May 13, 2011


"Green light Go" by Simone Federman

Simone & Raymond Federman
The Coliseum

My eyes were as bottomless as his, hollowed in my tiny face. And my mouth was almost more jaded - perfecting the scowl of a French-movie gangster, the attitude, if not the accent, that made him so charming. I would have smoked Gauloises in the car if he'd let me, the way he did, with the windows rolled up so his hair wouldn't blow, as we cruised the town, partners in crime, till Mom got home.

My mother sparkled with Hollywood sunlight, whereas my pop and I flickered in the shadows of the place where we lived when she was not around, where all his stories and the movies he'd taken me to from the time I was born converged. Errands were just an excuse for a stake-out; a trip to the bank, casing the joint for the big heist "the Organization" had planned.

Our swarthy complexions suited our roles as the good kind of bad guys, though I was more of a cowboy than he was, with half a half-gallon hat in the back seat to prove it, and he admired that about me. I was, after all, a real American, unlike him.

"Zoot, alors!" he'd say, forced to stall at a red light, and I'd take aim with my pistol finger tip, waiting until just the right moment - "Pow" - to shoot it green.

I love you Pop, miss you so much. Happy Birthday - Simone

Blogmaster's Note: Sunday is Ray's birthday.

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