Thursday, July 23, 2009

The surfboard

The other day at the 28th street stop in Manhattan a guy got on the Number 1 subway with a 7-foot long surfboard. Although it was wrapped in some kind of protective covering, the little point of the surfboard was peeking out, which confirmed he wasn’t carrying a bass violin or a new leaf for his dining room table, neither being uncommon sights on the subway. But a surfboard is a rarity. You could tell that even this guy wasn’t used to towing it around, as he almost rammed it into the ceiling of the car he entered while searching just a little too desperately for a trio of empty seats. I eyed him like he was a refugee from some tropical island and wondered where he could possibly be going with it. Perhaps emboldened by the writing of this blog, I strolled over to him and asked about his destination. Who knew, maybe this was the one day of the year where the waves really rolled in along the Hudson. He told me he was going to Ocean Beach, Long Island. I thought fast and wrinkled my forehead, puzzling how he would get there via subway from Lower Manhattan. I wanted to know more, though, and so asked if the surfing was good out there. Without looking up and with no apparent desire to continue our conversation, he said, “no.” I waited for some sort of elaboration but when none was forthcoming, I thanked him and returned to my seat with a smile. Ah, I thought, another New York moment.

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