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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Rapture--Friday, August 26, 2011: A Night in the Kingdom of Heaven, dancing for hours with 20-something women and their boyfriends--at the Mezzo disco

Part 1: The Intro

Dear readers, I can tell you this, with complete honesty and certainty. No kidding. Scout's honor. Cross my heart and hope to die.  On my mother's grave. 

The Rapture has already happened. Last night.  Friday, August 27, 2011.  At the Mezzo patio and disco, on Court Street, right here in Middletown, CT.

Part 2: The Back Story

Rev. Harold Camping predicted that The Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011.  That's the day the Lord, JC, according to Reverend HC, will float down from Heaven to retrieve those who, already dead or yet alive, are "saved" and eligible to ascend, bodies and all, with JC to The Kingdom of Heaven.

For reasons unknown to Your Most Humble Servant, the writer of "Bob's blog," The Rapture did not occur on May 21, 2011, or, if it did, I think I must have missed it.  Here's an on-the-scene, 1 minute 42 second video interview of Reverend Camping on his door-steps, in which he (or should I say "He"?) expresses bewilderment and distress that his (or "His) rapturous prediction did not come true.  Here is the URL of the video interview clip, which I will put as an easy-to-access hyperlink in the Links section at the bottom of the present page of "Bob's blog" which you're reading:                                 

Part 3: After the Wake of the Suicide, John Cashmon, and Just Before the Night in the Kingdom of Heaven at the Mezzo

After the wake in West Hartford for John Cashmon, the Middletown prosecutor who hanged himself from a tree behind the CVS in Glastonbury, I stopped by our new house at Bartlett Hollow.  "Hey, honey, they've put in the stairs.  It's really nice to be able to go down to the basement without going outside and walking around to the back of the house.  And the whole house has been swept clean of all that dust from the sanding of the spackling compound on the walls.  And they've graded the driveway in preparation for paving, and graded both sides of the house and added some new fill to the right rear corner area to add a little bit of height to what'll be the back lawn.  They've also emptied the trash receptacle.  I'm SO happy with the way it's all turning out.  And I LOVE my little writing nook at the top of the stairs.  It's just like a little Parisian writer's garret.  I'll be able to face the corner, where it's just a blank wall, and dig deep inside myself and write.  I'm on my way home, right now," I reported to Susie by cellphone.  It was about 7 o'clock in the p.m.  I needed to get home to pick up a pain medication prescription for Susie at Walgreens and then do a small shopping for her.  Then I planned to take a quick shower and get my tail down to the Mezzo for a night of "Dancin' with the Ole' Dude and the Young-un's."

By 8 o'clock I was telling the pharmacist, Ken, a Chinese-American man of about 30 about how my wife was shorted 10 Oxycodone pain pills by Pralak, the Indian-American female pharmacist.  Ken is a gentle man, thin, wears black, plastic-framed glasses, close-cropped black hair, soft-spoken, and appeared to be growing  a beard.  He had sparse patches of facial hair on his cheeks and mouth area, separated from each other as the continents are.  "Hey, you're growing a beard," I good-naturedly suggested, pointing to my full beard in a sign of solidarity.  "No, really I'm just lazy and didn't want to shave."

It took me a few back and forth cell phone exchanges with Susie to understand HER point about the missing 10 Oxycodone pills.  She was trying to explain to me that Pralak, the pharmacist whom Ken told me was just a fill-in druggist when I got the pills a few days ago, appears to have been stealing pain pills from her employer!  Susie's theory only dawned on me when Ken said it'd be easy to check the inventory of Oxycodone pills to see if maybe Susie'd made a mistake in counting them.  To get to the bottom line quickly, I handed my cell to Ken and let him hear her evidence directly.

Ken listened patiently to Susie.  I heard him saying that he didn't know Pralak well but had no reason to doubt her integrity and "it's just an assumption" that the pills went missing on her watch.  But he did thank her for filling him in on exactly what pills she took, and when, in the past few days.  And Ken did check his computer and told Susie he needed to check with his pharmacy manager before he could figure out what to do about the situation.

By the time I'd gotten back from the food store for Susie, taken a shower, and put back on my khaki shorts and dark navy blue tee shirt with the bright yellow CAL logo (for University of California, Berkeley; the "California Bears" sports teams are from Berkeley) in preparation for making my Grand Entrance in the Mezzo Patio Bar, it was almost 10 o'clock.  I've been wearing the shorts for about a week,  and also hadn't washed the tee since I wore it out dancin' at the Mezzo patio on Thursday night after Jazz on the River at the Canoe Club at Harbor Park in Middletown.  Although I'll wash and dry my CAL tee shirt for tonight's dance marathon at the Mezzo disco (I suspect the outside patio will be closed on account of the coming Hurricane Irene), it wasn't a problem last night at the patio and the disco.  It takes no time once your dancin' hard, especially in the disco, for sweat to saturate your clothing.  So even a perfectly laundered tee shirt becomes sweaty in the disco, pretty quickly.

