So I've decided to just post anything I write, as I write it. Not necessarily in any particular order (except the order in which I write them). Because of this, most excerpts are completely out of context. Today's excerpt is the one in which the Hero pretty much does nothing. He gets out of bed, looks in the mirror, and decides to take shower.
It's funny how these things just make themselves up...I set out to write a completely different chapter about something completely different, and, well, once sentence leads to another.
I kinda like it that way.
Highly energized by the previous night’s freshman invocation, I woke up feeling, well, invoked
. Despite the hard mattress and the faint sounds of gunshots and periodic hungh! hungh!
’s from across the room, I slept rather well. Deep, really, and dreamless. I said a brief prayer as I fumbled out of bed, thanking God for the first real rest in months.
Oliver gave me a look that seemed to say, Yeah, that’ll do you a lot of good
I was determined to start the day on the right foot, so I did. And then the left. Gathering up my “ditties” (as my mother called them)—my soap and shampoo and razor—I glanced over at my snoring roommate. He nearly looked like a corpse, white and pasty as if he’d never stepped outside in his life, his dark shaggy hair in contrast to his skin—speckled by late puberty, but nearly good-looking nonetheless. In our first twenty-four hours of living together, we’d shared a total of three minutes of conversation, one word at a time. He was from Atlanta, a slight southern accent slipped out occasionally. He was an only child, like me, but he wasn’t looking forward to having a roommate (unlike me). Here I was, a kid who’d spent his whole life sleeping in a van full of other people, and then there was Dan, who’d never slept in the same room with another human being in all his eighteen years. I’d long grown used to the rise and fall of a chest, the wheezy sleep-breath of nocturnal rest. It’s not really all that different than daytime breathing, and we’re all familiar with that whether we know it or not if we’ve spent our lives in the presence of other living beings, be they actual humans (parents, let’s say) or the pet dog that sits on your lap and sleeps at the foot of your bed.
I never had a dog. I had Oliver.
I found myself staring at my roommate as he slept—not directly at him, of course, that would be creepy. But gazing at him through the mirror, I saw some strange sort of peaceful aura surrounding him.
“He snores like a fucking rhino,” Oliver said matter-of-factly. “He’s an interesting specimen, don’t you think? I have a hunch that he may be a Communist.”
“A Communist-Methodist?” I retorted.
Dan rolled over, his blanket slipping off his lower-regions and off the bed.
Oliver started to sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” I averted my eyes and felt my cheeks turning a faint shade of red.
Now here I am talking about how much of an expert I am with living with people, but you’ve got to understand that everyone I’ve ever lived with have been adults. Adults with their own lives and old enough to know better. I’ve never really had any friends my own age. We were never in one place for more than a few nights at a time, and most of the time with host families. Only once or twice can I recall staying in a motel, and that was only when we had a really long jaunt between gigs. But now, now I had a home, for a few months at least, and a roommate my own age, and—
“Danny’s got a bo-bo!” Oliver said in a sing-song voice.
“Shut up,” I whispered as I finished gathering up my items, threw a towel over my shoulder, and left for the hall showers next door.
“Don’t forget your flip-flops!” I heard Oliver call after me. “I don’t wanna catch something you got from the bathroom floor! You don’t know where that floor has been!”
The showers were fairly quiet, considering that there were five other people doing their morning duties. Since each of the five shower stalls were occupied, the slightly clouded doors dripping with moisture, I saddled up to one of the sinks and set upon shaving, using my towel every few moments to wipe the condensation from the mirror.
My dad taught me how to shave when I was thirteen. I probably could’ve started earlier than that, as my upper lip started to darken with fine hairs around my tenth birthday, but later mother admitted that she had been frightened of me growing up too quickly so she let it go as long as she could, or at least until I could start twisting the ends into handlebars. So Dad taught me how to wash my face properly, lather up, and shave with the grain. There were many bloody mishaps that came with this training, but over time the scars faded and bumps receded.
But the memories never did.
Shaving makes me think of my dad.