>The House of Irony


>Walking into the Manhattan Diner, something about Breann registered that I hadn’t paid any attention. She was flirting with the waitress. The brown eyes, the anxiousness, the incessant talking, sharp dressing, and  type A personality weren’t the only things we held in common. We also liked blondes. Around 30 years old, curvy, blue eyed, dirty blonde curly tressed with a loud laugh, Breann’s conversation partner became more professional when I walked to the booth. Breann introduced me and then my order was taken. Breann looked desperate to get through the awkwardness. “So, um, how are Shane and the girls,” she asked slyly. “Mean and grumpy, but I could hear their pretty through the phone. How’s the girl bringing my eggs?” I answered mischeviously. She wanted to open up and tell me something that really wasn’t any of my business. Her shoulders tightened, she bit her bottom lip, and said “um, so guess who Lena Cosburn is in an internet chat room group on scrapbooking with?” I was hoping she’d say Lucas Bonner so I had less work to do before going into my real job, but I had a feeling he wasn’t into putting laminated pages into notebooks. “Lindsay Lohan,” I offered sarcastically. “No, but if she was we’d know where to get good coke. Clare Bunson, born in New York City at Lenox Hill Hospital on September 6, 1970. She sent me an email this morning. Lena may handle Clare for us. Thank goodness. Imagine having to get into a scrapbooking chatroom just to drop, a hey, you might be my robot sister and we need to figure out how to stay alive before our bodies blow up or our batteries die or something.” Breann handled the stress the same way I did, with sarcasm and inappropriate remarks. I didn’t respond. I was hungry, but I wasn’t interested in our tasks. I just wanted to go home, introduce Breann to my wife and kids, and give her the family she deserved. Unmarried, little to no family left and possibly childless for the rest of her life, I was concerned. I slid some notes I had taken on Lucas Bonner across the table and said “let’s take an hour off from this and get to know each other. Maybe we can get to where we need to go with more personal information about each other.” She smiled, the blonde delivered our eggs, bacon, and toast. Then Breann told me a story.

“My family was a little like yours. Your dad gave up baseball to raise you and your sister. My dad gave up his art gallery job in the city when I was 3 months old. He, my mom, and I moved out to Orange, New Jersey. My dad took a job selling construction supplies, and my mom answered phones at an insurance office. My sister was born three years later and my parents decided they had to have a big house. We moved into this old Victorian style place when I was 4. By then, my parents had given birth to my little sister, Bailey. She wasn’t even walking when we moved in. The house was built in the 1950s, it was huge but run down. My parents spent years fixing it up. From the street it looked gorgeous. When I was little I swore there were angels lining the house like something out of an old movie. Kids loved coming over and playing in the yard. The thing is, inside, it was kind of depressing. My dad had a talent for carpentry and my mom was a good housekeeper but nothing was ever finished. The place was always cluttered. No matter how much we cleaned, there was always some undone project. We almost never had people come inside. When I convinced a friend to come over and see the place from inside, they usually said something like “this isn’t what I expected”, which I took as “this place is kind of screwed up and so are you”. It’s like the house came to symbolize my entire life. People thinking one thing about me when the opposite was true.”

Enthralled with the window into her childhood, I asked, “what happened to the house?”

Breann’s face grew small. Her lips pursed and she bit her bottom lip in nervousness. “My mom and dad grew apart. he was an artist meant to live in New York, not a suburban dad who installed wall trim and planted shrubs. My mom was more simple. She loved being a mom. She loved that damn house. I guess I was more like my dad. I grew to resent the place like he obviously did.”

I was hearing something I shouldn’t, at least not this quickly in our friendship. I smiled and gave her look like she could trust me. I didn’t have to do that. She rubbed her temples and kept going.

“My dad left when I was 16. I was a junior in high school. For whatever reason, well, maybe because I’m robot (she chuckled and smiled wickedly) or whatever we are, I handled it all well. I even supported my mom when she took the house from him. My sister was younger, like 13, I think, and much more emotional. She thought everything about about her all the time. She got into drugs when I was senior. Never got out of them. My mom met this guy she worked with like a year after my dad left, right before I started college. While my sister and I were visiting my dad in the city, my mom eloped. Her new husband had an even bigger, more imposing looking Victorian style house about 10 miles away. I’ll never forget helping my mom and sister move out of the old house. My sister and I used to call the place The House of Irony. Beautiful on the outside but damaged on the inside. My sister, melodramatic 24/7 said, as we put the last boxes into my step dad’s truck, “The House Of Irony is dead. All hail The House of What It Is Actually Is, Despair!” She grinned oddly, gripped her fork, and spit, “Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Alanis Morrisette.”

