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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Everywhere you want to be.

    Might as well post these... [UG314]

    I'm a creative writing major. Here are two pieces that I've written. I don't like either of them.

    Loathing -- Poetry

    [spoiler:2db22ttn]i canít write.
    i worry.
    i donít comb my hair.
    i breathe too loudly (mostly through my mouth),
    and my teeth are nothing more than coffee stains.
    i sweat when I get nervous.
    i canít talk to my family.
    iím not half as smart as i
    pretend to be.
    iím a lousy driver.
    i smile, but never on accident.
    i make promises that i know i canít keep.
    i care what people think of me.
    iím pro-choice.
    i self-medicate to forget the things about myself
    that I canít forgive.
    iím just fine with pre-marital sex.

    iím repulsive. A sidewalk chalk-line
    of obscenities.
    like the rain, You have washed me clean.

    i donít get that.[/spoiler:2db22ttn]

    Working Title -- Short Story (fairly long read)

    [spoiler:2db22ttn]The single most important thing to keep in mind if you ever plan to sell a lie to anyone? Itís delivery. I practice my story again in the mirror of my head. Hello, Iíll say. My name is Parker (thatís not my name), and Iím an alcoholic. Of course theyíll greet me. They always greet me. Hi, Parker, theyíll say. Then for at least an hour and a half Iíll have to respond to some name I made up on the way in. As Parker, Iíll tell them all about how I carried liquor in a Batman thermos to school and how I grew up living in the same house with two complete strangers. Iíll tell them about how they both seemed to get off on making the other look bad in front of me, and how theyíd smoke and drink and cuss until their throats were raw, but I never once heard them say ďI love youĒ. Iíll tell them that they were my parents, though you couldnít tell it now, even if we stood together in a huddle and took a cheesy family portrait.

    Thatís what alcohol does, Iíll say. It changes you.

    Iíll stand up and Iíll give them every excuse in the world for why I belong here, sitting with them in a circle while we all take turns feeling miserable for any guy who ever got bored of feeling miserable by himself. I got bullied in school, Iíll say. My parents are drunks. My wife divorced me. My children hate me. I lost my job. Iím terminally ill (this is good, because then I have an excuse for not showing up the next w. Whatever works. It only has to be two hours-worth of convincing.

    About two-thirds of the way in, Iíll have to cry. This is my least favorite part of the evening. Itís like when you hate going to church because youíre always afraid that theyíll call on you to pray out loud. You like to go and hear the preacher talk about God, and you love it when other people sing to God or shout for God or raise their hands to God or kneel for God, but you just donít really feel like talking to Him yourself. Sometimes, you just want to watch. Sometimes, you just donít feel good enough.

    But this is different. Here, I donít have much choice (you can ask me why I keep coming, but I wonít be able to tell you). To get ready, I think of some of the saddest stuff I know. Murder. Abortion. Genocide. This is like when you go to a funeral and you want to look sad so that you donít feel so out of place. Sometimes you just have to look at the body Ė all dolled up with a plaque beside his head and pictures everywhere. You have to just stare at him, sitting on a pedestal like some sort of decoration, and you have to realize that, when you die, youíre going to be the centerpiece for some sadistic party just like this guy. That makes you sad.

    All I know is, when I stand up and start to tell everyone exactly who Iím not, Iíve got to bawl. These people, they know pain, and if I donít turn into some blubbering idiot, theyíll know Iím not Parker, the childhood alcoholic.

    Theyíll know Iím a faker.

    Did you know that the consumption of alcohol aids in a distinct decrease of core body temperature? I glance at the thermostat; itís set at a steady 82 degrees. I look around the circle and only half the people are sweating. The others Ė well, theyíre not. Thatís how you tell when someone relapses.

