Free short stories about Generation End

Archive for the ‘Nights Out’ Category

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

lamp on red wall

Four years ago I was angry at love because it hadn’t turned out how I wanted it to turn out. It wasn’t constant roses. It wasn’t a dream picked from the stars. It was jealousy, and yelling, and money, and hanging up the phone.

I travelled with Donnie, a boxer, to this laser light show in Adelaide somewhere, and he’d been on the drink again, and he kept telling me, “Drink,” and I kept saying, “Nah,” and he kept telling me, “Drink,” “Drink,” “Drink,” so eventually I caved into the bastard and drank.

“You’re paying for this, you cunt!”

“I have you,” he kept blurting, but I knew he didn’t have me for shit.

Some drinks later I met a girl. She was with a friend, and both she and her friend smiled about a lot of things, and I thought that it’s a damn special gift for someone to be able to smile about a lot of things.

“It’s a special gift for someone to be able to smile at a lot of things.”

“Oh?” She said.

“Oh,” I said back.

We walked outside and bought some burgers and as soon as we sat, stories began pouring out of her mouth. There was no stopping her. I wasn’t too sure about what she was saying, but I watched her mouth and her face anyway: it was so animated, so passionate – she’d giggle, she’d be furious, she’d smirk, she’d roll her eyes, she’d raise her eyebrows. I arm wrestled her and she beat me. Was this love? Was I in love? I wanted to pour beer on her then kiss her face.

For some reason Donnie didn’t want me to leave with her, but I did it anyway. She took me to her place, and as I stumbled around I instantly fell in love with her: she had Star Wars memorabilia, she had an electric guitar, she had piles of books, she had whiskey.

“I think, I think I’m in love with you,” I slurred.

She giggled. We kissed and went to her room. I took her skirt and panties off and saw the smallest penis I’d seen in my life.

“You didn’t know?” She said.

“What?” My heart was beating fast.

We yelled at each other for a while and she cried. “Listen,” I said, “you, you have a lot of nice books.”

I caught a cab back, had a shower, brushed my teeth, wept, watched some lingerie ads on YouTube and fell asleep for three hours.

 

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Book I’m reading: Wait Until Spring Bandini

CONVERSATION WITH THE SKY

speaking with the sky

 

“What’s your worst secret?” Jude asked Graham. “Tell me, don’t be shy.”

“I have none.”

“Tell me your secret!”

Graham slumped to the side, trying to wave Jude away. “I steal! I steal!”

“The hell you mean you steal?”

Graham’s eyes were closed, but by the way he was raising his eyebrows you could tell he was trying to keep them open. He’d been smoking from Jude’s pipe for hours. Everyone was laughing at him.

“I take…” Graham lifted one of his large arms up. “I take one piece of silverware from anyone’s home I go to.”

Jude kicked his leg. “You’ve been to my place like, ten times.”

Graham rolled over again, screaming and laughing into the couch. “I’ve stolen so much from you! I’ve stolen everything from you!”

Jude laughed. And then I laughed. And then everyone laughed.

I walked out of the room when Annabelle, who I’d taken with me, had turned green. I kept screaming, “You’re green, Annabelle!” I stumbled to the front screen door, managed to unlock it, and floated to the driveway. It was about one in the morning and the air was crisp. The streetlights made everything orange and black. I looked up at the stars.

“God?” I asked the stars.

“God?” I asked again.

Annabelle came out, onto the street. “You’re not wearing shoes, Dean.”

“And you are.” I looked at her face and snorted. “Your face, it’s still like a different colour.”

“What?” She pulled out her phone and turned on the selfie camera. “I’m completely fine.” She touched my face, giggling. “You’ve smoked a little too much.”

“I’m in pain,” I smiled. “I want to be happy but there’s something missing.”

“I don’t feel high,” she said.

“You didn’t take enough of anything.”

“Want to go to the markets later, in like five hours?”

I thought about it. “I’m seeing Christie.”