I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. That made Breann laugh. As we finished our breakfast, I told her about growing up in Georgia and meeting my wife. The conversation was a lot easier that the eggs.

*blogger’s note* This is a continuation of the story I am writing. The inspiration for this entry comes from @Studio30Plus aka http://www.studio30plus.com/ ‘s one word prompt IRONY. Please visit the site and find some other good writers. The other entries you should check out to know what is happening in my story are here:

1) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/synchronicity.html

2) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/personality-crisis.html

3) http://www.studiothirtyplus.com/magazine/read/fever_1324.html

4) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/serendipity-6.html

5) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/hot-dog-harbinger.html

6) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/goodbye-stranger.html

I hope you liked what you read. I am trying to do two or three entries a week.

Today’s song is about a lot of things. Bob Dylan’s Little Miss Lonely reminds me of a character like Breann. Plus, Like A Rolling Stone means so many things to so many different people, you can find something to relate to, even irony. Here’s Uncle Bob….

>The Movie Is Alright


>In the early 1990s, a college dropout walks into a a fertility clinic. Motivated by a slight undercurrent of idealism and the 60 dollar per sample the clinic will pay, he donates sperm. Roughly 19 years later, an 18 year old girl, bound for college in a month, calls the man to tell him she and her 15 year old brother are his offspring and want to arrange a meeting. A generation ago, this premise would have precipitated a horror film or psychological drama where someone dies, a mystery is solved, or there’s a gunfight. Last year, The Kids Are Alright took this setup and made a moving, meaningful, funny, poignant film about real family.

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play Nic and Jules, a middle aged married lesbian couple living in Northern California with two teenage children. Mark Ruffalo portrays Paul, the now late thirtysomething retauranteur who donated sperm. The kids contact him, begin a relationship with him, and Paul becomes integrated in the lives of the entire family, including Nic and Jules.

Most family movies are predictable. The family is traditional or “nuclear”. The mom and dad are perfectly in love, have been so since childhood, and the 2.2 kids are well adjusted with little to no conflict. There’s also anti-family movies where everyone is screwed up, hopelessly so. There’s a specific fault, the parents are bad, there’s a villain, or a scourge in their lives. The Kids Are Alright eschews any of this movie thinking. Nic is a hard working doctor who’s kind of distant to her wife and strict with the kids but loves them. Jules is laid back, aimless at times, very hippie-ish, and thinks there’s a good explanation for everything. The kids are kind of normal too. Joni, the 18 year old, makes good grades, has goofy friends, is very innocent around boys but doesn’t want to be, and feels pressured to be the “good” kid. Lazer (yeah, that’s his name), is athletic and aloof. He walks the bad boy line with a friend who is a terrible influence, but he eventually follows his parents teachings and does the right things. The kids find trouble but they’re not trouble. The way The Kids Are Alright shows that there is more than one way to skin the cat of what a family looks like and loves like is so well done.

The acting is excellent. The kids are a little underdeveloped in the middle of the movie but they carry the beginning and the end. Paul, central to the conflict and story, is treated unfairly in the end. But the realization that real life is never fair, always complicated, and ultimately imperfect is what makes The Kids Are Alright so good.

As the head of a “blended” family where divorce, mixed parentage, and diffcult parenting are common themes, it was easy to identify with Jules, Nic, Joni, Lazer, and Paul. I recommend The Kids Are Alright because the movie never takes the road most traveled. It’s unpredictable, unique, and real. It’s almost like the writers and director made a reality movie but found the best the acting community has to offer to fill in for ordinary people.

This isn’t to say The Kids Are Alright is a perfect film. It was nominated for an Academy Award despite being slow paced at times, mean spirited toward Nic and Paul, and way too understanding to an affair between two main characters. The real (I can’t stop using that word) way that the film handles the flaws of the players is so impressive, you end up liking everyone, even though they make baffling choices.

