An Excerpt from “Bohemian America”

I began writing this in the final days of February 2020.  I was inspired to write it by listening to NPR and later, I took a long bath and it started coming to me.  It is about a young violinist named Alexandra Barbu who chance meets and subsequently falls in love with a tortured visual artist named Carlisle Snowden.  They are both troubled, but somehow they manage to bring out the best in each other.  I haven’t gotten that far with it and there are many parts that I cannot publically show with a good conscience.  However, the story of how they meet is quite appropriate so I will be sharing it in this piece.

Here is it without further ado:

…Alexandra rolled her eyes and then left with her uncle.

They walked out of the abandoned building and into his single cab older GMC truck.

“I know that those in your band smoke that dope. I better not find out that you smoke dope or I will kick you out of my house.”

“No, I don’t smoke dope. I’m already fat and if I smoke dope, I’ll likely get fatter and have wrinkles as well.”

“Well, the fact that you are fat means you will never make it in the music industry. So you should go back to school or get a real job like everyone else.”

Alexandra was getting angry, but kept calm and concealed it, saying, “I don’t know, what about Meghan Trainor?”

“I never heard of her,” Her uncle replied.

“That figures, otherwise you wouldn’t have made that ignorant statement.”

“Watch that attitude young lady, you will never be too old for me to backhand you.”

“That’s where you are wrong. If you lay a single finger on me, I will press charges.”

“How dare you! You are riding in my vehicle and staying under my roof and you would press charges on me after all your aunt and I did for you.” There was a tense silence but then he continued, “You know what, give me your money, you owe me for food and rent!”

“I need that money to keep my phone turned on so I can keep in touch with my band,” Alexandra protested.

“Well, that’s too bad. Now give me your money or you can find somewhere else to stay.”

“You’re such a jerk!”

“No, you just need a dose of reality, big time! Now give me your money…”

“I’ll speak to my aunt first,” Alexandra said, pulling out her phone.

“If you call her you can get out right now.”

“Then put me down right here. I’ve had enough of you anyway.”

“Fine, have it your way. Now get out!”

Alexandra unbuckled her seat belt, opened the door and stepped out onto the sidewalk.

Her uncle then flung her violin in its case out the door then said, “And take that stupid instrument with you!”

An artist was standing on the sidewalk painting a portrait of children playing in the sunset and the flying violin knocked down his easel and ruined his painting.

The artist shouted sarcastically, “Thanks a lot you big stupid jerk!”

Alexandra’s uncle sped away.

“Oh, yeah, that’s right. Drive off like the coward you are.” The artist shouted again.

The artist had a look of crushing defeat on his face.

He sat on the steps of his building in a semi fetal position and rocked himself back and forth.

Alexandra walked up to him and said, “I’m so sorry and you are right he is indeed a jerk and a coward.” She set the easel upright then picked up the brushes and jars of paint.

An elderly black lady came outside and said, “Carlisle, I heard you shouting what happened, baby?”

Alexandra spoke up and told her, “It’s partially my fault, ma’am. My uncle was driving me to his house but we had an argument and he kicked me out of his truck. He then threw my violin out as well and it knocked this young man’s easel down and ruined his painting.”

“Well, I’m going to have to call the police then, people can’t just be abandoning minors on a city street.”

“But, I’m not a minor. I’m actually twenty-going-on-twenty-one,” Alexandra said, then continued, “But I do, however, have no place to go.”

The artist spoke, “Wow, I thought I had issues. I’m very blessed compared to you! My name is Carlisle Snowden by the way.”

“You are blessed, Carlisle and your blessings will continue as long as you be a blessing to others. Just remember to keep taking that medicine, keep letting your light of kindness shine to others around you and keep painting those beautiful pictures!” The elderly black lady said.

“It’s nice to meet both of you, I’m Alexandra Barbu.”

The elderly black lady answered her, “You can call me Mother Nellie. I look out for the whole neighborhood and I pray for everybody.” She paused and then said, “Something tells me there was a reason that both of you met.”

Carlisle’s face grew very serious as he looked at her and said, “Mother Nellie, if you’re suggesting what I think you’re suggesting, I believe Alexandra is a bit too young for me.”

“Child, age is just a number. Besides, I know how lonely you are and how you’ve been praying that the Lord send you someone special. She just might be the answer to your prayers! I know you’re one of the few white men in the neighborhood and she is also white. I’m very aware of the racial tension that exists, so I think you and her would be perfect together! While I think mixed babies are beautiful, I know they receive a lot of ill-treatment in this cruel world.”

“You don’t look that old anyway,” Alexandra said.

“I just made thirty-four,” Carlisle replied.

“Wow. I thought you would have been twenty-two or twenty-three, twenty-five, tops. I mean, you are very cute!”

“Well, thanks. I get that a lot. But, see, I’m probably too old for you.”

“What if I told you that I’m very mature for a twenty-going-on-twenty-one-year old and I do like older guys?!”

“I don’t know. You are very pretty and you seem sweet, but I have a lot of reverence for you and…”

“You’re making me blush! It’s a good thing though if you have reverence for me, that means you would treat me well.”

“Yes, that’s true, I suppose.”

“We also have a lot in common, I mean we’re both artists in our own respects. I bet I could play my violin while you paint and inspire you to create some beautiful portraits or I could study your previous paintings and be inspired to play some beautiful music.”

“Come to think of that, as Mother Nellie said, I have been praying that the Lord send me a significant other, and I would want my relationship with her to have exactly those attributes. Maybe age is just a number after all.”

“Well, duh, silly!” Alexandra replied, then continued soberly, “But am I too fat for you, though?”

“As I said before, I think you’re very pretty, weight included! And more importantly, you have a beautiful heart and a brilliant mind!”

“You’re making me blush even more, but I feel so giddy!”

“I can see you blushing and I think it’s adorable! I’d like to kiss you where you are blushing, but I don’t want to overstep my bounds.”

“Aw, that is so sweet. By the way, you wouldn’t be overstepping your bounds. I’d want you to kiss me. In fact, come here and kiss me right now!”

Carlisle walked off the steps and onto the sidewalk.

Mother Nellie said, “I’ll leave you two alone.” She then went inside.

Alexandra grabbed Carlisle then pulled him to her. She wrapped her arms around him and placed her hands on his buttocks. Carlisle gently held Alexandra by her love handles then kissed both her cheeks. She smiled sweetly, then closed her eyes and pecked him on the lips. He pecked her lips in return. Their lips then locked and their mouths sucked and pressed on each other. Then Alexandra buried her face in Carlisle’s chest and he kissed her forehead.

The sun began to set and the Mercury began to drop.

Carlisle and Alexandra began to shiver.

“I can take you up to my apartment if you wish,” Carlisle said.

“Of course. Where else would I go?”

“I’m just making sure. You know I revere you.”

“I know. You’re very sweet!”

Carlisle then picked up his art supplies and opened the building entrance door for Alexandra…

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