Monday, January 3, 2011's secret scenarios" # 5 FRITZ FALLS HARD FOR THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE

Fritz really fell out of his mind in love with this stunning Jewish girl from Brooklyn, and she with him.  Almost twenty, he was one day into his sixty-day furlough before boarding a troop ship in Hoboken New Jersey to ship out for his two year Special Services duty in Europe—the one angled for with General Hyman Glass.

No sooner did Fritz get back to NYC from Brooks Army Medical Center he fell in with Robert Getz, his acting-class buddy—his best friend in Brett Warren’s classes at the Actors Mobile Theatre—the younger brother of jazz great Stan Getz.  Bobby called asking Fritz to meet him in the Village at seven that evening after class, to meet his new girlfriend, Barbara, a "really way out young girl from Brooklyn" he was presently seeing.  

Fritz borrowed his father Harry’s sleek-green 51 Pontiac and drove into Manhattan on his second night back in town; wearing his army dress uniform which momma Frieda ironed for him—looking very sharp in it on his way out for an evening in the City.  

He carefully parked the Ponti near the Hudson River on Bank Street in the West Village, taking a leisurely evening walk west for Louis’ Tavern on Sheridan Square, Seventh Avenue.  When he got to Louis’, he made his way past the noisy crowded bar scene and scanned the small tables in the back for Bobby.  Almost immediately he saw this startlingly beautiful looking young creature sitting next to, of all people, Bobby’s older brother Stan.   The jazz saxophone star was frankly looking somewhat uncomfortably out of place.  He recognized and motioned to Fritz to come over and sit down, told him Bob was going to be late and he, Stan, had a gig that night at Birdland.  Could Fritz stay with Bob’s new cute girlfriend Barbara and wait for his ‘baby brother’ to show? 
“And, don’t try to steal her away, man!“ Stan sneakily quipped, then got up,  "look man, sorry I gotta go!”
“OKay..” said Fritz. 
“OKay..” said Barbara.
And Stanley walked out of the club.

Barbara told Fritz she was seventeen and a half, and in no more than a minute or so of an eerie unspoken electricity between them—right in the middle of the maddening din, a now very mobbed Louis’ Tavern—they both fell hard, strangely and deeply in love with each other.  In a crowded noisy instant, some fated explosion hit them both at the same time,  they both fearfully sensing the delicious risk and pleasure involved in what was happening to them.  And , especially, what awaited them if they risked it !

Without a word, they got up, silently agreeing not to wait for  Stan's baby brother, leaving the Tavern hand in hand they ran wildly across Sheridan Square west on Christopher Street running  a zig-zag of other West Village streets, finally, desperately impatient , they slipped into the darkest vestibule of a shuttered shop, kissing each other so voluptuously, so overcome with passion, that they both felt in real danger of losing their breath. 

Barbara Lillian Greenbaum entered Brooklyn College at age sixteen, after graduating Lincoln High in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.  Her father, Solomon, a City College-educated NYC government staff accountant, was part of the strong leftist-communist ‘30s and ‘40s labor movement—same as Harry Dubake, Fritz’s old man.  Except for a smattering of rich Jews who resided in the upscale Manhattan Beach community adjacent Brighton Beach, the Greenbaum’s Brighton neighborhood was one of the most concentrated enclaves of progressive leftist activists you could find in the greater Metro New York City area. 

Bensonhurst-Bath Beach, where Fritz and I grew up, a mile or so closer in toward Manhattan, was also a neighborhood stronghold for leftist labor union and workers’ organizations—The Arbiters Ring (Workman's Circle,) The I.W.O (International Workers Order,)  all mostly drew from the needle trades, garment and fur workers, accountants, lawyers and teachers.  Fritz’s dad, Harry, a fighting union organizer and head-buster for the full-fledged communist Fur and Leather Workers Union of America.  In those days, young  families like the Dubakes and Greenbaums, by the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s,
were following the international communist line and dictum with an overriding belief in no 'bubba-mienzehs' at all (read religious beliefs) other than the glories of International Socialism.  Ingrained in most of these red diaper babies like Fritz and Babs was their abject disbelief in God or in any kind of religion, perhaps even more to the point, they were brought up rabidly, sarcastically, anti-religion.  Their easiest argument in any dispute about the existence of a diety was how many millions of people throughout history were killed in religious pogroms and massacres in the name of God.  For the most part it was the bullshit of marital fidelity and virginity before marriage preached by church and synagogue that took it on the chin as the most obvious hypocrisy religious kids spouted, since bimbamboombaby they then dived into sin, against their own belief systems, as soon as the flesh went weak.

As a beautiful red-child-rebel, Babs, a Lincoln High student, sought out the avant-garde scenes in Greenwich Village.  Loft parties, jazz musicians, painters, musicians, artists and writers; dissident anti-establishniks who circulated around the Cedar Tavern on University Place and East 9th Street as well as The San Remos on MacDougal and Bleecker, an Italian restaurant and bar, and The Fat Black Pussycat,  the  first of the hipster-beatnik café houses.  For ‘50’s jazzniks, Louis' Tavern on Sheridan Square, diagonally across  from Café Society Downtown, was the early evening meeting place to begin your night-crawl to search and connect with the other hipsters in The Village.  This was even before The Figaros Café came into being on MacDougal and Bleecker across from San Remos.  Those were the rounds in 1950-52—definite stops: first Louis'  Tavern, then on to either the Remos and, secondly, eventually on to late nightly parties at a loft, usually a painter’s studio often shared by five or six people living on the extreme cheap.  It was with this crowd of artistic Bohemian types that Babs fell in with at the ripe old age of sixteen and a half, once she graduated Lincoln High School.

