Forty years ago today


February 4, 2012


It’s my ex-wife’s birthday.

As with all of my friends, she’s older than I am which allows me some relief from the concept of aging.

I had to lie to her when we first met since I was 17 and I wanted to play the big man and impress her.

I was never good a playing anybody but me (and I’m still not) but somehow managed to convince her I was old enough for her to mess around with. She had just turned 19, and I wouldn’t be 18 for a few more months.

As it is, the army gobbled me up a month after my birthday and I didn’t see her again until the following fall when I robbed a safe full of mob money and fled to Colorado via Los Angeles (don’t ask me how too long to explain) to meet up with her.

Even then, I didn’t tell her my age, although the mob men apparently figured out where I had gone and were on their way until my mobbed up uncle called them off by paying them back what I had stolen (apparently with interest).

It wasn’t until we came back east – after our daughter was born – that I finally fessed up, and by that time, we were on the rocks and we got married just to make it look good for the judge.

My uncle had filed charges claiming I had stolen his money and so a grand jury had indicted me, and coming home was not so easy a matter as I thought, and I had to turn myself in, spend some time in county jail, wait out for a court date after being bailed out, and finally get sentenced.

My mobbed up uncle found a mobbed up lawyer who promised that the judge would listen to reason if my mobbed up uncle could give him enough incentive.

As it turned out, the bribe cost as much as I had stolen in the first place.

And I wasn’t at all sure when I went before the judge that he wasn’t going to throw me in jail for 20 years anyway.

A frightful bit that.

In between turning myself in and getting sentence, I had to clean up my act – get a job, get married, find a place to live.

I remember my ex-wife being upset with me because I couldn’t afford a birthday present – 40 years ago today – and how I said I was saving up the pay checks for the deposit on an apartment.

She didn’t understand.

All these years later, after all she’s been through, and me with her, she does now.

Life has been hard, but turned out good in the end for all of us.

Happy birthday, baby.



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