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Sunday, July 23, 2006


Way back in 1978, myself and a friend — whose name I can’t print here for a couple of reasons — were perusing the “art” book section at the local Waldenbooks and enjoying all of those photo books of naked twin sisters and such, when I noticed my friend checking out a copy of “The Joy of Sex.” He was clearly engrossed, and I asked him what he thought of the book; the look on his face said it all so I asked, “Do you want it?” He said, “Yeah!” so I dropped the book into my backpack and we made a hasty exit out onto Main Street.

NOTE: one of the truths about my misspent youth that I am not terribly proud of is the fact that I was once an accomplished master of the “five-finger discount,” and used that skill to obtain boatloads of porn mags and dirty books that I would then sell for a then-hefty price during my junior high years. As was probably inevitable, I got caught early in 1980 while trying to boost an issue of HUSTLER from a convenience store that had recently installed camera security; prior to that point I never once ran afoul of any sort of security because not one of the local bookstores, pharmacies or convenience stores bothered to keep an eye out for young hooligans. After all, this was WESTPORT (capitalized for emphasis), where the kids were all upstanding young men and ladies who would never do such a thing (their rampant promiscuity, alcoholism and drug habits notwithstanding). And since I was Black it was unlikely that I would have any interest in stealing books of any kind…

Anyway, skip ahead twenty-eight years to me working in the kitchen last night; it was just after two days of torrential rain and the neighborhood was coming out once again, in search of food and intoxicating libations, so Scott and I were running ourselves ragged to keep up with the meal orders. Suddenly an odd-looking man darted into the kitchen and thrust a manilla envelope into my hand. I opened the envelope to discover a vintage hardcover copy of “The Joy of Sex,” at which point I dropped what I was doing, ran out into the dining area and asked a general “What the fuck?” But then I noticed Eric Singer, a guy who I grew up with who now lives in the neighborhood, and sitting across from him was the now-grownup kid for whom I’d lifted that copy of “The Joy of Sex” over twenty-five years ago.

This was the first time I’d seen the guy since his family had left Westport in the early eighties, and it was great to see him again; he was simply one of the craziest and funniest people I knew at the time, and such kindred weirdos were precious indeed.

Now that you have all the background info, here’s a shot of the two of us with the ancient stolen tome. I even had “Mister X” sign it as a keepsake.

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