Thursday, September 27, 2012
"It's good to be here in The Last Bookstore, Rudy. I've been meaning to set something up but it doesn't always go as smooth as we hope right?" The young author let out a sly smile.
"Haha very true James, very true. And as always, our producer is in studio, Mr Ron Kennedy taking calls, texts, instant messages et cetera from the listeners and fans, how about we get started huh? You came onto the scene literally out of nowhere, how did that happen?"
"Ron Kennedy as in the Kennedy who ran the radio stations at NYU and later USC right?"
Ron let out a smile from a nearby station, "Yeah, the one and only!"
James let out a laugh, "Yeah I thought I recognized the name, you're good man keep it up."
Rudy quickly cut in, "Okay okay you two settle down, we have some hungry listeners and I'm sure some eager fans waiting to peer into that mind of yours."
"Right, right," the young author responded, "breaking into 'the scene' if you will..."
James settled into his seat across from Rudy as he adjusted his headset and took a long sip from a nearby mug.
"You started writing in college in your spare time, short stories if I'm correct, some guest spots on food and travel blogs when you weren't on creative binges, pretty low key stuff outside of those spots then BAM, 'The Drifting Star' hits stands and people just eat it up."
"Yeah that was a really exciting time for me Rudy, I had been traveling around through the Northwest U.S. and dabbled a bit in Canada when I went through some old journals of stuff I had jotted down in my spare time and that piece just grabbed me and I really just kinda ran with it. The end result was a bit shaky in my opinion but I think that added to it especially as a first go."
Rudy is busy drinking from a large mug, similar to James', then puts the mug down.
"So, for our listeners that may not be too familiar with your work, how did 'Star' happen and shape up?"
"The story was really originally built off a book I read at the suggestion of a fellow author, Alexandra, who I met in college and the style really grabbed me, it was dirty, raw. So I started with that and wanted to be very descriptive in terms of dress, looks, even paying attention to lighting and moods and actions of people not involved, I really wrote the first short story from that with a screenplay style in mind."
"And I personally think that feel really comes through, especially when you focus on the two main characters, Claire and Travis." Rudy adds, face gleaming like a comic book fanboy.
"Yes exactly, as detailed as everything else was, I wanted the focus on those two to shine through that much more, like reading the story in HD," James let out a slight chuckle, "I wanted to immerse the readers, if they chose to pick the book up, in almost a sensory overload at times, like in the first scene, in the bar when we see the two encounter each other for the first time in a while, the frame is left open to interpretation so it could have been a few weeks, maybe even a few years ya know? So depending on how long one feels that they were apart, the book can read out a little differently."
"Very nice, so we obviously have these two who have a past, its hinted to be very emotional, their interaction is limited, then he's gone. Did you mean for that scene to set an overall tone? It seems very introspective on the part of Travis, gives a little history and then he leaves, evidently the same way he left this young woman before."
James is listening half-heartedly, throwing a USC "Fight On" to Ron.
"Also, message boards have been burning about the idea that you pull a lot of character's ways, emotions and ideals from your own personal life... is this true?"
"Yeah, ya know I really wanted to leave his reasons for leaving, which we don't have explained in full at first, to stay hidden. It sets the mood that he has a secret, or a good reason, or no reason for really leaving, especially with his response to her note with 'Because I loved you too much.' It leaves everyone intrigued I feel, at least I tried..."
Rudy is nodding, adding more liquor to his mug.
"And definitely I pull things out on myself for these characters, situations, a lot of it comes from something else. I had originally began writing as a way to deal with some things and every now and then I'd get obsessed with and idea, and I couldn't leave it alone. That's what happened with 'Star" and 'Brothers'...i was obsessed and had to finish them. You can't love something without giving up a part of yourself for it right?"
"Wow, obsessed you say?" Rudy takes a large gulp, "without spoiling 'Star' we'll leave it there and now I wanna touch on 'Brothers of The Sky', your sophomore effort and a very successful one at that. How did this story spawn itself?"
The young author's face lit up as he took another drink from his mug.
"Ahh now you got his attention!" Ron exclaimed, "I think he's a little excited."
Rudy agreed, awaiting a response from James.
"Hmm, 'Brothers of The Skies' really was a labor of love and a culmination of necessity."
"Go on." Rudy egged.
"It's pretty common knowledge that WW2 romanticism is something I really had a passion to work with, and this was what came of that. Originally it was a piece I had written for a fiction blog, which I used eventually for a class when I was getting ready to graduate. The short story that started it was called 'A Brother's Failure' where we have these two brothers fighting in the Pacific theater together."
"This book was not dark in the same way as 'Star' but it is more of a gritty war-time piece with, which is kind of your staple through two books, and underlying love story, can you elaborate on that?"
"Well war is a gritty thing, its dirty, its dark, it changes people. In 'Star' I really didn't have that as a tool, I didn't have that as a catalyst. The change we see in the Lieutenant and how he interacts with his fellow war fighters, his family, his brother comes directly from the combination of the war and what they are going through as well as the feeling of our protagonist fighting a war on two fronts, one is a real war, one is his mental struggle to stay focused with what's going on back home." A more serious look starts to creep over the author as he takes another sip from the mug. "I had family members, friends coming home from war, they were coming back to women who weren't faithful, or had abandoned the idea of being with them. This book was for those guys who lost people on two sides, it was something I had to write. It was very much the marrying of ideas in my head about how life could turn out, ideally, and how life turns out in reality. Very much an emotional book to write, and you get that through the Lieutenant, emotions I had, emotions my friends and family had."
The room was silent.
James lit a cigarette
Ron chimed in, "You guys would not believe how many messages and texts we are getting about these two books man, everyone wants to know, why you chose the Pacific War, why Travis came back from Europe, why you wrote two hugely different settings and how that came about...people are going crazy man, and we haven't even gotten to your new book."
