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Chapter 13. Tell Me a Story: Narration > Life Line: Personal Narratives - Pg. 152

Tell Me a Story: Narration 152 Against my father's strong advice, I had left my home in Kentucky to work as a live-in nanny in Chatham, New Jersey. Without so much as an interview, I had been hired. My father said it would never work, but what did he know? He had no faith in me. He wanted to dominate me. He didn't even know me! "You'll be home within six weeks," he said. He was wrong. I lasted eight weeks, and didn't know how to get home. With echoes of "I told you so" ringing in my ears, I had to make a decision. Should I call my father, ask for money, and crawl the 856 miles back home with my tail between my legs--or drive to New York City and take my chances? Filled with fear, I drove through the Holland Tunnel, hoping to find food, faith, and strength on the other side. "What do I have to lose?" I half-asked, half-told myself. I spent the next week riding the subway, trying to think of a plan. After many long, silent summer days in the nauseating stench of urine and the sweat of human sardines commuting in the heat, I thought there must be a better way. So I returned to my car and drove across the bridge to the beach, to Long Island. I found public showers at the beach, and there were crowds of happy people, peaceful and serene, unlike the sardines of the subway, mashed into the E-train, bogged down with the bag- gage of tension, and oppressed by the heat. Here I could think and plan. It was day nine that I blended into a company picnic. The tantalizing aroma of free hot dogs called me, and the crowd was large. No one would recognize me as an outsider. And if they did, what was the worst they could do? Take away my hot dog? Tell me to leave? Have me arrested? It was a risk I would have to take. After successfully caging four hot dogs, I felt brave. I had been silent for days, lonely and scared. I began talking, first to children, then to the clown hired to entertain them. Finally, I approached some adults. The following week, I reported to this company for work. I thought I would work a few weeks to