Excerpt from The Paperback Writer of Central Park

Copyright, 2016 Stella Brians

Scene from The Paperback Writer of Central Park

by Stella Brians

That particular day was when I met Sarah, which was why I said earlier that I will cherish all fond memories. I had been sitting and writing for about two hours when I felt someone looking at me. At first, I thought it was a child wanting to get closer to the large statue and to regard the strange grown up warily. Instead when I looked up I saw the heavy set woman who had been asleep in my room prior. She had short black hair and tan skin, and wore ripped jeans paired with an oversized Sid Vicious shirt. On her hands, she wore studded gloves, and on her feet combat boots. She smiled at me, and I smiled back, raising an eyebrow. “Sid killed Nancy.” I teased.

“I’m Sarah.” She said, in a British accent.

“I’m Liz.” I told her.

“We’re staying in the same room. What are you doing in New York City?” She asked, sitting down next to me, on the bench,

“I live here, I’m a writer. What do you do?”

“I’d rather like to live here myself, I’m trying to get a green card and stay. For now, I’m visiting..It’s so lovely here.” She told me, wistful.

I chuckled at how sweet she was, despite her outside demeanor. She almost seemed naïve, but I recognized a dreamer when I saw one because so was I.

“It is really lovely here. I like getting lost here, it’s refreshing.” My hair fell in my face, and I brushed it away so that there wasn’t a curtain between us.

“May I ask what you’re writing about?”

“I don’t reveal too much to people, but because we live together, I will tell you that it’s about my experiences as a person.”

“Jolly good, then. I should write an autobiography as well.”

I cracked another smile and said, “It’s fictionalized, but carries the same themes and messages that I want to share with others.”

She nodded, and was quiet for a while until she asked if I wanted to get a bite to eat with her. I agreed, and mentally planned to have something small so as to adhere to my tight budget. We walked together to an outdoor café on the street, she ordered a meal and I ordered a coffee.

“You don’t eat much, yeah?” she asked me.

“Not typically, small appetite and all that. What do you do for a living, or for fun?” I expected her to say that she was part of a punk rock group, or an artist even.

“I’m disabled, so I receive checks from that. Other than that I read alot, go to concerts.”

I nodded, and ran a hand through my long hair. “It’s nice to be so free, I wouldn’t have it any other way anymore.” I let my side bangs fall into my right eye, they never behaved anyway.

“How long have you been a starving artist?” she asked me, smiling. I warmed up to her in a way that I don’t to most people, she was unbelievably nice and open.

“For seven wonderful years.” I told her. “I left home when I was eighteen, and have been making a living submitting my stories to magazines. It beats working for someone else.”

“ That’s pretty far out, mate.  You want some of my lunch?” she asked me.

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