Wildwood

It was my last best hope and expectation to meet up with a very special girl from Jersey in Wildwood. I was from Philly and she was from Harlem and our lives intersected in a small town in South Jersey. She was a sweet kid and wild as Friday night and we were supposed to meet for a weekend rendezvous in the seaside town of Wildwood. It was during the off season and there weren’t too many people around, which was how I liked it.

I holed up in a cheap hotel near the beach for a few days but she never showed. So I walked the streets and combed the beach a bit and I snapped a few pictures.

PAJAMA GAME

Top Ten Reasons Not to Wear Pajamas Out in Public

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Man in his pajama at China Star in Louisville, Kentucky

  1. It’s Public!
  2. If you are sleepy get a room!
  3. It looks awful.
  4. No one will take you seriously.
  5. I can’t stop laughing.
  6. Nobody cares what you wear to bed.
  7. It’s just a little too comfortable for you.
  8. It’s just a little bit too uncomfortable for me.
  9. No one want s to see those little black moose (meece?) run up your red fuzzy leg.
  10. Too late I’ve already been incensed!

INTO THE UNDERGROWTH

 

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I recently attended an exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum entitled Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth. Turns out there is a whole sub-genre of painting called sous-bois, which means undergrowth, that explores the significance of the interior of the forest. Hmmm. I have been exploring the interior of the forest for years now. Here is my latest entry into this genre.

TRUMP LOVES HATE

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First Trump said Obama was the worst president in history

Then he said what a great man he was

Next he will try to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn

Then some swamp land in Florida

He will bark you down like at a gypsy at a carnival

Try to sell you Christmas cards in June

The ship of state ain’t real estate it’s is now a ship of fools.

UP ALL NIGHT

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David at 21C

The clock upbraids me with her time

I was out all night long with the Grand Marquis

First it was Heathers then it was Feathers at 21C

The Red Penguin most naturally

Topped it off with drinks at Jocks

I had bourbon on the rocks

The Grand Marquis had his with coke

We had to leave because we both were broke

I fell into bed and slept til 7 most fitfully

I was out all night long with the Grand Marquis.

 

 

 

UNDERGROUND

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I recently visited London and Paris. I had long dreamed of vising these places as they have lived in my imagination for years from reading books. Using the subway systems of Philadelphia and New York City, primed me for the London Underground and the Parisian Metro system.

On one of my many excursions around London, I descended the steps into the underground, and encountered a smiling, red-faced uniformed attendant.

“Hello!” I said.

“Hello!” he returned.

I inquired about the best route to get to my destination.

“Take the Circle Line to Baker Street, transfer to the Jubilee Line. Get off at Southwark and it is only a short walk to the Globe.”

“Thank you!”

“Cheers!”

This was typical of my experience in the London Underground— easy to navigate with friendly attendants and patrons who were willing to answer your questions.

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In Paris, perhaps the incongruity of being in a strange land made my existence there somehow congruent. I felt at home at last. Once I arrived in Paris, I approached a Parisian Metro booth and spoke to one of the attendants.

“Parlez-vous anglais?”

“Un peu.”

Although I did not speak the language, I was able to communicate well enough to find my way, with a few words and hand gestures.

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On one of my last days in the city, I was sitting outside, having a glass of red wine at the Café de Flore on Boulevard Saint Germaine. A Frenchman who took the table next to mine, lit up a cigar and then glanced in my direction to ask if I was offended by the cigar smoke.

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“Oh, no,” I said, “I understand that people who sit outside often smoke and I am not offended.”

He nodded and smiled. He took a couple of puffs off his cigar and we began talking, he in perfect English. We talked for a long time about a wide range of events including the recent terrorist attacks. I mentioned the increased security around the metro. He shared that he had just talked to his daughter who lives in the neighbourhood where the attacks occurred and she felt safe using the Metro System.

“Yes,” he cautioned, “but the police and soldiers cannot be everywhere. You have to be vigilant. In effect, we have to be responsible for our own security.”

As we were sitting there, we watched many police vehicles driving by with their sirens blaring.

“Something’s going on,” he said.

Then he pointed out that if a car were to pull up in front of us right now and gunmen got out and started shooting, what could we do about it? Nothing! He was right of course. So I concluded that the French are a little fatalistic about such things.

C’est la vie?

I travelled to London and Paris by myself because I needed to be alone. I needed time to think about my life and my absurd existence with only myself for company as I walked the cobblestone streets of Montmartre. The encounters that I did have gave me reason to believe in the possibility of happiness and the hope for humanity. I found in both London and Paris, a big smile and a hello or bonjour broke down the normal barriers humans seem to erect between themselves. You can be anonymous, but by using the universal language of a smile followed by a greeting you can still be touched by the human heart.