An off way to Netflix and chill

I was thinking of some of the things I’ve written and wanted to drop an excerpt here from a semi written story.  I’m probably half way to two-thirds finished with it.  I keep telling myself I’ll jump back into it but every time I try I stare at the page and nothing comes to me.  I did lose the muse who was the inspiration for it so that’s probably got my head in knots.

Anyways, this is towards the beginning.  The two main characters, the narrator and the object of his affection, are on a phone date.  They work together but through different companies in the same town.  They’ve never met but she’s decided to save him from a night alone on New Year’s Eve watching the movie New Year’s Eve.

 

The movie restarted and we both hit play at the same time.  I could hear her making the Netflix sound as if she were hitting her own set of drums.  We were going on as if we had known each other for years and we had never even met.

The pizza came to the door with the cute girl.  I didn’t even put the phone down. I gave her the just-a-minute finger and pulled out a $20 and closed the door without saying a thing to her as I was listening to Annie go off about how Bon Jovi should not be in movies and how he should rarely be allowed to sing.  Which I then broke into a rendition of Livin’ On A Prayer, or at least the chorus because it was the only part of the song that I knew.

The movie ran on and neither of us stopped it.  She set the phone done to run off for two minutes and thirty-four seconds which I assume was to use the bathroom but she wouldn’t confess.

“A lady never tells,” she proclaimed in a Queen Elizabeth voice.

By the time the credits rolled we had completely stopped paying attention to the movie for at least half an hour.  We were talking about random things in our lives and making them seem as ridiculous as possible.

She was talking about her cat and how she was hoping to end up a cat lady one day.  There was a reference to how she’s already got some long-term plans set up by walking up and down the halls of the building calling a cats name that doesn’t exist.  She also said that for two weeks straight she went out and bought large bags of cat litter and carried them through the lobby making sure she was seen every day by someone.  I laughed and called her full of shit.

“You did not!”

“Are you questioning the all mighty cat lady?  My goal is to one day have my body found in my apartment four days after I’ve died and my multitude of cats slowly peeling the flesh from my bones as they eat me.  I’ll have left a note declaring that I will be reborn as Cat-woman and have a saucy leather piece laid out neatly on the couch. You’ll see someday. You’ll all see.”

I would interject, “this is one of the rare cases where sexism isn’t fair to men.  If I were to say something similar to that you would have hung up and probably asked to be transferred positions at work or at least warn the police about me.  But you do it and it’s adorable.”

I could hear her shriek in protest, “adorable?!  You obviously have no experience with crazy women, Evan.  Crazy ex-girlfriends. Run of the mill stalker types. Give me a few weeks and I’ll be hiding outside in your bushes to make sure you’re not talking with your female neighbors.  Just you wait.”

The conversation ran on like that with both of us offering ridiculous statements based on some truths.  We would have talked even longer if both of us weren’t startled and yelled out at the same time, “what the hell?”  

I looked through my window and saw the sky lit up with pink and blue lights.  For a second I didn’t realize what it was and it dawned on me, we had talked right through New Year’s.  The soft popping of fireworks could be heard through the window and the lights continued to brighten the dark sky.  Annie was silent on her end of the phone, most likely doing the same thing I was. We watched the sky together from our own part of the city and sat in silence until she said softly on the other line.

“Happy New Year, Evan.”

“Happy New Year, Annie,” I said back in a smile.

“This was fun,” she said back.

“We’ll have to do it again some time.  Maybe next time we might be in the same room.”

I laughed, “why ruin a good thing?  We get along so well on the phone. It’ll be a long distance thing.”

She laughed back, “yeah.  Good point. If it ain’t broke, right?”

“Uh huh.”

“Well,” she said, “we made it into next year.  I guess I’ll talk with you in a day or so.”

“Unless you’re bored and want to watch a movie again,” I said half jokingly but mostly seriously.  I could hear her smile on the other end.

“Goodnight Evan.”

“‘Night Annie.”

Under The Table

I like to dabble in the different points of view and perspectives.  Writing from the view of a man and a woman, so from time to time I’ll write something from first person perspective in a female characters voice.  I often find myself using first person perspective more often because I like how you get to put yourself in that person’s shoes and be a part of them and their experiences.  I don’t like to restrict myself to only a male view point in this way.  So, if you ever read I and its referring to a female character, that’s whats up.

