Skinless: Chapter Breakdown




  1. Good Morning: February. Lower East Side sublet. Charmay and Sam wake up in the early evening to the cold AC.The phone rings. Sam tells Charmay not to answer it. The answering machine picks up a call from Mom. Charmay is inspired to sing, “Girl” new song she is writing. The phone rings again. It’s Mom. Charmay flashes back to her work week at club BabyDolls as Cindy/Cynthia where she has attracted a new customer Rex Revan, while Sam is back home running is drug dealership. She muses about her career at the stripe club torn between her yearning to earn money and her loyalty to Sam.
  2. Limbic Resonance: Nightingale’s, Lower East Side Club, four a.m. Charmay working as Angelika spots a drummer, Jess. Sam is with Jess, meets Sam. They get acquainted over a game of pool.
  3. Lizard: April. 7a.m. Charmay and Sam exit the Russian baths. Go to the apartment she shares with her sister Wanda. Wanda is not happy to see them as she readies for work. They discuss film. The two bond in rain, make love.
  4. Gershwin: Sam arrives at Charmay’s walkup with roses. Sam and Charmay move out of Wanda’s flat and into the Gershwin. Swingers club.
  5. Ammo: Sam and Charmay move between hotels. Sam introducing Charmay to new restaurants, hotels, jet set..
  6. Cali: Morgan hotel, New York. Sam supervising drug sale with Jess. Charmay observes. California guys come with new shipment. Charmay and Sam move to a sublet in Stuyvesant Town.
  7. Stepping Out. Charmay accepts a blue Chanel suit from Rex and an invitation to meet Rex at Hudson’s.
  8. Hudson. February. Rex and Cindy share drinks at the Hudson Restaurant. She has agreed to be platonic, and listens to his plans for her future.
  9. ’Za. Sam and crew discuss drugs and money.
  10. Serpent. Charmay hides the Chanel clothes from Rex. She plans to tell him a woman at work was selling secondhand designer clothes. Charmay and Rex exit Hudson. She gets 5K for going to dinner.
  11. Fuck Me. February. Charmay makes it home to the East Village sublet. Fights with Sam over her taking money from Rex; wishes she could leave him when he hits her.
  12. Streets. Charmay walks on Second Avenue beaten up. February. After musing on life out in the cold she returns home to Sam.
  13. Daffy. At home Charmay wakes later. He buys her a music box and they try to make up.
  14. Art of Gifting. Charmay at 23 to visit Dad in Bedford Hills. Where Dad announces his plans to marry his girlfriend Bridget. Back to the present three years after Dad’s wedding, hasn’t spoken to Charmay since the wedding.
  15. I Got a Bird That Whistles. Charmay tries to explain her relationship with Rex and calm Sam down. The two come up with ground rules for Charmay seeing Rex for cash. Charmay has a childhood memory of her mother. Charmay tries to call Sam, but no answer.
  16. Ribbet. Lower East Side sublet. Saturday early evening, late March chill. Charmay playing with sound effects on the electronics. Tries to find a tune that will play. Wonders if Rex can help her and leaves him a voice mail thank you. Song “Hush.” Charmay calls her mother. Charmay with Rex who offers to make her a star.
  17. Gab-Ooze. Charmay still on the phone with her mom. Mom having marriage woes. Sam outlines his plan for success in the drug business to finance their dreams.
  18. PPK. Sam pulls out his handgun. Tells Charmay he’ll have to threaten Jess if he doesn’t deliver 15 pounds he’ll scour his pad. Sam wants to teach Charmay how to use his handgun. Charmay has her first lesson.
  19. Triangular Dung. March, April, May, second date–Charmay sees Rex on a cash-only basis, platonic. Sam talks Wanda into letting Carl and him move into her UES apartment when she gets a job in LA. Jess continues to be allusive. Sam finds Eric a new business partner.
  20. Boogit. March Saturday. Third meetup: Cindy meets Rex outside of Chanel’s store in Manhattan and Fifty-Seventh Street. Rex invites Cindy to Paris.
  21. Bikes and Beepers. 2:00 a.m. Cindy returns home with Chanel bags eager to tell Sam that Rex had booked her a gig. Charmay starts to question the dynamics of her relationships with Sam and Rex. Sam goes preppie. Charmay skeptical about the style.
  22. Grit. Warm April afternoon, Charmay meets Rex at Pen-Bar. He’s chipper because his divorce is almost final. He announces he’s lost 30 pounds since they started dating. They stroll on Fifth Avenue. She and Sam had been fighting. Charmay confused. Charmay has been trying to stop drinking. Rex and sit find common ground in Shaw’s Arms and the Man. Rex presses her to let him take her out.
  23. Carats. Charmay and Rex go diamond shopping at Fortunoff’s. Charmay decides Rex is not the guy for her.
  24. Unbreakables. Charmay and Rex look at diamonds at Fortunoff’s.  Stringbean gives a comical presentation. She calls Sam. Goes back and Rex buys her the ring.
  25. Relative Dance. Cindy and Rex and Hudson’s. He announces he’s bought a five-room Park Slope apartment. They slow dance. Cindy remembers a Nobel scientist she’d tried to impress. Rex asks for sex.
  26. Cyberfuck of the Mind. Charmay discovers a message from an UES Male who claims to know Sam.
  27. Tock. Charmay calls AOL about the message. Charmay finds male erotica on the computer. Convinces herself it’s all Eric. When Sam comes home, he reassures Charmay the pics belonged to Eric.
  28. Rules of Marriage. Charmay reviews her marriage. Sam has started seeing a shrink. Charmay finds her card and calls. Charmay and Sam go in for an appointment, dress for the occasion. Therapist brings up Sam’s issue of Charmay spending time with Rex. In her mind, Charmay psyches out the shrink believing she’s really attracted to Sam. Shrink hand’s Charmay a card for a therapist.
  29. Bling. Charmay and Sam fly to Miami. Sam rents a mallard green Mustang. They drive around and Sam reminisces about the past; Charmay not amused. She recalls her own unhappy childhood memories.



