Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chapter 1, Part 5: The Workshop

A Wednesday afternoon, July 1991

Please, please, please open. Shit. It's jammed.

I really don't want to go back in there. It's bad enough when it is just mom, dad, and pepere and memere, but my uncle and cousins are there too. I'm too small, too weak, and too damn useless to get this goddamn door to open.

Of course, my grandfather with the weak heart gets it open first try. Nice.

-Merci, pepere.

I love stepping into this workshop. There are all sorts of smells and identify, along with a few that I recognize. The sweet smell of oil, some sawdust maybe. Tools all over the walls. I don't know what half of them are for, and I suspect that many of them aren't used anymore, for anything.

The welding mask, a bucket full of shards of rusty steel, and a woodstove. I imagine fire and sweat and effort and productivity. Most of it hasn't been used in a long time. Passive now, like Pepere.

I push out the greasy lawnmower, and then I bring out the gas can and the rake.

Please let this thing start. I know what pulling on a pull-start is supposed to look like. I am painfully aware that when I do it, I'm basically miming the thing in slow motion. Luckily, I usually get it by the third pull.

Not so luckily, I get it on the sixth pull this time. Pepere stepped onto to the porch after try number 4, ready to help. That would defeat the purpose of my coming out here and cutting his grass, and horrify me to. Just the thought probably gave me the adrenaline I needed to get it started.

It's hot and I'm getting tired fast. I can feel my shoulders burn. The grass is too long, and the yard is too big. Stopping isn't an option. It just seems like forever. At least I know there is a freezing cold ginger ale waiting for me when I'm done. And I can go back to sleeping in and farting around.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chapter 1: Part 4: So Warm

Some Friday morning in November, 1999

This, right here, is the sweet spot.

Drifting in and out of consciousness, warm and toasty in my bed, dreaming now and ignoring my insistent bladder then, I'm happy. There's no stress and no anxiety right now. Just me and my dreams and the heartening presence of my pillow.

It won't be long now though. I can hear the carnival in the distance. The insistant call of life and its demands, and the promise I made to myself to actually study on Fridays. I managed to setup my schedule to avoid class on Friday, one of the perks of uni over highschool. I don't think I've gotten up earlier than noon so far this semester, and today will be no different.

So I toss over and will myself to ignore the voices, which seem nearer now. I picture Rebecca and imagine doing stuff with her. Standing around, looking at each other, watching a movie together, and generally being a happy couple. Is it odd that I find it difficult to imagine a sexual situation with a girl I genuinely like? Whenever I try to conjure a Rebecca-based blowjob, one of two things happen: a) I revert to the innocent happy couple stuff or b) switch to a random chick, whether it be the faceless or reality-inspired variety.

Smiling Rebecca is always smiling, and I smile too.

But the raucous crowd will not be ignored. My heart beats faster, and I feel the adreline rush into my limbs. I've got to get up now. I've got to trick my brain into thinking I've actually accomplished something today, otherwise I'll never get to sleep tonight. I wonder whether eating breakfast counts?