Free short stories about Generation End

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 put her phone away again and proceeded to tell me about a week she spent in North Korea four years ago, and then I proceeded to tell her about what I was paying for private healthcare. She kept going on about North Korea but I kept steering the conversation back to private health. She finally responded and said she wasn’t paying that much for private health, really, and in turn I asked her if she had life insurance, and she said no. I then told her that she should get an ING savings account, and she said, “Yeah, I already have one,” and we spent the next half hour talking about various savings accounts and why you need one that beats, or at least equals, inflation. Vail then gave an offhanded remark about Donald Trump, and, rolling my eyes, I said, “I know, right?”

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.

__

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.

 

_

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.”

 

__

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.

 

_

Book I’m reading: The High Mountains of Portugal

Life of Bi

“Ninety nine percent of people are bisexual,” Barn said to a group of us rather assertively. He was red in the face because he was drunk and also because he was pissed about how we constantly disagreed with him.

“No they’re not.”

“Yes they are.” He was insistent. “Most if not all people have had a sexual thought about someone of the same sex and would probably act on it if it wasn’t for social conditioning.”

Barn was in a relationship with two married men. They used him as much as he used them. But he also liked girls. I remember him drunkenly kissing this girl on his eighteenth birthday and telling her that she was the love of his life.

“Who do you reckon you’ll end up with?” I asked him.

“Do I need to end up with one person?”

“Well what power will you have when your dick doesn’t work anymore?”

“It’s always going to work, honey.”

“I don’t believe you.” Every bubble bursts.

“Fuck you, Dean,” he said before quickly dissolving into the dance floor.

WHATTA FUCK YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

whatta fuck you gonna do - buy and sell real estate

“It’s my birthday soon and I’m all grown up,” I yelled to Jude over some blues track playing from his car stereo and a freestyle by Eminem streaming loudly from his friend’s phone in the back of the car somewhere. It was about two in the afternoon and Jude was speeding along some road in a suburb in Logan that had digital signs that said things like YOU’RE DRIVING TOO FAST SLOW DOWN while flashing what speed you’re on, but none of this mattered because Jude was trying to catch Pokémon while texting his girlfriend at the same time. I was also trying to catch Pokémon. I hadn’t seen a real vagina in over two weeks.

We ended up in a seminar Jude signed the three of us up on Facebook. It was a free ‘how to make millions in real estate’ seminar in an RSL club’s conference hall somewhere. The speaker, this rather buff looking guy about five years older than I am, asked everyone, “Who here thinks they’re poor?” and about ninety percent of people raised their hands. He asked everyone, “Who here hates their job?” and about ninety percent of people raised their hands again. He then asked, “Who here wished their relationships were better?” and once again most of the room raised their hands. Then, rather accusingly, he glared at everyone in the crowd and screamed, “WELL WHATTA FUCK YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?”

He went up to this oldish looking lady. “How about you, young woman, WHATTA FUCK YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT? WHAT?”

“And you?” He pointed at someone else. “WHATTA FUCK YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?” I glanced at Jude, who was just laughing while trying to catch Pokémon.

“YOU!” The speaker pointed at me. “Mr. Giggles over there!”

I looked around before pointing at myself. “Me?”

“YEAH. WHATTA FUCK YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?”

“About what?”

“ABOUT YOUR LIFE!”

“Work harder?”

“You damn right you’re going to work harder! And what else?”

I glanced at Jude again, who was still snickering while swiping at Pokémon across his screen. “Sell more books?”

“NAH YOU’RE GOING TO SELL REAL ESTATE!”

He directed everyone to the screen that showed a photo of him before he became buff and rich, back when he was skinny and poor. He was a scrawny guy, smiling at the camera from a small kitchen somewhere. “See how poor I was?” he boomed. “This was before I got into real estate.” He changed the slides to show various photos of the present day, buff version of himself. “Now this is me when I got into real estate.” There were photos of him in sports cars, in Europe, in penthouses, with celebrities. He then went on about how he discovered ‘bulletproof systems’ to buy and sell real estate with no money down. He showed countless testimonials from ex students of his who had made hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars worth of real estate deals thanks to this system. But to learn his system fully, he said, you needed to pay four thousand dollars to attend his ‘Weekend Millionaire’s Real Estate Bootcamp.’

