Category: Writing and Poetry
Currently on my IPOD: Gravity: John Mayer
I have the death virus right now. My head hurts, glands are swollen, throat is scritch,scratch,scaley....After this I think I am going to do shots of NyQuil and then head off to bed.
Anyway, you guys have got to chill out. Holy hits on my blog batman! After the post regarding the stupidity in the country, I had, literally, over several thousand hits. And then the emails started to come in. We want to see part of the book. We want to read some writing....My pub history is limited online because most of the zines I am in are print. So I have decided to post a little tid bit on here. No..It's not from the book. Thats under wraps.
Almost one year ago, I attended the Algonkian Writers Workshop in Colrain Mass. with Mike Neff and a large assortment of wonderful writers...I learned so much at this conference, it was unprecedented inspiration. As a matter of fact, if I had not attended this conference I don't think I would be writing the book I am writing now.
But, one of the writing exercises was to write a piece (short, middle of a story type) that was completely moved along by dialog. This is an exercise...and only an exercise...Don't read this expecting to find the holy grail of Pulitzer prize winners in the making... The work is below. I had them laughing out loud when I read it. You may not find it nearly as funny, but I always hated sororities...So here goes nothing.
Gamma Pi Lunches at the Happy Machismo
(c) Cicily Janus Oct2006
"Great to see you! Alice, you're looking great, have I told you that lately?" Diane lied.
"It's been a while since us Georgetown Gamma Pi girls could grab a bite between headaches and assignments, huh?" Winking at Alice, Diane sat down at the table.
"I tell you what, the source of my headaches has been Bob, he can really push himself and his assignments on you." The work over the last three months had been more than she had bargained for. Alice needed to blow the steam off of her chest. She looked around at the wait staff and tried to relax.
Handsome young Mexican boys wearing tight white shirts and dark blue jeans, painted on their butts, the scenery at this place definitely has more going for it than the food. Burnt refried beans and sour tequila slipped a noose around her senses and suddenly her appetite waned. As usual, Diane looked better than Alice, especially since the miscarriage two months ago.
"So, Diane, what's new in your life? Did you and Gary ever go on that trip he promised you?" Alice forced a Wal-Mart smile as she gawked at the unbelievably yellow plastic sombreros upon the heads of the bartending staff.
"Not yet." She sighed and glanced at a happy couple sitting at the bar, playing footsy for all of the world, or at least all the people in "The Happy Machismo" to see. "You know how men are, promises, promises. He knows that I've been under stress, but it's always the same crap from my dear old Gary, 'Come on honey, you know sex lowers stress levels, come on wadda ya say?' " Diane stood up and made the motion like she was going to unbutton her pants, zipper first, just like a man. Alice and Diane both dated Gary at one point or the other in college, but in the end, Diane won him over.
"Diane, seriously! Don't embarrass me here." She said this with a smile on her face. "This is supposed to be a 'business' lunch." Under the table cloth Alice unbuttoned her pants knowing that her capacity for guacamole with hot corn chips has yet to co-inside with her pant size and her blouse was already clinging for life to her bosom.
"Business? Alice, this is lunch, let's just talk girlie shit."
Approaching the table, a buff, golden boy placed two water glasses in front of them and proceeded to interrupt their seemingly friendly banter.
"Could I get you ladies…."
"You can get the hell out of here until we're ready to order." Alice said. Diane has not had a glimpse of this side of her since the big sorority brawl back in 89'.
"Where the hell did that come from? The stick up your ass? Alice, give him a break, he's all of what? 18 years old? You know, ever since you took this job, three months ago, you have been on the edge. Is it me? Is it the fact that we are working for the same group of assholes in PR? Bob can be a jerk, but he really knows his stuff, you should listen to him once in a while, you might learn something."
