Author Topic: an untitled short story (help with title)  (Read 1179 times)

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©brad

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an untitled short story (help with title)
« on: September 06, 2004, 06:53:13 PM »
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Begin

“You’re making the mistake in assuming that she is thinking about you as much as you are thinking about her,” my jackass friend named Rhet informs me.
   “Um, yeah I get it.”
   “I don’t think you do.”

   In Rhet’s room we smoke a bowl of okay weed and we’re drinking warm Natural Light and I’m sitting on the edge of his bed while he sits on a small computer chair with his legs propped up on a tall stack of empty pizza boxes. A huge Johnny Cash poster is the only thing hanging on the walls. Dirty clothes are piled everywhere, as are an abundance of empty Natural Light beer cans and several overflowing ashtrays. On TV a Britney Spears video plays (we turned MUTE on) with Rage Against the Machine playing on a nearby stereo (bizarrely, the Rage music in the background is really playing along well with the video, almost Pink Floyd Dark Size of Oz-esque).

   “I warned you about all of this shit the first day, you know,” he says before taking another hit of the bowl.

   Rhet is full of shit in every way possible. Rhet once told me he was in a highway rest stop taking a piss next to Bob Dole. Rhet once said he smoked some hash with Brandon Boyd and got Carmen Electra’s little sister’s phone number at a Phish show in Raleigh, North Carolina. Rhet said he got a 1500 on his SATs and got accepted to Brown but decided that the kids there were way too “college-y.” Rhet claims to be a member of the NRA. Rhet said he lost his virginity to his freshman biology teacher in the faculty lounge early one Friday morning. Rhet said that he was at a bar and a 46 year old Chilean offered him $1000 to let him give Rhet a blow job. Rhet tells girls his parents died in a tragic yacht accident (I think he even told one girl it happened in the Bermuda Triangle) and he’s been raised by his Grandmother (Nanny). Rhet fakes headaches, toothaches, migraines, backpains, and even anal pains just to get out of work (truck unloader for UPS). Rhet is full of shit.    

   “Dude, she didn’t even…”
   “I know.”
   “…like…”
   “I know.”
   “..you…”
   “I know.”
   “… or want that at all.”
   “I know.”
   “No, you don’t know.”
   “How the fuck do you know?”
   “I just know.”

   He passes me the bowl. The warm beer fails to ward off the cotton-mouth. I take another hit anyway.

   “I tried to tell you.”
   “I don’t need this.”
   “Yes you do.”
   “No, I don’t.”
   “Then why the fuck did you come over?”
   “To get fucking stoned.”

   He gives me a you’re-full-of-shit look and takes a pretty damn long hit off the bowl, finishing it, and then, as usual, he erupts into a sneezing fit; 3 cycles of 6 or 7 sneezes each. After the third cycle he stops and wipes his nose with his shirt.

   “Are you okay?”
   “Yeah.”

   He stands up abruptly, giggles a little, and digs through one of the stacks of dirty clothes.

   “This is going to be good, buddy. You got to forget that bitch. This is going to be good.”
   “Why do I hang out with you?”

   He puts on a gray Widespread Panic shirt with a mustard stain on the front. I’m not sure if he just doesn’t see the stain or if he sees it but just doesn’t care (probably the latter). He walks into the bathroom. He walks back out. He’s ready.
   “Are you ready?” He asks.
   “For what?”
   “This is going to be good.”

Date

   A new Italian place downtown. Small, trendy but not too pretentious. Our waitress’s name is Sable and she has a nose ring that changes colors (either that or I’m just really stoned). I light a Marlboro while my date for the evening- blonde, big nose and tits, short, nice ass, sorostitute- babbles endlessly about God knows what and it’s mentally and physically exhausting to put on this face that hopefully gives the impression that I’m actually paying attention to her (and I can’t really remember her name so I’m just mentally referring to her as Blonde).

   “… and really I’m usually a morning person but this morning I just couldn’t wake up for the life of me. I felt like such a pig when I did wake up because I ate so much! Like okay, a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a pop tart, three pieces of provolone cheese, an apple, then an hour later I had another pop tart, some Raisinettes I found in my purse, a bag of Cheeze-its, and then at lunch I had like have a turkey club and some potato salad…” Blonde is saying all of this very fast, showing no sings of stopping anytime soon.

