My Life So Far (Part 1)

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Mom the magician

When Jim and I as young boys would stand on Fifth Avenue and 97th Street waiting for a southbound bus to come, wanting especially the #4, which was express, Mom would walk a few feet out from the curb, look north toward Harlem – some 13 blocks away – and chant “Hocus Pocus, Domino-cus, Ala-kazam-kazoo…” and wave her right hand in the air like she was conjuring up transportation for us – fine if the others who were waiting got it, too – and then her voice would go soft, unintelligible to us, but her knowing all the while that the two of us were watching wide-eyed and expectant.

The bus would always come soon, because we were so pre-occupied with watching her that we forgot about the time.