I am taking a  creative writing class this summer. Some of the exercises are interesting, so I will post the output here from time to tome.

Readers should note that story below contains a particularly nasty word (which the person actually said). If you are offended by smoking, old people or the F word you should not continue reading this post.


Charlotte Kauffman massaged her wrinkled hands to ease the arthritis pain. She made a loose fist with her right hand and used it to knead the palm and fingers of her left hand. We sat in wicker rocking chairs, angled toward one another. The wicker made a muted squishing sound as we rocked in silence.

She had stopped talking in the middle of a story about how, in 1952, she decided to transition from acting to directing in what I discerned to be the Manhattan equivalent of community theatre. She constantly rubbed her hands together, stopping frequently to take a long pull from a Pall Mall. She had an elegant and mesmerizing routine of taking a drag from a cigarette, then quickly sucking in to her nostrils a small cloud of smoke which came from nowhere.

I noticed the silence and turned to see that a man named Dennis had captured her attention. He was wearing a black mesh hat with “82nd Airborne Division” written in gold thread on the front. He always wore this hat. He had an astonishing forest of silver and black hair in his ears and eyebrows. He wore thick metal framed glasses and a blue flannel shirt tucked in to black sweat pants. Because Dennis was so short, he was able to stand fully erect as he used his walker to shuffle around. I judged him to be very appealing to the ladies of Autumn Park who would invite him to sit and smoke and flirt.

He plucked yellow and pink tulips from the dirt and held them between his hand and the handle of his walker, which he then pushed back to the sidewalk. He scooted around the front of the porch to its entrance and toward Corrine who was sitting two wicker chairs away from me. She turned her head and pretended to not notice him until he stood in front of her. He pushed his walker aside and held out his white hand which quivered gently. She put her tiny, black hand in his. He pulled her hand to his face and put it against his nose and lips, closed his eyes, kissed it and gave it back to her. He gave her the flowers and she put them in a bag attached to her walker then thanked him by smiling with her mouth and eyes. Dennis motioned to ask if she would join him for lunch. She shook her head no. He motioned again. She reached her hand out and he helped her stand. Their walkers touched several times as they walked side by side through the narrow porch.
I turned back to Charlotte in time to see and hear her inhale a tiny bit of smoke in to her nostrils. She touched her chest gently with the fingers of her right hand and said “Oh that was fucking beautiful.”