So I started reading my LiveJournal from the beginning. I wanted to see exactly where I was in 2004. I found a post I had made with an small sample of the novel I've been writing for about, well 3 years now. I of course remember the sample. I've read a thousand times. But what I didn't remember were the comments. So I decided to post the sample here and include one anonymous comment that made me laugh.
The Doctors Office:
Saturday night at the gas station. All anyone ever comes in for are lotto tickets and cigarettes. Half of everybody who comes in is either drunk or on their way to being drunk. All I want is a fucking beer and a one way ticket to anywhere but here.
A woman walks in all sketched out.I suspect she’s illiterate and I quickly realise I’m right as she has me reading everything to her. She wants to use her bank card to purchase some smokes, and I have to baby-step her through it about eight times. It’s excruciating in a way that only public servants understand. In my discomfort I have the urge to lunge over the counter and put her out of my misery. But I don’t. I suck it up ad smile, while a line up of disgruntled customers pile up behind her with a hate on for me. That's the best part about public service. All those people who sit there and count out their pennies, waisting everybody’s time, all those paper money fanatics, they’re not the ones that everyone hates. They hate the clerk.It couldn't possibly be the annoying customer in front of them that's been standing there for 10 minutes searching for that last penny...
If the customers aren’t enough to make you prey for death, then you should actually see the store that I work in. It’s bright yellow. Yellow like you wouldn’t believe. Even the customers complain about the colour of the walls. I always say “ think how i feel, I stare at this for eight hours at a time. You can leave whenever you want.” I can be like that. A bit of an asshole. I don’t really mean to be, but because I do it with a smile, people always just laugh and don’t take offense. I swear you can say almost anything with the right tone of voice and a big smile and no one will hear what your saying. They just see and your face, hear the pitch of your voice and play along. Ever play that game? You know, where you say hi to someone in a strange way? Then they say hi, right back to you,in exactly the same way? Well it’s kind of like that. Totally subconscious. People are sheep. Anyway, the walls are putrid and when I’ve been there for 14 hours working a double shift into graveyard, I start to feel ill. I gotta go outside and look at the black ground or the black sky. Anything but that terrible yellow.
Devon walks in. Devon walks in and opens his mouth. He opens his mouth and says “I love you Amy”. Devon is this seventeen year old kid who shaves his head and bikes all over the city. i see him almost everywhere I go. He’s always at the bowl in the park doing amusing little tricks on his bike. Devon is kinda cute. Cute in the sense that he’s seventeen and has a pretty girlfriend who he willingly cheats on every chance he gets. I work with him. One night on back shift I ended up kissing this strange little kid. yes I know, bad me. What do I think I’m doing kissing someone who’s still in high school? But anyway hes a little horn dog and I find that interesting.
My reply to Devon is simple. “I know” I get cocky sometimes, just because people hand it to me. Give me the up sometimes. Might as well take it and run.I’m also not into joking around right now. I drank four cups of rancid coffee that we brew in the store and I felt nauseous. I needed to get out of that vomit coloured shit hole. Seriously, the walls reminded me of this nasty yellow vomit my dog once puked up. I suffer it with a smile and a Death Cab album. “so this is the new year, and I don’t feel any better” exactly what i was thinking Ben. I moved back to Halifax after a year of my home town. trying to look at life differently, start over, make new friends. I have somewhat. but I don’t feel any better. I guess environment means shit.
I always thought that your surroundings were responsible for sadness and depression. I’ve been in denial of clinical depression for years. Believing myself to be a victim of my environment, that by getting myself into a more positive habitat, I wouldn’t find myself so hopeless. So either everywhere is hopeless, or it’s just me. My entire family has been medicated except for me. I refuse it. I’ll get over it all myself I say. But years of “getting over it” myself isn’t panning out so well and i find myself in the doctors office after work again at my mothers request.This will achieve nothing. I’m doomed to ride this out.
I hate the doctors office. it’s cold and full of disease. I liked my doctor even though he had his hands in my crotch, which any girl will agree is completely un-nerving. Especially when your doctor is closer to your age than most of your boyfriends.
