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MCVT

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About MCVT

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    Cool Member

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  • Age in Years
    70
  • Favorite Genres
    Everything
  • Location
    Eastern Seaboard US

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    MCVT2017@gmail.com

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  1. During the 1950s there was a male performer from Louisiana, from off the bayous. He made this phrase popular: "If I'm lyin', I'm dyin.'" (For some reason I associate the phrase with Zydeco music.) This phrase underscores your truthfulness. "Yes, the check is in the mail. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'." See how much stronger that statement is? v
  2. This is a very politically incorrect phrase, and I'll allow it as its used to make a statement not about disability, but about a person stepping away from convention: The phrase is: "Every family got their idiot child." This may allude to inter-familial relations, and I've heard it used meaning, "That child/person isn't following tradition." This is usually derogatory, but not always. It may mean the person isn't using common sense or may simply be an exclamation about a new situation. A liberal politician introducing a new idea may get this comment in a conservative area. Because I've worked with so many people with disabilities, I find it a crude but honest recognizing differences in groups; farming life is hard, often dangerous and medical services are not always available. v
  3. "Pretty little heifer." For farming people, a cow giving birth to a female was a fortuitous event. Females make more calves and give milk. Males are treated differently and didn't enjoy a long lifespan. A heifer was a thing of beauty in the minds and lives of many rural southerners. This is not an insult, but a compliment, though many girls/women didn't like being compared to livestock. I never used the phrase. v
  4. Some I've heard often: "Ain't that sumptin'?" or, "Aren't you special today?" These phrases carry the opposite meaning. Example: "Ain't that sumptin'? You only spilled half your coffee on your shirt this morning. You're so special today." This is southern sarcasm at its cattiest. Phrase is used for people drawing attention to something they did that they were actually expected to do. (Keep coffee in either cup or mouth.) Can be used in the superlative by adding the word "Mercy!" before or after the insult. v.
  5. Red headed step child: Calling a person this implies his mother stepped outside her marriage to have intimate relations with a person of another faith. (I'll let you figure that out.) This has often come to mean a person who is neglected, abused and mistreated. It is used to describe discourtesy or poor customer service by a commercial enterprise; "That woman talked to me like I was her red headed stepchild." In my experience, through the years, this has fallen from use for the most part through economic downturns. People in the south will take in relatives' children and raise them along with their own as a matter of family preservation and generosity. I do believe the advent of easily available henna has contributed to the disuse of this phrase as well. v
  6. Sippy sack: Small brown paper bag containing a can of beer. Sold/packaged at convenience stores beginning when beer came in cans and continues in some areas today, though more sophisticated materials are used to hide labels of alcoholic beverages from law enforcement. "Sippy Sack." Liquor laws were rigid, and often strange for many reasons. Drinkers found ways to get to their alcohol despite laws. This custom continues in many areas. v
  7. "Snowin' down south." This was a warning phrase between women during the first half of the 1900s. It meant the edge of your crinoline was revealing itself from beneath your skirt. A fashion faux pas at least and if done consistently and brazenly, a scandalous statement. v
  8. A metaphor I've always enjoyed is: "Like a pea in a #2 washtub." This phrase is usually allowed after someone says something really stupid implying the speaker's brain is like a pea in a large wash tub. Tubs come in sizes, but most rural southern families had a large tub for washing clothes, children and smaller animals. v
  9. Stats are interesting, and may be simply a comment on the reputation of the site in combination with the strength of the hook written in the first few lines of the piece. Several years ago when I began posting, one site editor on a very narrowly defined site suggested that each comment reflected 1K readers. (That site had a colourful rep and a few excellent writers though limited scope.) Other sites without counts or rating systems require readers to email give some feedback, that's okay. Some readers are reticent about emailing. Another site has stories with over 10+K views in only a few days. Wow, surprising, but sitting among other good stories posted on the same date, it seemed suspicious. Since we live in a time where comments, likes, sixty-second views, etc can be bought, I don't give "hits" much weight. Comments, I do. When a person takes the time to comment on the site, to actually email me, that counts. Let's face it, there's a number of good sites, a number of good writers and I'll remain grateful for the opportunity to post. Reality is this, to me: There are many kinds of writers, many kinds of readers and sometimes we fit, other times not. My work may not attract high numbers, and I appreciate my readers' comments. Found some nice people through comments. Does that count? I will say this about my own comments, reads and ratings: As a reader, I want respect. There is an excellent writer known across several sites, I refuse to go back to any of his work as several great pieces weren't finished. (What a disappointment.) Another writer has great stories, truly interesting ideas and clear writing, and he slogs the plot with so much irrelevant detail I tire, lose the story line. Didn't respond to him, though as others may appreciate the extra words. Respect for my time and my mental investment, please. In summary, I'll dismiss all the clicking around, all the ratings and such, and stick with the comments directly sent to me. I write because I see a story unfolding in my head and allow my ethos to parade itself publicly, which in itself is a courageous act another will probably appreciate. There are postings from deceased writers whose time to shine may have come. All their hits, counts and ratings are for nothing, but the essence of their truths revealed move forward. No? This is an interesting topic for writers. Thanks for posting it. v
  10. MCVT

