#FICTIONFriday “The Star is Rising” (Chapter Two) : CREATIVE WRITING

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So just a short description (because I’m at this Starbucks with very sucky wifi and I’m ready to go home LOL!). This is the continuation of the NICKI story I posted, and one of my sort of passion projects you could say. Overall, it’s some good work. I think? What do YOU think? Feedback is MORE than welcome for anyone who is reading my #FICTIONFriday posts. 

The Star is Rising” (Chapter Two) by Hannibal Alexander

One day, in February, me and Nicki were at the store getting munchies while the guys were back at Xavier’s. I had met her there on my way from work that day, and when I saw her she seemed really weird. Like she was sad and was trying too hard to make it look like she wasn’t. After about ten minutes in the store with barely a word said, I asked her what was wrong.

“Nothing, let’s just get some stuff and get back home” she said, and than grabbed whatever chips were closest to her and walked over to the register.

We hurried back home, which was about two blocks away. And she didn’t say anything to me, just doing that thing were it’s like she’s calculating things in her head. I didn’t say anything, but I was just eager to get to the house, I noticed that Mr. and Mrs. Duran were in the garage clearing up some clutter. We got upstairs to Xavier’s room, and I noticed Michelle on the phone sounding really happy in her room.

When we got to Xavier’s room, Nicki pulled Bobby up from the chair he was sitting on. He put out his joint and left the room with Nicki. Xavier got up from his bed and grabbed my hands.

“So look, I just gotta tell you… the family… well my dad and my mom and Michelle. Well… Michelle got accepted to Berkeley… in California”

“Okay” I said, still trying to figure things out.

“And my dad… well she actually knew she was accepted about three weeks ago. And than, my dad started talking to my uncle about jobs out there. And… he got a job out there, making like 75,000 a year”

“Oh that’s great” happy for Mr. Duran, I didn’t realize where this was all going

“And so, we’re moving… to California”

“Oh” I was stunned. He grabbed my hands tighter.

“And I want you to go with me?”

I wasn’t ready for that.

“Move… to California?” is all I could even think to say.

“yeah, look… my uncle has a auto repair shop. Like a couple of locations out there, and he said he’d give me a good job working there. Since I know a little about cars you know, he said he’d train me and everything. So, we don’t even have to live with my mom and dad, we could get our own place like we talked about.”

He sounded so excited about it. More so than any other conversation I think we ever had. I started to smile at the fact that he was excited, and at the fact that he factored me into his plans.

“but…” I still didn’t know what to say “… California, I… I mean, I don’t know anything about it”

“well, me either. I know it doesn’t snow”

“yeah, Nicki’ll tell you all about that” I added

“See… Nicki, she moved all the way to the other side of the coast and she’s doing fine”

“Nicki’s gonna stay here?” I asked, I didn’t even think about how this would affect her.

“I don’t know. She’s still trying to figure it out I guess… but… I am” he said, he let my hands go and gave me kind of a puppy dog face.

“I can’t… decide… right now” I said “I have to think about it… when are you leaving anyway?”

“Early June. As soon as Michelle graduates. We’ll be packed and ready to go that day”

“Wow. Well… at least I have some time to think about it right?”

“Yeah, but baby. Let me know soon okay. So we can figure some stuff out together. It seems like June is a long time away, but it really isn’t”

“You’re right” I responded, Xavier nodded and sat back down on his bed.

It was definitely a great offer. To leave everything behind and go to California with the love of my life. It was the leaving everything behind part that I had a hard time with. Though I didn’t necessarily get along with my mom and my little sister, I actually felt like they need me, just the same as I needed them. And the thing that kept running through my mind after his proposal was Nicki. What was she going to do. And just as I was thinking it, Nicki popped in the door. She asked me to come and talk to her in the backyard.

“You smoke too much weed nowadays girl” I said, as she passed me a joint she already lit. We were by the back fence of the backyard. Freezing. At least it wasn’t snowing.

“So Gina. What are you gonna do? Are you gonna go to the west coast?” She asked, abruptly changing into her serious tone.

“I was gonna ask you what you were gonna do?”

“I been thinking about it, but… I have to stay here. I made such a big deal about moving out here to my parents, that I feel like I have to stay. And Bobby’s… here too”

“But Xavier’s gonna be THERE?” I said, mad. And a little high now

“This is nuts… everything was so cool a couple weeks ago. I mean I’m like, happy for Michelle and my uncle. But, dam. It just messes up my plan”

“Well…” I started

“… I mean, I would be happy for you too Gina. If you went out there…” she said, looking me straight in the eyes “… you would probably really like it in Cali, and my dad is definitely gonna hook Xavier up with some cash if he does a good job at one of the shops. I mean you guys could finally get married”

“I know” I got excited about the prospect

“So you’re gonna go?” She asked, interrupting my daydream

“I have to think about it, I don’t wanna leave my sister and my mom like that”

“I understand”

“How was it like leaving your family?” I asked her

“Okay!… They didn’t want me to move. But… the thing was, I was gonna be out here with family. So now, my dad wants me to move back with them. But like, I’m doing good in school and I really like it out here… I don’t wanna go back”

“you think your dad is gonna make you move back home?”

“No, not if I figure out a way to make him… comfortable with me living out here still. So I just gotta figure something out”

“yeah, me too” I said, not sure why.

 

Over the next couple of months, I didn’t really try to figure out anything. I quit my video store job and got a job at a Spa a couple of bus stops from my house. It was a receptionist job, and I had a lot of fun there, because it was mostly a female run business. And I ended up working a lot of over time there because the pay was so great, that and the fact it would keep me away from my mom and Xavier questioning me about moving. Every time he brought it up to me, whenever we would finally get a chance to be together, I would always say “I still haven’t decided” “I need more time to think about it.” And when I wouldn’t want to talk about it, he wouldn’t want to talk about anything else.

Me and Nicki still hung out over the weekends, but my life became about my job at that point. I made a lot of new girlfriends at the Spa. Well, at least we talked a lot at work. They all got a kick out of me and Nicki’s crazy stories about going out. The other girl that worked behind the front desk, Missy, was always asking for my club update. I would tell stories about how Nicki and I joked back and forth, and how crazy we would dance with each other. Missy asked me how long I knew her, and I told her for less than a year, and she would tell me she thought Nicki was a life long friend of mine.

Once I started to think, Nicki gave me the best memories in 8 months than I’ve had all my life. I really started to weigh her obvious decision to stay as grounds for me to do the same. At the beginning of April, only about a month and a half before I pretty much had all the time I needed to make a decision , Xavier asked me if I was going to go with him.

“Seriously … Xavier. With work, and … I need a couple of more days to think about it” I said hoping he wouldn’t fly off the handle. He did though.

“Right! Why don’t you just say you don’t want to go. You don’t want to be with me”

“I wanna be with you of course… Just, I don’t wanna leave my mom and my sister”

“Who you always complain to me about” he yelled

“I mean… we just don’t…”

“Whatever Gina. It’s not even a big deal to me”

“What?” was he breaking up with me?

“What do you mean Xavier?”

“I MEAN…” he started “if you don’t want to be out there with me, it must mean you don’t want to be with me at all and are just too scared to say it…”

“But… you just can’t expect me to drop everything like that…”

“What do you have to drop?? Your mom and sister are still gonna be here, and you can find another job.”

I was almost speechless, but pretty emotional at that moment

“Xavier…” I started not knowing what I was really going to say, and than he interrupted me.

“You know what, just leave me alone. I need a couple days to think about this” he didn’t even look at me as he started flipping the channels on the TV.

I left out the room, and started to cry a little bit. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to move, but I was sure I wanted to keep my Xavier, and here I was jeopardizing our relationship because I couldn’t make up my mind. And not even that I couldn’t make up my mind, but that I’m really lying to him. I didn’t want to move for a lot of reasons, more than my mom. I grew up here, and my entire family is out here. I didn’t really want to be couped up in some place I don’t know anything about, while my man is at work all day and night. I wasn’t ready for that. Nicki wasn’t there that night to be my shoulder to cry on, so I went home and slept through Friday. Me and Nicki went out that night and we talked about me and Xavier’s fight.

“So what do you think about it?” I asked her while we were staggering back to the subway that morning.

“Really?” she asked, almost instantly sobering up.

“Yeah” I asked kind of laughing, nervous that she was going to say something I didn’t want to hear.

“Well” she stopped walking and looked me in my eyes “… I think he’s a little bit right. You don’t seem like you want to go there… with him”

“But… I do, I still want to be with him”

“Gina, I know you love him. But I mean, really, think about it. He’s like totally been planning everything since he heard the word. I mean did you even know that he’s been going to Auto career training classes”

“Really?” I didn’t know “when did he start?”

“like two weeks ago, he’s done in a week”

“He didn’t tell me anything about that”

“well, he is… and” she starts walking in a slow stride now “I mean, you’re my girl and everything, but you really don’t seem like a person who wants to move. I mean, my dad could have started to send you some newspapers with job listings or something. You guys could be looking at apartments already, but… I mean you just got a new job. You don’t really want to go right?” she stopped walking again and waited for my answer.

“I want to be with him though… but I just don’t want to throw everything away, for… a guy. That’s what dumb girls do right?”

“I don’t know Gina” she started to walk faster.

“So your definitely staying?” I asked as I tried to catch up with her

“Yeah, well… dependant on something” she stopped walking again

“what’s that?”

“I was kinda… like, it’s not even an option for me to move back to the west coast. I JUST go here… so I was thinking… if you weren’t going to the west coast. We could get a place together” She raised her eyebrows and started to smile a bit waiting for my response.

“Us?”

“yeah… like, I understand you don’t want to leave your mom and your sister. But you’d at least still be on the east coast. And! Since Xavier is my cousin, and he’s probably going to be around my dad a lot… it’ll be easier for you guys to keep in touch”

“How are we going to afford a place though? I don’t think I can afford it”

“Yeah you can… there’s a lot of places in Brooklyn that we could afford. Bobby’s been taking me to some of the ‘For Rent’ places. And I’m going to start getting work probably in the Summer. I signed up with a Temp Agency”

“Wow… how long have you been thinking about this”

“When X started taking his mechanics classes. And you guys weren’t speaking for like, the third time in two weeks” I guess her and Xavier talked about me more than I thought.

“Oh” I rolled my eyes back, kind of embarrassed that she knew about those fights

“Come on Gina. Like I don’t want to put any pressure on you… but since you’ve been around the family so long, my dad will trust you and me moving in together. He’s never even met Bobby, I barely told him anything about him actually, but he’s not gonna trust me moving in with some boy. And the only other option would be moving in with my Mom’s mom in Spanish Harlem. And… you know… I barely know her, and I know you”

“Not to put any pressure on me right?” I joked

“And… I, never been this close to another girl before. Really if it wasn’t for you… I really don’t know if I’d even want to stay. I kinda, need you out here” She said, her eyes starting to tear up

“oooh, Nicki, don’t cry”

“I’m not” she laughed “that’s just… you think about it. Okay” she said wiping her eye lids dry.

And that kind of sealed my future right there. The way I felt about her was the way she felt about me, and I think we both needed each other as we grew up. So I told Xavier the deal, we promised we’d keep in touch, but he was still obviously upset about my decision. But for once I was pretty pleased with my choice, I thought it was about time I moved out on my own. I was going to be 22 soon, and I guess I felt like I needed to find some independence. And still I felt that Nicki was someone I could depend on. She was focused, and determined to talk her dad into letting her stay in New York, and she got the job done. With a full game plan, and Plan’s B and C.

© 2014 Hannibal Alexander

#FICTIONFriday “Call It a Night” (Part 2) : CREATIVE WRITING

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In my rush to get off work and start my “broke” weekend, I nearly forgot that it was #FICTIONFriday. Don’t despair, here is 1 of 2 new installments for this week.
I’m continuing “Call It a Night“, and here’s a bit of a back-story on what you are about to read. Like I said before, “Call It a Night” was the first thing I presented in my first writing class, this second part was something I put together maybe a year after that class. I was trying to get back into the mindset of Josh and I’m not sure how I did.
That’s not for ME, the writer, to judge though. Just read it and I hope you enjoy it.
Side note, PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS! I LIVE FOR FEEDBACK and I haven’t received any for any of my #FICTIONFriday posts yet.

Call It A Night” by Hannibal Alexander

So, I’m home now. I’ve actually been home for about twenty minute. I’ve just been sitting on the bed, staring at the wall, trying to figure out just what the fuck I’m gonna do. I glance over to my wall of over 1000 CD’s and figure I’m not in the mood for music at the moment. Besides I don’t want to possibly get my dad up, he’ll just make me do some random chores, and I’ll want to kill myself while I’m doing them.

I turn to my left and look at my computer desk and wonder if I want to surf the net, but I realize I don’t want to go through the trouble. The trouble of actually getting up and waiting for the computer to boot up. I guess I could just fall asleep?

Man … what am I gonna do…
with my life? Or with tonight?

I don’t know, I keep waiting for my head to take me to a place where some of my questions will get answers. Like, should I get started on taking some sleeping pills so I won’t wake up in the morning… or which disc of which Season of “X-Files” do I wanna fall asleep to just in case I didn’t take those pills after all.

I’m hating yet another night of sitting home not doing a damn thing. And it’s FRIDAY night. And I’m FREAKIN 24 years old. I should be doing SOMETHING.

Yeah, I’m just gonna head out of here and do SOMETHING.

