Cold and gloomy Passaic


Dec. 13, 1981


Thirty one degrees Fahrenheit and all his well.

Itís dark and winter has come bearings its usual frigid gifts.

Passaic is a world of dirty windshields and scurrying people, dark shapes diving in and out of doorways from their cars.

I think about Louise now and the second letter working its way out to where she lives, and I wonder if that place feels like this place, a world of lost people.

She sounded lost; she even stopped dancing.

This scared me when she said it, because I need her to accept me again, even though I failed her miserably in the past.

This is the crux of it: failure.

Passaic is a failing, one time great industrial city with paint chipped buildings and filled with dying blue collar heroes and their families.

Who am I that dares to seek escape from the pain and oppression all who live here suffer?

Louise said she is looking for work, a white middle class woman fallen into the status of immigrant, who has been driven into a way of life she never really wanted for foresaw, keeping appointments with strangers just to survive.

And here I am the dark force from the past that helped drive her there, an angel of darkness who rises up out of the remote hell of New Jersey threatening to engulf her again.

But maybe Iím not totally to blame. She had other dark angels in her life, sister, ex-lovers, parents with me merely one more in an endless chain resigned to letting her down.

Maybe Iím just gloomy because Passaic is gloomy, and I feel cold and isolated now that Pauly and Garrick have moved out. And I keep feeling the pointlessness of turning back the clocks to relive the most painful failure of my life.

With age comes wisdom, they say, and I hope being older makes me wiser so as not to repeat old mistakes, and perhaps avoid making new ones.

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