more than enough (chapter 27, part 2)

(photo courtesy las – initially)

I must confess, I have stolen many things in my lifetime: mostly books or little things I thought no one would notice, sometimes because I really wanted the object but other times because I wanted to keep a little bit of that person or place with me or I felt that something was owed to me.  Also, I have probably stolen many ideas that I am unaware of (because usually, I like to ask for permission. Intellectual property is a whole ‘nother thing.) The objects I stole rarely give me as much pleasure as I imagined.

Did you ever take anything that didn’t belong to you?  Why did you do it?

*

The front door is unlocked.  Inside the apartment, the only light comes from the television illuminating the white sheet draped over Victor’s thin body.  

Wayne tiptoes forward and nearly screams when he discovers Victor’s eyes open, looking right at him.  

“Hey.  What’s up?”  

“Shit, you scared me. You forgot to lock the door.”

“O.  Oops.”  Victor sits up, grabs the remote, pushes mute. “What time is it?”

“About 2:30.”

“It’s late.”  Wayne is tired and drunk but he lingers in the room, glad for the company.  

Victor asks, “Did you have a good time?” 

Is there a hint of reproach in that voice?  This is the first time Wayne has gone out at night since Victor moved in.  He sits down on the cushion still warm from Victor’s legs.  He kicks off his loafers.  “What’re you watching?”

“Nothing.”  Warm air flows in the open window.  The sound of the fountain in the courtyard shushes up from below.   Victor’s chest is bare and hairless under the sheet.  Like a child’s, thinks Wayne.  He takes off his watch and his cufflinks, empties his pockets into the little enamel tray on the coffee table.  These gestures feel so intimate:  the daily loosening of bands, shedding of small burdens.  He leans his head back against the sofa and closes his eyes.  “I’m tired.”

Victor rolls toward him.  “Me too.”

**

the rest of this chapter is standing coyly behind the curtains, waiting for a larger audience

*

I bet those of you who have been reading What Would Water Do saw this coming.  Are you disappointed?  

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About girl in the hat

aka Anna Fonté, writer of novels, short stories, personal essays, and bits about the neighborhood crows. The things I write want you to look at them.

15 comments

  1. I didn’t see it coming, rarely project when I am reading, prefer being in the moment, on the page, but I am not surprised.

    Once, in the grocery store, they put a loaf of rye bread in the bag that wasn’t mine and I didn’t say anything. In high school for a while, we were doing a thing trying to steal other girls’ boyfriends. I did it twice. Karma is a bitch.

  2. Ouch! I thought the worst of Victor at first, when he used trickery to get into Wayne’s building, but as the story went on I really thought he was just some lost soul. You sucked me in on that. Still it doesn’t surprise me too much.

    The local grocery store has sold me enough overripe grapes and old lunch meat, that I always check dates now, and I didn’t feel bad the time they forgot to ring up the bananas. But no, I was raised that if you got too much change back you went back and returned it. Not that I’m perfectly honest–far from it.

    Somedays I’d like to go back to the “glory” days of young adulthood, steal some hearts that weren’t much good anyway, and break them, just to break them.

  3. Don’t tell me !! I’m late finding yoou and your novel. I haven’t read it yet so I can’t read this chapter or the comments. I’d better get down to business, find some time and read the whole thing.

  4. When I was about ten, I was in the corner shop with some friends. We were walking up and down the candy aisle, looking at all the treats, trying to decide. Since it was cold outside, we kept putting our hands back in our pockets. After a few minutes the owner came thundering up, accusing us of theft. He made us turn out our pockets (all empty). I remember how grateful I was that they WERE empty, how awful it would have been to be caught doing something wrong.

    He scared me straight. I’ve never stolen so much as a stick of gum in all my life. And I always report income on my taxes, even in an industry where under-the-table dealings were very common. Oh, I’m a good girl.

  5. wasn’t surprised, never did like that kid and couldn’t believe wayne was sucked in. sorry for wayne, but really.

  6. 2&4&12B&24 9 27C 26B 18A 14B 22 12A 18B 26A 20B&7&16A&16B
    14A 15A&15B 11 23C 3B 3A 19A&19B13&27A&23A&23B&21A&21B
    20A 6 10 21C 25A&25B&8&17A&17B&5&1 – I can’t help but wonder
    why the script was gone – did vic identify with the character and sort
    of like it? Does he plan to finnish it? It didden’t seem completely
    nessessary for him to steal it so I wonder – or is it just to prove
    his role as a writer? Vic reminds me of a girlfriend my brother
    once had. She used people but I felt she did so because she
    felt – perhaps on a subconcious level that it was the only way
    she could survive. At least she had family.

    I imagine someone like Vic alone in the world with no place
    to stay and no one to hire him – while I don’t think it was smart
    for wayne to be emotionally involved – It’s kind of hard to blame
    Vic, he still intrigues me – mostly the fact he stole wayne’s
    writings intrigues me. I wonder if he won’t be jumping off a
    bridge like tragic hero wayne was imagining –

    or perhaps It’s his own admiration of wayne that leads
    him to assume his identity for more then just practical
    reasons – it gives me a lot to think about.

    I once stole a small plastic lion from my cousin, I
    liked it and he didden’t care about it one way or
    another. But it made me feel so guilty I felt God
    would punish me in some horrible way. I returned
    it and he mostly ignored me over the drone of his
    video game. Now I feel guilty about not just keeping
    it. I stole several more of his toys and they are still
    my favorites. He was an only child and got the best
    stuff. Stuff his mom whould throw out if he failed to
    clean his room, he didden’t care about it any more
    then she did. It was surprising what I could make
    off with. They probably knew I was doing it but did
    not care. My parents would have freaked at what I
    learned in that household – I learned about the birds
    and bees too – when I was eleven – my cousin was
    thirteen and learned some dirty jokes he wanted to
    share with us. He began by explaning the whole
    thing. You, know, to make sure we’d think they
    were funney. ;)

  7. i’m glad the script part stuck in your head. not because i’ve resolved it, but because i’m pleased if anything sticks. I’ll think about carrying it through, but as usual, i struggle with the desire to leave things subliminal/unresolved.
    I think that falls into the category of stealing-stuff-because-you-deserve-it. Because he wasn’t grateful for it and you would be, steal from the rich and give to the rest.
    Thank you again again very very much for reading.

    • I’ve already made it thus far, and know so
      much about your project. It’s the most of anyone’s
      work I’ve yet read. It’s certinly been getting more
      exciteing of late, and more intence – There is an
      approch to storytelling called Checkove’s Gun,
      basically if you’re stageing a play and you have
      a gun on the mantel – someone better get shot
      with it in the last act. You can also go with freud -
      “Sometimes a gun is just a gun.”

      There are some who suggest that you remove things
      your not planning to develope lator. I like this approch
      as it usually spares me the dissippointment of seeing
      one of my favorite details ignored by the author, on
      the other hand red herrings are common device in
      mystery stories, misleading the reader before a
      surprise ending. In the end it’s your call. :D

  8. Ha, so I have been to this chapter before but first time was out of sequence as a lot of your chapters work as stories in their own right, but in sequence I did not see it coming, perhaps I am a soft touch too.

    I shoplifted when in school – 45 singles were my main bounty – used to hide them in my uniform – no bag as that would make me look too suspicious – proper little juvenile mastermind wasn’t I! Also made off with a pack of cards which I still have and every time I happen to cast my eye upon them the fact that I stole them is instantly recalled – like a soft-core version of Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart! – I should throw them out but don’t – I want to hold on to the guilt perhaps?!

    Anyway about age fourteen I gave this petty criminal career up and have been a saint ever since!

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