Hudson, New York
Aug. 7, 2007.
A dusty promenade overlooking the river. Hazy and hot. Below me, two bikini'd teenagers, hip-deep in water, pull a motorboat toward a boat ramp. A man backs a boat trailer down the ramp until the trailer is submerged, and the girls slide the boat on the trailer with surprising deftness. "We did it, we did it!" they squeal.
Another man sits at a picnic table ten yards away, reading. Occasionally he looks up at the girls and the boat. His heavy-bodied black lab noses around the grass, looks at the girls for his own reasons, and barks. The table stands under a tree by the water, next to a row of small anchored yachts. An oddly domestic scene here at river's edge: the dog, the book, the picnic table. I imagine the man will return to his boat and sleep after night falls.
Across the water is a leafy green island. White birds fly along its shoreline.
Quiescence. Voices, barks, train whistles. The breeze is tuckered out. The humid air exudes a heat that is as much pressure as warmth: hard to move through and inhale. Sound and birds cut through it, quick as blades. Seagulls wheel and keen; I think: effortful meaninglessness.