Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Requiem for a Videography Business

by Miriam B. Medina



Bob, the Best Man at the wedding I covered last weekend, looked into my camera and said, with tears in his eyes, “This is the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen. Such a sweet, sweet couple. I wish them the best and hope they stay together forever.” I would have believed him too, if he wasn’t wearing a cockeyed jock strap on his head. Or if he hadn’t taken a swing at the groom earlier in the reception, right after downing a half a fifth of Wild Turkey in one long gulp and then professing his eternal lust for his best friend’s new bride.

What a wedding. After 20 plus years of covering weddings, Bah Mitzvahs , and other such time slaughtering celebrations for my small video business, I must say, this wedding, what I now call the Smith-Davis fiasco of 2013, was the most interesting catastrophe I ever covered. I’ve seen people die during receptions, usually due to heart attacks, but I choose to believe from boredom. I’ve seen wives run away at the altar, bridegrooms run away at the altar, even, once, a Pastor run away at the altar (apparently a mob affiliated parishioner had showed up to collect some overdue gambling debts, knowing where and when he could find the good Father), but this wedding reception took the cake. And threw it across the room during a food fight that would have made Jerry Springer blush. To say that these people had no class would infer that no class was as low as you could go. After last weekend, I am here to tell you, there is a lower classification. The clans of Mr. Smith and nee Ms. Davis belong to a status I now refer to as the ‘Holy Crap, who rented those people formal wear’ class.

Reviewing the video, there’s no way I can make this look good. I think I might edit it in spoof fashion or in a style reminiscent of a bad horror film, as if Hitchcock filmed Attack of the Killer Tomatoes or Plan 9 From Outer Space instead of Psycho, perhaps. There’s just not much you can do with this footage.

How can you make a 90 year old grandmother smoking a cigarette with a hole in her neck, who says “My granddaughter looks fat in that dress, he must have already knocked her up…” through a talking box look romantic?

I personally like the footage of the little Smith kid, all of 6 years old maybe, dropping his cup of punch (spiked probably) on the floor over and over again so he could look up the dresses of every woman in the hall. Nothin’ spells luvin’ like a youthful peeping tom, trying to get a glimpse of his kin’s underwear. That kid has IRS agent as a profession written all over his future.

Here are a few gems from the edited footage I have assembled so far, and these are the high points:

FADE INTO A LARGE RECEPTION HALL, LOOKING AS THOUGH IT HAS BEEN INVADED AND OCCUPIED BY CALIGULA’S INBRED COUSINS:

The maids of (dis)honor sitting at their table, eating the catered food as though this was their first meal after being locked away in a year long Weight Watcher’s diet concentration camp. They would look pretty, too, in their beautiful matching calico (and neon) wedding attire, were it not for fleshy pieces of salmon and Jack Daniels spittle leaking from their jowls:

“This is some high class weddin’,” said Maid Number 1, ‘they even have cloth napkins on the table folded into cute little hats.”

“Hrmmphhglarg…” said Maid Number 2, as she gnawed, caveman style, on a whole rack of lamb.

“What is this orange stuff?” Maid Number 3 asked as she shoved a forkful of it into her mouth. “It tastes kind of funny.”

“They called it salmon.” Maid Number 1 replied, taking another long pull of her Jack and Coke.

“Whazzat?” Maid Number 3 asked again.

“Hrmmphhglarg… it’s fish, dumb ass.” Maid Number 2 managed between ravenous bites of meat.

Maid Number 3 then deposited all of the salmon, and everything else in her stomach, all over the table. “Ewwwwww….” she added, straightening her hair and wiping traces of her insides from her mouth, “I hate fish, no wonder it tastes funny.”

CUT TO:

The Bride’s family, sitting quietly at their table:

Me: “Well, sir, what do you think of your daughter’s magical day so far?”

Father: “It’s frigging expensive, and getting more expensive by the bottle.”

The Bride’s father takes a puff of his cigarette and a long drink from his 32 OZ Budweiser tall boy. The Bride’s Mother hides her eyes in her hands and stares down at the table, moaning. The Bride’s teenaged Sister, clearly aggravated, punches her Father in the arm.

Sister: “Dad, hush now.”

Father: “Shut up girl, you won’t never fetch no man with them kind of manners. You ain’t pretty or easy like your sister there.”

Sister: “I swear, I HATE YOU.”

Father: “Be quiet and eat that expensive scrapple on your plate. I’m paying for it whether you eat it or not, might as well not waste it.”
Sister: “Oh gawdddd, it’s pate you drunk old hick.”