   Sable returns with a bottle of pinot noir (thank the Lord) I picked out without consulting with Blonde to see if she even liked wine or red wine for that matter but I didn’t even want to go on this date and there’s no way I can do it sober and since I’m the guy and I’m indefinitely paying the bill I figure I should be able to pick the wine. Sable pours a sample taste into my wine glass but I don’t bother tasting it. She shoots me a sympathy look as Blonde continues with her daily eating itinerary. I look at my right hand, holding the white cigarette, and notice that I’m trembling.

   Sable is about to pour Blonde’s glass when Blonde suddenly stops her talking, noticing the red wine.

   “Ooh, you know, I don’t drink red wine. I’m sorry. I didn’t know what he ordered. Can I have a glass of white zinfandel?”
Oh my God.
   “Do you still want this bottle?” She looks to me.
   I don’t answer verbally; rather, I grab the bottle from her hand, nodding, and place it on the table close to me. Sable makes an exit.    
   “I’m sorry,” Blonde says.
   “No, I should’ve asked. My fault. Continue.”
   She continues.

   Food is here but I’m not hungry at all, even though I really should be because I don’t think I’ve eaten anything (save ibuprofen and Xanax, but those are pills and you don’t really eat pills) for at least a day and a half. Blonde ordered fettuccini alfredo (not even on the fucking menu) with the sauce on the side (how annoying). I ordered some roasted duck thing. Two bites. It’s really good but I’m already full. I light anther smoke and fill my glass of wine. Blonde is still talking. Dave Matthews “Rapunzel” plays loud in the background and I’m sitting here thinking this is all starting to feel like a scene straight out of Dawson’s Creek or some shit.

   “And okay, my last boyfriend was like a total sociopath. Like if I went out with, say, my girlfriends or with people from work, he would make me call him every 30 minutes, no lie. That may not sound like a lot but believe me, to have someone call you every thirty minutes asking what you are doing? Come on, that was too much. So yeah, that ended pretty quick. And the boyfriend I had before that was kind of the exact opposite. He never called me. It’s so weird, isn’t it?”

   “Um, yeah. I don’t really call, I mean, I do… yeah it’s weird.”
   
              Blonde continues on about her past ex-boyfriends (not
surprisingly, there are many) and my mind wanders and I’m telling myself to not think about it but when you tell yourself that you are indirectly thinking about it and soon I realize it’s impossible not to think about it so I just decide to drink. Blonde will continue to talk for the rest of the night and I will continue to not listen, and I will take her to a bar and she will drink 3 rum and Cokes and will be obliterated and I will take her home and she will throw up in my car and when I drag her into her room of her sorority house she will start crying about how she misses her old boyfriend and after that I will leave the house and go buy another pack of cigarettes because I will probably be out by that point.  

Alexis

   At my friend Alexis’s house and I’m lying on her bed reading some chick magazine while she paces around the room scribbling on a sheet of paper. Alexis’s room is that of a typical cool college chick; not too pink, with posters of Eric Clapton, the Beatles, the occasional random male model, Jimi Hendrix, a small Eminem calendar, a Salvador Dali painting (not  Persistence of Memory), a panoramic picture of Florence she actually took, a poster she made herself out of blue construction paper that says “There’s nothing worse than a stupid drunk bitch.”

   Alexis takes a deep breath and writes one more thing down on the sheet of paper, then looks up at me and says: “Okay I think I’m ready.”
   I grab the sheet of paper out of her hand and read the list:
      
1.   This is just going way too fast…
2.   I can’t be tied down right now…
3.   I need my own space…
4.   Never been single before in my life…
5.   Too young to start this again…
6.   You really deserve someone better…
7.   This is not about you at all and I know you think I’m lying but I’ve never cheated on you and I never would…
8.   I really, really just want to be friends because we were happier then anyway, remember?...
9.   I just think we need a break and I need time to figure some things out…
10.    I do love you so much though…

“What do you think?” Alexis is biting her nails when she asks me this.
“It’s a little…”
“What? Too much?”
“Generic, man.”
“Well, I mean, I don’t know what else to say.”
“You could just not say anything.”
“What? I can’t do that.”
“Why? That’s what I really wanted.”
“No it isn’t,” she says while lighting me and her cigarettes.
“Well, are you going to write a letter or email or what?”
“Email? Who breaks up on email?”
“Many a people, I would think.”
“Email is lame,” she says, doing a handstand in the middle of her room with the
cigarette still in her mouth.
“Well kiddo, I would expect him to either cuss you out or hang up immediately.”
“He better not hang up before I make all the points I want to make.”
“Good luck.”

