Monday, May 16, 2011

That night Bianca began packing her few belongings. With Louie perched quietly on her fold out bed, she listened to the sounds of the rainstorm that was raging outside of Watershed Heights. She pulled out her cell phone once again scrolling down her list of contacts. She stared at the words on the screen. "Home" the contact read. She continued on. "Hugh", "Mansion", "Mom". She stopped as tears began to blur her vision. She had been trying to muster the courage to make the call for hours. Louie looked up as the sound of Bianca's dull sobs echoed off the walls of the empty room. How could she call her mother? Admit to the sad defeat that her life had has been? Explain why she hadn't called in months, explain the excuse for a life she had been living? Bianca looked up to catch glimpse of herself in the cracked mirror above the sink. There she was. A beautiful young Italian woman. Two bloodshot dark brown eyes, perfectly centered on her plump face.
The sounds of the storm began to subside. She looked at the clock on her phone. It was 6:15 in the morning. Her bus would be arriving soon. Antonio had offered to make the trip with her back to the Jersey Shore but she insisted upon making this venture alone. If Bianca was going to get her life back in order she was going to have to make the journey independently. "Its time", she thought to herself.
She scooped Louie as carefully as she could into his Ed Hardy carrier and took one last look around the sorry apartment. She examined the large cracks in the wall, the stains on the floor, the mold growing in the corner of the ceiling. She turned on her heel slamming the door without looking back.
As Bianca stepped out into the morning sunshine she was stopped dead in her tracks. A large crowd was circled around an area that was sectioned off with yellow caution tape. Police men circled the premises. She tapped a woman on the shoulder, "What's going on?", she asked stunned. "A woman jumped", the woman responded with tears in her eyes. Bianca instantly felt a wave of nausea as she backed away from the scene.
Bianca let tears slide down her face as she approached the bus stop. The sounds of running water suddenly brought her back to reality. She looked up. The fountain that sat in the middle of the roundabout seemed to be sputtering. She stared blankly with a number of others gathered around the ancient structure. Her tears seemed to flow at the same simultaneously with the trickling of the fountain.
The slow screeching of breaks interrupted her gaze. The bus had arrived. Bianca made her way up the rusted steps and took one final look at the scene outside. She glanced between the shocking police scene gathered outside her once apartment and the ambling people surrounding the newly functioning fountain.
Bianca took a seat at the back of the bus, holding Louie tightly in her arms. As the bus pulled away from Watershed Heights she stared confidently ahead knowing that the only place to go from here was forward. Bianca was going home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bianca looked up, startled by the presence of a man at her table. He introduced himself as Kalvin. At first, Bianca was quite hesitant to make conversation with the stranger. But remembering her manners the two began to fall into a delightful conversation. Her people skills were rushing back to her. She kept up the small talk letting flashes of her pearly white teeth dazzle him. Her mind raced back to the many parties she used to attend where entertaining guests, usually strangers, was a daily occurrence. As Bianca giggled lightheartedly at the mans jokes, they were both started by the smell of fresh pie. The two looked around confused as the waiter approached the table once again. "It seems that the power has gone out in the city." The waiter began "I'm afraid of refrigerator has cut off so I can't offer you the salad you ordered. Our only working equipment seems to be our oven." Bianca smiled and told the man not to worry and to simply cancel her order knowing well that pie would not help her in her quest to return to her former physique. She bid both the waiter and the kind man farewell as she rose from the booth. It was difficult to leave seeing as there was such a massive number of people that had gathered at the entrance of the diner. She accidentally bumped into a man carrying a decadent looking cream pie as she tried to make her escape. Just as she reached the door a familiar smell began to fill her nose. It was the smell of Ricotta Pie. An old Italian recipe that her mother used to cook before she left for The Mansion. Tears welled in her eyes as she finally squeezed through the glass doors. A strong jolt of determination resonated through her body knowing now, more than ever, that it was time to find her way home. She was started by the buzzing of her phone. Antonio was returning her call.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bianca slid into a booth ready for a satisfying meal. At the counter a strange man, knuckles dripping with blood, seemed to be harassing a young waitress. "Typical", she though to herself. She proceeded to pick up the sticky menu and examine her options. "Large Fry, Large Onion Ring, Large Tater Tot, with what as the main dish?", Her thoughts were interrupted by a the sound of a homeless man tapping on the window next to her. He smiled at her with golden teeth as he made rude cat calls through the window. Bianca attempted to ignore the man by staring at a strange dark stain that covered the table cloth in front of her.
She looked around the room. The tables were almost empty. Only a few miserable looking persons sat alone at various tables. "Its like we are all trapped", she thought to herself. At that moment Bianca's heart started to beat quickly, "How long will I be trapped here? Will I be here for the rest of my life? Am I truly doomed to live in this hell hole forever?". These thoughts of hopelessness began racing through her terrified mind.
Bianca was suddenly startled by a middle aged waiter wearing a deeply faded apron, "What'll ya have miss?". Bianca gazed up at the man. "I'll have a Larg-", Bianca paused, "I'll have a Large...", "Yes ma'am a large what?" The man pried in annoyance. Bianca paused for a moment taking a final look around the room. She thought of the homeless man, of the robbery, of the backwards carousel, her sloppy nights at Second Chances, and of her small apartment at Watershed Heights. She thought of Louie, she thought of her family, and she thought of the happiness that she once knew. After a long delay she replied with a rejuvenating confidence, "Actually, I'd like the house salad with a water to drink". As the waiter walked away Bianca grabbed her bedazzled cell phone, scrolling down her list of contacts until she found the name she was looking for.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Having just collected her weeks pay, Bianca stepped out of Second Chances into the afternoon sunshine. Since the night before she had not tried to contact Antonio and thinking attempted to think of him as little as possible. Return to the mansion? Return to the family that had so cruelly expelled her onto the streets? The weight of the possibilities and lingering questions was all too much.
At that moment Bianca's thoughts were interrupted by a loud crash. She looked up to discover a pair of convicts loading an ATM onto the back of a Ford truck. The sight hardly fazed her. Scenes like this were quite common in the run down town. Bianca noticed a young girl peering at the show from behind a dumpster. Clad in dark gothic colors, she seemed to find it all very amusing. "I'm living in a freak show", Bianca mused to herself.
As she continued down the street she began to examine the town that surrounded her. Bianca could hear the dull thump of bass coming from Da Club where the music droned on night and day. Standing in front of the police station was a pair of men in uniform smoking what seemed to be a joint of marijuana. She considered reporting the ATM robbery until she realized that the men were in plain sight of the crime. The stoned officers laughed at the robbers failed attempts to load the machine onto the truck. Finally, one of the men actually proceeded to lend them a hand in the process. Bianca chose to ignore the sight of the corrupt justice system as she continued on her voyage home.
Malnourished stray animals roamed the streets. Grime and filth covered the roads and the walls of the surrounding buildings. A permanent stench lingered in the air that seemed to be coming from the nearby Vietnamese restaurant. Bianca's stomach churned as she realized she hadn't had a bite to eat the entire day. "How unlike me", she thought to herself. Examining her options, she finally decided to venture around the corner to Dina's 28 Hour Diner.

