More Life

May 20, 2012
By taylorfowler BRONZE, Mars, Pennsylvania
taylorfowler BRONZE, Mars, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment

"Do you know where I'm taking you?"


That was the point, though.

The chill in the air wasn't unbearable. Tonight is definitely one of the warmer nights the city of Pittsburgh will ever see in November. For how much I love the city, I never spend time there. Not as much as I’d like to.

I’ve never had to store my car in a parking garage until tonight. They scare me a little. It’s irrational, but involuntary. Every time I see a parking garage, properly placed in the hustle and bustle of the city, I automatically picture a giant reptilian monster knocking it down. Or I picture a chance earthquake shaking the garage from its groundwork because it’s angry. The earth is angry that cars have made man lazy, and have taken the feet of humans from its concrete.

But for tonight, I’ll make an exception.

Finding a parking spot and bringing my jeep to a halt, I stepped out onto the solid foundation. So did he.

The air was damp and reeked of gasoline. This was expected of a structure that serves as a foster home for vehicles. Sauntering to the stairs amidst small talk, I led him to the exit, the exit that would serve as our entrance to the city.

“Do you know yet?”

“No, I don’t.”


Tonight could not have been more perfect. A brief bitter breeze blew hair in my eyes, and shot a quick gesture of cold through my body. Otherwise, warmth surrounded me. Him too, I hope. I’m not sure if the warmth came from the weather, or from the uncommon euphoria tonight seemed to posses. Whatever the reason, I was comfortable.

“I’m so excited for this.”

“So am I.”

Our conversations were not that short every time we spoke. But something about the reoccurrence of our obvious, yet contradictorily subtle enthusiasm allowed the brief words to have huge impact.

“This is it.”

Descending concrete steps to Pittsburgh’s North Shore, I led him to my favorite place in the city. We were alone. The cold scared any soul away from the water’s edge. There are no guiderails to protect you from falling in. Walking along the solid stone beach, one false move could send you plummeting into the river, with water that takes your breath away. It didn’t instill fear in me, surprisingly. I found it peaceful.

We walked along, above the rim of the river. Both of us tucked our hands in our coat pockets. I question whether it was truly to protect them from the cold. As we walked, engaging in conversation, we came across a bank in a city of bridges. Beige brick cascaded into the water, creating a beach, disappearing into a dark abyss as night appeared to turn the river black. He stepped onto the brick and sat. I sat next to him.

The city stood across the river, right in front of us. I thought I was staring at a piece of art. The clear, night sky served as the perfect backdrop for the dazzling light of the buildings. The buildings, each uniquely crafted, held a story within their walls. The beaming light from the windows and signs reflected off the water, creating a double of the beauty already existing in front of our eyes.

“It’s moments like this that make me love my life.”

“Me too, actually.”

Our calm was briefly disturbed by a cameraperson setting up a tripod further down the shore. We aren’t the only ones who see how amazing this is. The photographer handled her camera as though it were a child. Every act she made upon it was gentle. She prepared it slowly, allowing it the time to appreciate everything surrounding it. It would capture the scene on film forever, but nothing compares to the feeling of seclusion and uttermost tranquil of living in a moment like this.

“This would be a great picture.” He spoke to me. “Two kids, sitting here, staring at the city.”

It would be beautiful.

The author's comments:
I wrote this short story after adventuring downtown Pittsburgh with a close friend of mine. The story line is mostly true, and reading it always takes me back to that fun, euphoric night I was able to experience. I put a lot of work in this piece, and I hope others enjoy it as much as I do.

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