My Friend Passed and I’m Not Okay

In Fiction on March 22, 2015 at 6:38 am

A friend passed away recently. He was a hair-breadth away rom finishing the revision on his first novel. I need to get back into writing, for myself, but in honour of my friend.

This is the beginning of a new story I’ve been working on recently: a fictionalised account of one long drunken day and night from back when I was a college-goer, when life seemed fuller and more round at the edges.

Rumble, Young Man, Rumble

Silent and dead sober, Carlos drove with a purpose. As we emerged from a laneway onto the main road, he high-beamed a slow-turning campervan and accelerated.

In the thumb-and-forefinger wide space of the Ford’s backseat, we friends and former friends lay slanted, compressed tightly against each other. As our drunken conversation flowed, we grinned at each other like eager springs: craving release, alive in the moment, ready to leap into the unknown.

I flipped open my red Nokia Astro—pre-held in the one limb that wasn’t being crushed by human bulk—and jabbed Speaker as I dialed. ‘How you guys doin’ back there?’

A feeble warbling cut through the static: a muffled something about hurry the fuck up and why the hell weren’t we there yet, and then incoherent yelling. I hung up and gave the group a half-a-thumbs-up.

A rapid thumping sounded out from behind the backseat.

‘Yeah, yeah, shut up,’ said Johnson. He leaned back and started singing Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Closer’ at the top of his voice. We joined him for a few off-key lines but our din quickly subsided.

The meaty thumping rose up again, but more slowly this time, pounding out in time to ‘Closer’s main refrain.

That was probably Jimmy. Jimmy loved Nine Inch Nails.

Hey-heyyyyy, we all cried, and began to wail again at a greater level of decibelic mayhem.

My head was buzzing. Eight long island ice teas plus six long hours equalled photography I wouldn’t recall later, but I didn’t care. I felt alive. The Party lay somewhere ahead; The Party lay somewhere behind. Today was a blurred bridge connecting yesterday to all those approaching tomorrows. But tonight?

Tonight was ours.

The Ford screeched across an empty intersection and careened down a side street. Immutable Law of the Universe #212: An old car tightly packed with young men rides low.

Tweet: Vale Terry Pratchett. “No one is actually dead un…

In Tweets on March 13, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Vale Terry Pratchett.

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…”
– Reaper Man


In Fantasy, Fiction, Micro-fiction on November 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

My pocketwatch, shoes and wallet had disappeared. The behatted harridan I’d politely asked to guard them was now a silhouette three streets up, passing inhumanly fast down the double row of maples, a long figure in the reaching Summer dusk.

I focused, bringing her form into sharp relief, and irised her once over. The limp had left her gait. Her back was unbowed. Her black scarf streamed over her shoulder, an unnecessarily long tongue that poked back in my direction.

Along the street came the fading jank of coins: echoes that stirred my freezing blood. That witch! How dare she. Nobody fucks with a Grinder.

I crouched and hissed and became little more than stone. I flowed down and into the well-patched asphalt, burrowed like an early maggot to perimortem flesh, and pierced the Underroad’s heart.

As I came up from beneath, the street was empty. The old lady was gone, her lonely scarf dancing through the long branches and broad, green leaves above. For a moment, the scarf weaved a quick pattern that formed two letters: F. U.

A parting shot, from no less than a street witch.

Nobody knows. Nobody. Just her. And no one else has to. I slid back down and embraced the reassuring slab of cool bedrock. At least, not until next week’s group therapy clusterfuck.


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