Dave: The Ultimate Fish Slayer

Captains log, stardate July 28. It’s been three months since I moved to Colorado.

Aside from the clerk at the grocery store who now knows exactly how much Captain Crunch I eat, I have no friends here. I won’t return my mother’s phone calls. I speak only sparingly to my brother. Olive and I FaceTime every few days but mostly we talk about her job and her new boyfriend.

I fear I am slowly descending into madness.

I’ve been thinking about my Dad a lot. Dave. Dave, The Ultimate Fish Slayer. (That’s what he called himself.) Dave was a financial adviser for a company my mom worked at in the early 80’s. He was an avid fisherman and in that kind of generic white dude way he spent his week days working for the weekend. He owned a small row boat and lived close enough to the Columbia River that he could spend his weekends with nothing but a cooler of cheap beer to keep him company. He liked solitude. He had barely any discernible personality. Except that he insisted that he be referred to as Dave, The Ultimate Fish Slayer. That was his one nod to eccentricity. Good for him.

My mom, a vibrant woman made entirely out of squishy, was a book keeping assistant. Their romance was one of the most boring things I’ve ever heard.

They met. They decided their lifestyles where compatible and they got married. My father wanted a wife. A couple of kids. No actual responsibility. My mother wanted a house, a couple of kids, enough responsibility to have something to complain about to her own mother.

Everyone got what they wanted. Dave, The Ultimate Fish Slayer, died from a heart attack in the only way that would have made him happy: on his boat, with a trout on the hook. Tristan was there, 10 years old and already queer as queer can be. I, as a girl, was exempt from these fishing excursions so I was blissfully unaware of what had happened until my mother came to pick me up from a sleep over. Tristan rowed Dad to shore, found someone at the boat launch to drive them back to town. Dad died on the boat but the fisherman who found my brother lied and told Tristan that dad was still breathing and rushed them to the hospital.

Mom handled it like a champ. She used Dad’s life insurance to pay off our house in Vancouver, Washington and went back to work immediately. We lived a solidly middle class life for the remainder of my childhood. I went to the University of Washington and left Washington the moment I graduated. Mom and I were never particularly close. Once Tristan came out everything was always about him. I was self sufficient and moody.

I didn’t really know Dave. I mean, he died when I was 12 but even before then I didn’t really know him. He was around, but he didn’t particularly participate in our lives. He would show up to things, sit at the table for dinner. He wasn’t a bad dad. Just kind of…beige. I hate beige. I have always hated beige.

Dave’s entire life was about numbers. And fish. Two things I simply don’t understand the allure of. Mom was so tuned out for most of my life that I never even looked back when I graduated. It’s been like that ever since. Her trying to reach out every few months and me pushing her away. We’re okay, I guess. I just never thought I needed parents. I always had friends.

I love other people’s parents. Mine just felt like duds. They had no personality. They didn’t ever do anything interesting or meaningful. How was I going to write the next Great American Novel with parents who were aggressively boring. I had a perfectly serviceable childhood. I wasn’t even particular affected by Dave’s passing. He was a presence in the family room in the evenings one day and then he just wasn’t. Nothing much changed. He gave me my name, Juniper Leigh, (weird right? For the World’s Most Boring Man he sure gave his kids weirdo names) and then I think he just considered his job done.

I used to worry that I was a sociopath. Unable to connect to the people around me. But I think the real problem is just that I’m selfish. I need people to be more exciting to warrant my attention. Dave and Debra Clemens where never going to be interesting enough for me.

I should call my mom. Even I’m beginning to feel like an asshole for how long I’ve been avoiding her. Tristan is going to to lose his shit if I don’t throw her a bone and tell her what’s going on in my life.

*******

Okay! Here we go! Main character has a name! Some back story! Alright! I’ve also pretty much decided she’s going to be both the heroine and villain of this story. Because why not? 

And! Now I’m caught up! I wrote almost 2500 words today! WOO! AND met deadlines for work stuff. Holla! 

fuck you brian blog challenge just make it stop blog challenge am writing short story fiction caught up!

Just wrote out my vague idea for a plot for the rest of this blog challenge broken down by prompt. 

No specifics, just vague idea of what I want to happen. 

It only took me 7k words but I have arrived at a story. And it’s not what I expected. 

