Friday, July 04, 2008

"Look. A butt."

Ah, the summer holidays. For those of us lucky enough, it also means trips to the beach. From where I live in Brooklyn, I'm only ten miles from the Atlantic ocean and Ms. K and I have been traveling frequently to Jacob Riis beach in the Rockaways. It's not very crowded and it's clean. Well, usually.

There was something about Thursday. Maybe it was the pre-holiday vibe of everyone wanting to get out of the city for the 4th of July, but it seemed like people were extra crazy. Traffic was jittery and we must have passed a half dozen ambulances along the way including an accident in Midwood involving a motorcycle and a bus. When Ms. K and I got to the beach (after own own minor accident involving an exploding bottle of sparkling wine and a cracked car windshield . . . don't ask), we set our blanket out in a sparsely populated section of the beach. There were a couple of twenty-something girls nearby who turned out to be topless. In addition there was a strange man wandering about wearing only a short towel. I quickly learned what was under that towel when he wandered into the rough surf.

"Look. A butt," I said to Ms. K. But soon the man was showing us more than his butt.

Later after Naked Towel Man had wandered off, Ms, K and I wandered down to the shore line noting that recent storms had washed a lot of trash onto the beach. I curiously poked at the detritus and saw that among the seaweed and plastic bottles was a discarded nicotine patch, a tampon applicator, and an empty drug baggy. The only thing missing was a hypodermic needle.

Oh New York, how I love you. Let me count the ways.

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