Saturday, December 13, 2008


Main Street
Binghamton, NY
December 2008

I figured it would be harder to find people on Main Street as it got colder and grayer in December, and I was right. I spent four days driving and listening to the radio and drinking coffee and searching for something almost elusive.

I was frustrated, naturally, and wrote to my friend and pen pal and mentor, a writer in Minnesota, and told him what I was up to.

He wrote back: There is a certain male beauty that's very transient, and I think that's because most men become unnecessarily hard too fast. The beauty is in the mixture of vulnerability and strength, and in most men it doesn't last much after adolescence. (Charles Baxter)

David was the only guy in Binghamton who moved me in four days. I know an overly sensitive person when I see one, and these are the kind of people who make sense to me right off the bat.

David told me he was from Philly and somehow, he ended up in Binghamton. He said he hated Binghamton. He didn't have any friends, and there was nothing to do.

I asked him if he had a job, and he said he was a cook at a school down the street. I asked him if he had a dream, and he said he wanted to start an outreach program for kids on the street, since he had been on the street himself. He said he had done enough bad things in his life and he wanted to do something good.

I thought that was a pretty important thing to figure out about yourself at nineteen years old and I was glad he was so smart.

I am leaving in the morning to travel and to visit my family and I'm checking off the blog for while, so happy holidays to all and stop by again in the new year.

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