Brooklyn Bridge

“The Do Over, Part 2” by Dean Goldberg

The next day, after a hard day at the shop, Howard was driving over the Brooklyn Bridge on his way to the apartment at 100 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights. He’d made the phone call to Holly right after lunch. Howard had figured out that if he called early enough—best right after lunch, the lie would have much more credibility.

“Honey, I’ve got to get the quarterly numbers to the accountant by 11pm. Murray is working with me, but I think it’s going to go down to the wire”.

“Okay Howard.”

Honey always said ‘Okay,’ because she knew that she could trade her kindness for something more substantial down the road; something that usually took the shape of a nice piece of jewelry or even a trip to Boca.

“So, you’ll stay at the apartment?”

Howard sighed. He was an excellent sigher. In fact, Howard had sighs for all occasions, although any sighs of contentment were long in his past. This was his providing for his family in the manner they are accustomed to, no matter how much he had to work sigh.

“Yes, unless I want to ride home at midnight, which wouldn’t be the worst thing but I’ve got to meet the salesman from Doubleday at 9am tomorrow.”

“At least eat a good dinner, sweetheart. Get take-out from Katz’s.”

“Good idea. Gotta go. I’ll call later if it’s not too late.”

“Ok. Kiss kiss.”

“Kiss kiss.”

Howard mentally checked that box off and then called Ashley. Unsurprisingly he got her recording.

“Sorry I missed your call but please leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can. I promise!”

He did.


Now a word or two about Ashley:

Ashley Goldblatt

Sophomore, New York University

Ashley is studying communication and dance at Tish School.

She loves movies, Indian cuisine, hot cocoa in front of a brilliant fire.

Her friends describe her as funny and irreverent. Ashley is an honors student with a GPA of 3.8.


Ashley also moonlighted as a high-end prostitute, or what your spinster aunt might have called “a kept woman.” Howard paid the $2,000 a month for the apartment directly opposite his. Of course, he took it as a business expense. The deal was thus; while Howard couldn’t install her in the apartment, for obvious reasons—because they, Howard and Holly that is, would use the place whenever they went to the theatre or opera.

In fact, Howard hadn’t left the shop until 8pm—he really did have to do some work with his accountant,  so by the time he pulled in to the garage on Clark Street, it was around 9pm. He greeted the parking attendants in his usual one of the guys style, which meant a hand bump and a five dollar bill. Howard loved the Heights, urban yet cozy, away from the ruckus of Manhattan.

I wonder what my life would be like if I was a bachelor and lived here?

 Then he thought about Naomi and Nina, and while he had didn’t actually like them too much, especially at this age, that idea of them being written out of existence made him uncomfortable.

This is definitely going to be complicated, he thought to himself.

Remsen Street was quiet by this time of night, the part time doorman had gone hours ago. Howard let himself in through the lobby door and took the few quick steps to the elevator. He had to press the button for the 6th floor three times, before the 50-year-old elevator opened to make its trip skyward. Howard had dry swallowed his purple pill when he left the shop, so by the time he rang the buzzer, he was raring to go.

But Ashley was not going to be so easily put upon, (literally); the ritual must be maintained, after all (Ashley was big on integrity). She was wearing a new sexy silk nothing she’d bought at Bergdorf’s  and had a bottle of Champaign chilling on ice.

Ashley cooed, “Hello baby doll.  Did you have a hard day today? You look tired.”

She took his coat and scarf then led him into the living room.

“Sit down darling and tell me all about it.” She pulled the bottle from the ice bucket and undid the cork. Then she poured out two glasses. They toasted. Ashley was very keen to do her best at her newly found profession. Her parents had both encouraged her “do the best job you can do, whatever it is,” and Ashley had taken that advice to heart.

Her fascination with this line of work actually began after Ashely went to see the film Risky Business, when she was on a school break. She thought Rebecca De Mornay was sooo sexy and cool and had pretty much decided that at some point in her young life (before marrying) she would spend a little time turning tricks and make a bunch of money, making old men happy.

“I believe it’s a mitzvah,” she told her best friend Marsha Rabinovitch.


It was exactly at the refill of the second glass that Howard would usually begin his list of his Job-like burdens,

  1. The pressure of keeping his employees happy was getting to him.

“I mean, whether business is good or bad, I have to provide for them and their families!”

  1. While he loves his wife, he’s just getting…

“I don’t know, restless? I mean I’m still in my prime (Ashley always nods at this) and well, Holly’s so, so complacent.”

  1. He has dreams. Big Dreams, although what they are is anybody’s guess.

“I have dreams, Ashley. Big Dreams.”

