Richard’s on-line personal ad had read:
“Tall, Los Angeles-area, handsome, white male, with used chicken suit, a smile a mile wide, and sense of humor, seeks blond bombshell, who’s waiting to explode. Prefer 30ish woman in the arts or modeling, but will consider wealthy, ugly, troll scientist, if properly endowed with large fortune. Or a woman with self-defense skills, fluttery false eyelashes, who likes Martinis without olives. Blond hair need not be natural, but natural blonds… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on June 18, 2009 at 5:00pm —
“Stop phoning me!” she yelled, and hung up on him.
Like too many men, Richard took this clear rejection as a sign that Lola genuinely loved him. He immediately called her back.
Lola picked up the phone and exasperatedly explained to Richard that if he called her once more tonight, she would be very pleased to provide a demonstration of her sharp-shooting skills, a demonstration, she emphasized, that Richard would not soon forget, and one that might alter his future love… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on June 17, 2009 at 9:30pm —
He finished typing his ironically brief note, and paused to admire it, as it hung there suspended before him, on the smooth surface of his LCD computer screen. He gazed at the bold stokes of the letters, admiring the beautiful filigree of the font’s looping arcs. For a moment, he lost himself in the circular consonants, and noticed the beautiful angles and beams of the vowels.
Typing—word processing actually---was an underappreciated art, he thought; unacknowledged for its purely… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on June 16, 2009 at 10:37pm —
At the Tiki bar, I danced. It was beautiful. In a Gauguinish sort of way. (“The ugly may be beautiful, but the pretty never.”) She leaned in closer to me, closer, it seemed, than my own skin, and whispered tenderly, “Let me know if there is ever anything I can do for you. Even if there is nothing that I can do.”
Added by Brad Rose on June 14, 2009 at 8:00pm —
He continued to eat the blue M&Ms. They had become a goal, a purpose. He would probably be dead in the morning, found by his trusty dog, Stanley, who would lick his lifeless, but contented, face and find no response. Then Stanley would find hundreds of empty M&Ms bags strewn around his body. But Stanley should not eat any stray M&M's because chocolate is ultimately poisonous for dogs. Two deaths in one night, especially if construed as a double suicide, would not look good in the… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on June 13, 2009 at 12:59am —
He wondered about her, about where she had gone? It seemed like a disappearance, but maybe it was just a trip, or an errand, or maybe an adventure. He preferred to think that she had left on an adventure, because he knew she was the adventurous type, the kind that liked to disappear without a trace, and then a week or a month, or a year later, call from Idaho, or Tahiti, or the south of France to say that she was fine and had felt that she just ‘needed to get away.’
Meanwhile, her… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on June 12, 2009 at 3:30pm —
The Cure looked ill. But that didn’t matter now, not to Richard, because he was happily humming, “Just Like Heaven.” "Show me how you do that trick…The one that makes me scream," she said… "The one that makes me laugh" she said… And threw her arms around my neck.”
During today’s run along the beach in Santa Monica, Richard couldn’t help but wonder why Lola had fallen in love with him in the first place? A woman like Lola could have anyone she wanted, even in Hollywood, but she had… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on June 12, 2009 at 2:00pm —
I won the lottery. I didn’t really want the money. I only wanted to win, that’s all. I wanted to beat the odds, which were as great, they tell me, as being struck by lightning 37 times. The next week, I went back to ranching, but the first day out in the fields, a storm gathered—throwing lightning everywhere, and before I knew it, the barn burned down. Thank goodness the money---all $85 million--was stashed under the driver's seat, in the pick-up, parked just outside the Sioux City Jaguar… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on June 11, 2009 at 8:00pm —
I am tired and have a sore throat, and I don't want to die of Swine Flu.
I'd rather eat M&M's and watch the sun come up over the blue Aegean.
I don't live anywhere near the blue Aegean, of course, but I couldn't very well write that I wanted to watch the sun come up over the muddy current of the Charles River, which is actually quite brown and looks as if a swan were to land there, the poor avian would immediately stain the color of mud, or maybe the color of the… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on June 11, 2009 at 12:30pm —
What is the point of fiction, he wondered? It’s just lies, diluted with imagination. Pretty lies that tell some kind of truth. Some kind. He took another bitter sip from the shot glass and stared down at a page as empty as the snow filled plains. If only he could channel Raymond Chandler, and write something terrible, surgical, and true—any kind of beautiful lie would do...now.
Added by Brad Rose on June 3, 2009 at 10:30pm —
As it turned out, this was not the first time Lola had tried to take her own life. Each time, Richard later learned, she had done so with the subconscious intention to fail. The M&Ms, which she had mistaken for sleeping pills, were just the latest instance in a long string of half-baked suicide attempts.
