5min Monologue

Sorry this is so late. I split it into smaller paragraphs so that it’s easier to read.

 

CHARACTER LIST

OLIVE – 75

SETTING

OLIVE’S APARTMENT BUILDING. THE YEAR IS 1985.

 

SCENE ONE

Lights up on Olive.

OLIVE

E’erbody dyin’. (beat) Maybe that’s a exaggeration. But just last week Mabel in the hospital, and she cryin’ on the phone to me. I says ‘Mabel, you get up and you’s walk ‘fore they send ya to the Maple House.’ That’s what them doctors and nurses do to us old folks. You’s hip broken? They send ya to the Maple House. You’s fallin’ too much? They ship ya there with a shiny bow. Ain’t no comin’ back once they send ya there. (beat) They ain’t never gonna get me in there. My daughter, she tryin’ though. They gonna have to drag my cold dead body out a these here apartment ‘fore I let them put me in there. Ooo Lawdy. Just a thought a that place gives me shivers.

I ain’t never had a friend last more than a year in there. That place sucks a life outta e’ery person, even the workers. You done believe me? Why, three months ago my good friend Tessa Ann went to the hospital with a broken foot. They send her to the Maple House, and she gone. Dead. The week ‘fore her accident we’s just chattin’ over coffee in a fit a life. She decline so fast I bet they poisonin’ her food. That place be the death a old people like me. I ‘spect my daughter want me someplace safe with all them prostitutes and drug addicts they lettin’ in this apartment, but I tell her ain’t nothin’ more dangerous to Olive than the Maple House. She cryin’ ‘Mama, please’ but I won’t have it.

(The telephone rings. Olive answers.) Jeanie? Ah, naw. Law, ya din’. Tell me ya din’. Jeanie how many times I gots to tell ya stay away from that steppin’ stool. They sendin’ ya for surgery? Naw, Jeanie you know I gots my cortisone injections tomorrow. My back be hurtin’ for weeks after them. I be lucky if I can walk outta the clinic. Call Mabel sweetheart, she come visit ya. Mhm. Law, Jeanie, you make sure you walkin’ ‘fore they start talkin’ ‘bout you know what. You know Tessa Ann din’ last more an a month. Mhm. You take care now, ya hear me? (Olive hangs up the phone.) Way was I? Right, right, them prostitutes. You know just the other day I’s comin’ home from the supermarket, and they’s standin’ right in the doorway. This ‘sposed to be a apartment for us old folks, and now they lettin’ all kinds a ruffians.

I hear ‘em down the hall comin’ and goin’ all night. Back in my day they’s a different standard for white womens. Too busy plannin’ them fancy DDR meetin’s. Now they’s runnin’ all over the place, at all hours in they short skirts. I says to Luella, she my neighbour two doors down, ‘Yo mama know you down here dressed like that?’ You know what she says to me? She tell me to mind my own damn business. Law, I’s about slap her. Ain’t got no respect for themselves or others. I says to Mabel I gots too many health issues to be runnin’ ‘round this place chasin’ all them white girls in they undergarments. Why, just last week the doc says I got—was he sayin’? Congestive heart failure or some like that. No wonder with all them scanty womens runin’ ‘round here, practically give me a heart attack.

Why, Frankie say some young fella name Jimmy gone died a a overdose couple weeks back. Maybe suicide, I dunno. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who gone kill ya first. All them medications, or that old folks home. It’s like they just tryin’ to kill me. It’s no wonder with my back the way it is how I even get outta the house. It just can’t take all the walkin’ no more, but you know I do. Law, and these knees a mine seen too many floors to count. I even had one replaced ‘bout five years back. Now I be creakin’ and bowin’ like ain’t nobody’s business. But I ain’t leavin’ this here apartment, no ma’am. I be here ‘til I die, or they drag me outta here kickin’ and screamin’. Ain’t much I gots to choose in my life. I ‘spect where I die be the only thing, and ain’t no one gone take that away from me. Nuh uh.

