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  • Magic of the Boardwalk

    He waves the pinky swirl in the air, pointing it like a gun at each of the purple glows of the cotton candy stand. He is six at most. Hair tousled, shirt untucked on one side, his hands grubby and the paper cone waves in magic thrusts and circles.

    He sticks his face into the sticky mass coming up with it on his eyebrows and nose. Sturdy mother looks at him with a frown. He is oblivious “Look, Mama,! Look Mama!” he shrieks. He pushes his face again into the cloud. Throwing his fuzzy pink forehead and eyebrows back, he dashes back and forth across the paths of the strollers.

    Across the magic boardwalk.

    Oh, he knows the magic of the boardwalk, all right. Magic. Right here. Right now. Magic!

    And the strollers stroll and the wheel chairs wheel. And the shoes and calves walk themselves along.... seemingly at random.... but the attached heads and eyes and ears look all about. Looking for... looking for... what? Why do these overweight and not-so-often-touching-each-other folks, these middle aged and older.... why do they swarm to the boardwalk of a Saturday night?

    I wonder if it is because they too are seeking the magic that was so real and so alive for them when they were five or six or seven. Before the job and the marriage and the day-to-day of it wore them down by bits and pieces.

    “The world is going to be different because I am in it!” “I’m going to be a fire man....and, and... a policeman.... and I’m going to clean up the oceans....... and ... and the world is going to be right!” Each at six made this promise to God.

    And then they grew up and lived their lives... Quietly desperate, perhaps, awaiting the Lone Ranger or the Fairy princess who never seems to come ... but maybe tomorrow.

    And then, of a Saturday night they hear someone say, “Let’s go to the Boardwalk.” The heart beats just a little faster. “Oh, well, I suppose...’ falls from lips. But in their hearts....their hearts... the words are still there... “Look, Mama! Look, Mama”... and the memory is right there. The memory... the magic.... and we are suddenly six again.

    And the world is well. Magic lives!
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