Wednesday, 17 October 2018


Chapter 2 from Monte Carlo Days & Nights, a novella by Susan Tepper

After dinner we take a stroll through Monte Carlo’s ancient streets.

When we return to the room, I place our breakfast order for the next morning. Would you mind doing that? he had asked me. Of course not, I answered back.

I dial room service and set it up to be delivered at 9 am. He likes when I order him a peach – my calling it a fresh peach to room service. He smiles, fingering his long beard, says how nicely I order and that it makes him happy. It would never occur to me that calling a peach a fresh peach could make a man happy. But, I’m happy to hear that. Because secretly I’m afraid. I’m afraid of most men who have achieved a pinnacle of success that I will never reach. I have just come off a month of cleaning planes. Right in the middle of summer the union airplane cleaners went on strike. We, the stewardesses, became the strike cleaners. The real cleaners broke all the vacuums and destroyed most of the cleaning equipment. We had to drag brooms down the plane aisles and through the seat areas. It’s hell pulling a broom over sticky spilled soda and dry hardened-on food. People smoked on the planes. We had to reach into the little arm rest ashtrays and empty the butts into plastic garbage bags. It was pretty gross. The galleys even more gross. The lavatories the most gross. I wore a mask and rubber gloves when cleaning the lavs. One hot afternoon I had to drive the biffy truck that went under the plane where the toilets emptied. That day I wore a football helmet and mask and goggles and gloves. And a damned good thing. I came out splattered with blue biffy liquid. All too horrible for words. The strikers stood by the runway fence heaving cans and bottles at us. Curses. Then it was all over. Now I’m on the French Riviera. Ordering him a fresh peach. Why don’t you get one too, he says. But not really. He doesn’t say that. I get what I want. It’s assumed. He has arranged a mani-pedi, massage, and mud-masks for us. The day I arrived in Monte, a shopping bag from Hermes sat on the bed. In it was the most gorgeous long silk scarf. He called it my welcome gift. The luxury everywhere here is undeniable. Yet I would have liked him to suggest that I get a fresh peach, also.      

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"Peach" is from Susan Tepper's novella Monte Carlo Days & Nights.

More about Susan Tepper and her widely published work can be found at

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