Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Go to The Beach and Roar for Boldness

A title by jason cairelli,
A story by j. f. hawkins

It buzzed in his pocket.

His phone.

He had an idea of who it might be. He wasn’t going to answer. But it became evident to the thirty or so people sitting on the bus (& possibly to him), that he had the worst ring tone ever.

As he reached for the device, the technological tumor, he wondered who the idiot was that thought it was a good idea to be contactable 24/7, anywhere you were. Though he came to the conclusion that he was a bigger idiot for buying in; still, he wanted an iPhone.

He had to answer it. He had to take a bullet for the team, the thirty or so commuters growing tired of the monographic imitation of the “Funky town” intro he had worked so hard on the night before. They hated him for two reasons. Funky Town would be stuck in their heads all day &, despite his efforts, he had incorrectly programmed the last note of the infamous melody much to flat…. Unforgivable. Completely unforgivable.

Caller ID had dispelled any chance of mystery. Clear as daylight, Jeremy was calling him. Why is it that the only name to ever appear on that little screen is the name he’d be happy to never see again?

He had the same though every time Jeremy was calling.

Jeremy was well meaning. He found communality with him because they were both alone in this foreign country and that they were both originally from the same country and had lived in similar areas.

He was the type of middle aged male that had the vocal straining of a prepubescent boy & a laugh without any flow or control. If he found something funny, which was everything, he’d produce a low quality, single sounded bellow- loud and irritating like the afore mentioned cover of ‘funky town’.

“Hello Jeremy”, he said. In truth, he was thinking of saying, “You’re a problem. How am I going to get rid of you?”

Jeremy made an inquiry as to what his plans were for the evening. Normally, given such a case, it would have been easy to make something up; prearranged plans to see a friend for birthday drinks, or say he has his parent coming around for dinner. He could even fake being sick. But unfortunately, our hero’s options were limited. He had no friends to be seeing, he’s parents were back home, a thirty hour flight away & he’d used the sick line the week before- “I’ve got one of those… ah?... twenty four hour bugs when ya sick for 24 hours. So, I’m sick tonight, but I’ll be fine to see that thing on Sunday. You’re still getting tickets right?”

Quite a situation. Spirits thwarted by predicament, he swallowed his pride and agreed to the dinner invitation.

The master of images, he never let on that he’d rather throw his first born child into a blender than be at Jeremy’s house that evening; sharing in a nice bottle of wine, laughing at the day-to-days of life, eating a gourmet mean prepared by Jeremy’s own hands- His weedy fingers. Creepily long and thin.

He was only just becoming aware of just how horrible he really was. He knew he needed to develop a backbone, rather than a passive aggressive personality and a smile.

Tonight, he will go to Jeremy’s house. It’s possible that he’s going to hate every minute of it, but as soon as it’s finished, as soon as the inconvenient soirĂ©e is over, he’ll walk for a while, until he’s in a place where he is happy.

Sitting on the bus, he have himself one command, “Tonight is the last night you accept an invitation with regret, then, right after, you’ll go to the beach and roar for boldness”

jf. x

Thursday, 20 November 2008

The Melancholy Gnat

a title by jack diaz,
a story by j. f. hawkins,
a small contribution by tina de souza,

She was sitting in the last carriage of the last train of the evening. It seemed to be moving at a snail's place. A sickly feeling and irritated fluorescent light couldn't decide whether or not it was going to be on or off. Pooling at her feet was the sticky debris of unwanted Dr. Pepper.

She wanted to move from the spot, but had concluded that the seat she was in was the lesser of a damned-commuter’s evils. A pile of chewing gum sat on the seat next to her and last night's sick was on the seat in front. She welcomed the company of spilt soda comparatively.

Was she on the train to or from hell?

There was no one on the train, given it was so late in the evening and the destination wasn’t very popular. Every now and then, she would whisper words and sing little songs to her self; she sang in the small voice, the one that’s made in the top of the mouth, at the back of the throat. It was fragile and sweet. She didn’t want anyone to hear her. But wanted to hear something- other than an unidentified buzz that was coming from behind her.

It a tragic scene. She felt like she was in some Russian play- the sort that suggested the most human of experience can only be found in grey clouds and impossible circumstance. There is no silver linings. Only searching. There is no point. Only a frustrating end.

Communists? One of them feels bad so they share the feeling with everyone. That’s why it doesn’t work; but probably not the only reason.

She had resisted trying to find the source of the buzzing. But now she had to find out what it was. She sat up and turned around, digging her knees into the crease in the green vinyl seat. Her kneecap found a misplaced piece of lego. So small, so painful.

She reached down to rub her knee. She moved her gaze from her sore join, to the seat behind her; there she found a Gnat with a tiny packet of tissues. It was crying as it drank a small bottle of red wine; it was sipping from a novelty-style bendy straw that kept eluding it's mouth.

The buzzing stopped, the Gnat looked up and asked her to mind her own business.

Not knowing how to react, she didn’t. Immediately, she turned around and sat bolt upright, starring straight forward to the front of the carriage.

The train came to her stop and she got up to leave. Still feeling awkward about her encounter with the melancholy gnat, she tried not to look at it as she passed by its seat. She shuffled down the stairs and out of the doors.

