I had the desire to become a celebrity since I was a child. I wanted to be on the cover of Forbes magazine. I wanted to have featured articles in the Rolling Stone, and snapshots of myself doing everyday regular people things in the magazines you pick up to read while waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store. I knew that the only way to become famous was to either give birth to a large number of babies (genetically impossible for me,) post a video of myself on Youtube and get over a million hits„ have an alleged affair with a Hollywood starlet (would you mind, Lindsay?) become a Real Housewife of _______ (once again impossible) become part of a famous family with a sister who already became famous from some scandal, or be discovered for actually having talent that didn’t involve being fertile or a family member. One thing was certain, I couldn’t do it in Massachusetts. At first I thought about New York city, Miami, Las Vegas, or even the Shores of New Jersey. No. It had to be where all the action really took place— Hollywood! When I hopped off the plane at LAX, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. All I had was a dream and a cardigan. I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in with my quest for fame. So not only did I send demos of my self-written songs to all of the major record labels and talent managers, but I also hit up every audition I could find. Soon, I found myself on the set of a reality television program. I played the part of one of many prospective suitors vying for the attention of a trashy large-breasted incompetent groupie for a washed rockstar. It was supposed to be love at first sight. The audience was supposed to love my East Coast confidence, but the talentless temptress that “stole” my heart ended up with another less competent guy with a jealous ex-girlfriend back home. After my stint with scripted reality, I tried my hand at more theatrical acting. I wound up on the set of Romantic Comedy, it might of been a Heigl or an Aniston flick, don’t worry she ends up with her love interest in the end. I had a small role in the film as the lead female’s love interest’s obnoxious co-worker. I had three speaking lines, and one was at the same time as all the other co-workers (singing Happy Birthday to the love interest in the conference room for his birthday) It wasn’t exactly the breakout role I was hoping for, but it was a good start, and not many viewers recognized me from my work on the VH1 reality show. After my debut into the film world, it was easier to land roles. The roles were still small, but I was gradually getting more larger, yet still small, roles. In one movie about life in a suburban high school starring Ellen Page, Miley Cyrus, and Jonah Hill, I had a whopping seventeen lines, and appeared a large number of group scenes. This seemed to be my breakout role. Who would’ve that a role as a student ten years younger than your actual age would make one so famous? After my breakout role, I moved into the Supporting Actor area of the industry, getting roles with lots of screen time on the regular. It wasn’t Oscar-nominating stuff or anything, but I was clearly on the Twilight level. I made little girls squeal. From that point on, avoiding photogs while still smiling at the camera when I saw a flash became a way of life. I would google my name and find pictures of myself coming out of Starbucks with a Frappuccino in hand or getting out of the car, or even shopping for swimwear for the upcoming Summer season. Pictures of myself with co-stars with headlines stating I was in some kind of secret romance were of the multitude. It was what I always dreamed of: a complete invasion of my privacy. And it was all I had hoped it would be.
They called him Crazy Lou, but know one really knew why. There wasn’t anything too crazy about the guy, at least there wasn’t always. He was seventy-two years old, and lived in Montgomery Alabama his entire life, except for the three years he spent fighting in the Great War.
Crazy Lou always loved car. Fixing broken cars was his passion. He had always dreamed of the day he’d own his own auto repair shop. He began studying to be a mechanic as early as he could. At eleven years old, he was spending every weekend at his Uncle Bob’s Shop, Bob’s Auto Body Fixer-Upper’s.
Lou just loved it. When he was sixteen years old, he became a full time mechanic at his Uncle’s shop. He worked their until he was called to action and went overseas to serve our Nation. When Lou came back, he opened up the Lou’s Auto Repair that has been standing in Montgomery for the past four decades. Lou’s Auto Body has been a landmark in the city of Montgomery ever since it was constructed way back when. The times have changed, but the bright red sign reading “Lou’s Auto Repair” has not.
