Free short stories about Generation End

VALENTINE’S DAY LOVE

Christie told me that she fell in love with Barry Edgar about four years ago. He didn’t know that she’d fallen in love with him, and understandably so: she didn’t tell him and she didn’t change anything about the way she treated him.

Barry Edgar was a waiter who once travelled to Europe. He also once travelled to India. He also once travelled to Beijing, to Philippines, to Peru. Barry was shorter than the average guy and he had hairy shoulders, and his deodorant had a strong, musky smell. There was nothing really special about Barry, but then there was really nothing that special about Christie, so she thought it fitting that they were destined to be together.

To Christie, falling in love was more than just a childish feeling of falling in love. She tried her best not to think of “falling in love” as something that was merely a product of evolution, of the movies, of pop songs, of seeing her parents, of hearing her friends. Christie wanted to fall in love in a completely unique way, in a way that was individual to her. But how could she do this when so much of her was a product of her environment? How much of her “falling in love” truly came from her heart?

Picturing herself as a bouquet of flowers, Christie spun in dramatic circles with the hope of shaking off any unruly untruths in her life. She meditated, she shed her skin, she consumed, she prayed, she sold, she gave up, she quit, she ran, she ignored – she dedicated an entire year to only telling the truth, of being completely honest with herself and shedding all insecurities, all bonds and all connections, even her physical connection with Barry. Feeling like a Buddhist, she detached herself from everything, and in her pursuit of complete honesty she found nothing but love. Not only love for Barry, but love for herself, and of the world, and of God.

About four years ago I told this girl I loved her because of the way she said the word “cunt”. This girl had a great smile and a great body and she rarely shaved her pubic hairs and she was taken by someone else. “I’m addicted, Dean,” she texted me, and I texted back, “To what???” and she replied with, “to everything there ever was.” And at one in the morning, the morning after Valentine’s, I picked her up, and we drove to McDonald’s and bought nuggets and we didn’t say much and I tried to kiss her in the parking lot, and she said, “Not until we take some,” and I said, “Some what???” and she replied with, “take some of everything that ever was.” And around noon we drove to some crowded beach at the Gold Coast and we ran into the sea.

LOVE CHECKLIST

love checklist are we free

“Being in a relationship is an easy yet complicated process.” This is what Christie started our conversation with.

“Really now.”

“At first it’s easy because there’s no checklist yet. There are no rules – you’re soaked in this, this unshakeable high. But then, once you get comfortable with the other person, a checklist emerges, and all of a sudden you find yourself looking at your lover and asking, ‘Do they fulfill my checklist?’ and in turn, they’re looking straight back at you and asking the exact same thing.” She played with her fork a little bit. “But then, but then it gets much more complicated. Because the checklist changes, because people change.”

“So when it comes to love or any kind of relationship, checklists can like, come and ruin everything.”

“That’s an odd way of seeing things.”

“So what’s your checklist of me?” I asked her.

“Are we in a relationship?” She smiled.

“Once upon a time I wrote down exactly who I wanted to be with on a piece of paper.”

“So did I.”

This amused me. “So we both have checklists.”

“I guess so.”

“Can’t you say these checklists are ruining our lives?”

“I wouldn’t say ‘ruin’.”

“Is your checklist different now?”

Christie took my hand and then took me to a church. The church wasn’t the same as the types of churches I grew up seeing in the movies. The church had rock music, and people would sing for long stretches of time, some speaking in tongues, and the guy in the middle, the pastor, would speak in the same way Obama would speak. I looked at Christie singing with the other people. Her eyes were closed and her hands were high and she was smiling and she reminded me of someone I was once in love with.

On the drive to Christie’s, at a red light, I asked her something I suddenly thought about: “Why do women say ‘Oh my God’ during orgasms?”

 

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Book I’m reading: Love in the Time of Cholera

THE END OF EVERYTHING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD

life after death - the end of everything in the entire world

Are there two Christians with the exact same ideals? Are there two atheists who believe in exactly the same things? I wonder how Jesus meditated. I wonder how he prayed and what he asked for on a daily basis. I wonder what Buddha would’ve looked like, if he would’ve been taller than me, and if he was bald and always laughing in the same way he does on all of those statues. What did the Prophet Muhammad do in his spare time? Einstein said that science without religion is lame, and religion without science is blind.

“When the universe ends – when my life ends, what will I see?” This is what I texted Christie.

“You’ll see me.” This is what she texted back.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because I know everything.”

“I don’t believe I’ll see you.”