I mean, I guess I should. I’d imagine other single guys with bank account balances like mine are living it up right now. I’ve always been pretty jealous of those dudes. The guys that have a gang of friends they could call and just get into whatever. And whatever it is they do, they always seem to be having fun. I guess I have people I can call, but the problem with that tonight, is that I don’t want to really be bothered by anyone.

I guess I’m having a loner week.

Maybe I could just drive somewhere… and If I don’t end up getting into a fatal accident after a couple of hours, I could just turn back around. It’s a bit late, and I don’t really like driving at night, but… hey, what else is there to do. It might be fun to do something a little impulsive once in a while. Maybe I don’t even need to die tonight, maybe just a change in the way I live my life is all I need. I need to do something a little out of character, and just packing up and splitting town for the weekend is so not me.

Yeah that’s a good idea… let’s get out of here.

As I’m thinking about what I need to bring just in case, I also start to think of where this drive might take me.

What do I want to get into? What can I afford to get into for the weekend? Which way should I drive? North or South?

The_X_Files_Season_4_DVD_1And really… what’s the episode of “X-Files” I can’t stop thinking about??

There’s a really good episode that I was thinking about the other day that I do really wanna watch. I think it’s the second season… one of the last discs. I think it’s Four.

I look to the right at my wall of DVD’s, which has become so severely unorganized that I don’t even see the DVD case on there. I actually get up from my bed and walk over there and scan through all the movies I have. I see season 3, but I don’t think that’s the one. I see season 5, which… I don’t even think is mine. RIGHT!! I traded my season 4 for Nelson’s, one of my co-workers, season 5.

Damn I guess that’s not happening tonight. I’m sure I would have fallen asleep anyway.
I’ll just watch the movie.
Never mind … I don’t feel like looking for it. I’ll just watch one of these that I KNOW is here right now. I guess I want to laugh, so a comedy. With excessively hot actors. “Mary”? I contemplate. Naw, I’ve watched that way too much recently. I sigh at the fact I have nothing better to do than search for a movie I’ve already seen a million times, on a Friday night.

I don’t even want to watch a movie right now. Not really.

I’ll just lay down for a bit. I get back into my position, sitting down at the edge of the bed.
Again, I think I’ll just go to sleep. What am I doing tomorrow? Nothing. I don’t even have plans for the weekend. I’m such a loser.

Oh my god. I’m so fucking bored… my life is so depressingly boring. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go on a Friday night. Where are those pills?

Even if they don’t kill me, I’ll at least get to sleep quicker… maybe I’ll feel better in the morning.

Oh yeah, wasn’t I supposed to be leaving?

I suck, I can’t even make an impulse move without my mind wandering its way into something totally unimportant… like movies, or TV shows.

I’m outta here.

So, I start to blindly pack. I barely remember the time in between me finally getting up off the bed and having packed a full North Face duffle bag with my clothes and stuff from my bathroom. I guess I can move quickly when I feel like I need to. And I guess I need to.
I’m looking at the jacket I wore today thrown on the floor from when I finally got home. I remember my cuz saying he liked it, I’ll just give it to him. I won’t need it anymore… either way.

I look at my duffle bag, full of most of the stuff I need. I look through my drawers and see that I must have already packed all the good stuff. I go into my bathroom and see I packed everything I need. I give my room a once over. Do I want to bring some movies? I grab my laptop from my desk in the corner of my room and pack it in the laptop. I look over at my CD rack, and instead of try to pick and choose which of the 400 CD’s I want to bring, I just figure whatever is on my computer will have to be good enough. Plus I have some good stuff in the car. So, I’m ready. Why am I still standing here?

I finally get out of my room. I hear my mom and dad have their TV on in their room down the hall. I creep up to their room, I drop my bag in front of their door and poke at their door to open it and not wake them up if they are sleeping. Somehow my mom ends up waking up.

“Oh… go back to sleep mom” I say in a hushed voice “Im going out”
“Where you going?” She asks as she tries desperately to prop herself up on the bed to look at me.
“I..” I don’t know what to say, since I don‘t know myself. And wherever I’m going, it’s not like it matters to her that much. She has my cell phone number “I’m just going driving for a minute”
“OK” she says, finally giving up her struggle and just laying back down in the position she was in when I opened the door.
I start to leave and then “I love you… tell dad I love him too”. I don’t know where it came from, but I guess I was thinking I might never see them again. Just in case. Plus it never hurts.
She mumbles something back. Good enough, I think. And I close the door and leave the house.

9A37AF90-DA9F-4FED-8878-98EA4F9E1E43_1I get to my 4Runner, put my duffle bag in the back seat and shut the door. I put my hand on the driver’s side door, and stop for a second.
“What am I doing” I think to myself. Knowing me, I’ll probably just end up driving to the farthest 7-Eleven I can think of, fill up on Suzy Q’s and come right back home. I’ll probably get a video from the video store and have a typical Josh Friday night. Yeah, the video store is still open I should go.

Okay. No. I’m gonna do this.

I encourage myself enough to finally open the door and sit in the driver’s seat. Then I start to think that I’m just one turn of the ignition away from maybe changing my life. Either I’m gonna change it for the good, or I’m gonna change my life… by ending it. It’s kind of a weird feeling right now, but I get over it as soon as I try to figure out what song I want to be playing as I drive off.

“I guess I’m really gonna do this”, I think to myself as I put in Kanye West as my perfect soundtrack to the journey to ‘who knows’. I’m one of ‘those guys’ now, I guess… I mean without the friends and place to go. Okay… I’m not one of ‘those guys’, but I’m a guy who does things on the spur of the moment now. I turn the keys with my new found sense of identity and pull out the driveway and make the right turn down to get on the freeway.

I been on the road for almost 40 minutes now. And I’ve actually been waiting for someone to call me. It’s rare that anybody ever does, but I was driving and hoping that just maybe someone close to me would call and give me a lame ass excuse to just turn around and forget about this trip to who knows where.

Or I could go for some crazy drunk ass fool on the highway speeding. I can see it now… the guy is speeding and some other dude in front of me changes lanes and doesn’t see fast dude coming. And then they crash and I try to veer away from the crash, and I do… but I lose control of the car and drive into a ditch. I’m bruised up but, somehow… the car blows up. I haven’t worked out all the details.

Ouch. No wait, because I don’t want to get burned to death. I’m so sure that would hurt.

Oh man, what am I doing? I even asked god for a sign or something. Which is ridiculous because I rarely ever talk to God. So why do I expect this speedy answer from him. There’s only so much I can read into the nineteen Taco Bell signs I’ve seen so far. Like, does he want me to ’Cross the Border’, or does he just want me to get some taco’s? I don’t know.

Maybe this would be totally different if I actually had some sort of life goal, I mean my life goal tonight has been the pursuit of ending my life. Other than that, I just go to work and come home. I don’t have many real friends. And even then, I’m always so self-conscious or whatever that I’m hardly ever in the mood to go out and be social with them. No romance in my life at the moment, and when I’ve had it… man, I always wished I hadn’t. I don’t even have any career goals. I guess if I knew a little more about myself, than I’d probably know where to take… myself.

Hmm. That’s interesting.

I don’t know myself. I don’t know what I want, and so I definitely don’t know what I need in life or how to get it. I don’t really even know who I am. I know what I like when it comes to superficial shit like, “widescreen” or “full screen”, or Ecko or L-R-G. That doesn’t mean anything though, because I have pretty much every material thing I would want… at the moment, and I still want to die. Why? What’s making me so depressed that I can’t enjoy my life as a working, basically financially secure, good looking young man. I gotta figure this out somehow.

I guess it’s a good thing I’m on the road and there’s no possible way somebody could interrupt this thought process, because this might take a while.
I wonder how long that’ll take. I guess that depends on how fucked up I am. I gotta figure out something, at least maybe figuring out something that I might like to do instead of being a drone for the electric company all my life like those bitter losers that have been there for years. If not that, I could maybe try to plot my next move, not like a physical move somewhere. Not necessarily. I’m thinking like a move career wise or just move myself from the same mind frame I’ve had since I was probably 19.

Okay so where can I go to think this stuff out. Somewhere without many distractions I guess… though Vegas would be fun. And I’d be alone… so, that’s still in the running. I could go to LA… or maybe just Monterey and hang out around some beaches. Sounds good…

Wait.

All of a sudden it’s like my life slows down to this mili-second speed as I see the car in front of me throw on his brakes all of sudden like a crazy person. I slam on my brakes and yell “OH SHIT!” to myself.

Fuck! How typical…

© 2014 Hannibal Alexander

#FICTIONFriday “Remember to Forget” (Part 2) : CREATIVEWRITING

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Hello Everyone. So in trying to keep things consistent, we have yet another #FICTIONFriday post today. Unfortunately, this week hasn’t been a great one for me, I was really under the weather and had to take a few days off from work. That just threw everything off, and I didn’t get a chance to really edit anything together for today’s post. What I’m going to give you (and I literally just made this decision 20 seconds ago) is the continuation of “Remember to Forget“. I mentioned in that first post that this was something I wanted to expand into a novel, but I have to say when I was re-reading “Call It A Night” I really enjoyed it. I like the voice and the unique-ness of it, so I’ve been thinking of expanding that or using that voice to come up with something new. All that aside, here is an un-edited version of the second part of “Remember to Forget”. And I should also say, I like how this story resolved itself but for the expansion project for this story things will be a lot different. I actually didn’t do this second part of the story until maybe a year after I wrote the first part. Anyway, am I explaining too much? Just read it and enjoy, and give me all your lovely feedback. 

 