"Holy shit, we still need to get to this new work, which I personally think is amazingly beautiful, beautifully dark, elegantly crafted. ladies and gentlemen listening coast to coast, we have arrived at the new novel by J.S. Havok which hit shelves last Tuesday, of course I'm talking about "The Angel and a Stupid Boy."
Rudy continues. "Even the concept of this book is great, if you haven"t picked it up you should. Basically we have a book here, about a writer, in the process of writing a book but he is fraught with inner struggles and difficulties, can you elaborate on that?"
James puts his cigarette out in a nearby ashtray.
"This was a hard book to write, we have a writer who sets out to create a fiction piece, but with him putting so much of himself into it, the piece slowly becomes a dark story of a guy essentially writing an autobiography without him really seeing it."
"Interesting, I think that readers may have been caught off guard by the style up front in your prologue, we get a very intense and cryptic message and setting to the story."
"Yeah" James replies, "this was my first venture without the input of Alexandra and I wanted to set the tone a little darker, more of an inner struggle of one person, you don't have much interaction story wise with people outside of himself, he gets lost in his work pretty much. Eventually, it begins to really consume him. Its a story of love and loss, a story where he gets enveloped in a strange world where hypotheticals, the 'what-ifs' are the things drilling into him."
"I have to agree here" chimes in Ron, "I read this piece right when it hit the shelves, and the messages we are getting agree too, overall a lot of focus on the author losing himself in his work and the work really affecting his mental stability. Our forums are already teeming with theories of who the inspiration of "The Angel" could be. Got anything for your fans?"
"Well the love story we have in the book isn't actually the focus, but is the focus of the book in the book, which I think creates a very interesting position for the reader, in one aspect they may be trying to reason why I'm writing this story, but at a deeper level you have to think about the character's reason on writing his story. This book in particular was strange to write because I put some of myself in everything but had to in a way where the writer has his own soul he's writing from. Kind of, "I have a dark side, he has a darker one."
"Dark and darker, writer writing a writer writing a book, brilliant!" Rudy proclaims, "your character uses brilliant imagery much like we've seen in your other work, the way he describes this girl he creates. A lot of readers see this as you projecting yourself but everyone wants to know...."
James swallows slowly.
"Where do you get this ability to paint such beautiful people, describe them how you do? I mean we are talking about things like, 'that beautiful dark auburn and brunette hair', 'an intoxicating smile', those honey-brown doe eyes', 'a childlike freedom of spirit', hell if us guys could find a girl like that we'd be golden, so where do you get this inspiration? How does one do that? Are you hiding some supermodel from us that you pull inspiration from?"
A slight chuckle fills the air between the three in that studio, in The Last Bookstore.
"We all have that perfect image of our dream girl don't we..." James' voice slightly trails off. "So now we have an image of a girl that we aren't sure is real or is made up by our author for his book."
"Well, if we aren't getting ALL the juicy details here, I guess our listeners will just have to read. Ron, lets take some calls and questions and all that jazz we are running out of time."
Ron starts rambling off questions listeners has messaged in, occasionally taking a call about upcoming books, his favorite foods and the like. James loosens up a bit more with the interaction, some questions more off the wall than others, the three enjoying playful banter.
"Well, well, well, now we have someone saying they know the secrets of Mr. J. S. Havok." Ron interrupts, "She sounds hott lets put her on the air."
James fixes his eyes on Ron as he lights another smoke.
Rudy quickly chips in, "Why hello there you have Mr Havok live in studio and we hear, that youuuu think you know his secrets."
"Mmm well maybe," a female voice chimes in, "depends on if he is who I think he is."
An automated audience "woooo" filled his headset as Ron stroked a key at his computer.
"Well", the author slowly responded, "who do you think I am?"
"Someone who takes their pen name from their father. James."
"Go on," James' intrigue building, "who else am I?"
"Someone who likes ice cream, obviously."
Chuckles filled the room, smiles all around.
"Well I have been known to enjoy a nice bowl every now and again, you had me going there for a second, like some kind of secret agent that had me in their sights."
"I know," the voice chuckled, "when you visit the ice cream shop what is your favorite flavor to get a sample spoon of?"
"Excuse me?" responded James.
"You know, like you go in and they give you those little spoons to taste with, the sample spoons.."
"Well usually, I go around and try a few things but usually settle on my old standby flavor..."
"Mint Chocolate Chip" the voice interrupted.
Rudy and Ron exchanged surprised glances, then focused them on James. "Mint Choco-chip...you don't say..." retorted Ron. "Nice."
"Where are you calling from?" James sat forward in his seat, the other two did the same.
"The best country in the world, Texas." she said, "duh." "And I read your book, I think who I know who the angel is." her voice teasing the audience, taunting the author.
A bead of sweat gently glided down his forehead as he bit his lip in a pensive stare. He reaches over and grabs Rudy's mug, stiff with bourbon, taking a hard pull. "Everyone has an angel, like I said before, everyone has their idea of perfection. The Angel, is the character's image. You have an angel too, we all do." He takes another pull from the mug.
"Well there ya go Miss Texas", Rudy proclaims, "the mystery remains a mystery!"
"Have you met your angel?" she asks.
"I sure have, why do you ask?"
A goofy sound effect fills the airwaves.
"The pen has silenced the voice!" Rudy proclaims as Ron starts celebratory effects, James caught in a thousand yard stare.
"Well I'm sitting across from her..." her voice states, "She's leaving on Sunday for a trip."
He goes pale.
"There is a keg of gin" the voice blurts out.
"There is a keg of gin"...she says again.
The line goes dead.
James, sweating, clenched teeth.
"Well that was fucking random!" Ron laughs hysterically as Rudy prepares the closing of the show.
