A Lie ( A Novel)
“So here we are once again. You with the gun and me with the hostage. Who do you think is going to win this time? Me or you?” The madman with the barrel pressed against the victim’s head ponders out loud. “Things may seem like you’ve got the upper hand, but I’ve got something you don’t,” the half-naked, half blown up, and one hundred percent out of patience hero says. “Oh and what’s that?” The villain pulls the hammer back on the gun. “A chance.”
“Can you shut that shit off already?” She moans. “How can you even watch this crap?” She asks letting me know she isn’t going to stop without an answer. “Why do you do that? Why do you have to interrupt all of the best parts?” I ask. The sound of me hitting the space bar fills the room. “The best parts? What could have possibly been the best part of a movie that failed to get one star?” She badgers. “I don’t know maybe when he pulls a gun out of nowhere and shots him off the building like in Harder To Die, Than To Live,” I answer. “Wait so you’re telling me the best part of a film is a copycat scene from a film you’ve already seen?” She mocks me. “Well madam it’s not a complete copy since that would be illegal. It will be different to a point though overall the same scene in a sense. Plus this one didn’t go to theaters and is unrated. Which basically means there will be more blood and the fact that the hostage is a woman means there is a good chance of a topless scene. All of this could add up to a better or worse ending than the “same scene” in another movie,” I explain. “You’ve got to be kidding me right?” She looks more annoyed than confused. “I didn’t invent the male brain. I was just born with one,” I smile.
She sighs in disgust. “What would you rather watch another movie about two people falling in love after overcoming some stupid obstacle?” I ask her. “Of course at least they are original,” she says. “Original? Right let’s see the last one we watched was about some couple who fell in love, but then the lady had a dog which just so happens the man is afraid of so, they spend the next hour getting over that. The one before that was about two people too afraid to leave their house though they fall in love over the internet so, they spend the next hour and half getting over that. An hour and a half wondering if they will ever be able to be together through this dire situation that is somehow too impossible to get over. How are either one of those movies not the same?” I question. “That last one won an Oscar by the way so, what do you know?” She says defensively. “How can a movie about nothing get any sort of reward?” I mock. “It got six, but that is beside the point,” she tries to play off. “Nothing happens for almost two hours,” I won’t let the point die. “You try making the hottest actress in Hollywood look ugly and then you tell me you didn’t take a chance,” she rolls her eyes as though I am the ignorant one in this situation. “They put a bump on her nose and she was still hot. They could have lit her head on fire and put her in a full body cast, and she still be hot. Changing one thing about someone is not taking a chance,” I protest. “Neither is watching a movie because there might be a topless scene or more blood,” she protests back. The screen goes black.
“How can you watch this shit?” An angel with giant white wings asks. “What are you talking about? There is so much passion over nothing. How could I the Lord not watch?” A figure of immense light and a voice that could crack the sky asks right back. “I don’t know maybe because there are about seven billion and growing other issues you could address. I mean it is all the same thing. Over and over about nothing at all. Couldn’t there be anything else you could do today? I just don’t get it,” the angel tries to reason. “What’s the point of being a God if you can’t enjoy your own creations?” The question hangs in the air.
Pretty basic and short story… I’m sure when I wrote it the first time I had so much more to say about this story… finding it years later… I decided to put a little twist on it… a twist of an idea that I think about a lot… I’m sure we all do… if someone was watching us?… Why?… this story to me was more of a way to present the question to others… rather than answer it myself… nothing flashy just a thought in my head…
I Remember You
“Meghan is that you?” She turns as though my voice is familiar and yet somehow distant. We lock eyes, “No one’s pronounced my names right in years.” She stands in front of me after all these years later. “I’m sure they haven’t. I’m sure you made sure they got it right in the end though,” I say to her. She gives off a fake friendly laugh. A chuckle really if you should be so lame. She follows it up with a smile, “You’d be right, but then you always were won’t you?” I don’t smile because it wouldn’t be who I am in the face of the past. “I missed you too,” I lie because that is who I am. It’s been so many years by choice and vast amounts of distance. Why she is even here in front of me is puzzling on its own, but here she stands none the less. Though in a way this all is just petty. Her need for childish attention drove us apart. Made us two very different people and in the end made us nothing more than friends of the past. How we related in the first place is beyond me. Even now after all these years I still don’t really miss her. I still don’t really care, but being human of course I do in some sense.