BLACKOUT.

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School

I’m coming up to my 4th week of 1st semester of my 2nd year. To say my workload has been hectic would be an understatement. So far I have written and submitted a 5min monologue, submitted my first draft a 6000 word short story, and I’m currently working on the first 5 pages of my stageplay. This is on top of all the readings (did I mention our history teacher started us a week behind), and commuting (3hrs total twice a week). In 3 weeks I have another assignment due, which I need to pick an author (who I’ve never heard of), research them, read a bunch of stuff they’ve wrote, write a 500 word report, and then submit a 3500 word minimum story as a hommage to their writing style. Yay? Not to mention from now on I have 5 pages of my Stageplay due every week, and my history assignments start this week. I’m FINALLY catching up on those readings. 6 more pages and I’ll have last weeks readings done.

And after all that, I don’t want this to be a complain-y post. Since I’m so busy, I haven’t been able to keep this updated at all! When was my last post? I don’t even remember. So I thought I’d share some of my school writing. It’ll be the polished, edited works, so they won’t be often, but they will happen. I got my monologue back last week so I’ll upload that one. The final draft of my first short story is due Nov 4, so I’ll share that one sometime in November when I get it back. And my Stageplay is due in December. So there you have it. One piece of writing a month-ish, for your entertainment. Maybe I’ll share my Sonnet today. It’s the prologue for my stageplay.

Happy Monday, I’ve got a lot of homework still…

~Kat

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Book Update

I feel like this has been long coming. Recently things have been crazy. I’ve been posting tons of Life posts, but  my writing posts have been sorely lacking. I wish I had really exciting news like “my book is finally done” but, hahaha that’s hilarious, as if my book would actually be finished… Because I’m a perfectionist, and I also want to add two more scenes in the section I’m working on. The good news is I’ve ACTUALLY had time to work on it, and I’ve been making good progress. I know some author’s have talked about how it took them four years to write their first book. I feel like that’s really easy to do. It’s hard, because as a newbie, unpublished author I’m in school full time for 8 months of the year, and the other four months I’m trying to work and save money for the 8 months that I won’t be working. I get to write, but it’s mostly for school. My favourite time is when I can write full time on my book. It’s when I’m happiest. But now look, I’m back to talking about life stuff, and not book stuff!!

So, book is fantastic! My writing improves every day that I write (practice makes perfect and all that jazz). The main reason why my book has been taking so long this summer is because I’ve been busy working on another project at the same time. I said I wanted to spend all summer writing. Be careful what you wish for, because this is happening, but not on what I expected. I have, in fact, started a new book with a friend. Yes that’s right, I’m 20 chapters deep in the first draft of a new novel. It doesn’t have a name yet, but we’ve been calling the story Winter’s Grasp. Definitely multi-book. There is A LOT of story. A lot of plotting. A lot of gushing, swooning, heartbreak, action, you name it. It’s Fantasy/Romance. There’s faeries. A winter prince. Magical humans. My best category would be NA. It’s too racy for YA, but not quite old enough for Adult. So yeah, that’s what took up most of my June, and half of my July.

Writing with someone is different, but I’ve found I LOVE it!! We feed off each other’s energy, and it keeps propelling us forward to write more. I’ll share an excerpt with you from chapter 1. You can let me know what you think. Again, it’s the FIRST draft! So be nice, hahaha. But I’m so in love with the characters <3 <3 <3 I will try and keep you all updated with news!

