Tuesday, May 20, 2008

1st page for Claire

"Esconced in the broken-down bean bag as she was, with the smoke from the bong she held embraced in her lap like a baby enclosing her in its own warm embrace of indifference, the pixielated images on the television seemed to move of their own volition, and she roused her eyelids with difficulty--"
Mentally groaning, she put the book down. Five pages in, she thought, and I'm still hearing about the drinking and weed addictions. Two sentences would have sufficed, maybe even one: "Hi, my name is idiot and I'm an alcoholic AND a dope fiend." Why did publishers think people read detective novels? To read endless pages about being drunk or high and unable to get up out of the beanbag chair? Noooo, for a crime. The only thing criminal so far was the writing. Like a stoner even thinks in words like "pixillated" (hell, even the editor couldn't spell it right) or "volition" or "roused." The author was probably a goddamn English major, using all her fancy words just to show her extensive vocabulary. She rolled her eyes at her thoughts and picked the book back up. "You're cranky," she told herself. She'd give it five more pages: ten pages were enough to know whether a book was about criminal activity or if it would drive you to it.
Thumbing to the right spot again, she heard the coffee percolator in the Kirby's apartment start. No one nowadays knows what a percolator is, but she remembered her grandfather using one. She'd wake up on the couch during summer vacations, smelling the coffee and hearing the bubbly-sounding "perk....perk..." but actually, it sounded more like "pur.......pur.......pur.....pur...puuurrrrrcc..." as the water was forced up around and through the grounds to seep back down again. Evaporated milk and honey in coffee still caused olfactory flashbacks for her. The Kirby's had probably bought theirs new.
Well, if the Kirby's were up, so was she. One of the disadvantages to old apartments was thin walls. And odd as it was, she was even more of a morning lark than the Kirby's. Being a rather clumsy lark, she tried to stay considerately in bed reading for the hour until they woke up at 5 a.m. With something very much like relief, she closed the book and put it aside. Maybe she wouldn't give it five more pages after all.
She wondered as she showered how bad the day was going to be today. Understaffed, underfunded, and overworked, every employee in the department was suffering from bad morale and the resultant bad
attitudes, herself included. Watching her new boss try to cope with it all, she was less resentful every day that management had decided that despite their "desire for honest feedback and constructive suggestions," she was
not what they were looking for as a "team leader." Besides, "team leader" sounded like head migrant of the McDonald's day team...not a loss to her resume.
She gave herself a mental shake: knock it off or you'll create your very own bad day. She didn't know it, but it was going to be a very bad day regardless of her attitude. She should have known it when the hot water ran out much quicker than normal and left her scrambling to turn off the water and shivering in her towel.

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