Friday, January 6, 2012

Staredown with the one eyed boy

It was Oct. 31st 1967 Halloween day. I’m fourteen years old and me and the guys are two stores down from the Sweet Shop loading up on eggs for the big egg war that night. We were in a bad mood already cause candy bars at the Sweet shop just went up a penny to six cents. I would have to find an extra soda bottle to make up the difference. I was shocked at the extra expense. Can you really raise prices?

Well anyway, we purchased the last six dozen eggs in the store. Thank God we got there before they were gone. The mods and the straights had got there before us and almost cleaned it out. Mods wore bell bottoms and straights wore straight jeans. They would have the war of all wars with their eggs tonight. We were outside the store looking over our eggs when a kid with one eye came out looking very distressed. He saw us and came over wanting to buy half our eggs. I told him no way we needed them all and then some.

I had never seen anything before or since. He wore glasses, and the side that was missing the eye had like a half a goggle attached to it. It was opaque and tan in color. This was supposed to hide the fact there was an eye missing. It didn’t and it was a crater and purplish in color with skin grown over the hole. (tough for that young boy) He made a grab for the eggs and missed. I handed them off and got in his face. I told him that if he didn’t back off I’d crack an egg and drop it in where his eye should be. If I only knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have said that hurtful thing to him. He said I will see you tonight and I said, “I can’t wait.”

Well first things first. We had trick or treating to do before Egg Wars. I lived in the Todt Hill projects on Staten Island, New York yeah baby. The projects had six families to a floor and six floors to a building. There were two buildings attached to each other. There was seven of these bi-buildings. That’s 504 families. We kept the Dentists busy for years with our rotting teeth. Oh my though the candy was excellent and lasted forever. You had to be careful though because we got our share of bird seed and dog food for a treat.

Candy in a safe place and the war begins. Under the cover of darkness you prowl around until you spot the others. You either catch someone by surprise or they catch you. Egging among your own age group is what you want to do. Going up against the mods or straights would not be wise. They were older and had more money, so more eggs. CONTACT , oh boy what a mess. To see the eggs flying through the air reminds one of viewing countless shooting stars on their last journey before dying out. Or perhaps a school of fish retreating quickly from a predator.

I was about to head home when I saw him. He was alone and so was I, no matter I didn’t need any help with him. I had to call out because he didn’t see me. He walked towards me as I walked towards him. I could tell by the way he moved that I had the upper hand. We stopped a few feet from each other and I said well here I am and you wanted to see me. He stood motionless and quiet. His face showed fear and he started to quiver a bit. He didn’t want to fight me. I admired him for not running and holding his ground. I felt sorry for him and had been in that side of a situation before. I started talking to him and gave him a way out. As I look back I’m so glad I did. We all need a way out from time to time as I have many times. We’re all in this together no matter the situation. Love one another and show a little kindness.











1 comment:

  1. 35 years and I'm still hearing new stories. I'm going to start making some up to make it interesting as yours. Love your New York stories!