This post is part of a new series of posts that will focus on creative “artsy fartsy crap.” This will include musical pieces and stories that have been written by contributors. It’s a place for them to show that they are capable of creativity as well as criticism. Videos will also be integrated into this section as well. Upcoming video series will include movie and music reviews as well as comedy sketches.
I wrote a five page story today that I thought I’d share with the blogging world. It’s a bit of a character sketch and a tad modernistic although the ending is a bit of a give away. Let me know what you think. It’s romantic (duuur). Kind of…
“Can I kiss you again?”
He leaned over her body and moved his head towards her face. She smiled a crooked smile as he moved closer. They lay on a bed in a hotel room. It was late, past midnight. The only light came from parking lot lights, shining in through the window. They kissed for a moment as he moved on top of her again.
He had broad shoulders, short dark hair, a thin beard and hair up and down his body. His body was pudgy, out of shape, with a large belly pushing into her body. She signed and gripped his back. Her small frame, nearly half of his, disappeared underneath of him. Long blonde hair spread out across the bed, the pillows and fell off the sides of the bed. Her glasses sat next to the bed, undisturbed. They both sighed with their eyes closed.
The overhead fan spun in a wide circle, creaking faintly with each revolution. It was missing a blade. A light smell of ammonia drifted through the room. Bed springs faintly creaked in other rooms. The carpet was stained, dark and missing large patches. A few roach motels sat around the room, on the floor and the one table. The table was shoved into the corner on the opposite side of the room. Two chairs were stuck underneath. The television had a dial but didn’t work.
They finished. He rolled off top of her and lay on his back. He stared at the ceiling, trying to make out if the dark patch was a stain or a bug. She reached over to the stand and grabbed a pack of cigarettes. She pulled herself up into a sitting position, pulling her hair up into one hand and tying it off with a hair tie. She lit a cigarette with shaking hands. They both coughed.
“I thought you didn’t smoke,” he said.
“Eh. You know. Sometimes. A cig is sometimes…essential.”
“I wouldn’t know.” They stayed quiet. The room seemed drenched in an aura of complete silence. Next door, grumbled moans and shouts could be heard. He looked up at her and caught her eye. He jerked a hand backwards towards the source of the moans. She smiled.
“It’s two dudes,” she said.
“What? How do you know?”
“Listen. It’s obviously two male voices.” He sat up in the bed and turned, placing his right ear against the wall. He closed his eyes and strained to listen.
“My good ear,” he said. Eventually, he made out two voices. They were both deep, dark and smoky. It was certainly two men. He turned and sat down on the bed, putting an arm around her body. It was important to have her near him. She laid her head on his shoulder and continued to smoke. The bed in the next room rammed against the wall.
“Damn,” he said, loudly rapping on the wall. The noise quieted down. The digital clock next to the bed read “12:45.” The sounds of the city moved outside the window. Flashing red and blue lights passed by sporadically, about ten to twelve times since they checked in at about 8:00. The sheets were cold against their skin, the pillows were stiff and the mattress lumpy.
“What is that smell?” she said, taking a drag. He sniffed.
“You mean underneath the cigarette smoke?”
“Well,” he said, “it seems to be… a mixture of scents.”
“I smell cat piss.”
“That very well could be,” he said, scratching his head. He looked down on the top of her head and ran his fingers through her hair. She sighed. “You think a cat could live in a place like this?”
“Sure. People do.”
“But cats have survival instincts. People are stupid.”
She laughed and finished her cigarette. It was only half smoked. “I don’t know why I buy cigarettes at all,” she said. “I can only finish one before I’m sick of them.”
“Huh…to be honest, I think I smell taco meat.”
“Taco meat?” she said.
“I swear. It has that distinct aroma that my mom’s taco meat always used to have. The aroma I could never seem to match.”
“Tacos are easy.”
“Oh I know,” he said. “I can make tacos. I use the exact same recipe. The exact same ingredients. But my mom’s tacos…always seemed to have a scent of their own. Definitely the scent of Taco Bell.”
“I like Taco Bell.”
“It’s fine but..it doesn’t have the smell.”
She laughed. “You’re insane.” She ran her fingers through his pubic hair and he giggled.
“Yeah I know,” she said, frowning. He pulled her into his arms and held her close. The bed began hitting up against the wall again. It was light but noticeable. They ignored it.
“I wonder,” he said, “if those two meet here…like…if they have wives or something.”
“Maybe,” she said, still frowning.
“Like, the only way they can be together…is through elicit encounters in seedy hotels. They’re probably…big shot lawyers or something.”
“Or even better,” she said, “they’re probably politicians. Like the mayor or something.”
He laughed. “Imagine that: the mayor taking up the ass next to us in the sleaze bucket hotel. Having his own dirty, elicit encounter. Imagine the scandal.” She laughed loudly and sat up straight, exposing her naked form. He looked her up and down again.
“While the wives are sitting at home,” she said, “chopping vegetables, cleaning fruits and waiting for them to come back from their ‘business meetings.’ How delightfully sleazy!” she said. “It’s like something out of Harold Robbins.”
“Eh, Harold Robbins? I’m thinking more Danielle Steele. Or that one guy…the ‘Notebook’ guy.”