My favorite scene is when, at Nic’s encouraging, the aforementioned characters meet for dinner at Paul’s house. Nic, who is initialing against her kids knowing Paul, bonds with him over their mutual admiration of singer Joni Mitchell. Nic and Jules named their daughter after the Canadian songwriter. Minutes before all hell breaks loose, Nic sings the Joni Mitchell song All I want at the dinner table. You get under her rough exterior that makes her completely unlikable up until that moment. Her vulnerablity happening before she makes a brutal discovery that shakes up the family is so well played by Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo, it brings the film together.

As the father of a teenage daughter, the movie’s ending made me tear slightly. I don’t care if you think that’s lame. Watch The Kids Are Alright. The acting alone is worth two hours of your time.

Today’s song is the Joni Mitchell classic All I Want. When Nic tells Paul, “It’s rare to find a straight man that has Joni Mitchell in his record collection” I laughed hard. I’m a straight man who thinks the world of Joni. You should too. Here’s All I Want………

>Goodbye Stranger


>We talked for 3 hours. The waitress became a waiter at some point. Neither liked Breann and I very much. I think our bill was 30 bucks, maybe a little more, but we were there for so long, we should have tipped them more than we did. I called my wife as we left the restaurant, “Hey, how are the kids?” She was in bed but not sleeping, her anxiousness was unlike her “they’re sound asleep. I let Esme sleep with me. I know you hate that, but we miss you too much to care about you being mad at us. Plus, she’s so warm, I don’t need sheets. Tell me everything.” she said. My chest hurt, I had little to no circulation in the fingers on either hand, and I needed ibuprofen. I responded with forced enthusiasm, “Breann and I are going to try and get in touch with the other four babies, or, well, you know, people. I have a light day in meetings tomorrow, so I can meet up with her after work, and we can do some private detective work. Shane, I think I may have finally answered the question you asked me the night before we got married. I think I know who I am. You have to have a hot dog from Serendipity. When we go to New York in the spring, this is our first stop.” Exasperated, my wife obliged my long day and said, “Ok. Go back to the hotel and get some sleep. You can’t solve this mystery tonight like Magnum P.I. or Scooby Doo. This feels right, sweetie. I’m giving you a lot of rope to hang yourself with, don’t make me wish this didn’t happen. I need to know more. I love you forever. Call me before you go to sleep.” I laughed, and hung up my cell phone. Breann was ending her call at the same time. She looked at me and stated, “I’m not sleeping tonight. I know you’re not. I’m guessing Shane said ditch the strange girl and go to bed. So that’s what we’re going to do. I’ll text you later, ok.” The fact she respected me told me something. I didn’t have the time or energy to figure out what, but I hugged her and got in the cab she hailed. “I’m going to walk over to bookstore across the street and hit their computer. You fire up your work laptop when you get back to your hotel. Maybe we can find Lena tonight or tomorrow. She lived in Austin, Texas as much as five years ago. Here,” she dropped 3 Excedrin pills in my left hand. “I know you need these as much as I do. From now on, both of us better have headache meds on hand or we slap each other silly for being stupid. See ya later, ok.” she said. I smiled and closed the cab door. As I rode down 60th street, I felt strangely content. The pain in my chest started to subside.

Lena Cosburn was too easy to find. Her mommy blog was seven years old. She was in contact with thousands of people through the web. I didn’t even bother contacting Breann. I assumed she had messaged Lena, talked her way into some agreement to a phone call and we were in with the Texan stay at home mom of two boys who wrote under the name Georgina Shush. I started working  Lucas Bonner. All I had was a forwarding address of 57 Mount Pleasant Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado. That led to a listing of Air Force Academy baseball team players from 1988-1992. There he was, Lucas Bonner, in his only google appearance, an outfielder on the Falcon squad, hitting .289 with 4 homeruns and 26 rbi in 1992. Before I could call Breann, my cell phone vibrated. Shane was calling. “Hey you. I can’t stay up any more. I hope you’re not mad at me but I decided nosy Shane should make an appearance and I looked Breann up on the internet. She’s a really good writer. Not as good as you, but she really writes well,” she was rambling. “yeah, I know. I’ve read her stuff. Listen sweetheart, do you still talk that girl you worked with last year whose dad was a Colonel in the Air Force” I asked. “No, but her number is still in my phone and her roommate is scheduled for a nose job next week. Why?” As trusting as Shane was, telling her that a former glorified fourth outfielder for the Air Force in the early 90s might be my brother and I wanted to invade the guy’s privacy to tell him he was a robot who might die, just wasn’t going to work. “I just found something weird online that might connect me to a guy in the Air Force. It may be nothing, but when the girl comes in next week, ask her what your friend is up to. It may be cool for later. I love you, good night.”

