He Tries

Oil on Canvas – William Plante

White wicker chairs overlook Antigua Bay
He slugs rum, she sips chardonnay
Music plays sweet and slow
Orange sphere dips low

She resists his charm
He insists, holds her in his arms
Smoldering kisses, slippery lies
Slithering and sliding

She does the dishes
He dries


The Lioness

Ann sat by the phone waiting for it to ring. She said to her roomy, “Sally, before you dress to go out on your date will you run down to the grocery store and pick up a few things. The list is on the table. I’d go, but if Joe calls I don’t want to miss him.”

“Yes, I’ll go, but Ann, why are you constantly by the phone moping?”

“I think Joe is dumping me. What am I doing wrong?”

“It’s simple. You’ve forgotten you’re a lioness.” She received an inquisitive look. “Try playing the Queen and let him be King of the Beasts. Remember they are together only if she allows it, not the other way around.”

The sad girl asked, “How do you allow it?”

“As in the animal kingdom, you circle him while swishing your tail.”

Sally purchased a number of items. In check out she recognized the man ahead of her; Charlie at the office. He paid for a bottle of Tabasco sauce, put it in his pocket, and said, “Hi Sally, let me help carry your groceries.”

Up the elevator and to her door, Sally couldn’t find her key so rang the bell. Ann opened the door, saw the man and said, “My, look what you bought me at the store.”

“Ann, this is Charlie.”

“Hello Charlie, would you please put the bags on the table in the kitchen?” She led the way, said to her roommate, “What aisle did you find him in? You should have bought one for yourself.”

Charlie, a keeper, Ann was not going to let him leave too soon. “The least we can do is offer you a drink. What would you like?”

“I’d love to have some of that tomato juice in the grocery bag.” Ann poured a glass and handed it to him. He took the Tabasco out of his pocket, opened it, put two drops in.

The tall slender blonde flipped, asked, “Do you always carry your own Tabasco with you?”

“Never leave home without it.”

Sally excused herself, off to dinner.

“Charlie, you don’t have a stalk of celery or a pint of vodka in your pocket, do you?”

“Not today.”

“I didn’t think so. I’ll convert your drink into a Bloody Mary and join you.”

“Charlie, let me show you the apartment.” She brought him into the living room. He remained silent, everyone did, furniture every which way.

She said, “I know.” and asked, “How many girls do you know have converted a dining room into a dance hall in their apartment?” She flipped a wall switch. A crystal ball revolved on the ceiling, in the center of the room, splashed colors on all four walls, the ceiling and polished floor.”

“Spectacular.” He said, while standing in the middle of the room.

The girl began circling him, twisting and turning. The man spellbound, asked “Ann would you have dinner with me tomorrow night? I know a romantic restaurant with an intimate dance floor.”

“I’d love to.”

He asked, “By the way, is that a new dance?”

“Yes, it’s called Swishing Your Tail.”


Back Then

Istanbul, The Pera Palace Hotel, a haven steeped in elegance. Couples emerged from a wrought-iron ‘bird cage’ elevator, walked through the legendary towering lobby. Turkish carpets guided them into the Orient Express Bar. There, at times, Hemingway  sat in an antique chair lost in thought and Garbo, daydreaming, watched tidal waves of people strolling by on stone paved streets of the city, in which over 30 languages were spoken, many by spies.



Nine, she began making her own simple clothing and engaged girlfriends in the project. Cutting and sewing fabrics in her house was a little girl’s adventure into the fashion world.

Creativity progressed along with age, her style and mark became simple elegance, no sleaze. She had a definite talent as a sketch artist, able to draw two dimensionally while mentally visualizing the third dimension. Her drawings did not illustrate face and bones, just shapes and flares of cloth representing vital moments in life. A frothy dancing gown, a slinky black cocktail dress, an alluring negligee and smashing conference room suit; imaginative creations.

Graduating from college she negotiated a deal with her father who owned a variety of commercial properties in and around town, including a vacant house on a two-lane highway leading into town with no bites on it. She proposed an arrangement. If he would lease it to her for five years at a favorable rate with no payments the first year she would remodel the structure.

She convinced her involved girlfriends to issue a ‘no regrets’ invitation to their boyfriends, ‘Work on the house and I’ll be your  precious slave.’ In a month it was the most admired building on the highway.

Her father now had some tempting offers from buyers, but a contract was a contract which included a ‘sweetener’. The daughter forfeited a credit card the father had given her during college, an offer he could not refuse.