~Kat

Funhouse Excerpt:

She turned down one of the rows to her left. A sparkling light flickered in her peripheral vision, and she turned, the Funhouse entrance staring back at her. The steps creaked under her feet as she followed the flickering lights refracting off the mirrors just inside the doorway, beckoning her in.
Strange shadows danced just out of sight, sending chills down her spine. After several lefts, and a few more rights, Alena realized the lights weren’t getting any closer. She turned around to go back and walked into a mirror.
“Great. How the hell am I supposed to get out of here?” she muttered.
Wasn’t there a saying if you follow the inside wall of a maze it will lead you out? Alena pawed the mirrors along one side, and found herself at another dead end. “I could have sworn I went left here before.”
Ogden had definitely sensed some unwelcome magic in the funhouse, and was busy hunting it down when he came across a girl with black hair guiding herself with her hands. Clever trick, he thought. Still, watching her from where she wouldn’t see, he felt certain she was about to fall into some sort of trap.
Alena looked around at her many reflections. Was there… more of them? She tapped against one of the mirrors, retracting her finger when it shocked her. What the…? Was there some kind of electrical wiring back there moving the mirrors?
“This isn’t funny,” she huffed.
Very clever. Ogden could sense the hidden shadows cursing her for what appeared to have been the use of magic. He was sure that was what he’d seen – felt – but she was only human, wasn’t she? He stepped toward her, looking her over with suspicious eyes.
He looked past her at the mirror she’d tapped. Whatever magical trickery had been there was long gone. Her touch had done it, somehow, and by extension probably saved her life.
A tingle went down Alena’s spine. She spun around, squinting into the dark. “Is someone there?” There couldn’t be. She shook her head. “I’m just freaking myself out now.”
Ogden’s voice was low as he stepped into the circle of mirrors she’d wandered into, though he was speaking beyond her to those who were hiding unseen, waiting on their prey. “I see I’m not the only one enjoying this game.”
Alena stepped back, and let out a startled cry. “I thought you were a demon.”
“Oh? And now what do you think I am?” Ogden wondered.

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Disappointments and Let Downs

You know when things are going really good? And you’re sitting there thinking, man, I know this can’t last forever? Well, that’s what happened. My school funding has been denied. I’ve already been stressed out trying to find money for a commuter car, since 90min commute to school is a money suck in our current vehicle. Our debts are being chipped away very slowly, but now I have tuition costs on top of everything else, AND I won’t be working, so we will be down to 1 income, with rent, bills, car payment, etc… My anxiety has been back in force. My eating habits have been suffering because of it. I keep believing things will work out. They just HAVE TO!! But it’s so hard to see right now.

I managed to JUST BARELY squeak into the 2nd year workshops I wanted to get into. They are really small classes. Fiction is 15 seats, and Screenplay is 8 seats. I’m lucky to have got in at all. And now that I AM in, I don’t even know if I can afford to take them. In light of this I have set up a gofundme page to help cover my first semesters tuition costs. I hate asking people for money. Like, actually, I’d rather skip meals than borrow 10$ for groceries… But this is my dream. And I won’t back down without a fight. So to all the benevolent people in the world. Here is a link to my page:

http://www.gofundme.com/b70uds

~Kat

P.S. I have reward levels! I don’t expect people to just give me money for free :)

P.P.S. Did I tell you about the 2nd book I started writing with my friend? I’ll be back to update my Book Musings link soon!

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I’m Still Alive

I’m moved. I have the next two weeks vacation, and then I work almost full time for the rest of the summer. I have accomplished a lot of writing in the last week. Not only on my book, but also the book I am writing with my friend. Having two book projects on the go has it made it difficult to finish anything, but as usual everything is trudging along at a decent pace. It will all work out in the end. Recently I read the first 3 chapters of my book and didn’t change one single thing. It makes me hopeful that I’ve finally come to a place where the story is acceptable. Both in it’s pacing, action, romance, and plot. So many things didn’t make sense before, but it feels like finally, FINALLY, things are coming together to some kind of end.

I’ve been meaning to post sooner, but I honestly haven’t had anything to say. So I will leave you here. I’ll let you know if anything exciting happens :)

~Kat

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Tempest in a Teacup is right!

