Twitter would be so much quicker, but this has to stay private. I’m neurotic. Nate found me, and I think everything’s going to be ok. I need to find Eve. She’s here.
Twitter would be so much quicker, but this has to stay private. I’m neurotic. Nate found me, and I think everything’s going to be ok. I need to find Eve. She’s here.
There she was. Right in front of me, like a blooming flower in midday, it was so impossible, yet here the contradictory laid. I couldn’t imagine something so real and so fictional all at the same time. It almost made my heart break. I held back the tears, the memories, the “what if’s” crawling around my mind these past few days. I felt sick… And of all places Miss 626 had to be lying in the bed of my only communication line between my film and our first encouter: Nate. Why did it have to be like this…
After days of writing in this journal, I’ve finally learned the craft behind writing a good story. It’s been good practice for my grammar and format, by pen I’m almost a master in my own eyes, but by speech I am still, well, speechless. As much of it I have been taking care of, it didn’t help me prepare for the real thing. Not like this.
Early this morning, I came to pick up my phone from Nate’s apartment. I didn’t want to be disturbed while I was finishing my submission for the Grant, so I made sure he kept it away from me, in case I had another temptation to call Miss 626 in the middle of the night. Now that I know she’s more abused than loose, a tragedy like that would go unsaid until someone else can do something about it. A car door was too much for me. I imagined myself as her hero at that particular moment, when her date made her cry at that stop, but I suppose I needed to be faster, stronger, more of a man. I considered myself a coward for not acting so quickly. Damn my nerves, I swear…
But of all times, right when I completed my project and submitted the final cut to the upcoming film festival, I return to my phone, to Nate’s alcohol, to her…lying unconscious on his bed…his bed. I swore I woke to a nightmare when I found Eve. The walls came crashing down, and my lungs suffocated under a thick mist of jealousy. Was he to become her hero? What was there left for me? I signed the form for the Grant, confessing my ardent piece, revealing my soul through her face, Shakespeare, and stupid rap music! It was suppose to be art, it was suppose to be a masterpiece, but right then, just as I saw her snoring in between his sheets and my cell phone, I affirmed the pervert Nate had to be. The Bartender and my bane. GOD, WHY!!!
Why did she sit there with her dry lips and dampened face, sounding like a trumpet — young strumpet, are you real at all? What was all this for, if it were to just to end in humiliation? I think, I do think too much, and much too much am I finding myself more and more hysterical, lyrical, but hysterical. God, why-God-why???
I left my car, and walked home. I have my phone, but I don’t think I’ll be able to pick it up for another year. I wish I were quicker, stronger, more of a man. Maybe none of this would have happened. Eve can stay as Miss 626, for all I care. I’ll stay in hellish Northridge forever, and forget that day of paradise between her smile and voice and shoulder and phone number. My fingers can be wiped clean now, her number’s no consolation anymore. I hate the world, I hate being me — twenty-something and a stupid artist, as if I didn’t feel isolated enough for being only half Asian, my friends have to rub it in my face how slow and weak I really really am! I hate you Nate, I hate you. And Eve, how could you?
I’m in the bus and I I didn’t take a shower, and I’m here at Ho
I’m about to flush the toilet, my film’s about to show. At least if I get this Grant, I’ll be rich enough to move out of this city. I hate Hollywood, but the festival is here, maybe if I make it in the Indie scene, I can go to the festivals in Texas instead. But for now, the Egytian Theater is all I got left. If I lose, at least I can end my career in Art today, and get a job at some Insurance company in the Midwest, where dreams are just another TV episode on Lifetime.
We went to the liquor shop and he parked the car to get that box of wine. I was a good 10 minutes away from Jack and Lillian’s (his older sister) apartment. It was going to be like old times, blasting the air conditioning with the fans to beat the heat that never seemed to ever completely leave their place unless it was pouring rain in the middle of Winter. Good conversation with the television playing in the background to aid whenever we ran out of subjects to talk about.
But when the wind pulled into the car when Jack opened the door it felt strange. I looked around me and saw nothing but the usual. At first I thought it was me adjusting to the area again, or perhaps that feeling that every girl gets in a car alone when entering a less that great area. I just couldn’t put my finger on it; it was are rare sort of strange.
