The International Writers Magazine: First Chapters:
a cool dude...
I was looking at
a statue of a Grecian Goddess. The Goddess was doing what Greek Goddesses
do. She was carrying an urn. One of the arms was missing. So? Nothing
unusual about that. The café was empty. Latino music infused
the airwaves. I was drinking iced tea with a twist of lemon when a red
sports car drove by. It was a throwback to the 1980s. In the blink
of an eye the sports car vanished. A fast horn section, from the Latinos
punched a coda and my mind went into stall mode along with the music,
then it went segueing back to something I didnt need right then,
a man called Mickey and a red Corvette Stingray.
I looked out the window. In the village life was slow moving. Now the
Latinos were back rattling timbales in my eardrums. A waiter walked
by. The muscles in my stomach tightened. Sometime later, I called it
intuition. That long limbed stride of his, it also said Mickey. That
stride and sports car had something to tell me, something I needed to
Im listening you hear me?
It was Mickey I needed to find.
I want you to tell me. Tell me where she is Mickey.
In 1984 before he left Port Jefferson, Mickey showed me photos of female
body parts. Parts that came close to studies in forensics. I smiled
when he showed them to me. When he said Chicks with needle marks
are high on my agenda. I smiled. I needed to be as cool as Mickey.
So what does Mickey Schneider, the lean machine from my teenage years
now have to tell me?
Hed ignored me for most of the time.
My name is Paula Oesmer. I live on the Lower East Side and work in the
Upper West Side of Manhattan. I majored in psychology at Amherst. I
did the expected and volunteered a year with my father and his entrepreneurial
cousin Basil in their law firm, Schmirler & Oesmer.
My uncle and father nurtured and gave me direction. Now Im a psychotherapist
with my own practice. I had no intention of becoming a Profiler. Not
until Cindy Overton. Cindy and her husband Richard needed to find closure.
Their daughter Tina was missing, but everything was pointing to her
not being found alive.
Im up early. Early for anyone with half a brain. I welcome no
brain when Im back in Port Jefferson for the summer. The wind
in the pines woke me. I like the dark before first light. Get
out the door Paula and brace the elements! Climb down the rocks and
well take the lakeside? I command the royal we,
then we figure too hard. Today we take the roadway.
Now singularly, I push up the incline and through the big iron gates.
Im thinking into my ligaments into my Achilles stretch, preempting
my pacing, when a light goes on, then the crap routines of my mind command
me. I stumble forward.
Stupid ass! Keep the light on, turn it back, the mind back Paula
And as I move down Branson it shines lucid.
Its my 16th year. Im walking moms hydrophobic little
Chihuahua Curly Girly. Ive just turned into Branson when I hear
it. I see its parking lights. My stomach tightens. As if on cue the
street lights go on and the car loses any semblance of menace. I let
go of the air Id held in check. The car moves past. Our eyes lock
but hes staring without recognition. Its Mickey. He does
the expected. He ignores me. He drives past in a red Corvette Stingray.
Curley Girly and I keep walking.
My folks are big deal now, have the whole shebang, mansion with iron
gates and a cottage down the back, my father pointing
See now. Straight across to Connecticut.
A place such as this, whoever imagined?
I want to do photojournalism, like Ant Rea, Moms "screwed
up sister". Ant Rea in the bylines of the headlines - Palestine,
Israel, Beirut, and phased by Nothing. Except by the guise of my mother.
FORTY years alive Rea and still NO husband.
Ant Reas heart sinks, but I love her, when she smiles at my mother
and says Fuck off Fuck off!
Im into taking portraits of the locals with my second hand 35mm
Nikon. I make sure the features of my subjects are out of focus. My
family thinks Im talent less. Friends say subversive.
Our gangs beginning to splinter into sub-genres, virgins and sluts,
passengers and drivers. Some of us still hitchhike on weekends to the
Hamptons. In the beginning I was so out of my comfort zone but still
I risked it. My rationale belonged to my parents... Safety in
Mickeys a cool dude. Tanned and lean and new to the neighborhood,
he looks like hes stepped straight off Sunset Boulevard.
My mother says.
That boy has a gene pool from Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee.
Then she sings, to the tune of Barbara Streisand Papa Can You
Hear Me? Malibu eyes in Port Jefferson Anties, cousins
and every girl in the neighborhood speculate about Mickeys bad
boy allure, but its wasted. He watches us watching him. He ignores
us. We try harder. He remains unmoved.
Only once did he say words that altered my take on the world.
Those pictures of yours?
Then followed without a question mark.
I stopped taking photos. Not long after Mickey left Long Island.
My mother said.
They didnt have time to unpack the furniture.
My father said,
What for? Such a big house? A woman and two boys?
Then Denny my boyfriend announced.
Mickey said he hated us fucking islanders and he hated
his father commuting through fucking Queens day in and day
out. Hes schitzo. His father never lived here.
Mickey went to Valencia, California. He went to Cal Arts. Mickey majored
in photography. How do I know this? Ive checked him out but I
need to know something more about his life, not only his art. Ive
got access to files on him. Ive traced where hes living.
Slater Feb 2005
More FIRST CHAPTERS
More to come? If you like what you read so far, let janice know...and
if you see Mickey...run.
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