we decided to go to coney island yesterday. it was an easy decision when we made it. the sun held high and the breeze was cool enough so as you hardly even noticed it. we took her vespa, me on the back. i wore the half helmet which has no face covering. if we would have crashed id probably have needed cosmetic surgery. i dont have health insurance at the moment, so it would have taken a while to get done. in the interim, i could have been a monster. the kind children cry at when they see. features mangled, skin hanging where it shouldnt. lips that dangle and eyes that cross. parents would point and say, -see, thats what happens when you dont wear a helmet. a walking public service announcement for two wheeled motor vehicle safety.
-but i was wearing a helmet, i would groan inaudibly, through my shattered jaw with half torn tongue, -it was a half helmet, there was no face covering! no one would understand though. a crippled man goes on unheard. fortunately we made it to the boardwalk with all obstacles hurdled. the wind had picked up a bit but the sky was still blue.
we parked a block up from the beach, in between two sedans, one american, one not. or maybe they both wore. or maybe neither of them. i forget. it doesnt matter. we crossed the boardwalk, its wooden planks creaking beneath our flip flops. the water swelled and burst and crashed and we smelled the salt in the wet air. we took off our sandals and walked along the sand towards the creeping surf. one lone teenage boy stood in the ocean, letting the waves rush against his knees then slide back under him, towing against his heels. an older couple passed us and the woman had a russian accent and her top was tied curiously, so that her breast seemed strangled, yet hung loosely to the side. there was a tent. -who brings a tent to the beach? i asked. she smiled and shrugged her shoulders, the boy in the ocean was shivering, he leaned forward and let a wave smash against his arms and stomach. -lets ride the cyclone, she said.
we walked towards the roller coaster. it towered above the boardwalk, you could see it for miles. when we got there it cost six dollars a person and the guy that took our tickets looked like he was going to fall asleep. he must have been in his seventies. i wondered how long he'd worked there. she said, -my friend rode this last week and she threw her neck out, and we both laughed and recognized the rickety sound of the structure as it rattled overhead. when the cars arrived we sat in the middle and we look at each other and grit our teeth and moan in an insufferable anticipation.
it climbed to the top of the first drop and we could see the ocean and the boardwalk and Astroland and the beach and i looked for the boy but didnt see him and she pointed towards the sand and said, -look, you can see the broken glass reflecting from the sun. then we fell and i pushed myself against the metal bar provided and screamed as we shook and tumbled in our seats. when we started to rise again i felt a strain in the middle of my back and said -ow! and cursed a few times. then we were rising and falling again. and rising and falling some more. i could feel my neck and shoulders break from the tension. when the ride is finally over and we climbed from the cars i was holding my neck and grimacing. -shit, i said, fuck! she looked up at me and i blushed. -i think i fucked up my neck.
i saw bad weather crawling in the sky so suggested we go home after the ride. we had a beer first though. and i played a few video games. but by the time i was stretching up and over the back seat of the scooter the rain had starting to come down. my neck, at this point, is so stiff i can hardly move. i turn to see things like frankenstein, twisting my entire upper body to look to my side. drops of water were pelting our chest, soaking our tank tops and drenching our legs. our exposed toes pruned in the downpour. we raced beneath the cruel weather, soaking ourselves through each block and at every stop sign and red light. the sun was an approachable beacon in the distance. it was right there, above our home, we could see and feel it.