    Chapter 1

    Why thank you for that comment. You know, that character keeps coming back to me, maybe he's knocking on my door to let him near the keyboard again. Richie the gimp is a sheltered, but stubborn boy, and his shrink is a non-enabling help. I'll have to think about that. Thanks again for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it. v
  11. MCVT

    Joe, continued 1

    I think we're needin' to find out about Joe,. Hope he's sorting things out as we wait. v
  12. MCVT

    Joe, continued 1

    "I'm a failed farmer with nothin' but a half-feral cat." He cast about looking for his tux? What the heck? Sad self-description--good luck Joe. Laughing as I read this. Thanks for posting this clip. Last two lines are great. I needed that inspiration this morning as I pen of a man from Pig Hill and Waffle House diners. v
  13. MCVT

    Chapter 1/1

    Collective work during these times. We each asked other writers for contributions on a mundane topic. Some snippets were outrageous--hard to decide to laugh or cry. Glad you enjoyed that and glad you took the time to comment. Thanks, v
  14. MCVT

    Chapter 1/1

    Glad you liked it. Now, about being a voyeur, since this is fiction, I suggest finding a good fictional shrink here on GA. Many stories include doctors, etc. Wonder what someone's imaginary therapist would advise--might be fun to find out. Thank you for your comment, I had to think about that as I chuckled. v
  15. MCVT

