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So Alone

Story ID:11007
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:New York City New York USA
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It was dark. Wind pushed the rain sideways. I never saw the streets of midtown
Manhattan so empty. Ahead of me, a canyon of light. The rain beat down. I held my umbrella
firm in my hand. Each time I turned a corner, the wind attempted to rip it away.

Littering the sidewalks, the turned-inside-out, abandoned umbrellas of those before
me lay scattered – lost souls.

A yellow cab passed and sprayed me with water.

My shoes …soaked. The shine I’d polished them to earlier that day …long gone. They
clicked on the cement with each lonely step I took.


A former kid from a tiny fishing village in Nova Scotia, now in a sea of
humanity. Although, on this night, the millions of residents huddled inside with their computers or

I was alone in the vast city of New York.

A subway train rumbled beneath my feet. The roar of a jet approaching JFK airport
passed overhead. I saw its blinking lights briefly between the towering skyscrapers.

Ten more blocks to go. I’d soon be on the train to Jersey City and my apartment.
I’d had a fun night with a few co-workers in “The City” as New York is referred to. We’d
shared drinks and food in celebration of the holiday season.

I thought back to the carefree days on the coast of Nova Scotia – cold winters, pleasant
summers. We swam in a brook, fished from the wharves and in the lakes, laughed and enjoyed
a simple life.

I stopped and looked around. The sidewalks were empty. Only a few cars hissed by on
the wet, rarely-empty streets. Lights everywhere. “How did I end up here?” I asked out loud.

Years earlier, I had someone call me about a job in Manhattan. “No thank you.” I said.
“New York is not for me.”

Yet, here I was, midtown Manhattan, alone, in the middle of the night, walking in the

I finally made it to 34TH street. I walked down the stairs, got on the subway, fled “The
City” under the Hudson river and got off at Newport, Jersey City and walked the block to
my apartment.

I showered the cold and grit of Manhattan from my body, climbed into bed.
My wife and kids were in Ohio. I lay under the blankets and wondered how, in this teaming
sea of humanity, I felt so alone.

So alone!

Michael T. Smith