New York, New York

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Etta James, you make me think of New York in the night time; the speeding cars and flashing lights. The sound of Duke Ellington on the radio and the kind of feeling when you give, “I’m living in a kind of daydream…”

A touch of Miss James never hurt anyone, especially not when the street you’re living on came from the same prints of Brooklyn or the lower East side. I’ve never been of course, but books and movies helps you live in the imagination. I echo Truman Capote when he said, ‘New York is the only real city-city.”

A typical day for me involves wrestling with the blinds in the morning, because even with constant tugs of the string, they refuse to stay. Some days I wake up and think of the 50s, or the 60s, and what it would be like living through the makings of history-The Civil Rights Movement, the rise of the Feminist movement, then I think, we often think our bygone years were exciting, but just a look in our papers tells us that the world is very much alive today than it was in the pages before. Then I’m glad I live in the present.

I creak my way to the bathroom, and wonder just how much of our lives are heard by our neighbors. With the way we thump to bad pop songs, and when we shriek in laughter or anger, perhaps our electric guitar-playing musician neighbors hates us as much as we do him. Speaking of hate, I hate jumping around on the cold bathroom tiles. I shudder.

The front doors never abate to my keys and I curse at it every time. We live in a hundred and fifty year old building that still holds much its original structure, so  I am as amazed as I am compliant to our hurdles of getting in and out of the house.

Outside of our quarters life (and death) goes on. Just yesterday a woman was killed in a tragic accident just two blocks down from my place. She was riding her bike where she rammed into an open car door, which flung her to the other side of the street and under a car. She got run over by said car and died upon reaching the hospital, and here I write about it like yesterday’s news, because it very well was.

It is as grim as it is true. I spend time with the news because its my job, nay our jobs, to keep on top of things.

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The next day, my eyes open to a little sleepy town in France, in Lyon or St. Etienne. The rise of the morning glow streams through the cracks and I stand on my toes with mustard skirt in hand.  There’s a loose scarf wrapped in my hair today and heel-toe, heel-toe, so sounds the creaks in those same floorboards. I’d love to ‘tra-la-la’ down the winding cobblestone streets if I were still five, but galloping would have to do.

I pick up baguettes and pomegranates from my friendly farmer’s market, the one by the corner of the street. They know me by name in those places, and ‘Bonjour’ says their well-worn faces. You know I only bought the pomegranates because I like Matin, that and they remind me of red rubies. To avoid the puddles that morning, I skip over it causing my basket to swing and the dust to rise.

The cafes have started serving pumpkin spice lattes, heralding the most perfect time of year. Autumn greets us well with red and oranges everywhere. The gust of winds, and billowy rustles, and the days with rain that brings out galoshes. Then the perfection that is the invention of coffee. The perfect cup of coffee is the kind that goes down smooth, with just the right warmth in it adjusted to the temperature of the day. The perfect cup is one whose froth clings to the side of the cup after its drink had long gone.

And that is the day in the life of yours truly, one part truth, the other part imagination.


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