Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Solstice Twilight

The Flaneur had been asleep and went out into the pearlescent crepuscule to spend an hour with a small smoke.

As I walked north on Jefferson past Bancroft I left behind what traces of everyday blues ever existed. I entered the shallows of peace and continued on.
Above me amid the densely flowering spheric trees, a bird caught my attention by perching on a cable across the street. I could see only it detailed silhouette. It appeared to address me with a series of cheeps. It seemed friendly towards me like a house pet bird, a parakeet though it was not.
I cheeped back mimetically and we had a brief rapport. After a moment its mate flew up onto the cable. The first left to a close-by rooftop chimney. The second took its place with me volleying chirps. I began repeating phrases in a human voice sort of cooing to it. I might have said "aren't you nice?" in the kind of a voice I would use if I was doing drag (which I have not done nor hold any interest in whatsoever). As I moved on I immediately passed by the bush where I'd been standing and noticed a young girl who must have heard all this. She was standing on the top step of her front walk with wet hair, barefoot, wearing only an oversized T-shirt and talking on a cell phone. In fact she was softly cooing or whimpering into it. Oblivious to me yet not completely. Relaxed and at peace with me perhaps even comforted by my presence subconsciously. She looked up demurely through her lashes. The dual consciousness of both telephonic scene and the scene at hand has become her second nature.

I thought of the love for young people I feel yet conceal. How they need my love just as I need their love even if only for an fleeting moment. The osmosis of love for other people obtains. Benign people who walk past and could be of help when the parents are late from work, overwhelmed, or any number of other excuses for absence. People feel safer in their homes when the passing strangers appear to be kindly.
She looked alright maybe over-coddled on the whole for all I know. As with most young people, she's enthralled by today's wild ride. And she's none the wiser for not having had the old-fashioned way of life that never really was but is only imagined in nostalgia.

Returning back by rounding Saint Joseph the Worker church, I thought of a little boy I encountered on McGee street a few weeks ago. I passed him by on my twilight walk as he got out of a car. He looked up at me and said "whoa." I laughed and said "what"?
Was it the way I looked? My semi-unearthly vibe, what? He just stood smiling and looking at me like I was the fireworks on July fourth. "You're gonna make me self-conscious," I jested as if he would know what that meant. I continued off with a smile. Was it my black beret, my ray bans and my stealthy hearing aid? To him I was a fantastic character apparently-- I imagine a cartoon version of myself.
Well, that's right my boy. We can be kindred spirits for an instant or as long as need be. Think of me like a grandfather, like the hippest grandfather there is.

As I write it of course dawns on me that, in their mild way, the two birds were most likely expressing dissatisfaction that I was walking too close to their nestlings. The peaceable kingdom being one thing, and trusting an adult male human around one's offspring being another.