If you were born anywhere within 50 miles of Jersey City, you had an Aunt NORMA. Yours might be called Mary, Estelle, Trudie, Henrietta or Eunice. But in her soul was Aunt NORMA. Norma’s dad, who worked on the docks, gave her a cigarette when she was 10, hoping to keep her quiet. Even as a child she had a voice like roller skates on concrete. Rough, annoying. Until she died at 90 when she fell off the fire escape, she smoked every waking hour. She smoked when she ironed, cooked, used the bathroom, took a bath or had her hair done. She was married to Uncle Joey, who “caught the cancer” at 65. Lung cancer. He never smoked a cigarette in his life. She quit once in her life and in three days became so delusional and aggressive she ended up in the hospital for observation. The nurses gave her smokes; it was the only humane thing to do. Aunt Norma was Jimmy’s great aunt, sister of his grandfather. Jimmy never knew him, and he really had no idea who she was, kin-wise. She always brought him a sailor suit one size too small and insisted he wear it for their annual visit to ASBURY Park, which was 2 hours by smoke-filled car, down the shore. Jimmy’s car sick bag record was 11 for these trips. Once they arrived they went on every stomach curdling ride in the place. Norma never screamed on these rides, just held on tightly to her new wash-and-set. Jimmy knew where every trash can was in that park. Jimmy ran off to the Navy when he was 16. Sadly, Jimmy died at 45 from “weak lungs.”


I am a vertebrate mammal. I was born in 1950. I identify as a female. I like bald baby heads, fireworks and RF Delderfield. I will add more to this list as I figure things out.

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