All Around the Town
by Jeff Baker
The two young men walked down the New York City sidewalk, cautiously avoiding holding hands.
Trevor hadn’t been to New York City since he was about twelve. That had been in 2005 and he hadn’t seen the building then.
Patrick had never been east of St. Louis.
“I can still see the skyline,” Patrick said. “You sure we’re on the right street?”
Trevor, skinny with dark hair looked at his smartphone. “Yup. If the building is still here it should be right down this way.”
Patrick, short with reddish-brown hair glanced down the small hill. “This street still has cobblestones, I think.”
“Naaaa, those are old bricks.” Trevor said. “My Dad described New York as a very modern city that isn’t totally in this century.” Trevor grinned. “Where bits of the past sometimes stare at you from unexpected places.”
“Speaking of the past, what about 1912?” Patrick said.
“No, the address is…oh, yeah!” Trevor said. “Let me see that photograph.”
Patrick handed him the old photo, pulled from Trevor’s Mom’s crumbling family album. In it a very young seeming man and woman in black and white were kissing in a brick, arched doorway on a sunny day. The number on the door could just be made out.
The address was scrawled on the back of the photo along with the date March 30, 1912.
“Just in time to hear about the Titanic,” Patrick had joked when Trevor had first shown him the picture.
“It’s no joke,” Trevor had said. “Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa used to like to go to the docks and watch the ships come in. They were there the night the Carpathia brought home the survivors.”
They’d made the trip out from California and now were looking at house numbers.
“702…704…706…” Patrick counted. “Doesn’t look like the arched doorway in the picture. Are you sure about the address?
Trevor stared at the picture. “No,” he said. “It says 706 but it could be…lemmie see something.”
He turned the photo over.
“I can barely make out the handwriting and only the 70 is visible in the picture.” Trevor said. “I guess it could be…”
“709!” Patrick cried triumphantly. “Look across the street.”
The row of brick buildings pressed together across the street were partially hidden by tall hedges, but they could see the arched doorways and the number 709 on the house on the end.
Okay, let’s do this,” Trevor said, taking Patrick’s hand as they darted across the street towards 709, glad there was so little traffic on the side street.
“Think we can scrunch up here?” Patrick said, snuggling next to Trevor in the doorway of 709 Branford Place.
“Just hold the photo up,” Trevor said, checking the smartphone screen. “Yeah, yeah. Right there. I’m glad I have long arms. Okay, hold it. Now…”
Trevor and Patrick kissed as the smartphone caught the two of them and the photo of Trevor’s Great-Grandparents in the same doorway so long ago.”