Coney Island Winter

An email to friends and fam with the blow by blow of a Polar Bear’s first time…

got to the Polar Bear dip on Coney Island fashionably late and stripped to only my multi-colored (yeah, swishyish) swimsuit and snuck under the red tape that allowed the officially signed up peeps to have an exclusive path down the sandy incline to the cool salt water at the bottom… ran with the last round of the “swimmers” and just before the water’s edge, someone waiting at the bottom in some official capacity of the public beach and by the public ocean dares to say, “hey, where is your wristband?” (hey, where’s your ribbon? you have to wear a ribbon Kramer)

naturally I wasn’t stopping for a roadblock so, I started off the year with a revolutionary act of crashing a privatized beach party (well, sure, I hyperbolize for hyperbolization and hyperthermia), got in there and I saw everyone was just prancing around in two feet of water so i moved out farther and asked a man in a wetsuit in some water above his waist who was big-brothering the event, “hey, aren’t you spozed to dive under?”… he answered in the affirmative, so that official I paid attention to… it was not much different from other cold dunks although I was disoriented as I rose out, had a nice talk with a brother named Earl who was standing near my towel and not getting back into his clothes, just enjoying the cool breeze, so I did the same cause that winter air felt fine (right Hem?)… but after a 15 minute walk back to the car in my swimsuit and my Dad’s long flannel dress coat, seventy years old, needing a press but hearty and vine, and a big plastic bag making me look homeless and nutty rather than a participant in bourgie unlassitude, my feet felt that it was the coldest New Years in a hundred years, I stood outside the car toweling off and putting my underwear on in front of a wide street and Coney Island working class cafe, and my sneaks (I wore them into the water upon advice of a guy in my building who chickened out) already had their shoelaces frozen… anyway, it was a damn challenge to get them off since the shoelaces had done froze up tight, and my fingers too, and not easy to force the other dry shoes on, it sure felt like some long-term damage had happened to them feets, but they came around in an hour and I’ll be dancing on the tennis court again

photographer comes up, “can I take your portrait?” “sure” says I smiling away but not standing square and straight, (that’s going to be my new year’s reso so if you see me slumping this year, tell me to stand up please

coldest New Years in a hundred years to choose to be dipping, OK Legends, happy new year and I sure hope I can see you soon…