the world & words of a new york city writer

gretchen is a writer in new york city

Category: short story (page 5 of 19)

breakfast in bermuda

Wearing black in Bermuda sets a fast impression that you might be on your way to a funeral. Unless it’s accompanied with a tie or stockings. In that case, tourists and locals alike can tell. You’re in town on business. You’ve hopped the short flight from New York to Hamilton to speak in numbers. Talk in terms of billions.

Terms you never imagined engaging in.

When you drink two Bloody Marys with your toast for breakfast at a local cafe, before the morning’s board meeting, the waitstaff knows you better than you think you know yourself.

“Politics or insurance?” a waiter asks his colleague about you. You don’t notice. You focus on alternating. Toast, coffee, cocktail. Toast, coffee, cocktail. Black coffee. No sugar. Continue reading

crushed commitment

crushed commitment

My husband pawned his wedding ring for $275 two months after I gave it to him. He drank the money and fell asleep on Avenue B. When he came home the next day, he lied about everything. He lied about where the ring was. He lied about the drinking.

He lied. Again.

I tenderly removed my ring and tucked it in the silk-lined box I saved after purchasing the set I couldn’t afford. The money he took from a grey-eyed woman with sweaty hands was nowhere near what I paid. What I’m still paying back.

A week after it occurs, I realize I can no longer keep a piece of jewelry that bears no meaning. My therapist says my fear of rejection is what caused it all.

“You are too forgiving,” she said brushing wispy bangs from her face. “You’re the most forgiving person I know.”

I came to New York City to fade into the streets after I lost my soul mate in Australia because of a fatal accident. People always tell you that accidents happen. They leave out the statistics of people who actual survive them.

My Soul Mate is an unfortunate statistic. I am starting to understand that I am too. That he and I always have been. It’s part of who we are. Continue reading

mona’s ocean

mona’s ocean

Mona is a young girl with… nobody.

Mona has always been a very lonely girl.

Mona inherited eyes the color of the Irish Sea from an uncle named Patrick with a fondness for whiskey and a habit of women. Women like the black braided Brigitte. Continue reading

Lyndhurst

I came across this piece from 2003 today, written after I left the city for what would end up being a year, or nine…

I left New York City. It was the day after a spider-legged woman stepped out of a stretch limousine, nearly tripped over a homeless man, and entered into an exhibit in SOHO to decide what starving painter she would feed with her dead husband’s money. The owners of the studio seemed so pleased with the turn out.

Continue reading

off guard. electricity.

off guard. electricity.

The people next door are burning candles again.

Vine shaped shadows stretch across the roof of their twenty-second story penthouse. From your neighboring nineteenth floor studio, the flames look like lightning bugs.

You remember when you lit candles in the living room and she was glowing shades of copper and sap. You were far away from everything then.

She was never close again. Continue reading

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