James lights a cigarette, the last one in the pack, another pull of bourbon, this time from the flask Rudy has on the desk.
James sees Rudy and Ron talking, closing the show, he can't hear anything. Only silence.
"WOO what the hell was that all about?!" Rudy asks while laughing loudly, "trippy man a keg of gin? where do people get this stuff? Did you have any idea what she was talking about?"
"Oh come on that's too random to just be random...someone messing with ya James?" Ron seeminng slightly confused.
James takes a long drag, letting it out slowly.
He slowly puts the smoke out and stands up, "There should never be a keg of gin..." he quietly says.
"...Who was that?" Rudy asks, "was that..." he looks towards Ron, then back at James.
"That was The Angel." he simply says.
Ron and Rudy stare at each other.
"So...that means what?" Ron slowly asks.
"Well that makes me a stupid boy."
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Jimmy looked out of his cockpit on the deck of his carrier towards a young soldier he knew well. He and Mark had grown up together on the same street in Alabama. Both had joined the Navy after the monsters from Japan had taken the lives of their American counterparts when they attacked Pearl. Even though seen as brothers from a young age, the skill sets, personalities and capabilities they brought to the Navy were vastly different. Mark was an eccentric gear head, his abilities first displayed when he dismantled the engine of the family car, and upon re-assembling it, miraculously had the vehicle running better. This talent came in handy with Mark's dating life as he swooned the fathers of girls with his technical know how while also taking their daughters out for drives later. James, on the other hand, had been the more reserved of the two young men. A prized student and natural athlete, his physical ability had garnered his name despite his soft spoken nature. The two had spent many days and nights adventuring as children and teens, a mutual respect and admiration of each others differences.
How they got grouped together in a battle group, let alone the same carrier, was at best a shot in the dark, no doubt James' father, a retired Colonel from the Great War, had something to do with such an arrangement. Once James had been selected for the flying program in training, Mark had been determined to improve the aircraft that would bring the war back to Japan. To say that Mark was amazing at his job was an understatement in itself. He had risen quickly by training other mechanics to repair and improve the fighting flyers, now he proudly wore the bar designating him as Ensign. James had a similar career to this point, relying on instinct and an analytical mind to quickly become a well known pilot in the fighter group, also training other pilots whenever he could.
"Lieutenant Dorman, come in, Lieutenant Dorman.." Rang over his headset as he sat on the deck of the carrier.
"This is Dorman, confirm takeoff clearance, over."
"Cleared for takeoff, take it to those jap devils for the boys at Pearl."
He saluted his younger brother as he prepared to power his Corsair into the red early morning skies near Okinawa.
Mark responded by tapping his uniform where he held letters for James' family and girlfriend, should anything happen, then saluted his brother. James returned the gesture, his more symbolic than anything since the letters he held for Mark were tucked away in his quarters.
James placed the picture of a girl near his instrument cluster, a sigh accompanied it. The letters she once wrote had become cold, distant, shorter and arrived with ever increasing intervals between. Even the letters from his father had shifted from home life, she and her family weren't mentioned at all anymore, now they focused on James' health and morale during the war and how the boys were doing against the japs. Even the letters from her family had stopped abruptly.
Mark had noticed a change in Jimmy, he seemed aggravated, angry almost. The once calm and relaxed pilot had become increasingly anxious, he'd snap on occasion out of frustration. But as his personality dictated, he was stubborn, more willing to suppress his thoughts and emotions than to talk about what was happening in his mind.
The young Lieutenant powered his war machine into the air, followed by the rest of the fighter wing. As the radio check-in started he allowed himself to remember the last day home, in that burning Alabama sun. He promised Mark's family that he'd take care of his brother, much as he had done during their childhood. The neighborhood had a block party for the boys being shipped off, several Marines and Army boys littered the group of young eager soldiers as a group picture was taken. Afterwards, pictures of the fighting men and their families were collected, as well as the boys and their girls. She and James looked so in love, her brunette hair draped on his shoulder in his presentation uniform, her intoxicating smile.
He angrily forces the image out of his head as the last of his fellow flyers finish checking in. He noticed a squall forming to the rights, it looked particularly foreboding he thought.
"Damn, I hate flying in shit like that Jim." rang over the radio.
"Oh, come on Akers," Jimmy responded, "that is what makes things interesting."
Slight laughter cluttered the radio from multiple planes.
"Alright you scoundrels, remember the briefing and remember your wingmen, we aren't scheduled to die today."
"Roger that sir." fluttered multiple times through the radios.
"For God and country boys, let's show these monsters what Uncle Sam has coming for them." Jimmy sternly voiced. "For those boys at Pearl."
The battle was exhilarating, the enemy Zeros closed in furiously over the island and surrounding ocean. The Lt and his Blue Knights fought the enemy ferociously as the battle raged around them. Smoke, bullets, explosions filled the air as planes started going down, the lighter Zero fighters burning brilliantly as they descended to ocean graves. Occasionally pilots would have to break off from the major fighting to accommodate the addition of more enemy and friendly war birds.
Then the call came.
"Blue Knights, Lt Dorman come in this is Enterprise, incoming enemy fighters, do you copy? Over"
"This is Dorman, eta to contact over."
"Contact minus one minute, no current air support, you're the closest, over."
"Shit." He thought as he whipped his bird around in support of a fellow aviator.
"Boy's they are going after our home, I need some support until the others can rendezvous, follow my six!"
He broke off from the spiraling air battle as several other planes followed his lead, the Enterprise visible in the distance.
"We aren't going to make it in time to stop them." he thought as he pushed his engine to the limit.
Then, he saw the flashes, flight deck, superstructure, the fireball was tremendous.
The Blue Knights made contact as the japs started the second strafing runs. They came in guns blazing over the sea surrounding their floating home. Several flyboys split off in pursuit of torpedo planes incoming to dispense their deadly payloads, the japs never made it into range as the planes plunged as fireballs into the deep Pacific.
