Once upon a time in a very hot and humid land where palm leaves the size of elephant ears grew close to the ground and candy-pink and lime green coleus sprouted everywhere like fireworks against the wet, green velvet, lived a young boy who shinnied up coconut trees for the milk. He was called Mowgli... and if he wasn’t called Mowgli, then he was called something that sounded very much like Mowgli. He had seen "Jungle Book" once when he was very little in a terribly cold and bitter land and halfway through the film, he fell asleep on his uncle’s lap.
But this young boy grew up mostly in this very hot and humid land where tiny chameleons clung to screen windows and strong dark vines dripped from banyans. And this boy had a wonderful, magical pair of shoes and on each of these shoes was a buckle and both of these buckles were tiny, circular zodiacs.
One night after the boy went to sleep, Albert Einstein appeared in the boy’s room and stood by an open window. He blew into his palm and closed his fingers, saying, “Put the past in your hand... and blow it into the future”. Raising his hand to the window, Einstein opened his hand and blew the past across his fingers, as though blowing a kiss.
Now the boy is older. His hair is very long and dark. He is on a bus at night reading fairy tales. He is traveling across America... and if he’s not traveling across America, he’s traveling across someplace very much like America. And he’s wearing the zodiac buckles on a chain around his neck.
©JEF 1985 - 2012