Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ending in Brooklyn

I got up with the sun around 5am. I packed up, crawled out of my hiding spot, and took stock. It was a shitty place to sleep, but truly well hidden. I used to be proud of my kick the can and sardines hiding skills. This was the ultimate test of stealth and bivy sackability. A tent wouldn't cut it. I hope I don't need to test this again.

I don't want to say much about this day. My knee hurt - but the fabric on the knee brace rubbing the skin behind my knee hurt more. I pedaled slowly and had difficulty with the slightest inclines. I was grumpy. I was cussing. I didn't eat enough. I was tired. I had difficulty following the cue sheets, and got annoyed and confused. I began to lose sight of the romance of my convoluted Quixotic adventure. I limped into Penn Station in Newark NJ in mid-afternoon. Took a train to Manhattan. Met up with Matt Klopp.

Matt is working in New York as an assistant on some photo shoots. I wanted food. Beer. Shower. Sleep. I came to find that Matt's situation here is tenuous. He's staying for free at the home of a wealthy friend of his narcissistic boss. His relationship with his boss (friend?) is on shaky ground, because he is not getting paid regularly or on time at all. He is often literally penniless and hungry. He's owed over a thousand bucks. Matt owes me money. Matt's boss-pal does not respond well to being asked for money. As I said, he is literally a narcissist, and responds very poorly indeed. Matt will soon move on - but this is his current situation. It wasn't clear if I would be sleeping inside.

I took a long walking tour off Matt's neighborhood, a few short blocks from the mega hip-ass Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Food happened first. Huge burrito. That evening, beer happened. Matt was broke, aside from a personal check for $600 which he currently has no way to cash. No bank account. I ran up a sizable bill, making sure to buy enough rounds to achieve sure satisfaction. We smoked a blunt with a couple of Matt's friends who have lived in the neighborhood for their entire lives. I listened to a description of what it was like here before white people poured in. Better? Now this is a hyperactive hip-ass whitey white area, for certain. Matt's friends seem like good people aside from talking a little tough and being mildly racist. I won't marry them. But I'll talk and smoke a blunt. It was a good time.

Not ready to see the situation at home, Matt and I went into the hub of Williamsburg for pizza. The area was bursting at the seams with hip activity. I haven't seen anything like this. Maybe compare it to Old City Philadelphia at 2am on a Saturday night - but all hipsters. Thoroughly pale - thoroughly tattooed - covered in bicycles. Bicycles parked on every post, four deep. Hip bikes, shit bikes. I like that aspect. This is a good place to see. I don't know if this place grabs my heart, but it definitely grabs my attention. I slept in Matt's room after an exceptional and welcome shower. The air conditioning was frigid, and I was ensconced in goose feathers. Down mattress topper, down comforter, down pillow. The house is worth millions. My sleep was worth millions.

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