Sharing is Caring unless it is Herpes

December 22, 2009

Who would I want to play Ben? Who would I want to play the title character in the movie of the book that I never finished writing nor was sold to be published nor was written for screen? Who? Indeed. That is a good question. I had not really thought about it. I haven’t written anything new for the book idea in at least 7 months so it has been on the back burner of my crazy stove brain. Which by the way, if any of the burners on a stove are on – KEEP WATCHING THEM INTENTLY! Don’t turn your back on fire. That is a scornful temptress. Haven’t you seen Backdraft?

Ben is more or less an amorphous blob character. Sometimes when I write I completely give no thought to what the main character looks like and just write about his/her adventures. In my first attempt at writing a novel, I didn’t name the main character, describe what he looks like, nor did I name any other character in the book. I did describe what they look like, but I didn’t use any names. The main character was a depressed soul. He had a normal job and friends and family. But every night he tried to commit suicide, but it never worked. Overdose on pills, slit his wrists, hanging et cetera. Something somehow would save him. The book was split in several different areas: suicide attempts, daily life, dream sequences from drug overdoses.

Other times I focus entirely on the character’s name and what they look like. I wrote a horror/action/comedy screenplay called Jake Adams: The Monster Smasher. It was about a guy named Jake Adams who looks more or less like a professional wrestler. He lives in a small town in the midwest where a doorway to Hell has opened. Traditional horror movie villains like vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein’s monster, demons et cetera start to kill the residents in mass. The police force stumble upon Jake one night fighting off a werewolf with his bare hands. They decide to employ him. Now Jake fights the monsters for a living. I know there are a bunch of movies that have a similar premise to that, but mine is better. No doubt. Also it is funnier. No doubt. I also have outlines for two sequels where Jake hires more professional wrestler like men to join his monster smashing squad. Also it is a story about Jake dating in between smashing these monsters. Pretty much all the characters are based on some MMA fighter or another, like Josh Barnett as Jake Adams. And his love interest is Jenna Fischer.

But for Ben he is the former and I’m not sure what he looks like to be exactly truthful. I think he has brown hair. He should be somewhat average/nerdy looking. His wholesomeness needs to be buttressed with him becoming insanely sinister as the book continues. He transforms from a entry level office lacky to a post apocalyptic warlord king… pretty much.

As for today… a car crash(!). I guess the background story I need to say on this is that a littler earlier in the book a few terrorists with bombs strapped to their chests blew up one of the office buildings on the company campus. Not the building that Ben works in and he wasn’t in that building, but he was there. Enjoy.

**********************

7:55am Wednesday

Radio presets:

  1. Talk radio – Shock jocks giggling like a pair of school girls with their comedian friends tittering as well about post-op transsexuals. It is an odd form of comedy when one cannot hear the audience laughing, but only the person saying the joke laughing. They laugh too much as if to induce laughter from you as if making up the laughter that me in my car is supposedly doing. I’m not laughing. It is too early in the morning to laugh. At best I smirk, but not today. I’m too tired.
  2. Commercial rock radio – Sounds like U2. It probably is U2, but what U2 song is a better question. All their songs sound the same. This same moment of me sitting in my car switching to this station with this horrendous U2 blaring out could be replayed through the entire history of my life. They’ve been around just as long as I’ve been around and all their fucking songs sound the same. They were good on Joshua Tree. Were they? Were they really? All those songs sound the same too. Maybe they wrote two songs: Joshua Tree BC and Joshua Tree AD. And anyone with taste hates AD.
  3. College radio – It is amazing that radio even exists with the horrendous amount of horrendous radio DJs there are. These stupid mumbling stuttering kids will eventually be working for a big company like Viacom and they will take over for the over-the-top voiced Pez dispenser heads who DJ now. Yuck. Just play the fucking music already you cleft pallet speaking nerd!

I’ll listen to a CD. Heavy metal is tuned and ready. I turn the volume dial all the way up and feel the double bass drums shaking my legs. The lines in my rearview mirror are blurred and I bear down on the gas pedal. It was a stupid and reckless decision to equip a two ton hunk of steel that can hurls itself across the road at 100 miles per hour with a stereo that can power out grinding guitars and smashing drums.

I am almost at work. I’m not late. I’m actually really early. It is not about making it there for any particular reason other than I just fear being late. I only do this job for the money and I am paid by the hour so anytime I miss is cash out of my pocket. I would rather be punctual than penniless. I see my exit and take the right. I have a minute at most between me and the front gate. The “campus” is right off the exit and is realistically a very easy commute. I can’t comp-

BLAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I crash going 45 around the turn onto the road leading to the front gate. I’m less than two hundreds yards from the front gate now and I just was in a car wreck. I just crashed right into the back of their car. My head is sort of spinning. The music is still blaring. I reach out and turn it off. I feel like I was just tackled by a 700 pound man. The seatbelt feels like it is choking my body. I unhook it.

