Warning: bodily functions ahead.
I am skeptical of Large Group Things. Like concerts, movie openings, and crowded clubs. Something so many people like must not actually be very good, my logic goes.
I am not sure where my logic comes from, but that is another story.
Anyway, my friend Evan decided he wanted to float down the Charles River to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. I gamely agreed. Meanwhile, my brain was thinking: “WTF. How lame. Fireworks and a boat? I’ll fall asleep and get shit on by a bird.”
But it ended up being surprisingly fun. First we blew up the boat using an air pump. Then I practiced my rowing skills.
So skilled! Yah.
Evan and his Olin College alum friends waved to some fellow Oliners floating down the Charles on… couches. Don’t ask me how they got couches to float. It’s those crazy engineering students.
Bad things were about to happen.
The sunset was beautiful – and there’s nothing like a sunset that totally surrounds you and reflects off the water. I paddled along, careful not to get overturned by the wake of larger boats.
Meanwhile, I wondered if I was incredibly boring. Evan was not replying to any comments I made. Occasionally, I’d crack a joke and he’d just be silent.
My questions were answered about half an hour into our journey. The two of us were crammed onto a tiny, inflatable boat, so it was very obvious when leaned over the side and began vomiting the contents of his stomach.
I patted him awkwardly on the back, and dug frantically through my tote bag for tissues and mints. He continued throwing up, then washed off his mouth with some of the lake water, looking pale and fragile.
“You must feel so much better!” I said, filled with optimism. “I’m sure you’ll be fine now!”
“Yeah,” he said, not sounding convinced. “A little bit.”
Half an hour later, we were floating in between giant boats, the periphery of where the fireworks were going to go off.
He leaned over and began retching again, except this time, it was just dry heaves.
The very nice lady on a neighboring boat offered us some Coke.
We decided, at that point, to paddle over to the dock. It was around 9pm and the banks of the Charles were teeming with tens of thousands of spectators. The teenaged Asian girl, who must have staked out her spot hours before, tried to chase us away.
“You’re not allowed to bring boats here,” she said.
I almost believed her, especially when I heard a police boat yell at someone on a megaphone to move away. “Is that at us?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
Evan, poor soul, had his eyes closed and was doing breathing exercises.
I figured out she was lying, and ignored her. Evan and I sat on the edge of the dock for another hour until the show started. We had stolen front row seats, thanks to our water route. He no longer felt seasick, and the fireworks were indeed incredible. Especially since they timed them to Katy Perry.
After the show, the streets of Boston looked like the zombie apocalypse had hit. People were climbing over barricades and spilling across the crosswalks. The streets were littered in trash. Evan and I packed up the boat and decided to have some dinner at a sushi place in Back Bay.
I am proud to report I neither fell asleep, nor was soiled by a wild animal.