Gerald, Chelsea, and Me


Found at

Gerald was a “thirtysomething” hipster who tended toward being impulsive, and spoke in murmurous sentences heavily lasted with words victimized by elision. Passing him on the street, I would have considered him one of those nameless citizens of gentrified neighborhoods, but since he was dating my stepdaughter Chelsea, I was forced to give him more than a passing glance.

She considered him creative, though when I finally met him, it was quite a letdown to discover the impoverished nature of his spirit and character, plus Chelsea had to decrypt virtually every word he spoke.

After our first dinner together at the quaint Asian Fusion restaurant on Bryant and 25th, he mentioned something about an indie film he was editing, and with more than a little stealth, vanished as I paid the bill.

“Now Daddy, don’t judge. It just takes time to get to know Gerald. He’s a very sensitive artist.”

“Darling, I used to hitchhike with Jack Kerouac, and I’ve lost count of the number of times, I’ve gotten drunk and passed out with Hunter S. Thompson, so I’m not exactly a stranger to off-the-wall artists and writers.”

“Then try to understand him.”

“The only reason I’m still alive is I got out of that lifestyle. Jack died at 47 because he drank himself to death, and Hunter committed suicide.”

“He’s not like that.”

“We’ll see.”

“I really love him.”

“I know,” I said sighing.

Chelsea leaned over and gave my wrinkled, battered cheek a kiss. “I love you too, Daddy.”

I retrieved my credit card now that I had dutifully handed over remuneration plus tip. “How about we go out for ice cream.”

“Now, you’re talking.” I fell in love with that smile the moment she first flashed it at me when she was six and I started dating her Mom.

We walked out into the cool Spring San Francisco evening in search of mocha almond fudge and the future. Gerald could wait. Tonight, she was still my little girl.

I wrote this for the Wordle #194 challenge hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to use at least 10 of the 12 words in the “Wordle” in a poem, short story, or other creative work. I used all 12 and bolded them in my story so they are more visible. They are:

  1. Hipster
  2. Impulsive
  3. Elision (n)) the omission of a vowel, consonant, or syllable in pronunciation.)
  4. Stepdaughter
  5. Murmurous
  6. Creative
  7. Letdown
  8. Stealth
  9. Impoverished
  10. Hitchhike
  11. Decrypt
  12. Namelessness

I pretty much let the Wordle create my wee tale, but couldn’t help but involve other counter-culture creative souls from past generations. Given my age, they go back quite a bit.

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