Here's what we're working with:
I've got to be honest... at first glance this looks like a complete trainwreck. Let's see where we get with this. ALSO I'm thinking of making this a video series where I give myself 5 minutes (3 minutes?) to plan a story and write it out here on the blog. Thoughts? Let's do it...
The car sputtered to a stop and Shawn banged on the steering wheel.
"You stupid piece of, crap!" He yelled as he creaked open the door.
He kicked the door shut and flailed his arms as he kicked aimlessly at the dirt. He stopped, looked around at the seemingly abandoned desert and finally threw his hands up in defeat. His hands patted along his pockets searching for his phone. He pulled it out and pressed the home button.
"Well isn't that just fantastic?" He stared down at the phone, gritting his teeth. "So glad you're useful," he huffed as he chucked the phone into the brush. "So glad you're useful!"
Just when he was ready to feed himself to the desert wildlife, he sees blue and red lights coming down the road. The car pulls alongside him.
"Need a ride?" The officer asks.
"You're not gonna kill me, right?"
"You never can tell." The officer smiled.
Shawn walked around the front of the car and hopped into the passenger seat.
"Where you headed?"
"Anywhere but here."
The radio cracked and a partially muffled voice came through the other end. "We've got a 211 at Charlie's. Who can respond?"
The officer looked toward Shawn who nodded. "Yankee 17 responding." He clicked the radio back into place and started driving faster down the road.
"What's a 211?" Shawn asked hoping for something dangerous.
"Someone called in a robbery at Charlie's, a convenience store in town."
* * *
Shawn stared out the window for what seemed like five minutes, but when they parked the car the clock on the dash said it'd been almost fifteen.
"You stay in the car. Got it?"
Shawn nodded and the officer left the car.
"Yeah right." He hopped out of the car and snuck across the street to get a better view. It didn't seem like a big deal. Just a few cops, the store owner, and some broken glass.
Shawn leaned against the building and heard a crash down the alley. He glanced over his shoulder into the darkness. His inner voice told him to stay put, but it didn't win. He followed the sound.
Inching farther and farther down the alley he thought about what could be waiting for him.
The robber with some stolen cash. Maybe he'd share.
The robber with a gun. Maybe he wouldn't shoot. But maybe he would.
The robber with some stolen cash and a gun. Maybe he'd still share or maybe he'd shoot. Either was okay with Shawn.
"Hello?" Shawn whispered as loud as he could.
"Hello." A young woman emerged from behind the dumpster.
"The robber?" She held up a pillow case. "Yeah. Yeah I am."
Shawn looked her up and down. She was thin, almost frail and her eyes said delicate flower not armed robber.
"Are you going to arrest me?"
"Me? Heck no, I'm not a cop. Are you gonna shoot me?"
She held up a gun. "I've never shot a gun."
"Why'd you do it, then?"
"My mom, she's really sick. I've been working two, three jobs, anything to help. It hasn't been enough. I thought... I don't know what I thought."
"Yeah, I get it. Life isn't fair."
"Can you help me? I don't know how I'm going to get out of this one."
He felt around in his pockets and pulled out a box of matches. "Let's distract them, just for a while, with a small fire."
"You really think that'll work?" She smiled.
"Only one way to find out." He lit the match and tossed it into the dumpster. "Run."
They ran down the alley, over a few streets, and he lit another match. They repeated the process three times until they were almost a mile away. They tucked themselves into a park and Shawn laughed, breathing heavy from the run.
"You did it. Thank you."
"That's the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me." He peeked around the hedge to make sure none of the cops had followed them to the park. The coast seemed to be clear except for a black car parked along the curb. He couldn't see anyone, but the windows were tinted pitch black. Seemed okay to him.
When he turned back to the girl, she was holding the gun between his eyes. He chuckled.
His eyes glazed over and he fell into the grass.
The girl stood from the ground and walked toward the street to the midnight car.
"You got lucky," the man said.
"You're the one that got lucky. You found him." She tossed the pillowcase and gun into the backseat and stepped in the car.
The couple drove away, leaving Shawn dead in the bushes and a police uniform burning in a dumpster a few blocks away.
Yesterday was the first Thanksgiving in 12 years I've spent with my entire family (literally... the entire thing). We gathered up our dishes and made the very short drive to my Aunt's house where we spent the next few hours eating, laughing, holding babies, and catching up on all of the things we've missed.
