My Failed Novel: Third Episode

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Blup. The water in the tub is cooling down. Blup. It took me forever to get into what was originally a scalding hot bath. BLUP, blup. The trick is not to move too much, to conserve oxygen. Try and keep your mind off of the task at hand. Blup. Images of us flash over me; most of them are sexual in nature. I resurface for air. I’ve been in the tub so long my fingers look like they’ve been comically replaced with waxed fingers whose fingerprints have been accentuated to a preposterous degree. It’s cold, but I don’t want to leave, nor do I have the gusto to turn the tap. I begin to hyperventilate. That’s another trick. Take lots of small breaths, then one big one, and sploosh! back under. I close my eyes and try not to think.

After some time I open my eyes under water and look up at the surface. It’s silvery, and the little light that is reflected from the morning light (or is it afternoon now?) flickers against the small disturbances my body makes in the tub. I don’t bother timing myself, not attempting to break a personal record, but to simply remain under water as long as possible. When I resurface, I take it not as a failure, but as an annoying requirement of my diaphragm: I give you air, you stop doing those annoying spasms.

I resurface. I’m tired of the hold-your-breath game. I reach over the side of the tub and pick up the lighter and prepared joint off of the lid of the toilet. I light it and think of us some more. I think of your smile, your laugh. I loved the way you did both. Those two simple things created so much joy in me I didn’t know how to handle it. They would dislodge me from reality, cause me to not just go through life, but come face to face with it. They forced me to acknowledge the here and now.

You were too much for me. With another girl, a girl I could find flaws with, a girl I thought I deserved or someone I thought I was better than, well, with a girl like that I could be natural. I wouldn’t need to continuously impress a girl like that. But oh no, with you, I felt I needed to constantly think, constantly make you laugh with my witticisms, brood over a joke that you didn’t get, make sure you were happy or having fun at all times. It was because of this, because my mind was on overdrive, that I could never relax. Well, not actually relax, but I certainly worked overtime to create the appearance of it. Any question, normally answered by a cool and relaxed guy, wouldn’t be overly critical or serious. It would contain a joke with a hint of the truth:

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Can’t-Relax-Enough-To-Have-A-Fun-Conversation

A play by Tsutomu

Characters: Tsu and Kristi
Scene: A spotlight is focused on the narrator, who is standing at the front of the stage. Behind him in low level lights is Tsu’s living room. Tsu and Kristi are cuddled together, drinking wine on the couch, listening to music (which at this point is barely audible), probably one that Tsu selected, some artsy fartsy album to impress Kristi.

Narrator: In this scene, we’ll see Tsu give an overly critical response to a question that Kristi is probably only looking for a few word response from, or to start a conversation that she’ll actually be interesting in.

Spotlight is turned off as the narrator leaves the stage. The music increases in volume and Tsu’s living room is lighted up.

Tsu: I like this, cuddling and listening to music with you, right now. This is nice.

Kristi: Mmmm, I agree. Pause, continues to cuddle and enjoy moment. Whose this band again? I like it!

Tsu: oh, man, let me tell you. Yeah, this album is actually special in the Filthy Niggers catalogue because it’s the one thye did after they kicked the bassist out for doing heroin with their keyboardist during a tour and the keyboardist over-dosed. Also, his parents died around this time, and according to his blog where he published his journal, he talked about how he had been consumed by wealth and fame and had lost a lot of meaning, so the whole album is darker in tone, and mostly uses a drum machine (since the drummer was kicked out), and discusses how he misses his mother and how his father would abuse him but that he would take the punishments today if only it meant that he had them both back. The album’s sales were dismal, especially when compared to their previous outing, which did exceptionally, well for an independently released album by a relatively unknown band, especially considering that it was a 3-disc album, something that had never been commercially viable before. However, the critics really liked the album, and thought it was an artistic step forward, not only for the band but also for music in general. This was the first time that cunt-core, as we currently know it, was attempted (if you don’t count Squealing Placental Pigs two years previous, which really didn’t count as cunt-core since it is considered by most to be a fuck-you to the record label they were signed to, and really didn’t have any heart in it. They were just shooting the shit, and kind of sound like cunt-core, but no real fans of cunt-core accept it as such)

Music volume decreases again as the spotlight comes on and the lights on Tsu’s living room are dimmed and the narrator returns to the spotlight.

Narrator: Now let’s see what would happen if Tsu wasn’t such a fucktard

Narrator leaves, spotlight turns off, volume is increased, and the lights on Tsu’s living room are brightened

Tsu: I like this, cuddling and listening to music with you, right now. This is nice.

Kristi: Mmmm, I agree. Pause, continues to cuddle and enjoy moment. Whose this band again? I like it!

Tsu: Oh this? Ah it’s nothing, just the Filthy Niggers. Terrible name don’t you think?

Kristi: That’s an awful name!

Tsu: I know. Why couldn’t they have called themselves something nicer, like Lynching Nigg-
Kristi, playfully shocked, interrupts Tsu’s hilariously facetious reply with a swift smack in the face with a nearby couch pillow. They begin to laugh and caress. Kissing quickly ensues and the audience is rewarded with a 20 minute love session that goes down in the history books, every time the play is performed, which is a fuck-load of a times, cause the love-making scene is so powerful. Even the queen comes to see it. No, fuck that, all the royalty and leaders in the world come and see it, and they are so moved by it, by the sublime love-making and pure emotion that they see, they decide to finally do something about their disagreements and all the problems in the world, and decide to disarm all nuclear warheads, to create democratic/socialist societies that work together for the world’s problems, especially poverty, human rights, and the environment. Tsu and Kristi are named sexiest people every year in People magazine after that and are given Nobel Peace prizes.

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About dontdontoperate

28 year old originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. H.B.Sc. from UofT with a major in chemistry and a double minor in philosophy and math. M.Sc. from UofT in physiology and neuroscience. Finished my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at McMaster in the fall of 2013.
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