monday 30 september 02002 8:42am
the broadway tunnel

i was riding my bike through the broadway tunnel. the pedestrian part is a narrow, raised path snaking along the side of the tunnel; there are only about 3 or 4 inches on either side of my handlebars. so i'm riding along real careful not to snag my handlebars and get dumped off the path into the rushing traffic. on the far side i can see a dark spot, and i'm hoping it's going in the same direction as me, because if someone needs to go the other way, i have to get off my bike and they have to squirm around it. there is only the one path.

turns out it is coming toward me. a man in a yellow rain slicker and yellow rain pants with the cuffs rolled up. he’s pushing a shopping cart full of bottles, and there is a box on top which goes exactly from the wall of the tunnel to the railing at the edge of the path. there is not a single inch to get around. we're at the middle of the tunnel now. right away he starts apologizing, saying he goes at this time of day because it's usually empty then. and i say that's ok, i think maybe i can carry my bike over. but i can't because of the box, i can't slip around him. so we decide i'll hand him my bike. i pick it up, lift it up on top of the box on the cart bulging bottles every which way, and he grabs the bike and sets it down on the far side of the cart. then i wiggle through this 12 inch wide sliver under the box and between the cart and path railing. as we walk away, each of us is thanking the other. and i'm giggling and giggling as i ride out of the tunnel.