Romantic Comedy & Erotica — “Afterhours” — working on a new piece & smiling — part one #amwriting


written to: “Mack the

By Valentine Bonnaire c. June 2013

Never fall in love with another writer. I had to learn that the hard
way once. I guess I’ll have to let Sheila explain what happened,
because, she’s still alive and I’m not. It all started the minute I
saw his eyes and those little twinkles. Then? There was that
Shakespearean hat. I’m not going to go into the Oscars he won either.
It’s true I wanted one of those myself, and I sure as hell didn’t
want to end up like William Holden in “Sunset Boulevard” face down
in some pool but Hollywood can do that to a girl. That’s where Sheila
found me, floating face down in the pool after the heart attack. He was
like that in bed…

* * *

“Eileen what has come over you?”

“Nothing, Sheila.”

“Who are you trying to kid?”

“Sheila cut it out.”

“Which one are you looking at?”


“Eileen, it’s not Evanston is it?”

“No, are you kidding.”

“I think it is.”

“Sheila he’s too old for me and besides he’s too short.”

“No he’s not.”

I could never keep anything a secret from Sheila. She was watching me
watch Evanston on that agent panel like a hawk. A wicked-smart little
hawk. Even her eyes were bird eyes, and her head was constantly darting
around catching all the latest gossip at the Conference, She wore the
most outlandish hats and vintage brooches. Each day it probably took
her four hours to do that perfect make-up she always had on. By
contrast, I guess I looked like a wretch. I was there to learn, it’s
just that, well, it’s just that, Evanston. I’d never seen anything
like him. Not ever. I’d never fucked anything like him either. But,
secretly I was planning on it. In my heart of hearts. It isn’t often
you meet Poetry Man in the flesh. He was.

“You like him, Eileen.”


“You can tell me.”

“We’ll he’s…”

“You’ve got it bad.”

“It’s the poetry.”

“He’s notorious, Eileen.”

“I figured.”

“He just divorced.”


“What was she like?”

“She really hurt him.”


“She slept with everything that moved around here, right under his

I must have sighed inaudibly. Besides, I was married too, then. For
years. It’s just that The Fates have a way of acting upon writers
like you cannot believe. There were 500 of us all packed into the
biggest Writers Conference on the West Coast down in Los Angeles. I
only had eyes for Evanston. Something about him gave off wattage, or
sparks, or electrons, or poetry, or maybe it was those feathers in that
black hat he was carrying around like a prop. No, to be honest it was
more than that. When I looked at him my mouth fell open. I didn’t
care if I was married. I didn’t care what Sheila thought. All I
could think about was him. Every time I looked at him there were lit
marquis going off all around him, and spotlights racing through the
night. He seemed to glow, that’s the only way I can describe him.
Glow. Looking at Evanston made me want to go back to my hotel room and
touch myself. I did. All I had to pretend was that Evanston’s hands
were my hands. Believe me, I came instantly, face down in the pillows
sighing his name.

“He’s not even good-looking, Eileen.”

“I know.”


“I can’t help it.”

“He certainly looks like he’s on the prowl.”

“Who’s he with?”

“A redhead.”


“You ought to see what she’s wearing.”


“It’s hideous.”

“I can’t look Sheila.”

“Stand up and you can see.”

Sometimes I wished that Sheila hadn’t been quite as pushy as she was,
but extraverts are like that. She wanted the best for me.
Orgasmically. She knew I needed it. She knew that if I saw the redhead
I wouldn’t be so shy. I mean, I guess she knew that at the time…

“We’re going to his workshop.”


“Oh yes we are…”

“Sheila I can’t.”

“But you’re going to, Eileen.”

“I can’t.”

“Yes, you can.”

I shook my head, but it was too late, she had me by the hand and she was
dragging me, I mean what was I supposed to do? She was like a vise
grip and all her bangles were jangling us down the corridor to where
Evanston was teaching “Character Development for Stage.” I had no
idea what I was getting myself into. The redhead was front and center.
She wasn’t that good looking. Sheila pushed me down into one of the
puffy cushioned seats and she took the little cocktail table next to me.
There was nowhere else to sit. Thank god I had my big hat and
sunglasses on. If Evanston glowed any brighter I’d be looking into
the sun itself.

“Think that’s competition?” Sheila nudged me in the ribs so hard
it hurt.

“Look at her.”

I had to crane my neck to see around the big shape in front of me but
the redhead was chewing gum and filing her nails while Evanston was
lecturing. I couldn’t believe it. She was in the front row. There
were only fifteen of us in the workshop. I had been watching
Evanston’s hands as he talked. They moved through the air like poems.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such gorgeous hands in my entire life.
I was mesmerized. In fact, all I could think about was having those
great big hands all over me. I had to keep crossing and uncrossing my
legs because the more I thought about those hands the wetter I was
getting. My mind was adrift. He kept quoting Brecht and Shakespeare
too, and the redhead was popping that gum every time he made a point.
She must have been an actress, now that I think about it. Of course,
you can have a lot of time to think after you’re in the Afterlife like
I am now.

“He’s perfect for you,” Sheila whispered.

“She’s not right for him,” she nudged me again.

“I can’t Sheila.”

“You will Eileen.”


“Look, I picked up these flyers and he’s having a party up in Laurel
Canyon tonight. We’re going.”


“I’m not taking no for an answer.”

“I didn’t bring anything to wear.”

“The hotel has a boutique.”

“Really, I…”

I looked back into the wattage that was Evanston Nicholson smiling into
the audience. His eyes caught mine and held my gaze. Even through the
sunglasses I felt myself beamed by his light. The heat crept to my
cheeks, and I clenched my crossed legs together. I don’t think I’ve
ever met a man with that much sexual charisma. *Oh, those hands.*

*Those hands, those hands, those hands…*

*to be


Author note!  This is a rewrite of a story I did called Hands last week that will run at ERWA in September.  I’m doing the rom-com take on the same themes, today!

Enjoy part one!


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