“Please turn right,” an artificially pleasant, female-sounding voice said from the dashboard.
Jimmy turned right.
“What the hell was that?” asked Johnny.
“She said ‘turn right,’” said Jimmy.
“I heard what she said,” said Johnny. “But I’m tellin’ you, I been there, and it ain’t right.”
“Maybe she knows a shortcut,” said Jimmy.
“And maybe you’re an idiot,” said Johnny, “takin’ directions from a broad,” he added, under his breath, “fat, dumb, salsiccia-eatin’, robot-dame-whipped…direction-takin’ mother-…”
“What was that?” Jimmy, the bigger of the two, asked.
“Nothin’,” said Johnny.
“That’s what I thought,” said Jimmy.
“Flip a U-turn up here,” said Johnny.
“Please turn left,” said the robot voice.
Jimmy turned left.
“What…the…HELL?!?!” screamed Johnny.
“She said ‘turn left.’ I’m turnin’ left. Just sit back…relax…we’ll be there in a jiff,” said Jimmy.
“Oh, so you givin’ orders now? You know what Junior said. I’m the brains on this operation; you’re the brawn.”
“This here’s the only brain I need,” said Jimmy, tapping the dash.
“But I been there, Jimmy. That’s what I’m tryin’ to tell ya. Where’d you get that thing anyway?”
“Over at Gambino’s. I know a guy.”
“Gambino’s Electronics? What’s the guy’s name?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Greg. Gary. Somethin’ with a ‘g.’ I ain’t no good with names,” said Jimmy.
And that was true; Jimmy was no good with names. Otherwise, he would have remembered that the Gambinos were related to the Gambonis. And Gill “The Gadget” Gambino (of Gambino’s Electronics) was cousins with Guido Gamboni, with whom Jimmy had had an unfortunate (i.e. permanent) “misunderstanding.” Both the Gambinos and the Gambonis were great with technology. And revenge.
“Approaching destination,” said the robot voice.
Of course, it was not their destination, but a dark alley.
“Prepare to die,” said the robot, with the same chirpy pleasantness.
Just then, thugs in trench coats emerged from the darkness. As bullets pierced the windshield, Jimmy wondered if he still had his receipt.
“Why don’t you pick?” she offered.
“Well, my roommate said the first one’s really good. If you don’t mind…”
“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said.
“Great! See you then.”
He hung up. She couldn’t wait.
David was the first guy she had actually been interested in since coming out to school. He sat three seats in front of her in their food science class. She loved his easy smile and his sun-blonde hair. He was a nice guy. A good guy. She could tell.
She showered. Picked her favorite dress. Spent extra time on her hair and makeup. Was sure to wear the perfume he had said he liked.
She showed up right at eight, not wanting to seem too eager, but not wanting to miss one moment of their time together.
The movie started. He sat next to her on the couch. Close. His leg almost touching hers. She could feel the warmth of his body. Would he hold her hand? Kiss her? The anticipation was almost too much.
About halfway through the movie, there was a knock at the door. “I’ll get it,” said a roommate, bounding down the stairs.
“Well this is a surprise!” the roommate said a moment later.
“I know,” said a bubbly voice. “I wanted to surprise him.”
“Oh, you have,” said the roommate, chuckling.
“Rachel?!?!” David exclaimed, rising from the couch.
“Yeah, baby, it’s me,” she said, running across the room, flinging herself into his arms.
“Gwen, this is Rachel,” he offered sheepishly. “Rachel, Gwen.”
But Gwen decided not to stick around for awkward explanations or seating arrangements. She grabbed her purse and headed out the door.
She had never felt so cheap.
And really couldn’t believe she had watched Jennifer Love Hewitt for this guy.
I used to work with one of these. She meant well, but conversations with her would always go something like this: Continue reading
In my Love in the Time of Cholera post, I mentioned that I liked the quote: “A man should have two wives: one to love and one to sew on his buttons.” And I did, I thought it was funny. But sometimes a passage from a book just speaks to you, manifests your feeling, but more eloquently, says it in a way you wish but know you never could. Continue reading
Dunce One’s post about Very Bad Poetry got me thinking. Once upon a time, I used to like poetry very much, and fancied myself somewhat of a burgeoning poet. The reality is, I haven’t written or attempted to write a poem in well over a decade (life gets in the way; you know how it goes). So imagine my excitement when I came across the “¡Poetry!” group on www.Goodreads.com, a group for poetry enthusiasts to share favorite poems and ideas, as well as original works, in hopes of praise, acclaim, advice, understanding, or (one would hope at least constructive) criticism. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, it was my great fortune and privilege to win a copy of Flash Warden and other stories, by Eileen Granfors, from Goodreads (if you have not checked out Goodreads, or are not a member, you are truly missing out. It is the second best website on the internet (you’ll never guess which one I think is first)).
Granfors introduced me to a whole new style and genre of writing, and it completely blew my mind: flash fiction, micro fiction, hint fiction. It was awesome! Continue reading
Recently, I had the opportunity to live on my own for 6 weeks. I was changing jobs and changing cities, and left my family behind to sell the house and tie up loose ends while I got started here. While of course I knew I would miss my family, I have to confess that, like young Mr. Culkin, I was kind of looking forward to having the place all to myself. Continue reading
What is the past tense of “sneak”? If you’re like me, your initial reaction is “snuck,” right? But I make a lot of these decisions quickly, and based on my inner ear. What sounds right? What sounds familiar? I grew up mostly in America, mostly among native English speakers, and mostly among American English speakers. History was not my best subject, but I know we didn’t invent the language. It’s not called “American,” after all (though I know some that would probably argue for a change there). Continue reading