Mensch full of âť¤…

My friend since 1998, Mr. Scott Steinberg

Back in May I wrote about the dissolution of my friends marriage and the subsequent awkward experience I had at his Ex’s wedding dinner (We have not been invited over to visit Nadine and Rich since that dinner).

My friend started a downward spiral. The apartment he was now living in was a dark dank dump. Even though he spoke that he was better off, his body language said otherwise. He began to ignore my phone calls and texts and I was about to write off the friendship. But it didn’t feel right. So I held onto his phone number in my little address book. Yeah I am not someone that stores everything in their phone.

I met Scott in late fall of 1998. I was 28 and he was 43 and we were both working at a record store in the mall. He had an equally weird sense of humor as me and a major love of films. Out of the blue he mentioned actress Tura Santana to me and was trying to remember what movie she was in with John Carradine ? It blew his mind when I said The Astro-Zombies. After that exchange we became fast friends.

Staying pretty tight after we both moved on in jobs…me to digital archivist, him to Borders Books as a manager. A job derailed from worsening back problems and a business going bankrupt.

Between 1998-2004, Scott and I wrote a terrible juvinile delinquent film called High School Stooge, a film meant to showcase his burgeoning rockabilly band the Whoadads. But it never took off (in hindsight it was a godawful script anyway). Scott was dating a teacher and was engaged but the relationship fell hard, he then found himself dating and eventually marrying his friend (groupie ? Literally the only connection was that Scott sang in a Rockabilly band), definitely an orange and a lemon relationship that quickly moved into marriage but shouldn’t have. Perhaps Nadine was desperate for a father figure for her son ? Who knows.

I’m not the richest person in the world, but I figured if I could find it in my heart to help fellow blogger Beaton all the way in Zimbabwe, when he was down on his luck. I could do the same for my friend of 23 years who lives but a town away.

Despite the fact that his last words to me were “My life is a shit show, just don’t bother calling me again!”

That hurt me. After I felt the need to cleanse myself with a personal atonement, I reached out to him again. I had to know how he was doing ? I wanted to take him to my art opening on the South Bethlehem Greenway which is a short walk from his apartment.

He got back to me, told me he sold off the last of his record/movie/memorabilia collection (when he lived with Nadine in their house, the collection filled the basement floor to ceiling) and despite it all he was flat broke, destitute and facing bills he couldn’t pay.

So I asked what he owed and he told me, he can’t afford to make payments but he had blood work for $328 and a dentist bill for $750…I have money in savings, so I decided (and with my wife’s approval) to pay off the dental bill for him. I’ve never done that kind of gesture for anyone in my life until now.

He received the check in the mail today and texted me the following:

I don’t know what to say . I’m truly blessed to have such wonderful friends . You’re gift is far beyond what I have given back to you . I’m ashamed as to how I have been . You’re a real mensch Matt . A kind hearted and wonderful human being . Blessings to both you and Jess.

I told him not to feel ashamed, to not sell himself short. What he gave me and continues to give me is the gift of friendship. 23 years is quite a gift.

My Rose…

I love her mind body soul.
Love her life, admired like minded.
Her life admired, a rose basking.
Mind admired, a humanity is within.
Body like rose, is so glorious.
Soul minded, basking, within glorious God

**this is a square matrix style poem created by Lewis Carroll. It is the same by both column and row, six words to form a square. My square is slightly off because of the inclusion of commas. This style of poetry is incredibly challenging and complex to get everything to be coherent. Technically you can use any amount of words the more words used the more complex**

two word version ie.
Love God.
God above.

photo credit to Engin Akyurt via pexels

My 5 foot 4 Savior (A Curtal Sonnet)…

That for which does not define me, said I.

Only thy love knows thy beats and measures.

Thy love is of the purest and demure.

My love for her I will never deny.

She soothes my pains and offers me pleasures.

She has the confidence to reassure,

that burden’s are overcome by hurdles.

She at times succumbs, to her own pressures.

Her frenzied muddled mind at times unsure.

With perseverance there are reversals.

We endure.

**Authors Note: Expect more poetry from yours truly, it’s my way of getting through whatever darkness that grabs a hold of me and won’t let go. In this case it’s dealing with what I left three years ago at my job only to come to terms that nothing has truly changed in returning to the department I left. I honestly thought by now, people would’ve matured into how they manage, I was mistaken. I needed to expel the pain and instead of wallowing in my own misery, the rhyme scheme and structure of this style of Sonnet coupled with listening to classical music and sitting across from my beautiful wife, the poem morphed into a love poem in the purest sense.**

When 40 met 28…

10 years can ya believe it ? In my 20’s & 30’s I thought I would never get married let alone be in a relationship with someone for 10 years. I always had the misfortune of either never getting past 3 months the exception being three years of misery with JoAnn. My Grandmother would always tell me, aw marriage isn’t worth it (She was a widow that never remarried) just be like your Uncle Joe. Honestly, had my Mom not died in 2002, I was headed in that direction. I’m pretty sure my parents would’ve divorced and I would’ve just stayed with my Mom. I mean things may have changed when I met Jess but I wasn’t still living at home by 2010.