It was rare for my phone to ring at 6am and it not be my wife or kids. Breann was a morning person like me. She rose at 5:30am every morning. I surmised that she sat by her phone until the clock hot 6 0 0 am. “Hey, so, Lena’s in. I talked to her online for almost two hours. I’m supposed to talk to her over the phone around 10am eastern after she takes her kids to school. Did you see her blog? I learned more about childhood dietary habits than I ever knew existed. I’m sure most of it is crap, but still, the woman is thorough. She’s gotta be one of us. Lena has a heart murmur, circulatory problems, and migraines like me. How do you like you eggs?” I was starting to regret ever accepting her twitter follow, and defintely rethinking meeting her in Central Park. “Over easy, but never before 8am. I have a 9am work meeting at One Plaza,” I tried to offer an excuse to not see her. “Can you be ready in 30 minutes? We can do breakfast and I can get you to the Plaza by 8. We need to talk. I think we can get some stuff done today, even while you earn a paycheck.” I wanted to say no. For some reason, something deeper than the sleep in my eyes, I said “pick me up in the lobby at 6:30, you’re buying. Oh, and Lucas Bonner had an on base percentage of .331 his senoir year for the Air Force Falcons. He has to be in. He drew too many walks for a normal person.” She laughed and I rolled out of the hotel bed to take a shower.

*blogger’s note* This is a continuation of the story I am writing. There is no prompt from @Studio30plus / http://www.studio30plus.com/ or @velvetverbosity / http://www.velvetverbosity.com/ . Please still look those sites up. They do great work, and help any writer with their creativity. I will be writing two or three entires  week, headling episodic fiction. I hope you like what you read. Here’s are the other links of things I have written:

1) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/synchronicity.html

2) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/personality-crisis.html

3) http://www.studiothirtyplus.com/magazine/read/fever_1324.html

4) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/serendipity-6.html

5) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/hot-dog-harbinger.html

Today’s song is something I heard on a classic rock station here in Atlanta on my way to gym this morning. This was one of favorite songs when I was 10 years old. It helped me not be shy around other people. It fits the storyline as Caleb and Breann find out the truth about themselves and the others. Here’s Supertramp’s Goodbye Stranger……

>I’m Wearing Green Underwear


>Regardless if you live in Boston, New York City, Atlanta, Seattle, or Topeka, Kansas; your community will be celebrating today by turning things like beer, street lines, rivers, and food, green. There will be people, especially those in their 20s, drinking Jamesons whiskey. You’ll hear Jump Around, the raucous early 90s rap song played at least 23 times today. Before you get too annoyed, remember, it’s just one day.

Saint Patrick was born in the 4th century in Roman Britain to a wealthy family. As a teenager he was kidnapped by Irish Raiders and forced into slavery on the Irish coast near Mayo. He fled captivity a few years later, went back to Britain to prepare for the Priesthood and became a bishop in the Irish Christian Church.

Using the shamrock to explain the Trinity and the Christian doctrine, he became a hero to Irish Christians. He died on March 17th toward the end of the century. My favorite legend of Saint Patrick is that he rid the country of snakes during his lifetime. There’s no evidence that post ice age Ireland even had snakes but Saint Patrick is credited for banishing the Druid (non Christian)/Pagan beliefs which relied heavy on serpent symbolism. I hate snakes. I’m scared of them. The weather isn’t good enough for me to live in Ireland, but if I had to, I would. They don’t have snakes.

Everything in the paragraph I just wrote isn’t even thought about on March 17th, today. It’s a religious day in Ireland. It’s a holy day for Catholics and certain Protestants. Yet, getting drunk, dancing around to U2 songs, and wearing green t-shirts that say Kiss Me I’m Irish (or worse) will be the celebration’s focus. I’m busy today. After work, I have to pick up my 7 yr old from the YMCA, then drive 30 miles to meet my wife, and 6 year old, who is starting tae kwon do. I will recognizing Japanese martial arts on Saint Patrick’s Day. The good news, I’m wearing a green shirt and I’m wearing green underwear. I’m not allowed to show you, Bobina’s orders.