The instant seemed like eternity as Jimmy whipped his machine around again towards the Enterprise and a lone Zero closed in, flying low, flying heavy. He knew it was a Kamikaze, those suicidal cowards who thought it was glorious to die instead of fight. He knew the plane was going to strike, he knew it was disaster waiting to happen.
"MARK!" he helplessly yelped as the Zero collided into his ship, the following explosion was massive, the following fires more so.
Angrily he tore through enemy fighters, as they started to retreat, blood thirsty to say the least. Four more of the Japanese monsters lost their lives to his guns that day. His anger, frustration and fear for his brother only magnified by the fact his guns were silenced due to his ammunition stores being empty. He could only watch as the floating city burned underneath him.
Once the battle was over, the sweaty, exhausted flyboy could only stare numbingly at the photo on his instrument cluster as he approached a nearby carrier. He landed sloppily and nearly collapsed out of his Corsair as he vomited seeing the enterprise still burning near him. "I need to get to the Enterprise, NOW!", he snapped to crews on the deck. "Lieutenant, the only way we can get you..." "Shut up screamed the young flyboy,"I said now, and I mean it!" "Sir it's not possible becau..." "I know it's not possible", groaned the pilot as he slumped down into the flight deck, "I know", he sobbed.
When he was eventually able to get to his beloved home, the fires had ravaged her. He desperately demanded information on the dead and wounded, his pain showed through his blood shot, weary, yet fiery eyes. It would be hours before any word came in, and a day before any news on Mark.
As he was able to recover some personal items from his quarters, which barely survived, a sailor approached him.
"Sir, Ensign Murray is confirmed as killed in action, I'm sorry."
Jimmy stood silently and still, holding the letters Mark had given him.
"He was in a store room near the attack point of the Kamikaze fighter that struck the sh..."
Jimmy raised a hand and dismissed the sailor as tears streamed down his face.
His over aggression had put him to far from the ship to stop the fighter, his over aggression killed U.S. sailors, he failed to protect his brother, he had killed his brother.
James was rotated out of combat shortly after the Battle of Okinawa, he returned to Pearl harbor to train pilots until the end of the war. He never wrote home after the battle. He sat drinking whiskey as news of the surrender of Japan flooded the radio. He simply walked back to his quarters and went to sleep. Pilots he trained before the end of the war described him as a cold, despondent man, although gifted as a teacher and pilot. He arrived back to the states, through the ticker tape parades for those fighting in the Pacific. A bus dropped him off back home in Alabama where he got a hotel room instead of returning home. He sat on the patio as a torrential downpour surrounded him, the faint smoke of a Lucky Strike wafting through the air as he stared into the darkness.
The following day, he shaved and robed in his presentation uniform. A taxi took him to the Murray residence, where he had the taxi wait. He approached the house as Mark's mother ran out towards him sobbing as he embraced her and tears formed in his cold, dead looking eyes. He stayed and spoke to them and explained his shortcoming and apologized for his failure as they tried to assure him that Mark's death wasn't his fault. He left them with the letters Mark had written them in the event he didn't come home. Back in the taxi he lit a Lucky strike and instructed the driver where to go next.
They pulled up to a house about five minutes later, the flag for his wing was no longer posted in the front yard. As he exited the taxi he told the driver he could go, the driver refused to take his money citing he was a hero, "I'm no hero," Jimmy responded with a clenched jaw ,"just a flyboy." He felt uneasy as he stood in front of that house, alone in the Alabama heat.
Her father seemed apologetic to see him at the door, he shared his condolences for Mark's death and tried to catch up with Jimmy in a cautious manner. His wife walked in and seemed flushed to see him back in their living room. She walked over to him with watery eyes, "Oh my, James is a Lieutenant now, I'm so proud of you sweetheart, so proud." He could sense some hesitation in her voice and both seemed slightly on edge as she joined her husband.
"So," the silence was broken by the wife, "do you have any stories?" Her husband cleared his throat as to cut her off as she avoided eye contact with James as he swallowed hard.
"I guess I'll be going now," the flyboy quietly stated as he began to rise from his seat, "good to see you are in good health."
The husband stood up and shook his had, "I'm sorry Jimmy, sorry for what you boys had to do, but I'm glad you're home."
"Yes sir, I am too." He hugged the man's wife and reached for a small bag he had brought with him when a car was heard pulling into the driveway. The husband and wife looked at each other as Jimmy turned towards the door.
The door swung open.
That intoxicating smile.
His heart skipped a beat, then felt like it would burst from his chest.
That gorgeous brunette hair.
A smile started to creep over his mouth as his expression softened.
Their eyes locked for an instant before hers grew large, fearful, ashamed.
His smile faded, his clenched jaw solidified as they stood there in silence.
It seemed like eternity. Eternity until another young man followed her into the house.
She introduced the young man to Jimmy as Matthew Jacobs, a teammate of Jimmy's when they were in high school.
Jimmy nearly crushed his old teammates hand as he shook it.
Matthew grimaced as Jimmy released his grip, "So Jimmy, what service were you..."
"Navy" Jimmy cut him off, "What have you been doing with your life? working with your father at the dealership?"
"Yes sir!" Matthew responded with a mock salute. "What did you do in the war?"
"I got revenge for our boys" Jimmy sneered, "I killed the monsters that murdered our boys."
Jimmy turned to her parents and wished them a good day and strode between her and Matthew Fucking Jacobs as she followed him out.
"Jimmy....Jimmy....Jim.... JAMES DORMAN!" she finally screamed.
James stopped in his tracks reaching into his bag and pulled out a stack of letters he had never sent home. He weighed them in his hand and he turned to her, tears streaming down her face.
