Here’s another snippet from the book I’m currently working on. I’m still putting it on the computer, which makes this part of the second draft.
He took another hit from the bottle and jumped, startled by the sound of his father’s voice. Frank watched the old man sit at the table of his Hollywood home.
‘That’s a grand girl you have there,’ his father said. ‘That was a grand ceremony.’ He opened a lite beer. ‘Your mother would have been proud.’ He lifted the beer bottle in toast and bowed his head. ‘Hail Mary, full of Grace, fell on the floor and broke her face.’ He put the beer bottle to his lips and tilted his head back, and then spat it out almost a quickly. ‘Jesus,’ he said, ‘that’s awful watery beer.’ He turned to Frank’s wife, Carrie, sat beside him, ‘Is this what they’re drinking in Hollywood these days?’
Carrie answered without taking her eyes off Frank. He would pay for putting her in this situation. ‘We don’t keep alcohol in the house,’ she said.
‘Apparently I have a drinking problem,’ Frank said.
‘We’re not getting into this now,’ Carrie said, ‘My daughter is asleep in the next room.
The old man laughed, ‘Shure isn’t she Francie’s daughter as well.’
Frank turned smiling in triumph to his wife, but she wasn’t there. He was back in his childhood kitchen; empty beer bottles on the table around him and a locket in his hands. He opened the locket and found the teenage Francie and Mary inside. His eyes moved from picture to picture, surfing a wave of nostalgia. Again he felt the regret that he now realized had been with him most of his life. He pushed the chair back as he struggled to his feet. He took a few steps and tripped, falling to the couch. He lay there looking at the room. Maybe he wouldn’t bother getting up. No. He had to get up. His future depended on it. Mary needed him. As he stood he dropped the locket. He tried to steady himself in order to pick up the locket. He felt, more than heard, the sound of glass breaking, and looking down as he moved his foot, he saw their faces, each in its oval and covered in a network of cracks. In his drunken melancholy he imposed a deeper meaning on this and began to cry. He looked around, not recognizing the room, but with a feeling that he was playing a role. He saw the telephone and his brows knitted together because he didn’t remember it, and for a moment he wasn’t sure what it was for.