Saturday, October 1, 2016

Queens County Revisited: The 1970's (78)

I can't recall much else I did during the last month in my basement apartment in Jamaica, while waiting to hear whether or not the book publishing firm was going to hire me for the publicity clerk job. What I do recall, though, is on one Friday night going alone to a local community college in Jamaica to hear a student who played acoustic guitar with a harmonica in a harmonica holder perform a 1-hour set; and thinking that the student-musician-performer reminded me of early Dylan, musically and stylistically; but that he did not remind me of early Dylan, lyrically.

I also recall meeting a Chinese-American male friend of Barry; and also going on a blind date that Barry had arranged for me with a woman friend of a former "chick" friend of Barry that Barry was again trying to "score" with, during my last month living with Barry in the Jamaica basement apartment.

Barry had apparently met his Chinese-American male friend--who was also in his 20's, but now married to a Chinese-American woman in her 20's--when they were both undergradate students at Queens College in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Having grown up in Queens in the 1950's and early 1960's like Barry and me (before the post-1980's mass migration of Chinese-Americans from Manhattan's Chinatown and immigrant families from Asia to Queens seemed to dramatically increase the number of Asian-Americans in that borough), Barry's friend seemed as Americanized and assimilated as Barry and I. But the parents of Barry's friend were apparently less completely assimilated and Americanized than my second-generation parents had been; and  they were apparently still pressuring Barry's friend to live his life more like they wanted him to live it, rather than how he and his wife wanted to live.

So Barry's Chinese-American friend still seemed to feel some conflict as to what his goals in should be in the 1970's; although, like Barry, by the 1970's he had absolutely no interest in devoting any portion of his life or time in working for a revolutionary transformation of U.S. society, as I still did.