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Mar 27 2010

Retreat

This is just something I wrote, it doesn’t really have much to it. My feelings towards it are neutral.

Retreat

The brass coloured cymbals shone, reflecting the bright fluorescent light that would have given the room an almost clinical feel, were it not for the fact that the light simply enabled one to truly appreciate the dinginess therein. The drum set sat in silence, the hi-hats gaping lazily, a pair of sticks laid across the snare. Damien strode with measured fury into the room, sliding between the floor tom and the wall he sat on the stool and positioned his feet on the pedals. He thumped the bass drum, and clicked the hi-hats. He grabbed the sticks off of the snare, held one in each hand, and sat for a moment looking at the set before him. He drew back his right arm, and struck at the crash cymbal with all his strength. The cymbal did as its name suggests and crashed, deafeningly so. It danced wildly on the stand for a moment or so, and then was still again, vibrating ever so slightly as the ringing faded away to silence.

Damien grinned, in an almost maniacal sort of way. There was little in the world he found more satisfying to strike a cymbal, and listen to it scream. Using both arms now he hit the crash and the ride simultaneously on their edges, producing a crash even louder than the first. He sat and again listened to the sound fade away to silence. He started a roll on the snare, softly at first, gradually adding force so that it got steadily louder, and louder, and louder. Then he switched to single strokes so that he could bring the sticks further back, and bring them down again harder. Reaching a noise level he judged to be about as loud as he could get it he struck the crash cymbal once more and moved on to playing a frenetic beat that moved about the set without any particular reasoning. He kept time out of habit, but did so badly. His focus was on exerting as much force as possible on the objects in front of him, converting his bottled up rage into sound.

After a minute or so he began to feel the effects, his pure focus on his physical exertion relieved his mind of troublesome thoughts. The world did not exist outside of a four foot radius from where he sat. If any thought attempted to intrude upon his mind he played harder to drive it away, pouring all of his focus and energy into his hands and arms which flew about him in a frenzy.

Completing a roll down the toms he struck the rim of the ride again, with more force than he had originally intended. The stick broke. The top three inches flew into the air, spinning madly and falling to the floor behind him. He stopped playing and sat staring at what remained of the stick in his hand as the sustained, shimmering sound of the ride slowly faded, and as it did so his anger swelled. He hurled the broken stick across the room where it clattered against the cinder block wall and fell to the floor. He had not yet managed to fully exhaust himself, what he felt now was all of his previous frustration fueled by an adrenaline rush.

He sat debating whether to pick up a new stick and resume playing or whether to get up and walk back out of the room. As he did so the issues he’d been attempting to escape encroached upon his mind, clouding his thought. He decided he wasn’t ready to go back out, and reached under the floor tom where he kept an array of spare sticks. He began playing again, although not quite as furiously as before to avoid breaking another stick.

He played continuously until he felt that his anger had been relieved, let loose to evaporate amongst the sound waves. What he felt in its place was a physical and mental tiredness. He got up and walked out in front of the set, heading towards the door. He stopped. He stood staring at the door. He realized that he still didn’t want to go back out there. It would mean heading back up the stairs to his room, sitting in solitude at his computer or falling into his bed to sleep restlessly. He would have to deal with homework, he would have to deal with his parents, he would have to deal with… He let his head fall back and he sighed heavily. If he thought about it all too much more it would anger him again.

His legs told him they’d had enough, he needed to sit or lie down. He did so, there on the cement floor, he lay back and stared at the light that hung from the ceiling. It burned into his eyes and he closed them. No longer seeing the outside word he looked inward, peering into a dark mess of tangled thoughts and emotions. He lost himself inside his own mind, retreating further and further inward, running from the outside.


Mar 23 2010

The One Where I Complain

I have done my very best so far not to be one of those whiny teenage kids who complains about their parents constantly to everyone, and so far I believe they have not yet made an appearance in any of my writings. That has at times been very very difficult. Tonight it was too difficult, tonight was the last straw. At precisely 9:00pm this March the 23rd in the year of some people’s lord 2010 I bounded downstairs eager to watch the latest episode of Lost. In the living room I found my mom and two sisters watching American Idol, and they just had to watch this one last person sing. So I thought to myself fuck News Corporation and everything associated with them, minus The Simpsons and Arrested Development, except they cancelled that so once again, fuck them and I went to go get food while whoever this guy was sang. Let me take a moment here to complain about American Idol, it’s awful, end of story. If I want to here people sing I listen to the radio or better yet my iPod where I don’t have to deal with all that god awful pop/rap/whatever the hell it is that’s on the radio being perpetually interrupted by DJs as annoying if not more so than the music they play. I do not go watch TV. TV is for scripted drama/comedy. If somebody’s not writing it, it’s not any good, and even then it’s chances aren’t all that great. So my point is American Idol is stupid. What’s worst about it is that it airs opposite Lost, and because my incredibly annoying youngest sister, who I can easily see being one of the girls I absolutely hated when I was in middle school, loves it there is always conflict. I made it very clear to everyone in my family several months in advance that nothing, nothing was to interrupt my time in the living room from 9-10pm Tuesday nights. Surprise surprise when the start of the season comes round American Idol is in full swing and my sister is not willing to give it up. I managed to take control for the premiere but was forced during every commercial break to switch it back, and then of course was yelled at every time I switched it back again, this several times resulted in me missing parts of the show, and Lost is not a show one can miss parts of. This has occurred every single week so far. Tonight after I came back with food and the guy stopped singing I took the remote and switched it over to a halfway decent network just in time for the first commercial break. I wasn’t going to take any more of the flipping so I told my two sisters to get the hell out, and needless to say my parents had a problem with that. My sisters disappeared, my parents yelled, and the TV was turned off. I proceeded to sit on the couch and give them The Look of Death, which I think I’m getting quite good at, in the hopes that it would make them feel bad and let me put the TV back on. I think it did make them feel bad, but not enough to let me go back to watching, and by that point it wouldn’t have been worth it anyway. So now instead of watching tonight’s episode which was supposedly going to be an important one I’m up here writing this to keep me from breaking something. I know it might seem silly to be this angered over a TV show, but it’s Lost. You don’t mess with Lost, those are the rules.


