The Kerouac at Columbia on Christmas Eve
The Kerouac at Columbia on Christmas Eve finds a grown man hoping to hear footsteps in an old apartment, shouted poetry, abandoned staircases, broken windows and hole filled dirty lace curtains blowing in the wind
On the Upper West Side
Just steps away from the Morningside Park’s vista of Harlem to the north and
Wet sidewalks under foot wandering
From the high ground where General Washington fought a revolution.
I can see how far away I am from that too quickly walking
“Needed to know about that if”
“Can’t you be you’ve got to be kidding me there
Isn’t a place
Like that somewhere here you God forsaken”.
“What is that?”
It begins in the morning ‘at eleven’ but at actually “10:30” “for breakfast”. The union men in the open manhole out in front design their entire work day (7:00 AM – 3:30 PM) around 1020 so they are, as a customer base, ‘solid’. Safety vest coloration dictates wardrobe, rain dictates fashion, whiskey dictates beer and men kickback never taking the hardhat off... all day
After climbing out of their manhole, looking around and then going inside of
By 4:00 PM the first graduate students ‘show’ and their momentum begins. No one bothers anyone about anything so the rise and fall of the ‘solid’ customer changes guard without note or notice but the old man who owns the place “IS FROM MAINE” they say and he notes and notices the rise and fall. A few more hardhat shots directly greet the shouting scholars who, within the graduate departments of Philosophy and History tour 1020 from a stool or booth. “Isn’t that?” “He’s not here yet”. Cheap (“cheapest”) beer and body slam shots keep
The need to ever have a sign beside the street number. That is what it is: 1020 is a street number
Of a bar
That otherwise is missed.
“He just stands out there all the time anyway. He is always there all day drunk. He is never not there. I have never been there and he not be there; in there. Or out there. By the door drunk and staring at his cell phone.
By eight the “grads” are gone excepting ‘special events’. “APARTMENT” home “ABOVE” the street that is a quad of Columbia that is back up the hill “on Amsterdam”. Up hill Kerouac staggers (swaggers) home to a hill top sixth floor walk up at 118th 412 “he lived there”. I hear them up there shouting poetry and peeing in the corners of the rooms. “TEN TWENTY” is what the morons shout.