Wednesday, October 8, 2008


San Diego Momma has a fun thing going. It's PROMPTuesdays. It's about making writing fun again. Every Tuesday, she posts a “PROMPTuesday” entry, where she introduces a writing prompt and ask interested folks to write on it.
So here are the “rules:”
  • Try to write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kick in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.
  • Aim for 250 words or less.

  • Please have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Together, let’s rediscover the simple joy in the writing process.

  • Post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.

Need to learn more? Go here.

This is Tuesday's prompt:

This PROMPTuesday, I thought it’d be cool if you described a lovely (or horrible, if you run that way) drink you shared with a lover/friend/enemy/etc.

Tin Palace interior, Photo by Andy Schwartz, 1977

When the rehearsal ended, the company always left the theatre together. Most nights, Bridget left the auditorium during the last scene, to put away her supplies and notions and lock her sewing machine into the manager's office, where it would be safe. The theatre was on East Fourth Street, and the nearest subway stop was Astor Place. The neighborhood was rough, and no one wanted to walk down the block alone. But although the company left together, they walked in groups according to their own personal relationships and loyalties.

Bridget walked alongside Tom, the director, but she was acutely aware of Teresa, Vivian, and Heather, walking together down the sidewalk, their dance bags slung over their shoulders, their hips swaying as they strode in their heeled shoes. Earlier that evening, Teresa had thrown a fit about the dress Bridget had chosen for her character. Bridget saw Teresa raise her chin in the air, laughing, and the others joined in. She didn't know what they were laughing about, but she wondered, fleetingly, if they were laughing about her.

By the time Bridget and Tom turned into the entry of the Tin Palace, the three dancers were already installed in a booth by the window. A waiter laid napkins on the table and set three multi-colored glasses before them, orange slices and cherry stems jauntily arching above the brim. Bridget took a stool at the bar and slung her bag over the back of the chair. "Scotch on the rocks," she said to the bartender - "and a water back."

There was a ball game on the TV over the bar. She sipped her drink and watched the baseball wrap-ups. Tom took his beer and sidled over to the dancers' booth, greeting them. Bridget watched him go, and stayed where she was. Sure, he had to keep on their good side, she thought. It made sense. He had to keep the ensemble working together. She watched Teresa kiss his cheek. Bitch, she thought.

The newscaster segued into a story about a crisis in Asia. She thought about her apartment on Bank Street. I should just go home, she thought. Get the fuck out of here, get away from this negative energy. Take a cab.

She felt a presence at her shoulder. "Can I buy you another drink?" It was Arthur. He smiled. She could smell bourbon on him, but his smile was charming, and his grey eyes looked into hers. She felt her own lips curve into a smile that first felt unwilling, but then became genuine. "Why not?" she said. She looked at his hand on the bar. It looked strong and capable. "So, when did you get here?"

"My last scene is 15 minutes before curtain. John and I came over here as soon as we got off stage. You want to join us over there?"

Bridget followed his gesture to a booth farther down the barroom. John, who had a one-line walk-on in Act One, and helped change the scenery at intermission, waved at her and grinned. He looked earnestly dorky. Her eye drifted toward the booth where the dancers sat. As she watched, Vivian reached her hand out to Tom's shoulder and touched it, and threw her head back, laughing. Terese leaned forward, breasts grazing Tom's arm, and blew a plume of smoke up toward the gaudy Tiffany lampshade, her eyes flashing. As Bridget watched, Tom smiled down into Terese's eyes.

"Sure," said Bridget. She unhooked her bag from the chair back. As she walked with Arthur past Terese's booth, she took his hand and smiled up into his face.


Woman in a Window said...

Nicely done! I don't think I could do this but it sure makes me want to try.

tinsenpup said...

Great job. Very nicely constructed, indeed.

San Diego Momma said...

Excellently told. (Is it true?)

And I'm an "earnestly dorky" fan. So I dug Arthur.

Thx for participating this week. It's good to read you again!

feathermaye said...

I'd rather be "earnestly dorky" than not dorky at all!

What a great read. I wonder, too, if it's real or imagined, or a bit of both. Either way, well done!

I intend to return here when it's not so late and poke around a bit. Fair warning! :)

Glennis said...

To be fair - I started to tell a whole different story about Terese and Arthur (both of whom are/were real), but Bridget - who is not real - got in the way, and I never got to it.

the setting is real. But it happened a long time ago.

JCK said...

OK, Miss. Another brilliant writing exercise. I'm reading your posts backwards. ;0

What a talented writer you are.

Oh, and I used to study at HB Studios on Bank Street. :)

Joanie said...

Exceedingly well done! Screw the dancers, it's the seamstress and the stagehands who keep it all together anyway.

Da Goddess