He turned his empty beer bottle upside down, emptying the last drop . Holding the bottle neck to his eye, he peered at me through his makeshift spyglass. “Aye matey, fancy a bite to eat?”
I rolled my eyes and hopped off my peg-legged barstool. The sticky floor seemed to rock below me. I swayed along with the churning waves in my stomach.
He reached out and caught each of my arms in a hooked hand as I teetered dangerously close to the edge. “All hands on deck”, he chuckled. “Choppy waters”, I offered in apology, steadying myself against him.
The bartender returned with his receipt and he threw his debit card carelessly back into his pocket. I wanted to quip about how we might need a Visa for the journey, but thought better of it. Better sailors had had their tongues cut for much less, so I held mine.
We disembarked and crossed a cracked sidewalk plank to our next vessel.
Call it a fisherman’s tale, call it a siren’s trick - but I know what I saw. There on Second Ave: a yellow taxi cab floating in the salt water seas of the Lower East Side.
He held the porthole door and motioned for me to go first, a gentle reminder that pirates are gentlemen before they’re anything else.
I laid my hand in his, dark mark meeting dark mark. “Where are we going?”
He smirked and told the driver to row east.
I looked past the bow, through the window-shield and full mast. Our destination became clear as we turned off of the Second Ave Sea and onto the Silk Road: our sails were set for Chinatown.