Home > prose and poetry > you: a story in three (short) parts

you: a story in three (short) parts

I can’t believe I’m watching this shit, reruns of some old talent show from the 1980s. Odd hair, odd clothes, odd people. Bad singing, too. I grab the remote, change to another channel.
The news. War. Death. Genocide. Sports.
Press another button, change the channel again.
Suddenly, I see Barney, singing:
“I love you
You love me
We’re a happy family”
Who the hell watches Barney at this time of night? (Me, that’s who.) It’s the only thing on, so I keep watching. I’m reminded of my childhood, of happier days. I raise the bottle to my lips and take a swig. The beer tastes particularly foul as it goes down my throat.
It’s only my second time drinking, and my first time drinking alone.
I’ve got enough beer here with me to get my whole hometown drunk. Probably even more than that. Make that my hometown and the next town over.
And I take another swig.
Soon, Barney says goodbye and gives way to static. Ants warring on a snow-covered plain accompanied by mind-numbing white noise. I’m too lazy to switch the channel (not that there’s anything on anywhere else, anyway), so I just continue watching.
And I take another swig.
I hear someone screaming in the distance.
I hear an explosion from downstairs.
I can hear the east wall of the apartment complex crumble down in a mess of concrete and metal.
I can hear the universe begin to unravel.
I start to hear the voices of the dead amidst the white noise.
I start to see faces of dead people appear on the screen amidst the static.
But you still haven’t called.
. . .
I wake up the next morning and the first thing I do reach for my phone. 1 new message. I open it. It’s from you.
“Call me today? =]”
I get up, brush my teeth, wash my face and make myself a mug of coffee. Black. As night. I could never operate without my morning mug of coffee.
I dial your number slowly.
I sit there in the kitchen with my phone to my ear, listening to your caller ringtone. It loops once before I decide to hang up. I’ll never be able to listen to James Blunt in the same way again.
Maybe you’re busy, I say to myself. I decide to call again later.
I go out onto the balcony, mug of coffee in one hand and cigarette in another. It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining, the traffic’s moving nicely and the birds are even singing.
I spend the morning on the balcony, doing nothing.
(The best time to do nothing is when you should be doing something, like assignments.)
Later, after lunch, I try calling you again.
James Blunt again. I let your caller ringtone loop twice before I hang up.
Maybe you’re asleep, I tell myself. I’ll call again later, I say to no-one in particular.
I’m at a restaurant, biding my time before heading off to class. You used to be in the same classes as me, but you changed universities halfway through the semester. The seat beside me always feels empty.
After class I spend time with friends and forget about you for a while.
Later that night I call you again while I wait for dinner to arrive. (I had ordered take-away from McDonalds. Big Mac McValue meal. Your favourite.)
It isn’t James Blunt anymore. I don’t recognize the voice nor the song. But you still don’t pick up.
Where are you, I ask myself.
And then I hear the doorbell ring and I know it’s time for dinner.

. . .
The next night I tell myself I’m not going to get drunk.
Give away all my alcohol to the kids down the hall. They’re having a party. Invite me along as guest of honour (presumably for providing the drinks) but I say no. I have better things to do.
I texted you in the morning asking why you didn’t pick up yesterday when I called you.
No reply.
Yet. Always be hopeful, mother said.
Pornography is a sad excuse for having the warmth of another human being beside you. The electric feeling of your skin on mine, the intoxicating smell of your breath as you whisper sweet nothings into my ear.
I can feel my cock harden.
I decide to watch a movie instead. Coppola’s Godfather. I’ve seen it many times before, but what’s the harm in watching it one more time?
Three hours fly by just like that.
At the end of the movie I notice I have a message on my phone.
“You have 1 new voice message,” it says. I hope it’s from you.
I open it, and it is.
Your sweet voice sounds crystal-clear through the tinny speaker.
You were busy, you say. You didn’t have any credit to call me back or even to reply my text with, you say. You’re sorry, you say. Really, really sorry.
And then you say that you love me.
I feel a welcome sense of relief. Everything’s right with the world.
I turn off the TV and go to bed.
In the dark, lying stark naked on my bed, I listen to your message over and over as I masturbate to the sound of your voice.

Categories: prose and poetry
  1. Zara Suhaimee
    May 11, 2008 at 18:12

    Favourite :)

    nice one, dude.

  2. azzief
    May 11, 2008 at 18:26

    Thanks. =]

    I rasa macam this is the style I prefer writing in. I’m better at it, kot.

    What do you say?

  3. Zara Suhaimee
    May 11, 2008 at 18:34

    yeah, you’re pretty much good at this particular kind of writing.

    which I much prefer too. romance. yeah. smthing like that.

  4. azzief
    May 11, 2008 at 18:51

    I see.

    I’ll be honest, I tried to sort of inject some sense of . . . doubt whether the “she” really loved the persona, but idk if I succeeded.

    One thing’s for sure though, I do love the closing line.

    When I think about it, I’m not sure what I tried to say with this.

  5. peachdrug
    May 11, 2008 at 21:36

    Your ideas flowed better in this kind of writing. & yes, you do seem comfortable writing in this style so it’s good :) One thing I noticed is the static pauses in between the sentences, reminds me of Chuck Palahniuk’s style. Except that you don’t have the try-too-hard tone that he possessed (uhm yes I am not a big fan of his. Even though can’t deny, he can be quotable). Yours seemed more seamless, and more connected.

    Good job :)

  6. azzief
    May 11, 2008 at 21:54

    I see. “Static pauses”, eh? I think I know what you mean by that, but then again I’m not sure I do, heh. Care to explain a bit more for the clueless author?

    And thanks. =]

    I’m not that familiar with Palahniuk, although I have read his short story “Guts”. Which was seriously fucked up and seriously, quite awesome.

  7. peachdrug
    May 11, 2008 at 23:18

    Well, maybe it’s the effect of you separating most of your sentences by a line. It makes one sentence in focus. You know like stop-motion films? Where you have the awkward pauses that somehow made you focus more frame by frame? Yea it’s like that. But since your sentence actually creates a linear continuation, so it didn’t leave the reader hanging with disconnection. I hope you’ll get it orz

    Some of his early works are okay. I liked Guts too, his first work I’ve read. But at some point he seemed pretentious and his effort seemed like “HAH IN YR FACE SUCKAAS I CAN WRITE LIKE THIS”. But I don’t read much by him so. But dude does have interesting ideas.

  8. azzief
    May 11, 2008 at 23:30

    Ah, I get what you mean. Makes sense. =]

    I’ve been meaning to check out some Palahniuk, but I’ve been sidetracked by my sudden interest in William S. Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson and similar writers.

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