It was a week after graduation and I had finished my two-weeks notice yesterday. Now it was time to party… the last party with these friends… not that I had many. It actually wasn't much of a party either just a bunch of us in Mick's basement drinking and playing video games. Mick was playing grand theft auto and we where all clutching beers. "When can we leave?" Claudia asked boredly.

"I dunno… this is the last we'll see of everyone so I kinda want to stick around but if you want to leave we can," I said feeling crestfallen and looking around at my friends.

"I want to leave," she stated resolutely.

"All right… I guess we have a big day tommorow anyways. Hey guys we're going to head out," I said chugging back my beer.

"What the fuck why?" Shane asked behind hazy eyes.

"Early day tommorow, gotta finish packing, and driving half way across the country is rough."

"Good luck, you're going to make it you know in a few years we'll be hearing all about the new Andy Warhol and that's who you'll be," Mary said leaping up and pulling me into a tight hug.

"Thanks, you're going to do fucking great at MIT," I replied hugging her back.

"You fucking know it."

I hugged both Shane and Mick and then Claudia and I departed. "What time do you want to leave?" I asked getting in my car.

"As soon as possible, I have everything packed you better be packed as well," she stated coldly.

She's so demanding and aloof… but geez I can't help but be enthralled… I'm seriously pathetic when it comes to her. She moved here at the beginning of the last semester and she was just so different than everyone else… she apparently grew up in New Jersey and for some reason or another had to move here and she wanted to be a novelist and she wanted to move to New York… her dreams almost mirrored mine, I want to be an artist and move to New York.

I've never really even left the state but I can remember my mom used to tell me stories about the days she spent in New York and I have vague memories of it. She moved there right out of high school and did the whole artist thing but for some reason or another moved back to the Midwest with me in tow… and then she died. My father was never the same afterwards… not that he was my actual father but he always treated me as such, even when he got remarried and had kids of his own. I gave Claudia a chaste kiss as I dropped her off and then drove home and entered the house with a spring in my step.

Bag in the trunk, easel in the backseat, iPod plugged into the tape adapter, Claudia riding shotgun, and the open road in front of us. I was excited… New York City! "Read another poem," I said passing a vehicle.

"Drunk as a hoot owl, writing letters, by thunderstorm," she said in a bored voice.

"That shit is great. Fuck I can't believe it we're on our way to Greenwich Village… we'll be like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg," I gushed… fuck I've never really even left the small city I was raised in… and now here I am driving towards the Mecca and hub of the cultural world. A few hours later Claudia was still bored… but hey it has been a long drive and I on the other hand was bouncing in my seat… we where on the outskirts, I could see the smog, the buildings, everything. "Claudia bust out the map, we need to get to the Village," I said with a grin.

"Alright," she said with a heavy sigh and dug in the glove compartment. We had already outlined where on the map to go as well hey… New York isn't the type of place you drive around in; this is a public transit type of town. She lit up a smoke and told me to go straight I couldn't help but scrunch up my nose at the scent but ignored it. She gave me directions and after way too long (traffic congestion is a bitch) we arrived in Greenwich Village. As we drove down the streets I couldn't help but feel shocked… this is not The Village… where's the artists? The avant-garde? Where the fuck am I?

"Uh… where are we?" I asked looking around.

"The Village obviously," she said snidely.

I gave her a dirty look but it immediately faltered… god she's so pretty. With her short messy hair, defined bone structure, and scarlet lipstick. "No shit, but what the fuck is up with this place? I thought we where going somewhere artsy."

"Ugh you are so fucking rural. The Village is no longer that dirty rat hole it once was… the starving artist types moved on," she said looking out the windows with adoration in her eyes, fuck I wish she'd look at me like that sometime.

"Then why did you suggest we come here? I am a starving artist remember? I thought you wanted to be one too… you where always going on about writing a great novel and shit."

She laughed heartily and said pointing, "here park right there." I parked and gave her a perplexed look. "Open the trunk, I'm getting my things."

I opened it and went around back to get my things as well… so what are we legging it to her aunt's place? I mean that is where we are supposed to stay… fuck this is confusing. "So what's going on?" I asked passing her, her bag.

"Well I may as well come clean now. I do not write, I hate reading… all those discussions about literature we had; yeah I just used Sparknotes. I think you're a shit artist and will never amount to anything and I basically used you for a free ride to New York. Also you're horrible in bed, fuck seriously who takes ten minutes to take a bra off?" She said with a cruel glint in her eyes and a dark laugh.