CUT TO:

The Bride and Groom are taking their first dance as a newlywed couple to the loving sounds of “Your Mama Don’t Dance And Your Daddy Don’t Rock And Roll” By Loggins and Messina. The Best Man staggers up and takes a swing at the groom, knocking him down.

Best Man: “I love her more-n’ you ever will.”

The Bride hikes up her dress and kicks the Best Man squarely in the groin. The Best man folds up like a tri-fold menu from a cheap Chinese take-out restaurant and crumples to the floor. A 20 minute food fight ensues.

CUT TO:

After the food fight, all is forgiven and the reception resumes. The camera CLOSES IN on the repaired cake. A sad, now lopsided three tiered marble affair with splotches of white icing with floor debris stuck to it. The cake is so tilted now, it could take posture advice from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The little Bridegroom and Bride figurines have been destroyed in the melee, but luckily, someone had some Star Wars toys in their car, so the figurines have been replaced by a little Darth Vader and a Princess Leia missing an arm. The new Husband cuts the cake with his hunting knife. The new Bride punches him in the arm because he has cut the cake without her, and then she shoves his face in the remains of the cake. Another lengthy food fight ensues.

FADE TO BLACK

Alas, I still have about another hour of footage to comb through, but I think I’m going to skip it. Aside from the fact that it will make me nauseous and that it will make me worry about the health of the human gene pool going forward, I don’t think I can use any of it. The lens was covered in cake and salmon mousse by then. I think my camera might be ruined. I think, going forward, I might have to do background checks before I take anymore video gigs.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

MAIN BLOG DIRECTORY-October 2013

GETTING TO KNOW MIMI


Courtesy of Bob Maida-Photographer
A TASTE OF THE PAST: ITALIAN HARLEM
TABLE OF CONTENTS (2)
____________________________________

A BACKWARD GLANCE AT EAST HARLEM
TABLE OF CONTENTS (2A)
____________________________________

TENEMENT LIVING: SOCIAL ISSUES OF URBAN LIFE
TABLE OF CONTENTS (2B)
___________________________________

NEW YORK CITY HISTORY
TABLE OF CONTENTS (2C)
__________________________________

NEW YORK STATE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
__________________________________


JEWISH KNOWLEDGE, HISTORICAL FACTS ON ENGLAND & UNITED STATES
TABLE OF CONTENTS (4)

____________________________________
I HATE HOUSEWORK:


PETS
TABLE OF CONTENTS

____________________________________
CHIT-CHAT OVER COFFEE SWIRLS
TABLE OF CONTENTS (3)
_____________________________________ 

THE WRITER'S NICHE 

 

___________________________________________________________________
MISCELLANEOUS, TIMETABLES, ETHNIC GROUPS, LEGAL TALK, ENTERTAINMENT: BACKWARD GLANCES, IMMIGRATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS (5)
_____________________________________
.
A LITTLE TASTE OF HISTORY, TRANSPORTATION, PANICS AND ECONOMIC DEPRESSIONS, BUSINESS MATTERS
TABLE OF CONTENTS (7)
___________________________________
.
POSITIVE THINKING AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS (4a)
How to find a more peaceful existence. Read my articles.
____________________________________

WOMEN_BIO SKETCHES, FEMININE FANCIES, RECEIPES, KITCHEN TALK, WORSHIP
TABLE OF CONTENTS(6)
___________________________________
.
SO MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT DID YOU DO DURING YOUR TERM IN OFFICE?
TABLE OF CONTENTS (9)
__________________________________

ARTSWORKS AND ENTERTAINMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS (14)


_________________

ARCHITECTURE
TABLE OF CONTENTS (15)
________________________________

EDUCATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS (16)
________________________________

WISDOM: THOUGHTS FROM THE INDIAN MASTERS
TABLE OF CONTENTS (17)
________________________________

UNDERSTANDING MUSIC


TABLE OF CONTENTS (18)
_______________________________

" THE INTERNATIONAL CORNER"


Artist Alessandro Sannino

ITALIAN ARTISTS IN ITALY

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures...". -Henry Ward Beecher

ITALIAN ARTIST: AURELIO PERNICHE

Sicilian Artist: Aurelio Pernice known as " Aurè "
INDEX OF PAINTINGS


_________________________________________

ITALIAN ARTISTS IN ITALY

ROMEO CUOMO
Artist of Hand Painted Tiles and Ceramics






ITALIAN TENOR-MICHEAL CASTALDO

Parts 1-5

 

 

____________________.______________________
El Rincón En Español (The Spanish Corner: )
This section is dedicated to articles of historical facts, poetry, self-improvement, human interest stories etc. written in Spanish.
TABLE OF CONTENTS (8)
"El Rincón Borinqueña"(Puerto Rico)
The Italian Niche
.
Brusciano, Italy News/Events (In Italian)
Brusciano, Italy News/Events ( In English)
AUTHOR'S SHOWCASE




John J. Burkard (Brooklyn, New York)
Red Hook, Reflections on History
.


