Sometimes I like to do writing exercises when I'm in between writing projects. It keeps the writing juices flowing and can sometimes lead into an actual short story or novel. This writing exercise comes from a series of City Life vignettes that I've been writing. I hope to share more with you in the future. "Come on, we have to get outta here!" my husband yelled at me as we rushed out of our old apartment building and down the concrete steps to the sidewalk.
"Yeah, yeah. I'm coming!" I whined as I struggled with the heavy suitcase I had over-packed.
We were going to say with my sister Teena for the weekend. She had recently moved to the country and restored an old Victorian home. The last time I spoke to her, she said that city life was too busy, too crowded and definitely too noisy for her. And she couldn't wait to show us her new home.
"Why did you pack all of that junk anyway?!" Matthew called back at me. He stood at the curb of the sidewalk, his overnight bag slung over the shoulder of his polo shirt, his arm outstretched with two extended fingers as he coolly waved down a taxicab. He looked like a professional doorman without the uniform when he did that.
I wished we had a doorman as I dragged the suitcase with its stiff wheels across the sidewalk. It started and stopped, causing me to pull it with force every few seconds. Matthew was of no help to me. He was either oblivious or angry with me for forcing him to go out to the country. Matthew didn't always get along with Teena.
"Come on, Marcia!," Matthew yelled, "We gotta cab here!"
Matthew jumped out into the street just as a yellow taxi slowed down to a stop. He opened the door for us and stepped aside so I could climb in. I jerked my bag behind me as I stepped off the curb. It took just a moment to wiggle myself and the bag in the narrow space between the taxi door and my neighbor's parked car, a bulky SUV that always seemed to be parked in front of our building.
I moved just a moment too slow and a young woman, one of those too-busy-for-the-world types who walked too fast and seemed to have a cell phone glued to her ear at all times, came from behind and jumped into the taxi before I could get anywhere near the backseat.
"Thank you for the taxi," she smirked at us as she slammed the car door shut. "45th and Madison, and quickly," she snapped to the driver.
The rubber tires of the taxi squealed as they pulled off and merged into Broadway's afternoon traffic, leaving us speechless.
"Damnnit! What time does the train leave from Penn Station?!" Matthew had found his voice finally. He pressed his hair back from his forehead in frustration.
I shrugged. "We'll make the next train, I guess," I said and stuck my thumb out for another taxi.