Willing to Make Bad Art Once Every 18 Months


(Sorry it took me so long between entries.  It took a full 18 months to choose my special writing outfit.)

I guess with a name like “Willing to Make Bad Art” no one is really expecting posts every day or so, right? That’s probably happening over on “My Art is the Most Amazing Thing You’ve Ever Seen”.

I just started a writing class. I’ve always been deathly afraid of any sort of creative classes. This one is run by a lovely teacher and features very supportive fellows. I had to write something so I took a huge leap and wrote 400 words of total fiction. To borrow some professional office-y jargon, that stuff isn’t “in my wheelhouse”, but $250 is $250.

Here are the fruits of my labor…

Wednesday 1:15

At least fifteen times a day Ted would look up and think, it was probably just like this. David wasn’t thinking about anything at all except where he might be able to take a piss without getting hassled and – boom – he dropped dead.

“Keeled right over,” his sister had said. Like she was talking about the mailman or some guy who worked at the hardware store. Not like he was somebody at all to her.

“He stopped being somebody the third time he called me a fucking twat in front of my daughter. If you had kids you’d understand.”

Maybe, he thought. But David wasn’t exactly incorrect. He’d never use that kind of language with a lady, but she sure as hell was a pill. For somebody who’d been in County three times for forging checks and had a running jag of dirtballs sharing her bed, she sure passed a lot of judgment on their brother. Cathy was a lady who didn’t understand that she lived in a glass house. And David was a guy who felt like he lived in a hail of stones.

Part of it was the sickness, part of it was just him. The always say that the middle child gets the short end of it and that was David. He was always looking for something, even when he was a kid. And then, whatever he found, he’d make it seem like that was the thing he was looking for all along.

When he brought home the dead squirrel, it was because he was planning on being the next Leonardo DaVinci. “Want to look inside and see what makes him tick?” He’d only showed it to Ted. It felt weird looking at something dead, like he should have to get permission from the squirrel to see him up close. Before that, squirrels were just things that drove dad nuts by stealing all the bird food and terrorized the dog from the fence. But up close and frozen he could see that it had had a whole life. It had to sleep somewhere, maybe fight off other squirrels for nuts, and figure out if it scared the crow more than the crow scared it.

It was surprised at the end. Ted wondered if anything ever scared it that much in real life. Or maybe he wasn’t scared at all, but relieved.

Or maybe it was David that he was thinking about.

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