_______________________________________
Dr. Antonio Castaldo (Brusciano, Italy)
Thoughts of an Italian Writer: A. Castaldo (In English)
TABLE OF CONTENTS (12B)

Pensieri di uno scrittore italiano: dott. Antonio Castaldo
TABLE OF CONTENTS (12a) (Italian)

_____________________________________


Michael Walsh ( Australia)
Poetic Purveyor (Facebook)
TABLE OF CONTENTS (23)



____________________________________
Miriam B. Medina (Diamond Author at Ezinearticles.com)
PUBLISHED ARTICLES ON BLOG
My Photo
POETRY BY MIRIAM B. MEDINA

Friday, September 27, 2013

MAIN BLOG DIRECTORY-September 2013

GETTING TO KNOW MIMI


Courtesy of Bob Maida-Photographer
A TASTE OF THE PAST: ITALIAN HARLEM
TABLE OF CONTENTS (2)
____________________________________

A BACKWARD GLANCE AT EAST HARLEM
TABLE OF CONTENTS (2A)
____________________________________

TENEMENT LIVING: SOCIAL ISSUES OF URBAN LIFE
TABLE OF CONTENTS (2B)
___________________________________

NEW YORK CITY HISTORY
TABLE OF CONTENTS (2C)
__________________________________

NEW YORK STATE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
__________________________________


JEWISH KNOWLEDGE, HISTORICAL FACTS ON ENGLAND & UNITED STATES
TABLE OF CONTENTS (4)

____________________________________
I HATE HOUSEWORK:


PETS
TABLE OF CONTENTS

____________________________________
CHIT-CHAT OVER COFFEE SWIRLS
TABLE OF CONTENTS (3)
_____________________________________ 

THE WRITER'S NICHE 

 

___________________________________________________________________
MISCELLANEOUS, TIMETABLES, ETHNIC GROUPS, LEGAL TALK, ENTERTAINMENT: BACKWARD GLANCES, IMMIGRATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS (5)
_____________________________________
.
A LITTLE TASTE OF HISTORY, TRANSPORTATION, PANICS AND ECONOMIC DEPRESSIONS, BUSINESS MATTERS
TABLE OF CONTENTS (7)
___________________________________
.
POSITIVE THINKING AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS (4a)
How to find a more peaceful existence. Read my articles.
____________________________________

WOMEN_BIO SKETCHES, FEMININE FANCIES, RECEIPES, KITCHEN TALK, WORSHIP
TABLE OF CONTENTS(6)
___________________________________
.
SO MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT DID YOU DO DURING YOUR TERM IN OFFICE?
TABLE OF CONTENTS (9)
__________________________________

ARTSWORKS AND ENTERTAINMENT
TABLE OF CONTENTS (14)


_________________

ARCHITECTURE
TABLE OF CONTENTS (15)
________________________________

EDUCATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS (16)
________________________________

WISDOM: THOUGHTS FROM THE INDIAN MASTERS
TABLE OF CONTENTS (17)
________________________________

UNDERSTANDING MUSIC


TABLE OF CONTENTS (18)
_______________________________

" THE INTERNATIONAL CORNER"


Artist Alessandro Sannino

ITALIAN ARTISTS IN ITALY

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures...". -Henry Ward Beecher

ITALIAN ARTIST: AURELIO PERNICHE

Sicilian Artist: Aurelio Pernice known as " Aurè "
INDEX OF PAINTINGS


_________________________________________

ITALIAN ARTISTS IN ITALY

ROMEO CUOMO
Artist of Hand Painted Tiles and Ceramics





__________________________________________
El Rincón En Español (The Spanish Corner: )
This section is dedicated to articles of historical facts, poetry, self-improvement, human interest stories etc. written in Spanish.
TABLE OF CONTENTS (8)
"El Rincón Borinqueña"(Puerto Rico)
The Italian Niche
.
Brusciano, Italy News/Events (In Italian)
Brusciano, Italy News/Events ( In English)
AUTHOR'S SHOWCASE




John J. Burkard (Brooklyn, New York)
Red Hook, Reflections on History
.