“How have you been? How was California?” I ask her. She thinks I care. I can tell by her surprised look that she thinks that I have been keep tabs on her. “California was good. A long time ago, but it was good. Super expensive in the end so I had to get out of there,” she keeps her answers vague and short. It seems so out of place for her to be here. I can’t tell if she’s sure she wants to see me or why she would want to. I’m past history. A foot note in her life as she is in mine. The last time we spoke we didn’t because I walked out. Walked out of her life as if she didn’t matter and in a way she didn’t. I didn’t feel guilty then because I thought I never see her again. Yet as she stands before me I can’t say the same thing. Guilty feelings about how things ended so many years ago in Washington. “It is crazy to see you here of all places,” she finally breaks the silence growing between us. “Never thought you would move to Texas,” she adds. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d live here either. Haven’t been here too long though. Did a spell in New York for a while and then ended up here,” I answer. “New York is where your mother is from right?” She remembers and I node my head. “Yeah, my wife’s family is from here,” I tell her like I tell everyone. A constant denial that I would move here by any other choice. “So you live here?” She asks me like a detective trying to get the facts straight. “Yep,” I say confused to this line of questioning.
“A bit of a cliché don’t you think? Ever think of someplace to go without training wheels?” Lighter, can of gasoline, and check mate. Her true colors begin to shine in the mid afternoon sun. No one likes to think they can’t do it on their own. No one likes to feel as though they need mommy and daddy to support them. No one likes this idea especially not her. “My wife’s idea,” I say as though I had no say in the matter. A half-truth repeated so many times in my head, but really what was I to do? “I’m sure it was. She still leading you around like you are an alpha male, but really you are nothing more than a puppy on a very short leash?” She always knew the best ways to make it hurt. Her words could be like poison or a bed of nails. A talent really that few of us can pull off as well as her. A talent only possessed by demons and devils, but a talent none the less. “I am my own man,” I say even if it comes out hollow. I stand by the words in my head. “She doesn’t influence me to do anything I don’t already want to do.” She smiles as my statement, “Spoken like a true married man. A little bit Stockholm syndrome rehearsed, but I’m sure they are all your own words in the end.” She thinks she has me against some sort of theoretical ropes. This is always how she, how we talked to each other. A match of wits always trying to out maneuver each other. “You never did approve of relationships much,” I say bouncing off the ropes. “You got me there,” she puts her guard up. Ready for anything I take my swing. “Is that because you are a lesbian or because of something else?”
“This many years and now you want to get personal?” She asks me deflecting my question. She is right though it has been many years. Many years of a lot of things being left unsaid, unanswered, or unspoken that drove a wedge between us so long ago. “I was only asking considering,” I begin to say. “Considering what?” She questions in an almost hostile tone. Maybe my verbal punch did more damage than I thought? “Considering you are always on the move. Never staying anywhere long enough to be a part of anything,” I say to her. Giving away the fact that I have been keeping tabs on her. From a distance and never reaching out, but paying attention none the less. She looks solemn to my response, “Long enough to know anybody. What about you? Always moving yourself.” She turns around on me. “Time and money are two very different things. Yet they go together as if they are meant to be,” I respond. “Deep, you been working on that for a while now?” She asks me. For the first time I smile, “No, I’m a writer now. It comes naturally.” She lets off another hollowed laugh, “Any self-obsessed asshole can be a writer so, I’m not surprised.” A talent or a curse I can’t decide anymore. A talent or a curse. “Well it’s my dream so thanks,” I respond slightly wounded. “Are you really hurt or are you just playing the part?” She asks with venom dripping from her teeth.
