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I arrived at night with two bags of clothing and my guitar. I made my way up to the top floor of my friend’s posh seven-story dormitory and found the room I’d reside in for the next two weeks. The walls were covered with marker drawings from a group acid session and I found a bag of coke in my bed. The floor was abandoned for the summer, which only intensified the sensation that I was journeying through a strange land. After settling in, I turned on my computer and began to search for opportunity in this electrifying metropolis, but I was quickly interrupted when I heard a knock. I looked up to find a fellow traveler standing in the doorway. He was bone thin and shirtless with short chaotic black hair and the greenest eyes I’d ever seen. I noticed a lion tattooed on the right shoulder of his olive skin when he spotted my guitar and asked if he could play it. He sang a blues song he wrote called “The devil in a long black dress,” and than told me he was staying in a slanted attic in between the top floor and the roof. He reached for a cheap flask of gin and became my first audience as I played him a song I wrote. We developed a kinship over the next few days as I continued my search for a sense of stability in this new city. The last time I saw this drifter, I told him of my plans and he said to me, “that’s the thing about New York man, it’s all about surviving”….

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