[Forbidden Love, Sunday is a work in process, a movable feast, written by a rotating cadre of guest authors. Submissions welcomed.]

Installment Five. Where our ladies take a meeting.

V. Fan Mail From Some Flounder

TO: Arnie Lipshauser, Editor-in-Chief
FROM: Peter Flodera, Publisher
RE: Forbidden Love, Sunday

Arnie:

First of all, let me just praise you from rudder to stern. Tension has been running like a frigging freight train out of control. Four thousand hits a week. Better than some of them damn sex sites [check out www.asianswithlimps.com, if you dare]. And the fiction-Tina Brown can just kiss my tight white ass. Who needs Updike when we have ... well, when we have the writers that we have. I admit I haven't read everything we've run in the last couple of issues, but I know what I like and I like what we've run. As I was saying to my wife Patty just the other night, that Arnie sure has got his nose deep up the ass of fiction.

Having got that out of the way, let me also say that I am a bit confounded [if that's the word; dismayed?] with the way "Forbidden Love, Sunday" is going. [And what exactly is that title supposed to refer to, exactly?] Starting out with a murder, or death, or whatever it was-a classic beginning for a serial novel [I've read Dickens, I've read Wilkie Collins]-certainly seemed, on paper, like a good idea, and I even liked having the woman [Odelay, is that her name?] flirt with the priest [irreverence always makes good copy--did you read that blurb in Wired? "Tension is the potato dumpling in that endless buffet on the information autobahn." Patty says it's a compliment-trust her to know]. But for Christ sakes man, where is the damn story going? I mean, it is going somewhere isn't it? On the road to the goddamn Alamo my secretary informs me. And where the hell is that I've got to ask.

When we decided to run a work in progress, I was all for free-form jazz. I was willing to call the wind Maria. But I can't go to the frigging Board of Directors with the Boblo boat and a nun named Sister Skull. I need an outline. I need a climax. Send me a response by EOB tomorrow.

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TO: Win Belinski, Fiction Editor
FROM: Arnie Lipshauser, Editor-in-Chief
RE: Forbidden

I've attached another midnight emission from Flodera. He needs a climax. Email me your thoughts.

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EMAIL to alips@tension.com
SENT by winski@tension.com

viz. Forbidden. I see exotic locations: San Morry, Athens, Ibiza (with a lisp), Chicago. I see S&M in the suburbs; Deadhead dope ranchers, child prostitution; women with post-feminist eating disorders. I see America smoking again. Of course, I also see Sharon Stone in the made-for-TV miniseries (career desperate for a good kick in the groin). Syndicated ad infinitum on Lifetime. Has Flodera even read the thing? Odelay? Who's that supposed to be-Beck's grandmother? And explain to Flodera that our two ladies are off to San Antonio, which is not necessarily The Alamo. The plot thickens: 1) Hennie is pregnant, Cyrek (first husband of Odette) is the proud papa; 2)As Chekov once supposedly said, "If you introduce a gun in the first act, it must go off in the third." Odette buys a gun-at the karaoke bar?-she fights with Cyrek (who has arrived in San Anton with his third wife Mamie, dog groomer to the stars), and kiss-kiss, bang-bang, the gun goes off. 3) Our sisters find themselves on a plane for Sao Paulo.

Will this make Flodera happy?

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Overheard in the 2nd floor ladies room at Tension magazine:

Woman #1: Did you read the latest Forbidden? Hennie gets to San Antonio and eats some bad clams. My god it was hysterical.
Woman #2: Just like an 'I Love Lucy' routine.
#1: Plus that obscure 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' reference. Typical boomer nostalgia crap, but I love it.
#2: Isn't finding your inner child passe these days?
#1: That's what I'm saying.

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TO: Arnie
FROM: Peter Flodera, Publisher

Child prostitution? Have you gone insane? With Gates this close to acquiring Tension? Need I remind you what this acquisition means to our wallets. S&M in the suburbs my ass.

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EMAIL to tsmeer@tension.com
SENT by winski@tension.com

Trish:

Sent the draft off to Stone as threatened. As you know, I met her agent on the red eye to SF when I went to that screenwriting convention. Sat across the aisle from me, and I in that black rubber shirt you like so much, he was, well what's the word for interested in French? Not very crowded in first (Stone Phillips and what looked like one of the Baldwin bros-Steven? Frank? Jesse?) so I got to talk to him the whole flight (the agent not the Baldwin)-name's Sil Morrisoe-about the treatment to Forbidden I wrote and he ate it up with a little silver baby spoon. If only all my conquests were so easy. Yes, of course (and do not get moral on me) I spent the weekend with him (he was staying in a much better room). Okay, so my career's worth a couple of blowjobs and one poke up the chute.