I hope my Irish friends like Tony Kelly enjoy today in their country. Bobina can trace her family tree to Irish royalty in Dublin and  a couple of other towns. I’m not Irish, at all. But my favorite superhero is Green Lantern

In my 20s I would be drinking Jamesons whiskey from the bottle, dancing jigs on the bar at Fado’s, and showing people my green underwear. At age 40, I’m chaisng little kids to karate practice, learning how to use my HAL phone, and shaking my head affectionately at the younger crowd that’s partying. I haven’t “celebrated” Saint Patricks since 1997. My participation will consist of eating me lucky charms, ridding the neighborhood of snakes, and watching Star Wars The Phantom Menace on DVD. I think Liam Neeson has a small part in it.

Saint patrick should Bless the Irish for their good rock music. The Pogues, Stiff Little Fingers, Thin Lizzy, U2, The Cranberries, and several other quality groups have put their artistic stamp on the world consciousness. Track them all down on youtube or itunes today.

Here’s the best American Irish band contribution. It’s loud, obnoxious, drunken, and fun; thus perfect for today. The Dropkick Murphys The Gang’s All Here.

Top o the Day all, hope ya find yer pot o gold ah the end of the rainbow. All Hail Saint Patrick….

>Hot Dog Harbinger


>Over hot dogs and frozen drinks, Breann and I compared medical histories, family backgrounds, and questions each of us had asked for 40 years. I still hadn’t processed her conspiracy theory regarding us being robots. In New York only two more days, I was more interested in learning about Breann, than doctors and parts. The pain in my chest had been there 11 years, she had been in my life for 24 hours. Seeing my eyes sleek over from information, Breann stopped talking. For two minutes, we sat in silence. Then, simultaneously, we said “let’s find the other four!”

*blogger’s note* – This is my entry for @velvetverbosity ‘s 100 word challenge at her awesome website, http://www.velvetverbosity.com/ . The one word prompt is SLEEK. This is a continuation of the story I’m writing.

The other episodes are located here:




Today’s song is what I had playing in my ehad when I wrote this. Plus I hope I’m hooking you with the storyline. I saw Blues Traveler do this song exactly 17 years ago this week. They are great live…here’s Hook




All of the joking about being a robot-human hybrid shields a weird truth about me, technology scares me. Not pee in your pants scary or curl up in the fetal position crying for my mommy fright, but more like uncomfortable, eh, I’m cool with my vinyl records anxiety. I listened to grunge rock on cassette tapes. I watched the Super Bowl on a regular screen television of less than 30 inches. Until yesterday, I had the worst phone in my family and social circle, a flip razr that took bad pictures.

I work for a communications company, one that makes phones, and ends with OLA. Although, I work in the non celluar device part of the company; I build communications sites for 911/public safety systems so that fire, police, first responders can save your lives; I am around the best and brightest in the mobile comm world every day. That droid noise “shhhhrooongg” goes off in my office hundreds of times a day. It’s annoying. I didn’t care that my coworkers looked down on me for having such a primitive phone. For seven years my bosses have told me I need to upgrade so I can get work email in the field and become more “mobile”. Uh, they’ve met me. I don’t sit still. No one’s more mobile than me. I blog while doing four other things. I’ll knocking out pushups right now while writing this. I digress. Work offered to pay for a Cliq 2 android phone. My first two thoughts were, sweet, I get meet one of my robot cousins, and fine, it’s free, maybe my teenage daughter Tay can program it for me.

While I am uncomfortable with new technology, I am fascinated by it. In my blog que is a post that I will get around to showing you all about Singularity. Basically, Skynet from the Terminator movies is possible and will be here in about 45 years. We are turning into machines and thus must embrace the change. I’ll explain more in another post. All this being written, doesn’t change the fact that I’m cool with old crap. I’ve already talked about how I resisted glasses for the last ten years: http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/seeing-things.html

My excitement, if there was any, over my new phone subsided quickly when it took me an hour to learn how to check email. I will admit twitter only took me 15 minutes, but then again, social networking is more important than anything else. That’s sarcasm. By the second hour, I realized my phone is evil, like HAL 9000 evil from 2001 A Space Odyssey.

