Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Playing Hookey

I woke up this morning, and the only words that came into my mind were, "Hell no."

So I called in sick. Which wasn't difficult to do because a weekend of back-to-back baseball games and 25+ beers has left my voice with the timbre of a pubescent boy. My boss was greeted this morning with a pathetic little squeaky-voiced message.

And now I have a stomach ache. Such is life.

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Such is life

It was the only story I had ever written that I was completely proud of. When I think about it, for that reason, it's the only story I have ever written. The rest have become scraps of paper, occupying intermittent sleeves in my portfolio, taking up space.

The story grew into its own being. Three years, on and off, I had spent nursing it—adding, deleting, replacing, I had read those five pages so many times, I could recite everything word for word.

Naturally, I am defensive when C tells me she wanted to see it. The only other people who had read it were others like me. Writers who understood how long you obsessed over the words “the” or “a,” “but” or “however.”

C is a Dan Brown fan.

“Uh, it’s not quite finished yet.”

“So? Just show me what you’ve got.”

“Uh, okay.”

And I do.

A day passes without any mention of the story. I hope there won’t be any, but the next day, as we cook dinner together, she brings it up.

“So, I read your story.”

“Oh, what did you think?” I try to sound casual.

“When you told me you weren’t finished with it,” she laughs, “I thought you were being all tortured artist about it. You really aren’t finished with it! So is the main character going to die or something?”

I’m speechless. I can feel the look of horror painting my face.

She looks at me, wide-eyed. “What?”

What? Why would the main character die?”

“Because there was no, like, ending. Nothing happens.”

“That was the ending. Someone doesn’t need to die for it to be a story. That’s life, most of the time, shit doesn’t happen.”

“Oh, uh, okay. Well, then, yeah, it was good.”

I don’t know what it was that made me think about this incident last night. I’ve probably settled into my new job, new routine. Each day is becoming a reflection of the one before, and nothing happens. When a season of MTV’s the Real World ends, they show you all that “never before seen footage” and they admit that most of what the camera captures is people doing nothing. That’s how life is. The majority of the time, when people I haven’t spoken to in a while ask me what’s new, my answer is an honest, "nothing."

So how do you remedy that?

What route do I need to take in order to make myself feel like something is happening to me? This motionlessness is exhausting. I need to make some fucking moves.

-L

P.S. I apologize for the Real World reference.

3 Comments:

Blogger Dog said...

Ha ha. I feel your pain. Dont it let it get to you so much. If we were ruled by other people general opinions and views, we would all be voting for anti-abortion anti-gay anti-scientific presidents. Take it for what it is, a point of view, among millions. If you hear anything usefull, then use it, if not, ignore.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Gamer C. said...

If you want, you can stir up your own excitement in your life-Make things happen to you.

Ever been in a police chase? Shop lifted? Ever sniff some Crack? There are tons of things you can do to spice up your life a little more (Of course I am joking and would never tell anyone to condone any of that stuff.)

Don't worry, things will get better. You're probably in moving mood right now, meaning you're thinking of what changes you like to make in the future.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous best friend said...

as one of the few privileged people that got to read your short story, i have to comment that your story wouldn't be half as engaging if it were as plot-driven as said person desired it to be. and believe you me, as much as i hate to take critism personally, i know how it feels when people shit all over your first-born.

with that said...

GO METS!!! :]

4:35 PM  

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