Win

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EMAIL to winski@tension.com
SENT by alips@tension.com

Where the hell have you been? Flodera is this close to dumping Forbidden. We need new writers, new ideas, new BLOOD. Check out the latest story in Unzipped. I forget the writer's name, but see if she's interested. DO NOT pay her.

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EMAIL to winski@tension.com
SENT by silsoe@ICM.com

Winnie-of-my-pooh:

Dear heart, am in town next weekend, at the Dorchester. Desirous for a remake of SF. With you in the lead {the top?} of course. A la recherche du buttfuck perdu? How do you make a hormone? Don't respond to his email. By the way, Stone read your treatment and loved it, but with her commitment to the life of Alice James, she is over optioned at the moment. It's a glamorous life. Frankly, I always pictured Stone in the life of William James. Anyway, I think Holly Hunter {another client dear heart} was just made for the part.

Sil-we-meet-again

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Overheard in the 2nd floor ladies room at Tension magazine:

Woman #1: I hear once they get to Sao Paulo Odette runs an abortion clinic and Hennie becomes a revolutionary.
Woman #2: No, I heard the plane never takes off. The pilot forgot the keys or something. Anyway, Odette is apprehended, and there's a big courtroom drama, a la OJ.
#1: Legal dramas are last year's news. No one is even reading Grisham anymore. 'Murder One' was canceled for god's sake. It's all about abortions and revolutions now.
#2: Well, Tension is the potato dumpling darling.

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EMAIL to tsmeer@tension.com
SENT by winski@tension.com

I know you disapprove of my drive for success (or at least the methods to my madness), but all is not in vain. The weekend at the Dorchester was a complete KO (no, not the sex; frankly the guy is hung like a chijuaja). DGeffen was also staying at the hotel, and our little friend Sil Morrisoe (agent to the stars) invites him to the room for a drink. Thank god I had just come from working out. You should have seen the contours of my spandex shirt. Va va and voom. Anyway, after Geffen bid his adieu (with a wink and a smile to moi) I just happened to get these very sever pre-menstrual headaches. Told Sil the equipment just wasn't going to work. He was so solicitous: told me to go home and soak my head. Then I just kited up to Geffen's suite (so much nicer than Sil's room) and we became the fastest of fuck buddies. Hey baby, I'm asking for the stars and the moon. Hooray for Hollywood, and fuck this Tension.

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SENT VIA FACSIMILE
Dear Mr. Belinski:

Thank you for your kind solicitation. I am thrilled to be asked to write a segment for your fabulous story "Forbidden Love, Sunday." I have been enthralled with this story ever since it first appeared in Tension. Let me also add, vis-a-vis Wired, Tension is more like the seven-layer salad of the information banquette than greasy potato dumplings. Have those freaks at Wired even tasted a potato dumpling lately? I think not.

I am surprised you caught my story "Going Down on Bijou" in Unzipped. Surprised but somehow vindicated. I didn't know anyone even read their fiction. Have you read my poetry? I write delicious poetry. Does Tension publish poetry?

Anyway ... yes, yes, yes, I would love to write for Tension.

I have this idea for an epistolary episode of Forbidden. I am thinking faxes and memos and email messages. That whole corporate insiderness. You know, something like: Chapter XX, where our ladies take a meeting.

Yours,
Afreeka Wurzberger

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PRESS STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Win Belinski, Fiction Editor of Tension magazine, has today announced his decision to leave the magazine. Mr. Belinski had been the Fiction Editor for two years. Belinski was quoted as saying: "The Family Tension has always been like a haven to me. But it became a place too easy to work in, with the love and encouragement I received daily. For my own sake, I have decided I needed new challenges, broader horizons."

Mr. Belinksi is moving to Los Angles, where he intends to work on a screenplay for Dreamworks SKG. I know all of you join us in wishing him the best of luck in this new endeavor.

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EMAIL to winski@dreamworks.com
SENT by silsoe@ICM.com

Win-some-lose-some:

Congrats on the vertical move to Dreamworks. Or is this the downward spiral? Hope you enjoy fucking Geffen. Not a very tight hole there. By the by, never did show that piece of shit you wrote to Stone.

Sil-the-cows-come-home

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TO: Arnie Lispshauser, Editor-in-Chief
FROM: Peter Flodera, Publisher

What the hell are my memos doing in this issue's Forbidden?

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Overheard in the 2nd floor ladies room at Tension magazine:

Woman #1: So Hennie and Odette really aren't sisters?
Woman #2: Apparently not. I don't know, I think this whole lesbian thing is way overplayed.
Woman #1: Straight men just love that shit.
Woman #2: And what's up what that whole long sequence with the brother in the bathtub being interviewed by Bridget Bardot?
Woman #1: Forbidden is just slouching to hell in the proverbial hand basket.
Woman #2: Amen, sister of mine. Amen.

Tension Summer 1997

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