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Hollywood A Go Go


by John Olson


It's 12 :30 on a June afternoon and Toby is curled up and sleeping on his favorite pillow with Paisley designs. I pour a third and last mug of coffee for the morning. It tastes bitter, like life.

I watch a video on YouTube. Bo Diddley plays «Road Runner »  on Hollywood A Go Go. I look closely at the dancers to see if I can spot Terri Garr. She began her career in show business as a dancer on Hollywood A Go Go. All the dancers look like Terri Garr. They have long blonde hair in ponytails and big smiles that appear to be genuine, and I wonder if they're truly having a wonderful time, or just especially skilled at appearing as though they're having a good time. They pump their hands up and down as if they were milking a gigantic cow with maniacal vigor.

I wonder who the woman is that always appears in these early videos of Bo Diddley. She accompanies Mr. Diddley on what I imagine is a bass guitar, wears a sparkly, skin-tight outfit with pants, high-heeled shoes, and an enormous beehive hairdo. She moves rhythmically from foot to foot and emanates a demeanor of infinite sweetness.

I wonder if Roberta will be able to quit work at 3 :00 p.m. today, or have to work until 4 :00 p.m. She is substituting for another cake decorator while simultaneously working as a barista and bakery clerk.

I wonder of Buffalo Bill read Walt Whitman.

I wonder how Buffalo bill felt when his friend Sitting Bull was killed at the Battle of Wounded Knee.

I wonder what it's like to be rich and not have to work or ever worry about eating.

But then, who doesn't ?

I wonder what strange and marvelous events would ensue if God decided to build another universe and went to Home Depot for supplies.

I wonder what goes on in the mind of a parrakeet.

I wonder what causes blood to coagulate.

I wonder what it's like to somersault through the air and get caught by someone's outstretched hands.

The telephone rings. I think it's Roberta. But it's a man from the union who wants to know if Roberta knows anyone who works for Target or Trader Joe's.

Toby suddently gets up from his pillow and goes to look out window at something I cannot see.

I can tell that the sun is moving to the west because the shadows of the trees are dancing on the wall of the house next door. They do not resemble the dancers on Hollywood A Go Go. It isn't necessary to point this out. I just like to say Hollywood A Go Go.

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