AN ARTICLE FROM THE BASEBALL MAGAZINE:APRIL
IT WAS A GREY MORNING. RAIN WAS COMING DOWN MUFFLING THE SOUND OF CARS OUTSIDE & EVERYTHNG IN THE DELI HAD BECOME MUTED AND SOFTENED DOWN. I WAS SITTING BEHIND THE COUNTER READING THE NY TIMES. IT WAS SEVEN OCLOCK AND JUST ABOUT TIME FOR NORMAN BLOOM TO COME IN & ORDER BREAKFAST:
A LIFE FILLED WITH PASSION
The door opened & there he was. At one time Norman Bloom had owned a carpeting store, was an accomplished
pianist, had a wife and child and lived a suburban life. That all was gone now. He stood before me, heavy set, flush faced, matted hair tucked around his forehead, and asked me for the usual. The usual consisted of a six egg omelet
with tomato and cheese, rye toast and a cup of very strong coffee. He took off his thick woolen hat, stuffed it into his peacoat and leaned against my table. Norman was a welcome relief from the pressures of running a Jewish Deli in a neighborhood that was changing. He was brilliant, knew about everything, and was generally considered wacky by everyone he encountered, including me (and I was his friend!)
Well, did you see the paper today? He sat down and opened up the sports section of the Daily News. Reggie got two hits off Blyleven today and that gives him 12 for the last two weeks and 7 of those were on weekends. He rubbed his hands together. The lord, my father, knows what 7 and 12 means just before the joyous days of Purim. In the 15th book of kaballah, the mystics talked about a strong, dark figure, (Reggie Jackson) who defeated the 7 plagues of inertia and then went on to invoke the name of Adonai (he put his hands over his head) and asked for a Messiah to come. The eggs were finished. I put the plate down before him and he continued. I keep telling them .I tell them all ..I have come ..I have been sent by the father and I am here to lead. Its all in the scores in the box scores. You cant refute that.
For years now I had tried to do just that. Now I no longer tried. Norman looked out the window and then moved closer to me pointing to baseball scores that he had underlined in yellow magic markers. Just look here, Kenny Singleton hit his 6th single in 6 days. Ron Guidry s truck out 6 men in his last 2 games and on the same day Frank White got his 6th single in 6 days. Its ordained, its my number, the 6 adding up to the 5 torments I had last month in Patterson. Everything is here in black and white. You cant argue with the newspapers. My father who lives in heaven gives you proof of my existence everyday and those smug, pompous, scientists, and the politicians, all turn their back on the evidence. They laughed at Christ, Spinoza, and Gallileo, and the holy prophets and they laugh at me. Im constantly beaten up and ridiculed but all you have to do is to look at the newspapers. The ball scores, the magic words and numbers of Kaballah, all point up to the truth of my being the new Messiah. Jewish culture, Israel, demanded that I come forth and so I have.
He stopped for a moment while I took care of a customer. He thern went on after I had finished. If you look at last weeks papers you see how Rick Reuschel, John Candeleria, and Mike Marshall fit into the pattern. They all have 4 letters in their first name and all of them have pitched three two hitters in their career. Three is a sacred number denoting rebirth. Couple that with patterns ending with 4 letters and in the Chumash, (our sacred prayer book) it talks about the one Messiah coming in moments of four. My coming was in fours. My first life, my awakening, my reincarnation right here on Earth, and the non-acceptance of my earthly appearance. If you want further proof of my arrival, look at Al Gionfridos catch off Joe Dimaggio in the 1947 World Series. The Cumash talks about that date and tells of an event that will happen to open mens minds to the miraculous, the holy. On that same day my father revealed himself and told me a miracle would proclaim my life on Earth. Mr. Dimaggio and Mr. Gionfriddo played their parts in that miracle.
And so it went. Occasionally we talked about world matters, music, t he arts, politics. He knew everything but his mission in life was to be mankinds savior. Every once in awhile customers would tell me about Norman having been dragged out of the warehouse he slept in to be beaten up by young toughs or his getting locked up in jail for vagrancy or he would come into the store in dire distress and I would feed him and he would stumble out again, papers falling out of his pants pockets and jacket.
Time went by. I left the store and Norman was forgotten. Carl Sagan, the scientist, had just written a book called, Mona Lisas Mustache and there in the middle of the book he talks about Norman. I was astonished. His reaction to Norman was the same as everybody elses, only in his case it took him 12 pages to come to that conclusion.
Once again the years went by. Then one day at my nephew Jareds Bar Mitzvah the Messiah reappeared. Outside in the parking lot I saw this bulky figure putting flyers on the windshields of parked cars. It was Norman and it was a joyous reunion. We talked for awhile, I shot some videotape of him and suddenly a lot of young boys from the party gathered around him and listened to us. When Norman left, all the kids generally agreed that Norman was a madman, a cuckoo, a nut job. I tried to explain to them that in his own way he was a special person but I dont think it worked.
That was quite awhile ago. No One seems to know if Norman is still alive.
In the back of my mind I keep thinking .and I know it cant possibly be true .but just suppose .that maybe but no it cant be true.