I haven't written a blog entry in ages and I want to apologize to my fan. (No that's not a typo. I'm probably down to one "fan") So here's an update ... I have been spending any free time I can get at our beach condo writing my Sammy novel.
Getting pretty far into it.
I sent my first 50 pages to my buddy Dave Scheiber who is the best writer I know and who I hope to be when I grow up (which as you all know will never happen ... the writing part and the growing up). Dave's gonna give me some notes and I know him well enough that he will certainly tell me the truth ... that it is brilliant.
But until then I'm pushing ahead.
So ... the novel plot centers around Sammy (who is based on my dad) who lives in a nursing home, is depressed and plans an escape. He takes with him two urns ... one with Esther's remains (based on my mom) and one empty for his own. His plan ... go back to his hometown and visit his favorite places that Esther hated and make her go to them with him.
Now I've copied a chapter below so you can get the gist. YOU can help me write it because I've got lots of ideas about where to take Sammy ... but I bet you do too.
Comment some of yours back to me.
Okay ... enjoy (I hope)
Sammy’s face crinkled around the edges as he smiled and looked out the back window of Uber driver Ahmed Kumar’s car. The night air felt good. It was fresh and a little cool and gave Sammy a feeling of renewal. This would be his last and greatest adventure. In truth, Sammy didn’t feel he ever really had a great adventure. Maybe a few pretty good ones? Not really. Not even close. So this was going to be his last chance for the adventure that he never had.
He had been planning it for well over a year.
Sammy knew that he needed money. At Star of David, there was no money that changed hands for anything, In fact, residents were not allowed to even carry money. Older residents were forgetful and were prone to misplacing valuables, there would be no temptations for light fingered staff members and it just made sense to limit liability. So, he needed a plan to find a different source.
The answer came from his old friend Bertha.
“So Sammy … did I tell you about my sister Sarah’s daughter?” Bertha told him one night at dinner (when she still ate with him).
“My sister, Sarah. I told you about her Sammy. Lived in Brooklyn, married the butcher and had three selfish kids who tried to bleed her dry. They were the most selfish girls … I swear my poor sister had her hands full. Oy … what a mess even at the funeral …”
“Bertha … Bertha … stay on track”
Bertha put her fork down and straightened her dress. She whispered to Sammy (not the best strategy). “So … when Sarah died last year, her daughter Isabel decided to steal her identity.”
“Steal her what?”
“IDENTITY … her IDENTITY.” Bertha said very loudly. About a third of the diners turned to look at her. The rest were as deaf as Sammy.
“She’s dead for God’s sake. What identity?”
“That’s the point. She died so no one noticed that her identity popped up again on credit cards … on credit cards … can you believe it? Isabel got credit cards in Sarah’s name.”
“That’s crazy. How could she just get credit cards like that?”
“She just applied and used all her mother’s information. And … she just charged and charged and charged and never paid them off. They kept trying to contact her but guess what?”
“She didn’t answer… because she’s dead.”
“Right. The only way they found out was when she forgot and signed her own name to one of the charges and left her real phone number with a clerk.”
Brilliant, thought Sammy.
Six months later, when three of the residents of Star of David passed away, he sent off three brand new applications and got three approvals and three credit cards in just weeks … Ira Finkelstein, Arthur Smolensky and Sandy Weiner. They were real people … just not breathing any more. He’d probably just use one but he might live longer and need more cover, he thought.
The rest was easy. Airline reservations, hotel rooms and some new clothes were all done in the last month to reduce the investigation time if there was any suspicion.
“Which airline, Mr. Finkelstein?” Ahmed asked from the front seat. At first Sammy thought Ahmed was talking to someone else on his cell phone, forgetting his new identity.“Mr. Finkelstein?”
Sammy jumped in, “Oh … yeah … (reading his ticket) that would be Delta.”
“You got it.” Ahmed smiled. “Big escape?”
Sammy was flustered. “Escape? What makes you say that?”
“That crazy ComicCon is in town this week. Traffic and parking are a nightmare.”
Okay you gotta calm down, thought Sammy. “What the hell is a Comie whatever?”
“Comic Con. It’s just a big conference for people who dress up like comic book superheroes and come together in one big place. My girlfriend is really into it. Can’t say I mind. Man does she look hot in that Wonder Woman costume. You know?”
Ahmed looked in the rear view mirror and saw that Sammy was not listening. Sammy was tired. His adventure hadn’t even begun and he was already feeling like he needed a nap ... or at least an aspirin for the pain in his shoulder and hip.
Where wouldn't Esther want to go? The answer is anywhere he can chat with underpaid 20-year-olds and embarrass her (no one's paid enough for that). It wouldn't go well - flirting while carrying your wife in an urn is a dubious proposal. Unless he goes to the Villages.
Love it Michael. Of course New Orleans is home and carrying an urn would probably not even raise an eyebrow.
Might not raise an eyebrow in The Villages, either! Every time I've been to New Orleans I've stumbled into an adventure. He could end up with two large Cajun families planning a wedding. He could run into the wife of a NOPD officer out for a night on the town while her husband is on duty with hundreds of his well armed best friends. He could end up sharing ice cream and life stories with the manager of the Krazy Korner. He could find out what was exchanged on Exchange St. He could ... damn, you have material galore.
All great ideas! Thx Michael.
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