And now, what I was talking about:

You made me feel safe when you did that.  When you touched my leg under the table.  I don’t know if it was what you were trying to do but it’s what happened.  It’s what you caused because I was nervous and shy and I felt out of place.  The table was loud.  The whole room was loud and it was overwhelming.  Your hand on my knee grounded me and I can’t thank you enough.

Well, I think I did thank you enough but you could have asked for more and I might have tried to pull the moon down and escape with you away on its swing.

At first when I put my hand over yours and gave it a squeeze it was because I was trying to say thank you without words.  Without turning my head to you because if I did I would have started to cry and that would have been horrifying.  But when I felt your hand in mine and the feeling of the moment something came over me.  I don’t know what it was but an urge of exhilaration charged through me like bird soaring through the air and in all of my anxiety and nervousness I wanted you right then and there.

We couldn’t leave.  Of course not.  It would be rude to disappear and then rip your shirt off right outside the door.  Surely someone would coming looking for us and find our bodies in half undress and then where would we be at?  I’d be in a state where no mere hand on my leg could bring me back from.  So I pulled your hand between my legs.  Well, at first, I pulled it up my thigh and you paused.  We both paused.  It was risky.

My dress came with our hands and you felt the softness of my thigh, the part that’s usually hidden by some a fabric of some kind in polite company.  But I wanted your company and I wanted it as impolite as possible.  So I pulled your hand up my thigh, dragging the hem of my dress with it until you squeezed my hand.  I squeezed back and tilted my head downward and whispered a soft, “shh.”

With that whisper I slide our clasped hands between my thighs, only parting them slightly.  Just enough to make it a tight fit.  We weren’t going to go all the way, we were just going to have some fun.  A little excitement.  A little naughtiness.  A little thrill.  This wasn’t going to be the night when I met your family in a loud restaurant and nearly cried because of how awkward I felt.  It was going to be the night we played a risque game under the table and between my legs.

Maybe that’s where I got my sense of thrill from.  It always was amazing how I’d like to speed down empty roads and peer over tall buildings and cliffs, but people scared the hell out of me.  Maybe it was always with me and I needed someone to let it out, or maybe its just you that does this to me.  Either way I’ll never forget that night.  The night when you put your hand on my leg and made me first think I loved you.

 

 

Maybe I’m Not A Fraud

Do you ever have moments in your writing where you think, “damn.  Maybe I’ve actually got a smidgen of talent,” and the possibility of what you’re doing is made a little brighter on the horizon?

That’s why I keep this blog.  It’s a snapshot of my writing.  As I originally wrote in my About section I used to write silly little things in the margins of newspapers or in magazines and on random napkins and leave them wherever they were.  After a while I ended up missing the chance at keeping those random writings and having them to look back on.  The stories in my head were gone and I’d never read them again.  So here I am now.

I was reading back through some of my past writings of the last couple of weeks.  I came across a few that I remember enjoying when they were done and I gave them another scan.  I smiled.

“These aren’t that bad,” I said to myself, “actually they’re pretty good.”

Then I kept reading.  I read two or three more and then I got to one that I didn’t really remember what it was about and I opened it to read.  It was short, not even a thousand words but the further I read into it the more excited I got.

It wasn’t a great story or amazing surprise but I felt like it was really good writing.  The flow was good.  The descriptions made me feel.  I put myself back into the character, the narrator, and I could feel it.

Of course I’ve instantly gone into anti-ego mode and told myself that it was easy to get back into the character because the character is me.  Someone else might not find it as easy, but I still liked the writing.  I enjoyed the description.  I felt something and that’s what I always try and do with what I write.  I’m not a great plot organizer or twist ending writing type, but I think I have the ability to write things that can make the reader feel what the characters are feeling.

I hope that’s enough because it’s always enough for me.

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Hey

I’m in bed with you.

Again. Because we always end up in bed.

It doesn’t matter if we argue or feign indifference, we always find our way out of our clothes and against each other’s skin.

I’m going to drift off to sleep in a few minutes but I wanted to capture this moment. You’re asleep, freshly fucked until my legs burned with quit but I refused. I never tap out first.

I wanted to save this moment in my mind at how beautiful you are and what I would give to be lying next to you, just like this in 30 years thinking these same thoughts. Hips worse for wear. Legs would be burned out long before I’d want them to, but you still there next to me to watch sleep afterwards.

So goodnight, gorgeous. I hope your legs are as sore as mine will be in the morning, and I hope you never leave my bed.

