Amanda #7

Author’s Note — This will be the last Amanda post for awhile.   Enjoy!

***

The days before Jim and Amanda were quiet, almost too quiet.   Richard and Dahlia, two young lovebirds, cruising around in a convertible, listening to the sound of wind crash into their eardrums.   At sunset, they’d find a spot off the California freeway, set up camp and start a fire.  After a canned dinner, Richard would pluck his guitar while Dahlia dreamed of a warm place with wall-to-wall carpeting.   Kids would roam the house, books in either hand, a smile planted upon their faces.   After a hard day’s work, Richard would come home, leap upon the trampoline with the kids, then once the rest of the house had settled in, the couple would slow dance to either classical music or jazz.   The next morning, the entire family all dressed in pajamas seated around the breakfast table with an array of smoked salmon, cereals, pastries and tea.   Unfortunately for Dahlia, this family never existed…trouble from the get-go.

Jim possessed the most irritating brilliance to Dahlia.  He seemed to know the answers to rather complicated matters long before her.   It would just blurt right out him.   Dahlia, of course, as his mother, refused to accept that perhaps he was onto something.  Kids, she’d rationalize, what could he, they, any of them know?   Yet a fortnight later and many dollars tossed into the pockets of too many strangers, there arrived the answer.  The same one Jim had blurted out.  He’s a smart one, Dahlia surmised.   Then a week a later, a new problem would arrive and the whole cycle would start over again.

When the problem of Amanda arrived (otherwise known as her birth, according to Jim), neither parent knew what to do.   Even Jim was perplexed.   After many attempts at getting to know and care for his baby sister, five-year-old little Jim suggested drowning “that bitch”.  This would lead to “Jimmy, where’d you hear that word from” but Dahlia knew; from the mouth of a man on the other end of the sliding glass door smoking a cigarette out on the decaying deck.  A hundred and fifty therapists in, not a single one knew how to tend to her raucous daughter.

After one wild lovemaking session, Richard proposed, “It’s time we accept Amanda for who she is.”

“Richard,” moaned Dahlia, “who the fuck is she?  I mean, I don’t know what to say to her half the time.  She freaks me out.  Doesn’t she freak you out?”

Richard groaned, “Sometimes.”

“Sometimes! Sometimes?   She’s impossible.   Maybe Jim was right.  Maybe we should drown her.”

“Are you fucking loony?   Dahlia, seriously…you really think we should drown our own daughter?”

Roaring in laughter, “It would make life easier on us.”  Tears coated Dahlia’s face, “I don’t know how to deal with this, Richard.  It feels like I’m in a madhouse every day.  This isn’t the life I dreamed of.  You know that!”

Lost for words, Richard ran his finger up and down Dahlia’s spine.

Versatile Blogger Award

versatile-blogger-award

Nearly two months up and this blog receives an award.   Thank you so much Rohan7Things.  You are a truly inspiring and talented blogger.

I’d like to change something up.   Initially, it states that the “rules” to receiving the award are the following:

  • Display the award certificate on your website.
  • Announce your win with a post and include a link to whoever presented your award.
  • Present up to 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
  • Create a post linking to them and drop them a comment to tip them off.
  • Post 7 interesting facts about yourself.

Let’s make them recommended guidelines.   Should you be nominated do as you see fit.  Okay so here we go.

The deserving blogger nominees go to:

  1. The Struggling Writer
  2. Writers In The Storm
  3. Live To Write – Write To Live
  4. Irscriptwriter
  5. Alex’s Space
  6. Cristian Mihai
  7. Final Responsibility
  8. Bucket List Publications
  9. Five Writers
  10. Greenhorn Photos
  11. Gabriel Napoleon
  12. Ophelia’s Fiction Blog

Writing out the seven interesting facts about me will probably take thirty minutes:

  1. I’ve been practicing something called Right Use of Will since 1997.
  2. The majority of my friends, for some odd reason, tend to be at least twelve years younger than me.
  3. During my freshman year in college I would consistently stay up till five in the morning.   All the other years, prior to and thereafter, I tend/tended to be asleep by midnight and awaken at sunrise.
  4. For the most part, I’ve been journaling since 1993.
  5. I acted in my first homemade movie when I was ten.   That movie went unedited.  God only knows where the footage went.
  6. Although I’m a filmmaker, I only own one movie.   That is Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers.
  7. My last real intimate relationship was back in 2002.

