This is an entry for Write on Edge week 3, 2014.
This image had to inspire me and I chose to write this.
The sky in New York City was a dark murky blue that seemed to overcome the horizon and flood the earth below.
Carla Finch moped along, the scratchy sidewalk pummeling into her feet. She could have worn her shoes, but Carla liked the feeling of the rain pouring onto her feet, like the sadness invading her body.
It was 1981, Carla was sixteen years old, and she had just been thrown out of the house by her mother for being a lesbian.
Her mother. Was she really right about how being gay was bad? Is it a bad thing to be gay? Carla wondered. And wondered.
New York always used to seem so exciting. It was always awake, never in slumber, the flickering lights were its eyes, always watching everything, as if it were God. Now it just seemed dull and depressing, the rain ominously trickling down the sides of the buildings Carla once had called home. It seemed as if she were inside a gigantic whale, but the whole city was Jonah. She had a bottomless pit in her stomach that earlier had been dormant, but now a full-fledged, deadly volcano, spewing tears of ash and contempt formed by seething magma.
The first days were the worst, no food, clothes covered by sweat and grime. The most terrible part was the waiting. Waiting for what would never come. A phone call, a message, a miracle, SOMETHING as a sign of acceptance from her mother.
But Carla knew it would never come. Her mother was a junkie and a severe alcoholic. She could care less. Carla had wondered why the fairy tales her father had read to her always ended happily ever after.
But Carla eventually learned how to survive and unleash the power of confidence as the key to her cage. Carla had learned how to steal the occasional meal, how to find scraps of blankets, and how to earn the occasional dollar in her pocket. Most importantly, Carla had learned how to live.
Then came the day that changed her life forever. The day that she learned that she couldn’t care less about what people thought about her.
That day she had found her saviors, her Christopher Columbus.
“You look lonely…” he had said. He was obviously the leader of the motley group. They had partially clean clothes, food, and water. Yet she knew that they were not like the others. They were like her.
Carla found out that his name was Jack and they too were outcasts.
“Welcome to our domain, the vast New York City, we are what people never want to be, we are the rebellion, and we will fight back.”
From that day forward Carla welcomed New York City yet again as her home.