Friday, March 26, 2010

Fiction Friday

Hello lovelies/comrades! I'm posting a bit of a story that I wrote in Feburary on here. There should be at least one more part of the story coming next Friday, but it won't be an every week kind of thing. Why am I doing this? To pressure myself into writing and finishing things and showing other people my writing. On with the story.

“What don't I like? I've never been asked that before.” I rock back and forth in the chair, my hands clinging to the arms. I focus on the yellow canvas next to my left thigh. “Why do you want to know?” On that last word, I abruptly look up, right into your eyes. Your eyes are too blue. They're probably light blue, maybe grey, naturally, and you wear coloured contacts because you think they make you look better. They don't. They make you look like you're from outer space, an alien that was made to look like a human, to infiltrate our society.
“I have a theory that you have a lot of negativity that needs to be let out, and maybe, if you let it out, you'll be able to deal with it in a more constructive way than you're dealing with it right now.” You're using an upward inflection at the end of that drawn out statement. Sometimes you do that, even when you're not asking a question. It's irritating, really irritating. You're not asking me a question, not really, but you want me to tell you.
Begrudgingly, I do. “I don't like candy cane ice cream. I don't like superhero movies, and I don't like crunch bars, but I did like those crunch with caramel things they had out a couple years ago. I don't think they make them any more.”
You start talking when I've closed my mouth, before I've finished. “Food and movies?”
“There are more things that I dislike. I hadn't finished when you interrupted me.”
“Oh, by all means, please do finish.” You say it in a bit of a mocking tone.
“Fine then.” I sit up a little straighter and cross my legs, knowing that if I go too long without moving them, they'll both go numb. “I dislike sitting in the front of classrooms. I dislike people who look like they're trying too hard.”
“What?” You react to the oddest things sometimes.
“You dislike people who put forth effort? I would have thought completely differently for you.”
Like always, you don't get it. It makes prefect sense to me, but the message never can get through to you. “It's not about putting forth effort, it has nothing to do with putting forth effort. It's about trying too hard and making it horribly obvious. When it's obvious, then you're just reaching the point of ridiculous.”
Your eyebrows go up, not even disguising your feelings. You never have been good at that, your face is so transparent, so obvious. “You want people to put forth secret effort?”
“You're not getting it.”
“No, I'm really not. Could you explain it better?”
“Some girls look like they put a lot of effort into their appearance, you know, with horribly straightened hair, a lot of make-up” You nod, trying to act like you get it. You don't. “And I hate the way they set this sort of ideal, and the ideal's not even pretty.” I pause, waiting for you to interrupt me again. You don't , so I fill the space. “You weren't' thinking of it as an appearance thing, were you?”
“To be honest, I didn't have any idea what it was about. I thought that it was kind of strange, given you-”
“My perfectionist tendencies?”
“I wasn't going to put it that way, but yes.”
“What's wrong with saying that I have perfectionist tendencies? I do. Is it too honest for you?”
“You know that I believe in honesty.”
“I think that what you're talking about is kind honesty.” You ignore this comment pointedly.
“I think that 'perfectionist tendencies' is too strong for your situation. People who have perfectionist tendencies don't usually relate it to their emotions, like you do.”
“How much do you think I relate my perfectionist tendencies to my emotions?”
“We don't exactly have a scale for that. How do you want me to measure it?”
“I didn't mean that I needed a number. Lord knows I've had enough of numbers by now. I want to know in terms of people with perfectionist tendencies or whatever I have, are they all tied up in my emotions more than everyone else?”
You pause, trying to think of a way to say this without hurting my feelings and making me more stressed out and more obsessive about everything in my life. You finally come up with it, and this time, I really care about what you have to say. “I can't really compare patients like that.”
“You're lying.” Too quickly. Too impulsive, too sudden. You chuckle a little bit, laughing at my astonishing lack of self-control. This, this is what happens to me all the time, but never before with you. I say something vaguely ridiculous that I just didn't think through enough, then you laugh at me. This is what happens , and I know it is entirely my fault. MY fault for being stupid and impulsive, my fault for never learning from my mistakes.
“I'm not lying to you.” Your voice startles me from my thoughts.
“Would you tell me if you were lying?”
“If I was lying, I wouldn't respond. I wouldn't want to confess, and I would feel bad about lying again. So there. I don't compare my patients.”
I sit there and I stare at the floor for what feels like a very long time.
“What would you like to talk about now?”
“There's, there's nothing else. I think I'm done now.”
“Okay then, if that's what you want. Same time next week, right?”
“Um. Yeah, right.” I seem to have lost my ability to look you in the eye, I stare towards the door, towards the rug, towards your feet.
“Have a good day.”
“You too.” My voice trails off, not completely done wit the word until I'm out of the room and going home.
But I don't want to go home. What am I going to do at home? I'm going to have this horrible reoccuring crawling out of my skin feeling again, and that feeling, that's why I'm not going anywhere mentally. Physically, yes, I'm going somewhere, going somewhere a large portion of the time, because if I stop for too long, and I don't have something very specific that I need to do and think about, I go crazy. Well, not exactly crazy. No, crazy's the wrong word for it, but I don't know of a better word to describe it. I just get twitchy, scared, uncomfortable in my skin.
I just need to do something to get out of here, because I've already crawled up all the walls in the room.
And when the walls have all been climbed, I go some place else, maybe the library, not because I need to find something to read, but because I can stay there for hours, hiding in the back of non-fiction, maybe in the biographies, and I can be alone, but not alone, not really. There are people around, it's a public place, and I think that makes it easier, easier to forget.
Because I do want to forget, I'm sure of it. There is not one thing, not one thing that I've done in the past five months that I'd admit to. I would lie, and I'm good at it. You would buy tales of me having family obligations and whatever else I could think up.
Maybe you could see the truth, if you wanted to. You don't want to know. You don't want to know what I'm trying to forget about, because you know it's bad. You know that if I can't handle knowing it, you don't want to know even a hint of it.
And I think I hate that you don't care enough to ask me about it, to tear the lies away from me and leave me bare, the truth brutal and exposed.

