Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chapter 1 of a longtime work in progress

There was an electricity in the air that even a jaded New Yorker like myself could feel as I stood there on the corner of 36th Street & 7th Avenue. The passing crowd almost crackled with anticipation. I was just about jumping out of my skin myself. I looked down at my watch for the thousandth time since I had arrived on the corner and the hands were moving both as slowly as a DMV employee on a Friday afternoon and as fast as a sprinter hopped up on steroids. I mean come on, this was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals we were about to go see and Amy was late. Again.

Amy is my fiancĂ© and is going to be late for her own funeral. It doesn’t matter what time you tell her, she will always be 5 minutes late. Normally I found it to be one of those endearing traits in your soul mate that you overlook but this was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals for God’s sake. Can’t she be on time just this once ???

As I fidgeted on the corner like I had five too many triple espressos, I finally caught a glimpse of Amy coming down the sidewalk on the other side of 7th Ave. She hadn’t seen me yet and I could tell that she was happy in her own world. She had a bounce in her step and her honey brown hair shimmered in the early evening lights. As I watched her walk, my heart skipped the extra beat that it did every time I saw her and I forgot about the game for a moment. She finally seemed to sense my presence as she looked over to the corner where we first met and her eyes locked with mine. The smile on her face lit up her eyes like two twinkling stars and she waved to me as she stepped off the corner where she was about to die.

What ? Wait a minute ? Die ? Where did that thought come from ?

And just then I saw the cab shoot out from behind the truck that had stopped for the yellow light rather than gunning through it. The driver was looking into the back seat as the cab lurched forward right at Amy as she stepped out from in front of the truck. I tried to scream but nothing came out. I tried to run but my legs were both stuck and moving at the same time. I began to sink into the pavement as the scene in front of me slowed to a crawl. My hands hit the pavement as I sunk deeper into the street. Amy didn’t seem to notice. She kept waving as she stepped out into the street. I looked down to see why I couldn’t move my legs & arms and found that I now couldn’t lift my head. It was like someone was holding it down. Not letting me lift it to witness the scene I knew was playing out just feet from my helplessness. I heard the engine gun. I heard the crowd scream. I heard the thud. I fell face first to the ground unable to move. A red high heel came to a stop on it’s side just inches from my face. I could hear sirens in the background approaching fast. They sounded like a mockingbird.

A mockingbird ? Since when do ambulances sound like mockingbirds ? Why am I now on my back ? Why can’t I hear the sounds of the city ? Where was Amy ? The mockingbird was getting louder ?

I opened my eyes and saw the bird outside my window. I was drenched in sweat. My legs were hopelessly tangled in my sheets. My throat was dry. My frenzied heart felt like it was about to explode out of my chest. I couldn’t move but I knew it would pass.

Finally, after a minute, I was able to turn my head to the side and see that it was just a little past 5am. I had had the dream again.


Kathleen Nolan said...

I really like this. More please!

swampy said...

Thanks. There is more. It just seems that the direction changes every time I really start to think about it.

Anonymous said...

whoa. dude, that is awesome. you really have me hooked! that was so creepy and awesome at the same time! Also, i like the hockey part. dude,you gotta write more!!!

swampy said...

Thanks - that's what I am trying to do but the direction keeps changing