“Next week then?”

“Yeah, that’s fine.”

She walked back inside, and I continued looking at the sky.

 

 

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BUSTY WOMEN WHO SWALLOW SWORDS

spiegeltent limbo unhinged

Christie and I watched LIMBO UNHINGED, this burlesque show in the Spiegeltent during the Brisbane Festival.

What I remember most was Heather Holliday: this beautiful, curvy lady with lots of tattoos who put all sorts of things in her throat and pulled them back out. One of the first things she put down her throat was a sword of some sort. Then she put two in there, and then three. When she pulled them back out there was a trail of saliva (I think) that clung onto the edge of their blades. She grinned and licked them back up.

I felt like an old man, wincing at her and wondering why her insides weren’t damaged.

“Could you do that?” I asked Christie. “Why can’t you do that?”

She smiled and said nothing.

 

 

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Book I’m reading: Last Look

THE PURPOSE OF VAIL

the purpose of Vail

The scene started off like this: Vail and I were on Jude’s balcony, and the sun had been down for a while and Vail, wearing something black, was humming something I didn’t recognise.

“It’s so, so easy to do what’s easy,” she said.

“That’s why it’s called easy.”

Vail said nothing to that. She looked out, at the traffic. I hadn’t seen her in months.

She lit a cigarette and exhaled in silence. She checked her phone, typed something, then glanced up at me. “What’s the difference between love, and fog?”

“There are a lot of differences between love and fog.”

She giggled, shrugged. “Someone sent me text asking me that.”

“And what did they say? What is the difference?”

“The difference is in the spelling,” she said. She looked me up and down and scowled a little. “You seem different,” she said. “You don’t look as angry.”

“I blame Christie for that.”

“All that dreaded contentment. It won’t hurt your writing, will it?”

“I don’t know if I should aim for being a better writer, or being a happier person.”

Vail poured herself another glass of wine. But instead of taking a sip she stole another puff from her cigarette. “Definitely a better writer.”

“You’re a great friend.”

“You know,” she smiled slightly, starting to say something but then stopping – her mind drifted somewhere, to some man or drama maybe. I suddenly remembered a road trip we did once, to the north somewhere.

“Do I know what?”

“The afterlife, eternity… like, even when people talk about afterlife and eternity. It scares me.”

“It scares me too. And Christie tells me a lot about heaven. I mean, what would it be like to live forever?”

Vail exhaled smoke from her nostrils as she killed her cigarette for good. She texted someone something and then put down her phone, leaning it against the bowl of coins in the middle of Jude’s table. “You know it’s not good when the only two people in a room are scared.”

“Good, because we’re on a balcony.”

“You know what I mean.”

“I never know what you mean.”

She slapped my shoulder. “One person always has to be the brave one. Shouldn’t you be the brave one? You’re like, the only man on this balcony. You need to protect us.”

“That’s sexist.”

I watched her phone glow, then vibrate, then topple off the edge of the bowl. She picked it up, glanced at it, muttered “Instagram,” then put it back down. “You see my post about Mick? It got three hundred likes for some reason. It wasn’t even that funny. My other posts were funnier.”

“I’m brave, but not all the time.”

“You need to be brave all the time.”

“No one is brave all the time.”

I loved and despised Vail. She’s the type who would ditch her friends for her man. She’s the type who wouldn’t speak to you for months, but would drive fifteen hours for you if it was truly urgent. I watched the view from Jude’s balcony for a moment before picking up an iPad from the chair between us and playing some folk song on Spotify that sounded like it had a point about something.

Vail poured some more wine into my glass. “Somewhere along the line I’ve forgotten who I was supposed to be. Did I ever know who I was supposed to be? I’m sure I did know who I was supposed to be, at some point in time. Maybe I was six years old. Maybe I was twenty years old. But I’m sure it was there, somewhere. I mean, there are so many things wrong in the world, and here I am, like, looking out of a balcony.”

