Post subject: Re: Seefy's Short Stop: Right, so we killed that thing dead.
Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:15 am
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:30 am Posts: 1181
I liked the pure rawness of it. It was like reading about a real person's life--and somehow making a rather uneventful life very interesting (well, your life is far more eventful than mine). That and your style is perfect for that sort of thing (I think).
I don't say that kinda stuff randomly--I really mean it.
Post subject: Re: Seefy's Short Stop: Right, so we killed that thing dead.
Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:33 pm
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:47 am Posts: 3164 Location: Just who the hell do you think I am?!
Listening To: Muse
Reading: Wut- Sy's new name.
Eating: Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha.
Playing: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
AHAHAHA, NaNoWriMo. I'M GONNA DO IT. >D. (Well, I'll try, anyway. >>)
Argh snap! I forgot to make a thread about this and I completely forgot!
It's too late now, I'm too busy preparing for this and the next term to do it now.
Anyway, if you do plan to do it, the best of luck. In fact, I may need to borrow some.
○ Renzo: Augh, I think I was just swindled into doing NaNo. Though honestly, I've not a clue what to write about. I can't even figure out the charcters I want to use. D: And luck to you, too! ○ Zi: As a follow-up to your last comment, I ended up veggng on the couch and watching nine hours of Dexter. NINE. (ButmanIlovethatshow.) ○ Matt: Thanks. <333 My teachers are like "Write about you. Write about YOU. YOOOOU." It's a little frustrating, because I have this awful, pedantic life. I think the first time I really talked to Dakota was over pizza when we were together on the local fairgrounds late at night. He asked me what I like to do, and I was like, "Errr, I sleep twice a day? That's gotta count, right, right?!" I am so frickin' lazy and uninteresting, so I just dug up something I could talk a lot about (that doesn't include celestial formations, dead philosophers, or art) and tried to go with it. Maybe you should try cracking yourself open and writing about parts of your life. It's both easier because you know exactly what you're talking about all the time, but also more difficult because you don't want to let it all out. You don't want to admit certain things to yourself. You don't even know how to say what it's like sometimes. It's interesting.
T H E . S U N . A N D . T H E . M O O N . A N D . A . T I N Y . B L A C K . H O L E
It was five in the morning in the Kenai airport and was already suffering from another anxiety attack. I swayed in my high heels, standing in front of the restrooms with my back stiffened by a starchy black pantsuit. The morning outside of the windows was completely dark—the sun didn’t shine here. I waited for my plane to come so I could hurry up and get to school. I knew I had work to be done, and missing English class would be absolutely disastrous.
I was ten years old.
My aunt stood next to me, babbling the whole time about who-knows-what. Her black, wiry hair stuck out and away from her head—why didn’t she just accept the grey? The encaustic crimson on her lips bled back into the tributaries spanning the narrow topography of her upper lip. She wore a massive coat over her black spandex stirrup pants and held a stone jar at her breast. As a witch, I suppose she had a specific image to uphold.
Carol certainly had the lifestyle for it. For instance, if the moon were full and visible that morning, I’m certain she would have howled right up at it. She’d say something insane like “Thank Goddess” afterward as icing on the cake. What was intriguing was that she focused on the moon when so many other religions drew focus to the sun—
The stone was thrust into my hands.
My wide eyes slowly willed themselves to look at “Grandma,” Carol’s little Wiccan jar of magic with a completely inappropriate name. I wondered what on earth “Grandma” really was because the jar was insanely heavy—could I . . . open it? Carol had scuttled off to the bathroom, and I had considered it, but I had a fear of unleashing all the evil in this Pandora’s box:
All of the Catholic prayers that I had pretended to recite the day before with my younger sister flashed in my mind. Together we stumbled over the stand-sit-kneel patterns at the service, feeling branded as heathen in the small, disgusting ceremony. As nondenominational protestants, we knew God, but we knew no routine. The off-tune hymns echoed, purged from the mouths of the people whom she had known up to the emaciated end. The nine remaining of her thirteen children were scattered about the pews further behind me, pressing into my back like an unknown darkness. I had met them twice by that time. Once nearly half a lifetime ago, and once the day before.
“I never want a funeral like that,” my mom once told me. “It was just depressing.”
I looked back at the talismanic Pandora-“Grandma” jar and felt my fingers almost reject its weight entirely. What I held in my hands wasn’t “Grandma”—it was Grandma.
My stomach rolled. Darn it, Carol, just come back here. I didn’t want to hold Grandma in an urn. She was twice as heavy in the urn than in life, and what I held in my hands that day wasn’t even her.
Grandma was the one laughing out a lung of smoke in a lawn chair at her boyfriend’s house. Grandma was the one with an off-season dish of candy corns on her coffee table. Grandma was the one who was too independent to pretend to tolerate her son who we’d forced to go live with her.
