CuddlyKitten: It would be nice to meet some new friends.
Moderator: Usually at night it really gets crowded in here.
CuddlyKitten: That's cool, crowds are fun but sometimes less people are fun also.
Moderator: Ah, well then Kitten, you will want to stop in around 2AM. Very quiet.
Sometimes I can really get bored. Know what I mean? Sitting around day after day, looking for things to keep me occupied. I tried stamp collecting, way too boring. Then I moved onto exchanging postcards with people from around the world. That was interesting for awhile but I started noticing the people were getting younger and younger. I think the youngest was 12 years old in Bogata. The novelty wore off that adventure quickly.
Oh! I am sorry, you are probably sitting there wondering "where the hell is this story going? And what am I reading?" I guess I forgot to mention that I am Denny Shane, the author of "Chatroom Psycho" I am writing this new novel as I go and you are going to hear all about my trials and tribulations as I write and develop the story, right before your eyes. Now come on, how cool is that? You will get first hand knowledge of what goes through an authors mind as they sit hour after hour banging out ideas and exciting storylines.
So therefore, odd chapters will be the real story and even chapters will be just you and I sitting around, having a smoke, sipping a nice chilled Cabernet Sauvignon or, if you prefer, a later vintage of Ripple since I don't know what you enjoy drinking at this hour. And we will chat the hours away about Chatroom Psycho, or at the very least a few minutes depending how fast you read. I should mention that these chats will also be included in the finished product as well. Feel free to point out any punctuation problems and grammar errors that you may see along the way.
So I guess my first question is "what do you think so far?" Good story line? It sucks? What? Now I know that first chapter flew by a little fast but I was in a hurry to get through it. I wanted to jam pack it with infidelity (Logan and Lisa), a damsel in distress (Angie, moving, etc.), humor (Hector, ok, I need to work on the humor a bit) and yet to be expanded on is the excitement.
Speaking of excitement, I just know you are sitting there asking yourself, "will there be sex in this book?" Sex? Now honestly do you think I would write a literary masterpiece and include sex? A dime store novel for you to bury your sweaty imagination into? To sit alone in the quietness of your room, an embering fire glowing in the fireplace? A glass of Chianti on the night table?
Do you really think my novel is going to include smut? A base and insulting lowering of my estimation of you?
Well, it might.
I kinda/sorta think that Angie's friend, Divana, the apartment building manager, may be a likely candidate for our sex interest as a lesbian or bi-sexual. What's that? You think a bi-sexual, huh? That way there may be an opportunity for her and Angie? Good angle. I'll see how it goes.
Now that you know what is going on you are probably asking yourself, "okay Denny, what is this chatroom dialogue at the beginning of the new chapter page?"
That is my little secret and you better not be jumping ahead to other chapters to see what is happening there either.
Ok friend, you go ahead and read the next chapter while I kinda lean back in my chair here and take a short nap. See ya when you get back!
CuddlyKitten: hello? Anyone in here?
Moderator: Hi Cuddly and welcome to the room. Are you new?
CuddlyKitten: yes, I am. A friend told me about this chat room.
Moderator: Well then, welcome. I am confident you will have the time of your life here.
Angie was looking around for someone or something to fill the void left by her breakup with Logan. It was a month ago that she caught him cheating when he unintentionally left his email program open one morning after he left for work. Something he very rarely has ever done in the past. As Angie sat down to log on and check her own email she noticed Logan’s' email box was already open and several messages were there. Curiosity getting the best of her she nosed around and found some incriminating email from Lisa from Philly. She thought for a minute and realized that she didn't know of any Lisa from Philly, but it sure looked like Logan knew her rather well, quite intimately actually.
Sipping a glass of ginger ale she read the first few emails between them and her jaw kept opening wider with each message. Apparently this had been going on for sometime and started after Logan and Lisa met in one of those chatroom places on the internet a month or so ago. She could feel her heart sinking fast as she read one of Logan's emails to Lisa. "Every time we kiss I slip into dizziness and the feeling of total arousal engulfs me."
"What the hell?", she stammered out loud to herself. Almost uncontrollably Angie packed her belongings and walked out of the apartment, leaving the computer turned on to the email she had just read. She thought to herself, "he'll get the idea."
Angie and Logan had moved in together about a year ago, after having a brief relationship. They had their ups and downs, as everyone else, makeup sessions... the usual. This time however was going to be different for Angie. She had enough of his uncontrollable flirting at parties. But in her mind she kept telling herself that he was just a flirt... nothing more. Now she began to wonder about those quick and sudden trips that would come up at the last minute and that lasted anywhere from one day to a week.