She rolls on her back and grabs a tiny cell phone out of her pocket and
dials, grabbing back the list out of my hands. She takes a deep breath, pacing into the bathroom. Still ringing. She immediately screams, then hangs up the phone and throws it onto a nearby bean bag.
   
   “What happened?”
   “I can’t do this right now!”
“Then don’t.”
 “God I hate this. I hate confronting people. I can’t handle it.”
“I would’ve thought you’d be great at it.”
“Well I’m not.” She takes a long drag and throws the cigarette out of her bedroom window. “Let’s smoke a bowl.” We do.
“So I saw your bitch yesterday,” she says to me while simultaneously exhaling a fierce stream of smoke.
“That’s… great,” I say.
“She was with what’s-his-name.”

The phone rings. Alexis looks at me as if she had just broken the Ten Commandments and Moses himself was calling her to find out what the hell happened.

“Fuck, it’s him! What do I do?”
“Answer. Get it over with. Quick. Like a band-aid.”
“Okay, fuck, I don’t… okay okay, I’m answering.. shit no, I can’t do it yet!… oh fuck it… hello?... Hey…nothing what are you doing?”

I pick up the list which is now lying on the floor, hand it to her, and walk downstairs.

I’m thinking right now as I grab another Beck’s Dark out of the fridge of the time we were in a pool at my parent’s house, and it was a day in July in the south that really felt like a day in July in the south, and we had both had the whole week off from work and we’re in the pool enjoying that feeling of not having to work and I jumped on her back and wrapped my arms around and we floated together, laughing about something I don’t really remember. She dunked us both underwater and I swam underneath her legs and bit her stomach a little and she scream-laughed and then I started to float on top of the water, on my back, and she put one hand behind my neck and the other underneath my ass and was holding me a float, with a sinister look on her face, and I knew what was coming and before I could stop her  she dunked me under again. We got out and laid on lawn chairs and were drinking Corona Lights and we shared a joint and talked about what we were going to order that night and I told her I wanted lobster and she wanted salmon and after the pool we were back in my room and we took a shower together and had sex  and during the sex the water suddenly got very cold but we didn’t really care or notice and as we were drying each other off she whispered in my ear: “I’m glad this is happening.”  

    Back in Alexis’ room. She is pacing, with the list and pen in hand.  Number 2 and 3 are crossed out and as I plop back down on the bed she crosses out number 3: “never been single before in my life.”

   “Look I never, ever, ever meant to lead you on like this but sometimes things happen so fast that you have no time to stop and think about what’s going on and whether it’s right or not.” She crosses out number one: “this is all going way too fast.”

   I shake my head as I return to reading the chick magazine. I really don’t have pity for this guy, which is weird because I probably should.

   “No! …Okay, look, I cannot stress this enough: this is totally not about being with someone else and I have never, never, never, never cheated on you…” Number seven is now crossed out.  

   I get up from the bed, throwing the chick magazine on the floor as I walk over to Alexis who is now sitting Indian-style on her floor smoking the rest of the bowl. I kiss her on top of her head and whisper “call me later” and she gives me a thumps up while crossing out number nine (I just think we need a break and I need time to figure some things out) and I walk back downstairs, taking a long gulp of Beck’s, wondering whether she made a list for me.  


Date II

   At a new bar called Lick drinking a Bourbon and water (I can almost drink it straight now) sitting across from a girl named Trish who’s really skinny, almost Laura Flynn Boyle-disgustingly skinny, but despite that she is gorgeous, with long brown hair (I definitely prefer brunettes), almost my height which is kind of trippy because I’ve never hooked up with a girl who was 6ft tall. Unlike that last blonde nutcase I took out, Trish can drink, and she smokes which is a plus. However, she hasn’t said three words since we got to this bar (maybe she’s just noticing my disinterest and is playing along) and she didn’t eat but three bites of her dinner (neither did I though) and I can tell she’s as bored as I am so obviously this is going no where.
   “What did you say your major was?” I ask.
   “Business, or um, Ethics. Something like that.”
   “Oh.” A pause, then; “Cool.”
   Excruciating.
   A minute or so passes. Silence. I’m fixated on the bartender, watching her every move as she makes a Cosmopolitan.
   “Did I tell you I was a Mormon?” Trish asks. First time she’s actually made some sort of attempt to spark a conversation all night.
   “Oh yeah? How’s that working out for you?”
   “No complaints.”
   I’m leaving right now.  

