Friday, June 19, 2009

RICHIE - CHAPTER NINE (Twitter Novel / Keitai Shosetsu)


so richie comes into my room
on saturday and honestly im
totally happy about it cuz
even if he can be a dick
sometimes

hes more interesting than

pretty much everybody else
at fairview but of course im
not gonna let him know that
so hes all

-dee dee whats going on-
and im at my computer

working on a paper for isaacs
and im like -you know not
much- and he comes over

big boots thudding across the

floor and stands on the other
side of the flatscreen monitor
hes got his leather jacket on
and he goes

-so are you ready to go- and

im like -what do you mean
go where- and he says -out
you smackhead where else-

and i just laugh -what are we

gonna do walk in the woods-
and he tilts his head -noooo
were gonna go for a ride-

im all -in what- and hes like

-in one of the physical plant
trucks- and i just turn back to
the monitor -count-me-out-

he scoffs -aw come on dont

be a pussy lets go out- and i
scowl -what so im a pussy
because i dont wanna steal a
truck-

he gets very matter-of-fact
-its only stealing if you keep

it were gonna give the truck
right back- and i go -whats
out there

-that you wanna see so bad

its just miles and miles of
cowshit and then theres white
rock not exactly a teeming
metropolis-

he narrows his eyes -yeah

but theres the possibility of
mystery romance- thinks for
a second -regret- and i laugh

-why would i wanna have

any regrets- and he goes -do
you have any regrets- and im
like -im fucking 15 i havent
done anything yet-

he raises a finger -and you

wont ever if yr this scared of
regret- and hes twisting my
words so i go -im not afraid
of regret

-im just not gonna like

actively seek it out its a bad
thing right- and richie gets
all philosophical on me
-regret is the msg of life

-it makes the sweets sweeter

the joys bigger somehow
you gotta get you some
regrets there son- and i laugh
again

-what book did you steal that

one from richie- and he
grimaces looks down for
something at his feet finds it
and jams his boot down hard

on the power strip my

computer immediately shuts
down and the flatscreens
display winks out and im
speechless for a second then i
scream

-you worthless fucking

asshole i didnt save that- and
hes suddenly solemn -i know
and i fully and completely
regret what i did-

then he grins at me -now

come on- and i just sigh
-sure sure why not theres

no way youre gonna get into
any of those trucks-

and 20 minutes later were on

route 420 towards white rock
away from fairview in this
rickety old red truck and i can
barely believe it

not just that he did it but how

quickly he did it he just had
me watch out for staff and
then suddenly it roars to life

and im in the passenger seat

and were rolling off campus
and its still not kicking in that
he just stole a truck we stole
really

thats how itll be if we get

busted but i try not to think
about that i just turn and ask
him as nonchalantly as i can

-so where are we going- and

hes like -i dont know ive got
one place in mind but im not
sure i can find it without a
map-

and im like -okay but what

is it that yr trying to find-
and hes all -just relax dee
dee everythings cool- and
i just say

-i am relaxed im just feeling

a little exposed you know-
and were pulling up to a red

light when richie goes
-whoa nelly-

cuz theres a cop car already

there and were gonna pull up
right next to it i start going
-shit shit shit shit shit- and

richie just

reaches down and pulls up a
dirty john deere baseball cap
from the floor says -stop
talking- and pops it on his
head

and as we pull up i watch his

jaw slacken and his eyes
glaze over and we come to a
stop right next to the cops

and he stares straight ahead

for a minute then turns his
head slightly and catches the
eye of the cop in the
passenger seat

and richies face never

changes but he nods briefly
to the cop then turns his gaze
back to the road ahead

and then the light changes

and the cops drive off and
richie puts the truck in gear
and we roll through the
intersection

and he exhales with a whistle

and i go -holy shit what did
you just do- and he says very
slowly

-acknowledge them but dont

be memorable in any way-
and im like -where do you
get this stuff- and he shrugs

-soft controls- and i ask
-what are soft controls- and

hes all -soft controls are like
behavior modification

-without you realizing youre

being manipulated- and i just
shake my head and laugh -it
looked like magic-

he smiles and says -have you

ever heard of nlp neuro
linguistic programming- and
im like -uh no- and he goes
on

-have you noticed how crisis

staff talk when somebodys
flipping out their voices
lower and kind of fall into a
rhythm-

and i go -yeah thats so weird

i was gonna ask you about
that- and he smiles again and
goes -theres a hypnotic
effect at work

-how they start talking over

each other overlapping for a
second but they say the same
words and then the other guy
continues-

i nod -uh huh- he goes on
-youve gotta listen to the

word choices too they use
words or combinations of
words that you

-never normally would in a

situation like that- and again
im all -how do you know
this stuff- he grins at me

and switches gears -you

wont find this on the
interwebs dee dee you gotta
read real books original texts
are the only way to go-

and then he sees something

that pulls him back -oh yeah
now i know where we are i
just take a left here- and he
guides the truck over

down this almost dirt road

but its pretty secluded so i
feel a little less anxious and
im coming down off the
adrenaline

from the stoplight situation so

im actually pretty relaxed by
the time we get to the
cemetery and richie puts the
truck in park

