*I wrote this about a year ago, but I never posted it. In truth, I had forgotten all about it!
Each day, at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon, I exit my apartment on the 34th floor and head to the elevator, where I push the button and wait for it to arrive. Once it arrives and the door safely closes I always sing a tune on the way down if I am alone. I like to see how far I can get in the song before the doors open in the lobby. The elevator lands and I scoot by whichever handsome man is waiting to take the elevator up, while pretending he could not hear me singing just a moment before. I walk across the lobby and out the revolving door and then it is two avenues and two blocks to the subway. I hop on the A train and take it down to West 4th st. When I exit the train I come up at 8th st and 6th Avenue. Then I take the charming ten minute walk through the West Village (which is where you would live in your dreams, trust me) until I reach the school where I pick up the children I nanny.
One day when I exited the subway I noticed there was a restaurant doing some construction right by the subway entrance. The windows had been boarded up with big pieces of plywood, but someone had scrawled the words "free at last" in black spray paint across one of them. For some reason those words struck me as I walked. I wondered who had written them. I wondered why they had written them. I wondered what it would take in my life to make me feel so free I would want to write it out in the world for everyone to see.
Every day for a month or so I walked by that window and I thought about those words and whoever it was that wrote them. As the days went by I would find myself running up the stairs out of the subway just to look at it...
just to make sure it was still there.
until the day it wasn't.
I stopped on that day, and I looked at the window where the sign had been, just for a moment. And I hoped that whoever had written those words still felt that free.
And I secretly hope to see them scrawled somewhere else in this city.