Friday, August 04, 2006

Out of Sight

Casey used to say that all American cities were New York wannabes, and that the rest of the country was always months, even years behind NYC in fashion. Her friends were intellectuals, mostly lawyers and such; and she liked using big words like sophomoric and septuagenarian. She worked diligently to have an opinion by emulating the TV and radio talking heads, who rehashed the same point over and again, like bulimics feasting on their own regurgitation.

This is the same intellectual giantess that chuckled over a honking horn. She used me in many ways. God her sister hated me. I was a threat. We competed, or did at least, until the awkwardness and impropriety repelled me into acquiescence. Then it was just a matter of time. The silly humor was a mechanism I think to put me in my place, on the outside of the joke, to push me away. They would laugh long then criticize my silence. You're intimidated by our intelligence, Casey once said. Don't worry, she assured, it happens.

Note: The upcoming section, which details a well timed, delivered and deserved jab at the aforementioned ex-girlfriend, will not be understood unless you have read about the horn honking incident in my previous post.

We were probably a few weeks away from the end. Being alone in the car with her was terse. All those unspoken grievances fluttering in the air, so close to release, like a match flame flickering towards the fuse.

"What do you want to do?" I asked the back of her head.

"I don't know," she said into a pulsating patch of breath-fog in the passenger window. In the opaque reflection I could see her wistful expression, the frown, the disinterest. Behind her hovered my own face, looking on, a portrait of the hapless simpleton who should have known better.

"Perhaps I should just take you home."

She whirled to face me. "I want to have fun! You don't know how to have fun."

"Oh, but I do." I honked my horn twice and said with out mirth, "Ha ha ha." A dark shadow covered her face, as if it weren't already out of sight.

Then I really did laugh. And it felt good.

20 comments:

Moni said...

Oooo! I'm first? Good thing I don't have to be at work 'til later. Scott you have such a way of describing a particular event that actually puts your reader right there along with you.

You take us on your journey. That was awesome! I didn't think it possible, but I actually believe your writing is improving. Damn fine writing, I'm not just offering lip service, I mean it.

You and your family have a lovely weekend. :)

Scott said...

Thanks Moni. I felt a small bit of inspiration on this one. Mostly because I could "see" us both in that moment again. Most of our relationship was spent talking in a car, away from her sister and the world.

Jaye Wells said...

You're evil! In hindsight, those tense, passive-agressive conversations are pure comedy. But when they happen, it's horrible. Pure melodrama.

Love, indeed, is a battlefield.

Anthony J. Rapino said...

I love how you turn these memories into mini stories.

God, that must have felt really good, rubbing that back in her face. Bravo!

jason evans said...

I'm with Anthony. I'm rather impressed how you create these mini stories day after day. You seem to be settling into a writing voice, and maybe a genre. I sense a novel coming.

Jada's Gigi said...

whoa ho ho! You were absolutely awful! :) I can't believe the end was still a few weeks away...should have happend right then and there...I'm sitll laughing morbidly behind my hand here at work...too funny...

Scott said...

Jaye - Both of us know it.

Tony - It felt damn sweet.

Jason - It's all for practice. I'm glad to hear my voice is developing a recognizable tenor though. Still working on the short stuff. A novel would be fantastic though. I hope you're right.

Cheryl - You wouldn't believe how much shite I put up with before she finally ended it.

magnetbabe said...

She sounds like a piece of work! That story totally cracked me up, and you wrote it so well. Very short and to the point. I was pissed off at her after the first sentence and your sarcasm was right on the money.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Heh!

Being belittled by pompous asses is no way to be treated.

I'm impressed with your method of dispatch.

fringes said...

I'm glad you found someone who is a better fit for you. And that you got to marry her. I'll bet these stories about your ex make you appreciate your wife even more.

Writing Blind said...

I know exactly what that kind of relationship is like. And I know that it really does feel good to say something like that sometimes.

I haven't been reading your blog for too long but your writing really is awesome. You're so good at telling these stories. I think you should definitely consider Jason's suggestion about the novel.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Good for you!!! I know what you mean about cultural humor. Are you familiar with the Blue Collar Comedy guys? We've gotten where we can't watch the "Git R Done" guy any longer, because, uh, we know people like that. :-)

I love your slices of real life, mixed with humor and hindsight.

Bernita said...

This is extremely sophisticated writing.

And yes, I did see, but I fell flat.

Scott said...

Nat - And you don't know the half of it. She was a nightmare.

Toast - It was one of those moments when the right response just popped into my head and had to be released.

Erica - Nightmares like Casey are certainly to credit for my readiness when the right one came along. Yes. You are correct.

Rebecca - Thank you so much for saying so. I think all these experiences will pay off when I need a character in similar straits.

Joely - If you can't watch a skit by the Blue Collar Comedy Guys, then I definitely need to check them out.

Bernita - You had me scrambling for your meaning, until I realized you were replying to my previous reply in my previous post. Tricky you. Always making me think. And thanks for the comp.

Flood said...

I echo all these comments and put to you that had someone actually honked back the moment could have been a lot different.

Beth said...

septuagenarian
Off to look this up. =/

Toni Anderson said...

You have a very nice voice Scott. Easy to read.

Your poor ex :) If only she knew!!!

Scott said...

Flood - Too funny, and so true.

Beth - A seventy something...

Toni - Hopefully she will know someday, when she sees me on Letterman. Thank you very much by the way. Thats the kind of compliment that keeps me going.

Bailey Stewart said...

You're developing quite an easy rhythm there Scott. Love the little snippets. You take every day things and make them come alive.

Kathleen said...

I didn't think you were awful, at all. I thought you were brilliant for getting back at her. She sounds like a right PITA and real smart people never shove other people's faces into their supposed intelligence - besides it annoys those of us who really are smart. ;-) JUST KIDDING!