Most Joyful Day

Jan 27, 2020

I’m going to try to just talk about some joyful moments. Because for me it’s different moments.

One joyful moment for me was the first time I rode a bike. It was great. My mother just pushed me, said, “Go.” And that was it. I didn’t fall. I just went. But my brother’s 3-speed English racer, that was my favorite thing. And that was one thing.

The other thing is being in the ocean. Jump diving into the ocean, going under the water, having waves come over me, floating. I love the ocean, and I love salt water pools, but especially the ocean. I love it, love it, love it.

And one time I was really joyful. I was at The War Is Over concert. This was 1974. That was the Vietnam war. And I had a friend that was with one of my friends, and her brother was schizophrenia and lived on the streets. And he happened to be there. And he was very paranoid. But I went … I was filled with such love. The war’s over, it was Joan Baez, and everybody was there. It was so … Everybody was so happy. And I see her brother, and I just went over to him and I said, “Hi, Russell, Laura is here.” And he took my hand and he let me take him to Laura. And it was an amazing moment, that a person who was paranoid schizophrenia, who barely knew me, probably never recognized me, because I was the friend, would take my hand and trust me to go over to her. So that was a big moment.

I remember one time I was running down … We were running, running, running. My twin friends and I, we were running, running down a hill in Staten Island, and we got to this ice cream place. And I had blueberry ice cream. And it was the most … I never forgot that. It was the most delicious thing I ever had in my life.

And then when my nephew was born, when Benjamin was born. And I looked at him, and I held him on my arm. He looked like my father. It was amazing to me. He just looked like my father. Even though he ended up not looking anything like my father in the end. Ultimately, he’s 26 now. He doesn’t look anything … But it was really interesting to me. And he was so little. Like a little my father.

And I love to dance. So I’ve had joyful moments. One time I was here, and they put Pharrell Williams on. I was moving, moving. And it was just so … It was like I was in ecstasy. By myself I was in ecstasy.

And then one time I had a dog. I used to rescue dogs. Her name was We-Eska, because my ex-girlfriend, Star, was Mohawk, and that means wild in Mohawk. And she’d run like the wind through the park, and then come back and be totally tame and good with everybody. I loved her. I loved her. So, unfortunately I adopted her out. I never forgave myself. I should have kept her or whatever. But anyway, I loved being with her in the park.

And then my ex-girlfriend, Star, and I, we rode bicycles to my old neighborhood, and we sang Carol King songs. And I remember that was like … I had so much fun doing that. Deeply, unfortunately because she was wearing a bandana, and she was dark skinned, people made comments about her, which really pissed me off. It was really racist and stuff. But besides that, I just had so much fun biking with her and singing together. And so she had such a great spirit. She had such a great spirit and just like, it was amazing. And one time I saw her and her sister dancing together. Right? But the way they danced, it was like timeless. I can’t really explain it, but it was something about the way they were dancing. There was no time involved in it. And that freaked me out. It was like being in another dimension, watching them dance.

And then one time I was at the Pueblo reservation in New Mexico and it was the same feeling. It was like the kids were riding the bikes, the dogs were following them, the river was flowing, everything just was like kind of moving at the same time. And then there was one dog on a pile of like sand or something and the dog totally molded into the sand. It was just interesting.

I’ve had a lot of other joyful moments. Like one time I was doing … I used to joke a lot and I did a monologue for a nonprofit organization. It was a fundraiser. Different people do different things. I did a monologue and I said, “Oh my God. What if nobody laughs?” People were laughing, but this one woman laughed so hard. She was almost at the edge of crying. I said, “I did it. I did it.” I don’t know how I did it.

So those were a few things … And I guess one time, just being beside my mother in a synagogue during the holidays, and watching the light candles. Especially … Those things were very happy for me. My grandmother watching me eat, and being so pleased. Those were joyful moments.

Little snapshots.

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