By the end of the seminar he’d become so worked up about real estate his face was red and there were sweat marks all over his tight business shirt. “If you remember anything from this seminar, remember this: whenever you complain about your money or your health or your relationships or your jobs, ask yourself, WHATTA FUCK YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT? And you know what you do next? You buy and sell some fucking real estate.”

We left the seminar, confused about life in general. I arrived home early in the morning, and as I lay alone on my bed I felt the loneliness of the world creep up on me. Everything felt incomplete. I needed a hug, a kiss, a blowjob – anything to fill my void. WHATTA FUCK YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT? I texted every girl I knew but most were asleep or now disliked me. I looked at Carol’s name on my contacts list, stared at it for a while and decided to skip it.

Eventually someone replied to one of my messages.

“Hey Dean,” she said.

“How’s life?” I asked her. “You’re up late too!”

“Good. Hahaha I guess we’re both up. How you?”

“Alright lol. Want to watch a movie at my place?”

“I would but I’m sad,” she said.

“Why are you sad?”

She then went on to write to me the longest text I’d seen in my life. She told me about her boyfriend, about how things weren’t going so well, about how he put all of his savings into this real estate deal and about how it all went to shit and now he was going to lose a hundred thousand dollars he didn’t have. She then concluded about how she loved him and that it was all just a test, and that she was going to help him no matter what. She then asked me if I had any advice for her and her boyfriend.

I deleted her message and went to sleep.

 

_

Book I’m reading: Dance Dance Dance

LAST DINNER WITH CAROL

last dinner with carol - trees in distance

I’ve been writing about Carol for thousands of years now, and tonight will be the last time you hear about her. I’d only promised to write about eight dinners, you see, and you’re probably sick of her by now, and you’re probably wondering what the hell I’ve been up to. What the hell have I been up to?

The last dinner I had with Carol was at her place. She was in a soft blue robe and her hair was tied in a ponytail and I didn’t realise how big her ears were. They weren’t abnormally big, but they were large enough to notice.

“I didn’t realise how big your ears were,” I told her.

“I didn’t realise how small your hands were,” she said back.

The dinner wasn’t really a dinner: it was a few pieces of sweet bread she bought from Sunnybank and some tea. She leant on her elbows, looking at me and smiling.

“What?” I asked her.

“What?” she asked back.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Why not?”

“Why not anything?”

“Let’s go somewhere tonight,” she said.

“I’m tired. It’s eleven.”

“You told me you used to start your evenings at eleven.”

“That was back in the day, when I wasn’t running out of time yet.”

“I’m picturing us,” she said, “driving in the snow.”

“There’s no snow in Brisbane.”

“We’re driving in the snow, and we park at some shopping mall, and we walk inside and we watch a movie and afterwards, we drive back to my place, and you make me wet, and then we argue and you make me wetter.”

“That’s a horrible story,” I said.

“Why is that a horrible story?”

“What’s the point of the snow in your fantasy? All we did was go to the movies. We could’ve built snowmen.”

“The snow just makes the background better.”

“Have you even seen snow?” I asked her.

“No. But I know you have.”

“How do you know? You don’t know.”

“You’ve seen snow once, in Japan.” She sighed impatiently. “We’ve had a conversation like this before. I always remember what we talk about but you always forget. You’re always in your own head.”

“Give me some of that bread.” I took some of the bread and ate it nervously.

We argued about going somewhere for a while until I gave in and we went for a drive. I don’t remember where we went, but I remember a lot of red lights and pancakes and a parking lot and a highway that stretched on, and on, and on, and every so often one of our mobile phones would vibrate, and every so often we’d share stories, or laugh, or argue, or simply let our thoughts drip feed themselves into our minds only to be forgotten forever. In my CD player we played a few things: The Cranberries, Drake, James Blake, Beethoven; we then let the radio take over.