"I thought you weren't going to come back, Matthew was always there..." she started to sob.
James approached her slowly and dropped the letters at her feet, she rested her head on his chest, decorated with accolades and medals.
"Well, I came back. And now I know for sure that these letters get to you and its not the damn mail service."
As he walked down the street in that hot Alabama sun, she slumped over the letters, halfheartedly sorting the letters, she found the picture of her and Jimmy they had taken before he left, the picture he flew with, the edges frayed. They had looked so happy, her tears began to fall onto the picture as she flipped it over to see her handwriting was still visible.
"Until the day you come home, I'll wait for you, until the day I die, I'll love you."
She wiped the tears from her eyes and looked for the flyboy, but he was already gone.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
He had been doing well, he had fought the affliction.
But now, now his mind was awake.
His eyes wide open as he lay on his back on the floor.
The faint glow of an alarm clock reflecting off his eyes.
'Why have you come back into my mind.' He asked himself.
He hoped she was well, but couldn't bring himself to ask.
He hoped she thought of him in light, but reserved himself to the fact that the idea in his mind wasn't the truth.
In that dark silent room he could still see his war journal.
All of his letters to her from his deployment.
'I hope all is well.' He whispered to himself.
'I honestly hope all is well, maybe one day once the wounds have scarred and healed...maybe one day...' he muttered under his breath as he tried to close his eyes again...for another useless attempt at sleep.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Eddy's black lifted jeep tore down the road, the doors and ragtop removed, the exhaust roared as the duo weaved through traffic. The sun bearing down in the hot Alabama day, Dustin truly felt it was hell on earth. "Where are we going anyway?" he questioned, oblivious due to the fact his eyes were closed as he tried to sober up. "I gotta pick something up and I wanted a copilot." Dustin reluctantly looked up as the jeep came to a stop. As he squinted in the light he found his answer, Maxwell Air Force Base, home of the Air Academy. "You coulda just said you were going to work, man." "Yeah, I know, but its my day so just take it." "Afternoon Lieutenant." was the greeting Eddy got from the entrance guard as he handed him Dustin's identification card. "Afternoon, what does your thermometer say about this heat?" "It says its dedicated to giving 112% effort today sir." the guard joked as he handed the ID back to the lieutenant. "Sucks for you Dustin! Thank you." Eddy shook Dustin as they passed through the gate into the installation. Base Exchange for a wet stone, new pair of boots, slings, camelbak, sunglasses, motrin for Dustin.
The two journeyed back to the house. While Eddy drove, Dustin seemed to be coming back to life, poking fun at the fact Kathy was so angry earlier in the day. "You know you you gotta sing to her now right? You really pissed her off so now you gotta make it up...then...bam you won't be going to Alaska a single man I tell you what." "One, my friend, I don't sing, you won't get me to sing, its not happening. Two, I don't think any voice could coerce her to even think about me like that again. And three, you're a funny fucker. Poppers, steaks and potatoes tonight?" "One day you'll listen to me buddy, and yeah that sounds great. I'm gonna get a hold of more people, tonight is going to be great." Dustin took his phone out and started texting, Eddy continued to drive."It will be interesting at least." he thought to himself.
"Okay, we absolutely have to sing Living on A Prayer, Don't Stop Believing, ooh yeah, some country, DEFINITELY Wagon Wheel..." Dustin didn't seem to notice that Eddy wasn't as excited as he was, Eddy was just enjoying his steak, amused by his friend's excitement. "Friends in Low Places, you forgot that one Dust." Dustin looked at Eddy with the glee of a child, "You're right man!" "you might be able to talk me into it if you're lucky." Eddy quipped. "Oh my brother it's not luck, its whiskey, and peer pressure, you'll see." Dustin threw a piece of meat in his mouth as he winked and got up from his seat. "Let's get ready son, we aren't getting any younger."
She was waiting for him when he walked into Last Chance, a bottle of beer pressed to her lips. She was gorgeous, her beautiful brown eyes, her smile, everything about her and how those jeans fit her legs and hips, how her pink shirt made her pop in a crowd, how livid she seemed. "What!? you weren't even going to tell me that you were leaving? What the fuck is your problem Eddy you just wanted to slip out and then what? You just disappear for however long you are out there doing whatever you are doing? You're a real asshole sometimes!" Kathy was pissed, Eddy could see her jaw clenched, a vein popping in her neck, she was really pissed. "I'm sorry I didn't know you'd be so upset, I figured I'd just go do this job and come back." Eddy responded as he tried to pull her in so she could hear him, she pulled away. "You know I worry about you, just be safe okay? Lets judge some people's singing so I can think of something that doesn't make me so mad." She handed him her empty beer bottle, wiped her hand off on his shirt, then walked away. "Typical." Dustin muttered as he punched Eddy's shoulder. "Let's get rowdy."
They came and went, superstars in their own minds for a few moments as they sang to the bar. Once Kathy had calmed down the playful judging of the singers took over. The rounds kept coming also, Dustin had gotten a good group of people together for this event. The girls broke the ice, singing a Spice Girls song, the bar seemed to eat it up so more in the group started volunteering to sing. Eddy and Kathy caught up in between songs while Dustin floated in between groups, more rounds coming. "Come on mister lieutenant! It's our time to shine!." Dustin grabbed Eddy and led him to the stage. As soon as the music started the bar was in an uproar.
She hadn't seen a smile like that on him in over two years, he had always been charming but the way he'd send a glance over while singing made her smile, she rolled her eyes and went back to talking with some friends.
