Issues on Coney Island Avenue

Marc was busy studying his Tehillim and Gemara.  The last few weeks went by without a hitch. Work was fine.  Spring training kicked off.  He went on two dates with two different ladies.  They amounted to nothing. But he tried.

He met up with Alana a few times. They went bowling, went to the Victoria Confino tour at the Tenement Museum. Marc has seen it many times. He felt a connection to it. They argued and had deep conversations about life and where it was going. He bumped into Jen a few times. Her relationship with her new guy was going well. She was happy.  She was really forgetting about her past.  If only Marc and Alana could. Doubtful it’d happen.

He invested in a few companies and took things slow. He spent his free time learning and training.  He anxiously awaited the rabbi to call again. But he knew he had more learning to do and the rabbi would call at the right time.

He went to Coney Island Avenue and Avenue J.  His uncle used to shop there.  He once dated a woman from this area. He strolled down the blocks picked up some groceries and wine.

His phone was ringing.  His grandmother.  They spoke for a few minutes and made plans to get together in a few days.  They were going to go to Doody’s to pick up some things for her house. Marc remembered going there with his dad. He’s not sure he’s been there since he was about 7.

The Yeshiva kids were leaving school and heading to the pizza shop.  All was well.

All of s sudden, a car went flying down Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L and smacked into a packed yellow school bus. The bus driver hit the brakes, as the bus skidded several feet down the block.

The driver got out of the car and started running like a madman.  No way was Marc going to let this be a hit and run.

He handed his packages to one of the frumsters and said he’d be back. He asked the kid to watch his stuff and promised him falafel or whatever food he wanted. The kid took the bags and started to pray.

Marc ran after the driver. Meanwhile, Hatzolah and the NYPD arrived.  Thankfully the bus driver and students were ok. A few minor bruises that were treated onsite. The kids texted their parents about the accident and said they needed to be picked up.

Marc cornered the driver. The guy was shaking.  Marc asked him why he ran? The guy spoke in gibberish.  Marc was about to dial 911 on his iPhone when the man pulled out a Glock and pointed it at Marc and told him he was going to blow his head off.

Marc tensed up and started singing verses from Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs.   He was thinking of the abundance of seeds the pomegranate contains.  The man kept the gun aimed at Marc’s face. Marc didn’t care.  He kept singing.  He arms got thicker. His hands bulged. His well-built legs got heavier.  The man’s finger was on the trigger, as he pulled it, Marc’s wrist flipped pomegranates.  They and the bullet collided. Marc ducked as the bullet’s flight patch was interrupted. He shot a few more out and nailed the man in his hand. The gun fell to the ground. Marc dialed 911 and reported that a man with a gun tried to shoot him. But he was able to kick the gun out of his hand.

Sirens blared. Marc wasn’t sure if he should stay.  He kept on the phone and said he was running into the nearby medical center to be checked out and couldn’t wait. But assured them that the man would be tied up.  Marc tied up the man and went back to the scene of the accident. He grabbed his groceries. He gave the kid $20 for a meal and ran to the Q.






Marc’s spiritual connection

Marc’s rabbi called. He carefully listened to every word he said. He went on to discuss in detail bringing barley to the temple on Pesach, Maimonides’ notes about honey aiding one’s memory. Marc took a deep breath. The rabbi then went on to discuss the meanings behind the pomegranates at a Sephardic Rosh Hashanah meal, its symbolism of fertility and love, its placement on ancient Judean coins and the 613 seeds they contain.

The rabbi seemed to think Marc, who is a very spiritual person, was having a great connection to the Holy Land and the Torah. He urged him to continue his studies.

The rabbi instructed him to read certain Tehillim portions each morning and to touch base in a few weeks. Marc knew his mission. Marc promised the rabbi he would only use his powers for good.

Now as for that fertility and love portion, he well you know, texted Alana.






Pomegranate — 24 Alana has a heart…

Tzipora was out with the Eran, the guy she hooked up with at the Simple Minds concert. They sipped some red at the Highline. She was having fun. However, she had Alana on her mind. For some reason most people do. She stings you like never before.

She and Eran walked hand in hand along the elevated linear park. They stopped for gelato, which she proceeded to spill all over herself. Her shorts ate more of it than she did. The two just laughed and kept walking.

