Meet Ammiel and Micah (MS Sans Serif)

Font: Microsoft Sans Serif (wanted Modern No. 20, but the html coding didn’t work)

Year created: 1997

Chapter: “Meet Ammiel and Micah”

Book: Cinnimin

Written: 21 April-16 July 2003

Handwritten

This is Part XLVI (46) in my current table of contents for my magnum opus. It’s set from 15 June 1995-late August 1996, and was written in one of the single-subject notebooks I split into two Parts. So much happens here, and two new main characters are introduced, the curmudgeonly beatnik Ammiel Garfinkl and the determined, lovestruck Micah Levine.

Ammiel is the best friend and male version of Cinni’s granddaughter Mancika Laurel. These two are so close that everyone suspects they’re more than just best friends, or blind to what a perfect match they are. They’ve even seen one another naked and insisted it was no big deal, just the human body. Ammiel is always bitching about everything, even his own last name, and doesn’t care whom he might offend with his brutal honesty.

Some of the many highlights:

“I’m going to name one of my babies Midnight,” Eulalia said. “Since it fits the blackness of my soul.”

“Oh, Maxwell has long behaved like this,” Mr. Seward said contemptuously. “I was in the loonybin for four years on his orders. My fatso ex-wife was too, along with his youngest full brother and a lot of his distant cousins, all while he was off playing in Italy. And on his orders, I only got to vote under supervision. That psychotic Stalinist who ran the asylum stood in the booth with me as I voted!”

Mary Julia looked around suspiciously. “There are so many crazy people on the streets, Demian. I saw the looks they gave me. Wanting to stone me and Dana for wearing short sleeves and shorts. I’d love to walk through onea their neighborhoods to force them to see a liberated woman. They thought I was crazy to be wearing this necklace of Lakshmi while Dana is wearing a crucifix and I’m looking for my black hat daughter’s apartment since my grandson is getting mutilated tomorrow.”

[Mr. Green] “I’m not senile. I’m as alert at 92 as I was at twenty.”

“So that leaves Butler Reagan as the oldest geezer in town,” Bobbie Jo smiled. She tore out a notepad and started making up the new Top 20 list.

“There are wonderful bands and singers on MTV,” Portia said. “Why do they waste their time playing this Dark Ages garbage?”

[Sympathizing with her mother Violet re: her lifelong rival Kit] “Don’t worry, I agree with you,” Portia said. “That woman is a major hypocrite. It’s like she gets under your skin on purpose. I’d like to bomb her childhood home.”

[Kit’s youngest daughter Raspberry Ann] “Exactly. Sure it’s nice to be well-endowed, but do you ever find women sharing information about their measurements? I’m glad I have indoor plumbing.”

Leah was far from excited when Gavrilla showed up at her apartment early Monday morning, Lulu’s people standing behind her. There was a plane with their names on it waiting for them at the airport, and free champagne and chocolate.

“Ten glorious years without child support,” Leah nodded. “Contrary to what the majority of unwed mothers on your show believe, it’s not worth sobbing over. There’s no father in my daughter’s life. Big deal.”

“Besides the fact that Garkinkl has an unflattering sound and never gets spelt or pronounced right, it’s a bullseye for the anti-Semities, like Katz, Cohen, or Goldstein. I wish I could hide behind a name like Laurel. Like hell I’d torture my own child with my last name.”

Philip looked up on his way out of the school and saw Ammiel and Mancika reading The PWW underneath a large oak tree. Despite the good early September weather, Ammiel was sporting a black turtleneck, black beret, heavy old-fashioned button-up boots, and loose khaki pants. His brown hair reached down to his shoulders.

A lot of people were there, even Arafat and Rabin themselves. There were a lot of singing, dancing, and flowers. Raina was moved to tears when the 75-year-old prime minister sang the Song of Peace, his first time to sing in public. And five minutes later, shots rang out.

“Gifts are a pretension of the very highest order,” Ammiel said. “I only got Mancika a book of revolutionary quotes from the quarter bin at my favorite used bookstore.”

Ammiel was walking around naked as Mancika went on typing an editorial for the school paper. A wet towel was carelessly tossed on the floor.

Raspberry Ann was enraged at her mother as she went through twelve hours of labor with only gas and air. All while Kit stood by telling her horror stories about old men doctors who thought they were God’s gift to expectant mothers, trivialized women’s feelings about being seen by a strange man, and mistook ectopic pregnancies for attempted self-abortions. And of course the subject of Sammy just had to come up too.

