It was cruel that everyone else, except for the Luftreichs, who lived across from us, even everyone in stories, lived on a street, a lane, an avenue, a road, or even a way, but never on an extension. And the names of their streets, if not downright jolly, like Cherry Street, were comfortingly evocative, like Collegeview Avenue, or practical, like Main Street or, at worse, meaningless, like Forbus Street. I not only lived on what, for all I knew, was the only extension that was also an address in the entire world, but one which was named after one of the worst things there could be, and it made no difference that I had been told as soon as, probably before, I could grasp the concept, that our street was spelled differently and named after a person. So much the worse for him.
After I had sung my little composition, “How clever of my beamish boy!” is not what my mother said. With the precise honesty which came naturally to her and my father because it was a necessary concomitant of their elevated self-esteem, she told me that I had not made up the song, as I had assumed, but that it often could be heard on the radio. It was not long, an hour or two, before what had been the beautiful morning to a beautiful day became a morning of dismay when, thanks to a disc jockey on WKIP, my mother’s assertion was confirmed. It was my first inkling of the existence of the subconscious, or at least of one particular subconscious, and a cheating one at that.