Mar 10 2010

Red Light in the Middle of Nowhere

Wow, this is possibly the worst I’ve been yet, although maybe not quite as bad as I was over the summer. The month of February was very up and down and all over the place so I really didn’t get anything done other than spend way too much time pondering unresolvable issues, or at least issues that could in no way be resolved through pondering.

Something I did the other day that I feel is worth mentioning: a few friends and I went to see a Jukebox the Ghost show last Saturday. It was awesome. If you don’t know Jukebox the Ghost then you absolutely must go listen to their album Live and Let Ghosts, it is 100% fantastic. Also at said show were the bands Skybox and Tally Hall, neither of which I had heard anything about before the start of their tour with JTG. Skybox’s music can be pretty much summed up in one word, awesome, and Tally Hall can be done in two, weird and awesome. If you haven’t ever listened to either of them of which the chances are pretty high then again you absolutely must go check them out. You can download Skybox’s song “In a Dream” for free from their website http://www.skyboxmusic.com. For Tally Hall I recommend listening to the entirety of their album Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum not all of which I’m in love with but as a whole I think it works pretty well.

I also have some fiction for today, I’m not really sure I like it all that much but whatever it’s something.

Red Light in the Middle of Nowhere

The automatic transmission shifted into a lower gear and the engine revved as the car accelerated up an incline. The road here writhed like a snake, cutting through the thick woods on all sides, dodging around and at times darting over hills, skirting mountains that were no longer visible in the deep blackness that shrouded the landscape. The car’s high beams penetrated the darkness, illuminating the skeletal trees, and the solitary faded yellow line that ran unevenly along the center of the at times rough road. He hadn’t seen another car pass in what felt like a very long time, though driving has a tendency to distort ones sense of such arbitrary measurements as time, and distance.

He felt very, very alone. The CD that had been playing on the car stereo before had reached its end and he hadn’t bothered to restart it or find something else. The car was silent, apart from the fluctuating, muffled growl that came from the engine. The lights on the dashboard glowed softly, the neon orange speedometer pointer wavered between 45 and 50mph, an almost dangerous speed for the windy road on which he was driving, but the speed kept him alert. It was late, and he had been up a very long time. The darkened landscape which if illuminated would have revealed little more than an expanse of forest covered mountains created an atmosphere of complete isolation that ate away at him, he felt more alone than he had in a long time.

He glanced at the person sitting in the passenger seat. She was asleep. Her chest rose and fell with a slow and steady rhythm indicative of deep sleep. While he would have loved to continue gazing at her chest, garbed in a wonderfully low cut top, he pulled his eyes back to the road. He wasn’t sure exactly when it was that she had drifted off, it had probably been at least an hour, maybe two, since a word had passed between them. She was lucky to be able to fall asleep and miss the rest of the ride. He considered being annoyed at her for abandoning him to face the darkness and silence on his own but decided he should save his annoyance for situations that more deserved it. He didn’t mind driving all that much, although sleep would be nice. It wasn’t like they would have talked much if she had been awake anyway, it had been a while since they’d had a real conversation, like the ones they used to which could go on for hours if allowed.

She never ceased to confuse him, he had long since given up making any assumptions about the nature of their relationship or how she felt about him or even at this point how he felt about her. He found it easier to just not think about it, go along with whatever seemed to be working, drive the car.

The headlights passed over a bright yellow sign at the edge of the road, warning of a traffic light ahead. That was odd, a traffic light all the way out here didn’t make much sense. Another few hundred feet or so along the road the light appeared around a bend. He could see that it was red, and began to brake. He noticed that the light was solid, not blinking like most would at this time of night, this far from anything. He stopped at the white line painted onto the road. The intersecting road was much newer, the blacktop almost seemed to shine under the glare of the high beams, he could see to either side of the intersection that two vibrant yellow lines ran along it with reflectors placed periodically. The road to either side of the intersection was tinged green by the light, while he was bathed in red. Despite it’s sleek appearance and it’s green light the new road was similarly void of travelers.

