NYC spring 1993
senior year of college
so close to escaping
those iron gates
of Barnard
and head downtown
with my bad self
my friends
and the boyfriend

Running around the city
carefree and wild
as one can only do
while in college
that most perfect moment
of responsibility
yes, I have a high GPA
and none whatsoever
yes, mom and dad are
footing the bill

Late late night
super late night
after loads of dancing
and that goddamned
Broadway/Lafayette subway station
with the train
that just wasn’t coming

Grumpy old folks
bumping up against
drunk college kids [us] against
power-dining suits against
edgy artist-types
skateboard boys
ditzy bachelorettes
drug dealers
homeless folks
police officers
bow-tied professors
gorgeous fashionistas
hip-hop heads

pissed off
NYC humanity
don’t fuck around humanity
where is the
goddamned train humanity
it’s hot as hell
down here humanity
I’m ‘bout to
do some things humanity
the MTA is on
some bullshit humanity
does anyone realize
how late it is humanity

And just when everything
seemed on the verge
of being some real
verge shit
something ugly and uncontained
a little wild and
definitely unrestrained
it happened
loud and clear and unmistakable
in its announcement
its arrival
its oh yeah, we are so doing this
right here
right now
its New York City
is the motherfucking coolest
its we are rap and
funk and hip hop

Those opening bars
of Naughty by Nature’s
Hip Hop Hooray
if you’ve ever heard the song
[and if you haven’t
do it]
you know exactly
the sound I’m talking about
that distinctive
something or other
I don’t know what that sound is
but I know it’s leading into
a banging ass song

That sound played out
loud and clear
like Naughty by Nature’s
own calling card
in that hot ass
pissed off
subway station
at the intersection of
Broadway and Lafayette
at god knows
what hour
and everything
and I mean everything
and listened

And then it really happened

That magical
badass song
took over that
train station
and before
anyone of us knew
what was happening
the entire subterranean space
was moving and
grooving to those beats
and both the
uptown and downtown
sides of the tracks
were swaying
brown folks
black folks
white folks
every damn motherfucker
in motion
hands in the air
like we just didn’t care
forgetting about
that never-coming train
lost for a few minutes
in our competing
chants of
“hip hop hooray
ho! hey! ho!”

I don’t remember when
that train came
but hot damn
if I’ll ever forget
that night and
that song and
my lovely
I don’t give a fuck
New York City

My #WednesdayFreeWrite series is based on what I write during the 10 minutes allotted my writing group’s Wednesday Prompt. As always, these pieces are works of fiction, erupting from my incredibly over-active imagination. They are unedited and unscripted, super loose and probably my favorite ten minutes of the week. They are perfect in their imperfections and I hope you enjoy.

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One thought on “#WednesdayFreeWrite: BROADWAY/LAFAYETTE

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