focus

Damn it, I did it again.
I got off work and went to the bar. I just couldn’t help myself. Before I knew it I was walking back to my car at 1:40 am. I was laughing with my friends but my stomach was churning.
I enter my room knowing that I should have been here. It’s 2:30 and I’m fighting my eyes to stay open.

I told myself I would go straight home and write. I have myself on this self-imposed deadline. Sunday I’m supposed to have a short story!

I’m avoiding!
Quick!—this week’s chosen theme: using relationships as an escape.

You know, all of these themes are incredibly personal. Last week I flunked, and this week I’m failing due to the same churning in my gut.

When actually, what I’m doing is what I’m supposed to be writing about. I go out to be people. I use relationships as an escape. People excite me and I feel myself swept away by extraordinary ones. That’s why I bust all my romantic interests. I’m a whirlwind. I’m inquisitive. I want to peel back your brain and know you, and I want you to know me.
But of course, this is not the way it works. The heart uses dial up and I am impatient, tapping my foot.
why won’t it load?

Quick!—freewrite!

If I go home there is a monster waiting to eat me. I tell this casually to the man standing next to me. He started chatting to his friend the moment I opened my mouth. “He starts by sucking on my toes,” I continue, shouting into the noise. “He nibbles at my ears.”
He laughs, one of those big, open ones, laughing bravely into the noise. He sticks a small black straw in his mouth and sucks bourbon and ginger out of a cocktail glass.
His friend continues in his joke, elaborately swaying his arms like a conductor. The man, I think he said his name was Davis, still sipping away at his drink, turns his eyes on me and notices that I am still talking.
But I’m not talking to anyone in particular. Nobody is listening. And if something makes a noise and nothing is around to hear it, was I there talking at all?
I’m saying, “When I enter him he’s so slimy in wet. I feel his tongue beneath my palms, licking me wherever I move.”
He notices I’m talking and tongues out the straw, “I’m sorry. What?”
I laugh. And he laughs, and luckily its on cue because the rest of his buddies are laughing.
As they laugh I slip away, navigating through shoulders, a quick turn here, right between the chests of two military men, and I’m outside, pushing past these wooden doors victoriously, then back into a mass of people.
I push past them all, to the bar.
I order a drink, I pull myself up on the stool. While I’m waiting for Tricia to get my IPA, a charming, young guy turns to me. His lips curl into a smile, he turns to me more.
“Hey,” he says through a smile. “Can I get you a drink?”
“I just ordered.”
Tricia sits down my beer. I pull it into my hand and cradle the bottle while he continues with his introduction.
“Oh, well, my name is Kyle. What’s yours?”
He offers his hand. I don’t take it. I tell him it’s Marlie. “What do you do?” I ask.
He tells me his story. He peels open his layers and tells me all about his job working for this weapons manufactoring business. He does advertising. He tells me very distinctly that he does, in fact, support gun control. He believes he could give the company a good name if his bosses would listen to his ideas. But they don’t. Some people are stuck in their ways. So he’s there until he figures something else better. Supposes he’ll move away somewhere doing something successful. Maybe his music career will jump off.
“You’re a musician?” I say too enthusiastically.
Yes, he says.
He plays the guitar, and sings, and writes his own music.
“Oh, do you?”
“I could show you sometime.”
“I’m a writer, too.”
“You could come over to my house–”
“I write poetry.”
“I’ll show you one of my songs–”
“I feed it to the monster.”
“sing for you a bit”
“He rips it a part.”
“smoke a bowl”
“spits it back out”
“im parked around teh corner”
“He doesn’t like my poetry but he’ll eat me”
“charlie?”
“huh?…sure.”

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