I’m posting one more chapter today so I’m caught up. 

guys i am in love with this project even if it only ever lives on this blog i don't care because i'm going to finish and i'm going to love it just wait until next Monday i have something good planned ADVENTURE!

Guys, I need a party.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how badly I’ve fucked up my life. 

I wanted to be a writer. A real writer. I wanted to write stories. Deeply stirring personal narratives that evoked a sense of kinship with the reader. I wanted people to weep over my words, spilling tears on pages and smudging ink. I wanted peels of laughter to erupt suddenly as readers sat on trains and subways, marking them as either crazy or easily amused to the other passengers. I thought I had this universal truth in me that just needed to find it’s vessel in fiction and I would touch the masses. 

Now I write copy for a women’s magazine. I have betrayed both my creative and feminist ideals. I write actual crap. Like, there’s no two ways about it, I write total dog shit. At least I don’t get a byline so aside from a pay stub there is no evidence of my betrayal to the written word or women. 

I hitched my wagon to some dude I didn’t really love because he seemed like a safe harbor at the time. I sunk years into a relationship that I knew was dead in the water at the beginning. I fled the scene when I couldn’t cope anymore. I lied to Brian for two years. I lied about my love, I lied about who I was at my core. I never considered that he had, you know, feelings or whatever. He never mattered. 

I stole a dog. 

I stole a fucking dog. 

It’s been about a week since Olive left. I have Pepe, my stolen dog, which is good because where it not for him I’m not sure how emotionally stable I would be. Honestly I’m not sure how emotionally stable I actually am. But Pepe’s existence requires that I care about something other than my own internal monologue of self loathing for at least a few minutes every day. He needs walkies. He needs food. He needs treats and pets. I can’t mindfuck myself endlessly because at some point I have to make sure he doesn’t shit on my area rug or starve to death. 

Thank God for Pepe. 

I don’t know anyone here. With the exception of a few fleeting conversations I’ve had in Mugs, including that time I horrified even myself with my awkwardness with the hot barista, I really haven’t met anyone. 

I need to socialize. I need a drink. I need conversation. I need human interaction. I need a party. 

There are bars, obviously. But sitting in a bar in a college town drinking alone in your 30’s is a special level of Hell I want to reserve for when I’ve really hit rock bottom. 

I don’t know what to do to pull myself out of this existential crisis I’m having though. I bought a turn table and some speakers from the local charity shop. I found a handful of decent records at a used record store. I’ve been listening to David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs on a loop for the better part of four days. 

I bought a bottle of cheap bourbon and I’ve been amusing myself in the evenings by drinking alone and dancing with my dog. Pepe seems to dig it. It’s the only real activity he gets all day, nipping at my heels while I wail along to Rebel, Rebel and try not to collapse under the weight of my own apparent failures. 

I don’t want to meet someone. Not romantically. But I wouldn’t mind having a warm body in my bed for a night or two. 

I need to find a party. I need to meet people. 

fuck you brian fiction am writing short story blog challenge just make it stop blog challenge

dennys:

denny’s reminds you to behave accordingly at this weekend’s festivities. we also remind you that after you’re all con-ed out, we’d love to see your costumes and serve you late into the night. cosplayers are welcome at dencon 24/7.

When I was 18 I worked as a graveyard waitress at a Denny’s in Anchorage, Alaska. (Answered the phone, “Denny’s on Dimond, this is Dani.”) It was pretty miserable work. Shitty hours, crap tips and grabby hands from dirty old men doing long haul trucking and/or nefarious deeds. 
Part of the impetus to go to college for me was that I never wanted to work at a Denny’s again. 
I went to college. I have a “grown up” job now. 
And I can honestly tell you that if Denny’s were hiring for the position that requires you say witty stuff on Tumblr all day: I would jump on that in a heartbeat. dennys HOW DO I GET THAT JOB! Social media and PR professional here with a background in slinging Grand Slam’s and dodging weirdos who want free bottomless refills and also access to the waitresses bottom. 

dennys:

denny’s reminds you to behave accordingly at this weekend’s festivities. we also remind you that after you’re all con-ed out, we’d love to see your costumes and serve you late into the night. cosplayers are welcome at dencon 24/7.

