Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Easter Sunday

The crowd shows off like a circus, with big breasts, tanned flesh, malnurished brawn, beer bellies, everyone pretending to be different, different in a hundred petty ways. They consume with serious intent their candy, ice cream, hot dogs, popcorn, served by acned kids in uniforms. They all struggle to be amused, throwing a couple bucks into cheap bowls, pitch-ball, pin ball, roller coaster rides, commercial attractions & ritual irresponsibilities. They add their own grimes to the smear of secretions, to the grime of the degradation of escape. And here I’ve seen enough to know that if a person isn’t happy, he doesn’t get happy here, that if, aloof, he feels alone, he won’t find wholeness here. Yet there is an ocean beyond the cigarette-butt beach, beyond the beer-can, picnic grill, gull-crazed, family detritis beach; there is an ocean and a cool breeze of fishing boats, clean sails, blue bay, and far out a fog bank with the sun on it.

16 April 1979