We were escorted by irritated cops to turn our van around at the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel. We had supposed that since our propane tank was empty (as of that morning–no scrambled eggs or pancakes or whatever we were going to cook), the ‘no vehicles with propane ‘ rule wouldn’t apply to us. But of course how are they going to check that you are telling the truth that your tank is empty? Duh. It was stupid; it was a forbearer of how the whole New York thing would turn out. Tragically dumb and frustrating to the core. We drove way up to the George Washington Bridge, by which time Molly was asleep and Adele was getting fussy.
Later that week when we were getting closer to realizing that nothing was working out right, Spencer took this picture of our van in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, just to prove that we had really made it there–to New York City. We parked and looked at a couple “cheap” apartments on Herkimer St. that were out of our price range and THE most filthy disgusting places I have ever imagined living in. And I was living in a tiny beater van with three other people and a dog at the time, in a parking lot in New Jersey (a literal and figurative state that I hope never, ever to return to) which means I can say that without coming off as a snob. This part of the neighborhood was pretty cheerful looking though, and it was a nice day, before the heat really started to get bad. A young muslim man with a shy smile stopped and asked us a lot of questions–none of which I really remember except that some of them had to do with California.
Another day we were taking the trip back from Manhattan to New Jersey on whatever train that is, and we had a box of ice cream sandwich cookies (from Whole Foods–back when we had the 30% discount) to eat on our way as a treat. There were just enough for each of us to have one (my brother Ethan was with us at that point), but there was one extra and we knew it was going to turn to a slurry mess if it didn’t get ingested soon. There was a pleasant looking man sitting across from us on the train, and so one of us said, “excuse me, would you like an ice cream sandwich?” The guy (I can’t remember his name though he later told it to us) looked at us like we had just said, “excuse me, do you mind if we strip naked and dance a polka around the car?” apparently he was totally shocked by an offer of free food. But after a second his troubled brow cleared and he said that yes, sure, yeah, he’d take one. Thanks. And then, like everyone else we met on the East Coast, he asked where we were from. Because obviously we were NOT from around there.
Our van is being shipped back from Decatur, Georgia and will hopefully be in Sacramento some time next month. Bloody old thing. Here rests the Beast, caught in time in Brooklyn, the place I had supposed some time ago that I would be reporting from at this very moment.