“Amy for Dr. Carbyn” I recite to the lady at the front desk. She looks over worked and I look like I haven’t slept in days. To top that off, I’ve had the shits for two solid weeks and I‘m preying that they have a public washroom. (yeah I told you girls shit. you didn’t believe me did you?) I run to the bathroom after she points the way. I’m pasty and craving a cigarette, but lighting up in a doctors bathroom seems somewhat inappropriate of course. There are cups by the sink and I reach for one...but wait, this is a doctors office.... who pissed in those cups? I hesitate and begin to wander the path these cups may have traveled to find themselves sitting on a counter stacked near a sink. They looked suspicious. really suspicious. They weren’t those typical little bathroom dixie cups that you’d expect to see. They were plastic and clear... Clear? So you could see its contents? i hesitate more, how thirsty am i?Well Amy lets think about this, who’s gonna leave a piss cup near a sink? I might. Well, it is one of those perfect crimes. No one would ever know. It’s the same reason I don’t leave my toothbrush in the bathroom, god knows who would grab it and give it a nice swipe around the toilet. Or maybe they were rinsed out and neglected... who knows! Well they don’t look used. I shake my head. I’m loosing it. I’m paranoid, I’m psychotic. I pick up a cup rebelling against my own deluded thoughts and fill it with rancid city water.God I’d almost rather drink the piss.How long have i been in here? Fuck. I run out and sit down in the waiting room, hoping I didn’t miss my turn to chat with the all knowing human inspector.
Good timing though, the doctor is just heading out of his room and calls my name. I saunter into the office head down, trying not to let anyone in the room see my face. Do they think I’m pregnant? I bet they think I’m going in to see if I’m pregnant. I bet they think that I’m a whore....It always bothered me to be a teenager and go into a doctors office looking perfectly healthy. I always thought people would assume I was a disgraceful little girl running around fucking random teenage boys. Maybe they didn’t.
Anyway, he closes the door behind me, I get nervous. I always get nervous when strange men close doors. “I haven’t seen you in a while Amy.” it’s true, it’s been a good two years since I’ve stepped foot into that place. Since i got over mono, since I left Danny.
There’s far too much silence in here. it makes me anxious and suddenly I feel like bolting for the door. This is the uneasy part where my doctor asks me why I’m here, and what do i say? “uh, I feel like shit? I’m loosing it? I’ve been putting cigarettes out on my arms all week for kicks? I took up smoking 2 months ago even though i’ve never smoked in my life? Do I tell him I’m madly in love with this boy who left? Do I tell him about you? About you my close friend, who lost his mind. how you can’t remember anything that's happened in the last four months? Do I tell him about my childhood? No. I hesitate and I say “My grandfather passed away and I guess i’m not dealing with it so well. My mom wanted me to come in.” At least that he can understand.
It happened a week ago and completely pushed me off my feet. Among all the shit that happened, I’ve been fairly balanced, but this flattened me. It was the end of the line.
He replies that he’s sorry to hear about it. Hands me this pamphlet on grief. That was pretty much it. He hustled me out of the office with a piece of paper and bought himself more time for more patients.
I felt pretty insignificant and as I was leaving I kept feeling guilty. Who the hell am I to bother anyone with my depression when people are dying everywhere. And who the hell am I to even want to die? Wanting to throw it all away when so many people don’t have the choice between life or death.I felt like I was insulting every terminal patient in the world. Selfish, and I head back home feeling worse than before.
-End of Chapter-
The premise of this novel (that remains unfinished) : The story is written as if they were letters to an old friend who suffers from short term memory loss and amnesia. The title of the unfinished novel is "Dear Amnesia" but I've toyed with changing the title to many other things. I always end up reverting back to this one however.
Now the funny comment about this on my livejournal is:
"it's good, needs a spell check but it's a good build to a good depth. I find it interesting that there is little description of all of the surrounding characters, only the ones that stand out to the narrator. It builds properly to the crux of the piece that the narrator is depressed so all of these surrounding characters would be dull to the narrator's mind leaving the reality of why this Devon kid would stand out intact. It's realistic and honest writing that manages to get across the internal feelings of a narrator rather than to follow the formulas of organizational writing that make a lot of writing sound the same. Keep it real like this, edit some, spell check much, I wanna read the next installment... I prefer this time of run on writing when it builds like that and the explanation comes out slowly, it's akin to learning the narrator from the inside out. More interesting than "she had black hair and was depressed"
I to this day have no idea who this person is. I find it funny that they merely observationally wrote about my chapter.