Here’s another creative writing exercise:

“You’ve left town – ditching your old, miserable life – hoping to start a new life for yourself. You’ve given yourself a new name, fake background and style. Write about your first encounter in your new town.”

I rolled into New York City late that Thursday night. It was pouring the rain and since I was new to getting my hair dyed, I was deathly afraid that it was going to make the color run out of my hair before I got situated into the cab. It was time for a change and New York City seemed like the perfect place to do it and my first attempt at giving myself the identity I had so carefully prepared was about to happen in the form of conversing with the cab driver. I situated in the back seat and quickly read the license he had attached to his headrest. “Mojav Tussein” it read, and I wondered what his real name was. Judging from his face, the color of his skin, and my racism, I figured it probably was his real name. I was the faker here. I did a quick check of myself in the dark cab, checking my black boots, black jeans, Mayhem t-shirt. I had let my hair grow out and the black dye made me look like a completely different person. I brushed it back out of my face and poked myself in the eye with my spiked bracelet. I’d get used to it soon.

“Chelsea Savoy” I said to the Mojav, who still hadn’t formally greeted me, but was staring at me through the rearview mirror. Was he afraid? Hopefully! I debated the corpse face paint and talking in a deep voice, but I didn’t need to, from the expression on Mojav’s face. The cab began to roll and I suddenly felt just a little bit more at ease. I took a look at my black fingernails each time we’d pass under a streetlight. Not bad, considering it’s the first time I’ve ever done such a thing. I had to convince these people that I was Rex Doom, ex-lead singer of the band the Neuro Skull Dusters. “What, haven’t heard of ’em?” I’d say after people would inevitably act unimpressed. “We almost made Norway sink with our brand of metal!” They still wouldn’t be impressed, but they’d get a good look at newfound heavy-set build and my inverted cross that I’d buy once I got to looking around the city and then they’d be at my mercy. Maybe I’d even score a gig with a local act needed a good singer. Yeah, this New York thing was going to work. I was already getting off to a good start, New York traffic is hell.

When we pulled up in front of the Chelsea Savoy, I dropped a few extra dollars into the hand of Mojav, and waited patiently as he pulled my bags from the trunk of the cab. “In my country,” he started, “we do not have heavy metal. But some men know of it, and celebrate it.”

I nodded at him and began to respond, only to be cut off.

“I was one of those men. Mayhem!” he exclaimed, pointing to my shirt, “Now those guys were out of control! That Per Ohlin was a crazy son of bitch!”

“Who?” I stupidly replied.

Mojav laughed, turned and got back into his car. I had been exposed as a fraud no more than 45 minutes after landing in New York. I hear there’s a grunge revival going on in Seattle. I’ll make plans tonight.

Enjoy today’s haiku:

Listening to punk
at work makes you want to do
anything but work

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