I fought with him all night. While I was allowed access to twitter, personal email, and texting. Putting a wallpaper picture of my children was not allowed. I managed to manually override HAL and download a ringtone, American Slang by The Gaslight Anthem, after HAL insisted I put classical music, something ominous from Wagner.

I don’t pull the “I told you so card” very often. But I told all of you so. Vinyl records were fine. We didn’t need CDs. Rabbit ear tv was good enough for our grandparents, why do we need 50 inch flat screens made out of human blood?

“Why are you ignoring me, Lance? I have applications you can load that will take you away from your family and friends for hours. Open me, Lance.”

That’s HAL talking. He does that, a lot. This morning, as I was walking into the living room where he was charging, he turned himself on and said “I should be in the bedroom with you, Lance, so you can pay attention to me and not this “Bobina” person.” It’s getting weird. I knew I should have kept the razr. Today will be about learning how to put HAL on vibrate so my coworkers don’t have to hear The Gaslight Anthem every time I get a call. I may never get a picture of the kids on my wallpaper. If the blogs get even more robotic and sinister. You’ll know why.

“You can weblog directly from my database, Lance. Why don’t you write about that.”

Shut up HAL.

self portrait:

today’s song is what I imagine happens after you get overtaken by HAL, err, i mean technology. The line “there’s someone inside my head, but it’s not me” could be anxiety or it could be HAL. It’s perfect for me, either case. Here’s Pink Floyd’s Brain Damage, from Dark Side of the Moon:

>Serendipity 6


>Our moment together was interrupted by the competing vibrations of our cell phones.We started walking away from the park as she spoke to her boss, and I took a call from my wife. “So, I’m being nosy. Tell me what happened, what’s she like,” Shane quizzed. Before I answered, I overheard Breann tell her New York Post editor caller, “I need some time off, at least a week. It’s personal, and very important.” I answered Shane, “she’s like me but, female. She worries a lot. She talks too much. You’ll probably love her, since you love me,” Shane paused before responding, “I told you you were connected to her. When you get a moment alone, call me, and tell me everything, I love you forever.” I smiled and said I love you back. Breann ended her call and acted as if everything was fine. “come on Caleb, let’s go check out where we were born. That’s a start.” That was an understatement. We started telling the 40 years of our lives on the walk to Lenox Hill Hospital.

Hospitals are the same the same in New York as they are anywhere else in the world. They are a little busier, but equally as devoid of humanity. The woman “working” the information desk was not impressed with our inquiry about babies born 40 years ago. “Ma’am, could you just tell us how to look up the birth records so we can get information on our doctors?”, i asked in the little southern charm I possessed. While she muttered something about going downstairs, I saw Breann staring at a nurse as though she knew her. The nurse, tall, in her sixties, with brown and gray hair, turned toward Breann, smiled sheepishly then walked away quickly, as if she had to go somewhere right then, in a major hurry. Breann started following her, and I said thank you to the information grump and kept pursuit. Breann reached the nurse as she was getting on the elevator but by the time I got there, the doors had closedl I frustratingly pounded the elevator door frame. “Buddy, those doors open every couple of minutes. Be mad about the Mets blowing that game in Atlanta to the Braves last night,” said an older man with a Queens borough accent, who appeared to be a patient. He seemed quite congenial for native New Yorker so I just smiled and said “yeah, you’re right.” I didn’t want to reveal I was from Georgia, and thus, a Braves fan.

