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In The Shadow Of The Cathedral Of Learning
By Guy Hogan
Monday, March 12, 2007
Not rated by the Author.
Mitchell's / Logan's Pub / Chief's Cafe / The Luna / Panther Hollow Inn / Union Grille / Peter's Pub / Joe Mama's / Fuel & Fuddle / Primanti Brothers / Original Hot Dog Shop / Oakland / Pittsburgh / Hemingway's Cafe / Unpstage
I was back from Vietnam and discharged from the army. I was young and in college. A light snow was falling. It was night and I could see that farther down the avenue Oakland's business district was all lit up. I was glad I had decided to stay in Pittsburgh to go to school. I wasn't so happy about joining the fraternity I had joined.
Well this time I wasn't going to take any more guff from Tony. It didn't matter that he had been drunk earlier. It didn't matter that he was my fraternity brother. When he was sober he was too big to mess with, but he was probably still drunk and getting drunker and that night I could take him. I was well into the commercial district when someone spoke to me. The person was past me and I stopped and turned to see who it was and it was Joyce Lynn Summerton.
She said, "And where are you on your way to in such a huff?"
"To kick some butt!" I didn't like the anger in my voice. I didn't like that Joyce could hear the anger, too.
Joyce Lynn Summerton was in my Monday, Wednesday and Friday ten o'clock. I looked at her hair, eyes and mouth. Her complexion had a slight glow from the chill in the air. There was something in her shoulder bag. I shifted my books and notebook to my other hand.
More calmly I said, "You don't make it to any of our parties anymore."
"Not like I use to," she said. "Some of the fraternity brothers get too rowdy for me."
We stood in silence for a moment. Her gloved right hand came up and squeezed her coat together at her throat even though her muffler must have kept out the chilly air. She smiled at me and then looked away. A few students walked past. The lights of the moving motor traffic created a stream of red and white.
"I'm headed back to the dorms to sit in front of the boob tube," she said. "On a Friday night. Do you believe it? I just made a run for some popcorn to pop."
I nodded and smiled.
"Well," she said, "have to slide."
She turned back to me.
I said, "Do you think I could come up and watch some TV with you?"
"In my room?"
"I'll go whenever you want me to."
"Frank, I don't know."
"Are you seeing someone?"
"A boyfriend?" She laughed. "No, I don't have a boyfriend."
There was a display window near us. Several mannequins in swim suits were posing on a sunny beach. Joyce was looking at the display window. She put her gloved hands in the pockets of her coat and then looked at me and said, "I'll have to sign you in."
We started walking for the dorms.
"So," she said, "how've you been?"
This is a re-write of Tidbits From My Old Notebooks #7. There are several changes in this revision that I think makes it a better story. PS This story has been accepted for publication in the June 2007 issue of the print anthology Brilliant.
Site: Let's Go Pitt!
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|Reviewed by Virginia Tolles
|Reviewed by Susan Sonnen
|I like this. You're right, it's even better.|
|Reviewed by Georg Mateos
|Dear Gus, watch out!, don't secondguess your self, follow your heart when you write those wonderful Tidbits.
The first version sounded genuine, from the hip, with a certain candor of sincerity.
This version is better grammatically, good and educated for any publisher, but remember it is not the publishers who decides, it ia always the readers.
If your guts say edit, by all means edit.
Sorry if I am a little blunt, but you can't embellish the first kiss you gave you mother after your tour of duty, no mather how many kisses where there after the first one.
But that is only my opinion.
|Reviewed by Randall Barfield
|a better version, in my opinion. seems completer. luck with this one.|