Archive for Friendship

Pity and the Bottle

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

POLLY
Why don’t you put the bottle down?

FRANCESCA
No point, didn’t you know? I’m worthless.

POLLY
No one’s worthless, Francesca.

FRANCESCA
Tell that to the dead.

POLLY
But you’re not.

FRANCESCA
Sure as fuck seems like it.

POLLY
You’re talking to me right now, and drinking more than you should. The dead don’t do much else besides bloat and rot.

FRANCESCA
Once a month, I get bloated and feel rotten. Same diff.

POLLY
That has nothing to do with being dead and you know it. What’s with this pity parade?

FRANCESCA
A gal can’t feel fucking sorry for herself sometimes?

POLLY
Not when it leads to being self-destructive.

FRANCESCA
I don’t see any broken windows.

POLLY
I see empty bottles.

FRANCESCA
Ah, shut–

POLLY
They weren’t here last week when I was here. Which means they were bought recently. You’re the only one who lives here. Which means that your liver and bladder are at least 70-proof.

FRANCESCA
Maybe I wanted to pretend I’m in college again.

POLLY
You hated college.

FRANCESCA
Then my behavior isn’t so outstanding, is it?

POLLY
Yes, Francesca, yes, it fucking is. You’re better than this. You’re so much better than this. We used to make fun of people who did what you’re doing.

FRANCESCA
And what, my captain, am I doing that’s bait for our mocking eyes?

POLLY
You’re trying to burn whatever problem you’re going through with fire water, but it’s never the answer. Not in college. Not now. Not when you’re dead. Talk to me.

FRANCESCA
I am talking to you. See? “Hi, Polly! Sunny day, eh? Want a cracker?”

POLLY
Is it because of something I did?

FRANCESCA
“I bet you think this song is about you…”

POLLY
You’re trying to make me angry and you’re scaring me.

FRANCESCA
You want scary, you should look at what I left in the bathroom. It gets really hard to find the toilet sometimes.

POLLY
What? What the fuck is it?

FRANCESCA
I’ve got you swearing.

POLLY
Yes, Francesca, damnit. You’ve got me fucking swearing. Are you fucking happy now?

FRANCESCA
If I was happy, would I be surrounded by all these dead soldiers?

POLLY
I know what you’re trying to do.

FRANCESCA
Oh? Share your feelings with the group.

POLLY
You’re trying to push me away. You’re trying to make yourself the victim so that you can feel better about this bullshit you’re putting your body through.

FRANCESCA
Actually, this is high-end tequila.

POLLY
I don’t care, give it to me.

FRANCESCA
No. And if you try to take it from me, I will beat you to death with it, bitch, I don’t care how long we’ve been friends.

POLLY
You’d break the bottle.

FRANCESCA
And I would sip whatever I could off your corpse. You’ve had body shots done off of you, you know what that’s like.

POLLY
Did something happen with your family?

FRANCESCA
No, nothing happened with my family. Nothing ever happens with my family. Nothing never-ever happens with my fucking family. Fuck, I thought you were my friend.

POLLY
Stop being condescending.

FRANCESCA
I’ll be what I want, I’m grown.

POLLY
Yes, you are, so stop acting like a brat.

FRANCESCA
Ooo, “brat”! I thought I had you swearing. You should’ve said something more along the lines of “bitch”. Or are you going back to schoolyard swears, doody-head?

POLLY
I don’t get you right now.

FRANCESCA
You’re not supposed to.

POLLY
Did someone turn you down?

FRANCESCA
“Want a cracker?”

POLLY
That’s it? You’re destroying your life because of a piece of ass?

FRANCESCA
Would that make me the stereotype? Would my pain be less valid if I was a trope?

POLLY
Nothing about you is less valid, Francesca, it’s just that…

FRANCESCA
Just what? A woman can’t have her heart broken and be a mess? I’m sorry if I’m not evolved enough to match your critique on modern femininity.

POLLY
Was it a man?

FRANCESCA
Why would it matter? Heartache is heartache. I didn’t know agony depended on gender. It was a hermaphrodite. There. Now the feminists won’t know what to make of me.

POLLY
I don’t… I don’t get…

FRANCESCA
What? Just because you have thoughts different from mine about relationships doesn’t make my problems enigmatic. I never felt that your issues were weird. Your jumping from person to person because you got what you needed from them… that sort of thing made you you and those you dated knew what they were getting into.

POLLY
But you’re killing yourself over someone.

