Monday, January 04, 2010

He frowns, "Gee, My Life's a Funny Thing, Am I Still Too Young?"

A recycled photo of me and my family at Papago when I was a kid. I'm the one standing in front of the dog in my favorite turtle patterned sun suit.

Hey, check me out. I'm actually trying my hand at some fictiony-ish writing. I rarely try to write in a man's voice. As I've said before, I have no idea what goes on in guys heads, and I'm more than a little afraid to find out. (I'm sure guys say the same thing about me) I just thought it would be an interesting exercise. Feel free to tell me if and how it is totally unbelievable. As usual, I appreciate the feedback. Fair warning, I wrote this just now and as usual, didn't really proofread it. Here it is:

He could hear one of them out there. They had to go. No, they couldn't hold it. They really, really had to go. NOW. The enemy at the gates, he thought. They always acted like he couldn't hear them when he checked-out, but he heard everything. He just chose not to respond. He felt like the kid who closes his eyes and thinks no one can see him. He hoped that if he didn't interact, then everyone would take the hint and leave him alone. It rarely seemed to work that way. Although, this time he could hear his wife leading one of the kids away from the door.

Sometimes he just couldn't do it. It was all too much for him. All the people, all the kids, all of them needing. Every year he acquired more people, and they all wanted something from him - his money, his time, his privacy and they expected him to express emotions he didn't even feel comfortable admitting he had. It was overwhelming and made him want to hide in the bathroom, sitting in the tub with his feet braced against the wall and his head in his pulp science fiction books, where anything was possible...Including escape.

He could leave them, he knew. Just get in his VW bus and go. Start somewhere fresh, where no one knew him. Create a completely different past for himself, that would forge a future of infinite possibilities. But that would mean a life without his family. They would eventually find a replacement for him. Another man who would provide for them, and meet all of their expectations better than he did, and without feeling the need to hide in the bathroom. The thought of that was unbearable. So, he tried to be a husband and father when he could, and hid when he had to. Only imagining an otherworldly escape, where he would never have to know what happened to the people he left behind.


rel said...

Nicely done. But it scares me when you climb inside my head and read my thoughts. And hey, I thought this was a fiction piece? ;)

Tara said...

I'm intrigued, write some more please! I can definitely relate to that character. I've had my moments. In the middle of the department meetings we used to have each day, I'd imagine getting up and jumping out the window that led to the woods, and just walking home. Ground story window.

Johnny Yen said...

As I've said before, I have no idea what goes on in guys heads

Ha-- truth be told, we don't know what's going on inside our heads!

I like the writing-- clean and you stay in a consistent voice.

It reminded me of a non-fiction piece that I read in the Chicago Reader years ago, about a guy cleaning out the home of his deceased father, who'd left the family years before. His father had made and lost fortunes building suburbs and subdivisions. What he left behind was thousands and thousands of the pulp fiction books he'd been addicted to reading.

laura b. said...

I love the universal feeling of this. Yes, it is a man's voice, but it could be anyone really, who has ever felt overwhelmed or trapped.

Pamela said...

I'm sorry, brain can't think. I'm sure it's great.

booda baby said...

Wheee! I'm really happy to read you writing!! I'd like to go away and think, but I bet when I returned, I'd say the same thing. Nice voice. I think if you edited out a few of the 'almost exposition' lines, you'd get closer to his ... pulse.

BTW, these are a great couple of lines:

All the people, all the kids, all of them needing. Every year he acquired more people, and they all wanted something from him -

Ananda girl said...

Very well done! Short, sweet and wrapped up nicely. I agree... we all feel these things. But there is also a masculine tone here. Keep writing Churlita!

MrManuel said...

Good job! I too like to to write and have even written the first chapter of a story I have outlined. I am sure that is as far as it will get though.

Churlita said...


Thanks. That's good feedback coming from a guy.


The character is loosely based on my dad. I don't remember him well. Which is why this is mostly fiction.

Johnny Yen,

I wonder if that guy and I had the same dad. ha ha.


yeah. It wasn't too hard to put myself in his shoes to write this. Although, I would never in a million years, ever be able to leave my girls.


Thanks. I hope your migraine meds are working for you now.

Booda Baby,

Thanks. That is so helpful. Mostly I'm just trying to write things down to sort through later. So, your feedback will help me rework it better.


Thank you. I love your writing too.

Mr MAnuel,

Don't give up. Finish your story, so we can all read it.