The men at the end of the walkway


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


The two men at the end of the motel walk I passed each time to and from my car seemed to connect several elements of my life.

One, recovering from what appeared to be an auto accident with a brace on his leg and neck, had come to Cape May to attend the Victorian Fashion Show Ė an event that usually took place in the beach side conventional hall during Victorian Week, but apparently was not to take place this year.

And the two men were disappointed.

They also got some humor from the Lima Bean Festival that opened the last holiday week before winter, part of a throwback to when the Garden State was still the Garden State and not a bedroom community for McMansions.

This, too, got postponed because of the heavy rains and would take place on Columbus Day prior to their return north.

The men said they had a similar festival near where they lived called the onion festival, signifying a similar tribute to the farm heritage rapidly vanishing from New York State where they lived.

The one manís injuries reminded me of similar injuries I had suffered a year and half earlier. But my injuries were the result of a fall off a curb, not from a crashed car.

The men, who came from Kingston, seemed to connect my various worlds, since I made trips to that part of the county once or twice a year, sometimes in spring, sometimes in August, and so we bonded even though I never asked their names.

They sat outside at all hours taking in the air, protected by a narrow awning over a narrow walkway. Each time, I felt guilty about going to my car since it required the man to move his injured leg. Eventually, I simply went out into the parking lot, letting the rain drops drip on me, and waved as I went by.

I kept thinking how the plans of small people like us sometimes went a foul, and yet, these two men seemed to make the best of it, lingering on the edge of darkness waving at those of us who came and went.


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