Skip to main content

Bitter-Sweet Dreams

Here's a short exercise I wrote.

I've been working on this other short story that's proving to be a bear and this sort of came out of me on the side.

I dreamed of you last night.

It was the type of dream where things don’t seem to happen, you seem to just know that they have.

I arrived at a party that we’d both planned on attending, the location of the party seemed to be a kind of industrial building with the back wall decorated as a cave. I came out onto a balcony looking over the party to see you sitting there, wearing that short black dress you bought that night we drank too much wine and went shopping at the mall.

But you weren’t happy. You were on the phone. I never knew for sure, but it seemed to be your boyfriend whom I not-so-affectionately always referred to as Ringo.

It seemed as though we’d been planning on getting together for this party for a long time, but once you got there Ringo harassed you by phone… I came over to you and offered you my hand, you took it and stood up, putting your head on my shoulder, sobbing gently as he continued berating you with his overbearing jealousy over the phone.

Aside from almost making me cry, holding you there like that made me wish that my sole purpose in life could simply be giving girls like you hugs in times of need and crisis. I always seem to want to give you a hug anyway and this time it was so urgent it broke my heart.

He hung up on you and you looked up at me, with your head pressed against my chest. I wiped the tears from below your eyes and made a soft shushing sound in your ear.

Though you didn’t say it, your eyes seemed to tell me that he was forcing you to choose between him or me. I love you more than anything and it broke me, even in a dream, to tell you to go to him if that’s what you needed to do.

You kissed me on the cheek, then softly on the lips and left the party.

It was a bittersweet dream.

When I woke up I felt sad, devastated, as though it were real.

Maybe it will be.

But I hope not.
2 comments

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…

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…

Anatomy of a Scene - City Lights

We're going to break down another scene this week, and it's one of my favorites in cinema history. It comes from the ending of City Lights by Charlie Chaplin, which I think is the greatest romantic comedy ever made. 
It's a touching film from 1931 and I would make it mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to learn to tell a story.
The scene we're going to be breaking down comes from the very end of the film, so if you haven't seen it, I don't want to spoil it for you. Go watch the film. You can rent it for $3.99 in HD on Amazon or for free on Hulu with a free trial or plus subscription. You should just buy the Blu-ray, though. You're going to want to revisit it.
For those of you familiar with the movie, or for those of you who are going to ignore my pleas to watch it and go ahead with this post anyway, I'm going to set this clip up a bit before you watch it.
City Lights tells the story of Chaplin's Tramp and how he falls in love with a blind flower …