Posted on April 8, 2015 by Ellen Kim
“Coffee. You need your cup of joe, Sam.”
Sam thought the voice in his head would finally shut up after a good night’s sleep, yet there it is again. He washes up, gets dressed, and satisfies his daily craving for an Americano; now he is ready to start his day. It has only been three days since he moved to NYC and started his new job but he is already burnt out.
“Today is your day, Sam. No interactions, no one else matters; just focus on you. Go out and explore the big city.”
As he is strolling down the many different neighborhoods of Manhattan, he comes across the famous Central Park. He took some deep breaths in and soaked up the foreign scenery: the frozen lake, various skyscrapers, a clear sky. This is definitely not a site he could see in little ol’ Oklahoma. He was happy to find a quiet and serene place, even in the ‘city that never sleeps.’
He continues walking and finds himself in front of a bar.
“A cold, refreshing beer sounds great right now. But you said no alcohol in the afternoon… Oh, what the hell you deserve this, Sam.”
Two refreshing beers and one tipsy Sam later, he is once again walking the busy streets of the bustling New York City. He thinks he hears someone say, “Look up!” He obeys the faint voice and sees this beautiful building ahead of him. It has a European look to it yet it seems to oddly fit right in. The sun hits the building at an angle which reminds him of night and day. While some people might be having a sunny, cheery day, it could be another person’s darkest day.
The day quickly transitions into night and the city begins to light up.
“How can one city look so different in just one hour?”
A night in New York City does not seem too terrifying for someone who is frightened by complete darkness. The sidewalks are crowded with dark shadows still scurrying to and fro while the lamp posts, billboard signs, passing cars, and office buildings guide their way.
Yet at such a far distance, all the lights of New York City begin to look as if someone sprinkled salt all over a black backdrop. All the lights remind Sam of the star sprinkled skies back at home. He remembers the times when he was so stressed he would hop in his truck and go for a drive to calm himself down. He would arrive at a field just ten minutes away from his house. The memory of lying on the bed of his pick-up truck staring at the sky painted with shining stars becomes so vivid. His most cherished memory.
From this day on Sam no longer feared the dark. Instead, he invited it because he knew light and darkness coexist; if there is darkness, there is light.
Photography and Text by Ellen Kim, Copyright 2015
About the Author: Ellen Kim is a freshman Nursing student at the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018.