‘Kayso I have a brand new story up on an online journal called Sleep. Snort. Fuck. A brilliant name for a brilliant ezine. All these other journals with their The sky was blue and the grass was green horseshit. No, let’s get to the fucking, that’s what SSF says.
I decided I’m going to start filling my blog with some of the unpublishable garbage taken out of the stories I do have published, such as “Love and Shit” newly on SSF. The basis for this story I initially wrote in college way back when as a sappy actual love story simply called “A Love Story.” Recently I added a second part to that story that moved it from a sappy love story to just a barrage of sexual obscenities that I was sure no journal would publish. And I was right until SSF came along.
I won’t put the entire original beginning of this story here. That would be an abortion. But here are the original first three paragraphs:
Tim rode the train home from work every night practically in a trance. When his stop came he slowly walked off and went up to his apartment. When he arrived home he let his jacket and bags fall onto the floor, sat on the sofa and stared at the wall. All the while thinking of her. They had been working together for three months now. Somehow it was the best and the worst three months of Tim’s life. He hadn't eaten or slept right the whole time. He was miserable; yet, when he saw her face at the office a rush of bliss flew through him.
He looked back at the workday, going over every word she had spoken to him. He wondered if she thought he was a babbling idiot every time he tried to speak to her. He saw her face everywhere. Her eyes were hazel, but he could not recall ever seeing a color so beautiful. He wished he could look into those eyes forever. Her blonde hair hung from her head perfectly. Never had he laid eyes on anything so magnificent and angelic.
How many more days and nights could he spend like this? He had to do something. He realized he had to either tell her or just quit his job or this would go on and on. He couldn’t quit. He needed his job. He had noticed, as had his boss and co-workers, that it had affected his work. He couldn’t concentrate. Could he find the courage to tell her how he felt? In high school he waited over a year to tell a girl how he felt about her. Finally he wrote her a letter. It was after four more letters that she said enough was enough. It was this experience that made him hesitant now. He had to do something. This was killing him. He thought she liked him. It was time to take a chance.
Wow, what a riot, huh? God, was I a douche. Fifteen years ago that crap was written. So I decided a couple of years ago to try to make lemons out of lemon shit and juxtapose this with some brutal dialogue. Tim takes a walk and visits his favorite deli, when his buddy Ben works. This I eventually also omitted because the end was the killer and even this part is brooding bullshit:
When Tim entered the deli he was so quiet that Ben didn’t notice him. Tim sat still until Ben finally said, “Hey, Timmy boy. What’s up?”
“Not much, Benny. Can I have a cup of coffee and a shotgun please?”
“I’m sorry. You want Bob’s Gun and Sub Shop down the street,” Ben said as Tim stared at him blankly. “Nothing?”
“Nope. Sorry, Ben.”
“Say, what’s with you? You ain’t been the same the last few weeks. Is it that broad you’re keen on? Ask her out, for fuck’s sake. You’re an attractive fella. Smart, funny, charming.”
“Do you want to go out with me, Ben?”
“Hey, I ain’t no faggot, kid, you hear me?”
“Jesus Christ, I’m sorry.”
“I’m just teasin, Timmy. But I ain’t no cock tease like this skirt of yours.”
“Did you get her number and call her like I said?”
“And what happened?”
“I freaked out and hung up when she answered.”
“Like a pussy, you Nancy-boy little bitch bastard. What did I tell you? You’re handsome. You’re smart. And you’re a funny guy when you’re not brooding over some piece of ass.”
Tim heard all that Ben was saying, but he knew that coming from him it didn’t mean much. Tim didn’t see himself as attractive or very smart. He could be funny around friends, but he was too shy around women, especially Carrie.
“You want some coffee, Romeo?” Ben said.
“No, I’m good, thanks.”
“Know what you need? You need a hooker.”
“A hooker. A prostitute. A whore. A nice Russian whore.”
“I don’t think so, Ben.”
“Whatever, I’m just trying to help. Call her or you’ll drive yourself nuts. Call her or go to her place. Stalk her like the lunatic you are. Then kill her and bury her in your backyard.”
“Great, thanks, Ben,” Tim said as he made his way out the door.
“Don’t mention it, kid.”
Not bad, but I still thought this was ridiculous and chopped the hell out of it, leaving myself and SSF with “Love and Shit, a flash fiction story about two insensitive so-called friends of Tim’s who only think of girls as sex objects and use sexual references like the Gaylord Perry and the Roddy Piper and late-60s/early 70s pop culture references to discuss menstruation.
This here is “Love and Shit,” not worthy of some proper dickbag journals, but right at home on SSF.