I live in downtown Portland with my wife.
I brought her a jacket while she ran an event booth outside. Two redheads with long hair sat in the grass. They both wore green plaid dresses. One was a dude. The dude in the green plaid dress also held up an umbrella to shade his pale skin from the sun. It was 7pm. His hair was a mullet.
Then a guy stepped out of his van blaring music. He started dancing to his music. The van was designed with aliens and ghoulish figures on all sides. The guy wore blue jeans, sandals, and a monkey mask. I thought maybe his wife or girlfriend was sitting in the passengers seat—she looked white faced and embarrassed—but it was just an Elvis mannequin. The sticker on the side window said: God knows this van is on the road.
Maybe I should have taken pictures—I should have taken pictures—but I don’t think the pictures could have fully explained what I’d witnessed.
Calvino said that the proper use of language enables us to approach things seen or unseen with discretion, attention, and caution, with respect for what things seen and unseen communicate without words.
I think the gingers communicated a lot and not just in their plaid skirts and hair-do’s. And the monkey dancer communicated a lot in his unencumbered dancing and artistic flare.
But even if I say the dancing monkey was Extremo the Clown and the redhead in a dress was just some university student named Larry but goes by Laura, there’s still more being said without words.