Heroin

   My freshman year I was at this keg party at Georgia Tech and I had just taken a roll and I remember being in this tiny ass bathroom in one of the dorms, starring at myself in the mirror as I cleaned the back of my teeth with my tongue, chain-smoking, thinking about nothing and everything, and in that bathroom I heard a girl crying. Well, not really crying, but sighing rather. It wasn’t really a sensual sigh; point being, she wasn’t getting fucked or anything. It was just this subtle-yet-loud-enough-for-me-to-hear sigh. I turned around to find a short hippie chick, some tall ass skater punk, and a black dude with bleached hair all in one stall. The black dude was feeding the hippie chick heroin, and I couldn’t help but stare at her as he pulled the needle out of her arm and she sat there on the skater dude’s lap, her eyes closed, licking her lips, breathing in deep.

   An hour later, I’m rolling hard and walking around from room to room, talking a mile a minute because of the roll and everyone is happy to meet me and I’m happy to meet them. It was really this buzz I was on having just gotten to college and you know, that feeling you get, but anyway, I found the hippie chick in one room alone. She was smoking a joint listening to Janis Joplin and when I walked into her room she gave me a hug and told me her name was Cherry and I told her I loved Janis Joplin and she said she loved me because I loved her and we talked about that and love for a while and then we made out on her bed and before I knew it she had her hands down my pants and I started to moan surprisingly loud (for me anyway). I went to undue her pants, looking up in the process to find the skater punk from the bathroom standing over me. I stopped, assuming it was her boyfriend and thinking I was about to get into a fight. The skater dude didn’t do anything though. He stood there for a moment, lit a cigarette, and then sat down in a rocking chair next to the bed. I don’t know what the fuck was going on but pretty soon I was talking to the skater dude and he was shaking my hand and telling me about school and shit and the hippy chick was just lying on the bed listening. After about thirty minutes the skater dude pulled out a small little blue box and opened it. He asked me if I wanted to try something. I said ‘yeah.’

   I couldn’t look when he put the needle in because I’ve never been able to do needles very well. I used to have to be tied down as a kid when I got flu shots. I closed my eyes as he rapped this rubber balloon thing around my arm and my heart started to beat fast and I could feel the blood running through my veins.

   Go. Get out now. Leave. Go home. Home.

   A wave of euphoria I cannot even begin to explain spreading to every inch of my body. Tears running down my cheeks. A slight laugh. A kiss from the hippie chick while the skater dude rubbed my shoulders.

   I loved it.  

Bottom

   Eleven bourbons and an ungodly amount of coke and my voice is coarse from the two packs of cigarettes I’ve gone through today and I recognize no one in the bar but it’s better that way. I scroll through my cell phone, realizing that I don’t know half the names in my phone book, and I get to hers, and I want nothing more than to call but I’m hammered and drunk post-break-up calling is such a freshman thing to do but then again she always told me I acted like a little kid anyway so who cares, and I mean really, at this point who cares about anything. I decide not to call, rather just erase the name from my phonebook but it’s pointless because I know it by heart. So I take the battery off the back of my credit card-sized cell phone and put it on the bar. I order another bourbon, slurring, and the bartender says something about driving but I can’t really hear him so I just tell him my mom is coming to pick me up and he laughs and makes the drink. I turn around to find Rhet walking towards me with a smirk on his face, the kind that makes me want to beat the shit out of him with a hockey stick. He’s smoking a cigar. He looks happy.

   “How’s it goin’ sketchball?” He asks, smacking my back.
   “Kickin’ ass and takin’ names, sex machine,” I may have said.

   He looks at the four empty glasses in front of me and then grabs my face and looks into my eyes like he’s about to either kill me or make out with me and it’s really freaking me out so I push him away.

