Snippets -- Clutched From Other Lives
I'm throwing a fiction snippet up just for fun. I probably won't do many more, but if anyone likes this, I might post again. I enjoy being thrown into the middle of the action, and I want to see what others think. We often live vicariously through the work of others -- nightly television programs, crime novels, postmodern literature, neighborhood gossip, whatever our vice of the moment is. How often though do we really imagine what it would be like to truly participate in these other stories? Instead of relying on the distance that the fictional barrier creates, can we truly confront these other worlds? Or must we be content to live vicariously through stories told by others? Creating or narrating our own stories or adding to the overall discussion is always a possibility. I would like to continue that discussion, whether it be blurring the lines in writing, by putting ourselves in the place of others. Or, perhaps, just keeping an open mind to the other lives and possibilities out there in the world beyond the obvious distractions.
An excerpt from the tentatively (and cheesily titled) "The Jukebox Played An Old Sad Song" -- talk about cliched . . .
"The man punched the jukebox repeatedly, like he wanted it to spit up a pack of smokes or a coke or something. He had never liked these computerized jukeboxes. There were always too many of the wrong choices. And for anything good, you had to use more credits. You were stuck with shitty hit singles, often the shittiest songs off of the best records. Fuck, he felt old. He yearned for the days when you could find the songs you wanted with the push of a button. Those old jukeboxes were filled with the hits. Truthfully, they were often old country hits from the likes of Merle and Waylon. But those hits were perfect in a deserted dive bar like this. Old heartbroken done-me-wrong songs or shitty cow punk tunes were all he ever wanted to hear anyway.
He spent so much time on the road that you would think he'd be sick of them by now. But no, he just never wanted to hear another truck driving song. They were always about murder or boozing – once in awhile there would be one about shacking up with ladies along the road. He seldom did that, nor did he commit too many murders, but he knew all about boozing. Tonight might turn out somewhat differently though. He found songs he liked enough. If he hit the jukebox much more, the bartender, an old grizzled Vietnam veteran with an angular horse face, was liable to take offense. He hit the button and selected his tunes, one that he really wanted, plus another that only cost a credit. He was only going to need the first song anyway. The song he played, “Phantom 309” gave him a rush. It was the only kind he needed. Now the needed to go in the back, so he could do this job. He quietly asked for another beer. He had chosen the last shitty micro brew in the case after chatting the bartender up about beer. He was hoping the bartender would have more in the back and it would be a good ploy to get him away from the front, so he could more easily finish this job and get out."