I was expecting to feel awkward or out of place. I was expecting to be asked uncomfortable questions I wouldn't have answers to. I was expecting to be ready to leave after thirty minutes.
I was wrong.
After twelve years it's hard to know how you'll feel when you're surrounded by family. Turns out, it feels pretty darn great. I'm ready for next year.
This post was short, but it's just an appreciation for the family I didn't know I missed this bad. You're all amazing and I'm super blessed to have you in my life.
If you didn't do this yesterday, reach out to your family. Tell them you love them. Tell them you appreciate them, you're thankful for them. In twelve years you'll realize those things if you don't realize them now.
It's been 12 years...
... and now I'm home.
Okay, okay, so I don't really hate New York City... back at it with the clickbait.
I came to the city yesterday with a lot of expectations. I was sure I'd be let down the minute I stepped foot on the crowded city streets. But I wasn't.
New York City is the most bustling and beautiful city. So much art and creativity around every corner. So many different kinds of people doing different things, all completely consumed in their lives and dreams.
On the first day I ate a burger at a New York diner where I listened to some locals talk about their online dating experience (yes I eavesdropped). I immediately fell in love with their accents and have been practicing mine ever since. After the burger we walked around and almost got hit by a speeding cab. Walking in NYC is kind of like a near death experience every time you cross the street. Will the cars stop? Who knows. Within a few minutes we were practically locals, crossing before the walk light illuminated. Quite the adrenaline rush for somebody who's idea of excitement is trying something new at Starbucks.
After almost dying in the middle of the street we checked into our hotel, walked around Central Park, and had delicious pizza (and cheesecake!). Then it was time for the main event of day one... the opera. We were in the fourth row at the Metropolitan Opera to see La Boheme and holy mackerel king fish was it amazing! Absolutely breathtaking. I've been thinking about it for a solid 24 hours and I can't wait to see it again. I won't spoil the magic of it but I will say I cried multiple times and, like Julia Robert's character in Pretty Woman, Vivian Ward, said, "it was so good I almost peed myself." Go see it. Please.
Needless to say, after two plane flights, a burger, a near death experience, walking, pizza, cheesecake, and a beautiful show, we were pretty exhausted. I slept for eleven hours in the comfortable bed of our hotel. Then I woke up and got ready to see my most anticipated NYC performance... CATS! If you didn't know, Cats is closing at the end of 2017. It's a musical I watched for the first time when I was about five years old. I watched and rewinded that VHS more times than I can count, so it was only fitting that I see it in person.
First impression: so weird. But also so wonderfully magical. The opening number is incredible and a lovely cat-man scared the living daylights out of me when he appeared, out of the dark, in front of us. Mind you, we were not in the Orchestra seats, so I wasn't exactly expecting cast interaction, but we got it! They did an incredible job of bringing us into the story and I loved it. Act II was my favorite and 'Memory' was beautifully haunting. On a different note, the audience was horrendous. People were getting up and leaving like we were in a movie theatre. Okay, I get it, you had to pee, but that's what intermission is for! And the crinkling. All through the first part of Act II there was an abominable crinkling coming from a few rows away. It was really distracting, but not quite as distracting as the teenage girl texting two seats over. Sorry if I sound like a diva, but BROADWAY is not Regal Cinemas. It is a live performance where you're actually supposed to pay attention. Besides, you're not even supposed to be on your phone at a movie theatre, why would you do it at a Broadway performance. End rant.
After Cats (and getting a signed Playbill!!) it was time for some food at a delicious restaurant called Pasta Lovers. The environment was, as Joanie B. put it, very Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. Very relaxing. And the food was delicious too. Then after a quick trip through Time Square (which I didn't like too much) we went to Junior's for cheesecake and were a little underwhelmed, but at least we can say we've been there. Oh! And how could I forget?! We both got pictures with some NYPD officers, which was on my NYC bucket list and I couldn't be happier. They were so nice and willing to take a photo with some tourists. Shoutout to the men and women in blue who make this city a safer place. I appreciate what you do and respect the hard decisions you have to make.
Back to the title... the reason I "hate" New York City is because, much like the Miley Cyrus song (7 Things) says, it makes me love it. I can't not love New York. The streets, the views, the vibe, it's everything I've dreamed it would be. So, mark my words, one day, a few years from now (maybe 2019), I will live in this fine city and I'll love every minute.
This blog is a glimpse into my crazy life as a twenty-something female entrepreneur navigating life as the co-owner of a mother-daughter business. Things get pretty insane, but we make it all work.