Monday, July 23, 2007

LIRR days

As we sat on the Long Island Railroad hurtling out toward Bay Shore – I knew all the stops because the conductor used to rattle them off over the intercom like, “This is the 3:30 local to Montauk, stopping at Freeport, Merrick, Bellmore, Wantagh, Seaford, Massapequa, Massapequa Park, Amityville, Copiague, Lindenhurst and BAB-bee-lon (Babylon). Change in BAB-bee-lon for the train to Bay Shore, Islip, Great River, Oakdale and Sayville. Change in Patchogue for the train to Montauk making all local stops. Next stop… FreeeeePORT!” – what came next was that this same conductor came down the aisle and collected fares. My dad would pay for mom and himself and then ask for two children’s tickets for Jim and me.

I was not a child.

I was 13. Jim was 11 and was most definitely a child.

I qualified for an adult ticket (anyone over 12) and – blast it all! – I wanted to have an adult ticket.

This recurring event stood in sharp contrast with three years later when, in response to my getting caught by the Ocean Beach, Fire Island cops drinking Heineken on the dock – I broke the law expensively – my parents somehow reasoned that I could drink at home under their supervision while I was still a minor. So, my dad saved a buck-fifty each time on the train by reducing me to a child, but on any given night I would put back a couple or three Ballantine Ales on my parents’ budget, which effectively negated the LIRR child’s ticket and then some, and I did so without blinking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a great commentary on parental coping mechanisms. Thanks for your note Bro-heem - and be sure - your name was uttered many times last week with fondness and ourtight love. And - you are coming to Panama with us next year.