I am working on a novel based on some of the characters and will put in a page with all the information soon. Will update this soon. All fiction posts can be found under the category fiction, except for the one written here, I think
Here is a link to my fiction category
Here are 3WW exercises plus more
These are exercises in fiction that are either based on three words somebody gives me or a picture.
They are written fast, and are fun to do.
1979–sex and drug alert
We sat in the Kiev for hours slowly finishing our split pea soup. At night the Kiev, on Second Ave near St Marks, was a place people came to after the after-hours and parties. Everybody we knew would end up there, or the Empire Diner, where sometimes Tom Waits would get up from his table and play the piano.
He ordered cheese blintzes knowing that I would pretend to hate them. Nobody made blintzes like Bubbe* Ceila had.
I pretended to hate so many foods there was just good soup, salads, fruits eggs, homemade peanut butter and whole wheat bread left.
“Here,” he said, “there’s something that I want to give you.”
“Wait until we get home.”
“But I want to….”
“Wait. You have absolutely no impulse control.” I sometimes thought that a great trait.
When we left the restaurant, it began to rain, suddenly and summer heavy. We put our arms around each other, he stopped under a grating, and began to kiss me as fiercely as the rain.
He had lavender eyes. I had never met a man with Elizabeth Taylor eyes before, and now I was married to one. Sometimes I thought that my fascination with his looks was superfical and shallow. Most of the time it was worth everything.
The winds picked up as we ran home engulfed in each others arms. Many of the “Missing: Etan Patz” flyers flew from the trees and street lamps.
By the time we got to the small loft on The Bowery near CBGB’s, the rain had stopped but our clothes were so soaked, it was as if we had taken a shower.
I don’t know how we got our clothes off each other. We just did, and as we stood over the kitchen sink, he entered me. I told him to stop but didn’t really mean it. He kissed my whole body, and whispered into my ear how unbelievably soft my skin was. I was ready again.
When we finally finished, could talk and were sharing a cigarette, I asked him what he wanted to give me. He took something out of his jeans and I saw the familiar blue box I had known often in another life. I knew immediately that whatever was in it, wasn’t from Tiffany’s.
When I opened the box, the ring looked like a three carat diamond and a platinium band.
“We’ve been married four years,” I laughed, “I don’t need an engagement ring now.”
“You deserve one. I took you from so much. Lenny, your family, I had no right….”
“Stop it. I was going to leave Lenny. I don’t need diamonds, I need you.”
“Give them time. It’s only been five years. They hold grudges, but someday…”
Something was ruined. I took a shower. He went into the bedroom.
When I walked in, he had tied a scarf around his arm, and was filling a syringe.
“You stopped, I thought.”
“Annie, the only thing half as good is you.”
“Thats an incredible compliment,”
I knew that I should stop him, but how?
I got dressed and walked north and west to the club where the wine sucked, but I knew everybody, and the music was sometimes amazing. The juke box always was, and I could find somebody special to talk to, and/or flirt with.
I came home in a better mood, but he was lying on the bedroom floor. His Elizabeth Taylor eyes were open and looked shocked.
This summer of constant rain, half a lifetime later, I think of him too often. I have been married and divorced three times more. Four divorces, and one death, his. Five by 50. I might not have Elizabeth Taylor eyes, but I have something in common with her.
I walk up to the attic and look at all the steel boxes. Four are labeled “Jeremy.” I open the Tiffany box for the first time since that day. The ring is so rusty I am scared to hold it
*Bubbe is Yiddish for grandmother
spluge alley laugh
It wasn’t her birthday. They didn’t even have a song. she didn’t understand why he wanted to splurge on her.
When she had been born, somebody had forgotten to attach the rulebook for male/female relationships. It was going to be their fifth date, and she couldn’t, she just couldn’t.
There was nothing offensive about him. He didn’t look like an axe-murderer or somebody she would be scared of in a dark alley.
Actually, when they weren’t together she would forget what he looked like. It was always a shock when he rang the bell and she saw how handsome he was.
Maybe it was his personality. She wasn’t sure that he had one. Yet when they were together they would laugh as she hadn’t laughed with anybody in a long time.
She slept with him that night. And then she knew.
Twenty one years later, when her daughter, Nicole couldn’t decide whether or not she liked a guy, she told Nicole the real, no holds barred story of how she had met her father.
Twenty five years after that she and Nicole told her granddaughter, Liz, how she wouldn’t have been born, if he hadn’t decided to splurge on her that night.
“Granddad, but he’s so cheap.”
“Never when it counts, Liz, and never in bed.”
And another generation of women was born a year later
This is a fiction/photo exercise that I wrote the day after coming back from Montauk
They say that a girl in a red dress made a pact here, long ago. They say that she asked for nothing more and nothing less than 36 hours with the anti-Beatle.
“Just 36 hours, that’s all I ask. I can make him mine if I have 36 hours with him in The Memory Motel.”
The Devil smiled as he granted her wish
“You are a fool, girl, but have your 36 hours, and then you will be mine for eternity.”
