I grew up in a time when Times Square wasn’t fucking Disneyland or Tokyo. When it was dark and seedy and filthy and vibrated with how shitty life could be, but still you kept on living. No wax museums, no Mary Poppins on stage, No blinders.
If you were heading to 42nd street, you were there for something ‘bad’. Maybe, or just there to escape what was considered normal.
There was a movie called Times Square by RSO films, which came out in 1980. The kids from a play at my middle school did all the sound effects of a screaming crowd. I watched that, it was kind of cool. But the move, to a 14 or 15 year old; was poetry.
Its pure adolescence, misunderstood, unloved, not knowing where you’re going. Where adults are so fast to ‘label’ you, simply because they don’t understand.
I watched this movie for the first time since I was 14 today. And I cried. My best friend Hope and I saw this movie together and we were Nikki and Pammy. She was Nikki. I wanted so much to be Nikki, but I knew I was too innocent to take the risks this character took in this film. Hope and I were inseparable. We grew older, I went to college, she took off. Just like Nikki would.
I didn’t see her again for years later, she had kids. But was still a little wild. My Nikki died over 10 years ago. Hope passed away. And I lost my best friend, my Nikki.
There’s a part in the movie where they pledge to scream each other’s name when they felt like the whole world was falling apart. We use to do that. But we would scream “Nikki” or “Pammy” at the top of our lungs.
This was before BiPolar. When I knew I was a misfit, but didn’t know why.
I love you Hope. My Nikki and there are days I scream your name, even today.