Monday, April 11, 2011

At 12'oclock the next day Bianca met Antonio at the dilapidated fountain outside of her apartment. She had attempted to recover as best as she could from her dull hangover and the lingering feeling of shock that remained at the thought that Anotino was here in Watershed Heights.
As she approached the fountain she admired the bulkiness of his Italian stature that could only be achieved by enumerable hours in the gym. It was hard to believe he was able to fit in such a rigorous workout schedule with all of the tanning and laundering he partook in daily. Bianca and Antonio exchanged a few polite words of conversation but after a moment the two had returned to their usual friendly banter catching up on the lives of the other. Bianca's anger was slowly lifted, wondering how she could have ever blamed such a beautiful man for her departure from the mansion.
The two strolled, with arms linked to the strange carnival that Bianca had encountered the previous night. They spent the day watching the goat races and riding the backwards carousel. The two laughed at a nun who seemed to be romancing with a middle-aged clown. When a grease fire exploded late in the day the two were finally brought back to reality in realizing that their day of romance was coming to a close.
After escaping the frantic crowds Antonio pulled Bianca close and looked deeply into her eyes, "You must return to the mansion with me".
"You know they don't want me any more Antonio, I am not exactly the woman I used to be!" she replied in slight annoyance.
"Bianca, I have been studying the art of healthy Italian Cuisine. We will work together to regain the life you once had!"
At this point a whirl of emotion washed over the young Guidette. The thought of returning to her home with Hugh and all of her beautiful friends was almost too much. Did she even want to return? The questions and the emotions became overwhelming causing her to exclaim, "I have to go!". She ran far far from Antonio and spent the next hour looking for the exit to the unusual carnival.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Guidos and Goldfish

