What a Wonderful World a World of Docents Would Be (a 30:30 report)
Thursday nights a few of us gather by the pancake place up on Flagler and walk down onto the beach for our regular Thursday night run, and this is New Smyrna Beach which is on the east coast of Florida and like other beaches on the east coast there is plenty of sand and it is (impossibly) wide and flat and so much of both of those dimensions that cars drive down onto it from the ramp at the end of Flagler and drive back and forth and sometimes people just like being in a parade and they don’t even have beach clothes or picnic baskets or blankets but a lot of people do park their cars and get out for regular beach activities and there are also a lot of people – when the temperature is something like ninety degrees and it is so humid and they don’t feel like going in the water just yet those people sit in their cars and turn the ignition keys left so they can listen to the radio and feel the breezes which are nearly always there and if you can imagine say two hundred cars lined up, not exactly right next to each other but close enough, so in fact if you are runners like we are and you run on the flat sand which is pretty hard-packed even down from where the cars drive which is almost like a road you get to hear different songs like every 10 seconds which sometimes is weird and sometimes you feel like shouting but other times it’s like the planet has a rhythm,
And the planet is cool and likes to play jokes and as an example last Thursday we were running and in the time of like 45 seconds we heard “Be True to Your School” by The Beach boys and “School’s Out” by the Alice Cooper band and “What a Wonderful World” which is that song which says “Don’t know much about science books” and goes on from there and I’m pretty sure it’s Sam Cooke who sings it and it was kind of both crazy and fabulous that we heard three way different school songs in just about fifty yards on the sand as we traveled north toward the jetty and the turnaround and I don’t even like school which I believe with all my heart is a total waste of time and important years when you could be learning all kinds of really good things, which you could call righteous learning, and for example if you took say 30 kids who were scheduled to be in the third grade except now there is no third grade because some of us have declared and decided that school sucks so bad it is cancelled completely (forever) and now you have these 30 kids who would have spent about seven hours being bored like crazy and instead you take some of the money to pay to run that school and you buy brand new running shoes for those kids and you hire what you could call ocean docents (and you could look that docent word up if it helps follow this story) and have park rangers because we could declare that beaches which you can drive on and run on and certainly walk back and forth on and have picnic lunches on and put down blankets and get tans on and especially for a blast sit in the car and listen to your radios on, they’d all be national parks,
And the kids could go for runs and the ocean docents would run along with them and point out pelicans and talk about the strange radar-like way the pelicans all seem to float up and down at exactly the same second and how that possibly happens and how those clouds out way over there on the ocean are all puffed up and what they get called and what those type of clouds might mean for the weather say this afternoon which if you know Florida at all and in the summer it might mean that those clouds or their cousins will drop in for a little downpour and if we get real lucky (which you could look at this exactly the opposite) there might be crazy lightning flashes too and the docents could talk with the kids about that and how to give each other enough space to stretch out and swing your arms and turns your heads so you could look around to all directions and then later how these rocks got piled up to make what is called a jetty, children, and why we have jetties and how water energy gets changed and what that means for sailboats and then on the way back things like do seagulls have sex (which one of the cooler kids asked yesterday and to answer was okay’d by the docent association which is actually all the docents who get together at the Starfish Lounge Fridays and drink and shoot the shit) and explain that it ain’t a stork bringing seagull babies,
And the point to all this is that it should be quite clear that the ocean docent-inspired kid beach run with their brand new running shoes which of course ends of costing billions less than running schools is way the fuck better than regular school and all this was flowing in and through and out of my mind when we had last Thursday night’s run and I began thinking maybe I should write a letter to the editor of the New Smyrna Beach paper which is actually one section of the paper in Daytona Beach which is 15 miles away and bigger and can afford its own paper or if that didn’t seem like a good idea I could run for Congress and get end-all-school laws passed and make big speeches which would be quite engaging and persuasive and make people understand that ocean docents are probably as important as federal judges, and for sure more important that dumb motherfucker judges who got appointed but otherwise didn’t have enough (smart) friends to even play one hand of bridge, and yes you do get to think about all kinds of very cool things and big ideas and stimulating plans when you run on the beach in New Smyrna Beach, which we do every Thursday unless there’s a hurricane or something because even in the winter it’s nice in Florida,
And I kind of got off the subject when I was remembering those school songs we heard last Thursday because there are seven of us tonight and it is pretty good that we are a lot of different people, like we do different things for jobs and there are boys and girls and also two of us tonight are black people (the others are white) – really good friends of mine including Sylvia Evans who is this black flat-out, knock-out, ever-loving gorgeous 17-year-old I date on a rather frequent basis (most every day) and she is like my best friend and also, you can see if you’re following along, she’s a runner like me and it is a whole other story about how we met one Saturday three years ago in a charity road race which was raising money for – if you can believe this and this is what they mean when they say irony – getting money to fund a school outing up to Jacksonville Beach which has an alligator park and a museum about old airplanes and this (now) goes back to think about how much money there would be for way cooler things than school outings if we didn’t have to pay for any schools because they could take an outing, like getting a whole bunch of kids together and renting buses and drivers and heading down to Fort Lauderdale where there is an airport and give the kids an all-day tour and explanation of how planes work and aerodynamic principals and come to think of it those tours could be led by airport docents because when you think about, in fact, (that song) what a wonderful world this could be it makes the best sense to throw out all the ways things have always gone and always been done – like having to go to school for 12 years when you knew there were way better and more important things to do —
And I can swear to whatever Gods you believe in you get to figure this kind of stuff out when you run with your friends – and I’m 19 years old and white so me and Sylvia are like this very cute zebra couple and if you think this story is pretty great, you should hear the stuff Sylvia whispers to me back in the cottage after our runs, which also includes iced tonic waters for both of us, and all kinds of giggles about zebras and docents.