew everybody, smiling and waving like we were in a parade as he drove, he knew all the cops, all the weird locals in all the bars, “Hey Freddie K!” was just this accepted mantra, what did I know, I was a kid, I wish I was more astute or paid more attention, the amount of inspiration for character study was astounding then, some of the experiences seem so strange now that I recall them to write in these words, the smell of bars as the sunlight first hits the witness wood floors, a sort of mix of barf, beer, mold and pine cleaner evaporating, you could see dust particles floating upwards in the light, questioning drunk eyes watching, walking into a strip club before they open as an eleven year old and my only want was a quarter to play the latest video game, I am not sure why but strip clubs and bars always had the latest/newest video game cabinets back in the day, we are talking early 80’s so video games were new, hell I remember Street Fighter coming out and freaking out over it (although I am admittedly a Mr. Do man), seeing the help (ahem, strippers) getting ready (into their outfits), pinching my cheeks as I was so darn cute, but I paid it no mind, it just was, I remember Cheeques in Linden had the best damn hamburgers ever, well, they should as my dad was delivering fresh chop meat direct from Magnolia Beef, where I would see things made, you know, meat parts literally being ground down in front of me, half dead whole animals on hooks being pushed around to the various processing stations, I still remember the cold smell of dead meat, the places were cold, really cold, my dad and the workers had these white coats, and then there was the sound of the hamburger patty machine, ka thunk ka thunk ka thunk ka thunk, and then paper slapped between the patties, then a case is made, rolled to the bottom and this crazy wire tie machine thing would seal the box with two ties, and then we would pack them in the truck for delivery that day, learning to use a hand truck was second nature, a wonder all these memories, someone might look at me now and see none of this, a poet, a writer, a philosopher, a nerd, who cut his teeth in the bowels of urban central new jersey’s blue collar belly, I wonder how it shaped me, or was I already there…. hum?!?
Lyrics to the song, poetry if you ask me…
“I stand at your gate and the song that I sing is of moonlight
I stand and I wait for the touch of your hand in the June night
The roses are sighing a Moonlight Serenade
The stars are aglow and tonight how their light sets me dreaming
My love, do you know that your eyes are like stars brightly beaming?
I bring you and I sing you a moonlight serenade
Let us stray till break of day in love’s valley of dreams
Just you. Just you.