When we were young and hippies



The two girls look at us as if we are ďrealĒ hippies.

This is 1986 in Central Park, one site for The Summer of Love, but we see no remains of it.

Hari Krishnas chant at us.

Born Again Jesus friends tell us about how doomed our souls are.

But with these girls, Hank relives his glory days by pointing to all the spots in the park where he had sex or got beat up by cops in the glory days of the 1960s.

Heís overwhelmed with nostalgia.

Iím overwhelmed with nausea.

I spent most of the 1960s scared to death, and wish now I could forget they ever happened.

Hank insists on taking us on the whole tour, including the place near the band shell where he got us busted.

But he paints us out to be heroes, when I always felt more like a heal.

I whisper at him to cut out the crap.

But the girl heís with tells us sheís studying the Sixties and needs him to give her the proper perspective.

I suddenly feel like an artifact and want to bury my head in the sand.

I manage to excuse myself to see out the public restroom, a dive so sank I pee in a hurry than split.

Hank and the girls have moved on without me.

I wander along the path behind them in no mood to catch up, gratefully missing most of Hankís diatribe, but not the sleazy fellow on the park bench who hissed an offer for cocaine as I pass.

I tell him to get lost.

He latches onto me like a leech and urges me to have a sample just so I know what Iím missing.

I insist he go away and offer to give him $5 if he does.

He whips out a badge and tells me Iím busted.

Iím stunned, thinking how bad my luck is that I should get busted in the same place twice, the first time for pot I wanted, the second time for Cocaine I didnítí.

I want to yell out for Hank, but hesitate.

Hankís in a mood that is likely to get us both beat up, just so that he can prove to the college chick how brutal the police can be.

I just shake my head at the cop and tell him to grow up.

Iím too old to play cops and robbers with him.

Now itís the cop who looks stunned, as I hurry along the path to catch up with Hank as Hank finishes some old tale.

I suggest lunch as we head for Fifth Avenue, back to the 1980s, leaving the stunned cop behind to dwell in the haze of the Summer of Love.



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