Authors: Ashley Pullo
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Humor, #Women's Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Contemporary Fiction, #Humor & Satire, #General Humor, #Romance
by Ashley Pullo
By Ashley Pullo
. . . . . .
Copyright © 2013 by Ashley Pullo
Cover Design © Nick Fantini
eBook formatting by Erika Q. Stokes
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This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, incidents and places are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead or actual events are entirely coincidental.
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thank you to my awesome Bridge Brigade: Nick, Erika, Jamie, Ceilidhe and my very own Ad-rock. Thank you to my parents for allowing eighties television to educate me and nineties music to inspire me. My amazing children that
I’m famous, but still call me
– I love you two! Proper salutes to my consultants, Boat Pusher DJ and Captain Matthew Hammond; both gracious and kind while assisting me with silly questions. Thank you to the overachieving GHS Class of ’96 – bringing a whole new meaning to the term slackers and reminding me that the ’90s were COOL.
Thank you to my fans. The Intermission started as a simple project to get Natalie into an expensive apartment . . . The Interlude accomplished that task, but you still wanted more! Your encouragement and kind words are the catalyst in prompting me to write . . . and write . . . and basically giving into any requests you ask. So thank you! I can’t imagine the series without this new direction and I have all of the bridge dwellers to thank.
Natalie’s List of Necessary French
Où sont les hommes célibataires?
Where are the single men?
J’ai besoin d’un plus grand verre du vin.
I need a bigger glass of wine.
Fils de pute!
Son of a bitch!
Y faut pas êt’ si bête.
Don’t be an idiot.
September 16, 2002
I have exactly two hours to learn French. I’m such a twit for putting
proficiency in the romance languages
as part of my skill set. But shit, what kind of employer even looks at that the bottom of a résumé? Frankly, my francophone slang is neither romantic nor proficient, and there’s no freaking way I know how to create a MS Power Point.
When the secretary to the Vice President of the French Institute called to schedule my interview, she ended the conversation with five minutes of frou-frou French, from which I gathered they were very excited to have a Canadian liaison, or she was a fan of the movie
and Canadians are a bunch of hosers. Fuck. I mean, Putain!
I need this job, plain and simple. Je besoin de . . . ? Oh yeah, clair et simple. There, I nailed it. Maybe I should have paid more attention in my university classes instead of nursing violent hangovers of trashcan punch. Or, maybe my advisor could have told me that honesty on a résumé is an integral part of employment, instead of picking at her cuticles for twenty minutes. I’m honest, well blunt is more like it, but I filter my most of my daily conversation! Je m’en fou.
“Natalie?” Mom has this annoying Disney fairy godmother chirp, sweet but ineffective. She knocks on the door, but I remain silent. Even if I don’t answer, like if I’m busy in my room slitting my wrists or masturbating, she’ll continue talking. “Natalie, sweetie? What time is your interview? Your father will be happy to drive you to the City! Or we could take the train and then go shopping! Natalie?” Zut!
I pick up my high school cheerleading megaphone and answer her back in a deep, raspy chant. “The interview is in Midtown at two. I can manage. Go Mustangs.”
Okay Nat, concentrate. French, French, French cuffs, French fries, French perfume, French liqueur, French manicure. Focus you nitwit! Ah ha, I spot my bootleg copy of
and pop it in my VHS player . . . I can watch it without the subtitles and at least be in the
ooh la la
Mmmm, that narrator’s voice is so sexy. French men really know how to make their words vibrate into a tingly pitch. A guy could totally recite some Sartre between my thighs and I would probably blow an orgasmic gasket. I like Audrey Tautou’s haircut, very chic and European, and she totally has the cheekbones for it. My cheekbones are bite-size apples and my face is round; long hair definitely works best for me.
I swivel around on my little vanity stool circa 1990s Teen furniture and study my features in the mirror. I have a nice tan from lounging around the pool all summer and my hair has gorgeous streaks of gold. My eyes look blue when I’m tan and will never be as green as the rest of my family, but they are still quite an asset.
