J. J. Massa tells us about a woman in a man’s realm.
Hi, Desiree and Hi to everyone visiting here!
Thanks so much for letting me stop over. Way to go on the recent release of Overnight Sensation and the anthology SWITCH! You’re burning it up, aren’t you?
As for me, I have a few books on the way, and one just out. I’ll get to that. First, the interview questions. What interview questions, you ask?
I’ve been interviewed a couple of times recently. Honestly, I don’t always know how to answer. In two recent interviews, I noticed I answered a question differently than on the last one. The interviewers are two different people and one hasn’t happened yet. Still, I guess that proves I’m a bit changeable.
The interviews do serve a real purpose though. An author isn’t floundering and trying to figure out what someone else’s blog followers might want. That’s a good thing. What if you don’t really want to know about my neighbor Tom and the ongoing debate about how we are not dating? And I’m not not-dating, either. If you don’t know what I mean by that, good. :- )
Since Desiree didn’t ask me anything, I went to her site and read a little about her. With her colorful history, I thought she might like to know what odd, irregular, or different things I might have done in my lifetime.
One thing I’ve done that can vaguely be considered “a woman in a man’s realm” took place before I was very old. Many of you won’t be familiar with the name Bill “Maverick” Golden. He’s famous for being the owner and driver of “The Little Red Wagon,” a Dodge drag racing/exhibition truck based on the Dodge A100.
Mr. Golden took that truck to Guinness Book of World Records glory in 1977 by performing the longest wheelstand in history, at least at that time. My involvement with the man and his truck is much less glorious.
He lived right behind a restaurant my parents owned in the mid -seventies. The thing is, I had the most terminal crush on his mechanic. James. The mechanic’s name was James. I haunted the place and was eventually pressed into service –even paid every so often.
I can’t remember every bit of that time, but I do remember how tall and thin James was, and that he had to wear boots all the time because his ankles had been injured or something. I remember the heartbreak I experiences when they went on the road, and how completely blown away, and moved I felt the first time I got a postcard from James while he and Bill were on the road. Though not a great correspondent, he did send me cards or letters, and even called now and then. For a young man free of Arkansas and his very large family of sisters–he had at least four of them–the consideration he showed me, in retrospect, is amazing.
I also remember that the Torqueflite™ Transmission turned out to be much heavier than I ever suspected. Little girls torn between a first crush and tomboy-hood should steer clear of heavy lifting as a way to show off.
One other thing I’ve done that could qualify as odd, irregular or different, is something you really don’t want to hear. I say that because it includes singing. I have a horrible singing voice, which doesn’t usually stop me around the house. In public, I keep my vocal stylings to myself. Except for that one time. I’m pretty sure the singer I was dating at the time, and me, were both trashed. That’s all I can come up with. While I’m not a proponent of public drunkenness, I’ll be forever grateful that the audience, too, enjoyed a few too many libations that night. It was the early ’80s. Folks did those things back then. Legally, even.
Moving on, here’s where I tell you what I’ve written recently and try to interest you in it. So here goes:
Art & Soul
by J.J. Massa
Oliver Crane is a success. He enjoys making movies– losing himself in a new role every few months. Acting allows him to express so many facets of his nature. Dark and intense, he lives his work as the screen’s ideal leading man. What woman wouldn’t want to spend the night in his bed? For that matter, how many men could say they didn’t want him?
Not Thorbjörn Frisk. Or he wouldn’t deny it, if anyone bothered to ask him. A Swedish artist who immigrated to America in his late teens, Tor often loses himself in his work, avoiding the harsh realities of impatient and intolerant people who have no use for a stuttering sculptor who barely speaks English.
Each man has invested his very soul into his art. What will it cost in the end?
Tor was up to his elbows in plaster, clay, and muck when he heard the disturbance outside. Forcibly ignoring the racket, he immersed himself in finding the rhythm of the piece of art in front of him. The sculpture was a multi-media undertaking commissioned by the wife of a prominent local businessman.
As a rule of thumb, the art trade was competitive if you were into that sort of thing, which neatly ruled Tor out. Born Thorbjörn Matthias Frisk in the Östergötland municipality of Sweden, his family had moved to New York when he was seventeen.
Tor had struggled to fit in with his American peers for many years. This had proved to be impossible in the long run, of course. He was just too different. Though he began to pick up the language here, Swedish would always be his first language. Thus, it would forever be the language he thought in. Where he was from, creativity was highly prized, and nobody cared a whit about sexual orientation.
Things were different here. With a shake of his head, he stepped back to view his project. It was only then that he heard the pounding on his studio door.
“Komma in!” he called absently, circling the huge sculpture, assessing what it was and what it might become. As he reached the point where he’d been working, Tor began to back up for a broader view, bumping unexpectedly against something solid.
“What the hell?” a strange voice shouted. “What’re doing? You got…sludge all over me!”
The new voice and unexpected impact caught Tor by surprise, causing him to stumble, grabbing onto the now-gaping stranger. Only, this wasn’t a stranger—not really. While he’d never met the actor, everyone knew Oliver Crane.
Dark hair, square jaw, piercing blue eyes, muscles in all the right places, the man was a god. Currently, however, he was a god covered in what amounted to mud. Sure, it was expensive mud, but mud just the same. Tor, on the other hand, was covered in… Well, he was covered by Oliver Crane. He definitely had the best part of the deal—or so he thought, until he looked into those raging blue eyes.
“Um,” he squeaked, before trying again. “Hallo. What brings you to my verkstad?” At the arching of one dark brow, Tor quickly supplied the translation. “Uh, Verkshop. Stu-d’yo. Studio.”
The burning eyes narrowed before their owner fluidly lifted himself from atop Tor. Before Tor had time to miss his presence, Oliver reached down pulled him up, setting him quickly on his feet.
“I’m lost,” the famous voice snapped impatiently. “Your neighbors seemed to think you were the go-to guy for directions.”
“I-I cannot imagine why,” Tor mumbled pushing his overlong bangs aside. “ Vart går du?” he asked. “Where going?” he tried again. He’d been in this country long enough; he should be fluent by now. Except his thoughts and words always reverted to his native tongue when flustered or nervous. Worse than that, his stutter increased as well.
Intense eyes studied him, pinning him in place until Tor could barely breathe. “I’m going to Yankee Stadium,” the man ground out finally.
“Oh! This I know,” Tor announced, pleased. “I can show…”
“Can you just write out some directions?” The actor paused, sweeping Tor with another scathing look. “Just draw me a map.”
The words might not have been intended to hurt, but they did.
Hurriedly turning away, Tor shuffled through random papers on his cluttered desk. He hated being so bumbling. Art was his world. Art didn’t judge, only accepted.
Stay current & join my Coffee Time Newsletter
Sign up at www.jjmassa.com.
Right in the middle of the page–can’t miss it!