free write 12.5.09

“Fuck you Julia Stiles.” (15 minute freewrite)

It was 4:30 in the morning.  There was a yellow checkered cab driving aroung the streets of New York.  Sarah was smoking a cigarette looking for fares, yawning to herself, thinking about how nervous she was.

She had had this nagging nightmare for the last three weeks, which wasn’t so much a nightmare as a sensation of dread.  “What if this is as good as it gets for me,” she would worry, after waking up in a sweat.  This was her tenth job in the last three months.

Nothing seemed to fit, and nothing seemed to make her less restless.  She had gotten used to living in New York, even though she couldn’t really sleep at night, it was comforting being in a sea of people.

When she left her boyfriend in Chicago, she worried that maybe, there was no way she’d be able to make it alone.  But it was surprising simple to figure out the basics: where the supermarket was, how to put money on her laundry card, and at first it was a sort of fun game.  Being without Brian allowed her to make up a reality that no one could contridict.  She was never worried that when she bought kale, a familiar face would pop out and say that she probably wouldn’t like it, or worse: “Why are YOU getting THAT? Gross!”

When Sarah was in grade school she met Julia Stiles on a school trip, and at the time Julia was a little well known in their town for being in a small film.  And the day of the school trip they were buddied up together and Sarah, as she was want to do when she was nervous just started talking and talking, with no regard for the babel coming out of her mouth.  She had made something of an ass of herself, mainly by worrying that she wouldn’t make a good impression on Julia.  But what was worse was that everytime she ran into Julia Stiles afterwards, Julia, who remembered her, would exclaim, “What are YOU doing HERE?” as if she wasn’t worthy of occupying the same space.

It was that distinct feeling that Sarah got when she was in Chicago after the breakup, that Chicago, for all of it’s splendor wasn’t ready to share itself with her.

So she left.

And now at 4:37 in the morning, driving a cab over the bridge for the second time that night, she had the distinct feeling that maybe she had been wrong to leave, wrong to try to accomodate a whole city, that maybe, Brian should have left, or that she should have gone to grad school, because atleast there she could be lost and seem like she had a purpose, instead of having to make embarrasing calls to her mother explaining that “Yes mom, I know it’s not normal to drive a- I know I can do bett- No, but, its-”

But at that exact moment where all of her worries were coming to a head, she happened to see Julia Stiles trying to hail a cab in the middle of a cold, wet street.  And as if by providence showing her how far she had come, and how things can line up perfectly, she sped passed Ms. Stiles covering her in a huge muddy puddle, for once feeling like this new city was telling Sarah, yes, she belonged.  She finally truly had a home.