I locked the bathroom door, sat down on the edge of the tub and began to type:

The sun glowed like a melon

Like the yolk of an Ostrich egg. . .

The sun yolked its way screaming into dawn.

"Mom," a small voice yelled through the keyhole, "why are you typing in the bathroom?"

"It's the only room in this house with a lock on the door -- that's why. Just give me a few more hours and I promise, I'll come out."

"That's super weird, Mom. Typing in the bathroom. Really weird."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, kid. Now . . . just let me experience this weirdness for maybe one, two hours, tops, and I'll emerge from this tiled walls with a tome in hand."

"You're talking funny, too," she mumbled, padding off.

I stuffed the keyhole with toilet tissue and continued:

She lifted one long, perfect finger leg eyebrow and threw back her thigh head, chortling maniacally but not without compassion. She had never seen the sun yolk its way into dawn before.

"Hey, Mom," called a muffled voice through the keyhole, "why are you typing in the dark?"

"I'm not typing in the dark. I have stuffed the keyhole with tissue paper.

What do you want?"

"There's a man downstairs who says he has to see you. You better come out."

"I'll be down in a second -- tell him to wait."

Her black hair flowed into a pool on her back. . .

Her hair, which was black, pooled on her shoulders and cascaded down her loins arm arms.

I got up, reluctant to leave now that the writing was going so well. But someone was waiting. Who, I wondered? I pictured his bronzed trunk limbs torso pectorals and felt a chill of anticipation lust malaise.

"You owe me for the dry cleaning. Seven-forty-seven," he said, standing there somewhere behind his stomach, holding up my winter coat.

Ah yes, I remembered. I sent it out during chapter nine just before the pre-chapter ten closet cleaning and coathanger polishing.

"Thank you," I said, taking the coat. "I'll write you a check. Ever the writer," I chuckled softly and real cute.

"You're kidding me? You're a writer?" "I'm a writer." His eyes narrowed and a mean smile played skipped rope across his stingy lips, "Ya sell anything yet?"

"No, but I'm close." I wrote a check for the coat and lit a cigarette. Smoke filled my eyes ears nostrils lungs. "I'll never be poor again," I cried lustily and threw down the cigarette, crushing it with my shoe, knee, feet.

Dry-cleaner man stood there and looked at his check. In my passion wisdom, I had crushed it as well.

"I'm sure you'll get lucky," he said, taking back my coat. "I know i did."

"Lucky?" I gargled, and shot one lip eyebrow skyward.

"Yeah, I just sold movie-sitcomdocu-merchandising rights to my book . . . THE LAST VAT."

"The Last Vat? The Last Vat?" I parroted.

"See, this terrorist group sabotages the nation's dry-cleaning plants -- okay? They put chemicals in the LAST VAT, okay? Everyone's clothes, okay, start coming back . . . TOO BIG. People go nuts; think their bodies are shrinking.

"The beauty of this story is that it touches on the econo-enviro-energy problem as well as the drama of dry cleaning. Takes place in the major fun spots all over the globe. Oh, yes," he added, stuffing my coat back into its plastic bag, "the hero is a Bayonne rabbi -- Lance Thornburg, with a penchant for pendants. So, Okay, for a subplot, you learn a lot about Bayonne and a helluva lot about the jewelry business."

I turned dumbly on my heels, spun around a few times and climbed the stairs; my head muddy and bowed. No, make that, my head held tightly in my hands.

"So?" yelled my tormentor, "what should I do with the coat?"

A guffaw ripped through my throat. Throwing back my hair, hands, limbs, I yelled back, "You can toss it, along with your book, in The Last Vat." A ripple of ha-ha's erupted from him me one of us and he was gone.

I sat down in front of the typewriter and read my book's first sentence -- written during the blizzard of '57: THE LAST PAT

The encono-enviro-megabuck story of the shrinking supply of butter; who gets it, how they get it, their lives and loves, spread over the major fun spots of the globe and melting into one of the great romances of all time -- the Bayonne dairyman's daughter and the pendant king of the Orient.

The sun yolked its way through dawn, slowly melting the last pat.