Melancholy, Pretension, and Wasted Worry:
A Short Story Collection by Michael S. Crupi
Copyright Michael Crupi, 2017
First Shakespir Edition
Copyright © Michael Crupi 2017
Cover Image Illustration © Michael Crupi 2017
Shakespir First Edition
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Table of Contents
Peggy Sue and The Crickets
“You’re too thin,” said the old woman. She looked like a scarecrow dressed in Sunday casual. Mary Tyler Moore threw a clever jab at Johnny Carson from the TV set and received an uproar of applause. A record player on the other end of the room scratched the surface of a Buddy Holly single at low volume to fill in the gaps of silence the television set failed to catch.
“I eat enough,” replied the man who joined her in an adjacent lawn chair. His hair was greased back in that classic way. “I started exercising a lot more. That might be why I look slimmer.”
The woman gave no answer. Her gaze was long and far away over the hedge that sat outside of her sunroom. “Are you employed?”
“Yeah, I’m doing pretty well for myself.”
“Do you enjoy the work?”
“I mean, of course I do. They could have me roll up my sleeves and shovel shit for what they pay me.”
“I did not ask if it was worth the check. I asked whether you like what you do for a living.”
“Come on, Grandma. It’s a job. I can’t complain. I’m doing just fine.”
“You can always complain, honey.”
“I’m lucky to have something stable enough.”
“If you’re so lucky, then why settle for less?”
“Look, can we not start this? I didn’t drive all the way down here so you can guilt me all afternoon.”
“Honey, what else is family good for if not for guilt?”
The man’s chair creaked as he adjusted his legs. His head bowed low and his hands cupped themselves in the gap between his knees.
“Oh, stop that moping right now. It’s only a tease, a tease. I’m sure you’re comfortable. Your grandfather would be so proud of you if he saw that polo and that haircut of yours – Heaven, help me. I wouldn’t be able to stay in the same room as you two.” She raised her glass of chamomile tea to her lips and took a methodical sip. She winced at the flavor and spiked the glass with gin.
“There’s so much I want to tell you. I could use your perspective on a lot of things.” He was smiling.
“We can talk all day if you’d like, honey. I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’d like that, but I’m not sure the moment will last.”
“You just need a nice girl to take care of you. Like your mother.”
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PEGGY SUE AND THE CRICKETS is a Sunday afternoon conversation between an up and coming twenty-something and his conversationally blunt grandmother. RIME follows a young man and a young woman on the back half of a date gone wrong. They can't say what they feel out loud, but do their best to remain close to the other. LATEST LOCALS chronicles the lived struggle of stoned roommates who wish for nothing more than a pizza reminiscent of the quality they've come to expect from their hometown. FAST HANDS chronicles the epic, yet short lived tale of a boy who will stop at nothing to finish the job. The only obstacle is an over whelming amount of anti depressant and the side effects it causes.