"" bshawise: So Good So Good

Friday, June 20, 2008

So Good So Good

In 1999 I was working in Boston. On a Friday afternoon I was talking to my friend Ryan (via interweb) who was living/working in Manhattan. A bunch of our high school friends were visiting and he was telling me of their adventures. I said, "Man I wish I was there." He quickly replied, "Then come." I sat there. Nothing was packed. It wasn't in the plans, but... I had no plans. So I left for Manhattan. I stopped at a Kmart about 40 minutes outside of Bahhhhston and bought a few necessities. Toothpaste, sleeping bag, Neil Diamond's greatest hits and four camping tents and four pool rafts. I got back in my GMC Jimmy and drove for another hour and got stuck in a two hour traffic jam. Didn't move an inch for 45 minutes. I was frustrated.

When I finally got into Manhattan I was tired and mad that I missed dinner with high school friends. An ambulance blared its horn so I pulled over to let him by. An impatient cab driver started honking at me. They don't care about emergency vehicles. After a few honks he got fed up and drove up and over the left side of my back bumper with his front. I told Neil Diamond, "He just drove over my bumper." ND disgustedly replied, "Sweet Caroline." Something snapped. Anger mixed together with the logic that my GMC was bigger than his cab caused me to punch my gas and ram into the back of his bumper. He jumped out and started screaming at me. I told him to get back in his car. Neil saw the hand signals the cabbie was giving me and appropriately sang, "Hands, touching hands, reaching out." The light turned green, the cabbie got back in his car and we were on our way. Murder by cab driver averted.

I found a parking spot in the Lower East side and buzzed Ryan's apartment. He helped me with my stuff. "What's in the bags?" he asked. "Tents and pool rafts. I thought we could go urban camping tonight." Back at Kmart I decided that a 540 square foot apartment wasn't going to handle 14 people that weekend. The night before someone slept in the shower. I figured we'd set the tents up on his roof, inflate the rafts and sleep like kings under the stars and lights of the Empire State building. And after riding bikes until 3am all over the sleepless city we laid our heads down on our pool pillows, stretched our legs out as far as we wanted and slept. It was pure magic. For a few hours I knew how MacGyver slept so soundly. Ingenuity used for the common good produced a deep kind of rest.

Then it rained and I wished I bought tents that were as water resistant as our beds. The next night though...nothing but clear skies. Good times never felt so good.

1 comment:

shay said...

i still hear this story from those involved... as my personal friend barney says, "legend... wait for it...ary."