• I’d woken up a few minutes before my alarm clock went off, as always. Choosing not to get out of bed immediately, I stayed how I was, face buried in my thin, polyester pillow, kicking off the too-thick-for-a-New-York-summer blankets. I didn’t want to wake up. I didn’t even want to be in that horrid hotel, especially in the middle of summer.
    Considering my options of going home and working, or staying in the hotel with another four days off with pay, I chose to wait ‘till the alarm clock went off and see if I could find a good enough reason to stay.
    Waiting and waiting, though it was only six minutes, it felt like half an hour. I’d almost fallen asleep again when finally, the radio sounded.
    53rd and 3rd
    Standing on the street
    53rd and 3rd
    I’m tryin’a turn a trick.
    I laughed as I listened.
    That was easy. I thought to myself, climbing out of bed.
    I tipped the cab driver a few bucks and stepped out of the car, setting foot on the corner of 53rd and 3rd in New York for the first time in my life.
    Leaning against the buildings were a few young, bare-chested men, smoking cigarettes and smiling salaciously at passing men.
    I’d barely had enough time to straighten out my blouse and get a real look around when my cell phone began ringing. I scrambled to turn it off before anyone could hear the irritating dinging, but it was too late. The cornerboys looked up in annoyed scowls. I tried to ignore their glares by pretending to have an important phone call.
    “What?” I snarled.
    “Hey-ey-ey, Nessa,” rang the voice of my boss, Rod. “How’s the va-cay?”
    I rolled my eyes. “It was pretty good ‘till you called. What do you want?”
    “When’re you coming back?”
    “You know very well when I’m coming back. You sent me on this trip without even telling me. What do you really want?”
    “Are you busy the night you come back?”
    Clearly and angrily, I stated as loudly as I could without seeming insane: “Yes.”, hung up, and stuffed my cell phone into my pocket.
    I looked back up to see if the cornerboys were still around. They were, and fortunately seemed to have forgotten I was there. Taking a long look up and down the street, I suddenly realized how much I didn’t want to stay. Tired, I walked down the street towards the closest diner I could find.
    When I stared up at the faded awning of the CBGB, all I could see the emptiness of it. Disappointed at the depressing sight, I tried to imagine what it used to look like, people jumping and dancing to Blondie and The Police playing. The heat, the happy-anger, the screaming. It looked so dead, I couldn’t see anything.
    Kind of symbolic, I thought. The birthplace of American Punk dead, like with every original Ramones member, and almost everyone in the punk era. Replaced with modern clubs playing techno and rap…. Whatever they usually play.
    I pressed my forehead against the boarded up windows, trying to get a look inside the retired nightclub. Nothing. My breath just fogged up the windows.
    I sighed, turned my back to the building, and slid down to a sitting position. Pulling out my cell phone to check the time, I saw three missed calls from Rod.
    10:27 PM.
    Still time to hit an open club.
    I stood up and hailed another cab.
    I’ll come back tomorrow. New York will still be here tomorrow.