Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lee’s Daughters

(c) 2010 Riccardo Berra/Apostrophe

The battered old laptop flickers to life for the first time since my recently famous father last turned it off a year ago, a week before he died. I miss Daddy, mind you, but I don’t go all weepy anymore when these sorts of “first-time-since things” come up, as they still do from time to time. Like a nest of butterflies, hundreds of automated calendar appointments, notes and reminders pop open and I give up trying to swat them closed while they’re still loading. I go down to make coffee. The lawyers had handled all the estate stuff and I’d put this last task off for as long as I could. I could wait a few minutes more. Though his fame like his death was swift and unexpected, my father left things in good order. He was always careful that way. Daddy is the smartest man I’ve ever known.

One, two,
Who are you?

I finished sorting through his file cabinets a few months ago. Clippings, manuscripts, documents, receipts—the papertrail of the man’s life. I’d boxed up some of it, recycled and trashed most of it. I was reminded of Robert E. Lee’s daughters, apparently so devoted to their pater famiglia that at his behest they remained lifelong spinsters. I find this a little pathetic, but understandable. In our family, I am “the smart one.” Lois is the pretty one. Ellie, the baby. We had our roles set out from birth. 

Three, four,
Close the door.

Ellie whined on the Skype call. “Why does sheee get the laptop, while all we get are these little thumb drives?”
“Lee-Lee, you don’t want it. It’s just an old piece of junk. Besides, Mar’s the writer and resident computer geek. She knows how to work with those old clunkers.”
Listen to Lo playing the peacemaker while I grind my teeth. A new role for her.
“The drives are full of Daddy’s photos of us as kids. Lots of old stuff too. Him and Mom young. They’re precious. I don’t really want the damned laptop, Lee,” I said. “I have one already. But Daddy had a reason for giving it to me as he must have had a reason for waiting a year to do so. Listen, are you guys coming back East anytime soon? Mom really misses you.”

I could think of no better way to draw this conversation to a quick, tidy end. One week ago, I’d received the registered letter from Dad’s lawyers, notifying me that there was a parcel at their office with instructions for me from my father that I was to open it a year to the day after his death. No, his instructions precluded shipping it to me. I had to come and retrieve it myself. At first blush, it all seemed rather melodramatic and pointless, but Daddy had a point to everything. So, once again I’d cajoled and bundled Gregg and the kids back into the Volvo and up the Taconic we headed for East Ellenville. The parcel contained two thumb drives and Daddy’s old Dell.

Five six
Pick up sticks.

My own dear father took me out to our favorite diner when I, the oldest of the three daughters, started dating. He told me it was time we had a serious heart-to-heart about “relationships.” Oh God!  Just the two of us, eating pie, sipping coffee; me waiting, praying this wasn’t going to be another sex talk. The first one had been  …  Words truly can’t describe.

Wasn’t quite that bad, but close. After some preliminary discussion about school and a recent writing contest I’d won, this was our weighing my options for future happiness on a sliding scale of paradox discussion.

“Have fun but be careful. Be picky, but broadminded. Women are required to make more choices in their lives,” he cautioned over a warmed forkful of Cosimo’s homemade chocolate pecan. “Not all of them will be ideal.”

Seven, eight,
Lay them straight.

I’d thanked him for his Shakespearian counsel. I’d listened attentively. I’d asked him about work. It was more than a little embarrassing but I didn’t have the heart to say I’d no clue what he was talking about. Ten years into marriage it took me to realize that this was perhaps the single best piece of advice I’d ever receive. And I’m supposed to be the smart one. Daddy you were on the money. You were always on the money.

Nine, ten,
A big fat hen.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Vi's memories must become reality again

I am sitting in Fiumicino typing on my laptop from the Alitalia business lounge having been awaiting my delayed plane for 8 hours in order to return to you............and Sofi. Due to your hazardous snowfall in the NE the long wait to board my plane has increased my anxiety about seeing you again. I know we have seen each other on a webcam a handful of times but I am filled with trepidation.

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We're being followed

Thanks to the incomparable Dr. Susana Mayer who supports our blog and story with this mention on her Erotica Literary Salon blogsite.

Support us and support her unique live event. Riccardo will be there to read from his latest work. We're still looking to publish Apostrophe, but wonder if the mainstream publishing industry is ready for a work that is both literary and really, really hot erotica.

Love and kisses

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Help My Story Go to the Finals

Plural Possessive is online for votes starting today and running for one week. It is in the running for the finals at the Better Sex Erotic short story competition. Please support us.
Sofi ... This post continues!

Six Words for A Kiss

Vi, can't you see how much I miss you? Remember this:

6 words for a kiss


My hand rides your brown thigh, barely touching,
speed to plough familiar winding roads home to lips on lips through lips under over pressed parting lips,
no speak no tongue none but my own that’s still so hungry for your lips


Swimming hand in hand, dark, then a flash of street lamp surge,
we surface through body-warm, amniotic night, and as you turn and sodium vapor ripples across your face,
jumps my pulse, passion whip edited, to other nights matted as tight against my chest
as the sweat-pressed silk that clings to your hips


the Mexican restaurant brain froze fluorescent green Margarita,
Tabasco and tobacco pinch my tongue as your strut reminds me that my heart has long since broken its moorings
and rises—up my chest, out my throat, float, past teeth,
free to dance on contrails raised from ember concrete sidewalks made ripe by orchid night


a hard black pebble lodged under my tongue so round so smooth so polished by practiced deception
of all but you spills effortless from my throat and only you know that though
what I declare rolls fictive like heat lightning dancing off far mountaintops
it is not but razor true


why do I always do this, enrapturing my own destiny
as if some tremulous ego finger tap a tat
lifts my fumbled words above the line,
perhaps because in your lips on mine,
I taste the first act of the divine


3 a.m., Brahman's hour, beyond magnetic lines of sin and salvation,
truth belie, delta pi, fevered wakefulness and sleeping liss,
this longing in your absence is a song with
no tongue,
no lips,
just rhythm, just a frantic rattle in a cage, two clicked tones—
illusion/more illusion,

oh beg this fickle muse to whom I pray
to forgive me if I cannot stay
for your next

The very definition of desire ... This post continues!