REFLECTIONS ON THE BOULEVARD
Louis J. Ambrosio
GENRE: Coming of age
Michael's story continues from "A Reservoir Man" (2022) where we find him teaching at a university ready to retire. He unexpectedly meets a young man named Ron who becomes his protégé and journeys with him in a haphazard adventure throughout America and Europe. In Michael's final journey in life, each twist and turn of the road brings unexpected adventures. The journey taken is one of joy, friendship, and discovery.
As the ferry entered the river, one would barely know they were sailing. The breeze brushed against his face; he saw the water pass him just as life had. He looked at the stern of the ferry seeing all his relationships, career, and spirituality disappear in an endless stream of the river, moving them away but not forgotten. Michael felt as if the bow moving upriver was pushing towards his future with the thrust of a young man stealing second base.
From the corner of his eyes, he saw a well-built, nice looking young man, nerdy, longish dirty blonde hair that either needed cutting or a ponytail. He was talking to himself, no, Michael thought, "he is talking on the phone.” But no, the young man was actually talking to himself, or a bird. Suddenly, the young man saw Michael and flashed a small smile.
“Oh no I have been here too many times; those moments are up the river," thought Michael. The young man approached Michael asking if he knew him.
“I could not imagine how," said Michael, in disbelief.
“Yes,” the young man said, “in the park near the university. You were always reading on that same bench. I remember when the pigeons shit on your book and once on your jacket; the whole bench was full of shit,” the young man said with a slight devilish smile.
“Right!” said Michael. “Are you getting off here?”
“In the middle of the river, how could I?”
“You could always try," said Michael, with a slight but cold smile.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Louis J. Ambrosio ran one of the most nurturing bi-coastal talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York. He started his career as a theatrical producer, running two major regional theaters for eight seasons. Ambrosio taught at seven universities. Ambrosio also distinguished himself as an award-winning film producer and novelist over the course of his impressive career.
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3.5 out of 5 stars
Reflections on the Boulevard by L.J. Ambrosio follows the relationship that develops between Michael, a man who has had many experiences in his full life, and Ron, the young man he reluctantly takes on as a protégé. As they travel through life together, they discover that each can impart knowledge to the other, despite Ron’s apparent unworldliness.
This story is part travelogue, part philosophical reflection, and part coming-of-age tale conveyed in a somewhat stream-of-consciousness manner. The little details about the various places the men visit help the locations come alive and allow the reader to armchair travel while the musings about life and lessons learned encourage introspection. For those who are concerned with such things, the point of view tends to shift somewhat erratically, as do the tenses, but one is still drawn into the story of everyday life and the wonderment that can be found in simple things that sometimes involve moving out of one’s comfort zone. There are distressing elements of violence and loss that form pivotal points in Ron’s maturation, and the story definitely has its poignant moments that may require use of a tissue or two.
Although I did not read the story that preceded this one—“A Reservoir Man”—and there is evidently going to be an additional story to complete the arc of this trilogy, I had no trouble reading this as a stand-alone story.
A copy of this story was provided for review