Free short stories about Generation End

Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

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.

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

THE TRUTH

the truth

There’s a particular spot I like to drive to near the Valley. I won’t tell you exactly where it is, but if you turn right at a certain traffic light and keep driving straight you’ll end up in a private area full of expensive apartments overlooking the river. I like it because of the view, and I like it because of the silence, and I like it because the magnificently designed apartments remind me that one day I will have the ability to buy my way into a better life.

After dinner I took Carol to this spot of mine, and as we walked by the apartments and the view she took my hand and asked me, “What do you want to do this weekend?”

I shrugged.

“I was thinking about something,” she said.

“About what?”

“About honesty.”

“I hate honesty.”

Carol tucked some hair behind her ear. “I’ve been thinking like, you know what? I think we already know everything.”

“What the hell are you on about?”

“We know everything. We know how to live. But everyone else’s thoughts, the books we read, our own laziness – it buries what we know and how we truly feel deep inside. When can you honestly say you’ve spent time just trying to find the truth not from the outside world, but from inside yourself? It’s all there. We go and spend all this time and money on finding out the truth but really,” she touched her chest, “it’s all in here, I think.”

“And what truth have you found in yourself?”

She kept quiet for a while, tapping her lip with her index finger. “I don’t know what to ask myself yet.”

We reached a railing. She smiled at me and I smiled back and she put her arms around my waist. She leant her head into my shoulder and whispered, “Everything is perfect. Why don’t you want to be with me?”

“I do…”

“You don’t.”

And I thought about her vagina, and I thought about the way she kissed me, and I thought about our arguments, and I thought about her face without makeup, and I thought about the things she’d say. I stared at an apartment in the distance.

 

_

Graphic novel I’m reading: The Descender

LOVE

what is love

“I don’t believe in love,” was what Carol told me when we were at Carol’s home, having late dinner that she cooked, listening or not listening to music that may or may not have been playing from a small speaker in another room.

“You believe in love,” I told her.

“I don’t.”

“You do.”

She sighed. “You can’t just dictate what I do and don’t believe in.”

“Yes I can.”

“How long have I known you for?”

“A few days.”

“You can’t dictate then. You don’t have permission.”

“Why not?” I teased.

“What is love anyway? It’s a word. It’s nothing. Actions are more important than words.”

“Such as saying ‘I love you’.”

“If love were real, you only need to say ‘I love you’ once, but we can’t live with just hearing ‘I love you’ once. It’s conditional. Love has always been conditional, which in turn defies the definition of what love is.”

“But then can’t you say the same about friendship? Why do we need to see friends more than once in order for them to remain our friends?”

“Who says we need to?”

I took a sip of water, thought about her nonsense for a second, then put my glass back down. “Have you ever been in love? Have you ever told a guy, ‘I love you’?”

“Of course I have. But I was stupid. I don’t love them now. I don’t speak to them, and if I see them, I will not have any feelings for them. Even if they begged me, I will never take them back because there’s nothing there. I’ve changed. My body, my perceptions, it’s all changed. Love is meant to be eternal and constant, but us people, we’re always changing. Something that’s constant cannot get along well with something that’s changing. Just like success. I don’t think you should call someone successful until you’re able to see their entire life. For you to see love in its entirety, you need to watch this person’s love in its entirety. Which is impossible.”

“You’ve just been hurt,” I said.

“Who hasn’t?”

“There’s no one definition of love. Who says it has to be eternal?”

“Who says it doesn’t have to?”

And then we debated Eva Cassidy songs, and then we debated John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and then we debated Love Actually, and then we debated Romeo and Juliet, and then we debated Obama and Michelle, and then we debated Kim and Kanye. By this time I’d already told Carol that I wasn’t looking for a relationship, and I knew this hurt her. We went to bed, and I told her how perfect her body was, which was true. She had an amazing vagina. I’d never experienced a vagina quite like it, and because of that I used it to my heart’s content. I left at about three in the morning, and she told me to text her when I’d gotten home.

 

Book I’m re-reading: Strange Animals.

I DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC

I don't believe in magic

“I don’t believe in magic,” Carol said. “I just don’t.”

“Why the hell not?”

Carol looked at me like it was something that didn’t need explaining. When I didn’t say anything: “Where have you seen magic? Tell me, where have you seen magic, Dean?”

“I saw it the other day.”

“Really? What happened?”

“This guy.”

She scratched her arm irritably and let out a long, angry sigh. “What guy?”

“On YouTube.”

“Well then it must be real magic if it’s on YouTube.”

“He swallowed a sword.”

“That’s not magic.”

“It was magic.”