After a few more minutes of complaints, they’d repair to the bedroom where

Howard would only answer to the name Tiger for the duration—which wasn’t

very long. Howard was back in his own apartment by 11pm. (Ashley had homework).

He sat up reading the book he borrowed, finished and place it in his bag, after writing $9.00 in pencil on the cover page. Just before he turned off the light, he thought a little bit more about the do over.

            I’m not getting a wish, no chance of instant wealth beyond my imagination. Just one day that I can repeat. Maybe I should just play it real safe and go back to meeting Ashley and nip that in the bud. I’d save a lot of money—she’s going to graduate in two years and she’ll be gone.  I’m sure of that. But right now, I’ve got a sweet deal, no doubt about that. No, Ashley stays.

 Then he turned off the light and was asleep in minutes. Sometime, maybe around 3am, he woke with a start. He had dreamed the dream that he couldn’t erase; the day his Jewish bride to be, Stephanie King, stood him up. I wonder, he said out loud. Then turned over and went back to sleep.

Meanwhile…back in New Jersey


Holly placed the receiver gently into the cradle of her bedside refurbished Princess Phone, turned around to face a half-naked Jerry Schatz. Jerry shot Holly a hopeful look.

“He won’t be home tonight.” Holly lit a cigarette (she knew Howard would smell the tobacco, even after a couple of days, but she always had her “I get so nervous being alone” excuse). She looked at her watch. “But you better go, the kids will be home soon.”

“Don’t they do anything after school?”

“Yes, but today is a faculty meeting. No clubs.”

Jerry got up, put on his pants.

“You know I love you, Holly.”

Holly blew out a long stream of smoke. “Oh Jerry, don’t be an idiot. You like me—and I like you, but let’s not confuse good sex with love.”

Buttoning his shirt in the full-length mirror, Jerry said, “But I’m so miserable in my marriage—and you are too.”

With a cigarette dangling from her mouth Holly started dressing. “My marriage is just fine; he makes the money and I spend it.

“And his cheating?”

This incited a sardonic laugh, “are you serious?”

Holly kissed Jerry on the cheek.

“Now go. I have shopping to do and change these sheets, they’re full of come.”



Now to be fair to everyone in the story, here’s a short play that digs deep into the heart and mind of Bloom children Naomi and Nina



INTERIOR: The Mall at Short Hills.

TIME:  1pm.

Naomi (14 years old) and Nina (16 years old) Bloom are in the shoe department at   Bloomingdales. The air is perfumed with Christian Dior Poison but the atmosphere is thick with tension and Michael Jackson. Nina picks up a pair of the newest Louie Vuitton boots.

Nina: I do love these boots! They’re so, so cool.

            Naomi: Yes they are!

            Nina: So you like them!?

            Naomi: I do!

            Nina: Should I get them!?They’re expensive…what will daddy say?

            Naomi: Who cares!!! You must have them!



INTERIOR: Security Office.

Nina and Naomi are both sitting on a wooden bench as the security guard examines the unpaid for boots.

End of Act 2.1


During the short trip between Clark Street and Park Row, Howard couldn’t shake his thoughts about Stephanie. From the outset, Howard knew Stephanie was spoiled. Spoiled, beautiful, raven haired, prone to sulk, she really was Howard’s dream girl.

Of course she was spoiled! thought Howard. Her father, had been the head of surgery at NYU medical center. Her mother came from money. She was the most beautifully striking woman he’d ever seen and after she went down on him for the first time, he was completely hooked. I mean, she swallowed for Christ’s sake!

            Howard was so deep in his memories he almost hit a yellow cab while coming off the bridge (he was still thinking about the blow job, something that Holly hadn’t done in a year).

“Jeez!” Howard hit the brakes, while the cabbie gave him the finger and yelled.


Howard shot back, “Asshole!”

Howard arrived at work in a foul mood. Walking straight into the stockroom, he found Manuel, his stockboy sitting on a crate smoking a cigarette.

“Manny, I told you no smoking! Now put that out and get to work.”

Manny threw the butt on the floor and stamped it out.

“I was just taking five, Mr. Bloom.”

“You don’t start working and you’ll have all the time in the world!”

Manny murmured a couple of Spanish curses under his breath as Howard walked out of the stockroom and smack into an older, but no less beautiful Stephanie Weiser Miller King. For a moment time stood still. The two froze. Then Stephanie pulled them both into the real world.

“Hello, Howard.”

Howard stood. Mute.

Howard, don’t you remember me?”

To be continued.

1 thought on ““The Do Over, Part 2” by Dean Goldberg”

  1. This is a very compelling and intriguing story. I love the complexity of the relationship between Harold and his wife. I am really looking forward to the next installment!

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