Many thanks to Red Room for mentioning my New York stories as an “Editors Pick”. Each of the stories is set in contemporary New York City, and I now have ten of them. I’ll be writing a few more until I get to a book-length manuscript, which will be published in ebook and print editions next year. For the moment, the stories are available individually.
Writing about New York is a singular pleasure. Here below is an excerpt from one of the stories, which is titled “Everyone in L.A.”…
When the doors to the “1” train slid apart from one another, Pat was confronted by a tall young woman dressed in 1950s pink pedal-pushers over a pair of platform high heels that otherwise looked like sandals from a Roman gladiator movie, a T shirt with the face of Lady Gaga silkscreened upon it in red and purple, a Balinese vest of many colors, very curly hair - dyed to resemble that of Lucille Ball - tied up in a knot above her head, yellow-framed dark glasses and an unlit cigarette hanging from her gloss purple lips. She was speaking to someone on a cell phone.
“Like, duh!” the woman said. “What else would you expect?”
She was more or less blocking the door, indifferent to the profanities that floated about her from passengers trying to get around her, to get off the train. For the moment, Pat could not enter the car and, when the opportunity to do so finally arrived, the woman did nothing to accommodate him. He had to slink past her, around the large Macy’s shopping bag that took up what space the woman herself did not take up.
“No! Don’t you see? The whole thing is that Mitch had those looks, and that Lila was too much in love with him to protect herself,” the woman on the phone said.
“Yeah, I know that. But Lila didn’t.”
Pat stood clear of the closing doors, sat down a few feet from the woman, and the train took off toward Houston Street.
There was more information after that. Lila was identified as a loser from Chicago, and Mitch, who had been her boyfriend, was described as “one of those actor clowns from L.A., like everyone in L.A.”
Pat placed his laptop case against his stomach and folded his arms before it. The train roared, but he was so close to the woman in the doorway that she kept him awake with her conversation.
“Listen, I know Mitch,” she said. She grimaced, her lipstick quivering with momentary rage. “I even went out with him.”
Pat banged to the right and the left as the train raced up the tunnel.
“You did too? When?”
The doors opened at Houston Street, and the woman refused to relinquish her place, causing more profanity.
“Yeah, but, like, you didn’t, you know, do it with him the way I did. I mean, did you, Richard?” She hurried into laughter. “Yeah, I did! But it never amounted to anything.”
The doors closed.
“No, he couldn’t get it up.”
The train rattled into motion once more.
“Yeah, that’s right. Like everyone in L.A.”
Causes Terence Clarke Supports