If Charles Bukowski had a cousin who was
slightly less self-destructive, not at all a womanizer and who lurked in
the deeper shadows of Bukowski, writing in the margins, it would have
been Larry Gross.
Meg lives in my apartment building here in Covington, and
she’s a nice, older lady who is always friendly to me, and I’m always
friendly right back. Sometimes I think — actually I kind of know — she
would like more from me, but thankfully I don’t see her all that often.
sounds outside my apartment window in Covington have some along with
the warmer weather. I often hear stray cats howling or even fighting
early in the mornings. One recent morning in particular, they woke me
up at five o’clock. It
was a day I wasn’t really looking forward to.
On most mornings while at the bus stop downtown to catch a Tank Bus over to Kentucky, I see this guy. Before he gets on the bus, with his hands, he makes the sign of the cross. I'm smart enough to know this is a Catholic ritual. That's all I know. One morning, I got curious about what he was doing. I asked him why he went through this ritual.
Weeks after this chance encounter, I'm still shaken by it. Sometimes memories of people from my past don't need to be updated with their current reality. On Race Street downtown some weeks ago, I was standing at an ATM taking $40 out of my checking account. I heard a voice I vaguely recognized.
I always look forward to Larry Gross' Living Out Loud columns. Like a lot of them lately, "Mandolin Rain" (issue of Feb. 25) was a moving story. I can't help but notice that in many of Gross' columns he's looking back at his life in trying to move forward.