the world & words of a new york city writer

gretchen is a writer in new york city

Category: short story (page 3 of 19)

downtown (1 of 2)

You told me to write you a story.

“I want it to be true, baby. I want you to tell me the truth about the things that you do.”

You don’t know a thing about what I do. All you know is what I tell you. And over the past two weeks, since you responded to my craigslist ad, I’ve told you random things. Banter. Continue reading

#mynypd part 2 of 2

#mynypd (based on a true story)
part 2 of 2 (part 1)

There are scrubs at her feet. She pulls the dry fabric over her naked lower half and makes her way across a corridor into the bathroom.

She closes the door, looks in the mirror, and for the first time – she realizes what they did to her. There’s blood coming from her right ear. She reaches for a paper towel, holding back tears, she’s in auto pilot.

Cold water, apply pressure. Don’t cry. Continue reading

#myNYPD

#myNYPD : a two-part short story
dedicated to every victim of police brutality, based on a true story.

On March 09, 2014, she received the news that a best friend of hers, in Chile (where she resided from 2002 – 2011), committed suicide. Or fell. One or the other. She could email someone for more information. Except she couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t cry. She looked out the window and tried to forget.

On the evening of Friday, Marchl 11, at approximately 11pm, she attended a restaurant one block away from her flat.

At the restaurant, she drank a bottle of Chilean wine, grieving her friend. She is not ordinarily a heavy drinker. It is possible she had another one or two drinks. She ordered some appetizers, olives and a salad. Continue reading

pattern disruption

pattern disruption

I met you in the winter on my third day of Vivaldi’s Summer. I tend to find ways in my mind to disrupt ordinary patterns; like the dreary push that a cold New York City day in January might bestow upon a soul. Summer helped that. Vivaldi usually solves most of my problems.

I was writing when we met. I told you I was on my second drink that day, when it was really my fifth. You sat next to me at the bar and asked what I was listening to. People aren’t abrupt like that anymore. They don’t just sit next to you in public places and ask what your headphones are playing. I actually found your query a quite personal question.

Your boldness made me blush.

“Vivaldi.”

“Do you play the violin?”

“No.”

You took sheet music out of your bag and told me about how you play piano. I didn’t tell you that I used to take lessons, or how Liebestraum has been more consistent in my life than any lover ever attempted.

Such frivolous detail hardly seemed significant.

So like I was saying, these violins had been waking me up during the night for days. Days on top of the weeks and years I dreamt of you.

We didn’t talk about this the day we met.

To the picture of a starry sky. An aurora borealis photo. Maybe a moon sculpture, of sorts.

And while strings moaned in pitches and places I don’t know how to reach, we read piano music and talked about Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Piano Sonata No. 4 in C major, movement 1.

You rolled cigarettes with a precision that made me feel foreignly safe. Because back then I wasn’t safe and you weren’t precise, but we convinced enough people otherwise to briefly build a life.

I walked on air around you and your thoughts became alive inside of my heart. We started around that place. We ended somewhere entirely different.

snowflakes

I drank champagne the day you disappeared, when I should have been concerned about how we didn’t meet in the exact known place at the exact agreed IMG_1651time. Worry should have been fighting for the better of me. It all should have mattered.

But you are a liar. I learned after my first marriage, liars don’t count. So I never counted on you showing up. I never counted on you for anything.

I visited a friend in Soho who updated me about his wife and their baby and their weekend trips to the Hamptons. I never mentioned you. And he didn’t ask. And that made me feel free from you. Like even though I remembered everything, everyone else had already forgotten. Continue reading

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