Journal stares up at Sidney, saying nothing.
Sidney stares back down at the bright white blank page before him, at the place where the meaningless can mean anything, at his oldest and truest friend, the one who’s been there for him since time immemorial when nobody else was, when nobody else could’ve been. He grips a pen in his hand, rather tightly at that, with the tip hovering precariously above the first line. The date is written – Oct the Eighth without a year to define it, for one trip around the sun is just like any other – and below it many lines of faded blue wait to be filled by the bottomless black pen strokes of the Mad Poet himself.
But yet Albey does not write.
“What the hell is wrong with me?” Sidney asks the page, opaque in surface but a mirror nonetheless.
It does not answer. The black pen hits the desk with a clack and the notebook is flipped closed, pushed back against the wall.
Elbows on his desk Sidney lowers his eyes into his palms and begins to rub them gently together. His face feels a little greasy, as he’s been showering in the night lately as to not go to bed stinkin’ – he’s not the only one to lay on his bed anymore; to lay in it, yes, but not on it, and so he prefers to keep it as fresh as he can – but it’s not unbearable. Nothing a splash of cold water won’t fix. He’s a little bit horny, which has been the norm ever since cutting the adult videos and that most blasphemous act which accompanies them out of his life, and a little bit hungry. A little bit tired, a little bit thirsty. Lots of energy, enough to go running if he loathed life enough to put himself through that nonsense, but no motivation to journal. No motivation to work on his first novel, either. Albey officially crossed the halfway mark (as far as chapters go, at least) yesterday, five chapters down and four to go, but… well, for some reason he just doesn’t want to go.
Albey sighs deeply out his nose, as if to make a point.
It’s not that he’s not enjoying the work, it’s not that he thinks the book is stupid now that he’s almost forty thousand words into it, it’s just… what the fuck is it?
“I don’t know,” he answers himself, dropping his hands into his lap and looking all about his bedroom. At the dressers stained to look like redwood, at the hardwood floor with the well-buffed scratches, at his bed where he lays with his woman, lips locked and missing half their clothes. At his windows he once blew smoke through, at the jar of herbs he once converted to smoke, at the plain walls which seem to close in around him without moving at all. At the desk of his youth which he now uses to write, at the notebook and the laptop, both of which are closed. Another sigh, this one from puffed cheeks a’flight through drooping mouth.
Sidney Blake looks at his life and, quite frankly, is not impressed with himself.
“Which is asinine,” Albey says aloud, just in case the universe is listening. “My family loves me, my girlfriend adores me, my friends support me, and my work is coming along smoothly. I’m healthy, I’m hap–… I’m content, in theory. I…”
But he doesn’t finish this statement, for he has no idea what to say. He’s talking to the walls, Sidney Blake is, for at the moment it seems like there’s no one else to talk to – word to Krizz Kaliko. The library is open, and Victoria’s shift started a half hour ago, so he could go there and forget about this melancholic bullcrap which has been floating up from the depths of his mind – or is it his heart? Hard to tell – more and more lately as autumn approaches the winter and the leaves keep changing, keep on falling with the temperature… things keep moving on, but the fact of the matter is, Albey just feels like he’s stagnant.
“I’m not, though,” he tells the dull boredom looming behind his eyeballs. “Not in any way. Some writers struggle to hit five hundred words in a day – nine times out of ten I do five times that, if not more. Most guys my age tug at their own dicks – my girlfriend’s been doing that for me lately, although she has yet to pull it out…” He shakes his head. “That’s not the point though.”
Is that the point? Does Sidney just want to fuck Victoria Moriarty already?
“Not… well, yeah, obviously, the girl’s a fucking pornstar with the sense to never get into porn, but like… I don’t know. It’ll happen when the time is right, no sense in rushing things. I’m not worried.”
And he isn’t, either, not even a little bit. The relationship with Tori is actually going better than he ever thought it would; she’s a good girl, and he’s a good guy, and what’s more they’re really quite good together. So… what is it?
“I’m not really making any money, but… it’s not like I’d have much to spend it on if I was. Tori and I don’t go out, and she hasn’t gotten bored of the woods around here yet. I mean, I could get a job and have a hundred bucks in my pocket every week, but that’s not the kind of money I need.”
Banging knuckles on his desktop doesn’t do much for his mood. Neither does sighing again, but yet he goes ahead and does it anyway.
“Maybe I’m just bored of my little routine,” he postulates. “Every morning I wake up, eat my oatmeal with the licorice tea in it, do some writing, go the library, and eventually come home. In that same order. Every day.”
