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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jon Doe: Scenario 2 -- Driving in the City

“Now that I’m here in this grand city in the early morning, what am I going to do?” Jon rambled off to himself after his car peeked out of the Holland tunnel into New York. He quickly sorted through a list of attractions in his head.
“Comedy club,” he said to himself. “I could go to the Broadway Comedy Club in the middle of the city and see most of the sights on the way there, like the New York Library, or even better... The Empire State Building.”
Jon maneuvered his white and blue Shelby GT350 through a few crowded city turns and finally made it onto 6th Avenue. He stuck to it for a few blocks; he noticed that 5th Avenue came onto his GPS screen.
“The building is on 5th Avenue, isn’t it?” He reasoned. “I have to get over a block.” He turned right onto 23rd Street and eased down a block.
“Wait,” he thought. “Isn’t 5th a one-way southbound?” He cruised up to the stop light and examined. “Damn, it is.” He looked down to his GPS for an alternative. “Alright, I guess I’ll take Madison Avenue north and miss the Empire by about a block. It’s a huge building, so I still will be able to see the magnificence.” After the light went green, he cruised on up to the next light and turned left onto Madison Avenue.
After he passed the intersection of 32nd and Madison, Jon began to get distracted by the once-tallest building in America.
“Woah,” he gasped at the sight and kept his eyes locked on it for a while. The next thing he knew, he heard a loud thud. Jon turned back to see a man falling off of his hood. He threw his door up and slung the car into Park. He ran over to see a young man with long hair lying on the ground in front of his car, feeling his left leg to make sure it wasn’t too injured.
“Holy shit, are you alright?” Jon shouted, frantic.
“What the hell happened?!?” yelled the man.
“I was just looking at everything, soaking it in,” replied Jon. “I’m not from around here, and I know sorry isn’t enough.”
“I’m sorry too, man” said the man. “I didn’t mean to yell. I was just confused. It was just as much my fault as it was yours. Too busy gawking at this damn city.”
“I blame the city, too,” Jon said with a smirk. “Can I do anything to make up for it?”
“Don’t worry about it, man,” reasoned the man. “You didn’t mean to.”
“Are you sure you don’t want anything? A ride, anything?” Jon offered.
“Well... Now that you mention it... A ride wouldn’t be too bad. My leg is killing me right now,” said the man.
“Alright, where to, bro?” Jon replied. Jon was slightly relieved that his victim didn’t want to pursue anything legally. He would not be able to deal with anything like that this far away from home, especially since his parents knew nothing about his travel.
“I was on my way to the World Trade Center Memorial,” said the man.
“Hey, get off the road!!” some angry cab driver said from behind Jon’s car.
“Alright, we gotta get going, man,” Jon said, pointing to the car. “Hop in.”
“Sounds good,” agreed Kurt. He walked to the side of the car and opened the door. “Oh wow. Butterfly doors. Nice, man!” exclaimed the man.

“Thanks,” Jon said. “Parents’ money.” He chuckled to himself quietly.
The two hopped into the car, fastened their seat belts, and continued on down the road.
“In all the confusion, I never caught your name,” said the man.
“Jon,” Jon said. “Jon Doe.”
The man laughed out loud. “No really, man. I’m not gonna sue you or anything. What’s your name?” he asked again.
“Seriously,” Jon answered with a deadpan expression. “That’s my name. Jon Samuel Doe.”
“Oh. Sorry,” the man apologized. “I just didn’t think anyone actually had that name.”
“It’s fine,” Jon replied. “I get that a lot. It’s like my parents wanted me to live a life blended into the society, but that didn’t work out as planned.” Jon resented his parents for their ignorance. The least they could have done was name him Jonathan, but instead, all they did was drop an “H.”
“I see,” murmured the man.
Silence filled the interior of the car, cast away from the busy city, separated by a single pane of glass. Jon dug out his pack of cigarettes and gestured an offering.
“You smoke?” Jon asked.
“Yeah,” replied the man as he pulled out his pack of Camels. “Got mine right here.”
