Don't Think, Just Write

A Man's Journey

Archive for the month “January, 2014”

Knock Knock

“Hey…It’s  me.”
“Yeah. You weren’t expecting it to be me were you?”
“Well…no. You changed your number.”
“I had to get a new number. Too much shit going on.”
“Some things never change.”
“Hey! That wasn’t a very nice thing to say after almost, what, 6 months?”
“I’m sorry, but things didn’t exactly end on a great note.”
“I need to see you.”
“I can’t.”
“Is she there?”
“She, who is she?”
“The girl you’re seeing?”
“I’m not seeing her anymore. Who told you I was seeing someone?”
“I hear things. Well…can I come over or can you meet me somewhere? Somewhere private? I need to talk to you.”
“I told you I can’t.”
“But you haven’t given me a good reason.”
“I just can’t. I shouldn’t even be talking to you.”
“Because, you hurt me pretty good and then I didn’t hear from you.”
“You moved and then I heard you were seeing someone.”
“You still had my number and it wasn’t serious with her.”
“What was her name?”
“Come on. I don’t want to start talking about that.”
“Jake, I want to talk to you. I really need to see you.”
“Ok, 334 Rhine. Apartment 6.”
“Thank you. I’m on my way.”

“She called.”
“Fuck. And?”
“And she wants to see me.”
“No. You can’t see her.”
“Ryan, you told me to call you if she contacts me. So I called. Now don’t act like my fucking keeper.”
“Dude, I know what that girl did to you. I saw the scars, man. She cut you bad and left you for dead in the street.”
“Save the metaphor for one of your girls.”
“When does she want to meet?”
“Now. She’s on her way.”
“You gave her your address? Listen, get in your car and meet me at Scarlett’s.”
“I don’t have the money for a night at Scarlett’s”
“My treat. Meet me there in fifteen minutes.”
“I can’t.”
“Then meet me at Rick’s”
“I can’t. I need to face her.”
“What did that doctor tell you? What was his name?”
“Yeah, what did he say about you seeing her?”
“He said I should stay away from her.”
“But he also said I need to find away to forget about her. Maybe seeing her will make it stop.”
“The only thing that will make it stop is if you go out and find someone else. Someone that will knock your socks off and make you forget about that bitch.”
“Like Emily.”
“Exactly. That’s what I was hoping for.”
“Well that didn’t exactly work out. I heard she moved in with her new boyfriend.”
“Already? You guys just broke up.”
“I know.”
“Listen, remember that blonde? The one with the great legs that told you you looked like a young Richard Gere?”
“She asked about you. Wanted to know when you’d be in next.”
“Dude, thanks. But the last thing I need right now is a stripper in my life.”
“No, that’s exactly what you need. You need someone you can treat bad. One that’s used to it. Strippers love that shit.”
“Thanks for the advice.”
“I don’t want you to see Heather, that’s all. I know the power she has over you. She’s like fucking kryptonite. Doctor Martin even said so. It took you ten therapy sessions to work through the last mess she made of you. It’ll take twenty this time.”
“I’m glad you have faith in my decisions.”
“I want you to forget about her and get back to being yourself. I talked to Doctor Martin about you, you know. I didn’t want to tell you.”
“I made an appointment and talked to him. I told him about my dad and his drinking and at the end we had some time so I mentioned a friend, you. I described your situation with Heather and he knew I was talking about you. He had a look on his face.”
“So you talked to Martin about me?”
“We never mentioned you specifically. I told him I had a friend that needed help letting go of a psycho chic and we started talking. The session cost me $135, I wanted to cover some things in the hour I had. He told me that she is to you what alcohol is to my dad. You can’t be near her. She’ll always have a power over you and that I should do everything I can to keep you away from her. Just like he told me to keep my dad away from the bottle. You’ll relapse and then it’ll take even more therapy to bail you out. I didn’t want to tell you I talked to him but I’m desperate here. Now get in your car and get out of there before she arrives.”
“I can’t. I need to face her and be strong.”
“But you’re not strong.”
“Thanks again. You’re not giving me much confidence
“But you’re not, Jake. Emily just hurt you. Not as bad as Heather did, but she still hurt you a little, you admitted that yourself. You’re bruised up, man. Get out of there and let me buy you a drink. The girls at Scarlett’s know how to boost an ego.”
“I can’t go to a strip club right now.”
“Did she say she wants to talk to you, or that she, needs to talk to you?”
“I don’t know. She said she wants to talk. Does it matter?”
“It does matter. If she said she, wants to talk to you then she probably wants sex. If she said she, needs to talk to you, then she has something deeper to talk about. Which might be a good thing. Maybe she went back to her husband. That would be a good thing, although, being with him never stopped her from seeing you before. If she just wants sex, I’d let her give you a BJ and then get her out of there.”
“Sound advice from a single guy who’s last three relationships showed their tits for a living.”
“Dude, I’m trying to help you here.”
“I know.”
“Has she paid you the money back yet?”
“Maybe that’s what it is.”
“Who knows.”
“Does she still have that apartment?”
“I don’t know that either…listen…Oh shit!”
“She’s here. She’s knocking.”
“Dude, call me when she leaves…and be careful.”