"You know how I value my job. It's not that I don't want to work Bob's Georgetown PR Palace, it really is great. But.." She hesitated. "It's just that the Phillip Morris, 'Killer-at-large' account is really going to bust me up and send me back to prostitution if I don't do what needs to be done for this account." Her voice escalated as rapidly as her blood pressure and she suddenly wished that she had not said that. Diane has been at the company for over a year and in addition to being a loud mouth, she is Alice's only competition for the new supervisor position that Bob is going to create for the marketing department.
The young Mexican boy appeared out of no-where and asked Alice to keep it down. Alice lowered her voice and pulled her chair closer to Diane.
"They are the ones responsible for killing my mother, my father, my baby sister and the wiener dog from second hand smoke. They all smoked. Maybe I will talk to Bob about moving over to the Righteous Animals of Uganda account, I think I have a lot to offer for that company. Does Bob ever let you switch accounts?" Alice whispered as if this was a big secret she was telling. Diane knew she had her where she wanted her, talking about the past, ruminating about what could have been and what could be, Alice was such a schmuck for this stuff. With a look of false sympathy in her eyes the moment for takeover was about to present itself, and Diane knew it.
"Alice, don't worry about it. Bob has always helped me out when I needed it, especially with special projects like this one. But if he won't, well, you are the type who could get a job anywhere you wanted to. Having that special talent to pull off any kind of bull shit, and with tenacity is a winning combination you know. Relax, let's just eat our food." The Guacamole had arrived and Diane smiled at the coolness with which she delivered that speech. For a fleeting moment, Alice had the look of a kicked puppy on her face. Diane had undermined her with men, friends and drinks throughout her life, this was not going to happen again.
"Listen. Alice, if you want, I can hook you up with Dave, you know that guy I dated for a while last summer. He calls me every once in a while for a non-committal act of sex and I have, well, let's just say, leverage to get you into his company. Wadda ya say, He would probably pay you better and the hours, as long as you don't get involved with him, are reasonable." Diane elbowed Alice a little too hard in the ribs. Chummy was a pet peeve for Alice.
"Speaking of Bull shit, why don't you cut it out of your life and talk to me about the real issues at hand." Alice, one. Diane, zero.
"Bull shit? Bull SHIT? You are the one who attempted to steal Gary out of my hands after I had my miscarriage, I saw the two of you in the hospital waiting room as they were wheeling me into surgery, now that's bull shit! It's time for pay back. I was so damned nice to you and got you into this company. With my bosses! And here you are, thinking that you can just waltz right in, a mere three months into the position and steal the promotion that I have been working for!" Stares from all corners of the room bore holes into the backs of their chairs. People quickly pulled cash out of their pockets and headed for the door in an effort to avoid the inevitable.
"Now, that is some bull shit right there. Working? HA! I hardly call what you and Bob do in his Beemer in the parking garage after work, working. Should I call Gary right now and let him know about your latest 'work project'? "
"How the fuck did you know about that?" A lady at the corner booth gasped and dragged three preschoolers out of the restaurant by their hands, attempting to cover their ears. The boys with the guacamole and corn chips ran over to the table in a vein effort to calm the women down.
"Senorita's please, The Machismo is a place of love and fine food, don't…"
"Shut the hell up!"
At least they agreed on that.
"Alice, you can take your job and your fat ass and wash it down the tubes if you want, but at least I am the one who will win this time! At least I still have my looks, the girls at Gamma Pi laughed at the size of your thighs at our reunion last month, and guess what, I laughed with them!" Diane scooted her seat away from the table, this was about to get ugly.
"Diane, you take your guacamole and your job and stuff it down Bobs pants, I QUIT!" She picked up the bowl of guacamole and threw it onto her ten dollar Anne Taylor meets Good will rip off blouse. Her face grew pale and the obedient Mexican boys came to scrub her boobs of the chartreuse/guacamole shit that she had made of her life on this afternoon over lunch.
Alice quickly made her way out of the restaurant to avoid a fist fight and walked next door to the office to tell Bob what she really thought of him. And for just a brief moment, she wished that she had ordered some guacamole to go.
Yours in Sororities, Single Writing Exercises, and Soul Sisters,