The night wore on, Living on a Prayer, Don't Stop Believing. Dustin almost starting a fight at the bar top had eddy occupied for a while as small scuffles would brew around the two. By the time they returned to the table Eddy over heard Kathy say something about him but grew quiet when she noticed they were back. Eddy had thought that the night had been going well, evidently the back and forth glances, the joking around and playful banter didn't mean much. Dustin grabbed two beers from the bucket and pulled his friend over to have a smoke. "Man she's eating you up tonight, she still has something for you, tell her!" Eddy lit his smoke and glanced in the direction of the table, she was texting, he sighed. "I really don't think so man, I'm just whatever about it." Dustin took a hard drag and looked his friend in the eyes "125/5, final offer man, shit you can make money off this, whats the worst that can happen she says she doesn't see you like that? Pft you've heard that before haven't you? Just tell her, even if it goes bad in your eyes, you're leaving and when you come back it wont be awkward or anything." Eddy and Dustin locked eyes again, "You're drunk man, but thanks for the pep talk Dust." Eddy took one last drag and put the cigarette out in an ashtray and walked toward the bar.
"I swear to God," Kathy drunkenly spoke with her friends at the table, "if a man could just sing me one of those damn good songs to me and meant it, ring, finger, lets make babies." Everyone at the table started laughing with each other as another round came in. "Eddy! you need to sing you're good baby go sing!" Yeah, Kathy was drunk. Yeah, he had an idea. Eddy went to the karaoke sign up and spoke with the tech for a second, then returned to the table. She asked what he was going to sing. His only response, "Nothing if I don't get enough whiskey." Dustin caught the comment and immediately ordered rounds of Makers. It was going to be an interesting night.
One. Two. Three. Four.
Calling up Eddy...Eddy you're up to sing brother everyone put your hands together.
As he went to stand up, Kathy grabbed his hand and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Good luck" she said flirtatiously. "Thanks Kat, I'll need it."
"Yeah! you go you country mother fucker!" Dustin roared from the bar while waiting on another round for the table. Eddy only raised a hand in acknowledgment as he reached the stage. She could tell he was really nervous, unusually nervous. "What's wrong with him? Why is he so nervous looking?" she asked some at the table. "I didn't think he was the kind of guy to get stage fright." She took her drink up and leaned back in her chair. She couldn't help to admire how well he could pull off the look, black pearl snap shirt, nice pair of jeans and his black cowboy boots. His curly brown hair threatening to cover his eyes, a goofy smile. He seemed the part, but could he sing?
The music started, country, everyone saw that coming.
"That's my country mother fucker man woo get it Eddy! you Josh abbot sonuva bitch!" Dustin was out of control, priceless. Eddy was sure Dustin had no idea what was going on.
He cleared his throat.
"A little longer, baby stay with me a little longer, I just want your touch again, feel your body giving in..."
The bar was cheering in agreement.
He was good, she didn't see a reason for him to be so nervous.
"It’s pulling at me, my desire to make you happy, I want to feel your touch again."
All he could think about was her, if she would understand, if she would see what he was trying to do, to open himself up to her again.
"Let’s just lie here together chasing forever, I can’t get enough of your love.
Brave and relentless, sweet and defenseless, I can never get enough, every time we touch."
He was lost in the music, he seemed to be completely overtaken in his performance.
She didn't know that she was the only person in the bar he was singing to.
"Can’t stop staring, my eyes keep taking off what you’re wearing.
I just want your touch again, to feel your body giving in."
He looked up while holding onto the mic on its stand. His eyes instinctively drifted to Kathy, she was enjoying it. Even if she didn't know what was going on, at least he could give her a show. Dustin was talking to some friends when it hit him, he turned around and saw Eddy's eyes focused on Kathy. "That sonuva bitch!" Dustin thought, "He's really doing it."
"You’re a bad liar, that smile gives away what you desire, you wanna feel my touch again..."
Eye contact. There was something in his eyes, he searched desperately for something in hers, then looked away, but came back, turning his body more towards her.
"Let’s just lie here together, chasing forever, I can’t get enough of your love..."
"Yeah bro you tell her you love her! Let it all hang out!" Dustin yelled.
Kathy heard the praise, and turned to look for Dustin.
Then it hit, she looked back to Eddy, their eyes locked again.
Her heart sped up, she felt the butterflies.
"Brave and relentless, sweet and defenseless."
Charming, genuine, full of surprises, he was good.
I can never get enough, every time we touch.
She searched for an answer in his eyes, if this was really happening. She was flustered.
"Yeah let’s lie here together chasing forever, I can’t get enough of your love."
She got up from the table and started walking towards the stage. His face lit up with a smile as he sang to her, the only person in the bar in his reality.
"Brave and relentless, sweet and defenseless, I can never get enough..."
She just shook her head at him, couldn't stop smiling.
"Every time we touch. every time we touch. "
He locked eyes with her again as he picked her up, she clenched his neck hard. "You do this and then you're fucking leaving? You asshole don't leave me here."
He held her close as he put her down, Dustin in the background with a silent nod.
"Come with me." Eddy muttered.
"I can't drive anywhere right now what do you...." Eddy silenced her with his finger, and kissed her.
"Come with me, and when I'm done with this ob we can go anywhere we want. Come with me Kat."
Tears started to form as she buried her face in his shirt. "Of course, I'd follow you anywhere Lt. James Edmond Rayburn, I've been waiting for you to wise up for a while now."
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
There they sat, friends, teammates, brothers, in this smokey bar, this safehouse.
"You're really gonna keep doing that aren't you? One day I'm gonna take your bet, I'm gonna win, and take all your damn money because I know one day I'm gonna cowboy up and you'll be weeping over an empty wallet...ass." Dustin smiled wide as he leaned towards his comrade. "You mean to tell me, that one day you are gonna man-up, actually talk to a girl for once, get her number, or take her home? Really? That will be a cold day in hell, why do you think I always do this? I know you won't, I know you." Eddy raised the glass in front of him to his lips, he looked over Dustin in his white button-down shirt under an open black leather jacket. His hair ever so gingerly spruced to offer maximum mohawk flaunt. Dustin just smiled at him, "Stop checking me out, all these girls might get the wrong idea dude." They both glanced around, noting the only females in the bar were their waitress and a woman who seemed like she could snap either of them in half, top of the line pickings.
