Friday, August 19, 2011

Notes from Wellfleet, MA: Winslow's Tavern on a Rainy Day

The rain got heavier, steady, so we came to town to Winslow's Tavern. We sat upstairs in the bar area. It is so calming looking down on the wet empty patio under the maples. From up here, it feels like we are sitting in the trees. Below us the street cars roll slowly by desperate for a parking spot. Families scurry by quickly in shorts holding umbrellas close to the heads, yellow windbreakers with hoods pulled up tight.
But the miracle is the breeze. The "not too cold" air moves through half open windows in the top of the Tavern facing the street. The breeze sweeps through the trees and there is green giggling outside the windows. You couldn't see or hear this if you were standing even on the patio. You have to be up in the trees to feel it and see it.
The rain is falling so hard it slams the roof and the pavement below, but it doesn't come in the windows. Only the clean air that surrounds the rain eases into the bar.
I overheard a man at the bar say: "The brother I never talk about was a great chess player." This man and his companions are rain refugees like us. But instead of enjoying the wind, they play a LOUD game of trivia at the bar. I didn't hear the question, but the answer was James Joyce's Dubliners. Nobody got the answer, but when the answer was given, this annoying prick said,"Oh James Joyce." As though he knew the answer, it just had not be presented in the correct way. Then he proceeded to talk about Joyce like someone doing a dissertation. Rattling off facts about Joyce anyone would know if they took Basic World Lit. For 1ST Graders.
I'm starting to believe in "narrow intelligence." These are people who are completely stupid about most things, but are super intelligent in a couple of areas. Then I have met people who are intelligent about a broad spectrum of things, but they have narrow blind spots. Blind spots are not the same as stupidity. Intelligent people can have their blind spots pointed out to them and can try to correct them. Narrow intelligence people are generally not smart in social situations.

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