-here we are- and im like
-here- and he goes -yup-
and gets out of the truck

slams the door starts moving

through scattered tombstones

like hes on some mission

and i open the passenger door

stick my head out and shout
-hey where the hell are you
going-

and he shouts back -i got a

couple of people i need to
see- and i go -what do you
mean- but hes out of earshot

by the time i catch up to him

hes darting back and forth
jumping up in the thin cold
air to try and see farther

-goddamn cemeteries they

should be arranged
alphabetically- and he goes
off in another direction and

i just trail along behind and

he stops suddenly and goes
–dee dee- and i say -what-

and he says -listen to that-
and i say -what-

and he shushes me and we

just stand there listening for a
minute and he asks me -do
you hear that- and i say
–what- for like

the hundredth time -i dont

hear anything- and he smiles
at me -yeah its awesome-
and i almost shout -what-
one last time and he

goes -its nothing the sound

of nothing- i shake my head
and richie goes -dont dismiss
it dee dee one of the best
things about the dead

-is they know when to shut

the fuck up- and he turns
back and starts moving again
further into the cemetery

he gestures at this bunch of

evergreens -now i think i
remember these two trees
from before

-i think its somewhere

between them and that flag-
and he points to a big marble
monument with benches and
all

-yeah somewhere over here-

big boots thudding on the
cold hard ground i sigh and
follow along and

he shouts –all right- crouches

down in front of two stones
side by side clears off some
dirt and leaves where they
accumulated

the names are RAYMOND

GANNETT and JANE
TULLE-GANNETT and the
birthdates are different

but the death dates are the

same june 18 1991 and i
peer in over richies shoulder
and ask -who are they-

richie keeps tidying the

stones -just a couple of dead
people- not taking it
seriously and i ask

-are these yr parents- and he

stops turns and looks at me
like im a dumbass -i was
born in 1994 what do you
think-

i look at the death dates again

and feel like a dumbass -oh
how did they die-

-car crash killed em both-

and i say –oh- and wait
awhile until richie clears a lot
more junk off the graves

-did they know yr parents-

and richie sighs -no my
parents dont have a lot of
like human interaction

-thats why i picked them-

and i go -what do you mean
thats why you picked them-
and he sighs through his teeth

goes -i was just kidding its a

joke- and i go -oh i dont get
it- and he just shrugs and
turns back to the tombstones

so i go -so were they like

people that - and richie
stands up and almost
shouting -do you have to be

-like fucking talking every

other second can you not
feel the need to constantly fill
the space- and i feel stupid

and go –no i was just- and

he keeps shouting -just enjoy
the silence for like one
goddamn minute okay- and
im just real quiet like

-okay- and i guess i kind of

sulk over to the side richie
squats down again and doesnt
say anything for awhile

then whispers to the graves
-this is bad magic i probably

shouldnt have come- and
kisses his fingers and touches

them to jane tulle-gannets

gravestone -i love you- and
gets up dusts his pants off
and thuds back to the truck

and i wait for a minute for

whatever i dont know but i
just kind of walk after him
and when i get to the truck

i wait to see if hes gonna just

drive off and leave me there
and he goes -are you coming
or what- so i just shrug and
get in



7 comments:

Mental Mist said...

"Soft controls" but of course, awesome :D!! I agree, people talk too damn much, when most of the things they say isnt even coming out their mouths :( ... brilliant!!

Cocoyea said...

It's so very vivid, it's like I am there with them in the room and in the truck. I can see Richie in his leather jacket putting on the baseball cap and acknowledging the cops. You've captured their world so effortlessly. Thanks.

Tracey said...

The interplay and dialogue between your characters is seriously good. You capture their imagined reality so well. They feel so real and their thoughts and words are so authentic, that the reader has no choice but to be drawn into their fascinating world.

Maxine said...

Jason, I really hope you are going to gather this together and offer it for print once you're done...or better still, I hope you're NEVER done. Make it your life's work. Twitter on...

theperceptionpoint said...

I really like how the two boys work as vehicles for pretty deep messages,Gussman. Especially Richie. He's pretty deep for a young guy, he's got this understanding of human nature. Its sad and beautiful that he has chosen a dead couple who he can express love to, but then again sometimes its easier to be real with strangers, safer isn't it?

Cheers

Sack Posset said...

I agree with Maxine, this should be published!

Jason Gusmann said...

thank you all so much, for yr continued support, for yr encouraging and helpful commentary. it is always, always appreciated, especially right now.