An excerpt from Mockingbird in Manhattan, a possible companion to Where I Belong. The manuscript follows Kitsy to NYC for summer art classes. This scene takes place as Kitsy and Corrinne are on their way to Kitsy’s first NYC party.
Corrinne throws her hand in the air, and a yellow cab comes barreling towards us.
“Here’s the thing about the subway, Kits, it’s fine to get from place to place, but it’s no good for making an arrival. Think about celebrities and how sexy they look getting out of cars.”
“Corrinne, you can usually see those celebrities crotches, which isn’t sexy, and they are in limos anyways,” I refute.
“Kitsy,” Corrinne says as she gets in the cab, “There’s still a recession going on. We can’t be going places in limos. It would be insensitive.” Corrinne pushes her head towards the Plexiglas divide: “2 E. 61st street please. The Pierre hotel.”
I slid into the cab next to Corrinne and buckle my seatbelt even though Corrinne told me nobody wears seat belts in cabs. It’s a cab, Kitsy, not a pick-up truck. I am not sure I follow her logic, and there’s no way that I am letting anything, especially a taxi collision, mess up my adventure.
And the cabbie zooms off into traffic. I stay quiet in fear of saying something else stupid and watch out my window. I am shocked by all the types of people I see. Fancy strollers. Even fancier double strollers. Little kids by themselves on scooters. Bike messengers weaving through traffic. Every single person seems interesting enough that I want the cabbie to stop, so I can ask themWho are you? How did you get to live here? Why not me?
And then we approach a green forest, which I immediately recognize as Central Park.
“Ohmigosh,” I squeal and forget that I was 1% annoyed with Corrinne, “It’s the park. It’s from Sex and the City when Carrie and Big fall in the water. It’s from like every movie in New York. It’s beautiful. Where’s Tavern on the Green? Can I see it?”
Corrinne looks up from her iPhone, which she had been obsessively typing on throughout the entire ride.
“There’s my Kitsy,” she says, “I was beginning to worry that the city caught your tongue.”
And then, we pull up in front of The Pierre, a white hotel with arched windows and two beautiful awnings. Men, dressed in green suits with hats, guard the hotel as if it were a palace and they its protectors. As Corrinne hands wads of money to the cab, a doorman swings open my door and grabs my hand. I am having a total princess moment.
“Your friend lives in a hotel like Eloise!” I exclaim as Corrinne, and I teeter on her highest heels into the lobby.
“No,” Corrinne says, “Vladlena’s just renting a suite for her birthday. It’s a win-win. No one has to use a fake ID, and we can still party in style without getting caught by someone’s parents.”
I don’t ask about how Vladlena, a high school exchange student from Russia, can afford a place like this as her own birthday gift. I think that, like most things here, falls under the category of T.N.O.M.W., things not of my world.
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