Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Hallway

Always recalling the hallway, I am.
"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.


Blogger Patry Francis said...

Just finished my own soup, actually. Cabbage and kale, but not nearly as tasty as what I found here. Think I'm going to come back and read this again the next time I'm hungry.

12:44 PM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

You know Patry, it seems to always come down to soup. You are either in it or making it.

1:05 PM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger Dave said...

We are all in the soup.

9:12 PM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Me, I'm floating on a big matzo ball right now!

9:41 AM, October 19, 2006  
Blogger zhoen said...

"... So, what other parts of the matzo do they use?"


5:05 AM, October 20, 2006  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

That is one of the eternal mysteries best discussed by those more learned than me. But I can tell you that they have chicken feet on sale at the Fareway Store this week.

8:46 AM, October 20, 2006  
Blogger MB said...

From soup we are emerge and to soup we return. Just in time for my split peas!

11:12 AM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

With ham or without? The ham that am!

11:39 AM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger MB said...

Without. No green ham, no green eggs. Just chicken stock. Thought of you and this poem while making it, too!

2:26 PM, October 24, 2006  

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