Guess what? As if I wasn’t JUST getting settled in a new city I’m moving AGAIN! And AGAIN it is in the month of June! That’s right, next month I’m moving. My husband got this amazing job opportunity, so we are moving 90 minutes north. I will admit a 90 minute commute to school isn’t ideal, but did I mention it was an AMAZING job opportunity? I mean, we could be home owners by this time next year, it’s THAT amazing. And also the housing prices in that area are so ridiculously cheap it’s actually sickening, and gleefully satisfying to think I could actually own a house. A HOUSE!! You know, with a garage, and a real yard. Grass! I could have my own grass!! And did I mention the garage? So yeah. Moving.

My writing projects have been put on hold AGAIN! I have been working like crazy (they keep calling me! I can’t say no!), and now I have left 3 weeks open in June to move. So, tonight I’m working on my book, and tomorrow I also have time to work on my book, but it looks like my big book writing summer plans have been totally ruined. Between work, and life, and people, and now moving, I’ve hardly had time to look at my book. It saddens me to no end. No, really.

Anime Crying

 

 

 

<– Me.

 

 

 

 

It’s really depressing. This was supposed to be my summer of writing, and it’s turned into my summer of working, house hunting, and working… lots of working.

In brighter news I got to see my husband this weekend! I don’t get to see him for another 3 weeks now. God help me. I really miss him. But we have been able to make leaps and bounds in our debt repayment since I’ve started working. Woohoo! Lots of cheering! He starts his new job tomorrow. I’m going to work on my book now.

~Kat

Life is rough
But I’m still breathing
And as long as I’m breathing
I can still fight.
As long as I’m breathing
I’ll see you again.

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On Finishing 1st year, Moving, and Work

I have come through exams and survived.

sick-squid-girl-shinryaku_08_05-11(This may or may not be an exaggeration of actual events)

Currently I am procrastinating my need to pack. I’m moving in with my parents for the summer so I can work before heading back to school in September. I am both excited, sad, and nervous. Excited because a summer at my parents place means I get to spend time with my family for the whole summer! I get to see my brother on a weekly basis, and we can finally start recording some music!

Anime-Music-Cool-HD(not an identical representation of my brother)

I’m sad because it means the summer away from my husband, but having two incomes will help pay off the debt we accumulated while I was in school. Finally I’m nervous because of work. After 8 months, I hope it’s as easy as riding a bicycle.

So, what news doth thou bring? I PASSED!

tumblr_lxtsl1MrKE1r0q6x8o1_500

Yes, that is correct, you are looking at a Writing Major!!449218_1354427741381_300_225

 

No longer am I the nameless, undeclared reject hiding in the faculty of humanities. Operation weasel way into Fine Arts has been a 100% success!! With an A- no less.Kawapaper_LuckyStar_0000042_1920x

Thank you, yes, thank you, please, feel free to throw roses at my feet…

483750

But seriously, I’ve been happy dancing around my living room calling and texting my family for the last hour.

I move Tuesday, start my first work shift Saturday. I will eat lunch and go pack now. I want to celebrate! This writer is stoked for summer!!

~Kat

P.S. I’m starting a new project. Hopefully I’ll have details in the next month or two so stay tuned!

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The End is Nigh, Verily, It is Upon Us!

But seriously, I just handed in a project worth 60% of my grade last night. I have ONE MORE DAY of classes!! Then my first year of university is DONE! I only have 2 final exams! Evidently the last one being on the last possible day which is April 24th, BUT that just gives me plenty of time throughout April to work on my book and to study for the exam :D I’m so freaking stoked. You cannot even believe how excited I am! Not just to say I finished my first year of university, but also to say I passed and I survived and I get to spend all summer writing my book and making music with my brother. Ever since I took that first leap of faith I have been stressed out of my mind on certain levels, but on the scale of life I have felt mostly overjoyed! Obviously there are still really bumpy days, but the good things that have been happening have so been worth all the daily living crap.

I haven’t posted in awhile, so I guess this is mostly an update post. I’m in a good mood because I get to work on my book today and I get to play D&D tonight. I guess what I’m trying to say is expect a lot of this !!!!! because it’s just one of those good days. Really, any day I get to work on my book is a good day. In fact, this post is going to be short because I want to go finish the scene I started.