The light stayed red. He wondered who on earth had thought it would be a good idea to put this light here, it seemed like a complete waste of money. There was no necessity for a light controlling two roads that no one seemed to travel. Hell even a stop sign seemed like more than was needed. At the most a single light blinking red in one direction and yellow in another would have sufficed. What hung before him here appeared to be the works, two lights faced in each direction, every one decked out with the full three colours. The ones facing him stayed red, and still no one drove past. He thought about whether he should just run the light, he doubted there was anyone else around for miles, let alone any sort of law enforcement. He didn’t though, it had only been a minute or so, surely the light would change soon.

He let his head fall back against the seat, it was firm and uncomfortable, probably with good reason. He tilted his head to look at his passenger, still asleep, but now he noticed her begin to stir. He figured that the car having stopped and the red glow of the light were what was waking her up. A minute or so passed and she opened her eyes slightly and murmured, still half asleep, “We there?”

“No, we’re stopped at a red light.”

“Mhm,” she said without any real recognition, and seemed to go back to sleep.

Another minute or so passed, his eyes began to feel heavy, and still the light did not change.

“This is one hell of a long light.”

Her voice, sharp and clear, startled him. He turned to see that she was now sitting up, fully awake and examining the surrounding area.

“How long have you been waiting here?”

“Dunno, few minutes or so.”

“Why don’t you just run it? There’s no one around.”

“I’m sure it’ll change at any moment.”

Another minute passed, and then another.

“Okay, I’ve never encountered a light this long in my life, clearly the damn thing is broken, so just go already.”

“It’s a red light, you don’t just go,” he said, not exactly sure why he was contradicting as he had thought the exact same things himself.

“Are you fucking kidding me? Not one single person has passed by while we’ve been sitting here like idiots, what possible repercussions could there be for running this one clearly broken and entirely pointless light in the middle of nowhere? If we don’t get a move on we’ll be late.”

“If we’re late it’s because you took forever to get ready to leave, I’d said we should leave a good hour before we actually managed to make it out of the door.”

“We left perfectly on time, leaving any earlier would have been pointless.”

“Clearly not, seeing as now you’re saying we’ll be late.”

“That’s because you’re just sitting here wasting time!”

“It’s a red light, you have to account for things like this, if you leave at the last minute then any delay turns into being late, and that is no fault of mine.”

“Oh, so when I’m going to go somewhere, I should factor in the time it takes to sit at red lights in the middle of nowhere that don’t ever turn.”

“That’s hyperbolizing it a little, but yes.”

“That’s completely and utterly ridiculous. Why are you being so impossible?”

“Oh, I’m the impossible one. That’s funny, I mean that’s really just hilarious.”

“What on earth are you talking about? I’m not the one refusing to drive across an empty road.”

“I… I don’t even know. You want me to go? Fine, I’ll go.”

“Than-”

He floored the accelerator, the tires screeched on the road and the car lurched forward. He brought it up to 60mph but then a twist in the road caused him to have to brake suddenly and slow down to about 45.

“That was uncalled for,” she said without any sort of tonal inflection.

“Sorry.”

“Do you know where we are, is it much further?”

“I really don’t have a very clear idea. Probably not too far.”

They sat in an uneasy silence for the next several minutes. He turned his head slightly so that he could see her face in the corner of his vision while still being able to keep an eye on the road.

“Do you love me?”

_____________________________________

One somewhat unfortunate result of the past few months is that from now on whenever I write a story about a male character and a female character inevitably someone or probably several someones will ask me “Is this about you and…?” To answer that question, no. (This time.)


Jan 21 2010

The Party

I wrote this for my creative writing final.

