Anyway... Here are the rules: Go to Page 7, 70, or 170 of a current Work in Progress or recently published work and choose either the first complete paragraph or 7 lines of dialogue to share. I've fudged this a little and gone with seven paragraphs, actually. I hope no-one minds. (Heh.)
I've selected this from page seven of one of my multiple Works-in-Progress, "None So Blind" - a prequel to Ask Me if I'm Happy.
There was no conversation and no sound other than the clink of the tiny cups in their saucers and the hum of the refrigerator in the next room. From where he sat, Davide looked out the window at a neighborhood which had remained virtually unchanged for as long as he could remember. At this time of year the whole town seemed somehow shabbier in the absence of late sunsets and warm breezes. The diehard remaining merrymakers now kept themselves indoors in the pubs and discoteche of the town, well out of sight from the day-to-day business of the locals. The irony of his having grown up in a city best known for its party reputation was not lost on him. His own father had often despaired of having such a bookish son, especially one so dedicated to his books and studies he had little time for any friends or amusements outside the home. Davide had somehow been an embarrassment to a man who spoke with barely disguised pride of his colleagues' sons and their misadventures with their classmates.
When Davide was twelve, his father had taken him out for lunch and an early film. The lunch had been reasonably enjoyable; the boy had basked in his father's attention - a rare thing indeed - over pizza and a heaping gelato for dessert. The movie had been somewhat less pleasant, a sexy comedy full of double-entendres and men falling all over themselves ogling half-naked, large-breasted women. He'd laughed a little but his father guffawed and gestured toward the screen as if to say ‘This is what it's all about!’
Afterward, as they walked home from the city center, his father had sat him down on a bench in a park. Looking ill at ease, after waiting for a moment when no one was passing by or close enough to overhear, he'd leaned in close and asked Davide a question which he'd never forgotten: "You do like girls, don't you?"
In an instant, a day which might have become a fond memory was inexplicably ruined. The boy's only response had been to nod and stare at the ground. A cold rush of shame flashed through him, followed by a surge of anger like nothing he'd ever felt before. The heat rose inside him, threatening to surface before he stood and walked away from the bench and his father, leaving them both behind without another word.
The fury didn't fade. For weeks it resonated in his heart every time his father addressed him, any time they were together for more than a short while. Luckily, that didn't happen often. His father often went away for work - he'd rarely been home for long, in Davide's recollection - coming home for short stays before leaving again.
That same summer, Davide went to camp and a girl from Parma named Graziella sat next to him during a play and gave him a kiss - on the lips - during the confusion of the intermission. He had no idea why she'd done it; they'd hardly exchanged more than a few words before that, but when his thoughts drifted later on, he heard the smack of the kiss over and over again. Sure, he'd thought she was kind of cute - though he would have died before admitting to his classmates - after that, however, he was sure he was in love.
In his head, he composed a dozen poems dedicated to her long, dark hair and her dark brown eyes with heavy lashes that curled up so prettily, so perfectly. He didn't write them down and it didn't matter, since he never saw her again.