©Times Square and Anna
By BR Chitwood
Sleep avoided me – could not find that one position that would settle into a comfortable and lengthy dream about a pretty lady and a ‘happy ending’. Since I was unattached and near thirty years of age, finding a Soul Mate had become the number one priority.
Truth be known, I gave up on the evening too early. Nothing turned my motor on in TV land and I concluded the funk was for real.
There was the one lovely lady at the Ad Agency, but we ran our course and found those things about each other that gnawed at us. I was beginning to think, maybe I should have worked harder at the relationship. But, no, when there is an unremovable block in an affair, the chances are nil to none for working it out.
I made my decision, got out of bed, put on some casual duds, brushed my thick short-cut black hair, sprayed on some Aramis, stepped out into the Manhattan night.
It was still relatively early in the evening, and I could hit some of the nicer lounges and dinner houses near Times Square. There were no cabs needed for those places. All were relatively short walks.
Weather-wise it was a lovely evening and the air was filled with restaurants’ steak smells with an essence blend, like, perfumes, colognes, a nice aromatic sensation.
Passing an alleyway near 5th Avenue, my ears picked up a sound down that dark stretch of a woman’s voice. It was not a fun and game kind of noise. There was repetition, panic building in each mouthed word and phrase. Clearly, there was a woman in trouble.
These are moments for which I am not built. I am basically a coward, not wanting to engage in any kind of dangerous activity.
The woman’s distraught voice came again and again, my mind at war with itself.
Good God! What to do? I can’t just stand here, my body all atremble, like an automaton whose juice has been cut off.
I had to do something!
From whence it came I cannot begin to know. It was all alien to my way of life. Some inner force got me running toward the voice in trouble some 50-100 yards away. The darkness was thick black, the only wisps of light coming from an unclear sky and some old faded wall markers.
Somehow, within my suddenly activated body an unknown reservoir of bravery urged me on.
Fifty yards ahead I saw the man with a glistening object in his hand, holding down the woman with his legs, hitting her with his fist, ripping at her dress with the knife.
My footsteps and screams finally reached the ears of the assailant, and he attempted to get up and attack me, but the lady on the ground hit him full-force with her right foot to his crotch.
The man doubled over, and I rushed in and slammed my fists hard into his face and body. I don’t know how many times I hit the man, but he finally lay inert and completely out cold on the black pavement.
I went to the young dark-haired lady with blood on her cheeks and blouse, helped her to her feet. She held onto me for long moments and muttered ‘thank you, thank you’. As she clung to me with fingers eager for safe purchase, she told me her name was Anna Buckley. She looked to be her late twenties of early thirties…a very lovely lady.
I used my cell phone to call the police and ambulance. They both arrived quickly.
“I’m so sorry, Anna, you’re hurt, but why were you in this alley way in the first place? My name, by the way is Grant Morehouse.”
“He grabbed me on the street, put his hand over my mouth and dragged me here. I’m sorry to involve you, Grant.”
“Hey, I finally did a heroic act, Anna. I’m as surprised as anyone in my world will be…. Are you feeling okay?”
“I think so. I’m a bit sore in places. Don’t think I’ll be working on society dress patterns tomorrow, however.”
“Ah, would that be ‘High Society, Inc.’?”
“Yes, it would.” She smiled through some pain.
“Good we’ll have the hospital check you out. I don’t think they will find anything major, just some bruising, maybe some cuts where he ripped your dress. I’ll stay with you at the hospital until the examination is over and we get a prognosis and how long they may want to keep you. That okay with you?’
“That would be wonderful, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your plans.”
“I have no plans, Anna. I was just taking a stroll because I couldn’t sleep. I’m just glad I could help.”
The police hauled the bad guy away, asked a few questions, and Anna was taken quickly to the hospital. I sat on a bench next to her as the ambulance swiftly sped through the streets of Manhattan. Along the way, we did some serious ‘Q&A’ and got better acquainted. Her last name went well with her first name – Anna Anselmo.
I went into the ER and stayed with her during a long wait for her examination. I stayed with her until her sister came to take her home – an apartment quite close to my own, as fate would have it.
My part in Anna’s assault still surprises me, how I reacted, and, somehow, I feel very good about myself and can see a quality within my psyche that awakens a proud part of me I never knew existed. It is no doubt natural that I see myself a bit differently now.
You deserve to know that Anna and I are seeing each other with some regularity. We have become quite attached…that’s enough for you to know at the moment.
It’s still amazing to me that fate came along with me for my stroll that night, keeping me awake to life in Manhattan.
“…when you get caught between the moon and New York City…” For reasons I knew very well, “Arthur’s Song” would not leave my mind.
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