Joseph Reich
July 2016

Who the hell was Nanook of the North? My landlord from Brooklyn who I used to really like a lot used to always call me Nanook of the North, but who was he to talk? An out of control alcoholic who every Saturday night like clockwork a whole squad of squad cars would just show up to their brownstone because of some brand new drama, which of course he denied because used to always black-out and then the next day you’d see the whole holy family parade over for confession, like some procession of demented Norman Rockwell paintings; his son eternally out of work working the system for quote on quote disability and every evening literally hearing him throwing his wife and kid around sounding like the sound of half-crazed Eskimo madmen in an igloo of linoleum as all you’d hear is the trail of back and forth insane echoes; his daughter whose husband got whacked by La Cosa-Nostra and every time I showed up to pay the rent was conveniently wrapped in her towel just coming out of the shower, asking if I wanted to come in which I really wanted but didn’t want to become the next victim, although in the past had sincerely gone out with my fair share of Mafia Princesses mostly from Hell’s Kitchen and always touch and go situations; grandson, a dope addict doing inside jobs stealing shit right and left to support his habit, and myself literally having to drag this old timer out by his ankles into the hall after he had passed-out from the heat fixing a leaky faucet in my apartment ranting and referring to everyone as a hippie and had hair far shorter than his, but irrelevant as in his reality was convinced, and honestly found there to be something quite charming even lovable about him always appearing to slur his words whether drunk or sober, and just seemed to add character to the neighborhood, referring to me as that cat Nanook of the North which I took for something of a compliment.

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