Crazy Lou had a wonderful wife, Mearle. Whom he married shortly before going off to fight in the Great War. Mearle conceived their daughter, Bonnie, the night before Crazy Lou hopped onto the plane at MRA.
Mearle and Bonnie lived Lou’s parents’ house until Lou returned homed. It was a tough time for the whole family. Bonnie spent her days raising her daughter and thinking about her young husband fighting for their country.
When Lou returned home, it was a momentous occasion for the whole family. Little Bonnie met her father for the first time, and Mearle and Lou conceived their second daughter, Veronica “Little Ronnie” Polizzi. Their family was really coming together, at the same time as Lou’s mechanic career aspirations were beginning to unfold.
The business was booming, as new foreign cars were emerging in Montgomery, Lou’s shop expanded to include mechanic specializing in repairing cars of all make and model. Mearle gave up homemaking to play Secretary at Lou’s Auto Repair a couple days a week. She’d drop Bonnie off at school and bring Little Ronnie with her to the shop.
That must be where Little Ronnie’s love of cars flourished from playing with toy cars into her career as Lead Sales Representative for a major automobile manufacturer on the West Coast. While Bonnie went up to the Rhode Island School of Design to pursue a life of redecorating, Ronnie went to a local school and lived at home to help their dad with the business.
Some say it was never having a son to retire the family business to when he grew too old to work is what made “Crazy Lou” crazy. Lou and Mearle tried and tried to have another child, but nothing ever came of it. A few years after Veronica was born, Mearle conceived and carried a baby into the second trimester but ended up miscarrying. After that, Mearle and Lou were unable to conceive another child.
Others say that it was Mearle. They say that Mearle drove Lou crazy. She was too controlling. And she tried to manipulate every aspect of Lou’s life. Lou couldn’t do anything without Mearle’s permission, and it eventually drove him off the deep end.
No one really knew why the once jubilant and cheerful Lou Polizzi became “Crazy Lou” the man who owned Lou’s Auto Repair with an ill temperament and often got drunk on Thursday and Fright nights at O’Sullivan’s Pub downtown.
It was my first time using the Public Transit System in Springfield. It was my first time riding a bus that wasn’t yellow. It was my first time on the PVTA.
There weren’t many seats left. There weren’t any seats without neighbors. I hopped onto the bus and said, “Hello.” to the driver. He shot a scowl my way, with wrinkles in his forehead reading, “Shut up and find yourself a seat, you’re holding up the line.” I quickly got out of his way and treaded down the open area betwixt the rows of seats.
I was the only person still standing. Everyone behind me had squeezed into an available seat. The bus driver jerked the large vehicle forward and told me to sit down. I stumbled as I fell into a seat next to a woman.
Her name was Margaret, and she was seventy-six years old. She had been riding the PVTA for over three decades, or at least that was as far she could remember riding it. She had pewter-colored hair with snow-colored threads of hair sewn through it. She lived alone with two birds, three dogs, and over fourteen cats.
She rambled on about her pets for a few minutes before reaching into her purse. She pulled out some pretzel sticks in a zip-lock bag. She offered me a pretzel, and I politely rejected her offer, “No, thanks, I just ate lunch.” (I didn’t eat lunch yet, in fact I was starving) She smiled and reached back into her bag.
Her hand popped out of her bag with a bag of grapes. “I always keep some fruit in my purse, it helps prevent scurvy.” said Margaret. I tried not to laugh, but I let out a giggle. Thankfully she was hard of hearing. I smiled and she smiled back.
She bit into a grape and the juice from it squirted everywear. I wiped my cheek and pulled out a tissue from my pocket (I had a cold, and kept a few emergency tissues in my pocket.) I wiped my face as Margaret bit into another grape. Another grape juice shower occurred.
Margaret had just gone to the grocery store. She had her groceries on the opposite side of her body, on the edge of her the seat. As the bus rolled to the next stop, the groceries that Margaret so tightly hugged to her body fell off of the seat as her grip loosened.
