Thursday, May 10, 2012

I hope Japan's not like that in real life

Violet took David’s hand and held it hard. It’s Friday night. It’s the weekend, Dave. Why don’t you relax and spend some time with your family?

Okay. David settled back into the sofa. When he and Violet were first dating, Friday nights had been spent out on the town, with people their own age. Sometimes they’d gone dancing. Violet had been a good dancer in her day. She’d looked good in a tight party dress. David thought he’d held his own, too. Maybe he was no dancer, but he’d caught the eye of plenty of sweet things in the bars. By the time Violet had agreed to marry him, she’d stopped dancing and had settled them into a more sedentary routine. They’d go out on Fridays but now it was to dinner, maybe to a movie, maybe with another couple. Certainly life had slowed down. Ten years on it was almost motionless, David thought. Look at us, a couple of fat asses on a couch, watching a stupid kid’s movie about some fucking talking furry pillows and their little human friends. When did this become my life? What’ll it be in another ten years, when Penny’s off at college? Me and Violet with TV dinners watching game shows? Fuckmotherfuck.

David squeezed Violet’s hand. Violet squeezed back and leaned against him. On the television, the animated Japanese sisters were running through the night in a rainstorm. David had no idea why Penny laughed at this. Violet smiled. David wondered if Violet was happy. He never asked her if she thought about who they used to be and how much distance they’d put between themselves and youth. David had been a handsome man. Violet had been pretty. They could pretend not to notice each other’s expanding bodies, wrinkled faces and thinning hair, but it was still there and they both knew it. What did Violet see when she looked at him? Did she miss the young man she’d met in college? Sometimes David missed the Violet who used to go dancing. Sometimes he mourned her as one who’d died. Sometimes he mourned himself, too. Christ.

Are you okay, Dave?

What? Why?

You just sighed.

I’m tired, that’s all. Long week.

Maybe we’ll sleep in tomorrow.

Shh, Penny said. Here comes the best part.

The best part of the movie was a noisy confusion of colors and more furry talking Japanese pillow animals and shrieking little girls and Penny shrieked along with them and Violet sat forward and laughed and shook her hair when the king of the talking animals shook his thick mane and then there was a song about sunshine and friendship and the movie ended. What the fuck, David thought. I hope Japan’s not like that in real life.

From Chapter 11 of the work-in-progress. A bit rough, I know.


  1. This is cool, Mr. Bailey. Funnily enough, I've been writing about a couple thinking similar thoughts on growing old, except my guy doesn't say Fuckmotherfuck. And my couple doesn't get to watch the cool Japanese program either! I like the confusion David feels, how he's so out of touch with other points of view.

  2. My male protagonist has a foul mouth. The female protagonist says "stupid" when she curses. "fuckmotherfuck" is a great word. I think I coined a couple of other new ones, too.

    The movie they're watching is a lost Miyazaki film. One of the literary conceits of this book is that in David's chapters, his point of view is the only one visible, because he doesn't consider that there can be any others.

    But you know, this all seems so dull and lifelike. Like you wondered the other day on your blog, are we actually writing about anything in these stories? I dont' know. Maybe my book is just an excuse to use "fuckmotherfuck." But maybe that's enough.

  3. Hahahaha! Oh, wow, I love this Scott. I love how real it feels and how you capture his true doubts and personality. He sounds like a fascinating character. I want to read more. :)

  4. Michelle, thanks! Davin and I have been talking lately about how, in fiction, real might equate to boring. I hope that's not the case. Some day I'll finish this book and you'll get to see it. Some day.