Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
I wake up dead after six hours of fitful sleep in the sticky heat. I'm faded before the day even breaks. Insecurities lurk in the fatigue of the body and the shadows of thought. Marie says she's working in the building where I'm going for an audition - $500 for my self respect if get the part. "Come to work with me afterward. We need the help today. We'll be done early." I agree. I need the money. I skipped out on work the other night. I've been feeling behind ever since.
I feel torn in too many directions as we leave our apartment into the blinding heat. I'm chasing too many things - work, money, dreams, a sense of ease with this fuckin' city - thinking to myself what do I need? as we walk through the waves of heat rising off the street.
"What's bothering you baby?" she wants to know glancing at me cursively, looking beat.
She looks straight ahead without saying anything, sweat beading on her forehead, her bags looking like they're dragging her into pavement.
Everything's a trade off with money. I need money but I need meaning. I need money but I need my dignity. I need money but I need time for my writing. I need money but I need time for school. I need money but I feel drained from working for it. I need money but I need the space to think. I need money to ease the pain in my body that comes from making money. I need money but I need peace. I need something more than what the money gives me.
"Tell me baby," she says as we cross into the shade of a building.
"Nothing," I say, "It's fine. I'm just tired baby."
"Me too. I feel drained already," she says as the sweat gathers on her shirt and we're engulfed by the gaping mouth of the stairs leading into the subway and the city that supposedly has everything, but I've yet to see it.