The Party

          Friday’s were by far the best day to host a party. People came relaxed, free from work and not far enough into the weekend to begin worrying about the pressures of the next week. Edward was a professional at hosting parties, a skill he had picked up from his mother, a woman who lived through her social life. During the years of his upbringing at least once a week their Upper West Side apartment would be filled with all the local socialites, friends of family, friends of friends of family, dates of friends of friends of family, and so on and so forth. Edward loved those parties. As a child Edward had always felt more comfortable around all of the adults than he did with children his own age, he absorbed himself in their talk of politics, social issues, and gossip. That is, until his nanny would seek him out from the circles of conversation and send him to bed.
          Edward was looking forward to tonight in the same way he looked forward to any social occasion. There was nothing special about tonight. There was no holiday, no recent success, nothing that warranted any sort of celebration. Tonight he was throwing a party simply for the sake of doing so.
          Edward waited with growing impatience for the caterers to arrive. However, his impatience was just a mask for what was really bothering him right now. Brooke. She’d said she would come. She’d said, “And is it okay if I bring a friend?” and he’d agreed. He should have argued.
          The buzzer rang, and he went to answer it. The caterers. He let them in, and retreated to his bedroom to let them do their thing. He lay down on his bed and stared at the ceiling. After an extensive examination he concluded the the ceiling was perfect, there wasn’t a thing wrong with it. Not only did it do an excellent job of separating him from his upstairs neighbor, which was the roof, but the paint was even and all ran in the same direction, and the corners were all ninety degrees. It was comforting to know that there was something perfect in this world of scars, and odd angles.
          The empty white expanse of ceiling soon left his mind blank, he thought about nothing in particular. Then Brooke walked into his mind. Striding confidently with that self assured walk of hers that could carry her anywhere. She appeared as she had the first time he’d seen her, walking across Washington Square Park through the rain to the Feminism and Theater class they were about to share, brandishing a bright yellow umbrella that stood out from the swarm of traditional black ones. He had made the mistake that day of not bringing an umbrella with him, and was thus in the process of being soaked when she had walked up next to him and held hers so that it covered them both. “Where are you headed?” she had asked. Turned out to be the same place she was. They had sat next to each other in the lecture hall. She had asked his name. “Edward,” he said. She giggled. “Why’s that funny?” he asked. “I don’t know, it’s just so… pompous. It makes me think of someone with a lot of money,” she said, not knowing she was speaking to a man with a large sum of inheritance attached to his checkbook, completing a degree in Gender and Sexuality Studies for no reason other than boredom. “What’s yours then?” he asked. “Brooke,” she said. And there wasn’t much he could say about that, other than, “Nice to meet you, Brooke.” “Nice to meet you too, Edward.”
          His cell phone vibrated in his pocket, a sensation that still made him jump. Brooke. A text message. “Probably going to be late this evening, sorry.” He sighed. This was just step one in the process of her not showing up at all. A process that he was all too familiar with. The buzzer rang again. The band. He sent them up to the roof to set up. He wondered if she was cheating on him. It seemed that they had been growing distant in the past couple months. She had always worked to keep a certain amount of distance between them, never letting him fully know her, rejecting the odd question seemingly at random just to keep him on his toes. It wasn’t uncommon for him to not know where she was. She made sure her life was hers, and his was his, and it wasn’t necessary that they know every detail, or where the other was at any moment in time during the day. This felt different though. It had all felt different, starting several months ago.
          “This is Damien,” she said, indicating the man to her right. “He writes.” The man was tall, with dirty blonde hair that hung at a careless length around his face. Just visible below it were his eyes, an almost unnatural blue, and looking at Edward in a way that made him feel this man could see everything about him. He had the sort of “starving artist” look to him, but was too well fed to pull it off properly. The man reached out his hand, which Edward shook with uncertainty that must have showed. And since then things had been different.
          Edward realized it was 5:00, guests would be arriving at 6:00, he had to get himself ready. He went to shower, shave, and dress. He wore a black suit with a thin lapel, and left the top two buttons of his shirt undone. He selected a tie he could put on if that turned out to be the trend, but he didn’t think it likely he’d have to come back for it. If all went according to plan tonight’s atmosphere would be casual and relaxed. Edward still had a half hour to kill until then though. He paced the apartment, straightening up. He moved a chair a few inches to the left, and then back to where it was, and then a few inches further to the right.
          He went back to his room and hit a button on the stereo system to make it play something. It shuffled through an extensive catalog of music and came back with a song he hadn’t heard in months, not since the last summer, almost 10 months ago. The notes fit into his mind like a key into a lock, and opened up a chest of memories from that summer.
          The evening was warm in a way that was pleasant then but would later pose a problem for getting to sleep. The waves rolled in and crashed methodically on the beach. Edward and Brooke walked hand in hand in the wet sand along the edge of the water line. The beach was deserted this late in the evening, leaving the two of them alone. It could only have been more perfect if they had been on the Pacific shore, where the sun would have provided a spectacular sunset out over the ocean, which for them was inland. Still, the key feature of the setting was Brooke, and she made everything else irrelevant. She shone in the few remaining rays of sunlight which turned everything golden. Her hair wafted in the gentle breeze which carried that wonderful smell of salt and stale sunlight.
          “I love… this place,” Edward said, having changed his mind partway through the sentence.
          “It is nice,” said Brooke.
          They walked on until it was dark, eventually getting back to the car and driving back to the house. That night they slept out on the dock, looking up at the vast expanse of stars. They seemed brighter that night than Edward had ever seen them before. He’d never looked at the stars with anyone before, and hadn’t realized what he was missing out on.
          The buzzer rang and Edward was pulled from his memory. He went to let in the first of his guests. He wondered who it was arriving slightly early. He opened the door. Jack. Of course.
          “Am I the first?” Jack asked, striding past Edward into the foyer.
          “As usual,” said Edward.
          “Brilliant,” Jack said and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. Jack was a broker who traded on the floor of NYMEX, he survived primarily on cigarettes and alcohol.
