Do you have a favorite panhandler? Mine is Charley.
Charley has a red baseball hat he wears. Sometimes it’s on backward.
There’s not much to Charley. He’s a kid, really. Maybe twenty five; talks to himself; turns around in circles as he walks; somewhere along the line he decided it was easier just not to shave, so he started growing a beard.
Charley walks around town, sometimes in circles, talking to himself and picking up cigarette butts out of the gutter. And there’s nothing special about him, just another mother’s son.
Until you give him a pack of cigarettes, or a five so he can buy his own.
Then he smiles.
His face comes alive when he smiles and that mother’s son says “Thank You” with as much love as a mother should have for a baby in her arms.
I don’t know if it’s actually Charley I like or the smile that comes from a random kindness. I just know how I feel. And that feeling? I share that with Charley.
Friday, October 3, 2014
“Memory is the scribe of the soul.”-Aristotle
I used to think life led somewhere. I’ve changed my mind about that. It really doesn’t.
It’s like one of those dances where everyone holds hands and then they dance around in a circle.
Maybe I’ll get around to writing again, maybe not.
“Are you currently in love?” I looked in the rear view mirror. It was too dark to see anything clearly. Her accent reminded me of John Lennon.
“Just with life itself,” I said. And life’s a fickle cunt. But she was talking again. I didn’t hear what she had to say.
The ride ended.
I collected the money.
I’m not currently in love. Not even with life itself. So I lied. Like anyone sharing their experience, I lied.
And the night turned into day.
Back in the seventies I heard Werner Erhard say something everyone now takes for granted, he used the phrase “Social Networking”. I was never sure what Werner Erhard was talking about, but I liked listening to him. It was like listening to jazz: the notes weren’t working together but they weren’t so bad when grouped together. That’s what he sounded like to me. Jazz. His words didn’t make any sense together but I liked the sound of them even though they didn’t make any sense. Just like jazz.
Today ‘Social Networking’ is a standard phrase nearly everyone seems to be trying really hard to emulate, both professionally and individually. That phrase still doesn’t make any sense to me, and now instead of it being a pleasant sort of cacophony, I’m rather numb to the phrase; if I want to be social I yell at skateboarders, or complain to the person nearest me. Or take them out to dinner. Or watch a movie with them. You know socialize.
Isn’t a key factor in “Social” actually people to be ‘Social’ with?
And while it can be argued those are real people one is networking with on the internet, the converse may certainly be argued as well.
I had a rule pretty much I stuck to while ‘facebooking’. The rule was I’d only acknowledge you as a ‘friend’ if I’d actually met you. I had a few exceptions. Every once in a while someone would come along I would have liked to have met.
I’m human. And I do have a need to socialize. Kind of. And poasting something on someone’s website, say for instance facebook, or MySpace, isn’t nearly quite the same as holding hands by a river, or making fun of the people next to you while you eat spaghetti at a restaurant.
Eventually facebook became like breathing someone else’s farts and, while there are those who go in for that sort of thing, I still need to allow myself the experience of saying there are some things I opted not to do. Like being fisted. I reserve the right to say I’m saving that for another time …if ever.
Yes. I don’t do facebook. And I still drive taxi. This is being written nearing the end of summer in a California Beach town. The weather is great. If you ever decide to come visit, Amigos y Amigas, I can show you a good time.
And that’s why I don’t facebook.