“How are you?”
“I’m great. You?”
“Aren’t you going to give me a hug?”
“A hug. That’s it. I’m on strict orders.”
“Strict orders about what? From who?”
“From Ryan. He didn’t even want me to see you.”
“Ryan can kiss my ass. Is he still hanging out at the strip club all the time?”
“He shouldn’t give advice when his life is so fucked up. Nice place.”
“Why don’t you show me around?”

“Do you have anything to drink?”
“I just put a bottle of white in the fridge. It’s probably not cold yet.”
“You did? Do you have designs on getting me drunk and taking advantage of me?”
“No. The opposite actually.”
“Well, good, because I didn’t come here for that. Can I pour you a glass?”

“You haven’t said anything about how I look.”
“You look great.”
“See how skinny I am?”
“Yeah. But you didn’t need to lose anything. You looked good before.”
“Depression will do that to a woman. I lost my boobs but my ass looks good. Look.”
“It does.”
“I wore your favorite jeans.
“I don’t remember.”

“What happened with her?”
“The girl you were seeing. What was her name?”
“I didn’t tell you her name.”
“Why won’t you talk to me?”
“I am talking to you.”
“You used to tell me everything. Everything. You don’t like me anymore?”
“I let you in didn’t I?”
“But now it’s like you want me to leave.”
“You said you had something to tell me.”
“Can we drink the wine first?”

“She told me she wanted to see other people. That’s it.”
“Were you sleeping with her?”
“Yeah. A few times.”
“How was it?”
“Why do you care about that?”
“Just making conversation.”

“Here, drink up. I put that other bottle in the fridge. You weren’t saving it for a special occasion were you?”
“Good. How much was this?”
“Seven dollars.”
“Tastes like it.”

“He told me to leave and not come back this time.”
“Do you still have that apartment?”
“No. And I’ll get you the money. I just need to get back on my feet.”
“I wasn’t asking for the money. I was asking where you’re gonna go.”
“I’m sleeping at Frank’s.”
“Who’s that?”
“A friend. He’s married. It’s not like that. They’re cool with me staying until I get my life  and health straightened out.”
“What’s the matter with your health?”
“Can I open this? I don’t want to put you out drinking all of your seven dollar wine.”
“Go ahead.”

“Remember that night I came over with Cassie?” Laughing.
“She told me it sounded like the bed was gonna break through the wall.” Laughing.

“They’re good. How are yours?”
“Good. My dad told me I couldn’t move back in there though. He wants me to work things out with Sammy.”
“I told you.”
“But you didn’t say why.”
“Come here.”
“I can’t. We’ve been drinking and we both know what happens.”
“I just want to feel your arms around me.”
“You hurt me.”
“I wanted to give you more but I couldn’t.”
“When I gave you that money and you rented the apartment I thought it might be the start of something great, but you wouldn’t even tell me where the apartment was.”
“I needed time by myself.”
“Is that it? Away from Sammy and away from me?”
“Just come here and hold me. I need you.”
“You wouldn’t even tell me where your apartment was.”

“Kiss me.”
“Kiss me.”
“Come on, you like kissing me.”
“I do.”
“Then do it. We’re both buzzed and…”

“Let’s go in the bedroom. I want all of you now.”
“Should we?”
“You came here for this, now you’re questioning whether we should?’
“I came here to tell you something.”
“Do you want to tell me now or do you want to go in the bedroom first?”
“I missed you, Jake, let’s fuck and then talk.”

“What was that?”
“Someone’s here.”
From outside the door, “Jake, let me in.”
“Who is it?”
“It’s Ryan.”
“What the fuck does he want?”
“I told him you were coming over. He wanted me to call after you left.
“What is he, your fucking therapist?”
“Take it easy, he’s just looking out for me.”
From outside, “Dude, I know you’re in there. Call me.”
“I’m gonna call him.”
“So he knows I’m ok.”
“I don’t like him. He’s a loser. You should find some friends that are more like you.”
“Believe me, he doesn’t have much good to say about you either. That’s why he’s checking on me.”
“Fuck him. He needs to get a life.”
“Hold on.”

“You heard me knocking, huh?”
“Yeah. And the yelling. I’ll hear about it tomorrow from the old man in 4.”
“Sorry. Everything ok?”
“Is she still there?”
“She’s laying right there isn’t she?”
“I hope you know what you’re doing.”
“I do too. Talk tomorrow.”

