SO, WHAT OTHER BAD THING can possibly happen to me this morning?
I think I’m kidding as I hang up and head for the bathroom. That’s when I turn on the shower and discover there’s no hot water. Ugh! No way!
Now there’s a different sound in my head. It’s Michael, laughing, with yet another reason why I should let him be my sugar daddy and buy me an apartment. No way!
Shivering under what amounts to an arctic drizzle, I proceed to take the world’s fastest shower.
I dress, gulp some OJ while munching on a Chai Tea Luna bar, and do a quick inventory of my shoulder bag before heading out the door. It’s all there — wallet, keys, cell phone, and the only other thing I carry with me at all times, my Leica.
Walking up Second Avenue past 46th Street, I pass the same cramped newsstand I do every day. It’s lined sidewalk to ceiling with every magazine imaginable, and I glance at the covers, my eyes taking in the flawless faces of various celebrities and supermodels. Good morning, Brad, Leo, Gisele, Angelina.
Funny, most people want to be them. I just want to photograph them.
That’s my dream, and I’m getting very close, according to my agent and a few big editors. And hopefully according to the Abbott Show, the prestige gallery where my work is being considered. But until it comes true — when I make a name for myself and those same famous people shout, “Get me Kristin Burns!” for the cover of Vanity Fair — I keep right on walking.
To my job as a nanny.
Cutting over to Third Avenue, I head up five blocks before crossing to Lexington. I head north five more blocks and then cut across again, to Park Avenue. I do the same thing every day, the same zigzag pattern. Don’t know why — I just do. Or maybe I do know why, and do it anyway.
Normally, I’d be taking pictures along the way, capturing the faces of the drones as they head to work while trying not to dwell on the fact that I’m one of them. There’s not a lot of happiness along the sidewalks at this early hour. What I see is fatigue, angst, and a tremendous amount of boredom.
Of course, that’s what makes for good photographs. I mean, when’s the last time a smile won the Pulitzer?
Still, after the morning I’ve had, I decide to keep the camera tucked away in my shoulder bag. I’m feeling a little preoccupied. I’d say my head is in the clouds, except there aren’t any today. It’s a beautiful blue-skied morning in the middle of May, the kind of day that makes people happy to be alive.
So I take a deep breath and berate myself. Snap out of it, Kristin! And for a while, I do.
Right up until I turn the corner onto Madison.
Not just a little one either.
I scream at the top of my lungs.
Copyright © 2007 by James Patterson
Ilyana Kadushin's numerous credits include narration for The Discover Channel, Nickelodeon, and BBC America. She is a singer and songwriter for the duo Lythion, who currently scores music for film and television. Ilyana has also recently appeared in productions for Amnesty International and The Culture Project.
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