Since I graduated from college I have on occasion been writing a story…This story is literally about nothing…Well not nothing, but being my age and living in today’s world it is evident that many people older than me really don’t give a shit about what my generation has to say, and when I do see a movie or read a book tailored to people my age it is often a highly fantasized world where everything is a sweet romantic-comedy and douchebag bros changing it around to get the girl (not that these movies aren’t just delightful…I mean the Spectacular Now made me cry). But where are the stories about what it is actually like to be a 23 year old college graduate who literally can’t even get a temp job??!?!? Maybe i’m looking in the wrong places but I just don’t see them…That’s what ‘The Story About Nothing” is about. One dude’s day and how he sees and views his friends, family, and this world we live in….So without further ado…Here are the first few pages…
The Story About Nothing
I woke up to the sound of my phone ringing. That stupid default ringtone that the phone company gives you that I never have the heart to change. I wonder how much the cell phone companies pay people to make those things. Are they even musicians? Men and women who at one point in time actually wanted to make actual art and just ended up selling their soul for a quick buck……. Who am I kidding? I probably would’ve done the same thing.
The phone was still ringing. I reached over and grabbed it from the nightstand and stared into the screen. The persons face staring back at me was not someone I wanted to talk to this early in the morning. Thank god for caller ID. I tossed my phone back on the nightstand and noticed the half finished bottle of beer staring back at me. I drank like 5 beers last night while I was watching the basketball game. Jesus Christ…. Alcohol in general has never tasted good me at all. My peers are obsessed with it. For them, simply knowing that on Friday and Saturday there will be an opportunity to go out and drink heavily makes them feel good. Meanwhile for me the taste of anything other than a solid beer makes me gag
The beer kept staring back at me. Not even halfway done, it was no doubt slightly warm and had lost whatever good taste was supposed to be in it. I decided not to drink it. It probably wasn’t kosher to drink this early in the morning anyway. By the way, i’m not Jewish at all, I just think the phrases that Jewish people use are pretty awesome. I rolled over from the beer smirking at me and turned the TV on.
I am a full-blooded 23 year old American male who lives in an apartment by himself so of course ESPN was the channel that popped up. What happened to ESPN? I remember as a kid seeing people like Stuart Scott, Dan Patrick, and Scott Van Pelt and thinking to myself, “Wow these people are amazing!” I would’ve done anything to work for ESPN. Now it just seems like they tend to sensationalize everything. Now their most popular show features this super old white guy yelling at a black guy with a receding hairline. I wonder who gave these people credentials? I’m sure at some point time they were credible, hard-hitting journalists. What made them sell their soul for a quick buck? Who am I kidding? I probably would have done the same thing.
Today the talking heads were shrieking about how Alex Rodriguez was a bad person. He used performance enhancing drugs so now he is on the same level as Hitler and the devil. When I was a kid baseball was a pretty dead and boring sport to watch until Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa came along and started knocking balls 1,000 feet out of the ball parks. They made the game more exciting. That is taking away from the integrity of baseball? The crusty old guard of white men with white hair, reading glasses, and bad suits who sit on their throne and shake their head at everything should instead worship the ground they walk on. And it’s not like it was Alex Rodriguez’s fault that he got paid that much money when he was so young. If someone gave me a guaranteed contract of over $200 million the chances are I might become an even bigger asshole than I already am.
I had nothing to do today. The shrieking head show mercifully went to a commercial break. A TV spot for the newest superhero picture played. It was the standard affair for all the action movies. Explosions, CGI, a hot actress punching someone, some Oscar winning actor playing some crazy villain, more explosions, Samuel L. Jackson, a prominent U.S. city being destroyed…The usual stuff. The carnal male side of me roared with pleasure. I wonder what it must feel like for anyone who isn’t a male between the ages of 16-34. Because movies aren’t made for anyone outside of that bracket. Sure every few years you get a Hunger Games or Twilight but for the most part movies are dick jokes, gay jokes, boobs, stuff blowing up, and weed. Women must hate that like ALL THE TIME. I made the decision right then and there to spend my afternoon at the theater watching this movie.
