Glory In The Golden Apple

I used to read Greek mythology as a kid - I loved all the enterprising virgin goddesses - and I remember the Golden Apple of Discord, which would be thrown in the middle of a crowd of friends and make them enemies. They'd go running off in a hundr ed different directions, coming back only to do battle.

New York City is like a giant Golden Apple all on its own. Tossed in the middle of it, everyone runs off in a hundred different directions alone, chasing their private ambitions.

They work al one, they live alone, bit by the invisible viper that ruins every one of us by convincing us to make our dreams come true.

A Weekly Serial

Episode 1: The Myth Of The Golden Apple.

Most of my troubles in life come from wanting things my own way. When I was sixteen, I told my high school guidance counselor I wanted to be a journalist, and he said, "Dear, it's very hard to get a job doing that, but my daughter is a secretary and she types the company newsletter."
It was impossible to explain to him, sitting satisfied in his government-issue chair, that I specifically wanted to be the exception to everything - the violet in the sand dune, the light out the train window at nig ht, the mink that wanted the coat made of movie stars.
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Episode 2: The Virgin Goddess Promise Springs A Leak.

I wasn't really thinking about finding a sweetheart when I started working at the station, I'd been unemployed for almost six months, and I was much more interested in getting a paycheck than getting laid.
But that was before I sat next to Julian, our producer.
Julian is a real hot potato.
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Episode 3: I Am Wrong About Everything.

I didn't really pay much attention to the new girl sitting in Julian's chair. We're always getting new production assistants, as the ones we have keep quitting to sell hot dogs on street corners for much better money.
This girl looked no better or worse than most of them. Her bra strap was showing.


Episode 4: An Ambitious Woman.

The phone rang. Even through a haze of sleep, I knew who it was. Everyone knows not to call me during the day when I sleep, but there's only one person who does it anyway.
It was my ex-boyfriend, the man who had nearly been my husband, Fabian Bellwoar.
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Episode 5: I Call On A Friend.

Alone in the office, I started making long-distance phone calls. My friends all move away from me; they have their own ambitions to follow. I can't really expect them to stay. But it means I am always far away fro m my friends, while my enemies stare me right in the face.
I spoke to a few overnight answering machines before I got my friend Alys.
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Episode 6: A Blinding Date.

Alys had called me that day and the next day and the day after that, trying to get me to agree to her blind date. She called me up and told me scary tales about single women, like a wire story she'd read about a wom an whose vibrator, left under a pillow, started her entire apartment block on fire. Finally, I said yes.
"Good, because he's picking you up at 8 on Friday," she said. "I think I let it slip to my friend that you were a little hard up, but I'm sure she won't pass that on."
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Episode 7: I Fall In Love.

I couldn't keep my eyes off Crimson. He was wearing a leather jacket and white jeans and motorcycle boots. but I knew what he looked like without them. I knew, in fact, what he looked like in nothing but a leotard.
He noticed me looking at him, and he looked back, petulant, and tilted up his chin.
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Episode 8: I Am Very Competent.

"Glory Unruh, you're a good egg," said our anchorman, Roger Snoble.

"If it weren't for people like you, I'd have to think about the news. I couldn't concentrate on my book."
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Episode 9: Meeting The Big Fish.

Edwell Unfun, our new copy editor, looked like a fish in a tank at a Chinese restaurant - enormous, gray, and with the pensive expression of something about to be eaten.

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Episode 10: Malley's Secret

The book told women not to bother their boyfriends at work, so when I went that weekend to see Malley dance, I sat in the fifth ring balcony. He couldn't possibly have seen me unless he was dancing with binoculars.

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Episode 11: I Hate Edwell Unfun.

We were all busy preparing important investigative stories for the coming ratings period, like a report that a sperm bank in the Chrysler Building had been turning down ugly donors.

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Episode 12: Alys Comes To Town

"That's him," Alys said, indicating a man being walked to our table.
He was handsome, and stocky, and very short. Very short. He looked like a trial-size bottle of shampoo.
"You get a better bargain on a short man," Alys said. "I've always told you that. They try harder to be nice to you. "
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Episode 13: That's Called Journalism.

I thought I recognized the station manager's voice, although it was rare for him to be in the office this late at night, and even rarer that he came out of his office on the eighth floor. I walked to the door of Roger's office, and saw the two of them, along with Julian, deep in conversation.
"Look, Roger learns every night," the station manager was saying. "He'll do a piece, say, about a war in Albania, when he really doesn't know anything about Albania. He learns as he goes. So can Lana."
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Episode 14: Lana Oceola: Girl Reporter.

Jill was boring, and she knew it, which is why she had tried to make herself more interesting by shaving her head. Now she was boring with a shaved head.

"If Lana is on-air talent now," Jill asked me, "is she no longer a P.A.?"

"I think she's still being paid like a P.A," I said.

"She's telling people she's a sportscaster now. She says she's going on-air tonight, and she has to do her hair," Jill said.
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Episode 15: News...It's Just Sports With Guns.

As soon as Lana went on the air again, my phone rang. That was odd in itself; considering the hours I worked, I rarely gave out my office number. I picked up the phone.
"Who," said a massaging masculine voice, "is that absolutely corrupting beauty reading the story about Guatemala?"
"Fabian?" I said. "What are you doing up so late?"
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Episode 16: The Other Woman.

To be honest, I'd never considered the idea that Malley might cheat on me. I mean, I'd never found lipstick on his collar, or anything.
Then again, Malley wore lipstick himself onstage, so there was probably lipstick on most of his collars.
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Episode 17: The Vibrating Tie.

The assistant director spoke into Roger's earpiece. "That tie vibrates," the assistant director said.
"Oh, come on. It's festive," said Roger. "I'm going on vacation."
The assistant director closed his mike.
"He won't take off the vibrating tie," he told rest of the control room. "Can we frame very closely on his face?"
"Just give the girl most of the copy," said the director.
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Episode 18: Finally, I Am Famous.

Looking up, I saw the clerk watching me.
He had enormous blue eyes, like little California swimming pools.

Continue Episode 18

Library of Congress Copyright TXU 785-872