Posted 13 May 2005 - 06:33 AM
Though they each have their basis in my mind, the elements of the story and characters are entirely fictional. The feelings and thoughts expressed here are real. They're hard to pick apart, and I accept that. It's confusing, and I'm confused.
My parents were snoring loudly enough that I could hear them through the door of their bedroom when I crept downstairs. The sounds that came out of that room were horrific: I don’t mean that we could hear them having sex (I honestly don’t think they’ve done that since 1990) but to hear them you would be convinced they have some serious nasal problems. I’ve promised myself to make a recording of their snores should I ever make a zombie movie.
So I made it down the hall and out the door silently, in spite of my fat-ass dog who makes a point of flopping her carcass down in the most inconvenient of places. Not only did I have a date at two in the morning, which was unusual enough in itself, but my parents had decided in the wisdom that can only come with age (and the onset of senile dementia) that I was grounded because I had visited a friend whose parents they didn’t like. Since I would have to be as crazy as them to obey, I had to make a point not to. I suppose that, had Katie not sent me a message via MSN, I might have done something stupid enough to vent my building frustration.
Have you seen that Australian movie, Deck Chair Danny? You probably haven’t. Well, I’m kind of like this cement man, Danny. He’s bored, you see, so he does stupid things in all his spare time. He climbs in the tiny crawlspaces of his house for no good reason, or he ties these huge helium balloons to his deckchair and…
I haven’t gone that far. Yet. But I know how he must have felt. Trapped with a bitch wife—though I don’t think they were married—and a going-nowhere job. I’ve finished my second year of university, and now I’m back at home, and I’m just awestruck by how banal and stupid everything is. I don’t remember things having been so bad when I was a kid. It’s almost like a dream world. I can talk to my friends from school on MSN or the phone, but they’re scattered all over the country. I hardly know my high school friends anymore.
You know when you’re playing pool, and you break? I feel like we were all the coloured balls, and then that cue ball—graduation—comes along and f*cks up all up. If some of us are lucky we’ll end up in the same corner, but most likely is that we won’t meet again.
Katie is the exception. We hardly knew one another. Then that fateful cue ball comes along and sends everything scattering, and we end up in the same pocket. I guess we’re together, a couple, boyfriend-and-girlfriend, whatever you call it, but we don’t make a big deal of it and sicken people and go out together to buy books about sex. Miraculously she’s the one “university friend” who lives near me.
I keep “university friends” and “high-school friends” separate, if only in my mind. Maybe I want to keep the two worlds separate: the banal and the new, the past and the present, the awkward years’ crowd and the ‘years of my life’ crowd. Maybe I’ll figure this out later, and if I do, you’ll be the next to know.
So I get out into the yard and roll my Corolla (in neutral) into the street, then roll it a little further down the street before starting it. Even if I am convinced both of my parents are insane, I’m not an asshole. They’re light sleepers, and I don’t want to wake them up. Once the engine’s started I’m in the clear, and I’ve motored all the way to Katie’s in fifteen minutes.
Why do people have to beat the speed limit by twenty kilometers an hour, all the time? I don’t care about being law-abiding, or about safety, or about any of that, but what’s the point of speeding? It can be fun sometimes, but when it becomes a rule I think there’s a problem in the way people treat time. You only have so long to live. Some people think that could be an argument for driving fast; I disagree. If I save two minutes of my life by driving to Katie’s house at 80km/h instead of 60km/h, it means I have to come up with two more minutes of sh*t before I die, and I’m not fond of busywork.
Hey, another reason I like my “university world” better than the “home” world.
And then there’s another. Katie comes out the door and walks to my car, and I just admire her. Words don’t do her justice, so I’m not going to bother trying to come up with a half-adequate combination of letters and spaces and other characters just so you can beat your meat to whatever you imagine Katie to be. She’s nothing like anyone could imagine, and neither is any real woman, come to think of it.
I’ll admit I’m being a little cheap on you here. She has brown hair, just barely past her shoulders—I’m not even sure it’s past them—alabaster skin with a little blush, and (since I’m a guy after all) a very nice chest. Not big, mind you, at least not in terms of the search results you’d get if you went to Google and typed “big tits!!!!1omg”, but full and firm. She’s like Ivory soap instead of Irish Spring. Think about that for a while.
She opens the passenger door gently, drops into the car next to me and smiles.
“Hey, how have you been?”
Well-enunciated English. Decent grammar. Genuine concern for my well-being. A rarity in these parts. If you haven’t guessed it yet I live in a backwater kind of area. It’s worse than backwater. It’s a social, cultural, economic and environmental disaster zone. I tell people where I’m from and they get these concerned looks on their faces and ask if I have dyslexia because of the chemicals in the water and ground and local fauna.
I’m not dyslexic, though I may have Asperger’s syndrome. Katie is usually pretty easy to read, and I like that. No unnecessary touching; you may have noticed she didn’t kiss me hello or stick her hand down my pants (I knew a girl who did that) or screech and drool and ask me to f*ck her brains out. So I’m happy, but I shoot her my usual glum look and say: “Bored to tears,” and she understands.
