Sunday, August 4, 2013

century 21

I am perched at an outdoor table on the patio of Au Bon Pan in Harvard Square.  I sit here and see what must be as diverse a population as there is on this planet.  Right in front of the patio is a gray haired fellow with a guitar who must be collecting social security. He is crooning Dylan's, Just Like a Woman hoping that some of the pedestrians will drop a shekel or two in a basket that sits in front of him. Directly across from both me and him is Harvard Yard.  It is an absolutely gorgeous day in Cambridge.  Not too hot, sun shining, and everyone has come out.  It is nothing short of a miracle that I found a parking spot a very short walk from where I sit here and write.  More miraculous is that  because of what our ancestors would have found unbelievable I am, without any chord or wire, connected to the world as I type on something we know as an ipad.  When I am done, I will push a button and anyone in China, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, and anywhere else, if they were so inclined, could read what I am writing.

Promenading in front of me in both directions, at this instant, is an amalgam of humanity that could not be believed unless you were sitting here. A guy in a bowtie and straw hat just walked by looking for all the world as if he wants to be a stand-in for Dan Akroyd at some point. Another fellow in white shirt and black pants is looking at his hand-held as if trying to locate where the bar mitzvah is where he is supposed to be bussing dishes.  A crew of ice cream eating folks are talking and dribbling  onto their napkins. To my left is a guy who has decided it is high time to post an enormous sign that reads, "Vivisection: Wasted Money and Wasted Lives."  To my right, at this very instant is someone I know  to be a street person. He has found himself a couple of bagels which he is snorting as he gets out of the sun with his stroller which, sadly, has what I imagine are his entire belongings strung to the rolling device.  A group of protestors have just walked by chanting "Impeach Park" holding signs with the same message.  A tiny kid is doing jumping jacks in front of the singer.  A wise five year hold is dancing to the tunes.

Century 21 it is.  A device no heavier than a couple of pounds allows me to type while I watch this stream of humanity, a stream so heterogeneous in terms of age, race, and I imagine wealth and interests that this would be an antropologist's dream seat.  The chess players to my right, the yard in front of me,  the unicyclist in the pit outside the newstand.  I left my home in Waltham twenty five minutes ago and have seen more people since I have begun this entry than I do in an entire month walk up and down my street.

The protestors are back. Still want to impeach Park. A white bearded man who looks like old Bible books used to picture as God is knocking back some water.  It's worth it to come to Boston, just once, to get a look with your own peepers on this delightfully wild scene.

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