_______________________________________
Dr. Antonio Castaldo (Brusciano, Italy)
Thoughts of an Italian Writer: A. Castaldo (In English)
TABLE OF CONTENTS (12B)

Pensieri di uno scrittore italiano: dott. Antonio Castaldo
TABLE OF CONTENTS (12a) (Italian)

_____________________________________


Michael Walsh ( Australia)
Poetic Purveyor (Facebook)
TABLE OF CONTENTS (23)



____________________________________
Miriam B. Medina (Diamond Author at Ezinearticles.com)
PUBLISHED ARTICLES ON BLOG
My Photo
POETRY BY MIRIAM B. MEDINA

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Unforgettable Dinner Party-A Short Story

By Miriam B. Medina

I should have been in a great mood, by all means, but I was not a happy camper. Not at all. Black tie affairs are not my thing, and this was the blackest of black tie affairs. The room was filled with politicians and movers and shakers, and I knew no one. Mainly because I'm not a money grubber. Sure, I was sitting in the lap of luxury, surrounded by powerful and prestigious people. I was being served imported caviar and smoked oysters wrapped in aged prosciutto, drinking a fine Riesling served in real crystal. We were between courses, waiting on the show stopper, the main course, pan seared salmon topped with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and some French sauce I couldn't pronounce if you gave me a tutor, explained what the funny little accent thing over the e is supposed to actually do, if I had been born in Paris and if my life depended on it.

I was miserable.

I would have been much happier wearing jeans, eating hot wings in a sports bar somewhere with a bib on because the sauce from the wings would make you look like a grease monkey after a lube job when you finished sucking the meat from the bones. A cold beer in hand, watching the endless pre-game shows leading up to the Super Bowl.

That was what got me into this mess, the Super Bowl. It was going to be the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers and their gargantuan quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, taking on the cardiac kid Cardinals led by aging legend Kurt Warner. My old platonic friend Steve had wrangled some tickets to the game, and 5 days of Super Bowl parties and endless revelry, and as we had been friends for twenty years and he couldn't find a real date to put on his arm, he decided to take me on the vacation of a lifetime. I agreed. Why not? I'd known Steve since grade school. We had always been close. Superbowl week in Tampa Bay. Sun and Fun and the NFL's greatest game shared with a few million people in the Tampa- St. Pete area. Beaches, muscled men in bathing suits, sun, parties, and memories that would last a life time.

At least, that was the idea.

But instead of eating hot wings and attending loud, screaming parties, we were at a fundraising dinner for the Governor the night before the great game. As people flooded the city streets, getting wild and having fun, I was waiting on some delicate fish drowning in a French sauce I couldn't pronounce and certainly didn't want to eat. Instead of talking about the beefy D-Line of the Cardinals chasing Big Ben around the gridiron, I was listening to dull, mind numbing conversations about budget discrepancies and proprietary funding grants that would study the mating habits of the swamp moth. Instead of meeting a hunky Latino lover and dancing the night away, I was thinking about ending it all with a ball point pen through the eye so I could escape the tedium. There was excitement right outside the sculpted, aged double doors, just beyond the gated fences being guarded by security guards that were having more fun than me.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate culture and class in its place. The art on the walls of the grand dining room was breathtaking and likely priceless. The long table was antique and the setting was ornate. You couldn't find better service in a 5 star resort. But this was supposed to be an adventure. A getaway. A once in a lifetime, exciting escape from the humdrum reality of 9 to 5 life. I had been divorced for almost two years, and in that time, I had done little but work and pay bills, cope with life after a failed marriage. Then Steve said, "Hey, why don't you go down to the Super Bowl with me. It'll be a blast. I don't have a date, I need to meet with some high-profile clients and take care of some business, but it will be a blast. I think you need a blast!"

It sounded like a GREAT idea. I did love football, and even though my team, the Jets, were not playing, attending any Super Bowl was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The festivities surrounding the game alone were legendary. I had believed that we would be partying, having a ball, but all we had done thus far was attend stuffy diner parties like this, night after night, as Steve courted government contracts, like he was doing now. I ended up stuck, alone in rooms filled with people like this. People I didn't know. People, frankly, I didn't want to know. They all looked great in their tuxedos and tails and fine dresses. Frankly, I looked stunning in my evening gown, but what a waste. All these people worried about and talked about were money and power and attending more dinners like this one. Married men hit on me, the only person I even knew in this stuffy mansion was busy chatting up other people. I wished that he would give me a few minutes of his time, too, so I could chat him up. I really wanted to give him a piece of my mind.

