|Chase (standard:Flash, 1866 words)|
|Author: Anastasia||Added: May 10 2005||Views/Reads: 1886/1062||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A teenager has traveled across the country in search of a girl, but is confronted with complications upon his arrival.|
New York, I think, no one places trust in you. On the subways, I watch: I watch strangers rush inside, before they are told to stand clear of the closing doors, and I watch them sit down with seats in between, as if they fear being in the proximity of another stranger. A stranger one way is a stranger the other. I watch strangers whose thighs touch. I watch them steal half-curious, half-suspicious glances at each other, always avoiding the acquaintance of one another's eyes. I wonder what they are looking for. Are they looking for danger, or are they hoping to one day find someone they've lost? A grown son, or an ex-lover. A sister or a favorite high school teacher. I feel exposed as strangers quickly scan me while they pretend not to, thinking that maybe I am an old friend or foe. Displeased by the subway etiquette, I get off at the next stop and plan to take a cab to wherever I'm going, but I'm not quite sure where that is. I am, however, surprised when I am exposed to an entirely different demographic upon my emergence above the ground: I am the only scraggly white kid in my line of vision, the only wanderer in a densely populated residential area. A heavy black woman asks me if I'm lost. I am. I forget to say yes, though. She leaves me on the street corner to decipher a subway map on my own. Unable to pinpoint my exact location and growing impatient with the overwhelming grids, I give up. I scan the bustling intersection for a particular familiar face. I look in the back seats of taxi cabs and peer into store windows. A weak attempt to feed a pedomorphic hope for something that I know is impossible. I end up walking, walking walking walking for hours, only stopping to indulge in a meager meal made up of a compressed sandwich and warm water that has taken on the taste of its plastic container. And then I walk for some time more. I begin to recognize the area I'm in as the Brooklyn neighborhood where my mother grew up. I smile in amusement, thinking that maybe I was supposed to end up here. Maybe there is something in store for this day. Shielded by the confines of a telephone booth, I dial the operator to look up an old friend. Jay White. I know she lives around here somewhere. She doesn't know I'm around. The operator finds her, and connects me. As the phone rings, I am thinking about how long it has been since I last saw Jay, and I am just about to hang up as I realize it's been three years and she has probably forgotten me. But then she picks up the phone. She says she is on her way out, to a party. I am invited to the party, but it's upstate, about an hour. If I'm okay with that, she says, she can pick me up right now if I'm ready. Ready, I repeat. The word tastes sour on my tongue as it bounces around in some hole in my brain. I've got a tattered backpack full of the bare necessitiesócigarettes, underwear, t-shirts and a tooth brush. I'm far too ready while I'm far from ready. I only lose belongings and gain nothing except a longer beard. I can't differentiate. Where am I, she wants to know. And am I coming? I tell her that I'm not looking for any exciting New York night life, and I'd be glad to join her. I'm ready, I say. I tell her where I am. Driving to the party, we listen to music along the way, singing loudly with the windows down and pretending that our voices are beautiful. We listen to the music we listened to the summer we met. We met when I was living in Nantucket with my aunt and cousins, when my mother was sick. She's better now. But at sixteen, circumstances were unfortunate and I was left with no choice but to stay with extended family. They stayed out of my way, though. And I, in turn, stayed out of theirs. Anyway, I met Jay there. The sun is brighter here, out on the highway and away from the city. I don't feel suffocated by the gray of the tops of buildings, buildings that angrily cast the sunlight back into the clouds. I smile down the open road, sticking my hand out the window, letting it ride the wind like ocean waves. Pacific Ocean waves. A sudden disturbance to my peace, I feel a wrenching pain in my chest as I think back on the West Coast I left behind for this. I left too much there. And New York has only proven to be overrated thus far. But I don't want to think about that now. I am already here. And I must keep my eye on the prize. Click here to read the rest of this story (99 more lines)
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