1. Ke11y

    Second childood

    Why does arthritis attack the joints I care most about? I ask this sitting here caressing a double whiskey-chaser, contemplating my future having just been fired from my part-time job for a trivial matter—stationary theft and tea money fraud—and am now considering starting up a business on my own. I’m close to seventy, need spectacles to read and am losing my hair while still cultivating ways to farther extend my belly. My hobbies are playing air guitar—Money for Nothing—and butt kissing, which I’ve perfected since about the age twelve. I’m a man of little dreams, small victories and easily reachable goals. I know nothing about iPods, hard-drives, gigabytes, poppers or Angelina Jolie.

    I can think of various business projects I’d be good at: A launderette for instance. I’d call it—In a Spin—get it? And advertise it as: ‘The Best Place in Town to Drop Your Pants!’ It suddenly occurs to me what I’m really doing is worshipping the Goddess of Dirty Underwear.

    I don’t miss boy bands, baggy blue jeans, ice white trainers or sports T-shirts, nor have I been sober in years. Well maybe a few minutes at a time, mostly when I’m waiting in line to buy liquor. I could write a book, maybe become an author. You don’t have to be a genius to write a book, right? Seems to me all the great authors frequented pubs. Maybe I could write a book on celebrated alcoholics. Or the effects of beer induced migraines. There’s no end to opportunities, right? Let’s have another drink. Wait, what’s this Facebook thing?

    I smile about three times a week, smoke Marlboro Lights. Not so bad considering it took forty-three years to get my wife off my back. I had help. A speeding ambulance with flashing lights drove right over her. When the police came I was stood looking up at the heavens. I think the cop believed I’d been heartbreakingly cheated of my wife’s company. I was actually thinking: This is just brilliant, thank you Lord!

    1. mcullen Post author

      OMG, Kelly. I LOVE your writing. Thanks for the scintillating story! Your #1 fan, Marlene.

  2. Ke11y

    Hi Marlene: So kind as always. Thank you.

    The truth is I was having fun with your post about looking after your body! I accidently posted to the wrong section. I’ve since done away with my mother-in-law using a very hot chili pepper! Isn’t old age grand.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Still smiling . . .

  3. mcullen Post author

    Confessions—Shhh! by Arlene Mandell

    I no longer say I’m ambidextrous. I’m simply a left-handed woman who was forced in first grade to write with her right hand.

    I no longer wear blue eyeshadow and black eyeliner. Gave that up when I left Brooklyn.

    and I no longer wear pantyhose. Took retirement at age 59 to release my legs from L’eggs.

    But I still write novels in my head in which the female protagonist — a younger, gutsier version of ME — performs heroic feats.

    Arlene Mandell’s work has appeared 795 times in various newspapers and literary publications, including 25 anthologies, but who’s counting…she is!

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