Errors And Twisted Writing

Nothing bothers me more than errors in a finely combed document.   Does this ever happen to you?  You write something, put it away, then return to it a day or so later.  Edit the hell out of it, read it six thousand times only to determine it’s ready to go.   Published (or sent if it’s an email), you read it one more time and bam, there’s an error.  It’s so tiny yet it drives you insane.   You question your professionalism.

Yesterday, while in the city I met an incredibly intelligent recent college graduate at Barnes and Noble.  We spoke of arts, economy, films, TV and writing.   Before parting ways, he asked if I have anyone to read my work, that is before it’s published or sent off via email/mail courier.   At this point, no, I told him.  I’d like to see this become manifest.   This might be a good tactic for all. Someone who gives a balanced approach to the work.  Shares what works and what doesn’t. Someone who won’t take it personally if the advice isn’t taken.

Beyond the irritating errors, there’s also the twisted writing.  A great example is my previous post. Mid-writing that, a most triggering email came in.   Why I even look at my email while writing is beyond me.   But I did.   I do.   Taken over by rage, my writing fell apart.   It was as if I took a huge dump on everything.

Writing is an ongoing lesson.   You try different things.  If it doesn’t quite fit, you try something else.

Been awhile

Readers, it’s been way too long.   In these 24-hour blocks there are only so many things that can be accomplished.   Posting this one entry seems like a feat unto itself.

What have I been doing, you might ask.   Working on the Amanda piece.  At first, I thought, I’d publish the Amanda stories without discussing it.   Now, I realize it’s becoming a novel.   The next segment to be posted is the end of Chapter One.  This I’ll give you. Anything after that, you might have to wait till it comes out in hardcover.

Yesterday, I started an essay detailing the most bizarre four years of my life working at a traumatic brain injury facility.   January 30th marks the one-year anniversary since I last stepped foot into that building.   Once written, maybe I’ll shit in a cup, celebrate with a jar of pennies, who the fuck knows.

My moments away from the writing pad/computer are focused on reading and searching for paid work.  The latter proves to be such a nightmare.   Ugh, just thinking about this triggers me.

Amanda #6

“There’s a place men go when they pass out.   In this realm, everything feels like fur.   The temperature though can burn your skin off.   This is why, my beautiful mother, oh lovey dovey you, I will take this bucket of ice cold water and pour it directly over father’s body.   The freezing cold water will shock him out of that ugly hot realm and then all four of us can resume our get-together.   You can get back to the kitchen.  Zack, Father and I can resume our business meeting.   So, step out of the way,” Amanda struggled with the bucket of ice water.    “How de heck did dis get so heavy,” she thought.   “I brought da damn ting in hee-ya.”

Dahlia stepped out of the way, shaking her head, “What if this doesn’t work?”

Bucket three inches off the ground, “Then…call…the…ambulance.”   Water and ice soaked Richard along with the brown shag carpet surrounding him.   Richards sprang up from off the floor, gasping for air.

“Damn it, Amanda.   Holy fuck!  What…” In the far corner he noticed Zack, both eyeballs swirling about in a mad race.  Which eyeball will take in the most information?  Richard wiped ice cubes off his chest, “Dearest me!  What a trip that was.  It was like getting lost in a golden retriever…from hell.   Hope that didn’t disturb you too badly, Zack boy.”

“Nope.  Glad you returned, Mr. Jenkins.”

“Same here,” Richard cracked his knuckles and then climbed atop the seat from where he fell.  “Please, Zack, I urge you to call me Richard.”

“Richard…”

“No!”  Richard interrupted.  “Everyone calls me Richard.   You can call me Dick.  Seriously call me Dick.”

“But you said…”

“Bah!  Earlier.   Didn’t know you like I know you now.   Amanda, dear, why don’t you leave me to chat with Zack?  Your mother might need help in the kitchen.  Isn’t that so, dear?”

Dahlia nodded, “It is a mess in there.”

Amanda rushed over to Zack, massaged the back of his neck, insisting in baby talk, “Just as wong as you don’t hoo-at my pwecious Zacky.”

“Zack’s safe with me, baby doll.  Go help your mother.”

