Hell of a Year

by Joelle

New York City, 90 degrees Fahrenheit, I am walking on the sidewalk of Lexington Avenue drained by the cruel, unbearable humidity of the day. I notice a woman on a small staircase inside a shop window fixing a thick fur blanket on a mannequin, rigidly holding a piece of fabric between her lips.

It has been a hell of a year. As much as one can brag about living a great lifestyle, when summer finally knocks at the door, we realize that to some degree, all of us have been tortured by our bosses, drained in our relationships, exploited by our providers and continuously pressured to deliver more than we could afford in our professional, social and emotional lives.

I look up to the sky, uncomfortable, afraid of finding among those cumulus clouds the poet Dante Alighieri, smiling at me once more with great irony. As a child, over an old wooden desk in Italy I resentfully had to recite by heart the following verse: “Heaven wheels above you, displaying to you her eternal glories, and still your eyes are on the ground.”

And “Nel mezzo del cammin de nostra vita ” (In the middle of the road of my life) I decide to give this earthly suffering a Basta: “Enough is enough! Alighieri, I am not at school anymore and this time  you will no longer affect me.”

I’m a little shocked to quietly realize my resemblance to those New York City neurotics who talk loudly and gesture emphatically in the middle of the streets to invisible individuals, possibly ghosts.

On my way home, I decide to establish a new goal for myself:  Paradise will be found exactly where my eyes are and nowhere else. Who knows, perhaps then my eternal but terrestrial battle with Master Poet will at last come to an end.

I put a comfortable jump suit as the powerful air conditioning blows in the direction of my nose, already glued to my computer screen. Ah, I remember…Marian. Marian Gerlich is her name. Let’s give her a call.

“Marian how have you been?… Great?… Me?…. No, not so great…Actually, I need to find paradise… yes, paradise! You know what I mean. Do you think you could kindly be of help with your powerful portfolio of connections?”

The extremely efficient and polished Los Angeles-based PR professional promises an e-mail within the next 10 minutes where apparently I would find the location, itinerary and angels that will take me from New York – with a short stop in Houston – directly to ”Windows to Paradise”, the rest would be up to me.

”We‘ve got a deal Marian. Thank you.” was my answer.

Joelle’s Tips:

PR : Marian Gerlich  Placidi & Gerlich

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