Remember to Forget” by Hannibal Alexander

So they (JC and Des) were always out shopping or whatever. Eventually though, spending all that money started to worry Des. She had been off on a leave of absence from her job for all that time since JC got out of the hospital . So after about three or four months of hanging out with him, she ended up going back to work. She was a little concerned that their money would get too low. See, not only was JC getting disability payments from his job, but his dad actually sued the parents of the kids that got in the wreck with JC that night. Luckily they were loaded, so Des and JC got a big settlement. They were practically financially free, but she was starting to get worried.
And once she went back to work, JC wanted to try to be more of an outgoing person on his own. He was hesitant to do it though, he deliberated for a while on different ideas. Like going back to school, going to Culinary Academy or an art school. We definitely encouraged those ideas, but than he started to get on a paper chase. Typical JC, he always had money on his brain before the accident, and I guess he still did. He didn’t want to get a regular job though, and we all know that jobs that make a lot don’t come easy. JC was, I guess, still in his immature mind state so he probably thought it wouldn’t be as hard. So he would watch a lot of infomercials, and fall victim to those pop up ads online. You know, like getting paid to send emails or stuffing envelopes or whatever.
One night I came back home from clubbing, and JC was sitting on the couch watching TV. So we watched TV for a while and I feel asleep. I woke up at like almost 4 in the morning, and JC was still up hella interested in some infomercial.
“Look cousin. You just send in $40, and than your totally rich” he said all excited sounding
“for what?” I said, still groggy and sleepy really.
“I don’t know… but you send in money for the info on how to do it. And you’ll make hella money… I’m gonna do it”
It took me a while to really get it “make hella money doing what?”
“They don’t really say… but, all the people who did it said they made hella money. The lowest amount I heard was $70,000 within the first month”
“That’s… a little too good to be true don’t you think? Like, wouldn’t EVERYBODY be millionaires if it was that easy?” I started to get up to go to my room and finish my sleep.
“Okay” he said, a little dejected by my comment “why you gotta be so negative though?”
“Just realistic cousin… I’m going to sleep” and that was that.
Not really though, because his pursuit for something to do with his time never really ended. Though he never committed to anything specifically, he would always come to me and Des with his ideas and for the most part we shut them down. Only because they were most likely scams, which he didn’t understand at all. So that kind of became a problem in the house. I mean it was never anything heated, but I could tell that he held some animosity… maybe it was him being upset with the fact that he still felt like he didn’t quite know as much as he used to. Like, no matter what he would always be wrong or talked down to. And I know that must have hurt, because he had a huge amount of pride when it came to arguments before. He’d never want to admit when he was wrong. And not knowing if he was wrong or not after the accident must have torn him up inside.
That’s when he kind of started to be by himself more and more. He’d spend a lot of time on the computer. And he actually did go back to school, he went to a city college with just some basic math classes. He was always good at math, but he could only remember up to his sixth grade classes, so he wanted to try to get his education, at least, back to where it was before the crash.
All the while, Des and me started to take the bulk of responsibilities yet again. JC spent virtually zero time with the kids at this point, and even less time with any chores around the house. And I found out he was doing even less one day. One while JC was out going to the store, Des confided in me on the couch watching TV. She told me they hadn’t had sex in over 5 months.
“I mean, maybe 5 months since I stopped even talking about it. We’ve only done it a couple of times since he got out of the hospital.” She said shaking her head.
“I don’t know what to do” she said.
“Damn” I said “I can’t imagine him not wanting to be all over THAT every night” I laughed, and than I remember thinking to myself that probably wasn’t the most appropriate thing for me to say.
“oops” I said to kind of cover it up. Des didn’t look concerned, she laughed a little bit.
“that’s what I thought” she said, still smiling. “And I want to have sex with HIM” she said and started shaking her head again.
I didn’t want to say anything else so I just was there with a awkward face. While she was still obviously disturbed by it in her head.
“I don’t want to freak out.. And jump to conclusions…” she said, all rushed like she was nervous or something.
“…but, and I know I should be talking to Josh about this, but… I had to tell somebody” she turned away like she was a little embarrassed.
“I don’t know … what to say” I didn’t
“you don’t have to…” she turned back and smiled at me.
“… you’re the best you know. Thank you for helping out here so much, you don’t know how much that means to me” she moved a bit closer to me.
“I think I do” I said “your… almost a single mom now” I said, and instantly beat myself up in my head for bringing up probably the worst thing that she’s struggling with.
“that’s right” her smiley face quickly turned into a gloomy one. “that’s kinda scary”
I had to ease her fears, I mean it looked like she was on the verge of tears, so I hugged her. She hugged me back.
“Des… you know… I’ll be here. No matter what okay”
“you better be” we released from our hug and she wiped some tears from her eyes.
She was still sitting right in front of me when she grabbed my hands and looked into my eyes.
“you know… it’s messed up… because JV probably see’s you more as his dad you know. Your there for him more so than Josh is… these days. I mean even though he calls him daddy… but, you know… you take on more of the… fatherly duties you know”
“I guess… I mean…” I started
“I know… why did I say that?” she laughed “I just don’t know… about, the future you know. We had a pretty nice family before, like I figured we would grow old together. But I just… don’t know anymore…” she stopped for a second and took a breath, than looked right back in my eyes. Her hands still in mine. She got a little closer to me
“… I guess, I just see you in our future more than I see him in it”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know” she released her hands from mine and got up off the couch and went into the bathroom.
I know what she meant, or I thought I did. Sounded like she wanted ME in her life instead of JC. Or maybe I was just tripping, like I was just putting too much on her feelings. The odd thing was, after that I kind of started to have some feelings for her. I always thought she was a major catch, and that JC was hella lucky. She was always really cool, real feminine and girly… but she could always just hang out with the cousins. Now maybe she wasn’t feeling what I think she was feeling, but it looked like maybe she saw me in a different way after all these months of being around her so much. It’s not like I was ever going to act on any of the feelings I may have developed, for so many reasons. Regardless of whatever I thought, I was still gonna stay true to what I said, that I’d always be there for her. We were family, and I’m always there for family.
A couple of weeks roll past and JC moved from the computer room, to basically out of the house. He was rarely ever at home, just normally back by close to midnight to go to sleep. He was spending a lot of time over his mom and dad’s house. He even spent two whole weeks straight there without coming home. He’d just go there and stay in his old room constantly. On the computer or just watching TV or whatever, with his mom there to take care of him. I was confused as to what might have happened to him to make him want to just up and leave his family. Even though I understood that he might have not felt like a part of the family anymore, but I would think he would talk to either me or Des before just leaving.
And than, one day I get this frantic call from Des to “Come here… now please… AS soon as you can, please.” Ofcourse I cut my hanging out time with my friends short as soon as I hung up. My little girl was with her mom at some family thing, so I didn’t have anything to really worry about. I couldn’t even imagine what Des was so upset about when she called, I just knew I had to be there.
Once I got back to the house, I barely even closed the door before a ballin, puffy eyed, crying Des starts to tell me what’s going on.
“He left! Josh left us!”
“What? What do you mean… where’d he go?” I asked, trying to get the whole story. Even though I knew I’d have to get it piece by piece.
“He just packed some stuff, and … up and left…” she’s still crying, now trying to remember everything. I closed the front door and hugged her.
Her head was resting on my shoulder when she tried to tell me the rest.
“He came back from… his brothers. He was crying… he was like ‘I don’t wanna talk’ and…” she dabs her face with a Kleenex to stop the tears “… he went upstairs and started packing, and I’m asking him like ‘where are you going? What’s going on?’ and he was ignoring me. And like… I mean, he left.”
I’m shocked, like literally shocked at that moment. What would make him just leave like that? What did him and his brother talk about? Which brother?
“Who’s house did he come from? I mean, which brother?” I ask
“umm… I think Julian”
“Did you call him?”
Des looks at me “No, good idea though” she wiped more tears from her eyes and from her face and smiled at me.
My first instinct than was to grab my cell phone and call Julian. Des went and had a seat on the couch in the living room while I waited for Julian to pick up. He answered, sounding a little upset, like even he was crying. I had never heard him like that. He tried hard to cover it up though.
“Hey… what did you and JC talk about?” I asked, I wanted to cut to the chase.
“Nothing” he said, trying to rush me off the phone obviously
“… well, I don’t know what happened. But, he was hella mad and came back home and packed up some stuff and left… you know where he’s going?”
“No man, I don’t know … I just know what happened” he said, his voice almost broken, like he’s seriously holding back tears now.
I hesitate to ask “what do you mean? … I mean, what happened over there? You two got into a fight or something?”
“No… you know he was just asking a lot of questions. I just let him know something and he got all mad and left… That’s all I know okay”
“about boosting?” I ask, still trying to get to the bottom of things.
“No… it’s something… man, it’s not your business. Just stay out of it little cousin alright!” and he hung up on me. Leaving me with no real answers for Des. And no way to start really looking for my cousin JC.
I walk into the living room, Des is still sitting on the couch. She notices me come in the room though.
“What did he say?” she asks, getting up from the couch and walking towards me.
“Not much, I guess they got into it… and… I don’t know”
“That’s it?” she looked upset.
“I mean, that’s all he knows… did you call his mom?”
“Yeah, now she’s just as upset as me… let’s drink” she said and walked toward the bar area in the dining room.
“WHAT?” I say , really surprised. That’s the last thing I would have expected her to say.
She stops and turns around toward me.
“Why are you surprised? My husband just fucking left me. He left me and our three kids… I haven’t gotten any sex, or good sex in… three years… and I’m taking care of everything myself. I think … you know… I’m about due to get drunk don’t you think”
“but… you can‘t think like that. He left, but you know he‘ll be back”
“No I don’t. I don’t know that. I don’t even … really know that dude anymore. I’m just tired of it… I’m tired of him. And seriously, he could stay gone. He’s been gone since he came back from the hospital anyway.”
“Des!” I said, trying to get her a little more concerned about JC
“Des nothing… I’m gonna drink. If he wants to call, he’ll call. We’ll see if I pick up”
She turned her back to me and finally reached the bar. She got out some tequilla, I think that’s all that was left in there. She poured a bunch in a small glass and started to drink it straight. I was still concerned about JC, like maybe I should go out and drive around and look for JC, but I guess there really was nothing to do but wait for him to call. So me and her drank and watched TV in the living room for a couple of hours. Basically she got a chance to vent about everything. The lack of sex. The lack of maturity JC used to have. Just everything that annoyed her about him since the crash.
“God, I mean I know it’s not his fault that he got in the crash… and I feel bad complaining about him. But, a whole different guy came out of that crash I think”
“well…” I started “… maybe not a whole different guy, but … like he’s still the same person. But just like he’s reset or something , so he’s starting a whole new game.”
“what do you mean”
“like, he gets to start his life all over from age 12”
“you don’t think he’d eventually turn into the same person though”
“… I don’t know. Not necessarily though. I don’t know… I’m drunk” I laughed it off.
“you know… I think YOU turned into him” She said and smiled
“what? How?”
“you remind me a lot of how he was before the crash…”
“in what ways?”
She stares at me “well… your so responsible around here. You always know what to do. Your all about the family… you got the same kind of mind set”
“maybe, but I just gotta do what I have to do you know” I said
“no… you don’t HAVE to. Like, you didn’t HAVE to come and stay with us. And you definitely didn’t have to help out as much as you do. You didn’t have to stay here as long as you have. Your just a good guy” She smiled at me
I smiled back
“… and we appreciate it. I appreciate it” she looked in my eyes still smiling.
I get kind of nervous. She gets a little closer to me.
“remember… you promised you’d always be here for me? I hope that , you do” she said.
“I will be”
About two hours later, I got a call. From JC. Des was sleep on the couch, or I should say passed out. I started to wake her up, thinking she might want to talk to him, but I reconsider figuring that she’s totally drunk and that she might say something she’ll regret. So I picked up the call.
“Hey” he said.
“Whatsup man? Where you been? We’ve been worried about you”
There was a long pause before he said anything, for a second I had thought he hung up
“Sorry man… I didn’t meant to… I didn’t mean to” he sounded drunk… and stoned.
“…make you worried, or whatever” he said, slurring every word together.
“where are you?” I asked him
“I’m… I’m in Napa… I drooove aaaalll the way to Napa can you belie’dat?”
“Well?… I mean, what?…” now I was tongue tied, there was just so much to clear up and I didn’t know where to start, apparently he didn’t either.
“did I call you for… I called you…yeah… I know… I called you cousin, because…” a long pause “… I don’t even know why I just called you… I love you little cousin … really, and … I kneeew, like maybe… I… you could… I knew I could talk to you.”
“… you can talk to me, definitely. What do you wanna talk about?… well tell me what’s going on first off” I said, a little agitated, but not wanting to let it be too vocal because I didn’t want him to hang up.
“I’m in Napa… and, I might… be… gay”
I was shocked, I couldn’t even really be sure that I heard what I thought I had just heard.
“GAY?”
“or not… I don’t know… I don’t even know who I am really” he said, sounding like he had just took a puff off a cigarette.
“Okay… JC, your storytelling is fucking me up right now. What’s going on? Tell me from the beginning because I don’t know what your talking about” I said, trying to really not waste time, because I needed to know.
“Alright alright … alright… alright, so” another long pause, I almost started to yell “COME ON OUT WITH IT” before he finally said something
“Julian… big brother Julian came by mom’s house. And I was there… wait, wait, wait, I gotta start by saying. Well, I been … having little flashbacks here and there, sometimes they are just in my dreams… and sometimes you know, it turns out that… it wasn’t just a dream it was a memory. And sometimes… you know, it was a dream. Just a dream. Anyway, I had this …” he sounds like he’s about to choke up. “… Hold up”
“What? Where are you going?” I asked
“I gotta get a drink” he said, and it sounded like he dropped his phone on the floor. About a minute or so later he comes back.
“So… what was I saying?”
“you had a dream, or a flashback?” I didn’t know where he was going with the story, just trying to remember the last thing he said.
“okay. Yeah… so, I had this dream that… Joe and Julian, were just… beating my ass, I mean seriously… punching the shit outta me, kicking me in my stomach… like, they were trying to kill me. And I remember us fighting like brothers and stuff, but I never… I mean their faces were, like they were seriously trying to kill me. So, Julian comes over mom’s house today… and we’re hanging out, playing video games, and I ask him about it. First, he’s all saying I don’t know what I’m talking about it… and the more I described it to him, it was like I could tell… he knew something. And he told me… like, I guess… when I was 11, Joe and Julian caught me looking at some nude male book, and beat my ass for it. He told me I was in the hospital for a week, broken arm… I mean they fucked me up.”
“Damn” there were so many levels of this already that I never imagined. JC looking at nude guys. Joe and Julian actually trying to really kill JC. This was something I never thought would have happened to any of them.
“Yeah, that’s fucked up right, and so … he got like hella mad, crying and shouting and stuff and I was crying and mad at him… and… everybody… who knew, for not telling me you know. So I bounced… I just, had to be by myself I guess”
“so… when are you coming back?”
JC breathed a loud sigh “I don’t know maan, I don’t know if I’m EVER coming back…”
“why?” this confused me, he survived and he became a good man so why was he leaving “… I mean, I know it’s fucked up to find something like that out… but, it happened a long time ago JC. It doesn’t matter anymore, it was when you were 11. You know how much you’ve done since than…”
“NO! and that’s the point… I don’t really know anything about myself. I can look at pictures… that I’m not in. And I could listen to you guys tell me stories… but how am I ever gonna really know the truth. Or my perspective on the stories, how I felt about things… I mean I don‘t even really know how I felt about my WIFE, I don‘t know how I felt about having kids. I don‘t know anything” He takes a breath from talking at his rapid fire pace “I mean… you will, NEVER understand what I’m going through…” he takes another long pause “… it’s like, if you lost something… at first you’d want to find it. And if you can’t after a while, either you replace it or just give up on it altogether. Chock it up as a loss… but, I mean… I can’t REPLACE my memory, but I don’t want to give up on it… ” he breathes another loud sigh “it’s the most fucked up thing, I can’t believe it’s happening to me… ”
“so… what’s being alone going to help?” I asked
“what’s being around everybody who’s lying to me going to help either?”
“JC… I…” I didn’t quite know how to tackle this one, because I had lied to him. Or left things out, but it was for his own good I thought. “… what happened back than, doesn’t matter now… because you still turned into a good man despite everything else”
“I don’t know that. I mean, I don’t know what kind of man I was… and you know, the thing about what Julian told me… I mean, if it wasn’t for them beating my ass and probably scaring me outta looking at any other guy… I might have been gay”
“WHAT are you talking about?” I had almost forgotten about the gay issue. JC was really drunk now, because I couldn’t even picture him even looking at another guy like that.
“I was looking at pictures of dicks cousin…”
“I mean” I was kind of grossed out talking about , but I went on “…maybe back than … you were… interested?” I’m just completely uncomfortable at this point
“… I don’t know… but you probably grew out of it?” I was hoping that would end that topic.
“I don’t think so… And I went on the net and, a lot of people say you are born gay… if your gay. I mean some say the opposite but, I mean what if they’re right?”
“JC, your not gay” I adamantly said
It took JC a while to respond “I been looking at other stuff on the net too cousin. And I don’t know why but I have been. Looking at nude pictures and downloading gay porn… and once Julian told me what he told me. It kinda made sense you know… I think I’m gay” he sighs.
I’m kind of speechless at that moment, just really trying to find the right words to respond to what I’ve just heard, which I can’t believe.
“And maybe I’m not, maybe I’m just curious. But the point is, I don’t know. I don’t know who I am. So I gotta be alone to find out… I mean, being gay… isn’t… I mean that’s TOTALLY something that I should know about myself… and I don’t ” he said, and it sounded like he was waiting for my response still.
I still didn’t say anything, I was a little stunned still.
“… and I know it’s fucked up to walk out on Destiny like this, but … from the settlement and everything, they shouldn’t have to worry about money I’m thinking. So I’m taking, $20,000 from that… and I’m going to keep in touch no matter where I end up, but I just… gotta go. I can’t stay here” he sounded like he was crying now, and also he dropped the phone again. Probably making himself another drink.
I was on the other end, just not even knowing what to do. I had like a major slow reaction time to what he said… about being gay. About leaving. It was just too much to hear at one time you know. He came back to the receiver, and it sounded like he had just drank something mixed with some kind soda… I could hear the fizz.
“Cousin” he checked to see if I was still there
“Yeah” I confirmed
“… yeah, so I’m taking some money… I don’t think she’ll have a big problem with it do you? I mean it shouldn’t… can you tell her for me?” He asked
“WHAT?” I piped up than “You want me to tell your wife that your walking out on her… AND her three kids… AND your stealing 20 g’s from her??” I had to make sure.
“okay… okay, that sounds bad” he said, and laughed
“You gotta talk to your wife JC…”
“Is she really upset?” he asked, getting a little sentimental sounding
I could have told him the truth about her not really caring at this point, but I said “Sure… I mean, of course she is”
“I’ll call her… you know” he said, and than stopped suddenly like he didn’t want to finish.
“what?” I pressed
“… it’s kind of weird probably to hear this, but you take really good care of Des. I don’t know how I was with her, but … seeing you two together sometimes… I feel like, I’m looking at a really happy couple. And…” he took a long pause, and what sounded like another swig of the alcohol. “… I don’t know, I’m gonna be gone, and… I kinda just wanted to say, you’d be a good man for her… you already are”
“you need to call her JC okay!” I practically demanded, because I didn‘t want to get into Des and my real feelings for her, and her feelings for me. It would be way too awkward, I thought.
“I will, I’ll call her soon… once I figure out some things”
“How long will it take?” I didn’t want to press him, but I just had to ask, for Des’ sake.
“I don’t know… look, don’t worry… I’ll call her tomorrow”
“OK. Do… you, want me to come out there to Napa and just … talk?”
He chuckled “Man… cousin, I love you I really do. Thank you for… just being you. I envy that”
“So?”
“No you don’t have to come out here… they charge so much I’m probably gonna end up being gone tonight”
“JC!” I started, but got a little choked up before I could finish
“what?”
“… I’m really gonna miss you. I love you… call me , keep in touch please. I don‘t wanna worry about you”
“Don’t worry… I’m gonna always want to talk to you cousin”
He hung up. And I hit “End” on my cell phone. What a strange phone call, so much to think about. There’s nothing really I can do. I imagine it will be really awkward to be around Des until JC actually does call her and tell her what’s going on. I COULD tell her, but I think it would be better for both of them to talk to each other. She probably has a lot more questions for him than I did, and she just needs to hear that her husband is leaving her from her actual husband.
So I’m just waiting now, for her to hear from him. I believed him when he said he would call her. He was probably just not in the right frame of mind to get serious and emotional at the time. And no matter what, he still did love Des, so I’m sure he wouldn’t hurt her. So basically, that’s it. I just wonder how long he’ll be gone trying to “find himself”. I wonder what he’ll be like when he actually does, or if he’ll just turn into the same guy. I’m even wondering if at some point, he’ll get back a lot of his memories. He was right… I have no idea what he’s going through, and I have to just remember that.
Still no matter what changes. If he changes, if I change, if Des changes, when the kids change, JC will still be my favorite cousin. He might have lost over half of his life, but he didn’t ever lose his good heart… and he’ll never ever lose our love for him.

