in a blinding, bluish haze
that cries in the night.
Tears surrounding you
Online dating services don’t always turn out the way you want.
Man4U – Tall, healthy, 40-ish, divorced eight years (no re-bounding). No children. Successful
career. Ready to settle with an intelligent, funny, attractive, professional woman. One or two children okay. More children in our future? Open for discussion. Dogs, cats? Pets within reason okay, too. Tell me why we should meet.
DreamGirl – Beautiful, professional woman. Gym rat, marathon training. Financially secure and you should be, too. Loves classic rock ‘n roll, travel, reading and time with my son. Divorced three years. Looking to the future. Go slow; love long. Message me if you like a creative, independent woman.
Man4U – Hi, DreamGirl. You spark my interest. But before I get too interested, I want to make sure we’re not GU (geographically undesirable). I’m in Arlington. Oh – I didn’t notice your age or approximate age. It may not be polite in normal circumstances, but . . . you know. No surprises, right?
DreamGirl – You’re appropriately cautious. I’m good with that. I live in Germantown, so that should be close enough. I’m in my late 30s. Why don’t we exchange pics? Here’s mine. Have you been on this site much? I just joined.
Man4U – Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. I had a busy week at work. Your photo looks really nice, but I wish you weren’t in such a shadow. What do you do for a living? I’m in sales and I don’t mind saying I’m good at it. I go to the gym, too. Usually two times a week. Here’s my photo. I know that you’re new to Couples. I saw you on the new member list.
DreamGirl – Well, that was a surprise! LOL I didn’t expect your shirt to be missing. Not that I didn’t enjoy the view, however. It just startled me. I think you didn’t get that six pack by working out only twice a week. I go four times a week and I run five days a week. I’m totally going to do the next New York marathon. I do have to get up early, though, to get all this done before work and such so I don’t do many late nights. Oh, you asked about work. I’m in the marketing department of a major company here in Memphis.
Man4U – I’d like to talk with you on the telephone. If that’s okay, send me your number. btw – My name’s
DreamGirl – Hi Charles. I’m Brenda. Before we get to telephone numbers, why don’t you tell me some more about yourself? What do you do in your spare time? What kind of sales are you in?
Man4U – This is your go-slow thing, right? Okay. I like reading. I actually go to the gym more than I said earlier. Just wasn’t counting. I like music and I like movies. I have an interest in retail sales.
DreamGirl – Interesting. Similar to me, huh? I wonder what an “interest” in retail sales” means. As for other hobbies, I’m a real people watcher. I like to lunch or have coffee at patio restaurants and watch the other customers and passers-by. Sometimes I even eavesdrop. LOL Do you ever do that?
Man4U – Fraid not. I prefer to pay attention to the person across the table from me. I know I’d pay a lot of attention to you. Why don’t we continue this on the phone?
DreamGirl – Okay. My number is 281-6060.
DreamGirl – Charles, how are you doing? I enjoyed our conversation, but I haven’t heard from you since we talked. Yeah, I’ve been busy, too, this week. So, drop me a note or give me a call when you can. I have to run for now. Really — run. LOL
Man4U – Hey, Brenda. I didn’t realize I’d let a few days go by. Yeah, good conversation. You have a very sultry voice. I could listen to you all day – and all night, too. So let’s get together. Dinner would be good.
DreamGirl – That might be jumping in too fast. Let’s meet for coffee first. How ‘bout Saturday at two at the Starbucks at the big mall? I’ll pin a rose on my blouse. LOL
DreamGirl – Charles, I’m hurt and offended and angry. I was at the coffee shop for an entire hour and you never showed up. I shouldn’t even bother to send this message. Maybe something important happened to keep you away, but you never sent a message and certainly not an apology. If you’re not dead or in the hospital, this is just bad behavior.
Man4U – Brenda, I was there. Late thirties, my ass. You’re not going to get anywhere on this site if you don’t tell the truth. Set your sights for older guys.
DreamGirl – You absolute creep! And, btw, looking back, I think I saw you lurking about. Forty-ish? I think not. And whose photo did you send me, anyway? Your only six-pack came from the 7-11 store. Oh, and btw, I got a private message from a woman I don’t even know. She’d seen us communicate and wanted to warn me. She said you’d gone through most women on the site, leaving behind some very angry ladies. That’s why you troll the new members’ list — — cuz they won’t know your reputation.
Man4U – You want honesty, lady? I’m betting that your only marathon is from your car to the door at Baskin-Robbins.
DreamGirl – You want to go there, buddy? Your “interest in retail sales”? Turns out that’s more like stocking shelves at Piggly Wiggly!
Man4U – Okay, all right. I’m busted. So are you. So – do you want to hook up?
DreamGirl – My place. Tonight. 8 p.m.
As we’re all being safe and socially isolated, we’re also casting about for entertainment, so my gift today is one of the stories from my newest and available book, Warren County Days — just for you. If you recall from the first book, Opal, our Opal Pratt had kept a change purse savings in hopes some day of having her own television. Most people have them, you know. The title of this story says it all — Queen for a Day.
Most of your local bookstores will order books for you. Online ordering is also available at barnesandnoble(dot)com. Yes, both my Opal and Warren County Days may be purchased through those means.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this.
Ernest Hemingway —
“Mice: What is the best early training for a writer?
Y.C.: An unhappy childhood.”
I was so thrilled to receive this from a reader who had just finished Warren County Days.
“Some stories caused me to laugh out loud.
Some surprised me with a different ending
than I had anticipated.
Some were upsetting.
Some brought back memories of my living
with my grand mother & great grand
parents in a community much like
Some were so “country-fiftyish”, I wonder
if the younger readers will believe life
was truly that laid back.
I found the collection heart warming.
Thank you for your work and persistence to bring these stories to life. Now they have become part of my life.
I am going to reread Opal, I’m not ready to say goodbye to her, or her friends.
“Intuition is seeing with the soul.”
— Dean Koontz
Alone, in a bluish, blinding haze
Tears surrounding you
Looking for a great Valentine’s Day gift? Either of my short story collections — Opal or its sequel, Warren County Days — would be perfect. OR — buy both for a discount. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll get them in the mail to you.
Until Amazon gets its issues straightened out, you can purchase both Opal and Warren County Days directly from me. Contact me at email@example.com to place your order. We’ll make this work.
Opal paperback – $10
Opal hard cover – $18
Warren County Days paperback – $12
Warren County Days hard cover – $22
Here’s a re-play of one of my favorites, “The Call.” It’s a mother-daughter short short story with a twist. First published in the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.