Sunday, January 26, 2020

Gerard Sarnat writes

Fiftieth Anniversary Of Going Blind

            -- “A new survey shows in stark relief that what some are calling
 the Great Decline of religion in America continues.”
            The Huffington Post, 17 May 2015

Last stretch south from college near Boston, living on non-inherited wits, my hippocampi having learned the trick of hiding behind a girl or at least standing near abandoned vehicles, I got a hitch with a jaunty guy who claimed to be the sword swallower at a traveling circus now parked outside a haunted house in Patterson  -- decades after med school I’d give my eyeteeth to make a home visit to the haunts of Doc William Carlos Williams who inspired my life and work.

The bizarro’s wife also served as the senior mustachioed fat lady’s stand in. She forced me to lie down under her in the back, buried my head beneath disco balls, Kewpie Dolls, sequined seahorses and five open-mouthed wide-eye clowns playing pinball.

We eventually stopped somewhere in Philly while a preppy friend twiddled his thumbs at the Liberty Bell. Waiting in the family Main Line tailgating station wagon, Ed drove to their bonkers-large Haverford place so I could drop him off and make my way to Germantown to pick up the love of my life.

Punching above my weight, I first met Karen when my buddy fixed us up for Princeton’s homecoming game just the week before fellow Harvard alum JFK was assassinated.

The blond folksinger took a few slugs from my silver flask of rotgut whiskey, charmed off my class ring and other things then proceeded to get herself to a convent experiment that ended by New Years.

Next chance to resume, this near-sighted Californian, realizing he’d lost his glasses back in Jersey, tapped the brakes through a blizzard. It took two and a half hours inching inching inching inching opening the driver’s door a crack to keep track of the camouflaged central white line, every once in a while pulling over to look at a map or take a nap.

Karen's  auf Deutsch mother was immediately unimpressed by my Jewishness, and frankly the ex-nun’s still shorn appearance left me cold so we called it quits after which I took the next bus to Cambridge.

Arrived Saturday night, for the first time this atheist gave a second’s thought to going to Hillel but quickly dismissed it in favor of more solitary dorm bedroom oh my activities.

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