© 2014 Hannibal Alexander

Top 115 Movies of All Time (Part Five, 25-1) : MY FAVORITES

Excuses Excuses. Well you can read my “intro” for the Top 25 Albums of All Time and see why this post is late. Being sick sucks, and it just drained me of all my energy. Add the fact that in general I’m lazy, I just totally wasn’t feeling doing anything the past few days. But, here we are. The Finale of the Movie countdown, and I’m just going to list the movies with no frills or descriptions. Like I said in the Albums post, I may come back and re-edit things, but for now it is what it is. Enjoy!

 

25. “Alien

24. “The Hangover

cabaret23. “Cabaret

22. “Working Girl

21. “Rear Window

20. “Jaws

19. “South Park : Bigger, Longer and Uncut

18. “National Lampoons Vacation

17. “Poltergeist

16. “Dreamgirls

beetlejuice-poster15. “Beetlejuice

14. “Grindhouse presents Death Proof & Planet Terror

13. “The Avengers

12. “Star Trek” (2009)

11. “There Will Be Blood

 

10. “Thelma & Louise

9. “West Side Story

8. “Amadeus

7. “Airplane

6. “Pulp Fiction

700x1043_movie14postersthe_lord_of_the_rings_the_fellowship_of_the_ring-us_teaser_25. “Lord of the Rings Trilogy

4. “Inglorious Basterds

3. “Chicago

2. “Batman” (1989)

1. “Purple Rain

Top 115 Albums of All Time (Part Five, 25-1) : MY FAVORITES

“See what had happened was!”

Yeah, I know I’m late with this. I promised this countdown would be complete on Wednesday but I have been under the weather and just didn’t feel like finding a spot that has free Wi-Fi and putting this post together. It’s Friday, and instead of going straight home (still under the weather) I decided to stop off and just list what’s left.

There will be no fancy descriptions, just the albums and artists and rankings. I may come back some other time and re-edit it, but for now this is what you’re getting. (This is also how the Top 25 Movies list will be, which is coming right after this).

 

 

25. The Police “Synchronicity”

24. Raphael Saadiq “Instant Vintage”

Rihanna-Loud-Album-Cover23. Rihanna “Loud”

22. Stevie Wonder “Hotter Than July”

21. Prince & The Revolution “Purple Rain”

20. Daft Punk “Alive 2007″

19. Jay-Z “The Blueprint”

18. Prince “Controversy”

17. Madonna “Bedtime Stories”

16. The Temptations “Ultimate Collection”

Marvin_Gaye-Let_s_Get_It_On-Frontal15. Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On”

14. Alicia Keys “The Diary of Alicia Keys”

13. N.E.R.D. “In Search Of”

12. The Police “Regatta de Blanc”

11. Bob Marley & The Wailers “Exodus”

 

10. The Killers “Hot Fuss”

Devo - Q Are we not men A We are Devo9. Devo “Q. Are We Not Men? A. We Are Devo!”

8. Prince “Sign O The Times”

7. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott “Miss E… So Addictive”

6. Beyonce “B’Day”

5. Bob Marley & The Wailers “Live at the Roxy”

4. Kanye West “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”

3. No Doubt “The Singles 1992-2003″

2. Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On”

1999 (2)1. Prince “1999″

In closing, I LOVE Prince and this was a very ambitious project… and honestly I should have been better prepared. We learn from our mistakes though, and next time I promise it will be much better.

#FRIDAYFICTIONonMONDAY “Mason and Kyle on First Sight” : CREATIVE WRITING

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So on Friday I had every intention of posting Three stories to celebrate Three weeks of #FridayFiction. But, work, and not having wifi, and supporting friends got in the way. This weekend I was sick, so I wasn’t able to go anywhere to upload it, so you’re getting it today. 

This is one part of an idea I had for a novel about two years ago, this basically introduces two of the characters and the rest of them will be revealed through this blog in the future. So, Read, Enjoy, Comment, and Share please. 

 

Mason and Kyle on First Sight” by Hannibal Alexander

 

“I knew I loved him when I first saw him…” Mason says, and then quickly amends the comment “… I mean… okay, I don’t know if it was love exactly. I was probably too young to really know than… but I know I had a weird sort of… magnetism towards him. I just kinda knew he was, special, I guess.” Masons eyes wander as his mind trails off to a cherished place in his past.

Image

 

On the first day of 8th grade so many years ago, Mason was already waiting in the Principal’s office. This time through no fault of his own, there was a mix-up with his schedule and he needed to talk to an Administrator to get it cleared up. In walked Kyle, a skinny and still pretty short light skinned black kid who was obviously a new student at the school based on his first day jitters, which were obvious to Mason. Even with the new-kid nervousness, Mason was impressed with his confidence in style, because he definitely stood out from everybody else. His hair was slightly afro’d, when everybody else was sporting close cuts. His pants were slightly tighter than the baggy status quo of their generation at the time. And what set it off was his brown jean jacket with a bright Mick Jagger T-shirt underneath. The kid was clearly nervous about his first day at a new school, but his gear indicated that he was his own person who wouldn’t be pressured by his peers and that was what Mason instantly gravitated to.

 

Kyle, talking very quietly to the secretary at the Admin desk, is told to sit and wait. He turns around and meekishly throws Mason a small smirk while he finds a seat on the back wall of the office a few chairs away from him, this smirk is returned by an open palmed wave. Mason first notices Kyle’s full lips, than his beautiful big brown eyes, he continues to stare him down before he notices a burst of nervousness from Kyle. “When I first saw him…” Kyle begins  “… I was actually really nervous! He was like that typical big jock white bully you see on all the TV shows, so I thought I’d better shut up.” Sensing this, Mason took the opportunity to finally speak.

 

“Hey… so let me guess, you’re new here” were Mason’s first words to Kyle back then.

“Yeah” Kyle responded with a little nervous hesitation

“… I know the feeling, don’t be nervous though… this is a pretty cool school. Where did you come from?”

“Lakewest” Kyle answered, still a bit shy to look into Mason’s eyes when doing so

“Okay, one of my cousins used to go there. I heard it was kinda rough…”

Kyle shrugged his shoulders “…I don’t know, it was okay… nobody really bothered me much… I actually heard that THIS school was rough”

“Really? That’s not so true… I mean, I guess I can’t compare ‘cause this is the only junior high I’ve been to… but if you’re coming from Lakewest and didn’t have no problems this should be a breeze”

Kyle smirked and laughed a bit, then finally looked up at Mason and seemed a bit taken aback

“w-wh-what’s your name?”

“I’m Mason…”

“Kyle…” the two exchanged light handshakes

 

From there, the conversation turned back to Mason and his comment about knowing the feeling of being the new kid. They didn’t have much time to talk, since both of them were just waiting for some paperwork from the Admin’s. Once they got their schedules they realized they shared 4th period French class, so they spent the rest of the day hanging out and sharing their stories. Mason talked about how he had just moved to the East Bay four years prior from Dallas Texas, and how adjusting to the new area had been a blast. Kyle talked about his days at Lakewest and his interest in Entertainment and the Arts. From then on they were basically inseparable. “I pretty much clung to him for the first couple of months I was there…” Kyle admits “…He was really popular and so it kinda felt good to be the… you know ‘Popular New Kid’ instead of the ‘Awkward New Kid’”.

 

hqdefault (1)For the next several months, Kyle would appreciate the new friend he was blessed with at a new school. Not only did they get along great, but because Mason was so popular instead of people questioning Kyle and assuming things about him before talking to him, they all just assumed he was a good friend of Mason and treated him as such. Mason appreciated having a new friend that enjoyed the things he liked, mainly music and film. Being groomed as a bit of a jock, he rarely had the opportunity to talk with peers about things like Janet Jackson or the latest MTV Videos. “Coming from my sort of athletic upbringing I guess, the Arty people were more interesting to me because they were just… different!” Mason says. They both enjoyed being around one another, and they tried as much as they could to stay connected.

 

It wasn’t until about 4 months in before their underlying feelings came up. Mason was hanging out in Kyle’s bedroom one day after school, which at this point became a normal thing. “I think we were just looking at a Rolling Stone magazine or something, and maybe I leered a little too long at one of those underwear ads… and Mason basically busted me out” Kyle says with a laugh. “He was cute about it…” he continues “… he didn’t freak out or anything like I’d expect one of my Uncles to do, but he just kinda asked… or more like told me I liked boys”

 

Mason later makes a slight correction to the interaction “That… doesn’t sound right. I think I was like ‘oh, so you like boys?’” Kyle continues with his side of the story of that evening “Of course, I wasn’t going to say yes! Not at the time. I thought he might be trying to trick me into saying something and then tease me about it later or whatever. So I kind of avoided it until he said…”  Kyle takes a pause to try to remember the exact words, then continues “… it’s okay… I do too” Kyle nods before taking a long pause.

 

“I still kinda felt like, ‘oh he’s still trying to trick me’. I also remember for like a moment I felt… it felt really good to have someone, someone my age at that, tell me that what I had been feeling all my life was okay. It still really freaked me out at the time though. I definitely humored him, I started to ask him like what kind of guys or celebs he thought were cute, really not thinking he’s serious and trying to sort of trip him up, but he was really sincere.”

 

Still a bit uncomfortable about the conversation, Kyle looked at Mason smiling and decided to tell him his true feelings. He wasn’t necessarily intending to tell him that he’d always had the hots for him, Mason being a pretty short, but stocky white kid with so much confidence and such a cute butt. Kyle felt ten times more macho around Mason, but his feminine side lingered because he was so turned on by him. Aside from his semi-crushing on Mason, Kyle realized that they had become extremely close, and he actually felt comfortable getting his feelings out. So after a while of their playful back and forth, Kyle got real.

