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Great news! My novel The Pink Parrot is published as an e-book at bibliocracy.com.
Please read the excerpts and decide for yourself, but you’ll love to take the journey with George and Chilly Billy!!
Thanks again to those authors who guided me and made it possible.
I dove into the humdrum poolside chatter, the crowd of faces beaming like electric silhouettes, and become hypnotized by the melodic emptiness in the air. My skin is turning browner, the scent of coconut oil rising up, fashion magazines at my feet. My new bathing suit is pink with light green flowers, and it might be my favorite. I hide behind dark sunglasses. I’m happy to become vacant so that I can be seen. I’m thinking about the afternoon sale at Barney’s on Rodeo.
A dark dread hung over the kitchen that morning, tugging at my insides. Kiki cooked up some one minute oats for breakfast and poured it into our bowls. I start eating quickly, gobbling down the food, but Pa poked the hot cereal with a spoon. “What the hell is it?” he asked in his thick accent, still poking, “It’s like mountain rock.”
“Kiki made it up, it’s good for you. Come on, you gotta eat something.” Kiki smiled weakly at him, always a bit cautious of Pa, and then moved around the room stiff like a robot woman. “Come on Pa, eat it up, my wife’s a good cook.”
He put the spoon down and said, “Early this morning I banged on Nicky’s door. I don’t know why. That kid, he never got up in time for school. Before, he’s a good kid and then, he turned into punky kid.” I knew what he’s thinking, because of me he turned into a punky kid. I stuck my head between my hands, then looked over at Kiki who’s standing against the counter, hands tucked behind her back. Her face is twisting up, so I winked at her to ease the tension.
“I took a bouquet from the garden into Ma’s bedroom last night,” she said quickly, “The spring colors are just starting out. You know how much she loves the bright colors.”
“Puh,” he said, and spoke between clenched teeth, shaking his head, “…damn colors…anyhow, where the hell is she? It’s almost afternoon.” He glanced around the room. “What’s going on around here?” He moaned and sat back hard.
“She’s resting after a calming injection from the doctor,” I said, “just leave her alone.”
“Puh. How long can you rest?” I’m getting on his nerves and I’m glad about it. He glared at me, those glares getting meaner almost every day.
“A long time, Pa, a long time.”
“Dino wants to show you something,” Kiki said quickly to Pa, hoping that a fight wasn’t starting up. “He’s in his room. He wants to show you what he made in school.” Pa smiled a bit. My son Dino could sometimes make him smile. “I thought it was a dinasour, but it’s a cat. He made it out of clay. It’s a clay cat.”
He looked at her, blankly. “What, you don’t know difference between dinasour and cat?” She dropped her head and hung the dish towel over the sink. She walked out.
“Puh.” He lit up a cigarette and spit out bits of tobacco. I gave him a look, then folded up my arms and stared down at the tiles on the floor. I didn’t want to speak the words that were coming to mind. And he didn’t like the silence, he started shifting around.
I kept on staring, trying to gain some composure. Finally I said, “Cousin Freida is coming for the kids tonight. She wants to help out, give us a break.”
“Breaks, just what we need.” He put one hand on my shoulder. “Come on Georgie, let’s have a drink together.”
I shook my head, “Jesus Pa, for breakfast?”
He laughed, “Look who’s talk, the saint Georgie who never touch a drink. He’s a perfect boy now. He thinks he’s a new man now without the drink? He’s still a bum.” He laughed, hoping it would soften the words, but those words I can barely hear anymore.
I shut my eyes, trying to conjure up some childhood images that might keep me from punching him out. I knew he’d blame me for Nicky’s death, and I knew it’d go on forever. I opened my eyes. “Okay well, you should take it easy on Ma, this is hard for her, real hard. So take it easy, huh?”
He laughed at me again. I went over to the cabinet and took out a bottle of gin, then handed it over with a small glass. He took a few slugs from the bottle, wiped his mouth and said, “Some crazy lady at the funeral says to me that she’s very sorry. What’s she sorry for, that my youngest son suicide himself? What she care about Nicky?”
“What’s wrong with that?” I sat down at the other side of the table. “It’s just the polite thing to talk about, how sorry you are. People been doing it for centuries, I guess.” I gazed around the room, then stared out the window where the sun’s shining bright. “Ma said we gotta send out cards to the nice people that been sending over good cheer and whatnot. Another polite thing to do.” He took another slug. I stared at him, but he wouldn’t look at me.
“Nicky didn’t suicide himself,” I said, “He was mixed up in things that wasn’t right, and you know that’s true…..”
“Puh.” He wiped the booze off his mustache with a napkin, then raised one hand, definitely not wanting to hear the truth. Then he put one hand on his gut, rubbing it and said, “Pains, damn pains, getting worser and worser. You’re killing me, Georgie.” I chuckled and got up slow, leaning over him. He gazed up at me with bloodshot eyes and grabbed the bottle hard.
“Well, you can’t hide forever Pa,” I said. He slid the bottle down the table and raised one fist, then pounded it down hard, the sharp sound echoing. I walked out.
Every conceivable emotion poured out through my veins. Gulls circled overhead with an eerie lamenting sound. She looked at me deeply with a definite connection. We both knew, no matter what, there had been moments of friendship, both true and deep as that ocean. Moments that could not be replaced or mutilated. But then her expression dissolved into nothingness.
Words are tiny bits that seem to come out of the air like magic. And that’s how they appear on these pages.