Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Short Story, Humiliation, Stranger Than Fiction

I embarrassed myself yesterday. No, I didn't go out and get drunk, stumble about and make a fool of myself -- though I don't blame you for that reflex assumption. I embarrassed myself yesterday.

So, since I had the day off work and wasn't tromping around the city, exploring and delighting myself as I'd hoped, I decided to start working on a short story. And, oh, how I wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote and the words were just pouring out of me. I was making myself chuckle, which isn't unusual, but which is also embarrassing; I was just flying.

I was writing this story about a character named Lucas Jackson. From the start, you know three things about him. One, that he hates that he'd been named after a legendary onscreen character (Cool Hand Luke ... couldn't help it). Two, he's been given terribly bad physical genes, giving him incurable insecurity. And, three, that he knows he's going to die. He has a "sense," and that sense tells him it's in two weeks time.

Poor Luke.

Well, so I go on to tell the reader that we're going to kill him, it's sad but true, and that there's no way around it. Given his sense and all.

So, the plan was to write iterations of the way he dies. In the first, he's this rockstar -- he'd taken up the guitar at an early age to win over the ladies, muting the fact that he's horrendous looking -- and he's spotted by a drunken agent who'd gone to Hawaii (Luke's home, in this one), swept off to L.A. And, without getting into more of the details, he ends up dying two weeks after he's felt this sense of imminent doom -- and, we're left not knowing whether it was a self-fulfilling prophecy ... maybe he led himself to death. No one will ever know, because now Luke's dead.

Anyway, so I'm rereading, getting ready to go see "W" -- which didn't happen!! The 10:10pm showing even was sold out. Cruel, cruel world. Saw Max Payne instead ... cruel, cruel world.

Suddenly, it hits me that I'm totally ripping off "Stranger Than Fiction." I mean, not really but, kind of. It was subconscious! I felt so stupid. And when I got home from the movies, I tried to work more on Luke ... but, I had such guilt.

Who knows if I'll be able to pick it up again.

To atone for my sins, perhaps I'll just show "Stranger Than Fiction."

2 comments:

Paramendra Bhagat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paramendra Bhagat said...

Amitabh's father was a top poet. He said of Amitabh, "He is my biggest poem." No, really, the guy was a top notch poet.

When Amitabh was young, his father was an English professor. But young Amitabh thought because he was a professor he knew everything. The poet did not know everything, especially not a whole lot of math. But he would learn math from a math professor friend so as to not have to mess with his young son's assumptions, to keep his heart. And he would come home, and teach him also math.