Tag Archive: fiction


Alone in Heels (A Short Story)

As she stepped onto the crowded train, she could feel the eyes on her.  All of the male eyes and, yes, a few female eyes; they were all looking her over and passing judgment.  They were all passing their verdict on the end result of 25 years of existence.

We know you, those eyes said, you are a whore.

And she knew they were right.  After all, hadn’t he just told her that to her face not more than half an hour ago?  Maybe he didn’t use the word whore.  No, that was her aunt and all the other old ones talking.  They were the only ones who used words like whore without irony.  No, this was 2011 and people only said whore if it was being delivered with a smirk. 

No, what he had said was simply this: “I love my wife.”  And when she had broken down and demanded, “What about me?”, he had coldly replied, “You know why we were together.”  It was the were that hit her.  Past tense.  He’d referred to her in past tense.  Nobody had asked her if she was ready to become a ghost; a lingering phantasm of the past.  It didn’t seem quite fair.

You know why we were together.

Oh gee, I guess I’m just dumb because I really don’t know.  Why, oh why, were we together?  Enlighten me.  Fill my pathetic little head with knowledge.  Show me the light.  Ram your wisdom deep into me.

You were a whore and you were only there to be a whore.

She glanced down at her shoes.  Black high heels.  She almost laughed out loud.  What was she thinking wearing black high heels?  How was she going to get around the city in black high heels?  How was she going to fight the suffocating, poverty-reeking denizens of the rush hour commute in black high heels? 

If this was one of those grindhouse horror flicks that she loved so much, you would be sitting out in the audience and taking bets on just how long it would take her to twist her ankle in those high heels and end up graphically gutted for the amusement of bitter virgins everywhere. 

Black high heels!  For a commute on a train?  For an afternoon in a motel room with a rock hard mattress, no cable, and no room service?  Black high heels to carry her over into the past tense.  What the Hell were you thinking, bitch?  What the Hell is wrong with you!?

 It was, she figured, the type of stupid thing that a whore did because everyone knew that whore’s just weren’t that smart.

What was it Dorothy Parker — a woman who she once imagined herself to be — had said?  You can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make her think.

She clutched onto the pole dividing the car as the train lurched to a violent start.  Looking at all those people on the car, knowing they were passing judgment on her — look at her with that red hair, with that obsessively starved figure, with that short dress, with those high heels, She may claim to be an intellectual but she’s obviously just another whore! — She felt a sickening hatred rising up within her.  She hated that feeling, that bitterness, that anger.  It was a side of her personality that her constant smiles and vapid flirtations were supposed to hide.  But that hatred was there and it was never stronger than on that day.  She hated everyone on that train.  She hated everyone who prayed for her.  She hated him for thinking she was a whore.  She hated you for thinking she wasn’t.  She hated everyone she had ever seen.  She hated them for having lives to go to, for having families to love them, for having anything that brought them any sort of comfort or happiness.  She hated them for not being hurt, for not having tears forming at the sides of their eyes, for not being her.

For not being a whore.

1

Saturday night.  9:00.

            Like an angry infant, a phone shrilly demands to be answered.

            She answers.

            “Hello,” she says.

            “Hey,” a male voice somewhere else says.

            “Uhmm…yeah?”

            “Hey, babe, where you at?”

            “I’m…out.”

            “But you’re in the town, right?”

            “I guess.  Do I know you?”

            “So, sweetheart – you ready to do this thing?”

            “Do what?”

            “You know what.”

            “Who is this?”

            “You know who this is.”

            “I do?”

            “You do.”

            “I do.”

Click

2

            Saturday night.  10:00.

            Like an angry infant, a phone shrilly demands to be answered.

            She answers.

            “Yes?” she says.

            “Did you do it?  Is it done?” a male voice somewhere else asks.

            “Is what done?”

            “You know what.”

            “I do?”

            “You do.”

            “I do.”

            “Is it done?”

            “It is.”

            Click.

20 Of My Favorite Novels

If you really want to totally lose my respect and interest, tell me that you never read.  Several people — not just men — have bragged to me about the fact that they’ve never opened a book.  They’ve never been in a book store.  What amazes me is that 1) they’re proud of this and 2) they can’t understand why I’m never impressed by their ignorance.  What they fail to take into account is that I’ve been a reader my entire life.  I’m happiest when I’m in a used book store.  I’m not sure how they could fail to take that into account.  It probably has something to do with the whole ignorance thing.

For a while now, I’ve been meaning to make a list of my 2o favorite books.  However, I’ve found it very difficult to narrow it down to just 20.  On top of that, my all-time favorite book changes from day-to-day depending on my mood. 

So, don’t think of the list below as being of my 20 favorite books of all time.

Instead, think of it as being a list of my 20 favorite books that just happened to pop into my head at this particular moment.

1) The Millenium Trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest) by Stieg Larrson

2) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) by J.R.R. Tolkien

3) The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

4) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

5) The Awakening by Kate Chopin

6) The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

7) Double Indemnity by James Cain

8 ) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

9) Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

10) Story of O by Pauline Reage

11) Lolita by Vladimer Nabakov

12) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

13) The Stranger by Albert Camus

14) The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

15) The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea

16) A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

17) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

18) The Women’s Room by Marilyn French

19) The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

20) The American Tabloid Trilogy (American Tabloid, The Cold 6,000, and Blood’s a Rover) by James Ellroy

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