Thursday, December 03, 2009

Photo Story Response: Central Park

Fit for a King (or Queen, Rather)
By Laura Daye

Last time I was in Central Park, it was March, and very cold. The sky was white and threatening the full five days. I neglected to bring a scarf, which I really regretted. I was in a disintegrating relationship; five+ years and I was bored and decided to throw it away. I was staying in a hostel on Amsterdam with my boyfriend and three other friends; two of the friends were part of a couple. Even though we were staying in a dormitory of bunkbeds, the two friends that were a “couple” shared a little top bunk made for one person. I didn’t even bother to climb into my then-boyfriend’s bunk. I had no interest. I wanted space. I was cold as the New York sky.

I have photos from that trip. I was in Central Park with my boyfriend and the one accompanying friend who wasn’t part of a couple. We wandered around, and took photos of each other sitting in a throne-like seat built into a castle-like building that housed specimens of the park’s history.

The single friend is no longer a friend; I saw her a couple of years ago, and what I thought was going to be a fun reunion ended up being an outing with five other snotty, bitchy people I had never met before who threw me dirty looks and refused to engage in conversation with me. Each one, part of a couple, possessively grabbing their downtrodden boyfriends at lame Dragonfish, sipping neon-hued cocktails or water (because they seemed to anal-retentive to actually let loose with a little alcohol), thinking they’re the height of maturity. Yeah, whatever. I have no patience for that bullshit.

The then-boyfriend I trod down in New York, in Central Park, in the hostel, in the financial district, on Madison Avenue, at the Indian restaurant, is now a best friend. He is a specimen of my past, but an integral part of my present. We don’t place each other on pedestals or thrones anymore: we know all of our bad sides (and good).

And the friends that were part of a couple in New York? Long since broken up, on to the umpteenth boyfriend or girlfriend, in one case possibly THE girlfriend to last through all forthcoming seasons. I hope, I hope! I’m not entirely a pessimist, you see.

The day after we all returned to Portland, a big snowstorm hit New York. Central Park, and the city at large were coated in white. The airport shut down. Everyone was stuck. But we made it home.

This story was written in response to this photo story prompt. Please check this website every Wednesday for new prompts. We'd love to see what you come up with! Post your story in a comment on the post for the prompt, or e-mail it to

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