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Wednesday, September 19, 2012


          franz kline

This morning I was getting ready to drive to town. It started raining. Then it rained harder, and harder. Kept it up. I started getting restless like waiting for water to boil. I said: This is the day I get wet. And walked to the car, soaked from the knees down by the time I reached it. Naturally, a leaf stem fixed itself under the wiper on the driver side, right in the middle where it leaves the curve streak across the glass exactly in my field of vision. Like with the wet, just another inconvenience, no big deal on a day of inconveniences. In town, cars, pickups and trucks lined all the way to the other end of town out of sight both directions. Cars parked in every parking spot in Sparta. This is what happens when it rains. It's like everybody goes to Sparta. Oh boy, it's raining, let's go to Sparta. It's like the harder it rains the more cars are in town. I found a place to park and went into the coffee shop. The rain stopped. Had a cup of Zambian coffee.

Friday when I was in there late in the day, Johnny Violin and his wife Lisa deMilo came in. They are here from Miami. I think he is Czech and she is Cuban. Retired stage people. He had an orchestra of violins in Miami, cotillion dance music. They have opened for all the big names like Sinatra, Tony Bennett and the whole list. They are in their 80s and exhibit the freedoms of 80 year olds. They got into a back and forth comedy routine, just talking, but having fun at it. I was hearing Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. I mentioned the likeness. They broke out laughing. Both said, He got it! It's like one of those things they put on facebook that you click like and share if you recognize it, something from the 50s like a clothespin. I hesitated a split-second before I said it, not certain how she would she would take to the Imogene Coca likeness. Lisa took it as I meant it, a great comedienne. I've been interested to watch her when she's in a big crowd of people, like a wine-tasting at the coffee shop on a Friday night. When Lisa wants everybody's attention, she has it right now. She has that kind of a command of the people around her. You might say she's aware of her context.

The new coffee shop, two doors up the street from the original, is much bigger, but does not feel less cozy. It's just bigger. Same good feeling. It's an intimate feeling. At the same time, a group of people can be sitting around a table talking and no one anywhere else will hear them. Conversations around the place will be more private in that there is more space. I can't say it feels better than the other place, because it feels the same. Just bigger.

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