Amanda walked backwards observing Zack’s every move, assuring that not a single gesture was missed.  Once in the kitchen, Amanda grabbed a steak knife, jabbed into her mother’s side, “Aiight biatch, here’s how it’s gonna go.   You gonna clean.  I gonna cook.”

Dahlia yelped a round of laughter.  “You silly girl, what happened to that beautifully speaking person?   You only talk that way around Zack?”

The knife dug deeper into Dahlia’, “Listen biatch, gonna stick you if you fuck around any longa.  Clean dis fuckin’ shithole.”

Amanda #5

What to do when one’s daughter transforms into a medieval princess?  Not so much in appearance.  God that could take years!  But each gesture carefully calculated.  Her sentences flowing together like two perfect streams, clear and rich with life.

Amanda bowing and waving her hand, ordered her parents to set the dining room table, which for years stored junk mail and gifts waiting to be returned.  “At once,” she snapped.   “Our guest here has come with a proposal, one that needs your greatest attention.  Get to it!”

Bemused by Amanda’s sudden metamorphoses, Richard and Dahlia restored the dining room to its original appearance; a masterpiece of a room fitted for elegant guests, something that had not occurred since the Jenkins first moved in.  Real estate brokers and bankers toasted expensive champagne.   The Jenkins pushed to the back, peering through the crowd of suited men and women, like strangers in their own new abode.   Once the guests left, Richard bolted the door shut demanding “this shit’s never gonna happen again.  Not in my home.”

Twenty-five plus years later, there Richard was dressing the room, vacuuming the dust off the table, taking on the role of butler as his daughter, regal as ever, led Zack Blueman to a chair,

“You’ll sit here.  Next to me, darling.”  Once seated, squeezing his inner thigh, “Tell me, how can my father be of assistance to you?”

Zack squirmed, wondering whether it would be polite to ask his young hostess to remove her hand from his junk.   His junk?  Yes it slowly rode up his inner thigh.   She practically could masturbate him.  He stammered, “Eye eye eye’m not sho sho shore.”

“You must have something in mind,” her hand raised but then planted itself onto Zack’s biceps.  Squeezing and squeezing…had he become a plastic toy?  “Father, sit down.  Let’s be reasonable here.”

Richard bowed and then took the seat closest to the kitchen.  In case she needs anything, Richard pondered.   Anything she needs, a fruit bowl, fondue, bowl of soup, ham sandwich.  Anything he needs!  A quick polish on his leather coat.  A tune-up on his motorcycle…wait he can probably do that himself.   What can I do for this young man?   What does he want from our family?  What is he doing here?   Hush, Mr. Jenkins, should you return to your old mean self, your daughter might turn to trash.   White trash.  That’s the direction she was heading.  Fucking skunks and eating directly from a dumpster.   So listen, maybe this man is a Prince from a foreign land.  Maybe this is why his weird behaviors inside the walk-in closet, how long ago was that, twenty minutes ago, that sounds right, but maybe that’s why things were so strange.   How does a man tell another man that he’s from a foreign land?   Not just foreign but from another time period all together…and to possess magical powers such as transforming his beast of a daughter into this sophisticated young woman.    Oh the Prince is opening his mouth about to say something. I shall listen.

“The deal is this,” Zack slurred.  Amanda’s incessant squeezing induced a drunken state.  “You and me, me and you can team up.   How large is your fleet?”

“Fleet?”

“Construction vehicles.  How large is the fleet?”

“Oh that,” Richard burst into hysterical laughter.

This hysteria proved alarming to Dahlia.   Covered in flour and chocolate sauce, she rushed in, dropping to her knees, “Richard, what’s with you?”  His face beet-red, lacking oxygen, Richard smacked his kneecaps.  “Can you breathe?”   Richard fell forward, knocking Dahlia to the floor.    Once pulling herself out from underneath her husband, Dahlia assessed Richard’s health.  In a matter of seconds, her face went pallid.

“Mother, what is it?”

“Where’s your cell phone?”

“What cell phone?”  Amanda had never possessed a cell phone.  She judged the technology to be a soul sucker and a device exclusively for boys.

Zack withdrew a miniature square device from within his leather coat.   “I got one.”

“Interesting shape,” Amanda yanked it out of Zack’s hand, flipping it around on its sides.

