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Monday, August 8, 2016

The Writer's Life 8/8 - Present & Past

    Nothing struck my fancy in today's news, so here's an excerpt from a novel, Present and Past, I plan to self-publish in early 2018. It takes place in the '80's. I want it to have a film noir, lost generation feel. Life long friends, Tony, a lowgrade hood, and Freddie, a failed actor, have just left Freddie's sister's house:

  "How come Lynn's the only woman under sixty you treat with respect?” said  Freddie.
  "Whattaya mean: 'How come?' She's your sister."
  "Every girl's somebody's sister."
  "I don't respect nobody else like I respect you."
  "Yeah, right. Janey and April could've been yours, moron."
  Tony made a face. "Whattaya want a brother in law like me for? Vinny's all right."
  "He is, but maybe Michael wouldn't've died if you'd been his father."
  "Get atta here. Why you talkin' crazy like that? Maybe he woulda never even been born, jerk-off."
  "She's still hot for you, you know."
  Tony arched an eyebrow. "She told you that?"
  "She didn't have to. It's obvious."
  "Ain't you supposta love your first forever?" He rolled his eyes heavenward, as if he regretted what he'd divulged. "See what you made me say now."
  "You think I didn't know?"
  "She told you'?"
  "Do you always have to be told something to know it?"
  "And you ain't mad? If I was you I'd'a wiped the floor with me . "
  "I'm sure you didn't twist her arm."
  "But she was only sixteen then."
  "Was she sleeping around?"
  "No! What's wrong with you!"
  "Then what was so bad about it?"
  Tony shrugged. "We only did it once, anyway. She wanted to be the only one. I didn't wanna hear it. You know me."
  "It happened the summer of  'sixty-eight, after my freshman year. I can remember it as if it was yesterday. I was sitting on the stoop when she came home. My parents were pissed because it was after eleven. I knew what’d happened as soon as I saw her face. I think my parents did too, although they wouldn't dare say it. She caught some beating that night."
  "If I'd'a known, I wouldn't'a kept 'er out."
  Freddie chuckled ironically. "I'm sure. Don't worry - I'm sure she doesn't regret it. I  remember I was pissed because she lost her virginity before I did. That was a long time ago.”
  “You ain’t kiddin’. She’s the only girl I’d’a ever thought of marryin’. She’s too good for this world.”
  “She is.”
  “She’s just like you.”
  “Baloney. She doesn’t have a selfish bone in her body. Mine are all selfish. Drop me off at the bank. How much money d‘you think I should bring?”
  “Nothin’. It’s all on me. You’ll be ridin’ shotgun.”
  “Why do I have the feeling Guido’s money’s all gonna be spent before we get to California?”
  Tony laughed. “Let’s live. We might be dead tomorrow. Think of poor Michael. If I knew I was gonna die, I’d spend every cent I had. I wouldn’t leave a penny behind. And I’d go out and get a gun and make sure everybody I hated didn’t outlive me.”
  Freddie chuckled. “I hate to see money thrown away.”
  "Havin' a good time ain't throwin' it away. Anyway, relax. I hit the triple at the track last night."
  Freddie shook his head. "You're the luckiest bastard I've ever met."
  "It wasn't all luck. I got a tip on the lead horse, a sure thing, and parlayed it from there. The horses’re the crookedest game goin', worse than boxin'. You know how much I  make there?"
  "Then why don't you stick with it? It's safer than passing phony credit cards or burning cars."
  "I'd be bored without the action."
  "Drop me off, anyway.  I wanna count my money. And by the way, there's a provision involved in this trip. I'll come only if we can stop at Vail and Aspen.  I'll rent the equipment.  It'd be worth it to ski those places even without my own stuff."
  "You ski. I'll stay in the lodge and chase the bunnies."
  "I thought you liked skiing?"
  "I'd rather get laid."
  "You can do both."
  "I hate wastin' time on things that don't mean nothin'."
  "I'll never forget that time at Great Gorge. You went right to the top of the mountain off the bat, without a lesson."
  "I made it down, didn't I? Who needs lessons? They're just like school, a waste’a time. You can learn on your own."
  Tony laughed as Freddie imitated him, his progress down the slope that day.

My thanks to the elderly woman who bought novels by Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts, and to the woman who bought the huge pictorial on impressionism. Special thanks to the woman who gave it and several other books to me, who was nice enough to bring me a cup of water from the bank and to stand guard overs the wares while I ran to get the old Hyundai. Why the heck is she so good to me?
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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