Monday, August 24, 2009

Bird Lover

Photo: A.J. Golaski

There was a small, delicate-seeming, lovely, somewhat elderly, pleasant-faced, nicely cultured woman in Provincetown in the seventies whose name was Helen Chan; her attire was always attractive and tasteful; her posture admirable; her conversation always interesting; her expressiveness original and charming; her white hair invariably disciplined into a neat chignon. She sometimes stopped to pass the time of day with me on a bench in front of Town Hall, or, a couple of times, joined me at a table in Poyant's Cafe. "My treat!" she once insisted. "I was married to economic royalty ... until the doctor prescribed six weeks in Nevada." One time I encountered her on the sidewalk when I was wearing the t-shirt in the photo above; she said, "Oh, I'm a bird lover too! And how nice to read a t-shirt whose message doesn't cause one to brace oneself and wince!" I don't think she noticed that it was an advertisement for Wild Turkey bourbon; also, I wasn't all that much of a bird lover in those days but, not ever wanting to pass up an opportunity for mendacity, I didn't say as much to Ms. Chan.

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