You see them everywhere.
On billboards. On street signs. Crawling through the rivers and the pavement. But what lurks in the recesses of that hollow hull?
I decided to find out for myself. I rented a kayak in Times Square.
I had been told by locals that renting a kayak would be easy. After all, hundreds are rented each day in Times Square alone. However, upon approaching the kayak rental tent underneath the third shuttle track, I did not expect the ritual I had to undergo to take a kayak from the grips of these loathsome subterranean dealers. Caked in dirt and something that may have either been thick, inhuman blood or some sort of pastry filling (I now believe they may not be mutually exclusive,) they demanded I pay with something indescribable. I produced an object, and it disappeared in crimson smoke.
When I woke up, I had my kayak, and I was well on my way down Broadway. My legs and feet were working, but not for me. The kayak was leading the way.
We finally arrived at the Port Authority, but not one with which I was in any way familiar. This was not the bus station or any other known Port Authority building. Instead, we arrived at a singular statue — the true authority of all ports. It had a gaping hole for a face, and as I peered in, I felt invited to step in, so I did.
I had just stepped into the kayak. I scarcely had time to adjust my understanding of the positioning of the flipped horizon when it lurched forward and a mechanical grind filled my ears like a landslide of gravelly earwax. I was kayaking, and my paddle was in my hands.
Now, a normal citizen may have been content with this, and thus acclimated to the realities of kayaking in a modern and bustling city, but I did not forget my true job of being an investigative reporter. So, with great difficulty, I lurched my torso such that I could peer over the side and underneath the massive flesh-filled vessel and came upon a startling discovery.
I had always thought that kayaks were powered by the paddle, but it was just an illusion. Now I knew the truth about the Gear.
The Gear, a large, wide, deep-toothed iron gear weathered by sand and soul, prominently protruded from the bottom of my kayak. It was situated in such a way that a mundane kayaker would never notice its presence. How blissfully ignorant those kayakers were, going about their paddling business, unaware of the hulking metal apparatus under their entombed lower body. It drew me in, its form undulating and varying in width in geometrically impossible ways. I came closer and closer until my nose nearly scraped its terrible teeth. My torso was at its limits, even with the extensions I had surgically added several years prior. I could go no further, but I could not draw myself away. I held my position, transfixed, until the kayak came to a stop.
We reached our destination — a massive building as black as the starless onyx sky above, illuminated dimly at alternating points on the sides of its steep face. All kayak rides end there, according to some locals who murmured this information repeatedly to me from beyond a shroud. My kayak disappeared and half of my object was returned to me, lodged in my hand for eternity. I felt a pull to walk in, but I resisted, for my integrity as a journalist was stronger than the pull of the House, and I knew I had finished my field work and it was time to write this very account.
If you are thinking of kayaking in the near future, remember your indescribable item, and more importantly, look for The Gear. Your life will change for the better.
But if you are already a kayaker, it is perhaps best to not look for The Gear. Your life is already as it should be.
Your binds will only tighten.
That is the word of The Gear.