Stanley Janiski was born in Brooklyn during a hot summer in the 40s.
Stan's dad, Sam was a diamond cutter in the Hassidic diamond district. Stan was a only child and it was a small miracle that Rose conceived Stan at all. Rose was 30 at the time of Stan's birth. His birth was a surprise that was merely accepted without much fanfare.
Rose was a housewife with a new born living in a west side Brooklyn apartment, she was full of herself. During the day she would pamper Stan, a ugly baby,flat faced, already looking at birth like he did a few rounds with Dempsey, bent nose and what looked like cauliflower ears. Stan was also born with a hair lip. By 16 months he had surgery and the doctors sowed up Stan's lip.
The Jansikis were music lovers. Rose studied Viola in high school and wanted to go to Juilliard but was not accepted. Rose liked Liberace and Lawrence Welk, maybe Juilliard realized she was no yiddisher kop, listing Liberace on your application as a one of your favorite performers to get into Juilliard is not cool.
The family had a nice collection of Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Beethoven, Gershwin Mitch Miller and the Gang singing songs like "Yellow Rose" and " Doggy in the Window".
Young Stan at two was still recovering from his hair lip operation, but had healed quickly being young. His mind was taking form. He would crawl on the pink shag carpet and drool on the plastic sofa cover. Music would cause Stan to go into deep dreams from past life. Listening to Gershwin on the 33rpm stereo would send him off. He seemed to remember the sound from somewhere even though he was only 2.
Stan was not a beautiful baby that people stopped and ogled over. One day Rose took young Stan out in the stroller to Coney Island. Rose was pleasing to the eye, but people looked at baby Stan like he was a freak. And just threw fake smiles his way. Rose decided she wanted to get close to the big waves that were breaking further out in the Atlantic, so she pushed the stroller with Stan to the end of one of the cement break waters, that had a harbor light.
Stan was going on 3 and could walk some now. Baby steps. Rose held both of Stan's arms as he hopeled to the harbor light at the end of the breakwater. Somehow, Stan who was strong for a baby, bust loose from Rose and jumped into the Atlantic. Rose started screaming for help. It was as though Stan said to himself " I was born with a hair lip, punch drunk already, I am not off to a good start." So, maybe I can jump back to where I came from through the great black hole expanse of the Atlantic, maybe it will lead to the heavens.
Rose was trying to bend over and grab Stan because she couldn't swim, still no life guard on the scene. Stan was having a much more esoteric experience than Rose. He was near death and saw a light at the apex of a cone shaped tunnel. He made it up and through the cone and was flying with his old pals the angels Gagaliel and Mankel. Stan felt like he was home again. He felt triumphant and beauteous, sexual. He felt he wouldn't miss the ground hot dogs and carrot paste Rose feed him. Then the sound of awhistle and a pair of strong arms snatched Stan from the skies through the ocean. The life guard saved him. Rose was ebullient, but Stan was bummed.
Back in the world of suffering, Stan began pre school. He stood out for all the wrong reasons, a poor unmotivated student, not inspired by life, with a face that look like he done a round with Dempsey, he hated school from the start.
Stan was big for his age, with huge hands, he got in a fight by third grade and busted a yuppie kids glasses and nose. From then on, anonymous with the personality of a salted Herring, the other kids left him alone.
Stan was a below average student and quit high school by 16 to go to work with his dad. Sam had quite his job as a diamond cutter and opened a pawn shop on 17th St. in Brooklyn. It was now call Sam and Son's Pawn Shop.
A pawn shop is a great metaphor for the world of suffering. They are frequented by bottom feeders and junks. Clientele so busted, that they will trade a treasure for a pittance to get whatever it is they desperately need at the time.
A pawn broker needs to be thick-skinned and heartless to the drama of the marks . Neither Stan nor Sam found this hard to do. Sam would sip Mogan David through the day and Stan found that smoking ganja could to numb him.
In the early 60s the freak show was still going down on Coney Island but was in it's last days. When not at the pawn shop Stan had a group of bar fly friends and outsiders he would hang out at a place called Moray's . People that were too weird by look or action to fit into the upper Manhattan world, would hang at Moray's bar at the end of alley in Brooklyn. Interior design had past over Moray's for the last 40 years. There was still a picture of Jack Dempsey behind the bar and the place smelled like a rotting rat and stale beer. Most of Moray's people were Diane Arbus fodder. Coney Island workers, freaks and junk dealers. 3 % centers.
One day the tattooed women from the Coney freak show, Glennis, game into the pawnshop to pawn a Vebene skull ring that had been passed down through her family. She was stunning, with natural dark curly hair, she looked like a gypsy. When not on the job she could hide her tats by wearing colored leggings and long sleeve shirts or leather jackets, with jeans or long dresses.
Stan's hair lip scar, flat nose and cauliflower ears made him a freak in his own right. But he did have beautiful deep blues eyes that met Glennis's dark gypsy eyes, they were immediately attracted to one another and started dating.
When they got naked and fucked, Stan found Glennis's long mid-body length curly black hair a real turn on. He dug her tattooed body too. It looked 3D to him when they shot up junk together. Glennis liked to shoot through a panther eye tattoo she had on her mainline.
On days off they like to go get high and go look at modern art, the new abstract Impressionist stuff was a turn on for them as well as the German Impressionist. They loved color which came to life for them when high.
Other nights off they would go to listen to Kerouac or Gregory Corso read in the village. They also would go to Harlem and hear Basie, Monk, Bird play, They were friends with Art Pepper, they all like to shoot up at times in his Apartment.
End of Stanley Janiski part 1.