People of Santa Cruz: Alene Smith

Short, A long E accent on the second syllable. A common French name. But the French spelled it A-l-i-n-e and mine is A-l-e-n-e–a namesake for a great aunt on my father’s side who didn’t have any children.

So, they said, okay, if it’s a girl, will name her after you.

Well, I wish to God I could remember them more vividly–in my thirties and forties I remembered my dreams.

But I do remember erotic dreams, which are very rare. Or the strange dreams.

I had one that’s on my mind every day. And I got a call. I’m trying to find a somebody to interpret it for me.

It was horrible. It was in a I was sitting in the back of a van of six-seater van of sorts.

Somebody was driving. I didn’t know the people in the front, just I was traveling and this ugly, ugly man.

I now know where that comes from. He represented all the homeless men I’ve seen out and about. But this man was smearing human feces on my jacket, shirt, torso.

And I screamed to the people in the front. Help me. Help me. And nobody came to help.

You can interpret that a lot of ways.

Yes. I still want to write a book that I started 30 years ago.

A nonfiction book about the second oldest job in the world, known as Sex Work.

I have published three self-published poetry books, and I write lots of poetry and like to orate it.

Loving and nurturing my cat, taking care of and helping neighbors, taking care of nurturing my plants.

We’re still in a supposedly a drought.

But I wish to start cultivating vegetables, if not in a plot, a small plot, at least by containers. One can do small cultivations on my little deck porch–little deck patio, and, well, every day we work at staying alive.

Well, my favorite work is composing poetry, which has to come to you in sort of a dream state, like a self-hypnosis.

Getting around to doing it.

I’ll jot down inspiration. But then–

And then maybe it’ll all come out. I’ve got, two or three now, works in progress that have to be fully crafted.

Oh, and I’m crazy about photography, but it’s expensive, so.

Oh, they’re so darling. Oh, three in a row.

Too goddamn crowded. I love it, though. It’s fascinating. People, other ethnicities, other countries visiting and and I’m thrilled with having made friends with a Punjab, Indian mother and her daughter who run a motel.

That’s all delightful. I thrive on diversity.

So many goddamn people and I’m scared. I hate all this horrible high-rise construction.

And I don’t want to see Santa Cruz–I predicted 30 years ago. How are we going to be another Carmel for just rich white people?

Or a miniature San Diego. But if we’re where we are with the building, the skinny skyscrapers per say, little ones, we’re too small to be another San Diego. I remember somebody joked years ago saying, “Yeah, let’s expand Santa Cruz, take over Monterrey and put an airport in a big airport in Davenport and a big zoo.”

Big like a San Diego Zoo in Davenport and a bigger airport here in Monterrey. And it’ll be a miniature San Diego. And I’m religious about conserving water and energy and recycling. But now there’s so much–we need to get rid of plastic all together, not to even make it. And I mean even produce it that way.

There’re not enough things to do with the recycled plastic. I learned from a BBC broadcast.

So, I guess that’s that.

Thank you. And I, if you see anybody out there, see me out and about with my postcards, come look at them and buy one–very unique photography.

And if you don’t mail anything anymore, you can use it as a bookmark or decoration, an ornament, a visual in your living space.

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