“Damnit, where the HELL is dad?,” I ask my brother. Just returning from a shift at the Magic Pan, I was in no mood, NO MOOD for the hot mess I came home to. Mom was passed out upstairs, the dishes still on the table, bottles of booze all over the place. I knew my parents were entertaining my father’s boss, Ken, but where in the heck was everyone?
In 1978, my parents best friends, Shan and Jane Hamner, aka our next door neighbors, went through a pretty, pretty, pretty (channeling Larry David) bad divorce. Messy isn’t a word I would use. Apparently, Shan had been having an affair with Mrs. Robinson, and my mother went APE SHIT when Jane left Shan and the crazy lady moved right in. My poor mother was subject to her gardening in a bikini, flirting shamelessly with my father, and other atrocities at the hands of her children. I once lifted her daughter out of her loafers after teaching my sister how to smoke. There was never a dull moment, and when her son Scott fell off of the roof (later requiring traction and head gear) we just shook our heads and carried on. We had her son watch the house when we went on a two week trip to Avalon, NJ. For reasons that are still a little foggy, her son lit our trees on fire. He broke our outside stereo system-trashed it. I will never forget the anger in dad’s eyes, or the frightening veins that throbbed in his forehead. Shan ended up leaving her, for a younger woman, but that did nothing to cheer my mother up-as Mrs. Robinson was happy on Riverview Road and had no intentions of leaving.
“Daddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!,” I screamed throughout our house. Absolutely scared out of my mind, I stepped out onto the back deck. I heard music, but where was it coming from? Putting on my Holmes hat, I crept into the darkened back yard, where I found my father-laying in the garden-with his boom box turned up as high as it could go.
“Daddy, come on, wake up,” at this point I am in tears and angry, what in the HARRY was going on??????
Dad stood up and I helped him into the house.
“Mrs. Robinson brought a joint over and that’s the last thing I remember. Whatever you do, DON’T TELL YOUR MOTHER.”