Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wild Woman of Queens: Notes on Urban Creativity from across the East River.

Sandra Lee Schubert

Title: A Good Cigar

“Oh, yeah I love a good cigar,” Gary said sitting on my balcony on cool fall night in Flushing. My cigar had long gone out but I was pretending to still smoke. We had just created a fan club in honor of Debbie Rowe who had recently married Michael Jackson. We assumed she had to be a cigar smoking, Harley riding, hard drinking kind of gal to marry MJ. Once Gary had discovered my ruse in smoking the night was over and we had to pack up the fan club for the night. That was my first and last cigar but my participation in the Debbie Rowe club lasted for a little bit longer. After all who wouldn’t want to hang out with the wife of Michael Jackson?

Last week when buying some mental food- chips and ice cream, I watched the customer before me negotiate the purchase of a cigar and a lottery ticket. She had her change spread out on the counter. The coins went back and forth between the clerk and the woman depending on the choice of cigar. I couldn’t imagine the quality of cigar bought in a fruit market would be any different by fifty cents. The woman reminded me of the gypsies that used to live in the storefront downstairs. Her dark hair was pulled up in a headscarf and heavy brows framed her dark eyes. She looked through me as she leaned on the counter focusing on the exchange of change and cigars. Finally making her decision she left with her purchases. Was the cigar for a husband at home and the lottery ticket for luck? Or, was she like me- taking a chance on one cigar and the hope no one would notice the light had gone out?

Sandra Lee Schubert is a creative vagabond, a poet, writer and dabbler in the arts and online entrepreneur. She co-facilitates the Wild Angels Poets and Writers Group at the historic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. She is also the creator of the e-course Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own. Visit her blog: Email her or
@writing4life via twitter.

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