Charm City Project

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
The possible start of a novel about my last summer living in maryland. Not sure what genre to put it in, any feedback would be helpful.

Submitted: May 21, 2008

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Submitted: May 21, 2008



Grace left her bed the way she had found it. The plaid stitches, and olive green fabric twisted about in the glow of the midmorning sun. A motorcycle drove by the second story window, it was eleven o'clock, and Baltimore was awake. An old mattress in the corner of her studio apartment served as the high-point in an otherwise empty room. Incense and ash lay dusted over piles of rejected clothing, and spilled nail polish.Beer cans and cigarette butts littered the stiff grey carpet, while rum and fermentation hung stagnant in the air. It was a mess. My own contribution was a testament to the fact that last night could have gone much better.

We didn't fuck.

Not that my ultimate intention of the evening would have been consummation. I consider myself a bit more of a romantic then to put it so coldly, but sleeping alone on the rough shag only six feet from where my crush lay with another man was considerably less then ideal. After all, Grace had called me at least twelve times in the previous five days to make sure I would show up to her "end of the semester throw down". Teasing me, telling me that she wanted to show me off to all her friends, that it wouldn't be the same without me. Surely I was lead to believe something separated me from the other guys in attendance. But at the moment I wasn't sure of exactly what I had expected venturing alone into her life the night before. Whatever it was, it didn't happen.

She was in the bathroom when I woke up

The guy Grace did fuck was gone, and I was on the floor trying to understand my purpose for being there. My wallet and keys were next to me where I had left them, but my cellphone was gone.

My back hurt, and my eyes itched.

I could hear Grace on the phone, (my phone), in the bathroom. I knew this because the door was cracked and I could see her fixing her hair. For a moment I stayed there starring, fixated on the half naked girl. She had deep blue eyes and was naturally tan, even this early in spring. Her straight brown hair sat atop a perfect teenage body that was five something tall, and weighed one hundred twenty something pounds. Her soft slender physic seemed to stretch when she leaned over the sink to reach for the top of the medicine cabinet, and the tight fabric of her black bikini underwear hugged the perfect contours of her backside. Her only physical imperfection was a scar from the discarded counterpart to her one remaining lip ring.

Grace was the kind of girl you would sing about.

She heard me stirring, paused, and walked out wearing only a bra, and a that very small black bikini.

Grace knew what she was doing... Grace was very good at what she was doing...

"I'm using your phone" she said as she bent over to find a pair of suitable jeans.

I looked at her through the one eye that wasn't blinded by the midmorning light, and managed a weak, hungover, grunted acknowledgment.

She found a pair of what would prove to be (very) low cut dark blue jeans, and struggled to fit her petite frame into the tight denim. All the while continuing her anonymous phone conversation.

I sat up against the cool white wall, and scratched the spot where my jacket (makeshift pillow) had created a temporary part in the side of my scalp. The $3.45 in singles and change left from a late beer run was still stuffed in my pocket, crumpled with its receipt.

Grace, now half dressed, grabbed a few things from her floor, and returned to the bathroom. Leaving the door open this time.

She is the kind of girl you would sing about.

Grace would have you believe there are no other girls like her. Grace is hipper than you, Grace is hotter than you, and Grace is younger than you. Grace will call you at three o'clock in the morning to go cruising, and one o'clock in the afternoon to go drinking. Grace will hug you, Grace will put her head on your lap, and Grace will hold your hand. Grace will let you massage her bare back. Grace will make out with you once every few months on her own terms, and you will never ever say no. She defies the trend, she fights conformity, and does whatever the hell she wants. Grace has a studio apartment in the city barely a month after graduating high school. Grace is everyones best friend, and everyone gladly takes turns being Grace's best friend. Grace will never love you.

There are, in fact, many girls like Grace.

Still in a bra, she emerged from the bathroom, tossed me my phone and walked across the floor without saying a word. I sat quietly, still not knowing my place.

"Whats goin' on?" I mumbled, In an attempt to break the silence.

"I'm meeting Ryan for lunch" she replied bluntly as she rummaged through her closet. "We're going to fells point to take pictures, and eat sushi."

I have no clue who Ryan is.

But I hate him.

She seemed so indifferent to my presence, as if i really was just someone who passed out on her floor instead of leaving impaired like everyone else the night before. Somewhere over the course of the previous evening I had lost her favor to a very dirty, very trashy, very late 20's neighbor who had wandered across the hall half way through the party. This was a different girl then the one that had so heavily pursued me.

After a few very long and silent moments, she found the shirt she was looking for. Facing away from me, she slowly reached back to unlatch her bra and slipped it off her smooth, tan, eighteen year old body.

For a moment I stopped breathing. Odds are this would be the highlight of my day.

Topless now with her back towards me, she tossed the lingerie across the room, making sure i only saw what she wanted me to see. She carefully cocked her head back to make eye contact and asked if I'd be leaving soon.

Grace knew what she was doing... Grace was very good at what she was doing...

I told her that I probably should be leaving, since I really did have band practice two counties over in a few hours.

Without responding she slipped the tight white shirt on and went about the rest of her now considerably less interesting routine.

This would be the last time I would ever see Grace without clothes on. If I had known that then odds are I would have spent the next few months differently.


Life is very different when you look back on it. You filter out the unpleasant, the regrettable, and the mundane. You reflect on an idealistic representation of a time that never really existed, and spend a whole new reality reflecting on a dream. As reality is responsible for every justifiable break up, hindsight is responsible for every unjustifiable make up.

I am hindsight's bitch.

Ten minutes later I was walking down broad street towards my car. It was in a large parking garage off the inner harbor. Baltimore was a deceivingly artistic city. Being in such close proximity to DC, it had always lacked a national identity of its own. in recent decades it had become over run by hipsters, and I was ok with that. Few cities east of the Dakotas offer the sheer element of cool by simply walking their streets. When I was in Baltimore, I was different, more confident.... I was older.

I was in a band.

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