          “If you must do that let’s at least go up to the roof,” said Edward. “If it smells like that in here people will think I’ve started again.”
          The band was still finalizing their setup in the far corner. Jack and Edward leaned against the railing on the west side of the building. The sun was setting, but the New York City haze obscured it’s brilliance. It was warm, at least for so early in May it was, and that was perfect for tonight.
          “So who’s coming tonight?”
          “The usual and I dunno.”
          “Brooke?”
          “She falls under I dunno.”
          “Huh.” There was a pause in the conversation, and then Jack continued. “What’s up with you two at the moment?”
          “I don’t know. It’s not like we’ve ever been the closest of couples, but recently she’s felt more distant even than usual. I just don’t know.”
          “Think she’s seeing someone else?”
          “It’s a possibility, anything’s a possibility with her though.”
          “Are you thinking about ending it?”
          “I’m not particularly motivated to at the moment, I’ll wait and see if things improve, if not then I guess I might.”
          “You used to feel very strongly about her, has that changed?”
          “Maybe, but it could just be we’ve moved past that new couple stage we were in for a while.”
          “I heard somewhere this guy did a study that showed love, the movie kind, only lasts six months. It doesn’t matter at all who it is, six months is all you have, after that the so called ‘spark’ is gone. Has to do with hormones or something.”
          “That’s rather depressing. Why does anyone get married then?”
          “That’s the question everyone asks, though generally they’re asking too late.”
          Edward heard the buzzer ring faintly downstairs. Jack stayed to lean against the railing and smoke, Edward went back inside to greet his next guests.
          Within a half hour Edward’s apartment was bustling with people. He moved from group to group, playing the gracious host, not neglecting to greet and chat with everyone in attendance. The band had started playing, food and drinks were being served. Laughter rang out every few moments, the lighthearted feeling spread to Edward despite his initial unwillingness to let it do so. A couple hours passed in this fashion, the sun went down, the band played louder, the party was in full swing. Edward went up to the roof and came upon a very drunk Jack.
          “Hey man, great party!” Jack said, exaggerating all the wrong syllables.
          “Yeah it’s all right.”
          “No seriously, it’s like out of one of those Smirnoff ads you know where all the people and hot girls get together to have some crazy party but really what makes it fun is all the vodka they bring and then it says “Be There” and you know what I’m talking about right?”
          “I do.”
          “Yeah, well it’s like that. Brooke ever show up?”
          Edward had managed to forget about her for the most part prior to this moment, the general goodwill that had accumulated in him dissipated instantly.
          “Not yet, haven’t heard anything since this afternoon.”
          “Hey man I’m sorry about that but you got to just forget about that bitch and have a good time you know? Here, let’s get you a drink.”
          They went in to the bar the caterers had set up.
          “Two White Russians.”
          “What? No. No no no no no.”
          “Yes. You need to lighten up and get in the party mood. This’ll do that.”
          “I don’t want a really bad hangover tomorrow.”
          “Don’t think about tomorrow. That’s your problem, you think about tomorrow too much, think about today.”
          “Today sucks.”
          “All the more reason to drink.”
          “Alright fine. But just the one.”
          “Excellent, here,” Jack said, handing Edward one of the drinks the bartender had placed before them and taking the other for himself.
          Edward drank, slowly at first, then finishing the rest within a few minutes.
          “You needed that more than I thought,” said Jack. “Lets go back to the bar.”
          And this time Edward didn’t protest.
          Half an hour later Jack and Edward were back on the roof, leaning against the railing and listening to the band play. Edward held his third drink in his hand and was debating whether or not it was a good idea to finish it.
          “This was a bad idea,” Edward said.
          “No, this was an excellent idea, this was an awful week and this is what I needed. You needed it too.”
          “What I needed was time to think, I did this to avoid that.”
          “Thinking is for people who don’t do. I heard some guy say that I think, and if he didn’t he should have.”
          “I think you made that up.”
          “There it is again, thinking, not good.”
          “I can’t do without thinking, that would be like… I don’t know. Something bad.”
          “That third drink’s really getting to you huh?”
          “You’re one to talk, your blood must be 80 proof by now.”
          “I can take it, you not so much.”
          “Whatever. I don’t know about you but I want to get out of here.”
          “You want to ditch your own party?”
          “I’m sure it’ll be fine without me.”
          “Where do you want to go?”
          “I dunno, out. Let’s just go, we can decide where when we get there.”
          “Alright, if that’s what you want.”
          The two of them left the railing and made their way through the crowd back downstairs.
          As they reached the lower level Jack exclaimed, “Hey look who showed up after all!”
          Edward looked around and saw Brooke in the foyer. Then he saw a man step behind her and remove her coat. Damien. He was too far away to hear anything being said but could see that she thanked him, and lightly touched his arm in the process of doing so. Edward thought they might as well just start making out right there in front of everyone and him. His clothes were cheap, and she had clearly dressed down for his sake. She saw him then, waved, and headed in his direction, but not without first tapping Damien to indicate that he should follow.
          “Sorry I’m late,” she said, and kissed him.
          “It’s fine, you haven’t missed much,” Edward said, although fine was possibly the last thing it was.
          “Hello again,” said Damien, smiling and reaching out his hand.
          Edward looked at him and was filled with a sudden rage. There was no question in his mind that this man and Brooke were having an affair. He wasn’t even sure why this made him so angry, but it did, he hadn’t felt fury like this before. His hand curled into a fist, and instead of shaking Damien’s hand he lashed out at his face. He struck him hard on the cheek, right below his eye. Damien fell back, knocking the drink out of the hand of a person standing close by, and then landing hard on the floor.
          “Edward!” Brooke exclaimed.
          Jack was standing next to Edward and reached out to restrain him, but there was no need. The room was quiet apart from the music and chatter coming from the roof, everyone stared at Edward. Brooke bent down to Damien, still on the floor.
          “Are you okay?”
          “Yeah, yeah I think I am.”
          Brooke turned back to Edward. “What on earth has gotten into you, what the hell did you do that for?”
          “Don’t act like you don’t know. Come on Jack, let’s go.”
          Edward walked past Brooke and Damien and out the door without looking back. Jack followed silently, closing the door behind them.
          “That was what I needed,” said Edward. “And now I need a drink, let’s go find a bar.”
          Jack continued to follow, despite the fact that any more drinking would put him at a serious risk of alcohol poisoning, and what Edward really needed was ice for his hand.


