Backhand Stories: The Creative Writing Blog

Charlie’s here, talking about his story, about “how life’s an endless pit of chaotic bullshit, but every now and then it all makes sense, like there’s some kind of cosmic order, and that’s what makes life worth living, you know?” and Simon’s telling him, “it’s a substantial idea, but it’s already been done, man. It’s already been done.”

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It’s Wednesday so Joe and Chelsea are here – playing the same songs– she’s high on his guitar and he’s drunk on her voice and soon their composition will be careless and sloppy and they’ll leave as lovers and whoever is scheduled next, probably me, will be too plastered to perform, so the juke box will play Tom Waits. And there’s Alice, sitting by the piano again, that instrument she pretends to know how to play, wearing red high heels and matching lipstick, disguising her writer’s block and making herself available enough for another cheap story that will probably be published the same day she writes it. Michael’s on the patio with his legs crossed, rolling his own cigarettes, wearing that goddamn hat again like he’s some kind of fucking Hemingway in a French café. And Esmeralda’s pouring my drinks and I must say she’s damn good at her “transient position” and my disowned intemperance will miss her if she ever does make it to New York. Thank you, God. Here comes Olivia, being the ridiculously beautiful woman she is, dressed for a fucking Gatsby party, ignoring Michael, asking Charlie how his story is coming along, speaking Spanish to Esmeralda, pretending that she’s got somewhere better to go next. Jake and Allen stumbled in behind her, being assholes as usual. They’ve read so much existential and absurdist bullshit lately that now they’re convinced nothing matters, not even the fact that they’re fucking assholes. Jesus Christ, look at all these fucking assholes, all these goddamn beautiful fools. With their talents and critiques and theories and philosophies and hang-ups and bullshit. And I have to witness all of it. But really, I mean, really? Who am I to judge? I’m just some bastard, drunker than the rest of these bastards, sitting at the bar and scribbling about their lives on damp, used napkins. And in reality, now that I’m swaying on my bar stool, feeling all warm inside, and in such a state to choose my own reality, we’re no different from one another. We’re just a bunch of worried, hopeless, “starving,” artists and writers and musicians and fucking assholes that come to this wine bar for the exact same goddamn reason: it’s Wednesday.

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  • Enjoyed this. Wonderful sparse details, and a nice narrative voice. Sharp ending as well. Smiled throughout. Very nicely done.

  • York

    Very nice! Unfortunately for me, Wednsday is everyday! haha, just kidding. But not really.
    Nice vocabulary though! Props to you!

  • Chad

    I really liked it.

  • claudio

    Hi. I really liked your short story. I’d love to make a short movie with your story. I’m an italian emerging film director. If that’s ok with you, we can talk about it.
    Hear you soon.
    Claudio.

  • It is Wonderful details, and a pleasant narrative voice. Sharp ending similarly. Smiled throughout. terribly nicely done.

  • David

    This paints an incredibly vivid picture, and even though there are few physical details I can see each person. it is a clever look behind the masks where everyone pretends to be something special, but it’s also clever enough to turn that gaze on itself.
    Truly wonderful.

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  • Jay

    Awesome! absolutely awesome

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  • Monica Rocca

    what do think the author mean with disowned intemperance, maybe an attitude that doesn’t belong to the character ?

  • Lindsey

    You have great intellect and the way you form thoughts to words is beautiful and natural. Awesome story!

  • Devin

    I absolutely love it!

  • Oh, my.I remember coinmg to that part of my life where I didn’t care anymore, and it was when I found out I was pregnant. I feel ya’. I was also 29. My 20 s were a blur of idiocy. Punctuated by staggering student debt. I am a therapist and I tell my client’s to act as if when they are in doubt about something. If you think that people are looking at your weird or judging you, just act as if they’re not or you don’t care and move on through it. There’s some complicated neuropsychology behind that, but in a nutshell the more we tell ourselves something, the more we believe it. The power of positive thinking and talking is actually very real. Not that we all have to chant positive mantras in the mirror while we wear pastel mohair sweaters, but we should be kind to ourselves. Your advice is spot on! Make an active decision (or a conscious decision ) and go for it. Don’t do the mommy haircut or jeans. You’ll just end up hating yourself in the morning.