It’s a displeasure crossing paths with certain kinds of ex-Metropolitans in Las Vegas. Not those who’ve self-exiled themselves to Nevada rather than Florida from the Bronx or Brooklyn after careers in the trades, lifelong housewives in tow, both of whom lovingly lament forsaking “their New York City,” yet on a dime can recite chapter and verse complaints about how the modern boroughs now resemble strange worlds populated by aliens.
That group has earned its loud plaid pants, white shoes and belts, as well as teased-to-giggling blue rinse coifs. The vast majority of them are to be revered. Their generation raised mine.
Pampered as we growing Boomers were, especially compared to parents who endured the Depression then won World War II, they also gave birth to the consumer society by indulging us their children. Nonetheless what gift can replace any nurturing parent? Continue reading Dreadful People
Three Augusts ago I resided at ease in suburban splendor. So much so I took several vacation days to visit Kewpie in Miami. She’d been laboring on film shoot. Warren joined us.
When she wasn’t eye-rolling on-set shenanigans or prima dona outbursts, we treacherous three gamboled along South Beach. Had I known my carefree days were short, I would’ve behaved way more carelessly.
Hmmm. Just might suggest that as my epitaph.
Two years ago, Quarropas, the old hometown, remained somewhat recognizable. That was if a long-time resident squinted. By this time last year, it was less splendiferous since every soul making that loaded word “home” a desirable refuge had died away.
August 2014 marks my first year in Las Vegas. Continue reading Shoulder to the Wheel
Both women must’ve been epiphanies. There are no mirages in Las Vegas unless one is homeless or high.
At the bank to pay bills and withdraw cash, two uncommon sights filled my view. Uncommon for Las Vegas.
These visions were tall, slender, dressed in pleasant near peasant summer wear. Billowy dresses. Sandals only remarkable for their utility rather than bizarre design. Shades. Long and free hair bounced along the smooth shoulders of each.
Amazing. No wild-style coif that defied convention. No tinted tresses which burned retinas. Nor any sour couture that assailed good taste.
Neither had disfigured herself through ink, piercing, nor had succumbed to the apparent Southern Nevada female extremes – hypertrophy or obesity. These were normal women, no? Femmes I might’ve lent cursory views before relocating to Las Vegas. Now, though, they became revelations.
Each was a plain beauty. And I was grateful. Continue reading Saturated Flesh
Those Metropolitan Museum of Art bulletins are having an insidious effect. They remind of what’s been left behind. That’s why I’m already looking ahead to August 2015 for a return to New York.
Of course one upside regarding this move to Nevada is finally being able to enter contests whose grand prizes are all-expense paid trips to New York City. Before, sponsors never failed stuffing my inbox or mailbox with entries. For trips to New York City. Maybe if I lived in Buffalo or Plattsburgh the excursion offered might’ve been worthwhile.
Instead, had I entered and somehow won, travel would’ve consisted of catching a commuter train to Grand Central Terminal, then, depending on the hotel, taking a subway or cab there.
That sojourn wouldn’t have provoked any bug-eyed, screaming gratitude. That just would’ve been another weekend downtown.
Strangely enough now that I live in Las Vegas, I’m receiving pitches whose big prizes are Vegas vacations. Like I said, strange. Continue reading New Start at New Address
With no apologies to the Moz.
Anonymous denunciation inspires this post. On one of the social sites to which I contribute, a correspondent objected to a topic dissected by the Slow Boat Media surgeon.
Which post, what aspect, who knows? Only the person skulking in the shadows can inform, and he or she won’t. Can’t confess without a backbone.
On one hand, these social media boards are terrific because exchanges run the gamut between thoughtful erudition and freewheeling irreverence. Doesn’t matter whether God’s a dog or American intelligence services are financing Cuban Twitter. On the other, more pernicious hand, distance and cloaking permit espousals that likely would’ve remained unstated. These convictions are the sort that ought to have continued seething behind sour breasts.
Continue reading You Are the Quarry
Fabio could’ve taken lessons in deviousness from Celia. He should’ve. Maybe pointers from her might’ve prevented his now and forever pronounced limp. Probably not. Indifferent a student in youth as he had been, Fabio was not an old dog to be taught new tricks.
Maybe ascribing Celia as devious is unnecessarily harsh. Driven. She was driven. At least that lends her a trait Americans can admire. Otherwise it would be too easy to call her manipulative.
Celia grew up in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. Once I asked her town’s name, and she told me, but I forgot it. Or misheard it. Likely the last. Sometimes having drank too much vitamin whiskey her accent thickened into incomprehensibility. And she couldn’t be understood either.
Continue reading The Amoralists — Part Two
With severe apologies to Andre Gide …
Does distance improve perception? Well, in my case perhaps 2400 miles have clarified a few escapades.
Relocated now to Las Vegas (too early to claim “settled”), several scenes and the actors upon those now far away New York stages stalk under brighter light. Those acts having concluded years ago, they can today be reckoned through lengthy contemplation.
Nothing has prepared me for the last two years. Disruption. Demise. Dislocation. Ready for such life occurrences as we swear, aren’t we forever caught out by these upheavals? Maneuver as best we can, coping is the best one can hope.
Continue reading The Amoralists – Part One
Ideally this post would flog Properly Stirred, the 2013 Slow Boat Media short-story compilation. The three interludes feature Paul Knox, a man who enjoyed his pleasures (okay, more than his fair share of pleasures), yielded to the demands of age and status, believed himself to have contentment, then got bushwhacked.
Better than a redo, Knox reverts throughout Properly Stirred. While not indulging in irresponsibility, he must no longer conform. Paul Knox has achieved an enviable state. He’s been released. And he returns to situations and conditions which had earlier occupied him to happy ends.
Continue reading Down Time
Below is an extract from the story that concludes Cool Brass, a Slow Boat Media e-book. Although Marianne Messing predominates throughout the three stories, this interlude features Paz Duarte, Caleb Abercrombie’s casual lover. The whole of Twisty may be read as reactions regarding how perceived outsiders create places in their respective societies as well as within their own skins. Continue reading Twisty
Mother died in January 2013. Since it was winter, I didn’t pull a Meursault. Even if I had random murderous urges and revolver handy, I couldn’t. What two strangers would be strolling on a North Atlantic beach in winter? One? Okay. But two? Please. Continue reading Cool Tours into Evening