Otto and Frankie.
Otto Georgeson and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. What follows is the beginning of the third chapter.
She twisted the ring through her lip a few times, checking in the mirror she’d put it in the right way. She saw in the reflection the discarded take-out food containers, the empty wine bottles lying on the stained floor, items of clothing dumped where they’d undressed with haste and passion, and a man asleep in her bed. She sighed, knowing her apartment looked the same most Sunday mornings. Sometimes there’d be ash, piled high in saucers, from the joints she and her latest pick-up had smoked. This time the guy had declined. ‘It’s high quality,’ Frankie had said, but he’d shaken his head, telling her he didn’t indulge.
She wasn’t too bothered she could be called a slut, loosely behaved, promiscuous. ‘Men do it all the time,’ she’d told a friend, who’d heard she was sleeping with a different man nearly every Saturday night, picking them up at the club where she worked. ‘Monogamy sucks,’ she’d said, telling her friend she’d been faithful and devoted to her ex-partner for seven years. ‘Look what good it did me. He just told me one morning he was leaving me for another, gathered up his shit, and left that day.’
She’d been devastated, heartbroken, almost unable to function, trapped in a cage with her emotions, and started ‘multiple-dating,’ as she called it, to break with her long-standing morals. On one occasion she slept with a woman. None of her pick-ups lasted beyond a coffee in the morning, which she was fine about. Sex with no strings became her rule.
But that morning, the man in her bed who said his name was Johnny, offered to help clear up, and when he’d done so, took her out for brunch, and walked back with her to her apartment along the shoreline of Fresh Creek Basin. He came back inside, and they watched a movie. Later she cooked an omelette and some sauté potatoes for them both, and they drank the remains of the wine from the night before. He said he had to go at 9:00 p.m., and he did, saying he’d call.
Frankie shrugged as she’d closed the door. A great day, she thought. He’s different, unlike any man I’ve met. She shook her head. But I’ll never see him again. Of that I’m sure.
Otto and Frankie is due out on September 4th. More-