Scotch, good scotch, empty glass.
"I'm not afraid of that, one, because I'm loaded and one empty wallet won't be the end of the world...and two, and the more important reason is even while you don't admit it, and I doubt I'll ever have the pleasure to hear you admit it," Dustin grabbed his drink while holding his other hand out to keep Eddy from responding, "You, my friend are still in love with someone else, and we both know who."
Eddy glared as he took a deep drag from his Lucky Strike. A cheerful voice diverted his attention, it was the waitress."You guys look like you need some new drinks," a playful giggle followed as Dustin smiled at her, "another round of...scotch....right?" Dustin grabbed her hand and turned his charm to eleven. "My goodness you are too sweet to us, I'm Dustin and my comrade here who thinks jeans and a white t-shirt constitutes good taste is Eddy, and you are gorgeous what's your name?" She rolled her eyes with a smile, obviously Dustin was a sweet talker, and she'd certainly heard it all before, "I'm Shannon, and you might as well get in line if you think you got a chance sweetie." "Ooo such a fire cracker," retorted Dustin, "Is there an express lane?" Shannon smiled and demanded the answer to her original question. Dustin shot a look at Eddy, then back to the waitress. "Here is what we need, two rounds for each of us, two tequila shots, dressed, some of that mint shcnapps shit for him, like four shots, and....hmm...two shots of 151...it's going to be a long night." She started laughing at how large the order was, until she glanced at Eddy, staring at Dustin, who was staring right back, a tinge of anger in Eddy's eyes, a touch of nonchalance in Dustin's. She quickly left to get their order as they sat in silence. "You're kidding right? Fuck, you're not kidding..." Eddy accepted his fate and followed suit as Dustin pulled out his lighter and a cigarette.
Shannon returned with her serving tray full, she quickly sat it down as the brothers both lit their cigarettes, she didn't say a word as she left.
"Go." Eddy demanded as he took a shot of Rumpleminze.
"Dude seriously you need to just fucking admit it to yourself and her, this isn't good for you and shit, she's probably caught on a little too but you won't say shit. You've said it yourself, you changed for the worst after you broke up with Kathy and ever since, you're holding back," Dustin took a gulp from his scotch ,"come on dude it's really messing you up, you need to just I don't know...just something."
Eddy took a deep drag as he rolled his eyes, "Yeah after we broke up it was a shitty time but I moved on Dustin, obviously, I've dated and what-not and that shit just didn't work out and I dunno why you can't just drop it!" Eddy looked down and sighed, grabbed his drink and began to chug.
Dustin just smiled, happy to know that Eddy remembered their deal to chug the current drink if either lost their temper during talks and arguments."Yeah, you are really over it D, take another shot buddy let's go."
Eddy took his smoke in his hand, "Okay, what about Ann?"
Dustin rolled his eyes and pointed towards the tequila with a smile, "Ann was your rebound dude, you knew you could say some sweet words and end up in a relationship. And when that went south you acted out, but it wasn't because of that, it was because you regretted the whole Kathy situation because you realized how fucking good you had it and that you're an idiot."
"Okay, the infamous Krtistal, I'm dying to hear what you're going to come up for her." Eddy allowed a smirk to form on his face.
"Too fucking easy man, you're fucking stupid, Justin, Blake, Hillary, Jacob and even fucking Kathy herself warned you about Kristal. When Kathy is pulling you away from a girl and warns you about her and that you're messing up, my dude, you're messing up. You didn't even talk to her for a while and whenever you got that assignment up north we all were dumbfounded when you told us you and her were together. I'm surprised Kathy didn't go out there herself and punch you in the dick with your own boots. I will give you this though...she had great boobs so kudos there, but that's about all of her positive qualities. Ann treated you like shit in the end and so did Kristal, and by my count, the one person other than them that you'd talk to, was, Kathy or yours truly. Take a shot, you're losing bad."
Dustin grabbed his tequila shot and nodded towards Eddy. Eddy took his up and snapped, "Fuck you, love you asshole." "Love you too ass hat." Dustin shot back.
Eddy lit another smoke and grabbed his scotch and sat for a second as the hustle and bustle of the bar continued around him. "What about Michelle and Amber?" Eddy was running out of options.
Dustin laughed as he lifted his glass, "My dude, making out with a chick a few times at a nightclub doesn't count, though I am surprised that you even went into a club, you're full of fun tricks." He took a deep drink and put his glass down as he locked eyes with his brother. "Eddy I love you I really do but shit man open your eyes and stop running from everything. When she is happy you're happy, when shes not, you're not. I swear to god if you had the slightest chance if the world of making that work again, you'd have to tell her how you feel, or get obnoxiously rich and promise her a stress free life, even then its a long shot. You're a good guy, great teammate and the best brother I could have, but your dumb so take that shot.
Dustin continued, "That chick you bought a drink for, not your type, you didn't even talk. The secretary at your last assignment that you took to that UFC fight, reminds like five of us of Kathy. I dont know whay you gotta be so difficult."
"I don't wanna make things weird." Eddy retorted
"So you do still like her, tell her." Dustin shot back.
"Dude shut up,you're stupid, what am I supposed to do? Call her and just declare that I'm still head over heels with her after how we ended? Yeah that's really smart, not. If I told her she would probably accept it, then just stop talking to me so yeah not happening." The slurring had started, Eddy finished the last of the scotch in his glass and looked up at his brother who had a concerned look on his face, "What? What Dustin?"
Dustin just looked at him and raised two fingers toward Shannon for another round, he sighed and lit another cigarette, "Was that so hard to say out loud?"
