From personal experience and my love of movies, I’m quite familiar with directors of some of the best and worst flicks often trying their hardest to paint a place in a certain and many times inaccurate light. Then happening to visit that place and finding that it’s nothing at all like the movies depicted. Well, the same can’t be said about New York, New York, because it’s exactly like all the movies made it out to be.
The traffic, the noise, and the people, constantly rushing around to get from one place to another, were always a part of the image that came to mind when I thought about New York. And after having lived here for about three months, I still felt like a tourist, crushed up in the middle of all the hustle and bustle that was New York City. And at this point in time, I was fitting in quite well with my fellow New Yorkers in the rushing to and fro area.
I bounced restlessly in the back seat of the cab I’d hailed like a true New Yorker, with a piercing whistle and a “you better not ignore me” face. Nervous energy was running rampant through my bloodstream.
I was going to be late my first day on the job. How professional was that? I’d be lucky if I didn’t get fired because then where would I be? I stared down at my hands which were knotted together in my lap as I recalled the events of earlier this morning. Who could have guessed that my trusty alarm clock would go off a whole half hour late?
Vince, vigilant as ever and having already been awake, had nudged me awake this morning. This had incited a total feminine freak out, with me having been the embodiment of lazy bones last night and not preparing my outfit for the next day.
But yet again, Vince to the rescue, because after making quick work of a shower and sprinting into my room, I’d found a black pinstripe sheath dress, paired with Mary Jane pumps, laid out on the bed, next to a grinning Vince. The ensemble projected sophistication, professionalism and great taste, which he was known for.
“What would I do without you?” I’d gushed, hugging him quickly and then shooing him out of the room so I could dress.
“You’ll never have to find out, babe.” His muffled voice had called through the door.
When I’d emerged from my room and asked him if I looked alright he’d just smiled and handed me a thermos of coffee.
“Knock ‘em dead for me, alright?” We’d said our goodbyes and I’d hurried out the door.
Called back into the present, I cursed my circumstances inwardly. The traffic was horrendous. Literally, bumper to bumper and it dawned on me that I certainly wasn’t going to make it in time if I stayed in this cab.
Glancing around, I estimated that I was about five blocks from the Berkeley building. I could probably make it if I ran … I made a split second decision, tapping the driver on the shoulder, I waited impatiently for him to turn around.
“What is it?” He asked in heavily accented English. His eyes were hard and world weary, looking me over with a barely veiled contempt. I handed him twenty dollars, sliding across the hole-ridden seat toward the door and practically leaping out of the car, causing car horns to blare at me from all directions.
I teetered in my Mary Jane’s for a second, off balance from my sudden jump, and then made my way through the congested streets to the sidewalk.
While resting my hand on a parking meter for balance, I slipped my heels off and gripped them by the straps in my left hand. Amongst the many odd looks of the passersby and with my tights now touching the ground, I started off for my new workplace at a sprint, silently saying my thanks for all those begrudging nights at the gym.
My mad dash was a bit harried because of the many squashed together bodies milling about on the sidewalk. I slipped through the fray as gracefully as what was possible; excusing myself to those that paid me any mind, which were few in plenty. Everyone wrapped up in their own thoughts and mini crisises, like the one I was experiencing first hand. Five minutes later and two minutes before I would officially be late, I screeched to a halt outside of the Berkeley Publishing building.
Not stopping to admire the high rise, modern appeal of the place, which there had been plenty of time for the last few times I had been here and there was no time for now. I burst through the revolving door, startling the receptionist with my sudden and no doubt disheveled appearance.
“Hi,” I said waveringly and with a small smile. Flashing her my ID, I rushed across the elegantly laid out interior and over to the elevator, elated to find that the car was here. In my haste I didn’t connect the reason behind the car having already been on this floor. When the doors opened to my rushing forward at them and an impeccably dressed male figure surrounded by several other well dressed people stepped forward at the same time as me, we slammed into each other. Hard.
My coffee, which I had completely forgotten about, spewed all over the place, staining the front of my blouse … and the jacket of the man’s gorgeous suit. My vision blurred, the faces of the people around me blanking out, I couldn’t believe this was happening.
Startled gasps rang out from the people surrounding the man and looks of pity were sent my way. But I had no time to worry about that because the force of his hard body crashing against mine sent me backwards, slipping on my stockinged feet …