The week was almost wasted and I was bored. The only time I enjoyed was the mornings by the pool in the hotel. I sighed and stared at the pink fish as the perfectly dressed servant with the great posture placed a dish down before me. I was too depressed to even make an attempt to eat it.
"I find salmon boring too." The man next to me said under his breath, leaning over to me. He was very handsome,. He had curly dark hair and devilish eyes. "Almost as boring as constant talk about the under-funding of the budget by the State Congress and the problems with the Democrats in the State government."

"Amen." I said. I took a sip of wine, poked at the tiny, exquisite portion of fish, and sat my fork down. It always puzzled me why rich people paid so much money for food and then ate servings that wouldn't fill up a Happy Meal carton. "I don't think I can eat this." I said.

"Me either." he agreed, taking the napkin from his lap and placing it over his plate. "I think it's the company and the ambience as much as the food." he continued. "These people are already dead and they don't know it, they're simply haggling over funding so they can buy better coffins for themselves while Tampa Bay pulses with life, getting ready to watch Big Ben and Kurt the Magician go at it in the big game tomorrow. Care to get out of here and get some real food? Enjoy the city and the night?

Escape this tomb?"

I looked at him and he smiled, a smile that told me he was looking to find some trouble. The thing was, trouble and fun is EXACTLY what I was looking for.

"I know this place with great burgers and chicken wings, big screen TV's and the frostiest 16 ounce mugs you'll find in the state of Florida!" he added. That did it.

"Absolutely." I answered and stood. He joined me. One of the ever-present servants rushed to us.
"Is everything alright, Madame?" he asked politely.

"Fine." I said "We just remembered that we have something exciting to do."

With that, we walked out the massive double oak doors at the end of the chamber as two doormen opened them for us, ready to find the excitement I had been promised when I agreed to come to Florida, even if I was going to find it with a new friend instead of an old one.


Friday, June 14, 2013

THE BREAKING POINT-A SHORT STORY

By Miriam B. Medina

Billy shoved his chair back from the table, his face twisted in anger. He reached for his wallet and threw thirty dollars at Melissa, storming toward the door, slamming it hard behind him as he left. Billy felt stifled, trapped like a wild animal. He had to get away from Melissa's constantly whiny, b*tching voice. Their first-born, Joey, was only 10 months old, and Melissa was almost three months pregnant.

"How could she be so careless," he raged to himself, "I thought she was on birth-control pills." He had just joined the ranks of the unemployed, and now there was another mouth coming that he would have to feed. The more he thought about it, the angrier he became. He jumped into his car and sped off to the nearest bar, searching for a sympathetic ear.

Melissa was in shock after Billy left. Tears spilled down her face. "All I asked him for was for money to buy formula and diapers for Joey, and he blew up... " she cried to no one in particular. She couldn't understand the change in Billy's attitude towards her. He had always been extremely attentive and loving with her. He adored their son Joey. She vividly remembered the tender, intimate moment they were sharing just before she had to tell him about her 2nd pregnancy. It was becoming obvious. She couldn't keep it a secret any longer.

"Billy, can I talk to you about something?"

"Yeah, sure. What?" he cooed, as he kissed and tickled her playfully.

"I'm pregnant," she said, a small gleeful smile on her face.

"Oh my God! Melissa... You're WHAT?" he yelled. He jumped out of bed, grabbing his pants off the chair, stumbling as he tried to put them on.

"I thought you would be happy that we were going to have another baby?" she said.

"What, are you crazy? This is no time to have another kid. Are you sure you're pregnant?"

"Yes, I took the over-the-counter pregnancy test and it came out positive. Besides I missed my period, two months now." She was afraid to tell Billy that she hadn't gone to the doctor yet, because of their financial situation. Now she was glad she didn't.

"You'll have to get an abortion." Billy said in a commanding tone.

Melissa believed strongly in Pro-choice and refused to even consider having an abortion. "I'm sorry you feel that way, Billy, but I won't have an abortion. I am going to have our baby." she meekly responded.

"So, Miss Smart Ass, that means that I'll have to pay out-of-pocket for all your doctor visits... probably the delivery too, because my health insurance went with my job. Where am I going to get the money for all of this? Between the mortgage and our living expenses, whatever savings we had are gone now. There is no more money!" Billy hissed, his face beet red.

Melissa said, "I'll borrow the money from my parents, they'll help us out."

"So how in the hell are we going to pay them back, when I don't have a job?" Billy shouted angrily.

She gazed at her husband for several seconds before she timidly answered: "I don't know."

Billy was fuming. They were already in debt up to their ears thanks to overusing the credit cards.