    Thirty minutes have passed and Iím hearing stories like Caseyís, who was once a beaten-and-beloved wife until she divorced the man of her dreams and moved in with her aunt. Now sheís married to the bottle. Or Kevinís, who couldnít stomach being diagnosed with cancer so he decided to become a boozer as some sort of self-diagnosis. Heís drinking his life down to the froth. I make sure to remember them for next week when Iím in a different town with different addicts, just in case I need a name or a story or both.

    These people, theyíre here because they want help curing their addictions.

    Iím here to entertain mine.

    This is my fifth meeting in two weeks. The first time I came to one of these was because I found a flier hanging in the menís room at a gas station on the way to my hotel. I donít remember what city. I stopped to take a piss and it changed my life. Seems strange to think of that as life-changing. But thatís nothing unusual. You know, it isnít by coincidence that Rodinís the ďThinkerĒ looks a lot like a guy sitting on the john or that da Vinciís ďMona LisaĒ is bustier than most women today with fake breasts. Plenty of our cultureís greatest accomplishments have been inspired by the crude and offensive. In that sense, Iím just another artist.

    Before meetings, I spent a lot of time alone. I travel for my job; city to town to town to city to some other vaguely familiar metropolitan area. I speak to students at universities about the importance of a strong resume or a high GPA and I hold seminars on finding recession-proof jobs or understanding politics. I get paid to do this. My life was note cards and microwavable dinners. Courtesy soaps and complimentary towels became souvenirs. TV personalities and hotel concierges became my company. I used to order room service just to have a conversation; I hired friends paid by the hour. I was living a rerun in a different city each week. The meetings came when the feelings of loneliness grew bigger than I could carry in my suitcase. That, and they were cheaper than a movie or fancy dinner.

    Weíre about an hour in now, and this chick sitting to the right of me (we go clockwise around the circle) starts to cry and it isnít even her turn yet. At first theyíre small hiccups in her tear ducts; then they turn to sobs. She falls in a heap on the floor, crying the way puppies cry when you leave them alone for too long. Me, I donít even know what to do. I never do. I try to cry too, but her heaving breaths are too loud and I canít think about things like suicide or car crashes. I look up and I see these people Ė people who have lost their children, people who live on the streets, people who are dying Ė standing up. Theyíre taking turns hugging her and they all whisper in her ear something that is hard to believe, but sounds almost too convincing to be fake. They say I love you.

    I see myself doing this and I double over. Iím not that good of a liar.

    Their hugs, or maybe their words, theyíre sponges, and her tears dry right up. Everyone is looking at me, the only guy in the room that didnít offer his porous embrace or his absorbent words. Itís my turn to speak. I stand up. Iíve done this before.

    I swallow.

    For some reason, I canít bear to tell them about my made-up childhood or my made-up life. Thereís a girl sitting to the right of me Ė I donít know her name Ė but she is weeping just because she has no other solution to her problems. Iím standing here, fake as can be, and Iím about to lie to these people who only want to help me. I donít deserve them.

    Hello, I say.

    My name isnít Parker, and Iím not an alcoholic.

    Their eyes are soaking with perplexity.

    I tell them about my life and how all Iíve wanted for the longest time is for someone to listen. I tell them about my job and how Iím always so far away from the people I used to love. I tell them about my friends and how they all wear suits and uniforms and nametags.

    I tell them Iím sorry.

    I turn and walk out. For some reason, they follow me. Theyíre shouting my not-name, Parker, even though they know better now, and theyíre asking me to come back inside. But they canít help me. Not here. Not this week. Not this city. Maybe next time.

    I keep walking, my back to them, toward my rental car.[/spoiler:2db22ttn]

  2. #2
    Mother Russia Cavolia's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Soviet Russia

    Re: Might as well post these... [UG314]

    Wow, the story was really interesting.

    You should write more like these, i did love every word of it.
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  3. #3
    Fanatic Enthusiast Joel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Re: Might as well post these... [UG314]

    Those were great, I really liked them. They lacked that corniness that you sometimes get, and they felt really original, good job.


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