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The Prince of Jersey

There are a lot of things I will miss when I leave New Jersey; the Elizabeth Seaport, my mom, the danger of going to Newark after dark, the Rawhide Kid, Dickie Dee’s hot dogs, but mostly I will miss the feeling I get when I drive past a cathedral I’ve been to as a child or seeing someone my parents knew and being called “Little Goodie” ir “Tyke” and being told that they have seen me since (insert hand height measurement here). I guess I am going to miss see my mother after work for dinner and drinks or on the weekends for an adventure in urban anthropology i.e. let’s waste the day driving around until we see a store we like go inside, make fun of everyone and buy something we don’t need. Our latest hauls include a vintage Incredible Hulk Radio circa 1975, a zebra pattern lamp and painting of the Passions; which I have to admit was bought to get revenge on my grandfather for giving me a holographic Jesus last Christmas.

I’m going to miss driving with my grandfather, who I affectionately call Popeye which is either a deviation of the word “papi” or a reference to the sailor man; which one is the origin of the term I am unsure, and seeing houses he once lived in such as 616 Maple Street in Rahway where my mother was born and raised most of her life or places he once worked at like Joan’s Pies in Hillside when he was teenager with my Uncle Jab (Samuel) who introduced him to my grandmother in the late 40’s. I am going to miss going to Armeta’s with him near Branchbrook Park for Grandfather/Grandson quality time, they make the best “Uptowns” in the world.

Things I am surely not going to miss would have to include my grandmother’s nagging about anything and everything, slow days at the office, the smell of hot garbage coming into the seaport while the ships take the trash out to sea, realizing that everyone I grew up with is doomed to a blue collar job or an addiction of some kind. Being reminded that I never had to struggle and being told where I grew up in Jersey has made me naive and constantly a victim of “I think I’m are better than you” complex (which may be true but it is not completely without merit by American standards of what and who is better than someone else). Watching people be victimized by their own beliefs and doing nothing but shut my eyes tighter and pray, yes pray to God and all the saints, that whatever they feel if I experience it I will be able to brush myself off instead of lay face down in the gutter.

Also people with Little Mermaid checks, Beauty and the Beast address labels, and Mickey Mouse stamps should be dragged into the street and shot to ensure the welfare of the world.

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