I twist my hair into a low bun but decide against the librarian ’do and opt to flat-iron my massive waves of hair. I can hear my parents mumbling downstairs about my predicament, Mom always defending my right to be an independent woman searching for my own way and my dad pretending to oppose her, but secretly dishing out whatever I ask for. They have been horribly annoying lately and treat me like a cranky teenager, but they’ve also been supportive in my quest for the perfect City job. In fact, my folks are pretty cool and I’m lucky to have a quirky yet compassionate relationship with Judy and Dave. I only hope I can make them proud some day but what I really hope is that Mom remembered to buy me a box of
with the tiny strawberries.
It’s my dream to live in Manhattan like Samantha Jones, planning large parties and speaking for the ill-spoken. You would think with an unfiltered mouth like mine that I would be the last person to represent fuckups, but I actually excel at remedying
(there’s some fucking French) behavior. I’m dying to live Downtown with all the sexy single men, spending my evenings in fancy restaurants and my weekends exploring the more cultured hot spots. I want to find the man of my dreams and live in a loft and take cooking classes and buy expensive shoes and be mistaken for a model and be on the cover of Forbes and party with some rock stars and basically be the entire compilation of
Sex in the City
. But until then, I’m rooted in Sucksville, Connecticut, with a plethora of Polo shirts and tennis clubs at my disposal. Fils de salope!
I go to my closet and search for the most frenchy thing I own, whatever the hell that means . . . or maybe I could dress as a mime and pretend to be mute! I pick a dark purple pencil skirt and cream chiffon tank. If it wasn’t a blazing September day, I would wear my zigzag-patterned stockings, but this weather demands the bare minimum in clothing. I layer on some pearls and perfume, and grab my small alligator clutch and matching pumps. A small dab of lip gloss and a little mascara and I’m all set for my Translation Inquisition.
I tiptoe down the flight of stairs carrying my pumps and purse but fail to escape the “go get ’ems” by my optimistic parents.
Mom opens her arms for a hug, “Natalie, you look beautiful! We are so proud of you! Today is your day to shine! Always smile and be gracious!” Oh for Christ sake, she needs to pull back on her Oprah-moments.
“Nat, what your mother is trying to say – no matter what happens, you always have a place here with us and a job waiting for you at the office.” Hilarious, I’m not quite cut out for commodities and such. Or working for my dad. Or living with my parents. Or shooting the shit with my mom.
“Guys, I will find a job and be outta here in a few months. Trust me. Now, where are my boxes of schoolbooks?” I dash to the kitchen to grab a Diet Snapple from the refrigerator and study the Metro North train schedule pinned to the memo board. “Shit, holy fuck, I need to be on the train in ten minutes!”
“Language Natalie!” Mom shakes her head and scrunches her nose. Even though my mom has never been south of the Mason-Dixon, she firmly believes I could be the next debutante of Savannah if I watched my vulgar mouth.
Dad scurries to the garage, fondling for his keys nervously. “I’ll drive you, the boxes are in the garage. Let’s go, Nat!” I chase behind him, ignoring mom’s plight for another hug and rummage through the first dusty box. Anatomy, Philosophy, some shitty paperbacks, yes! I find something en français!
“Okay, I’m ready. Let’s go!” I plop down in the passenger seat and instantly adjust the air-conditioning in my direction, hogging the frigid coolness of the entire car.
“Natalie, I’m not backing out until you buckle up.” Merde! Vas te faire foutre!
“Fine, I’m buckled, now drive!” I snap in the seatbelt and put on my sunglasses. It’s exactly a four minute drive to the station, but there’s no doubt Dad will chat me up until all the energy is sucked right out of me.
“Have you talked to Chloe? I’m sure I could convince Marty to let her stay with us. You girls could be women of the night in New York City.” He smiles goofily, not understanding what he just implied.
“Women of the night are hookers, but you’re probably right, Uncle Marty would totally be cool with his daughter and niece running a brothel.” I glance out the window at the Greenwich mansions disguised as unpretentious cottages. Family homes, mainly, because there are absolutely no single men in this town, only married men looking to bang the hot Canadian.
When we moved to Connecticut, it wasn’t really a big deal at the time because I was going to college and I would never really call this place my home. I have maybe two girlfriends and they’re both bitches. I dated a guy down the street last summer, but holy shit he was boring with all his talk of golf and his constant need for me to pet his cock. I have to get out of here soon or one of those wood-shingled mini-mansions will be my coffin.