She shook her head:
“36 hours with him, and an eternity with you. No contest. I will be delighted to do your work as long as I can remember my 36 hours with him.”
When her 36 hours were over, it was as if time had stood still. Nobody, including the devil in the red dress, and the anti-Beatle remembered a second of it.
She had sold her soul though she never understood why she would wear her red dress, entice men to their death, and never worry about being caught.
People confused her with an angel. 50 plus years later, she looked exactly as she had that night. Long straight blonde hair so similiar to what Marianne Faithfull’s hair looked back then, large turquoise eyes, a red lipsticked mouth caught in an almost permanent pout, only smiling when she caught her prey’s eyes.
Nobody ever thought to match her with so much destruction. Nobody questioned why she didn’t age, and only came out at night four times a year, from somewhere, when she would pick up some man at whatever club was popular that year, and lure him to The Memory Motel.
Her employer, disguised as captain of a charter bluefishing boat, would smile as he remembered every detail of her 36 hours with the anti-Beatle. Oh how he loved those four nights a year guaranteed for eternity, and how only he remembered her memory of love.
Hannah honey was a peachy kind of girl
Her eyes were hazel and her nose was slightly curved
We spent a lonely night at the Memory Motel
It’s on the ocean I guess you know it well
It took a starry night to steal my breath away
Down on the waterfront her hair all drenched
Hannah baby was a honey of a girl
Her eyes were hazel her teeth were slightly curved
She took my guitar and she began to play
She sang a song to me, stuck right in my brain
You’re just a memory of a love that used to be
You’re just a memory of a love that used to mean so
much to me
She got a mind of her own and she use it well, yeah
Well she’s one of a kind
got a mind
She got a mind of her own, yeah, and she use it mighty fine
She drove a pick-up truck painted green and blue
The tires were wearing thin she done a mile or two
And when I asked her where she headed for
(Back up to Boston I’m singing in a bar)
I got to fly today on down to Baton Rouge
My nerves are shot already the road ain’t all that smooth
Across in Texas is the rose of San Antone
I keep on a feeling that gnawing in my bones
You’re just a memory (just a memory) of a love that used to mean so
much to me
(just a memory)
You’re just a memory of a love that used to mean so
much to me
You’re just a memory girl, you’re just a sweet
And it used to mean so much to me
Sha la laa la
Sha la laa la
Sha la laa la
Sha la laa la
You’re just a memory of a love that used to mean so much to me
Let other people dream of Morocco and Maui. I dream of Barstow and Bakersfield. As much as Iâ€™ve tried Iâ€™ve never been to fully realize my noir fantasy in Wildwood, Miami, Florida City or any place in the east including Manhattan, my home for most of the past 29 years come January.
In Sonoma in the â€˜80â€™s when I was staying at Rogerâ€™s Yurt, with a group of French people I had first met at the Limelight, in New York one Christmas Eve, we went down the mountain to the biggest baddest club Iâ€™ve ever been to. People came from an 80 mile radius to listen to live good old rock & roll much like Bob Seger.
I was in dance hall heaven. I looked, then, like early Madonna or maybe she looked like me because I had been dressing in twirly skirts, fitted tops, tons of bracelets, lace socks under my red platform sandals, and lace in my long red curly hair, for longer than I had heard of her.
I began dancing by myself. Men looked at me and I smiled at one. He wanted to know what color my eyes really are. They have huge pupils that change color from Elizabeth Taylor lilac to deep blue to emerald green. We began dancing and finished dancing the next morning in his log cabin that had facilities unlike Rogerâ€™s Yurt where we had to go outside to pee and more. I would have liked him for that alone.
That night we went back to the club where a 25 piece brass rock orchestra played. I began to see infinite possibilities in staying in Sonoma. Real life beckoned the next week and I went back to New York and the corporate world.
Thereâ€™s a saying that New Yorkâ€™s an island off Europe, and for years more I flew over the ocean to explore the lands of my forbears.
But the dream lingered and I flew to Oregon before traveling south. I dreamed of encounters by the sea, dusty desert scenarios, a world without a past and with a future for somebody who needed a fresh start. I dreamed of books written eons ago, and forgotten movies where the girl was as bad as the boy. I dreamed of flaming red lipstick that left huge circles on cigarette butts, glasses, and men; I dreamed of long flaming red matching nails that tore into skin sometimes gently and sometimes with abandon.
I dreamed of a world before my time where women were dames and men were rugged. I dreamed of love lost and then found; of encounters in honkytonks, and cheap beer places.
Sometimes I even dreamed of being a waitress with a sharp tart mouth or a sales clerk in a store in a small town. I knew that my dreams were a romantic illusion but I dreamed them anyway, and set out to explore them.
I dreamed of real nylon stockings with garter belt, silk or rayon summer dresses. I dreamed of being a character in a Coen Brothers movie that hasn’t yet been made; a sort of sequel or prequel to The Man Who wasn’t There.
I dreamed of being everything I a native New Yorker couldn’t be: impulsive, dangerous, exploring new roads and riding fast over sharp curves. I dreamed of men in sharp suits who tipped their hats as they said “morning, miss.”
