The Future

When they served you pastry at the Cafe Rienzi, you ate the crumbs. First of all, if you were a habitue of the said establishment, you appreciated the quality. But mostly, if you were like me, the calories were an essential part of your daily intake.
As an aspiring folk singer, your music was a central part of your existence, but you were one of the thousands, and a note of music did not equate to a dollar to spend on food.
Unlike some of my friends, I could not run home on weekends or odd evenings to tank up at the family table. That was closed to me thanks to the ferocious battle that raged between my parents and me. I was fortunate in not understanding how desperate my life was. Talk about starving for your art.
New York City was full of people busy remaking themselves into new images from the old components. Most of the time, this just resulted in a rehash of the old and just as tired.
Aliases and names were fragile things in those days, and they changed quickly over a week of self-reflection and drugs. We had no flashy laminated “Government Issued ID.” We did have those on pasteboard, and the local forger in the Jeweler’s District would whip you up a new one for ten bucks.
Real change? To create that, you either have to have little attachment to the past or little history. I was fortunate I had neither.

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