SLOW BURN - all chapters to date
Hi, my name is Fevvers (but if you are from the MMDN board you know me as purge). The following is a satiric novel I wrote about, amoung other things, the odd things people do to fill the "god-shapped hole" inside them. I hope you enjoy it.
P.S. I'm starved for feedback. So please post your reaction to it.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I should be knee deep in third world squalor exposing government corruption, holding a urine soaked rag to my face running through tear gassed streets or at the very least on my knees coaxing burka clad women to trust me with their stories – not this. The last year has been a barrage of elementary school plays, poorly attended city council meetings and senior citizens parading through our office with odd-looking vegetables.
They don't even have the courtesy of bringing in really freakish looking vegetables. Just vegetables a little bigger than average. Or bearing the slight resemblance of small forest creatures, if you hold them at the right angle, in the right light and use a little imagination. But nothing the Globe and Mail would stop the presses for.
When I was still in university, that cloisted womb, Damen would indulge me with tales of his drunken adventures back in high school, which captured my attention because being the good girl I am I would never have had the balls to do any of it. So, one night, for the sake of just getting out of town, Damen and his friends decide to catch some loud obnoxious band in the city. And while they never heard of the opening band before they would never forget them after that night. Half way through the performance Damen and his staunchly homophobic friends peer up at the stage where the soon-to-be messiah of teen angst Marilyn Manson is on his knees sucking off his bassist. As an opener.
“It was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” declared Damen wearing his favorite tattered (and now vintage) “Smells Like Children” Marilyn Manson T-shirt. The disappearing cock-in-mouth trick was not what impressed him the most. When he got back stage he passed Manson in the hall, introducing his dad to the guy he just sucked off maybe an hour before. At least that is the story he tells me. But, it didn’t matter.
Four years later I’m at my desk in the corner of the Bugle’s newsroom answering a call from a little old lady who insists that their hydrangeas are worth putting my election coverage aside for. ‘They are certainly something worth seeing,” the voice hisses. Unless the hydrangeas are growing out between your legs I’m sure I’ve seen it before. At least that is what I’d like to have said. I just sighed, wrote down the address and headed for the door - like a good girl.
Documenting people’s minor accomplishments seem to be what it is all about. Last month I spent an hour and half with a woman absolutely beside herself because her poetry about love and life was going to be recognized at some huge awards ceremony in Florida. “Florida! Can you imagine.” She can’t. Here’s a sample of the muse in action:
The candle burns bright
Overshadowed by your star
Fading, fading, fading
And like our love will fade
It goes on like this for six pages. Her husband was the one who called me and insisted I come down. Since it was a slow news week, (and it’s always a slow news week) I popped in.
She was thrilled and quickly sat me down to tell me about “the process”. The ideas would just “come to her”, she explained. She could be just sitting around watching talk shows, reworking the ass groove in her couch when out of nowhere these magical images would reveal themselves to her. And when she had enough material, as a finishing touch, she would vomit this prose onto pink pages with rose borders.
But of course this self-indulgent crap doesn’t become art unless you share it. And with the world linked with wires it was not long before she discovered Upandcomingpoets.com, a website claiming to have literary aficionados looking for the next William Shakespeare to join their ranks. So she sent in her cheque and waited. And I appeared.
Needless to say the contest was a scam to get her money. But, I didn’t know how to break it to her. That is until she told a friend of a friend who works in my building to ask why her interview had not appeared in the paper. Apparently, her fans deserved an answer.
But, I’m sure her husband will get over it.
“Hi Jeanine, its Laurel over at the Bugle calling.” At least the Fates were kind enough to give me her machine. “Umm about the article. After digging around a bit (and having heard the shit you wrote) I’ve discovered that the group organizing the contest may be running a scam. I’m still checking it out but we’ll see what happens.” I never called her back.
Every month or so I’ll get a call from another middle-aged women in a stupor about being acknowledged by this prestigious organization. Reluctantly, I’ve learned to ignore them.
Week after week they come through our office with documentation to verify their achievements, invaluable relics and trinkets wrapped in paper towel and sandwich bags, and the endless sheets of crumpled foolscap with hand written stories about family reunions, trips to the city and memorials for their dead pets. I wish they would have specified just how local the paper was right at the beginning. Instead I’m forced to compete for space with eight thousand assholes who insist on etching “I wuz here” over and over.