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Rogue Element, Magic Little Secrets

Posted March 5, 2017

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Illustration by Jacky Adelstein

Magic Little Secrets
Jonathan Casey

The Art Ramble headed by Gabe Williams is maybe something that shouldn’t be written about. It felt special like that. We were offered colored toothpicks at the beginning, take only one please, because Mr. Williams was wondering if he might outlive color toothpicks. Hugging, touching, and breathing were strongly encouraged during the following rambling amble, and a new style of hugging was demonstrated. We walked to a parking lot and took the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” which involved writing down a secret and putting it in a bucket, and that was pretty much it. We talked about vulnerability. After a discussion of in-between spaces, we were led through a secret alley linking Walnut and Broadway, an alley I haven’t been in since the owner locked it up sometime in the ‘90s. We wound up in front of the Tiger Hotel, where Kevin Walsh gave us a  reading and history lesson on Thomas McAfee—MU professor, poet and one-time resident of the hotel who never used the hotel’s elevators without at least two packs of cigarettes because he hated being trapped without smokes when the notoriously unreliable elevators broke down. Kevin read us a Columbia poem McAfee wrote about Columbia called “Leaving Town”, and I imagine it’ll be on my mind when I leave in a few days. Look it up!  If my description of the Art Ramble makes little sense, that’s because magic little secrets are hard to write down.