This wasn’t her, that thing in my hands.
This was supposed to be Carol’s ashes fit for a potion or something.
I got on the plane to Anchorage when Carol came back. Carol and I said goodbyes and she took “Grandma” back home to Minnesota. I was driven to school and immersed myself in the nest of people, crawling through the halls around me, rubbing the sleeves of my blazer.
This day wasn’t even worth it, I decided, looking out still blackened classroom windows. I should have stayed home.
My maternal side of the family, that which Carol and Grandma Evans belonged to, always defied the laws of time when it came to living off their alcoholic blood. Grandma Evans died with a cigarette between her index and swearing fingers and a pastry at her left. Dissimilarly, time just continually kicked the ankles of my fraternal side until they fell, premature.
The year after my Grandma Evans died, my fraternal grandmother began having more health complications. Her husband had just died, but there wasn’t much to say about that. They had been divorced, remarried, then separated at the end. If there’s one thing that Grandma Shirley taught me, though, it’s that perseverance and a little prayer can go a long way.
The first stroke was easy. The second one wasn’t a problem. The doctors at the hospital just sent her right on back home. As the strokes became more frequent, however, my family had to find a place better equipped for her to live safely. We settled on a place by a quiet creek that had chickens scattered homily across the front lawn. My grandma would perch on her wheelchair and watch my younger sister and I chase those chickens in the sun, listening to us laughing when we lost a soccer ball.
The residents at Grandma Shirley’s assisted living home were always so kind when we visited. There were five of them: Grandma Shirley, Irene, Louise, Vern, and Lydia. Irene was a sarcastic little spitfire. She’d laugh and watch Westerns with you, then turn on a dime and tell the snarkiest joke of all time. Louise sat across from Irene in the living room and would always love talking to you. She’d tell anyone who’d listen stories about her or her kids. Lydia never really spoke, but would enthusiastically nod and smile whenever you talked to her. We found that she didn’t know English very well and was a European immigrant. She would sit by my Grandma Shirley at the dinner table, who, even in her failing memory, would sing along to radio songs in genres spanning from gospel to country.
Then there was Vern.
Vern was the only man in the house left after Bob had died. Vern was tainted by Alzheimer’s disease, and as a result, was very confused. He was still a great joy to talk to. He loved to reminisce about fishing in the backcountry. My dad and I would talk to him quite frequently toward the end. His favorite story was about a trail that he would walk along to get to his favorite fishing site:
“Did I ever tell you about Sunshine?”
“No,” my dad and I would say, even though we had heard the story hundreds of times before.
Sunshine was a magical place. Vern would walk out on the trail with his tackle and pole in hand and spend all day there. He’d catch rainbow trout and keep them for a small dinner. The better the weather, the better the time spent out at Sunshine. It was beautiful. It was quiet. It was his.
“Did I ever tell you about Sunshine?”
He’d always tell us about Sunshine on the best of days. Sundays after a post-church lunch were always a good day to sit around the table telling stories. I always felt bad for listening so intently to him, but failing to do so with equal intentness toward my own family members. Maybe it was because I could hear his clock ticking. Maybe it was because I didn’t know him, and no one I knew could tell me anything about him besides himself. Maybe it was just because he wanted someone to listen to him, and I was just there.
As time passed, his speech became more limited. His eyelids became heavier, and he sat shorter in a wheelchair, unable to walk. He lost his place in his stories, but he always gained his bearings on one tale.
“Did I ever tell you about Sunshine?”
“Did I ever tell you about Sunshine?”
“Did I ever tell you . . ?”
And one day he never finished.
Sometime later I walked into the assisted living home after not visiting for a few weeks. I felt terrible about it because in my old age the least I’d want is my own grandkids to visit me on a regular basis. I talked to Grandma Shirley in the living room with Irene, Lydia, and Louise. They were a laugh, as always. Vern had been sleeping a lot those days, so I didn’t worry about him.
I cracked and eventually asked my parents where Vern was on the car ride home.
“Vern died two weeks ago.”
I hung my head and thought about the trees and the trails and the things and the—and the crap just whizzing by my face in the car window on my way home that day. I shed a few tears thinking about Sunshine, what it looked like, and if I would ever go there. If anything was sure, though, it was the simple knowledge the Vern left us with something special that would never leave.
My family wasn’t invited to the funeral. I’m not even sure if any of Vern’s relatives knew we existed. That was alright, though, because I knew it was good. I knew they didn’t burn him and shut him up in a jar and ship him away. I knew that people had good things to say. I knew that when the sun shone that someone would always think of him, even if it was just me. Vern taught me that even though death can be weird and detached, it can still be okay. If one is good in this world and shares whatever they have with it, they will never, ever really leave.
Did I ever tell you about Sunshine?
Vern lives there now, fishing for clouds with a smile on his face.