 

“Yeah, Okay… I do look at boys!” Kyle sort of lowered his head ashamed when he said it. Mason instantly lightened the mood and went on to tell him about his “coming out” to his father at 11 years old.  How even though his dad was grooming him for alpha-male status and involving him in lots of sports, Mason always knew he liked boys and didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. His confidence and full acceptance of who he was made it easier for his father to accept, and it didn’t change their extremely tight bond.

 

Mason and Kyle talked for hours, though they never got into their mutual attraction for each other. The conversation was especially liberating for Kyle who had never actually voiced his feelings to anyone, not even to himself. For the next few weeks, the two hung out like usual until the day their relationship was shortly taken to a new level. On one winter day, the boys were in Kyle’s room doing homework together again, listening to Janet Jackson when one of her slower more romantic songs came on Kyle and Mason acted accordingly. Kyle, who now admits he made the first move, also now admits he felt instantly regretful “We kissed, and almost got caught” as Kyle’s Aunt Maggie barged in unexpectedly. The situation was something Kyle wasn’t mentally and emotionally ready for at the time “it just freaked me out … about the whole situation really, just the idea of having to admit I was gay scared the crap out of me.”

 

Though Maggie didn’t detect anything, the scare was enough to make Kyle all the more paranoid and distressed about their relationship. “So yeah, I kind of backed off of the Mason train for a while” Kyle almost seems pained to admit it now, but explains how even if he could go back in time he probably couldn’t bring himself to change it. Mason and Kyle didn’t hang out at school or elsewhere any longer even when Mason himself felt unchanged about their friendship, but understood Kyle’s brain at the time. “I got it. He was freaked out and scared. And I knew Kyle was really, really concerned with what people thought of him at the time so I got it…” Mason recalls  “…and yeah, I was a little sad because we really bonded. But I understood and I never tried to push myself on him.”

 

Mason and Kyle didn’t become total strangers though, exchanging a few words here and there during the remaining years of Junior High. Mostly on Mason’s behalf, as Kyle’s insecurity was still too strong to push past at the time. “We’d be in school together and I’d talk to him, call him over to hang out…” Mason explains, Kyle then offers his side “…yeah, and I’d normally just go up and say hi and then kind of drift away hoping he didn’t notice. I just wasn’t ready at the time… I was scared the kids would be like ‘Oh Kyle is so fruity and he always hangs out with Mason, are they together!?’ I mean I know nobody even really thought that, but my paranoia told me that… and so I stayed away.”

 

It wasn’t until the very last four months of school, when the two were more or less forced in the same room at a Yearbook meeting, that they caught up. A conversation about High School turned into a pep talk of sorts for Kyle who was debating joining an Art program in High School. “I remember Mason being just really encouraging about me joining, saying something like he was amazed by my Artistic side or something just really encouraging”  “Even though my mom was trying to push me to do it as well, something about this boy my age, who I still adored, and he’s encouraging and supporting me. It basically made my decision for me”

 

As with most junior high students, High School would change both of them and their feelings towards one another as well. Definitely for the better, though, as is the case with most High School students, things didn’t cease to be complicated emotionally. The next 3 years would be quite the experience for the two boys in more ways than they could have ever expected.

© 2014 Hannibal Alexander

Top 115 Movies of All Time (Parts 3 & 4, 75-26) : MY FAVORITES

So I had to accelerate the process of counting down my 115 Favorite Movies, that’s why Part 3 & Part 4 are combined. The final 25 of my list will be posted on Thursday, and I really wanted to try to rush the rest of the countdown before that date. Hence the combination of Parts… and the succinct, sometimes one-word descriptions of the movies. I feel like with this countdown (learning experience) I’m rushing to post and spouting random bull about each Movie I list, and when I think later I know I could have used more glowing descriptions of these Movies I genuinely love. So I thought it might be cute to do short blurbs instead of even trying to describe why I love the Movies I love, which is always difficult anyway. So Enjoy, and come back on Thursday!!

 

Akira movie poster75. Akira – Intense Anime

74. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – So Creative

73. The Matrix 1&3 – Mindblowing

72. Young Frankenstein – So Silly

71. Coming to America – Ghetto Classic

70. Charlie’s Angels – Girly Action

goonies69. The Goonies – Epic Fun

68. The Incredibles – So Much Fun

67. The Last Dragon – Childhood Fave

66. King Kong (ALL) – Legendary

65. Jackie Brown – Tarantino Excellence

64. O Brother Where Art Thou – One of a Kind

63. Hello Dolly – The Cutest

269061.1020.A62. Mahogany – Campy Decadence

61. Boogie Nights – Intense

60. Who Framed Roger Rabbit – Amazing Achievement

59. Baby Boy – Real Life

58. Ratatouille – Visual Masterpiece

57. Reservoir Dogs – Tarantino Excellence

56. The Shining – Too Scary

55. T1993-whats-love-got-to-do-with-it-poster1oy Story Trilogy – So Cute

54. What’s Love Got To Do With It – Epic Classic

53. 12 Angry Men – Amazing Writing

52. Aliens – Great

51. Adventures in Babysitting – Childhood Fave

50. Spiderman 1&2 – Fun Action
49. A Clockwork Orange – Disturbingly Beautiful

48. Mean Girls – Millenial Classicclockwork_orange_ver2_xlg

47. Austin Powers Trilogy – Too Funny

46. The Departed – DiCaprio Excellence

45. Collateral – Suspense

44. Clueless – 90′s Classic

43. Ray – Epic

42. Tropic Thunder – Hilarious Ensemble

41. The Little Mermaid – Fave Disney Flick

40. Thor (tie) Captain America – Well Done

20-do-right-thing39. Do The Right Thing – Thought Provoking

38. Batman Returns – Great Cast

37. Kill Bill Vol. 1 – Gory Fun

36. Friday – C
lassic

35. The Wedding Singer – So Funny

34. Django Unchained – Tarantino Excellence
33. Scream 1&2 – High School Days

32. Hustle and Flow – Amazing Acting

31. Inception – Creatively Clever

30. Teawatchmen_ver18_xlgm America : World Police – Fuck Yeah!!
29. Watchmen – Severely Underrated

28. Goodfellas – Top Notch

27. Shrek Series – Great Message

26. Edward Scissorhands – Beautifully Demented

 

So remember, tune in on Thursday for my final Top 25 Favorite Movies of All Time!!! Getting Excited!??

 

#FICTIONFriday “The Star is Rising” Chapter One : CREATIVE WRITING

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Hello all, what you are about to read is sort of a passion project for me. I started around 2006, but believe you me that this character has been developing in my brain since I was about 14 years old. In fact I wrote about her in my “Character Crisis” post from a while ago. Anyway, without giving too much away just read the damn story =P 

 

The Star is Rising” by Hannibal Alexander

starpictureAnother stress-filled 8 hours at the video store was over, and I remember being really happy that it was such a nice day, like it is today.

Back than I had another reason to be happy though, me and my boyfriend were having our 2 year Anniversary. I was walking the four blocks between my job at Goldmine Video and Xavier’s house, he was going to take me out to eat and then we’d probably end up back at his place just watching TV and making out. I got close to his house finally, and once I got a view of the house I noticed his mother coming out of her car with this tall skinny girl coming out of the passenger door. Then I remembered Xavier told me a couple of times that his cousin was moving in with them in the Fall. Once I thought about that, I was like “WHY TODAY?” I know that when a relative of mine comes in from out of town, my parents always want to go to dinner or have all the family over for a party or something. And when Xavier’s dad came out and hugged this girl so excitedly, I knew that my fears would actually come to life, and me and my man’s Anniversary would have to be postponed.

I almost didn’t go in, but I needed to pee. I was about a block away, so by the time I got to the door, everybody was already inside the house. I knocked. Mrs. Duran opened the door with a big smile on her face, and I could hear Mr. Duran yelling for Xavier and his little sister Michelle to “COME DOWN AND SEE YOUR COUSIN!!”

“Oh… Hi Gina” She said as she hugged me and kissed me on the cheek

“Hello Mrs. Duran, what’s going on?” I asked, still trying to peer over Mrs. Duran to get a better glimpse at this cousin.

“Our niece from California just got here about an hour ago. Come on in”

Mrs. Duran closed the door after I walked in and put my coat on the coat rack, she led me to the living room where Xavier was blocking the entry way.

“Hey baby… Happy Anniversary” he said as he picked me up and kissed me

“Happy Anniversary to you too…” I said, suddenly forgetting what was even going on in the living room. But suddenly remembering that I had to pee.

“… are we still going out tonight?” I had to ask to be sure

“Of course, you know I’m taking my baby out… 2 years, we gotta celebrate THAT” He said, and smiled as he lowered me to the ground.

It looked like Xavier was about to start talking about his cousin, before I cut him off.

“I have to go pee” I said.

“Alright” he said, too quick to get back to all the excitement in the living room.

I walked down the hallway to the downstairs bathroom. While I was taking care of my business, I heard all of the business going on in the house. I couldn’t hear everything, but it sounded like this famous cousin was talking about her flight into New York City. She had kind of a smoky yet peppy voice, and I couldn’t wait to match the face with the voice.

I got out of the bathroom and Xavier’s sister Michelle was walking straight towards me as I closed the bathroom door. She noticed me and said hello.

“Hey Gina… hey, did you get that video for me?” She was asking about ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, she needed to read the book over the summer for her senior English class, but she wanted to watch the movie instead.

“Yeah…”

“Cool thanks, you came to see Nicki?” she said as she was making her way past me towards the living room.

“Well…”

“Michelle, Regina… Come in here” Mr. Duran yelled.

So I followed Michelle into the living room, where Nicki looked like she just got finished hugging Xavier. She was cute. The first thing I noticed were her big eyes, and her little nose. She had on a grey GAP sweater, and light acid wash jeans on. I think her shoes were brand new Keds because they were so white. She was pretty tall, and pretty slender but with a little bit of curves. I couldn’t stop staring while her and Xavier caught up.

“Oh my god, Xavier. Remember when I used to steal your G.I. Joe’s and hide them from you… it’s been like hella years since I’ve seen you” she said with a huge smile. I’m thinking … “HELLA??? What’s that?” Just than Xavier turns around and sees me in the entry way. He waves me over.

“Hey this is my girlfriend Regina” he said as he motioned for me to grab his open hand next to him.

“This is my cousin Nicole, she’s from California” and I shook her hand.

 

She looked at my eyes first, and then she started to look me up and down, and when she stopped she smiled and looked at Xavier.

“You guys make a cute couple” she said

“Nice to meet you Regina”

“Nice to meet you too” I said, with every word my volume got lower and lower, something people complain about all the time. She looked at me and smiled and started to talk to Xavier again about old time stuff, and I started to look her up and down. Or actually, I just stared at her hair. It was jet black, all the way down the middle of her back, and it was thick enough for someone to climb on like Rapunzel. She was cute and everything, but I kind of ignored her tallness and her body because I was so infatuated with her hair.

“Oh it’s your Anniversary?” she said, excitedly looking at me

“Yeah” I suddenly got happy again “Two Years”

“Wow, how old are you?”

“20” I said, unconfident if that was a good or bad thing in her eyes. And wondering why she asked me

“Cool. That’s cool you guys like, could stick it out for two years. I don’t know anybody that’s had a relationship longer than three months you know…” She said smiling. She was trying to be sweet, but still I was infatuated with her hair so I barely responded.

“Yeah… thanks” I said, probably sounding like I was high.

“Well…” she kinda looked at me sideways and turned her head to Xavier “… where are you guys going?”

“I don’t know, probably Red Lobster?” Xavier responded.

“RED LOBSTER?” she asked, sounding totally disgusted

“You’re not gonna take your woman… of TWO YEARS, out to no place fancy? That’s cold” She looks at me and smiles and winks her eye.

“I mean… Red Lobster’s cool. I’ll go to any restaurant. Don’t try to mess up my chance of going out girl” I said, kind of jokingly, but seriously worried that if I had to wait for Xavier to come up with some place creative to eat, we wouldn’t be going out at all.

She laughs “Ok, Okay I’ll stay out of your Kool-Aid. But why don’t you guys go to the city?”

“Yeah right!” Xavier yelled and started to make his way into the kitchen “I’m not driving on the bridge tonight”

“Really? They have all the best places right?” She asked, almost perplexed at the idea of not wanting to go into New York City.

“Well…” I answered, knowing Xavier didn’t want to talk about this option at all “…if you don’t live in New York City, than you really end up hating going into the city.” I said.

“Why?” she asked

“A lot of reasons. People don’t like driving on the bridge, or taking the subway. It’s kinda dirty out there, it’s too many people…”

“No Parking” Mr. Duran yelled.

I laughed “Yeah, it’s kind of a headache”

“So you never go into the city. What would make you want to go out there” Nicole asked

“Clubs” Michelle chimed in, she was 17 and couldn’t wait for her birthday at the top of 1991 to turn 18.

Me and Nicole laughed at her eagerness and I said “Yeah clubs sometimes, or concerts. But that’s about it. And really, the club thing is something you get tired of”

“Awwww dude, I was hoping you guys would take me to the club out there, but you’re already burned out” She says as she flops back down on the couch.

“No, we’ll go with you” I said, as I sat down on the chair that was opposite the couch.

“Okay Yes! I was like… don’t ruin my dreams!!” Nicole said, too excited.

Mrs. Duran came back into the living room, without me even realizing she had left, with some photo albums. So I knew it was family time now, so I went into the kitchen to talk to Xavier about dinner.

We ended up actually fulfilling our Anniversary duties that night. He took me to a nice little Italian restaurant kind of close to the bridge, but not the City. It wasn’t until we were on our way back home that I started to talk about Nicole.