Thinking back to that awful day, Melissa suddenly felt sick, fighting back an urge to throw up. This pregnancy was extremely hard on her. She was unable to do anything, exhausted a lot of the time, always dizzy and vomiting. This fighting wasn't helping. She felt more irritable than usual. She had been losing a lot of weight. Billy had no patience with her anymore. He suddenly refused to lift a finger to help her with Joey, with the housework, or even with the laundry. He would just sit in front of the TV and ignore her. He was determined to make things difficult for her. This unexpected pregnancy meant financial worry and uncertainty for him.

Melissa remembered how healthy and happy she had been throughout her first pregnancy. She was a paralegal assistant making a great salary with a reputable law firm, Hotchkin & Hotchkin. Billy was elated when she told him she was pregnant. He was 42 and she was 35. He was madly in love with Melissa. He started to date her after he won a law suit at her firm. It was love at first sight. After they married, they waited two years before starting a family. Finally, their bundle of joy arrived. William and Melissa Thornwall had a healthy son, 8 pounds and 9 ounces. They named him after Billy's grandfather, Joseph Thornwall II. They both agreed to set aside Melissa's salary, saving it to purchase their dream home, living off of his salary during those two lean years. Things were going well for Billy at the job then. He was earning an excellent salary as a Web Master. After her pregnancy became too much for her, Melissa decided to go on maternity leave. Once Joey was born, Billy didn't want Melissa to go back to work, so she left the firm. Billy felt he was earning enough to maintain their lifestyle.

Then, in 2008, the market took a nose dive. The economy followed, and soon most of the country was struggling. By March 6, 2009, the stock market had dropped nearly 60% from its October high. It was one of the biggest American financial disasters of all time. The corporation where Billy worked was having a tough time staying afloat. Sales came to a stand still. Billy's employer hired a management restructuring consultant firm to shake-up the corporation. The company drastically downsized, cutting Billy's Web Master position and income in the process. Those that were fortunate enough to hold on to a job worked at lesser wages, taking on additional responsibilities. Billy could not believe he had lost his job after being with the company for several productive years. He had to take his place among the swollen ranks of the unemployed, swallowing his pride and worrying about his family in the process. Billy was depressed, often in a foul mood. He felt he was reaching a breaking point. The marriage was in trouble, his job was gone, and he had few prospects. Things looked bleak. Now Melissa was pregnant again, to top it off.

Melissa was feeling quite tired and flushed after putting Joey to bed. Either he was getting heavier or she was getting weaker, or both. She laid down and fell asleep immediately. Suddenly she awoke that night with intense pains and cramps in her lower abdomen and back. The cramps began to subside, leaving her weak and sore. She fell back to sleep again after they subsided. At four in the morning the severe cramps returned and she began to bleed profusely. The pain was unbearable, like she was in labor. She felt like fainting. She woke Billy up, telling him he needed to take her to the hospital. Billy immediately got dressed and woke Joey, covering him with a blanket, and got Melissa into the car. They sped to the hospital as fast as possible.
---
Melissa lingered outside of the courtroom, talking to her attorney. Joey was playing at her side. "Mr. Hotchkin," she started, smiling at the elderly, distinguished lawyer, "I can never thank you enough for helping me through all of this."

The silver-haired man smiled gently at her and at the young boy by her side. "Nonsense Melissa. We're just glad you came back. You're the best paralegal I've ever had. The place hadn't ran right since you left." He paused and looked at Joey, winking at him. "This won't be easy, you know, divorce never is, even after what you've been through. It will certainly be tough on the child, but we're here for you, Melissa. You're a part of our family."

"Thank Y--" Melissa started, when Billy approached them in the hall.

"You don't have to speak to him. Shall I get a bailiff?" He asked Melissa.

"No," she replied coolly, "It'll be okay. I have something to say to him."

Mr. Hotchkin went into the courtroom to wait. When he was gone, Billy spoke quietly to his soon to be ex-wife. "Please, please don't do this... I miss you and Joey terribly." He begged.

"No, Billy, I've made my decision. It's what's best, and I'm at peace now."

"I'm sorry we lost the baby but that's not--"

"What?" she interrupted, "... Not your fault? Maybe it was, and maybe it wasn't. The stress you caused had something to do with it." She felt anger rising. "You ought to be happy now Billy, no more responsibilities. You don't have to pay for our second child, because she didn't survive. Now you can drink yourself to death and say you tried."

Billy began to sob. "It wasn't the money, things were tough and I felt trapped. Please, I can't live without you!"

