No smiles on these Church steps

I live in a small town outside NYC for close to 35 years now. It has seen the gentrification of many of the bordering towns in the shadow of the big city

When I moved here years ago, I knew everyone in my building, we had courtyard parties and a sense of neighbors, as well as neighborhood.

There were local private businesses ,ma and pa owned bookstores, coffee shops and so on.

I bought my place at a good time, so everyone says, and live a modest satisfied life as an artist musician in my one large single room .

I am a very personable and friendly person with a wide periphery, offering help to anyone be it to hold a door, help jump start a car and so on. I extend myself to all. All things I assumed to be a given.

Then the malaise came.

Things slowly started to change . A turnover of people, as prices pushed the creatives and lower income out , with NYC rent being prohibitive, the spillover come here as a compromise.

All this combined with the Internet and cellular “brave new world “.

Today I feel rock marooned. A person who enjoys the things I mentioned above, no longer fits in here.

No one seeks the meeting of a face, the interaction with a stranger. People walk with their heads down as if they hope to avoid being identified. Pissed off stroller moms and even the “enlightened “yoga practitioner seem miserable. Wheres the joy of enlightenment?

How bad is it? Bad enough for me to feel , If I don’t write this and share with others, Ill go insane. Is it just me? Is a true life “Invasion of the body snatchers “ unfolding and no one seems to care.

I play a game with myself late in the day. I sit on the Church steps across from my building with a cup of coffee etc, often at times prior to Mass beginning .

Respectfully, I greet all with a smile and a hello should they even be willing to acknowledge my presence.

Close to 100 people passed right by me the other day as they climbed the steps of the Church of our lord.


I got one hello from an older man and one beautiful ,warm loving smile from a little bent over lady in her very late years. Other than that ,an occasional dog would strain to meet me as the owner yanks the animal away.

The rest of these people looked like automatons. No life , no joy, no sense of fellowship or celebration , as they walk into the Church of Christ. Really?

Im sorry to say, there are no smiles to be found on the church steps . At least not in my town

What is this? What does this say? What is happening? Does anyone out there feel and see this ?

The coffee shops in town are similar to business cubicles in a high pressure business environment .

Theres no way to just meet someone anymore because you can’t break into, the cellphone ,the tablets the earbuds firewall.

They all arm a person like a medieval suite of armor , factoring them out of chance happenings.

Im told I should just move out of my town. What a shame

It’s geographically perfect and it works for me, should I have to surrender it up ?

doug auld 2017