FRANCESCA
I’m mourning what could’ve been. If that’s too romantic for you, there’s the door. I didn’t ask you to be a part of this. Fuck, I didn’t even ask you to be here. Why did you come here in the first fucking place?

POLLY
I wanted to… I wanted to know if… if…

FRANCESCA
Speak, bitch.

POLLY
I wanted to know if you’d be my fucking wingman, ok? But I know how fucking ridiculously absurd that is now, with the state of you.

FRANCESCA
Yeah, I think it’d be a bad idea to bring the relapsed alcoholic into a situation that made her slip up in the first place.

POLLY
…you were an alcoholic?

FRANCESCA
Wanna see my chips? Or what’s left of them. I cut ’em all up last night.

POLLY
I didn’t know.

FRANCESCA
That’s the thing about drunks: they’re very clever about hiding their problems. At least, until they throw up on a cop after they bust you for a DUI.

POLLY
But you can’t let yourself go, I don’t care who hurt you.

FRANCESCA
That’s the thing about romantics: they can.

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Daily Dialogue: My Friend, the Leech

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2015 by Rathan Krueger

Everyday, except that one day, I spend 40 minutes with two women in my head and write whatever they say. No, it’s not psychotic.

Gwen
I need a favor.

Sherri
Another one?

Gwen
This one’s really important.

Sherri
Like the other ones?

Gwen
I’m serious. I need a ride.

Sherri
When?

Gwen
Tomorrow morning. There’s this guy I met online who I’ve been talking to for a while and I really like. I wanted to surprise him with a present.

Sherri
Why the morning?

Gwen
That’s when he goes to school. I wanted to give him his present in front of his friends.

Sherri
Cool. What college?

Gwen
No, not college.

Sherri
Ok, what university?

Gwen
Not university, either.

Sherri
Ok…?

Gwen
That high school on the hill.

Sherri
You’re hitting on one of the teachers?

Gwen
Oh, fuck no. I’m not that desperate. It’s one of the students.

Sherri
Students? But you’re 20.

Gwen
And he’s 15. We’re within the safe walls of statutory rape.

Sherri
I can’t believe you’re pursuing a relationship with statutory rape being a possibility.

Gwen
But it’s not!

Sherri
You’re trying to date a child, Gwen!

Gwen
He’s mature for his age, and this would’ve been fine a hundred years ago.

Sherri
People got lynched a hundred years ago. I don’t think anyone wants those good times back unless their last name is either Hatfield or McCoy.

Gwen
The heart wants what the heart wants. I thought you’d understand. You’ve never been loved and you have an opportunity to help someone achieve it. A friend! You’re gonna abandon a friend in her time of need?

Sherri
I wanna be a good friend, but–

Gwen
But what? It’s not child molesting. I’m not asking for much. Just for you to take me to that high school in the morning and watch me put a smile on my almost-man’s face. You want to help love, don’t you? You don’t want anyone to be as miserable as you, do you?

Sherri
Do you have any gas money?

Gwen
I spent all my spare dough on the present.

Sherri
Couldn’t you return it for a cheaper gift?

Gwen
It’s not a gift, it’s a present. Presents are presented, which is what I’m gonna do. With your help.

Sherri
Couldn’t you get a cheaper present, then?

Gwen
Can’t. It just came in from Japan.

Sherri
Japan? What did you get?

Gwen
A lady never tells. Look, are you gonna help me or be a bad friend?

Sherri
…I’ll help you.

Gwen
Oh, thank you! I’ll remember this forever! Things are gonna go so great for me and him after this. I feel it.

Sherri
When was the last time you saw each other?

Gwen
Tomorrow’s gonna be the first time.

Sherri
Do you at least know what he looks like?

Gwen
Of course. I’m not stupid. We send pics of each other all the time.

Sherri
What kind of pics?

Gwen
Of us doing random stuff, like hugging pillows or eating burgers.

Sherri
So that’s why you made me take that pic at Wendy’s.

Gwen
Exactly. We also send pics for, y’know, each other’s spank bank.

Sherri
What… do you mean?

Gwen
I don’t think I should have to spell it out for you, adult one.

Sherri
You have sexual pics of a 15-year-old on your phone?

Gwen
And on my laptop. What’s your point?

Sherri
That’s child porn, you fucking retard!

Gwen
No, it’s not! Fifteen is the legal age here when someone can get into a sexual relationship. Plus, I’m only five years older, which makes things super-safe for me and him.

Sherri
You’re nuts.