March highlights:

-Bachlorette Partybig

Maybe it wasn’t THAT crazy, but there WAS karaoke :D

-St. Vincent concertNosebleedThis is the most accurate representation of how I felt. This is not a joke.

-End of Termalphonse-alphonse-elric-anime-books-brain-dead-edward-Favim.com-100183

But hey, I survived, right? I think?

Cheers!!!!

~Kat

 

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Letting Go Of The Past

This is really long and really personal, but I’m sharing it for the people who want to take the time to read it.

It’s much easier said than done. It’s one of the things I struggled with when I started this journey. The feeling in my heart when I first applied for my leave of absence from work told me I wouldn’t be going back, but I buried that voice inside of myself. I ignored it. I said, “Well, just in case things don’t work out, I can go back to work.” I was scared. What if I failed? What if I was a terrible writer? What if I got confused and I made a mistake and this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing? What if, what if, what if. I drowned in them. My insecurities were suffocating. Everyone around me believed in me, but here I couldn’t believe in myself. That voice that kept telling me “this is right” faded and disappeared against the screaming in my head that said “be logical” the one that reminded me trying to become a writer was like trying to become a movie star or music artist. It just didn’t happen to people like me.

And then school started. And I was caught up in this whirlwind affair of grades and percentages. The nagging voice in the back of my head saying “what if you don’t make the grade?” I had no backup plan. It was this or nothing. I knew I couldn’t go back. Even though I told myself I was going back, I knew I couldn’t. I knew I was lying to myself and because of that I felt like I was lying to everyone around me. I felt like a fraud. I felt like an impostor. “Don’t worry I’m coming back” and “See you next summer” felt like black clouds over my head. Telling myself we needed the money just didn’t cut it. That incessant voice in my heart kept telling me “you aren’t going back.” And still I ignored it. I didn’t want to be a burden, how would we pay the thousands of dollars we owe in credit card debt… excuse after excuse to try and convince myself that going back to work was “the right thing to do.”

For my entire first semester I struggled with this. When January came I was faced with more than I could handle. Work fucked up so I owed them money, MSP was going to send my bill to collections, my car insurance was due ( another 1100$ we didn’t have onto the credit card because we need a vehicle). How could I go to my husband and say “I want to give up my full time job” when all of these things were staring me in the face? And still that voice in my heart “you aren’t going back.” It ate at my sanity, I lost sleep, felt physically ill, still trying to push that voice down, deeper, back to the volume I could ignore it. And the calendar turned from January to February. May was only three months away. I tried to look forward to work because it meant a paycheque and not having to stress about how we were going to pay our bills every month. It means savings in the bank for when I was back in school again.

But that voice. It just wouldn’t shut up. And then I went to Faeriecon. I feel like “So, I went to Faeriecon last weekend…” has become as famous as “So this one time, at band camp…” because it really was something else. A lot of it was rooted in Pagan traditions. Me and nature and my effect on it and it’s effect on me. Me and whatever great thing is out there. God, goddess… I don’t like calling it by name because I think it’s bigger than that. But my point is, because of someone’s generosity and kindness I was able to go to a special activity that normally costs money and that I wouldn’t have been able to attend normally called The Spell of Desire. The main focus was on the desire of our heart. That thing that we really wanted and the things holding us back from it.

My whole family is Christian, and Christians and Pagan’s haven’t exactly been BFF’s throughout history, if you know what I mean, but whatever is out there met me right in that conference room. That voice that I had been trying to subdue for months came back with a vengeance as a raging storm in my heart. It was screaming at me. In that room, in the quiet, focused only on that one desire in my heart, unburdened by everything else and all the crap from the outside world, the things blocking me seemed so small. In that moment it was so clear to me what I needed to do and it felt possible. It felt attainable, whereas before it felt impossible to me. So I made a plan. When I got home I was going to have a discussion with my husband and sort everything out and I was going to go back to casual at the hospital so I could focus on writing my novel over the summer.