“Do you want to get some coffee?”

“I’m not really into coffee.”

I know that wasn’t the point of you asking, to go out for coffee, but I always felt the need to say it.  I didn’t like coffee.  It was almost a badge of honor in some cases.  Everyone around me gulping it down like fuel at the gas station.  Sloshing the troughs of cream and milk as stir sticks lay wasted on the counter.  Not me.  I’m good.

I’ve always had a natural state of alertness and didn’t feel the need for a morning pick me up.  Of course it comes and goes, and of course I could probably use some kind of pick me up, but I always felt that if I succumbed to the coffee bean devils then I’d become reliant on them.  I’d be a walking Starbucks zombie.

You were staring at me with a perplexed look on your face.  Shit, I did it again.

“Well I mean, like, I don’t really like coffee, but of course we can do something else.  If you want.  If you want coffee we can go get coffee, or like I don’t know, something.  I mean, I could get something.  I’m sure-, well like they have other stuff.  Did you want coffee?  We can do whatever.  It’s-, I’m-, like whatever you want.”

There, that ought to fix it.  Jesus.

She raised her eyebrow at me and stared for a decade or two.  Her lips were together and still.  She had the biggest, rounded eyes I had ever seen.  I believe people often described them as saucers, big and bright and a perfect circle.  While I’m staring back into her stare all I can think of is the moon and if it had a twin that lived alongside it.  Two giant celestial circles floating in the sky staring at me through a blanket of night black hair.

“You can get whatever you want.  You don’t need to get coffee.  It was just a front to talk.  Geez, calm down,” she hardened her stare enough that it was obviously in jest.

“Calm down?  I’ll definitely pass on the coffee then,” I smiled in response.

“Yeah, because you don’t drink it right?  You’re not really into it.  I heard that somewhere,” she said while turning to walk away.

“I can stand it in the right company.”

I followed the moon for coffee as it faded below the horizon.

Better than being alone

“This strand of hair,” he slides his finger and thumb back and forth as the other piece of her hair fall away until there’s a single one left in his grip, “this one right here.  I love this strand of hair as much as I love every other strand of hair on your head.  Just as much as I love every freckle on your body and every angle of your curves.”

They were uncomfortably close, she thought.  Their foreheads only a whisper apart.  She could feel his breath along her neck and shoulder.  His eyes were too intense and she couldn’t take it, so she laughed it off nervously.

“You’re just-, no.  I’m-, um, thank you,” she shook her head trying to free her single strand from his pincer grip but he wouldn’t let go.

“It’s true.  All of it.  There are so many things about you that make me hunger to touch you.  To kiss you.  I can’t stop myself sometimes.”

His words weren’t helping her nervousness.  He always says them and they’re very nice things to say, but she can’t help but feel as if they’re just words with no meaning.  She doesn’t understand how anyone could say those things about her.  She’s nobody.  She’s nothing special.  All she wants to do is hide and he’s holding her up telling everyone to look.  It’s as if he doesn’t know her and makes the words he says feel painful and awkward.

She tilted her head away and pull the strand of hair from him, “I have to go.”

He grabbed her hand and held her, “you don’t seem as if you believe me.  After all this time and all the times I’ve professed my love for you.  The times we’ve made love and the times we’ve kissed.  The laughs we’ve shared and intimate moments, you still doubt that I love every inch of you?”

She sighed, “just don’t.  I-, of course, yes.  I do.”

He shook his head, “I don’t believe you.”

“Well what do you want me to say?”  He pushed her too far and the dam broke and the waters came flooding out.
“That I don’t think you’re sincere.  You say the words that you love me but you never seem to understand anything about me.  That when I laugh I do it out of nervous energy.  That when we fucked it’s because your hands wouldn’t stop.  When we kissed it was your mouth forced down my throat.  You’ve never known me, you’ve only ever known what you wanted and took it.  You never stopped to read my reaction to any of it.  You may say you love every inch of me, but only when you want something that I can give you at that moment whether I want it or not.”

He stared at her blankly and spoke without emotion, “so why are you with me then?”

“Because I don’t want to be alone.  I don’t want to be sad and think I’ll never find anyone so I would rather take someone who seems insincere but is nice about it.  I’d rather have a relationship I’m disappointed in than none at all.  And that might seem fucked up to you but, again, you don’t know anything about me so I’m not surprised you don’t realize that I would want that.”