“What is it?” When Jack returned, he was shaking his head throwing the boxed wine in the back.
“This crazy guy just kept starring at me with two gallons of milk, one in each hand. He must of had some crazy munchies; he had the biggest circles under his eyes and he was dragging his feet like some B movie zombie. Late night raver I’m guessing, crazy streaked bleached hair wearing all black with a trench coat in this weather. Even had a Paul Frank bag.”
“You… saw… him?” Was I hearing right? Other than the zombie-ques appeal I only knew one other person that might fit that description. Tears, started to fall without me noticing.
“Yeah, in the liquor store behind me when I was paying. Crazy stuff right?” He started the car and pulled out. I gave him no reply, I felt like I was in two worlds at the same time.
Out the window was Art. I saw him. And I wasn’t the only one that did. Art was real.
“Stop the car.” I pleaded to Jack.
“You alright Bright Eyes?” Jack called me that again. Seems like my signal’s of friendship were not clear. This was wrong, completely wrong.
“Stop the car PLEASE!” I was panting, trying to get the thick belt buckles loose on the old car. Jack finally pulled over and I quickly got out. If he hadn’t stopped I would’ve jumped into traffic.
“What are you doing!?” He was thrown off by my erratic behavior.
“I found something!” I started sprinting through the neighborhoods before I could even hear what he was saying. The traffic kept Jack from turning around and soon enough I was far into the night. He was real, somewhere in that night was Art and I couldn’t let him go.
At first I ran back to the liquor shop and asked the cashier if he knew where he went from the description. Unfortunately he spoke in an accent that was too thick for me, but he did point in a direction. I ran for what felt a good half hour without direction. I had no idea what to look for but what the Cashier had given me. I was doing so well until I felt the cement meet my shoulder: I tripped!
The cement had been lifted by a tree route in the narrow side walk. I felt the hot unnatural earth scrape my shoulder down to my wrist. When I got up I felt the sharp throbbing on my knee. The pain was so strong that I could barely walk, I had to sit in for a minute. I tried calling the mysterious 818 number again, it was the only hope I had left. It had to be Art, it just had to be!
“Yello.” A voice connected from the end of the phone. It wasn’t him.
“Hi, I got a call from this number a few days ago. I didn’t recognize it.” I tried with all my might to hide my despair; it resulted in sniffles.
“Eve, is that you?” The voice was hesitant.
I started bawling at the sound of my name. I was loud and lights in the apartment complex in front of me flickered on. I couldn’t help it, I felt like I went completely mad. The person on the other line hung up and I just got worse. I got up and tried to walk off the pain, no luck whatsoever. I was doomed, I thought.
I heard my name again. It was getting closer. I almost fell a second time when I heard the rusty apartment gate open next to me opened. A short broad fellow approached me, he was the one calling my name, a friendly face. Had I found my Virgil in this Inferno?
“Why are you in front of my apartment? Never fancied you as a stalker.” I took his hand and he helped me up. I winced as he accidentally touched my new sticky wounds. I stopped crying, but really didn’t know how to give him a good explanation.
We entered his apartment which was lined with neat beer bottles across the walls and patio furniture in replacement of real ones. It was a strange new world for me. I couldn’t help but ask.
“How do you know me, and have my number?” There was a silence as he paced through the kitchen putting away canned tuna and a new case of even more beer.
“Writing, we were in a writing group together at some time.” He said it in a shady tone. I was hesitant at first until I realized that a stranger couldn’t simply tell I was a writer just from looking at me.
“In college?” My memory needed jogging.
“Yeah! Creative writing. Great class.” I perked up at his response, I really liked that class…
“So why call after a couple years?” I asked him, it was all too curious…
“You really don’t remember me do you?” He came in on the defensive side.
“Sorry…” I felt like a total failure at this point. “Is there any way you can give me a ride home?”
“Sorry I use the bus, I was on the last route…” The room felt like it was slowly sinking, I didn’t realize I went silent… “You better clean those wounds, bathrooms the door on the right. You can crash in here for the night, I’ll ask a friend of mine to take you home in the morning.”
“Thank you…” I lingered.