“What did he say?”
“He just asked if you were still here.”
“I don’t know why he’s putting his nose in your business. I need a pillow so I can sit up and finish this wine.”
“Here. He knew how much you hurt me. He saw me at my lowest and doesn’t want to see me make a mistake again.”
“He has a lot of nerve.”
“He didn’t call you a mistake. He said fucking around with a married woman was a mistake. Falling in love with her. Telling her I wanted to be with her. That was the mistake. It was my mistake. I had this big thing planned out for us. Kids. A house. I told you some of it.”
“You did. Can I be honest?”
“Of course.”
“That scared me. That’s why I didn’t tell you where my apartment was. Come here. Hold me. You feel good. Just like old times. We will always have that chemistry in bed. You know?”
“Tell me why you’re here. What did you want to say to me.”
“God…it’s not easy.”
“Trust me with it.”
“Ok. I don’t want to hurt you, Jake. That’s the last thing I ever wanted from all this. The sex, the sharing. It was perfect. I mean, it is perfect. We’ve always had that. From day one. Sammy never talked about kids or buying a house. You did…and I loved that about you at first. You believed I could be good like that.”
“I did.”
“But I’m not ready for all that. I thought  I was. When we would lay in your old apartment and you’d tell me you loved me and that we should be together, it was perfect. But it scared the fuck out of me,” Crying. “When I got that apartment to get away from Sammy I wanted to get away from you too. I needed time to think.”
“What else?”
“About four months after I moved in to the apartment I got pregnant and had an abortion. I was crazy. I barely knew the guy. I met him and he treated me good but when I found out I was pregnant I didn’t see him again. I knew what I had to do. There comes a time in a woman’s life when she is ready to be a mother. My friends all talk about it. Makes me sick. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready. I’m sorry for what I did, but…it sounds terrible to say this but…it was the right thing for me and I never do anything for me.”
“Getting the apartment was for you.”
“It was, you’re right. You’re always right. Maybe that’s the problem with us. You’re always right and I’m the slut that cheats on her husband, fucks a guy and gets pregnant. I’m not good. The pressure you put on me to be something I wasn’t pushed me away. There. I said it. You wanted me to be something I knew I wasn’t and could never be. We had our fun. The sex and those late night talks, they were all I wanted. I never wanted a house, or to be your wife.”
“You should get dressed and go.”
“Wait…you asked me to share and I did. Don’t throw me out after telling you all that.”
“I’ll call you a taxi…you shouldn’t drive.”
“Well aren’t you a self richeous fucker.”

“Hey, how long have been here?”
“About fifteen minutes. Long enough to scout out the talent.” Laughing.
“It’s as I remember, Scarlett’s is the best. Now I remember why you hang out here. Beer?”
“What are you having?”
“Beer…and a shot of Crown.”
“Crown? What are we celebrating?”
“I’m done with her.”
“Yeah. It’s over and tonight I feel like celebrating. Cheers.”
“Cheers. Ok, tell me what happened last night.”
“I’ll give you the quick version. She came over. We drank some wine, talked, and then she wanted to go in the bedroom. So we did. That’s when you knocked on the door. Good timing, asshole.” Laughing.
“Hey, I was worried about you.”
“I know…so after we get done she tells me that I scared her talking about the future all the time. That she could never live up to the picture I had painted in my head. That’s why she got the apartment and wouldn’t tell me where it was, to get away from me and the pressure I put on her. Said she realized she could never be a good wife or mother. Then she got pregnant.”
“Yeah. Fucked around with some guy and when she found out she was pregnant she never saw him again.”
“Did she say who the guy was?”
“No…you ready for another beer?”
“No…not yet.”
“That girl over there…with the pink on. Is that the girl that told me I looked like Richard Gere?”
“I still can’t get over the pregnancy thing.”
“I know. I was surprised, but not really. She took care of it. Last night was the end. No more therapy, no more Doctor Martin. Last night was what I needed all along. I needed her to admit that she wasn’t good enough for me and now I can find someone who is. God, I was such a moron. What’s that blonde’s name?”
“The girl with the pink on. Over there. Is she the one?”
“Did…did she give you the money back for the apartment she had in Woodside Manor?”
“How’d you know her apartment was in Woodside Manor?”


Not An Easy Fix (Short Fiction)

“Are you awake?”

“Yeah, what’s up?” Bo leaned on his elbow in the darkness of his room, holding the phone to the side of his weary head. His clock glared 2:15 am. 

“You’re not awake. I’ll let you go. Sorry.”

“No, no, no, I’m awake.” He wasn’t convinced himself he was awake, but the phone call was one that he couldn’t ignore.

