Oh Al Goldstein, how reading about you reminds me of being a young pie, at sleepovers in my friends' Manhattan apartments. Boxlike two-bedrooms in Stuyvesant Town, Southgate Towers, Turtle Hill, with parquet floors and ethnic throw pillows, a sound-proofed office space for mom's psychotherapy patients. Cold Soho lofts, half unfinished, a swing hanging from the ceiling for the kids and jars of almonds on the kitchen counter. And you, Al Goldstein, and your show Midnight Blue on channel J. You and your filthy mouth and call-girl pimping. Your raunchy Screw magazine ads and spectacular Fuck Yous to whoever'd pissed you off that week. You and your sick, violent, unbridled misogyny.
You'd be pleased to know I dreamt of you at those sleepovers. I dreamt of you screaming "rotten c***!" and "c***s***ers!" at the rats in the streets, of what would happen if my parents abandoned me and I were stuck in Manhattan forever in this cold apartment with some girl from school, her therapist mother and her father the mysterious painter or civil rights lawyer or cult leader or whoever he was. Those dads were a mystery, Al Goldstein. Any one of them could have been you.
Al Goldstein, I heard you were homeless for a while. When did that happen? Last time I lived in Manhattan you were still on TV, even though you'd been sued for sexual harrassment like fifty times. It wasn't that long ago, but I guess it was before Ashley and Mary-Kate moved to town, and spotting them sucking face with older men at Butter became the Manhattanite's number one prurient delight. They said it was the Internet that sucked away your fortune, but I prefer to blame it on people like the twins. Then apparently you were a host at the 2nd Avenue Deli. Are you kidding me? Did everyone know this and keep it a secret? There were so many times I wanted to go back there with my more observant relatives, but they're over the corned beef now and have moved on to Kosher theme restaurants serving curry, couscous, and barbecue.
And now they say you're a bagel salesman. Bagels and whitefish, huh? In your own words, Goldstein, "in the ear or up the nostril––it's your bag and it's your own business." You dirty, dirty old man. I suppose as a former pie pusher, I can't throw stones.
Well, Alvin, I just wanted to say hey. Reading that article on you was like listening to Squeeze. It really brought me back.