All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

You Got That Right by Adam Kluger

Alyssa Doorumple was delicious.

To see her enlightening any sort of space or form of clothing was to experience a deep sense of want. To touch her, to smell her, to connect with Alyssa in any way she would allow.  Perfection in the female form. Ally-do, as known in Manhattan social circles, was simply scrumptious and the light that was always surrounded by frantic moths. Ally-do was the one you wanted to be photographed with and the name that was on most lips at any social function. AD to her closest friends and fans. If AD was making a party then that was a party to be at. AD was on the cover of all the society magazines because that’s what sells magazines. Magic. Beauty. Mystery.

Now, Milford Brookes was not alone in his desire to be next to AD. He wanted her for as long as he had known her and that had been since Brookes first saw her at a Deb event at the Waldorf in high school. For years, Milford  watched from afar and fantasized what it would be like to hold AD’s hand and look into those blue diamond eyes. It must be akin to holding the moon and the sun or achieving eternal bliss.

Another besotted suitor once rented a limo and drove up to her college campus with two cases of champagne, a $50 thousand dollar ring, three bouquets of roses, even tins of caviar. She laughed in his face. Years later heard tell that the audacious cad had been arrested for financial fraud. There was nothing fake about AD. She was as real as real could be, even if she was something more than merely human. She was a concept. An ideal. The type of transformative beauty in the female form that would start a world war or be the subject of a timeless classic.

Milford figured if he ever had a chance to win AD’s favor he too would have to be completely exceptional. He quickly jotted down Milford’s Maxims on life in the notes section of his Iphone.


Never be afraid to fire a bad client

Always make everybody feel they are the most important person

Go the extra mile always

It’s not what happens it’s how you deal with it

Crisis = Opportunity

There is never a good excuse for being rude

If you don’t know…ask

Dress for the job you want not the job you have

The foundation of all relationships is trust and mutual respect which must be earned through actions not words

Relationships require constant vigilance like a flower needs sun and rain

Strive to research, understand and master evolving technologies, to ignore them is to court disaster

The only thing constant is change

The best salespeople are the most knowledgeable about a product/service and potential customer’s needs

It can take years to build a reputation and seconds to destroy it

Never talk business in anger. Take emotion out of it

The high road is the best road

If you make a mistake try to fix it and learn from it

The best type of deal is a win-win not a zero sum game. Compromise is key

Under-promise and over-deliver

Milford liked his list but he felt no closer to AD than before he started writing it.

Wait. What’s that? Milford was just ‘liked’  by a new swiper.

Pretty and young.

Younger than Milford and her profile said she was in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her name was Tiana.

Before he unmatched Tiana because of her geographical undesirability, curiosity made Milford swipe his thumb upward on the iphone screen to check out Tiana’s other photos.

What he saw made his jaw drop.

The very next photo was of Tiana in a bikini half submerged in turquoise water next to a dock with a white hammock.

Hugging her from behind was a giant leopard with his paws on her huge breasts and the big cat’s fearsome head resting on her left shoulder.

It was incredibly sexy, incredibly dangerous like nothing Milford had ever seen.

The leopard’s eyes were turquoise like the water.

The next image on her profile had Big Cat and Tiana hugging like a couple in the water where the frightening size of the cat was better revealed.

Tiana was holding the leopard in the water like a lover. Its fur was wet, and its huge whiskered cranium rested on Tiana’s nose as the leopard looked off in the distance.

Her other photos were on land without the leopard. She had a black dress on and she was walking away from the camera with her long hair and beautiful face looking back. Then Milford spotted that amazing derriere trying to push out of the dress. Fighting magnificently with the fabric. heart shaped. Milford suddenly wished he was a leopard. He wanted to take a bite out of that booty. grrrrr!

Swiping aint easy Milford decided. It was hit or miss. Since being let out of his own cage a couple months prior, Brookes had had a couple of intimate moments and a lot of frustration. He had been ghosted a bunch of times.

One date wonders.

He thought the last date went actually really well–that was until his polite text asking if Triple J wanted to grab another drink sometime went totally ignored.

Milford decided that he needed to dig down on why Triple J wasn’t responding.

“No, no, no!  I want a scooped out–get it–“scooped out” everything bagel– deep toasted with a light schmear of fat-free chive cream cheese–I don’t want a ton of cream cheese and also a large chamomile tea with lemon and honey. That’s it…I’m in a rush so whatever you can do.”

She was bossy and pushy, and she sucked up all the oxygen in the bagel shop. Milford hated her voice and the way she spoke to the counterperson. Ordering him around asking annoying questions and treating him like a dumb child who was slowing down her morning routine. She was a bully and clearly had little use for the counterperson who Milford Brookes would regularly honor with a “good morning” and pleasant exchange before receiving his order of a slightly toasted baguette with smoked salmon.  Milford overheard yet another rude and impatient customer. Her voice ragged from age and smoking was also ordering around another counterperson. “What is going on here, why is this taking so long? Can someone help me please?!”

Why was everyone so annoying this morning? Why was everybody so self-important? Milford pondered his own precarious situation.  He wanted another cafe au lait…badly.  But he only had 10 dollars in his pocket and his checking account was significantly overdrawn. The IRS wasn’t going to be happy. They were expecting to get paid on the 15th which was tomorrow. Fortunately, today was payday. But really Milford knew deep down he could not afford another cup. Sucks to be poor -but it’s not so bad to be alone again as he looked at his left hand and felt the absence of his wedding ring.

