"Little Freddy, come and have some Kreplach soup.
I made too much"
I think we lived on the third floor then.
Mrs. Gorchow always made too much soup.
She lived alone.
But cooked for a big family.
Later she became a Scientologist I think.
All these widow ladies and their soup.
Kreplach, matzo ball and chicken noodle.
The one old lady in 300 made swedish meatballs.
She would not talk about her past.
She said something bad happened.
Would not talk about it.
She said "Don't do what I did"
But she would not tell me what she did.
I was a little kid and did not want to hear about it anyway.
But I keep wondering if I did it without knowing it.
Some old guy lived in that corner apartment on 2.
He walked with a carved and painted cane from Mexico.
One time he told me how he had worked in a nursinghome out in California when he was young.
Says he met Frank James there.
Frank, brother of Jesse James the bank robber.
I never believed that story.
I wish I had asked him more about it.
Fast forward fourty years and 2 blocks west.
Different apartment house.
Same kind of hallway.
John lived across the hall.
He had been kicked out of monk school.
Always typing, he was.
The click click of his old manual typewriter was always there as background noise.
He was writing his autobiography, he told me once.
I talked to him at the quickshop on 14th street last year.
He is driving a truck now.
Larry was a retired astrologer.
His apartment was full of boxes of research and charts he had done of murderers and their victims.
He did several charts for me.
I could not really understand them.
Larry and his wife have moved to a nursing home.
Some older woman use to call me about once a month
and ask for Henry.
I told her that she had the wrong number.
She said Henry had given her that number.
She was positive.
I told her that I had it now.
She did that for about 5 years.
Then she stopped calling.
Now, I make too much soup.
Always recalling the hallway, I am.