For seven months I anxiously awaited the day I would hear “Eso Beso” blaring from the speakers of The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon. The days would pass as they would dance their little Beatnik dances to such luminous tracks as “It’s Time To Cry” and “Summer’s Gone.” After two months had passed we had reached track 15 – “Love Me Warm And Tender” and I was confident “Eso Beso” would be just around the corner. This thought helped me get through the nights where I was the bearskin rug. Such dreams enabled me to block out the pain of being an ashtray. And most importantly, it helped to ease my tears when The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon had found the dead body of Mr. Beard under the couch and casually put him out with the trash. I was a surreal version of Andy Dufresne, acting out my own personal “Shawshank Redemption.” Except I didn’t have a Red to get me a poster of Rita Hayworth. Instead I had Dusty, the dust ball in the corner of the room, and the only thing he ever gave me was a mild form of asthma.
Continue reading “Chapter 6 – Dead Men Don’t Wink”
The party was a rousing success. Mr. Beard played his part perfectly, berating the guests, coloring all over the walls, food and even the face of an extremely young Drew Barrymore. The man who later went on to play Mr. Belvedere was disturbed so deeply by Mr. Beard that he suddenly began speaking in a British accent. The Beatniks – Gloria and Solomon couldn’t have been prouder. Their new art had produced the kind of buzz, hippy Beatniks like they were could only dream about. Child furniture was like playing checkers. In finding a deranged homeless guy with a disgusting beard, they had elevated their artistic game to chess.
Continue reading “Chapter 5 – Eso Beso”
I can still remember the commotion when one of the Beatniks – Solomon came bursting through the front door one oddly shaped Thursday afternoon. Their monthly party was less than forty-eight hours away and the apartment was in shambles. Gloria was in a panic due to my inability to keep a light bulb lit in my mouth for longer than three minutes and forty one seconds. The pain of my cheeks being scorched from the inside was being drowned out by Gloria’s screeching, rhetorically asking me what kind of touch lamp goes out after three minutes and forty one seconds?!
Fortunately for my cheeks and Gloria’s party, Solomon had stumbled upon an idea. In all actuality, he tripped.
Tripped over a person.
Tripped over Mr. Beard.
Continue reading “Chapter 4 – Styx is the 6th most underrated band of the 1970’s”
Looking back, the one thing I remember regarding my third birthday was this huge party. It seemed like the entire island of Manhattan had shown up. The beatniks – Gloria and Solomon’s duplex was packed to the brim with celebrities and debutantes across all fields of the arts and entertainment. In one corner Andy Warhol was talking up John Oates, of the famous band Hall & Oates. On the patio outside William Shatner was holding court with a bevy of wannabe models and croquet players from Jamaica. You could barely hear yourself think over the rampaging conversations. There was much enjoyment and laughter and I remember wishing I could be more involved in my own birthday party.
Of course I couldn’t, because the beatniks – Gloria and Solomon had reminded me repeatedly in the days prior,
“Ottomans don’t talk!”
Continue reading “Chapter 3 – Ottomans Don’t Talk”
The beatniks – or Gloria and Solomon, depending on whether you knew them or not had a proposition for my parents. They had done their research and learned how badly my parents had fallen. Hell, they had found the tree we were living in! They too, believed in the magical properties of apple sauce and felt that I was a special child. Too special to spend my life living in the Oklahoma forest. Thus, they had traveled from Soho, New York to offer up a deal.
They would give my parents $3500 cash, as well as monthly installments of $40 for three years in exchange for me, TOM Starita.
Continue reading “Chapter 2 – We Have a Blue Light Special On Boys”
My birth was both expected and celebrated. Somewhere off Route 4 in the nether regions of Norman, Oklahoma there is a sign proclaiming, “TOM Starita fell here” but we’ll get to the reasons why later on. My mum, a young, 22 year old Scottish lass named Kathy worked the counter at “The Pigging Out” diner. My father, Bill, a 39 year old Australian immigrant, owned his own brass mining company, a successful one aptly named, “Bill’s Got Brass.” He had chased after my mother for years, with little to no success due to two reasons. The first being a seventeen year gap in age. The second was my mom’s parents were vehemently opposed to their daughter dating some immigrant from the outback.
Continue reading “Chapter 1: Oh Come Let Us Admire Him”
One hundred and fifty years from now there is a fairly good chance I will be dead. What will the future leaders of tomorrow say about the man who influenced one generation and inspired two more? What tales will they tell? How can we be assured my good name won’t be slandered by jealousy and pettiness?
Sadly, we can’t. Due to the human condition, my life will be assuredly skipped over in the annals of history, with maybe one decent blot found somewhere between Joseph Stalin and Mr. T. What will that blot say? I have no idea, due to the fact that, once again, there is a fairly good chance I’m dead.
Continue reading “Why This? Why Now?”