30. Azure. Miami, South Beach. Charmay and Sam are on the beach making love. San calls his sister Barb. Charmay wears        Rex’s ring. Sam has booked them for a week’s stay. Charmay bought Sam a wedding band at Tiffany’s before they left.

31. Party Dress. Sam’s sister Barbie chides Charmay for not putting on a party dress and going out with Sam

32. Cock. Miami. Sam and Charmay go shopping at Chanel in Miami. Sam has sex on the brain.

33. Chooch. Miami hotel. Charmay remembers the first time she met Sam’s family. She got drunk, they spoke Spanish. Charmay remembers her last visit to the family and her breakdown while there. She thinks about Rex’s offer to finance her singing career and wonders how she’ll reveal her true identity. Sam’s family is excited at the thought of his script being produced.

34. Bay of Pigs. Sam’s dad gives Charmay a Cuban cigar and recounts his version of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

35. Chicks. After dinner with Barbie and the Sams. Sam picks up two girls on the beach and brings them back for a foursome.

36. Dead-eyed. Cindy and Rex exit Chanel end up at Hudson’s. Rex confirms Cindy’s date at Lucky Strike. Rex has theatre tickets and asks Cindy to join him.




37. Sisters. Wanda arrives to the UES railroad flat the day of Charmay’s show at the Lucky Strike. Charmay gets ready for her performance. Wants Wanda and Sam to be there. Sam and Charmay head to the club.

38. Lucky Strike. Charmay is performing. “Little Girls Eyes,” her new song. She spots Rex talking to Sam.

39. An Unsatisfying Fuck. Charmay finishes singing. The owner insists she’ll be back. Rex compliments her. His friends are encouraging, but she’s pissed at Rex. Sam pretends to be Charmay’s brother Mitch. Pitches his script idea to Rex; Cindy gets jealous. Rex didn’t’ realize Cindy was Cuban. Charmay realizes Sam’s plot is not so hot and she doesn’t want to lose Rex. He declines Sam’s script proposal; says he wants to back Charmay’s career and marry her. Rex tells them he is leaving for Paris. Charmay kisses him good night.

40. Rhythms. After the party doing coke. Charmay asks Sam if Rex really liked her singing. Sam is pissed that Charmay kissed Rex. Sam gives Charmay an ultimatum of 30 days to play out Rex.

41. Posies. Cindy meets Director Orange, who promises to make her a star. Sam is skeptical warns her not to waste her time with him. Sam whisks her away from the director behind the bar.

