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Nov. 29th, 2016 05:37 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
Sadie turned twenty a few weeks after Rose's wedding, and she felt as if she should be older. She should be twenty-three, at least. Gigi threw her a party, because she could never resist the opportunity to make people happy, and guests spilled in and out of the apartment for hours, eating and drinking and talking and dancing if there was room. The party started in the late afternoon, with drinks and light refreshments, moving on to real food around dinnertime. Addy and Marianna brought down a pot of spaghetti and meatballs in tomato sauce, like they had for Sadie's welcome-to-the-neighborhood party, Carroll appeared with his arms full of French baguettes and cheese, and Victor and his nice young man brought strawberries and chocolates and tiny pastries packed in a white baker's box. Frederika, to Sadie's great surprise, baked a cake, and Alistair brought a pineapple upside-down cake. Sadie took one look at it and almost fell over laughing, then threw her arms around him, kissed him on the mouth, and told him she loved him.

At seven, half the guests (and the hostess) vanished for the evening's performance at the Winter Theater, and after a while, almost everyone who was left followed to watch. Victor's nice young man had to bow out, and Marianna wanted to work, but everyone else trooped down the street in a cheerful crowd to the theater.

Sadie had invited Leo for as much of the festivities as he wanted to attend )

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total words: 55,685


Nov. 27th, 2016 03:32 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
She lied and said she had a boyfriend. He said he didn't care.

She told him she wasn't interested. He tried to convince her to be. She resisted the urge to kick him with her pointy dancing shoes.

Eventually Adam's sister, of all people, came to her rescue.

“She said she has a boyfriend, Wyatt,” the sister insisted. “Leave her alone.”

“I understand why you were wary of the groomsmen,” Sadie said to Henny. “Do they not understand 'no'?”

“I think most of them do,” Henny said, “if you get can get them to shut up and stop staring at your legs for long enough.”

But you have nice legs! )

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total words: 52,987


Nov. 25th, 2016 02:04 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
Two weeks later, Sadie boarded a train with her bridesmaid dress and her new bridesmaid shoes in a suitcase and her old winter coat with its new fur collar (an early birthday present from Gigi) around her shoulders, and she went back home for Rose's wedding.

The weather was cold and damp and windy, as if Mother Nature was threatening snow, and the trees along the train tracks were still bare. It seemed like a terrible, inhospitable month to get married, and Sadie wondered again if Rose and Mr Rockland - she'd have to start thinking of him as Adam now - needed to get married in a hurry, to do it now. They hadn't even known each other that long.

But then, her parents had only known each other eight months before they got married )

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total words: 49,074


Nov. 23rd, 2016 10:28 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
His mother looked like an older, shorter, female version of him, gray in her dark brown hair and laugh lines in the corners of her brown eyes. His father was equally gray and equally old, if taller and less creased in the face.

Sadie remembered Leo telling her that his father owned a dry cleaning business, and now she noted that the elder Brodsky was wearing a very nicely-pressed gray suit.

They seemed happy to see her, and Sadie wondered what Leo had told them about her. Leo's mother took the flowers and bustled off into the kitchen, leaving Leo and his father to take her coat and hat and show her into the parlor so she could sit. The parlor wasn't very big, and it was made smaller by the overstuffed furniture. Knickknacks and framed photographs crowded the mantel over the fireplace. It was very cozy, but she imagined it might be too much in the high heat of summer.

Leo's mother returned with the flowers in a white porcelain vase )

words: 3087
total words: 46,416


Nov. 21st, 2016 12:22 am
smackenzie: (faye)
Alistair pulled his fingers away, wiped them on her thigh, and kissed her lightly. "I wasn't sure I could do that," he said quietly.

“You never have before,” she said. She'd talked to Gigi about sex, and that was one of the things she'd suggested, that Alistair use his fingers if he couldn't get her off any other way, but Sadie had been too embarrassed to mention it to him. She guessed that meant she wasn't quite as modern a woman as she'd thought.

