Last night was another one of those nights where I felt lone and lorn. The world was too much with me. So I did what I do. I put the leash on my golden retriever and headed out to the East River for a long, solitary walk.
The wind was steady along the water, blowing at me as I walked uptown. Usually, I stop at the Pier at 107th Street, my little dog must think it queer, and all that. But last night, with autumn's crispness in the air, I walked further.
The fishermen, gnarled Puerto Ricans with home-made tattoos, are gone now, gone for the season. What fish there were in this lonely estuary, are off in warmer climes, or somewhere--buried in the mud?--other than where the fishermen wish they were, in their old spackle buckets filled with water from the river.
I walked uptown, slowly, watching the occasional barge tug by. A well-lit yacht with people partying. Just me and my dog.
I got to 122nd Street, where the promenade along the river used to end. There in the flat wasteland under the Triboro Bridge (which, after 75 years, they have inexplicably have renamed the RFK Bridge) the city has decided to continue the walkway along the water. We pass rusted backhoes and vast piles of tarpaulin-covered road salt stacked against snows that hardly come anymore. I lift my dog over a low fence and we continue uptown, through the 130s and 140s.
My dog and I get off the promenade up around 155th Street and we walk through a housing project, the Polo Ground Towers, four thirty story monoliths of architectural anonymity. We walk past where Willie Mays made his catch and throw of Vic Wertz's long ball back in 1954. We mingle with the ghosts of Bill Terry and Mel Ott.
Then we take the long walk home, three and a half miles in all, to watch the Giants, safe in San Francisco now, lose to the Phillies.