I immediately replay the crash in my head. I hit them. I must be at fault. I feel like my mind is underwater and trying to come up for a breath. I was coming off the highway and there is the intersection. You can either bear right and get on the road or stay to the left and stop at the stop light to make a left onto the road. There is a green light for us. The people on the road have a red. I didn’t see any cars when I came around that corner. Why was this car stopped there?

It happened so quickly. I got off the highway, turned and saw no cars, and then *bam* right into the car stopped at the ‘yield’ sign. I felt a rush right before I hit them. My eyes closed and I was going to hit them so hard that I would just pass right through them. I didn’t even really hit my brake. Maybe I wanted to hit them. Maybe.

I can see through all the smoke that the people in the other car are getting out. Amazingly they look completely fine. They look like some old couple.

I shake my head and get out of the car.

“Are you alright?”

I instinctively say it. I’m a good guy. I don’t really look at them when I say it though. I look at the front of my car which is now teepee-ed like a tent. The hood is like an equilateral triangle. The front fender is smashed and bent out at the sides. I look at the tires, they look fine. I’m actually surprised there is not more damage on my car. It looks terrible, but drive-able. I look at the old couple’s car.

I fucked their car.

I did not crash my car into their car; my car fucked their car. The back of their car is completely concave. The front of my car perfectly could slide right inside the inward “V” that is the trunk of their car. My car is like big black Lexington Steele’s cock all hopped up on amphetamines and Viagra and their car is like every Hungarian teen bent over in lingerie trying to make an American dollar. I’m almost proud.

My SUV decimated their puny hybrid sedan. It destroyed it. There are tiny particles of green tinged glass sprayed across two lanes of traffic from three of their windows that are completely shattered. One wheel was severely lacerated by the fender being chopped into it like a hatchet. Their car is a mess. There is no way they are driving that thing anywhere. Where are they going? Nowhere.

“Did you even see us? How could you do that?”

I just realized the old woman had been talking to me this whole time and I wasn’t paying attention. She is pissed, but talking in a condescending way as if her age means she can treat me like her kid. She is easily 60 and the guy looks around there too. They’re wearing wedding bands so I guess they’re married unless I ruined some old-timer’s day affair. She is still talking. I need to start listening.

“What?”

“Are you listening? I said, why were you going that fast?”

“Fast? That fast? I was going 45, the turnpike is 65. I slowed down 20 mph to make the turn off.”

“But you plowed right into us.”

“I know. I see that.”

“Listen here-

“Why was your car even sitting there?”

“What did you say?”

“It is a yield sign. That isn’t a stop sign. Why was your car even there at all?”

“We had to stop for the traffic.”

“What traffic? They’re still at a red light.”

I point to the “traffic”. All the cars are piled up sitting there at the light waiting and staring mouths agape at the free high entertainment action-drama.

“Look at them. You were the only car on the road at that time. There isn’t a single car here for two blocks. They’re all still sitting at the light! You stopped for no one, for no reason!”

“Don’t you yell at me!”

“Yeah, you can’t yell at my wife like that! There was a sign there!” The old man gets closer to me.

“Stay away from me old man! Sure there was a sign! It said YIELD on it! Do you need your old people’s glasses to see that! YIELD! It means to slow if there is a fucking car coming and let them pass! It doesn’t mean to indiscriminately stop when there isn’t a car for a hundred yards!”

“Well—

The light turns green and a minivan is first with a gawking soccer mom. I stare her down she keeps driving talking on her cell phone.

“Yeah, you keep driving and talking on your cell phone! I’ll take your license plate down and get you and your friend who should be cleaning her house in trouble with the cops!”

The woman drives off. A guy in a Miata slows with his convertible top down. I outstretch my arm and give him the most determined finger ever.

“Fuck you, pal and keep driving!”

I pass the finger along to every other car behind him. They start to beep at me, but their speed has picked up and no one is slowing to look at the asshole and the old folks anymore.

“I’m going to call the police.”

“What? Do you know what time it is? I don’t have time for the police.”

“Well why not?”

“Do you see how I’m dressed? Why else would a guy in his 20’s be dressed like this at 8 in the morning!?! I’m going to work.”

I point at the front gate.

“You two may be retired and have all day to argue, but I don’t. I would love to continue yelling at you that if you would have driven onto the road instead of SLAMMING ON YOUR BRAKES AT THE FIRST SIGHT OF A RED TRIANGLE then there wouldn’t have been a car accident… but I have to go sit behind a desk, stare at a computer monitor for 10 hours and FILE AWAY MY YOUTH!”

I’m huffing and puffing like a fat kid chasing an ice cream truck. I can feel the blood in my cheeks and I feel hot and almost faint. I think I may have popped a blood vessel in my eyes from all the yelling. The old people are talking to themselves. The old woman begins to start timidly.

