On October 3, 2019 my cousin Dave Moreau passed away. https://www.williamsbergeykoffel.com/obituary/david-moreau
Dave, Joe Szpila, another cousin, and I spent uncountable hours together playing music on our way to rock stardom. Those moments growing up undoubtedly changed us all. We never became rock stars, but we forged a lifetime of memories.
David was a masterful writer with a gift for words and an infectious sense of humor. During those many days spent together, Joe and Dave would torture me over various preferences, particularly mayonnaise vs. mustard.
This is a piece I wrote several years ago about those times. Despite the torture I endured at their hands, they were magical moments I have cherished all these years.
Travel well, my friend. The echoes of Bookends lives on.
Time it was
And what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences
Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you.
Tormented by Choice
All of us face choices in our lifetime. Some of these can affect a moment, a day, or a lifetime. Often, we face ridicule and torment from those who follow a different path.
Does the toilet paper roll go over or under?
Peanut butter first, then Jelly or vice versa?
Yankees or Red Sox? (This one’s is easy for me. I like pinstripes and World Series Flags.)
Does anyone really know what time it is?
However, there is one choice I have consistently made which subjected me to a lifetime of torment and terror. One that every time I make the choice I have instant flashbacks to the taunts and the torments.
Tortures visited upon me by two people I looked up to, admired, tried to emulate.
After all these years, I am ready to face my darkest fears. Ready to confront the demons of the past.
You see, from the moment I was able to choose, I always picked mayonnaise over mustard.
There was no other way to go.
Yet I faced the ridicule, nay bullying, of my two cousins who shall remain nameless (Dave Moreau and Joe Szpila.)
They made sport of my choice. Sniffing the mayonnaise coated knife as if covered with the excrement of demons. Insinuating I was insane to so choose. Madness, they implied, it must be madness.
Oh how they tortured me. Their haughty superiority as mustard men hung over me like the Sword of Damocles.
To this day, I cannot enjoy a sandwich with my beloved mayonnaise without the demons of the past laughing in my mind. Even now, as I try to enjoy my sandwich, the torments continue.
A lifetime of torment for a simple choice. As Shakespeare said in As You Like It, “How bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes!”