Friday, September 2, 2011


Flimsy Ladder

     She gave me his cell number, and asked me to call him after the Mass. When I did at six, he still wasn’t anywhere near Queens. Seven, no barge; eight, no barge; so on the half hour I called the manager, and told her it didn’t look like he was going to make it.

     “We’ll give ya anoda hunet!”

     “Ummmmm, okay but if he gits hea afta midnight it’s no deal.”

     It needed to be done before midnight as it was date sensitive, and back dating is illegal. I would never jeopardize my license for a few bucks. Besides it’s dishonest, and not honorable.

     “Okay!” She agreed.

    At a quarter to nine the captain calls me.

     “Where are ya,” I asked.

     “Oh we’re docked, Flushing creek, behind Home Depot on College Point Blvd.”

    I knew where that was, but had no idea how to get there. So I had to wait for him to consult with the harbor master, then get back to me. There happens to be two Home Depots on the Blvd, and he didn’t know which one. After going up, and down the boulevard for a half hour, I finally found the right one. I parked behind it, and walked to the barge. He saw me walking from the atop the barge,
     “Y’all must be da noble notary, uh!” He hollered with a smile.

     “Yea,” I waved.

     “Come aboard, then.”

     “How do I get up there?”

     That was the tricky part, it was dark with a half moon; there was a flimsy ramp leading up to the barge, and it was bobbing along with the waves. I had an umbrella, and thank God my brief had a leather strap, so I hung it around my neck. I held on to the ramp's guiding ropes as I crossed it, which must have been twenty feet or more above the dark, filthy waters below. I hesitated, I almost refused, but after all I had been through to get this far, I forged ahead.

    “It’s eezie, jest don’t look down, man.” He hollered.

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