Nevins and Schermerhorn

11:00 p.m., Brooklyn summer night.

On the streetcorner, a man–thinning hair, polo shirt, lanyard, long shorts–stands expectantly, hands clasped behind his back, next to a big telescope set up on a tripod.  The street is deserted except for the two of us.

Me: What are you looking at?

Man: Venus.  Do you want to see?  There’s no charge.

Me: Sure.

Man: Take your glasses off.

I bend down and look up at Venus, bright and scintillating, the only object visible in the New York night sky.

Man: In a magazine it says that they call it the gold planet.

Me: Really?

Man: I don’t know if that’s true.

Me:  Do you come out here with your telescope a lot?

Man: Oh yes.  Every clear night, unless I don’t feel well or I don’t feel like looking through a telescope.  I listen to 1010 WINS, and every time I hear them say “clear tonight” or “tonight clear” I know that tonight will be a telescope night.  I’m Robert.

Me:  I’m Madeleine.

Man: Thank you for looking at Venus, Madeleine.

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Published in: on July 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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