Saturday, May 30, 2009

Untitled Thought

Enter Thick gray party cloudy sky
Enter Under-maintenanced state highway
Enter Music
Enter Cool artificial air
Enter 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage
Enter Figure 1

His vision is darkened by the too-tinted aviator sunglasses that lopsidedly sit on his face. The tan Honda Odyssey in front of him displays a small indentation carefully filled with caulking paste. He stares at the impression and his eyelids droop slightly, sleep accessible without having to try too hard. He remembers the time a rock found its way into the side of his Dad's car and how he couldn't talk himself into believing the rock had left his palm. His Dad wasn't angry. He merely asked him to bring the small metal box he kept his allowance money in to the kitchen. Crying hysterically, he took each step one at a time, the metal box weighing heavy in his hands.
The music becomes background as his mind lackadaisically slips into a narrow and familiar way of thinking. His thinking process is tired. By default, his mind slips into thoughts of romanticism. The sudden reduction in speed of the Odyssey forces his eyelids back and he punches the brake.
Tire treads line the passing lane shoulder. They look like...what's an expressive way of phrasing it? They look like...well tire treads, passing in rapid succession. His vision slips out of focus, the smudges and bug parts splayed across the windshield pushing the road into the blurry foreground. When will he be able to share these exclusive thoughts with someone. An intimate someone. A girl.
Richwood, his exit looms in the near distance. He is met by a traffic light at the bottom of the exit ramp. The McDonalds. Not exactly a place he frequented in his childhood, but it held a few memories.
Suddenly he is thrown into the past.
He wakes up early one summer morning on his own. He contemplates the books that line the back of his headboard. Excitement washes over his face when he realizes he has a coupon for a free McDonalds breakfast sandwich. But the McDonalds is at least 5 miles away, across the busy morning highway. Mom would disapprove. So would the babysitter. Slipping past the babysitter, he makes his way around the house to the garage. He walks his bike to the corner cursing its clinking chain. The damp morning air billows through his clothing as he takes the first hill. The sun in the cloudless sky blares down on his back. There are no thoughts of anything. Girls, work, school never cross his mind. A sausage egg biscuit and a tall orange juice propel the wheels forward. He barely stops for the highway, instead joining the tire treads on the side of the road. The McDonalds looms nearer and soon he is dismounting his bike in a safe place.

Flash forward and Figure 1 is smiling contently like a little kid who just remembered he had a McDonalds coupon on an early summer morning, thankful for the beautiful nostalgia.
The Odyssey inches forward and he sees what looks like a mother and 2 kids. He assumes that the preteen boy sitting in the backseat is the reason for the caulking. Maybe a rock was involved...


Nathan said...

This format is gnar, man. If you don't mind I got some feedback...

Since you can't really respond upfront I'm just going to assume you're pleased that I have feedback and will happily enjoy what I have to say.

This is really good. Sometimes I think you use fairly strong verbs for impact rather than trying for practicality. Such as: The Sudden reduction in speed of the Odyssey forces his eyelids back and he punches the break.

I don't think anyone "punches" a break, whether with their feet or hand. It's either clamped, pedaled, slammed, or pushed.

I realize that you're trying for a certain lyricism for an everyday event, but it seems almost hyperbolic, excessively so. I just don't know too many people who would "dare" to admit frequenting McDonalds, let alone set a story there, that would use eloquent words such as lackadaisically and billowing and nostalgia. Maybe that's just my obsessive-skepticism talking. Yeah. I think that's it. Maybe this is all bullshit--yeah. Yeah, I'm full of shit.

Austin said...

yeah man I definitely appreciate constructive criticism now and again.

I guess in that particular instance I was thinking of the swift blunt movement of a punch, and that was the way the foot hit the pedal. But yeah I agree with you at the same time, I do use bigger stronger verbs sometimes for impact when its not really needed (or doesn't exactly apply).

ha and I set it at McDonalds because this whole story is actually nonfiction. It's an actual memory from my childhood I was thinking about the other day in traffic.

but yeah man thanks, because I really do respect your writing so it means a lot coming from you

Nathan said...

I'm glad this thing keeps me logged in because I forgot my password. Don't worry, I won't be posting any writings here. I'm being a bit more on the side of solitare when it comes to "muh w0rdz". But, if it flatters you, I made this particularly, and especially, to comment on yours. Hoo-rah!