Joe still can’t get over the stigma of using a public phone. In this day and age, who doesn’t have a cell phone? He just can’t deal with the stares and judgments from passing strangers. “Something must be wrong with him,” they think to themselves. The bright lights, big city lured Joe from his small town in the middle of the country. Armed with eye shadow and a nose ring, he was so unique and “affected” compared to the kids in his hometown. He knew of obscure bands from Scandinavian countries while his peers were enthralled with Rihanna’s latest three minutes of torture. But in the Empire City, Joe was just about as unique as his first name. Not personable enough to scam his way into the club scene or modish enough to philosophize his way into the hipster scene, he just seemed like an imitator in clothes that were a size too big for his body. He stands on 23rd Street with his hands in his pockets, twirling his last 35 cents with his fingers. It’s the phone call that his mother predicted he would make when he was packing his bag. Her standing there, judging, with her hand cradling an old cordless phone and her fingers balancing a half-burned unlit cigarette. “My son’s goin’ to New Yawk City. Whatdaya think ‘a that, Regina? He says he wants to be famous. We’ll, I’m rentin’ out yas room, so don’t think ya can just come back here anytime ya want,” addressing her son as she speaks into the phone. He wants to go home so badly but has neither the means to get there or a bed to sleep even if he does.
He thinks he needs a guitar, he needs to join a band.
Joe takes the quarter out of his pocket and flips it into the street.”Heads,” he says to himself as he walks west on 23rd Street, with a smirk on his face and 10 cents in his pocket.