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71

The Last Last Summer

Donald Trump and the fall of Atlantic City

by Joshua Cohen

1
terms
1
notes

Cohen, J. (2016). The Last Last Summer. n+1, 27, pp. 71-98

(noun) the Greek Muse of heroic poetry / (noun) a keyboard musical instrument resembling an organ and consisting of a series of whistles sounded by steam or compressed air

92

Every day, taking the elevator up and down for cig breaks, I’d study these murals — I’d try to resist their calliope charms.

—p.92 by Joshua Cohen
uncertain
3 years, 9 months ago

Every day, taking the elevator up and down for cig breaks, I’d study these murals — I’d try to resist their calliope charms.

—p.92 by Joshua Cohen
uncertain
3 years, 9 months ago
96

Here, unlike on the Boardwalk, everything is real. Here everything is both ghostly and real. Vacant houses. Apartments boarded up to protect against squatters. Eviction and foreclosure papers flap from the doors like tongues. NOTICE TO CEASE, NOTICE TO QUIT, papers keeping the sun out of the windows. The apartment houses rubble away into empty lots pierced by wind and drowned in the shadows cast by shuttered penthouses. Empty lots spontaneously converted for parking, a sign in the windshield of a Saturn: PLEESE DONT TAKE ME. Walking between the Boardwalk and the Professional Arts Building, walking between the Professional Arts Building and my car spontaneously parked in a dirt and, after the rain, mud lot, meant passing the porn store, which, especially if I was making the trip after sunset, meant getting accosted. By men who slept on the beach and spent their waking lives on the street, where there were fewer police and more chances to hustle. Corner of Pacific and MLK Jr. Boulevard. Guy trying to bum cigarettes. Guy trying to bum a dollar for booze. Guy trying to deal to me. “Yo, got coke, yo.” “Molly, molly.” “Got syrup.” Taking my money and not coming back. Trying it all over again the next day unabashed, and then when I told him I’d rather just talk, he got in my face, called me gay, called me a cop. A woman telling me how the check-cashing place would only cash checks made out to people with addresses in Atlantic County by people or businesses with addresses in Atlantic County. Telling me she lived in Georgia, or had once lived in Georgia, and her only hope of returning was this check from her cousin in Camden. “Ain’t Camden Atlantic County?” “No.” “What Camden then?” “Camden County.” “Goddamn.”

i just like this

—p.96 by Joshua Cohen 3 years, 9 months ago

Here, unlike on the Boardwalk, everything is real. Here everything is both ghostly and real. Vacant houses. Apartments boarded up to protect against squatters. Eviction and foreclosure papers flap from the doors like tongues. NOTICE TO CEASE, NOTICE TO QUIT, papers keeping the sun out of the windows. The apartment houses rubble away into empty lots pierced by wind and drowned in the shadows cast by shuttered penthouses. Empty lots spontaneously converted for parking, a sign in the windshield of a Saturn: PLEESE DONT TAKE ME. Walking between the Boardwalk and the Professional Arts Building, walking between the Professional Arts Building and my car spontaneously parked in a dirt and, after the rain, mud lot, meant passing the porn store, which, especially if I was making the trip after sunset, meant getting accosted. By men who slept on the beach and spent their waking lives on the street, where there were fewer police and more chances to hustle. Corner of Pacific and MLK Jr. Boulevard. Guy trying to bum cigarettes. Guy trying to bum a dollar for booze. Guy trying to deal to me. “Yo, got coke, yo.” “Molly, molly.” “Got syrup.” Taking my money and not coming back. Trying it all over again the next day unabashed, and then when I told him I’d rather just talk, he got in my face, called me gay, called me a cop. A woman telling me how the check-cashing place would only cash checks made out to people with addresses in Atlantic County by people or businesses with addresses in Atlantic County. Telling me she lived in Georgia, or had once lived in Georgia, and her only hope of returning was this check from her cousin in Camden. “Ain’t Camden Atlantic County?” “No.” “What Camden then?” “Camden County.” “Goddamn.”

i just like this

—p.96 by Joshua Cohen 3 years, 9 months ago