Good morning(at least it is morning at the towers) Literati
Here is a quote from Diana Diehl’s wingman, John Steinbeck:
“The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man’s proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit—for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.”
—Steinbeck Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
Our own Diana Diehl has entered our contest Wing Nuts and the sleazy bar seems to be populated entirely by Steinbeck‘s characters. I suppose we should be grapeful for that and just pet the rabbits and eat the pearloined tortillas.
Cannery Roe—oops!—Row-–double-oops!- THE CANNERY!!
by Diana Diehl
Damn spot. No matter how hard I scrub, it never goes away. No one at The Cannery will ever notice but me. This time of night my regulars are well into their cups, car keys safe behind the bar.
Doc is deep in some tome on crustaceans. He’s sweet on me. I know, and he knows I know. He smiles sometimes when he thinks I’m not looking.
The corner table gets loud. It makes big Lennie edgy. George calms him down.
“Hey, Babe, we’re gettin’ dry.” Danny at the corner table.
“Uh, sorry, Sal. Can we get another bottle?”
I toss a towel over my shoulder and replace the empty Torelli’s with a fresh one.
“Last one for tonight, boys.”
Doc buys me a round. That’s when he walks in. He looks even meaner than I remember.
“Gimme a Midtown Mechanic.”
Never heard of it. I guess I’ll just have to wing it. My hand shakes as I lift the bottle of gin. Like an angel, J.S. walks out of the back. He takes one look at the guy at the bar, and he knows.
“I got this one, Sal.”
I retreat to the stockroom. I feel a mountain of history glaring at my back. After a while, I get the nerve to peek out. I gotta close the joint some time.
The place is empty and sparkling. J.S. nods and hands me my tips.
“Don’t worry. I cleaned up for you.”
be sure to check this out:
11 thoughts on “Sittin’ by the Doc on the (Monterey) Bay”
Should we get out of the boat as it approaches the shore, or wait until it is fully beached? Another Row vs. Wade controversy
I cannot contain my groans.
but you’re a groan woman
Speaking of groans, seeing my story on this page, I can already see three places I could improve it–give it more punch, more emotion. I should have waited longer to submit it.
submit early, submit often
“A mountain of history glaring at my back…” – singularly the winner for the most awesome line I’ve read in this contest thus far, and that’s saying something.
Why thank you!
Diana, great story! I have to agree that “a mountain of history glaring at my back” is superb. Thanks!
I was so glad to see your name, I knew I was in for a treat! I want to agree with the other two comments about history glaring at your back as being a sentence that jumps out when you read the story. All the rules were kept, great story line and vivid characters. I wonder what a “Midtown Mechanic” tastes like. Maybe Thorn can tell us. Didn’t Steinbeck write “East of Eden”?
Totally engrossed in the story – jumped when the phone rang. Good one Diana!
I have to disagree with the consensus about the “history” sentence. The last sentence where Steinbeck admits he cleaned up for her speaks volumns, I would have never thought of it. But, hey, it is why I love to read your shorts…er, I mean your flash…es. Are you on Broadway yet?