“Nate.” He finished, and went to his room. Funny, I really don’t know a Nate one bit. I’ll ask Jack sometime… well…
No use worrying about it. I just wanted to write all this out as I’m finding it so hard to sleep. Talk about a horrible day, can’t believe I still have to go with Cleston to the Film Festival tomorrow evening. What a insane day…
At least Art is real. He’s out there somewhere, that made up for this whole fiasco.
3am already, going to try to sleep one last time…
Greetings from my phone soon to be email soon to be posted in your pages. I’m not going home tonight… I was stupid. I was really really stupid… Just checked my phone, it’s 1am, I have no where else to go… I’m scared and I think I deserve it.
After Jack had showed up and explained Henrietta’s wedding I have to say my entire vote of self-confidence was starting to crumble. Think about it, a year and soon to be half wasted to keep a girls fantasy mixed with her reality. Henrietta was going to have her cake and east it at my expense, and I would be left to wash the dishes: figuratively speaking. Next thing you know it I was having breakfast with Jack on the rooftop of the recording studio he rents every now and then, and scurrying about Aardvarks finding a dress and a tie to match it for Henrietta’s grand fairytale.
It was like I cut the time of my life and stitched it back together. The routine was working as it always had, or was it? I couldn’t smile, my mouth just drew this straight line like a kid asking permission to do the wrong thing. I was beautiful, I reminded him of songs from The Cure, he would spin me around and swish me past the smell of old and clothes and cracked leather. Yet through all of this my eyes were heavy and my hands were numb. I even fell into the curtains and stumbled, welcoming the giant curtain as a mask to the world. As he reached his hand out to me I sunk deeper into the curtains, dusty and thick I didn’t want to leave them; I cried. …Shopping was over… The stitches bounding the gap of time were a scar that not even the sincerest kindest heart could ignore, and this heart was still broken no matter how tight it was bound back together.
Out of guilt, to myself and for putting Jack in such a horrible place I agreed to come back to his place for a bit… You know those feelings you get when you know the day is going to end bad, where it takes the strongest of courage to just pull the covers up from where you are and place your tense achy feet on the ground? I had just that feeling the minute I rose from that curtain. He kindly purchased the dress and tie for me. I couldn’t stop starring at the accessories behind the counter, dreaming of wearing a wig or giant sunglasses to the wedding. I just wanted to be anything but the Eve that I am now, even if it’s a ridiculous one…
Getting into Jack’s Teal Sidekick made me feel worse and worse, I could actually feel my fingertips straining to the touch of things. I listened to Jack fumble through his i-pod and The Cure started to play through his speakers, but it was different this time. The speakers were on low.
“I’m a monster to do this.” He apologized, it was sincere I could tell.
“I’m a mess…” I admitted. “You must think I’m stupid.”
“No, you’re brave. You always were, why else would I come back? You’re the only person that actually did any right out of what happened.” He waited and the track slowly faded to the next.
The sun was now setting and the ride was getting bumpier; we hit the Valley. The moment was broken as he brought the convertible up in the back, he slowed down to keep the dirt from the street from wafting up at our faces. Suddenly we were encased with the silence, the playlist had even ended. Traffic was picking up on the streets, and older model dirty cars started to becoming more commonly mingled with trucks and Asian sports cars. I thought I would never see this culture so soon. More than anything, the sight of the Valley sealed my dread in a sort of droning way. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it, I broke my inner poise.
“I hate this gloomy place.” I said in a way that sounded like spitting…
“You get used to it, quite peaceful in the mornings…” He was smiling, I was something other than sad at least.
“We always come here at night, I wouldn’t know.” I layed my head on the back of my chair feeling the air return to my breath, finally I was being something that I was willing to admit: Uncomfortable.
“You could of said no, saved yourself the grief.” He argued. We were in stop and go traffic trying for a turn that were were four cars away from.
“I couldn’t stay scared forever. I couldn’t let you have that.” Every He fidgeted to play more music, I pushed his i-pod away. Something came over me, I decided then that all this suffering had to come some good. All of a sudden my heart took words, my subconscious refused to be sealed away.
“You couldn’t even handle my heart, because we were never in love Jack. This whole wedding proves that more than anything; infact I couldn’t think of a better example. I can’t wait to march up to Henrietta and tell her everything that my literary tongue can fit on the cardboard romance that was left for photo shoots and fluffy words. I feel so SORRY for the both of us! Because we put ourselves to hell and back for the sake of people’s crappy self esteem and egos.” I was screaming at this point, I enjoyed it.
