windows fogged over
rainy, humid morning ride
taking me downtown
April spilled into mid-June
Esos dias de lluvia
(Is it cheating to throw a Spanish line into my tanka? Maybe. Full disclosure: I’m not still writing one a day, but I am still writing.)
Today is the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade, and today’s mermaids will need to be waterproof. One of my years in the parade was ridiculously soggy. Even when showering, I’ve never been so wet as that year! Today won’t be that bad, but it won’t be the fabulous, full-sun, clear-sky kind of day that brings out huge crowds of sea people and onlookers.
The parade is one of the craziest, most fun things I’ve participated in. It’s a little shocking, a little outrageous, a little bawdy … and just a flat-out fabulous time. It’s also quite a testament to how safe it can be here in my city. Think about it: hundreds of naked and nearly-naked ladies surrounded by crowds of often quite inebriated men … and nothing bad happens. So excellent. Getting on the subway this afternoon, I saw three young women in costume, transferring to the express train to get out to Coney Island. Hurray for the mer-folk!
These are the “Shrimp Cocktails,” one of the groups we got to know during my first parade in 2001!
And here is my dear friend, Natasha, in one of her final performances before she passed. She charmed everyone that year, even inspired a photographer to climb up onto our float just to get better pictures of her!
(No, I’m not posting any pictures of me from the parade. Those, I think, are better left offline!)