When she got outside, it was raining.

jf. x

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Friends with the city

A title by Unknown Lady in Monmouth Coffee,
A Story by j.f. hawkins

There was something down at Southbank on Saturday night. The night you were working. It was a fire work display for Guy Fawkes. It was called, uh, I don't know, something very English and marginally lame.... Something like "I fancy Fire".

You know? The sort of title you felt sorry for; you knew what it was going for, but it didn't quite make it. You can imagine the shape of the person who named it can't you? The sort of person who wouldn't even think to have an element of liberation or danger in a title for something to do with a glorified failed-arsonist.

I Fancy Fire? More then marginally-lame I suppose.

Anyway, I decided to go down and have a look, it didn't seem to bother me that I was alone. You know the type of crowd that fireworks will draw; everyone is happier when the fire lights up the sky. I wondered why, but I guess it's better in the sky, than on the buildings. It's not a forced happy either. It's a 'Saturday-night-in-front-of-the-TV-with-the-whole-family-after-a-massive-dinner' type of happy.

Everyone was oo-ing and ah-ing; you'd joke with the person next to you, even if you didn't know them. We all became very friendly really. Yes. I felt like I was friends with the whole city that night. You'd have loved it

That is, I felt like friends with the whole city up until the point I got on the tube. No friends there- not even if you're with your friends. There's no Friends on the tube. Ever.

Early Spring, that's the most beautiful time of year. It a good stroll-around-the-city time of year. It's beautiful. It really is. There is so much happening. I wish you were able to come with me. I wish we could share some of the moments and memories I have. You'd love them, all the experiences I mean. This city is truly spectacular. So much to do in such a short life.

It would be nice to have some company while I see the things I do. It's strange. Things are brighter and more memorable when there is a friend to laugh with. I wish you were with me when some funny happens; like when a beautiful painting is made by someone called Fanny or something.

You'd laugh the most I think.

I'd love to hear your laugh when I see the things I do.

But... I've become better friends with the city.

So, I suppose that's ok.

jf. x

Monday, 17 November 2008

The place I'd visit

There is a place that I visit,
He lives there, a man I love
Who's thoughts are exquisite,

I tell him of all my trifling folly,
He lends me wisdom
& tells me to be jolly,

He explains the world,
What he sees as creation,
Highlighting that all which is bad,
Is not just damnation,

"Your hudles", he muses,
"are not what they seem,
with each one you jump,
There's a talent to be seen,

The effort you apply & the way that you fall,
Make the path of your flight,
It's how we see what has become of us all"

He saw the hard-knocks as a stepping surface,
"A challenge in life is nothing but purpose!
what you aim for, you can achieve,
The 'mountain' in the way,
Is only what you perceive,

Don't squabble at nothing,
while there are dreams to climb,
Stop wasting your minutes,
when all you have is time!'

jf. x

Sunday, 16 November 2008

You'll Never Believe what the Snails are Doing

title by Unknown Child on Tube,
story by Jonny Flash,

He had taken a liking to Bran-Muffins. Lord knows why. He once had admitted he found them void of any flavour's trace & that they made his mouth as dry as the Sahara, but still, he insisted, Bran-Muffins were the breakfast food for him.

As part of his tradition, each Tuesday morning he would sit at the breakfast table, coffee in mug & Bran-Muffin in hand, with a letter ready for composition. He's letters were full of anything that gave him inspiration on that particular day; perhaps the subject would be the NEWS, maybe a family occasion or the curious traces left by the snails in the garden- they were a favourite topic ever since Burk (of Burk's Back Yard) had said that their trails are indicative of their mating patterns.

It's also note worthy that there were never any set-recipients. He'd write a letter, then chose who it would go so. He'd leave the space after 'Dear' blank until the last minute before sending.

Sometimes he'd write to his sons, sometimes to an old friend, but more often than not, he'd write to perfect stranger. He'd select names at random from the phone book; it gave him joy to think of the curiosity and confusion of anyone receiving a correctly named and addressed, hand-written letter, from an unknown author, containing nothing but the hum-drum drumming on of a seemingly mad-man.

Often these letters would arrive back in his post box, marked "Return to Sender", but it was obvious that they had been read, reread and read again. He imagined their faces. Their growing bemusement each time they saw the letter. He enjoyed his effect on the world, no matter how small.

Someone once said that they had received two letters from him. The first was covered in coffee splatter, it said, "I feel depressed, more and more these days"; the second letter, littered with Bran-Crumbs said, "I take it all back. There's a lot to be happy about. You'll never believe what the snails are doing".

jf. x

A Professional Thinker.

I had this same thought when I was Young.

Which is still true -It's the same thought & I'm still young.

I'm going to be a writer.

A Writer is no more than a professional thinker. I'm inconsistent in everything beyond thinking. If a writer is telling a story or examining the human condition, he uses words to make the thought possible for anyone else to understand... like a painter uses colours & form for the sake of any one viewing their art- We can see a picture they'd dreamt up. Whether or not we understand

I can think. I can use words.

Even if I'm misunderstood, I can be a writer.

Similar to the sermons of a Pastor {A professional Christian}, a professional thinker articulates memory and thought into form for the benefit of others. Be it Entertainment or Edification.

Spending countless hours in Cafes, Art Galleries, Foreign countries, gathering thoughts to retell from a certain perspective.

That sounds like a life.

To be thrown into the mix of Nobility and Rebellion, creating thoughts from a kaleidoscope of dreams.

That's what I want.
That's why I'm a writer.

jf. x