Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Flash Fried, Not Slow Roasted

An excerpt from a past life, my future novel...

What in God’s name had I been thinking? I was twenty-five years old. I had to face facts: being with a man R.’s age was fast, bland, uninspired— I would always be the fresh catch of the day that had been flash-fried instead of slow roasted. He reminded me of a fisherman out in the Gulf, fighting ten foot swells and the merciless Florida sun to catch one prize snapper. It’s finally on his hook, his aging cronies congratulate him—a gleam of envy in their eyes—he can almost taste the sweet, clean flesh. Problem is, by then, his 43 year-old body is exhausted and just a touch resentful of the damn thing.

“Why don’t we lie here and the maid can bring us champagne and strawberries in bed? Hmmm? What do you say?” R. smiled sweetly as if all men compensated for their sexual ineptitude with overpriced champagne and Chilean produce. A silver strand of hair lay atop my right breast, a souvenir of his good intentions.

“Twenty-five is the best year of a young girl’s life,” I heard Mamma say as I lay in R.'s bed, somewhere out in Southampton. He stared over at me from his pillow with those startling, cornflower blue eyes. “Three hundred and sixty-five days of glamorous living,” she liked to say. Since I was a girl, birthday candles served one of two purposes—as vehicles for licking Mamma’s chocolate-buttercream frosting or a means to subtract from that magic age, looming in the future. Twenty-five, twenty-five… there was something that made it the year of singular beauty and opportunity. By then, my profession, my sentiments and my social circle had to form a flawless sphere—a shape as perfect as a hen’s egg...

(don't worry-- much, much more to come...)

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