so i have only been working on this novel (formerly a screenplay titled “serial killers & space aliens”) since the 90s…early 90s even? yikes.
but here is an excerpt, along with a rough draft for an illustration to go with the novel. yes. an illustrated novel.
& i am serious about finishing it…finally.
sit in a booth in some dingy, small town diner. A waitress brings our
order as we sit in silence. She glances from one to the other of us.
I think she wants to say something, but Guy has a pretty fussy look
on his face. She’s a good waitress. She leaves our food and
skedaddles. A burger with fries, two eggs over easy and toast,
and a side salad with French dressing are sit in front of Guy. He is
already sucking on the straw to a large chocolate milkshake with
whipped topping and sprinkles. The waitress leaves me a BLT with a
side of fruit cocktail.
she has left without kissing his ass, Guy yells after her, “Hey!
Can I get a Coke!” Then he starts wolfing down his burger.
name isn’t ‘Hey.’”
is her name, Smartass?”
say it quietly to myself. I know he hears, but he doesn’t say
anything when I say, “And my name is Colleen.” I notice that our
names rhyme, me and Irene, but I don’t point that out to him. I
pick up the top of my sandwich to put mustard on it.
is that?” Guy asks in a way that makes me not want to answer.
brace myself, “It’s a BLT.”
doesn’t like bacon? Nevermind. Whatever. How ‘bout
why would you order a bacon,
lettuce and tomato sandwich
if you don’t like bacon?”
waitress returns and drops off Guy’s Coke. She looks at me, not
him, when she asks, “Is everything okay?”
isn’t any bacon on her BLT.”
glare at Guy and then offer a smile to Irene. “Thank you.
Everything is terrific.”
ignores me and says to our waitress, “Irene, what did you do with
the bacon from her BLT? Who gets it? Am I still getting charged for
will go check on that for you, sir.” Irene
turns and walks away. Like I said, she’s a good waitress. A smart
eats the other half of his burger in one bite and says with a
mouthful of kind of chewed meat, “I don’t like her.”
can tell you’re not going to tip her.
don’t look like a high roller?”
shrug. “Whether you roll or not has nothing to do with it. You’re
a narcissistic sadist. And narcissistic sadists don’t usually tip
like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. You don’t think a guy will
tip well so you act all snooty to him. I suppose I could stiff her…if
that’s what she wants.” Just like a narcissistic sadist to not
even acknowledge I’ve called him a narcissistic sadist.
only gets paid like two bucks an hour. She lives off of her tips. Not
that you care.”
Are you an advocate for waitresses now…or maybe you are
just saying you shouldn’t punish her for the system she works in.”
sits back, looking down his nose at me. “One, Colleen,
her for the system she works in. I’m punishing her for being a
snooty bitch. And two. You are
waitress, aren’t you?” He pauses here, trying not to grin. He is
enjoying this too much. Narcissistic sadist.
He pauses–to punish me–before he asks, “Do you wear a nametag? Do
you keep pens in your hair and sweaty dollars down your cleavage?”
Another sadistic pause before he goes in for the kill. “Does your
don’t answer him. It wouldn’t do any good.
okay, sis. We all have to slum it sooner or later. Nothing to be
worry. I’m not ashamed of anything. And you know what. Not that it
will shut you up or anything. But I really don’t want to talk to
has done everything but lick his plate clean. He’s looking all
pleased with himself. “Buck up, baby. I’m all you got right now.
Looks like it’s my way or the highway.”
take the highway.”
he says as he stands up. “Let’s get rolling.”
don’t jump when he says jump. I don’t move at all. He doesn’t
like it when things don’t go how he wants them to. He wants to make
his grand exit, and I’m fucking that up for him. I don’t know
what I’m doing. I just hate him right now. It won’t do any good.
He will win, but I can at least piss him off. Still.
is not the time or the place, Collie. Let’s go.” He reaches down
and grabs me by the arm to pull me out of the booth. I watch as some
of the others turn to gawk. This makes it worse for me. Worse for
everyone, probably. Sometimes I don’t care. But I probably should.
tries to come to my rescue…or maybe she’s realized Guy is trying
to leave without paying. “Hey!” she calls out. Then over her
shoulder towards the kitchen, “Clay! Get out here!”
and Clay rhyme too, I think as I let Guy push me out the front door.
a minute, Irene,”
Guy hollers back at her. Then, to me, with his bedroom eyes turned to
snake eyes, he says, “You wait in the car. I mean it. Don’t fuck
yourself here. Get. To. The. Car.”
leaves me standing in the parking lot. I can see shadows past where
the sun reflects on the glass windows. I hear angry voices. I almost
go back in. But I can’t do it. I find myself walking to the car,
closing my ears to the sounds. Closing my brain to the thoughts that
pummel me from all directions.