5 Fab Fans:

Aeromax said...

This comment is going to have two parts. The first one will be my response to the passage as written by you and the second one will be a savagely austere dissection not unlike those conducted in the operating theatres of the nineteenth century.

Numero Uno:

Pretty cool stuff. A lot of dialogue. Good dialogue, though. It sounds natural. For me dialogue is pretty hard to write without sounding like total cheese, so I try to avoid it. And the style is nice, too, because the next time I see someone use a different verb for "said" at the end of every sentence combined with three unnecessary adverbs I'm going to BRUTALLY AND CALLOUSLY BELLOW AT THE AUTHOR IN QUESTION TO CEASE THEIR LITERARY AMBITIONS POSTHASTE. It stays consistent. And it's easy to read without being overly simple.

Nomyer Dva:

The scene as a whole has a tone of intense strife, but it's buried in the narration and treated as an assumed premise. What's going on? Why is the narrator filled with burning pathos? What is the conflict? You spend a lot of time on your (the narrator's?) thoughts, which is really one of the most important things to do, but not a lot of time on the external features of your milieu.

The other person is barely introduced. A friend? An acquaintance? Supervisor? Therapist? Clues are scattered throughout the passage but it doesn't feel very complete in that regard; either that or I'm just a moron because I have no idea who the heck you're talking to. Or why, for that matter. The narrator (you?) is anxious. This is all that can be known for certain - the lack of context makes it hard to see what's an important metaphor and what's unrelated. That said, exposition tends to blow, but some is necessary. Or else it's like listening to the guitar solo from Stairway to Heaven without having heard the seven minutes that comes before it - kinda awesome but not nearly as awesome as it would be if you had been there the whole time.

IN CONCLUSION: So much burning pathos here, but you haven't given it anywhere to go. Backups in the burning pathos gland can be harmful to most animals and some plants. Writing while tired may increase the risk of grammatical errors. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while writing. Ask your doctor if writing is right for you!

Bianka Rose said...

I liked the dialogue. Twas interesting and reminiscent.

Samantha said...

Jake-The intense strife and burning pathos are meant to be explained later. It's good that you're asking these questions right now. The other person, in the beginning, is supposed to be a therapist, but towards the end, "you" is someone else. They have a deep and scary shared past. I'm not the narrator. It just needs more backround, right? Should I put that in now, or in the second part?

Joey said...

That was really good, Samantha.
I am really impressed by your writing! I wish I could write like you... :(
But you do a great job. I want to hear no more complaints about how you don't know anything about writing!

Samantha said...

Thanks. I think my writing is kind of...full of internal dialogue and stream of conciousness.
I will still complain. Such is my way.