“Ouch,” she replied with a frowney face. “lol.”

“I don’t believe I’ll see anybody.”

“You don’t believe in heaven?”

“I do and don’t. Sometimes I hope for eternal happiness, sometimes I hope for an immediate end. I mean, if heaven were real, we’d have to live FOREVER.” I paused, then added: “Do you really want to be living forever?”

I watched my phone say, “Christie is typing” for a while until her message finally appeared: “If it means being happy forever, if it means being with God forever, then yes. I’d be with my God and I’d be with my love, whoever it may be. It’ll be wonderful.”

I deleted Christie’s message and put my phone away. It took me four hours (and thoughts of her naked) to reply to her with a completely different subject: “Want to hang out? I’m bored.” And we went to this place in the city that served interesting ramen.

 

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Book I’m reading: Seduction

LOVE IN EVERY LINE

love in every line

“He loved her,” she insisted.

“No, he’s in love with her.”

“No, no, no.” She still wasn’t listening to me. “This is what he said: ‘I loved her.’ It was love in the past tense.”

“People don’t say things like that unless they still love them. Once you stop loving someone, you never mention them again. They’re not even a memory.”

She scoffed at this. “You out of all people know this isn’t true. People talk about people they don’t love anymore all the time, but it doesn’t mean they’re still in love them. What part of past tense don’t you understand? He. Loved –”

“I understand everything about the past tense” – I lowered the stereo volume just to make sure the entire world heard my point – “but I understand nothing about what you’re saying. Don’t you know love? Haven’t you ever held it in your hand?”

“I held love in my hand whenever I held his.”

“That’s so corny. Can you see my ears bleed from the corniness? It’s corniness like that that gives love a bad name.” Her speaking about him, or even the thought that she was thinking about him, or even the fact that we were dedicating an entire moment of our temporary lives talking about him, that we were associating “love” and his terrible name in the same sentence – it all made me delirious with envy, but the envy was a secret even I didn’t want to admit. Why couldn’t I throw my envy away and burn it and then piss on the ashes? He didn’t love her. There was no way he loved her. I didn’t want to know her anymore.

“I don’t see your ears bleeding,” she said as she moved closer to me and inspected my ears. Her breath smelt like raspberry Vodka. “And what’s a non-corny love anyway? Has love ever not been corny?”

“A non-corny love is a love that’s mixed with practicality and romanticism.”

“So love has elements of corniness.”

“You know what? Whatever. He loved her, he still loves her – does it really matter?”

“Yes. His love matters.”

“Why does what he do with his love matter? Why should –”

“Because I love him.”

Everything became silent. “So you love a guy who left you behind.” I looked at her. Her eyes were slightly teary; she was sniffling. This guy had picked her out of an ocean, broken her, then placed her back into the ocean without waving goodbye. And I was completely sober when I said what I said next: “Fuck his love. Fuck you. You hear me, you dirty shit? Fuck. You.”

She was crying now. “I still think about him. I still smell him. I still see him in people who have any characteristics that resemble anything about him. I still love him.”

I took her to bed, and in bed we laughed about things, and when she was asleep I did sit ups, push ups, checked Facebook. When she woke up, we spoke a little bit more and I drove her to a café where she was supposed to meet him for “closure”, and, before exiting my car, she turned to me and smiled and said, “he loved her,” and she said thanks to me, and I said thanks to her, and she tapped her finger on my hand before shutting the door and heading to the café.

DRINKING WINE ON A BALCONY BEFORE CHRISTMAS

balcony lookout

“Have you ever spoken to God on Christmas?”

This is what Christie asked me as we sat on my couch on my balcony. It was some time in the evening, and beyond us, beyond the railing, were buildings and trees and lights, and beyond that was the city, and beyond that was the universe, and beyond that was time, and the future and the present and the past, and beyond that was God. God who has to exist, otherwise how else will anything exist? But who made God?

“How do you speak to God?”

“How do you think?”

“I asked you first.”

“Did you?”

Christie took a sip of her wine. “Do you think you and I grew up making the wrong choices?”

“What do you mean?” I was looking at her legs.

“I mean, do you think it’s too late for us? I have this colleague, he’s this handsome guy, this built guy, and he’s married and he’s so faithful to his wife. I was speaking to him, and he’s like, this leader of his church group and he has these talks about how guys should stop watching pornography and treating woman like objects.”

