There is an old man sitting alone on a bench. His skin is transparent; veins and age appear to be the main identifiers. He is wearing white shorts, topped by a light sweatshirt, no socks and flipflops. In his right hand is a pen and in his left hand, resting upon his lap is the crossword puzzle from today’s New York Times. He sits in that spot each morning and watches as the ladies run or walk on by. Multi tasking; finishing the puzzle, enjoying the sights and sipping at his very large coffee.
To the left of him is the snack bar with Judith and Elvira, two coeds trying to earn a few bucks and have fun at the same time. Judith is from the Bronx and Elvira is from Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. They became quick friends once they met in orientation and have become inseparable since. Both have long hair, light brown skin and brown eyes.
The boardwalk is an adobe color and it stretches two and half miles along the Jersey Shore. The white sands and the sparkling blue water in the distance, sail boats and surfers, volleyball games and the sunrise Yoga class. It’s all happening here at 7 o’clock in the morning.
Dogs run ahead of their walkers, smelling the flowers, the hydrant and each other. The aroma is saltwater that you can taste on your lips.
A young lady walks on the beach below and she is dressed up in an evening dress. She is walking barefoot, carrying her heels in one hand and a cigarette in the other. She makes her way up the stairs, greets the man doing his crossword with a smile and walks upon the grass towards the apartment complex across the way. Her dress is down to her feet and is a off white with a revealing cleavage of its which reveals a stunning view showcasing God’s good work.
Two women walk on by, arms swinging, clad in Orthodox Jewish modest clothing, speaking quietly, quickly, their words in rhythm with their speed.
A shirtless man, who seems to be in his 70’s is running and glistening in the heat. The temperature is already 80 or so and the high is said to be around a hundred and one. He is wearing white Adidas shorts and sneakers. He has a gold tooth and a cross on a chain around his neck. A tattoo of an anchor is on his left arm with the word, “Home” spelled beneath the anchor.
Seagulls are flying around in dizzying motions, a man walks with his metal detector searching in vain for some treasure in the sand; while the seagulls stick their beaks into the same sand searching for their own treasures.
In the distance, Pier Village is waking and the sun spreads its orange glow all around like a broken yoke; two ladies walk across the street clutching their Rook Cold Brew, they are laughing.
The sun, rising still, is bringing on the heat quickly – the adobe flavored boardwalk is neutral to the heat. The old man drops his pen as a big breasted woman bounces on by. Right behind her is an old lady pushing her walker she gives the old man a dirty face and says, “You are not a kid anymore Herbie.”
“One can only hope Bethany, one can only dream.”
Blue skies above, sun shining to the east and wonderful sounds of summer all around. The nurses from the hospital, on a break or done for the night, stand up against the rail conversing, trading stories and bonding.
A golden retriever is running on the beach below, his owner tossing a tennis ball back and forth. The waves are hardly waving but there is a light breeze blowing some white clouds this way from the West. Back on the boardwalk, the man with the metal detector bends down and pulls something out of the sand. He smiles and puts it in his pocket.
The two ladies are still laughing and the old man has finished his crossword puzzle. Bethany is talking to her past as she finds herself a bench to sit on. The golden retriever finds his way towards her and sits beside her. While the young lady, in her home now, lets the dress fall off of her and falls into her bed.
Just a typical summer morning on the Long Branch Boardwalk.