Posts Tagged ‘write’


November 4th, 2009 2 comments

August 26, 2009

Green seats. Green plastic seats, with holes cut in them by the children of bygone years. An altogether different shade of green used for patches. Sometimes the patches were of another material akin to duct-tape and held on with glue. Other times the cut was deemed small enough that it could just be covered by the off-color goo. It never looked right. And it always looked old.

Some of the seats had odd lumps, and there was always the crappy seat that floated in the limbo between the wheel well and the seat in front. You always had to sit with your knees up in that seat. You always tried to ignore it and get another one. But sometimes you got there late and had to settle for the inferior set.

Me, I was a window sitter. I looked out the window and thought of what might be out there. I watched the land roll by as the bumps of the road and the cacophony of the other children blended into an overwhelming morass of sound and feeling. It was dark in the mornings during the winter, and I would watch the light rise from black to a dull grey of a wintery cloudy morning.

I watched the familiar scenes wash by and looked for the unique and surprising in the familiar. A bird on a fence post. A new driveway being cut. And sometimes I would notice a little something new where I had always seen before. The sattelite dishes of the radio tranlator. A new house tucked behind where I had never seen it before.

Sometimes there were new stops, new faces. I watched them get on the bus, watched where they sat. The kid with the dirty pants and tussled hair. The little girl that must be his sister — no two families moved into town at the same time.

The ride was calming, soothing. Just me and my thoughts. And sixty other children, all tired for the early hour but teeming with the sugar-blasted breakfast products shoveled down their throats. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you know.

And there were bullies and socialites and dreamers like me. There were talkers and pokers and paper airplane flingers. There were annoying kids and fun kids and smelly kids that you didn’t want to sit with. There were window sitters and aisle sitters. I was a window sitter.

“What are you looking at?”

Over the years I heard that question many times. One kid in particular always asked me that question.

“Whatcha looking at, Lavering?”


“That’s stupid.”

It was a lame response, and I always knew it. I hated not having an answer. What was I looking at? The landscape, certainly. But that wasn’t it. I wasn’t looking at anything. But I was looking at everything. I didn’t have words to describe it.

I heard the question so many times over the years, and I thought that it was mean. They just wanted to tease me about something. They wouldn’t understand. They didn’t want to understand. So I kept to my safe “nothing”.

Then one day — I think it must have been in high school — I heard the question for the first time in a long time.

“Whatcha looking at, Lavering?”


For some reason I paused. Damn it, I’m tired of that answer. A few seconds passed, and I thought it over. I think it was the first time I actually, truly thought about the question.

“I don’t know. I’m just thinking.”

I waited for a snide remark.

“What are you thinking about?”

And the funny thing was, the question was genuine.

“Lots of things. Nothing in particular. I don’t know.” I think I had something better to say than that, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was that I was actually thinking about. I do remember that this was on the way home from school. It was the day after a wet day, when the sun was out amongst the clouds and the fields shone golden with a wet, musty undertone of brown. Dappled cloud shadows rolled across the fields and mountains and added a painterly look to everything.

“That’s cool.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

That day surprised me. Sometimes people aren’t what you expect. Sometimes they really do get you. This was one of those times. The conversation wasn’t deep, it wasn’t long. In fact, it is one of the shorter and quieter conversations I have ever had. But it was right. Just two people understanding one another. And more than anything for me, one person understanding myself better. I turned back to my well-studied window — with its engraved manufacturer’s mark and the two finger-breaking latches that served to open it in hot weather — and I looked out at something. My thoughts were slow to come after that. Perhaps they were aprehensive for being known. But they came, and soon I was awash again in a world of my own imagining.

And the bus rolled on down the road towards home.


September 30th, 2009 No comments

September 27, 2009

The sky burned the light baby blue of the tropics, the sand a blinding white. The shimmering sea was an artist’s pallet of turquoise and aquamarine. Waves lapped playfully on the shore as birds ran along its edge, combing the sand for tidbits. A gentle breeze whispered and rustled its way through the dense palms along the edge of the sand, complementing the cacophony of the birds and the rhythmic crash of the waves.

Beyond the first few palms a line of denser grass and thick underbrush, seemingly unbroken for as far as the eye could see, clearly demarcated the end of the beach and the beginning of the jungle. It was dark under the thick cover of leaves, and the swaying grass played tricks with the light. Easy to miss two dark eyes peering out from under the broad leaves of a banana tree.

Harrod, to whom the eyes belonged, watched the shore unblinkingly, as he had for some time. He remained motionless, staring at the small knot of men struggling to bring something — a wooden craft of some kind, it seemed — farther up the beach, above where the tide would come. Harrod did not know these men. He did not know any such men. But Harrod did know trouble when he saw it, and these men with their glinting mantles and strange trappings looked like trouble.

Harrod silently and suddenly faded back into the darkness along hidden paths known only to him. He sighed quietly as he jogged through the jungle. It was going to be one of those days.

TODO: Write a Book About…

February 12th, 2009 1 comment

TODO: Write a book about a character in some situation. Modern day society fiction about some guy just trying to get by. He more or less succeeds in whatever it is that he’s up to, but slightly odd things happen to him from time to time. These start to bother him more and more, until he finally can’t think of anything but what is going on. He starts to notice that even things he wasn’t previously bothered by seem to have a sinister undertone. The man at the grocery store checkout glares at him as he is leaving.  The cashier smirks and bobs his head in a condescending way.  The room spins.  And then suddenly he steps outside and everything seems back to normal.  The sun is shining, a bird flies by.  Cars start driving as the stop light turns green.  For the moment, he’s just a guy standing in a store parking lot.  Chest pounding, he takes a deep shaky breath.  And chuckles to himself.  All in my head, he thinks.  I need to get some rest — I’ve been working too hard.  He begins to walk home with his groceries.  The crosswalk changes to walk.  As he steps down into the street a truck’s tires screech as it swerves into the other lane, running the red light and nearly hitting him.  As the truck roars down the road, the passenger lazily reaches out their arm, middle finger extended.  He quickly collects his groceries from where they have dropped with shaking hands.  He waits until the next light turns and scurries across the street, darting glances in both directions. He nervously hurries home, avoiding the eyes of anyone around.  The keys are fumbly and hard to hold, and it takes a minute to open the door.  He steps inside and the door slams shut with a thin, reedy sound.  It’s hollow. He locks the door, but it’s no comfort.  Setting the battered groceries carefully on the counter, he collapses over the sink and takes a long drink of water.  It’s not cold, and tastes of metal and chlorine, but it’s better than the reality outside.  He splashes some on his face and fumbles for the kitchen towel, finding it easily within arm’s reach.  Everything is within arm’s reach in the kitchen.  He wipes the last of the water from his face, but it still feels wet and cool.  The groceries are sitting on the counter waiting, but he ignores them.  He walks to the small table where the remnants of breakfast lie next to the beat up laptop — a hand-me-down from his uncle.  It is his prized possession.  It whines pathetically as he turns it on.  He turns around and goes to get himself a glass of water.  It’s going to be a few minutes.  Finally a beep sounds; it’s ready.

He sits down and begins to write, “My name is Khalib, and this is my story…”

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