Best First Sentence

I read this book 25 years ago and I’ll never forget it. Maybe it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read but it was the most unforgettable. I Googled it last night. It’s said to have one of the best opening sentences in all novels. John Irving said he knew he’d never write a better one. This is the way to sell a book. Following is the sentence I memorized.

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice-not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my Mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God.

I can’t add pictures. Phone too low on memory.

Clarification

I have a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. In the past, too many people have taken what I say literally. For instance, my neighbor says that she can tell when I’m mad. I climb up on the roof and set my hair on fire. That statement upset someone so much it took forever to convince her that was a joke.

If I say something bizarre, please ask me before you worry. If I’m really mad, I can and probably will verbally anhilalate the subject of my anger. It’s the only time I’ll use those pretentious, 4 syllable words.

Remember when Michael Douglas said, “Greed is good?” It’s greed that will bring this Country to her knees. Everytime I turn around someone is going to make me rich and famous. I rode all the way in on the turnip truck. (I’m teaching you Southern coloclialism.) Get in line. I’m writing a check to the Crystal Cathedral first.

If you have any questions, please ask.

Darkly

I want to apologize now because I don’t get depressed, I get dark like a black cloud I’d following me. I can be cutting, hurtful and sarcastic. I use times like these to write. Sometimes my best work emerges from these times. I try to stay away from people and when it’s over, I have to apologize

Fortunately, this plunge into darkness doesn’t last long. I read a book years ago whose title expresses how I feel. “Through a Glass Darkly.”

I hope you all have a good holiday. I’ll be back and sassy soon.

The Prequel

I had a friend in the 80s whose mission in life was to be married but not to just anyone.  Maggie wanted a husband who was rich and well connected. 

I got a job at an old established restaurant on the Strip downtown in the historic district.  I tended bar for private parties.  It was easy and I could make $500 in tips in one night.  Only Birmingham’s finest were invited.  Well established business people,  local celebrities,  sports stars and if Bear Bryant was in town, he was always there.

Maggie was thrilled.  I couldn’t get her into the party but she’d had her eyes on a man named Greg since he’d gotten a divorce recently.  Greg played golf with Bob Hope when he was in town.  We’d met Greg at The Cane Break one night. He must have been slumming it because we danced and drank all night. I suggested I just give Greg her phone number when he got a drink. Keep it simple.  When I saw him, I explained that Maggie was interested in him and gave him her phone number.  He winked at me as he put the phone number in his jacket pocket.   There was something about that gesture that bothered me but I couldn’t explain it.  Maybe it was simple instinct.

A couple of nights later, he called.  She was ecstatic.  He wanted her to come to his house. I was still having reservations.  I suggested she meet him at a bar downtown.  No way. She wanted to see the house.  I knew Maggie.  She was probably going to measure the windows for new drapes.

She left at 7:30 PM.  Linda and I put on some 60s music and hit the tequila.   About 10:00 PM someone pounded on Linda’s door so hard I thought S.W.A.T was coming through next.

I opened the door.   Maggie was standing there disheveled, mascara running down her face.  It was hard to understand what she was saying, she was hysterical.  She’d been raped.  Linda told Maggie she had two options.  1) She could file charges. We’d need to go to the hospital.  “Or” Linda said, “Harper and I can handle this.”  She told us that if she filed charges it would ruin her life. That’s the way she saw it and sadly enough,  she was probably right.  She asked what we were going to do.  Linda said, “Maggie, Plausible Deniability.  It’s best that you don’t know.” 

Linda looked at me and said, “Ready Sundance?  Ready Butch.”

We drove to his house and knocked on the door.  We were all smiles when he opened it. He had that same stupid grin on his face like he’d just won the lottery.  As soon as we were in, I went roon to room jerking the phones out of the wall.  We would never have threatened him with a gun but we did convince him to strip down – everything.  I found the handcuffs and rope he’d used on Maggie and used it on him. He was tied spread eagle on his bed. By that time I’m sure our mission was obvious. 

He begged, he tried to reason. He told us he thought that’s what Maggie had come there for. Bad answer.  I asked him, “Greg are you having fun? By the look of your little penis, you don’t appear to be aroused.”

Linda was busy altering his expensive wardrobe with a pair of scissors.  I found a permanent black marker and wrote a few quotes on his stomach.  I just have to write. Then I colored peace signs on his penis. They were small. I didn’t have much room.

I sat down beside him on the bed and went into graphic detail about what we planned if he ever raped another woman.  By now he was crying.

We were worn out. We didn’t hurt him physically  but this was a night he’d never forget.  I said, “Greg, we’re going to untie you now. Then we’ll probably take Maggie to the hospital for a rape kit. Don’t forget that I have a really good friend who’s a reporter for the Birmingham News and I’m working for the Lt. Governor.”  He answered,  “You were never here. This night never happened.”  Good decision.  I didn’t know you were that smart. 

Guess I’ll be seeing you at the next party and we do, so, appreciate your cooperation. 

Born was our version on the “METOO” movement. I liked our version better.