Confession: I had to place this blog on hold until I hear back from my editor. He is completing his novel and we seem to be having a bit of conflict. I believe it might be pressure relating to his completing his novel. I am hoping to get the final draft of my novel by year’s end.
I did want to thank you all for hanging in there and continued support. Once I get the final draft I will be more consistent with my posts. I did want to thank you with a holiday card and another excerpt from the novel. I want to wish all of you a healthy and productive holiday season and New Year.
I do appreciate your comments and feedback. Share the love.
Excerpt from the new Novel ” Cleveland” by SH Begleiter
The Roommate ©SHBegleiter2020
A week passed and I almost forgot that my sister was moving out. I was on the Upper
East Side knocking down old walls with a sledgehammer when Derek came up to me and
announced, “Well, I think it is all set. I just got off the phone with your sister and she said
you will have your new roommate by the beginning of September.”
“What?” I said irritably. “Don’t I get to meet him first to see if I want him as my
Derek put his hands up defensively.
“Rachel only told me that she had a friend who had a brother that was about your
age and was looking to find a place in Manhattan. I am sure he is fine. Your sister
wouldn’t set you up with a bad roommate.”
“So I have no say?”
I looked at Derek waiting for some response. He smiled.
“I guess not. It will be fine. I am sure he’s OK. According to your sister he is
studying psychology and comes from a good family from Long Island. Plus he is your
“What’s his name?” I asked.
“Howweeee,” Derek said with his best Long Island accent.
“Howie” turned out to be a guy from Rosemont, Long Island, an affluent Jewish
community. Out in public he fashioned himself the young Freud, with thick black beard,
and he was always wearing a tie and a vest with a pocket watch. In the apartment he
transmogrified into a Hassid, stripped down to his white Fruit of the Loom T-shirt
(stained under the arm pits), ankle-high sweat pants, and white socks.
For the newcomer, surviving New York is all about making rent. Even though
Derek employed me part-time, I needed another job. Going through the Village Voice I
came upon an ad that read, “Sell over the phone. No experience needed. Good pay.” I
called the number, I showed up for a job interview, and I was hired. I was now a sweettalking,
sell-anything, clock-watching telephone solicitor. I was also getting very
depressed. This was not why I came to New York.
My lifeline to the world had always been my camera. I was Cartier-Bresson,
Irving Penn, Richard Avedon. Yet I was working as a telephone solicitor selling
subscriptions to Reader’s Digest to old women in Kansas. It paid the rent but it was
excruciating. For hour after hour, day after day, I watched the second hand of the clock
slowly moving towards my liberation. Worse, I was good at the job! I almost always met
my quota early.
I lasted about three weeks before I was fired for using the phones to call my
friends around the country.
Walking up Broadway to my apartment I pondered what to do next. I needed a job
to pay my rent. I wanted to get paid taking photos. I had a college degree and college
When I got home I found a message on my answering machine. It was my friend
Mark, who was free that night and wanted to get together with me. He said he had a