By: Bruce Levine
Phillip closed the book. He’d been reading for a couple of hours and his eyes were tired.
Friday would be a good night, he thought as he rubbed his eyes.
He knew he should have been working, but the book was good and he hadn’t been able to put it down. Now he knew that he should get back to work, but his mind kept returning to Friday night.
What was so special about Friday night, he wondered and why did he think it would be a good night? Why different from any other night?
He looked at his appointment book and almost became snow blind from the empty white pages. Not a single entry.
He hated technology and had never given in to giving up his trusty appointment book in favor of an electronic version. Now he wondered if a machine would be better than those empty white pages staring at him – mocking him.
Of course empty white pages also meant more time for writing his novel. It was going well and, at the rate he was working, it would be finished in a matter of days. His publisher had been glad to hear that. His agent too, although she was more his friend than agent, except when it came to playing hard ball with his publisher, then she could pull out all the stops.
Carrie Hollman had been his friend since second grade and when she became a literary agent after college their friendship had been the perfect coupling of agent and writer.
They’d known each other a long time yet it had never crossed the line of friend and agent. All of their dinners together were simply two friends enjoying a good meal as good companions.
Phillip looked at his appointment book and then at the novel, as if he thought that one or both could give him a clue.
He put both down and walked to his desk.
“Why will Friday night be good?” he asked aloud as if to some person who would answer even though no one was there.
He sat down at his desk and started writing.
That had been Tuesday afternoon and nothing changed during the remainder of the week.
Carrie called a couple of times to check on how the book was coming along. His mother called and tried to fix him up with the niece of her next door neighbor who would only be in town that week-end. The car dealership called to ask if he wanted to trade in his car for a new one. Aside from those calls he might have been a monk in an Abbey.
Friday morning arrived and he got up, dressed and spent the day as he usually did – writing. He was right on his projected schedule and felt certain he’d finish the book that week-end, if not sooner. Maybe, he wondered, by tonight – Friday night. Maybe that was what was good about it.
No, he thought. He still had most of the last chapter to write and, besides, finishing a book didn’t constitute a specific good night – finishing a book called for Champagne with Carrie. This was his fourth novel and they’d celebrated writing the two words – The End – three times already.
Friday afternoon wore on and Phillip alternately wrote and read until hunger pursued him and he knew he’d have to order his usual Friday night pizza.
Twenty minutes after he made the call the doorbell rang.
Phillip grabbed his wallet from the kitchen table and went to the front door only when he opened it, instead of the usual pizza delivery boy, there stood the cutest Australian Shepherd puppy with a note tied to his collar –
Let me in, I’m hungry and I want pizza!
On the other end of the leash Carrie smiled and shouted “Happy Birthday!”
He’d forgotten it was his birthday, but Carrie hadn’t. Nor had she forgotten that he wanted a puppy.
Friday night was a good night.
Bruce Levine, a 2019 Pushcart Prize Poetry nominee, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional. Over three hundred of his works are published in over twenty-five on-line journals including Ariel Chart, Halcyon Days, Founder’s Favourites, Literary Yard; over thirty print books including Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Dual Coast Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. Six eBooks are available from Amazon.com. His work is dedicated to the loving memory of his late wife, Lydia Franklin.