Every writer has a process that works ,and in my case I normally write out of sequence. By that I mean that whatever is roaming around in my head is the priority, and then later I place the work in a sequence. Currently I am working on a novel about lifelong friendship. There are two main characters ,both in their late 70’s, and both are widowers. They have not seen each other in almost fifty years but once were the best of friends in Jersey City. One character is a very progressive person on the political and social issues, and the other is very conservative. They meet again in Fox Hill an assisted living residence outside New York City.I have written the first characters part. It is rough at this stage, but can be shaped. I have also written the Fox Hill part, but have only begun the second characters part.
“If it wasn’t for those damned hard boiled eggs I wouldn’t be in this predicament “
Sal LaGreca was .packing two suitcases as he prepared to leave for Fox Hill the assisted living place that had been selected by his children. In the last two months he had completely forgotten that he had put hard boiled eggs on the stove. The first two incidents were minor, but the last one was more than significant, having placed the eggs on the stone he completely forgot about them and went out to get a newspaper,Sitting blissfully in Starbucks he heard the sirens but thought little about them. By the time he returned home the pot had exploded ,and sparks caused the curtains to burn and most of his condo was engulfed in flames. This was the last straw for the condo board who though they loved Sal as a person could no longer tolerate the danger that his behavior presented to the rest of the residents. The president of the condo board had notified Sal’s son John that it was time for an intervention.
Momentarily placing the suitcases near the door he opened up the desk in the hallway and started to remove the contents. In the top drawer was a box containing many cards that had been sent by him and the children through the years to his wife. He had been spared going through Helen’s clothing because his daughter had volunteered to take on the task, but touching mementoes that she treasured caused a pain that seemed to elevate his grief. One particular graying item in the box caught his eye, and he took it out and momentarily smiled. It was a menu from The Greek Taverna ;the restaurant where they had experienced their first date. On the back in her inimitable hand writing were the words.”The night I fell in love.”
He could still see her standing in the hall way of the apartment on Arguello Street. It was one that was shared by her and two nurses.. Sal was visiting one of the nurses when he first met Helen ,and was immediately struck by her beauty and charm. Her smile was captivating, and she was one of those rare persons that actually cared about you ,and what you had to say.She was in the last year of her residency at USF, and little did he know that his life after meeting her would never be the same
At first glance it appeared they had nothing in common. She was from some Podunk town in upstate New York, and he had lived his life mostly in the Ney York City vicinity. She was attired beautifully with design and fashion at the forefront. He on the other hand smiled at the thought of how he was dressed at their first meeting. He had bell bottomed purple pants that if caught by a stiff wind would carry him out to sea, His leather belt was so wide it could have held up the Brooklyn Bridge. The psychedelic shirt was only outdone by his platform shoes. She was coiffed perfectly with not a hair out of place while he had a red beard and hair to the middle of his back. There was no way that these two would wind up together, but they did. She was the love of his life, and he could not fathom going on without her.They had been more than husband and wife, and shared so many happy and yes even silly moments together. He was no stranger to death, but had lived with the illusion that he would go first, and be spared the intense grief that accompanies the sudden death of a loved one. At this point in his life he had attended more funerals than most, but not in his wildest fears did he imagine that overnight she would be gone.
She was physically absent ,and yet ever present and the wound opened each day with a fleeting memory, a place ,song ,or the sight of someone they both knew. He maintained her voice on the phone ,and frequently called her number.