Author Focus: Spencer Dryden talks about The Checkout Line

What was your inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for this story began with a comment a dear friend of my mother’s said at her funeral. “We’re all in the checkout line, your mom was just ahead of us.”

The story I wrote is about a grieving widower/ handyman who is attending a memorial service for one of his long time clients where he encounters a stunning woman whom he is sure he’s seen somewhere else but long ago.She sits down next to him and introduces herself:

“I’m Merriam Weinstein. I live down the hall from Jean.”

In all the times I’d been to The Riverside Condos, I had never seen her. I’m pretty absent minded, but I would not have forgotten even a momentary glimpse.

She went on to tell me she had heard many good things about me from Jean. But honestly, I was so distracted by her pale blue gaze and the way her smile erased the age lines around her mouth, I can barely remember the conversation. I wasn’t looking for work, but before I knew it, I agreed to come to her condo for some badly needed repairs. I recall expressing my condolences about Jean. “We’re all in the checkout line at Riverview”, she said. “Jean was just ahead of us.”

I lost track of time, basking in the warm glow of her smile. My heart fluttered when she said she looked forward to my visit.

Spoiler alert: He does remember her from long ago, where the line comes around again:

For the final job, I replaced a faulty light switch in her dark, windowless study. I had her hold the flashlight while I changed out the broken switch. The lights popped back on as soon as I touched the lead wire to the pole on the new switch. The full light revealed an ordinary converted bedroom, except the walls were adorned with framed magazine covers of her as a much younger woman. It took a few moments to register.

“You’re… Mimi Wheeler,” I said in awe.

She blushed and asked me how I would know her name.

Merriam Weinstein, standing next to me, was once Mimi Wheeler, cover girl in the early 60’s— an age before models became superstars. I must have been nine or ten years old the first time I saw her on a magazine cover—making her barely twenty. Lust at first sight. At one time or another, she had been on the cover of every fashion and lifestyle magazine of the era, numerous times, an embodiment of sassy elegance. I was just one of millions of boys whose first sexual awakenings were elicited by pictures of her—pictures which triggered the deep mysterious pain in our groins that drove us insane. Yes, I knew her; we had met at the magazine rack in the checkout line at the beginning of my age of wonder. And now she stood next to me, clutching my arm. Age had claimed some of her beauty, but time had not diminished the allure the camera captured all those years ago.

Buy DirectKindlePaperbackiTunesSmashwords

About Silver Desire: Erotic Stories of Older Women

You’re never too old to rock and roll – or to do the horizontal bop, for that matter…

This anthology focuses on that often-neglected sexual being, the older woman. Ten writers offer up a variety of takes on lust and love in later years; wistful, joyful, affirmative, filthy or raging against society’s expectations.

There are holiday flings, blind dates, settling long-unfinished business, a bawdy barbecue and a horny handyman. Slip between the covers and see what the Silver Age has to offer.

Silver Desire features stories from Elizabeth Coldwell, Jillian Boyd, Spencer Dryden, Pepper Valentine, Charlie Powell, Madeline Moore, F. Leonora Solomon, Jordan Monroe, Hannah Lockhardt and Zak Jane Keir.

Buy DirectKindlePaperbackiTunesSmashwords

About Spencer Dryden

Spencer Dryden is a new writer but an old guy on the threshold of draining any reserves left in Medicare and Social Security. In real life he is a handyman, an at-home dad, inventor and web videographer living a quiet life in the frozen tundra of Minnesota (USA). Like all writers he has a cat but they don’t get along well. Find him on Amazon, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Join the conversation

Please play nicely. All comments are moderated :)