Friday, July 25, 2008

Prince Street Sunshine

The young man walked into the coffee shop and took a seat across the table from the old man.

"I'm glad I made it down here," said the young man.

The old man took a thoughtful breath and smiled with closed lips. "I'm glad you came too, kid," he then said with his signature nod of sincerity--the kind of sincerity that can only come from wisdom, and the kind of wisdom that can only come from traversing life's many peaks and valleys just long enough to fully appreciate the horizontal simplicity of a golden plain; a geographical phenomenon the young man had often derided as boring, stagnating, and utter anathema--even though he himself had never experienced the serene simplicity of a golden plain until now, when his valleys had become rife with despair and his peaks had looked out only upon vast, uncultivated stretches of doom!

The old man knew well this terrain. Which is why he had smiled with such sincerity and wisdom.

Upon that smile that emerged from sincerity, and upon that sincerity that emerged from wisdom, both men chuckled softly and briefly for no apparent reason other than that the young man--shaken and unshaven--and the old man--stout of heart, yet frail in frame--felt at once the sun shine brightly that Friday night on Prince Street.

At that mystical moment, when night briefly became day, the young man had no cares of the Soho chicks beyond the Plexiglas window, with the hems of their summer dresses terminating precariously mere millimeters below their pubic hairs. Nor did he begrudge them and their gelled and gilded male companions the high-rise apartments and readily-available funds that, seconds prior, had made their youthful living seem so carefree and enviable.

Because those who have never enjoyed sunshine, as well as those who have never excelled at being sons, know how rare and precious it is when two distant generations can collude to produce human-generated sunshine amidst the transient material opulence of a Friday night on Prince Street.

Thus illuminated, the old man and the young man identified one with the other--the young man, with the old man's past; and the old man, with the young man's present.