Sunday August 16th, 2015

The exercise:

Hmm, haven't done this one in a long time: use the title of a movie as the inspiration for your writing.

Quiet day off around here. The fires in the hills to the west of town are still burning, but at least for most of the day the breeze was blowing the smoke away from us. It changed direction this evening and it's getting pretty smokey out there now.

I should maybe get to sleep at a reasonable time for once, so I'll get to that writing thing.

Edit: or I could just fall asleep on the couch again. Sigh.


The Other Guys

Do you know what it's like, living life on the outskirts of everything? How small you feel? How unimportant? Can you imagine always being on the outside looking in? Never fully a part of things. Never fully welcome.

Well, me and Chuck could tell you a thing or two about it.

We called ourselves the other guys. We heard it often enough from other people that we decided to own the label. Not that it was ever said directly to our faces or anything like that. We just overheard it, as people who live on the perimeter of life often do.

"Who are those other guys in that picture?"

Me and Chuck, that's who.

"Who were those other guys with you when Mr. Dylan was talking to you after class today?"

Us. Always us.

It gets tiresome, let me tell you. Even for someone, such as myself, who has no interest in the spotlight. Always watching and listening as others get the praise and credit. Hell, even the blame. Sounds strange, I know, but there were days that I would have been thrilled to be accused of something - whether I did it or not!

I began craving recognition. Chuck and I never talked about it, but I think he did too. I could see it in the way he carried himself, the way he glared at people who would never, ever be called the other guys. Enough was enough, you know?

So I decided to do something that they couldn't possibly ignore.


Greg said...

If the fire's been moving away from you then you're probably better off, despite the smoke, as there won't be anything behind the fire to allow it to change direction and move towards you. It's not much of a silver lining, but it's a little one :)
I guess I wouldn't much like being one of the other guys either, and it sounds like your narrator has put up with it for long enough. I wonder if Chuck is going to help him out with his attempt at notoriety, or if he'll still be stood on the sidelines, just one of the other guys?
Also, cure for falling asleep on the couch: take the laptop to bed with you!

North by northwest
Mr. Frincham steepled his hands in front of him and rested his chin on them. His eyes were watery and pale blue behind the steel-rimmed frames of his glasses, and some of the children in his class claimed that he could manage an entire lesson without blinking. His nose was long and Roman, and he affected a thin, sparse moustache on his upper lip that he wished would grow long enough to let him wax the ends of. His lips parted very slightly as he thought about what to say next.
The class sat silently, each child on the edge of their chair and alert. They were all aware of the rivalry that Mr. Frincham had with Miss Snippet, and that though they might not be working in construction already there were certainly expectations of them. The class the previous year were rumoured to have masterminded the theft of the contents of the Sixticton art gallery, but those rumours remained firmly unconfimed.
"Eighty-four thousand, seven hundred and twenty-two by one thousand nine hundred and six?"
Samantha's had went up seven seconds later, and Mr. Frincham nodded. "Thirty five million, six hundred and eighty-four thousand, one hundred and thirty two," she said. She paused for two heartbeats and added, "That's the number of seconds remaining until the next leap second is required."
"Good," said Mr. Frincham. "Slow, but good." He looked around the room, at the children shifting uncomfortably in their seats. "However, a correct answer is correct, so you may nominate."
Samantha didn't even look round, she immediately said, "Carrianne, please."
"Carrianne," said Mr. Frincham. "Your question is: North by Northwest?"
"Latitude 35.448, longitude 17.091," said Carrianne after four seconds. Her nose scrunched and her face wrinkled. "There's... there's a scarecrow there, but I don't recall anything useful."
"That depends entirely on what you're trying to do," said Mr. Frincham.

Marc said...

Greg - that's an interesting question to ponder. Now that you've brought it up, I think Chuck would probably end up on the sidelines again.

Yeah, I don't think Kat would appreciate that :P

Hmm, Mr. Frincham seems like an interesting foil to Miss Snippet. Also: firmly unconfirmed is a great line.