Jan 1 2010

Not Happening

Know what I hate? Like really really really hate? I hate when you plan something, start looking forward to it, and then it doesn’t happen. It’s even worse when you can’t blame anything besides whatever cruel being guides the universe (in retrospect that sounds very agnostic, I would like to clarify that I think agnostics are just atheists without balls. That sentence should read “besides the purely coincidental unfolding of events as determined by probabilities”). This happens to me allllll the time. It happens so often that it has had two very profound effects on me. Effect number one, I’ve given up. I rarely attempt to do anything, because chances are it won’t happen. Effect number two is that I’ve developed a sixth sense, I can tell when something’s going to fall through. From the very first moment that something’s suggested I get a feeling of whether or not it’s really going to happen. People are all talk, everyone’s always saying, “Hey we should do this sometime,” but will they ever? No. There are two very important words in that sentence, “should” and “sometime”. Those are words to look out for, if it’s not “will” and “at this specific time”, it’s not happening. Another thing to watch for is any uncertainty. If someone doesn’t give you an ETA, they’re not showing up. Hell even if someone does give you a specific time they’ll be somewhere it’s not a guarantee. I’m sure someone’s thinking “Well couldn’t that work the other way? A person might show up without giving a specific time,” and I suppose it’s a possibility, in the same way it’s a possibility that I could go buy a lottery ticket, win millions of dollars, and spend the rest of my life laughing at those who have to work for a living, suckers. The third thing, and probably the most deadly to any planned event, is the change of plans. The closer to the deadline this change occurs the worse, and should plans change more than once you may as well forget about it, that’s just the way it works. It’s very depressing, the things that fall through are always the things I really wanted to do, but that’s life I guess.


Dec 25 2009

Uninspired

Okay, so again I’ve gotten really bad about updating, but it’s not like anyone reads this so it doesn’t matter. Tomorrow’s Christmas, yay! (Sarcasm). A couple weeks ago marked the one year anniversary of my website, my web host kindly reminded me as that happens to be my billing period. It’s weird to think that this time last year I wrote something for this just about every other day. I feel kind of like I’ve run out of things to say, other than teachers are annoying, college applications suck, and women are confusing. Here’s something I wrote to that end.

Uninspired

He sat at his desk, trying to write. He stared alternately at the blank page in front of him, and the keyboard below his hands, which remained at rest. His hands were mocking him.
“Come on, you really can’t think of anything?” said his right hand.
“Yeah, what’s up with that?” said the left.
“Shut it, both of you, you’re not helping,” he replied.
“Why is this such a problem? You’ve had the most inspirational couple of months ever, and you can’t think of something to write about?” the blank page chimed in.
“I can’t just write what happened, I would need to change it, add stuff, take stuff out, make it unrecognizable to those not already familiar with the events that took place. I’ve been trying to do that, but I can’t, it always ends up being exactly what happened, and I can’t use that.”
“Then think of something else entirely,” his right hand said.
“Ever since this happened I haven’t been able to think of anything else. Every time I try to invent characters and plots all of the things that happened to me get into my head and I can’t think of anything else. It should be inspiration but it’s turned into writers’ block.”
“What about a Christmas story? Everyone loves Christmas stories,” his left hand suggested.
“All the best Christmas stories are about really dysfunctional families, and I don’t have one of those.”
“You’ve never had a girlfriend either, but that didn’t stop you writing all those other stories,” his left hand retorted.
“Fair enough. I dunno, I’m just not feeling it.”
“Well what are you feeling?” asked the blank page.
“Confused, annoyed, confused again, and now tired even though I didn’t get up until mid afternoon.”
“Well what abou –”
“How about all of you shut up so I can think straight, I’ll come up with something.”
“Fine, see if we care,” said his right hand.
He sat and looked at the blank page. He swiveled around in his chair and looked at the fish tank. It needed cleaning, he realized. He considered getting up and doing it right now as an excuse to not try and write, but that would just be delaying the inevitable. He swiveled back and sighed. He looked at the clock, in fifteen minutes it would be Christmas. He thought about what that meant to him. Honestly, he didn’t feel much. There wasn’t any of the excitement and anticipation that had kept him up on Christmas Eve when he was younger. Keeping him up instead was insomnia, and this damn blank page.

He hit the keyboard, just to see something on the page. The result was a jumble of letters which the computer underlined in red as soon as one of his hands made contact with the space bar. He struck out at the Backspace key and watched it all get erased. This wasn’t working. He had no ideas, he realized it had been a bad decision to sit down and try to force it, that wasn’t how he worked. He moved his hand from the keyboard to the mouse, and closed the word processor. The damn thing asked him if he wanted to save, despite the page being completely blank. He clicked yes, typed in “fuck this” and hit enter. He flipped the switch on his computer instead of shutting it down, and went to bed.