I watched the skyline, imagining God speaking to a six-year-old Vail, telling her who she was supposed to be.

 

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Book I’m reading: Saga

CRUMBLING APARTMENT WALLS

crumbling apartment walls

I wanted to tell her about a lot of things: how I wanted to kiss her in front of a zoo, how I hated the loneliness, how I wanted to face my fears yet flee for them – but I’d been told, repeatedly, that happiness could never be found by obsessing over oneself but that instead you had to give your heart to people who need one, so I asked her, “And you? How are you?”

“I’m good.”

“Good? You can’t be good.”

Christie laughed. “Why can’t I be good?”

“If everything was fine in your life it means you’re at the end, you’re at the last chapter.”

“Believe it or not, Dean, you can live life being content with everything.”

“Didn’t I tell you? That Thor guy said I was destined to live a life of suffering.”

“Everyone suffers. They just deal with it differently.”

Something was playing on Spotify from my iPad and it bothered me that Christie never had a say about what kind of music was playing in the background. But I didn’t tell her this. I picked her up, and she asked me, “Have I gotten heavier?”

“I’ve just gotten weaker.”

And I spun her, and as my mind rested elsewhere my apartment walls crumbled, and out came the stars and the roses and the popcorn and the lights, and there were so many things I wanted to say, so many drinks I wanted to drink, so many tears I wanted to cry, but I did none of that and I just watched Christie’s shirt as I spun her around and did not let go.

 

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Book I’m reading: Perennial Seller

M DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU

blurry donuts

M doesn’t care about what people think of her physical appearance. She’s a round person with a solid gut and stocky arms and stocky legs, and when it comes to her hair, it was as if she found the angriest person in the street, gave that person scissors and said, “Cut my hair however the fuck you want.” Her moustache has its own complicated personality and her favourite clothes are baggy t-shirts with slogans, baggy jeans that are too long for her legs and worn out slippers that reveal sunburnt, hairy toes. I’ve always been afraid to look at her armpits.

I have fun drinking with her though.

“Haven’t you ever thought of being like those Instagram girls?” I asked her. “You’d get more likes that way.”

“I am one of those Instagram girls. Haven’t you seen me in a bikini yet?”

We both laughed at this.

I’ve never asked her if she’s interested in men, or women, or both, or neither. Sometimes my friends and I speculate, but none of us have ever been brave enough to ask. And why does it matter? Why is her sexual orientation such a sensitive topic? And at what point in our lives did we put so much emphasis on how others look?

M and I have only ever been in one fight, and I no longer remember what it was about.

 

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SUPER POWER MEDITATION

 

People try all sorts of things to get rid of their woes. Sometimes they try alcohol, sometimes they try meditation.

“The worst form of meditation is masturbation meditation,” Jude told me. “You think that when you masturbate, you’ll be in a constant state of bliss, but you won’t be. Firstly you’ll always want to change the video you’re watching, so you’ll always be dissatisfied and wanting to find something better. Secondly you have this fear of getting caught by someone you respect or are related to. Thirdly when you come three hours later you’ll just feel like a fucking loser creep who has to clean up the mess he made and may get in trouble for the fucked up website he just visited. Lastly you’ll want to do this miserable act over and over again.”

“My meditation comes from the rosary,” Christie told me. “I reflect on life with it. Have you heard of adoration? There’s a place on the valley I go to on some Friday evenings and I sit there, and I absorb the peace of everything around me. You have to join me.”

The first time I tried meditation was during high school. They took us to this Buddhist temple and the monk told us to cross our legs and think of the colours of the rainbow. I sat there, thinking of a wall of red, then orange, then yellow, wondering why monks had to shave their heads.

I was much older when I tried meditation again. I had a broken heart, and I watched a YouTube video by some guy who talked about mindfulness. I then went to this free talk about Transcendental Meditation and they asked for fifteen hundred dollars and I tried to negotiate it down to thirty dollars but it didn’t work. I settled with Streamline Meditation.

