Love Death Circus – Chapters 68 & 69

Chapter 68 THE GRAND FINALE  Zip stands close and stares at Miranda Martinez as the emcee tries to introduce Bob Meadows. “Zip, I hope you’re enjoying your show.” Miranda turns to the audience, a little nervous. “Let’s give a big San Francisco ‘thank you’ to Zip Abrams for bringing us all together…although it’s not the way we’d hoped…of course…but still…” Virginia Barre is half out of her seat, trying to body English Zip back … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapters 66 & 67

Chapter 66 INTERMISSION  Reluctantly, Frank Singer lets go of Ellie Abrams and walks behind the closed curtain towards the green room. Before he gets there, the assistant stage manager calls him, “Mr. Singer! John wanted you to know that the first act ran seventy-seven minutes, seventeen minutes more than your projected time.” “Yeah, everyone went a little long. Not Tina and me, of course, but everyone else. Tell John I think we can make … Read More

Love Death Circus – Chapters 64 & 65

Chapter 64 ACT I  After getting the lobby set up, Virginia Barre goes backstage, commandeers an empty dressing room and shimmies into a metallic silver sequined gown with a thigh-high slit and a shoulder-flaunting neckline. If you’ve got aerialist shoulders, you flaunt them. A month ago, before the show sold out, she’d asked the box office to save the best seat in the house for her – fifth row orchestra center. If you’re an … Read More

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

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