But it turned out not to matter, since Alistair had taken matters into his own hands. Or fingers, as it were.

I should have, shouldn't I. )

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total words: 43,329


Nov. 18th, 2016 06:29 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
"Well," she finally said, "what's the worst thing that can happen? They'll tell me I'm breaking my grandmother's heart. My mother will remind me that she and my father want grandchildren. They'll tell me they worry about me. They'll try and give me guilt. But they can't make me stay."

"Can you bring someone with you?" Alistair asked. "As a date."

"I can't bring you."

"Why not? People tell me I'm personable."

She couldn't tell if he was being serious or not.

"Do you really think I can get away with bringing a man I'm sleeping with but not really dating to my friend's wedding? I'd cause a minor scandal just by staying in a hotel." Alistair looked as if he was about to say something, and Sadie continued with "We cannot stay with my parents. They won't put you up."

I'll stay at a hotel and you stay with your parents. )

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total words: 34,672


Nov. 18th, 2016 12:41 am
smackenzie: (faye)
The new year brought some pleasant surprises - Carroll got a gallery show and decided to hang some of his naked photos, including the one of Sadie. Victor met a nice boy ("A lapsed Protestant," he said, "bur we do have some things in common"). Roman decided he'd rather direct an all-female Hamlet than write one, and cast Gigi in the lead. Gigi took up a collection and used the money people gave her to pay off the balance of Sadie's sewing machine. Marianna's husband came home ("She's married?" Sadie demanded of Gigi, when she heard, and Gigi just shrugged and said "He's in the merchant marine") and Addy took to moping around because she couldn't use Marianna's studio to paint. Leo asked Sadie out to a movie, a Sunday matinee.

And Rose got engaged.

Sadie couldn't meet her and Ida for weekday lunches any more, now that she worked in Brooklyn, but she would meet them occasionally for dinner during the week, or lunch on Sundays. (More than once she'd shown up a little hungover and on very little sleep, but the twins had finally stopped commenting on her social life.) Rose dropped the news at dinner, and even though Sadie felt more and more removed from them, and they no doubt felt more and more removed from her, she was still excited for Rose, because this was what Rose wanted.

"Will you be in the wedding?" Rose asked. "I know we don't talk much any more, but I wouldn't have met Adam if I hadn't come to New York with you. All my sisters will be bridesmaids, of course - "

"And maid of honor," Ida interrupted.

"I'll ask Henny too. That's five bridesmaids. Adam has a sister, that's six. We're getting married back home," she told Sadie, "in March."

"March?" Sadie repeated. That was just a month and a half. She squinted at Rose, wondering if she and Mr Rockland were getting married in a hurry because they had to. They hadn't known each other that long. Although Sadie's Aunt Minnie told her once that her parents had only known each other five months when they got engaged, and they were married two months later. And Sadie knew they hadn't had to rush into it, because Henry didn't show up for almost a year.

"Adam wants to marry me as soon as possible." It was only because Sadie had known Rose since they were five that she could tell the smugness was unintentional.

Now Sadie wondered if Adam was in a hurry to marry so he could start sleeping with his girl sooner rather than later. But that was unfair - she didn't know him and it was just as possible that he was so smitten that he wanted to make Rose his wife almost immediately.

She was being ungenerous, and she was genuinely happy for Rose. But March? Could she make a bridesmaid's dress in time?

And she'd have to see her parents.

"You don't want to see them?" Alistair asked a couple of nights later. Sadie had baked a chicken for dinner, but when Gigi didn't come home to eat - she was rehearsing Hamlet - Sadie took some of the leftovers upstairs.

"I don't think they want to see me. They don't approve of anything I've done."

"And yet you still did it."

"I wanted to. I don't want to be like Rose - I want more for myself than just to get married and make a household for my husband." She sighed. "It's still hard. They're my parents. I want to think I have their support."

They were both silent. Sadie was sitting on the bed watching Alistair eat, and he'd cleared off a space on his desk so he could put the plate down. He didn't seem to care that she was watching him.

