Forty-Second Street

We parked at the corner of forty-first. I had asked him to move closer as I hated slipping through the slush that has covered the city the night before. He lowered his aviator glasses to peek at me with his half-auburn, half-chestnut eyes. The point-blank obvious stare made my requests futile, as, if I were to know one thing from two years of dating him, I knew he was stubborn as pitch.

He stepped down from the car and ran towards my side. Graciously, he opened the door, offering his hand to assist me. My right eyebrow goes up as I extend a gloved hand back. I alight the vehicle, channeling all the finesse I have been taught. It is that unfortunate scenario of a right heel suddenly deciding to give way, that made me plop, first into his hands, second into the very mud I’ve been trying to avoid.

I gave him credit for trying not to laugh. I clenched my eyes, wishing time would forward by just ten minutes when we’d be inside the club, but time was too much of a bitch to help. I hopped to my feet and we trudged all the way down the cobblestones forty-first.

What shadey shabby tenements line forty-first. I grasped at my brooch, tightening the cloak around me. My heels were in staccato with his boots, echoing down the grim path. He must’ve noticed my discomfort — he awkwardly patted the green feathers perched on my head.

“A few more steps,” he whispered.

The corner at the end to forty-second was rounded. As we neared, the thuds of music blaring underground were becoming more and more distinct. I looked at him; he was flashing that broken-toothed smile of his that reminded me of a young boy not so long ago who fell down from a tree.

As we were about to walk down the corner, a young miss came walking towards us. Coming from the forty-second, she was cradled in a heavy brown cloth, that could only be a make-shift protection against the snow. Her eyes were fixated on the pebbles in front of her, while her lips danced to the wind. Underneath her cloth, I could see the purple collar and the flash of a red nametag, indicative of the waiting staff of the club we were about to go to.

He was four steps ahead of me when she passed us. She had served us countless times before, but it was impossible to recognize her without her smile or when she’s hunched back against the wind. She was headed towards one of the bleak tenaments.

I glanced back at him, he was now a short distance away from me. The sky has slowly shifted its colors, beautiful snowflakes started falling, yet neither he nor she recognized them — he, for the lack of artistry, she, for the lack of pragmatics. I leaned against the signpost of forty-first and forty-second, clutching my handbag, watching the broken pavements get covered by the mockingly lovely white of snow.

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This is the 100 Songs Project, a 100-day writing challenge based on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs. Every day, I write a short poem, prose piece, or play based on, reacting to, rejecting, accepting, or doing something related to one of the songs in the top 100 list.

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