Friday, March 13, 2009

RICHIE - CHAPTER THREE (Twitter Novel / Keitai Shosetsu Version)

next day lunch the cafeterias
weird cuz its like a
combination of like
spaceport and french bistro

its all like domed glass
windows and colored tubes
and little round tables each
with room for four white
wicker chairs

//but i think the ambience is
kind of lost on the delinquents
that eat in here//

i always end up eating with
this black kid with one glass
eye who never talks to

which is fine with me cuz
then i can read and i dont
have to talk about video
games and smoking pot and

which gets really boring after
about five minutes but i look
up from my book theres
some kind of ruckus

going on up at the end of the
cafeteria line where we have
to -pay- for our meals with
these like credit cards that
they issue us

even though everythings paid
for by the state so its kind of
silly and useless but anyway

i look up and its richie and
hes really animated almost
yelling at the lunch lady who
just looks pissed off and
bored at the same time

she goes -if you dont pay
you dont get to eat- and
richie is like laughing almost
hysterical and says

-but i dont really pay anyway
and i still get to eat because
its all paid for already isnt it-
and she just scowls

and he goes -isnt it- and she
goes -if you dont pay you
dont get to eat- she doesnt
need this shit but he just
keeps going

about how payment requires
a transaction of money and
no money is moving its all
already fairviews anyway
they get it when we get here

and she goes -look kid they
tell me you gotta pay or you
dont eat and this is my job
and if i dont do my job

-my kids dont get to eat- and
richie waits a second and
goes -whatever- and pulls
out his meal credit card

swipes it walks away she
goes -thank you- trying to
sound snotty but really it just
comes out exhausted

and richie sees me and i drop
my eyes not sure if i want
him to come over or not but
he does

says -whats up- to glass eye
who doesnt respond and
richie just nods and sits down
and goes -whats up desmond

and i cant help but smile and
go -nothing- and he says
-whatcha reading- and turns
my book towards him and

its just that thing were
reading for isaacs class and
he grunts and looks at me and

-did you look up williams-
and i nod and go -yeah hes
cool i like the way he draws
women they look like tattoos-

and he goes -they look like
they have tattoos- like
questioningly and i go
-no- and repeat myself

and he says -oh- then -yeah
i guess they do- then -you
gotta speak up man i can
barely hear you sometimes-

and i go -sorry i guess i
mumble sometimes my
parents always said that- and
he looks at me frowning

-what the hell did you do to
get stuck in here- and i pause
a second then tell him about
when i brought the loaded
gun to school

and it was right after all that
stuff happened at salinas high
school and they totally
flipped out all over me

and richie asks why i brought
a loaded gun to school and if it
was like the salinas thing and
i tell him i just got tired

of balls hits in basketball
getting called faggot having
to use rough brown paper
towels to try and dry the spit
in my hair

and richie says -i thought
fairview was just for non-
violent crimes- and i tell him
it was non-violent

because i didnt shoot
anybody even though i really
wanted to and he just shrugs

i start feeling like i said way
too much and i just stop and
take a breath and ask him the
same thing

and he tilts his head and says
-stealing cars- and i ask him
why he was stealing cars and
he goes

-what a stupid question- and
i double take and go -thats
what you just asked me- and
he shrugs again says

-its a stupid question because
if you ever did it youd know
that driving a stolen car is the
best feeling in the whole
goddamned world-

and im just pissed by then
and im like -well i wouldnt
know cuz i never did it did i-
and he looks off and gets this
really weird look

like sad or something i never
saw on a kid especially a
prick like richie and he goes
-sorry- then

-ive got all these weird
chemicals running through
my body all the time and
sometimes its really hard

-not to be an asshole- and i
stop and go -oh do they
have you on meds too- and
he looks up surprised and
says -no-

then he figures something out
inside himself and goes -no
i just mean like the regular
natural teenage chemicals
going off all the time that
make us all

-you know totally insane-
and i laugh and i get it and he
kind of laughs and
remembers something

-oh yeah im not gonna call
you desmond dekker
anymore cuz thats way too
many syllables to say every
time i see you-

and im kind of relieved and
disappointed at the same time
then he says -im gonna call
you dee dee for short- and
im like -dee dee-

-yeah you know DD for
desmond dekker- and i just
shrug and smile and go -okay
richie okay whatever you
want- and he smiles and

slaps his hands on the
tabletop -it-is-decided- just
like that -ill have to take you
for a ride sometime show
you what its like-

and i go -yeah but isnt that
why you got put in here- and
he says -im only in here
because i wanna be-

i just laugh -thats what
everyone says- and he goes
-yeah but im the only one
who means it- and im all
-wooooo- and he smiles

gets up and backs slowly
away shaking his finger at me
-you will see dee dee you
will see- and he turns and
dashes off then lunch
uneaten gone again


Jason Gusmann said...

last chapter i'm posting - if you want to follow it i'm gonna keep posting it on twitter as i write it. next week: epic poetry?!?

Renee said...

Jason these guys are so real, especially the guy with the glass eye.



judy said...

last chapter. i have perfect timing. guess you're motivating me to get over my twitter resistance. thanks. i think. ;)

Selma said...

I think most people miss the ambience in the cafeteria. You describe that so well. I am enjoying this!

Harmonie22 said...

You know what? I like you. You're pretty darn good! But I'm sure you know that. your writing is very stream of consciousness taking me into the living moment and I think its great that you can write from the perspective of younger people I don't think I can do that. And very interesting form too, almost like poetry but not- what is that? Did you make it up or have you seen it somewhere before? That's what you're calling cell phone version, I get it, and why, and it works! It's a more interesting way of reading fiction. I'll keep on following Richie on twitter.


Paul said...

I agree with Harmonie, Jason. This rocks and it is easily the best use of twitter that I have ever seen. Absolutely brilliant.

Jason Gusmann said...

Renee - thank you so much, again.

Judy - just the fact that yr considering putting up with twitter is huge for me. i appreciate you coming by!

selma - cafeteria ambience is a hard thing to characterize, if it exists at all. i appreciate yr good words.

harmonie - there's a big difference between thinking yr pretty darn good and knowing it. the proof's in the publication, and i ain't there yet. but yr kindness is very much present.

paul - yr the man and you know it. i'm just (literally) following in yr electronic footprints, pallie.

kek-w said...

Loving this, espesh the fact you're serialising it on Twitter.

Sherry said...

I love the way you pinch ignored details and make them scream!
that is great, i mean it:)

Cocoyea said...

You've captured their voices so well. Every time I read this installment I feel like I'm there witnessing this convo.

Jason Gusmann said...

kek - thank you, esp. for the mention on kid shirt. much appreciated, sir.

sherry - those are the details i love the most. i really appreciate you coming by.

cocoyea - yr comments are like little stealth-bombs of joy. "EVERY time I read this installment..."? once would've been great for me! thank you!