"What?" I asked my eyes as wide as saucers.

"Oh yeah and you dress like an idiot, you are really gullible and naïve, and I've never liked you. I just seized an opportunity… don't take it so badly at least you're in New York now," she said with a fake smile and slung her bags on her back.

"What the fuck?" I said feeling a hybrid of anger and hurt course through my veins. "Where the hell am I supposed to stay? If you do not recall you said I was going to stay at your aunt's? And why couldn't you have been fucking normal and asked for a ride up with me? Instead of just stringing me along?"

"I didn't want to pay for gas and I needed something to amuse myself with in that shitty little town," she said with a casual shrug of her shoulders. "Besides there's always Central Park you can find yourself a nice bench. Have a nice life Ira." And with that she walked out of my life and left me stranded in New York City's Greenwich Village.

I went up to the first young person I seen walking on the streets and did something so touristy I should be ashamed of myself. "Hey man do you think you could tell me which neighbourhood all the artist types congregate?" I asked trying not to sound too pathetic.

The first person brushed me off entirely, but I struck gold with the second person who was a short girl in a private school uniform and a bored expression on her face. "Oh… the artists? Well I guess that'd be Williamsburg… all the hipsters live there anyways… and I mean you look like one," she said in a thick New York accent.

"Where the fuck's that?"

"Brooklyn," she stated simply before walking off. Well I suppose now I at least have a destination in mind. I got in the car and opened up the map. It took me ten minutes but I finally highlighted a good route to Williamsburg… fuck hopefully this girl wasn't fucking with me.

I need food, I need a job, and I need an apartment. I have exactly $2348 dollars… and four parking tickets for $150. I could also do with a shower. I scanned the newspaper and sat on the hood of my car as it was parked along the street. If I sold my car I could probably get at least $2000 maybe $2500 if I'm lucky… but I'm sure it'll take a little while to sell. All of the apartments looked ridiculously expensive and it isn't like I have anyone willing to be my roommate. I did however find a few job opportunities. With a dejected sigh I rubbed some dry shampoo in my greasy hair so it wouldn't look so gross, pulled on a wrinkled old blazer, wiped my greasy face off with a wet nap and pulled out some of the resumes I printed up. I took the L Train to Bedford Avenue and felt like an idiot for clutching a map and schedule. I finally found one of the cafés that was hiring and handed in a resume, then I stopped at a restaurant, a convenience store, a bar, and finally a gig to be a janitor. I was so glad I got a new cell phone number yesterday and I grabbed a cup of cheap coffee from a convenience store. I sipped the watery coffee and a dejected sigh escaped my lips. I sat down on the curb and pulled out my paperback of 'Queer'. I was reading and really feeling down… I mean this is an adventure I should be excited but fuck poverty sucks. I haven't eaten today, I have no home, I live in a car that continuously gets parking tickets, I have no job, and my girlfriend fucked me over. Feeling even worse I sighed as my light was blocked by a figure. I looked up to see a short girl who was über fashionable and had dirty blonde hair in loose curls. "So do you think Burroughs killed his wife by accident as he claimed or do you think they where playing William Tell?" she asked with a truly inquisitive look on her face.

"I think they where high as fuck and played William Tell and I bet he was really good at it and that was the first time he ever missed," I replied.

"Good answer," she said sitting down next to me. "I'm Ione."

"I'm Ira."

"Neat name, so what're your plans for the night? There's a great gig at Sound Fix," she said with a really sweet smile.

"What's Sound Fix?"

"Just this hip venue with great live music, you should check it out."

"Oh maybe… I'm not sure I can afford going out and shit… I have that whole homeless starving artist thing going on."

"Don't we all?"

"Yeah I guess but I'm like new in town. I'm really just trying to find an apartment and a job… actually maybe I should go, I mean what the fuck else do I have to do? Where is this Sound Fix place?"

"What are your political ideologies?" She asked suddenly.

"Off topic much? Uh… I guess I'm like… a libertarian democratic socialist. I don't know… I mean I'm really young; the world still confuses me… I don't know what the perfect political manifesto is yet… but I will someday," I explained awkwardly.

"Hm, interesting you should tell me more about that sometime… so where you from?"

"I was born in New York and lived in The Village till I was six or so and then my mom moved us back to her hometown which is some hick-ass place in the Midwest… like population ten thousand," I explained shoving my book in my old messenger bag.

