Green Suede ~ truths in literary fiction


Daily Prompt: Tainted Love

The song called this came out when I was in college.  This version:

I’m working on a new collection of short stories that look at human emotion and relationship truths.  The one I just wrote, “Green Suede” is perfect for the prompt.  It’s actually taken from a real truth in my own life.  One thing we do as literary writers is try and get at kernels of truth, even if not entire truth inside short stories.  Each of the stories is named for a pair of suede shoes, and each is told from a male or female POV.  Pink Suede will run in the story galleries at ERWA next month, Red Suede and Vanilla Suede are in the Treasure Chest archives there.  I plan on about 30 tales for the collection and I’ve made a few boards at Pinterest as storyboards…

Here is the opener of that story, and had I not left him when I did, I wouldn’t have been in college dancing to the song you see a few years later.  It was probably one of the hardest things that ever happened to me, in that moment.  It really was.

Green Suede

By Valentine Bonnaire c. February 2014 ERWA all rights reserved

written to Booker T’s “Green Onions.”

“How we need another soul to cling to.”  ———– Sylvia Plath

Revenge sex.  There’s only one kind of sex like that.  It’s after you’re burned by somebody in ways you never thought you could burn.  You must have been in love like that once or twice?  I was.

You only love once, like the way that you love in your twenties.  I can tell you that now, because it’s no longer a secret, and I’ve loved man, after man, after man.  Or I should say, they have loved me.  He was the first I gave my heart to, and he smashed it in a thousand pieces that one long ago morning.  We never made it to Valentine’s Day that year.  We stopped at New Year’s day, because that was the morning I heard her heels come clicking up the front walk of his little bungalow in Venice.

I never expected he would have an affair.  I thought he was mine.

Green suede shoes.  She was wearing green suede that matched the bloom of algae in the canals in Venice Beach and her heels came clicking up the walk where we were lying tangled around each other and he had made love to me all night long, the night before.  I knew that, somehow.  They were all the rage that year.  I intuited her color.

I heard the sound of her clicks from our bed.

“Let me get the door,” he said.

“Who is that?”

“Just stay in here.”

“Who is that?” I repeated.  He wasn’t going to answer me.  He didn’t want me to know.  He didn’t want me to see her.

Suddenly the heels were clicking away from the little porch, and he was closing the door.  I was standing wrapped in the sheets I’d torn from our bed.  I’d heard her voice.

“What have you done?”

“You left me,” he said.

There is a way you can shake during a betrayal by the one you love.  You start shaking and it starts like a leaf on a tree quivering in the wind.  Where it ended that day for me was volcanic.  No, it was an earthquake like the kind we are used to, where I live.  Passion does that.  Passion makes you quake while it splits your heart in half.

The sheets still reeked of the two of us, co-mingled the night before.  The bedroom smelled of hours and hours of sex.

“Call me a cab,” I said.

“Don’t go,” he said.

“Call me a cab this instant.”

I never saw him again.  That’s how three years of love and devotion get sliced apart when something ends.  It’s choppy like the winter waves off California when things like love end.  I never looked back , even when he tried to call the few last times.  Some violations make that impossible.  That morning I stood breathing the cool Los Angeles air out at the street, waiting for that cab.  He hadn’t wanted me to drive, hadn’t wanted me to work, hadn’t wanted me to do anything but stay home trapped in a house waiting for him.  I didn’t know how to be what he wanted.  I was only twenty. He was thirty eight that year.  He needed a wife for his daughter.  I had no idea how to be a mother, barely having had one myself.  I wasn’t domesticated, even then.

8 thoughts on “Green Suede ~ truths in literary fiction

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