Love Death Circus – Chapters 62 & 63

Chapter 62 Sabbath  The new assistant rabbi is stumbling his way through the Shabbat service. Deborah Matz, his boss, is sitting upstage of him on the bema, radiating trust and support. Frank Singer is in the balcony, last row, last seat, radiating angst. He came to temple tonight to get away from Jackie’s apartment and Zip’s show and his lack of a personal life and the cycle of death and disease and to hear … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapters 60 & 61

Chapter 60 Time is of the Essence  David Carter has been leading circus bands for decades, writing the songs, playing his bass and singing with a voice as raspy as Tom Waits’ and as nimble as Freddie Mercury’s. He’s a tall man, a little stooped now, with thick grey hair, a short grey beard and his signature porkpie hat. “Frank, I’m worried about Zip. You’re going to let her just wander on stage any … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapters 58 & 59

Chapter 58 A Family Act  The next day, Frank arrives at Ellie’s Treat Street flat to work on the multi-generational Abrams Family Clown Act. He’s barely in the door when Ellie says, “Would you hold Havvy so I can get in costume?” Frank takes the six-month old who is dressed in a tiny, two-toned yama-yama, the old-fashioned one-piece clown costume with a ruffle neck and three pom-poms down the front. Haviva is sucking a … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapters 56 & 57

Chapter 56 Filling the Stage  Frank Singer is working the phones. He’s got a lot of catching up to do and only a few days to do it. Much to his surprise, Virginia Barre, with help from an army of Zip’s old friends, has already sold over 500 seats. It took less than two weeks for “Zipporah Abrams, the End of an Era” to go from idea to a hot ticket. Now it’s up … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapters 54 & 55

Chapter 54 The End of an Era Back on the street in front of Ellie’s flat, Virginia accepts Frank’s offer to drop her at BART on his way to the Bay Bridge. They drive in silence. About a block from the station, Virginia says, “So, we’re going to need a big theater and some star power to fill it.” Her voice catches Frank off guard. He was well on his way to convincing himself … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 53

Body & Mind“Frontal Lobe Dementia and Lou Gehrig’s Disease! She’s got both!”Ellie Abrams is sitting in a Mission District cafe with Frank Singer and Virginia Barre. They’ve been exchanging pleasantries for a long time, carefully sipping their fancy cappuccinos and avoiding the subject at hand. Now Ellie has finally blurted it out. Frank and Virginia say, “Oh my god” and “Ellie, I’m so sorry” but once the horrible, unthinkable truth’s been told, Ellie can’t … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapters 51 & 52

Chapter 51 Dancing in the Aisles Ellie Abrams has got her hands full – groceries, her baby Haviva and her mom somewhere in the aisles of Whole Foods. Zipporah Abrams has been wandering off a lot lately and this is a particularly bad time – the baby needs her diaper changed and the doctor’s appointment is in ten minutes. “Mom! Mom.” Nothing. “Come on Havvy. Grandma will be fine. Let’s get you cleaned up.” … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 50 & Interlude

An Empty House It’s after midnight when Frank dumps his duffel bag full of juggling clubs on the floor. The sound echoes off the empty walls of Magda’s living room. He takes his costume and clown shoes into the bedroom, which is bare except for a mattress on the floor under the window. An old lamp, a couple of books and an empty wine glass full of earplugs are nestled near the pillow. Frank … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 49

The Red WigThe audience answers, “L’chiam,” the rabbi takes her chicken back to their seat and the band starts into a slow blues. A trapeze is lowered and a young woman pulls herself up on the bar. She does Willa’s very first aerial routine, learned from a grainy VHS tape, featuring a thousand-watt smile after every trick. Willa’s niece follows with a solo dance that starts light, gets darker and ends with a series … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapter 47 & 48

Chapter 47 Last Good-bye Brisbane is a little hillside town just north of the airport, so small that Frank can find the police station without a map. He brings the half-filled box into the empty station, finds the DIY drug drop and pours the contents into the one-way shoot; drugs go in, drugs can’t come out. As he heads for the door to get the second box, he sees a sign, “Absolutely No Controlled … Read More

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