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Living with the Beats

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This is based off of the characters in the movie “Beat” with Norman. I actually watched the movie for the third time last night and had a dream about it. This has some stuff from the movie, but is it’s own thing. And I feel obligated to say that since the movie was inspired by true events, this story doesn’t necessary fall in line with what really happened. My character, Mary, is my own.


I had to go ahead and get this out, but I will get back to the current Daryl story that I’m working on. This was just something that came up unexpectedly J





Living with the Beats




Chapter 1


New York 1957


            The apartment was smoky. People milled around with their drinks in their hands. Several different conversations could be heard throughout. Bill, Mary and Alan sat around the coffee table discussing the next great literary movement when the front door burst open.


“Jesus, I’ve been gone for two years and it’s like I never left,” a young man’s voice came from the entryway.


“Lucien!” Mary exclaimed jumping over the back of the sofa. She ran up to the man and wrapped her arms around his neck. “How does it feel to be a free man?” She asked.


Lucien had his arms wrapped around her waist and face buried in her hair, inhaling her scent. She always smelled of an intoxicating mix of lavender and nicotine. God, how he had missed her. The hardest thing about being in jail was being away from Mary.


“It feel great,” he replied finally releasing his grip on her. As she took a step back she let her hands fall from around his neck a let them rest lightly on his chest. She looked into his crystal blue eyes, seeing that some of their sparkle was no longer there. Killing a man and going to jail for two years will have that affect on someone.


Bill cleared his throat. Lucien and Mary were immediately brought back to the here and now.


“Lucien, what are your plans now?” Bill asked. He was much older than anyone else in their group of friends, but his talent for writing made him popular with the younger crowd, and the fact that he actually got paid for his writing so he was able to afford the booze and pills that his friends were big fans of.


“I’m not sure, Bill,” Lucien said. “I was thinking about joining the Merchant Marines with Jack. Do some traveling and see the world.” He glanced over at Mary to gauge her reaction to his idea. She simply gave a small smile and nodded her head.


“Well, a decision does not need to be made tonight,” Bill started. “Tonight we celebrate you’re return to us.”


Alan brought everyone a drink and they toasted to their little reunion. The group sat around telling Lucien everything that had been going on while he had been away. They told him of some of the new coffee shops and jazz bars that had recently popped up around the city. There was an electricity of creativity buzzing through New York now. Everyone could feel it and everyone wanted to be a part of it.


“Bill, we need more beer,” Mary called from the kitchen. “I’m going to walk down to the store.”


“Dear Mary, you should not be going down there alone. There are all types of hooligans in the area at this time of night,” Bill said.


“I’ll go with her,” Lucien piped up.


“Good, good,” Bill said. “Pick up another bottle of gin while you’re out.”


Lucien helped Mary with her coat and grabbed his own as they walked out the door. The cool autumn air hit them as soon as they were outside of the building. Mary loved this time of year. The city was alive with students that were returning to college. The brisk air felt like it was waking you up from a dream. It was nothing like the hot muggy air of the summer.


“How have you been?” Lucien asked as they began to walk. He took her hand in his and intertwined their fingers.


“I’ve been good,” she said, looking up at him.


“And you?” she asked.


“Good,” Lucien replied.


“Do you ever think about that night, about what happened?” she asked. She had always wanted to talk to him about that night, but when he showed up to the apartment covered in another man’s blood, everything happened so quickly. He had refused to let any of them visit him while he was incarcerated.


“Sometimes,” he began. “But I try not to think about it too much. I’m still here. I still have a future ahead of me. I don’t want to waste that by living in the past.”


“YOU have a future,” Mary started. “But Dave is dead.”


“I know,” Lucien said. “Look, everyone knows that Dave wasn’t the most stable person around. Hell, he left his wife and family behind in Illinois to follow me here. That’s not something a stable person would do, even if they said it was out of love.”


They walked in silence for a moment.


“Dave didn’t love me. He was just obsessed with me. I kept telling him that I was not interested in him like that, but he could never comprehend it. I guess that night he reached his breaking point and tried to fuck me. I didn’t have a choice.”


Mary nodded.


Lucien stopped and pulled Mary to him so he was looking into her bright green eyes. “Besides, you were the only one that I loved,” he said. He gently held her face in both hands. Mary closed her eyes as he began leaning his head down. She felt his warm lips gently press against hers. She placed her hands on top of his as she pulled away from his kiss and stared into his eyes.


“You’ve always had really bad timing, Lucien,” she said.


“I know,” he whispered. He let his hands fall and grabbed her hand again. They returned to their leisurely pace towards the store a block down the road.



When they returned to the apartment, they noticed that most of the previous guests had already left for the night. There were just a few stragglers hanging behind.


Lucien, Mary, Bill and Alan drank until the early hours of dawn.


“Why don’t we go to Mexico,” Bill said. “Everything is cheaper down there. We can all share a place together.”


Bill was getting tired of New York. He hadn’t written anything worthwhile in months and thought a change in his environment would help. He knew Lucien didn’t want to stay in New York for too long after he made the comment about joining the Merchant Marines. If Lucien left, he was sure Mary would end up leaving him as well. She had stayed with him while Lucien was in jail, but that was with the knowledge that he would be returning soon. If he joined the Merchants, there’s no telling when he would come back.


“Why not?” Mary said. They didn’t have any family or other ties that bound them here. Some of their greatest adventures had started with a drunken or drug fueled idea.


“I’m in if you are,” Lucien said to Mary. She couldn’t help but notice how his eyes brightened at the idea.


“Yeah, let’s do it,” Alan said.