I wrote this back in September. Just some stuff about life. Mom said she died of a broken heart.
○ Zi: :( I'm sorry that I made you cry in a public place! XD What did the old lady say?
S O N . O F . S H A N E
We sit with a chair in between us in the banquet hall with business-looking people chattering around us, celebrating the promotion of the short black guy over there to superintendent of the school board. The lights are so low, I can barely see the others in our group sitting on the floor about the perimeter of the room. It’s so strange, all of us, picking at hors d'oeuvres in black button-ups and slacks, patent leather shoes gleaming like the stars. They watch us like ghosts.
This place is like an old hotel, dark and amber. Slow movements in molasses lighting. Sleazy jazz from seven people we had just performed with still going in the background. Our sentences fragmented by an improv solo from the eyeless guy with a tipped fedora on tenor.
A little critique spills from my mouth every so often at the lone brass player up there, playing right at his stand. I wonder if he knows that the stand won’t applause for him at the end.
I move to the seat between us to hear your voice better. Articulate and clear, talking about Kantian philosophy. I smile—can’t be too consequentialist tonight if there aren’t any consequences, right? At least none that we care about.
Your curly blonde hair is like a tender maelstrom in space, and I’ve always wanted to touch it. Your brilliant blue eyes flick about the room as you talk about music and the musicians we had performed with in the past. I agree with everything you say, not just because you say it, but because I’ve thought it at one time or another, too.
“Would we be ruining your date if we sat here?”
You and I look at each other, laugh, and turn our heads toward the small voice behind us. Of course, it’s just Little Drummer Boy, barely five feet tall. We shake our heads and invite him over with us.
“No, no, I was just—” and he ushers himself away.
I raise my brows and laugh again. You seem equally surprised, and I know that you think that we’re just friends, too.
“Hot date with our jazz combo friends and some corporate-looking old people,” I say.
“Yeah, so private you know?”
I raise my glass cup to my lips. Yeah. I think it’s funny, too.
So I look at you and your dark hair for as long as I need as you contemplate the orange soda in your hand. I’m distracted by your seemingly perfect nose and your long fingers. When we pressed our hands palm-to-palm, they had to have been at least a twelfth of a ruler taller than my own digits. You take a sip from the can and hesitate, turn.
“What are you doing?” you ask me in a soft tenor voice.
I continue staring and raise a brow. “Kaden would have a fit if he saw you like that, can in one hand, trumpet in the other.”
You scoff and finish off the soda anyway, probably remembering Kaden and his strict antics. I’d grown used to him, performing at his side for five years, but you had only known him for a few weeks before he tripped off to Switzerland. To be honest, I’d never really adhered to the water while performing rule, either. Your lids lower and you turn to face forward again.
My head is a pressure cooker of congestion and thoughts. What do your forearms look like? I don’t remember, and you’re one of the only guys in the band that doesn’t roll up your sleeves. I compensate by taking in your features again.
We turn to stone as we begin the last song in our set. Next to my sheet music is a page of lyrics for same song.
In the midst of our resting, I hear a murmuring melody at my right on top of the saxophone chorus:
“Our hearts were ringing in the key that our souls were singing—”
I turn to see where the sound is coming from, and you grin nervously, shutting up your tongue. “What?”
I shook my head, not knowing that you were an Earth, Wind, and Fire fan, humming the notes to myself.
“—as we danced in the night, remember how the stars stole the night away . . .”
Your voice is quite nice, also.
I raise the metal to my lips and try to forget about it. I’ll solo in the key of F major in the meantime.
Trying second-person present, and it's a pain in the butt. What am I doing, writing a letter or something?! I may or may not try again. Nothing totally awesome/tragic/compelling has happened in my life recently. These are both for my performance set last night. Ffff, I was sick then, and it's even worse now. These didn't exactly turn out, but that's okay, I suppose.
UGH, CYOAs. I ALWAYS DIE. ALWAYS. If CYOA was a guide on how to live life, I would be dead and dead all over again by now. XD
I don't really like writing in this perspective because it feels like I continually Chuck Norris-kick down the fourth wall and it's just weiiiird. Eventually I just had to act like the person was sitting in front of me and I was talking to them.
Post subject: Re: Seefy's Short Stop: wherein he sings & a painter's son t
Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:18 pm
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:34 am Posts: 917 Location: Does a radioactive cat have eighteen half lives?
Listening To: Black Velvet
See, I find writing like this really intuitive, and often have to stop myself doing it. That is, if ever I am thinking about a relationship situation (be it friend, father, sister, lover) in a character's POV I naturally start thinking how they would be thinking toward that person; 'You do this, you say that, I just sit here and can't understand you.' It can tend to emo-ness, unfortunately, if you're not careful.
