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View Full Version : Owning a Glorious Moon (Conclusion)



SilverMoon
October 6th, 2010, 04:05 AM
Fall seemed to have been put on ice, colder than the folks of Mannersville had ever experienced. The tear drop shaped crystals on Char’s chandelier, hung from the large oak tree, were busiley dancing with the bitter wind. A hundred of dangling crystals, ringing to the beat of a late bitter season.

The town was quiet. People most assuredly where in their homes watching TV, reading the newspaper, the wives making hot chocolate for the kids and then the bickering. The couples in town always seemed to be arguing over one thing or another. Surely, it might be worse in the homes.

Char, in blue Parka, walked through the town feeling like she owned it for once. As cold as it was, the hush of the street caused her to breath more easily. No longer the center of attention. Though walking up a ways, she heard the clambering of voices. As she neared O’Brian’s Pub the scramble of voices were becoming louder. She quickly peeked in the window and noticed that half the town was jammed packed in there. She laughed thinking I bet Budda is going right out of his mind right now, serving and contending with about fifty some odd sots!

Budda had entered her mind periodically, thinking of his tragic loss and how he managed to be such a good spirit, despite. She’d quickly dismiss the thought of him because it only brought on guilt. She, privileged, born with a silver spoon in her mouth; had been concerned with an inner suffocation. Yes. She had felt deadened. But Budda…

She poured herself a drink that night. Absolute vodka straight up and played Chet Baker to really set the scene for wallowing in guilt. She on the red couch with Ruff leaning against her, knowing she was breaking her own heart he stayed close. She looked up to the painting. She felt at one with the young man bleeding purple tears. But she could not cry. To her recollection she never had. She remembered the long lecture her older sister received after having cried over the boy they forbade her to see. Char, then KiKi, had stood by her father’s den door and heard most all of it.

Young lady, her father sternly said, tapping his pipe.

“Crying is sloppy, undignified. Keep your feelings in check for if someone should spy a sign of weakness in you, you will be trampled upon. And in our circle it’s gauche, as distastful as carnival glass. And that’s what they’ll see. Glass to be broken."

Then her mother spoke.

Think about it, dear. What well mannered man is going to want a wife prone to outbursts when there are matters of importance he has to tend to. He’ll need you by his side. Strong and beautiful, you are dear, don’t let the ugly get the best of you. We all have concerns but…and her mother went on in her very cultured sing songy voice.

Char became numb listening by the door and had to retreat to her room, wondering how her sister was taking all this in. The walk up the winding staircase seemed to take forever.

That night she thought of that conversation or rather lecture as she was drifting off, having had drunk too much vodka. She had a dream. A dream of a face. An old worn woman’s face with shaven head, face sunken with fine lines, crisscrossing a grayish face. A bony face with deep brow furrows. But oddly enough her eyes were animate, compassionate. She was a Holocaust victim. The woman spoke We are all entitled to our own pain...

Breakfast consisted of an English muffin and coffee. She needed something to soak up the liquor. She thought about the dream. Such words from a woman who suffered through the Holocaust, stepping outside of herself, showering Char with gift words. Of course, she knew that it erupted from her subconsious. She wondered what else lay there for her to discover. But these words, she never really wanted to digest. Pain. Something so foreign. Forgivness never accepted.

Pad, pencil and charcoal were set right near the drawing pad. Ruff was asleep so he made for a good subject. She was pleased when finished. She had really captured him. Char amusingly thought of the nights when she studied, drawing nudes at The Art’s Student League on Fifty-Second Street. Of course, mother and father would have been mortified if they knew she was sorting with Bohemians and drawing nude strangers. So on the evenings out, she’d tell mother that she was meeting a VonGoaser at the 21 Club or having to meet up with the charity group or catch a film with Mitsi.

The subject’s bodies were not ideal. In fact some were fat with layers of skin hanging over their stomachs, then the anorexic with bones looking like they were ready to slice right through their skin. The gruff instructor would pose them in all kinds of grotesque positions. Char drew quickly and loved shading the most. It was like sculpting clay for her, bringing in the three dimensional. One night the instructor chose her and an other student to seat themselves away from the group in order to capture the nudes from a more difficult angle. She realized then that she must be good.