I looked at her lips, thinking about the photos she used to send me. “I mean I think there’s always a chance for people to redeem themselves. No matter how terrible the things they’ve done and even continue to do. No one wants to admit this, but all it takes is one day or even one minute for someone to completely turn their lives around.”

 

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Book I’m reading: Here I am

HAPPINESS AND ARMPIT PLUCKING

happiness and armpits“You know what I’ve realised?” Vail asked me.

“What?”

“I like the idea of doing charity work more so than actually doing it.” Vail had just finished an afternoon of volunteer work with troubled kids. “It’s a lot of work.” She sighed, sipping on her latte or whatever the hell it was. “It’s so much work.”

“You know what I’ve realised?”

“What?”

“That I have no idea what I want or what’s going on. I mean, I have goals, but…” I began mumbling, trying to figure out what I was trying to say.

She giggled. “I have no idea what you’re saying.”

“I mean, all it takes is one emotional speech to persuade a group of people to completely change what they stand for… I don’t think people really know what they want. It’s like we’re driving cars in vast open spaces, looking for anyone to tell us where to go.”

“I guess that’s the cost of freedom.”

“What do you long for?” I asked Vail.

“I don’t know.” Her phone vibrated and she quickly picked it up. She texted someone, then put it aside. “What do I long for? A cold shower. What do you long for, Dean?”

“Constant sex. Constant reassurance that I’m doing the right thing. Constant wealth. Constant happiness. Like some escape somewhere but I don’t know where. I mean, we can escape to somewhere better, but for how long will it be better for, right? Happiness is always something temporary? I don’t know, I think I need help.”

“Yeah I suppose…” Vail’s mind was back on her phone. She texted someone again, a selfie this time. Eventually: “My mum makes me pluck her armpits.”

“How often?”

“Not too often.”

“Does she pluck your armpits?” I asked her.

“Sometimes.”

“How often?”

“Not too often.”

Vail finished her drink and I did too. We drove to the shopping mall, looked at a few things; I helped her choose a few Christmas presents for her relatives and friends. Afterwards, we smiled and hugged and said bye to each other and walked towards our cars, which were parked in two completely different car parks.

When I arrived home I saw it. It was a tiny creature, about the size of a ruler. It stood on two legs and had the face of a good luck troll. It horrified me, but it only moved once: it turned its head and it smiled at me. I watched it for a while until I went to bed and fell asleep. It was gone the next day.

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Book I’m currently reading: Here I Am.

YOUNG AND OLD LOVE

young and old love

Romance always changes. It’s different when you want the girl, and when you have the girl, and when you’ve had the girl. It’s different when you’re three months in, and when you’re a year in. It’s different when you’re twelve and when you’re eighteen and when you’re thirty. I wonder what love will be like when I’m forty. Will I have a wife, will I love her, will she love me?

It was about three in the afternoon and the sun was out and it was hot and I put on this mix CD Eva once gave me. She had The Beatles in there and Frou Frou in there and other tracks, some RnB ones, some romantic ones. But I didn’t tell you this. You were just there, in my car, and I had no idea what the hell you were thinking but you were smiling slightly. Are you happy? Sad? Horny? Who are you? We parked at my place in silence. Holding hands, we went up the elevator in silence, and we walked to my apartment door in silence and I opened it and I walked in and you went to the toilet and I headed for the balcony. Although I was looking outside at all of the beautiful trees and all of the interesting people walking by the street, I wasn’t really there; I was in bullshit land, and bullshit land was populated by a bullshit number of people who believed in a bullshit list of ideals.

You yelled something out from the toilet and I said, “What?” and you sighed and said, “Never mind,” and you hummed something, and I checked my phone for messages. You emerged from the toilet a new person, and we sat on my couch and we talked about things until you fell asleep on my lap.

 

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Book I’m currently reading: The People Look Like Flowers At Last

LICKING FOR FIFTY THOUSAND

licking for fifty thousand

We ended up hanging out with this woman who cut my hair in South Bank once. She was this loud ball of fire who loved to talk about sex and dildos a lot, and that night, in the back of an Uber, she described her dildo collection like a guy would describe his sword collection: she had this proud, dazed smile on her face as she described the length of each dildo, the girth of each dildo, the texture of each dildo, the functionality of each dildo, the occasions she purchased each dildo. I pictured confetti gently trickling down her face as she said this, sparkles of starlight flashing in and out of the background. She was drunk and Jude was drunk but I was sober and completely over everything in the entire universe.

“What is a dildo, really, if you think about it?” Jude asked the Uber.

“That’s deep,” she said, “that’s really fucking deep.”

