Thursday, September 13, 2012

Seaport Dream #1

I was at the fish market on South Street. It was present-day, but the fish market had only recently closed and the building had fallen down due to neglect. In its place was a giant hole, like a construction site, but it was open to the East River and water filled the bottom. On the water floated wooden pallets and platforms that one could walk on, but they bobbed around and it was dangerous as a person could fall off and get crushed between the floating wood pieces.

During the day, the water-filled pit was used by locals--long-time city residents--who would do their own fishing since the fish market was gone. People had their own little boats or they would just fish off of the floating platforms. The open basin was crammed with boats, wood and people, but everyone knew each other and helped each other out. I was trying to get across the pit by leap-frogging over the platforms. There was a sense of urgency because it was getting late in the day and, with nightfall, came all the frat-boy drinkers, who turned the place into a floating beer garden.

I remember the horror of it--being afraid of getting crushed between the unstable pallets, but being more afraid of being drowned by the hordes of drunkards who only came out at night. They were also in danger of being crushed by the wooden floats, but for some reason, they weren't concerned. The overall feeling was that the dangers faced by the old-timers didn't apply to the newcomers who were taking over. It was a given that the fishing operations taking place during the day would soon be eliminated by more beer gardens. I was much older in the dream--in my 50s or 60s. I woke up feeling very off balance.


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