Nov 28 2009

Serenity

So right now it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving. Well technically it’s Saturday but I don’t count it as that until I’ve gone to sleep for some period of time between 3-7am. I’m sitting on the couch in the quite sizable living room of my uncle’s beach house in Delaware where my extended family have convened for the past several days for Thanksgiving. Everyone else is at this point in bed leaving me alone here to fall asleep when and where I wish which will probably be right here and soon. The lights are all out and it is dark except for the fire burning on the hearth and this laptop projecting on my face. The CD that was playing on the stereo system has reached it’s end yet the music still echoes in my head. It is quiet except for the crackling of the fire and the whistling of the fierce wind blowing outside and seeping in through the gaps around a not so well sealed door making me all the more thankful for the warm glow emanating from the fireplace. This week has been fun, being with me extended family usually is. I’m a little surprised though at how enjoyable it turned out to be because I expected that everything that was bothering me back at home would stay on my mind, yet for the past couple days it’s all seemed so distant. Probably because it is. College applications is one of the things to which I refer, and I have to have one of those done by Tuesday so I should be super stressed right now but I’m not. The other thing that I expected would make this week miserable is what made last week miserable which is essentially that for the past seven weeks I’ve lived the plot of thousands of books, movies, and TV shows and right now I’m either at the unhappy ending or the plot twist thrown in to extend things another 50 pages, half hour, or season. Which of those it is I have no clue. I was hoping to be able to use this time away to think hard about it and decide which of those it is and what my course of action should be as a result, but since I got here thoughts about it feel slippery, I’m not able to hold them in my mind and concentrate and I don’t feel as bad about it either. I know though that when I get back to school Monday it will all hit me like a freight train and I probably won’t be ready for it, not that anyone could ever really be ready to be hit by a freight train. So that leaves me here and now, not sure what I should be thinking, what I should do when I get back, and not really able to care. My one prevailing thought is that I wish my co-star were here, and although that is a pleasant fantasy it is in no way helpful. All I can do is lie back, and drift to sleep.


Nov 17 2009

Indigestion

No, I’m not about to write an article about indigestion, I thought it an appropriate title for the following story.

Indigestion

He sat on the kitchen floor, back against the cupboards. His eyes were open, but staring off into space in such the way that they may as well have been closed as far as he was concerned. He felt cold, even though there was no reason for him to. He was wearing a fleece and the heating was on, yet he shivered. He thought about the day’s events, and when he reached the moment he was currently at he thought about them again. It really had been one mess of a day. He thought about it over and over, trying different perspectives, different orders. He ran it forwards, backwards, sideways if that was even possible. He thought about the moment in class when she’d told him. Well, hadn’t even told him, just pointed, and mumbled sorry. It had been the worst moment of his life. It had felt like his brain had fallen through his neck and knocked his heart into his stomach which ended up cascading along with all of his other internal organs down to his feet. It was a moment that would be in his mind forever, similar to what had occurred the week before, but totally different. He’d felt sick to his stomach for the rest of the day since then, but he knew it had nothing to do with anything he’d eaten.

How was it that a day like this could come so soon on the heels of what had happened last week, when he’d had the best day of his life? How was it that his whole world could be turned upside down with a hand gesture? The rest of the day passed in a blur from that point. He didn’t pay attention in classes, and when he got home he couldn’t do homework, he couldn’t work on college applications, he couldn’t even sleep. He put on The Daily Show to try and forget it all but he couldn’t laugh. Even when he was able to focus on the show he just didn’t find it funny. He doubted there was a thing in the world he would find funny at that moment. He felt like he might not find anything funny ever again. Well, that was an exaggeration, but he felt like he was allowed to exaggerate, rather that he needed to exaggerate to fully communicate the utter emptiness he felt inside, which wasn’t just from not being able to eat.

He tried to think of what he was going to do now. Doing nothing would drive him insane, he knew that for sure. He’d done nothing his entire life and always regretted it so nothing was not an option. The past five weeks had been weeks in which he had done something, and those had gone pretty well, at least until today. Maybe this was the sign that his luck had run out. He sighed, he was at a loss for what to do, he was at a loss for what to think, hell he was even at a loss for what to feel. He’d felt it all that day. He’d been angry, in denial, depressed, even accepting a couple times. Anger had been his favourite, except he didn’t know who he should be angry at, other than himself for feeling this way in the first place. He ended up just lashing out at whoever happened to be near. He wasn’t angry now though, but nor was he in denial, or even depressed. Well, maybe a little depressed. He wasn’t accepting either. He felt like this still had to go somewhere. Last week had meant too much to him not to go anywhere. He thought back to last week, a happier time when everything had seemed right with the world. He remembered the moment, standing with her in the unused stairwell, the way she’d smiled, the feeling of her hair in his hand, of her hands on the back of his neck, of her lips on his. All he’d been able to think about for the rest of that week was that he wanted to do that again, and he still felt that way now, but it was coupled with the knowledge that it wouldn’t happen.

