Fun with Readers’ Names

Fun with Readers’ Names September 23, 2019

I have many readers about whom I know nothing except their names, and I sometimes like to fantasize personal narratives for them based only on that one fact.

Megan Marie Grefenstette is a fave of mine. I choose to believe she is the Fourth Baronness of Alpenheim, dissolute expatriate Austrian Royal.

FrNic Ventura, on the other hand, cruises Route 66 in his 62 Corvette with a Les Paul guitar, Ann-Margret as his faithful secretary and nothing but two fists and the grace of God to help him face the gallery of tough guys, hard luck cases, and grifters he meets in *his* parish, the American Road.

Rex Mantooth is the dashing heir to an oil fortune. With coiffed hair and graying temples, he surveys the bevy of beauties at tonight’s Playboy party over the rim of his brandy snifter, judiciously weighing which of them he will favor with his attention this evening. His grey eyes, slightly lined with care but still bright with the glint of youth, light on the auburn hair and delicate features of Ameetha Widdershins, the famous daughter of Tea Tycoon, Augustus Widdershins. She is laughing at some light jest her rapier wit has given to set the party alight as she hovers near the fireplace, one eye on the gold-framed mirror on the wall above it. Adjusting his silver cufflinks on his silk smoking jacket, he saunters casually toward his prey. The hair on her arms raises slightly. She knows she has been seen. Her plan is working perfectly.

Lance Spott, oncologist, studied the melanoma on his patient’s back with a trained eye and a heart burning with the memory of his mother’s disfigured face. Now it was payback time.

Reader Jason Corsetti begs me to do him and I oblige:

Jason Corsetti had worked in glass throughout his teen years. But his deepest loves were the Brooklyn Dodgers and his unrequited love, Lisa Bracco Spinelli. He had a helluva fast ball and, as the sand melted to liquid in the kiln, he would spend his spare minutes imagining himself out on mound, striking out DiMaggio. New York would pour out on to the field in exultation, hoist him on their shoulders and carry him to the stands where Lisa sat like his Beatrice, enthroned in glory. And then, her face framed in jet black hair and her deep brown eyes regarding him with wonder and respect, her full lips would part slightly and she would whisper, “It’s you. It was always you!” And she would kiss him like a ray of sunshine falling on his upturned face on the first day of summer.

Reader Adriana Pena writes:

How do you fantasize me? Do I have fruit on my head like Carmen Miranda?

Adriana Pena had burned up the track at Yale Law. Graduating at 25, she was immediately snapped up by one of the biggest firms in Manhattan where she had prosecuted and locked away some of the biggest crime bosses in New York history. She liked her coffee black as the night streets she walked when she needed to think through a case. Her father, a Boston cop, had taught her how to handle a .45 when she was seven years old and none of the local hoods were stupid enough to bother her. Sometimes, as she sipped her highball and looked out at the city from the balcony of her penthouse, she found herself unaccountably dreaming of a life of singing with fruit on her head, like Carmen Miranda….

Reader Nick Hardesty scolds:

Mark, don’t you have a book to write?

Nick Hardesty or “Hardassty” as his affectionate students called him, was the toughest teacher in St. Bonaventure’s, an inner city school full of drugs, crime, and violence. He had been hand-picked by the bishop to go in .and shake things up with his new methods. And though there had been conflict with the gangs, they respected him with his trademark combination of baseball bat discipline and lullabies. “Shouldn’t you be working on your book?” was his familiar refrain. He had single handedly raised the GPA by 25%.

Nick replies, “I will cherish this forever.”

Reader Alexis Victoria writes:

I feel a little left out (hint hint)

Alexis Victoria’s long red nails played lightly over the proofs from today’s photo shoot. “All the models are so skinny these days. Must they starve themselves so?” she thought, biting her lip, which was as red as her nails. She got up and paced her office, looking out at the view of London at her feet, a thousand meters below. Sometimes she wondered if life as the Editor-in-Chief of REGAL, the world’s leading fashion magazine, was worth the sacrifices she had made to reach the top. She thought about Rex Mantooth’s proposal and that wonderful night under the stars of the Riviera. She thought about her days growing up as a dairy maid on her widowed father’s Wisconsin farm. She pulled her ermine and purple cape around her shoulders a little bit tighter and her face, soft and pale for just a moment in the warm light of memory, assumed once again its cool look of aloof majesty that made her the most desired and unreachable woman in Europe. “Enough!,” she said aloud. “Brexit is going to be a bitch and I mean to show Boris just what a real woman is capable of! When all this is over, *I* shall be the true-born Queen of all the Britons!”

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