I met pepe nero at Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope.com, online home of American Zoetrope and the virtual studio. So, who is pepe nero? One might ask. Here’s his answer:

pepe nero is not pepe nero, that is to say that he is someone else, rather, his name is other. He is better known under his actual given name (which he despises) but pepe nero is catching up fast. he likes to use lower case because that’s what cummings and archie did. he pretends that it’s cool, whereas in actually he is very lazy, too lazy to hit the shift key when needed. and yet he is a shifty person, not to be trusted with anyone’s wife or girl friend. he is, in fact, a bird dogger. no one has ever challenged him because he is a very capable looking guy, whereas, in fact, he is a pussy cat, a coward. If he were not such a coward he would have been famous by now, but he lacks the courage to approach anyone of importance that might be in a position to help him further his careers. i say careers because he has too many things going at one and the same time. he tries poetry, he’s miserable at it. he sculps, not too badly. he paints and draws, almost masterly. and he writes pitiful little stories and screen plays that few, if any, have read. he thinks that he has a sense of humor but the joke’s on him. no one seems to share what he considers humor, or wit. don’t go getting the feeling that he’s full of self pity, far from it, he doesn’t care one way or the other. he will continue to do as he damned well pleases.
english is not his first language.
his father was a partisan and a drunk.
he smokes not, but he drinks too much red wine.
he has lots of free time. he spends it exercising, walking, or in the studio. when working, or communicating via cyberspace, he is not shy. but in the presence of anyone, other than a relative or his lady, he could die of shyness.
there, now you know all about him.

Photo © 2009 Shirley Harshenin
Photo © 2009 Shirley Harshenin

A Knock
© February 14 2009
pepe nero

The hour of the wolf is the worse time to be awakened. You’ve had the phone start ringing at four in the morning; it’s terrifying. Can you imagine a four o’clock morning knock on the door, the fear that that would create?

I’ve always dreaded it. I experienced it once -- the phone ringing at that hour -- but thank God it was only a dialed wrong number.

And then it happens. For real. A heavy knock at the door. Insistent. I wake up scared.

I walk over to the door in a panic. I’m in a nightmare. Maybe it is only a nightmare. I’ll wake up and when I’ve gotten over it I’ll be Ok again.

I open the door. It’s an ‘Oops!’

I ask, “What the hell are you doing running around in the middle of the night scaring people half to death?”

“It’s your own fault man, you asked for it,” said the Oops!

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“You gotta be careful. These things are serious, they add up.”

“But it’s not important, it can’t be that important.”

“Ah, but it is. Do you know that there are people out there who only seek a chance to call out to me. That you could write the most beautiful thousand words ever written and some will go through it looking for me?”

“You gotta be kidding.”

‘Nope. It’s true. Not only that, they’re doing it right now. They’re reading this and not hearing it. That’s how busy they are looking for me and my cousin, Nit.

“Christ!. Now there’s a team, ‘Oops! and Nit’.

“Yep. We’re good. We give some lots of pleasure. Makes it all worthwhile, knowing that we’re appreciated when found.”

“OK, OK, I’ll be careful. Now can I get some sleep? Go and bother somebody who’s really asking for it, like go to the White House or something.”

“I’m off now, but I’ll be back, I’m sure.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

I close and double lock the door and make my way back to my bed. Christ, is it worth it, trying write? I just dont know.

There’s a knock at the door.


We thank you for reading – it’s good for you.
To contact pepe nero, drop me an email and I’ll get it into his hands.


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