I didn’t make the book shown above. Nonetheless, I do consider its contents fitting for this blog. I wrote the story in what one might consider an “instant” to be.
These quick shit-out stories that I’ve been making for some time are things I want to include here, ’cause they don’t belong anywhere else. And since I spend most of my time creating “quick things” – it’d be nice if someone got to see the stuff.
This particular story takes place earlier in the year and is the first and only draft I’ve made. The instant books I put on here are usually in their second draft which are written out once for myself and refined a bit in the book making process. So, below each scan I’ve included a refined second draft that will have been written tonight. Fart.
Ronnie Lau stays in the cabin on the top of the hill. His father is old and a lawyer. His mother died when he was a teen and his brother died the very same year my Grandma did. He is a recovering alcoholic and I used to be in love with his beautiful niece.
TWO - My dead Grandma left her cabin, which is on the bottom of the hill that Ronnie Lau rests atop, to all of her children. And this weekend my Grandmother's cabin is completely filled. It is filled with new babies who would've been Grandma's great grandchildren. They are being pampered and kept warm and fed often while I am forced out of what used to be my bed and into a tent trailer which I share with my brother. In that tent trailer I sweat inside my sleeping bag. THREE - It's been three years since I've been to my dead Grandma's cabin. I've been away and nobody has even asked, "How does it feel being back? Haven't you missed the cabin? Would you like to stay in it? You've been away so long, I think you should. It would be nice for you." The first question I was asked upon my arrival was from Ronnie Lau. He asked, "Have you been talking to my niece?" I told him, "Yes. On the internet."
FOUR - I wake up in the tent trailer. My brother's gone golfing. All the "men" have gone golfing. Dads and uncles and brothers and handymen. I am not really a "man" so I put on my jeans and "Women's Championship Wrestling" t-shirt and walk to the cabin where I find "women" tending to children's needs and cooking eggs. FIVE - "Can I have the rest of these eggs, or are you saving them for the men?" "Go ahead," my mom says. Finally, a bit of sympathy. I eat all the egg I can stuff into my face and stare at my niece while doing so. She really is obnoxious.
SIX - I've never biked at our lake lot before. I've always walked, but in these past years I've grown a lot and feel the need to get things done faster. I just don't have time to waste anymore. So I leave the dishes to the women and get on my bike. SEVEN - I ride past some fields and end up atop the hill where I find Ronnie Lau sitting at his picnic table, eating his lunch. He waves to me. "Hey!" I yell, as I keep riding.
EIGHT - I ride past new cabins or rebuilt old ones. Past dogs and families, over pot-holes. Past places I've been in, the places old friends have left. Maybe they're married now and live in different cities. Maybe they're pregnant or just don't care about this place anymore. I reach the end of the road and have no choice but to turn back. So I do. NINE - Ronnie Lau still at his picnic table has cleared away the dishes. "How was it?" I yell from the road. "Come here, " he waves me over. Having already past his little lane I make a shaky, slowed turn. My plan was to avoid the pending conversation by pretending as though I did not know how to turn around on a bike. I realized, half way through the failing turn around, that my plan was completely unbelievable. But still I follow through with my acting, which only makes me come off as being weak.
TEN - "I haven't ridden a bike in ages." He doesn't respond to that. "I still have to get used to it." "I'll share this with you," he has a mango in his hand and a knife in the other. "Thank you, sir," I say sitting across from him. He sticks his knife in and drags it down, I can hear the blade against the pit. It takes him a second or two but he responds, "Thank you, sir." He speaks those words in a very gay, mocking tone. ELEVEN - He says, "Oh good, it's ripe." His thumb is dirty and covered with duct-tape band aids. "What'd you do to your thumb?" "Oh, I don't know." I think I'm boring him. He passes me a slice, juice running past his wrist, down his arm. I bite into it. It is ripe.
TWELVE - "It's good." The right amount of tart and sweet. "Yeah, now suck my dick." Now suck my dick? Why did he say that? Why would you say that? THIRTEEN - Ronnie Lau used to live on the streets. He was a drug addict, alcoholic, pan-handler. I imagine him sucking all types of dicks for all sorts of things.
FOURTEEN - Ronnie Lau's lips are wet and spitty. He scrapes his teeth on them when he finishes sentences, squeegeeing the excess saliva back to where it belongs. His lips seem numb and so when he speaks it's a rubbery sound and he might be partially paralyzed from illegal substances. FIFTEEN - "It's good." "Yeah, now suck my dick." In these few seconds I have replayed those words a thousand times over, and with that comes a thousand questions. Did he actually say that? Did I hear incorrectly? What does he think of me? Is it my female wrestler's shirt? Was it the way I turned around on my bike? Is he trying to hurt my feelings? Or maybe this is a test. How can I answer back?
