Foreword: Feel free to skip this part, or read it after. This story is a bit of an odd duck, doesn’t quite feel like a whole story to me. It feels like it needs context. Sure, it’s only one scene, but I’ve got even shorter stories that feel like they’re complete, resolved. Thing is, how do you create context for what is essentially an act of emotional tourism? What would his personal life matter, if this just live entertainment for him? Maybe that guy really had an arc earlier or later in his life, but I struggle to see how this could be a part of it. It isn’t important enough for him.
OK, so I’m sitting by this guy on the bus right? He goes:
“There ain’t nothing in this world more important than yourself.”
This wasn’t the first time somebody sitting by me decided to start up a lecture, with me as the sole audience. I feel like you can’t call yourself a bus rider until you’ve had someone give you an uncalled-for diatribe. Sometimes the “lesson” is so poorly given and ineffectual that it’s fun to listen to, I mean, that’s the sadist in me speaking, but the sadist in me at least knows how to have a good time.
Anyway, like all diatribes, this one was obviously meant more for himself than it was for me. I could be a mannequin, and the guy’d get the same sort of ego-boosting-satisfaction. Or extreme regret, I had no idea, these people would always leave my life within the hour. People with their minds all chewed up with thoughts so powerful that they have to talk to total strangers gives away at least some degree of desperation, so I always listened politely. I’d hope for the same if I was in their mental state.
“Seriously, nothing at all.”
I tilted my head slightly, feigning a look of honest reflection.
Continue reading “Bus Talker : Random Scene # 2”
As soon as I figured out what my writing style really was, I was a bit disappointed. Really, the things I wrote before figuring this whole fiction thing out were far more… “stupidly optimistic” about themselves. Like, of course I can write with this strange gimmick, why not? Now, I’d shudder, knowing such things rarely work well, at least for me. Of course, I still experiment, but not in the broad strokes that I used to. When you don’t know any better, you make some very interesting failures.
So, I did it, right? I developed something of a style, a distinct voice of my own. I should’ve been ecstatic, but I wasn’t. I had taken too much (probably undue) pride in my wild experimentation. It hurt my pride to find that I had “settled down”, as it were. What do writers do when they realized they’ve written themselves into a rut without having written all too much at all? I had, and still have, no clue.
Most writers I’ve met are hopelessly self-critical. Or they were in possession of massive egos. I came to the hypothesis that if you wrote very well, you probably were someone worth avoiding in real life. As such, I have no intention of asking them anything. Still, having friends become so familiar with your style to the point that upon their first reading of a story they say “it’s definitely something you wrote” is deeply, unreasonably maddening. It ruined my long-held illusion that I wrote everything under the sun, that each piece was utterly unique from the rest. So, as a writer, I’m guessing I lean on the “massive ego” side of things.
I’d love to make this the start of some motivational piece, but I can’t. I still don’t know much of anything. As for why I’m posting this here, I guess it’s feasible that someone could relate. Doesn’t do me much good sitting on my hard drive. Anyway, I fully plan on at least spacing out these rambles, hopefully with stories in-between.
- Announcement: I got published in 365 Tomorrows, check that out HERE.
A lot of times, I write these random scenes, usually hoping that they’ll grow into a full story. Sometimes they just don’t. Since I have no hope in ever getting those published, I’ll just post them here. This one, like a lot of them, is just a simple conversation between two people. I might come back to the idea at some point, I think there’s some comedic/surreal potential here.
I was waiting in line at a pharmacy.
“So, what are you in for?” The guy behind me asked.
“What, is this a prison or something?”
“Well a prison is a correctional facility, right? People come here for fixin’ too.”
“So a disease is equivalent to, what, a misdemeanor?”
Continue reading “A Random Scene (#1)”
I don’t think my eyes work right, sometimes. I mean, how else can you explain it? How’d a deer suddenly appear in the middle of the restaurant otherwise? I was minding my own business, scrubbing down the deep fryer, when I hear a table get not-so-graciously toppled. I nearly had a heart attack, I was certain it was a robber.
Now, deer are common in this part of the country, sure. But how’d it even get in? The door’s locked. No windows were broken or anything. I put my washcloth down on the deep fryer and stepped over to the front counter.
“Where you going?”
The voice came from directly behind me. I turned around. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
“Why’d you stop cleaning?”
I looked around once more, still not seeing anything out of the ordinary.
“Uh, a deer’s broken into the store. Who are you, exactly?”
“Oh, I’m Wari.”
“O-ok. But, where are you?”
“Huh? You see some other deep fryer in front of you?”
I looked back at the deer for a second. Was I dreaming? I pinched myself, to no avail.
Continue reading “Deer”