Alone In A Crowd
I’m alone in here, surrounded by people who used to know me and the clink of wine glasses. A mindless drone reverberates through the party, idle chitchat punctuated by overly enthusiastic greetings whenever another so and so arrives on the scene. People who never bothered to keep in touch were hugging one another and calling each other out like old friends. High school reunion, nostalgia, whatever. The spirit of good cheer that tries to seep inside me takes one look at the toxic goop inside my soul and dies without even trying.
I stand in the corner, entertaining myself with a beer, watching and waiting for that something bad that inevitably happens at such parties. Maybe the drunken banker gets pushed off the balcony by a jealous rival, or maybe the blonde in the short skirt ends up with that dickhead leering at her across the room.
Whatever it is, I can feel it in my bones. Somewhere in this room lies my latest muse. What needs to happen tonight will happen. The writer in me wills it.
Sure enough, as soon as that thought filtered through my mind, two bitches on the dance floor start grabbing each other by the hair.
They screamed and they fought. Carefully manicured nails transformed into demon claws as they ripped into one another over the bemused man in the middle. I watch them from my little corner, more aroused than fascinated, and secretly hope that one of them will snatch out the other one’s eye.
It doesn’t happen. Like the high school brats they once were, they are pulled away kicking and swearing. The music starts up again and small talk resumes. An hour passes and nothing else happens. This party sucks, and so does the story. I need to come up with something better.
Maybe I shouldn’t start by portraying myself as a depraved writer in a room full of people ignoring him. Quick change of the script, and done.
I see her looking at me from across the room. Perhaps it’s the dim lighting, or maybe it’s the booze, either way it has to be something that makes people do stupid things since she’s waving at me now. I shuffled deeper into the little corner, trying hard to ignore the female protagonist appearing in my story. I was never very good at romantic fiction.
“Hey!” she says, walking up beside me.
“Hey,” I said back, what else was I supposed to say.
I look at her with bewildered eyes. Long black hair, porcelain skin, white fleshy thighs… if I have seen her before, it’s probably in one of the movies of my private collection.
She looked at me strangely, “It’s me Lyla, you’re Peter right?”
I tried to smile. “Yes,” at least I used to be Peter. I go by my pen name now, Borris Black. Peter Pendleton just doesn’t inspire the same vibe when you tell people you’re a horror writer.
“Wow, it is you. It’s been so long, how have you been!” She said, tucking her luscious mane behind her ear. “Heard from the grapevine you’re famous now eh. ”
“A little,” I answered to Ms Obvious here. Apparently I need to be reminded that I’m the only best selling author to ever graduate from Glendale Springs. But for the life of me, I cannot recall ever meeting a Lyla there.
“You don’t remember me do you?” she giggled, “Braces, black glasses, dorky hair, ninth grade?”
Social protocol dictates I should have at least some idea now, or at least pretend to remember, by shouting her name while I pointed at her and grinned. But since I honestly can’t remember and don’t give a fuck about what society thinks, I shook my head politely. It’s been a while since I’ve thought about my former life as a Peter.
“It’s ok,” she said, making a good sport out of being forgotten, “Let’s just start over. Hi, my name is Lyla Fisher, I’m a management consultant with Lipper and I just moved back to town to be with my family. Please to meet you Peter!”
“Black, Borris Black,” I corrected her, shaking her extended hand. Peter Pendleton is dead and buried. “Please to meet you too Lyla.”
— END PART 1 —
This is a slightly different writing style that I am trying out. One that fuses words and thoughts together in the first person. Again trying for a more flowing and smooth style in my writing. Really need to cut back on the and/as/the/buts as well.
Let me know if this narrative works for you. I’m trying to fuse together a story about a writer TALKING, THINKING and WRITING about the events of his life into one single narrative. I.e. there shouldn’t be any pure speech or pure story parts.