Melissa shook her head. "You couldn't live with us. We tried that. Things got tough and you became someone else. Money is paper, Billy. We were your family. No matter how bad things would have gotten, we would have remained your family, by your side. But you didn't want us. You wanted security and something easy. You left us, and endangered us, even though you stayed at the house. The Billy I fell in love with abandoned ME when I needed him, and left a drunk corpse in his place. Grow up Billy, get yourself straight and get some help. Do it for your son, he's going to need a father. Do it for yourself. As for me, I've made my choice. I need to find happiness too."

Melissa took Joey's hand, held her head high, and walked with her son, into the court room. She had taken her dignity back, now it was time to take her life back.

To contact: miriammedina@earthlink.net
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Sicilian Artist Follows His Dream-A Short Story

By Miriam B. Medina

It is a clear day, a glorious, sunny day, with a calm sea and a light breeze. Vincenzo Bonifazi looks out of his window and smiles. "Perfetto." Today will be an exceptionally good day to sell his paintings. The weather was in his favor. He had been painting feverishly all week in his studio until the wee hours of the morning, preparing for his new exhibit. When he awoke, emotions escaped his brush, filling the canvas with the inner depths of his soul. He painted, stroke after stroke, with vivid colors, leaving impressions quite pretty, yet bold. His women with huge breasts and large butts seemed to consume him, and were in demand.. Something about this particular day gave him a" feel good" mentality. Vincenzo whistled as he packed his belongings, folding chairs and paintings into his specially designed Sicilian cart. He decided to head for the beach. There was something about the sea that inspired and brought out the best in him. He knocked on the door of his best friend, Rosario, and asked him to accompany him, so he could take a break every so often while Rosario watched his paintings.


Vincenzo greeted his friend:

"Buongiorno Rosario, sembra che sta andando essere un buon giorno per le vendite. Forse avremo un altro giorno come la settimana scorsa."

(Good morning Rosario, looks like it's going to be a good day for sales. Maybe we'll have another day like we had last week.)

Rosario smiles, helping Vincenzo with the cart.

"Spero di si," Rosario responded.

(I hope so.)

Rosario invited Vincenzo to sit down and have their usual espresso that Stefania, Rosario's wife, prepared for them, along with something tasty to eat. Rosario and Vincenzo had been best friends since childhood. They lived in the same neighborhood, two houses away from each other. Rosario's father, Salvatore Bellini, was a well-known artist in Taormina. Since Vincenzo and Rosario's mothers were neighbors, as well as friends, he was able to visit Rosario's home often. Salvatore liked Vincenzo's interest in his paintings. He had a good feeling about this young boy with the big eyes.. He sensed a passion for art stirring in him. Salvatore would give Vincenzo some paint brushes and paper to see what he could create. When he finished, Salvatore was in awe. This child had the makings of a great artist. He had excelled at drawing and had such an understanding of color at such a young age. He was gifted. Salvatore saw himself in this young child.
He told Vincenzo's mother that he would like to tutor him, sharing everything he knew about design, forms and color. Paola was so proud of her son. She agreed to this without telling her husband. Thus, Vincenzo began his artistic apprenticeship with Bellini at a very young age.

Spurred on by his enthusiasm, Vincenzo tried to find the perfect spot to exhibit his work, just off of the beach, yet close to the water.

After walking a distance with the cart, they stopped. Vincenzo couldn't resist going to the edge of the water to wet his feet and look at the sea. Rosario stayed behind setting up the exhibit. Vincenzo stood still, feeling the warmth of the late morning sun on his face. The sea breeze ruffled his curly brown hair as he deeply inhaled the salt air, tasting the spray from the waves. It was invigorating. His feet sunk into the sand as the waves overlapped each other, rushing, splashing and roaring against his legs,, dragging the sand between his feet. He looked about him and was surprised and disappointed that the beach was not crowded. There were only a few tourists splashing in the waves. His self-confidence began to sink. He had been so sure it was going to be a lucky day for him. He scratched his head and mumbled:

"Dove sono tutte le persone. Questo posto è sempre pieno."

(Where are all the people? This place is always packed.)

Taormina has been a top holiday coastal resort on the Italian island of Sicily since the early 19th century. It has also been Vincenzo's hometown since he was born.

Ever since he was a child, Vincenzo loved to come to the beach with his mother. He would often play in the sand, building sandcastles.Vincenzo was a gifted child who had the ability to build impressive sculptures out of sand. His father, Lorenzo, was a simple fisherman who worked hard to feed his family. His clothing reeked of fish. Even when he came home, the kitchen and bathroom smelled of fish. Wherever he walked or sat, the fish scales would trail behind him. Vincenzo hated that smell, though he loved to eat fish, especially the way his mother Paola would prepare it.

