Boardwalk run this morning past bowing, clapping little Indian men. Past a picket line of decaying hotels, their colored concrete chipped and fading, their feet in sea water. Past feral cats and fat ducks. Past pigeons plodding through the sand like flat-footed fat women.
The boardwalk is teak, screwed piece-by-piece into a rickety relic of richer times. An old black fella in a pith helmet walks the length of it wheeling a drill and a bunch of screws in a bucket on a rusty old dolly. He shuffles across each board, pins the loose ones back into place with a new screw. Cats watch from beneath the railings. Runners side step him. On Collins Avenue a block west women in six-inch heels and bikinis totter through crosswalks on their way to brunch. Bentleys idle in hotel pull-throughs and in the back bus boys ride their bikes and scooters away from the loading docks, cash in their pockets from the breakfast rush. We are in the land of money. Ceilings are 20 feet high and fans push whitewashed air past whitewashed walls, white tablecloths, white napkins and black waiters in white slacks. But anyone can feel rich in the morning. The public showers are ours. The swaths of loose sand between hotel beaches, the ocean and sunrise, the dawn itself… We own them free and clear, without mortgages or collateralized debt obligations. Only the ducks are above us.