Darryl for the Win

“What if the buildings fall down?” She tilts her head back so far it makes me nervous.

I tell her they won’t. But if something happened, I add, we would run. Then I point out a house-sized animated M&M to distract and maybe even amaze her.

She was born after 9/11, but she’s still heard of enough tragedies—shootings, crashes, natural disasters—to fill her 11-year-old head with worries. This trip is meant to alleviate them, if just for 36 hours. To give another taste of life outside her small town. To show that the world is filled with fun and meant to be explored.

A train ride. Broadway show. Times Square. Seventy-five-foot Christmas tree. Holiday window displays. Central Park. French macarons. Her favorite thing about New York City? A pigeon she’s named Darryl.

If Darryl inspires her to spread her wings, I’ll take it.

Jennifer L. Blanck’s stories have appeared in diverse publications, ranging from Entropy to The Writer to Wine Enthusiast. If she’s not writing, you can probably find her enjoying a glass of wine or exploring her new home state of Colorado. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram @JLBlanck and her blog at https://jenniferlblanck.com/