09 March 2010

Vernon Story Tweets - February 2010

He took two slow steps back from Vernon and jerked his head at the door. Vernon took the man's signal, unlocked the door and left. Vernon walked backwards, his eyes peeled on the door, which slammed shut as he felt the top of the stairs. His eyes darted up and down the hall. A trace of the burning smoke fumes wafted toward him but dispersed before reaching him. He glanced down the stairs and took one step down. With one eye on the rising hallway and the other down, Vernon made his descent.

The lobby was much smaller than he remembered. As he reached for the knob, someone burst through the door. A bespectacled man pinned Vernon to the hallway wall with the door. The man's eyes widened and seem to mumble in apology. The shocks of his curly hair looked pronounced thanks to his receding hairline. His eyes darted toward the stairs and his legs followed. There was something awfully familiar about the harried man. The swish of his denim trailed the clomping of his boots up the dark stairs.

The door swung shut as Vernon jumped clear of it. He reached out for the knob again, quicker and with more confidence this time. As he stepped out the door, a chilly San Francisco wind cut through Vernon's Van Heusen button down and the light blinded him.
Both sides of the street were scattered with men in business suits and fedoras, and a truck full of denim clad laborers.

"Must be making a movie," Vernon mumbled to himself.

He looked up and down the street but couldn't spot a single camera. The wind kicked up, and all the men on the street grabbed hold of their hats and turned down their heads. The few ladies in sight pressed their dresses against their legs. One woman stopped and shivered as the wind cut through her nylons.

Vernon spun round to escape to the apartment building's lobby and collided into the only guy who didn't seem to fit in the crowd. The man's shirt was wrinkled, not pressed like everyone else. His tweed jacket looked as though it had come from a pile on the floor.

The disheveled fellow dropped a pile of papers and they scattered to the wind. Vernon reached for the papers and managed to clutch one. The man rushed around grabbing at the flying papers, like some contestant in a wind chamber trying to harvest a flutter of dollar bills. As the man scurried desperately, Vernon uncrumpled the sheet balled in his fist and began to read.

'I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by / madness, starving hysterical naked.' Vernon's jaw dropped.

"Could it be?" Vernon looked at the paper again and each typed line only verified it.

The harried man snatched the paper from his hand. He flattened the stack of papers against his chest, gave the pile a good shake, then dashed down the sidewalk.Vernon took one glance at the apartment building, then chased after the man with Ginsberg's infamous manuscript.

As he rounded the street corner, Vernon managed to spot the man entering a doorway. He picked up his pace and gasped when he caught up. A makeshift sign hung on the nondescript door. It read "City Lights Bookstore."

Chapter 2

"You haven't published so much as a letter to the editor, Vern." A woman loomed over Vernon as he tapped away at his keyboard. He continued to peck away, one letter at a time. "Vernon! Don't ignore your mother when she's speaking to you."

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