Meanwhile, Alana was reeling from some job interviews and lack of feedback. She wasn’t really looking that hard. But keeping her options open. Some recruiters called her. So she talked.

She was more on the lookout for a new guy. She knew what she wanted. But was that what she really needed. She was still confused about her powers. One day she figured she and Marc could discuss each other’s and join forces. But she wasn’t sure if that’d really work.

She walked out of her office on this beautifully sunny day to grab a hot dog and a soda. All the usual folks were strolling Lexington Avenue near Grand Central. She walked down Madison Barley11while biting into her mustard topped dog.

People who didn’t respond annoy her. Especially after they made the first move. Oh well. She hiked back to the office.

She finished her day and went to the gym. The place was loaded with the Miriam types. Of course, Alana was in better shape than all of them. She had the same money. Just not the attitude.

One of the girls started staring at her. Alana kept running. She left the treadmill and headed over to the bench press. She started lifting and was feeling great. However, that woman was still eyeing her. Alana wondered if word got out about her night with Tzipora. But doubted it. Tzipora wouldn’t say a word and Alana surely would not.

Tzipora and the stalker went to the locker room. Both showered and left the facility. All of a sudden the woman who was eyeing Alana whipped out a large knife and started running around Madison Avenue scratching cars.

“Why don’t you stop. I saw you looking at me in the gym. Do you need help from me?”

The woman continued to key cars. Then she said, ’’’Ya know, you seem to have it together. You look great and seem comfortable being you.”

Alana cracked up. The other lady kept at it with the knife. Alana had enough. She walked away for a minute. She hoped this woman would stop. She did not. Alana raised her arms and opened her hands. Figs shot out at the woman’s hands. She dropped the knife. Alana knocked her off her feet.

“Listen, I don’t really have it together. But I’m glad that you think I do. Let me get you home.”

Alana took the woman home.

Pomegranate 23 — Marc is hospitalized

Marc went to Staten Island to visit mom. She barbequed hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch. She had all kinds of salads.

She had honey cookies for dessert. I love honey cookies. “Hey, how come you didn’t add any barley or pomegranates to the salad,” he asked.

“Oh stay away from the cookies. Forgot about you and honey.”


“You won’t remember. But when you were about three on Rosh Hashanah your grandmother had honey, pomegranates, barley and other stuff. You started eating it all and nearly died.”

She went out to tell him the story. This had been kept from him. His grandmother came around with all of his is so called weapons. He started eating them and turned bright red. He began to shake and become short of breath. His mom flipped out. Everyone figured it was an allergic reaction. He was panting and shook even more. His mom raced him outside to the car and took him to the ER.

He was triaged. The doctors kept him for a few days. He suffered from anaphylaxis and infant botulism. His little arms and legs grew hives and were swollen. His face was beet red. He was put on an IV. He was discharged. The end result was that honey caused the problem. He suffered allergic reactions to the barley and pomegranates. Apparently, the mixture of all three items was nearly deadly.

His mom never let him have these items again. He was told to not to eat them because he might be allergic. He had no memory of trying them again. He was wondering if this is what sparked his powers.

He emailed a trusted rabbi in the Old City. He knew he’d call him back. He always did. While he waited he kept thinking about what happened to him. He wanted to pull the medical records. Of course, this incident happened over 40 years ago. But he sent an email to the hospital.


The rabbi called him back. He opened by blessing Marc. They made some small chit-chat. Marc gave him an abridged synopsis of what was happening. The rabbi was very interested in this. He thought of some of the prophets. He told him he would check some Talmudic scriptures and get back to him. He blessed him again.

As they hung up the hospital records arrived on his phone.






Pomengrante 22 — Marc and Jen chat

He was bored at of his mind at work. But knew he had to pay bills. He so badly needed a new job. He worked with illiterates. He plugged away. He was upset that Miriam didn’t work out.

He thought she had potential. But she looked down on people. Or was it that she looked down on Alana? Marc should be able to handle that. But couldn’t. He had the pain in the neck on a pedestal. He needs to learn not do that. He does it too often.

He was wondering how Jen was doing. He whipped out his phone and decided not to text. But to dial.