“Oh, nice,” Jon admired. “Got a Zippo, too?” He pulled his lighter out.
“Yes!” exclaimed the man. “I’ve used it ever since I was eighteen years old. Haven’t met too many other people with one either.”
“Oh yeah? Where ya from, stranger?” Jon asked.
“A tiny town called Carlock, Illinois,” he answered. “The name is Kurtis May, by the way. But call me Kurt.”
“Oh, things are different in cities, Kurt,” Jon explained. “Every body has a high demand for the ‘cool’ items, hence the car.” His arms moved around the interior with a lit cigarette in hand.
“It sure is a nice one,” complimented Kurt. “So, are you from around here?”
“Actually, no,” Jon told Kurt. “I came up here to start anew. I’m tired of living the life that my parents have made me live for years. I hate that shit.”
“That’s awesome. I’m trying to start something new, too. But seriously, love ‘em while you can, man. They won’t be around forever,” said Kurt. He grew quiet for a moment.
“Why do you say that?” Jon asked as he took a drag.
“Actually... My parents died in a house fire a couple weeks ago,” answered Kurt. Kurt tucked his Zippo back into his pocket and kept the pack of cigarettes in hand.
“Oh...” Jon responded. “That sucks, bro. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay. I’m not here for sympathy. You just gotta move on,” said Kurt.
“Very true,” Jon said. “You sound like a pretty wise guy.”
Kurt laughed. “I don’t know about all that. I just do a lot of thinking.”
“Yeah, I gotcha,” Jon acknowledged. “Well, looks like we’re here, bro.” They both looked through the windshield and their mouth dropped. “Woah, what a sight.” Jon’s eyes looked over the barrier ahead, down to the 9/11 Memorial waterfalls, and back up to the twin buildings that stand tall, cast shadows down several city blocks as the World Trade Center was rebuilt.
Kurt broke his stare and turned to Jon. “Thanks for the ride, man. You’re a pretty cool guy. Good luck with the whole ‘starting over’ thing.”
“You, too,” Jon replied as Kurt opened his door, got out of the car, and closed the door behind him.
Hmm, Jon thought to himself. You don’t meet guys like that on a regular basis. He put his car back in gear after dropping off his new-found acquaintance and drove away. He turned his radio up and rolled his windows down, soaking in everything that New York had to offer; the beauty of architecture, the sounds of a bustling city, the smell of famous New York pizza places. I’ll have to get lunch after getting to Broadway.
Jon made his way back onto 6th Avenue, but stayed on it this time. He kept his speed, just cruising, stopping, cruising, stopping, just like the rest of those who drive in New York. From stop light to stop light, Jon stayed patient, not by choice, but simply by emotion. He was happy to be from his cut-out of a life and enjoyed the freedom of being alone.
He kept on his pace of driving until he came up to the Mid-Manhattan Library, where he slowed slightly and peeked through a corridor of trees into Bryant Park, which laid behind the Public Library.
“It looks so relaxing...” Jon said to himself as he glanced up to his rear view mirror to see an ambulance approaching. “... Until this happens.” He made his way over to the right side of the road and out of the way of the emergency vehicle while other people, the “locals” didn’t care for it at all, like their life was more important than the one that was in that rescue vehicle.
The ambulance sped by with lights and sirens blaring. After it passed, Jon noticed that it was from Bluehill, New Jersey. What is an ambulance from New Jersey doing here in New York? Jon asked himself as he turned his left blinker on in order to join back into the ever-congested traffic.
“In one-half mile, turn left,” Jon GPS navigation system stated over the music after he made it through the intersection.
He manipulated the traffic to his liking, sliding in and out of the cars for the next half mile until he came up to his intersection of the Avenue of the Americas and 53rd Street.
“Turn left now,” the GPS said. Jon slowly rolled through the green light and left onto the  next road. “In point two-BEEP,” the car’s speakers let out as Jon turned off his navigation system. I’ll know when I’m there, he thought to himself.
