One of the guys I met at my boss’s little mixer, at the Ace Hotel, invited me to go boating with them for the 4th. He was a really fun guy, so it was bound to be a good time. He said we were taking a catamaran out, beaching it on a sand bar, barbequing, and then lighting off fireworks when it got dark out. At first, I was skeptical of the idea because I didn’t really know the guy or the people he was going out with. When getting invited on excursions like this, I always get worried that I’ll feel stranded out in the middle of nowhere (a boat on a sandbar). I also worry about being stuck with people I don’t know/may not like.
I did want to make it out to the Island at some point this summer because I heard that the beaches were nice and that the atmosphere was entirely different from the city. I wanted to go, but couldn’t make my mind up. My mom actually convinced me to accept the offer. If you haven’t noticed, I usually consult my mother with every decision that I have to make. She generally has great advice. I don’t know what it is, but I swear once you become a mom you automatically know everything there is to know about the world.
We took the two-hour train out to the last stop in Babylon, Long Island. A friend in a big raised truck (every truck I saw out on Long Island was lifted) picked us up and drove us to where the boat was launching. After waiting for everyone to show up, we finally set sail. This sail setting was short lived, because the engine ended up stalling right in the coastal inlet. We went back to the dock and took their motorboat instead. This boat completely soaked us on our way out to the sand bar. It was a hilarious, and extremely wet ride. The sunset was incredible from our vantage point. We set off some fireworks, and as it got chilly we decided to head back to shore.
All the guys were short and somewhat Italian looking. Most of them had tattoos and cursed consistently. I realized that I was hanging out with the guys off the show Jersey Shore. Not actually, but they were definitely the definition of Guido with their Bic-shaven chests and slicked back greasy hair. They were big time chain smokers, so they would literally light new cigarettes off the butt of their in-use cigarette. The men were constantly smoking—in their car, at the beach, and even while lying in their beds. I was rather grossed out, especially since I had to sleep in the same house. I don’t understand how people pick up the habit. The house was rather dirty, so I really just wanted to go home to my own apartment. I didn’t want to have to share a smoky bedroom with strangers and animals. I lost my voice from all the second hand smoke and I’m so congested that it’s very difficult to breath.
I have a really hard time sleeping if I’m not completely comfortable about whom I’m with or where I am. I’m not one of those people that can sleep anywhere, so I guess I’m a picky sleeper. It’s probably a good defense mechanism (my body won’t physically shut down if I don’t feel secure), but it also made it so that I only slept for an hour the entire night. I felt so out of place. I tossed and turned through the night, choking on the smoky air. I wanted to go home to my safe/clean apartment so badly. Though the earlier part of the day was very fun, I honestly should have called a cab to take me to the Long Island train station. I felt a little trapped, but it was 1:00 in the morning, when we got back from boating, so I decided to quit being a baby and spend the night.
Alena Netia Horowitz