I’ve heard that billionaires meditate, that athletes meditate, that supernatural things happen during meditation. People have generated electricity through meditation. People have pulled cars with their dicks through meditation. People have levitated through meditation. People have been cured of diseases through meditation. People who have seen the face of Jesus through meditation.

I have big dreams when it comes to my meditation. Before I meditate I tell myself that when I open my eyes, I’ll be able to fly. That I’d be able to pick up a mountain with one hand and spin it around with the other, that my testicles will be able to sing songs backwards, that my bank account will legally have thirty-eight million dollars in it, that I will calm down, that I will be able to produce unbelievably powerful erections, that I’d be able to say goodbye, that I’d be able to say no without feeling guilty, that I’d be able to be generous, selfless; that I’d be able to perform miracles, that I’d be the bringer of world peace, that I’d invent teleportation, that I’d shed my skin to reveal the most amazing person in the universe.

 

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Book I’m reading: The Pleasures of the Damned

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FINDING THE PERFECT PEOPLE

finding the perfect people

“There aren’t many perfect people in this world.” This is what she said as she had some wine.

“What do you consider as perfect?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. Tall.”

“Tall?” I inspected the bottle of wine that stood between us. I ran my finger around the label. “How tall?”

“Seven foot.”

“Seven feet tall?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay,” I said, putting the bottle back down. “What else makes a person perfect?”

“Wings.”

“Fluffy wings?”

She looked up for a moment and considered this question. “They can be fluffy after showering. But generally, they’re long and elegant and they droop like teardrops. They can come in different colours, too. Like green or orange. Sometimes white.”

“This is bullshit,” I said. “I’ve never seen seven foot tall people with wings.”

“They exist, and they’re perfect.”

“Where the hell have you seen these people?”

“Ipswich.”

“Ipswich? Fuck that.”

She smiled, letting the silence consume us both.

 

 

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Book I’m reading: I Can’t Make This Up

THE LONELINESS

grey square - the loneliness

My loneliness can be an unforgiving piece of shit sometimes. I don’t want it to be there, but it lures me out when I don’t want to come out. It kisses me with its sour breath and proceeds straight to my heart, and it lingers there, and it gets comfortable there, and it calls it home and refuses to leave.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” I sobbed to Christie over the phone.

“Aren’t I enough?”

“Sometimes I can’t hear your voice.”

Eventually, to my great relief, the loneliness leaves, and I drive my car and I play my guitar and I dance around like a monkey. But then it arrives again. It knocks on my door, and I stupidly open it, and I say, “Can’t you see that I have guests?” but then it kisses me anyway, and it makes itself at home anyway.

 

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Book I’m still reading: Men Without Women

I MET HANNAH AT A SOCIAL GATHERING

I met Hannah at a social gathering

Hannah momentarily entered my life while Christie and I were not in good terms. I met her at a social gathering.

“You know I researched scientology for an assignment once,” I told her. “I wanted to be like one of those clever types who make fun of odd belief systems. So I went to one of their presentations so that I could report all about all the weird ways they would try to brainwash or recruit me. But you know what? Nothing happened afterwards. I was really disappointed. They read a few passages from a book and that’s it.”

“What do you mean, ‘that’s it’?” Hannah asked me, picking up her phone.

I shrugged. “They didn’t give me a personality quiz, they didn’t give me a follow up call. Not even an email to at least hint that I should join them. So I started thinking, ‘Am I ugly? Could they tell I was poor? Why wasn’t I good enough?’”

Hannah didn’t reply – she was too busy texting.

So I continued: “How about you? Did they recruit you?”

She scowled and laughed at me. “I’m a scientist. Not a scientologist.” Still laughing, she looked back at her phone. “Oh my gosh I have to tell my boyfriend this.”

“Fuck you,” I said with a smile before looking for some free food.

 

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Show I’m still watching: The Young Pope