I guess it's a good thing it warmed up last night.
Without that change, we would have had a few feet of snow instead of a few beautiful inches that were pounded into the ground by a relentless rain today.
I rode the Ferry over into the city this morning, on my way to a shoot for the WE Network. It was a free gig, but, I'll be on national television (woot!) so, that was rather nice... even with the rain, I choose to stand outside, it was a far better atmosphere than the stifling heat that fills the interior of the boats in winter. Standing with me was a young man of around 15 or so; he was going across to catch the 'R' to his school in Brooklyn.
He and I watched the heavy mist on the water, the way the buildings really did seem to rise up out of it, like some cheesy Hollywood film. He told me he had taken the bus to school the day before, because he was frightened of being on the Ferry.
"Why? The water was calm, it was just cold."
"Oh, I worry about the water freezing." he said, looking around at the rain as it fell on the water below us, "Ever since I saw Titanic, I just worry about icebergs, and I didn't want to take a chance."
I am proud to say I didn't break into a smile, much less laughter. He was very serious in this statement... he honestly expected icebergs to float onto the river. I took the time to explain that ice wouldn't form on the river because it has a tide, and that icebergs are far, far to the north... falling off of the polar ice cap, etc. He looked relieved, and said in the future he'd take the Ferry, as the bus was two hours late because of the snow.
I slogged through the streets, minus my cheap ass umbrella which had died just before I got on the train on my way to the Ferry. I swore I'd not buy a dollar number again, and was willing to shell out money for something decent...the Chinatown deals weren't worth it in the long run. Arriving at the location, I was greeted with wonderful hot coffee, a nice crew, treated like talent (this means I was able to sit and do nothing but have makeup and hair work on me) did my bit, shook hands, passed out my card and left.
I'd sent the Zenmaster a text asking when he had lunch, with no answer.. and that left me a bit sad. Half way back to the Island, I have a phone call...."Mom, where are you? Thought you might want to have lunch with me." I did one of those land and dash things where you run to make the returning Ferry and thus, I had a wonderful time with my dear Zenmaster, who regaled me with stories of his time in Hawaii, his siblings and their visit together at Christmas, his job here in New York, and life in general. He looks more and more like his father, who is a very handsome man, and he is my wonderful, lovely Zenmaster... eldest of the brood, who taught me long ago children are a good thing, even if you don't give birth to them. To prove the group are all tight, I had sent out a fast text saying, "having lunch with Zen!" and each of them returned one to me immediately, "not fair! i want to be there, too!". The response was more to be with him than me, something I can live with.
After we parted...and I graciously let him pay....I did it, I made the decision to suck it up and buy a decent umbrella. There she was, at the Ferry entrance door.... a cart chock o'block with umbrellas..... I bypassed the cheap ones, and honed in on the good ones, the $5 ones.
Yes, I, Quin, was going to sink a full $5 into an umbrella.
I hefted them to check the weight, I shook them to feel the nylon, I twirled them to see how they'd hold up in the umbrella wars...
I choose my 'brolly, paid for it, and left.
Crossing back to the Island, I was rather chipper...after all, I had a fully tummy, the rain was letting up, my lad was around, and I had a good umbrella.
I found myself chatting to the man next to me, well dressed, my age, who had nodded when I came out for the last part of the ride, and I started to relate the tale of the young student who was worried about icebergs.
He shook his head in dismay, "Tsk.. He wasn't very smart, was he?"
Before I could say a word, he continued, "What was he thinking? You don't get icebergs in salt water!"
I moved away very slowly, so he wouldn't see my tears of disappointment.
This sadness was matched by the performance of my nifty $5 umbrella, which allowed itself to separate nylon from ribs when I opened it after I departed the train at my station. I cursed it, the seller and the underpaid workers who made it in some unknown country that illegally transferred the goods in the back of a truck where they fell out and were subsequently sold by the one armed woman outside of the Ferry Terminal.
I am now the proud owner of an expensive umbrella, that has a warranty. It will not turn inside out, and it's a nice shade of pearl gray. I've put said warranty along with the receipt in my paper stuff drawer. I hope to never buy another cheap one...although I did notice the Zenmaster was carrying a $3 special.
I think he may soon be able to proclaim, "Ich bein New Yorker!"
That's my boy!