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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Devil You Know Part 6


Very quickly I come to hate my job at Balloon-Age. Marcie’s Mom is annoying, loud, pushy, obnoxious and almost helpless when it comes to doing anything. She constantly reminds us that she is the boss but makes us do all her work. She will answer phones, write up the tickets and hand them to us. Another problem for me is that she begins to suggest a male stripper to appear at everything from a Bar Mitzvah to a bris.

My current job for Balloon-Age consists of filling balloons with helium, arranging flowers, driving the van without a license, delivery, stripping and singing telegrams. I am miserable. I talk to David about how miserable I am and he suggests finding another job, surely I am going to be fired when she finds out I have been driving the van without a valid license. David has added another job to his growing list of jobs as well. He has started taking shifts as a bartender at The Gemini Jazz Café on the corner of Lark and Madison. I meet him one night after work and fall in love with the place. The first night I am there I meet Bob from Sesame Street. I ask him for his autograph and he signs a cocktail napkin “Oscar says have a rotten night.” He is appearing in a show at The Egg down on the plaza. The Egg has its own theatre company Run by Pat Snyder. It consists of a twelve company ensemble, rehearsal studios, dance studios, offices and enormous theatres all run by the State of New York.

The Gemini Jazz Café sits right on the corner and is four stories high. There is a kitchen and bar on the first and third floor and a bar and dance floor on the second. The owners are a straight couple named Jack and Frankie. Jack is about sixty years old, red hair, little glasses, handlebar moustache and a smoking pipe permanently affixed in the corner of his mouth and Frankie is a little blonde in her late twenty’s who used to be a waitress there. Jack was married and divorced once or twice before.

They live on the fourth floor and have a glorious loft space. The first night I am there I become fast friends with them and soon I am there almost every night. One night Frankie and I have a whipped cream fight while the place is open and serving dinner. Frankie has a bull whip that she keeps cracking it while she chases me through the place. I keep tackling her and spraying whipped cream in her hair and on her clothes, finally Jack puts an end to the nonsense and we stop long enough to surrender the bull whip to Jack who then chases me and Frankie through the place while cracking the bull whip.

David and I start to spend a lot of time with Jack and Frankie. Jack is constantly tweaked out of his mind and sniffing and sometimes I find David in the same state of mind. There is a waiter named Mark who works there and Jack and Frankie keep inviting us to come upstairs and use the bull whip on him. I gently decline.

I’m so excited because I go to a theatre audition and get a bit part in Albany Civic Theatres Heaven Can Wait. I am in the first five minutes of the show, I play a recently dead body that drowned and is entering heaven with about twenty other people also playing dead bodies. I look sporty with my hair slicked down wearing a forties bathing suit. I am told that I have to wait around all night for the curtain call. It’s ok because one of the main actors in the show is this guy named Duncan and I am completely taken with him.

To be continued……
Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent. 

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