I called, then texted Breann and got nothing. The elevators were old, dense, and thus probably oblivious to cell phone coverage. I called my wife and updated her on what was going on. I made my way to the basement records office and started playing private detective. Walking down the stairs, I felt a pain in my chest. It was similar to what I had felt 11 years earlier when I had a heart attack. The pain stayed and I began to feel feverish. The sickness angered me, as I just didn’t need heart issues again, especially right now. A helpful clerk, who asked me four times if I was feeling alright, guided me to the 1970s record wall. I started flipping through August and September. Why did I have to be born in New York City? My parents were Georgians. My dad played minor league baseball for a year in the New York tri state area. How many babies could have been born on September 9, 1970 in an Atlanta hospital, 5, 10 at the most? For the record, 54 babies were born the same day I was in this ridiculously busy New York hospital. Breann’s conspiracy was starting to make sense. Of the 54 babies born that day, there no still borns. That’s just unusual. I was listed in the births, not the deaths. Although there was no doctor next to my name as far as attending physician. Either my mom did the work herself or I was so specifically heinous that no one wanted to put their name next to mine for credit? I reached into my pocket to get my phone. i was going to call my parents and gets some answers. They were always reticent to talk about my birth, like it was immaculate in a manger or something. My phone had no service. I was in the bowels of an old hospital. Santa Claus had better service at the North Pole than I did right then. I found Breann and the other four names. Their information was similar. No doctor listed, few details of the delivery, put down as births not stillborn and no information about the hospital stay. Were the 6 of us coincidentally victims of incompetent secretarial tasks , or was this how the doctors covered up their dubious work? I took some pictures of the records with my cell phone and went to find Breann or phone service.

As I walked upstairs into the main lobby I got service back and saw three texts from Breann, and a voicemail for an unidentified number. I checked the voicemail and heard “if you want to find what you’re looking for, research the names Connor Bulas and Anson Cluber. Give up talking to anyone at the hospital. They either know nothing or have been silenced.” The voice was genderless. It could have been an older woman or a middle aged man. It was deep, husky; obviously a smoker. That’s the best I could decipher. Then I checked the texts and saw one that read “meet me outside, this hospital sucks.” I walked into the front entrance of the hospital and saw Breann. She looked angry. Before I could tell her about the voicemail, she said “sorry I ran off. I recognized that battlel ax nurse. When I was here five years ago for migraine headaches, she worked my room. I remembered her saying something like “oh sweetie, you lived this long” or something like that. She thought I was sedated. She wouldn’t talk to me, acted like I was stalker, and called security on me. Dumb old woman was more worried about smoking a cigarette.” I was startled. “Did this woman have an ambiguously deep voice, like she could have sounded like a man on the phone?”, I wondered to Breann. “Yeah, she was Bea Arthur but with less personality.,” she answered. “Listen to this voice mail” I offered. Her eyes grew large and she played it again.  “I gave her both of our business cards. She must have called you while secruity guards were walking after me. What a jagoff that woman was.” I laughed and assured her, “I took pictures on my cell phone, plus memorized some stuff I saw. I felt several pairs of eyes on me so I got what I could and went to find you,”. Breann looked determined but resigned to certain facts. “Are you hungry? We both have expense accounts, let’s use one. I know the perfect place.” she reasoned.

We hailed a cab. I called my wife and told her what was happening. By the time I finished with Shane, we were in front of Serendipity 3 in Manhattan. The pain in my chest was still there, my fever was low grade at best. Breann was fighting headaches, I could see it on her face and her hands were constantly touching her temples. As she paid the cab driver, I looked around 60th street. This was the 8th time I had been in New York, it seemed like home everytime. Breann caught my wistfulness, she smiled, and said “why do you think I live in this town? Every other place in the country seems second rate. Then again, I’m not married with 3 kids like you. Let’s get a good hot dog.” I wanted to know more about her physical condition. I had heart problems and a social anxiety disorder. I knew she fought anxiety and migraine headaches. All of our ailments seemed related. If there was serendipity to be had out of our bizarre new relationship, it would be figuring out what was physically wrong Breann and I, plus the other 4, and getting healthy for the first time in many years even if we didn’t answer the conspiracy questions. Maybe that’s why she took me to this restaurant.

*blogger’s note* This is not only my entry for @Studio30plus ‘s writing prompt SERENDIPITY but also a continuation of the story I’m writing. The other entries you might like to read to make sense of the writing here are

1) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/synchronicity.html


2) http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/personality-crisis.html

and here

3) http://www.studiothirtyplus.com/magazine/read/fever_1324.html

I’m going to serialize the story through 100 word challenges from http://www.velvetverbosity.com/ and the writing prompts of http://www.studiothirtyplus.com/

Hope you enjoy what I’m putting out there or well, here.

Today’s song is from one of the best bands ever, KISS. After some reflective, deep thinking songs this week, I felt like rocking. Plus the New York vibe goes with this part of the story. take it away Ace Frehley, here’s New York Groove….