Wednesday, September 30, 2009

two short stories

jetable by goldfieldsfoxes

___1. a sleep with no dreams :: gus the bookstore mannequin on santa monica blvd

it seems you only notice it in the evening. it is a mannequin, in a seated position, on what looks to be a restructured bike-seat. it is wearing large headphones, and in front of its face is a small GPS screen that shows on repeat images of flowers. some wires hang around that connect everything. it looks like a post-contemporary-fashion-experiment in a window. there is a blue flourescent lighting the whole thing into abstraction. because i have nothing to do i play basketball with other people who have nothing to do and walk home down santa monica at 2am. i stop by the window and contemplate the strange nocturnal contraption.
___- hello strange contemporary artsy fartsy nocturnal contraption person-mannequin thingee.
___- i wonder if this is your dream, or if they are stealing your dreams and replacing them with flora.
___- i don't really dream of flora.
___- i don't really dream.
___- bye.

a few days later i wander into the store. i browse and find Stravinsky: a critical survey, and the second volume of Woolf's a common reader essays. a woman serves me at counter overwhelmed with books and magazines and pens.papers.unopened letters.newspapers.littlepinkslips.nicknacks and a sweater. she has to reach right across, morphing her stocky body into a surprisingly graceful arch. she takes my books and says goodbye to them.
___- this is a labor of love isn't it?
it takes her a moment, but then she understands what i mean. her heartfelt goodbye to books she's probably never read. probably didn't even know they were in here.
___- it's funny when people bring things to the counter___things i didn't know were in here, i fall in love with the place more. they bring to my attention things i hadn't had time to get to know about it.
___- [i nod]
___- is he trapped or is he being saved? [i point to the mannequin]
___- [she laughs once. softly.]
___- good question i suppose. wouldn't it be nice to be saved from our dreams., have roses and daffodils instead.
___- depends i guess.
___- ye ah. imagine it though. he wakes everyday a little more...
___- he thinks he's a flower?
___- [she smiles, there is a sort of hope on her face]
___- or at least wakes at dawn with the others. fresh and rosy fingered.
___- [i imagine 'others' means other flowers. i smile, at the Homeric allusion mostly. she sees that i got her reference and she smiles again. in relief.]
___- or at least rosy-cheeked and quiet and with softer skin.
___- we should all be soo lucky.

she hands the books back. in a white plastic bag that was from a supermarket. it still has the logo. i smile and walk out. staring again at the still-life-aspiration in the window. i can't help but think they're inserting into his vacant nonentity imagination a new language. first come the flowers, then the bees. one day pinnocchio will wake up. and hell will break loose. and he'll walk home at 2am down santa monica blvd and wish someone had unplugged the damn dream-machine.

___2. three teenage girls discuss the hipster funeral tomorrow

it is a scene out of Lolita, Humbert Humbert probably couldn't dream it up any better. three young girls, 13-14-15, lounging in a teenage bedroom, smelling of too much perfume and clothes scattered everywhere listening to fairy-floss pop songs. occasionally singing along a verse or two. with painted toenails and tiny hands that look like any Spring-moment they'll reveal fresh buds of flowers or tiny fruit. the whole thing overwhelming with youth. skin without blemish. eyes still wide and electric with occasional wonderment.
___- OMG [she actually says it: oh em gee] Alice, stop talking about it!
___- what?, there's gonna be people there.
___- people means boys you ho. just admit it, we know who you want to see anyway.
______(- yeah!)
___- eff you both ok, it's a funeral, i need to look nice.
___- do you even know _whose funeral it is?
___- Yes.
___- ... ___well?
___- oh i don't know, like, my brother's cousin or something.
______- leave her alone Sushi [it's a nickname], all her brother's friends dress weird anyway
___- they totally do hey.
___- wha'do'ya'mean?
______- plaid plaid plaid everything blah blah plaid and tight and freaking emo gimme a break.
[all three laugh]
___- i think it's cool!
___- thankyou. so do i.
______- they all look gay.
___- you look gay.
______- oh i am. that's why i like sitting around your house in our PJs brushing your hair.
___- ew. stop being gross_ dickhead.
______- you're gross. i'm the only that's actually been with a guy, as if you call me gay.
___- true.
___- true.
___- _hobag.
[all three laugh]
______- eff you biatch!
___- Alice you can't wear that bra you don't have boobs ok just get over it you don't.
___- i don't want them!, big boobs make you look fat.
______- eff you again biatch! you're jealous.
___- as if. C is for Chubby.
______- A is for Assholeonyourface.
[all three laugh]
___- how about this one?
___- goddammit, it's violet!
___- so?
______- yeah, so?
___- it_is_a_Funeral!
______- F is for Fun.
___- LOL! [she actually says it: elle oh elle] yah. you said they all dress weird anyway. maybe they'll all show up to his funeral in drag or something awesome like that.
______- no way. they're emos. they'll totally all dress in black and sing Muse songs outloud to one another and cry and then do soo much blow they'll single-handedly fix Afghanistan's economy.
___- ...
___- ...
______- dude?. ___dude, what?
___- ...
______- freaking What?
___- Tess it was an OD.
______- eff my elle, shit, i'm sorry.
___- all good. ___like i said, ___iz just a friend of my brother's.
______- wear the black.
___- you really should.
___- what? really?
______- yeah Al listen,
___- [listening]
______- who knows why things happen the way they do.
___- wha'tha'hell hasthat got to do with anything? what are you talki-
______- sssh! _listen: wear the black dress. ignore the boys, they're friend just died.
___- yeah Al.__ imagine if it was one of us.
___- ....
______- ...
___- that's, _just the- __thing. ______i can't.

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