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Manhattan Lunch Hour

It's noon fifteen. The Siku players' melody weaves back and forth as they fill the air with hollow opiate sounds for a sidewalk crowd that has surrendered to the moment. My lips part slightly at the sight of the hotdog swaddled in waxy paper; only the vendor hands back to me the unfamiliar coin with a foreign emblem and I wonder how it got mixed up in my change. I glance around and my curiosity is pacified by the Tsunami of pedestrians forging the street, guided across by the androgynous green hand. Kandinsky and Motherwell are propped up against the wall alongside of a beautiful Dominican man selling CDs, and I hear him singing, "Te amo con todo mi corazon siempre y por siempre," but he's curtly interrupted by a shivering fire engine waking every silent thought. Like a tramp hopping an open boxcar, I jump aboard the bus and settle beside a souvenir hunting tourist who greets me with "Guten Tag," as he nods agreeably. My new friend's ink marked street-map stretches across his lap like a wine-stained tablecloth, and I try not to drip mustard on it. We snake along shadows of the buildings paralleling burnt sienna Brownstones that turn shades of orange like autumn leaves under a stingy piece of sun. Wrapped in a cloak of liberation, I turn and remind my fellow sightseer, "The way you take your lunch reflects the way you live."

... and he smiles.

Story by:

Nanette L. Avery

9 October 2012

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