“Nicole, she’s nice.” I said

“Yeah, and smart, she’s going to Columbia” he said, taking a break from singing along to his Bell Biv Devoe cassette.

“REALLY? What’s her major?”

“Linguist…ic… something? I don’t know… English?” he was really eager to get back to singing, but I was still curious.

“So she’s gonna be commuting all the way every day?”

“I guess?”

“You met her before right?”

“Yeah, we used to go out there every year when my uncle first moved from the east coast… but we haven’t gone since I was maybe 15”

“Okay… is she… “ He cut me off

“Damn baby, just ask her… she’s gonna be here for a while”

“Alright” I left it at that, and joined in on him singing ‘When Will I See You Smile Again’.

 

I was rarely actually ever around Nicole to really ask her all my questions though. Normally I came to Xavier’s house during the week and he came by my house most of the time during the weekends. She was always in the city registering for classes and stuff during the week, and trying to get a head start on her reading over the weekends. When I was there during the week, Michelle was always asking Nicole questions about how it was in California. It was about two weeks when I was over Xavier’s house on a Friday night trying to figure out what movie we wanted to see, and Nicole came in his room while we were talking about it.

“Hey what’s up Regina” she said as she stood in the doorway

“What, you guys going to a movie?”

“Yeah… she wants to watch ‘Air America’… but we still haven’t seen ‘Days of Thunder’, and that’s supposed to have been the NEXT movie for two months” he said agitated, sorry I didn’t wanna watch a stupid racing movie.

“Mel Gibson though!” I protested.

“Stupid Movie though” his best come-back

“What happened to us going to the club one day?” Nicole cut off me and Xavier’s back and forth cycle.

“I’m not going to a club tonight” Xavier said before falling back onto the bed and picking up the remote

“Well, let us take your car…” she starts to smile and then comes in the room and pokes Xavier on his belly as he’s still laying down “… come on COUSIN!! I can drive”

“Nah” he sits upright and playfully bats Nicole’s hand away “Nicki you haven’t driven in New York, you’re dealing with a whole different kind of driver… you wouldn’t know how to deal with it”

“Damn X, you keep saying I can’t do nothing ‘cause I’m a California girl… I can handle myself”

“Well, I may not be as worried about you right now… I’m more worried about my car” Xavier kinda smirks to Nicole before he turns his head back to the TV.

“So I’m just stuck in Jersey on the weekends, or I gotta take the subway… by myself? Just to have some fun”

She was seriously obsessed with exploring the city apparently. She had a sad look on her face at first, but then it looked like she was plotting something in her head, then she started to smile.

“You know… I guess I can go by myself” she said

“What stop on the train has all the good clubs?” she asked us while it looked like she was still mapping out something in her head.

“What kinda music do you want to dance to?” Xavier asked her while still paying attention to trying to find a show to watch on TV

“I don’t know… I guess like ‘Groove is in the Heart’…” She said, and started to sing out the chorus while dancing “… or like Neneh Cherry? They play that out here I know”

“Yeah, I think Manhattan has some clubs like that. My homie Marcos hits up the clubs all the time”

“Oh really?” She asked coming back to reality for a minute “Call him, I’ll go with him”

“Yeah right, I’m not sending my little girl cousin anywhere with Marcos” he said and then started to laugh.

“Why?”

“Because…” I started to reply “… Xavier let’s all go, all four of us” he didn’t seem to like the idea

“Is Marcos some kind of ‘Cassanova’ wannabe?” Nicole asked, with a smile, like she figured it out.

“Yeah, major.” I responded

She smacks her lips. “Don’t worry about that. I just need a ride”

“NO! You not going with Marcos” Xavier blurts out

“Well as long as he’s not a rapist… you don’t have a rapist friend do you X?” she said in a smart ass tone. Xavier didn’t respond.

“I just wanna go out”

“Come on let’s go with her Xavier. Let’s just go to the movies out there at least… She’s not from here, she just wants to see the big apple”

“Thank You Regina! That’s all… yeah let’s watch ‘Pretty Woman’” she said enthusiastically “… or… I’ll even watch ‘Days of Thunder’”

“Really?” he puts the remote down “is that cool with you G?”

“Yeah I guess, as long as she doesn’t have to go by herself” I said, trying to compromise.

 

So we went out, and Xavier was mad that he had to drive across the bridge so he really wasn’t talking to anybody on the way there. Nicole was singing along to the radio pretty much when the car started. Every track was “her song”, unless she hadn’t heard it before than it was “oooh… I LIKE THIS”. Janet Jackson ‘Alright’ came on the radio.

“OH MY GOD! Regina don’t you LOVE this video” she shouted from the backseat of Xavier’s Bronco.

“YEAH” I got a little over-excited with my response, but I REALLY DID like the video “I Love the part when she’s doing the hopscotch with those kids”

“Hey. I think she’s having a show out here soon isn’t she?” Nicole’s tone turning more serious.

“Yeah It’s sold out though. I wanted to go”

“Let’s GO! I saw her in Oakland this summer. It was like, sooo FRESH”

“Go for WHAT?” Xavier piped in.

“Wasn’t nobody talking to you CUZ. But we can go and try to get scalped tickets. That’s what my cousins did in San Jose and they sat closer than me”.

“Who did you go with?” I asked, really interested in her concert story. I hadn’t been to many

“My sister, we had so much fun. I was trying to get a drink, but they wouldn’t let me. That’s before I got my fake ID though” she laughed.

“How old is your sister?”

“She’s a year younger than me… we had on our little ‘Rhythm Nation’ outfits. I think I have pictures here… I’ll show you when we get back”

“Okay”

“But we should go. The scalpers start to sell tickets for cheaper once the show starts. We could get half off tickets and get in before she even starts singing” she said super excited about the idea of going again.

“I’d go” I said impulsively, not even thinking about it “I mean… It’s Janet! She does all her songs from ‘Control’?”

“Oh Hell Yeah… It is so awesome”

She went on to tell me all about the concert and everything. Than we talked about the kind of music she liked, which was just about everything. “I like Roxette, she’s cool” she would say, or “I hella love to dance to like, BBD and MC Hammer”, “oh yeah, and Depeche Mode is awesome”… “I had the biggest crush on Slick Rick, like I wanted to be his female rap partner. I wrote little rap’s to all his song that I could rap as a girl. So stupid”.

Then, once we got to the city we talked all the way through Xavier trying to find a parking spot, and then once we got on the street she started asking me all these questions. Pretty much “have you ever eaten here?” “Ooooh, have you guys ever been to one the big plays?” “Have you been to THIS club? It looks cool”, and unfortunately I hadn’t, and Xavier hated to be out so he thought she was dumb for even asking.

“Aren’t you glad you didn’t come out there alone?” I asked her once Xavier started walking ahead of us in a little boy hissy fit way.

She looked at me and smiled “Yeah… at least for the first time I am.”

“But…” she added, kind of changing her expression into a more serious one “… I’m probably gonna end up coming out here a lot by myself anyway. And not even just for school… because…” she looked at me for a second, smirked, and changed the subject“… but thanks for making Xavier come with us tonight. Thanks for sticking up for me”

“Oh it’s no big deal Nicole”

“You can call me Nicki” she said as her eyes caught some OTHER fascinating New York building.

So we all went to see ‘Days of Thunder’, and it was stupid, but Xavier was happy. And Nicki was happy to see the city. And I was happy to be able to call her Nicki.

 

From that night on, me and Nicki started to become closer. I would go over to see Xavier and I’d end up being bored with him just wanting to lay down and watch sports, so me and Nicki would watch videos and listen to music once she was done studying. She’d talk about her day in New York City, and I’d talk about my day at the video store down the street.

“And then this pervert tried to grab all these other movies real quick, because he saw that it was a girl behind the counter. Like I wasn’t gonna see the porno underneath all the little kid movies he picked up” I recalled one day

Nicki laughed loud “ARE YOU SERIOUS! What kid movies?”

“‘Cinderella’” I responded, starting to laugh, Nicki bust out laughing louder

“That’s hilarious… well, maybe he has a thing for animated chicks too… you never know”

“Yeah, there are so many crazy guys out here it’s ridiculous…” I started to wonder, since she’d been on the east coast for almost two months at that point I asked “… so have you met any guys worth talking about here?”

She stopped watching MTV long enough to turn around and give me a look. The look of ‘are you kidding?’

“I don’t really see anybody worth looking at really” she said as she began to stand up, she was gonna try to copy the dance moves to the new Paula Abdul video.

“Really?” I was surprised at the comment “You’re in the big city, that’s where all the cuties are”

“Well…” she looks at me for a second before she started mimicking the choreography from ‘Coldhearted’ “… at school, I’m around a bunch of just horny white boys who just want that ‘Latin fling’. And then…” she stopped dancing at this point “… I guess I’m only really at school. I’m like, there all day and then in the library studying. And then I come here…”

“Oh, that’s true. We gotta find you a man!” I said

“Why?” she sits down on the floor

“Well… what?” I was really shocked at her statement, why WOULDN’T she want a man? “You don’t… want… a man??” I asked, perplexed

“No, not really. Boyfriends are too distracting. I gotta focus on school.”
“Wow, you’re kind of a nerd huh?” I joked, giggling

“Shut up. No!” she said, smiling back at me

“Well… have you ever had a boyfriend?”

“Sure” she said, but then looked as if she was going to say something else and she started figuring out something in her head.

“Well, I guess not really” she said

“What do you mean?”

“It’s never been… like, a boyfriend really”

“Are you… a virgin?”

“No. but, I never like, have been with a guy for that long. Maybe a month, but then I get bored you know”

“No, explain yourself girl” I said smirking

“Well, when I was 14 I had a crush on this one guy at school, and we hung out for like two weeks. But then this girl, this white girl who lived on the block kind of stole him…”

“Was he white?” I asked

“No he was black”

“Okay” I nodded for her to finish her story

“So yeah… So than, I guess when I was 15 I started hanging out with one of my cousin’s friends. He didn’t go to the same school or anything so it was better. And I had sex with him. But, he got too… He was like wanting me to cut class to be around him all the time you know. And I broke up with him…”

“He was Puerto Rican?”

“Well, he was Mexican”

“Okay, and was that the last one?”

“Well, Okay” she laughs with a devious smile before she continues “This is kinda scandalous. But in high school senior year, there was this Latin dude. He was like Cuban I think. Anyway, he was like a football player and really cute and all the little white girls at my school were just like, in love with him. And the white bitch that took my first boyfriend away from me… I like, talked her into asking him out. And then when they started dating, I got together with him just to piss her off” She started to laugh

“Girl. That’s cold”

“Come one!! It was senior year, I had all easy classes at that point. I was bored” she giggles “besides, It was some sweet revenge. Plus she wouldn’t have wanted him anyway, he was so stupid”

“Well, what kind of guys do you like?” I asked winking my eyes

“Girl… I’m not going to tell you if you’re going to try to set up something. I’m not interested right now”

“I bet you won’t be saying that when you’re in a room with some cute boys at the club or something”

“You might be right” she laughed.

 

And sure enough. There was the one cute boy that broke her down. Of course, this was several months after that conversation. Me and Nicki spent so much time together in the fall, that people started to think I had dumped Xavier for her. We did start to do the club thing more often, after all the whining so much about it. We would normally drink with Xavier and he would pass out the quickest, and we’d just sneak his car out. She actually didn’t mind the driving. I think she actually got off on speeding.

500fullWe went and saw the Janet Jackson show. Which was amazing to me. And still Nicki always would catch my eye. The girl knew ALL the dance moves, and she wasn’t scared of screaming at the top of her lungs and singing louder than Janet herself. She stood on her chair a couple of times to do the dance moves. She was really fun. She was like that at the clubs too. She’d dance and sing along, and since she was so pretty all the guys would be staring at us when we were dancing together.

Me and Xavier shouldn’t have worried about her handling herself amongst all the sweet talkers at the club because she was a shit talker. Any guy who came up with some tired rap, she was always quick to point out any flaws in their game.

“Why do you talk to guys like that? You don’t get scared?” I asked her one night, when we were eating breakfast after club hopping in Brooklyn.

“Why not? Why do they talk to me like that?” She responded scarfing down a cheddar cheese omelet.

“Gina, it’s like… we’re pretty. All they expect from pretty girls is for us to be like… airheads, and boy crazy. It’s good to shock them sometimes… keep them on their toes so they stop using the same lines.”

“Well, you’re pretty” I said, because I always felt a little insecure being around her. She’s 5’8” and less than 100 pounds, me on the other hand. I’m 5’3” and whatever I weigh, it’s all in my hips and my ass. I always assumed when I hung out with her that I was bringing her stock down.

“Girl shut up” she said “don’t even try to act like you’re not pretty”

“Well, I guess I don’t really worry about it anymore since I got Xavier”

“Well, without Xavier. You’re pretty Gina.”

“You’re pretty too”

“I KNOW” she said and started to laugh as soon as she was done.

“That’s why I’m saying” she finished “these boys aren’t nothing to me. If anything I’ll hang out with guys, but I don’t want to have a boyfriend. I don’t wanna forget I’m pretty”

Nicki was right. At the time I was so in love, still I just thought she was trying to hide the fact that she had a real crush or something. But for a long time we would go to the clubs, and she would just actually ‘hang out’ with guys like she said. Of course, there were guys she would think were hot… but once they approached her she became uninterested. Either it was “he’s so stupid” or “I bet he’s married”, even the occasional “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” to be blunt and direct to the guy. Once she became a regular in the clubbing scene, a lot of the guys that tried to get into her pants and didn’t succeed started to befriend her. They’d follow us to the breakfast spots, and she’d talk to them just like she was one of the boys. And they treated her like one.