When I was 18 I worked as a graveyard waitress at a Denny’s in Anchorage, Alaska. (Answered the phone, “Denny’s on Dimond, this is Dani.”) It was pretty miserable work. Shitty hours, crap tips and grabby hands from dirty old men doing long haul trucking and/or nefarious deeds. 

Part of the impetus to go to college for me was that I never wanted to work at a Denny’s again. 

I went to college. I have a “grown up” job now. 

And I can honestly tell you that if Denny’s were hiring for the position that requires you say witty stuff on Tumblr all day: I would jump on that in a heartbeat. dennys HOW DO I GET THAT JOB! Social media and PR professional here with a background in slinging Grand Slam’s and dodging weirdos who want free bottomless refills and also access to the waitresses bottom. 

(via knitmeapony)

and I will totally cosplay a breakfast platter on comic con next year promise just hire me

I have so much work to do but all I want to do is catch up on prompts for Fuck You, Brian. (Which apparently is turning into No Fuck You Nameless Faceless Main Character.) 

Sometimes we need to intervene

Real talk: Commitment freaks me out. If I’m honest with myself I left Brian because he asked me to marry him. I mean, it’s great that it turns out he is in fact a bassist fucking prick because it justifies my flight response, but really I just scare easy. 

If I’m being even MORE honest with myself I started dating Brian in the first place because I always knew that commitment wasn’t going to be his deal. He’s a fucking drummer. He’s a drummer in a shitty band. He’s a drummer in shitty band in L.A. Literally dime a dozen shit. He can’t take himself seriously enough to shave that pubic hair on his upper lip or wear clothes meant for grown ups. He was fun though, in the beginning at least. 

When we met I was just getting settled in to L.A. I’d dated a few people here or there, made out on beaches and passed out on friends couches in my underwear. I was late 20’s and having one of those crisis of identity that can really only happen when you’re “officially an adult” but still have no idea what the sweet mother fuck you’re doing. 

I remember the turning point as it where. Tristan and I were on the phone and I was telling him about the girl I was seeing and when he asked if I thought it was getting serious I kind of went all noodley and vague. Tristan told me to quit playing with people. Tristan has always been black and white, no grey area with that guy. He’s been gold star gay since he destroyed all pretense of a closet at 12 years old. He has always viewed my loose interpretation of sexual orientation with open disdain. 

I don’t agree with him obviously. I like my way of doing things. I’m attracted to who I’m attracted to. I’ve never really wanted to settle down. But when I met Brian he seemed, I don’t know, safe? He was such a giant man baby I was pretty sure he’d never do that whole ring and white dress shit. We had a good run. The first year was a lot of me getting drunk at his shows and dancing to shitty electro-pop music that I only liked after about three whiskey cocktails. 

We moved in together because my roommate moved out of the apartment we were sharing and Brian was living in a flop house with other musicians. We both needed to sort of shore up our finances and it made sense to just be in the same general area. He moved in. I changed nothing about the rest of the house but he got the second bedroom to put his drum kit in. That was it. 

Then about a year ago he asked me to marry him. I freaked out and got a dog in the middle of the desert. We didn’t talk about it for a while but that is definitely when things went a little sideways. I didn’t trust him anymore. He broke the unspoken rule. And he didn’t even do it right. 

He didn’t do the one knee, shiny piece of jewelry thing. No proclamations of love. He wanted on my health insurance. 

I thought we had put it aside and then he did it again. 

"Please don’t get another dog this time, but I think we should get married." 

Sometimes we have to intervene in our own lives. How I had managed to delude myself about my own relationship was mind boggling. I had made a series of fucked up choices and here I was, standing in my living room having an existential crisis. Suddenly I knew that everything I had shared with this man had been a lie. And it wasn’t his fault. He was playing the part I had sort of put him in. But I had to do something. I had to fix this mess I had gotten myself into. 

I freaked out. I moved to Colorado. He fucked his bassist. Maybe she has health insurance. 

No matter what I say, bassist fucking aside, he’s not the villain here. I am.

fuck you brian short story am writing blog challenge just make it stop blog challenge plot twist!

I watched two hours of Beyoncé videos with my faves, ate some grilled pork chops, made fun of my baby brother in front if his new lady friend, made a new dog friend (a corgi mix named Oswin!) and had cake waffle.

Great Sunday.