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New York

New York

A Story by Savannah

       There is a baby crying in the next apartment over. Its ear-curdling howls act as the wolves of the city, and make the wallpaper curl and fray, droop down to the carpet stains from the previous renter. The land-lord once told me the last owner was a junkie, over-dosed right where my couch sits now. It's those type of details that make you want to call the place home. But, I don't blame the junkie, especially if that baby was there next door, clawing on the cabinets and headbutting the doors. You gotta wonder who the parents are to let their child holler to the heavens until it drops of exhaustion.
       There is a homeless man outside the window, climbing up the fire escape. We all know why he's doing it, and we all know how he'll be getting down. It's always the same. Tomorrow the blood and bits will be hosed off the sidewalk, and someone else will be pushed from their homes to take the spot under the bus-stop bench. Tonight marks the third suicide over a two week span, and those are just the ones who fly beforehand. No one ever bothers to tell those people to keep their feet planted safely on the ground. Everyone knows you can't promise it'll get better, only that it'll get worse. The brave causalities already know the worst, so when they come twisting down between the alley walls, we all agree it was meant to be.
       There is a woman sleeping around downstairs, in the apartment below mine. I don't know her name, I don't know her lovers. The marks left are always noticeable, a chain around her neck and a red rope down her chest: a trail of faulty passion. Each day she captures someone new, and each night you can hear her lustful yelps through the floors. She's young and desperate; this is the only way she feels useful. The older women in the building gossip about her, while their husbands ogle at her thin legs, and her big breasts. Many times, these men have told their wives they're working late so they can undress the young girl themselves. You can always tell afterward, because the men avoid her glance. The ones who stare are waiting, waiting to fall into her trap.
       There is a writer in apartment 9C, who has a mailbox, but never any mail. Every day she walks down three flights of stairs with the small key dangling from her ring finger--the only ring it'll ever wear. She bites her lip as she twists the lock open, eager to see an envelope. There never is one. A month ago, she sent in one of her stories to some well-known literary magazine. It was about a boy with a dog who explored a tunnel under the city. Technically, this would be the sewers, and she makes a point of that in the tale itself. She slid a copy under each door before mailing it, then asked for feedback. The few who read it said it left them speechless. I guess she mistook it as a positive.
       There is a dreamer next to the writer, one who dreams all the dreams. Ironically, he rarely sleeps. His hair is long and he runs the lobby desk some days a week. When people walk in, he questions them about their dreams, then picks the meaning from them all. Some people think his definitions are true, others know he's just high. Regardless, people always hand him their minds and allow him to play around. I talked to him once on the stairs. He told me I'm lonely; I shrugged. "I'm lonely, too," was the last thing I heard him say.
       There is a nobody that lives in a squalid studio who is the same as everyone else. They cry til they faint, like the baby next door, peeling their skin with dull fingernails for attention. They make love to strangers at night like the s**t downstairs, speaking faintly of seeing the person again but knowing it's not wanted. They write, like the writer in 9C; both will never be discovered. They dream, like the dreamer, pushing reality out the window like the homeless men from the roof. And that person is me, and that person is you. The streets of New York are flooded with bodies, and every last one of them is us. As I told the dreamer that day, as we walked up the stairs to our doors, "No one is different in a place like New York--we're all bitter and alone."

© 2011 Savannah

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Added on September 16, 2011
Last Updated on September 16, 2011




I'm Savannah. I recently cleaned out my profile, leaving behind the pieces that I don't feel ashamed to have written. Most of it is amateur at most, but I feel that some of it is relatively alright a.. more..

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A Story by Savannah

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A Story by Savannah