Gwen
And you’re close-minded. You’re supposed to be supportive. I helped you with Lane, didn’t I?

Sherri
Lane said I came on too hard, according to you.

Gwen
That’s your fault, not mine. Likewise, those times at the club you came home alone weren’t my fault. You must give off some sort of aura that keeps people away. I tried to set you up with Nadine, but you weren’t having any of that.

Sherri
Because I’m not gay!

Gwen
You never know unless you try.

Sherri
There’s nothing about women that attracts me sexually. Nothing.

Gwen
Well, you could’ve been nicer to Nadine about it.

Sherri
She practically had her hand down my bra!

Gwen
Yeah? Didn’t need to smack her, though.

Sherri
Why am I friends with you?

Gwen
What did you say?

Sherri
Why the fuck am I friends with you?! You’ve done nothing in the years I’ve known you except think about yourself! You got something from Japan for a TEENAGER you’ve never met, but I can’t remember the last time you got me anything except a lot of fucking grief! You’re like a negative version of me!

Gwen
Nega-Me, eh? Well, allow Nega-Me to tell you why the fuck you should be glad to have me in your life. I’m the only one who puts up with your Silent Bob bullshit. You think it’s cute or whatever, being a social retard, but it’s sad. You wanna know why no guys wanna bother with you? Because they’re fucking terrified of you. You’re like a fucking ghost, and no one can do anything with or to a ghost. You’re pathetic, and I’m the only one who bothers with you. You think it’s cool that I’m the only person you’ve said more than two words to? That I have to explain to people that you’re not a fucking mute? Fuck you. You’re with me because I put up with YOU. I put up with you. Your whining about not finding love, your inability to hold a decent conversation. Everything. And I hate to tell you but there’s gonna be a day when I get bored with you. Then Nega-Me won’t be around anymore to try wiping the pathetic off of you. Then you’re gonna drown in it, or your own blood because you’re tired of your empty fucking existence. So shut the fuck up and be at my house at six tomorrow morning.

Daily Dialogue: Wings of Marie

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2015 by Rathan Krueger

Forty minutes a day, even on a day when it’s time to let your hair down, two women spring to mind and ramble on.

Susannah
I just heard about the accident. Are you ok?

Marie
Yeah, it was only a few stairs.

Susannah
Only a few?

Marie
More than a few?

Susannah
Two flights of stairs isn’t only a few. You’re lucky to be alive.

Marie
No, I just read too much.

Susannah
What do you mean?

Marie
It helps to go limp when you’re tumbling.

Susannah
Why?

Marie
So, like, the energy from the falling can, like, flow out of you, man…

Susannah
Leave the New Age, please.

Marie
Sorry. But, yeah, that’s all I did.

Susannah
Gee, that’s great, you only have a broken arm.

Marie
Instead of a broken everything? I’ll take what I can get.

Susannah
How’d you manage to fall down the stairs?

Marie
Daydreaming.

Susannah
Typical.

Marie
What? Dreamers gotta dream, right?

Susannah
And fall down stairs, it seems.

Marie
It was only a few.

Susannah
What caught your attention so strongly that you missed the obvious?

Marie
Typical girl stuff.

Susannah
…you have to get over him.

Marie
I was!

Susannah
No, you were letting him almost kill you. He’s the same in your head and in front of you.

Marie
Don’t say that.

Susannah
Oh, so you’ve never been in a hospital before on account of him?

Marie
Yeah, but… Can we not talk about this? We were having a good time.

Susannah
We’d be having a great time if you weren’t here, but he put you here. Again.

Marie
This time wasn’t his fault! It was mine, I daydr–

Susannah
Still taking responsibility for him.

Marie
You were supposed to be my friend today. Share some candy, draw on my cast…

Susannah
Draw on your cast? Listen to you! You’re hurt because of him and yet you’re trying to make it fun!

Marie
IT’S ALL I CAN DO, OK?! I’M A FUCKING MISERABLE WASTE OF A WOMAN WHO CAN’T GET OVER THE MAN WHO BEAT HER FOR FIVE YEARS BECAUSE SHE STILL FUCKING LOVES HIM! ARE YOU HAPPY?! ARE YOU FUCKING HAPPY?! I’M USELESS WITHOUT HIM!!

Susannah
Marie… I… I can’t believe you think that way about yourself.

Marie
Well, why not? Everyone else thinks it.

Susannah
No, they don’t.

Marie
How many parties have I been invited to lately?

Susannah
Marie…

Marie
No, c’mon, tell me. How many of my “friends” still want me around?