"You're an asshole, and thank you." Eddy raised his glass towards his brother, "You know you're paying for all this right?" Dustin just laughed as then took their glasses down, "You know, you never know"
Eddy simply replied, "Fuck you I'm not gonna say anything Mr. Therapist but thanks for the drinks."
They both started laughing as the bartender called last call. "Well champ, lets go find you girls to not hit on, I feel weird buying a guy drinks all night" Dustin calmly said, "Ten-one hundred says Shannon gives me a fake number when I ask for it, you in?"
Eddy smiled and finally caved in.
It was a real number, Eddy ended up being best man in their wedding.
Dustin never got his money.
Monday, January 9, 2012
"You'd be proud of me" it reads, he was never enough.
As the scratching continued a story appeared, a description, a tale.
"decisions have been made, battle switches activated,
you'd be proud of me, and loathe me if you really knew..."
The faint glow of a struck match, faint wisp of a smoke-tail.
Dissipates around him as he takes a sip,
I write today to dismay you, the book will end as it sits,
collecting dust, a ledger of a battle fought in the past.
Our story was a beautiful tragedy, victim of a broken mast.
I write in a book now, my book of secrets, things I'm too coy to say
my mind tangles with words as I dream, things I could never say.
If I were so bold I'd show you, but giving too much would leave me vulnerable
Its where I lay my wants, dreams and visions, musings and thoughts that I'm too shy to scream
One book finished, incomplete.
One book born, unknown fate.
If you only knew, you'd be so proud of me
when I burn this book, I'll finally be free.
Who knows when that will come, will I be able to destroy
These perfect lines of life I'll create?
He trades the pen for his cigarette as he stares out of his window into the night.
Light smoke tails wisp around him as he closes the notebook and pulls out another.
He trades his cigarette for the pen...
Let me buy you a drink, let's compare scars.
Let's trade those stories, we both have them
Lets find out who's closer to the stars.
We don't have much time now dear,
what do we have to fear?
He leans back in his chair, trading his pen once again
"What do we have to fear" he says.
"The fear of being found..." He writes
I can honestly say that this break has been one of the most interesting, yes even compared to last year's totaling of my dearest blue car. Originally destined for a trip to my home-away-from-home I found myself once again running amok in good Ol' El Paso, which depending on circumstance can be seen as good or bad, depending on who you ask.
What made this trip different, was the fact that I had a lot of time to just sit and think...and I mean THINK. Shooting excursions into the depths of the desert, watching the run fall beneath the horizon as that sweet taste of Bourbon and coke hangs on one's lip while getting the last few long range shots in for the day. Going back to the same location in the cold, stillness, darkness of the night and being able to see for miles around, the city just a slight glow to one's back.
Feeling a strange calm as I'd speed down the highway, weaving through traffic, drunk on the music blasting through the speakers surrounding me. Everything slows, feel the heartbeat, not needing to blink, smirk on the face.
I finally was able to meet my baby nephew, the fact that he likes Frank Sinatra and big band music has me hopeful he will grow up to be quite a classy young man. Ran into some old friends, acquaintances, ghosts of my past, and people I'd like to actually stay in contact with.
Pardon me if I stare but your eyes are exquisite, your smile a nail in the coffin. Start a fire, pass the 'shine. Excuse me if I'm being too upfront, but would you like to dance? Racing through the city lights call me out, I''m being a gentleman, I'm sorry.
A smile with a fat lip, a high five. let's hit the streets, let's burn it down gents we're running out of time.
The more I think the more I drift, without a mooring, keep your mind right Wallace let it go. Family times around the table, around a tree. I'll be the workhorse, light the stove let's get it done.
Wake up, smile, It's been a good run brothers.
It was a pleasure to meet you sir, now I must leave, I've got to get to work sometime right?
Shit...I still need to be packing...this glass of scotch isn't going to finish itself though...If I had the gall, would you care to join?
Thursday, January 5, 2012
May not post for a while but I bring you the song I'd lose myself to
AFI: Fainting Spells
Give me this before
before I sink,
because I think
I may have found
the short way down
Just give me something
Something cold and clear
the love spent here,
as I had feared,
means nothing dear.
I pray to reason I'll forget
Ill trade whats left...
I'm the devout,
praying just to
get the blood out,
bound by this flesh I own
I'm the devout,
cutting just to
get the blood out
Desecrate til we die alone...
I will defy
the pulse disguise
but please pretend
were still alive
if it gives you hope
I sung and drowned,
I'm taking the short way down...
Just give me something
I'm the devout,
praying just to
get the blood out,
bound by this flesh I own
I'm the devout,
cutting just to
get the blood out.
Desecrate 'til we die alone
(now the part that got me)
Give me something I can take
to make the memories fade,
Poison kiss, remember this,
I was never meant for this day
Just give me something
I'm the devout,
praying just to
get the blood out,
bound by this flesh I own
I'm the devout,
cutting just to
get the blood out.
Desecrate til we die alone
Just give me something
I'm the devout,
praying just to
get the blood out,
bound by this flesh I own
I'm the devout,
cutting just to
get the blood out.
Desecrate 'til we die alone
we die alone
we die alone
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
gotten used to the cold in a lonely bed.
I got used to a spinning room as I'd awaken.
Memories of nights erased, days gone by
the hours drank away in the embrace of charred oak barrels.
Those days are such a blur now.
Those nights lost forever.
Now as I awaken, the bourbon stays on the table.
I'm waking up sober now.
sober now I'll watch the sunrise and can finally...
finally drink my coffee with steady hands...
steady hands which write again.
Clear eyes that can see again.
I've gotten used to the sunsets, the stars
the stars that watch me now, a tapestry of serenity
serenity I've been craving...I've gotten used to...
I've gotten used to not hurting...