I saw two middle-aged women attempting to push a twenty-five-foot red wooden skiff on wheels across the FDR Drive service road at 96th Street yesterday. Actually, one was “directing traffic” and the other was “pushing,” but really what was happening was the director was so panicked by the prospect of getting the boat across the street that she was running back in forth in front of the cars stopped at the light (mine among them), looking around her like she was being spat on from every which way by invisible angry clams. The pusher had her hands on the boat, but mainly she was making clownish faces as if every time she shoved the skiff an inch further from the river, an invisible sea god doinked her but good with his barbed, sea-god anal probe.

Of course, it being New York, everyone but the cop on the corner perked up—we don’t often see such a sight (the boat, not the nautical doinking; we see that all the time)—and the atoms on that normally Qi-dry corner started colliding. Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, three handsome young men in a variety of shorts and athletic shoes converged from three directions, pulled the probe out of the pusher’s butt, lifted the boat out of her hands, and took off with it. The director acted like she was stalling the traffic and waving the boys on, but they didn’t need waving on: They were sailing.


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