I had to write a short story for a friend’s magazine. But I was drawing blanks.
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The emptiness was equal and diametrically opposite to the intensity of the last haiku attack.
I tried to lock myself in that attic at my own place. To no avail. Even my satiated mistress, the wife of a sanctimonious professor, a Marxist Don Quixote, tried all her wiles but could not help me.
I figured I would try my luck at the Full Moon.
Across this snooty coffee shop with the green awning I noticed CompuNation. For a hundred smelly dollars, I picked up a used notebook and a charger.
At my favorite table I started typing: latte and rain make me insane.
I copied it and pasted it about twenty times.
I noticed people watching me. Perfect. I order a latte, a margarita and an idea.
I reached into my sport jacket for my Lucky Strikes. They are my muse.
I breathed in the rings of smoke, I thought of forests of sandalwood, of my mistress and I, an irretrievable Swiss Couple Robinson. This was a good start. I don’t need to type this up at all. I would sit and observe and listen to the lazy scat vocals from the Latin jazz bar next door.
I made it look like I am fed up with the laptop. I pounded on it like a mad Russian at the United Nations. I kept pasting the same latte and rain make me insane. I knew I was drawing attention. I snuck peeks while shaking off my cigarette onto the keyboard.
I put out the cigarette on the keys. I crumbled the rest of the lucky Strikes and sprinkled the tobacco all over that laptop . On it I crumpled a napkin and made a bonfire out of it. I dumped my coffee and margarita on the fire, right into the N-U-T-Z trapezoid. Without fighting the fire, the drinks disappeared into the depths of the laptop.
Watching the people was priceless. The material was coming in rich and thick. So was the fire and the smoke. Now I could stop.
With the perfect composure of a Marxism professor grading midterm papers, I closed the laptop and that put out the fire. I threw it into the trash can four feet away. I sat back and watched, the lines of the stories popping in my mind like a runaway popcorn to the wild and jazzing piano of Tito Puente.
Apparently the laptop was the necessary sacrifice to bring down mercy from heaven. A young, Heidi-like maiden, flexible as a ballerina, fragrant as a lavender meadow trodden by a virgin running to meet her cradle-robbing lover, came near to sit down at the adjoining table.
“Are you OK?” she asked me. “Do you need help with –”
I don’t remember what she was saying. I was transfixed by the opening sentence:
Virgin lips hugged a straw full of white creamy liquid.
I was spellbound: the lips curved and tensed, angelic dimples formed.
“Yes,” I answered.
She started to wipe the latte off my floppy briefcase.
“Oh, my God! You know my sister? Sue, what are you doing here?” I heard the voice.
This was none other than Mrs. Trotsky, my satiated mistress, the wife of a sanctimonious professor, a Marxist Don Quixote. Sometimes she accused me of being a scatterbrained professor. Sometimes she was my best supporter. I was her Master, she my Margarita.
“I figured you’d be here. Do you have the story?” she asked.
“You are a writer?” asked her sister.
I looked at my wonderful Trotskyite in an angora sweater. I looked at Sue’s lips waiting for my answer. I smiled at them and at the future.
“Yes,” I answered both questions.