hello, all. i may or may not have let the deadline creep up on me this week with my blog. i’ve been a bit stressed these past thirty or so weeks. so, this week, i give you an excerpt of a story i’m working on for intermediate short fiction class. it’s inspired by lorrie moore’s how, which is one of my favorite short stories. keep in mind that this story, much like its writer, is a work in progress 🙂
You will meet him at the video store. You’ll be renting a movie you’ve seen a thousand times, and he’ll be the clerk behind the desk. He will compliment your taste. That movie’s one of his favorites, too, and he’s never met anybody else who has seen it. It won an Oscar and is on every Top 100 Movies list, but you don’t tell him that. You will smile, and he will stare, captivated by finally finding someone who shares his interests. He will tell you more about the movie, how much he loves it, and you will agree, equally in wonder of him. If you squint and turn your head to just the right angle, he will almost look like a young De Niro. You will wonder where he has been all your life. He will tell you. He just moved to town and immediately took a job here, ecstatic to find a video store that hadn’t yet been shut down. You will tell him how you’ve been coming here for as long as you can remember, how it’s one of your favorite places in town. He will say that he hopes he’ll see you there again. He will. You’ll make sure of it. Just when you step out into the parking lot, you will hear him following you. He never got your name. You will tell him, and he will return the favor. He will tell you to have a good day, despite the fact that it is 9 p.m.
Spend the next few days thinking of him constantly. Homework, friends, even music will become obsolete. Your every waking moment will be spent dissecting the intentions behind each word he said, each snaggle-toothed grin he flashed. Remember the spark you felt when your hands touched. Ignore the fact that your hands only touched in a retail ritual. Your mother will ask you if there’s something wrong. Tell her no. How could anything be wrong when you’re in love? You will listen to Roberta Flack and dream of boys with dark circles around their eyes.
Thursday will swoop down to rescue you from your reverie. You will realize that you had missed him. That it has been a week since you met him. Since your life changed forever. You’ll wake up excited, knowing that you must return the movie today. That in doing so, you will see him. Shave beneath your arms. Put on extra mascara during Algebra and a spritz of your friend’s perfume during Biology. Daydream.