Sometimes, in an absent-minded way, I get them confused, movies and merchandise, and find myself wondering who’s starring in “Nucoa.” Then there’s that ecclesiastical looking party, the patron of Bromo-Quinine, whom I always take for some bearded movie star.
But to return to their artistic merits, they are artistic. Take those same “contented cows.” What could be more futurist than the coal black sky under which they so contentedly graze? Or the henna hills so far away, or the purple grass they chew. Matisse and Picasso, great modernists, could not out-do those cows.
The cigarette men are particularly interesting. A bit over done. One cannot help wonder what enthusiasm they would have left for a gorgeous sunset having spent so much on, a cigarette. But I expect they are good men at heart and not so sensuous as they appear. There’s that jolly old boy who hasn’t had such a good smoke in sixty years. One wonders if his teeth are his own. They all have teeth. Everyone has teeth these days. It would be a change to see someone on a billboard with his mouth shut.
Enter slowly, by foot is much the better way, and join the long, loitering procession.
Black-green foliage, the curious old-green of trees that never wither and never resurrect. Something very foreign or is it San Francisco? Cubist effects of the horizontally-lined cypress, vertical lines of the eucalyptus, and the soft, down-dropping of the willow trees and pepper.
Women on the benches tatting, reading, resting. A retired Kansan widower passes, glances sidewise. Well, no harm in looking at a comely woman. Gossip of mothers over baby carriages, “Only nine months old! Mine is a year. Well, we think he’s pretty fine.”
Comes the sight-seeing bus. Blare of the megaphone. “Seventeen miles of driveway, boost, boast, greatest in the world.”
All day long the swings are swinging, rhythmic, slow to the touch of loving hands. Then at night when all is still and dark, they go on swinging dream children, rhythmic, slow.
Down the slide into the soft sand. Grandpa tending Nellie’s children: “Careful there.” Ding, ding like the sound of a temple bell the whirling, dizzy iron rings clang against their iron pole. Tramp of the patient little burros. “Mother, I want another cone.”
Bum-ti-bum, too-too-too, ta-ta-ta, ta-ta-tahh, the band. Wagner by request. Music lovers in the crowd. A symphony orchestra is very fine, but simple people like ourselves, we also love a band.
I’ve never been to Japan, but this must be the way it looks. Tinkle of the wind bells, petals of Cherry floating down. Sorry, but I’ve used the last of the films. Well, we’ll come again.
The bears, the big brown grizzlies, leave them now. Out, what is this! Fairyland of flowers and fragrance. Bears and orchids, wise planned contrast.