“Hey, Jen, How are you?”

“I’m fine. I’m keeping myself busy. How are you and that lady you brought to Terminal Five getting along? She’s well dressed and pretty.”

“Thanks, Jen. It never amounted to anything. I’m not seeing her.”

“Let me guess, is it because she started with your goth girl?”

“I just didn’t like the way she looked down at her. How are you and that guy? You seemed happy with him. That’s nice.”

They chit chatted for a little while. Marc could tell he may have lost Jen. He had issues with women whose names began with “J”. Always did. Always will. One of his closest friends forbade him from being friends and/or dating females whose name started with that letter. Of course, he introduced him to his first “J”.

They wished each other well and hung up. Marc wondered if this was really it with Jen. It has happened before. Then she would call and ask him to meet for a drink. He went vice versa. Well, there’s always Alana. He knew she wouldn’t last a minute with the guy she brought to the concert.

He went home and went to the community center where he spends far too much time in. He loves it. But feels used. Things were going well until one of the crackpots had one his episodes. He felt. He often dated women like this.

The guy was out of control. He was making a real mess of what Marc worked so hard to set up. People were getting scared and leaving. Some threatened to the call the cops. But that would never happen.

Marc couldn’t risk showing his powers here. He cajoled the guy into leaving the building. The nut calmed down. But then swung his fists at Marc and pulled a butcher knife out from under his coat. He grazed Marc on the cheek.

Marc took one for the club. But was not going to take any more. The barley he shot was firm and stinging. He aimed very close and hit the guy in the shoulders. He didn’t want to hurt him. He knew he needed help. He just wanted to get him away. The guy ran down the block.

Marc went back downstairs and grabbed a slice. Everyone asked him if all was well. He smiled. The gathering continued.

Pomegranate — 21 Marc has a date, Alana is taunted

Jen and Jake were at Terminal 5 to see Simple Minds. Marc was there, too. He was with his new friend, Miriam. She was the typical JAP. He had liked and disliked those women. But he was trying anything to get out of the Alana-Jen web. He hated general admission SRO shows. Years ago, he had a bad experience at Irving Plaza while seeing the B-52s.

Alana was there. She was with Brad, some guy she met a few days ago. He was a low key guy. She could easily control him. He probably wanted it. Tzipora was lurking around. She was solo.

None of the “friends” saw each other. A great mix of the Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, Erasure, Depeche Mode, Roxy Music and Bauhaus was playing. Alana was pleased. She was also yearning for a little Duran Duran in the pre-show tracks.

The line to the ladies room was unbearable. The women were waiting. None of them were too far away from each other. But their eyes never met.

Jim Kerr took the stage. The audience went wild. Marc and Miriam were drinking Sierra Nevada Pale Ales. Jen was sipping Rum and diet Pepsi. Her beau was drinking water. Cute. But lame. Alana was pissed they had no Arak. But was doing shots of Grey Goose. Tzipora was dancing away with her Brooklyn Lager.

The audience was singing along as they were sanctifying themselves. Marc and Miriam were embraced. Alana was sort of happy. She was in complete control. But at a loss. This was too easy for her. Her mind drifted to Marc. Then Tzipora. Then she looked at Brad. Too clean cut. But has some sort of sex appeal. She needed to get to know him better. They needed to have conversations and understand each other.

As the band started strumming, “Belfast Child,” Marc’s eyes scanned the room. He saw Jen dancing with Jake and Alana holding Brad’s hand. He was happy. Yet not.

Alana pushed her way with Brad closer to the stage. He followed like a puppy. She smacked right into Marc. They looked at each other and sneered.

“Do you know her, “inquired Miriam? “Whatcha gonna say, Marc,” belted out Alana?

Marc stuttered. “Hmm, yes, we’ve known each other for most of our lives.”
“Marc I’m surprised at you. Look at her. She’s so not your type.” Marc shivered.

“What’s wrong with her, Miriam?”

“Well look at me and her. Tell me what do you see?”

Meanwhile, Jen was dancing like the daffy girl she is. But she was feeling good. Then she saw the others. She sensed they were getting ready for a brawl. She wasn’t sure what she should do. Should she stay where she was? Or should she get herself closer? But why would she want to ruin a potentially good new relationship? Jake is a good guy. He had a decent job and seems to care about Jen. But after all, Jen is Jen. So she and Jake walked toward the others.

