Saturday, July 18, 2009

RICHIE - CHAPTER THIRTEEN (Twitter Novel / Keitai Shosetsu)

everybody gets sent home
over christmas if they have
homes to go to and it feels
really great and exciting at

all of us riding together in the

fairview van even though
richie got put on a train out of
town so im with frejean and

and some of the other guys

but everyones being cool cuz
theyre all basically happy to
go home so its pretty rowdy
and fun

and its snowing lightly and

its making me feel
christmassy inside even
though thats totally pussy but
i actually end up being the

to be dropped off and we pull

up and i can see a tree with
lights through the front
window and with snow
everywhere my house seems

totally weird to me like a

place i lived once in a dream
or something and my mom
comes out to the van and
signs the clipboard

and gives me a huge hug and

i walk with her to the front
door then the van drives off
and she asks how things are

and i tell her that things are

going good and she says
–good- and then we walk

inside and its really warm
like too warm

and my mom calls out to my

dad that im home and hes in
the other room watching tv
and he calls out –good-

and my mom takes me to the

kitchen and we sit at the
breakfast bar and eat my
favorite pizza from molinas
and she drinks a glass

of wine and i have pepsi and

she doesnt talk much but she
smiles at me a lot and i smile
back and when im done

she takes me up to my old

bedroom and she opens the
door and all the lights are on
and its cleaner than its ever

and theres other stuff thats

different too but my mom
looks at me funny and asks
–good- and i nod and she tells

me goodnight

and dont stay up too late

and i go in and look at my dvds
and all the horror movies are
gone and basketball diaries

ichi the killer and some other

stuff thats not even violent
she left full metal jacket
which is weird but whatever
and then

i look at my cds and theres a

lot gone there too all the rap
stuff marilyn manson spider
babies even kill taker

which i guess she took

because of the name cuz
theyre like totally positive
and straight edge but whats
weird is that i didnt notice

right away that my laptops

gone and i kind of freak out
quietly for awhile but then i
figure out theyre probably
just gonna

monitor me on their pc

downstairs so i go down to
see if i can get on and i guess
my mom went to bed

and i look in the living room

and my dads asleep in front
of espn and i walk up to him
and look down at his face

his eyes are closed and his

mouth is open and i think
about turning off the tv but
hes got a death grip on the

anyway im afraid hed wake

up if i turn it off so i look at
the tv and back at him for a
little while

then i go back up to my old

bedroom and read this
that i liked when i was 8 until
i fall asleep


Jason Gusmann said...

thinking of calling the novel "teenage exiles" - lemme know what you think

Mariana Soffer said...

Perfectly described, is like a short story but in a prose like style.
I could picture everything you were telling, even the dress of your mom.
And I like that you show the wierd choices they make regarding what is
convinient for you to have access and what is not. By the way I used to read the choose you own adventure books, till I was arround 10, now I am not interested in that kind of game, I prefer to try live the real instead (even dough is much less exiting).
take care my friend

Anonymous said...

I think it's a real testament to the quality of this novel that, despite the challenges I have found in reading it non-linearly, I have been thoroughly addicted and entertained. I'm looking forward to seeing this in print. Put me on the waiting list for the first edition, Jason. I suspect this novel will be referenced with a lot of respect in future discussions about the shape of character development in the on-line environment, though I'm quite sure I am not the first to say that. Congratulations, Jason. Awesome!

Jason Gusmann said...

as usual, mariana, i love yr comments because of their obvious extensive thought and time spent composing. i appreciate the time you spend using that outlandish brain of yrs thinking about my little constructions!

brad - any visit from you always pleases me. yr comment about future reference to my work is incredibly kind and i hope you may one day be right! i agree that the non-linear challenges make it a little difficult to sort, but hopefully a (crosses fingers) print version would make the process much easier. although i've obviously chosen this form, i still feel that the old skool dead tree book form is the best for reading fiction, ruminating and questioning with the book on yr lap (rather than laptop). thanks again -

Anonymous said...

It all starts at home doesn't it. The way you show rather than tell his familial dynamics is wonderful (man, I forget his name not Richie the other guy)that's true skill.

Teenage exiles. I've been thinking about this as a title, honestly its not bad at all, and fitting, but I think it doesn't do the content justice because your story is much more than teenage exile chronicles, but this is only my two cents worth. I always struggle with titles!


Jason Gusmann said...

percy p. - yr two cents worth is always welcome and worth far more. yeah, i feel the same way about "teenage exiles" - there's nothing wrong with it, it's just not good enough. i've been considering "nothing collapses" which is a whitman quote, but that seems way too pretentious for this story. we'll see.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about 'Teenage Exiles' either. I like it but I don't think it does the depth and breadth of your story justice.

I particularly like the image in this chapter of Richie coming home and seeing his house as if in a dream. It highlights the 'christmassy' feeling he had in the van. But that feeling dissipates when he notices his stuff is gone. You've really captured the sense of displacement a lot of 'teenage exiles' feel. Great writing!

Tracey said...

You have this unerring ability to paint such vivid and fully composed pictures of your characters and your scenes with your words... honestly it's dazzling.

There is such a wonderful rhythmic 'tumble' to your words and yet at the same time the story proceeds at a perfect, well-measured pace.

Maxine said...

Nah, Jason, I reckon 'Teenage Exiles' is too obvious. I love 'Richie'. Has a real ring to it I reckon. Or maybe just 'Rich'...

You are a rising star, Jason and I sincerely hope we all get to watch you shoot across the sky and create more hope for all of us.

Jason Gusmann said...

selma, tracey, maxine -
thank you all so much. yr continued reading/commenting keeps me going. it's funny, i am actually thinking about keeping the name "richie" for the title, oddly enough. it seemed way too little before, but now every other title seems...too much. i'm gonna have to think about it.