Spent the day romping around the Poconos, most of the afternoon spent in the staid and historic township of Milford, PA.
Found the best used book store I've ever seen, a tiny little wooden building right on the main drag with over 20,000 books. Little rooms just keep opening up to little rooms, all lined with books. Another cool feature: an enormous white poodle that kind of follows you around the place while pretending not to.
The thing about the Poconos is that it's only 63 miles from the Holland Tunnel out on 80. You fight your way to the tunnel, right through the teeth of Chinatown, Rat City at it's most lawless, despairing at the Plight of Urban Man, drone through the tunnel, negotiate Newark, hit the open highway for about 45 minutes, take an exit and you're in Mayberry R.F.D. having a cup of coffee with Anj and Barney.
It's a trip. The coffee I bought at the Dunkin Donuts in Jersey City, five minutes from Chinatown, was still warm when we hit Milford.
Best thing about the day was seeing Curtiss I'Cook's home and his kids. And him, sure, but mostly his home and his kids.
Curtiss was the first actor I hired in New York, back in 1992 for my play Charmer at the 29th Street Repertory Theater. We produced some of his stuff at Present Company when we were up on 45th Street, he writes and directs as well. Probably my oldest friend in New York and one of my first great collaborators, one of those people you can just nod along with and drop into shorthand. Implicit artistic trust.
When he auditioned for Charmer he had his son, Curtiss, Jr. in a stroller out in the lobby of the theater, so I've watched that boy grow up along with his little sisters Isis and Kimani. Curtiss, Jr. and Isis were practically raised in my office, many was the night Daddy was rehearsing or onstage and I'd have these two cute little peanuts in blankets on the floor by my desk, giggling and pretending to be asleep.
Curtiss married the beautiful Angelique a few years back and they had, wait for it, twins, four years ago. I was with Curtiss the day he found out and I swear it was like watching a man get hit by a 2x4, all day long, over and over. He was ready for another kid, but two?
Twins, man. Twins. It's twins, John. Twins. That's two of them. Twins.
Because Curtiss makes his money in show biz and we all know how ridiculous that last statement is.
But he's making it and the twins, Jade and Harlem, are growing up in paradise. The place is on 3 acres, has four bedrooms, was built maybe two years ago and is just heaven. Nan and I didn't want to leave and Jade and Harlem sure didn't want us to go until we had personally and thoroughly examined every toy in the house.
Now about the kids, Jade and Harlem.
They're four years old, very bright and hilarious and I want them.
Got to have them.
Tried to smuggle them out last night while Curtiss was dealing with Isis, age 15, didn't work, played it off like it was a big joke.
Need those kids.
So, if you read about some wild shit out in Pennsylvania, kidnapping or whatnot, and my name is involved, well, you know...
I'll just say cuteness is a very powerful thing and those little peapods are cute. Two of them, come on.
Nowadays I'm probably going to jail just for posting this.
Back to the Rat City grind, rehearsing and writing and whipping up agendas for meetings. Seeing something at the Living Theater tonight, I think, going to try to get to the Ohio tomorrow night for Bromley's big show.
Not a bad life, but I've seen Heaven and it's right outside of Milford, 63 miles away.