Trifextra – “crazy visions and the 3 headed monster”

Posted: June 8, 2012 in Fiction
Tags: , , , , ,

This weekend’s Trifextra challenge is a real account of a period in your life that can be clearly identified by the number three. Maybe it’s the three decades you spent flipping burgers or the three seconds you hesitated before saying “I do.” The story should be “true-ish” and not just a play-by-play description. The story can be up to 333 words long. Mine checks in at exactly 333.

crazy visions and the 3 headed monster

Crazy visions, that’s what I experienced after accepting an offer to work in Manhattan. Exotic and thrilling visions of City nights. These visions were not based on experience. No, they grew exclusively from romantic notions perpetrated by myths and implanted into my impressionable psyche. I envisioned sophisticated after work cocktails in low lit joints, catching hip bands at Irving Plaza, eating perfect meals at world class restaurants. A daily trudge across the Jersey landscape, then under the murky Hudson River, promised more than a paycheck. It made the idea of paper pushing and deathly meetings palatable. My crazy visions said at 5:00 p.m. I would jump into the chaotic heart of Manhattan and my real life would begin. My visions always assumed the very best part of any New York day started at night.

The daily bookends of commuting hovered. But this was a non-entity, a mere time commitment to get from A to B and back. All my life I had traveled into New York. This was different, bit more rote, but hardly new. It consisted of three easily digestible morsels: (1) House to the bus/train (2) Bus/train to City (3) Bus station/train station to the office. Simple.

Visions, for all their intoxication, are often vapor. Three easily digestible morsels turned into a sensation-dulling full course meal. Schedules suddenly dominated my thoughts. When does the next train leave? Can I get there fast enough as not to wait an additional 12 minutes? I realized commuter reports were the real reason radio was invented. Why did a truck get stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel and, more importantly, when will it be removed? What I envisioned to be a simple three-step process turned into a three-headed hydra, forever changing my perspective. Those crazy visions of cocktails, concerts and fancy dinners were buried by a fool’s quest: beat the commute at its own game. The only visions I now had about Manhattan evenings was how to get the hell out of town before they fell.

  1. I guess it becomes commonplace after a while but I sure am thankful to be able to jump in my own car and head to wherever I want to go at any time. Nicely done.


  2. Libby says:

    I thought that this was a really well-written description! Reminded me of my commutes (times 3)!


  3. kgwaite says:

    Ah…that horrible commute. My husband knows it well.


  4. jannatwrites says:

    Aw, it’s too bad those visions were so far from reality. I’ve always thought New York would be a nice place to visit, but I think I’d be stressed out with the hectic lifestyle.


  5. So-o-o well written!


  6. AAAAHHHHHHH, I always dreamed living in Manhattan would be just like you described, with a little peppering of famous people to liven up the everyday wine and dine experiences. Bummer that reality isn’t living up to the fantasy.


    • John says:

      Oh I imagine living in Manhattan would be a completely different experience. It’s getting on and off that infernal island that is tricky!


  7. This is a terrific piece and you so eloquently describe the death of fanciful dreams by miserable commute that so many of us experience at some point in our lives. Well done!


  8. trifectawriting says:

    Thanks for linking up to Trifextra this weekend. Ugh, this post gave me anxiety. 🙂 In a good way. I love how you described excitement falling off into reality–it’s so true. I rely on public transportation myself, and I definitely relate to what you’re saying here. Just today we got off one bus just in time to see our connecting bus roll away. So frustrating!


  9. surroundedbyimbeciles says:

    Excellent work.


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