"I'm from Long Island originally but I went to fancy boarding schools all over the country when I was growing up, it was total shit. Hey… name your top five favourite bands and films."

"Wow you really dig random questions. Uhm alright… my favourite bands is constantly changing but currently I'd have to go with… Xiu Xiu, The Liars, Colour Revolt, Gogol Bordello, and Beep Beep. Films uhm… Life Aquatic, Lost in Translation, Gummo, Evil Dead, and Roman Holiday. What about yours?"

"Pedro the Lion, Regina Spektor, fun., Tilly and the Wall, and Cake… I love Rushmore, Greedy Guts, Le Ballon Rouge, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Yeah shit like that… so you seem pretty cool, I don't get any bad vibes off of you and you're homeless and shit so wanna stay at my loft? I mean there's a lot of people living there and it is a kind of shitty building and the entrance is kind of scary but we take in strays all the time."

"Are you fucking serious?" I asked incredulously.

"Yeah there's like three of us… four of us whatever. We won't mind another. You'll have to sleep on the futon or maybe infiltrate ____ room but yeah it's cool with me. Don't get me wrong we'll have to see if everyone else likes you but if we all get along then yeah you can stay."

"Wow… yeah for sure. This is really great… like really thanks."

"No problem, makes rent cheaper anyways. Come on we'll head over there."

"Uh… I kind of have a car a little ways away… I like need to sell it or some shit and yeah all of my shit is in it."

"It's alright, we can take in your stuff, and you can park out back and then post some ads and shit."

"Fucking awesome, well lets go then," I said with a grin.

Ione directed me to the apartment and I was soon faced with an industrial building/warehouse looking place and I parked in the back. Apparently it's basically abandoned (the slumlord is too lazy/busy to do anything about the downstairs areas and uses them mainly for personal storage) and we live in a loft at the top floor. There was a metal staircase in the back and it was facing a dim alleyway that is probably really dark at night. She helped me haul my bags and boxes up the stairs and I was immediately greeted by a really spacious room. There was a dresser and mattress to my right and right ahead two sofas and a TV then a kitchen area in the corner, some dining chairs next to it and four doors all along the right wall there was also a dresser right outside one of the doors and against the wall that lead to all the rooms. There where a few windows on the left wall but all rather small and the view was shit. The floors were that cheap institution grey carpet and the walls an abysmal off-white but covered with art and posters. "Come on you can stay in ___ room for now. He's on the road right now all Jack Kerouac-esque and besides he won't mind having a cute boy sleep in his bed," Ione said cheerily opening a door and setting some stuff on the floor. The room was small and basically consisted of a large bed with no frame, a shelf above the bed spanning the wall that was covered in books, no closet, a tiny window that was covered in tinfoil, a desk and a basket full of clothes sitting on the floor. The walls had various posters and pieces of artwork and my things immediately crowded stuff up. I didn't have much… one rolley suitcase and duffel bag full of clothes, toiletries, and various knickknacks. A big box of books, a box of records (mostly inherited from my mom), a small box full of DVDs and CDs, the bag for my really shitty laptop, a box of art supplies, two paintings, and a fold-up French Easel. "We have no cable, but we have wireless internet and there is only one bathroom. You will without a doubt be stuck taking cold showers sometimes, as the hot water tank isn't big enough for all of us. There is a plus to this building however; the walls are thick as fuck so living with so many people is way easier. I'll find you a set of keys… soon and yeah that's really it. There is currently two other people living here and often times someone will sleep on the couch… so don't be alarmed. You'll get your own cupboard and you can take a little corner of the fridge… fuck… yeah that's all there is to say," she explained.

"Awesome, do you think I could shower… I'm pretty fucking greasy and then maybe do you think you could show me to a grocery store… and sorry for wasting your time like this and shit," I said digging through my bag for some threads.

"Don't worry it's cool. I have nothing going on and then when we get through with that you can meet some of my friends and everyone is basically going to Sound Fix tonight."

"All right thanks for this by the way… so which door is the shower?"

"First one," she said cheerily.

