We made our way outside, and Ivan kindly haled a cab for me.
"So, what brings you here, exactly?" asked Ivan.
"Well, for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a writer. Everything I see inspires me to write, and coming here, to this city, has helped me understand that even more," I exclaimed.
For some strange reason even though I had just met this man, I knew that there was something different about him. His demeanor exuded kindness and sincerity, and being from the south, this kind of behavior in men in the north is something rare I came across.
"Your expectations seem very high for being a rookie," Ivan responded. "This city can be far from kind, but I know that your spunk will get you through."
"Why would you say that?" I asked inquisitively. For being a complete stranger, Ivan's perceptiveness alarmed me. No one had ever addressed me in such a direct way.
"All I'm saying, sweetheart, is that the more you explore the city, the more you will realize that this city, while full of excitement, is also a city full of trouble. I have made a living off this trouble, unfortunately, but a man has to pay the bills one way or another. The longer I have stayed in this city, the more I understand why they call it the city that never sleeps. Danger lurks at every corner, and my job is to report it, communicate it, and deliver it to the people of New York. Just wait and see, rookie, there is more to New York than the lights and sounds. This place holds some of the world's darkest secrets, and the more you seek them out, you will find them. Take it from me, I am a pro."
Listening to this man made me realize the shallowness of my own desires for writing. "Wow, you're right. I never thought about it that way, but now that you mention it, I realize I still have a lot to learn about this journalism thing."
"It's no problem, sweetheart. I remember being in your spot, new, fresh, a few pencils in my back pocket. There is nothing like starting fresh in a new place. Those were the days." Ivan looked at me, a smile on his face, and quietly took out a pad of paper.
"Before you go, I need to contact you about this job. Starting salary is $30,000 a year after taxes. We can discuss the details later this week at my office."
As I gave him my contact information, the excitement in my spirit reached a whole new level. Not only had I landed a job in my favorite city, but meeting this man alone put a new jolt of anticipation in my step. This meeting I knew was the start of a pretty big adventure, and I was excited to get it going.