Elster's World

Monday, April 03, 2006

Short Stop

Below is a short story I started writing yesterday, possibly to submit to a fiction magazine or a similar type venue. The problem is, I got stuck. I stared at the screen for almost an hour before finally realizing that I had nowhere to go. I was so badly stuck in fact, that I have decided to relegate it to the truest of trash bins - my blog. You can see where I got stuck because it just ends in a weird place. So with that fond introduction, enjoy!!

I learned a very important life lesson from Donna Vinateri just minutes before she dumped me in a very expensive Italian restaurant in the City.

“Dave,” she said after shoving a forkful of veal Marsalla down the hatch, “there are some rooms in life that you just can’t get into with polite knocking. You have to crash ‘em down with those smashy things that police guys use when they are ramming into houses occupied by drug dealers.”

“You mean battering rams?”

“Yeah, whatever. The point is, that you are a polite knocker. I’m a door smasher. I don’t let locked doors stand in the way of things I want. I kick those effers down.”

“You certainly do,” I replied, thinking of all the times she had steamrolled people to get what she wanted. When she got herself steamed up, she was an out-of-control freight train. It had been quite a number of times and we had only been dating for a few months. “You’re definitely a battering ram.” I was beginning to wonder if maybe I should have taken her out for pizza.

“Right. And that’s exactly why I can’t see you anymore. I am too much woman for a polite knocker like you. No offense, but I want to live life to the fullest, not slink through.” She had some more veal. She was certainly eating this meal to the fullest. I racked my brain to try and remember break up date etiquette. Was she responsible for half the meal? I definitely was not going to be ordering more wine.

And that was pretty much that. Donna Vinateri and her battering rams were out of my life, but that lesson had stayed with me. In fact, it was the only thing from my relationship with Donna that did. Which, when you think about it, beats the hell out of some other things that could stay with you after a breakup. Like VD for instance. Oh and by the way, she didn’t pay for half the meal. Battering ram-types never do.

But about six months after the Vinateri Experience, that lesson would come back and change my life. This is my story.


It was unseasonably cool for May. I sat in the middle of a mostly empty Bryant Park, sipping a large coffee from Dunkin Donuts. The chilly breeze whipped through the light windbreaker I was wearing, collar turned up for extra (minimal) protection. The air was damp with humidity and an upcoming rain threatened to pull the temperatures even lower. I was totally underdressed in the windbreaker, jeans and blue t-shirt. I contemplated what to do with my newfound freedom.

I had just lost my job to a boss who had been a serial stealer of my ideas, passing them off as his own to higher-level management. I never said a word about it, always letting it go, assuming they would realize he was too incompetent to come up with those ideas on his own. I think he probably figured the same thing because last Friday, he had come into my office with the human resources Nazi and they proceeded to explain to me that I was under-performing (100% false), not living up to expectations (who knows?), habitually late (guilty as charged), etc. etc. Basically, I was made out to be a modern day uber-slacker, given fifteen minutes to pack my personable belongings from my cubicle, and was then escorted out of the building by one of the guys from the mailroom. It had all played out like a scene from a movie. But in truth, if it hadn’t been so freaking funny, then it would have been sad. Definitely not a top-ten day on the Dave List.

So I sat there in the cool wetness of the City, directionless and happy, trying to figure out the Next Move.


  • Contact Donna Vinateri father, the Don Vinateri, blackmail him and regain the veal.

    You got the character self-assurance issue right. This guy is a dark cynic but in no way insecure. I like him.

    Continue, si’l vous plait!

    By Blogger Tomboy, at 9:24 PM  

  • nice.

    By Blogger dietgarage, at 2:40 AM  

  • Welcome back DG. You presence here probably signifies that you have a new post. I shall go check.

    By Blogger Elster, at 1:51 PM  

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