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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Todd Dills


Dear Generation20something.com**,

I did receive your e-mailed solicitation re: stories about the trials of we saps snug in the craw of twentydome. I am indeed twentysomething (though I find it hard to remember exactly what age, more and more, as I tend to drink quite a lot of whiskey). It's a great and quite timely occurrence! for I have just the story for you.

Last night, sitting at my post as doorman at a bar in a depressed area of town, a drunk lady fell unconscious at the feet of her boyfriend (I think he was her boyfriend, anyway, though I have to admit it's hard to tell sometimes with the drunks that visit me there) as they drunkenly approximated what appeared to be the tango. She -- bangs ruffled and unkempt and the rest pulled up in a bun atop the rear of her head, red-jumpered, absolutely trashed -- fell right out of her slightly-less-drunk boyfriend's arms and myself, being the doorman -- stone sober, you see, and genuinely worried, here, that I would have to throw someone out -- moved across the dank and smoky room to the two of them, herself in a red, crumpled pile at the boy's feet while he stood there dazed for a moment at the occurrence. Need some help? I said. He only nodded stupidly at me, so I bent down and pulled her into a chair by the armpits. Dropping her there, though, I felt her arms give a small tug, her red self coming back to life, so I backed away; she rose, turned to me (at which point I caught a sight of the now absolutely nonplussed boyfriend, eyes wide, looking my utter reflection there -- shag haircut, denim jacket with little pin on the flap of the left breast pocket) and lunged at my face, catching my lips in her own in the sloppiest kiss ever achieved, at which point she passed out again. I did not catch her this time; I wiped my face with the arm of my jacket. The boyfriend made a small attempt at it himself, without much success. Then: "Get her out," I said to himself, but he stared at me, perhaps ten, twenty seconds. And passed out himself.

These two were born in 1974, I say. I know. I am the doorman.

I do not know if this is a story "to keep you from falling down," as you say. If not, the coffee I forced down the throats of these two before I threw them out might warrant a short tale of its own.

Please advise.


**Writers are needed to submit short stories or other creative narratives(journal entry, song, dialogue etc) on all aspects of being twentysomething for the book, Leaning Tower of Twentysomethings, Stories to Keep You From Falling Down. Money will be awarded if the story is accepted in the published book.

Stories should be in the first- or third-person, max 2000 words in length, and evoke a strong reaction from the reader. You don't have to be 20something to write, but your subject material should be about topics related to that period of life. Please check out the chapter descriptions and further submission guidelines on our site: www.generation20something.com. Deadline for submissions is June 5, 2003.

Please include title, author name, email address, word count and the applicable chapter for your story on all submissions.

Susan and Katy
Co-authors and Creative Directors
"Leaning Tower of Twentysomethings"

20 MARCH 2003