Emmett, the guy next door, is semi-autistic or something along that line. Maybe it’s mild mental retardation; I’m not sure. It’s not the kind of thing you ask about: “Hey, are you retarded?”
He is 24, 25, somewhere in there, chronologically. Mentally he is who knows what. Don’t get me wrong. He’s the nicest guy I have ever met, though the competition is not too heavy in that category, but he is out there somewhere and the rest of us can’t get there from here.
Taking their cue from such classic harmonizers as Fleetwood Mac, The Mamas and The Papas, The Band, and CSNY, The Near Myths are eclectic New Millennium vagabond mongrels.
She used to like the Beatles, but now she holds her nose. She says, “Isn’t Nina lovely?” Her use of the word lovely slays me. I am rapt. I am undone. She is three years old and uttered the words, “Isn’t Nina lovely?” There has never been a more articulate, talented, cuter kid. I am willing to risk our daughter-in-law’s disapproval to nurture this child’s genius. “You want more Nina?”
While some people are suspicious of portent and presage, sometimes it’s best to embrace the urge to inquire wherever and whenever you find it. While watching the first episode of the second season of Mad Men a few weeks ago, I was struck by the use of Frank O’Hara’s book of poems, Meditations in an Emergency, as a plot device. While I was already hooked on the show, I now felt a poetic urge to immerse myself in the verse of the New York school’s most celebrated writer.
Our rooms opened to the beach and a patio under coconut trees. Pina coladas came with oleander, mint and pineapple. The lifeguard, Rigs, filled us in on Honeymoon week at the Playboy. There’d been nothing about that in the package brochure or about the topless volleyball and the big-breasts contests at the pool. Rigs knew where to go for dancing. He had a friend with a car. We met in the parking lot, one escort in a fruit-colored suit with matching nylon socks for each of us. I declined and headed down the beach to the hotel next door with The Average White Band album playing “Pick up the Pieces” on the roof deck.