He turned his head and looked at the empty space next to him. He imagined that she was sitting there with him on the floor. He imagined how much better that would make him feel, and that made him feel worse. He imagined that he would uncross his arms, and put one around her shoulders. She would lean against him, maybe rest her head on his shoulder, and all would be right with the world. He imagined that they would talk. They would talk about anything, he loved conversing with her. He would say something funny and she would laugh, then he would kiss her again. A slight movement somewhere caused his eyes to refocus and he saw just the plain white emptiness of the kitchen cabinets. He almost lost it right then and there, he was flooded with so much sadness and anger and everything he’d felt for the past five weeks rushed into his mind. His stomach tightened and he thought for a moment he might actually get sick, but the feeling died down, and he was left numb, void of thought and emotion. He thought about today again, and got no further than he had before.

As he was sitting on the floor contemplating all of this his dog came over and lay down against his leg. He didn’t think that anyone could have been more comforting than the dog at that moment. She didn’t say anything, she didn’t ask questions, she just knew something was wrong and did what she knew would help. Either that or she wanted something warm to lie against. Either way it didn’t matter much to him.

“Well, I’ll always have you, won’t I?” he said to the dog, and in that moment realized exactly how pathetic his life really was.


Nov 10 2009

Glenn Beck

So the past four weeks (as of tomorrow) have been the most tumultuous, confusing, and at the same time wonderful weeks of my life, and of course I can’t write about any of it. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t told people I know about this site because it means that I have to think about what I say, and that’s not what the internet is about, although it would also mean not having much of a readership. And no, it is not anything illegal. It’s my excuse for not having done much of anything including update this site for the past month and that’s all I’m going to say. Although actually I’ve been much better about this recently, at least more so than over the summer. And now for something completely different: I found someone I hate almost as much as Rush Limbaugh.

No... me.

No... me.

Glenn Beck is about the biggest media whore I have ever encountered (not size wise, that still goes to Rush). I don’t understand how anyone can watch his show without feeling sick to their stomach or bursting out laughing. A couple of weeks ago I was over at a friend’s house and flipping through channels we decided to put on Beck because we thought it would be funnier than the episode of South Park airing opposite on Comedy Central. Really, if he wants to be taken seriously he should probably give up on the shirt, tie, blazer, jeans combo, and also stop making faces and crying so much. The episode we saw featured Lord Christopher Walter Monckton who I thought looked like a frog and spoke less sensibly. He was on the show to talk about how a UN climate control treaty is the basis for a world communist government. He provided absolutely no support, rather spent the entire time predicting doom for the U.S. if our evil overlord Obama signs it. The guest who sat opposite him wasn’t memorable because his job was to be the “opposing viewpoint”, and on Fox “opposing viewpoint” really means less extremist, but fundamentally the same. When he wasn’t being shushed by Beck or Monckton he was expressing the same view just less assertively. This is clearly meant to create the illusion that everyone feels the same way about this, and anyone who falls for it is such an idiot I’m surprised they know how to turn on the TV. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that most episodes of Glenn’s program follow this same format of idiot guest vs. slightly less assertive idiot guest with Glenn Beck in the middle making stupid comments and crying. I’m afraid watching more of the show to confirm my theory could have adverse effects on my mental health. I sincerely hope that he really is just a media whore and doesn’t really believe what he says, because if he really does I find that a little scary. Unfortunately even if he just says stuff for the attention there are people out there who believe him, all those “real Americans” I always have to hear about. Am I not an American because I don’t agree with your opinion? It’s when I hear people like Beck that I seriously consider moving to Europe as an adult… and telling everyone I’m Canadian.


Oct 26 2009

The Comic Strip That Defined My Life

One day when I was 7 or 8 years old I was bored and looking for something to read (I don’t get cable at my house, and this was way before you could watch so much online). Perusing the bookshelf in my living room I stumbled across something called the “The Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary Book”. I picked it up and flipped through, I was delighted to find that it was full of comics and instantly began reading. Thus began what could easily be called a love affair with Bill Watterson’s masterpiece. For the couple weeks it took me to read it I carried this book everywhere with me, and when I finished I’m pretty sure I went back and read it again. After that I collected more whenever possible, and at this point I believe I’ve read just about every strip that’s been published. This comic literally made me who I am today. Calvin was the expression of everything I felt as a kid, things like why do we have to do homework? why do we have to get up so early for school? why do grownups get to control us the way they do? I connected with him more than I think I’ve ever connected to anyone on the face of the earth. He taught me to say no, to question why, to live in the moment with total disregard for any and all consequences. I shudder to think what I would be like had I not learned these lessons from him, and my parents probably sigh regretfully. Those of you who have read Calvin and Hobbes (If you haven’t I consider you as culturally deprived as I consider myself to be) know that Calvin utilizes quite an extensive vocabulary, which I think I can credit as being responsible for my own comprehensive diction from an early age. That of course, is only half of it. Hobbes too defined me as a person. It is from him that I learned wit, his constant air of superiority and offhand comments most definitely rubbed off on me. To this day I pride myself on my skill with the quick quip. So if you’ve never read Calvin and Hobbes I strongly suggest that you do so, it’ll change your life. Oh and did I mention that it’s hilarious?