There is no sleep that is peaceful

The sirens are blaring.  They cut through the night and hit as if you were their only target.  It would be painful if it wasn’t terrifying.  The sound ripping through the air.  Jolting you from sleep as it gets louder.  Louder.  LOUDER.  Then fading off only to come back to torture you again.

Sometimes it stops.  When the threat is gone and people can go back to their normal lives as if they hadn’t been shaken to their knees.
Sometimes its only a warning.  A drill.  A cruel joke being played on everyone to ensure they know what to do when their lives are in real danger.  The drills are only ever set during the day though, in the light hours.  If the siren goes off when the sky is dark the scramble to survive sets in.

The sirens are sounding, still.  You can hear the commotion in the streets.  The screaming and yelling.

“Move!  Now!”

“Go!  We have to go!”

“Leave it!  Shoes, clothes, bags on your back and move!”

Children screaming.  Crying for a fear that they don’t know.  Parents heart’s racing for one they know too well.

The sirens continue without pause.  A streak of light screams through the air and everything stops.  Everything moves in slow motion as the flaming ball of light disappears behind the hills.  It’s followed by a rumble.  The ground is shaking.  The hills are on fire and the night sky is melting.

The sirens keep blaring.  This is not a drill.  They are coming.

Excerpt from nothing: Mayhem

“You were the burning mountains.  You were the dried seas.  You were everything I never wanted to witness in my life.  You are destruction,” Kilth pointed at her and spit the poisonous words.

His stare could melt steel, yet she was made of wind.

“I am nothing.  I didn’t burn the mountains.  I didn’t dry the sea.  It was not the destruction you witnessed.  It was the birth of mayhem,” Viol spoke to Kilth in a calm and pleading voice, trying to make him understand her balance.

“The mountains did not burn, they were saved.  A wall of fire to distract from impurity.  The seas did not dry, they were emptied so they could fill again without dilution.  Our world could not continue as it was, so I will start it over.”

“You will end everything!  There will be nothing to start over.  It will all be gone.  Me, you, everyone!”

“We had our chance and we failed.  If life is going to continue, we cannot be a part of it, they cannot be a part of it.  I’m sorry, I tried.  I couldn’t anymore.”

Viol’s body heated and the layers around her disintegrated until she became a white flame.  She hovered in the air and her form flicked sparks to the ground below.  Kilth could only watch and yell, begging for her to stop.  If his pleas reached her, she did not heed them.

She pulled her arms and legs in until she was a ball.  The intensity of her flame increased and the space around her began to glow in a deep blue.  The last words in the world that were spoken were from Kilth, in a whisper to Viol, “I’m sorry too.”

*****

When the world stops being everything created stops as well, the physical and immaterial.  Nothing matters anymore as there isn’t anything to impact upon it.  Time, essentially, stops if there is nobody there to track it.

Viol’s collapse stopped time.  Silence became the only sound after her shriek.  When she flung her arms and legs to let loose her cataclysm everything else ended with her.  The mountains and the sea.  The sky and the grass.  It was blinked away in a flash of white light.  She didn’t know her power.  She didn’t realize that not only would her flame destroy all life on her planet, but it would destroy all possibility of life.

Or maybe she did know that.  She sacrificed herself and every other person on her planet, it included, to start over.  Not just the Gaia but everything, and from everything Viol decided it would begin again with her at the center.  Her flame burst into space and became the beginnings of a new star which would create a new solar system around her.  She would destroy everything to reset the clock with her essence flowing through each particle that makes each new world.

 

Other People’s Smiles

“Do you ever notice people smiling?”  She didn’t turn to him to get his attention, but threw the words out into the void wondering if they would be picked up and answered.

“I guess.  Sure.  What do you mean?”  He didn’t turn either, casually answering her strange question.

“Like, do you ever notice other people.  Do you see them smiling while you drive by them or as they pass by you on the street?  Do you ever get jealous of them?  What do they have to be smiling about that I don’t.  What am I missing?”

“No, not really.”

“Oh.  Maybe it’s just me then?”

“I don’t know.  I’m sure there are others.  It’s kind of naïve to think you’re the only one in the world who does something, or anything for that matter.”

She didn’t answer right away.  She paused and thought over his answer.

“Why do you think you don’t get jealous when you see someone smiling?  It feels so natural to me, wondering what it is that causes their face to shine like that.”

“Why don’t I get jealous when I see other people smiling?”

“Yeah.”

“Because I have you.”