“Have you ever felt lonely in a crowded room?” Kait spoke quiet on the other end, almost a whisper. 

“Yeah, I have. Tell me what happened.” 

There was a long moment of silence, usual for their 2 am phone calls. 

“I should just go to sleep. Thanks for listening,” Another long silence. “Good night.” 

Bo sat up, swung his legs off the bed and set his phone down. Kait’s contact picture was still smiling at him on the illuminated screen. It was a picture he took, a day at the zoo. Their relationship was easy then. He took a drink of warm, watered down Kool-aid from the glass on his nightstand, and then put the glass back down on the permanent red ring.

He laid his face in his hands and tried to figure out what she wanted. He wasn’t good at knowing what to do with her. She was complex, him, simple. The friendship turned to relationship after a drunken tryst in the room he rented above his uncle’s garage. The place embarrassed him, but she didn’t mention it that night, or ever. She also didn’t mention his stained jeans, or his habit of eating his dinner over the kitchen sink. 

It was her promotion to branch manager and his embarrassment at the dinner with her boss that ended the six month romance, but the friendship remained.

He knew the feeling of lonely in a crowded room. He felt it when he went to her work parties and had little to say to the other men he was forced to talk to. They talked finance, banking, money, while he was making $12 per hour changing oil at the local Quickie Lube. It was a craft his father taught him as a boy. “That’s what men do, son. We fix things.” His father said, working under the hood of the family station wagon. Bo told Kait he felt stupid in front of her colleagues. She insisted that he wasn’t but he couldn’t shake the feeling and what should have been a minor bump in the road to a solid relationship, became the wedge that caused him first, then her, to retreat. They reconvened a few months later as friends. 

Bo went to his closet and found a pair of clean jeans. They had stains but they didn’t stink with the hideous scent of hydraulic oil from rebuilding transmissions. Working on transmissions was better than changing oil but still a long way from his automotive passion. He felt a sense of pride actually fixing cars rather than just, “kicking the tires” at Quickie Lube. Transmissions were a new challenge. He understood hydraulic theory. The moving of objects using pressure and it wasn’t lost on him that it was a lot like his life. The pressure to be someone he wasn’t moved him away from Kait. He found a dingy t-shirt then slipped on his work boots, the laces dragging as he managed his way down the steps outside his uncle’s garage. 

He passed only one car on the six mile drive to Kait’s new condo. She’d moved up in the bank hierarchy, again, and now drove a foreign car. Bo hated it, but still changed the oil for her every 3000. After he helped her move into the new condo Kait handed him a key, “In case something needs to be fixed and I’m not here.” 

“But it’s a brand new condo. They’ll fix anything that’s wrong.” Bo gestured toward the management office of the condo complex. 

“You never know.” She shrugged. He hadn’t used the key yet.

He pulled into her condo complex and parked next to her Audi. He lit a cigarette and thought about whether he was doing the right thing. The radio played low but he didn’t listen. It was almost 3 am when he slipped the key into her door and turned the lock. He half expected it not to work. When it came to Kait, his brain always slanted to the negative. Once inside he turned the deadbolt behind him and using only the heel of the opposite foot, removed his boots.

Light snuck past the blinds in her room and Bo smiled when he saw her sleeping in her usual way, on her back, both arms above her head. The old recliner she couldn’t bring herself to part with was in the corner where he put it when he helped her move the new furniture in. Bo sat down in the recliner and watched her sleep. He thought about the relationship with her that was. The sharing and the love. How she looked at him while having a drink with friends, or when they made love, her eyes filled with adornment. Her hands always found him, no matter the situation. She’d kneel next to him in the dark of his room and touch his legs and chest, her face filled with pleasure while giving him pleasure. He thought about the break-up, the pressure, and how immature his thinking was then.

At 5 am he slipped on his boots and stepped outside the condo. He dialed his boss.

“I won’t be in today, AJ. Sorry.” 

“Everything ok?  Did that piece of shit break down again?”

“No, it’s not my car this time. I need the day off to fix something else.”


As I’ve said before, I started this blog to share some writing and get feedback. So, leave a comment. What worked? What didn’t? Was the lack of character descriptions a problem? Please, I want to hear. Thank You.

500 Words a Day

I need more focus. I jump from email to twitter to youtube to facebook (That was a joke, I never jump on facebook.) and pretty soon I’ve wasted an hour, and that’s being conservative. So when I saw Jeff Goins’ 500 Words A Day Challenge I decided right away this is what I need right now.

I have six half written short stories that I need to finish and I have ideas for about six more that I need to write and unburden my brain of. Not to mention a half-written long piece that is gathering dust. So plenty to work on. And 500 words a day is easy, if I make it a priority over the other distractions.

By the way, I checked Twitter five times while writing this. Off to a good start!

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