“You know the dildo was invented by a Spanish bullfighter named Ronaldildo,” I said.

We went to Hot Gossip and for a good three minutes I pretended to act like I knew what I was doing on the dance floor. I ducked out and sat somewhere, scrolling up and down my phone, trying to appear as though there was a purpose to my scrolling.

“What’s wrong?” the woman ran over, taking my phone away from me. She was sweaty. “You’re so boring, Dean. Why don’t you grab a pussy?”

“What?”

“Just be a Trump and grab a fucking pussy!”

We stayed around before heading out to have some pancakes, and bla bla bla we ended up at her place.

“You know what’s wrong with people?” The woman asked.

“What?” Jude asked back.

“Like they should just leave celebrities alone. Justin Bieber works harder than you, has more money than you, is better looking than you. Why make fun of him for? I mean, you’d totally lick his hole for fifty thousand, right?”

“That’s deep,” Jude said, “that’s really fucking deep.”

Jude told her to take off her top, so in response she took all of her clothes off. She had freckles around her chest. She tried to suck her stomach in to hide her pear shape before giving up and cackling loudly. We all laughed with her and took turns slapping her stomach. Jude took off his pants and I watched them go at it for a while, taking photos at random times. Sometimes, on Instagram, I see good looking couples share photos of themselves in beaches, having fun, smiling, laughing, and as I looked at the scene in front of me I wondered: is this what’s in store for those of us without the looks, or the money, or the six packs? Are we doomed to this fucked up depravity?

The woman sat down next to me when it was all over. “I caught this Uber once, and I complained to this Uber driver about my day, and I asked him, ‘What do you do to feel better?’ He said, ‘My life is tough, so I sleep.’ I asked him, ‘Why is your life tough?’ And he told me his family is still in Afghanistan, and he’s worried that they can get bombed any day. I didn’t know what to say, but when I got home, I had some red and I cried, then I put Neighbors 2 on and rubbed myself dry for the entire movie. I’ll tell you what, I really wanted to suck a dick that night.”

“That’s deep,” I said, “that’s really fucking deep.”

 

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Book I’m reading: Mastery

I KNOW THIS IS A TYPICAL THING TO SAY, BUT…

1795 james beam

I know this is a typical thing to say, but I like to look out at the stars. I look at them when I arrive home at night. Some nights they’re barely visible, and other nights they’re like ash tapped from the tip of a cigarette. I stare out at them while not really thinking anything. Some people tell me that if you think of the bigger picture, we’re really not that much. We’re a speck of a speck in the entire history of time, in the entire expanse of the universe. There are more dead people than there are living, and heaven’s eternity has much more value than our brief life on earth. But then I heard somewhere that every human being is a unique phenomenon, with its own DNA, with its own fingerprint – shouldn’t that account for something? In my search for happiness this year this is what I’ve learnt: to be happy, you need to be healthy, you need to have purpose, you need to detach yourself from the pains of the past and anxieties of the future, you need to pull on the silver lining, you need a steady income, you need to be generous, you need to be in a healthy relationship and you need music just as much as you need people. To be sad, all you need to do is think about what’s wrong.

James came over in the evening and brought some expensive bourbon. We drank it, and we laughed, and I watched him cut some weed. “It’s old,” he warned me, handing me a pipe. “You’re not doing it right,” he said again when I lit it. “You need to breathe in and bake it!” “I have big visions,” I told him in between coughing. “I’m going to make my own cartoon series.” There’s something about weed that makes me happy, makes me sad. I wanted to say more, but I didn’t know what exactly what I wanted to say. We watched Pulp Fiction, and the next afternoon I watched Luke Cage.

 

Book I’m reading: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

“KIND OF FAT”

kind of fat

Riki was kind of fat but she hid it well. She dressed well and did her makeup well. She’d wear these largish, fashionable black clothes that sheltered all of her secrets. But her secrets left obvious clues. She was always eating, always inviting me out for snacks, and then drinks, and then dinner, and then dessert, and then snacks. Once, in bed, I scooped her stomach and jiggled it and laughed at her face. She cried and ran away, her heavy footsteps shuddering through the whole house.

“SLOW DOWN!” I yelled.

Riki told me that girls eat lots of food when something’s bothering them. She told me that girls express themselves inwardly.

“What the hell’s bothering you?” She was beautiful, and she was always laughing, and she was much more of a person than I was.

She shrugged and kept eating.

 

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Book I’m reading: The High Mountains of Portugal