Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Beginning 595

So I'm lying there all alone in this close closet of a room on this turquoise-colored thick plastic pad on this metal table, with my legs spread wide as a slack nutcracker, and I'm thinking about Matt Dillon and Gunsmoke and grinning about all that, when the doctor walked in. He caught me grinning, and he grinned right back at me, like my grin was meant for him.

Maybe he was happy I was happy. Maybe he just loved his job. He looked pretty young, not much older than I was, really, so I thought it was probably more like he just loved his job but it also wasn't too bad he'd caught me smiling on top of his vaginal inspection job-love, a kind of icing-on-the-cake occasion. For him. Not for me.

"Well," he said, after he finished his examination and wiped his speculum (and wouldn't these things be so much easier if they didn't use words like speculum?), "looks like everything's in order."

"Why thank you, Doctor," I said, and I almost added, I'm right mighty grateful to you, 'cause I was still thinking about Gunsmoke and all, but I caught myself just in time.

"Just one thing," he said, losing the grin but not the twinkle in his eye as he straightened up and looked at me. He pulled a bag of walnuts out of his pocket. "Crack these open for me, would you?"

Opening: Robin S......Continuation: anon.


Anonymous said...

You got my attention- I put down the sunflower seeds, put a lid on the cream cheese, stuffed the dildo under the couch, and read paragraph two, which was all right at first, but then it started to reminded me of those people, like aunt Edna, who go on and on and on with that damned never ending commentary about everything under sun, which is annoying like Uncle Jimmy, and that got me to thinking how much I hate never ending commentary- there's enough of it in real life I don't want to read it too - so I picked up the sunflower seeds, opened the cream cheese, retrieved the dildo from under the couch, and stopped reading. Good characterization. Use more short sentences.

none said...

Ouch, Robin, evil tense change!

Evil Editor said...

I'd get rid of "on top of his vaginal inspection job-love." It's clear what the icing is on top of, and the phrase is unwieldy.

You can also do without "I thought" in that sentence.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hey Robin. Good stuff. Not as great as your norm though. Found the second paragraph didn't flow like your usual. Not sure where in your book we are, but this one needs a bit more work. I'll try to come back later when I'm awake and see if I can be more specific. Or I'll just let the other minions do it for me.

Love your stuff. Want your book!

Robin B. said...

Hey guys,

Thanks for the thoughts and the help.

I agree, anon and EE - the second para needs a big trimming. I kind of like that vaginal line- but it is unwieldy here. I couldn't figure out how to fix that, and keep it, so maybe it will have to go.

Oh, buff, you're right, and that was embarrassing to see! Why is it that I see this stuff just after I hit 'send'?

Anyway, I was hoping to convey a funny nervousness with this - it's a scene about being in a Planned Parenthood in a rundown part of town.

Thanks, Sarah - I agree, needs work.

And anon, I freaking love your continuation.

Chris Eldin said...

Oh, this is good. Tense change can be easily fixed. Love the nutcracker bit. Subtle play on nuts and the whole situation.
The continuation is a scream! Classic Ril. Don't know how Ril's family and friends handle this humor, but it's hysterical over here!!

Anonymous said...

I think this is terrific.

Dave Fragments said...

I'd also take the "at me" out of the last sentence of the first paragraph.

It's not my subject matter but it's fun and enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

I don't find the second paragraph problematic..I think in that dilatory way, and know some people who talk that way too. And I like the light loose long sentence followed by two tight little ones that suggest more embarrassment or nervousness.

jaz said...

Great voice!

Unknown said...

In a "dilatory way?" Was that a pun?

Anonymous said...

I am I the only one that doesn't get the Gunsmoke reference? Is it something to do with Miss Kitty -- is that a gun in your pocket -- no -- that was May West. Even without getting that bit I really enjoyed the first paragraph. The grinning back and forth especially, that really brought me into the scene.

"Wide as a slack nutcracker" -- very nice. It goes so well with the grinning.

I got a little lost in the hyphenated words in the second paragraph. I read "vaginal inspection job-love" as VI love-job, which I found tantalizingly provocative until I figured it out. Still, I enjoyed the tone of the piece and the set-up made me want to find out more.

Wes said...

I recognized your voice immediately without seeing your name. The passage is good. Your style draws me in to the story because I feel like the MC is speaking directly to me. Nice work.

Chelsea Pitcher said...

Does Planned Parenthood have male doctors?

