Free short stories about Generation End

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

DINNER AT CAROL’S PLACE

dinner at carols - lights

Carol lived with a few people, so I would always enter her place through a back door. She had one of the biggest rooms in the house, and I liked it because unlike my cramped room, she had a large bed with plenty of floor space. In the dark, from her bed, a few things would lay huddled in the corner next to her desk: a large hat, some shiny shoes, empty shopping bags. In a large plastic container to her right would be some old documents, as well as a strip of Ansell condoms she kept as backup. Underneath her bed was dust, and a toilet paper roll, and a packet of pads, and a bra, and abandoned lipstick, and a box of letters and movie tickets from old boyfriends.

I arrived at Carol’s place around midnight. I’d just come from another book reading and I was hungry. Grinning, she served me a bowl of soup.

“Is the soup shit? It’s shit, isn’t it?”

I put my spoon down. “It’s good.”

“No, it’s shit.”

“It’s good.”

She watched me as I had some more.

“You’re making this whole thing awkward,” I told her. “Stop watching me.”

“I can’t help it.”

“Yes you can.”

“No I can’t.”

“How long have we known each other?” I asked her.

“Too long.”

I looked at her. “Do you believe in ghosts?”

“I believe in everything.”

“You didn’t say that yesterday.”

“I was a different person yesterday.”

“Who were you yesterday?”

“Yesterday I was the sun.”

“And today you’re the moon?”

“No.”

“Then who are you?”

“I’m Carol.”

“That’s just fucked up.”

She laughed. Her eyes creased deeply when she laughed and she looked about three years older than she was supposed to. I remember visiting her one morning and seeing her without makeup. “Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked me, and two days later, when I hadn’t contacted her, she asked, “Did something happen when you came over? What did I do wrong? Were you disgusted by how I looked like?”

I finished eating and we walked inside Carol’s room and I closed the door and turned off the light and took off her clothes. I ran my finger along one of her tattoos.

“Can I take a video of this?” I asked her. “Of when I choke you?”

“No.”

Afterwards, she turned on her laptop and we watched the Korean version of The Lake House. She fell asleep and began snoring, so I covered her mouth until she woke up. She looked irritated, but then smiled and fell asleep again. I soon followed her, and when I woke up it was six in the morning on a Sunday. She walked me out, and as we approached her gate I looked at her, and she asked me, “What?” and I said, “Nothing,” and we said bye and I stepped inside my car and drove off.

At some point while I slept Carol had gotten into my car and placed a CD in my stereo. There was only one song in the CD, and it was A Case of You, by James Blake.

This was the fifth time I had dinner with Carol. In some ways I had fallen in love with Carol, and in other ways I hadn’t. There was no doubt that she loved me, or at least wanted to pursue something beyond what we were doing. Who the hell was I not to accept someone’s love? She cooked for me and asked me how my day was. Some people seek the fiction in my writing, but Carol was a real person. I write about these people to either forget them or to hold onto them for one last time. At some point Carol was once in my hands and at some point Carol did press against my lips, and there are noons and evenings and midnights where I have thought about her and her room and the dust on her floor.

_

Book I’m reading: Tender Is the Night

Book Recommendations / Book Suggestions

These books have shaped me in one way or another. In a way, these books may shape you, too. So read them at your own risk.

Norwegian Wood

book recommendation - Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami

By Haruki Murakami. I read this when I was freshly dumped and overseas, on my own. Murakami writes a lot of weird shit, but Norwegian Wood seems to be one of his most grounded books. My favourite part of the book is near the end, with the woman and the guitar.

Read Norwegian Wood.

Ham on Rye

book recommendation - Ham on Rye Charles Bukowski

By Charles Bukowski. I was a bit of a stranger to Bukowski until I stumbled into another book of his, Women. The first chapter of this book was what seduced me, and the hilarious chapter about the woman in the swimming pool kept me going.

Read Ham on Rye.

1984

book recommendation -1985 by george orwell

Soviet Russia for Dummies.

Read 1984.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (not the movie)

book recommendation - Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseJonathan Safran Foer

By Jonathan Safran Foer. I read this book when I was a little younger and couldn’t let go of it. The story of the grandparents and the way the words spill to form something else completely made me fall in love with the art of love itself. I wonder if he’ll ever write another book.

Glamorama

book recommendation - Glamorama Bret Easton Ellis

The first book I’ve read by Bret Easton Ellis. What an age to read it, too – I read it when I was twelve.

Read Glamorama.

Watchmen

book recommendation - The Watchmen Alan Moore Dave Gibbons

By Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I’ve read plenty of graphic novels, but this is the only one I can clearly remember. My favourite part? Dr. Manhattan’s part.

Read Watchmen.

The Little Prince

book recommendation - The Little Prince

I know, it’s such a typical book to like. The rose, as irritating as she was, is my favourite character. An ex-girlfriend of mine wrote her own version of the Little Prince once and gave it to me as a present. I still have it, but don’t tell her that.

Read The Little Prince, and then watch the book get butchered into a cartoon.

The Rules of Attraction

book recommendation - Rules of Attraction Bret Easton Ellis

Also by Bret Easton Ellis. I watched the movie first (and, after reading it, prefer it slightly over the book). I was eighteen or something, and I was drunk, and some friends invited me to the movies to watch it. The first scene with the vomiting sobered me up, and the snow teardrop near the end got me drunk all over again. After the movie we drove to along the highway and the car broke down so we sat in the darkness of the car, talking about things I’ll no longer remember. We probably spoke about books. I really don’t know. The memory might not even be real.

Have a read of The Rules of Attraction, or watch the movie.

If you want to talk more about books or recommend any of your own, you can also add me on Goodreads.

Surface Children is now out on iBookstore and Barnes & Noble

surface-children-short-stories-now-on-iBooks

Here’s some news, people. My book of short stories, Surface Children, is now out on the iBookstore for people with Apple devices, as well as other bookstores such as Barnes&Noble.

Download it here for iBooks and here for Barnes&Noble.