I dreamed of wide open spaces and roadsters kicking dust. I dreamed of the west as most people do–to forge new starts and to forget painful pasts.
In the Sierra Nevadaâ€™s I found a motor court with bungalows overlooking a lake. One night I stood on my porch, and spotted a handsome cowboy with a mysterious past and a deep dark secret. He could see that I had my own. Soon after the high full moon passed, he ripped my lingerie, while I did nothing to stop him, and everything to encourage him.
I had turned into a Veronica Lake somewhat look-alike with platinum wavy â€˜40â€™s hair that curled over one eye, redder than red lipstick, and vintage silk lingerie, in perfect condition that wouldnâ€™t stay that way.
As we watched the sunrise in shades of pink over the lake, I thought that I should begin exploring again. He wasnâ€™t the one. I stopped in town after town sometimes staying for a day, a week, a monthâ€”I wasnâ€™t in a hurry. When I met him or found the place I would know. I wasnâ€™t sure exactly what I was looking for.
By the time I arrived in LA I was tired of shedding persona’s and skins. I rented an apartment in an old building on the boardwalk in Venice. My hair was just below the chin but longer looking, straightish chestnut. Somewhere on the road I had Lasik surgery on my eyes, but still they changed color; still the pupils were huge.
One day in town I saw a handsome stranger with thick brown blond hair just a bit too long and a perfect James Dean smoldering face. I knew that he was trouble, but my heart fell into my knees and I began to tremble.
â€œThink,â€ I instructed my rational side, but my desire took over. We drank vodka out of Mexican glass goblets and smoked hashish from a water pipe as stood on my balcony and watched the sunset over the Pacific.
Later long after he first unhooked my bra, and we had made passionate love, and learned each others secrets, I would find out if he was the one.
I didn’t post these–too depressing
The depressing one
I wander through the apartment, and sit on the deck that overlooks the courtyard. Real life takes place in the courtyard: Kids play, adult chat through deck doors, parties that go on all night seem to end in the courtyard, always with somebody singing and a young girl screaming. I have never understood the young girl screaming part, and don’t plan to begin now.
Lately people have been telling me that I seem depressed, and have been offering unwanted and unneeded advice. “It’s the season. Single people should do good works.” I recorded that one as I’m not a character in a Barbara Pym novel who wears sensible cardigans and is secretly in love with the Rector.
People don’t know because I choose not to tell them that I am a literacy volunteer, and do other “good works.” It constantly angers me that singles are expected to fill our time with “good works” when they don’t have to simply because they’re married. Apparently the mere act of getting legally married is a “good work.”
I have been secretly recording my friends and family. Their absurd remarks will be my gift to them this holiday season, It will be the video to end all video. They will try to spin it so that I’m at fault, but the un-edited video won’t lie.
I feel nauseous and go into the nearest bathroom, the one that is all white porcelain, and throw up.
It is time to fill the last prescription.
The day the doctors performed exploratory surgery, and said that nothing could be done, I began filling prescriptions in pharmacies that nobody knows me at.
I told nobody. I neither wanted nor needed false sympathy, and attention. The time for attention has passed. The well-living need it.
I changed my will and left everything to a young girl that I tutored for nine years. I have done many things with her over the years, but what is an introduction to culture without back-up?
Somehow she was the one child out of seven not to suffer the affects of being born crack-addicted. Somehow Jolie stole my heart. She is a freshman at Harvard now. The money will assure that she has a chance.
We have talked about this. She understands that her family can’t be fixed; that she must go on and live for herself. I’m scared that she will blow it on a boy or her family or….But I understand that I must let go. Still I have arranged it so that she gets it in increments.
After I get the prescription filled, I think how shocked the people who say that they love me will be, But I’m an image to them not a reality.
The doctors found it strange that somebody like me would come all alone But I’m rational and passed all their mental tests. Yet I know that they talk about me, and how strange it is that I would rather die alone. Oh but the video will record everything that happens. I can’t be alone with a camera. I will wish everybody a happy holiday, and a good life.
It is time to set the camera up, I mash the pills in a bit of yogurt. Then I go to bed one last time.
The not so depressing one
I wander through the neighborhood streets. I am constantly in motion. Life is much more fun when I’m active. I forget all my imaginary problems.
Sometimes I even forget that he died last winter. We weren’t each other lives. At first he would tell me that he needed me to make him complete. I begged him not to. It made me feel stifled and to feel responsible for his happiness, and life.
He was a journalist who traveled to dangerous countries. But he was killed by a drunken driver in Soho. The irony used to make me cry and scream. Now sometimes it makes me laugh. Did I love him enough?
How can I feel happy when he hasn’t been dead a year?
I watch a girl spin until she falls to the ground, laughing. I wish that I could be her. Childhood is a magical time that seems to end earlier each year. Don’t the faux teenager’s know that one day they will want to play childish games, but won’t be able to because it’s just not appropriate.
I walk home. I throw the last prescription of Ambien into the porcelain toilet. I am alive and will live for him also.