Hey all! I've restarted my writing blog over at http://slightblasphemy.com
, and have started by posting one part at a time of a long story I am working on. I'll post part 1.1 here and 1.2 is up now on the site. Lemme know what you think!
No, my name will never belong to you, unless of course I feel so enlightened to share it. My name was Christopher. My age is perhaps even more irrelevant, or perhaps it's incredibly necessary. Perhaps it's a crucial tool in determining how little I had accomplished in such an embarrassingly long length of time. I was thirty-two. I lived in waste…but don’t worry too much about that right now. I tend to keep that to myself.
Conventionalists look away; I despised my father. Respect can be wished but the demanding rarely earn it, and Jesus Christ did he get down on his knees and request attention. That's all figurative, of course, but I had no choice but to pretend that he had taken me. He was a vicious man with a hunger for control and an illogical and irrational sense of self worth. Sadly, I never could quite see what he saw. Yet aside from the viscous lamenting over an inept patriarch, life for me had its other disgraces. Being thirty-two probably shouldn't mean a shimmering patch of bald skin above my forehead, but of course it did for me. I didn’t care much for hats, but when grizzly men continuously reminded you that you’re bare and repulsive and entrancing women forced you to turn away in terror, you don’t have much of an option but to bond with the fabric.
Tragic, isn’t it?
There’s really too much to say all here, all right now, but I guess I should start somewhere.
It was winter in the wasteland. I can promise you that it was far from riveting when you were spending yet another day in bed thinking about how the girl you fucked last night had wasted your only nickel, a coin that seemed invaluable when labour was a reality owned only by hustlers and deckhands. So you regretted that precious loss (the nickel of course, not the prostitute) and carried yourself to the local bar that was falling apart like everything else and filled with drunken men that can't count the shoes on their feet, let alone the toes underneath them. So, naturally, you join them for a horrid tasting, horribly brewed beverage and sing obnoxious and crude songs about a much finer life somewhere substantially further away. You complement these ragged, decaying, overweight gentlemen on their crusting beards but remind them to keep clean, an empty suggestion, and then you leave. As previously discussed, you don't exactly have any money left, but your old friends admire you enough to let you slip through the old cedar doors just this once, and so you carry on. When the next day comes, repeat. It's a brilliant plan that works continuously because your subjects can't remember past the last hour, but they're as reliable as you are waking up every morning.
Sound like your life?
Well, I'm sure you can find some similarity in there, but it is unlike your life because six days ago I saw a ghost. It wasn’t entirely your ordinary ghost, though. I could swear those barmen were the ordinary ghosts, but this was much more than that. Before I saw it, however, I began to realize that I was a little more than the typical street side scum in this city that beg simultaneously for both your wallet and your forgiveness. I had never felt this sudden feeling before.
The feeling of my individualism began at first in my stomach, as I watched the city’s finest citizens attempt to persuade me that the best trip to take at two in the morning was with opium, so long as I didn't use theirs. The true rebellion seekers attempted to convince me with coffee.
This strange feeling in my stomach initially felt like a hick churning butter, which tickled slightly. The feeling soon became a bit more malevolent as the minutes passed, and my initial reaction of curiosity moved to a much more urgent feeling. The peculiar new sensation was more reminiscent of a hurricane churning an ocean, so I threw up. I threw up, then I chuckled.
You may wonder, “How could a hurricane in someone’s stomach mean they were more exclusive than an average person?” and to this I would reply “Have you ever felt a hurricane in your stomach?” Of course, you would insist that you have not, but I would tell you to close your eyes wherever you’re sitting, standing, traveling to, it doesn’t entirely matter. Close your eyes and imagine a beautiful turquoise sea, the salt in your nostrils. There's o land in front of you, and only ocean behind you, and somewhere a whale surfaces. Imagine that you had spent the utmost incredible day perched on this warm, sandy island that you’ve created but evening was quickly approaching and it was time to go home.
Try to relax. You can’t run because that bastard of a sea is going to eat you alive. So you look up, hoping that maybe the forgiving sky will save you, but the second you stare into the blue of illusioned space you realize the clouds are screaming your name like your mother when you spilled the last jar of milk on the carpet and you can’t run. Your father is out of work and your family won't be able to replace the milk with more milk, so bourbon becomes a suitable substitute.
Open your right eye to make sure you’re still alive, but don’t let go of the storm.
Close that eye and use it to gaze into the horizon that doesn’t really seem like it wants to end. As these cackling clouds consume the sky that was once your only escape and as your sandy island turns into rock strewn surface, you wait for death because the seething hurricane has found you, and God damn its coming. All those bawdy house employees won’t ever know what is happening thousands of miles at sea. Would they care if you told them, or just pretend?
You need to let go of everything that has haunted you on shore and embrace the swells as they wash over you, not big enough to knock you off your precious rock but just enough to mimic that slap in the face your mind gave you when you realized your wife was in the room next to you during your iniquities, but don’t think about that now! You need to focus on the expanding waves. You’re holding on. You’re really, really holding on but even if you tried, you couldn’t let go because your life is just too damn important. Wait…
You realize that this storm is not going to stop, and you’re definitely not going to be able to handle those stones digging into your hands for much longer. So as you wonder about your wife, your hand full of torn skin, your reliable whores and your disgraceful predecessor, open your eyes.
The salt makes your nostrils bleed. The water feels like needles on your bare forearms. The arrogant sea has a foot fetish. The clouds are at your throat.
That’s what my stomach felt like.