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July 05, 2008
how everybody on the boardwalk knew my name. at least for a few seconds on a rainy morning. the rain was not very heavy. it was still a surprise. i could have just turned around. only the doorman would know. nothing bad. i unfolded the scooter, locked the security latch, put on my skating hemet and kicked myself south towards the first traffic light. then towards the other side of ocean parkway and just kept kicking. avenue c, avenue j, avenue... kicked on for the entire alphabet. all the way to z, then beyond. then towards the smell of salty water, all the way to one of the wet benches overlooking the ocean. it is the ocean, isn't it? the air here was very humid, cool, desaturated and quiet. it was not even 8am. and so the average age on the promenade was maybe 75. a few old russian men without shirts stretched their loosely wrapped bony limbs away from their silverback belies. women, in colorful tight outfits pretended being as beau-tea-ful as 50 years prior somewhere near odessa. i kicked the scooter down the boardwalk, by the wall of the aquarium, towards the cyclone, the parachute jump. the wet, bent, partially detached boards clacked loudly under my wheels. and the men and the ladies and even their dogs looked at me as if they really knew my name. for them they did. i was the "idiot." i was the guy wearing a helmet, riding a grown up version of a kick scooter down the coney island boardwalk. for what? why would anybody in their right mind do that? at 8am? and so "idiot" was my name. or maybe "idyot" and they would forget me as soon as the clacking sound of the wheels disturbing the boards would no longer be audible to them. but they would not forget my name. they would just give it to some other guy. he just had to show up. this early. on the boardwalk. in the morning. in the rain. maybe in a helmet. maybe under 50.