    Chapter 1/1

    #366 Our fifteen-year partnership concluded by death. Sold the house, paid the debts, avoided bankruptcy by a few bucks, faced completing a six-page lease application by hand. Co-worker told me about a place where her mother lived. A vacancy opened in a reasonably-priced, respectable old battleship of a building. Decided to stay there as I rebuilt my cache. My grief was still deep—new people might boost my rebound. Four rooms on the third floor became my new home. #366. #612 #612 Was Carl Kolettis’ apartment. Comfortable old guy, spoke softly. Place smelled of bratwursts and white-sugar donuts. Glass of tea, butter-bread always offered. He’d fall asleep when I visited on sunny afternoons. Tiptoed out, locked the door behind me. Carl died shortly after he went to the hospital. Several bags and boxes in the hallway the night before the painters came to erase his presence. Kolettis’ belongings were few: boxes of Polaroids; unknown, smiling faces. Stack of clippings about a fan dancer named Rosemary. Bags of lacy panties, satiny bras, conical foam shapes. None well-worn, each with the tag labeled with the year purchased, it appeared. In 1972 Mr. Kolettis was slender tease—size 6M. #703 Hold each other in place. That’s what neighbors do, or clearly put “better the devil you know.” Gerald was our devil. Gerald had a white-hot temper. Didn’t like certain sounds, often called his neighbors into the hallway for an irrational dressing-down when their noise upset him. Vacuuming, carpet cleaners, furniture assembly, any celebration involving music lit his fuse. Kindly lady in #702 appointed herself the referee during the screaming-matches. Knocking on adjacent doors along the hall, she politely asked everyone to lower the noise and insisted Gerald take his medications, lay down. She calmed him till he rested, his disturbance passed. Her son was easily disturbed as well—succumbed years earlier, they said. Some hands hold others in place thoughtfully. #514 Four servicemen leased #514. Rock music, drinking, partying and whatever makes a person stay all night in the bath groaning. (Old buildings aren’t discrete.) Through the months, some shipped out, they came and went, always re-filled with noisome antics of youth finding their limits. Military actions abroad drew them away. Two civilians sublet. Different kind of men. No beige and camo but linen and cashmere in bright pastels. Modest men, no need for machismo; these two knew themselves. Confident. Applied pre-wash to their stains before they came to the washateria, all their trash was bagged in a neutral, opaque shade, sheer curtains, soft jazz. Dodged the tenant meetings saying they were both working two jobs and left after two years. Moved into their own home near the river. #466 I dreamed of fog; minute droplets of water cooled my face. Water? Jumped up, the ceiling sagged overhead, soaked, ready to burst. Donna, a heavy drinker, lived above. Left the water running again. Immediately sent photos to the maintenance guys, squished across the wet carpeting, moving what I could. Second deluge in three months. Someone in the office laid the law down to Donna, she left for rehab. Thirty days of peace but for the repairs. Several months later I got a note under my door, “Dear Mr. 366, I have to make amends. Personal problems overwhelmed me. I became forgetful….” Not wholly sincere. Slipped a note under her door the next week: “Dear Ms. 466, Came down with a cold slogging across a wet carpet to salvage my things. Two leather coats, my new duvet and therapeutic mattress were ruined. Family and friends stressed helping me recover/replace. Maintenance had to remove drywall, reinstall, repaint, all the floors redone. The costs of your forgetfulness extend far beyond your apartment. Do your amends involve covering these expenses? It’s not your personal problem, but everyone’s and we’re all holding hope for you.” Not all the complete truth, but underlined my point; our shared plight. #366 My duty, as I saw it, was to monitor the parking lot. Keep my desk by the window to watch. I’d call the cops, wake up the security officer until it ceased. Nightly activity below disturbed my rest. A pattern formed, predictable schedule: Homeless dug in the dumpster and bags people left for them. A mother and child pulled a cart for recycled treasures. Chattering carpoolers came home after their swing shifts. Three quick beeps announced the dealer’s arrival. Toward the end of the month, several residents met their clients out back. Rethinking my duty and the reasons behind the noise, I surrendered. I can afford a roof, food as well as earplugs. Started anticipating the nocturnal visitors with reserved concern as they offered up an organic, human serenade. #208 That gadfly Mr. Patel—always spreading rumors, incessant suggestive comments, wiggling his black caterpillar eyebrows at the women. He had the gall to post a note on his door saying he was a good neighbor, “Just knock if you need an egg, cup of milk or flour. Good neighbor lives here.” Patel charged for neighborliness. Case of beer was double the price and he didn’t make change. Good neighbor? His door needed a warning label. #815 “Take these to Riva in 815.” Roberta’s bossy. A small favor I could manage to be amicable. Riva from Hyderabad sounded like she had an extra tongue in her mouth. Rapid-fire, clicking English I could barely understand began as she opened her door. I froze, mail in hand, stuck in a deepening puddle of befuddlement. No walls visible, birdcages everywhere as she displayed her space. Shrieking and peeping, squawking, fluttering sent molted feathers into roiling clouds. A few landed on my face. I didn’t breathe. “Tea?” She screamed at me above the avian din. “Not today.” Bounded to the stairwell, confounded by the chaotic bird-universe she created within inches of the still, drab hallway. #366 Happened to notice a window of another apartment building across