New York City – a city where dreams lie shattered and broken on the filthy sidewalk. As an abusive lover is to their downtrodden partner, New York demands everything from you, and the only thing you get in return is a broken heart and a damaged sense of self. But this damaged sense of self was walking right on down Houston street and wasn’t going anywhere.
She wiggled the key once, lifted the door up slightly, and finally felt the give as the key turned in the lock. The door stuck a little before she finally got it open. As it swung open, she reached for the light before stepping in. The apartment was disgusting: rotten walls, rotten windows and rotten stench. But for now, it was home. The brightness of the lone, hanging lightbulb made whatever was making those scratching noises disappear in the kitchen. She walked over to the fridge and pulled out last night’s dinner. As she sat down and ate the cold rice, not once did she think this was not what she wanted. It absolutely was not what she wanted. But she had sacrificed so much to get here, her family too, so that there was no way that she would let a small thing like utter misery and despair get in the way of her living the American Dream. So instead, she sat down and wrote a letter to her sister back home. She wrote about the subway, she wrote about the 24 hour neon lights of Time Square, she wrote about the endless choice of everything.
Their legs, entangled, being pulled slowly down,
Bodies spinning and turning.
Tossed up and down, and up.
The sound, the fear,
Then, the calm.
A green, calm light. Then up.
Above, wild, frantic movement.
Below, they dance on stage.
As they sink, they look at each other,
Looks like we’ve made it. Looks like we’ve made it.
Samir was tall for his age. His three brothers and two sisters were also tall, but he was especially so. It meant he was an excellent goalkeeper, and more importantly, it meant he was useful in his father’s shop. Samir’s father had a small convenience store, with many high shelves. With Samir’s kind face, and gangly appearance, grandmothers particularly enjoyed asking this tall, young boy to assist them with the far-reaching items.
A story always starts well when it involves a dog that thinks it can fly. And this story is no different, although it has to be said that the story does not end well for Timothy, the little daschund that jumped to his death.
It was the first warm day of spring and Timothy’s owner, feeling the warmth of the sun on her expensive and tasteless coat, made the unfortunate decision to take the roof down of her slightly sporty car. This was the first among several unfortunate events that ultimately led to Timothy’s untimely plight for freedom.
It was unfortunate that Timothy, feeling excited by the fast, blowing wind over the top of the car, would not settle and was far more alert than he ever usually was on car journeys. It was unfortunate that a bird, disturbed by the motorbike ahead of Timothy and his owner, flew past so low over the roofless car. And it was even more unfortunate that Timothy, feeling full of the joys of spring, thought the bird was, in fact, a ball thrown for him to fetch. And as his owner sped along, and Timothy, now airborne, mouth wide open, it was unfortunate that the only thing left behind to catch him was the hard, tarmac floor of the road.
He sat there, on a small stool, rubbing a stone between his fingers. He looked down and saw the dirt crumble off the rock, and was shocked by how old his hands looked. Shocked was maybe the wrong word, it happened every time he looked down. But even though this was a regular occurrence, it still shocked him. The lines, the colour, the veins; they all highlighted to him how old he was. And he was old – he turned 93 during the last rains. Robinson chuckled to himself at his age and his body; where he lived, old age was a privilege reserved for only a few. And at 93 he was the oldest man in the village by over 20 years. In fact, the second eldest person in the village was his daughter. A whole generation surrounding Robinson had been absorbed into the spirits around Lowani. But dwelling on the people lost, both young and old, never appealed to Robinson.