I got out of bed and wandered to my desk to look for movie times on my laptop. I had to be careful getting on the internet. These days a simple task such as looking up movie times can lead you down a black hole and you end up googling Levar Burton and every movie he was in. This particular time I found myself reading the entire synopsis of every Rocky movie. Eventually I finally looked up the movie times. It was already 10:30 in the morning so I wouldn’t be making any matinee shows. I came to the conclusion that maybe the 4:00 showing would be perfect for me. With some time to kill I decided to smoke some weed.
Back in the 1930s marijuana was the monster under the children’s beds, the proverbial boogeyman. The ‘critically acclaimed’ and hilarious film Reefer Madness let parents know that if your kids smoked pot they would eventually become dope fiends and kill their friends. I grew up with the DARE program in school. They taught us to say no to drugs and in general live a drug free lifestyle. But a question that I came to recently is, if marijuana and cocaine come from plants, then what is God really trying to tell us? In all of his infinite wisdom he gave us plants that are meant to alter our minds. I mean it has been proven that ancient societies across the world use marijuana to get in touch with the spirits and open themselves up to these fantastic experiences. Now I don’t think drugs like cocaine or heroin should be legal or anything, but Jesus what’s so messed up about smoking a little weed?
I kept my weed in the drawer of my desk like any sensible person would do. Where the hell is the pipe? That thing is constantly getting lost somewhere in the jungle that is my apartment. I like using my pipe because I can’t properly roll myself a joint. My fingers just refuse to correspond with that process for some reason. I finally found the thing in one of the socks in my drawer. I had to pause briefly to consider the sanitary questions that had to be raised about smoking weed out of a pipe that was found in a kind of dirty sock. Screw it, everyone does disgusting things in private when they know no one will find out about it.
The first got me pretty high, I’m easy that way. I wouldn’t describe myself as a stoner. To me calling yourself a stoner means that you are knowledgeable about weed. True stoners know what weed to smoke that will make them really mellow, they know about things like vaporizers, and dabs. I would describe myself as more of a degenerate pothead. I smoke simply because I want to be high, nothing more, nothing less. The most important thing for me is that my creative juices get to flowing. I like listening to the XX like this. They make music that is a good mix of sadness, happiness and a little bit of love. Everything that great music should have. I’m on about the 6th song of their album thinking about everything when my phone rings again. It’s my father. I let it keep ringing. If he’s calling me this early in the morning it’s nothing that I could possibly want to talk about. What if it was an emergency? I thought about this for about 3 more rings and decided to get over my fear and resentment that every boy inherently has for his father and answered. Fortunately, he had already hung up. At least I could say I made an effort to answer.
Should I feel bad about not wanting to talk to my dad? It’s not like it’s a feeling that is reserved exclusively for him. Pretty much any family member of mine gets the same treatment. I just never feel like talking to them. I don’t have a valid excuse for my stand offishness. My dad isn’t a drunk, who beat me or my mother. My mother isn’t one of those shrill women who blame their misery on the children that they had when they were too young. I had a very stable childhood actually. Well, my parents did get divorced when I was in middle school but who the hell has parents that aren’t divorced these days? Anytime I meet someone who has parents who are still together in holy matrimony I get a weird feeling in my stomach. It’s a sad mix of jealousy, hate, and resentment. I hate them because their parents are still together but I would honestly give almost anything to switch places with them and have parents that don’t hate each other. I continued staring at the floor a bit longer. It would be so easy to call my dad back and just have an honest conversation with him. His job, family sports, my job…. Anything…….I took another pull from piped turned the TV to cartoons.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt…and if you didn’t well…that’s cool…just don’t talk to me anymore!!! I’ll try and post some more next week.