I have the flu. My head is an explosion of light, strange noises and ponies. I have no idea how the ponies wormed their way in there but they won't leave.

Thus, when I needed to leave the cocoon for an urgent errand involving lunch money and a daughter who blows all remaining cash the day before on banana nut muffins (yes, I'm looking at you, R), I was able to experience a few tweaks from my addled brain. I smelled the New York City subway. In my car.

When I was eighteen, I showed an amazing amount of gumption and blatant stupidity by quitting a very nice college in the Midwest and moving to NYC to find my fortune. I had no plan aside from showing up in January with a suitcase and the address of my pregnant sister in Brooklyn. With me so far? I'm a genius.

I won't go into the gory details, let's just say my time there was a mixture of The Nanny Diaries and Serpico, but riding the subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn every weekend stamped an indelible memory of the subway: urine, sweat and heat. Not all of it was crazytown down there; I heard some excellent musicians, met artists and poets and was offered an orange by a friendly crackhead (I passed). After getting this trigger of subway scent today (still no idea how), I felt the urge to write about my favorite city.

NYC was the hometown of my zombie, Anna, in EYE OF THE BEHOLDER and I hope to visit it once again in an upcoming zombie anthology submission (hmmmm, zombie nannies?). You can take the girl out of the subway -- but you can't take the subway out of the girl. Wait. Wha?

What are your triggers? Are you inspired by scent? Sight? Crackheads?

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  1. Brave young lady does well. Film at eleven.
    Glad everything worked out.

  2. Wow, that's exciting! I had no idea you did that. :) Smells often trigger things for me as well. I would like to point out that reading this while eating my breakfast caused a different reaction than you were probably going for. ;)

    Love the new look!