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Can't describe this better than Jay himself. The following from Feb 27th entry in "Hello, NYC!" as he debates the pros and cons of participating in the trip:

"...One thing for certain: if I do go, I will not, under any circumstances, try to participate in the extrava-nonsense, but instead I go as the OBSERVER… nothing more! I will linger in the shadows, the outskirts, the background, the fringes. Turn around, there I am… watching. I embrace my role as carnival correspondent and spy. It suits my temperament. And besides, I know better than to try to integrate in a more participatory way; for I would doubtless fail."

And we think that sums it up pretty well.


Spring Broken i (3/13)

March 15, 1991

Choose a different dreamscape

This growing old thing… I’m on the fence about it…

For we (Nana + I) visited great aunt Belle today and I saw so flagrant and exposed what is generally hidden to our cosmetic society: age, that is, suffering… senility… death. Not just Belle, mind you. Hordes of aged, creaking humans… squeaking feebly through the hallways, old rheumatic eyes scraping through rusty sockets to follow with distant curiosity, perhaps longing, perhaps nostalgia, our path, youth, as I made my way past. And poor Belle who is… well… dying, really. No way around it. Lying beneath a thin crocheted quilt, her legs diminishing from waist to virtually blend and merge w/the flat plane of the mattress. Her pale skin stretched and transparent over quivering, cataracted lenses. “Hello, Jayson.” Her voice as faint + thin + pale + diluted as the force that keeps her breathing. “You have an addition?”

Me: “Excuse me? An ‘addition’?”

The ancient head, old drawn lips, white fringe of hair, all turns uncertainly to Nana for confirmation. “An addition,” she repeats. “Doesn’t he have a son?”

“What! Who!” Nana’s voice embodied with sudden and startling vigor + strength (she’s usually quite soft-spoken herself) to compensate this faint whisper of confusion.

“Who… someone has a son…”

“I don’t know.” Nana chuckles  because what else can she do in response to such befuddlement.

But it certainly wasn’t just Belle. She’s in good company there. All the age of that place. The accumulation of history wrapped in quilts… strapped in chairs… arranged in rows in the lobby by a podium… waiting for some magic apparition to utter secret truths. A museum of American History, is what I walked away from. A preservation of Relics. From Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany, Poland, Denmark… Belgium, France, Luxembourg… Hungary, Russia, Poland again.. Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugosloavia. America. They’re all Americans in the end. All dying. All hidden in these boxes, small pockets, called resorts? Called Retirement Communities. Called holding pens, called grave-markers for the almost dead. Glen Forest Trace. Shady Oaks Lodge. Pleasant Valley Home For The Elderly All the rusted, crusted attention follows youth that visits one or another of the lucky-enough-to-be-momentarily-remembered. “Goodbye,” they say, waving as I leave. “Goodbye.” It’s this fucking growing old thing! The systems fail. The models collapse. I can’t see, I can’t breathe, only hurt, and wait to die. And while I wait I try to remember… because that is ALL I have left.

And then, hallelujah, as introduction and contrast to all that, here we arrive to Daytona Beach at Spring Break! As caterwauling and fantastic as my deepest imagination (Nay! More!). Where America’s Finest, America’s youth, most privileged + favored and most likely to succeed all come to display a truly astonishing capacity for inane debauchery. Drink + Puke high on the list (it’s true!) and yell dirty things at women who drive by drinking and puking and barking dirty things right back, at men/boys who walk the strip drinking + puking in arm-wrapped, bonded gangs of staggering, thoughtless, salivation, dicks all semi-erect for action.

T-Shirt: “No more Mr. Nice Guy… On your knees bitch!”

T-Shirt: “Ten reasons you should show me your tits: 1. I’m drunk as shit. 2. You know you want to. 3. It will stop me from saying ‘show me your tits.’ 4. Etc. 5. Etc etc.”

T-Shirt: “I’m drunk but you’re ugly (I’ll be sober in the morning) – on your back!”

T-Shirt: “Drink ‘till she’s cute.”

And my small clan of no-holier-than-thou has settled on some terminology of our own:

A group of hot chicks = “A Murder.” (sorry, crows, we’ll find a new one for you).

A group of panting guys = “A Drool.”

Ergo, in Daytona you might often find a Double Ax Murder followed closely by an extended Drool of guys.

In summation, a sad, sad display. Where is our universe spiraling?

Chick w/boyfriend in some souped-up Japanese roadster: “Hey! Nice car (yuk yuk). Wanna trade?”

“Only if you throw in your pea sized brain!”

I will thank the powers that be that I didn’t witness this spectacle on acid. Talk about a harsh to the mellow! 

Luckily (?) we soon escaped that particular and iconic strip heading further south, now to Lauderhill, then, soon, Key West where hopefully the scene will be a bit more… chill?

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