After a couple of blocks, he noticed a small marquee standing out over the sidewalk. In big, blue, cursive letters spelled out the word, “Broadway,” and smaller underneath was “Comedy Club.” It was the little artistic touches that Jon always noticed, so he admired this layout for the sign.
I’ll have to come back tonight and catch a show, I guess, Jon planned as he continued on down the road. Time to find a hotel and get some sleep. Jon glided his car back toward Grand Central station, where he figured there would be a lot of hotels available. Jon gracefully weaved through traffic, and before he knew it, Grand Central was in view.
“Let’s make this simple,” Jon told himself, looking around. “Simple enough. The only one I see is Grand Hyatt.”
Jon parallel-parked his car on the right side of the road and walked across the street to get a room the Grand Hyatt hotel. He was so tired after driving through the night from Durham to New York City that he could no longer appreciate everything that the Big Apple had to offer. He made his way to the receptionist's desk.
“Hi, can I help you?” the lady at the desk asked in an inviting manner.
“Yeah, do you have any vacancies?” Jon inquired.
“Yes, we do,” she answered back. “Do you have any ideas of price?”
“I’m just looking for a place to stay and sleep while I’m here,” Jon replied.
“Oh, how many days do you plan on staying?” she asked.
“I’m not sure yet,” Jon shrugged. “Can I pay day by day until I leave?”
“Sure, but...” she continued. “... If you don’t plan on staying more than a week, I think I can save you some money. You seem like a pretty straightforward guy and don’t look like the average tourist. Maybe you could stay in my employee room here for a few days free of charge until you can get some things figure out? And maybe we could hang out sometime and get to know each other. By the way, if you haven’t already seen my name-tag, my name is Rachel.”
“As long as I can get some sleep first, Rachel, why not?” Jon said back. “The name is Jon.”
“Great!” Rachel said excitedly. “Here’s a copy of my room key, Jon. It’s on the top floor, room 537. Go ahead, grab a shower, and I’ll be up after awhile. If you are already asleep, I’ll just go ahead and get your suit dry-cleaned here at Grand Hyatt, on me.”
“Wow, thanks,” Jon acknowledged surprised.
“No problem,” she said back with a big smile. “See ya later!”
Jon walked over to the elevator and hit the up button. A girl walked up behind him with dark curly hair, and pretty blue eyes. Even though Jon’s exhaustion hindered him from admiring the city, he could still tell that this girl was a looker. The elevator doors opened and the two walked in. Jon pressed the “5” and she hit the “3.” After the door closed and the elevator began to ascend, Jon cleared his throat and sparked a conversation.
“What a city,” he said.
“Yeah, it’s very pretty,” she replied. “And a good place to try to get my wrong-doing ex-boyfriend off my mind.”
“Yeah, I could see that,” Jon stated. Elevator music was the only sound for a moment. “I mean the city being able to do that. Not your ex doing that. Some guys are douche bags and ruin it for the rest of us.”
“What do you mean by that?” the girl looked at him, puzzled.
“I mean that now you won’t put yourself out there as much as you did before in fear that you may be falling for the wrong guy again,” Jon explained. “You won’t be yourself in relationships and will run away from any guy that you feel even the smallest of feelings for.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” the girl disclosed as the elevator bell ran at the 3rd floor and the door opened. “I met this guy on the train on the way here last night, and thought that I was starting to like him, so I ran away after he fell asleep. I think his name was Kurt.”
“We all fear what hurts us,” Jon jumped back in without really listening, due to his drowsy state. “Maybe in order to get over your ex, you need to find someone new.”
“I guess you’re right,” she replied back as she stepped out of the elevator. “By the way, my name is Adeline Fair, but I go by Addy.” The doors began to close.
“My name is Jon,” he said hurried. “Jon-” The elevator doors closed. “Doe.”
The silence made time go by faster. Jon blinked once and the doors were already opening to the 5th floor. He made his way to Room 537, swiped the card, and entered to see nothing but pink, but he didn’t care. He laid down on the bed, fully clothed, and passed out.

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