"Well," she finally said, "what's the worst thing that can happen? They'll tell me I'm breaking my grandmother's heart. My mother will remind me that she and my father want grandchildren. They'll tell me they worry about me. They'll try and give me guilt. But they can't make me stay."

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total words: 32,415


Nov. 16th, 2016 04:26 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
And so time passed. Sadie dutifully rode the subway to Brooklyn and back every day, hanging from a strap or accepting a seat like every other commuter. She hemmed pants and altered suit jackets and took in dresses and added panels so pregnant girls wouldn't have to buy new clothes. She sketched her own outfits and designed decorative patterns for fabric she didn't have, and she slowly collected ribbons and beads and buttons and hook-and-eye closures and zippers and bolts of fabric bought at cost. She found someone to teach her how to bead - through Mr Roskoff's cousin Irene, of all people - and managed to sell some of her dress patterns to customers at Mr Tartikoff's shop. She baked bread and cakes and made chicken soup and kneidlach like her grandmother had taught her, and when Carroll brought her and Gigi seven pounds of apples she cored them, cut them into pieces, and baked them down into applesauce.

The High Holy Days came and went )

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total words: 31,723
smackenzie: (faye)
She was too stunned, the angle was too awkward - he had a good seven or eight inches on her - and they were both too drunk for it to be a good kiss, but when they separated, Sadie still laughing a little, this time in surprise, it hung between them. She found herself remembering the photo hanging inside Gigi's closet again.

And then Victor splashed into the fountain, accidentally elbowing Sadie out of the way, and the spell broke.

Soon they were all standing in the fountain, kicking and splashing and laughing and stumbling into each other. Sadie couldn't remember the last time she'd had so much fun, at least not since the night Carroll drove them out to the beach and they went swimming in their underwear. All her best nights revolved around water, didn't they. What were they going to do when winter finally arrived?

Go out into the snow, obviously.

The sky was starting to lighten )

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total words: 28,089


Nov. 14th, 2016 10:21 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
Gigi, unsurprisingly, was much more excited and much more supportive than either Rose or Ida. Sadie was sitting at the dining room table having a late-night snack and trying to figure out how much money she'd have to make and how much she'd have to save when Gigi blew in after her play, rushed into her room to change her clothes, and rushed out, stopping short in the dining room to ask Sadie what she was doing.

"Making plans," Sadie said. "I need to buy a sewing machine but I can pay it off in installments." She waved a Singer ad in Gigi's direction. Gigi dropped her tiny beaded purse on the table and took the piece of paper.

"Hm," she said. "I'll let you slide on the rent until it's paid off."

You don't have to do that. )

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total words: 24,933


Nov. 13th, 2016 09:50 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
In the middle of the next week, Sadie did something she had never done, either for school or work – she called in sick. And armed with Mr Roskoff's letter and her notebook of designs (both proposed and actually executed), she took the subway to Flatbush, in Brooklyn, to meet Mr Roskoff's cousin the seamstress.

The cousin's name was Irene Speigel. She was a middle-aged woman with a salt-and-pepper middle-aged woman's bob, and she wore a smock over her dress while she worked. She had a small shop that nevertheless managed to fit three assistants and several dressmaker's dummies, and she took Sadie into her tiny cramped office to offer tea and talk.

Izzy told me about you, Irene said. )

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total words: 22,892


Nov. 11th, 2016 05:47 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
Later that week Sadie learned that Gigi paid someone once a week to come and clean the apartment, to sweep and dust and scrub the toilet and wipe down the stove and the icebox and polish the silver. Sadie thought that was a waste of money and said that she was more than happy to do it, but Gigi merely shrugged and said she could afford it and it freed up her and Sadie's time and helped someone else make a living, so why shouldn't she hire a cleaner? Sadie opted not to mention it to her parents when she wrote home.