Well the very next day as we drove back to Canada I had a lot of time sitting in the backseat to think logically. And that voice in my heart was completely overwhelmed with all the thoughts in my head telling me how stupid I was to think I would be able to give up my full time line at the hospital. By this time my friends had started discussing Tarot and readings and such and I thought of the untouched deck I had at home. So as these thoughts bombarded against the voice that STILL wouldn’t shut up, I told it I’d do a tarot reading in the hopes of appeasing it. By the time I got home and opened the mail, which included the aforementioned MSP collections threat, I was completely convinced I had made up everything I felt during the session and indeed needed to go back to work in the summer. The next day I grabbed the box that held my tarot deck but never opened it.  Partly because I was just feeling too depressed about the awesome experience I now felt was impossible, and partly because I was scared of what it would say.

For those of you unfamiliar with Tarot it’s basically a deck of 78 cards. Each card has a specific meaning. The whole deck is infused with the owners energy, if that makes sense, so generally, depending on the type of reading, it will reveal those things deep inside of your subconscious. A lot Christians will tell you it’s demonic, but my own experience says otherwise. I mean, I SUPPOSE the demons could be sending me positive messages through the deck (even though “demons” are usually evil), but I prefer to think my spirit actually holds my energy and that energy gets infused into the things around me, including my tarot deck and especially when I’m meditating on a problem or question and infusing that energy into the cards.

Now I haven’t taken out my tarot deck in many many years. So I had to go online to look up a spread and refresh my mind on what the cards all meant. Then I laid them out and just about shat my pants. Literally every card spoke to me on an extremely spiritual level and if I had ANY doubt before, it was pretty much blown out of the water. It addressed EVERY single concern that was weighing on my heart. I am a firm believer god (or whatever you call it) will meet you wherever you are, and I was met even more strongly than in the session at Faeriecon. To give a quick run down it highlighted the thing that weighed on my heart:

It zeroed in on the journey I had been on to get here, and all the hardships I had faced and the subsequent strength I had established. Strength in myself and my ability and how I should be proud of that. The biggest struggle though was being a financial burden to my loved ones. I kid you not it said this “If  further success in creative affair is desired, it often becomes necessary to ask other people for assistance. There is no shame in asking for help…” I almost started crying.

It highlighted the things from my past that were influencing me:

A solid financial base, assured security and comfort. Material success and the things I’ve accomplished on the material plane. How being successful materially can help develop your self-worth but ultimately you need to find a balance between that and your spiritual self.

It highlighted the future:

What to do now that I had received all this wealth. It said trying to hold onto wealth in case you need it later is like trying to capture love in a bottle. It encouraged me to let go and let the next generation take over so they could gain as much as I did. It talked about inheritance and giving it to my successors.

It highlighted the reason behind the question:

It talked about an event that symbolizes the conception of an idea. The brief creative spark that comes to you, suddenly and unexpectedly, and that starts you down the road of a new creative vision. It spoke about fear and how the dark demons I was so afraid of are exposed by my inner fire, and that those demons were me running from myself. It told me to embrace my fear because it was part of me and I could use it to grow stronger.

And finally it highlighted the potential in the situation:

It spoke about good fortune and wealth. It spoke of hard work, and the need to act now. It spoke of a seed planted in fertile soil in which ideas can be planted to mature and grow, and even though it will be a slow growth, the success of the harvest is practically assured.

I’ve never had a reading like it before. Never ever, it was all right there in front of me. Everything I had done, everything I was afraid of, and everything I could accomplish if I could find the courage to continue. So I reached out for support. And the things I was afraid of no longer seemed that big anymore. The outpouring of support from friends and family was incredible. It was unexpected. I literally feel like I could take on the world right now. My heart feels so light, even the things that upset me this week feel small. I know this is going to be a long and even arduous journey at times, but look at everything I’ve already accomplished. So this is me letting go. This is me not looking back. This is me stepping out into the world of my dream.

~Kat

P.S. I have officially started the process of going back to casual. I will not be returning to my full time line. I’m all in now.

