A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Friday, March 11, 2005


I was working on "No Brakes, I Don't Mind" when I realized that the 500 words I had just written were useless, because it too closely mirrors Chapter 21 of Cut My Hair. Both are based on things I witnessed or was part of at real concerts, and they happened many years apart, but to a reading audience, it wouldn't be seen as just the sort of common thing that happens at these kinds of shows, it would be seen as repeating myself.

I quite like the whole exchange, though, so I figured I'd post it here, in its rough and uncorrected form:

Two girls stood tightly together, shoulder to shoulder, halting Wayne's surge to the front. He gave them a bit of a push, but they didn't budge. He could feel the rest of the crowd collapse in on him, like when you pull something out of the mud and the rest of the muck falls in immediately to fill the empty space. The girls weren't going to move, so he opted for the polite approach.

"Excuse me," he said.

"You're excused," the girl on the left said, only half turning back before focusing on Tristan again.

"No, excuse me, can I get by."

"You may not," the girl on the right replied.

"But you're excused anyway," the left added.

Wayne slid his arm over their shoulders, past their faces, and pointed at Fenn three rows up. Her hands were above her head and she was clapping. "My friend's up there," he explained. "I'm just going to meet her."

The right girl slapped his wrist. "Don't touch us," she hissed.

He pulled his hand back.

They weren't budging, and Wayne was feeling agitated again. He was soaked with his own sweat, as well as the sweat from everyone else. It was hot, just like always down here, in the desert. His weight was returning, increasing—no longer light and airy, but heavy and solid. He decided to use that weight to get where he was going and threw his body into the girls once more.

It didn't work. They bounced him back with just a tiny flick of their shoulders, bony saloon doors rejecting a patron. The duo turned on him. They both had shiny lip-gloss on, and for a second he wondered what flavor. "No one here is your friend," the left girl said, and then in tandem, they shoved him, knock him into several people and nearly off his feet.

Everyone had turned on him now. The crowd started pushing him and yelling at him.

"Get out of here!"

"You like hitting girls, you fuckin' pussy?"

"We were here first, jerk!"

Every time Wayne thought he found a neutral spot he could stand, someone else would tell him to go.

"You can't stand there, man, that spot's taken. By me."

"Nuh-uh. Not in front of me, jagoff."

No one was going to let him be, so Wayne gave up. When he turned fully around and declared he was going, several people clapped. Someone slapped him on the back of his neck on his way out, but he didn't turn to see who.

There was a bar in the back, dimly lit by orange neon, and Wayne ducked into it, hoping people would forget who he was and leave him alone. He was drenched from head to toe, and he felt like he'd just been washed down a river that was full of gigantic boulders and he'd ricocheted off of each one. "Interior Gardening" was over and they were playing a song Wayne had never heard before. To be honest, he wasn't sure how many songs they had played. He had no memory of the first song ending, and there could have been half a dozen before this one. The melee had caused him to completely miss the opening.

Current Soundtrack: The Thrills, "Viva Las Vegas;" Jennifer Lopez, "He'll Be Back" (produced by Timbaland)

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