“You work for that company?” She points, but not at the gate. She is pointing above the front lawn gates and hedges, more to the sky. I follow her finger and she is pointing at the cranes that are over the K-15 “site”. She is pointing at the construction crews cleaning up the rubble and mess of steel and the smoke rising from what is left of K-15 from the suicide bombing last week.

“Yeah, yes, I work for them.”

“Oh my dear. We read about that in the paper and saw it on the news. I can’t believe another terrorist attack happened and so close to the other ones. It is just terrible like a mini-9/11.”

“Were you there when it happened? Did you know anyone who died, son?” The old man is now calling me son.

“I was at work and yes I knew a few that died. I don’t know what this has to do-

“We understand you must be going through just a horrific time. You poor thing and you are still showing up for work. God bless you for your bravery. We were sorry we even troubled you.”

“My wife is right, that is very brave of you. They say that your generation doesn’t have a work ethic; I guess you proved them wrong didn’t you? You go on inside, we don’t want to keep you from your job. Don’t worry about us, we’ll call AAA.”

“Bye, now and remember you survived for a reason to carry on the spirits of those who have fallen in this tragedy.”

“Oh, ok.”

I thought I survived because I was in a completely different building than the one that blew up. Sure it was closer than most other people in the world, but it isn’t like my building would spontaneous blow up because the one two over blew up. I survived because K-15 was targeted by some douche bag with a Costco size load of C-4 strapped to his chest and I was faxing a health benefits package in K-1. Survived? It wasn’t like I was digging through the rubble. I barely knew those people. I knew them, but they were co-workers.

I think that old lady and man have tears in their eyes. I can’t believe they are letting me go. I mean she shouldn’t have had her car there, but I shouldn’t have driven through it. I wonder if I could pull this “I survived the K-15 terrorist attack” other places. Get a free donut at Starbucks. Maybe a free beer at Chili’s. Maybe a free case of beer if I go into detail. Would chicks want to bang a “survivor”? I know they like firemen who had marginal contact if any with 9/11, but what about someone who survived it and was working a desk job?

Maybe I am cynical.

I get back into my car and it starts. I drive it slowly into the front gate where I get some very odd stares from the rent-a-cop security guys. I park my car in the same spot as always and head inside. I get to the elevator only a couple minutes later than usual. One of the guys who works across the building in finance gets on. He gives me a double take. I’m sweating, my right eye is completely blood shot, my hair is a mess and I look like I’ve been wrestling.

“Looks like you’ve had a rough morning.” He smiles.

“I like it rough.” I smile back.

He has not talked to me since.

8 Responses to “Sharing is Caring unless it is Herpes”

  1. As much as I enjoyed this new chapter along with your explanation of how you write your characters, the best part of this post has to be that the only possibly related post is “AIMI Breastfeeding Fair 2008.” It appears WordPress just might be crazier than you, Jordan.

    Nice work as always. I like this Ben fellow – he’s easy to relate to for us office drones with our latent anger.

    • tiffanized said

      Sadly, I chased this connection down. The AIMI is the Indonesian Breastfeeding Mothers’ Association. Their main program is called “Sharing & Caring”. We can only pray that somewhere an AIMI blog is linking back to this page.

  2. Crystal said

    I like Ben as well. I think I get him.

    And I want to read this book:
    “The main character was a depressed soul. He had a normal job and friends and family. But every night he tried to commit suicide, but it never worked. Overdose on pills, slit his wrists, hanging et cetera. Something somehow would save him. The book was split in several different areas: suicide attempts, daily life, dream sequences from drug overdoses.”

    Make it happen. Please.

    • MLF said

      agreed. I want to read that book. I want to read all of the books. You have to publish them first though. But this was excellent. I love Ben…I kinda want to bang him. (haha what a shock..) “I like it rough” cracked me up.

  3. tiffanized said

    The story’s not something I would normally read, even though the writing is excellent. I think I’m not giving it much effort as a reader since I don’t think I’ll ever get the whole thing. The writer in me wants to know: do you have the plot mapped out, or are you still working in individual chapters?

  4. Forgetful Lucy said

    Very interesting… I thought for sure you would know exactly who your character could be played by. You’ve only seen every movie ever . I figured something would’ve popped into mind along the way. You’re a tough nut to crack KSWI Jordan.

    Check it… Zachary Levi could be Ben! I had no idea who he was when mentioned yesterday. Then today I thought, “Hey, that guy from Chuck would make a good Ben.” IMDB… well whatta know! The photos from Chuck alone I wasn’t sure, but on Zachary’s IMDB page there are pics of him with a beard, he could totally pull off “post apocalyptic warlord king”.

  5. Mel said

    I’m in shock, yes in shock. I kid you not, I was thinking the exact same thing about U2 earlier in the day. Eerie…am I beginning to think like you after reading your stories everyday? Aaarrghhh! LOL!

    Good work though. Love it.

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