I walked up the concrete stairs, gum covered and gray, steep and never ending. It smelled of hot, steamy urine… a stench I would never wish upon my worst enemy. Finally reaching the top, my eyes met a white sign that read “Beacon” in a bold, black font. Halfway there… I thought with excitement. Immediately- I hurried over to purchase a round trip, off peak ticket to Grand Central, in hopes of making the train on time. I was sure to have the exact amount of money this time around, being that any change would have been returned in golden dollars and, or quarters. The ticket costed thirty-three dollars and fifty cents, I guess that’s the price for my happiness. The train arrived at 11:08 AM, and I boarded hopeful and inspired, without any objective in particular. Headphones in, music up, everything else ceased to exist...except for the smell of the thick plastic that coated each seat. Croton-Harmon, TarryTown, Cold Springs, the closer I got, the more I felt at home. The Tappan Zee Bridge stood tall and symbolized that I was indeed almost there, and my body flooded with excitement. Upon arrival, I shuffled to the edge of my seat, anxious to get off the train and begin my journey in the city that never sleeps. I raced off the track and into the craziness. The enormous cage-like windows stood tall, complimenting the high ceiling, which was covered in intricate designs and artwork. The floor was marble-like, resembling batter before it’s completely mixed. Each step I made while heading toward the door filled my mind with wonder and curiosity. Pushing through the portal into the unknown, my nose was penetrated by the infamous smell of the city. Food trucks, sewer steam, and occasional bakery goods. My ears were pierced with the sound of impatient taxi drivers laying on their horn, construction nearby, and the conversations of those walking past me. I felt a sudden warmth shoot through my body as I found myself in the middle of something so much bigger than myself. I was home at last.
Home Away From Home
November 3, 2017