Susannah
You’re being–

Marie
You’re my friend.

Susannah
I am.

Marie
And you’re here.

Susannah
I am.

Marie
It’s been two days since the accident. I told everyone I know what happened. Two days. You’re the only person I heard back from. Everyone. Including family.

Susannah
You were never a family person.

Marie
And it looks like I never will. I can add not being a friend person to that list, it seems.

Susannah
You’re a good friend.

Marie
I’m a mooch, Susannah. Who wants to get back into an abusive relationship. Where’s the good in that?

Susannah
I think you’re a good friend.

Marie
Why? What have I done for you?

Susannah
You’ve done a lot for me.

Marie
Thanks for the non-answer. Look, I appreciate you coming here. I really, truly am. But you don’t need to humor me anymore.

Susannah
Humor you?

Marie
I’m a charity case.

Susannah
What?

Marie
If people are interested in me now, it’s because they see me as a wounded bird. Literally now. Someone in trouble that they can take care of so they feel better about themselves, whether they realize it or not. I had time to think in the last two days, and I accepted my lot in life.

Susannah
What makes you think I see you that way?

Marie
The look in your eye. The only person to not look at me that way was… him. Maybe that’s why I love him. Maybe that’s why no one loves me. You can only take care of a bird for so long before you want it to leave the nest. It’s ok, Susannah. Eyes don’t lie. Lips and tongues, but never eyes.

Susannah
I… I can’t believe…

Marie
You can leave now, if you want. Someone will come along someday and take me in for a while. Or not.  Then I’ll die. But that’ll be ok, because then I can’t be a burden anymore. The world will be free of another wounded bird.

Susannah
You can’t think that way.

Marie
Why not? It’s comforting, in a sense. To know your place in the world. I can only hope that I don’t meet another fist… but the heart wants what the heart wants.

Susannah
Marie…

Marie
Goodbye, Susannah. Make a better friend than me.

Daily Dialogue: The Friendship Helix

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by Rathan Krueger

For 20 minutes, I put two characters on a page and let them ramble. Usually, I don’t have a plan, but a seed’s planted today.

Dr. Boston
Tell me about your friends.

Jill
I thought we’d talk about something else now.

Dr. Boston
I know you would, but it’s obvious that they’re bothering you. It would be good for you to address that before internalizing the trauma.

Jill
Yeah, yeah, I know how ulcers work. What do you want me to say?

Dr. Boston
What do you want you to say? In our previous sessions, you bring them up without provocation. In particular, how you feel that you’re drifting apart.

Jill
Drifted apart now.

Dr. Boston
Something happened recently?

Jill
Last Tuesday.

Dr. Boston
What?

Jill
Something came to me. I thought about my life up to that point, the ins and outs of people in my life.

Dr. Boston
What came to you?

Jill
How some people never come back, how some people come back better, how some people come back worse.

Dr. Boston
Jill, you’re deflecting.

Jill
You’re not the only one who can come up with theories, ma’am.

Dr. Boston
I know I’m not. Are you saying that you have a theory?

Jill
About friends, yes.

Dr. Boston
I’d like to hear it. Please.

Jill
I believe that people exist as curved lines to each other. Strangers have lines so wide that they’re basically straight and never cross each other. Friends have lines that cross each other once in a while. No one spends every single day with each other.

Dr. Boston
So you’re only talking about the physical.

Jill
Yeah.

Dr. Boston
Do you think that you could apply your theory to the emotions of friendship?

Jill
I guess.

Dr. Boston
Why don’t you try?

Jill
Well… I guess friendships go through phases, where they’re not as close as they were before. That could be emotional.

Dr. Boston
Yes, it could.

Jill
And some friends are so close that their curved lines are constantly weaving in and out of each other, making a super-tight braid.

Dr. Boston
Or a helix. A DNA chain.

Jill
Heh. Yeah.

Dr. Boston
Do you have a friendship helix in your life?

Jill
No, nothing but straight lines.

Dr. Boston
Maybe if you let me help you with your antisocial nature–

Jill
I told you, I’m not fucking antisocial. I’m socially retarded. Antisocial people don’t leave the house. Social retards don’t know what to do when they leave the house.

