Stories told in my head

New York in the Time of Corona


There’s still people out. More than she would’ve expected considering the city is on lockdown. Essential workers, the only ones allowed out for any length of time. Everyone else, supposedly only for grocery shopping or a quick walk around the block.


No loitering. No getting closer than 6 feet to another human. No exceptions. A near-impossible order in a city of millions. But after being trapped inside for weeks, it was becoming a question of what’s more important, sanity or sheltering in place? For now, a quick jaunt to her favorite park and back. She needs to soak in the city a bit to regain her strength.

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Goswell Road Coffee


It’s a Tuesday morning. And she finally gets to do this. Just sit in a café and write and sip a cappuccino with chocolate sprinkled on top. How many times she’s walked by her own favorite café on her way to work…longing for a time when she could be so carefree as to just stop, sit, sip, and write. Now here she is. Still a bit tired from the nights of work…a different kind of work…she takes it in. Trying to squeeze out as much joy as possible.


Part of her longs for the sleeping man back at the flat. But the nights are for him and his art. The mornings, maybe, can be for hers. She could get used to this. Bopping around from place to place, city to city. Soaking in the nightlife as he shares his talents and his voice with all those who will listen. Her, waking up early to make time to find her own voice. If you have a story inside, you must get it out. She read that recently; some famous dude said it. But it sounds right.

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The Fae


She opened her eyes after what felt like years of sleep. Frozen in place, she looked around, taking in…whatever or wherever this was. It must still be a dream. A light dew covered her skin. It was starting to get light. But she couldn’t tell from where. There was no sun here. Maybe it was the moonlight. Suddenly, fog was everywhere.


Numb. She couldn’t remember the last thing that happened. Tears. Yes. But they would no longer come. On to somewhere or someone else, she supposed. It’s almost as if she wanted them to stay. There is comfort in tears. And truth. What now?

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“I’m jaded, but I think I like it.”


She stood outside in the cold just to feel something. One hand holding a joint, the other shoved in her pocket flicking a penny back and forth. An owl hooted in the distance. Other than that, it was quiet save for the wind whistling in and around the buildings now and then. The tourists had already fled the city for the night.


Her breath swirled around in front of her face as she thought back on the day and the weeks since she’d been here. Numb now, the burn of the smoke in her lungs was the only thing still hot.

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Ghost Town, Part 2

Read Ghost Town, Part 1.

A shopkeeper opened his door with a loud screech and started sweeping away invisible debris.


Startled back to reality, her plans for retreat were momentarily interrupted. Feeling silly for being scared, she flashed the smile that never failed her and added a nod for good measure.


It’s just a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere. Used to the big city, it’s only natural her imagination would run a bit wild. All outsiders must be something of a novelty to the people here. Of course they would stop and stare.

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If I never left, I wouldn’t know how to miss her.


Instead, here I am…longing for a place as unforgiving as she is magnificent. A place who can’t be understood by those who don’t know her. By those who haven’t lived (and loved) her.


I drudge up memories of the exhaustion, the frustration and the expense — anything to remind myself why I’m here and not there.

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Four Seasons, Beverly Hills

It’s dark. The bright sunlight is sneaking in the windows behind the bar. It hits off the wine glasses parked in the window and sparkles. Glitter and glamour are in the DNA of this place.


It’s soft and tranquil. The couches are comfy. I feel glamourous just being here for a moment. Observing. Once again, I wonder who notices the girl in the corner — sitting quietly, drinking her bubbles. Feeling fabulous.


Sunflowers in red vases top the marble mantle. Fake. Which seems odd, but I guess fake is welcome here. The mantle itself adds a grandeur that can’t be fabricated.

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Ocean Beach

There’s something about the sound of the ocean; the smell of the salt water; the ebb and flow of the waves — it’s calming in a way that can’t be replicated. The air inevitably attaches itself to skin, hair and clothes, leaving beach-goers relaxed and salty.


Airplanes fly overhead, but they can’t be seen. Apparently June Gloom is in full swing, and the cloud cover refuses to relinquish its hold. Lifeguards quietly watch over the swimmers, occasionally offering words of caution.

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Up Is Down

She wondered if anyone else ever stopped for a second to say, “what the fuck?” As in, what the fuck is happening right now? Part of her mind was trying to pretend that everything was fine…fine and normal. But the other part, the one that was fighting to the surface, was screaming in pain — no, not pain — it was screaming because it’d been suffocating…for years. And now, because of what’s happened, it started to feel the air and it was gasping for breath…trying to break free at any weak moment. Her self-control, the power that kept it hidden for so long, was slipping.

She didn’t know how to respond. For the first time, she faced a situation she couldn’t talk, laugh, cry, reason or fuck her way out of. It was gut wrenching. It was so beyond any normal level of frustration it had to be some big dream. Or a joke. Inside she felt like a two-year-old having a temper tantrum. If it were even remotely socially acceptable, she would ball her fists up and stomp around until the feeling passed.

But, of course, that wasn’t acceptable behavior. And since life and success are all about perception, she tried to keep up the charade she’d been playing for some time. The big house. The dinners. The cheek kisses. The smiles. They’d served her well. But something was different now, suddenly.

Alone. That’s what it was. It’d been awhile since she thought about how much that feeling enveloped her. It was scary. She usually did whatever it took to avoid feeling that way, but not this time. It wasn’t about avoiding the uncomfortable; it was about trying to solve for it.

She thought how odd it felt to get to an age when she no longer wanted to keep going, just because. That inner monologue she’d been ignoring all these years? It was getting harder to ignore. Good enough was no longer good enough. At least, that’s what she felt at this instant. Who knew what was real and what wasn’t. Who knew what would pass and what wouldn’t.

She was at a fork in the road. Life and happily ever after were trying to part ways.

Nowhere to Hide

She’d always felt like she had something to prove…ever since she was little. Some people would kill for a face that made you look innocent. Not her. She spent years running from it, showing herself and anyone in her way that she could not be controlled. No way. No how.

At some point or another, she’d turned into a grown-up. No one ever tells you that grown-ups have no idea what they’re doing. But to be fair, other grown-ups might have their shit together. She was just trying to prove she wasn’t a total screw up. So far, so good…as far as she could tell anyway.

Every city was the same old thing — new faces to meet, new faces to prove something to.

Occasionally a face from her past, nearly forgotten, would show itself. Then she was back there, living her memories of the way it used to be. Sometimes she couldn’t tell if it was a good or bad thing. All she knew was that it was harder to hide here…nowhere to run. Nothing to do but face it.