On west third street, a couple o’ blocks from the shop is doughboys cafe and bakery and it feels very homey and Italian. The coffee is always warm and is served in mugs that look bigger than my head. A young couple and lone young fathers bring their babies and little children here for early morning breakfast as the place slowly picks up, and a woman enters dressed in a long and gothic black summer dress, wearing a black Easter hat and large sunglasses. Some mystery woman of a long summer lookin’ like she’s come from a funeral in the Italian wilderness. Most bizarre about the entire scene is the music, Afro-Cuban. Sounds like Celia which invokes memories of Miami la vida es un carnivale.
Outside, third street is still misty and phantom-like for few walk at this hour. A slower track plays sounds like Henry Mancini Italian Samba, as I imagine two young lovers long gone, ghosts now holding each other in the soft summer night in a slow dance seductive.
I tell the server my name, he’s been a true scholar and I tell him that I work down the street and that if he’s got a broken phone to come by and we’ll take care of him. ‘For sure brother I appreciate that great meeting you.’
Over a smiling skull ring I think of Kerouac again and reading his Visions of Cody I am thrown once more into that great steam train joining old friends. The writing this time is more spontaneous than any I’ve seen yet out of Jack. Scattered entries but deep observations and reactions to time and place that you can see and smell, almost taste, from the subway trains and stations and dank public bathrooms to the cafes that are rich with all sorts of wonderful foods and desserts than can feed civilization, with a smell that fills the room and spills out into the city streets striking all passing by. And all I do is gape up at this distant level of talent and love, knowing that it is always so raw, noble.