“Don’t break it!”

“I won’t.  Where’d you get it?”

“The store.”

“There are so many stores.  Which one?”

Lost in terror, Dahlia screamed, “Amanda, I don’t give a shit what store he got the cell phone from.  Just use it to dial up an ambulance.  Your father’s not well!”

Amanda #4

In a neighborhood of aluminum siding, it can be difficult to differentiate one house from another.   Compact that atop camouflaged numbers that truly can be inscribed anywhere, inside the mailbox, beneath one of the shingles, upon the insert of the homeowner’s wallet, it can lead to a disastrous route for any visitor.   This was not the case for Zack Blueman.  Despite his roving eyeballs, the man was born with a knack for accurately guessing house numbers.

When a loud shriek emitted from somewhere inside the house he had intended to visit, Zack feared this was a bad time.   Seems to be his life story.   Always arriving when unwanted.   Jumping out of his mother’s womb in the midst of a formal gala.   Ruined her thousand-dollar dress.   Little six-year-old Zack awoke to a urine-soaked bed.   He sauntered through the dark hallway into the living room where his naked parents and another couple, also naked, groped one another.

Had it not been for someone screaming his name after the loud shriek, Zack would have left.   He stumbled down the blue stone pathway.   He stopped and peered through the broken window where on the other end, a man and woman, both in their early fifties, sat on the floor, playing with glass.

“I’m Zack Blueman.”

Richard, taken out of a reverie, replied with a shrug.   “So?  I’m Richard Jenkins.”

Zack climbed through the broken window, hand extended, “Perfect, you’re just the man I’m looking for.”

“Me?”

Dahlia coughed, “Uh…my hand.”   Zack had stepped on the woman’s hand.

“So sorry,” Zack lifted Dahlia’s hand.  Kissed it several times.  Richard cleared his throat but was muted by a storm evolving upstairs.

“That’s our daughter.”  Dahlia wiped the glass off her lap and stood up.  “I’ll go check on her while you two…” What did this Zack character have in mind with her husband?   Kill him?  Eat his limbs?   Dahlia feared she’d been overtaken by madness, left the two men, her sentence still incomplete.

“Forgive my wife.  She’s a bit awkward with new people.”

Zack’s attention was fixed on a plastic rocking horse that both Amanda and Jim used as toddlers.   He squatted and in that crouched position walked over to the plastic rocking horse.  “How cute,” Zack pet its mane.   “What’s his name?  His?”

“Yeah,” Richard shrugged.  “Don’t think it was named.  Probably “horsey”.   What can I do for you?”

The volume of the storm upstairs intensified.   Zack extricated himself from the horse and leaned into Richard.   “Can we go somewhere private?  This is a little…”Zack pointed at the broken window.

“Right, right.  Come with me.”  Richard led Zack into a large walk-in closet directly beneath the staircase.   A clip-on light illuminated blue.    “This private enough?”

Zack closed the accordion door and nodded.  The man moved his lips but not a sound emitted.

“What?  Why are you here,” Richard grew impatient.

“May I call you Dick?”

“No.  Nobody calls me Dick.  Not even my own mother.”

“That’s fine, that’s fine.  Listen, I know what you do and well, I think we can cut a deal.”

“A deal?  What kind of deal?   Quit speaking nonsense,” Richard grabbed the handle to the accordion door.

“Wait,” Zack placed his hand atop Richard’s.   “Construction’s your trade, isn’t it?”

Richard, unmoved by Zack’s enthusiasm, “Yeah, why?”

“I fix motors!”  Above them, thunder rolled down the stairs.

“Okay…”

“No!  Don’t you see?  We can cut a deal!”

Has the boy before him gone totally insane?   What kind of deal could possibly be cut between a construction foreman and a lunatic who fixes motors?   His eyes darting around, capturing fractals of blue light.  Fearing a seizure might take over, Richard blurted, “We’re done.”

“Done?”

“Get out of my house?”

The accordion door, without warning, swung open, the two men flying forward into Amanda, wearing blue spandex pants and a white t-shirt a bit too tight on her, “Fuck you, Dad!   Zack’s not to leave evah!   Evah!   Now, how can my foddah help you, Zack?”  Her voice squealed when saying his name.