Richard wondered why a woman who was so beautiful and talented would try to take her own life? She had everything going for her—a blossoming acting career, the growing interest… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on June 3, 2009 at 5:28pm —
Richard was speeding his way to the emergency room to visit Lola. He hoped it wasn't too late. Lola had ingested a handful of M&Ms, which she had earlier mistaken for sleeping pills. Richard knew that she wasn't in any real danger---after all there aren't many medically documented cases of M&M overdoses, except perhaps for a few cases among 6th graders in the San Fernando Valley, where everything is just a little twisted. But Richard also knew Lola's was not entirely a medical case.… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on May 31, 2009 at 10:00pm —
"What did I do wrong, now?" Richard pleaded with Lola.
"Richard, Honey, it' not that you DID anything wrong."
He felt relieved that he hadn't made a huge mistake, but before he could enjoy his relief, Lola added the executioner's final stroke:
"Richard, I love you, but you ARE wrong...You're just wrong in some indefinable way."
Richard felt devastated, or nearly devastated, but he also felt he could change--become something that Lola admired and… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on May 21, 2009 at 6:00pm —
“So, why DO they call it ‘plastic surgery,’” Richard blurted out to Lola, before he could catch himself and refrain from making yet another foolish inquiry, “there isn’t really much plastic involved, is there?”
Lola looked at him as if looking at a ten-year-old who had just made an impossibly silly faux pas. “I don’t know why they call it ‘plastic surgery.’ Maybe it’s because no one knows what silicone is?”
Realizing now, how embarrassing his outburst had been, Richard’s… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on May 21, 2009 at 12:30pm —
Looking back now, over a long marriage, John reflected on the biggest mistake his wife had ever made, “Hey Honey, let’s get a dog.”
That damn poodle turned out to be a four-footed calamity; nearly the cause, on several occasions, of his divorce. In over a decade, the kids had never played with the dog—ok maybe once in 10 years--- and “Fondue” (Jeez, his wife was insane for choosing such a cheesy name) demanded his undivided attention, 24 hours a day. John had considered homicide,… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on May 19, 2009 at 7:30am —
Richard was wandering around, looking for something, as if he had misplaced something important. He didn’t know exactly what it was, or where it was, but he wasn’t worried. Everything would be OK, he reassured himself, if he just kept looking. Then he realized that he was wandering around looking for the beginning of something or the end of something. Right now, endings and beginnings were indistinguishable to him, identical. Like a train with an engine on both ends, or a human life with… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on May 18, 2009 at 10:15pm —
Richard wandered aimlessly around the Walgreen’s drug store. Each aisle was filled with potions, salves, lotions, tablets, pills, ointments, scents and colognes. Why had he come in here, anyway--- what was it he was looking for?
As he walked around, seemingly in a stupefied daze, he found himself humming a tune. The chorus looped through his mind like an aural mobius strip, “Might as well face it, you're addicted to love.”
At the checkout counter, he found himself… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on May 18, 2009 at 9:00pm —
9 AM in the airport restaurant, and he was eating spaghetti and meatballs. He loved spaghetti and meatballs, but never got a chance to eat these for breakfast. What a treat. Just a few moments ago, Lola had threatened to shoot him if he didn’t stop yelling at her and leave her alone, so he did, and proceed directly to the “On The Fly” Café, where he ordered his favorite comfort meal.
Richard was careful not to get any of the red sauce on his newly laundered white shirt, and he was… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on May 17, 2009 at 2:30pm —
Richard turned on the air conditioner and was fumbling with the buttons, trying to set it on “Maximum Cool,” when Lola said to him, accusingly, “Richard, you don’t need to turn it on when the top’s down. Besides, its mid-winter. Why do you want to drive around Santa Monica, in December, with the top down and the air conditioner on?”
Richard sullenly pulled the convertible into the parking lot of the Walgreen’s drug store, making sure that the car occupied two parking places. He… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on May 15, 2009 at 5:30pm —
“Stop shouting at me,” Lola shouted at Richard, at the top of her dainty lungs, “you’ll have airport security coming down on us in a nano-second!”
“I’m not “shouting” at you!” Richard shouted back, his dark hair trembling above his forehead, as if his head were an earthquake.
“You ARE shouting, don’t tell me your not.”
“OK, but I’m not shouting AT you, I’m shouting NEAR you.”
He quickly glanced around the crowded airport terminal gate, and although… Continue
Added by Brad Rose on May 13, 2009 at 11:30am —