Remarkably brilliant in discussion, inviting  the friendliest sort of disputation on any subject, she had a special mark of being both startlingly intelligent and wildly attractive at the same time.  This  knocked guys  way off equilibrium in those days, especially among radical left wingers and early hippies.  A bright almost blinding smile, alluringly accepting warm eyes, a strong roman shnoz—eventually, unfortunately, to be done in by her mom Tessie Greenbaum in cahoots with her older control freak sister, Julia and the aid of a talented plastic surgeon.  Momma Greenbaum’s 18th Birthday present, performed on her really pretty face, now goyishly even prettier sporting this cute little non-Judaic shnoz, and with a sexy lithe figure, exquisitely beautiful gams, firm smallish breasts and a hard cute bouncy little ass—Barbara was remarkably packaged.  The pay-off though with Babs was her depth, some seemingly advanced brilliant sparkle for someone still in her teens; a way with people, reassuringly tuned-in to whomever she was speaking to—perhaps, you thought watching her, she’d got a little thing going with this guy she was bedazzling, a new village friend, be it a man or a woman, it didn’t matter—she was just this great listener who could impart simply interest, enthusiasm and balance to anyone’s questions, worries, or ruminations about life.

And in this selflessness somehow she personified the ‘hipster’ we all took at that time to mean a person extremely aware, demonstrably anti-bullshit, open no holds barred honesty in examining and railing against social, sexual, religious and political hypocrisy.  This was way before even Lenny Bruce made his mark on the scene, such were young hipsters like Barbara, and to her and to a great many who populated this particular milieu at that time  the exalted icon was 'The Jazz Musician'—more than often sporting a self-destructive ‘smack’ (heroin) habit. (The hipster term ‘Smack’ coming from the Jewish musicians like Stan Getz in the Bronx who derived it from the Yiddish ‘shmeck’, to smell or to snort something somewhat closely.)  The professional jazz player, for some reason, held for these newly emerging awareniks an attractive inclination, an understated high degree, of cool in their outward verbal style.  Their bop-speak, the jazz jargon—i,e; “cat, chick, solid, cool, yeah, right, man (even if referring to a female), the best, the most, cat’s into great changes, etc.,.”—were all brought on and invented by this circle of 40’s/50’s jazz musicians and the wannabe jazz-musician hipster artists, painters, and writers who idolized them for their singularly cynical but honest approach.  Barbara Lillian Greenbaum somehow found this her milieu, made them her crowd and they found in her the hippest, the most, the coolest, the ne-plus-ultra of a sexy young thing in flight from Brighton Beach Brooklyn to the wilds of Manhattan’s West Village, nightly in the early ‘50s.

So on their first night together, this night, Fritz met Barbara and they made love at dawn on a deserted Brighton Beach 2 in Brooklyn, just a half-block from where she lived. 

After Louis Tavern, they necked in that storefront for an hour and a half, went to a couple of loft parties, smoked some pot someone offered them, went to another party on the Bowery at which Fritz played bongos with Allen Ginsberg, and then, finally, at the ungodly hour of four in the morning, Fritz guided Barbara into his father’s Pontiac on Bank Street and drove her home to Brooklyn across The Brooklyn Bridge and onto the sleek darkness of the Belt Parkway—speeding past his parents house on Cropsey Avenue at the rim of Gravesend Bay, knowing full well how his dad Harry would have plenty to say to him if he dare keep the car out too late.  But Fritz did, nonetheless, keep it out late…very late!  He didn’t bring it back until the next day—almost noon.

With Barbara quietly sitting at his side, looking at him loving him driving her home, he peeled off the Belt Parkway exiting at Coney Island Avenue, and mind glued to her quiet directions he brought the car to rest in front of the apartment house where the Greenbaum family lived on the ground floor on Brighton 14th Street in Brighton Beach Brooklyn. 

Barbara told him, “Wait for me here!”
He watched her open and clamber in one of the windows to the  ground floor of  her parent’s apartment. 
She slipped back out on to the street in a pair of very short shorts, making sure to leave the kitchen window open for re-entry.  He now noticed what unbelievably beautiful legs she had. Lithe, firm, proabably the best girls legs he’d ever seen. It got him very excited when she came over to the car carrying a light blanket, and told Fritz to park and lock up. 

She led him by his hand down Brighton 14th Street, toward and out onto the Beach, and then to the farthest end of Beach 2, right next to the rock jetty, very close to the quiet rolling surf on an outgoing tide.  The Beach was totally deserted, the sun was just starting to streak and break low in the sky far away out over the Atlantic.  Barbara spread the blanket on the moist hard sand.

And even at their highest sexual rapture as they both came together brilliantly and fainted into each others arms, they fell asleep to the sound of the waves nearby; and when he came to life with the rising sun in his eyes, she was quietly whispering in his ear—a gentle sweet railing at him—that if he indeed loved her as much as he said he did which she said he had told her more than ten times during their very heated sex and if she would return such strong love for him which she could quite easily do she said because she loved him back that—he was not to be selfish with her materialisticly with her that he would not to try to own her or be a jealous possessive lover because If he wasn’t going to be cool about her she would fight him for her freedom and for her independence to her dying breath. 

Fritz deeply realized that this was it for him! 
That this girl would be the love of his life; all coming so fast at him and quite remarkably from a young girl named Barbara Greenbaum, a beautiful seventeen year old Brooklyn Jewess in 1951 and he was just two years older than she was and still a silly fucking private in this man’s US Army during the Korean War and about to leave for Europe and she was in her freshman year in Brooklyn College. 

How could this be? How could it happen like this?