Beer Cans and Dolphins

03/25/2020 5 By BuddyCushman

I have already been in contact with folks from California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts today, and it is only 9:30 in the morning. My friend and spiritual advisor in California has prophesied a “new world order” coming out of all of this, all this time of virus, some type of higher plane of compassion and, um, “wow-ness”, and he has said these things to me while punching his car 80 miles per hour up the 405 freeway out of the Pacific Palisades on his way to Moorpark, at both places spreading the gospel of hope. That’s what Springsteen sang, all the way back to the Asbury park days – “Man the dope is that there’s still hope.”

It would be tragic to leave go of that, the hope thing, even when one finds their spouse up in the recliner at 4:30 am, having been there a long while, unable to sleep, wondering just what will become of the kids if we should both die in this here and now. And the answer is that we make plans and we ask for help and then we do our very best day in and day out, hour in and hour out, minute in and minute out. Then, fact is, when all is said and done, we just don’t die. Like Gary Bertier in “Remember the Titans” – “I’m too strong.” And leave it at that. Pick up the next book. Scramble the next plate of eggs. Make a couple more cups of coffee. We’ll figure out the food co-op and Trader Joe’s and the missing cleaning supplies maybe tomorrow.

My friend in the Garden State is a recent newlywed. He and the bride are back home in Neptune or someplace, the one in Jersey, not the planet, and oh so lucky to be happy together and to have one another, cause, like, how many don’t, and yes there is a notification of boredom from the east and a suggestion back from me out here in the west to write love letters to each other. Like, come on, that is so cool – can I channel Mr. Pat Boone: “On a day like today we pass the time away, writing love letters in the sand.” Dig it, and yo, it’s the freakin’ Jersey shore. Lots of sand, Bro.

My friend in Massachusetts has texted me a picture from the top of Prospect Hill in Waltham, which is a little west and slightly south of Boston. The city sits still in the distance, under a gray cloudy sky. Don is out, he says, doing what he has been doing lately – carrying a trash bag and picking up empty beer cans and bottles cast off by partiers or one or another lonely person. This, 3300 miles away, this, I think, is what Keith on the 405 is talking about, a freakin’ new world order. Where we spend our free time, so much of it now, cleaning the planet. Picking up a little after each other. While giving each other some space.

At 80 mph Keith has informed me, as well, that the air above Los Angeles is cleaner than it has ever been, likely since the first days of cars and the 405 and the 5 and the 101 and the 10 and all those roads, I’m imagining very sweet views of the San Gabriels from the beach. Normally those take rain washing that window. And – imagine this – they have discovered dolphins in the Venice canals. Those creatures who may in fact be our more evolved cousins, sluicing on in to simply say hello. Cause we need it.

I sure hope I’m around when we come up with the new world order, and I hope even more my wife is, and as well that she sleeps soundly in the night, through the night, because things will be just fine – you’ll see Sweetie. I like to think of myself as a budding writer of science fiction, man, if I ever get the “Collected Strays” book finished you’ll see that for yourself. So many cool sci-fi stories, with – spoiler alert – they each and every one have pretty much a happy ending. Even when it takes a lot of work to get there.

Hopefully we all of us do a little something to help the planet along today. Any small thing will do. For me – hmmm – let’s see. I think I’ll start by writing a story about hope, and then go and share it with the world.