An idea. It raced like a fire gone wild. It was what she was meant to do, now. I’ll draw portraitures at O’Brian’s. Capture the soul of people who need to escape from life. The grotesque faces of despair.

Black turtle neck and long black skirt seemed suitable. She wanted to be as undetectable as possible, and sit in a booth which would give her a full view of the bar where she could assess possible subjects. She noticed a man with grey hair, nearly yellowed from smoke, smoking a cigarette and offering one to the woman sitting next to him who brushed her hand away. A young woman, maybe her age, with eye makeup running down her face as a young man left for the door. Countless subjects. Char stood up, got up nerve and approached those who seemed approachable. She showed them her pad and charcoal and said for no fee she’d like to illustrate their portrait. Most all were delighted, perhaps because they were drunk. Some shoed her away, disliking the idea immensely.

While in the middle of drawing a man with downcast eyes, managing to drink nevertheless. Budda snuck up on her.

“Well, if it isn’t the Grey Goose girl! She put down her pencil and said “It’s a real haven in here from the cold, I see. How are you managing all this?!”

He pointed to a guy behind the bar.

“Got myself some help tonight. It’s one of the crazier nights. Too many Mr. and Mrs. Bickerson’s, here.”

Char lifted her chin.

“Well, if you haven’t noticed I’m sketching them.”

He took a long serious look and said “You’re not bad. Not bad at all! They know you’re doing this right?!”

"Of course, I’m not intrusive.”

Char noticed he looked tired. Especially, so. Then the thought which caused her so much guilt. He has every right to look tired, and for the rest of his life. He winked at her before returning behind the bar.

Sometime went by before an old weathered looking woman, drunk, with bleached blonde hair approached her. “Whadda ya think you’re doing there girly girl? Draw’n pictures of us? You all neat and tidy look’n, look’n at us like we’re all some fuck’n drunken freaks! Who’s this ya drawing? Well, I’ll be fuck’n damned if it ain’t my own husband over there! You hussy in disguise!”

She then bent over and ripped the page from her pad, quickly zigzagging over to her husband. Char heard screeching, saw the woman punching her husband anywhere she could. He grabbed her to stop but to no avail. She was fighting mad. Budda stepped in and had to carry her out, she kicking and cursing while the husband slowly followed. The place turned into an uproar. Some women walked by Char with husbands to tow, spitting on her, drunk and thinking she was after their men for this woman had been loudly warning them. One picked up Char’s drink and threw it in her face. The men were marching their women right out the door. Name calling. Sounds of kicking and cries.

She had been sitting straight up throughout the ordeal and still now, not even aware that she should be wiping the vodka off of her face. Something was happening to her. She felt like her stomach was ready to erupt, then the feeling traveled to her solar plexus, stopping at her throat. Beginning all over again in her stomach traveling upward. Char didn’t know that this was anger, fury, with no escape. She just sat there experiencing this over and over again. Helpless.

Budda rushed over to her after he took care of the business. “Are you alright?! She set her hand on her stomach and said “I don’t feel too well”. He said “Well, I can’t blame you for that. Obviously, I’m closing up for the night. I’m driving you home. You really don’t look so good.” He helped her slip into her Parka.

She spoke softly.“Come in Budda. I’m well enough to make some tea.”

He sat down on the couch and stared out the window for sometime. Char returned with the tea and discovered that he was tearing. This large, tough man put his head in his hands and began to cry.

“Why do people have to fight all the time?"

Char quickly placed the tea platter down, sat next to him and reached her arms around him knowing that he was really sobbing for his loss. His wife and children. She continued holding him. By now he was sobbing.

“Why do they have do it..”

Char found herself saying...

“Because love must be a terrifying place for them to be"

She was frightened holding him, feeling his body against hers, quaking. But she held on.They talked way into the night. There were moments of silence then more more talk and tears.

