I'm a soon-to-be retired paramedic in NYC. I'm also a crazy cat/bird/etc lady who writes stories. Thank you for reading!
A Well-Oiled Machine
I dreamt of the apple orchard, the one on my grandfather’s farm. I can smell the dewy air of those crisp fall mornings in the field. We would fill our baskets to the brim eventually but not before some requisite chasing and hiding. How exhilarating it had been to throw rotten apples like snowballs at each other, after climbing to the highest branches that would support the weight of a child!
I Spent $1000+ on a $7 Fish
The dollar store near our home always had an eclectic selection of amazing things I didn't know I needed. I'd stopped in for a few household items but, of course, by the time I made it to the checkout counter, my basket was overflowing with an assortment of hair products, glassware, unusual candies, and decorations for a future birthday celebration.
Monster in the Woods
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. A mischievous cacophony of laughter could also be heard, if one were close enough and young enough, to pick up on the high octave tones emitted from inside. A night of mayhem was officially underway.
Aunt Sue's Macaroni Salad
There were never any paparazzi lurking in the bushes but Aunt Sue still referred to her signature BBQ dish as her “World Famous Macaroni Salad”. As a kid gullible enough to believe a nocturnal fairy was periodically buying my discarded teeth, I took her at her word. After all, even if she was possibly exaggerating, it was a damned good salad.
The Orb of Vorgon
There weren’t always dragons in the valley. Used to be, there was nary a day a small horde wasn’t making their way through the lush, grassy plains en route to Nene or Lardon or any of the other trading ports west of the mountains. The scourge of the flying serpants keeps us huddled in the village these days. It also has us locked in eternal conflict over what to do about it.
Essential Workers Hidden in Darkness
One of the great things about NYC is that it runs on a 24-hour cycle. At any given time you can find a complete meal, get assistance for any kind of emergency, or find quality entertainment (which holds a wide range of interpretations).
The Warden of My Hope
Sometimes wildflowers miraculously grow under the canopy in the forest and the effect is spectacular. Through small spaces in the tree-obstructed sky, thin beams of light find their way under a carpet of dead leaves to warm the seeds and bulbs beneath it. These beautiful bursts of color among the browns and the greens of the woodland continue to be illuminated by streams of sunlight that sustain them. The result is a speckled canvas of purples, yellows, and reds lit up as if they are on fire.
The Stolen Fake ID
All the popular kids made the trek out to Long Island where somebody knew someone else who knew where to obtain authentic-looking documentation. For us, we thought ourselves lucky in getting an address from Carla’s brother. His wallet held a card of obvious quality workmanship; it was enough to convince any bouncer to overlook his crass immaturity. Unfortunately, as we were working out transportation arrangements, we heard that the head shop he’d gone to had been raided by the police. To say that we were devastated was an understatement. We had no other choice but to travel in the other direction. We'd go to Times Square, where it was rumored, but not confirmed, that fake identification could also be acquired.
September 13, 2001
This story is from my blog: streetstoriesems.com On September 13, 2001, I was sitting around my union's office with several coworkers from different Brooklyn stations, awaiting transportation to Ground Zero. We were collectively living in a strange kind of haze after the biggest terrorist attack on our nation, and our city. We had been told to report to our union office if we wanted to assist in the rescue and recovery mission but no one there that day knew what to do with us at the moment. There was a row of telephones on a long table and one of them began to ring. I was the closest so I picked it up.
The Adrenaline Addict
All manner of bodily fluid has found its way onto the thin barrier my paramedic uniform provides me. Rather than ‘just’ urine or ‘just’ vomit, it’s often a cocktail of biological liquids that attempts to test the absorbability of my poly-cotton blend work attire. The mix sometimes includes blood that is my own.