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Archive for the ‘story’ Category

“What’s the point of work? Or marriage and kids? We ‘re born, we grow up,  go to school, work, get married, have kids and die.”

“It’s whatever point you want it to be. You’re in charge.”

“You get up, go to work,  come home,  go to sleep, get up,  go to work, maybe relieve a bit of tedium in a bar or someplace…”

“So do something else!”

“I knew you wouldn’t understand.”

“Of course I understand. Just about every single person who’s alive thinks the same thing at least once in their life.”

“Marriage. Tying yourself down and merging yourself legally, financially, all that to someone else, and for what? So ten years down the road, you divorce? And if you have kids, they grow up to hate you? And you buy a house with a mortgage and you’re stuck with that for 40 years…”

“What’s brought all this on? Existential crisis?”

“Mmm-hmm. Well,  at the party yesterday, I was talking to somebody about life…”

“The tall woman with the long hair?”

“She’s very smart.”

“Oh.”

“Julianne can’t help that she’s beautiful,  I mean, smart! ”

”’Julianne?’ Kevin, you want that woman.”

“I… Yeah.”

“Wait, you’re dumping me? Here?”

“I’m sorry, Sheila.”

“All this agita was fake?”

“I’ll get my stuff out tomorrow.”

“To think we would actually have a real conversation…”

“But I agree with you; it’s all a choice.”

“No wonder we’re at Starbucks. You bastard.”

“Yeah, well. Good luck with life. Really. I mean that.”

Reader, I punched him.

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“What are you smiling about?!”

What am I smiling about, Dom? No matter what’s happened, no matter the outbursts you’ve subjected me to in court, I’m fine. I’m achieving my goal in the next few minutes in this aerie that’s my lawyer’s office: Liberation.

You’ve said a lot of shit about me to the media. Why anyone was willing to believe such a classic case of projection, I don’t know, but never mind. I’ve gotten a clean bill of health and soon, I’ll never have to see you again.  Ever.

What a shame you convinced yourself – and me – that you were the marrying kind or that libel would get rid of your guilt about cheating (and cheating and cheating and cheating). Tatum’s said I’ve been too merciful, that I should sue. No,  the world sees you for what you are, and that’s enough. An inadvertent public service, really. Oh, here comes Tatum with the papers! I’m giddy! I’ve got my own pen, thank you!

I’m with someone else – not in the business, bless. Hardly anyone has friends out here, but Marc’s my friend. He’s read a book or two. He’s been by my side the entire time. He treats me with real loving care. He’s an actual adult. I’ve heard he’s been compared to “a young David Gilmore” too, which I didn’t notice before, but, woohoo!

And look at you, Dom. An immature, creepy sex addict. ‘Get my revenge’? When you already have to live with yourself? Completely unnecessary.

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Despite the odds, we’ve made it. It wasn’t exactly a shotgun wedding, but we decided for the sake of the baby, we’d get married. I know my friends thought I was stupid, but I was already 21, Evie was 18 and Max was almost a year old, and, it just wasn’t right to me and Evie that we weren’t a family. So we became one. Our parents were relieved. They couldn’t hide that.

Then a year later we had Jess, so we were in it to win it. For a while we struggled, sure. Though the only time I ever seriously considered cheating was when I lost my job 10 years ago; the kids were almost out the door and my ego wanted massaging. One of the managers at the old office wanted to massage it, but I passed before things got to the point of no return. I also wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror.

Max? He’s 27, a carpenter. Jess is 25 and a stand-up. She’s pretty good, once I got over hearing her swear. You never want to think of your little girl swearing. Our friends have little kids and teens, and you can feel the envy when they’re at the house, except for Trina; Trina met a friend of Max’s at our house and they’re together now. Trina’s 42. Will’s 30. They really hit it off.

I look strange? Yeah, well… Evie told me yesterday we’re pregnant. Jesus. Pregnant. I’m 47. Evie’s 44. I’ll be 65 with an 18 year old kid. 65!

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“Mommy?”
“Hmm?”
“Mommy!”

“What, Patrick, what?”

“Stop reading and talk to me.”

“OK. Book is closed.”
“If I was a dog I’d go, ‘woof-woof’?”
“Yes. Approximately.”

“And if I was a cat, I’d go, “meow-meow’?”

“Mmm-hmm.”

“But what if I were a rock?”

“Rocks don’t make their own sounds, honey.”

“But when I throw it, it makes a sound!”

“That’s because it hit something else. Rocks aren’t alive.”

“Oh. So dogs and cats and us are alive.”

“Yes.”

“Are rocks alive?”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

“Rocks don’t grow.”

“They don’t?”

“No. And rocks don’t feel anything.”

“Do flowers feel?”

“I think we’re trying to find out. Scientists, that is.”

“Flowers are alive.”

“Yes.”

“And carrots?”

“Plants are alive until we pull them off the trees or out of the ground.”

“Is dirt alive?

“No. Dirt’s just ground-up rocks.”

“I’m confoozled.”

“When you are bigger and in school longer, you will learn all about it.”

“OK. It’s OK to eat carrots?”

“Every living being has to eat to stay alive, so, yes, it’s OK.”