While this was going on Tzipora was trying to hook up with some guy. She was also eyeing a petite blonde female.

“I see a beautiful woman.”

Miriam laughed. “Look at how she’s dressed.”

“What’s the matter, girl? Did you not expect to see goth girls at tonight’s show? Did you daddy buy your clothes? And all of your jewelry? Are they paying your mortgage?”

“Marc I think we need to move away. This girl is batty.”

Marc stood frozen. “You’re very pretty, Miriam. Alana and I go way back.”

“That’s right we do. He took me to his special places, such as his summer camp. I’m sure you went to one of those camps where they did your laundry and made your bed.”

“Marc I know we are just getting to know each other. And you should be thankful your sipping drinks and are dancing with me. Not this freak.”

Jen was taking it all in. She grabbed Jake and started kissing him. The band played.

“Hey, girlie, you’re the freak. Maybe we should compare notes? I’m sure he and I have more in common.”

Marc tried to calm the two ladies. But couldn’t. Miriam was tipsy. She clearly couldn’t handle her alcohol.   Despite her shots, Alana was stone cold sober. Marc grabbed Miriam. She started screaming. She threw her drink at Alana. The beer spilled all over Alana’s new skirt. The bottle cracked onto the floor. Pieces of glass hit Alana’s legs. Marc was petrified. He knew he had to get Miriam out of the club. She stood no chance. Another girl lost. Or not.

Of course, Simple Minds closed their show with “Don’t you forget about me”.

Pomegranate — 20 — Jen breaks out of the web, Alana…..

Jen was flying happy. She spent a lovely afternoon on a date at the Guggenheim and a stroll along the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Central Park Reservoir with brownies from the By the Way Bakery. She and Jake enjoyed the art and their walk. They ended their date with a nice embrace and meaningful kiss. They agreed to meet for dinner next Thursday.

She texted her sister to let her know things went well and was on her way to her apt. And asked her if she wanted to meet for pizza. She felt so relieved that she met a new guy and he seemed to like her. Maybe she’d rid herself of Marc. Let him stay with his goth girl and they can beat each other.

Meanwhile, Alana was running through Central Park. She saw families and couples picnicking. She knew she’d never be in that situation. But she was coming to terms with it all.

She stopped by the boathouse for a beer. She sat outside by the lake and sipped her Sierra Nevada. She heard lots of conversations. People were talking to each other. Louder people were screaming into their phones. Typical NYC day.

Alana tossed her beer bottle and the trash and started walking to toward Strawberry Fields. As she jogged over she tripped over some garbage. She heard some kids laughing at her. But she let it go. No need to beat up little kids.

She heard the usual folks singing Come Together and Hey Jude. At this point, she was thinking of letting it be.   The tourists were taking their pictures on the Imagine mosaic. She heard laughter and tears. She sat on a bench and hummed Penny Lane. Alana was one of the lonely people.

She stared into space. A ball bounced up and hit her in the knee. A little kid ran over to it. He apologized and took it.

She headed to the train. One of the loons was hanging by the station. He was panhandling and made inappropriate remarks to her. She kept walking. The guy had a female accomplice. She started yelling too. Alana moved on. She always thought it was best to walk away.

She walked toward the Gap. She heard their taunts. She thought they were getting softer. But they weren’t. As she opened the door to the Gap she felt a blade running down her the back of her coat. She moved her elbow back and hit the person wielding the knife. It fell out of her hands. She spun around quickly. It was the woman who was taunting her.

Alana wanted to just go into the Gap. But the woman sprung up with the fallen blade. Alana figured she was probably a mentally ill woman who was discharged from a psych ward as the insurance ran out. Marc dated those types.

She was perplexed. She could let it go. Or strike. The woman tried to stab her. At this point, Alana’s eyes bulged. Her fists clenched. She opened them and figs flew out of her hands. They smacked the aggressor in her shoulders. Some landed in her ears and up her already stuffed nose. The woman screamed. Alana kicked her down. She went into the Gap and bought a skirt.