the alley. A glint, no, two. Binoculars? Bright trapezoid between Venetian blinds, then it darkened with a watcher’s profile. The unknown exhibitionist in me stood, turned, then pranced in silhouette for them. I arched and strutted like a schoolgirl in full-flirt mode. A few steps to the left, a few more to the right, shook my hips. Being watched offered a short, greasy thrill heretofore unexperienced. One day the blinds were opened, curtains removed. Empty apartment across the alley. Dang. #817 Roberta asked me to dinner. Told me I brought the wrong color of wine, though it didn’t stay corked. Over dinner she explained about working in a metalwork shop, then went into union organizing. Interesting life the sturdy mid-western gal lived. Thought a movie was on the agenda; Roberta had begun with the right color wine before I arrived, she sat beside me: “I won’t tell.” She rubbed my thigh—I moved. “What won’t you tell?” Tilted her head toward the bedroom door, “Nookie time.” She whispered. “"Let's get one thing straight, I'm not.” I stood. “I’m a queer, gay, homosexual man. Men only.” She stood. “Our secret. I bet you’re a nasty ol’ tin knocker when ya’ get goin’.” Her hand reached toward my belt buckle. “Just close your eyes.” Let myself out. #212 Dave lived in 212, older man, quite a looker if he’d only discover the comb. Mornings he sat in the lobby with Tad listening to a transistor radio—the kind with batteries. Kept up on all the conspiracy theories, right-wing rants in their red, white and blue caps from the ninety-nine-cent store. Visually scanned everyone who walked through for commie garb or peace signs. Dave had his “Commies Destroying the Nation” spiel; don’t get him started. It was Tad that interested me. Quiet, non-combustive, smiled occasionally. I could see Tad’s patio from my window. Afternoons he watched for the school kids get stream toward the building from the bus. Thought it strange that he’d always rinse and hang his boxers, socks and tee shirt over the railing at about the same time. Odd way to perv. Odd until he told me of his youth; immigrant enclave in the Bronx. Odd until he showed me the old photos of his grandparents’ struggles escaping a totalitarian regime. Rinsed boxers weren’t only his memories relived; they honored a family’s tenacity. Daily flew the flag of a family’s perseverance. Lobby Lady Never knew where she lived, tiny woman in flip-flops and a knee-length tee shirt. Lived to complain about other tenants at the front desk. They told her to call the cops, “We screen for serial killers when people apply.” #467 #467 is empty now. Tennant named Snyder finished his degree. Took six disciplined years working full-time, in school at night. When I had extra, I took fruit, a sandwich. Snyder was incredibly handsome. Before graduation, friends came to fill the hallway with boisterous laughter, planning to blow the roof off. Heard the six of them in the lobby that night and watched as they stumbled into the lift, giggling, touching, kissing and almost too loose to stand as they pressed every button. “One night of noise,” I’d excuse their ruckus. Fell asleep on the couch from all their banging on the wall, music didn’t hide their moans. Woke at two, Snyder banging on my door, “You gotta help.” “Are you sick?” Pulled him inside. He leaned close, smelling of rum, “We ran out of lube and…” He made a worried face, “so, we got the peanut butter.” “That’ll work.” “We ran out of peanut butter. It was the strawberry preserves….” #312 312 was between my door and the elevator. Radiated a sweet, sick smell from around the door, like a bottle of old multi-vitamins layered with the thick, human smell of soured sebum. Body unwashed; gauging the stench, never washed. I suspected a hoarder. At the front desk, “Someone lives in 312?” “Yeah.” The woman smirked and turned away, “Men don’t know how to ask for help.” “Does he ever go out?” “Comes to the mailbox at around three in the morning once a week. Has his groceries delivered.” Hesitated calling for a wellness check; privacy’s scarce. Decided to leave a roll of trash bags on his doorknob with a note saying I’d take the filled bags to the chute. Noticed a few dark pellets and new overtones to the smells the next week. Left a box of the sticky mouse traps on the doorknob. Saw and heard nothing. Came home from work one day to find #312 buzzing with people in hazmat suits, filling trash carts. Inside, everything left was covered with a wash of golden yellow. Windows stuck shut, curtains and blinds drawn, fuzzy with dust. Amber-hue walls changed to gray near the kitchen, “Is he okay?” “Left something on the stove, and set off the smoke alarm.” She explained. “His family sent him to a home.” Walls yellowed with apathy, smoke alarm calling for human contact; finally asked for help. #366 Out of milk, I jogged across the parking lot to the bodega, cocoa on my mind. Forgot to change shoes, purple slippers look goofy. If I step fast enough…. “Sir? Sir?” A car pulled close, from the passenger side a young woman called, “Do you live here?” A small child slept on the back seat. “Yes. Why?” “Ask him, Un-ken.” I leaned down: Un-ken had dark hair, warm, brown skin, full face and a thick moustache. Broke a quick sweat and smiled. “Are you looking to lease here?” “A small place till I get reestablished. Hard to find a vacancy.” “Two bedrooms, three?” “Just me. One bedroom’s enough.” Did he almost wink? “There’s a one bedroom open on my floor. Same floor plan, if you want to see the lay out.” I walked around the car. “The previous tenant had it appointed in a charcoal gray and gold motif. Quite sophisticated.” Looked up at the building, “Nice here. Wonderful neighbors, just great.” He got out, glanced at my feet. “Name’s Ken. My niece, Melanie,” then smiled, a wide, bright smile and shook my hand. Leaned into the car, “You two go get donuts while I check this out.” End
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