Mike James In Bob Dylan's Neighborhood

It’s hard to get Johnny out of the basement. He likes it there with his books and chemistry. If he were a pharmacist he’d mix up medicine. If he were an alchemist he’d try to make gold. Johnny’s just a big kid with a chemistry set. He used to work at the factory. Now he’s a laid off genius, smart as Aquinas. He stays in his basement with his potions and books. Johnny won’t walk the pavement and the alleyways. He won’t talk about the government. Says it just is. It’s hard to get Johnny out of the basement, even to go see Maggie (his once and only love) who is always soot faced from her job and always talking and talking about leaving town for good. She says Brownville is not for her or for anyone with anything close to a soul. Maggie wants a place in the country, too small to even be called a farm, where she can wear sandals all day and use candles as the evenings only light. She says it’s evening year round in some places where the sky is always dark or getting there.

Back to 50.1