No Lack of Characters


My ex-wife and I were talking about ‘characters’. Do you know any?Characters are people who live in their own colorful definition of reality and have a hard time fitting into the black and white world most of us share. I know a number of characters – a guy who was one of New York’s best safe crackers in the ‘60’s – a woman who believed she was John Kennedy’s illegitimate daughter – a man who became a pet groomer to find the reincarnation of his dead dog – well, the list could go on. I LOVE characters! But the discussion took an unpleasant turn when T. said I was a character. Me?

“You’re kidding!” I said, “I’m not a character.”

“Characters never think they’re characters.” she said.

“Wait a little minute here, “ I said trying to get my thoughts together.

I thought of Johnny, a 65-year old guy who moved to Washington Square Park in Manhattan in December so he could be homeless and live in a cardboard box. When I asked him why, he said, “Franco – that’s New York! If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!”

Then there was Christine, an ex-dancer with whom I was talking about “looks”. I said, “I know I’m no Brad Pitt.” She immediately sat up, seriously looked at me and said, “Why did you bring up Brad Pitt?”

Of course I said, “You know Brad Pitt?”

She laid down again and said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Now THESE people are characters! I’m not a character.

“Don’t worry about it,” T. said, “There are a lot of good people who are characters. Think of your Father.”

“My FATHER? He’s one of the kindest, smartest men on Earth!”

“I know that – but it doesn’t mean he’s not a character. How many old men, who are fairly well-off, wear the same cheap, light jacket, every day, summer or winter, for THIRTY-FIVE YEARS? And when he got a stain on it last year, he DYED IT!”

“Well,” I said, “he’s no slave to fashion.”

“He’s a character! And so are you. It doesn’t mean you’re bad.”

“Yeh, well – what about YOU? How many people walk around deciding who’s a character and who isn’t, hmmm?”

“I see we can’t talk about this any more,” T. said. And then she stood up and walked out of the room. What a character!






One Response to “No Lack of Characters”

  1. Lorraine says:

    My name is Lorraine…and I am a fantasy-world-live-r. Or character. Either works…

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