42. Trophy. Billiard Room bar, Eric gives advice on dealing with unfulfilled desires. Charmay feeling shutout of the guy talk with Sam, Eric, Calvin, and Paul. Charmay bolts the place.

43. Flash. Charmay awakes after the violence at home. Lady cop there. Sam is taken away by cops. Charmay recalls their knockdown fight. Didn’t remember she’d called the cops. Wanda arrives on the scene and flirts with the cops. Charmay’s mother arrives.

44. French Doors. Mom comes tells Charmay she was to meet Wanda at Aidan’s for lunch. Charmay had fallen out with Aidan. French doors for her are a way out. Aidan yells into the phone at Charmay. Mom gives Charmay a meditation book.

45. Alone. Charmay answers a call from a lady DA. The DA needs Charmay to come to the courthouse on Monday. Sam calls and pleads with Charmay to get him out of jail.

46. Poof. Blank. Charmay takes the gun out of the closet. Charmay has a flashback to a childhood scene of sexual abuse with her mother’s Polish partner. Charmay curls up to recover.

47. Arnica. Charmay decides not to press charges against Sam. DA tells her she’ll proceed without her. Sam comes home. Charmay tells him she’ll never see Rex again. Sam calls Jess. Charmay tries to convince herself to stay with Sam. Consoles herself with lyrics, doesn’t know she’s pregnant.

48. This Was Like That. Charmay dreams of her and Sam owning their own home in the country. Her red Nokia keeps ringing. Rex sends Cindy messages from Paris. Charmay doesn’t know what to make of him. Worries about what Sam is up to in Jess’s flat.

49. Gold. Fourth of July. Jess and Sam discussing a business slowdown. Sam accuses Jess of cutting him out of deals. Sam pulls hidden PPK from pocket. Sam threatens Jess with the gun in his ear. Sam accuses Jess of going behind his back and trying to hook with Bleu. Sam demands sixty grand from Jess to settle the score. Jess claims he doesn’t have that kind of money, but he can get money at the bank, but the bank is closed because of the Fourth. They settle the money by having a draw on the bong. Jess is to get the money from the safe deposit the next day.

50. Say Again? Charmay has gone holy back home with her candlelighting. Sam comes home while there are fireworks going off outside over the East River. Charmay wants to see the money. Sam recounts the interaction between him and Jess. Charmay subdues her rage against Sam’s not getting the money, but lashes out at him for not collecting the money. She curls up with Johnnie Walker.

51. Glug: Journal Excerpts, Young Charmay. Charmay 11 and abused by Mom’s boyfriend. Charmay learned to drink watching her mother’s boyfriend. At fifteen Charmay’s mother made fun of her. Charmay starts putting on tough-guy airs. Back to the present Charmay berates Sam for not bringing the money.

52. Kick Back. Charmay points the gun at Sam. They scuffle and the gun goes off. Charmay thinks she’s killed Sam.

53. Ho-Hum-Twiddle. Charmay takes a job at a bar. Director Orange is in touch about Charmay’s career.

54. Pekinese. Charmay meets with the therapist who owns a Pekinese. She’s not impressed.

55. Zipless. Charmay hasn’t seen Rex in a month. Worried she’s pregnant.

56. Monkey. Late July, hot. Rex calls Charmay to say he has money. She to sign promissory note. Rex wants to marry her. Cindy suggests going to a bank the next day. Rex agrees.

57. Tartan. In the Peninsula Hotel room. Cindy entertains Rex with the Samsonite full of cash beside them.

58. Kilt. Rex gives Cindy a proud gift of his Revan clan heritage of underwear with a stack of $1,000 bills. Rex indulges in some sexual behavior then starts raving about Mitch and Charmay.

59. Umm. Rex explains how he’d watch Charmay lie from the start. She tries to get out of it. He reveals he knows “Mitch” is her husband. She remains calm.

60. Creebies. Pen suite Charmay with Rex and the afterglow. Rex gets sentimental about when he and Charmay started dating at Hudson’s. Explains he was looking for his one pure love with Cindy. She is mystified listening to Rex talk about her through eyes she has never seen herself. She just lies there and drinks the minibar.

61. Labor Day. Charmay is at home. Sam went upstate with Calvin. She is alone and has gone to a doctor to induce an abortion. She loses the fetus, packs her bag without leaving a note and leaves.


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