the world & words of a new york city writer

gretchen is a writer in new york city

Category: short story (page 2 of 19)

your socks

The last night I saw you was the only night my dog ever pissed on my floor. She did it while you were here doing drugs in my bathroom that were delivered by my dealer in a silver BMW about twenty minutes ago.

These are things that happen in Manhattan.

I’ve known you for almost two years now and you have begged and pleaded and played on the weakness my divorce cut me with and broke both of my knees.

I’ve given you a lot. Too much. Things I will never get back. Things you will never deserve. But if you ever thought I would give you the number of my delivery service – you played yourself. Continue reading

Tender Calculation of Regret’s Discovery. Submit.

IMG_7207I wrote a submission-query this morning blog tribe. I always tell myself I’ll do more of these, but I never do. I don’t reckon I’ve even hit ten total – in life.

The one I wrote today was actually to someone who already knocked me back once before, four years ago. I can’t really blame him. My book wasn’t ready. And my letter was like, “Ummm, I have a blah-g and I live in Australia and I’m going to go to New York City, and I’m writing about it.”

Needless to say, he didn’t really care.

Four years later, my letter is like, “Since my last pitch, I went from being a married wife in country Queensland to a single, Wall Street executive in midtown Manhattan. Professionally, I was writing earnings commentary for the CEO of a global finance institution. I recently exceeded three million reads on my blog…”IMG_7501

… I left out the part out about how I’ve been squatting in a 200-year-old farmhouse upstate for the past few weeks.

All of this made me smile. And it made me think back to the few pieces I’ve actually put forward that have been knocked back. The one below was originally posted in 2010. It had literally been years since I picked it up until this morning. I’m just as proud of it now, regardless of whatstheirname not being interested.

Don’t ever let anyone else’s opinion of what you create sway you. It’s one person’s judgement, utterly insignificant. In my experience, artistic work always connects with the most critical audience – its creator. Anything beyond that is icing, I reckon.

THE TENDER CALCULATION OF REGRET’S DISCOVERY

Brisbane is roughly 25,652 kilometres from New York City, give or take a few. When I left Manhattan, my shrink told me that I was approximately 14.7 years away from killing myself. This gave me a life expectancy of roughly 38.5.

Over the past two years the accent I arrived with has finally softened. I know to say ‘Bris-bin’ instead of ‘Bris-bane’ and can even get away with the occasional ‘mate’. I have a unique appreciation for blending in, keeping a low profile. Continue reading

taste of fall

Taste of Fall

September tastes like apple cider in New York City. I walked through Central Park in 5am darkness that pricked with the first bite of winter’s warning. Not as hard as what was said last night.

No one goes to the park this early. There’s me, a clan of serial joggers, a few cyclists and a couple of homeless people. I’m here because I have dogs. I have dogs because they get me out of the house. And it’s important for me to get out of the house, because I have habits.

I have habits for a couple of reasons. Continue reading

mandatory retreat

mandatory retreat

You show up unannounced again, three days after I say I can’t see you anymore and six weeks after we meet. I would have told you not to come. But you caught me off guard, like the day I first saw you.

There are things that I do and things that I have done that you will never know. It’s why you can’t keep coming here. It’s why I never should have agreed to see you twice.

You think things about me that are not true. I order my fourth drink during our third dinner together and you say, “Man, I can’t drink like that, especially not on a weeknight.” Continue reading

downtown (2 of 2)

We’re in love by our third martini. Mine dirty, his with a twist. There is an excitement knowing how fast and temporary this will be.

The waitstaff are talking about us. When he leans in closer to hear my voice more clearly, I smell violets and cigarettes on his collar, and lemon vodka on his breath. I subtly swoop toward him and we briefly touch cheeks. His skin is as soft as the summer atmosphere around us and the dim streetlights above.

We aren’t discussing anything of great depth, but engagement is an obvious quality we share. And so we tell stories and tip glasses and laugh loudly while we talk about what it’s like living in other countries. Continue reading

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