Back then every morning broke both ways. Salty and sweet
Head already splitting sitting up, sliding into bell bottoms, frayed hems fringed over faded espadrilles
Peasant top, you know how it was, a roach clip on a looooong feather clipped into frantic loopy hair
Sip of last night’s to get me out the door, down to Ruby’s
Step out near the canals, the shaggy likewise join the journey
Who’s holding? Lights up, the high travels along the line of linked arms like a fuse
Snickersnorting to the boardwalk, Jingles and Frank ready for busking
All the lovely boys building bodies to bodacious on the beach, sand sticking to evvvvvery sinewed limb, pump pump bump
Now we can smell the coffee smell the bacon smell half the customers too, or at least their smoke
The clatter of breakfast – and always smiling Ruby (“somebody hit the juke for Ray Charles!” and his voice, “They saaaaay, Ruby, you’re like a dreeeeeeeam…”) She was 100% movement but never rushed us
Lazy, luxurious breakfast, runny eggs, and how they got bacon that crispy while retaining every bit of grease that came off the hog is a mystery of faith
OJ from the carton (back when we still called it that) not fresh, but we only drank it for the sugar hit
And so Sunday began. We were together. We had survived another Saturday night. And as we ramshackled back onto the mostly deserted boardwalk, it never occurred to us that something else might happen. That soon, Ruby’s place would turn into Starbucks; all the trash on the beach would become all the Eurotrash in the tragically samesame cafes; and eventually, Jingles might get a ticket for loitering.
Not yet. We didn’t have a clue that it was coming: the encroachment of developers, the diaspora of cool. I can still smell Sunday morning, the sweet greasy and the sweat weedy.
Thanks to my old friend Roger Green for kicking me in the butt to post something! He’s at www.rogerogreen.com