About a year ago I had a cab driver who was an eccentric 60-something Israeli �migr� who kept passing me snapshots of his girlfriend, a woman about his age who still wore her silver hair on her shoulders.
He kept asking whether I agreed she was gorgeous, and I kept lying in the affirmative. I mean, it looked as though she'd once been pretty, but she didn't appear to understand she'd reached an age where she probably oughtta change her 'do.
Then too, in most of the photos she smiled in this cutesy, coquettish way that actually depressed me.
Anyway, my thick-accented, bespectacled chauffeur suddenly announced that he was married, and inquired as to whether I'd ever felt guilty about cheating on my wife.
"I don't have one," I told him.
"OK, then have you ever felt guilty about cheating on a girlfriend?" he asked.
I thought it odd he was now shouting. He was getting on my nerves.
"I don't know," I shrugged. "What's your point?"
We were at a red light, so he turned before wagging a finger at me and announcing triumphantly, "My point is, if you've ever felt guilty about cheating, you don't deserve to have a penis."
He made me feel like I was on trial for my manhood. I didn't appreciate it. I also didn't give him much of a tip.
Nor do I agree with him, but I will steal his line--because I don't think the creeps who stole my car on May 12 deserve to have penises.
I'd just gassed it up the day before and they didn't even take it on a joyride.
I know this because 10 days later I found my green Saturn coupe--still brimming with a full tank, but minus the radio/CD player I'd installed in it two years ago--parked alongside an Italian restaurant at Broad and Porter Streets, a block and a half from my humble South Philly home.
I'm not from South Philly, incidentally, my Italian name notwithstanding.
I always feel compelled to tell people this. Probably because I subconsciously feel superior to the locals, me hailing from the, ahem, haughty Northeast. I probably sound like one of those jackasses who brag about having attended one Catholic high school or another as if it were Cornell.
Sometimes I think I'm pretty much a joke.
On the other hand, I've never broken into anyone's 12-year-old Saturn with 191,000-plus miles on it, hotwired it, driven it around the corner, and under cover of darkness boosted its radio which I subsequently sold in a bar for maybe $30 that I used to purchase a few bags of dope and a red bandana or whatever.
I'm not that much of a joke.
Heroin addicts don't deserve penises. They don't use them for anything besides urinating, anyway. I once read in Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land that heroin addicts don't even wake up with throbbing, have-to-piss-like-a-racehorse erections.