From my memoir, the adventures of a Brooklyn man who sets out to explore the country and finds heartache, wonder, and a new sense of self in the Age of Aquarius.
In the Beginning…
I’m thinking back in time and watching a movie that lived inside me, not sure if I was the director but certainly an actor, walking an involuntary road that pulled me in – drugs, alcohol, spirituality, the search, women, the void. At 5 years old I awoke one night and asked my mother about my little world, my mood swings up and down along rivers, on mountains, and deep dark forests. She had no answers.
I was born a triplet in 1951 in a town of 800 people in upstate NY. At that time the odds of giving birth to triplets were one in a million. My mother got cute and named us in the order we came out – ABC – Alex, Bonnie, Carina. We were known in the papers as the ABC triplets. One boy, two girls. Can you imagine three of me in this room? I blame my mom for my problems. Breast-fed children are better off, they say. Well, three babies and two breasts – I missed out. My sisters were selfish, they love their milk.
Mom was married to a lawyer named Weiner but she got pregnant by another man, my father. She told Weiner we were his children. My biological father owned one of three bar and grills in town. The day we were born Weiner went in and ordered drinks for everyone from my father. Both men did not know each other. Poor bastards. Thank God she divorced Weiner. Imagine going through life called Alexander Weiner. Sing Weiner song here. When you’re called Weiner, people aren’t looking at your eyes!
Unfortunately, mom was an addict, and my brand new dad, (his nickname was Porky) was too. Mom liked amphetamines and Dad liked tranquilizers and pain pills. They were never home. But when they were they fought seriously. Lucky for mom that my tranquilized dad couldn’t catch her to hit her. But then us kids never knew where or what they did. From one to ten years of age I remember my mother making one breakfast for us when we were about five years old. We never had one family dinner together.
My parents are one hundred percent Russian. They were also both atheists. I was never in a church until I was 20 years old. My mother was from a Russian Jewish family. Her father talked her into having my bar mitzvah and when my father found out he was pissed as hell. She hated being Jewish and converted to Catholicism when she was 18. My father was a Russian Greek Orthodox Catholic but he never practiced that religion or any other religion.
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