SIXTEEN - "Now Suck my dick." "... Hey now." That's my response. Just as good as, "That's not very nice." Or, "You take it easy, mister." Or shaking my finger, "Shame shame, double shame." I told you. I'm no "man." I should have said, "What the fuck?" Or "What the fuck did you just say?" Or just got the fuck out of there. But instead I said, "Hey now." And he cut me another slice. SEVENTEEN - I ate the mango, slice after slice and I laid the peels one on top of the other. "I could sew some boots together with those," he said. Mango-peel boots.
EIGHTEEN - "Are mangos your favourite?" God. I do sound gay. He didn't even bother to answer me. Too busy eating his fruit. NINETEEN - "So where were you, over there in Europe?" He asks. "Italy. I was in Italy for two years." "How'd you get around over there? Did you have a scooter or something?" "No. I mostly rode a bike." And then I realized I told him I hadn't biked in forever. He cut me another slice of mango, three in total. Then he never cut me another afterwards.
TWENTY - "Your niece is pretty cute," he tells me. My niece is about to turn two. It's not the same as his niece, a grown woman. "Yeah," I say, "Cute." "I got some nice pictures of her." "Yeah?" I say, "Well, you've got a nice camera there. Is that what you're doing these days?" "It's just a hobby." "Yeah, well. That's what I figured," I nod. He sticks the mango pit in his mouth and I repeated, "That's what I figured." TWENTY-ONE - He started up about what type of people drug addicts are. He said his step-mom, who has her cabin down at the bottom of the hill, was just the sort. "They don't realize their faults. It's always everybody else. It's never your fault." "How long have you been sober for?" Play it cool. Ask the tough questions. Play it cool. "Two days." He's joking of course. Hey now...
TWENTY-TWO - "So, do you and my niece send each other pictures?" "No. We just email one another." Why doesn't he call his niece by her name? We both know her name. "Oh yeah," he responds and looks at his hands. Spitty lips. Biting his spitty lips. TWENTY-THREE - "Well, there you go. There's your snack." "Yeah, thanks for that." "That's your little snack time," he tells me. I stand up and want so badly for my bike to be beneath me already. But it's not. It's four or five painful steps away.
TWENTY-FOUR - God damn, that seat is painful. "Thanks Ronnie." We wave to each other and off I go, down the hill. TWENTY-FIVE - I pedal past my Grandma's cabin and try the opposite direction. Up another hill, another less familiar hill. One where I won't find anybody I know or half know, or kind of know through his niece. I am going to sing along to what my ipod is playing and I am going to pretend like I never had an after-egg snack in my life.
TWENTY-SIX - I've worked up a bit of sweat. I lean my bike against the shed and walk down the concrete path. I open the door, sit down on the couch, between my Aunt and a baby. I listen to someone laugh and I look out the window towards the lake. What a fucking boring weekend. What a miserable fucking disappointment. TWENTY-SEVEN - There are three babies with me. Three babies and five ladies and me and no one wants to go on the beach and no one wants to communicate without making clicking noises or asking simple questions. "Is that good? Do you like that? Is that ball round?"
TWENTY-EIGHT - I take a beer onto the beach and pull my shirt over my head. I sit alone and wish things would change. TWENTY-NINE - Nothing changes aside from the expected. The men do come home, supper is made, the sun is setting, but the babies are still priority. Stupid babies. Loud, breastfeeding babies make me want to sit outside.
THIRTY - I roll my sleeping bag and stuff dirty shorts and socks and campfire sweaters into my backpack. I toss everything I have into my brother's truck and then sit on my dead Grandma's porch. We'd leave soon but not soon enough. Because there he was, old spitty lips, coming to say some more. THIRTY-ONE - "The kids inside," he asks. "Yep." Then he opens the door whilst readying his camera.
THIRTY-TWO - When he comes outside again he puts his hands on his hips and stares out into the distance. After a minute or so of that he sits down and shows me the photos he's just taken. I've seen those kids before though. THIRTY-THREE - "I'll have to get a picture of the bearded wonder to send to my niece," he says. I do have a beard. "Since you're so special," oozing with sarcasm. He hates me. He points his camera at my face and my face contorts. The noise a movie mongoloid would make erupts from my throat, "MYEEEEEEEAH"
THIRTY-FOUR - He shows me what I look like and I can't help but smile and I can't help but think that his beautiful niece will never see that photo. It was never for her. THIRTY-FIVE - My brother and I drive home together. We don't talk much. We never have. But with him it's ok. We've accepted that we are not alike and will never be. He's the only person I will ever love like this.