Maybe Wayne was right the other day about beauty being available even in towns and cities. For instance the Mobile Kodger and I were walking through Bisbee AZ yesterday on our sojourn to New Mexico. Old mining towns -- even if they are tourist traps -- put me in a good mood regarding towns, cities, and -- dare I say -- even people. And I needed the advantage since I was walking through a funky town with the inimitable and incorrigible Kodger.
Those who have never had this experience might have difficulty imagining it. It took a few blocks for the Kodger to reach his stride. We started downtown, in the high-rent district: art galleries, gewgaws, baubles, trinkets, and bourgeois matrons. There really is a sad and noble beauty to the silent suffering of any husband who is in tow in a place like this. The most humane and sensible matrons leave their suffering saints at home and do Bisbee with "the girls". In fact it might be a good idea for any man who is seriously considering marriage to take Honey Buns through Bisbee. If they are still on speaking-terms after an hour or two, the marriage might stand a chance.
Unlike the Kodger I was indifferent to people, and preferred old buildings and architecture. There were a couple times when my heart started palpitating and my eyelashes began fluttering. This was probably amusing to him. As we walked away from downtown the buildings looked more dilapidated, eclectic, and funky. One old wreck of a house seemed to be built out of the same rocks that were used in a multi-level terrace.
As a cyclist I perked up when I saw this store:
In case you didn't click it to enlarge it, it says "Bisbee Bicycle Brothel."
Each block up the hill and towards the canyon, the Kodger became bolder about getting the "story" from total strangers. I hung back and either blushed or acted annoyed and impatient. Was he just exercising a skill that he knew he was good at? Another scalp on his belt? Or was it actually beneficial to him or his interviewee? Maybe the interviewee just felt important; if that's all it was, the whole thing seemed manipulative, as everything in the social science racket is.