Saturday, July 10, 2010

To Give Or Not To Give

Another novel excerpt before the weekend cocktail secrets revealed. Thanks for reading!

“We walk toward the picnic table with nametags. Tabby Chestnut sits with a smile plastered on her face. She’s wearing huge shoulder pads that make me wonder if she’s updated her wardrobe since we graduated. In high school, Hank called her Most Likely To Bitchslap Her Parents For Giving Her A Stupid Name.

“Are these really necessary?” Hank asks. “Don’t we know everyone already?”

“It’s our way of keeping track of who has paid,” Tabby says. “I see that M has paid everything for you both of you.” Tabby hands us blank nametags which is going to be a field day for Hank, no doubt. “Are you two an item or is Em still trolling the senior citizens dances for love?”
“Ha ha,” I say.
“Well, you are welcome to dig in,” Tabby says, smiling for real now. “The buffet is serve yourself.”

Still thin, I note to Hank about Tabby’s appearance. It’s a variation on a game we used to play on car trips which was before we passed an eighteen-wheeler, we would guess if the trucker was fat or thin.

“Still pinched. God, she has virtually no lips.” Hank looks at the line in front of us.

“Why don’t you find us a place to roost while I fill our plates. What do you want?” I ask

“A lot of everything,” Hank says. “Did not get near enough last night to keep me going now.”

I give my purse to Hank and on his arm it resembles an old-fashioned doctor’s bag bulging with instruments. And to think I looked hours to find it at TJ Maxx and plunked down almost a hundred dollars for it, even discounted to a third of its price. I look at my outfit to make sure there are no stains, a dress I often wear in Detroit in the summer -- black with think straps that criss cross over the shoulders. I hoped it didn’t look like I was trying too hard. When I got voted Most Studious twenty years ago, I wore my shortest black mini-skirt for the picture while I held a Time magazine in front of me bearing the headline, To Give Or Not To Give. Somehow no one objected.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Do not judge men by mere appearances; for the light laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over the depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace and joy." Edward Chapin

Cocktail Hour
Movie suggestion: Cyrus (brilliant movie! Will be doing a review soon . . .)

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Saturday!


Lana Gramlich said...

That quote by Chapin is brilliant, of course, but so is your writing!

Charles Gramlich said...

Good scene. you have such a knack for picking out elements that really define a character.

the walking man said...

I like this section and knwo the rest will eventually tell the whole story. I was able to honestly relate to the Chapin quote.

jodi said...

Michelle, I love it. I SO wished I could have met Hank. I can't wait to see 'Cyrus'! xo