"Mmmmmmm... delizioso," he would say to his mother, giving her a big hug. He was an only son. His mother Paola adored him. She had a difficult delivery when he was born. After Vincenzo, Paola couldn't have anymore children. Paola loved her son and was always fussing over him. Lorenzo resented Paola for giving him so much attention. Vincenzo was expected to follow in his father's footsteps. Vincenzo was to get married and raise his family as a fisherman, as many generations had done before him.. But Vincenzo had other ideas, which did not include being a struggling fisherman with a pile of snot-nosed kids.

"Non io, non sarò mai un pescatore. Diventerò un artista famoso e fare un sacco di soldi!"

(Not me, I will never be a fisherman. I will become a famous artist and make lots of money.)

Ever since Vincenzo was a child, he was mesmerized by the curvy, voluptuous women he saw on the beach, the ones who poured themselves into a bikini.. Apparently, these women had no qualms about exhibiting their god-given bodies. Even at age 40, Vincenzo would remember vividly his first sexual experiences from adolescence, as he enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh with a voluptuous woman. He was a willing teenager, 17 years old, and she was a cougar on the prowl at age 40. Rosa was a widow whose body craved a man's sexual touch. Rosa saw Vincenzo on the beach and liked his physique, so she flirted with him. His muscular build and good looks made him look older than his age, and he had a hard time keeping his eyes off of her curvy, voluptuous body. The more she flirted with him, the more aroused he became. As her final act of seduction, Rosa invited him to come to her house. He accepted her invitation. Vincenzo knew she was much older than him, but it didn't matter, all he knew was that she was a hot cougar that drove him wild, with her steamy passionate flirtation and sex appeal. He longed to become a great carnal pupil in her hands. Vincenzo hungered for the moment he could share a bed with Rosa. He was glad that she suggested he come to her house, so he wouldn't have to find a way to safely get her alone. He would tell his parents he was going to Rosario's house. When he knocked on Rosa's door, she opened it, dressed in a see through negligee. Vincenzo couldn't wait anymore. He relaxed and enjoyed himself immensely, learning as he went along. They were both convinced they wanted more time with each other, but as they say, all good things come to an end.
.
Remembering Rosa, Vincenzo's cheeks flushed as he became visibly aroused while savoring the memory of their last desperate sexual encounter. Even after 23 years, she still had a lingering effect on him. So Vincenzo realized that all good things don't have to end, they just evolve, and fade into memory, where they are safe and forever available to be visited. Rosa would never die, not as long as Vincenzo and his paintings lived.
Vincenzo was happy with his current mistress, who reminded him of Rosa. He had never married. He wanted to be free to paint, without worrying about supporting a family.Life was good.

It was starting to get very hot. Vincenzo was worried about his paintings. Luckily he had a tarp on hand to cover his exhibit. Rosario was getting hungry and wanted to go home. Vincenzo, desperately waiting for a sale, yelled out.

"Rosario, aspetta, aspetta, non andare. Rimani altri 15 minuti e cominceremo imballaggio. Ti pagherò in più."

(Rosario, wait, wait, don't leave. Stay another 15 minutes and we'll start packing. I'll pay you 
more.)

Suddenly a man approached Vincenzo and handed him his card. He was a dealer from a famous art gallery in Manhattan, New York. He was fascinated by Vincenzo's paintings, the endless playgrounds filled with curvy, voluptuous women. He liked Vincenzo's style, it was quite unique, something he had never seen before. It was seductive and humorous. He told Vincenzo that he wanted to show his paintings in his art gallery. Vincenzo only knew a few phrases in English, which he was embarrassed to pronounce, so he asked his friend Rosario for help. Rosario was a University graduate and spoke English fluently, so he became the go-between for Vincenzo and the Art Dealer. Vincenzo could not believe his ears. Finally, his dream to go to America and become a famous artist was coming true. Vincenzo joyfully hugged his friend Rosario, thanking him for his help, saying:

"Lo sapevo, lo sapevo."

(I knew it, I knew it.)

He kissed the business card and began to whistle as they packed up the beach exhibit and headed home.
Vincenzo's face was beaming as he turned to his friend, and said:

"Sì, è stata una bella giornata al mare. Non pensi così Rosario?"

(Yes indeed, it was a beautiful day by the sea. Don't you think so Rosario?)

Rosario happily responded:

"Hai ragione Vincenzo, finalmente dopo tutti questi anni di duro lavoro, il tuo sogno si è avverato."

(You are right, Vincenzo, finally, after so many years of hard work, your dream has come true.)

Please leave your comments, I would like to hear what you have to say.