What have I to hope for, a young idealist who wants to be a writer? Trapped here and tormented by Bensonhurst’s bluecollar bullies. Not one bookstore. Not one reading. If I am seen outside with my typewriter, I get laughed at. Dreamer they call me, useless, gudf’nut’n. Yeah, you’re right.
Then, a month ago, I heard of this city across the East River. Manhattan. A distant relative of an acquaintance left Brooklyn to try her luck there and now she is the talk of the town. Everyone in Manhattan is rich, there are bookstores on every corner, and they practically beg you to read your stuff to them. The poorer you are, the more interesting they find you. Oh, could that be where I was meant to go?
Now, there is even a boat bringing travellers from the west coast of Brooklyn to south Manhattan. As soon as I heard that, I resolved to leave godforsaken Bensonhurst and all those who belittle me. I borrowed money from my mother, packed my typewriter, and set off to the coastto Pier 4 at 58th Street. The way was arduous but I was in good spirits. I made sure to walk fast because the boat can only be taken until 10 am.
I had never been to sea, so I was a little afraid. I found a group of four fairly friendly looking people waiting just at the beginning of the pier on the left side. As I inquired, it turned out that they were waiting for the boat to Manhattan. Fellow venturers. I stood with them.
After a short wait of about 15 minutes, I saw a little dot come up at the horizon. Could it be? Would it be?the boat that would carry me into a better life? It was!
Its name was Seastreak! The beginning of my lucky streak? I paid the $2 for the fare and got on. There were already people on the boat. Most of them were tourists. One person was wearing a suit and looked like he was travelling to Manhattan for business. All in all maybe seventy people. I wanted a good view, so I climbed onto the top deck. The vessel departed.
I’m outta here, Brooklyn! No longer will you bring me down and make my life a hardship. I am off to make something out of myselfin Manhattan!
After a fifteen minute ride my eyes finally caught a glimpse of the awesome city that is Manhattan.
The boat reduced speed and landed on Pier 11 at the southeastern tip of the city. As the landing bridge was lowered and I stepped off I could not take my eyes off the monumental skyscrapers. This truly is the city of opportunities! I stood there at the pier in awe, gazing at the giants I was about to walk in between.
I can feel it. I’ve finally shed my past life of despair, contempt, and ridicule. I’m sure I will be able to find a place to live here. These tall buildings must have thousands of apartments. Surely, there will be one for me. After finding an apartment, probably tomorrow, I will hand samples of my writing to magazine editors or sit on a bench with my typewriter waiting to be discovered. I might even go by a bookstore and ask when they will let me read. I love Manhattan and writing is my life. I will never be unhappy again!
This was a guest post from Enzo Scavone. Look for a new Subway Story post from Enzo each Monday here on The Wall Breakers and see the complete archive list on his blog.