bitter, dark night

I think I’ve been trying to get something written for at least two week. Even testing the new beta version of ecto3, I wasn’t able to manage anything more than test test, test. It has been, to say the least, nuts. There have been school plays (and much applause), trick-or-treating with teenage girls (the smell […]

I think I’ve been trying to get something written for at least two week. Even testing the new beta version of ecto3, I wasn’t able to manage anything more than test test, test.

It has been, to say the least, nuts.

There have been school plays (and much applause), trick-or-treating with teenage girls (the smell of girls and candy in my truck), hockey games (the sharks lost, but I finally got a sharks jersey), award ceremonies at the county department of education (who, it turns out, have quite the collection of art, one piece of which is now by my daughter). There have been friends in need, emergency house repairs, and kids games that don’t work on Leopard.

And that’s not to mention work.

Work, though; well, one might touch wood (Shhh! no giggling!) and say things are getting better. Or at least getting ready to get better.

We finally got another guy in my group, which we desperately needed – and this new guy’s lookin’ like a rock star, one of those gifted CAD engineers who loves this kind of work, AND has the technical chops. And we have a new director, and for the first time since I reported to Jeff (Ray knows what this means), we have a top manager who fucking gets it. He knows already who’s carrying the load (my team) and who’s not (that other team who sit next to my team, and no, if you’re reading this, I don’t mean you. Unless it’s YOU in which case, yeah I do).

This is why I try not to tell co workers I blog. One of them asked me about a Bukowski quote in my sig bar: “Writing chooses you, you don’t choose it.” And he asked me if I’m a writer, and what I write. “Dark, violent noir” is what I said, because I didn’t want to mention blogging at a group lunch, and I didn’t want to say “erotica featuring drugs and depravity” which is nearer the mark.

But possible improvement aside, we’re still bailing as fast as we can to slow the boat sinking. Which doesn’t help one’s creativity or general well-being.

My head’s been full of snippets of writing lately. I can feel something trying to get out. Snippets of dialog I can’t quite seem to bring from brain to keyboard. Characters who walk on stage and are gone again before I know who they are.



I sat late last night in a bar, watching a pretty young woman talking to thebarman. She wants him, I thought, seeing it in the hair-touching, the posture. I puzzled over their story. Was she playing so hard for him, doing her overt mating dance? Or was I seeing a couple in love already, her body showing every recent touch of his hands.

I wondered as I sipped strong black coffee and listened to people next to me tell boastful stories. I began to tell myself a story about them, pieced together without words, from glances and smiles and almost-touches. I entertained myself until last call and after, until closing time.

I overheard the handsome young barman then, as I picked up my coat and hat. He was saying “…my fiancée…” to other late-night patrons, with an open-handed sweep in her direction.

Young love, I thought. Romance, and possibility, everything life has laid before them like a shining path.

“Fuck the both of you,” I thought, and walked out into a bitter, dark night.


The setting above was true, a pretty girl who looked like Fred from the teevee show Angel, playing with her hair as she talked to a friend of mine who tends bar. The word fiancée was indeed used later, when he introduced her, and I loved her instantly when she said hello. She had a little betty boop voice that made want to hear her say daddy.

But the slice on monolog was a character who started speaking in my head as I drove home. I don’t know who he was or why the young lovers inspired his wrath; but I wanted to find out. I wanted to know the rest of his story.

It wasn’t there. Just what you see, more or less as I heard his voice say it at 1:30 am last night on a freeway under dark, clear, starry skies. His story was lost, like someone you meet in an airport lounge and listen to for twenty minutes, while you await flights to different ends of the world. Like someone you meet and wonder about after.

I need to find a character again who speaks to me long enough that I know him, or her; that I can let them tell mea a story. It’s been far too long since that’s happened, but I can almost feel it, almost hear it.

And time, of course, to let them speak when they arrive. Because they will not wait. They will not hear me say, later, tell me later.

0 thoughts on “bitter, dark night”

  1. Love this post. Love that you had a moment to breath long enough to reflect and write it. It features real life- and some good moments in it, and some fiction that is starting to bubble up in your brain. Juices are flowing and who knows what will come of that. Perhaps the character will come. Perhaps another. We will find their stories one day. Right under a lol cat.

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