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Black Coffee and Beginnings

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The wind is still whipping when they step out into the parking garage. Crutchie shivers even with his scarf and hat. He wishes briefly that he had some gloves and then dismisses the thought as he follows Jack.

Jack points to an old black mustang from the nineties at the far end of the row. It's an old car but not what Crutchie would call a classic.

“She's not much to look at, but she runs and the heater works.” Jack says as he unlocks the passenger side door and opens it for Crutchie.

He moves to put his tool box and bag in the trunk. He watches Crutchie, trying not to hover but not wanting to go to far if the kid needed help.

Crutchie is used to getting into a low car. Spot's got a 2003 Civic.

He backs up to the doorway and lowers himself onto the seat careful to avoid hitting his head. He takes his crutches and slides them in around him to lean on the seat. Then he brings his good leg in and as he shifts around in the seat to face forward he takes his bad leg in hand and lifts it in. It's a well practiced motion.

Crutchie leans back out and grabs the door to shut it. Jack gets in, turns the car on and cranks the heater up. “So where am I going?”

“This side of Chinatown.” Crutchie instructs, his hands between his knees as he tries to warm them up.

“Ok I can do that.” Jack knows it's about a fifteen minute drive from the school.

They pull out of the parking garage and Crutchie appricates that Jack seems to be a safe driver. He uses his blinker and checks his blind spot before changing lanes.

Spot can be a little less caustious.

They don't get far before they hit bumper to bumper traffic even off the main drag. “Man, traffic sucks this time of year.” Jack laments.

“Isn't there always traffic here?” Crutchie's pretty sure there's always traffic.

“Yeah, but it gets worse in the winter.”

“Everybody wants to come to New York. It's romantic I guess, seeing the city all decorated for the holidays. And the snow.” Crutchie's seen the tourists and the tour buses throughout the city.

“Yeah well I don't get it, sure the snow looks nice for like maybe an hour after it's fallen but soon enough it's nothing but a gray slushy mess. I'd rather stay at home and enjoy my own decorations. Then you don't gotta fight the traffic and the people...What's this guy doing?” Jack has to hit the break when a man steps off the curb in front of them. Luckily they weren't going fast. “Get on the sidewalk ya nitwit.”

“Haha yeah I could do without the dummies but I do like the all the lights and the window displays, it makes it feel like Christmas.” If the cold didn't make his leg hurt he'd consider winter one of his favorite seasons.

“You know what I want to see... one of those Christmas card snows, ya know like with the cabin and the pine trees and the only thing disturbing the snow is one baby deer that's walked through the scene.”

“Have you ever been out of the city?” Crutchie looks over at Jack as he drives.

“Yeah, Miss Medda she took me upstate to a small town bed and breakfast thing over spring break last year and in high school we went to Long Island a few times in the summer. How about you?”

Crutchie thinks about it. “hhuum... a couple of field trips, I went and saw the Statue of Liberty...”

“I guess that's out of the city.” Jack concedes but only cause it's on a separate island of it's own.

“And I went to the Bronx Zoo once. That was neat.” Crutchie remembers the trip fondly. The penguins were his favorite.

Jack shakes his head. “That doesn't count, that's a borough, it's still the city.”

“But it's not Manhattan.” Crutchie defends.

“umm yeah ok I guess.” Jack can't say much, he's not even been out of the state. “Me I'm gonna go and see the whole country. After graduation next year, I'm going on a road trip, I've got it all planned out. I'm gonna drive West and see everything, the Grand Canon, and the desert and the worlds biggest ball of twine.”

“Why the biggest ball of twine?” Crutchie questions thinking that's a silly thing to want to see.

“Why not?” Jack glances over at his passenger with a smile. “It's out there and I wants to see it all.”

“There's lots to see here in New York.”

“Yeah, there is... I just been here my whole life and I really just wanna see someplace else, some wide open spaces for once and... and I wouldn't mind going somewhere where it didn't snow.”

“Yeeaahh, that would be nice.” Crutchie agrees.

“Do you have a drivers licence?”

“Who me?” Crutchie say like he can't believe the question. “I don't know about me driven'. Spot keeps saying he'll teach me. But I don't know that I'll be any good at it.”

“I don't see why you's couldn't drive, might be awkward iffin you have to use your left foot for the pedals but I'm sure there's people out there who do it, I'm sure it would just take some getting used to.”

“Yeah, maybe.” Crutchie imagines it, him driving, not having to be on anyone else's schedule, not worrying about missing the bus or getting shoved in the tight packed subway train.

“And once you can drive you can go anywhere.”

“Yeah...” Crutchie shakes his head as if he's waking up from a dream and grabs hold of his crutches. He doesn't feel so enthusiastic about it. He doesn't know how possible 'anywhere' is for him. “Hum, turn right up ahead.”