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Author Topic: Tourists  (Read 557 times)

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Offline ChrysippusTopic starter

« on: June 14, 2013, 12:54:35 AM »
Just something I threw together to cut my teeth on Elliquiy, responding to Beguile's Mistress' first prompt. Hope you enjoy!

   I lied awake for awhile listening to the bells, wondering what machine they emanated from, remembering the sound of real bells. It made a good deal of sense for them to be artificial. Greenpoint seemed in a lot of ways, at least in that area controlled by young professionals, to be some odd approximation to the smaller, more intimate kind of town life I’m used to. But it’s always a little artificial.

   The room smelled a little musty. Our clothes were covering the floor and a big rusty bedframe loomed ominously up against the wall. I moved a little and the entire air mattress slid half a foot across the floor, sounding like running the tips of your fingers over a balloon. It was comfortable for an air mattress but, of course, a little artificial.

   Analeigh had left a note I guess on the pillow that just said “roof.” I felt my head and my hangover rush up to the top of my skull when I sat up, rubbing my temples with a stiff yawn. My lungs felt like a wildfire had swept through in the night. I climbed into my jeans and pulled on the second of my three graphic t-shirts and slid on my boots and grabbed my black jean jacket, completing what had become essentially my uniform. I made sure I had all my effects, checked my wallet to make sure I still had all the necessary plastic, and left the room.

   The view of the skyline from the room was amazing, stark and enormous against the finally clear-blue sky. Analeigh was leaning up against the rail, her skirt pulled up a little standing almost on the tips of her boots. Her shirt cut low on her back and her deep red hair hung against her skin, a little tanned now but she never really tans.

“Goddamn, what happened last night?”

“You got drunk.” I managed a little laugh as I leaned down on the rail next to her, clicking her heel with mine.

“Well I seem to remember somebody beating the record for most wardrobe malfunctions in a single night.”

“Shut up.” She pushed her shoulder against me and smiled.

“Well should we go get some coffee and head out?”


   We fell silent for a moment. I muttered another Goddamn and put my hand on her arm and we left.

“What train do we take?” We were walking down Manhattan Ave towards the station, newly equipped with two venti-sized iced coffees with whatever she told the barista to put in it.
She always likes to make my drinks for me because I’m boring with my coffee. As always it was a decent taste but too sweet.

“The F Train...”

“To Poundtown yeah you’ve made that joke like 25 times, dickhead.”

“Well we’re here aren’t we? The G to the E.”

“Oh I’ll take the G to the E anytime. Or the E to the G.”

“Well good, we’re going both ways.”

   We took the train all the way down the very large Freedom Tower only to discover that you need a reservation to see Ground Zero. We weren’t particularly fazed and we started our walk up towards Chinatown where Analeigh wanted to get some soup dumplings. It was a longer walk than we anticipated but we’re both used to long walks and it was good to see so much of the city. In Chinatown we found her soup dumplings, which were pretty good, and crossed the street to Little Italy. We felt pretty well like a couple of tourists but hell if that’s not what we were.

“Let’s stop somewhere for a drink.” She nodded but kept walking. There were a dozen places, all of them tourist traps I’m sure, but I just wanted to sit and get overpriced bourbon and watch for a while. She picked one that seemed at random on the corner of Mulberry and Grand. We got a couple of 12 dollar drinks and sat looking out on the street. “High rollers today,” I said.

Offline ChrysippusTopic starter

Re: Tourists
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 12:55:36 AM »
A lot of people passed by, mostly tourists. A Scandinavian couple came in and sat near us and the plainish blonde wife kept throwing us glances. The waiter asked us maybe a million times if we wanted anything else but we were drinking slow. I felt the alcohol cut into my hangover. Drinking in the middle of a hangover is always so peaceful, especially during the day. Between the walk and the bourbon my headache had subsided and I was just left with the shadow of a body hangover. I watched the tense kind of anxious fatigue slip away from Analeigh’s face and get replaced with a peaceful sleepy exhaustion. Her soft features were perfect in profile with the sunlit full bar behind her.

   I scanned the street back and forth, watching the fat tourist groups pass by, watching the restaurant hawkers try to con them into a slice of marguerite (always subtitled cheese) pizza. My eyes caught the gaze of a tall brunette standing in the street. She was in a sky blue camisole and a three quarters length white skirt with a floral print on one side and heels. I kept scanning, but I kept coming back to her and every time she looked directly at me. At first I felt awkward getting caught watching but then I saw her half smile and the subdued fire in her brown eyes. She walked in and passed a few inches from me and sat at the bar for a while, so I turned back to the street.

“What are you thinking about?” Analeigh asked abruptly.

“I don’t know. How’s your wine?”

“It’s okay.”

   I wanted a cigarette but I didn’t want to leave my drink, the waiter seemed pretty clueless. For maybe the twentieth time I felt a flash of anger about the law and thought there was no reason to leave my West Philly Irish bar. But it subsided and I slipped back into calm.

   The brunette walked back out of the bar and I felt the rush of air. She stood back in the same place in front of us and turned and looked at both of us, catching both of our eyes. Analeigh shifted her weight and took a sip of wine. The street seemed to quiet down and it was starting to feel like just the three of us. The brunette turned away and for a moment the light changed. Her lower body made a perfect silhouette behind her white skirt waving. The world shifted around me and my head stopped pounding completely. I followed her legs up to her chestnut hair blowing in the breeze. Then the light changed back and she walked away.

   We paid for our drink a few minutes later and walked out on the street.

“What are you thinking?” Analeigh asked, grinning now.

“What do you mean?”

“I think we both just saw the same thing.” I smiled and turned my cigarette over my knuckle.

“Yeah. That’s a pretty bold skirt to wear with nothing under.”

“She probably doesn’t know.” I clicked open my Zippo and light gleamed off the chrome, making a sunspot in my eye.

“Hell, she looked at both of us, we should have gotten her number.”

“Or I could have left you here and taken her home.” I laughed and took a drag.

“Don’t be cruel.” I held out my lighter for her.

“Mmm I’m not so sure about your heart there, boy.” She lit her cigarette and winked. Her eyes were bright with laughter and the same fire.

“True. Let’s go”

   I thought about the bells again. There were real bells at our wedding back south. But most things seem not much better than honest approximations nowadays. And when you’re just a couple of tourists with two paychecks and a little recklessness you’re always welcome but you never belong. But belonging isn’t everything. And with a cousin in Greenpoint why the hell not?

Analeigh stopped and adjusted her boot, holding out her smoking hand for balance. Her skirt rode up her thigh a little and her shirt hung off her chest and a passing suit almost ran into the business end of her cigarette for staring.

“Boots were a bad choice,” she said.

“Boots are never a bad choice.”