Leaving Innocence

Chapter 1 Sample


Chapter 1

New York 1976

Alice splits the croissant, dips it in the ceramic honey pot on our breakfast tray, stuffs the dripping end into her mouth, and closes her eyes. Then, it’s my turn, and she repeats the process, beckoning me to lean closer, so she can stuff the honeyed pastry into my mouth. I watch a drool of nectar run down her chin and drip onto her bare breast. Warmed by her ebony skin, the liquid follows the long curve to a swollen nipple, forming a hesitant drop that clings with eager desire. Still with eyes shut, she takes another bite, and the sweet liquid trails along the same soft path to the ripe end of her and drips with a lazy thread onto her open thigh.

Over the forty years I’ve known Alice, I’ve watched her breasts gradually sag. My surgery textbook taught about Cooper’s ligament, and how with age it loses its power to lift the most beautiful of Nature’s gifts, allowing the breasts to drop. We residents called it, “Cooper’s droopers”. But Alice remains a stunning beauty with only a few thin lines around her eyes and a head of long, luxuriously raven hair with random streaks of gray. In all respects Alice Black Feather is a woman who steals the eyes of men. 

Alice gives me that look and whispers, “Max, I’m dripping into my honeypot.”

Having breakfast on the small balcony of our fourteenth-floor hotel room overlooking Central Park and the Met Museum, Alice and I are having another of our midlife flings. The street traffic of the morning commute is a low whine of distant bees and a gust of wind tosses hair over her face and blows open her loose robe to reveal more of her. I promised myself when I next came to New York, I would indulge in nostalgia, and part of that meant calling up Alice and telling her I would be in town for a meeting. We both are single and have years of shared history, so we are free to have as much sex as we want, stay in the best hotel rooms, savor upscale restaurants, and stay up late with a silver high hat of iced champagne and talk into the night about old times.


“Are you sure you still want to follow me around on my nostalgia tour?” I say.

“Of course, New York is where it all began for you. I’ve heard your story so many times I could tell it myself, but it’s important I see the actual places you’re going to write about. Count me in.”

Alice was born with an enlarged curiosity. Today, she is an accomplished poet and one of New York’s finest journalists, doing investigative reporting and writing editorials for the Sentinel. In the 1940s, while I attended medical school at New York’s University Hospital, she won the Knickerbocker Prize in Journalism for uncovering the biggest police scandal in New York history. A widow, she retains her maiden name of Black Feather to honor her proud origins as a Cherokee-Negro.

We wanted to get married in the 30s, but anti-miscegenation laws prohibited union between the races. But in 1967 the Supreme Court ruled those laws were unconstitutional, so now we can get married, but we choose not to. We love our relationship the way it is.

“Today I want to visit Finnegan’s in the Bowery. I’ve got that award ceremony in the Grand Ballroom at 3, and I want to show you Morrie’s Bookshop.”

She takes my hand and the wind blows open our bathrobes to reveal our nakedness. She giggles like a girl and pulls me inside, saying, “before we shower, I want you to tend to my honey.”

Leaving Innocence cover

Leaving Innocence cover

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Leaving Innocence