This article is taken from Stand 225, 18(1) March - May 2020.

Catherine Eisner I Own the Sun
I Own the Sun

‘Jesus H. Christ!’

Then a weary laconic voice from the Bronx answered, ‘He ain’t gonna help us none, pal.’

That’s how Theresa Ollivante had begun her op-ed meditation on New York’s suburban kitsch, affectionately titled Musée des Boze Artz, in which she’d sketched a day out with Clorinda to Rockaway Beach, trapped, stunned by a heatwave, in a grossly overcrowded subway train.

Her Boze Artz feature was her first published think piece after her discharge from rehab.

Boze Artz, should Long Islanders need reminding, was a TV store surmounted by a vast sign on the corner of 48th Street and Queens Boulevard at the point where the subway train rounds the curve.

Clorinda was offered a seat, of course.

Jump on a train or enter a bar with Clorinda and guys would at once start coming on to her; but never on to Theresa, who had in due course submitted to a walk-on part as an attendant mute duenna.

He ain’t gonna help us none, pal.’

Three schoolgirls, crushed together with Clorinda in the subway car, had joined in the sudden outburst of nervous laughter. The heat inside the car was in the high eighties.

Clorinda had been quick to strike a rapport with the boldest girl and soon their talk turned to teenage daydreams of early marriage.

A billboard whizzed by: oddly attenuated cigarettes for the liberated young woman.

Virginia Slims. You’ve come a long ...
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