Audrey Heartburn

My mother, to be funny, used to call me Audrey Heartburn every time I was told I looked like Audrey, realizing after 30 years of therapy, it was because she was jealous of the comparison.

It’s no wonder one has self-esteem issues, having a mother as a competitor.

To be truthful, Audrey Hepburn was much better looking than I ever was, and did copy her style, even now since, after all these years, the waif look still works.

Women ask where I got my black ballet flats and Capri pants that end above the ankle. T-shirts that are just plain cotton. French sailor pullovers that have been around forever beneath a slim black blazer you can buy at any Gap.

Can’t leave out that little black dress worn with only pearls.

Classic clothes that still impress as if they’re brand new.

But back to the Italian Cruella DeVille. She’d say things like, who do you think you are dressing like Sabrina, before confiscating my tights and turtleneck saying she had no idea what happened to them.

I started hiding things under the mattress and behind my bureau trying to outsmart her, alas, a losing battle. And if I accused her, she’d slap then punish me, the trap I’d fall into time and time again.

When I was finally on my own, it took a while before I felt my beloved belongings were safe, afraid someone would climb through the window leaving, wearing my shoes.

Lila, a shrink I had, was the one who cured me of my sartorial paranoia saying, if I securely shut the windows and locked the door, my wardrobe would be fine.

In hindsight, I was a kid out on my own way too soon, without stable ground to stand on. If asked, how I managed to survive and even flourish at times, I’d say, it was due to my innate sense of humor, carrying me like a life raft.

To this day, you’d find an item or two, along with a little cash, under my box springs, because well, when you’re Audrey Heartburn, you just can’t be too careful. images-2 images-1 images-3There’s the real thing, then there’s me.







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Fats and Tats

I’ve noticed how many chubby men and women have tattoos. And I don’t just mean a rose or scull here and there either. I’m talking, arms and legs, covered, like a comic strip in bulky flight.

This came to my attention in Brooklyn, where tats are as common as shoes and socks. Everyone has a tattoo, EVERYONE…but again, the larger the individual, the more extensive appears the artwork.

It fascinates me actually, me who can’t commit to a change in hairdo, let alone something irreversible, like a Basset Hound grinning from my forearm, and we know how much I love Bassets. Thank God I wasn’t drunk tooling through the East Village one day, because Carmela could be permanently stenciled on my collarbone. images

I always compare a tattoo to wearing clogs since there was a time I wore nothing but. Now, I hate them, feel they’re clumsy and unattractive. Could you imagine in a moment of rebellious pique having them forever fastened to my feet?

We’d be in a straight jacket, speaking in tongues.

I asked a couple of people their thoughts.

A therapist I know, very straight but open-minded said, “It distinguishes someone, like their signature, also, this obese population you seem fixed on Susannah, may just want to divert from their obesity,”


I then asked a guy on the train whose arms were covered, and he said, ”What the fuck is it to you?”

I approached another hefty man with a big white pit, who had them. He was a Latino in his 60s, missing a tooth here and there, yet had Sally, in festive colors emblazoned on both triceps.

Before asking him any questions that might inspire him to slug me, I asked the name of his dog, who was the cutest, leaning cozily against his thigh like a contented sweetheart, and he said without pause…

“Her name is Sally.”    





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Most Poignant Story of the Week

I met a woman in the park with a Corgi. You don’t see many of what’s been coined the Queen’s dogs, since it’s not one of your more popular breeds.

They’re so funny looking they’re cute, with their large heads and long, fat bodies trottin’ on short, stubby legs. It’s as though they were constructed from spare parts. This one was so royally stubborn, you’d think it knew its heritage. images-2

As I stretched on a bench, I listened to her beg, plead, bribe then finally yell to get him to resume walking.

I chimed in, “Is it a male?”

“Of course,” she said, shaking her head, “who else would be this stubborn.”

“Try flattery. That usually works with a man.”

She laughed.

“Mind if I try?”

“Be my guest.”

“Hey Corg, you’re look’in pretty good, ya know that.”

He yawned, before rolling on his back like he was working on his tan.

“Hmm…not to change the subject, but I just got through reading Queen Elizabeth had nine Corgis at one time. Nine, isn’t that amazing?”

“Not anymore,” said the woman. “The last one died not that long ago. Willow was his name. He was 15.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Well, I’m sure she’ll be getting more.”

Okay, here it comes, get out your hankies.

“No, actually she won’t be,” she said with a sigh. “You see, she loves them so, she doesn’t want any to outlive her, worried how they’d be without her.”

To say my heart curtsied would be an understatement. How sad and noble is that, knowing at her age that would more or less be the case (she’ll be 93 in April).