Whooo, you may have noticed that the thread title has changed! :D That's just because I think that everything from here on out will be about me or the people I know. It sounds indulgent when I type it out like that, but I think every post in the thread has fit those guidelines, other than the OP, haha. Anyway. Have a wonderful day. :)
○ Zi: Lol, my first-person does that a LOT. XD ○ Angel: Why, thank you! <333 And yes, you sure can borrow some. :)
L O O K . H A R D E R . N E X T . T I M E
A Sunday afternoon: I’m riding my bike down Tuscany Lane with the clickclickclick of my bike chain clattering behind me. The sun beats down my back and a river of sweat flows freely down my spine. I turn left onto Frontier Street and almost get my shoulder edged off my a car mirror as it passes. I shoulda brought water, but I had to go to Harveys as quickly as possible, and I have to return just as fast.
I am on this mission all in the name of mayonnaise.
I skitter on my brakes and slide a few inches on the rocky pavement. Propping my bike against the scorching metal rack, I lock it up and run into the siding doors of the grocery store. A wall of cold air collides with my face as I dash into the market. Where is the mayonnaise? The mayonnaise?
My eyes frantically scan the isle headings. Bread, soup, frozen food . . .
Pickles? Does mayonnaise go by the pickles?
I speed walk past old ladies giving me, a guy with an agenda, funny looks and make my way to the pickles. My breath is audible, but I don’t care. I need this darn mayonnaise, and I need it now. I get to the pickles, and I see it all before me: a giant wall of fifty brands of pickles that no one ever needed—I mean, you only ever need two kinds of pickles: Vlasic and Kosher, obviously. Either way, this isle has nothing to do with mayonnaise, so I throw myself into the perimeter of isles again and start looking at headings again.
Condiments. How did I miss that?
I weave through a maze of people wandering around with their carts and slide into the condiment isle. A selection of mayonnaise as big as the pickle isle unfolded before me. I picked up a small glass jar of Hellman’s. I don’t think we need a huge economy thing of it, anyway.
It’s one of those days where I should have come to the store at a better time if I only needed to buy one thing. The checkout lines up front are clogged with people who decided to go on shopping sprees after church. I dash into the shortest line at lane four before some fat woman and her overflowing cart beat me to the punch. She glares at me, but that’s okay. I’ve gotta make things quick in this place.
I shell out a few bucks for the mayonnaise a few minutes later and don’t ask for a bag. It’s not that big, anyway.
I walk out of the cool embrace of the store and get clubbed once again by the boiling air jumping off the pavement. I unlock my bike and put the lock in the pocket of my cargo shorts. And just like that, I’m off like I came and am heading back home though the tight squeeze of the ninety-seven degree weather.
Sweat collects at the base of my dark scalp, and the icy perspiration on my back warms up as my body adds more to the wet sticky mass. I hear my breathing. In. Out. In.
My bike chain clickclickclicks behind me down the street as I hold the mayonnaise with one hand atop my handlebars. I look down and watch the chain revolve around my feet for a few moments—clickclickclick. The heat slows everything down now to just a click click. Click . . .
Wham—my bike is thrown to the ground and my cheek is pounded in with bits of rock. I lay there on top of my bike with a pedal grinding into my rib for a few seconds before I can figure out what’s going on. I’m still breathing, so that’s good. But what—?
I peel myself from the mess of metal on the ground and rub my throbbing head. My hand is a mess of clear sweat mixed with creamy globs of white and red. The mayonnaise is smeared all over the parking lot and my bloody hand. It’s hard to tell, but I’m sure it’s all over the back of my gashed head, too. I look up and see a parked semi truck half a foot away from my face.
Oh, silly goose. You have got to be kidding me.
So I’m sitting here because I was too busy looking at my chain instead of looking at the huge parked semi in the parking lot. I look over at my bike, and its back wheel is still kinda spinning, still kinda clicking away. I clutch the back of my head—it hurts. I put pressure on the back of it until the pain dulls itself to a delusional numb, and I crawl back onto my bike to hobble slowly home, leaving the pile of erupted mayonnaise jar on the ground behind me.
An eternity later, I drop my crappy bike in the middle of my lawn and turn the doorknob, leaving a Thousand Island-colored smear on it. As I stagger inside the entryway, I see a bleary image of my dad turning around the corner and coming into focus.
“Hey, I found the mayonn—” He stops right in front of me, startled. “What happened to you?”
I seethed inside my mess of an outside. It was everywhere.
This obviously isn’t a serious piece, haaaa. I did try first-person present and I hate it. Second-person present was so much easier. D:
Dakota told me a nice story over some pulled-pork sandwiches I bought us this weekend. We got free coleslaw with the sandwiches for some reason, and I think it came up when I asked him what exactly coleslaw was, or something. “I just get distracted by the sound and end up looking at the chain,” he says.
I find that interesting because I always end up looking at the sky instead.