"Overhead the Albatross, hangs motionless upon the air,
And deep beneath the rolling waves, in labyrinths of coral caves,
The echoes of a distant land, comes willowing across the sand,
And everything is green and submarine..."
He dozed off. Dreaming of endless, beautiful forests and gorgeous seas, stretching so far into the horizon that nothing mattered anymore. Dreaming of the day it would all become clear, the day everything would be fine. Dreaming of that day...
He woke up.
Startled, he noticed a man who could only be described as a tramp, sitting right next to him.
"Got any spare change?" The tramp rasped, in a quick Brooklyn accent. Looking sad but desperate, holding out a grubby hand.
Chris backed off warily from where he was lying, pulled his headphones out and without a word of acknowledgement scrambled away with his bag. He didn't glance back, nor did he think twice as he hurriedly paced down the path along the edge of the water. He had heard that Central Park was lovely this time of year, as he eavesdropped a few hours back in a stereotypical, overpriced New York cafe.
Chris wasn't seeing it. The sun was out, there was a warm yet cool air surrounding him, birds were singing, the water was twinkling. Yet this picture of cliched beauty, that could raise the spirits of the coldest of people, just didn't sit right with him. Once again he felt the urge to pull out his diary, but, hand clenched as it hung on his jean pocket, he forced himself to push it out of his mind. This was why he was here.
"How can I be lost?
If I've got nowhere to go?"
For the second time that day, Chris ripped his earphones out, agitated. Music wasn't helping him today. Nothing was. Not even being HERE, of all places...
He longed to be back at home, curled up in bed, a recluse. Sleeping all day and staring straight through his television screen all night. At least there was no feeling. Being out and about was torture. People going about their lives all around him, talking, laughing...joking. How could they possibly find anything funny?
Times Square. One of the most iconic places in the World. Chris felt he was as good as Tom Cruise right now. He could run right down the street and there would be noone there. Noone he could relate to, noone he could talk to, noone he could see, hear or feel.
He couldn't stop thinking about them. So he decided to eat, anything to take his mind off...He felt angry at the ridiculous price of hit Hotdog, and vowed to himself that he would savour every bite.
It tasted like air. Had his tastebuds also died? It was becoming too much. He started to crave for the thing he was so devotedly addicted to. Sleep.
* * *
"You be sure to remember, ya'hear?"
"Sure thing, Mom!"
Summer strolled down the sidewalk, dreamily. A gunshot..or possibly a car backfiring, disrupted her daydream. She pulled her flimsy cardigan around her and walked a little faster.
She was daydreaming of things that seemed impossible. A common theme. Things that she only ever saw on TV, or in a movie. Safeness. Happiness. She knew that amidst her crazy, neurotic and...unique family, she was the odd one out. She had the one thing none of them could seemingly ever have. Optimism.
She had learnt the hard way that being down was something that worked for nobody. A fruitless waste of time and ultimately life. Summer was always upbeat, and she knew it, for she strived to be every moment she could.
Yet she still daydreamed of actually being happy. Content.