She wore a yellow scarf. Zigman Zibanski spoke of her endlessly, this woman who wrapped a Burberry around a powder blue peacoat. She had a special look, he claimed, with her long blond hair and emerald eyes. I imagined she pulsed with an alluring availability borne of an immigrant's Hollywood dream.
"She rich," he'd repeat in his old country accent. "I ask her out. She beautiful. Ya, me ask her out. I love her."
Every night she'd walk haughtily past a street stand where Zigman sold vintage skin mags wrapped in early style cellophane.
One evening he positioned his portly body in front of her and spoke with a quick stammer. "Mmmy name is Zigman Zibanski. In ole' country I slaughter chicken. Yah, I slight throat over bloody bucket. But in t'is country I seduce beautiful blond."
The slap to his rubber skinned face could have been heard over mountains and across the Atlantic, all the way to police state nations with histories of dank prison torture.
I got a phone call from Zigman, his sorrowful voice told me of his humiliation.
All right, I said. Come on over. Boyce Boswell was at my apartment where we watched old TV shows on a new flat screen.
The three of us kept watching re-runs late into the evening. Boyce was quiet as per usual. Zigman, of course, had much to say about his broken heart. He emptied more than a couple of bottles of potato vodka and talked half-drunk crazy.
"That the woman. Yeah that the woman in yellow scarf. She Hollywood star," he said as he pointed shakily to the TV screen.
He was watching Florence Henderson, the mom star of the Partridge Family sitcom; but his mind was beyond reason. He began to cry uncontrollably and told of his mother being picked up by jack-booted communists who hauled her off to jail. He was only nine years old. He said he fought the police tearfully with his small futile fists. He never saw her again, not even after the Wall fell.
Me and Boyce felt bad for the guy, even though Boyce didn't really talk. I guess in the end we all got a right to at least one Hollywood dream, and if it doesn't turn out as we hoped, at least we dreamed.
The Living Dead
1 day ago