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Cowboy in New York

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Cowboy in New York

When the country meets the city.
Victor  Villaseñor
Victor Villaseñor More by this author
Jul 25, 2011 at 10:00 AM

The lobby of the Gramercy was small. Nothing like the big hotels my parents had taken us kids to when they had money. I gave my name at the desk and was told my room was ready. They had no porters, so I used a cart to take all my luggage to my room, but once there, I saw it wasn’t the one my wife Barbara had reserved for me. I went back downstairs to talk to the desk clerk.

“Excuse me,” I said, “but we booked a nonsmoking room facing east so I could see the sunrise, and at treetop level so I can watch the birds and squirrels.”

The clerk looked at me as if I’d just said the stupidest thing in all the world; then he went from shock to anger. “Do you know which direction is east? And what in the hell is treetop level?”

“East is that direction,” I said, pointing. “Within two or three degrees.”

“How do you know that?”

“I can feel it. We all have a compass here in our center. This is why a human being can never get lost.”

“Where the hell are you from? Mars?” He was really upset.

“No, California. And that’s west—out here, directly this direction,” I said, pointing again.

“But how can you know that with all these high-rise buildings?”

“What buildings?”

“WHAT BUILDINGS! Are you blind?”

“No, but when I want to know where the four directions are, I close my eyes so I can feel with my heart and soul. And tree level is anywhere between the third to sixth story, depending on the type of trees you have this far north.”

“Okay, okay,” he said. “I’ll see what I can do. But my God, when I read all this in the room request about trees and birds and squirrels, I thought Jim—another employee here—was just pulling my leg!”

I had to wait an hour, but I ended up getting the most beautiful room, with a tree right outside of my eastern window, with birds and squirrels, just as I’d seen in my mind’s eye when Barbara had asked me what I wanted in a room.

The phone rang. It was my friend Chef Jeff calling to find out if I’d gotten to my hotel all right.

“Yes,” I said, “and I got birds and squirrels in the tree outside my window, which is facing east, just like my wife, Barbara, booked when we called.”

“You called from California and requested a room facing east, with a tree with birds and squirrels?” he asked.

“Yes, of course,” I said.

“Oh, God! And I’d thought that maybe your big Stetson hat and turquoise cowboy boots were fake. You mean, you really did grow up on a ranch by the beach in Oceanside?”

“In south Oceanside.”

He started laughing, and I could hear him telling his parents and Bonnie about my room. “I’ll be checking in on you every day,” he said, still laughing. “We’re rooting for you!”

“Thanks,” I said. I put on my beautiful new overcoat and my dad’s Stetson and decided to walk the streets. Father Sun had just gone down, and all the buildings were coming alive with bright square eyes of light. It was BEAUTIFUL! People were walking fast every which way. After about a half hour of walking, I came up alongside a huge bookstore with large picture windows. I smiled. Soon my book Beyond Rain of Gold would be in one of these windows.

It was warm inside the bookstore, and the whole atmosphere felt elegant and friendly, like an oasis in the middle of rough-and-tumble New York. And there were big posters up on the walls—pictures of Shakespeare, Hemingway, Faulkner, Anne Frank, Dorothy somebody, and a dozen other writers whom I kind of almost knew. People looked at me, but I had no idea why until I passed a mirror and saw my long overcoat and my dad’s large Stetson. I laughed. I mean, I now realized why people had been smiling at me on the street, too. No one, but no one, was dressed like me out here in New York City.

About Author
Victor  Villaseñor
Victor Villaseñor is the author of the national bestsellers Rain of Gold, Thirteen Senses, and Burro Genius, the latter nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; as well as other critically acclaimed books, such as Wild Steps of Heaven and M Continue reading