We both stood silently looking at the Corgi at hand when I said, “What’s his name by the way?


“Errol, on behalf of the Queen, I ask you to please get up.”

He picked up his oversized head looking at me as if to say, well, since you put that way, and believe it or not, did.

Even he was moved, so to speak. images-1

God bless a true Queen of Hearts, and all those who love their animals, putting their needs first above their own.



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Blog Life

I’m here assessing my site that’s pretty unread. I don’t do much to glean followers I’ll admit, so that’s a big part of it. I realize social-media is a must if you want mass attention.

It didn’t stop me though from dismantling my Facebook page because the creeps were coming out of the woodwork.

Hey it’s Bob, remember me? We had sex in the backseat of my father’s Pontiac.

Susannah it’s Jill. I stole your boyfriend in high school. Wanna have lunch?

I often wonder what possesses people to think you’d be happy to hear from them after 40 years of trying to forget them.

That said.

I’m not a big blog reader, preferring to use the time to write, including posts that few will read since I’m not reading theirs. I’ve said this many times, but I’d rather have 3 people who really like my writing than 100 who couldn’t care less, but need my LIKE like it’s a vital organ.

This reminds me of Friday Fictioneers where you’re asked to write a short piece inspired by the posted photograph. The couple of times participating, I read a bunch since they’re short and sweet, and was quite read in return. Since then however, I’ve never heard from one of them, except for David who’s so busy writing his beloved fiction, he rarely blogs at all these days.

I rest my case.

I love to write. It means more to me than anything. I will just have to accept my lack of popularity relishing the page as is, a place where I can pen my prose plain and simple, never forgetting art is a gift, even if it’s not widely recognized.

I appreciate the handful of readers I do have, and thank you most humbly.

Susannah Bianchi—Writer


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Shame on HU-mer

imagesYou know where I’d be without my sense of humor? In the nearest nuthouse, that’s where.

Apparently my silly little Beagle piece was not received well by someone, feeling it necessary to send me a personal email to tell me so.

Gone are the good old days when privacy was respected, thanks to the audacity of the internet, short of my blood type, will happily tell you everything there is to know.

It’s AB Positive, by the way.

It appears my #Metoo crack at the end was allegedly in bad taste.

To quote the late, great Kurt Vonnegut, I will say anything to be funny, often in the most horrible situations.


I have to laugh (see I can’t help it) at the presumption to not have empathy for those women who’ve declared publicly they’ve been sexually assaulted.

On the contrary, my admiration for their valor is vast.

This is what I know. Most women have had something sexually inappropriate happen to them in their lifetime, including little old, mean…HOW COULD YOU SUSANNAH…me.

When #METOO started collecting speed, three lovely ladies I know told me stories long buried, suddenly above ground as if it were the Day of the Dead.

If one remembers, I wrote about the oily music man lying about getting me an agent when I was 20, hopeful, trusting and terribly stupid that, just so you know, still gives me a significant chill.

The person who took umbrage at Mr. Beagle being the Cosby of canines clearly isn’t a regular reader because then they would have known, if I was indeed ridiculing the METOOMOVEMENT, then I was ridiculing myself as well.

Where would I be without my sense of humor after surviving an alcoholic, abusive home, beaten and told daily, I was stupid; enduring men who, lied, stole, cheated and left, leaving only their credit card debt as they rode into the sunset with some deceitful blonde I thought was a friend?

You know where I’d be?

In an urn, in the shape of the Chrysler Building on my pal Ed’s book shelf next to a copy of, Gone With the Wind.

So to quote dear Mr. Vonnegut once more….and so it goes.

And to quote me…

lighten up amigo, you’ll live longer.







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What I Saw

An older woman in her Shabbat best, stopping to give the man with no legs money. She does it covertly, so not to embarrass him with such tenderness bringing tears to my eyes. I watch his sad face light up when she takes his hand to squeeze it.

An infant on the train encased in her stroller like a pink Sherman Tank, her Muslim mom rocking it to and fro. Sitting across I watch this innocent entity yawn, her eyes fluttering like a cream-colored butterfly, oblivious to the din and jolts as she sweetly falls asleep.

A hard hat trying to woo a pretty girl with pizza.

“Oh come on,” he says, when she smiles, but keeps going. “It has anchovies,” he yells, as he wistfully watches her turn the corner without looking back.

A man in a wheelchair stopping to ask why I’m crying.

“Just having a, not so good day,” I tell him.

“Can I do anything for you?” he asks, like Jesus on the beach comforting his disciples.