“No say,” she said. “That guy writes classy books for classy ladies.”
“Is that what you call it? Classy? About like this hotel. Or as classy as your one friend, the one who keeps jumping from guy to guy. Always talking about how classy that is, how she’s like ‘Sex and the City.’ How that is a valid approach to living her life.” A roach scattered across the ceiling as they spoke, finding a hole in the wall to creep inside.
She frowned. “She’s just confused. Young. Trying to find her place. You know how it is.”
“Yeah. I’ve been there. It was no good.”
“Meh.” She reached for a cigarette again. He frowned and lay down flat on his back again. The bed next door was insistently tapping the wall. In a nearly perfect rhythm: it was nearly metronomic. He was impressed with the stamina and the consistency. It had to be hard to stay in an exact rhythm like that for that long.
The clock read “1:15.” The two sat in quiet as she slowly smoked a cigarette. Smells floated through the room, touching on their nose, offending their senses. He stood up and went to the bathroom door. He stopped and looked at her. She stared at him with wide eyes. He couldn’t read her expression so he went inside the bathroom.
The bathroom had pea green floor tiles and unpainted walls. The light flicked, leaving areas of the room dark and secretive. The toilet was clogged when they got their and remained clogged. He worked the plunger in the toilet to unclog the toilet. Ten minutes passed. Finally, the waste flushed down the toilet. He stood up, pissed and flushed the toilet. It immediately filled up with water.
The sink was stained black. Turning both handles only produced cold water. He quickly washed his hands, dried them on his legs (the towels were nowhere to be seen) and stood there. He didn’t look in the mirror but stood for a moment before reaching for the knob.
Suddenly, he realized he could hear her walking in the room, going through her luggage, pulling things out, talking to herself quietly. She seemed distracted and upset. He stood in place, listening to her move. She seemed to be preparing something, distractedly mumbling and crying. He stayed in place until she grew quiet.
He slowly opened the door and saw her standing by the window, staring outside. Clothes were scattered around the room as was a large rubber band. Match boxes were also littered across the room. She turned and stared at him. The light reflected off the tears underneath her eyes as she stared blankly at him with a smile on her face. She clutched at her right arm with the left.
“No crying,” he said.
“What you do on your own is your own doing. I’m no part of it.”
“I know. It’s my decision.”
“It sure is,” he said. “I can’t help you.”
Suddenly he felt angry. “Can he? Can he help you?”
She turned away. “No,” she mumbled. They stood in the room as she stared away from him. He looked at her severely, unblinkingly and rigid. Finally, he sat on the bed and smacked the bed next to him loudly. She turned and looked at him. He was smiling with open arms.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“I just…I don’t know how to…do anything for you.”
“You can’t,” she said.
“What can I do?”
She closed her eyes for a moment. A stream of blood trickled down her arms and dripped to the floor. A cockroach ran to the blood to inspect it and ran away upon discovering it was inedible to its taste. She saw it move across the floor and smiled. He shuddered.
“You like those damn things don’t you?”
“I like bugs…and spiders…and creepy crawlies…” she said.
“They creep me out.”
“I know,” she said. She sighed and frowned again. “Look…you can’t really help me… per se.”
“Okay,” he said through his teeth, “what can I do?”
“I guess…all I really want from you is…this.” She motioned with her hands around the room.
“You want to fuck in a hotel next to the mayor taking it up the ass? Cockroaches around our feet, looking through our bags and shitting in our soap?”
“Not…necessarily that…” she said. “Just…this moment.”
“Yeah, the…feeling of…uh…” she turned and looked up at the ceiling. “Um…look, I don’t know. But…this is really kind of it. It’s all I can get. It’s all I can give.”
“Does it make you happy?”
“No. It doesn’t.”
She said nothing. He said nothing. The fan creaked loudly as the bed next door began hitting the wall loudly. Rhythmically. A siren sounded in the distance as she walked back to the bed and laid down next to him. Their bed jerked away from the wall as the neighbors bed slammed against the wall again and again.
“Listen to them go,” he said. “That’s some fine quality butt fucking.”
She laughed out loud and turned to him. “Maybe…we should answer back?”
“You want to butt fuck?”
“Ew no!” she said, laughing and laid on top of him. They saw the tears in each others eyes and tried to kiss them away. The tears kept coming back again and again. They held each other close as the neighbors continued. They both had big grins on their faces as tears rolled down their cheeks. Laughter echoed through their room uncontrollably. They could stop neither the tears nor the laughter.
It was then that they both understood that nothing permanent could be done to stop the tears from flowing. There was no cork they could use to stop the bottle of their eyes and no off switch. However, that was nothing that should stop them both from laughing in the face of their own imperfections.
Instead, they made love as loudly as possible until they both collapsed, unable to laugh or cry. Soon, the tears and laughs came back until they finally fell asleep. They dreamed of their lives back at home, of the things that made them laugh and cry when they were apart. Both had more things that made them laugh and cry apart from each other than they did together.
Only briefly did they cross the dream land that inhabited the others mind. Each chased the other out until they were apart, when they dreamt of each other non-stop and without fail.