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Lessons in Shotgunning

I was nineteen when I shotgunned my first beer. I was at the park with Hayden and his friends. It’s not like there was anything else to do on a Saturday night in this town. Hayden spun into the little sapling beside him after he took his turn.
“I’m so drunk right now,” he said.
Dylan and Wes laughed, having successfully finished their own. I thought he was play acting, it was just one beer. I punched a hole in the bottom of my can with the can opener on Wes’ keychain. I think it was Molson Canadian. I pushed it to my mouth and pulled the tab. The cold liquid started a quick rush down my throat and I swear I almost died. From choking, that is. How embarrassing would that be? Being the older sister I had a reputation to keep.
When Hayden was done dramatizing he turned around to ask me how I felt.
“Fine.”
“You don’t feel anything at all?” he said.
“No.” Was I supposed to? “I feel exactly the same.”
I could tell he was impressed and I won’t lie about how proud I felt. Shotgunning a beer without getting drunk felt medal worthy and I’d do anything to earn my brother’s respect. I leaned back against the picnic table, deciding to do another one. This one hit me a little harder and my head started to buzz. I drank the last one normally.
“We need more beer,” Wes said.
I kicked the empty case. I guess a 12-pack didn’t last long when there were four people shotgunning them. I hopped off the table and wobbled a bit.
“Okay, now I’m feeling it,” I said.
Maybe I should have felt guilty walking to the liquor store to buy alcohol for me and my underage brother, but I didn’t. Better me than some stranger off the street offering more than just alcohol. I knew he’d be out here drinking with or without me.
I bought a 4-pack of Mike’s Hard lemonade and grabbed two tequila shots. What the hell, they were only ninety-nine cents each. We walked to the elementary school, since it was closer, and sat on the blue metal benches near the playground. Wes, Dylan and Hayden drank more beer, and I drank my lemonade; entertainment courtesy of Wes as he tried and failed to cross the monkey bars.
“These bars are moving,” he said.
“Just keep telling yourself that,” Dylan said.
Hayden ran over. “I’ll hold your legs.”
It seemed like a good plan until about halfway when Hayden tripped, Wes lost his grip and they ended up in a heap on the rubber ground. I laughed as they staggered to their feet. I don’t remember Wes going home; I guess I was pretty drunk by then. Before we left the playground I grabbed the plastic shot glasses and handed one to Hayden.
“What’s this,” he asked.
“Tequila and Butterripple Schnapps,” I replied.
“You guys are crazy,” Dylan said.
I laughed. “Whatever, it’s only one shot.”
“I don’t do tequila since last year’s camping trip when chewed up hotdogs ended up in the lake,” he replied.
“Too much detail bro,” Hayden said.
“You mean all them little garbled up pink fleshy pie—“
Hayden pushed Dylan’s shoulder. “Seriously, that’s so gross.”
I shrugged. “At least they were cheap.”
We pulled off the foil wrap. “One, two, three.” It burned the whole way down. I wanted a cigarette after that. Don’t ask me why, because I never smoked before, it was a weird craving. Dylan offered me a stogie, but it made me gag and I gave it back to him. We stumbled down a path between pink stucco houses, the street lamps casting shadows through their darkened windows, and continued past Cheungs Market, yelling and laughing along the empty streets. I don’t remember where we ended up. Somewhere in that small town, along the chain-link fence of a basketball court, my brother got sick.
“Just let it all out man,” Dylan said.
I bent down beside him and rubbed his back. “It’ll be okay.”
“I’m really glad you’re here,” he told me.
“Where else would I be?” I replied.
There’s something about standing beside your younger brother as he pukes up a nights worth of alcohol into the grass that makes you evaluate life. Maybe it was weird that I didn’t want to be anywhere else, but it felt like we shared a moment and I knew I always wanted to be the person he felt safest with. When we were kids we only had each other to rely on; we knew the darkest parts of ourselves and I wanted him to know I wasn’t afraid of his.

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