The Saturday I Had 06.24.03
Since I am ass-backwards about telling the weekend in typed out words, I will tell you what I was thinking about on my way to the Mermaid Parade.
Racing back from Queens, going the long way to Brooklyn and the W train. The W is for Why? As in, why are you going local? Why are you avoiding the Manhattan Bridge? When we could be high above the East River with sights not as special as the ones from the Williamsburg Bridge, but special just the same. And when they clean it up, on the Brooklyn side, there is a back lit bit of subway art, recessed and guarded by stone/ concrete pillars, creating the effect of something rotating. I think it is a ball but it has been obscured by darkness and extensive graffiti in recent years.
Okay, you can only see it when you are coming in from Brooklyn but I thought I might mention it.
The Why train is difficult to get to from Eastern Queens. Long, and difficult. If I had a stone and a mountain I would have felt like Sisyphus. It is days like Saturday that make me rethink not having a cellular phone, and not having my license. Driving in the oncoming monsoon would have sucked but not as much as the interminable trip through the ancient BMT corridors, for a parade that I was not even sure was on.
All of that waiting, the guy with the long legs, the surgery enhanced beautiful Asian woman, the woman dolled up to go to the parade, the child who unbelievable bawled at top volume for an hour, was rewarded.
A subway junkie like myself remembers that he has not had much need (or balls) to take the lines that stroll through Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge and the other Southeast Brooklyn neighborhoods. It might be lingering fear from Yusef Hawkins’ incident 15 years ago (I was at camp when it went down and found out days late).
But this was my first time, and, knowing that the Why train comes above ground after 36th street was a reason to think this day was not to be a complete washout. Now, mind you—the day was a washout. Rain came down, again, Chicago/ St. Louis style, long, sideways, unforgiving, surprisingly physical like an Anthony Mason pick.
At a street with a number I couldn’t quite read through the fogged glass and the bucket loads of rain, I looked out to see a high school, some auto body shops, and rows upon rows of connected houses, vinyl siding in blues and greens—pastel, unassuming, standard. I felt like I was on my way to Ocean Beach, SF. And it felt good. Quiet, out of the bustle. Like being alive but not having to assert it with your good times and your yelling and your drunken hijinks and your skirt-chasing.
I also thought about what I might write in my blog, and I thought about writing notes. But I had Peter Gabriel’s “Up” on the MP3 player, and I was in a zone, watching four people talk to the obvious Mermaid veteran in her make-up and flagrant hat adorned with feathers, feathers likely to blow into the Atlantic when she reached Coney Island.
I also thought about answering Haylz’ comments from Friday, and I will with a simple I don’t really know how to be anyone else, and I won’t be anyone else on my blog. But I will lie about my dunking ability.
Yo, I cold missed that bitch. It looked relatively sucka-free, though, and Nascar Anna, Eben, Pixel, Gully, Soldati, Silver, Selvadurai, and Schnapp were all there. The Charmer and Sammy, of course, came good and late. So we walked about, ate, and went to the end of a pier; where God and wrath became one word, blasting us with rain, creating a Newfoundland-type squall, blowing crabs onto the wooden pier.
We huddled with our very large umbrellas, and the Charmer began to tremble underneath Poseidon’s airborne might. Or something, man, he looked like a wet dog. Soldati took excellent pictures of the men in yellow parkas, dutifully casting their lines out to the near sea, and the guy doing the same but taking a liquid release break.
We stood and skidded and entertained the train car on the Why train back, went our separate ways to towel off and borrow clothes from each other.
In the next post. Also, Gully had a tree, a man sized tree, and a guy calling him jackass.