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We walked toward Lexington Ave.  At a gas station by York I bought two bottles of water.  When I paid the three fifty, my eyes unexpectedly welled up with tears.  On the way to Lexington we walked by a moving van unloading household furniture.  The truck door was open and the radio was blaring.  We sat on a stoop and listened to the news.  The movers didn’t break the stride of picking up and carrying furniture.  We walked to the next corner.  Scott, “I’m starved”.  We stopped at a sidewalk café.  I washed up in the men’s room and was amazed how clean I looked in the chest high mirror. My pink shirt was mostly gray, my pants were charcoal anyway, and my shoes were caked with yellow soot, I was a short step above “vagrant”.  Scott bought two turkey sandwiches and two ice teas and had them waiting  at an outside table.  Other people ate lunch, sipped wine, make small talk.  This place was normal, street life was going on almost as if nothing happened. The only commotion was repeated complaints about spotty cell phone service and very long lines for the payphones.  We ate our sandwiches and drank teas, left.

 

After a short while milling around Mid-Town, visiting a friend’s office to wash up and make phone calls on wireline and, unbelievably, visiting another displaced friend at the street bar of the Fitzpatrick Hotel for a Guinness; we heard on network news that a Northbound Commuter train might run at about 4:00 P.M.   That was our cue. We walked the 15 blocks to Grand Central and stepped on the 4:07 bound for Stamford and New Haven.   We got off the train in Stamford because other passengers convinced us there would be car rental offices across the street from the station.  There were.  Avis had a placard in the window, “No Cars” and firmly repeated this Scott.  Hertz had a sign too, but in we went anyway.  Smelling like chimneysweeps I began begging for a car.  The girl behind the counter put down the phone and took a close look at us.  As I said we really need a car to…. She asked Scott, “Where are you guys coming from?”  As I turned to Scott, “I can call my friend Barbara, she can get here in a few hours”, Scott spoke over me to the young lady, “200 Liberty. Do you have a car?  We want to get home to Boston”.  Under my breath, I told Scott, “We never should have gotten of the train” as simultaneously the Hertz agent asked, “You guys were down there?”.  I kept quiet.  “Yes, we were,” said Scott.  It began to hit me; I asked, “What’s going on?“  The girl said, "I’m from Brooklyn.  I have a car for you.”  She reached out and handed Scott the keys.

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