I finally finished my last (I truly hope, fingers crossed) round of revisions on my novel, Goddess of Suburbia, recently and even the opening changed this time. Here’s the new opening. I hope you enjoy it…
It is an achingly beautiful October day, the kind of day that reminds me why autumn is my favorite season – blue skies and no humidity, the tiniest bite of a chill in the air, mild enough though, that the sweatshirt jackets necessary this morning will be stuffed in backpacks by this afternoon. I would love to take a detour, take my four year old son, Sam, to the playground. I would love to catch him at the bottom of the slide, give him a push on the swings while he pretends to be on a spaceship, valiantly pumping his little legs. Only, I can’t. I constantly glance in my rear view mirror. Are they still there? Where will these pictures end up? How much more can my family take? Like the silver spheres of a pinball machine, these thoughts bounce around my brain.
I’m just a worn out mom dragging her cranky son to the supermarket for eggs and milk, but to some people – for reasons I can’t even fathom – that’s news. The paparazzi trailed me all the way to ShopRite, winding through my neighborhood of ranches and capes sitting on neat postage stamp size lots – a slice of blue collar in this middle class Long Island town. In the parking lot I shield Sam from the cameras exploding like flashes of lightning around us as we try to make our way into the store. He is gripping a handful of my shirt in each fist, his face pressed into my stomach. His voice is muffled, as he wails, “Why are all these people around us, Mommy? Why are they keeping us from going in?”
“Please,” I beg the faces behind those massive lenses, “you’re scaring my son. We just need to get food.” One photographer steps back a few feet, letting us by. Maybe he’s a parent, maybe he just feels bad for me. Maybe, he’s realized I’m not that interesting.