You fill your bag with clementines, chocolate and an empty bag for the shells you hope to catch. You sit beside a writer who unravels her days as though they are novels. You scrub out all the wax unintentionally collected in both ears so as not to miss a word. You hit traffic lights and listen to the sound of impatient cars outside each window. When you travel down the alphabet of street names, you finally reach ocean.
In New York, it is so easy to see bricks and concrete and potholes and urine stains but a handful of miles away, there is blue and there is salt water and there are sea gulls and there is a boardwalk.
You digest the ocean. Man jogs by, moaning and gasping as he passes by. You giggle because you don’t run, so the only time you make those sounds are during sex. A spandex’d man on his bike stops to remind you how Coney Island used to look. The dilapidated wood used to be sturdy and handsome. Storms have rummaged Coney Island’s insides and outsides. You can feel the sadness of his reminisce.
You get high. Walk over to the sand and sit beside the shells and crushed crab bodies. You share chocolate and stories. You ignore pangs of anger that you do not come here more often. You are here now. You are here now.
At some point, you eat a corn dog and french fries. You ignore the thick whispers of winter edging its voice onto your earlobe. You still have some time and the air is warm enough to remain outside.
Until the sun goes down.
As the hours drip past, you head back toward parked cars and sleeping rollercoasters. You thank Coney Island for still being alive after all these years. For always remaining open, even when closed.