January 6, 2012

Venice, Italy. October, 1986

Imagine my surprise as I walked through the narrow alleys of Venice, coming upon this eyeglasses shop and seeing a friend in the window. Well, a picture of a friend, Ken, a model with 20/20 vision, the college roommate of my pal Jacques. Small world. Ken, whom I remember as the toast of Provincetown during the summer of 1979, had befriended Divine, who was appearing there onstage with Holly Woodlawn in The Neon Woman. (At the party after the final performance, a cake depicting Divine was rolled in and Ken, knowing my fascination with the 300-pound bombshell, cut off the face -- to the silent horror of those assembled -- and saved it for me. I wish I could say that, like Dickens’ Miss Havisham, I have kept it to this day. I have not.) Where is he now? The Spanish have a wonderful expression to convey “small world”: El mundo es un pañuelo. The world is a handkerchief. And one, it seems, that keeps on shrinking.

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