“The part I guess,” we lock eyes and neither of us have much left to say. There should be a million things to keep us talking for hours, but in the end none of them really matter. Too many empty silences in this broken down conversation. Too many I could give a damn ideas and thoughts. If I cared enough. If she cared enough. We could let them all go and be civil. I don’t care to bring up the past, but here it stands before me. Right in front of me as though a distant memory of the past and the present have collided. The silence between us is deafening and yet neither of us can walk away. Drawn together by some cosmic need to stand in this very place. Locking eyes and staring into each other’s soul looking for anything that could resemble what we are looking for in this situation. I find nothing, but there is something that tells me she hasn’t reached the same conclusion. “I have AIDS,” she says with actual sincerity. “That’s why I have been moving so much. Not getting to know anyone. I want to protect myself from letting anyone new in. While taking in everything that I can before it is all said and done with. Making the rounds so to speak. Making my way around this world to figure out my place all along,” she lays out all of her cards before me.
“But you are a lesbian, statistically this isn’t even possible. Well it is but more unlikely,” I try to rationalize out loud. “Just because I’m gay,” she breaks down. Her tears trickle out one by one before becoming streams on her face. “No one wants to be gay. We lie and say we do with our parades and our words, but in reality we just want to be normal,” she cries. “Being gay is normal,” I say as I extend my hand to her shoulder. She pushes my hand away, “No, no it is not. Being gay is not normal. We make it seem that way because we want it to be normal. I only wanted to be normal. Be seen as normal by everyone. So I gave it a shot. Found a man at a bar and played the part of the normal woman. Guess what I didn’t think to ask? Guess what didn’t cross my mind as I laid there trying to be who I was supposed to be?” I don’t answer her questions. I only listen. “I lost, I lost it all, and now. Now I’m just trying to do it all before I’m all gone,” she chokes out. Too much emotion. I’m not good with all of this. Being silent is what I am good at. Distant and far is the only approach I know. “Sorry,” I say as though the word could ever wash away all of her troubles. That the word could solve anything at all.
“I don’t need your sympathy,” she spits back into my face. “I was only trying.” But she cuts me off. “Only trying to what? Care? I know that you don’t care or give a damn about anyone or anything. You like to be distant. You like to be away from people. It lets you think that you are better than everyone else,” her voice echoes in a loop. “This is different,” I want to say but she’s not listening. “I should have never told you and you wouldn’t have never known. It was great to see you again,” she says before storming away from me. There I stood not knowing what to do. There I stood in my past as the present spun me up in a giant web. I never saw her again. Only in my dreams of our last conversation. So many things I should have done differently, but in the end all I will have are these memories, this horrid dream of her.
I walk down from the podium and make my way down the aisle until I find my seat. The long hard benches that make up the church. Solemn and crying as my words still dance in front of me. The mask is off the monster and I don’t like what I see. What I’ve always seen. The reasons I am the way I am. “Would anyone else like to say a few words about the departed?” echoing through the hollowness of my soul.
This is actually a story from my forth coming novel… I would have put up an image of the book cover… but I am still trying to figure that out… I have a title… but I am not really ready to reveal that at the moment either… Unless I already did… haha… I have been busy working on that… and other things…
So… why am I posting this story if I am not ready to share anything surrounding it?… I actually found this story in my random files to save… it was originally going to be just for the website… but it fit in nicely with my ideas for my next novel… though I have no idea where yet… I write very much backwards and forwards… I also over write… I’m sure a lot of us do… whether it makes it in the book or not is a question for the future…
So this story… what is real… and what is fiction… I’d say 50/50… but it doesn’t matter because in the end… after it is all said and done… it could be 100% false or 100% true… and still work… sounds easy enough… nothing easy ever really is though… I actually based this on a few people I know… a few things I went through… a few conversations I actually had…
I like this story because as we transition into a better society… there will still be a lot of questions about what is right… what is normal… that was the part of the story that stood out to me… that I liked… Meghan had doubts that she was normal… and she was… perfectly normal for who she was… but sometimes society and those close to us have a way of making us feel like we aren’t… even the strongest person can succumb to the pressure being exerted all them… I’m not going to sit here and preach… not my place in this world… I’m not even going to say you have to “love” everyone just because… but you don’t have to hate them either… something to think about if you haven’t already…