Skip to main content

That Sting in Your Chest

It turns out that I really like writing stories like this.

I think I could blame Graham Greene as much as anybody. And Kurt Vonnegut had one story like this and I think it's one of my favorites. But it just feels so good to pour stuff like this onto paper.

It stings. It shouldn’t sting, but it does. I tell myself it shouldn’t. That dulls it a bit. I reassure myself and that dulls it a bit more.

But it never goes away.

We’re not together and it shouldn’t hurt. We have no obligation to each other.

It doesn’t matter. That’s what I tell myself. I tell myself I’m just not that type of guy.

My heart sank into the pit of my stomach when I finally noticed that she’d disappeared with another man. It wasn’t exactly jealousy that gripped my heart and kicked me in the gut. It was that foolish longing, that hope that if things were slightly different, that could be me in there, holding her close, kissing passionately, hands delicately wandering.

But, alas, it isn’t me. Could it ever be? It’s doubtful. I’m hopeful, though.

On the way home, where she’s with me again, in close proximity is both sweet bliss and torture.

Although I’m almost sure (or so I tell myself) that nothing happened in with the other man, we were both acting like fools, reacting like fools. I tried so hard to hide my longing and she grew defensive. After we got back, I had to work up enough courage to tell her how I felt. I had to give her some idea.

I had to.

The pain of my message weighted my chest down with such force I could barely breath. My words burst from me, as awkwardly as possible it seemed, “I think… On some level, and I don’t think…in a creepy way, I love you. I love being with you, I love being around you. Yeah. I love you. There.”

And so there was the first and closest time I had ever come to telling her that I loved her, to someone who only “might” reciprocate. And not the love of lust or sex. The romantic love of being around someone, regardless of circumstance.

Her eyes meet mine and we have that moment where would kiss if circumstances hadn’t dictated that an impossibility. My breath leaves me again, she’s taken it. She reaches over to give me a consoling hug. Consoling to both of us, not just to me.

“I know how you feel. I really enjoy being with you.” Is that pain in her voice?

I’m so full of pain and joy and anguish that I can’t even tell.

I leave before I give into my urges, filled equally with happiness and forlorn regret.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Anatomy of an Opening: The End of the Affair

Instead of breaking down a scene from a movie, this time we'll break down the opening of a book. (Previously, I've done scenes from City Lights, Citizen Kane, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I've also broken down the opening to Starship Troopers.

Graham Greene's The End of the Affair is absolutely one of my favorite books. The writing is lyrical and story heart-wrenching and beautiful. Greene's style of writing is such that he always has me gripped, whether it's the beginning of the book or the end. And he shows you so much about the character in his opening lines.

So, here are the first two paragraphs from the book:
A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which, to look ahead. I say 'one chooses' with the inaccurate pride of a professional writer who - when he has been seriously noted at all - has been praised for his technical ability, but d…

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Art and Politics

Art is inherently political.

Let's just get that out of the way. We all have things we want to say (or things we want to not say) in our personal lives that shape the art we make. And artists, more often than not, are trying to say something with their art, even if their goal is to not say something.

There is no doubt that this has been a turbulent week in the country I live in. There are many of us that are confused and shocked and afraid of what might be to come in the future. That's understandable. As artists and writers, I feel like we're typically more empathetic than the general population. It's easy to think about what it's like to be in someone else's shoes because we spend so much of our creative time almost literally in someone else's shoes. And we need to pass that understanding on to our readers or viewers or however else they're consuming this art.

I've seen this troubling idea, though, that art needs to be purely for escape and that p…

50+ Rules and Tips About Writing I've Collected Over the Years

I have twenty or thirty notebooks and journals filled up with snippets about writing, my plans for stories, bits of dialogue, interesting ideas, plotlines, scraps of short stories, and a dozen other things. I carry one with me at all times and it takes me a couple of months to fill one up.

One of the things I've kept in one of my notebooks was a collection of writing tips and rules that I've collected over the years in my travels. From teachers, from books, from wherever. Most of my career has been spent screenwriting, so a lot of these are most applicable to that, but I wanted to present them so they might be of use to you as well.

I've never stopped collecting these over the years and I never will.

To start the list are Kurt Vonnegut's eight rules of writing. They are the first in my notebook and, I think, the most useful. I'll add a star to those I think are applicable most to screenwriting. Some of these aren't applicable to everyone in every situation, but…