Sunday, October 22, 2006

THE SIDE-BLINKING EXPERIMENT (#201)

Ivan, a Croatian student of sculpture enroute from Arizona to Zagreb. He and I were on the same stretch of Coney Island boardwalk at the same time. I was there after a failed phone call (patchy reception). I'd propped my bicycle against the railing and stretched my feet out on a bench. He was nearby, lighting a cigarette in the wind. In perfectly stereotypical European style, his inside jean jacket pockets were bulging--tour book, sketchbook, a bottle of beer.
"Do people swim here in the summer?" he asks.
"Yeah," I reply. "But I don't swim here."
"Look, a rat." He points over to a rat skittering along the sand.
"Yeah," I say, "they're all over. Haven't you seen them in the subway?"
Ivan shakes his head, "No, I waited with my camera at the ready, but they never came out."

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