Monday, October 12, 2009

Tunnels Mean Something But I'm Not Sure What

Apparently things open up in New York City in Autumn. For example, the cemetery on East 3rd Street opens up briefly around this time. I took the old man there on our first date, but another couple were graphically pursuing their own strange romantic inclinations on the hood of a nearby car, all of us locked out with no mausoleums or grave markers to hide in/behind, so we continued on to my favorite yarn store.

Open now is the Atlantic Avenue subway tunnel, the first in New York City. It was once part of the Long Island Railroad, which made stops to Brooklyn when Brooklyn was a wee village. The old man and I had to climb down a man hole into the tunnel and I have to say that I was disappointed by its mere four steps on a precarious ladder. I wanted many steps, I sort of wanted to fall, to go down into the depths, I wanted it to be harder to get to. There are tunnels like this all over the city, well, all under the city, and it seems strange that these old structures aren't that out of reach. Also, I was very afraid that a rat was going to run across my foot, but there weren't any rats in the uninhabited tunnel.

The man who found the tunnel talked to us about all kinds of interesting New York City facts, but the old man had to retell them because I wasn't really listening. I was wondering why all the other people had come, what happened to the woman who was pooped on by a bird while we waiting in line, how come I stupidly bought an environmentally friendly flashlight that charges when shaken in a weird masturbatory way and gives off minimal light, how a tall happy man climbed down the manhole while carrying a baby, if I could carry a baby and climb down a manhole.

Do you remember a band called Frente? I don't know what happened to them, but they had one album which has the best cover of "Bizarre Love Triangle." While in the tunnel I hummed a song of theirs, about you and me and a tunnel of love, but I was surrounded by strangers, and the words actually are you and me and the labor (labour) of love. I kept tripping on old railroad ruts, sort of hearing a story about horses freaking out next to the trains down there. How long do you think I could've been alone down there?

We had to leave before the end of the tunnel tour, but at least we heard the story about how the laborers shot and tore apart their overseer, burying him in the tunnel. A half hour late, we jumped on our bikes and rushed away into a day that had warmed on the city.


Dan Magers said...

For some reason when you were describing this in person, I thought of a haunted aqueduct. What I fool I am.

Farrah Field said...

Yeah, that tunnel really wasn't haunted. It was only a half mile long.