Friday, February 18, 2011

The vig


I was looking at a friends blog and he's making these observations about vocabulary. One of the words he found interesting was Vigoda, which is the name of an actor from my child hood.

A word I learned at 12 (the old old office) is vig which is short for vigorish. It was explained to me by Timmy. Timmy deserves a place in my stories for a number of reasons, I wonder what ever happened to him.

A different time. All the PSHA crowd, Timmy, and the word vig. I should expand on this and him.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The beginning of a new collection

In a .txt format file I have a growing collection of first chapters. It's very educational to read them. I read them out loud to myself too, perhaps I'll get to a point where I have them memorized.

My new collection is publishers, and the first in the collection will be:

Why them? I don't have a good reason, I saw a reference to them somewhere and went to their web site. Maybe they were on 60 Minutes or something. Anyhow, they do have some authors, and I'm actually familiar with a couple of titles by their authors. Small world.

On a similar but different subject.....

In the process of working on that first chapter, I discovered a couple of reasons why people go to fiction for stories that are really memoirs. You can't remember all the tiny details well enough to fill in the stories in your book, so you say to yourself, oh well, that's what fiction's for.

For instance: I well remember when I made the decision to move to Madison, Wisconsin. How many details do I need to fill out the scene that I can't remember? And how many of them can I look up, so they're accurate? Well, Terri (to become my second wife later on), and I are sitting on the end of Francis street. It's late June or early July, nice warm day, and we're arguing about something. What? Who knows. All that #*@%^ ever wanted to do was argue about nothing, or something there was no control over anyway. Francis street runs into the lake, literally. I'm sure it was some kind of boat ramp many years ago. There's a bluff/hill on the east side of it, and at the top sits French House. On the west side, the low side, sits the DU house. There are wonderful trees with a canopy of leaves over us. So, we're sitting there in the shade, listening to the waves lazily lap against the pavement, arguing over nothing. Sitting on the curb.

There's a guy sitting on the curb on the opposite side of the street, that we weren't paying any attention to. It's a public place, and we're not slugging it out or anything, but she's got to argue. I wish I'd had enough sense to get up and tell her to find her own way back to East Lansing, and walk away. I know what she would have done, called her dad, and he'd get to rescue her, yet again. He lived for that. God, he was such an idiot. Anyway..... back on subject...... We're sitting on the curb about 15 feet from the water lazily lapping the end of Francis street, across from this guy we don't know. ARGUING, as usual.

The guy introduces himself as Jerry. He asks us if we'd be willing to shut up, if he got us stoned. Terri would always stop arguing for a joint. So, Jerry got us stoned, and I said to myself, "Here we are sitting by this beautiful lake, in this great campus district, and this guy has a joint for us. What a great place. I want to live here."

And that's how I chose Madison, Wisconsin. Now, where do I go with that...... Perhaps a longer work that is a collection of arguments with that idiot. But I'm really glad I made that realization about her father being a moron who gloried in saving his daughter. In a lot of ways, she's just like my younger brother was. Too many ways. Only, my mother wasn't as stupid as her father was. Nice guy, I really liked him, but stupid........ So stupid. And let his wife lead him around by his nose. And, WHY would she want a man like that? He was pudgy, stupid, didn't make much money.... She was pretty good looking, ambitious, had family behind her, what did she see in him? Sigh.............. who knows.............

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Since I bored you..... (sorry bout that) Chapt 1?

......Yet again, I'm rewriting chapter 1 -- what/where I am this morning. ( from 1/1/89, 3am.)

I pulled up to O'Cayz looking for a pair. A guy ran out to the cab wearing only shoes, slacks, and a t-shirt. He was in good spirits and wanted to go to State street so he could party on. I had one in and two pairs to get, so I didn't have room for him. For a drunk, he was real nice about being told he couldn't get in. As I watched him run back into the bar, I couldn't help noticing the back of his t-shirt. It was black, probably from other men walking on him. Then a woman wearing an evening gown and her date hurried out. They carefully weaved through the dozen or so men wrestling on the ground in the snow. I pushed the passenger door open so they could slid into the front seat before one of those drunks grabbed one of them and dragged them into the melee. I was really pleased when the woman said Breeze Terrace. That was the destination I was looking for, they were my passengers. I didn't have to tell them I couldn't take them. I put the Dodge into drive, and pulled away.

Her date, sitting next to me in the middle of the front seat was a sight. One arm of his tux was hanging by a couple of threads. The back of his right hand had a knot on it the size of a golf ball, surely caused by a badly broken bone. She was wearing a beautiful evening gown. Over and over she said, oh you poor baby. He wasn't bleeding on my cab, but his general appearance could only be described as, all beat up. I thought to myself, "Yeah lady, that's why you spent five hundred bucks on an evening gown. So your boyfriend could get himself in a bar brawl and get all beat up."

Four blocks later, I was sitting in front of The Fess, tooting the horn. A couple hurried out and piled into the back seat, their destination was State street, specifically The Pub. They had the trademark New Year's Eve hats and horns. They were loaded, the cab was loaded, everybody was happy, and I hadn't even gotten to the square yet. All short rides too! I swung around the corner onto King street, every light the city had was on, giving it a surreal look. There was a line to get into The Majestic, at least thirty couples deep. Both gin joints on the other side of the street had lines too.