clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Content and a Green Dragon Hangover.


I've had the same cold for a month now. I think I have to give it a name at this point. I'm torn between "Fucker" and "God Damned Cold." Maybe I should have a poll.


================================== content.


I worked my way from bell hop to assistant night manager at the President. My reward was the night desk eleven to five.

It had been a lot of ass-kissing and shit-detail volunteering but the effort paid off. I could study for the day-gig at 'Tech as long as no one was in the lobby, and no one ever was. The rack rate was something on the order of a nice used Chevrolet. That and a .38 in the drawer kept the hustlers and pimps at bay. Downtown was still downtown.

It had rained a little earlier and it was cool now. I could see through the brass-and-glass fronters a little wetfall fog loitering on the sidewalk. Traffic outside had slowed to cops and milkmen and the half-hour bus.

I jumped a little when the big turnstile door moved and its glare parted like curtains at the Met.

Five-foot-nothing walked across the hotel lobby and the marble tiles twinkled as she passed. She had Texas-big auburn hair, a powder blue suit, and an Uzi bright with oil like an Uzi should be.

The voice of Atlanta herself in three hundred years of pride rang out. A little of my soul melted.

 "Young man, Mr. Smith is a guest of yours tonight. I'd like his room number, please."  She smiled a little and Mona Lisa got down from her frame, went into the powder room, and cried for three hours.

I was in love and like every time, I'd never be the same again. I call it my moment of clarity.

"Five Twenty-Three," I said. "I could show you."

4 comments:

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Years ago, one of my husband's hunting buddies had what he swore to be a surefire cure for a cold. (or for whatever else ailed him) Pickle juice and Jack Daniels. Can't say that I ever tried it, but if you're desperate enough...

(Then again, you might want to skip the pickle juice...)

There's lots of good things to say about this snippet of writing, but I did get tripped up on a few things. Your use of the expression "rack rate" initially threw me off. Maybe it's because I'm a pool shooter from way back, but the phrase immediately conjured up an entirely different meaning from the cost to rent a room, which is what I assume you were trying to say.

The reference to Mona Lisa didn't click with me right away, either. Once I figured out you were actually trying to say something about the Uzi-carrying woman's smile, I loved the comparison. It's really quite clever. BUT if your reader has to read something more than once to figure it out, some of its clever impact gets lost. (Kinda like having to explain a joke's punchline.)

And one sentence still doesn't make sense to me: "I jumped a little when the big rounder turned and its glare parted like the curtains at the Met." I love the image of the curtains parting, but the "rounder" part has me confused. To me, a rounder is synonymous with a cad... so I'm thinking it's a man you're referring to... a somewhat despicable man. But then you say, "its glare", and I'm completely lost. Maybe it's just me, but I'm usually a pretty smart cookie.

If you didn't actually want a critique of your writing, I apologize. But having someone tell you how "awesome" your writing is isn't terribly helpful in the long run.

That pickle juice and JD, thought... now THAT could be helpful! Bottoms up!

j welling said...

Yes ... Too clever by half is a good appraisal.

More work to do. The critique was great ! Thanks so much.

Toe Hallock said...

Ever since "The Usual Suspects" anything involving the F--- word is uncool. But that is my opinion. Friggin' is way better and still gets the point across. In fact, considering your writing skills, I bet you could come up with a number of alternative "F" words. Might even make for an amusing story. Yours truly, Toe.

j welling said...

Sorry for the confusion Toe.

The top part is "me" and the bottom part is content text.

The bottom part is content.