Politzski Way

0030 (Pekesville candy shop)

Pekesville wasn’t a large town, but it sprawled in the valleys between a jumble of mountains, seeking all the geographical cuts and crevices like water in a lake. [21-149-17] They have contests to see who grows the fattest tulips every spring. [12-93-19] It was nothing to write home about. [2-292-33]
The People’s Candy Store was on Koscuisko Street, a street running up the side of one of the steepest hills in creation. [18-96-1] This was considered sniper alley, a stretch of road joining Derrick’s house to Oakwell’s main road system. [10-7-10] They were dressed in jeans and checked shirts and wore straw hats. [31-99-3] Actually, I’ve scored there a couple of times. [5-77-8] It was cosy, the collective body-heat all to the good, for the room had been cool on entry. [8-154-33]
I only went because I knew my Father would like me to. [26-68-11] Fran only knew that my father was a shirt salesman who travelled constantly and my mother was an invalid. [28-17-8]

0093 (decrepit home)

The whole area was littered with tricycles and wagons and hanging laundry and screaming kids and straggle-haired housewives and door-to-door salesmen. [18-65-28] Edith and William planted a vegetable garden in the summer months, which helped with the food bill – [15-62-27] it’s got maybe green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, [4-212-47] beans, legumes, squash [24-128-47] – and lived as if they could barely make it from month to month. [21-164-6] It was easy not to talk about them, easy because families were boring, and besides, Leon was her real interest. [28-17-9]
There were no steps at the kitchen door, only a rough layer of some half dozen cinder blocks. [11-66-7] The filthy vinyl floor covering consisted of a patchwork of misshaped, colour tiles, layered with a grime infested smearing of discarded food particles and evaporated grease stains. [10-188-18] The place was a mess, but it could be cleaned up. [13-147-1]
My parents got divorced when I was fifteen. [12-2-1] One Saturday when I was fourteen and my brother Steven was ten, he was cooking himself a hamburger for dinner. [20-230-1]
I would have liked to have had an older brother. [5-30-20]
“The brother that you never had,” Arthur added helpfully, unconscious of the double entendre. [8-71-11]
On top of everything else, I felt weak and distracted. [1-153-25] I talked to my dog, Chachi. [3-241-24]

0105 (Fuhrmann’s depression)

I used to eat soybeans in the field with no meat. [4-228-47] E. had taken an interest in me as I relentlessly pressed on in his classes. [16-143-30]
“You must must develop the art of handling an argument to make a point that nobody can perceive.” [26-18-31]
Sometimes, Fuhrmann’s depression was so intense that he refused to talk and smile for days, [3-199-1] like a vegetable. [21-257-19] He was experiencing, in what the Ryemarsh people later described as his ‘limbo phase’, a certain feeling of anti-climax of unreality. [2-161-13] But then for him a sense of duty intervened. [8-64-5] He’s been very consistent in saying revolution is his goal. [15-61-34] Erich’s last friend, apart from me, was a she-donkey. [1-155-11]

0031 (my parents)

William, on the other hand could not have been more different if he tried. [10-7-22] “If you want to call me dad you most certainly can.” [16-206-1] I let Chachi relieve herself in Stanley Sheinbaum’s ivy across the street. [3-241-33]
Mrs. Edith, that’s my mother, she was doing her thing and she was happy. [12-1-8] The woman was a chameleon. [24-128-15] The neighborhood leader of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, [15-7-3] she was four years his junior and made a reasonable living painting racehorses for wealthy patrons. [2-92-2] She was the only other person who grasped the theory and practice of Realization. [8-61-29] She was a speeding bullet, sharp and clear, ready to probe into every corner, to leave no mystery unsolved. [28-1-6]
“You didn’t, did you? [11-99-11] I asked a question.” [21-257-25]
“I’m all right, mother, I’ll soon get used to it,” I said, trying to sound confident and reassuring. [16-178-12] “I do not … do not know you.” [17-247-54]
“I brought someone to see you.” [13-124-3]
“Him.” The first pronoun insult I’d ever heard. [18-124-12] “But you know what was so creepy about him?” [9-122-28]
Ever since then it has been the same way: I refuse to bow down to them and they refuse to give me any ground. [4-205-54] But I couldn’t find a single item, scrap of paper, photograph or phone number that would tell me what I wanted to know. [5-80-13]

0086 (secret)

Being grown up, without forgetting the old dreams, that was the secret – the way to have it all. [28-10-24]
It would have been nice if Michelle, when Nicole punched her … if Michelle would have punched her back. [3-245-24] I can watch them for hours. [26-64-21] I would accompany them home or linger in their neighborhood until they appeared, and then I would turn up as if by accident. [1-23-10]

0063 (fragmented life)

