Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kerouac was a Bum

It might be socially acceptable to glamorize the Jack Kerouac of the past now, and think of how he wrote much of the Beat classic On The Road on Lafayette St., very close to Colfax, but then if he walked the famed street today he would be just another casualty of gentrification: an unwanted panhandler; another bum sleeping in your doorway. In the light of his posthumous success it's all too easy for some teary eyed romanticism to creep in, but he really was just a bum. A gifted, literary bum, but a vagrant in the eyes of respectable society nonetheless. Gentrification has no place for his kind of genius and he probably would have just been told to move on.

Truly it is a Rocky Mountain High. Few cities have I ever seen that have endured such an immediate and total makeover. Baseball fields where Neal Cassady used to hit home runs over the fence are dwarfed by Coors Field, and the beatnik avenues of his skid-row father are now high falootin' high rollersville roosts called "lofts", only there ain't no artists left cuz they are too busy spilling for oils and canvas and their finery and the rents turned against them. Capitol Hill. Colfax alone!

A friend of mine's mother came out to visit a few weeks ago and couldn't believe that her son could afford such a rich neighborhood. Five years ago she came and visited and was scared for his life and demanded that he seek better housing. He never moved. So, my beloved Capitol Hill, of pan handlers and poets, and wandering vagabonds and scrubs, is no longer affordable to the former followers of freakiness.

There are just too many people discovering the "East Coast of the West Coast". I tell anyone here that is concerned with urban sprawl, "Let it go, why worry? We've got all the way to Kansas to expand this empire!"

But tonight, Bob Weir is at the Ogden Theater. Wow, not since my mom took banjo lessons from Jerry Garcia in Menlo Park have my eyes seen so much hair in need of a shower. Hip E.

Accuse the man in the school bus of litterin' hippies across Colfax, and congratulate the man who thought to turn the old Cowboy Disco into a hipster bar called Sancho's Broken Arrow. Talk about thinking a "head". This place is packed to the ribs of Jonah's whale. The hills have emptied out their devotees. All of them live above you at -20 degrees until there's a Dead Show in town.

These followers of the hippie dream are somehow convinced that the rules of society don't appeal or apply to them. Man, I live on the rules of karma and it said I deserved to rip off a friend for my miracle ticket...Little hippie aggression, I feel. Sensitive New Age Guy. SNAG. Don't last long in a woman's jaw. But I do honor their efforts to establish their own status quo. And I believe in love and those that follow Love have my blessing and gratitude, no matter how badly Patchouli Oil smells.

Now the Deadheads that once took over whole parking lots at stadiums are confined to a single, few block stretch of sidewalk. Where do the freaks go now?! I’m off to “Original Aurora”, to see if all the artist and hipster community seed has been planted there, or just another Larimer Square.

No comments:

Post a Comment