Friday, 9 July 2010

Friday Flash 4

New York, New York

The whole city really did look like a film set. That classical skyscraper, that’s where King Kong met his end. You could picture four women lunching and bitching in that window there. Audrey Hepburn returning at dawn, ‘fifty dollars for the powder room’ in her bag, gazing into a dazzling display of diamonds. Spider Man and Batman saving the world from evil just opposite Bloomingdale’s.

And as for this crumbling old shell of a woman? I couldn’t die without seeing New York, could I? A lifetime with a pleasant but tight-fisted man and not a single adventure other than through the silver screen. Now he was gone I wanted to be a part of it, New York, New York.

The taxi stopped just near where the horse-drawn carriages waited for tourists by Central Park. I paid him, tipped well, and stood with my back to the park, admiring the solid, gothic-tinged apartment blocks, each with their inscrutable doorman. Wasn’t that one where the Ghostbusters had their final showdown?

I shuffled around to face that wonderful park. My shoes were already giving me trouble but that wasn’t going to stop me. I had gone for an appointment, set up the day after Bernie’s funeral, with the personal shopper of Bloomingdale’s. I had explained my situation.

“My husband has left me three million,” I said. “Dress me as if I lived on Park Avenue.” And, eyebrows hardly raising – she must have seen some customers in her time! – she dressed me like a Lady.

I wrapped my stole tighter around me to protect me from the sharp wind and made my way towards the lower East corner. I had been told there was a little zoo near here.
“Can I interest you in a ride, ma’am?”
I shook my head at the tall, smiling black man who sat at the reins of the first carriage.
“You sure, ma’am? It’s an awful big park?”
All of a sudden I felt the chill of the March wind and the pinch of the elegant shoes on my tired old feet. I looked up at him.
“Do you know, I think that I might enjoy a ride?”
The driver helped me into the carriage. He did indeed cut a dash with his white teeth and smart black suit. I felt every inch the real Lady.
“I’m going to take you on the greatest ride of your life, if you’ll permit me, ma’am. I’m going to show you everything you never saw. I want you to be a part of it, New York.”
“Well thank you, my weary old bones are about ready to be shown the city in style.”
The graceful black man, his midnight eyes shining with the wisdom of centuries, flicked his reins and his beloved horse pulled away from the curb. The ebony carriage, shimmering darkly, gathered speed, taking me to see all the sights that I had never seen.

9 comments:

Valerie said...

Aw, I'm tearing up. At least she got to be a part of it for a little while.

Marisa Birns said...

Oh, yes, absolutely yes! Was born and raised in New York City and miss it so much.

Wonderful descriptions!

Jenzarina said...

Thanks Marisa and Valerie, glad you liked it :)

Nishi said...

Beautiful story! loved it. I hope I get to see New York some day too!

Jen Bee, a writer said...

Well that doesn't seem so bad [the place, not the writing, though that's nice too ;) ]. I always thought my reaction to somewhere like New York would be something along the lines of "AAH!". I get lost in Swansea. Never heard of it? Exactly.

She's an intriguing lady. I'm left wondering what happens next, and what happened before.

Sulci Collective said...

Like the way her view of the City is filtered through Hollywood's framing of it. It takes a tour on an old fashioned horse-drawn to show it to her in reality, nicely done.

marc nash

melissalwebb said...

Aww, I'm glad she got to make her dreams real. Great story. I feel as if I was on the journey with her.

Jenzarina said...

Thanks for your kind comments xx

Mike Robertson said...

Lovely evocation of the romantic soul of New York. I could see everything. Touching ending and subtle, not obviously tipping the game. Nice work.