And then, I think it was love at first sight. Nicki laid eyes on Bobby. It was at a club, and Nicki and me were double dancing with her friend Franco from the club and his brother Sonny. Bobby came to say hello to the brothers, and Nicki’s jaw literally dropped. To the point where I had to grab her hand and walk away with her because she was staring so much. And rightfully so, Bobby was fine. He was about 6’3”, he had a nice big chest and shoulders, but his body kind of tapered in to his thinner lower body. And he had like smoky brown eyes, though his eye lids were almost shut closed, probably because he was smoking weed. And he had these luscious lips. He was Cuban and Italian, but all Nicki knew was she wanted him.

“Ooooh, I want him Gina” I was surprised she actually admitted it to me, but then again she had a lot of White Russians that night.

“He’s cute. Have Franco introduce you” I offered

“Yeah…” she said, we were sitting down in a small booth in the corner of the club “… but watch, once he opens up his mouth to talk to me, I’m gonna find out he’s a big fucking loser”

She actually didn’t really talk to him that night. Franco introduced him, and they exchanged ‘hello’s’ but they went back to their respective homes that night. But that didn’t mean she stopped talking about him.

“I was totally daydreaming about Bobby all day in class today” she confided in me over pizza slices next door to my video store job, she had met me at the video store on her way home that day.

“Well… he IS your boyfriend right?” this was about two weeks after they met.

“I talked to him, a couple days ago. Franco gave him my number” She said, almost upset about the whole thing. Like she had made a mistake in bringing up the conversation.

“And … do you like him still?” I asked, poking her sides

“Yeah… yeah I do… I hate it” She said as she took the last bite of her pepperoni and bell pepper slice. “I hate that I like him so much” she finished while chewing the pizza.

“Does he like you?”

“I guess, he called me. But, like… I wish I could pretend to not like him. I mean I guess it’s obvious because I’m smiling all in his face and laughing at all his jokes when he comes around here”

“He comes around here?” I asked, not knowing this part of the story

“Well you know Franco lives a block away from us. And… like… okay…” she said, with that devilish grin on her face

“… so don’t think I’m crazy… but I was out on the street pretending I was cleaning up the porch, and I was really checking to see when he was going to stop by, because Franco said he sees him every day. Their kinda like brothers. They are hella close.”

“HELLA close?” I mocked

“Shut up Ms. I-Don’t-Understand-Californian” she jokes “but anyway, so he came by one day… and I walked over to Franco’s house and you know… acted like I was all surprised to see him.”

I laughed “You’re stupid!”

“Bobby’s FINE” she smiled and then started to laugh al little.

“So did you guys talk?”

“Yeah… we smoked weed. And then we were watching some videos.”

“Well no wonder you were laughing at all his jokes… Hey, I remember that night. That night you kept staring at the stars on my name tag huh?”

“I don’t remember!” She huffed “Anyway… help me with this Bobby thing. I don’t want to like him as much as I do”

“Well, I can’t help you there girl. Has he asked you out?”

“Yeah, but you know… I told him because of school I can’t really do anything on the weekdays, so we are supposed to do something this weekend”

“Well, maybe you’ll have a bad first date?”

“No, I think he’s gonna be a good date. And besides, I still can’t get over smiling at him. No matter what he does or says, I’m gonna be like… acting like one of his biggest fans”

“Really? You got it that bad for him?”

“Girl… in class, every time I thought of him I couldn’t help but smile. And he’s like… funny, but smart enough, like… he has opinions about stuff. And he’s so fine. God! I hate this.”

“Well… if you like him, and he likes you… than there’s no problem. Once you guys are out together long enough. You’ll get over it”

“You think so?”

“Yeah” I responded as I finished my slice, and we headed out.

She didn’t necessarily get over it, but after that date those two were inseparable. Whenever they were together, Nicki held his hand tight with a big smile on her face, and when he wasn’t around all she did was talk about him. He lived in Brooklyn, and he went to an Aeronautic Academy in the city so they were almost always together. She told me they regularly had lunch together. When she was done studying at the library, they would hang out in the city, going to movies or restaurants or wherever.

She was with him so much that I started seeing less and less of her. We would have the occasional double date, and Bobby would come to Jersey every now and again to hang out with his cousin and his friends. They mainly stayed over the bridge though. She spent the night at him and his brother’s house often. She always would call me though, and we’d compare stories about how happy we were with our men, or how bored depending on the night. Not much had really changed on my end though. I was still with Xavier, and we talked about moving in together every night. He was really comfortable living with his dad though, that was his idol. So I don’t think he was ever really serious about moving in, but it was still fun to dream about it. I guess I wasn’t as serious about it either to be honest, I was really comfortable at home with my mom and my little 12 year old sister. Even though three Puerto Rican women in one house can be crazy.

Like my little sister, Angela, she was a bitch in training. One of those who was always into something, and when she thought she would get into trouble she lied on me. And my mom was still in love with our dad who walked out on us when I was 8. She loved him still even though he didn’t want anything to do with her. My mom always sided with Angela because she favored our dad. So things weren’t always great, for me, at my house. I was comfortable there in the sense that I grew up there, and I paid little to no rent, but my living situation is the reason I always chose to hang out over Xavier’s house rather than go home. I went home when they were all asleep.

Though, when I was at Xavier’s house all we did was watch TV. Xavier was never the outgoing type. He worked as a landscaper for some Country Club out here for sometimes 10 hours, and then he would come home and want to relax. His sister, Michelle, was a little character. She was really funny, but bordered on obnoxious at times. But as she got older, she spent more and more time with her little girlfriends. Xavier’s dad was always at work, and his mom was sweet but all she ever talked about was soap operas. So when Nicki came, I got a girlfriend again. I hadn’t really kept in touch with any of the girls from High School. I mean, most of them were bitches anyway, and I noticed how fake most of my so-called friends were when I got together with Xavier. I guess from my Junior year until the end of High School, I pretty much stayed to myself. I was always glad I had Xavier though, because I could always talk to him about my little High School problems.

Nicki became a girlfriend quickly for me because I hadn’t had a girl I could talk about girl stuff with in a long time. And I think Nicki thought the same of me too, because she didn’t have many girlfriends in California. She said she didn’t get along with any of the girls from her High School, she went to a private school and most of the students were white. She said they would always try to act like they were better than her, so she just focused on being better than them in school. So she didn’t have friends, she just had competitors. She told me most of her good friends back in school were the guys, because boys were the only ones she could even tolerate.

So we both kind of needed each other at that time. She started to come back to Xavier’s house in Jersey around Christmas time. She said that she couldn’t understand how we deal with the snow out here. So we spent a lot of time together during the holidays. And on New Year’s Eve that year, me, her, Xavier and Bobby went to the city to see the ball drop and bring in 1991.hqdefault

During the spring time, her being a California girl and all, Nicki absolutely could not stand the snow. So she always wanted to be home in front of a good heater, which Bobby didn’t have in his little apartment. So Bobby ended up spending more time in Jersey with us. Him and Xavier got along well, which meant that sometimes they’d be watching sports in Xavier’s room and me and Nicki would be singing Mariah Carey songs or dishing about our boyfriends. All four of us had gotten so tight, that me and Nicki started to dream up the perfect double wedding. With her still doing well in school, Bobby being on the verge of graduating and becoming a pilot, their relationship didn’t seem to interfere with their goals. And with her in Jersey more, I had my girlfriend back. Everything was working like a well-oiled machine. We were all there for each other, and that Spring was one of the best I’d ever had.

 

© 2014 Hannibal Alexander

#FICTIONFriday “Call It A Night” : CREATIVE WRITING

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It’s Friday, and you know what that means. New Fiction from the Kid, that would be me, Hannibal.
I’m posting three pieces of Fiction today, and this first one is the very first Creative Writing project I shared in public. In 2005, I had a Fiction Writing class and this was the first one I had the class read and critique, and they liked it. When I wrote it, I didn’t know where it was going to go, it was just a project to try to get a character from Point A to Point B and keep it interesting somehow. Later on, I added a second portion to it, but today is just the first part which is very close to how it was presented to the class.
When I was editing it last night, I really enjoyed it. It’s a little quirky and cynical, like me, so I think it’s a great representation of my literary voice. But you be the judge of all that. ENJOY!!

 

Call It A Night” by Hannibal Alexander

“You know, I kinda wanna die tonight”

“What?” Alex blurts out in response.

Stocked-bar“I’m just feeling like the only way I’ll ever be happy is to just… die”

Those are the best words I could come up with, and I know that they weren’t the best. Not that it even matters, Alex doesn’t care, which is part of the reason I blurted it out. The biggest reason being that I had way too many drinks already. Alex has had a lot too, but that’s not the reason he doesn’t care. He just doesn’t care about anything concerning me. I mean we go to the bar sometimes after work, like right now, and we do talk a lot at work. But he’s older than me by about 9 years. He has a family. He has his own shit to think about. So I guess I can’t blame him for his lack of concern. I can’t even pretend to pay attention when my little 12 year old brother is talking, so I can’t blame him for not wanting to hear a 24 year olds celebration of death speech.

“Yeah” he says sarcastically as he takes another swig from his beer. And I think he rolled his eyes while he turned his head away from me to get the attention of the bartender.

“Are you getting suicidal on me now?”

“No, I‘m not going to kill myself” Am I? I take a sip of my Vodka tonic and pull out a cigarette from my pack that’s laying on the bar. No I’m probably not.

“Well good, I didn’t want to have to worry about your crazy ass on top of everything else I gotta deal with”

“well… Thanks! ?” I say, not really sure I should have even said anything.

“But, do you know what I mean though.” I say, unsure of why I’m continuing to stress some point that I didn’t even make clear. I guess it’s more interesting than talking crap about our boss, like we do all day or any other time work guys are out with me. They are so boring, I hope I never ever get that way.

“Man” he says, as if he’s about to give me some big motivational, life changing speech.

“Life sucks. Deal with it” He shakes his head while he chuckles and pays the bartender for his beer.

“Damn man your genius” I say sarcastically.

“No man, just… lighten up. You been out of it all week. Try to have some fun… Hey! Go buy some new clothes. You always like doing that and coming into work and showing off” he starts to laugh. And in my defense, it’s not that I show off. It’s that those guys at work have such a good time ragging on me for paying attention to my looks. Alex is always lecturing me about how much money I spend on clothes. His lectures are so condescending, like I don’t know that I should save more money, or like I didn’t know anything about managing my money. Well, I guess I really didn’t. And, I guess I still don’t. Point is, I have a dad to lecture me already. I don’t need two.

“Shut up. And, I don’t have any money to do that”

“Get some shampoo, wash that long hair” he says and starts to bust out laughing “Make it all shiny”

What’s his problem? “What’s your problem?” I blurt out. That’s another thing, they love making fun of my hair at work. I’d swear those guys were jealous of me or something.

“I’m just joking man, but what else do you want me to say?”

“I just thought you were gonna give me some great advice or something, and your just making fun of me … as usual”
“Josh, be creative. You’re a young a guy you can think of something stupid to get into.”

“With who though”

“Oh god! Okay so I thought this was us going to get drinks after work. Not a Joshua Banks pity party. Because I probably wouldn’t have come”

“I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to make it that.”

“Well you did kid.” I hate that, when people refer to me as “KID”. I’m practically a grown man. Practically.

“But I gotta go” he says as he chugs the last of his fifth beer down. “It’s already 7, and my sister in law and her husband are over.”

Alex gets up off of his bar stool and puts his jacket on, and begins to walk towards the entrance.

“Are you staying here? Or you gonna walk with me to the bus?” Alex asks me, stopping in his tracks waiting for my answer.

“Yeah, I think I’ll have another drink or two. There’s nothing to do at home right now”

“Alright man… well, lighten up I’ll see you at work Monday right?”

“No. I’m off on Monday, I’ll be there Sunday though”

“Damn, Sunday. Well, you said you don’t have nothing to do at home anyway so… I guess I’ll see you Tuesday”

“Alright, I’ll talk to you than”

 

Alex makes his way through the crowd in the hole in the wall bar. The place is packed, but now that Alex is gone I feel all alone and out of place. I know a few of the people in here, mainly just by their faces. A lot of us from work have come here time and time again, and some of these guys are friends of my co-workers. But I barely remember them, and I’m sure they don’t remember me.

The bartender comes and clears out Alex’s area, clears his beer from the bar.

“You want another one” she says to me, pointing to my drink that’s almost done.

“Sure” I say, maybe I should try to drink myself silly. Alcohol poisoning, or maybe I’ll get so drunk that I’ll stumble into a car or something? At least I’ll be lifted before I “go”. Or, maybe not. I’ll probably just end up barfing my insides out. I hate being sloppy drunk because it’s like I have no control over what comes out of my mouth, or what I do with my body. And I’d rather not revisit that feeling tonight.

The bartender comes with my drink, I smile. I should go. But, I take a sip of my drink. It’s not that the drink is so strong, but I kind of gag once I swallow. I basically just scared myself by thinking of throwing up, so I start to get ready to go. I put my cigarettes in my pocket and get up. I put on my big, old winter jacket that I used to love, but am a little embarrassed to be wearing now. I grab some cash to pay for the drink, and throw in a little tip. I head out.