A woman looking for a seat in the shop walked toward him trying to ascertain if Milford was getting up. She made a pissed off face and then lucked into another table as a couple was just leaving.

Soon it would be time to get going to the office for 8 hours of drudgery and boredom with asshole co-workers. But before jumping on the subway, Milford had some swiping to attend to.

TEXT: [Hey Triple J- just thought you should know–I like-like you and want to be with you and think about how much fun we could be having together when I’m not with you. I love your sense of humor and your blue eyes- you are smart, funny sexy and beautiful. That’s all for now.]

There was no answer.

TEXT: [reasons for not replying: 1. phone is charging. 2. Nature hike. 3. Fucking other boyfriend. 4. Don’t feel any of this shit I feel. 5.You are cooking. 6. other reason. 7. You are a figment of my imagination. 8. You are the St. Pauli Girl and you have to go back on the bottle thing. 8. I’m not Jewish. 9. Trump. 10. You are a normal person who tends not to put her cards on the table at an inappropriate time. 11. The universe is expanding. 12. My beard has to go. 13. The cat allergy situation. 14. Global warming. 15. You are the mermaid from Splash. 16. Too much too soon from a hairy baboon.]

TEXT [You’re sweet]

TEXT: [What’s up? Want to hang–I’ll call in sick to work?]

TEXT: [Can’t–writing deadline and Netflix marathon in between playing with my ungrateful dog]

TEXT: [I wanna be your dog!]

TEXT:  [ Great Stooges song]

TEXT: [ I love that you know that]

A couple days later Milford and the swiper met and boned like wild animals.

TEXT: [Tried calling to tell you I was so happy to be with you …sorry, if while defiling you if we missed out on other stuff like cuddling–I wish you were with me today listening to the rain falling and the traffic]

TEXT [Fell asleep. Great date]

TEXT: [ Wish I was up against you now]

TEXT: [Sorry my phone died. Milford, you are one of my all-time favorite people. I wonder though if we can put the fuck zone on hold the next time we meet. Sex with you is great and intense and has been good for me but in a limited way. I feel like I am still trying to fix a bicycle while riding it-I’m guessing now you are thoroughly disenchanted with me.]

TEXT: [ Sure. we can just be friends- I don’t want to cause you stress- just happiness –(he lied thinking he could never not always want to get lost within her inscrutable beauty).]

TEXT: [ you just went to the top of my list of favorite people]

TEXT: [Yay!  I’m a people… (replied Milford hoping desperately that the list she was referring to wasn’t a Friend Zone collection of castrated would-be suitors–“I’m honored” he wrote back).]

TEXT: [ :)]

TEXT: [ I don’t want anything from you-just everything]

TEXT: [ Milford, you are a great writer]

Two weeks went by and she didn’t return any texts and when she did it was with a perfunctory emoji.

TEXT: [ Hey one word answer girl –what’s up with you? Not feeling me anymore?]

TEXT: [ Milf, I’m starting to feel like this isn’t working between us. As much as I like you, my feelings aren’t as strong as yours and I don’t think the just friends zone is going to work for you, My main issue is I’m not really over my ex-boyfriend. Sorry if I hurt you. You’re wonderful and I wish it could have worked out. Fondly, Triple J]

TEXT: [ At least I won’t have to deal with cat hair on my pillow xo M]

Milford had too much other stuff going on to get all weepy after getting dumped after a third date–actually, he thought that Triple J’s break up text was kind and thoughtful. Much classier and more considerate than ghosting someone. Milford had just been barking up the wrong tree, clearly.

Later at the Starbee’s, Milford met with his dismissive artist friend Manfred Gogol who had just returned from a trip to Germany for an opening of his art show. Gogol was in fine form as always, even though Milford hadn’t seen him in a while.

“What’s going on Hoss?”

“Do you think the Yankees are in on Bryce Harper?”

“Doubt it. They need relief pitching–probably Andrew Miller”

“What else?”

“Just got dumped by a swiper.”

“wha happened? I dumped doggie face to the side of the curb like an angry mutt.”

“Didn’t she get you that art show?”

“She got her self thrown into the dog pound–Oh Manfred I want to be with you …”

“That’s cold, Gogol”

“She was a dog-faced mutt and that’s that!”

“Yeesh, I gotta get going soon.”

“Hold on now– what happened with your swiper?”

“She wanted to put me in the friend zone.”

“That’s bad.”

” Tell me about it”

“Why do women do that?”

“No idea”

“I have enough friends.”

“Me too.”

“Remember that model you once invited away for a weekend junket?”

“You mean the Chinese model who said, “you like my brudder … how can I forget.”

“Some chick did the same thing with me recently, she invites herself along with me on my trip to Arizona and then she’s all like “we are such good friends.”

“I know– like what the fuck?”

“The friend zone.”

“Yup. Not a good place.”

“You got that right.”


Adam Kluger

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2 thoughts on “You Got That Right by Adam Kluger”

  1. So economical, yet it isn’t just an outline. Full depth, emerging details… Dickens would have loved Doorumple. Interspersed Texts helping to carry the load a great device. Adds to the pace.


  2. Hi Adam,
    This is the second time I have met this lady and it has been a pleasure both times. I would like to count the first meeting as an appetiser and this as the delicious main course!
    Slice of life with the most interesting and real characters is what you do best.
    There is no-one on this site that can touch your consistency with this type of story.
    All the very best my friend.


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