When I was in New York (2015)
When I was in New York, all I wanted to do was explore every square inch of the city. I wanted to go down this alley way, thinking i’m taking a shortcut to a destination that doesn’t exist, but it was a little more complicated and life changing than I would have hoped.
I arrived to the big apple at quarter to seven on a cool Winter’s morning, the air I breathed was so visible that I could see it float into the sky until it joined the clouds. It was cold, and that’s an understatement. I opened my suit case quickly rummaged through my scattered belongings and found the beanie I had packed, it was a blue and red stripped Stussy deluxe beanie, my favourite. Walking out of the airport I saw 4 or 5 yellow and black bumble bee looking taxi’s with the drivers not really caring for my existence but none the less my enthusiasm was far too great to let these drivers get me down. I got to the taxi at the very front of the cue and said ‘Hey, I’m trying to get to the corner of 5th ave and Ivy st, could you take me there ?”, the man looked at me whilst sipping on his cup of ‘cawwfeee’ and said ‘yeah sure’, took a deep inhalation of his cigarette then dabbed it violently on the ash tray mounted to the centre console. He hopped out, open the boot, grabbed my luggage and threw it in the back like they were a burden he had been carrying on his shoulders for years. “Alright let’s roll” he said, and that was my first experience of many to come of the ever so inviting and loving city of NY.
I’m sitting in the back, leather seats are worn down and have not been replaced, still cosy though. “Hey man, where are you coming from?” the driver asked, “Im coming from Perth, in Australia”, “oh cool, is that in Melbourne?”, I started laughing and said “No it’s actually on the other side of the country in Western Australia”, “ohh cool, never heard of it”. I wasn’t to surprised by the drivers lack of geographical knowledge, after all Perth is a very small city far away from almost everything. Minutes passed as we raced between cars, speeding down the highway, 16 miles over the speed limit. I loved the thrill of the near crashes, I mean it’s New York, it is what it is. I sat with my hand rested under my chin as I lent on the door and just gazed, getting lost in the differences between how everything looked, being on the other side of the road while driving and how every person that we go passed in their cars looked and acted so different. “Hey, hey buddy … This is it, this is cnr 5th ave and Ivy st, that’ll be 12 bucks”, “Oh thanks, sorry I was day dreaming”, “yeah cool buddy, alright let me pop the trunk.” The man gets out, opens the boot, I give him his money and he takes my bag out like he was forced to pick up all of his worries and burdens again and relocate them to the curve. “Thanks pal, have a good day” I said to the driver, he replied “Cool man, have a safe time, avoid this place, that place, this alley way, that alley way … you hear?” “yeah, thanks man sorry I zoned out”, “whatever man, peace”. The man drove off and that was my next experience.
I grab my luggage, open the door to the Holiday inn and saw a pretty lady at reception, “Good morning sir, have you booked in?”. I get my printed papers out of my backpack, show her and she hands over my keys and says “you might want to take the stairs, the lift has been playing up this morning”. I grab my belongings and travel up the stairs, down the hall and get to the ‘3rd door on the right’, “yup, this is me”. Swipe my key card, throw my bags on the floor, walk up to the curtains and open them like I was opening a can of sweet chilli tuna, yup, my favourite. I stand in awe of the view, it was of the brownestone apartments and their courtyards with some people briskly on their morning walks, some people doing a bit of courtyard gardening and some people opening their doors ready for a new day, off to work. I then I realised that I was on holiday, no work to be done, on my own schedule and accord.
My thirty minutes ran out to write this short story so you can make up whatever you want on how it ends haha, but remember the end destination is an alley way, you pick the ending.