She'd been writing regularly, to her parents and her sister and brother and both her grandmothers, and occasionally to her Aunt Molly and Uncle Samuel, her father's older brother and his wife, or to her cousins. She didn't necessarily expect her cousins to write her back every time - they were busy people with their own lives - nor did she expect to hear a lot back from her aunts and uncles or her grandmothers. (She loved her bubbes but her father's mother especially didn't write in English, and her handwriting was difficult to decipher and she couldn't always get someone to be her secretary.) But ever since telling her parents that she was moving out of the residential hotel and into an apartment with another girl - a stranger they didn't know, and a shiksa at that - she hadn't heard from them at all. She sent them Gigi's telephone number, they had her new address, and... nothing. She'd heard from her sister Edith, a short letter asking what it was like having her own apartment and running her own life, but other than that, no one had bothered.

Sadie decided that was her parents' way of showing their disapproval )

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total words: 20,330


Nov. 9th, 2016 08:32 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
Carroll and Victor came over early and wrestled the dining room table out the back door and down the stairs to the yard, where Gigi covered it with a yellow tablecloth with a red and blue geometric print and then set out plates and silverware and glasses. Marianna and Addy showed up just before eight bearing a pot of spaghetti and red sauce.

"Marianna made it," Addy explained. "Be careful - it stains."

Gigi fetched a ladle and left the pot on the table with the lid on. Sadie imagined that she didn't want to wrestle it up into the kitchen and hoped the lid would keep the spaghetti hot. They'd already put out tiny rounds of bread along with olives and celery and cheese. Marianna took some cheese and a handful of olives, welcomed Sadie to the neighborhood, and went back to her own apartment.

The delivery man from the deli had arrived at seven-thirty, exactly on time, and Gigi had left the platter in the kitchen, to be served at nine like the invitations said. There were bottles of bathtub gin and bootleg whiskey hiding in her closet and bottles of Coca-Cola and orange juice in the icebox with the tiny pastries and dessert cheese. Sadie had been told in no uncertain terms to stop putting things out and sit down and let herself be the guest of honor, but she was too well conditioned to let someone else set up a party. Now she moved the flowers around on the table and ignored Victor when he laughed at her.

Gigi fetched the drinks )

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total words: 17,204


Nov. 8th, 2016 08:53 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
On Saturday she packed her bags and took a taxi to Gigi's apartment - now her apartment - and officially moved in.

Frances came with her, more out of curiosity than for any other reason. Ida and Rose both declined, presumably to make their feelings even more clear about Sadie moving downtown away from them and into the apartment of a stranger. Frances hadn't quite made up her mind how she felt - she'd heard wild stories about the Village, but she'd also met Gigi and Victor and Layla and Carroll, when they went to the Cotton Club, and she'd had a good time. She'd mentioned the move to Emmy, who was jealous of Sadie, but the Village was where Emmy thought she wanted to be, and Sadie getting there first - and Sadie wasn't even an actress! and hadn't even been in New York that long! - was incredibly frustrating for her.

(Emmy was failing miserably to get cast in a play, and was now considering moving to LA and trying to break into the pictures instead.)

Emmy is going to be furiously jealous )

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total words: 15,463


Nov. 7th, 2016 10:28 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
"You're doing what?" Ida demanded, after Sadie got back to the residential hotel and told her about Gigi's apartment. "You can't do that!"

"You sound like Rose," Sadie said. "Why not? I have a job, I'm making my own money, I've seen the place, I met some of the neighbors, I like Gigi and she likes me, and I miss having my own kitchen. You and Rose aren't going to find an apartment with me."

"How do you know? You never asked."

Do you want to find an apartment together? )

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total words: 13,775


Nov. 6th, 2016 02:05 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
"I work for mine too! I act and introduce people who can help each other. You'll see," she told Sadie. "In a month you'll be making clothes for people. I promise."

Sadie decided to take her at her word. Gigi was very convinced of the power of her own will, and if she said Sadie would be making a living designing her own clothes for sale in a month, then by god she would be.