“You just did,” I say, binding my wounds, remembering my legs, I tend to take for granted.


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Mr. Beagle

I’m having a love affair. There, I’ve admitted it.

He’s handsome, fit, funny and has four legs. Yes, I know, there’s always something, but regardless, we still meet most mornings in front of the bank.

His ears are a bit long, but I kinda like that since, you do know what they say about a Beagle with big ears don’t ya?

He belongs to a very nice man who liked me ever since I asked if Mr. Beagle was single. I love to hear him chuckle when I crouch down to chat.

“Hi handsome, how are you today…was wonderin’, whatcha’ doin’ later?”

Mr. Beagle, is a bit aloof and doesn’t respond right away, until I rev up the flattery, because like most men, it works every time.

“Have I told you lately how cute you are? I love your new raincoat. Brooks Brothers? Polo? Comme Des Garcons? Fits you like a glove, but that’s what a good tailor’s for. What’s that ya say?…

I look pretty good too? Why Mr. Beagle, you’re makin’ me blush.”

That’s when he shimmies over to sniff my crotch, again, like any healthy male though, he could use a few tips in sexual discretion, something I’ve casually mentioned to his owner.

Like I’ve told him, you don’t want some hysterical Yorkie calling CNN to yelp…METOO, now do ya?     🙂


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The Shiksa Diaries

Shiksa is Yiddish for a non-Jewish woman, a phrase meant to be a tad insulting.

Its roots stem from the Hebrew word, sheketz, meaning impure and the object of loathing.

I, on the other hand, always take it as a compliment of being noticed as a gentle woman, rather than a gentile one.

Theres’s a beautiful synagogue not far from where I live. 

A very old Jewish man was headed there during a sudden rain storm. He had a cane, his yarmulke challenged by the wind, so I sidled up to offer him my arm.

He looked at me through what John Quincy Adams called, a darkening eye, seeming shocked I had stopped.

“I am u-kee,” he said, in an old world parlance waving me away.

My humor, always at hand said, ‘What, is it because I’m a shiksa?”

Before he could answer, a huge wind whipped up causing him to stumble.

I quickly grabbed him so he wouldn’t fall, his Torah now at his feet, pulling us both against the side of the temple so we could brace ourselves.

A security guard came out to help, taking him by both arms. This allowed me to rescue the sacred text getting soaked on the sidewalk, managing to unclench the old man’s hands to reclaim it.

While the guard more or less dragged him into the synagogue’s great hall, I hear, “Vait, vait, vere eez’ da sheek-sa? Is she u-kee?”

As the wind stood behind me finally at rest, like a boyfriend who had had a little too much to drink, I hollered…

“I’m here, I’m here…all is well.”

“Toda, toda,” he said, before disappearing into the safety of God’s noble house.

As far as this shiksa goes…

I smiled knowing, toda means, thank you, in Hebrew.



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Best Story of the Week…October 11th

I’m walking through the Park, east to west. There’s a sexy, young fellow shirtless, sitting on a bench in the Indian summer sun, stroking a long-haired German Shepherd.

I smile and say, “Wow, that’s what I call handsome.”

The man, his chest gleaming with 18 coats of suntan oil, smiles back. “Why thank you,” he says, “nothing like a tan, is there?”

“I meant the dog,” I say, giggling.

To his credit, he giggled too.

Nothing like a guy (and a dog) with a sense of humor.

Woof!  🙂 Unknown


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Too Hungry For Words

I’ve been on an Agatha Christie binge immersed in her classic, uncluttered prose.

Simple language, yet working your imagination as if her hero, Hercule Poirot, and you, were one.

She really ignites your wanderlust since, After Death on the Nile, I’m dying to put a mosquito net around my bed, not to mention locating a camel I could take a spin on. Yes, good writing does that, it influences right down to that silk chemise worn under a chic custom-made safari jacket fitted tight around the waist perfect for the Orient Express, which brings me to…

Peckish, a word she uses often when Monsieur Poirot gets cranky because he simply needs a snack.

Never hearing it before, naturally looked it up.

A British adjective meaning, just plain hungry.

Instead of saying, hey, I’m starved, one could say, at least across the Channel, I am absolutely peckish. Or your comrade can remark, gee, maybe we should eat, since you’re looking rather peckish suddenly.

Does Camilla ever say that to Prince Charles I wonder…Da-ling, you’re looking a bit peckish this morning but do give us a kiss….

pale, wan, weak, you know—peckish. 

To be ravenous, empty, hollow and faint. Famished, aching, unfilled and my personal favorite—able to eat a horse.

Now that’s what I call hungry.

Oh Agatha, you really are something.   




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