“Would a tiger eat me?”

“If it was hungry and could catch you, yes!”

“I would run and run!”

“It would be better to be far away from a tiger.”

“I saw a cat outside eat its babies!”

“What! When?”

“Today! They were tiny!”

“Oh, honey. I’m sorry. Sometimes that happens.”

“You won’t eat me, will you?”

“No! Oh, no wonder! Believe me, I would never eat you! I love you!”

“You do?”

“Yes!”

“OK. That’s very good.”

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“Could I see a little more gravitas? Your father is dead and you think something’s going on, but you’re too afraid to find out, yes? Again. Please.”

“’K. Ahem! Oh, that this tootoo solid FLESH wouldmeltthaw and resolveITSELF in to a DOO! Or that th’Everlasting had not fixed hiscanon against self-slaughter! O God! GOD!”

“Stop.”

Rebecca Nelson warily regarded Colleen Lucas.  Rebecca hadn’t cast this all-woman Hamlet; she came on to direct only today, when Sheila Rodriguez called begging for help. Millicent Taylor had fallen ill. “Walking pneumonia”. No matter; the problem now was Colleen Lucas was terrible and Rebecca suspected Colleen had gotten extremely cozy with Millicent to get the part. There was no denying that she was lovely to look at, but seemingly that’s all she was. Was it too late to reframe the show? Rebecca knew several actors who would be splendid, including one who looked like a younger Kevin Kline.

Try to work with what you’ve got, Becs.

“You have read Hamlet?”

“Yes, ma’am. It was sad.”

“What do you think Hamlet’s problem was?”

“Hamlet’s the real king, and his uncle stole the crown.”

“Are you sure that’s the issue?”

“Yeah!”

“’Mad’ here means ‘crazy’, not ‘angry’.”

“Oh… OK. I’m so silly.”

Colleen batted her eyes.

Poor thing. I’m not gay.

“Why do you want to do this play?”

“’Cause it’s famous!”

Oh, Millie. You must bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, because this child must go.

“Come sit by me, Colleen. Let’s chat.”

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Dammit, here she comes. I hate these family weddings.

“Hello, hello!”

“Hello, Paula.”

“Look at you! Good to see you’re eating well. Very well. Incredibly well. Me, I can never keep down a bite.”

Pleasedon’taskaboutMatt.Pleasedon’taskabout…

“And Ryan’s over there.  He hates anything he has to wear a suit for, but he loves me, bless him. Where’s your fellow? ‘Malcolm’, is it? ‘Maurice’?”

“Matthew.”

“Yes, Matthew. The postman. Charming. So?”

“We’ve, uh, divorced.”

DIVORCED?! No! But how terrible! What happened?”

“I don’t think I want to…”

“Well, I’m sure he’ll find a lovely girl sooner or later.”

“I’m going to have to excuse myself…”

“Wait, Tricia, I must tell you. Must. We’re moving away from Manhattan!”

“Congratulations. I’m just going to…”

Fisher Island. It just feels right.”

“Great. Look, I see my mother…”

“Tricia, I get the distinct feeling that you’re ditching me.”

I should let her have it, right now. But Pegs would never forgive me. OK, Trish, reacting to all this would be our insecurity showing. But I hate her. No, it’s envy, isn’t it? But I want to smash her face in with a ball-peen hammer if it would for one moment make her shut the hell up about herself! Dammit.

“Paula?”

“Yes?”

“I’m glad you’re thin, rich and with a wonderful man. I wish I were just like you. There. Satisfied?”

“You’re a scream! Honestly! Lighten up. No wonder Matthew left you.”

Oh, so she walks away! How do I fall for this every! Single! Time!? How?

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“Here, have one.”

“Looks funny. Funny weird.”

“Don’t worry about that, just try it.”

“You take me for your baking guinea pig?”

“Then think of it as an adventure!”

“So I’m Alice?”

“Exactly. ‘Eat me!’”

“This is a lump. If this looked remotely appetizing or if it was a recognizable pastry…”

“Will you just eat it?!”

“What’ll happen if I do?”

“You’ll escape a bop on the nose for a start.”

“You wouldn’t hit me for not eating… whatever this is, would you?”

“I guarantee it’s really tasty. You’ll feel better in a few minutes.”

“Why? Wait. There’s something illegal in here.

“You don’t trust me?”

“No.”

“If it will assuage you, I’ll have one too.”

“You’re breaking out the SAT words? Uh-oh. You’ve gobbled down more suspect things…”

“Apples, cinnamon,  nutmeg and sugar.  See? Apples. I’m your sister, Pen. Whatever I do, I would never purposely hurt you. It’s a cobbler.”

“Just a cobbler.”

“A cobbler.”

“Without any substances of an illicit nature anywhere within? You haven’t got a camera hidden in this kitchen? I’m not going to find a video of myself rocking back and forth, drooling and babbling incoherently about François Arnaud on YouTube with my underwear on my head?”

“Oho! You need to give yourself permission to let loose, chica! Although he is a hot number, isn’t he?”

“Answer my questions.”

“Why don’t you just eat it and find out for yourself? Go on, try!”

“Look at you. John Tenniel couldn’t draw any better.”

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