No one has ever accused me of being unimaginative. Sometimes I get the "unearned" flag thrown at me, meaning that whatever is being acted out by my characters hasn't been built to in a natural way, but no one ever says "You know, I've seen this before....like about a thousand times."
So I present for you today two stories. The first ended with someone else saying "I can see why you're a fiction writer" and the second ended with ME saying "I can see why I'm a fiction writer."
Last Thursday night my friends Heather and Swati and I got together at Drink, a bar in Uptown. We got there 7-ish, and sometime around 9:30, the place transformed from a restaurant into a college dorm. At one point, I had to go to the bathroom. Heather gave me the blessed news that the patio had its own bathroom (otherwise it was four flights down), so I began my journey.
All I wanted to do was pee. Let me remind you of this. So I trek across the patio, getting looks that scream "who brought their mom?!?" and I get to the bathroom. The scene before me is reminiscent of nearly every college party I attended between 1994 and 1998, and, to be honest, several non-college parties that I attended from 1998-2002.
The volume level is at canine-hearing-only. Against the back wall stands a girl holding two beers, while her friend pukes in the sink. The line that seems to be actually isn't because these girls still travel in packs. I wait for the person to leave the stall I'm going to go into, while trying not to lose my hearing. The girl vacates my stall, shoulder-butts me as she walks by (thanks, bitch) and then I enter my domain. I do my duty, then look over. No toilet paper. I think, 'Hey, thanks, bitch-who-shoulder-butted, for telling me there was no TP.' Then I realized that she was still at the age where using the words "toilet paper" were embarrassing.
Fortunately, the girl in the stall next to me worked at Drink, as did her friend (pack!) also waiting. I hear her say "Hey, ____, there's no toilet paper!" Friend says, "Do you want some paper towels?" Girl says, "Uh, no. Can you go get some from the closet." I say, "Grab some for me too please!"
So Friend runs out, we sit and listen to the Puking Wonder from the sink. I know that the puking girl's friend is not her BFF because she is only holding her beer, not her hair.
Friend comes back and I hear a crash and an ear-splitting scream as she slips on the floor and crashes through Girl's door with the toilet paper. Calamity ensues, screeching, laughter, and "Ohmigods" abound. After Friend recovers, she sends a roll under the door to me.
Did I mention all I wanted to do was pee?
I use the other half of the sink, though the Friend tripping catastrophe seems to have scared away Puking Wonder. I brace myself for the walk back to the table. As I walk through the crowds, avoiding eye contact and sweaty, twenty-one year old bodies, I take careful notice of the fact that Heather, Swati and I are the oldest people on the floor, including employees, by at least five years. I regale them with my adventurous tale when I get back to home base, and Swati says, "I can see why you're a fiction writer." Not because I make this shit up, but because it all actually happens to me.
Story number two took place last night at about 2aM. After a long, enjoyable day doing basically everything I could have asked, I ended the night with Erica, Dan and Phil playing Champps trivia. Though we only came in second, we still won $25 and thus paid for our evening.
At 2am my phone rang. I assumed it was Jessie. I looked at the caller ID and it said "caller unknown" or whatever an unknown call says. So I ignore it, listening to my Razzle Dazzle (from Chicago) ringtone and feeling surprised that it was as long as it is. When the phone stops, I turn to my tv and see a face filling the screen, with a scalpel about two centimeters from one of the eyes. The eyes are looking at me. This is disturbing.
The phone rings again, jolting my heart into the completely-awake-and-panicked position. I look. "Caller unknown."
At this point, some people turn the phone off. Some others simply curse the caller and go back to sleep.
I instead lay awake for the next twenty minutes as I convince myself that the caller is actually part of a two-man rape/general violence team. The caller made my phone ring so that the team could tell where my phone was by hearing it, and that if I had answered it the rapists/murderers would know that I was, in fact, in my bedroom. They were, in fact, standing in my driveway at that moment waiting to hear through the open window if I answered the phone or not. The fact that I didn't only foiled their plan, because while they could guarantee the location of my phone, they could not guarantee that I was with it.
After a few scary noises that are really only supposed to be scary for three-year-olds that haven't lived in a house for 31 years, I was able to go back to sleep. But not before I said to myself, "I can see why I'm a fiction writer."