I clutched my bag of toiletries and clothes and the bathroom was small, a stand up shower with a cute rubber ducky curtain, really boring white tiles, and dim lights… but it was a shower and it was hot and felt great. I finished up and towel dried my curly near black hair then put back on my glasses. I've had nearly the same glasses my entire life. I started wearing them at age seven, a year before my mom died and she picked out some Buddy Holly-esque ones… my vision hasn't changed that much since then and only got a little worse during puberty but the bottle pop black rim glasses have always stayed and always will. I pulled on my ratty skinny jeans, an old tourist shirt, some hemp and beaded bracelets, and a grey cardigan and was then greeted by Ione dancing like mad to some indie band on the stereo the moment I left the confines of the steamy bathroom. "You sure can dance," I said with a small smile.

"You know it doll face, how about you?"

"Hm… not really. I can do a pretty mean twist though," I said busting out in the twist, which wasn't an easy task considering the floor was carpet.

"Not too shabby. Shall we depart?"

"For sure," I replied.

"Fuck how old are you by the way?" she asked as we made our way down the sidewalk.

"18 but I have a fake id," I replied honestly.

"Good, Sound Fix is a bar but yeah don't worry so many of us are underage," she said with a grin. We finally got to the grocery store and she assured me I didn't have to buy the staples (flour, sugar, etc.) as we just all pitch a bit of money towards them when we run out and buy huge bags. So I picked up some fruit, tofu, veggies, pasta, and bread… honestly I didn't get much as I still have no job and I'm sure rent is going to set me back a fair bit. I got situated and Ione took me to a café. I ate scones and she introduced me to a barrista with a lot of piercings (who even gave me an extra shot of syrup) as well as a pair of twins who where leaving as we where entering and proclaimed me as 'fucking adorable' which fed the hell out of my ego. It also turns out Ione and I had a lot more in common than first anticipated and I was feeling the happiest I had since Claudia left (and a lot happier then I was back home… if I can even call that place home anymore).

I was excited as I sat on Ione's bed while she went through her wardrobe looking for something suitable to wear. Her wardrobe was extensive to say the least; she was a trust fund baby and aspiring fashion designer so you can only imagine just how many clothes she owned. She finally settled on some gauzy looking mini dress and was messing about with her hair. I was fidgeting with excitement and was eager to meet my other roommates as well as see what my first night out on the town in New York City was going to be like. I wonder if Claudia is facing as much excitement as I am? Fuck, I shouldn't think of her, I need to keep in mind that the person I liked was a lie and charade. We left Ione's bedroom and I was a little surprised to see a boy strumming an acoustic guitar and sitting on a sofa. "Hey Scott," Ione said pleasantly taking a seat on the other sofa and I obediently followed. "This here is Ira, a stray I found near the bridge. I thought we could take him in as he is new to town and way too cute to survive the streets."

"Um… hi," I said awkwardly while playing with the loose threads on my jeans.

"Hey I'm Scott," he said pleasantly before strumming his guitar.

"You look like a lumberjack," I said randomly as the awkward silence set in.

"What?" he asked with a chuckle.

"You have a beard and are wearing plaid and stuff… I guess the glasses and anorexic physique kind of offsets it… but I stand by my statement," I replied feeling even more awkward then before.

This just caused him to laugh some more and then with a friendly smile he asked if I played any instruments. I shyly admitted to playing a little harmonica in my free time but being basically retarded when it came to reading music or actually playing any other instrument. It turns out Scott was a guitarist, saxophonist, bassist, and was a folk singer, but had no formal band backing him; just friends helping out with songs when it was needed. The three of us made our way to the bar and we talked animatedly about the conception of 'Monsters of Folk' and I shyly admitted to being obsessed with Bob Dylan which prompted Ione to compare my physical characteristics to Dylan's and saying I'd be his doppelganger had my nose been funnier looking, and if I wore sunglasses instead of regular ones. The compliment was something I vehemently denied but was secretly pleased about, after all Bob Dylan was rather attractive… until drugs and age took their toll of course, but if I'm being honest here I really don't look like him as the only common trait is similar hair.

When we entered the bar I immediately grinned, it was a fairly large place but the ambience was nothing like the few bars I snuck into before. This place was not a small town dive with wood panelling and this place certainly wasn't anything like those atrocious clubs I had been dragged to in the past. This place had a really laid-back vibe and a dark ambience. I couldn't say much about the décor as it was really dark but the chairs where comfortable and you could get a beer for two dollars if you where willing to drink PBR… which while being an acquired taste was a favourite of the youth of my hometown as it is cheaper than a dime store hooker. I sipped my beer and the band on stage completely captivated me. They had such stage presence I was practically in awe. Once they finished their set I knew I had to buy one of those albums they where selling. "So what'd you think?" Scott asked taking a gulp off of his drink.