After making sure that Susie was as comfortable as a woman who's had neck surgery less than a week ago can feel, and that Sarah Glaz was going to come over to sit with her until she went to bed, which would be much earlier than I expected to get to sleep, I parked Susie's navy blue Prius, without a CAL log, in the Bank of America parking lot on Main Street, right across the street from Amici's Restaurant.  The time was now 10 after 10 o'clock.

The tall outdoor heaters were still fired up in and around Amici's outdoor tables.  From across the street, the heaters' burners had the appearance of the burning-without-consuming the white mesh, Grade A,  Heavy Duty Type, Silk-Lite Mantles on the Coleman gas lantern which my father brought with us when we went camping when I was a child in the 50's and 60's.  When my parents fell in their Philly home and we cleared out their house, I kept my Dad's old lantern.  In the short time I went to South Church in June of this year, I brought my Dad's lantern to the church's camping trip at Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme, Connecticut. On that trip, I had been told to pitch my tent in the same campsite as a 90-year-old female parishioner named Eleanor Poole.  Despite the fact that Eleanor was widowed a few years ago, and is now free as a bird, our every interaction that weekend, including the few times we got up from our respective tents in night's mid-section to take a leak, was as clean and white as the driven snow.

Part 4: A Grand Entrance and Solo Dancing by Your Humble Servant on the Mezzo Outdoor Patio

I was glad I felt free enough to be walking towards the Mezzo, to dance the night away, rather than merely feeling limited to other enjoyable activities, such as sitting at that hour with the other middle-aged and older couples, as Susie and I, and our friends, frequently do, with great enjoyment,  in the warm weather, at Amici's outdoor cafe-style tables and chairs, having the kind of fun evening that such couples  have while lounging on the metal chairs, breaking bread, and drinking wine and beer together, and talking, talking, talking.  But, I must say, dancing into the wee hours, having all that child-like fun, and getting a great aerobic work-out, is also a lot of fun and I'm glad I can still do it at my age.

As I walked kitty-corner across the intersection of Main and Court Streets, from southwest to northeast, I could see the young people smoking outside the Mezzo Grille, standing, smoking, and talking, just before they went back in to drink, eat, and, perhaps, dance on the patio or, later, in the disco.  As usual, several older guys, in their late 20's or their 30's, wearing dark navy blue polo shirts, were standing around the glass and wooden doors of the Mezzo, outside with the smokers.  These older men all had highly-developed upper bodies.  One of them had the kind of rock-hard-looking sternocletoid neck muscles of the sort Tom Wolfe described the prosecutor having who plied the criminal courtrooms of  the Bronx Courthouse on the Hill in "Bonfire of the Vanities."  These serious looking men, with solemn miens, are the Mezzo's Front Entrance Bouncers.

As I passed the bouncers, they recognized me from my previous excursions to their precincts there and one said, "How ya' doin', sir!"  I must say, I'm still not used to younger men spotting our age differences so immediately and with no great effort of thought.  The fact I now do nothing to conceal my age, and, in fact, by growing a graying beard increase the probability that no one will be fooled by my full head of longish, dark hair.  Now that I've recovered from my depression, and found new life, I choose to celebrate the truth of that life, and that is why I'm happy when people don't guess my age wrong, as used to take vain satisfaction in observing, before I was viciously and relentlessly attacked by several of Churchill's Black Dogs.

After traversing the restaurant proper, I walked through the open doors of the Mezzo's outdoor patio.  Immediately, just as the bouncers recognized our age differences, I drank in the intoxicating fact that there were several hundred people, and potential patio-dance-club audience members, sitting and standing, eating and drinking, talking and flirting, mostly in their 20's but also some people in older demographics.  And all these people were primed and ready to enjoy a performance of solo, free-form dancing.  And on this night, as on all the other nights I've made a similar entrance at the Mezzo outdoor patio, this audience would prove to be most open to such a performance by even an older person like me.  That is, a happily married, father of four, and Grandude of one, just like myself, whose triumph over a near-death suicidal depression last fall enabled me to become internally free enough to walk out amongst this kinetic energy field of young, happy, men and women, and have a wonderful, child-like, innocent, and most pleasurable and gratifying experience of dancing for them, but mostly for me, because my body loves to feel the beat and translate that beat into dance movements.

[Editor's note: Unfortunately, will have to finish, and post, the most interesting part of this story later.  Right now, Bob has to help Susie with some additional things this morning.  He's already assisted her in taking a shower, drying her off, washing her hair, and drying and fluffing it, and removing her neck brace to replace pads for the brace and the sterile dressings covering the front and rear her surgical incisions, which were closed using surgical staples.  Until then, happy reading!]     Interview of Rev. Harold Camping the day after his Rapture prediction was
                                                proved wrong.

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