We scrambled to pick up the cans of Bumblebee brand Tuna Fish, Saltine crackers, plastic jars of Miracle Whip (the squeezable bottles were too hard to maneuver with Margaret’s Arthritis,) dried cranberries, Weight Watchers popcorn, and the bag dehydrated assorted fruits (including Margaret’s favorite: Apricots,) and the bag of doggy treats that she claimed were her dogs’ favorite.
Margaret put the items back into her bag just in time.
As the new line of people settled into their seats, I spotted a young mother Naomi Campbell walking to a seat she spotted in the back of the bus. She was halfway to the end of the bus when she noticed her son had found his own seat near a group of Latinas on their way to work.
The young woman turned around and yelled at the little boy trying his hardest to converse with the Spanish-speaking women. “¿Como Estás?” was all the little boy knew, but it warranted a variety of answers from the women he was trying to talk to. “Darrell! Get yourself over here! You hear me? Get yourself over here or Imma give ya a Whoopin’” yelled the impatient mother. Darrell said goodbye to the Spanish-speaking women and ran over to where his mother was sitting.
“Darrell, if you leave my side one more time Imma drop ya off at your daddy’s house for good. See if he likes it,” whispered the young mother as she slapped her son’s pudgy arm. I rolled my eyes and she must’ve seen, because she gave me a large false smile. Darrell began to whimper, and I put my headphones in my ear.
I didn’t think this bus ride would ever end. Margaret continued to chomp on her grapes and pretzel sticks, the Spanish-speaking women in the front of the bus continued to converse in Spanish, and Darrell and his mother continued to argue and yell.
Then the green letters I had been hoping to see lit up, and my stop was next. I began to roll my the wire of my headphones up around my iPod and put slide it into my pocket beside my Blackberry, and I prepared myself to leap out of my seat.
I poked Margaret’s shoulder and warned her that my stop was next. “I’m gettin’ off next, Margaret.” Much to my surprise, Margaret responded by telling me that her stop was the next stop as well. “Can you carry my groceries to my apartment for me, hun’?“
“Apartment?!” This woman has that many pets and lives in an Apartment?! I couldn’t help but shake this feeling that her Landlord hated her. “No Margaret, I can’t help you,” is what I wanted to say, but I just couldn’t bring myself to utter those words.
I then found myself carrying a bag of assorted “old lady essentials” up six flights of stairs because Margaret was afraid that the combined wright of me and her groceries would break the elevator. As Margaret shuffled through her purse trying to find her house key, the sound of barking dogs and chirping birds hit my ear. The scratching on the door was my queue to leave.
“Seeya later, Margaret,” I said as I placed the bag of groceries on the floor beside the door. I took the elevator down to the lobby, and muttered under my breath, “That’s the last time I ever take the bus to get home.”
It seems like they’re just using my body for their entertainment, and I’m not talking about fat jokes.
Every time I go to a party, they just expect me to dance for them. Jeeze! They see a man pop and lock once, they expect him to do it every time the DJ turns up the fresh tracks.
Yeah. I might start to move when I feel a groove a’commin’ but it doesn’t mean I want you all to stand in awe around me as my flaps of fat rhythmically pulse to the beat of your drum.
But alas I do it anyways. I hear the music and hear my name. My feet guide me to the dance floor and my hips begin to sway. I feel like Kelly and Michelle are on my side (chanting my name, Beyonce) I thrust my abdomen back forth and squat my knees just slightly, moving my bent arms forward and back.
I’m ready. Heel-Toe Heel-Toe and a Thriller Paw there. Pump some air into the breasts and a Broken Robot.
No, I’d better sit the next one, my mom says if I dance anymore I’ll have a heart attack, so what, how awesome would it be die doing something other people think you love?
Yeah, I get a temporary high from having everyone’s attention, but it is as transient as the fleeting seasons.
Everyone would be talking about the kid who left their heart and their entire body on the dance floor.