Picture the Pandemonium
Emma. Age 12. Doylestown, Pennsylvania

I tossed my camera in the flowered bag, petalled purple and pink. It landed on the fluffy, packed winter jacket folded neatly in my bag. (I have a habit of packing excitement.) City lights, yellow car blurs, and hats held by dancing hands—a city that NEVER sleeps. Flashback.

Then I was back from the flashback of excitement that my camera brought me to. I was soon ready to fill it with more. Toes tapping and legs rocking, I sat in the chair ready to go. Leaping into the car with energy came my jumpy brother. On the way to the train station, he created a mile long list of activities to do. Finally, when we were on the train, he read the list of “ideas”: his definition of ideas didn’t match up with ours; he wanted to it all. We were nearly at our stop, and by the time we arrived he was ready to do anything, everything. As much as we were ready to explore and take innumerable pictures, like the usual tourists, we were tired. Moreover, we wanted to see my aunt and uncle that live in Manhattan. Three big days were still ahead of us. However, before bed we decided that going over to the nail salon would be a great way to both end the day and start the visit. Thanks to me and my sister, we convinced my parents. We did it with the usual “It’s a tradition.” As a result, we came back with both our nails and toes done, my sister with a wintery blue-green and me a pinkish red. Tired as ever, I allowed my feet to slip from under me, and I flopped on the couch. Half asleep, I lay in the bed with the light from the outside building peeking through. Outside noises roared, cars honked. Honk! Beep! Swerve! But here I felt safe.

Friday and Saturday were a snap, a blink of an eye. Now all we wanted to do was two main things: make a visit to Central Park and M&M World around the corner. Licking my dry cold lips, the idea of chocolate warmed them, warmth shooting throughout my body. My legs began getting tired—sluggish and not keeping up with me. It always seems to happen in New York, but the surrounding walls of famous buildings and monuments conquered that. Somehow I knew that the adventure of New York is just not easy. The past days were no trouble and everything went smoothly. They were quick. Time was whirling away down a drain, and our last day turned all around. In the subway, taxi, bus and while walking we all would glance at the time ticking away. “Just five more minutes!” my mom would announce. Then about one minute later, my dad announced the same time again. From there on it didn’t seem like time was cutting down at all. Bubbling with excitement, my brother questioned how long, over the jazzy saxophone subway musician.

Reaching for the top of the stairs, we searched for a street name… if it was even necessary. Being nudged a little, shoulder to shoulder, scared me. That was until the nudge turned me to my destination. Bright lights blinded me, in a good way. Famous buildings surrounded me, in a good way. Blaring music just about made me lose my hearing, in a good way. These were the sights and sounds of New York that no one could emulate. Could you guess where it is? Times Square—the heart on the City, with many bright lights. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone thought rainbow of crayons drew across the city. Smells made us hold our breath at times, but particular sights were breath taking. I stopped myself remembering everything else fun. None of us knew our ways around, feeling positive we wouldn’t get there. Then to my left was a big M and to my right was the clacking of the horses’ hooves, heading to Central Park. Unfamiliar places do create a journey. By that time the yellow car blurs had faded in addition to the pandemonium. Toes wiggling, teeth chattering, my body was chilled head to toe. Then I snapped a quick picture and the memory was over.

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