Bianca's hunger swiftly left her at the sight of the familiar face in front of her. There sitting at the crooked table was Antonio, the young chef who she couldn't help but blame for landing her in this horrid situation. Her surprise and resignation quickly shifted to anger as she glared at the handsome man. His muscles bulged though his freshly laundered tee shirt that was littered with graphic design. His hair was gelled upwards into the perfect "blowout" that only a true Guido could achieve. His dark skin looked welcoming, reminding her of her thoroughly tanned friends and family that lived back at the Jersey Shore.
He monitored her flaming gaze carefully until he finally spoke the first words, "Bianca, you look even more beautiful than when I last saw you". Bianca paused a moment before replying with words full of resentment and suspicion, "What are you doing here Antonio? Huh? Why did you follow me? We both know I have no business left with the Playboy Franchise meaning I have no business left with you". Bianca turned quickly on her heel ready to storm out of the restaurant, when she felt Antonio's strong hands grab her by the plump forearm. He turned her around and whispered to her in his soft Italian voice, "You left me Bianca and I am here to bring you home". Startled by the abruptness of his gesture, Bianca stumbled backwards out of his grip. Taking a moment to collect herself, she managed to regain her composure and icy demeanor. "Fine. I suppose I owe you some sort of explanation. I have a.... thing right now though.... an important.... appointment. So we will have to meet tomorrow. 12 'o clock at the fountain near Watershed Heights". Without a second thought Bianca turned and hurried to the door.
For the rest of the afternoon thoughts of The Mansion and her old life went rolling through her mind. As she struggled home around ten o'clock that evening she was released early from her shift at Second Chances. The power had suddenly shut off across the entire block causing the customers to quickly drain out of the building. As Bianca stepped out into the cool night she realized that all of the snow had dissipated in the past few hours. Suddenly Bianca became aware of an unusual light source coming from just around the block. As she listened more closely she could just make out the cries of screaming children and the sound of what seemed to be a dysfunctional organ grinder. Bianca allowed her drunken feet to take her to the source of such an unusual commotion.
Bianca arrived at the gates of a strange and haunting carnival just in time to see an angry Russian woman fall to the ground, and a small golden fish fly into the air. Bianca couldn't help but giggle as she watched a dirty dog pee on the old woman's foot. Bianca continued her intoxicated struggle home with thoughts of the strange carnival and the whisper of Antonio's voice dancing though the cool night air. His words serving as a haunting reminder of a life that once was and a hopeless promise of a return home.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Snowy Surprise

Around noon the next day, Bianca awoke to the sound of Louie's unrelenting yelps. She struggled to open her eyes as the extremity of her pounding headache became more severe with each high-pitched cry. "LOUIE! SHUT THE F*** UP!", she cried into the darkness of her cave-like room. The dog reluctantly obeyed her command as she slowly lifted herself into a sitting position. As she massaged her aching temples, she peeked open a bloodshot eye just in time to see the enormous rat Louie had been tormenting, scurry through an equally enormous crack running up the side of the wall. "Just great.", Bianca mumbled as she groped for the Aspirin she kept on her bedside table.
For a few moments, Louie sat at the gaping hole awaiting the return of his rodent enemy, but after a few persuasive calls from Bianca, he finally hopped upon the bed to curl himself up in her heavily cushioned lap. She stroked his small head as she attempted to piece together the events of the pervious night. She remembered the sweaty men from the bachelor party, the inappropriate comments and grabs, and very vaguely, the bizarre weather that concluded the night. As she searched her aching head for more details, she began to realize how cold it was in her little room.
Since there were no windows in the apartment that would allow her to check the weather, she decided to layer up and make her weekly trek to the salon around the block. Wether living as a dignified Playmate or a wannabe stripper, Bianca always made time for the beauty salon. So after slipping into her favorite pair of Juicy sweats, she filled Louie's empty bowl and made her way out the grimy door.
She quickly journeyed to the rickety stairwell, closing her ears to the distressed cries of the old man that lived next door. As she brushed by Ms. Pigg in the lobby, she stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of the wintery scene outside. There was a brownish slush that covered the ground surrounding Watershed Heights and beyond. Icicles hugged tightly to the drooping awning that hung above the glass door. A dangerous layer of ice was spread thickly across the main road. Snowflakes fell slowly from the sky as they drifted to the ground in a melancholy way. "Even the snowflakes here are f***ing miserable", she thought to herself. After moments hesitation, Bianca finally stepped into the bitter cold with the promise of a fresh set of acrylics in mind.
As she marched down the street against the gusts of wind, she observed a strange man with a large staff that seemed to think that he had conjured the wintry storm himself. Partially out of want to avoid the abnormal scene but more so in response to her growling stomach, Bianca sidestepped into the nearest restaurant for a quick bite to eat before her day of relaxation and beauty.
As she struggled to pull open the rusty door she was, for the second time that morning, stopped dead in her tracks. Sitting at a small table in the corner of the musty restaurant, sat a familiar face that brought a feeling of deep despair to Bianca's Italian heart. As their gazes locked she let out a slow breath of disappointment. "So... I guess you've found me".