"I dug them," Ione said with a small smile.

"They where… amazing. The third song they played especially. I also really liked how they sounded original… I mean yeah you can tell they where influenced by Radiohead but you could still hear something distinct and unique in their music… plus they have mad stage presence," I rambled happily.

"Fuck yeah, they are so good and that stage presence thing is huge. I mean when you compare their old shows with the guitarist they used to have compared to this new guy, it's like night and day. Their live shows have improved so much."

We continued our discussion until the band was done packing up and where now sitting to the side of the stage hocking merch. Scott immediately approached them and Ione and I followed at a leisurely pace. Scott as it turns out is actually good friends with the drummer and lead singer so after I finished going on about how amazing they where and buying an album the five of us sat down at a table and before we could even order a round a girl with granny glasses came up and was greeted by Ione and the drummer Kyle. The night continued on in that fashion, random people would come and leave the table whilst Ione introduced me to everyone. I was a little overwhelmed to be honest as I am after all a pretty shy person. But everyone was ridiculously nice and the more drinks I had the more I loosened up so it was all right. I also met our other roommate a bookish girl named Noelle with an unhealthy pallor and the biggest vocabulary I've ever heard. It was late as fuck when the four of us stumbled back to the loft and the only thing I could murmur as we approached was, "whoa the entrance is scary."

"Told you so," Ione said with a slur and superior smile.

The next morning I felt amazing despite the slight hangover I was experiencing, this bed is the bees knees. It's not too soft or too hard and the sheets are so fucking soft. I couldn't help but grin as I rolled out of the comfortable bed and meandered toward the bathroom. By some stroke of luck it was free and I was able to quickly get ready and swallow a couple of painkillers. I sat at the table eating some fruit when Ione

I awoke and nearly fell out of the bed with surprise. There was someone sleeping right next to me… some red head. Trying not to jostle the body next to me I snuck out of bed and tried to remember if I did anything insane last night. I didn't even go out… so why is someone in my bed? Hm… maybe a lost stray? Or no wait… Ione mentioned that ___ was going to be back soon-ish so maybe that's him. I cautiously left the room and got ready for the day as I was grabbing some breakfast I noticed Scott sitting at the table eating eggy weggys (yes I did recently watch A Clockwork Orange). "Uhm does ___ have red hair by any chance?" I asked whilst pouring some soymilk in my cereal.

"Yeah, why do you ask?" he asked tiredly.

"Uhm… I think he got back last night. I nearly had a heart attack when I woke up."

"If it helps he's not the date raping type," he said with a grin.

"Very reassuring," I replied.

Scott was sitting on one of the couches and I sat next to him playing the harmonica whilst he played the guitar. He was strumming 'Blowin' In The Wind' and I was liberally adding harmonica. As we where playing ___ came out of his room and sat down on one of the couches with a cup of coffee or tea or something. The song was soon abandoned and Scott happily chirped, "__, it's good to see you. It's been way too long, you have to tell us everything that happened."

"For sure," he said with a small yawn. "So who are you harmonica boy?"

"Ira," I replied shyly. Being in New York has helped me overcome a bit of my shyness but honestly I'm still shy as fuck.

"Oh yeah, I should've assumed. Ione e-mailed me about you," he said with a smile. "So is your name really Ira Hayes, or did you change it so you'd seem all bohemian and shit."

"Uhm… no, it's my real name… my mom liked Johnny Cash I guess," I replied blushing furiously. I hate my name so much; I'm constantly being asked if my name is real or not (okay not constantly but I have before and it's so awkward).

"How can art be realized?

Out of volumes, motion, spaces bounded by the great space, the universe.

Out of different masses, tight, heavy, middling--indicated by variations of size or color--directional line--vectors which represent speeds, velocities, accelerations, forces, etc. . . .--these directions making between them meaningful angles, and senses, together defining one big conclusion or many.

Spaces, volumes, suggested by the smallest means in contrast to their mass, or even including them, juxtaposed, pierced by vectors, crossed by speeds.

Nothing at all of this is fixed.

Each element able to move, to stir, to oscillate, to come and go in its relationships with the other elements in its universe.

It must not be just a fleeting moment but a physical bond between the varying events in life.

Not extractions,

But abstractions

Abstractions that are like nothing in life except in their manner of reacting."[18]

- From Abstraction-Création, Art Non Figuratif, no. 1, 1932