I am the original mismatched misfit, tripping down the road of life, doing prat-falls on God’s little green apple peels.
The truth is … I can’t go for too long waxing nostalgic prose without my snark giving me a head slap. And the last three weeks whilst I rummaged through my virtual trunk of black and whites to bring you some captioned delights, my alter-ego was pitching a bitch.
“Give me a damn break,” she snarled. “It wasn’t all that.”
Today, to uphold my love of the snark, I combine my current alter-ego … Maxine … with two snippets for your reading pleasure.
And because I have this thing about trilogy postings, we will finish up the month of July with more comic relief.
Viola, Aunt Lucille and the pesky Josephine, are three characters I so love to play with.
I give you the first snipped from a piece I haplessly titled “The Human Gnat.”
Smoke flumes curled from her lips as she pulled on a filter-tip cigarette and tapped her foot impatiently. Viola Gambone leaned on a parked car outside her parent’s clapboard house, fluffed up her hair, and turned out her wrist to check her watch for the third time in less than a minute. Five more minutes and he’d be history.
Viola didn’t believe in waiting on any of them. She made it her business to get around town, in the way people knew getting around got young girls into trouble. In the way to remain a moving target and not get nailed by the narrow glare of her mother’s eyes.
The front door clamored open and Lucille Gambone emerged. Gravity and corrosion had tilted the front steps at such an angle that anyone not steady on their feet might fall over or trip. Knowing this, Viola enjoyed waiting each morning for her mother to negotiate the three steps leading to the sidewalk and trek three doors down to Lucy’s Candy Shoppe.
Lucille was sallow and blonde with pale blue-gray eyes. On her face her daughter saw the same expression she had seen her whole life. Lucille was miserable. Most people thought she was miserable because she was as wide as she was tall, that her unfortunate glandular disorder had affected her brain and she was no longer capable of smiling. Others who knew better, understood Lucille didn’t need a reason, she was just plain miserable, first thing, mid-day, and the last minute before she lumbered to her side of the bed at night.
Each morning she made the short trip from their house to her tiny establishment on the corner of South Bradley Street. Viola knew it was there her mother would remain ensconced until late evening, waiting on her daughter for lunch and a late supper. For her frequent mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, Lucille relied on her spouse or one of the Bradley Street regulars.
Because of her size, Lucille went down each step sideways, the effort causing her weight to shift like a jello mold when shaken. On the last step, she lunged, enertia flinging her headlong toward the parked car and her daughter.
As a precaution Viola stepped aside as Lucille slammed into the car, kicked the tire, and yanked on the waste of her dress. She turned to her daughter, “Why are you standing there like your planted in concrete?”
“Been waiting on a ride to meet Sandy at the diner.”
Her mother gave her a long fierce look, “Stay away from that trash Billy Conway.”
Pretending to fix her skirt hem, Viola rolled her eyes. “Yeah Ma.”
“You’d better not bring my lunch late again today or I’ll lay into you with the strap.”
Viola blew out a long stream of smoke, let the cigarette fall to her feet, and crushed it with a slow circular motion. “I won’t forget, Ma.”
With that Lucille took one long breath and toddled down the street. After she disappeared around the corner, Viola stood perfectly still and watched the empty space where her mother had been. The old adage filled her mind with a flutter of apprehension. If you want to know what you’ll look like when you grow up, just take a good look at your mother.
She took out a tube of lipstick, bent into the rear view mirror of the parked car, and applied another layer of Wild Passion.
Viola, the third in birth order, and the only female, had been more on the chubby side until adolescence. Her looks came from her father’s side, with dark hair and eyes, her skin a beautiful olive. The baby fat she had fretted over daily melted, and now a fully grown eighteen, Viola was tall and slender and took pleasure in the curves of her body.
With one shake of her head to eradicate the sight of her mother, Viola made her way up the long hill towards Main Street. “Bullshit. I’m not like either of them.”
This one is my current profile pic on FB.
I use Gail, the main character in a romantic comedy, as a vehicle to poke some fun at romance novels. I apologize in advance to any of my readers who write romance. All I can say in my defense is that I’ve read at least sixty of Nora Roberts and another couple hundred others. As Joan Rivers once said (I paraphrase of course) … “You can’t make fun of something you don’t know about.”
From Gail and Once More Around the Block. At least this time Gail is not in the snares of another failed blind date.
It’s not like I don’t care where my sister goes for her anniversary. I care. I care dearly for my sister. For instance, I would care if her hair turned into mousy blonde frizz and her narrow, athletic frame puffed up like the Phillsbury Dough Boy. It’s just that I’d rather sit with my latest Silhouette novel, shovel in about ten pounds of Chinese and slowly lick a half gallon of ice-cream.
You know? Straight from the carton. No little dishes with manageable portions. The whole gallon, slowly, spoon by creamy spoon, until the melted ice-cream at the bottom is the consistency of a milk shake and you can drink it. Lick your lips and wait for the rich ranch owner to notice the poor cowgirl who struggles to help her aging grandfather run his failing ranch.
I’m crying and blow my nose, happy the little cowgirl married the rich ranch owner and will live happily ever-after.
That’s the other part of romance novels, fairy tales and Disney cartoons. You never have to see what happens “after.” I mean, do you want to know what happens to Cinderella after?
Does she blow up like a blimp and turn into a shrew, complaining that Prince Charming spends too much time-out with the Knights of the Round Table?
Writing is a serious business, and I hasten to add, a difficult and serious business. So how on earth do I have the time to “play” with my characters?
Like this blog, playing games with my mismatched, misfit characters is fun. It’s like a water sport. You can do almost anything in the water. Just don’t try to do any of it on dry land.
Tell me please, do you ever get bored and need comic relief?
How often do you put your main characters into compromising positions
because you can?
fOIS In The City