“Ho-ho Bright Eyes, you were a Siren when we met up on campus. Cold as hell, you were ready to make me suffer. Don’t go saying you felt sorry for US! If that were true I wouldn’t be in the dog house blocked from every form of modern contact.” He laughed at me. To make things worse he stared at himself in the mirror, grooming that wave part of his.
“When you became one of those idyllic bastards I couldn’t help but leave you. I wanted nothing to do with the old gang and the narrow-minded attitude. Disappearing was the greatest rebellion.” A smile swept my face. It felt so good, I STARTED LAUGHING.
We made that turn. I even pressed play on his i-pod and blasted the volume. Jack didn’t mind. In the world of eccentric creative minds we made amends. I even agreed to get a box wine with him and talk the rest of the night. He compared our relationship to VHS vs DVD; we were the same story but different because it was in better quality and detail. We salvaged a friendship that was always there and compromised because of other people hopes and expectations. If this all sounds too perfect, it was only for a few decent minutes.
We went to the liquor shop and
I took a break from the past few hours of video editing. I’m thinking of refilming half of the project, but I’m running out of time. I bought the envelope and SASE package already, and the LA Post Office has a drop off service open ’til midnight. I’m thinking of just dropping the whole project altogether, if I can’t finish it on time. I could just post it on YouTube and probably sign up with Google to earn my money that way. It’ll only take…a year, at least. Yeah. Good plan. Amazing. I should’ve thought of that before I bought the envelope. It’ll only cost me a new video card, after the abuse I put my laptop through, right?
Left the apartment to walk to the nearby liquor mart, hoping I could buy more milk for my cereal collection. I’m a brand whore when it comes down to that stuff. Forget clothes, I could rent a suit when Nate gets married. To who, I could only imagine. Girls flock to him every night anyways. Thinking about it makes me gag. They flirt, he flirts, they try to leave, he charges, and he never misses a customer. Not sure if that’s out of sport, or what?
I was about to go back, since the liquor mart was closed. Wish I stayed in, because the moment I stepped back into the night, I saw her. You know, Miss 626: Eve.
My heart never skipped so hard. It never broke so quick either… I saw her, riding in the passenger seat — with another man! I thought maybe it was her cousin, but he didn’t look anything like the sort. She walked with another man, the last time I saw her, who’s to say that this wasn’t another date with another gentleman? He was pretty and slick, and she matched him. Like an old 80’s romance comedy – a match made in heaven. They looked like they were the perfect couple: solid, grown together, finishing each other’s sentences. You could just tell by the way they were interacting.
I couldn’t stop staring. I thought hell froze over and Lucifer was torturing me for the last time with a rewind of my worst nightmare. Their conversation ended at the nearby stop, right in front of me – only six steps away from the entrance of the liquor mart. Eve turned to her side, looking down at the pavement. A tear dropped from her eye, and my heart skipped another beat.
The world was on pause, when I caught a glance of that moment. They didn’t look like they were fighting, so why did she cry? My legs felt electricity surge between that second. I wanted to leap and her rescue, and take her away from this pretty boy keeping her captive in his teal jeep. I’d sock him in the jaw and spit at his face. He could burn, for all I cared. Eve would stay with me for the night, and we would talk things through – work things out, make things better, that kind of…thing.
My legs drew strength from my veins. My heart seemed harsh on my pulse. For right at that very moment, I took the weight I buried deep in my thought, and demanded that Eve would have the right man. If it weren’t me that moment, then at least it wouldn’t be him either. I drew closer and closer, with my nostrils blowing fire from my blood. I nearly touched the handle of her door, but right before I could’ve taken another step – as if gravity wasn’t already in my way – the teal jeep sprung forward! Leaving me in the night, alone, and furious. I know life isn’t fair, but it doesn’t have to be like this. Not like this, not like this… A woman like her shouldn’t be pulled around by these men, the kind that just break her heart and pass her around, like some dame! I see exactly what’s going on, and I am not standing idly anymore. Something has to be said, and I’m tired of being such a damn coward for holding back. Who knew she was treated like that, no wonder she never called back!
I don’t care anymore. A lady like her shouldn’t be tolerating this. And I know exactly how. For her.