Nocturnal City | Teen Ink

Nocturnal City

October 17, 2018
By savannahsmiles SILVER, Newark, Delaware
savannahsmiles SILVER, Newark, Delaware
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Waves of motion sickness were crashing into me by the time we arrived, but it grew dim once I’d climbed out and steadied myself on both feet. I filled my lungs with the thin, cool air as a gale whistled past me, making the tresses of my hair flail about. We’d arrived at precisely 3:34 p.m., an hour and a half earlier than the global positioning system that was installed in my mother’s car had initially prevised. Not to our chagrin, though; we wanted to soak up as much time in the city as we could. We could only stay here for three days, which wasn’t an abundance of time, but a small fix of the city would be just enough to hold me over for a while.

My mother and I were staying at a hotel on a street that neighbored Times Square. I looked up at the tall building that towered over me with its 10 stories. Each room had a window, some tinted with the brassy glow of a light reflecting off of it, though it was hard to tell in daylight. A dried, brownish-black substance was smeared across the cement—and who knows what it is or where it came from. When you were in New York City, you didn’t ask questions. I’d known that even after having stayed here just a few times before, never once a resident. When someone bumped into you on the streets or vice versa, you didn’t apologize. As harsh as it sounds—considering where I come from, where most people would apologize relentlessly—either you or the other person (or both) had no time to apologize, so you move on with your day.

The sky was shrouded with a mass of overcast clouds. Gusts of wind continued to sweep past me as I walked beside my mother through the front glass double-doors of the hotel.

I observed my surroundings as soon as we’d entered the building. In the lobby, we stood on grayish-white marble floors. Ceiling lights beamed and bounced off them while illuminating the entire area. Light wooden tables sat against every wall, a single rubber fig plant in a ceramic vase placed on a few of them. The top of the receptionist desk was made of a different kind of marble than the floor—soapstone, to be exact.

After the receptionist on shift had given us our room key, we caught the elevator just as its metal doors were about to close and it took us up to our two-bed hotel room. There, we unpacked most of our luggage before heading back out.

The sun had begun to shine through the drapes of clouds above as it neared sunset, spotlighting the floods of people who encircled us in a large cluster on the sidewalk. Lights became more prominent in contrast with the darkening horizon. The atmosphere fulfilled me in a way that no other place ever could. My visceral love for New York City had always stuck with me like a benevolent phantom, even during the time I hadn’t gone here in a while.

Living in a small town in a small state was hard when you longed to explore a complex city such as NYC. It was a place that had always appeared in my dreams as a young girl, and to see it in real life, undisguised, right before me . . . the novelty of it all would never wear off, for years to come.

Even now, I yearn to one day be able to call this place my home; to admire the nocturnal glitter of its lights, to be overwhelmed by the people who surround me as I roam the streets . . . I relished every aspect of it. Every visit to the city is just a stepping stone to where, if I’m fortunate enough, my future will transpire.

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