Jess and I met at work. I was 40 & she was 28. It wasn’t love at first sight. She was very timid and hid under a baseball cap and spent the lunch break crocheting. It was her passion with her creativity that I was drawn to, because she was really good at what she created. I asked her if she could crochet me a blue turtle. And to this day a weathered version of itself remains on the dashboard of my car.

In return I gave her a cat painting I did that I updated a bit, to this day it hangs on her side of the bedroom.

I was working in digital and she was working in microfilm, we both had a mutual friend in microfilm named Val. Both of us at different times asked Val that if someone wants to talk/text you a lot do you think they might be interested ? Val’s advice was to set up a date. And we did.

October 2nd, 2010. Boy was I nervous. I had an audition that day for a haunted house actor but skipped it and went to the comic shop to talk to my friend Jeff who owned the place. I kept looking at the clock, said I had a date, it was only noon but I had to go..He asked when the date was and I said 2 pm, he just laughed when I left. By the time I got to the bookstore where we were to meet I stood outside for almost 90 minutes, I was weird like that never comfortable about reserving a table and waiting inside like a normal person would do.

She felt bad because I waited so long. We entered the bookstore and I grabbed a table, again I was so nervous I myself never got a drink. We sat catty corner to each other and we discussed the normal first date things..she asked if i ever heard of bands like Nickleback or Coldplay (Crickets chirping, dear in the headlights) John least I heard of him. She took the reigns and suggested we drive to a park somewhere to walk & talk some more. Walking & talking we pass a dead fish on the ground and clumsily I manage to trip over my own two feet but playing it cool, I get up brush myself off and tell her “I think I’ve fallen for you.” As were walking she’s busy telling me she talked me up to her parents saying I was a God Fearing Man (I didn’t even know what that meant, but when I googled it the next day..I most definitely wasn’t LOL)

We eventually sat on a bench and I procrastinated putting my arm around her for the next 30 minutes as the sunset. I eventually did & she sat closer to me. Again she suggested dinner, so we headed to a Japanese Sushi join and she got the optimistic roll. I know for a fact that I didn’t get the pessimistic roll LOL.

We concluded our night with a little conversation, smooching and heavy petting in a Giant Supermarket Parking lot, complete with steamed windows till about Midnight. Yeah, this date in total lasted 10 hours. I pretty much felt at this point that there was major promise.

About a week later she was my date at my cousin’s wedding and met my brother Donnie & his partner Earl and their adopted son Lucas (6 yrs old in 2010). We spent the night in their house and house sat their animals. She discovered that night how much I love feet, touching, caressing and yeah even sniffing. It was our first foray into my kinks. After 10 years, she loves the attention I give to her feet, just as weird as me 🙂

She got me out of my routine. Essentially my life pre-Jessica consisted of either reading comics, going to the movies or the occasional minor league baseball game usually by myself. But with Jess, we did a chocolate trail, a Brooklyn Pizza tour, visited multiple beaches, museums, zoo’s, saw concerts of all types, saw live musical theater, went bowling once, played mini golf many times, went snow tubing, visited Haunted Houses even took a photography tour of Philadelphia Eastern State Penitentiary.

She even got me to travel a bit, not real far usually weekend or day trips. But places I would never have gone on my own. A new found freedom was unlocked and I loved every minute of it.

After 6 months of dating I proposed (granted I bought a very cheap $100 engagement ring that she had an allergic reaction to) & we also got an apartment together (sigh, been here ever since).

With my anxiety in full gear, I felt the need to plan the wedding. Usually the woman does that, but our wedding. I planned it. All of it. Well she picked out her almost free dress that she got at an auction and crocheted her bouquet and all the lapel flowers (because I am allergic to flowers). I let her pick out the ceremonial steps & passages (she is the daughter of a Lutheran Pastor) but I handled the party end of things.

Saying “I do” after looking into her beautiful eyes, at the alter was by far the happiest moment of my entire life. If I am ever in a major downward spiral, I just have to visualize that moment in time. Getting married at 43 really made me wish it had happened sooner, but I wouldn’t change my life for the world.

Here we are on October 2nd, 2020 Celebrating 10 years a couple, 7 years married. Here is to many more moments of bliss.