“It wasn’t magic.”

I knew it wasn’t magic, but I wanted to see her angry. “It was magic. It was pure magic. Can you swallow a sword?”

“It wasn’t magic.”

“Then how about love?” I shrugged. “That’s magic.”

“Don’t be so corny.”

“Women may not swallow swords, but they swallow cocks out of love. It’s a miracle that they want to do it, if you think about it.”

“That’s got nothing to do with magic.”

“That’s got everything to do with magic.”

We were in a Korean restaurant in the city (the sixth place we had dinner in), and she found a plug to charge her phone with. We ate and spoke and ate. She paid for dinner, and we walked towards my car.

 

Book I’m slowly reading: Wind/Pinball: Two novels

HOPES AND FEARS FOR 2016

spaceship ufo - short story

Carol took a sip of her drink. “My only wish is that I find good music this year. I mean the music in two thousand fifteen was great, and like, I really got into Spotify and Pandora and that, but like, I mean, The Weeknd’s album was pretty good, but really, I wanted more, you know? Do you ever get that? Like, you listen to a new album by like, Adele, for example, and you absolutely love it, and you tell all your friends about it, and for a straight month you can’t stop listening to it: at first, there are certain songs you can’t stop listening to, like Adele’s Hello, for example, and then after you’ve listened to it enough times you start getting hooked on other songs in the album, songs you didn’t like initially, like that one on track ten, I think it’s called Love in the Dark, and then you really love it, right? So you listen to that a hundred times in a row like you listened to Hello a hundred times in a row, but then once you’ve ploughed through all of the songs over and over again, one day, you’re listening to Love in the Dark, and all of a sudden you think, ‘Why am I listening to this bullshit?’ and you change to track eleven, then track four, then track eight or whatever and it’s all the same – you can’t stand her voice anymore, you can’t stand anything to do with her and you start to panic a little, because you loved her album and told of your friends to listen to it, right? And now you don’t anymore. So you rush on over to the shops or go online or whatever and look for other albums to satisfy your need for music and none are as good, so what do you do? Why do we even need this much music? Why can’t we just cling to one song and be done with it? And don’t even try and sell me Coldplay’s latest album.”

Carol told me this as we were having whatever at some overly priced café that no one will ever remember in the long run.

“How about you, Dean? How was your two thousand and fifteen? Was it any good?”

“I loved it.”

“I read some of your stuff, it’s really depressing. Have you tried positivity journals before? That’s something I want to do this year. I want to exercise more and be more positive, like have more smiling selfies, you know?” She giggled a little at that, but I wasn’t sure if she was joking. She’s the kind of person who’s dumb and smart at the same time. She leant forward. “Look, I know I’m talking a lot and I know you’re dying to tell me some stories, but I want to tell you a quick story, can I tell you a story?”

“No.”

“Once upon a time there was a space fighter. He had orange hair. He was seventy years old. He wasn’t the best space fighter in the world; in fact he was pretty forgettable. But he was handsome when he was young, and he did enjoy a lot of his life and spent a lot of it eating or whatever with the ones he loved. One day he woke up with a sickening feeling: he couldn’t prove it, but something in the pit of his stomach was telling him that the moon was going to explode. He had to get to the moon, like, ASAP. So he packed up his things, sat in his spaceship and turned on the engine. Just as he was about to leave, however, his best friend the Green Man stopped him for a second. ‘Where are you going?’ the Green Man asked him, and the space fighter said, ‘Ya wouldn’t believe it but, uh, I think the moon is going to explode.’

‘Is that so?’ the Green Man asked curiously. The Green Man had known the space fighter for like, decades or something, and he knew one thing for sure: the space fighter had, like, unbelievable instincts. But then the Green Man was also now incredibly senile. ‘Okay but before you go I want to tell you a story.’

‘What, like right now?’ the space fighter said irritably.

‘My daughter, you know my daughter?’

‘Yeah I know your daughter!’ the space fighter grunted.

‘Even though she’s never met an actual dinosaur, she like, loves them. She loves everything about them. Their shapes, their bones, their history. One day, when you were out on one of your space missions, I didn’t tell you this, but she and her husband conducted a dinosaur symphony, attended by thousands of their fans. The first track was called… Dinosaur One. The second track was called… Dinosaur Two. The third track was called… Dinosaur Three. The fourth track was called… Dinosaur four. As you can see, it kept going like this. One day I asked her and her husband, “Why didn’t you name your pieces? Dinosaur Four sounds like a T-Rex, why didn’t you just call Dinosaur Four T-Rex?” And you know what they did? They shrugged! That’s all they did! They just shrugged at me!’

