Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols


The first short story that I wrote that I ever thought "worked" in any way had the uninspired title, "Expectations, Great and Otherwise." It was about a high school girl who had a mad crush on one of her classmates, a hellion in a Dead Kennedys t-shirt who had a propensity for carving anarchy symbols into desks, as well as a wife, a new baby, and a mistress. As implausible as all of these factors seemed, I fall back on the writer's defense that it was actually true! In the story, our narrator who bore more than a passing resemblance to yours truly, meets her beloved crush at childhood fort with a Sex Pistols poster as a gift and the vague hope that something will happen. This is where I went into the land of make-believe -- I wouldn't have known where to buy a Sex Pistols poster (the Mineral Wells Hallmark did not carry them), much less had the courage to present it as a gift.

Nothing much happens in the story -- surprise, surprise (Hee-Haw voice), but there was the remant of a plot, more than I had accomplished before. Our intrepid narrator shows up for the meeting in the rain, the poster is a little worse for the wear. She meets her boy, and they share a cigarette while getting eaten alive by mosquitos and discussing the future in that desultory, cynical way that teeangers sometimes have. I left her in that dark woods, but in real life, I got my ending. My crush joined the army and eventually became a cop like many a reformed bad boy, got a divorce, got remarried. I remembered his last comment to me at school, something about being interested in the physics of accidents. Years later, I see my title, even if I'm not sure what it means.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"When I was your age they used to say you could become cops or criminals. What I'm saying to you is this... When your facing a loaded gun, what's the difference? " Frank Costello, The Departed

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Miller's Crossing

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy All Saints Day!

15 comments:

Cardinal Spellman said...

Holy day of obligation. No comment.

Saul of Tarsus said...

What the?

Iggy Pop said...

Anybody wanna split a can of chocolate syrup with me?

James Ellroy said...

Now I fold you down, my drunkard, my navigator...to love or look at later.--A. Sexton(epigraph to the Black Dahlia)

The Cineaste said...

I loved Gweneth Paltrow in "Great Expectations," except when she said, "Put it in me." Broke the spell.

Mineral Wells Index said...

The photo is of the late Hank Ballenger's sister, getting ready to leave on her honeymoon.

Charles Dickens said...

It's a pip of a story title, Michelle.

Honorable Mention said...

Gabriel Byrne was missing something in "Miller's Crossing," or maybe it was just me.

Sheila said...

I think its a great title

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JR's Thumbprints said...

God Save The Queen.

Laura said...

Seems like alot of would be writers start off by writing of their teen-aged years and lost loves . . . ain't that right Sheila?

E said...

briliant ending
of the story
of the month
of the night, for me

nice posts, m.
sleep tight

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