We return to her room. We watch her favourite movie: this horror movie about a ventriloquist’s doll that gets possessed by an evil spirit. I fall asleep halfway through and wake up around the end. I kiss her, and she holds my hands and she asks me why I don’t love her, and I tell her, “We’ve only had eight dinners,” and in a melodic tone she says that no matter how many dinners we have, she can tell I won’t love her and I ask her why she thinks this and she says she just knows; she says she can read under the skin and she knows I’ll never love her and she cries but she tells me that she can be fine with that, as long as I stay, as long as I always come home to her at the end of the day, as long as I embrace her in the cold, in the heat, when it snows, when it doesn’t, and in return she’ll buy me things to help me: a glass lunch box, a pair of glasses when I’m old, a typewriter, a wallet whenever my old ones need replacing; she’ll tell the world about my books, she’ll swallow even when she’s not in the mood, she’ll be more consistent with her leg shaving, she’ll bleach her arsehole, she’ll learn the piano just to write me a song and she’ll find the tears in my heart and wipe them away like she’ll wipe any dirty table. I drift in and out of dreams as she says this, and I say things I’ll never remember to her while wiping her hair behind her ears. I take off her clothes and this time there’s no violence – we’re completely boring and sentimental about it, but then lately I’ve been feeling lately that sex and fucking and making love and everything in between has been mistakenly placed on a pedestal by people like me, and is it something that beautiful, is it something to go to lengths for, is it something that great compared to the great things great people have accomplished in life? Why can’t artists romanticise celibacy? Why couldn’t I stick with Carol? Had I let myself become too damaged, was I just deliberately finding fault? This will continue if I don’t stop talking to her.

In the morning I wake up Carol and tell her I have to go. She smiles and says, “Okay,” and she walks me out, and I drive home.

_

Book I’m reading: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

WATCHING CAROL SPIN

watching-carol-spin

This is my second last story about Carol. It starts off quite simply, and it ends quite simply. It starts at South Bank, during an evening, a Wednesday, with the both of us in a large Ferris wheel. I’d been with Carol since the night before, and during that time I’d made her breakfast and she’d helped me buy some shoes and we’d explored the art gallery and taken photos around the place and all that other bullshit.

“You know there’s a story in my book about this Ferris wheel.” We were right at the top when I told her this. “It was about me and an ex girlfriend, who’s kind of now a friend.”

“I don’t care about your ex girlfriends who are kind of now your friends.”

“Look out at the city,” I quickly changed the subject, peering out the window. “A hundred years from now it’ll be a completely different scene.”

“Every second is a completely different scene.”

“Have you ever considered the importance of it all? I mean, how significant are we really in this universe? We put ourselves on these pedestals, but who gave us the right to do so?”

“I think it’s all so magnificent,” Carol said, leaning against my shoulder. “I have a body and a mind that lets me be completely detached to the complexities of this universe and dedicate an entire second, an entire hour and even an entire day to simply being with you – even if I know I’ll never get this time back again. Isn’t it all so magnificent, Dean?”

The both of us were drunk on each other.

We left the Ferris wheel and entered a restaurant. For a while, she bothered me because she’d be tapping away at her phone without telling me what she was doing. In the end, I found out she was making sure there was enough money in her bank account so she could secretly pay for both of our meals.

We returned to my place and drank, and drank, and drank. She picked up my phone, deleted some photos and put on Spotify. She put on Regina Spektor, Samson, and she spun around before tripping over. I watched her, laughing, drinking, and she stood up and slurred something I’ll never, ever remember, and if I could transport myself back to that moment just to watch her again, I’d probably do it, but then I guess there’s something awfully taboo about longing for something clearly owned by the past. Carol brushed her teeth, and so did I, and she showered, and so did I, and she smiled, and so did I.

 

_

Book I’m thinking of reading: Infinite Jest

 

FIRST DINNER WITH CAROL

1-i-dont-know-how-i-talked-you-into-having-dinner-with-me 2-your-hair-was-still-brown 3-what-do-you-think-of-me 4-what-do-you-think-of-anything 5-we-walked-into-a-bar 6-afterwards-in-my-car 7-wheres-your-mobile-phone 8-and-when-you-sat-up

And then I ruined it all by saying, “I don’t want a relationship”. You shrugged and said, “That’s exactly what the previous guy said,” and you told me about this guy you met on Tinder who was in a long distance relationship. You told me that he was a decent guy with a pretty good body and pretty big dick, but he always kept insisting that he didn’t want anything serious because he was moving on from his girlfriend and that he was confused and bla bla bla, and then I thought, What do I say to get out of this? How do I emerge from this to make sure neither of us are undamaged? and then I blamed you and said, “Well when we first fuckin’ spoke you said you didn’t want to get married,” and you said, “I said married, but I still want to be in a relationship,” and, tapping on the glove compartment, you said, “I shouldn’t have given so much of myself away right away. It’s what I always do wrong,” and I comforted you by saying, “Nah,” and this little debate of ours would continue for the entirety of what we had.