“That is your boyfriend,” Courtnie insisted. “Why else would you kiss on the lips for like three minutes and exchange ‘I love you’s?”

High Holy Days (Helvetica)

Font: Helvetica

Year created: 1957

Personal experience: Used from the time I began typing my stories on the old ’84 Mac, probably around 1987 or 1988, until September 1993. I never particularly liked it, but I was too young to realize that I wasn’t bound to the default font. That, and I heard that publishers preferred something that looked like it came from a typewriter. (Yeah, that book had some outdated advice!)

Chapter: “High Holy Days”

Book: Cinnimin

Written: 7 April-14 September 2010

Handwritten

I actually have two chapters with this title, one in The Very First and the other in my magnum opus. This post is about Part LV (55) of Cinnimin. It’s set from 20 September-18 October 1998, in Israel, Hawaii, New York City, and of course Atlantic City. It’s also one of the longer Parts, possibly able to stand alone.

So much happens here. Cinni’s daughter-in-law Ophelia finally snaps regarding her spoilt twins (her youngest children and only boys out of ten kids), a family vacation to Hawaii for a bar mitzvah turns into chaos, Ophelia’s marriage heads for the rocks, typical catfighting between longtime rivals Gavrilla (Sparky’s rabbi daughter) and her cousin by marriage Leah, and Cinni’s granddaughter Mancika starts her junior year of studying abroad in Israel with her beatnik best friend Ammiel.

Some of the many highlights:

Ammiel cringed at the applause. “Why do people always applaud when an El Al plane lands? It sounds so silly. People don’t clap when their boat docks.”

“I didn’t know your mom’s family spoke Polish,” Ammiel said. “I thought they used that hideous ghetto language Yiddish.”

[Ophelia’s Yom Kippur outfit; she’s almost a size 20 at this point, a sharp contrast to how slim and sexy she was in youth] Several buttons had popped on her blouse, so she’d wrapped a white silk shawl around her midsection. Her skirt was just several yards of fabric from the crafts store, a black background with ringed planets, sewn together into a semblance of a real skirt and held together with safety pins. For footwear she had frog slippers, not even having realized she’d left the house still wearing them.

Balázs let out a very loud scream and flung himself down on the asphalt before running back towards the building. “You suck, Mommy! You know I can do whatever I want because I have a penis!” [This earns him a public spanking in front of the synagogue.]

Serop gunned the car, desperate to get away from Zeevie, only to find the cop trailing after him again. He was furious when he was handed a second ticket and told he’d lose his license if he committed another traffic violation.

“What kind of a face is that on the eve of your only child’s special day?” Gavrilla asked, full well knowing Leah hadn’t been expecting her.

“Oh, Leah, are you so cynical you can’t grasp your own child’s father doing something nice for her and even putting in a personal appearance out of his own motivation?” Gavrilla asked. “Tisk, tisk, tisk.”

“We took the liberty of looking for disposables, and instead found some stuff you hadn’t even taken out of the box,” Gavrilla said. “Who buys nice tableware and then never uses it or even unpacks it? Maybe that’s why your pre-existing dishes look so worn-out, because you keep using them over and over again.”

Ammiel ambled down wearing black gaucho pants and a Roswell 50th anniversary T-shirt. Mancika was embarrassed by his casual wear but knew he wouldn’t change it.

Ammiel held up a few shirts. “Which one, Mants? The ‘Re-elect Clinton’ one, the ‘Legalize Cannabis’ one, or the ‘Celebrating 25 Years of Roe vs. Wade’ one?”

“I bet you have a stomach ache from eating too many of those candies you stash in your room,” Shafar said. “Your bat mitzvah project should be Weight Watchers.”

Alice stared. With every step Yasmin took, a drop of blood fell on the floor. Pointing, she loudly alerted everyone, “Look, Yasmin’s having her period!”

“Oh, look!” Skye laughed. “Yasmin stuck the tampon up her butt! No wonder you can’t find it!” [And she cut off the string!]

[Praying with Nashot HaKotel, the Women of the Wall] Mancika and Raina just rolled their eyes at the ultras who started yelling, unfazed. Raina had seen the Prime Minister assassinated; a few angry, self-righteous, self-proclaimed mullahs were nothing to her. Toni tried to concentrate on her prayers and block out the noise. These people’s opinions meant nothing to her; after all, they probably wouldn’t consider her de facto Orthodox conversion in Paris ten years ago to be valid anyway. They were with people peacefully praying for peace and unity, not divisive, hate-filled bigots who didn’t live in the real world.