“You need anymore tissues? Looks like the water works are going to start again.

Char's eyes felt dry, her nose congestested.

"No” she said weakly.

He passed her the tissue box anyway.

“Do you realize you’ve been crying for over an hour without a word?”
“No” she sniffled.

“You did manage to tell me that you’d never cried before.”

She let out the smallest laugh, while wiping her eyes.

“That’s true. It was scary.”

He kissed her on the forehead and said “Welcome to the world”

Twenty three years on a diet of repression. She breathed in deeply and there was no more of that choking feeling in her throat. It was gone. She felt ten pounds lighter.

“How bout that tea, now” he kind of sang “I’ll make it up quick. Go get yourself a robe or something. You’re shivering. By then she was sitting on the porch, not worried about “collecting” herself. She sat in the rattan chair, knowing Budda would never fit in it.

“Where do you think you’re going, young lady, out in the freezing cold.” She waved her hand dismissively at Budda. “You wait and see.” Char hooked up the chandelier moon and settled into the chair. She sighed, still very spent. “Glorious. Isn't it? This was my beginning.” Then, he nearly whispered “No. Tonight was your glorious beginning...”

Nellie
October 7th, 2010, 03:22 AM
Laurie,

Wow! What a powerful conclusion to a riveting story. Two polar opposites bond. I like the twist. Char had been crying all evening. Now she has glorious beginning to enjoy.

And that bar scene with that old lady! Isn't she something, tawkin' like that? She sounds like she was wantin' somthin, huh?

Looking forward to another story.

Cindy

SilverMoon
October 7th, 2010, 03:33 AM
Cindy, thank you so much for touching on the characters in my story and that the plot line kept you interested. The "twist". Yes. She had let go that evening. I wanted the reader to assume that Budda had been in the crying state all of that time.

You are hysterical! I'm going to have you write dialect for me from now on!


And that bar scene with that old lady! Isn't she something, tawkin' like that? She sounds like she was wantin' somthin, huh?


Again, thank you. Laurie

caelum
October 7th, 2010, 07:09 AM
Heya, Laurie. Just finished. A nice ending, or beginning I should say. Got a few observations fer yeh,


She spoke softly.

“Come in Budda, I’m well enough to make some tea.” You can put things like this on the same line.


were furiously dancing with the bitter windA good rule of thumb is to use adverbs sparingly. IMO, furiously ain't too hot here. If you're going to use an adverb (most end in -ly), I'd be very critical over whether it adds to the image. To a lesser degree, the same idea applies to adjectives.


as a young man was leaving, headed towards the door.You could tighten this up a bit. Here's one way,

as a young man left through the door.So often in writing, the "less is more" idea rings true. If you can impart an idea in fewer words it will hit the reader faster and harder. If you haven't read The Elements of Style by William Strunk, I highly recommend it. It really is a must-read for aspiring writers. In it the guy says, "Omit needless words! Omit needless words!" a whole bunch of times. The book has simply hordes of useful tips, which is odd cause it's like eighty pages, lol.

Hope I've been helpful :o,
-cae

SilverMoon
October 7th, 2010, 02:40 PM
cae - you certainly have been helpful. Gone above and beyond the call of duty and thank so much. I happen to have "The Elements of Style". Haven't read it since a Freshman. Time to dust it off!


The book has simply hordes of useful tips, which is odd cause it's like eighty pages, lol.
He is succinct!

Thank you for traveling with me and Char, making sure all around her is presented in the most professional way.

As she might say, after a couple of vodkas "You are absolutely divine" Laurie ;-)

PS I love your Jim Carrey avie, jiv'n away!

caelum
October 7th, 2010, 10:49 PM
Haha, no problem, Laurie. Glad to help. I simply love The Elements of Style, my favourite writing guide by far. Good luck with your future writings. :)

SilverMoon
October 8th, 2010, 11:10 PM
Pulled it out from my bookshelf and is on my desk, now! And thank you for the good wishes.:grin: Laurie