On my way out of the smoky little dive bar I notice some dude that is a good friend of one of my co-workers. We’ve actually hung out and conversed at this bar before. I forget his name, and don’t really care to remember it right now. I’m actually trying to dodge out of here even quicker so he won’t notice me. But he’s standing almost right by the entrance talking to some people so it might be hard. Hopefully he doesn’t really remember me, or maybe he wants to avoid me just as much as I want to avoid him tonight.

Unfortunately…

“Hey JOSH”

… he doesn’t.

I walk up to him, an average height, average weight, average looking white dude who looks like he wears the same average thing every time I see him. A boring brownish polo shirt and cargo pants. I mean, cargo pants? Who wears cargo pants anymore? I give him a hand slap and suddenly remember his name is Larry.cargo

“Whatsup” I say, not looking at him, but at his four guy friends he’s hanging with tonight.

“Hey nothing much… what you been up to man?”

“Same ol same ol, work, go home, go to sleep and do it all over again” My typical response in the ‘I don’t really want to talk to you, and you really don’t want to talk to me so let’s just end this… soon’ situation.

“I hear you… How late did you work today?” He asks

“I just got off an hour ago, but…” I gotta end this … NOW! “… I pulled a 12 hour shift, I’m hella tired man.” And I try to show tired on my face, but I’m pretty sure it looks like I’m faking it.

“You on your way out” He asks, just noticing I have my big jacket on.

“Yeah… I’ll catch up with you later I’m sure”

“Alright than Josh…” He quickly turns back to his friends, to talk about me like a dog I’m sure. Or maybe not. Whatever it is, I don’t care because I’m going home.

I walk out of the bar, go left up the block and now I’m on the main street where everybody is having fun. Coming from or going the movies, out to eat or just even enjoying each other’s company. I become disturbingly overwhelmed by the fact that I’m alone, and all of a sudden I can’t wait to get home. I look around, and see about three couples walking past me. I hate seeing couples when I’m single. I see the groups of high school and college guys just having fun and laughing at what seems to be nothing in particular. I’m wondering, if I went over there and just started talking shit to them like a crazy person, what they would do? If they happen to be crazier than I’m pretending to be they might try to jump me, Hmmm. Oh well, they wouldn’t kill me. I’d have to go in the middle of some gang land for that. I’d probably just get arrested if I started anything with these guys.

downtownberk_nightI walk up the main street. No particular place to go, just seeing what happens. I’m still hoping there’s a chance I’ll haphazardly walk into some fatal accident. Fatal and quick. And painless. That kinda stuff happens every day. I guess. I mean I don’t have any statistics, but I’m sure there have to be a lot of freak accidents, like a loose electrical wire that fries somebody. Or like a slab of concrete falling 50 feet from some construction site. That would be wonderful right now.

“Josh” I hear somebody shout while I’m daydreaming about death. It’s my little cousin, who’s running towards me.

“Derek, what’s up? What you doing out here?”

“I just met up with some of my friends… Damn that’s a nice jacket cousin”

Is he serious? “Are you serious? This piece of shit”

“No serious, I was looking for one like that the other day. They don’t make them like that no more, when did you get it?”

“I don’t know a couple of years ago” Two to be exact.

“No wonder” he says, sounding a little disappointed that he can’t dress like his cool older cousin. Yeah right.

“So what are you guys doing, watching a movie or something?” I ask, it looks like he left about three guys to come and talk to me. They are sitting by the bus stop area.

“No, we’re going to this party tonight. You wanna come”

“A high school party?” I say, I hope I didn’t show too much in my voice, but I’m pretty mad he invited me to hang out with kids.

“Well, yeah. I mean, it’s a party for his cousin. Her 20th

“She cute?” I ask, not really caring. Even if she was cute, she’s probably not cute enough for me. And she probably already has a boyfriend or something like all the rest of the good ones. I’m not going to no party tonight no matter what

“I guess” which means no.

“You guess?”

“Man, come on. Mitch is gonna be there” He says, practically begging now. Mitch is his friend from high school who is like the 17 year old version of who I am now. Fun to hang around when I’m in the mood to be entertained by teenagers, but I’m definitely not in one of those moods tonight.

“Tell him I said, hey. But I’m sorry cousin I can’t go tonight”

“What you got to do?”

“Nothing, and that includes partying”
“Man, why are you acting like that all the time man. You used to be fun”
“Cousin. I got work, you’ll understand when you get to be my age.”

“I hope not” He looks away, pretty irritated by me now, he looks over to his friends who are signaling him

“Oh I think my bus is coming. You sure you don’t want to come?”

“No, have fun. I’ll see you around.”
“Alright” he runs off and catches up with his friends.

Maybe I should have gone, but who cares. I wouldn’t have had any fun anyway. I feel like I’m not capable of being any fun tonight.

I’ll just go home. I take out my pack of cigarettes and light one up. This is a guaranteed 10 years off my life right here. Too bad it doesn’t kill me quicker. Damn, I hate being in these depressions. I can’t enjoy anything, not even my cigarettes. Only thing I love to do is go to sleep. That’s what I need, to sleep for about 10 years and then just to wake up, aware. And hopefully happy.

But for right now, I’m gonna take the pathetic bus to my little pathetic house. I’ll probably make a little pathetic snack and let my TV watch me fall asleep. There are still a lot of people on the streets, but I guess a bus just passed because there’s only this fat little dorky guy sitting down on the bench. I sit down at the bus stop, still puffing the last of my cigarette. Thinking if I want to chain smoke, it always seems like a good idea when I’m drunk. But I reconsider.

Oh what the hell. I’ll probably be waiting forever for the bus. I light another cigarette with the cherry from my last one and start to drag. What a boring ass life I have, going home on a Friday night and it’s not even 8pm. I just want so badly to just be put out of my misery. But, like for everything else I want, I guess I’m gonna have to wait. Alex hit it on the nail. Life sucks.

 

© 2014 Hannibal Alexander

Top 115 Albums of All Time (Part Four, 50-26) : MY FAVORITES

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Okay folks, we are finally coming to the end of this incredibly ambitious Blog project of mine. I probably should have just listed the albums (and movies) but I wanted to write little snippets of information about each album. Foolish. Still, this has been a fun project and I hope you all are enjoying it. The plan is to post the Final Top 25 Albums this coming Wednesday, so enjoy this right now and try to guess who might be in the Highest echelon of my Favorite Albums.

 

50. Parliament “Mothership Connection”

George Clinton and company deliver a funky groove filled album with their debut. The lyrics are kooky as shit, but it’s the overall groove and vibe of the album that makes clear their stamp on the music industry.

Best: Mothership Connection (Star Child), Give Up The Funk, P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)

 

49. The Doors “The Best of The Doors”

The Doors have a pretty amazing discography and I recommend checking out their individual albums, but this collection does a good job of giving listeners the highlights of a Legendary group.

Best: Light My Fire, Love Me Two Times, People Are Strange

 

snoop-doggy-dogg-doggystyle48. Snoop Dogg “Doggystyle”

Now a Hip Hop Classic, this album delivered on all the Snoop Dogg hype that was building. He delivered an album that was hilarious, dramatic, and ultimately timeless.

Best: Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None), What’s My Name (Who Am I), Gin and Juice

 

47. Coldplay “Viva la Vida”

Coldplay became really popular really fast with their melancholy pop sounds, but this is the finest of their very impressive discography. It has a great balance of sounds, but all of the songs work together so perfectly.

Best: Lost, Viva La Vida, Lovers in Japan

 

46. Curtis Mayfield “Superfly”

A perfect album that does a great job of translating the feeling of the film “Superfly” without sacrificing the idea of making great and undeniable music. This soundtrack actually has become more Legendary than the movie and it’s really no surprise, it’s just that good.

Best: Give Me Your Love, Freddie’s Dead, Little Child Runnin Wild

 

45. Drake “Take Care”

Drake’s second album was so chill, and it showed the world more of what he was capable of in his rapping, singing and songwriting. Read my original review here.

Best: Underground Kings, Marvin’s Room, Shot For Me

 

44. Beyonce “BEYONCE”

The greatness of this album is best described in my blog review of it : It’s a masterpiece for Beyoncé because it collects all of the things musically we have come to love from her. The album elevates all of these bits of Beyoncé the artist with excellent production value and the singer feeling more at ease and deservedly confident.  ”BEYONCÉ” is really a fully realized version of who Beyoncé has become as an artist.

Best: Drunk In Love, XO, Mine

 

the_strokes_is_this_it_us43. The Strokes “Is This It?”

The energy of this album is so infectious, and The Strokes’ debut album is one of the best of the 2000’s because the overall flow of the very hyped and gritty Alternative album is amazing, easy to just put on and get into the groove… and repeat.

Best: Someday, Is This It, Last Nite

 

42. Daft Punk “Homework”

The debut from one of my all-time favorite acts, it’s strange and repetitive but ultimately funky and an album that broke ground.

Best: Around the World, Revolution 909, Fresh

 

41. Justin Timberlake “Justified”

On Timberlake’s debut, he channels his inner-Michael Jackson over Neptunes and Timbaland produced beats, but he does enough vocally to make it his own sound. A really fun, upbeat, dance-inducing album from front to back.

Best: Cry Me A River, Take it from There, Lets Take a Ride

 

40. Stevie Wonder “Innervisions”

We know how much of a genius Stevie is already, but this is truly a genius album. It flows well and it tells a great story throughout the songs of culture and poverty and love and loneliness. Amazing piece of work.

Best: Living for the City, Golden Lady, Too High

 

39. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot “Da Real World”

Missy’s second album is darker than most of her material, and because it was such a different sound for her it was pretty amazing. This actually includes some of her all-time best material and stands strong all these years later.

Best: She’s a Bitch, U Can’t Resist, You Don’t Know

 

mariahmemoirsfeat38. Mariah Carey “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel”

This album was so underrated, but it stands as one of my favorites because Mariah seems so confident in who she is and her real personality seems to come across on this album more so than any previous album. It’s fun, it’s heartfelt, it’s confessional, it’s comedic, and it plays well from the beginning to end.

Best: HATEU, Up Out My Face, Inseparable

 

37. Phoenix “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”

This is a great band who definitely have their own sound, and this album is so infectious and well produced and written, it’s a great showcase for their talent.

Best: Lasso, 1901, Girlfriend

 

36. Al Green “I’m Still in Love with You”

Mr. Green has never been my favorite R&B Icon, but once I got my hands on this full album I deemed it a true R&B classic. It’s so romantic and soulful, and it’s put together so well.

Best: Simply Beautiful, Love and Happiness, Look What You Done For Me

 

35. TLC “CrazySexyCool

No need in getting into how huge of a TLC fan I was, it’s best just to say that this album was highly anticipated and did not disappoint in delivering a funky, quirky, sexy, contemporary R&B Classic.

Best: Creep, Waterfalls, Sumthin Wicked This Way Comes

 

34. Lauryn Hill “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”

All the praise this album got was definitely deserved as the Fugees star stepped out on her own and dominated the charts and the industry with her R&B and Hip Hop opus. It’s a great piece of work, so much so that people are STILL waiting on her to release a proper follow up.

Best: Doo Wop (That Thing), To Zion, Nothing Even Matters

 

33. The Beatles “Revolver”

This is when the Legendary Beatles really took off as visionary songwriters and producers, it’s a lot more experimental and basically ushered in a new sound to the masses. By the way, did you read my #FridayFiction from last week? “Revolver” is a big part of it.

Best: Taxman, I’m Only Sleeping, Tomorrow Never Knows

 

32. Janet Jackson “The Velvet Rope”

A tad darker and a lot more sexual than her previous work, Janet’s sixth album is a well-rounded piece of work that is very versatile with emotional highs and lows throughout.

Best: Got Til It’s Gone, Empty, Go Deep

 

santigoldfrontcoverrgb-lores31. Santigold “Santigold”

An Amazing debut album, that is so fresh and different that it’s hard to find words to describe it’s awesomeness. It’s bound to become classic.

Best: Starstruck, Shove It, Unstoppable

 

30. Prince “Dirty Mind”

On his third album, Prince decided to take the risk and be himself. His grungy, overly sexual, and rebellious self and music listeners around the world loved it. This is such a great and shocking album, but overall it’s a really fun listen that shows his diversity as an artist.

Best: When You Were Mine, Dirty Mind, Uptown

 

29. The Doors “The Doors”

A classic debut album from an amazing group, it’s funky, psychedelic, thought provoking, and just overall a great piece of work.

Best: Light My Fire, Take It As It Comes, Twentieth Century Fox

 

28. D’Angelo “Brown Sugar”

This is what you might call an instant classic, from the second it was released it was something so timeless and perfect that nobody could resist its R&B Genius.

Best: Alright, Lady, Me and Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine

 

27. Mariah Carey “Rainbow”

This album is great for it’s diversity, and for having some of my all-time favorite Mariah songs included. There are amazing ballads (“Against All Odds”, “After Tonight”), some sexiness (“Bliss”), and lots of uptempo R&B/Hip Hop cuts (“Heartbreaker”, “Ex-Girlfriend”) to show the full scope of what Mariah can do.

Best: Against All Odds, Heartbreaker, Thank God I Found You

 

michael+jackson-off+the+wall26. Michael Jackson “Off the Wall”

This Disco meets R&B meets Funk meets Pop treasure shows the King of Pop at his finest. He’s fun, amazingly smooth vocals, emotional and sounding the most confident and comfortable maybe ever. The flow of the album is amazing, the songs are amazing and the artist is amazing. Read my Classic Album Review here.

Best: Off the Wall, Rock With You, Working Day and Night

 

Okay so check in this coming Wednesday for the final portion of the list. And leave comments. =)

 

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