   “So word on the street is that you’re a smack-addict now. Cool bro. Real cool.”
   “God I love …people.”
   “You are the biggest fucking pussy I know, you realize that,” he says.
   “I don’t realize anything.”
   “Dude, are you still thinking about this? I mean please. This is college. Commitment is a four letter word. It’s like… the creed.”
   “So is ‘hope’,” I say.
   “Oh my God. I can’t take you anymore. You used to be like me.”
   “No I didn’t.”
   “Well you used to be cool.”
   “I’m not cool.”
   “You’re in this self-loathing, I-hate-everyone-and-everyone-hates-me mood. It’s really pretty lame.”
   “Well, I never asked you. And I could care less what you think, and the last thing I need from you is pity or a therapy session so why don’t you just get the fuck away from me so we can both lead happy lives?”
   “You are so dramatic. Cue the violins.”
   “Fuck off. And by the way, could you please stop setting me up with these prissy, bulimic, headcase sorostitutes?”
   “So what, you’re telling me now that you don’t want to get laid? What are you going to do? Drink Crown Royal and sit in your room listening to Radiohead for the rest of your life? You’re so typical, dude. You’re a fucking cliché. It’s all pretty lame.” He says this while checking out the bartender who is overhearing this stupid conversation of ours. She pours us two shots of Yagermeister and says “on the house” and Rick immediately downs his without waiting for me and in response to this I down mine.
   And then I puke.

   I wake up as Rhet is carrying me up a flight of stairs to my apartment, or at least that’s where I think I am. The taste of Yager and throw-up and cigarettes all marinating together in my mouth. My nose is burning from all the coke. Throat hurts like hell from the smoking and throw-up. I already feel what is the beginning of a two day hangover. Rick opens my apartment door and carries me into my bedroom. After putting me in bed he takes off my shirt and I think he says something like “I’m not taking off your pants so don’t even think about it fag” but he does get me a bottle of Dasani from the fridge. I turn onto my stomach, moaning. He sits on the edge of the bed and hits me with the bottle of water.

   “Hey pussy. Look at me.”
   I look.
   “You are pathetic. You know that.”
   I start to laugh and he does too and pretty soon we’re both cracking up, hysterical. I get the hiccups and that makes him laugh even more.
   “This is so fucking… stupid,” I say in between hiccups.
   “Yeap.”
   “I feel… stupid.”
   “Well you are stupid.” He stands up, slaps the back of my head, and makes for the door.
   “Um… thanks for… you know, this,” I mumble.
   “In the words of Bob Marley, ‘everything is gonna be alright,’” he says before making his exit.
   “I could’ve done without that,” I say to myself before passing out.

NEON MERCURY

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an untitled short story (help with title)
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2004, 07:20:04 PM »
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....very good stuff man........ :yabbse-thumbup: .....


as for a title....

- Eleven bourbons

El Duderino

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an untitled short story (help with title)
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2004, 12:04:45 AM »
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i liked it a lot, but what's a sorostitute?
Did I just get cock-blocked by Bob Saget?

Ghostboy

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an untitled short story (help with title)
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2004, 12:23:54 AM »
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Sorority Girl + Prostitute = Sororistute.

In a lot of ways, I liked this a lot more than your last story, cbrad. It seems to have more honesty to it. Funny, I read this just as I was writing a scene in a screenplay in which a character helps a  girl shoot up. Your description of that particular high was lovely.

Are the first and last two segments supposed to be the same evening? If so, my only suggestion would be to make them more obviously connected -- I think the story would be stronger with bookends. Maybe include the line about being on smack in the first one. I'd also consider the possibility of re-ordering some of the segments -- just mess around with it and see if you can create a stronger narrative? I don't know. Date I and Heroin are strong enough pieces to stand on their own, and the rest sort of seem to float around them.

As for the title, there are plenty of lines from the piece itself you could grab. Almost any line, actually. 11 Bourbons doesn't work for me. How about...Like A Band-Aid.

©brad

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an untitled short story (help with title)
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2004, 10:10:48 AM »
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thanks all.

yeah gb i think your right. i've been playing around with the ordering of the stuff. the first and last scenes are not the same night. i guess i should make that more clear. i wanted the last segment to be like two weeks after the opening scene.

thanks for the comments. much appreciated.  :-D

 

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