As Angie walked down the street with two suitcases jammed packed with belongings, the thought popped into her head.. "where am I going?" She spotted The Last Straw, a re-born coffee house on the south side of Girard Ave., and decided maybe she needed a nice latte to set her mind straight. Silently she sipped and thought to herself... I'm thirty-five, single, pretty damn intelligent, and as an aspiring, young attorney for one of Philly's top notch law firms, Giulian, Pekula and Giulian, she was on the rise. She thought it, was positive in her thinking and she knew it. And at 5'11", dark black hair, shoulder length and a figure to die for, she knew she had the looks as well.
She looked around the coffee shop at the people sitting there enjoying their day. She spotted a guy totally engaged in his laptop work. "Dammit!" she thought, "I left my laptop in the apartment." Now she had to make a decision, either go back and run the risk of seeing Logan or simply have it packed with her larger belongings when she had a moving truck show up. It was Friday morning, she wasn't due into the office today and she would be calling the moving company later today or first thing tomorrow. She had more pressing things to take care of today, namely finding an apartment.
Prior to moving in with Logan, Angie had a nice, cozy 2 bedroom apartment in Center City, right in the middle of everything. Over-looking the Benj. Franklin Parkway she always had a great front row seat for any of Philly's parades. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed the manager's office.
After two short rings the familiar voice of Divana, the building resident manager of the B. Franklin Arms answered, "Good Morning, Franklin Arms." Angie always thought that Divana's name was sexy but for some reason when talking to her she could only use it once or twice. At some point in their lives Angie just started calling her Dee, especially if they were out partying. Angie felt a little relieved that Dee answered the phone. She had been friends with the manager for a long time and really hated to leave the Franklin. But when she met Logan and they decided to move in together Dee had nothing available at the time. "Divana!" Angie spoke into the phone. "Angie baby! What's up hon?" Dee replied. After going through her story very briefly, Dee laughed and said, "so, you wanna come home huh?" Angie sighed and reluctantly said, "well, if you have anything." The manager indicated that she had a few availabilities and for Angie to come down and they would look through them.
Angie hung the phone up much relieved. She at least knew she was going to have a place to sleep tonight, even if it was on the floor. She crossed that item off her list. Next was a mover. She went down the list without any luck. They all were either booked solid or wanted an arm and a leg plus half her bank balance for such short notice. Three Men Movers... and they were located not that far away. "Hello", she spoke when they answered the phone. "Yes, how can I help you?" replied the male voice on the other end. Angie went for the damsel in distress routine, "Hi, I am moving tomorrow and my movers' truck broke down and I really need to move." The voice chuckled, "Sounds like you're in a real pickle there miss." She thought to herself, 'here it comes, the rates are gonna sky-rocket.' "Ma'am, where are you moving from and to and I'll check on availability for you." "97451 Longshore Avenue to 18th and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway downtown at the Franklin Arms", she said. There was a long pause and a rustling of papers. "You're in luck miss. We had a last minute cancellation. How's 10AM sound?"
After giving the needed info, Angie hung up the phone. Crossing movers off the list she thought, ok, what's next? She figured it would be about time to head downtown to go and see her friend Divana. She looked at her two suitcases and thought that this was a really stupid time for her car to be in the auto shop.
Picking up the phone she pressed her speed dial, to a number she has used frequently in the past. A familiar voice answered, "Buenos Diaz, Lopez Auto Body, Hector speaking." Angie enjoyed talking with Hector. He always had something nice to say to her but more importantly she trusted him above all the other mechanics she knew, or had to defend in court. "Hector!" she spoke into the phone, "mi compadre’, how's my car coming along?" Always sounding excited on the phone when she called, "Miss Angie! I just left a message with your office that your car is ready and running like new." Boy, if she ever needed her car now was the time she thought. "Hector, that is great! I hate to ask this but is there anyone there that could come pick me up at The Last Straw over on Girard? I have two very heavy suitcases." She figured she would throw in the word heavy to maybe illicit compassion from Hector. "No problemo Miss Angie, give me 10 minutes."
Chalks off another item, Angie thought to herself. This was getting to easy, something was bound to screw something up, as always. By now her latte was cold but she didn't care as she downed it and gathered her belongs that were around her feet.
Once outside she reached for a cigarette from her purse. An empty pack of Muldoon's was all that she could find. "Crap, I need to quit anyway", she thought. Just then Hector pulled up in his soup-ed up Chevy Malibu. Angie shook her head and laughed as she got into the car, "Hector, my friend, how long you are going to drive this disaster?" Hector looked at her in fake surprise as usual, "Why Miss Angie, this is the top of the line of my entire garage! Where we going anyways?"
