Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Queens County Revisited: The 1970's (65)

After a few days back in the Jamaica basement apartment in the Fall, Barry said to me one evening after he came home from his day job:

"I spoke to the landlord today about fixing up this apartment. You know, repainting it, making it more modern."

"Won't he then raise the rent?" I replied.

"Not if we pay for itself ourselves,he said. So it's O.K. for him if we fix this apartment up and repaint it," Barry said.

"I don't think I really have the money to spend on paying to fix it up," I said.

"That's O.K.. I'll fix up the apartment, repaint the kitchen and my bedroom and pay for it all myself. I just got hired for a second job to work on the weekends. So I'll now have some extra money to pay for fixing up the apartment," said Barry.

I was surprised to hear that Barry, in addition to working again at his old day job as a delivery truck driver during the week, was now willing to give up his weekends off to work at a second job.

"You're actually willing to give up your free time on the weekend in order to work at a second job?" I asked.

"I don't mind. It's a cool job at Queens College on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. All I have to do is make sure that the people who enter the basement cafe to hear the band play in the student union building have Queens College student ID's," Barry answered.

"So you're like a security guard."

"Right, a security guard job."

I, myself, didn't think it was that "cool" a job to get paid for blocking and excluding non-students who didn't have Queens College student ID's from entering the basement cafe of a Queens College student union building that had been constructed with public funds provided by taxpaying parents of non-students, as well as current Queens College students. But the fact that Barry would now not be in the Jamaica basement apartment watching the loud television set programs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening, now that he had to be working during those hours as a security guard, meant that I could now enjoy the apartment space alone for more hours on the weekend than previously, during the next few months.