Many years ago, I wrote an essay entitled To Touch Real Magic and after this blog entry, I would encourage you to read it as it is my major apologia for writing.
But what triggered the crafting of the essay is a story in itself.
Back in the early 90's when I started writing in earnest, I wrote for a small group of friends, using ourselves as characters in the stories. They were silly attempts at comedy and sophomoric at best. One of the fictional characters was Molly Ladanyi, a newspaper reporter who was something of a klutz and getting herself into very embarrassing situations.
Anyway, I so enjoyed writing the segment below, I actually felt guilty over putting a fictional character in such a humiliating situation. Also, I confess I was rather shocked at my own immature audacity.
So I apologized to my friends and the one wrote back immediately saying if he was physically present, he would slap some sense back in me.
Thus, the essay was born. You really ought to read it.
So, with the warning that what follows is tawdry silliness, allow me to introduce you to my favorite literary creation:
"I am so sorry, Madam, but your luggage has been temporarily misplaced."
Molly Ladanyi sighed and started to fill out the proper forms. In her first thirty minutes in San Juan, her traditional bad luck had once again reared its ugly head. Fortunately, she only expected to be in Puerto Rico just long enough to write the article her boss had assigned her and then she could bask in the tropical sun for a few days and follow her own personal agenda.
Dressed primly in a peasant blouse and ankle-length skirt, Molly picked up her two cameras, her laptop, and purse and walked through the airport customs searching for the men who were to meet her. Her last run-in with them at a haunted house in Maryland had turned into an embarrassing disaster. This time, she said to herself, I will convince them I am a professional news reporter with class.
She saw two of them waiting for her at the bottom of the long escalator. She pulled up their names from memory; Joshua Nozzi and R. Austin Smith. She waved serenely and stepped on the escalator, setting her heavy purse by her feet. Smiling and standing behind the security gate, they waved back.
When Molly approached the bottom of the escalator, she gracefully knelt to pick up her purse allowing the hem of her ankle-length skirt to become trapped by the motorized stairs as they disappeared into the floor. With all the irresistible force of the cosmos, her skirt, held up only by an elastic band, was pulled down around her hips and thighs.
Screaming wildly, trying to hold on to her purse while clutching at her modesty, she lost her balance and went sprawling on the floor at the bottom of the escalator. Within heartbeats, the inexorable motion of the machinery pulled her skirt off where it disappeared into the floor. The terminal was as silent as death except for the sound of motorized gears shredding her pride into individual fibers.
Suddenly, the silence was shattered when one little boy pointed and laughed. "Mira!" he cried with joy. "Mira! Es Donald Duck!"
Near tears, Molly stumbled to her feet, gathered her stuff and walked to the gate with as much dignity as she could muster, wishing she had selected plain panties that morning instead of bikini underwear bearing the repeated face of a Disney icon. Sadly, her peasant blouse was slightly cut in a midriff style which barely covered her navel let alone her taste in lingerie.
Joshua and Austin stood in stunned silence, their eyes irresistibly drawn to the small duck faces that maniacally stared back at them. "Strange," Austin muttered to Joshua. "Their eyes seem to follow you no matter where she moves."
"Shall we go, gentlemen?" Molly asked icily, trying not to break down in tears in front of these men she had wanted so badly to impress. Joshua motioned toward the door. Leading the way, Molly walked out into the bright Puerto Rican sunlight ignoring the laughter and jeers and delighted cries of "Es Donald Duck!"
ADDENDUM: Karma has reared its ugly head. After posting this, all my Google ads are centered on women's underwear. How am I to explain this to my wife?