The walls say nothing back, for they pay no heed to Sidney’s sad words. Neither does the universe, because the universe isn’t real; the Universe doesn’t listen either though, so the case is null in point.
Sidney gets an idea for a journal entry then, a ranting about order and chaos and the futility of the idea of balance, about how order is the tendency towards destruction and chaos is the tendency towards creation and to have balance one must either create an equal amount that one destroys or do so little of both that everything stays the same, and… and what? Who fucking cares, it’s just an idea. An idea he’s had in about a trillion different ways over the past few months, an idea that would amount to nothing but a half of a page (or more, probably more) in his journal that nobody will ever read, not even the one who wrote it.
“It’ll probably show up in the novel, too,” Sidney reminds himself, but it doesn’t change anything. “But the novel isn’t mine, I didn’t come up with it. Didn’t come up with the idea, either, it all just comes to me. I’m a middleman in all this, that’s all. Just a translator in disguise as a dude with ideas, a dude with a gorgeous girlfriend and awesome friends, a dude with a caring family and a life that seems to be going somewhere… so why does it feel so stagnant?”
“Why does it feel so fucking stagnant?!”
The silence seems louder all of the sudden, as if Sidney’s room is audibly perplexed over the fact he raised his voice just now.
“Wake up, eat my slop, write my words, see my woman, come on home, eat more slop, and hit the hay. That’s just my life now, I guess.”
And it’s a good life, too. A better life than Albey’s ever had, a better life than most humans his age have. Than most humans in general have. The dude’s living like a successful ‘man of wealth and purpose aside from still living at home with the parents, which he’s enjoying while it lasts for he knows it will not last forever, especially after this book gets done.
“Imagine if it just doesn’t go anywhere,” he jests to himself flatly. “I’m putting all of this time and work into it and it’s amazing, truly a spectacle of the written word, but nobody reads it. It just sits forever waiting for the first reader it’ll never get. Tori leaves me, friends start avoiding me, parents kick me out of the house. I go to the library one day and they’re all sitting in Harrington Bogspekti’s lap, my parents included.”
An image of such comes to Sideny’s mind and he snickers aloud to himself.
“Christ, could you imagine?”
The vision goes away, as if Christ swooped in and stole it so He could laugh at it Himself, if He is even a thing, which, like, maybe? No business of Sidney’s; he knows the divine is real in some respect, he doesn’t necessarily care about the specifics. It’ll reveal itself to him if and when it needs to, but it’ll probably never need to. Sidney’s not that important, he’s not going to be the one to save the world. He’s just some hillbilly kid from the backwoods of New Jersey; if anything he’s an oversight of the divine, which is preferable. The eye in the sky is all-seeing, but Sidney’s always liked to chill in its peripherals. Life is simpler that way.
“Maybe that’s my problem,” Sidney guesses. “Maybe things are a little too simple for me right now.”
Maybe so, maybe not.
“Maybe I actually found my balance and I’m just bored with it.”
Maybe not, maybe so.
“Maybe,” Albey says as he pushes against his desk which pushes against his wall which does not push back at all, merely stands there motionlessly as Sidney scoots away from his desk and stands up, “I just need a little bit of fresh chaos to stir things up.”
Maybe he does, or maybe he doesn’t. The walls don’t seem to have any idea, nor do the dressers, nor does the hardwood floor, nor does the bed which faintly smells of his woman, clean with a light hint of peaches. Sidney himself doesn’t really have a clue either; doing what he’s about to do could lead him down a rocky path laced with so many unintended consequences that he’ll regret waking up this morning by the time he drags his sorry, single, and bloodied ass to bed tonight, or it might not. It might be the best thing Sidney could possibly do for himself, he might bring Tori back here tonight and make hot sweet love with her until the sun comes up and then, after bringing her to work and slapping her ass as she climbs slowly out of his car in that glorious way she often does, he could come back and finish his entire novel in one shot, call that Mister Kyng guy, and get a million dollar publishing deal. Or, it could lead to something in the middle, a chain of curious events riddled with ups and downs alike which takes him everywhere and nowhere, a journey made without a destination in mind, made simply for the sake of getting outside and smelling the flowers on the breeze; there’s only one way to know, and that’s to go and find out for himself.
Life cannot be understood, but it can and should be lived, and so Sidney Blake grabs his key fob and wallet and dips out his bedroom door, leaving his cell phone behind.
Hello Commons, this has been the first subchapter of the fifth chapter of Untitled Bigfoot Project, a novel about a writer who writes a novel about bigfoot.
Untitled Bigfoot Project is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Untitled Bigfoot Project is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Untitled Bigfoot Project and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~