Chapter Excerpt







































t was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

No, that’s silly, I’ll never pass that off as mine. It’s not

that kind of story, anyway.

It was a dark and stormy night.

Well, see, that’s just a lie, and frankly, hard to pull off if

you’re not a cartoon dog.

Call me Ishmael!

It’s the pressure. The pressure of that crucial opening


line, the first impression I’m trying to make with you —

wanting it to be good, it’s my Achilles heel. Look, I’ll just

tell you this: it’s important to me, telling you this story. It’s

important to my heart, and when things are important to

me, sometimes I choke and sputter and stumble all over

myself without a word in my head. I can’t come up with

anything that articulates what is bursting inside to get out.

How about this…

All of this happened, more or less.

Would Kurt Vonnegut really mind if I used his opening

line? It’s an homage. Everyone likes that, right?

Or even better, Billy Pilgrim (aka Johnny Von) has

become unstuck in time.

That could work. I could just change the name. Besides,

you always have to change the names…so lawyers and agents

and movie stars don’t get upset.

Oh, hells-bells. I’m going to come up with something,

because I want you to see what I see. I want you to know

what I know now, how the universe dances and converges

and brings events that answer the call of your heart. How

the mystical behind the mundane came to change me. And

how Johnny Von fits into all of it.

Tall, beautiful, Johnny Von.

I’d like to tell this story so that by the end, we’d

understand what the poet William Blake is talking about in

all his lovely writings. We would know that a story, even

just the ones you tell yourself, can help move you forward and give you courage — that a story has tangible power to

change who you are. And while poetry may no longer have

the power to spark a revolution, or attract the attention of

the masses, in a world that has YouTube and TMZ, I know

it can spark a revolution inside a person. Even a person

who didn’t do well in 10th grade English, a woman who

still doesn’t know what iambic pentameter is.

I’d like to tell you this story so that by the end we’d

understand that outside of the 10th grade, poetry is trying

to say what is pushing from inside you, bursting to get out.

And like William Blake, with the close of this story we’d

all understand the power of desire and imagination, the

birthplace of love and art. We’d seek it out; knowing its

value to a life well lived. Rank it up there with good food,

great sex and big money. That’s my hope, outside of just

having a good time.

Don’t get me wrong, I think just plain having a good

time is also very important. I don’t want to mislead you

already with all this grandiose talk of poetry and the power

of desire; words like “birthplace.” I’m not a dramatic

person. I’m not full of big words. I’m not like that at all. I

should tell you now before we start, I’m more “comfort fit,”

more t-shirts, worn jeans and bare feet. Quite possibly, my

toenails are painted red. But that’s about as fancy as I go

on a regular basis. So look, I’ll just stop now and make it

easy. I’ll start where it all started.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

And then some time after that, God made me.



About 33 years after that, God made Moochie, my

brown Labrador, and we were walking up Valley Glen

Drive in the Hollywood Hills to get the other dogs when the

first thing happened.





EDITH M. CORTESE is a freelance writer, a sometime novelist and a mom. She was once, a lifetime ago, a dog walker. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and an old, good dog named Moochie.


To learn more please visit


Tag der Veröffentlichung: 24.01.2014

Alle Rechte vorbehalten

Nächste Seite
Seite 1 /