a modern fairy tale

Pulling up the collar of her coat against the breeze that warned of the coming cold, Marianne stepped into the street. How she hated midtown! Midtown with its airborne grit! Midtown with its people and their smug, world-weary grimaces. Midtown with its throngs of buildings taller than the sky, each filled with people with identical faces and identical jobs. Midtown, where the aristocracy is forced to mingle with the plebeians in the name of business. Although she dressed the part, Marianne was anything but comfortable here. She longed with every step to be in the small-town atmosphere of her Brooklyn town. There, the emotions that run rampant wherever people are forced to co-habitate in such close quarters are not masked by the ironic falsehood of good breeding or proper manners.

As the first drops of rain began to fall on her from the masonry-punctured sky, Marianne turned her steps southward. Soon she would be among the students of Greenwich village or the geeks in Sillicon Alley – she didn’t care which. There, she would stick out for her mode of dress but not for her lack of holier-than-thou attitude. There was a little pizza place down that way, and a boy worked there. Marianne would pop in on that rainy afternoon and have a slice while he finagled his way out of the rest of his shift. Then the two of them would disappear into the city, swallow it like an invisibility pill. He will be happy to see her. The breeze has turned to a wind that is pushing Marianne downtown. The rain will soon be a storm.