A Quickie Update About “Nostalgia Season”

Posted in Blog, Making-Of, Nostalgia Season with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2014 by Rathan Krueger

I’m close to finishing the first chapter. I didn’t realize how much writing I’d be doing when I told myself to write eight massive chapters… I have a habit of throwing myself into situations that might be too big for me without thinking them through until I’m in the middle of it. I figure things out in the end, though, which is one of many reasons why I relate to “Doctor Who”. In case anyone forgot, I’ve split the chapter (and all subsequent chapters forever) into a series of notecards that break down the chapter into sections. I can’t express enough how much easier it makes writing (thanks, “Breaking Bad” special features). I’m almost finished with the seventh of nine cards. Something interesting happened as I was writing. I didn’t get to the notes on the card until pages after I started writing. The card involved a trip to another city and was written in a way that made most things happen after Luciana and Sadie got to where they were headed. But I didn’t get a chance to make Sadie say what she needed to in a previous card. Or rather, I felt that she had more to say. The previous card had her pretty manic so she couldn’t get a story out in its entirety. She said enough, I thought, so I moved on. That was my original intention: for her to say Just Enough. But I had a feeling that Everything Else would come out in later chapters, and I didn’t want that. I wanted what’s bothering her to get out of her system by the end of the chapter because she and Luciana have SO many more places to go emotionally. I also started cluing in on how people, when they have something bothering them to the point of tears, don’t say everything all at once. They blurt out pieces and later on, when they’re calmer and unprovoked, will say everything. Those two things made the current card take place mostly in the car ride.

Originally, Sadie was supposed to find her ex and unload all her emotional baggage on her. However, it felt superfluous after the car ride because I felt that she got everything out, mostly. And it was SO draining writing that car ride, but it was great because Sadie was feeling so drained as she was saying what she had to. It’s part of the reason why I’m not done with the card yet. I knew that if I kept writing after where I stopped, I would’ve rushed everything and felt like shit afterwards. Anywho, Sadie still finds her ex but I found a more elegant and concise way to handle their meeting. And I’m gonna enjoy editing this chapter because Luciana’s really becoming defined at this point. In the back of my head, I’m constantly reminding myself “Don’t make her like Idette! Don’t make her like Idette!” The way I’ve found my way to Luciana (well, one way) is that I think that Idette (from my first novel, “Lie”) had something to prove, whereas Luciana has nothing to show. Reflecting on her, Idette came off as overcompensating. Luciana’s an innocent. And people are gonna think that I’ve made Luciana too unrealistic when it comes to her innocence, but women like her exist. I knew one like her for years. That’s not to say that Luciana’s modeled on her, just that I know she’s coming from a true place. Anywho, there’s a moment at the end of what I’ve written so far that IS Luciana. And it’s great because it’s so different from the moment that made Idette to me. Idette, in the initial writing of “Lie”, became Idette when she was recollecting a story to Fantine to get a reaction out of her. Luciana’s moment is when she bellows the most vulgar thing she can think of to Sadie’s ex, then turns to Sadie and smiles at her “like a cheerful child wanting their parent’s approval”. As I write, inspirations for future chapters hit me and I feel that Luciana’s a bit like a sponge in that she starts absorbing traits of those around her. That won’t show itself in this chapter because she hasn’t had time to but she’ll start picking up bits of Sadie in the next chapter.

I’m not sure if I’ll post the complete first chapter when I’m finished. I don’t mind doing it, it’s just that it’s MASSIVE and I a) would feel bad dumping all those words on you all, and b) would feel worse if no one read it. Yesterday, it hit me that among other things, I’m writing a friendship-at-first-sight story. I was thinking about how quickly Luciana and Sadie became friends and how that doesn’t usually happen. Then I thought about how it’s not so weird in romances, two people falling in love tout de suite. Heck, “Terminator” took place during one night and Sarah fell in love with Kyle. One of the things that I know will keep popping up in what I do is the concept of friendship. You’ll be seeing far more things from me about that than romances (I have a romantic story in me, but it’s rather apocalyptic) because I feel that there’s too much of a push for romantic stories these days. It’s like if you put two people in a room, they have to kiss before they leave it. I say be friends (says the hopeless romantic). One of the reasons why I love “Hot Fuzz” and definitely “World’s End” much more than “Shaun of the Dead” is because they aren’t about getting the girl in the end. And I’m tired of the term “bromance”. Everyone’s so afraid of having two guys be as close as friends as two gals can be that they have to make up a fucking stupid word for it. I have no ending to this brewing rant so I will simply take a bow.

Ha! “Quickie” update…

Come read the first four chapters of Idette’s adventure with three other women. Then skip o’er to your local eBookstore and pick up “Lie” for only $1.99. Thanks for reading.