Tufnell Park was corner stores and mini-cabs, dull pubs and laundromats. [2-10-10] We thought it should be renamed ‘Daze Park’. [28-20-10] I was eighteen years of age; [4-183-5] my life had become fragmented. [5-23-1] The whole world was corrupt and sordid. [31-117-6] Who needs all this? I thought to myself. [16-10-6] Almost all my actions were tentative, unfinished, without an overall purpose. [1-105-23] What the hell’s wrong with me? [13-22-15] I suppose something is lacking in me. [8-65-22]
The bus was pulling into Politzski Way. [12-22-26] Three mangy dogs were chained out front to massive pines. [20-254-10] William had been out walking his dog, a scrawny looking malnourished whippet called Jake. [10-5-10] There was a small parking area and a wrought-iron gate that separated the sidewalk from the lot and the back door of the building. [14-9-19] It was big enough to house one vehicle, and there was no sign that there had ever been doors that could be closed. [21-296-33] Was it the non-regulation bumper with the license plate hanging askew? [15-6-4] I already knew that the car had Tennessee plates. [11-208-]

0018 (father, discipline)

Nightwork seemed to suit some people but but I saw it as a gross inconvenience to my social life. [16-9-3] I pulled into the driveway, shut off the engine and lights, and crunched across the front lawn and up the stoop to the door. [18-7-16] Slipping the key into the lock, I pushed the door open with my foot. [28-2-24]
“You look like shit,” Brian said, pulling the door open, [11-201-10] his eyes blank, his pupils the size of a pinhead. [20-152-13]
There were the inevitable excuses given by Peter and John: [10-6-18] “It’s none of your business whether I smoke this stuff or not and anyway what harm is it doing anyone? [31-116-8] I can’t do this and I don’t intend to try.” [4-213-20] Reports of misbehavior outside the house were met with a prompt paddling or some other dire punishment back home. [15-62-35] My father was never comfortable attempting to discipline Bob. [5-29-28] It was personal, not organizational, and expressive of a genuine human requirement. [8-154-12]
“I’m going to Witchita Falls. [13-48-15] I’m tired of this fucking mess.[21-306-5] As usual, he hopped the back fence and entered his split-level home through the back patio door on the lower level, where his father was watching television. [19-59-24]

0103 (beetle pull over)

I couldn’t just stand there like that, I had to do something, I had to move, go somewhere, be in motion. [18-9-29] That night we’d searched everywhere, combing the streets of Buffalo, making surprise visits to the Rathskeller, Held’s all-night bakery, Freddie’s doughnut shop and the little place on Hertle Avenue where you could buy a real New-York-style egg cream. [28-1-10]
Parked outside the warehouse were two Ford pickups, one of which had a mini gun mounted in the bed of the truck. [31-99-12] The Sentra had a “C” university sticker in it rear window. [11-200-31] Standing below the drive-through window, where the parking lot emptied into the street, a strategically savvy panhandler was hoping to collect change from donut lovers who would find it easier to give away their coins rather than put them in a purse. [20-190-24]
He was about 5-1 in. tall, about 115 pounds and had a nose about 4 in. or it looked that long and would rat his momma off. [4-178-33] “Bloody pull over when I tell you, now hit the breaks.” [10-129-3]
A young black man in dreadlocks got out of the beetle. [15-7-8] The young fellows conversed in Spanish, a language to which Detweiler was partial because he could understand nothing said in it, and was therefore not distracted by the arbitrary demands of reason. [8-18-7]
“Get me the registration on this license plate.” [21-276-4]
No matter how it happened that day, I was the person responsible for it. [3-246-2] I felt this great desire to make a long-distance call. [12-57-11]

0073 (Harcum’s odd behaviour)

Harcum had never been much of a ladies’ man, not even in his prime. [18-25-28] He used to bring his coins to show us and we thought they were pretty valuable. [16-29-12] He once removed my father’s tartan-framed photograph of the Flying Scotsman from the mantelpiece and held it out to me. [5-30-2] “How about … this?” [2-362-1]
What was I supposed to imagine? [21-257-29]
If Freddie Kreuger had a demented girlfriend, she’d have that giggle. [11-50-19] And if a man took her hand and put it on him, she withdrew; a second time, and she threatened to call off the game. [8-65-32] If her face was black and blue the next day or two days later, I was responsible for it. [3-246-1]
“One day I read a story in which events accumulated at an astounding pace, without much rhyme or reason, except for a girl called Rosa who, dead in a sack, turned up in unlikely places.” [1-104-20]
I don’t see how. [15-240-32]

0106 (the riots)

So the guys didn’t figure they were did right, so they started riotin’. [4-212-6]
“A bottle or a brick would be very handy, don’t you think?” [10-135-13]
Nikki nodded, thinking suddenly of the bones of a girl who had once worn lipstick and listened to old Neil Diamond songs. [11-39-7] “These are dangerous times, but we thrive on that.” [2-385-32]
Thousands of students from Ben Franklin and Penn, the two sex and race-segregated local high schools, were all shouting out the words “Black Power” and marching towards the city’s Board of Education. [15-63-35] They were dark skinned and looked poor. [31-99-5] It’s hard to hide four thousand people, [21-260-15] and I was ready for battle. [1-101-19] I picked up ‘laazim’ – means ‘I want’; ‘shaakoosh’ means ‘hammer’. [26-46-17] This occurred on a day in late summer, warm in town, but if you looked across into the western distances, the vast reaches, the mounting, aspiring thrusts, you saw the first cap of snow on the Rockies. [8-125-12] Down at the bottom of the slope, a road ran almost east and west, cutting across the scene that lay before him. [13-116-17] The field was exactly as Vitale had described it, which surprised me, since he was hardly a reliable source of information. [28-58-17]

Leave a Reply