“Sunset booze cruise!!” – Jayne Doe
I grabbed the wall next to me and gasped for breath. The entrance to the Ben Franklin Yacht was still 400 yards away. My legs bled battery acid. In the distance people stood outside the boat’s gates leisurely sipping cans of Pabst. I grabbed my phone and called Jayne Doe. “We didn’t miss it yet!” I yelled into my phone. “I’m on the highway. SPEED! SPEED!” she yelled at the cab driver. “5 minutes!” she said as she hung up on me; excitement outweighed manners. As I made it to the dock, Jayne’s cab pulled up. She threw money at the cabbie and jumped out. “Did we miss it?” she asked. I pointed at the crowd just starting to board. Destiny beckoned; it was time for Pabst Blue Ribbon on a yacht.
As we hustled onto the ship I stopped at the magnificent scene. Patrons sat in chairs nibbling fine cheese on sticks casually discussing the finer points of boat shoes. Others stood in line, pinkies fully extended while ordering turkey; protein to offset savagery. Come one, come all, both young and old! Travel the river while chomping on treats and sucking down beers! The foodening had begun. It was a final preparation for the night ahead. Suddenly deep rumbles and gargles came from below my feet, bellowing like an angry beast. The boat slowly drifted into the Delaware River. Plates were thrown aside; people charged passed me to catch a view. The scene was reminiscent of the 90’s party on the Moshulu; this time with more sailing and less N’Sync.
The yacht divided itself into three floors of progressive dysfunction. I remained on the first, comfortable with the meats and cheeses. Ambient sounds relaxed the room, complimenting the fine royal blue nautical carpeting and white linen tables. It had the same welcoming feeling as a 5 star hotel. Perhaps I would mingle and chew some crafty treats. “I’m heading up to the third floor to make friends,” said Jayne abruptly. I nodded while cramming food into my mouth. She shook her head in the ‘you’re hopeless’ kind of way as she walked off. I sat down and looked out the window, a cool breeze blew through. I took a deep breath and gazed at the coastline consisting of burnt out factories and skyscrapers. Maybe the other side would be better, I thought. I shuffled across the room; a rainbow sunset curved the sky. It was the perfect night for a cruise. I grabbed a free Pabst beer from the bar and climbed the steep boat stairs to the second floor towards the rhythmic beats.
As I neared the top, smokers huddled near the boat’s engines taking drags of cigarettes between gasps of exhaust. A group of girls belted out “Killing me Softly” as we sailed into the sunset. The unlimited Pabst supply had begun to show its effects. I pushed my way into the second floor room. Upbeat elevator music lifted the DJ’s spirit as he bobbed his head back and forth. A couple hidden from the stars quietly danced the night away; swing, dip, flip, step. A lonely pack of misfits tucked themselves into a dark corner, hiding from whatever lurked on the third floor. Were they loners or scholars that knew better? I braved the last set of steep stairs intolerant of drunks and made my way to top.
The life of the party stared me in the face, the elite partied like V.I.P. Familiar beats struck a groove as the DJ tranced his way into the house.Stronger, faster, better, harder! The lights on the bridge blinked rhythmically in approval. As the sky swirled from deep reds to my familiar nightlife darkness, the DJs shifted one to another but the sound remained the same. Deafening hi-hats and a repetitive beat pounded the crowd; hands flew in the air. Eager dancers shook out their finest dance moves, one, two, one, two. The crowd rotated like clockwork. Drinks lured them towards the stern, pulsing lights returned them to bow. I was worried for their safety; the relentless bass transformed them into mechanical monsters.
We were out to sea with no hope, no chance, and no escape. Drinks would perpetuate madness. It was only a matter of time and patience. I considered running for the second floor. HIDE MAN THEY CAN’T SEE YOU THERE. Suddenly Jayne put a hand on my shoulder. “Pretty amazing right? And did you see that sunset?” she said handing me a drink. I nodded. It was spectacular seeing so many blissful faces dance under the moon.
The bottom line:
This was a pretty special event. Prices ranged from $15 to 25 for a ride, however food and drink was fully included in that price. Each floor of the Yacht offered a special little place for every kind of passenger to escape to. Free Pabst, live Djs, friends and a sunset cruise ended in the only way to close out a spectacular summer.