I agree about the vaginal-inspection job love. Everything else hooked me and flowed smoothly but that tripped me up and made me go, Wait - what? I think the reason is that essentially you say the same thing twice in that sentence: "more like he just loved his job . . . on top of his vaginal-inspection job love."

(I hadn't planned on typing "vaginal" this many times today, but now that I have, I can't say I regret it.)

Also, if I showed up at the gyno and found a guy who liked his job *too much*, I'd think Hand That Rocks the Cradle and hightail it the fuck out of there.

I really, really liked this, Robin. The first para especially flowed really nicely, and was really funny. I did notice the tense issue BUT it just sounded like someone was telling me a story verbally, and that IS how people talk. I would read on. In fact, I'd really like to. What happens next?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm not getting the Gunsmoke thing either, sorry.

I agree with EE on the "job-love" line, and I could live without the nutcracker comment too.

But, I really do like the way that fourth paragraph rolls along.

Dave Fragments said...

When I read Matt Dillon, I thought of the current actor. The humpy young guy with the square face. Starred in "The Outsiders" and "There's Something About Mary" and "You Me and Dupree"...

However, I think that Robin meant James Arness of Gunsmoke fame who played Sheriff Matt Dillon who tried not to romance Miss Kitty and was pals with Festus.

Gunsmoke is a little old if this novel is contemporary or if your character is under 35 or 40 years old.

Robin B. said...

Hey, you all, thanks for the comments.

This is a scene in a middle chapter of the novel I'm just about finished with - and it's taken a while, so I'm nervous and close to gleeful at the same time. I've been revisiting two chapters that just aren't quite there yet - this is a scene from one of them.

This takes place in the early
1970s, when Planned Parenthood, at least in the South, was relegated to crappy parts of town (at least it was in my neck of the woods).
So the Gunsmoke reference is about the building the narrator is in - an old storefront kind of place - she pictures it looking like a saloon from the street, before she guts it out and walks in - hence the Gunsmoke reference, from her childhood (there's more, but hey, I can't be giving away these parts, so to speak)!

And yep, back in the day, there were male doctors - fresh out of school, out to save the world, hyper-nice. That was OK - just funny.

Chelsea, good one about the use of the word vagina. You made me laugh.
If my novel is published, I'll send you a copy so you can see what all happens. Thanks for saying you'd read on.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Hi Robin! I'm late and everyone else has already picked up on my nits and likes around this -- except for one observation.

I remembered this was set in the 70s, but I did wonder why there wasn't a female nurse or assistant of some sort present with a male doc.

Yep, like Wes and most everyone else, I suspect, I recognized your voice right off. Down to the last edits now? I'm anxious for you to get this out the door, lady! ;o)

ril said...

Nothing to add in the way of critique, but, like others, I'm looking forward to picking this off the shelf of my local Amazon warehouse.

Even if I will be thinking, Y'know, I think I've read this somewhere before...

Xiexie said...

Sometimes I love arriving late on the comment deal cos people will have the same nits as you -- saves me a lot of work, it does.

Anywho, good voice here. I also thought of the current actor Matt Dillon and glossed over Gunsmoke -- which, granted, was before my time, but being the TV-nerd-a-holic that I am, I do know my "retro" TV (I have Gunsmoke on DVD, but I'll never love it more than Bonanza.... I digress---).

Great job Robin.

Anonymous said...

Robin, I had to wait for others to nit and pick, because I couldn't bear to do it myself, so thanks fellow minions!

Of course I know your voice and love it! But I will tell you, I made every attempt to clear my head of that and just read it. And when I got to the end of the black words, I wanted more. Honest.

LOL on the cont!!


Whirlochre said...

Late in.

My only gripe is with the detail about the table. Turquoise is a colour and 'thick' suggests the pad may actually be (heaven forbid) comfy, so I'd prune it to 'turquoise plastic pad'.

Other than that — this is great. Love the slack nutcracker image.

Wonderwood said...

Good work, Robin. You voice is very distinct and enjoyable. I agree with the others on the second para, it struck me as somewhat redundant. Nothing a little trim won't cure (yes, the pun was intended).

Great continuation, anon. I agree, it sounds like RIL.

Unknown said...

It's nice writing even if it's a bit stream of conciousness. Other than that the nits I had were already pointed out.

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen ncontinuation:

"Okay buddy, do me a favor. Stand up, turn your head and cough."

Heartbroken, I acquiesced as visions of Gunsmoke danced through my head. Clearly, we both felt that vagina love deeply, but only he had one. His 10:15 appointment was waiting in the next room.