I found her at an outfitter’s rental shop at the Jersey shore. I had been sent there on a sales call as the owner needed some specs on large plastic containers. When I left he had a sample of the container he needed and I managed to fit this little beauty in the back of a minivan. It fit so nicely that it pretty much stayed in the minivan from then on. I would make sales calls in the mornings then slip off into the surf at Ventnor in the afternoons. It was the first time in my professional life I had ever looked forward to my days. It is probably best I am no longer in that line of work.
It was built for playing in ocean surf but I have never been one to limit anyone or anything to one pigeon hole, so I took it other places as well.Boathouse Row on the Schuylkill river is home to some of the finest rowing teams and the nation’s largest regatta. Occasionally you could find among the collegians and Olympians, a red kayak splashing around happily out of place. I looked into it and it is allowed. How sad that we normally assume that just because something is rare it is not allowed.
I did the same in the Delaware sharing the waterways with oil tankers, tug boats, and probably some dead bodies. It was a nice way to spend a Saturday morning.
When I ventured off on my East Coast adventure, the kayak came along.I re enacted the invasion of Fort Ticonderoga and entertained the idea of following Ledyard’s route through Connecticut. My defeat on the Hudson ended such fantasy.
We posted it on Craigslist at around 10pm Thursday night. By 9am Friday morning I had received 20 phone calls. She was gone by 4. A long bearded man from the suburbs came in a large black pickup and whisked her away. As she drove down the block fun was sucked out of my soul and sent off into the universe. It was a sacrifice to adulthood. I am closer, much closer, to 40 than I am to 20, and still these sorts of sacrifices are required. Boooo to adulthood.
I am surrounded by bad influences. I refuse to find better company.