The space fighter ignored everything about that story and waved his best friend goodbye. He flew to the moon, and he like, stopped it from exploding and stuff, and then he flew back home to hang out with his best friend again.”

Carol and I spent the next hour talking about her friend with herpes before she paid the bill and drove off to a New Year party. She texted me the next morning, HAHAHAing about how her sister lost her wallet and virginity on the same day.

ABEL’S HAIR

abel-xo-the-weeknd-red

“I just spent fourteen hours looking for the right shoes to go with my new chinos,” Jude said.

“No you didn’t.”

“I did.”

“Fourteen hours,” I said.

“Fourteen hours,” he repeated.

“Fourteen hours straight.”

“Yes, fourteen hours straight.”

I faced him, thinking about how stupid he sounded. “It’s impossible to spend fourteen hours straight looking for shoes in the shops.”

Jude impatiently tapped his fingers on his steering wheel. “I went to Myer. Then I went to David Jones. Then I went to fuckin’, like, Hype and all those other random fuckin’ shops. Then I had coffee with Tess, and all we did was talk about which shoes to get, then we had a fight, then we made up and we looked at more shoes together until the shops closed.”

“How long was that?”

Jude thought about it. “About six, eight hours.”

“That’s not fourteen hours.”

“Then I dropped her home.”

“How long did that take?”

“About an hour.”

“Are you including that in the fourteen-hour count?”

“Yeah I am.”

“Why?”

“All we did was talk about the shoes while I drove her home, and while we talked about them I got her to look at shoe samples online. Then when I headed home I kept fuckin’ thinking, ‘Was she right? Should I get black shoes instead of brown? Should they really be the leather pointed ones?’ Then I got home, went online and did research, for,” Jude thought about it, “five hours straight. So how many hours is that? Eight hours at the shops, about an hour driving her home, and another five hours doing research online. That’s fourteen hours straight.”

I was sure Jude was lying about everything. “What shoes did you end up buying?”

“Nothing.”

Jude dropped me home. I’d been staying at his place for the past few weeks and it was time for me to settle back to reality again. As soon as he left I hopped into my damaged car and drove to see Anna. I’d been secretly texting her for the past few weeks. It was different this time, though.

I entered her work, at the end of her shift, and she smiled. We walked towards the car park and she winced when she saw my car. We drove, and I deliberately kept going the wrong way. She giggled and I wanted to kiss her. I parked in front of her place.

“Did you hear about the new Weeknd album coming out?” she asked me.

“I have.”

“Come inside,” she said.

We walked inside her place, and she showed me this painting she did of Abel. He was facing the sky, his afro or whatever it’s called glimmering beyond his eyes.

I held her hand, but only for a second. “I can’t feel my face when I’m with you.”

“You said keep our business on the low.”

“I’m just trying to get you out the friend zone.”

“Bring your love baby. I could bring my shame.”

“I got my heart right here.”

I glanced at a photograph of her and her fiancé on her wall.

We spoke for a bit more. We leant towards each other, but stopped. I walked outside, sat in my car. I looked at her front door. It was closed and the lights were off. I drove home and rubbed one out.

 

 

SILENT PERIOD

Goodbye Anna - short story

It was a few minutes past midnight, and this guy, Bill, whose boyfriend was supposedly a “scam artist slash DJ slash art dealer from like, London who had like, fifty thousand followers on Instagram,” had some kind of cover of Earned It by the Weeknd playing loudly from a gigantic iMac placed on a pile of magazines, and I was somewhere behind some curtains or some blankets, irritated, watching this silver-haired girl staring at the streams of light that would come shuddering into the room every so often for no good reason whatsoever – there was one particular moment, I think the moment was 12:42AM, when this man in a fishnet top, maybe someone’s father or uncle or friend, burst into the room and frightened us all by screaming I KNOW YOU, I KNOW YOU, before walking back out.

I’d barely spoken to Anna and for a while it ruined me. Reality can be a piece of shit sometimes, and I found myself plagued by immature thoughts. There had been moments where I wished I could’ve let go of all dignity and independence and driven to her work with the sole purpose of merely melting around her; I imagined telling her all the corny things I’d always secretly longed to tell someone: that I loved her and always will, that I’d give up everything simply to feel her hand in mine again. But the truth was it was never meant to be. As time went by and as I heard from her less and less my vivid memories of her turned into more of an idea of her, and eventually these posts about her: I’d think of her standing on a pedestal of poisoned crystal, or I’d think of the times we’d both fall asleep during video calls, or I’d think of the time she was with me in that tiny tea store and she smiled at me like I was the rarest person in the universe.