I back the car out of her driveway, placing a hand on the passenger’s seat as I look out the rear window just like they inexplicably tell say you should in driver’s ed, and set off down the side road. We didn’t talk about anything particularly entertaining, which is kind of nice in a way because neither of us feel obligated to entertain the other, and before long the “Osprey Truck Stop: Open 24 Hours” sign is visible on the far side of the overpass. I drove fast this time because Katie looked cold, even though she wore a poncho. I keep telling her she should get me a poncho, since Clint Eastwood looks so bad-assed in one, but I seem to be the only person who thinks it would work. I guess it’s Deck Chair Danny syndrome.
The restaurant is ominously dark when we get there. My Corolla sits by the curb and Katie and I walk to the door and wonder what’s wrong. The Osprey was the only 24-hour eatery for fifty kilometers, and now we find out that even that—debatably the last good thing in town—is gone, closed at 11:00pm on weekdays, which is about the time I wake up from my late-evening nap. I swear in the most casual way and move a few paces back from my once-favorite restaurant.
Katie knew something was up. I sometimes wonder where she gets intuition like that. She’d be a great mother. If I get the chance, I know, I’d marry her. I’ve already promised another girl I’d marry her if she was single at the age of 23, because she didn’t want to mess up the carefully coordinated schedule of romance, childbirths, and fast-track career, but I don’t think she’ll remember me when she’s 23 anyway.
That’s four years from now. I mean, four years ago I was picking my nose and trading Pokemon. Maybe that was eight years ago. At any rate, four years is a long time and we’ve all still got a lot of growing to do, even if we have hair in all the prerequisite places or full childbearing hips.
Where was I? Yes, Katie knew something was up. And, tactfully, she didn’t say anything dumb or look at me with her eyes bulging and mouth open as my mother does (I’m never sure what purpose that gaping face is supposed to serve). She let out a long, quiet sigh.
“I’m really sick of this place,” I began, and I knew my voice sounded like I wanted to cry, because I did.
I don’t know how long it had been since I cried. Probably about two years, as I remember crying when I said goodbye to one of the people I hardly know today. I think at that moment in the parking lot of the Osprey I sounded like Cameron did at the end of the Ferris Bueller movie just before he wrecked the Ferrari. I cast a desperate look in the direction of my Corolla, but I couldn’t bear to kick it over a cliff even if there was one handy. So instead I pace, and wave my arms angrily, and rant.
“I’m SICK of it. It’s killing me. I can’t stand it anymore. I mean, none of it MAKES SENSE! Doesn’t it strike you that way? Isn’t this all… isn’t this all… it’s stupid, is what it is! God dammit. I don’t belong here. You don’t belong here.”
“Where do we belong?” Katie asked. She wasn’t accusing me like women in the movies have a bad habit of doing. She was asking me, honestly, where we belonged.
I didn’t have an answer. Not here.
“Let’s leave. Tonight. Right now,” I said.
Posted 15 May 2005 - 01:51 AM
Is that all there is to the story?
Posted 15 May 2005 - 11:33 AM
Keep it up and you should consider adapting that into a monologue. As said above, it would need to be longerish, but don't stray (ala Star Wars and Matrix) from the original ideas. Perhaps, you could also add in Katie's views of things. Kind of like siliques (sp). It is what Malcolm does in Malcolm in the Middle, you know how the show pauses and he says some witty thing and goes back. I think adding something like that could further the story and also show the inner weaknesses of the character I.
Posted 15 May 2005 - 11:37 PM
Iminicus, amen brotha. You really seem to "get" where I'm coming from on this one. I think the idea is that the character of this-- unnamed as he is-- might as well be me in terms of what I want to do and how I feel, and the story is an outlet so that, vicariously, these aspirations can be lived out.
And because of that, this story can be an experiment. I can't just "leave", but there aren't any real-life consequences if the guy in the story does, and that opens up a world of possibility for me to explore as a writer. The whole idea of the guy's hometown is that there IS no possibility, and nothing (external, at least) can really happen there unless it's something negative.
The guy DOES have to face his problems, but I feel quite sure that the problem is as much part of him as it is his sh*tty hometown, so running away from the town doesn't necessarily mean he's running away from conflict, i.e. a story.
Thanks for bringing those things up though.
Oh, and MAcSandNinEs, thanks for the cookie!
As for whether there is more... I guess there really should be more, because there is a lot to develop, but the problem is that I am leaving on Tuesday for a job, and I won't have any computer or Internet access until AUGUST 12! That sucks majorly.
Though I don't have enough time to do this story justice, I may finish my other project, The Vigilante and the Assassin (working title) which is in my sig. There is just one chapter to go, and it's nearly finished, so I'll at least complete the first version of that story before I disappear for two months.
Posted 16 May 2005 - 08:17 AM
Posted 16 May 2005 - 07:17 PM
That's harsh man, real harsh. V&A may be GTA-themed, but it has little else in common with the other 999,999 out there apart from a couple cameo characters. To but it bluntly, "mine's better". Give it 30 seconds and you'll read it all.
Edited by Le Machin, 16 May 2005 - 07:22 PM.
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