CuddlyKitten: now that sounds interesting, maybe I'll be back then.
Moderator: yes Kitten, come back, it will be interesting, I assure you.
CuddlyKitten: will you be here?
Moderator: I am always here sweetheart. I'll be waiting for you.
The car pulled up in front of Lopez' Auto Body. "Now Miss Angie, you just stand over there and don't worry about your bags, I'll get Antonio to grab them for you." Antonio was a young mechanic just learning the trade, Hector called out to him, " "Oye Antonio, sale Senorita bolsas de Angie del tronco por favor." And with that Hector disappeared into the garage. Angie reached into her purse for her cigarettes and realized she didn't have any. Antonio was coming around to open the trunk and retrieve her bags and Angie spoke, "Excuse me Antonio, by any chance do you have a cigarette?"
Antonio smiled and said, "Si senorita." With that he pulled out a pack, shook it and one popped up and with his other hand he produced his Bic lighter. She inhaled deeply thinking at the same time that she really needed to quit. Antonio shook the pack once more, "Senorita, for later?" Angie smiled and shook her head no.
In no time Hector pulled around from the side of the building in a freshly waxed and buffed car. Angie looked and thought the car looked way too nice to be her dilapidated auto. Stopping right in front of her, Hector smiled broadly and said, "She looks beautiful, huh? and runs better than new."
Angie only brought the car in for a broken rocker arm, but damn if it didn't look like a new car. "Hector, I ..." Angie stammered. Hector gave her his infamous chuckle when he knew the people he liked appreciated the little extras he usually throws into the work. He laughed and said, "I'll put everything on a bill and you pay me at the end of the month like always?" Angie had a running account with Hector for routine maintenance, oil and all the little details about car ownership that can drive a car owner up the wall. "Thank you so much Hector, I don't know what I would do without you, really."
He opened the door for her and she looked in and saw her new novel on the front seat. "I wondered where that got to. I've been looking everywhere for it." Hector smiled and shyly said, "While your car was being fixed I have to admit I did read it... but not to worry I washed my hands and got no grease or oil on it. It's perfect. I was very careful." Hector scratched his head and continued, "To be honest Miss Angie, when I first saw it I thought Harvey and Eck was about a man and his pet dog. Was I surprised."
Angie had just started reading the new novel by authoress Erin O'Brien and left the book in the car when Hector came and towed it to his garage. "No problem Hector, just don't tell me anything about it. I hate when people do that." Angie went on, "not long ago Logan and I went to see a movie of which he read the book and sat there and told me the whole story which of course ruined the ending."
Angie slid into the front seat as Hector began to close the door. "Oh and Eck isn't a dog, Eck is..." Angie slammed the door shut and shook her head "no". Hector gave that laugh he is so well-known for having.
It felt great being behind the wheel again even though it had only been about a week without the car but was she glad to have gotten it back at this moment in her life with moving out and on with her life sans Logan. Wishing she had a cigarette she searched in the glove compartment. Not finding any, she mumbled she had to quit anyway. She hit the gas as she turned back onto Girard and headed towards center city and the B. Franklin Arms, her once old, but now new apartment building.
She really enjoyed living at the Franklin which was smack dab right in the middle of everything. She could walk practically across the street to her office. City Hall was a nice, fresh 15 minute walk. All the museums, clubs all around the Franklin. She just about forgot how much fun it really was living there. There was just one small thing that bothered her and that was the fact that Logan worked right across the street from her at O & N Accounting. O & N standing for the first names of the two sister owners, Olivia and Nina. This firm was the premier company to have doing your books if you were a major player in any Philly market.
She just knew that she would run into Logan during the day in one of the many lunchtime tavola calda's that abounded in that particular section of downtown. Her favorite Pranzo di Napoli, translated into Naples Lunch specialized in Italian sandwiches with Mozzarella in Carrozza always being her choice whenever she went there. She may just have to find a different favorite lunchtime hangout.
Arriving at the Franklin Arms, Angie pulled up right in front of the main entrance. She always loved doing that as it made her feel super rich. The BFA, as she sometimes referred to the building, had a private garage behind it for use of the residents with assigned parking. However, instituted at Dee's insistence they hired a fulltime 'car parker' which Angie could never pronounce the French name that the Arms gave to the 'car parker'. Dee was the type of person who enjoyed pulling up to a front door and have other people park her car and that's why she went for the added service for her residents and their guests. And they immediately fell in love with her and never noticed the slight fee that was added onto their yearly rental rates.