Meta pretends she’s a prostitute

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His lips mashed together into a thin line. “Hey, wait just a confounded minute. Did you say…? They didn’t hire you to, you know…”

Retaliation. “Yes! I got a job there, and I know I will love it. The clients can be quite challenging. Last night, when I had to explain that I wasn’t warmed up yet—”

“I don’t want to hear more. Hell, I might be street-smart, but I haven’t even turned fifteen yet. Porca miseria!

“Porca what?”

“Just practicing on not saying ‘shit’ all the time. Ma doesn’t like it, and my little sister thumps me between the eyes when I say it. It’s a little Italian cuss word that means pig misery. Like saying ‘damn.’ Where you off to, anyhow?”

“My Aunt Amelia’s. Would you care to accompany me, Mr. Scallywag? I found a job because of you, did I not?”

He tore the cap off his head and rubbed his greasy black curls of hair. “Stop saying that. I had nothing to do with you getting that job!” He pointed his finger eastward and accelerated his pace.

“Oh, but you did,” I said, hurrying to catch up. “If it hadn’t been for you, I wouldn’t be tingling with avidity for this evening to arrive. That’s why I’m going to visit Aunt Amelia, to tell her the good news.”

“What’s avidity mean? Wait, you’re going to tell your great-aunt about your new job? At Fannie Porter’s?”

“Of course. She’ll be thrilled for me. Besides, she knows I’m good at it. I’ve been doing it for years now.” I muzzled the smile aching to form.

His eyes widened into a dumbfounded glare.

“And avidity means eager, like being Avid about something.”

“I gotta go,” he said, turning away.

One more chance at deception. “Giovanni? You said you were fourteen?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“Well, you are too young to be entertained at Miss Fannie’s. However, I’ll ask her if you can watch me perform sometime.”

His jaw dropped, his dander standing taller than his five-foot-five stature. “You want me to…watch?”

“Ah, we’re here. Thanks for the company.” I trotted off with the last laugh.

From The Last Bordello, historical fiction set in 1901

 

 

 

Only 38 years of life but a lasting impact

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I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.
It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.
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Happy Birthday, Charlotte Bronte. (April 21, 1816 – March 31, 1855.)

From one ship to another

for those lucky enough to survive the sinking of the Titanic.

Roughly two hours after the Titanic sunk, the steamship RMS Carpathia, reached the site and were able to rescue 705 survivors. On this day in 1903, the ship arrived safely in New York City.

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Here is a photo of Margaret Brown (the unsinkable Molly Brown), giving Captain Roston a silver cup and a gold medal.

Ironically, the Carpathia was torpedoed by the Imperial German Navy and sunk on July 17, 1918. Captain Roston was not aboard.

 

Shining Bosoms

 

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photo credit

Mama liked Miss Helen’s moonshine, but only when she drank with Beauty. Once, when the summer was too hot for anything else, Mama, Scooter and me, took Beauty to the swimming hole. Mama spread out a red blanket and plopped a picnic basket on top. Scoot and me ate cheese and tomato sandwiches and crunched apples while Mama and Beauty drank Miss Helen’s hooch out of paper cups. Beauty got so ossified, she stripped naked and jumped in the creek. It Jolted me a bit, but Scooter didn’t care on iota.

“Betty Bedford, get out of the creek before you drown,” Mama said, laughing.

Then Beauty stood up in water only waist deep, her bosoms shining with moisture. She’d laughed and said, “Hard to do unless something pulls me under.”

No matter where we went, Mama and Beauty always had fun together. Except when everything went wrong.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket

 

 

Climbing out of Guilt

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Cono Dennis, my father, at age 18

I still think it’s a crying shame that I had to spend so much time thinking it was my fault. I guess that’s what we do sometimes, take the blame for things that just aren’t our fault, especially when we don’t know any better. But back then I didn’t have a Colonel Posey to tell me any different.

Last week on the base, that responsibility was especially tough, and I don’t feel much like I lived up to it. I was right in the middle of running a training exercise when a young private missed the rope leading down from the

I still think it’s a crying shame that I had to spend so much time thinking it was my fault. I guess that’s what we do sometimes, take the blame for things that just aren’t our fault, especially when we don’t know any better. But back then I didn’t have a Colonel Posey to tell me any different.

Last week on the base, that responsibility was especially tough, and I don’t feel much like I lived up to it. I was right in the middle of running a training exercise when a young private missed the rope leading down from the Climbing wall. He fell fifteen feet to the ground, landing wrong. We all ran over and circled him like a bunch of buzzards.

“Sergeant Dennis,” he says, “My neck. I don’t feel so good.”

“Aw, you’ll be all right son,” I told him. “They’re coming to take ye to the hospital. You’ll be all right.”

But he wasn’t. Private Henderson died later that day.

So far, almost every night since then, I imagine him lying there on that hard ground, his eyes staring into mine with confusion and fear. I’d lied to him.

Colonel Posey told me I had done nothing wrong, that it wasn’t my fault Private Henderson had died. He told me I was the best sergeant he’d had so far, told me how he appreciated me. I looked at him for a second or two until all the guilt flew off my shoulder like specks of dirt in a windstorm.

Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper, my father’s story

Pay attention to his words, Mr. Trump

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Today in 1865, our 16th President of the United States died after being assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a confederate spy.

Quotes from Abraham Lincoln:

“I hold that while man exists, it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind.”

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think and feel.”

And finally,

“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”