After work she shared Victor's dress-shopping advice and opinions with Rose and Ida, and by the end of the evening they'd had a quick dinner, seen a John Barrymore picture, and most importantly, had acquired a pretty pink dress so Rose could make a good impression on the law partner she was after. She'd borrow a shawl from Frances and a pair of silver-gray shoes from her sister, and she already had white gloves and a white hat and an appropriately decorative beaded purse, into which she could fit her compact, her room key, and a dollar in case she needed it.

The dress was a little more expensive than Rose had planned for )

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total words: 11,872
note: gigi's apartment is vaguely based on this place, with the assumption that the unit goes all the way through to the back.


Nov. 5th, 2016 11:28 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
So Sadie told her. Gigi leaned into the window of the cab and kissed Sadie on the cheek before stepping back and letting the cabbie drive away.

Sadie had been in her room just long enough to take off her hat and shoes and put on her slippers when there was a knock on the door. She opened it to reveal Rose and Ida, both in their dressing-gowns, looking annoyed. Their nightclothes were different, but their identical scowls made them look more like twins than anything else.

“Where did you go?” Ida demanded. “Why weren't you at dinner? We have news!”

I met a friend, )

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total words: 9079


Nov. 4th, 2016 11:53 pm
smackenzie: (faye)
Sadie took her advice and ordered the ham, even though it felt wrong to her to let another girl buy her dinner, and not even an inexpensive dinner at that. She wasn't even sure she'd let a man buy her dinner if they were on a date.

The shrimp cocktail, when it arrived, was a dozen pink and white boiled shrimp, peeled and de-tailed, surrounding a small cup of red sauce that tasted like tomato ketchup and horseradish. Gigi swept a shrimp through the sauce, bit it in half, chewed, swallowed, and sighed.

"I love shrimp," she said. "Boiled is the best way to eat them. They taste much fresher than if you fry them." She speared one with her fork, dipped it in the sauce, and held it out to Sadie. "I'm not going to eat them all myself. I can, but that would be rude."

Sadie took Gigi's fork and pushed the shrimp off it onto her plate. )

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total words: 7362


Nov. 4th, 2016 01:41 am
smackenzie: (faye)
Was she ready to live on her own? She didn't know. But she also didn't think it was a particularly pertinent question, since Gigi hadn't asked her to move in and so far she didn't have to. She mentioned it casually to Ida and Rose, and both of them were scandalized that she'd even think it.

"Men will get the wrong idea!" Rose insisted.

"You'll have to cook for yourself," Ida added. She had adjusted remarkably quickly to having someone else make all her meals, and after years of helping her mother and her sisters in the kitchen, she was more than happy to let someone else do it.

But neither of those things really bothered Sadie. )

words: 1942
total words: 5841
note: the pepper pot was a real place. i found a menu from 1929.


Nov. 3rd, 2016 02:56 am
smackenzie: (faye)
One night Frances and Sadie and another shopgirl from Macy's named Emmy went up to Harlem, to the Cotton Club, to drink and dance and watch the performers. Rose wasn't feeling well and Ida stayed with her, and as Sadie sat in the taxi going uptown, sandwiched between Emmy and Frances in their dancing clothes, she found herself not missing her friends at all. Sometimes it was good to get away from the people who'd known you almost your whole life, and be with people you'd just met. She didn't want to completely reinvent herself, but she wanted to be able to cut loose without the possibility of disapproval from girls she genuinely liked.

The Cotton Club, much to Sadie's disappointment, didn't have dancing, at least not for the patrons. But it was decorated in what she assumed was an approximation of a Southern plantation, and the professional dancers, when they appeared, were beautiful and exotic. She was a little surprised that the only black people were the employees - she would have thought a club smack in the middle of Harlem would be full of people from the neighborhood, but maybe that just proved how little she knew about the city.

She and Frances and Emmy drank their cocktails and ordered some food and watched the show )

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total words: 3899


smackenzie: (Default)

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