One Last Thing.



Last night around 3 a.m. Rachel and I asked Sysco, a security guard at the NYU dorms, about his opinion of where we were moving today. “It’s a death wish,” was his response. “Are you kidding?” According to him some of the worst gang activity takes place there: murders every weekend, and rapes. Our hearts sank. There was no turning back. What was going to happen? Do we do it anyways? No. Of course not.
Sysco said that it was no problem. We call one of these shared room agencies, and get placed in a room today. So, we stayed up all night, worrying and packing, figuring out a plan of action. It was terrifying, but we both had faith a higher power would take care of us. That by the end of the day we were going to have a safe place to lay our heads.
We met first with Diego, the guy who would put us in touch with rooms for rent. He was incredibly attractive and personable. We ended up talking for half an hour about the city, and how it was all going to work out. The fee he was supposed to charge me was $150, but he said that he’d let it just be an even $100. He put us in contact with Atlantic Plaza, “Se Rentan Cuartos.” The woman laughed when we said that we didn’t speak Spanish…but at this point what you’ve did we have? If anything, we just needed a place for the night.
She called several people, and all I could understand of what she was saying was that we were Americans and didn’t speak Spanish. She gave us two cards. “this one you can see now…this one you can see at 7:30.” The one to see at 7:30 was a good room. “This one is now…this one is good.” But what if it didn’t work out? We’d be stuck with no place to stay. So, we went to look at the room available now.
We get there and the building looks like an old abandoned apartment. The paint is peeling, the stone floors are cracked, and the apartment is on the fourth floor of an un-air-conditioned building with only stairs. We knocked on the front door of 4 E and a woman answered the door. She didn’t say anything, but smiled. “We’re here to look at the room.” No response. “Sorry, do you speak English?” she shook her head no. “is there a room? For rent?” She lead us back to a room where two small children were playing. It didn’t look like a spare room at all. Rachel asked the little girls if they spoke English, and when they said yes, she asked if this room was one of theirs. “No. We just play in it sometimes.” the bright pink walls told a different story.
We left a little more Uncertain. Do we bank everything on the 7:30 room? We still had to get our things out of the NYU dorms. Starving and running off of two hours of sleep we opted yes.
We took a cab with all of our belongings to the address on a hand written card, unloaded three weeks worth of clothing, souvenirs, and donated supplies from the long departed group. There were women outside the building speaking Spanish, and I asked them if Marian lived in the building. The first woman I asked didn’t speak English at all, but a woman next to her said she wasn’t home. It was only 7 p.m. Marian wouldn’t be home for another half hour at least. Luckily, the lady said her son was upstairs, and buzzed for him.
Chris walked down the stairs and asked us if we were wanting to rent the room. “My mom wont be home for a while, you could come back later?” I said we’d just wait and told him our situation. After that he offered to show me the room. It was amazing. Everything about it…yellow walls, clean bed, no one living in it. (See Pictures.)
…We’re staying here. Talked for hours with Marian about her family and the apartment. About how she was praying for the right people to rent from her, and we prayed all day as hard as we could to have a decent place to sleep that night. We order chinese food, and I shared mine with Chris. Apparently Sesame Chicken is both our favorite. Marian told us how to save money, where to eat, why her panties would always being hanging in the bathroom. “I taught my granddaughter at three years old how to wash panties in the shower.” it made so much sense that I did it tonight. Although, my panties are hanging on a old radiator in our room instead.


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One response to “One Last Thing.

  1. Pingback: The Last Stop | CSU NY ARTS PROGRAM

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