"Are we there already?"
We weren’t. Where we were was west Eastside. A place white people in the 90s and suburban soccer moms now call the hood. Miss Y calls it the Gheteau. Mostly because Miss Y had taken the liberty of buying an apartment building with the sole intention of building herself an inner city manor whose only specification was that it be large enough to house as many people as it would displace.
The only problem was that this was the wrong gheteau.
"We’re not," I assured her. "This doesn’t even look anything like the Gheteau."
"Pfft," she pffted. "You expect me to tell poor people apart?"
"You mean places, ma’am?"
"Places, people, I don’t care," she said. "They can all go back to wherever they came from. Projectsville or something."
I was working on a longer form Miss Y vignette, where she would come off more actively malicious instead of just fucking with poor people off-screen.
The last time Miss Y tormented people of lower social standing is conveniently located here: http://fav.me/d2x1m2n !
It was that kind of dry desert heat you could only get in LA. The one thing that set it aside from that dry desert heat you get in an actual desert city was the fact that you could just head to the beach, if it weren’t for the fact that everybody else was thinking the exact same thing. If you even got on the street you’d be stuck in your car until sundown. It was the kind of heat that mocked you. The kind of heat that dangles water and seabreeze and bikini-clad asses in front of you, just out of reach.
You’re sitting there in a goddamn oven, watching traffic inch past you, and the guy next to you, the guy next to you says.
"This girl, man," Eddie said, puffing on a shitty disposable e-cig. It was one of those ones that looked like a toy cigarette, and tasted like somebody pissed on a melted candy bar. "I swear, she just had the smallest fucking thing on, man."
He offered me a drag. I obliged him, mostly because I like shitty vapes like I like shitty food.
"It’s just, like, damn, you know?" He stared at the door. "You know what’s a really shitty term?"
"What," I gave him.
"Camel toe," he said. "Who came up with that shit, right? I mean, camel toe is the least sexy term anyone ever came up with, you know what I mean?"
"Like, fuck, I dunno, call it pussy-cleavage or something," he shrugged. "That’s a good one, pussy-cleavage. I’m using that."
"Turn on the AC."
The worst part of it was that we wouldn’t be any closer to water and seabreeze and pussy-cleavage even if there wasn’t any traffic. We were parked on a tiny street in the middle of the Byzantine-Latino Quarter, wedged between one of those old Ford pick ups and late model Corolla with a dent in the driver side door and half its antenna sheared off.
We were here because there was a guy we had to talk to. A guy people called the Vulgar Bulgar. Not because he was vulgar, or because he was Bulgarian, even though he was both, but because people around here like coming up with stupid rhyming nicknames for everyone.
"Then I’d have to turn the car back on," he said. "I’m not turning the car back on."
One of the sketches I wrote for a potential future plot point in Bang! (formerly known as Walks Into a Bar) during a heatwave. I didn’t like it so much when I first wrote it, but looking back on it now, it’s not that bad.
(The opening to Bang! can be found here: http://fav.me/d5k8heq )
He said into his cup. ”If you had a threesome, would you prefer two girls, or two guys?”
"No, I know what you’re going to say, and let me cut you off there," he said, cutting me off. "Everybody says ‘Two girls. Obviously.’ But why two girls? That seems like a lot of pressure. You have enough trouble pleasing one girl as it is, and now you have to do two at once? At least with another guy you can share the burden."
"Is this an invitation?" I asked.
I wrote a dialogue based bit a while back about dreams about cowboys, shitty sci-fi movies, terrible threesomes, and relationship trauma.
I just added some minor narration and dialogue attribution to fix up the pacing.
Full version: http://fav.me/d64h17j
To warm her up, to make her laugh, I tell Marla about the woman in Dear Abby who married a handsome successful mortician and on their wedding night, he made her soak in a tub of ice water until her skin was freezing to the touch, and then he made her lie in bed completely still while he had intercourse with her cold inert body.
The funny thing is this woman had done this as a newlywed, and gone on to do it for the next ten years of marriage and now she was writing to Dear Abby to ask if Abby thought it meant something.”
When he started with the company, it was a cute little paisley blue tie he got for Father’s Day before his daughter started to hate him. There’s a picture of it on his desk. A picture of the day he got it, I mean. But there’s also a picture of the exact day his daughter started hating him. The tie’s already gone from frayed to half-unravelled by then.
Right now, it’s a miracle the whole thing even manages to hold together, much less the fact that he’s able to still tie it without it coming apart at the knots.
"Good morning, son," Mahoney called me into his office this morning. There was a time where that could have been a good thing. "Take a seat. Can I help you to some coffee? Tea?"
"Coffee’s fine," I say. There’s a pair of old red leather chairs opposite his desk. Both of them are as tattered as his tie. I sit in the one on the right.
"Do you know why I called you in here today, son?" He pours a packet of brown powder into a cup of lukewarm water. Coffee.
Wild Guess says Big Boss. Wild Guess is the part of me that makes assumptions. He’s usually wrong, but I’m going trust him on this one. Mostly because Big Boss is standing right behind Mahoney.
Big Boss is a three-hundred pound black woman, all muscle, who has never smiled once. Not “never smiled once since I’ve seen her”, she has never smiled in her life. I saw her personnel file.
Here’s the opening to a short story I’m working on right now. It’s kinda got this Adam Johnson/George Saunders influence running through it.