Challenging Myself Tangents

#Writersbootcampza Day 5 – My life if I were a Steamfitter’s Helper in New York City

The actual topic for was “Find a job ad in the paper. Write about your life if you had that job.” Let’s be honest, I didn’t go buy the paper. I think it’s worth noting that posts like this should possibly not be up on PICT, so mommies please be patient. I will keep trying to tie the other #writesbootcampza posts back to my life.

If I was going to have an imaginary job and an imaginary life, it was going to be in New York City. So I googled “job vacancy New York” and opened the first site and the first ad. It’s been quite a while since I’ve dabbled in fiction, so let’s see how it goes… 
It has always been my dream to live and work in New York City. And now here I am, a Steamfitter’s Helper for the Department Of Sanitation of New York, NY. It may not sound like the best job and I am absolutely overqualified for the position; but at this moment in time I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am living my dream.

New York is exactly as it looks in all the cop shows on TV; and on cold days there really are billows of hot steam rising from the sidewalks; well huge grates in the sidewalks anyway. You see, New York is a city that is largely underground. When they couldn’t expand out anymore, they expanded below. Below is where you’ll find me, I make sure that steam keeps coming.

Working for the City of New York means I get to work in all the big old buildings owned by the state. Yes, it is hot, sweaty, dirty work and I work under a grumpy disillusioned boss; but how can you not love feeling the vibration of the city above you and all around you in the pipes? The others I work with see this job as “lowly”, as something they settled for and they mostly resent the heck out of me for always being so upbeat.

A great day is one where I work in the guts of the New York City library or the courthouse; the burns from the boilers as I make sure everything is as it should be, are distant as I imagine the lives and days of those who have walked the upper halls for hundreds of years and feel the thrumming of the heartbeat of the building under my hands. I love being part of those buildings.

One of the perks of my job is the full hour lunch break. I love squinting as I head out into the daylight to find lunch from the closest deli. New York light is different; again people say it’s the smog or the way the buildings block out the sun; to me it is yet another symbol of the magic and mystique this city holds. The delis are my special gift to myself. You can eat like a king for reasonable cash in New York and the atmosphere as you enter a really popular one (popular with the working people, not the tourists) is contagious.

And then I eat while I wander and explore the city wherever the job has taken me. We work all over the city, from small government housing projects in Harlem to the huge state buildings in Manhattan; so I get to see a lot. What surprised me most about the city is how many parks there are. Everyone knows about Central Park, but there are more, scattered throughout the city. All sizes of greenery surrounded by towering buildings, full of people reading, playing games, doing tai chi, learning new languages or just sitting eating watching others. And in the areas a big park wouldn’t work, there are little gated gardens hidden between the buildings; small escapes.

At the end of the day my body aches from the physicality of some of the work I do, but as I sit on the train heading to my small one-room basement apartment in Queens; I am happy.

My job doesn’t pay well, but it is enough for a roof over my head and great food. It allows me to explore the buildings and streets that make up the city. It may not challenge me, but it keeps me busy while allowing my mind to wander through the places I have been and the endless more I have yet to discover.

I fall asleep alone, bone-tired, no need to dream as I know I will wake up tomorrow to continue to live my dreams. Maybe one day, when I find a man I want to marry and start a family with, this job and this life won’t be enough. But for today I have everything I need.

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