Friday, May 20, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 29

Frederick Torse couldn’t believe it...5:30am already. He stretched out his arm, swiping with futile effort at the alarm as it buzzed just out of reach.

“Fuck.” He cursed, and slowly raised himself to a seated position. The alarm on his phone continued to ring and with one hand furiously rubbing his eyes he mashed the keypad into submission. It hurt the skin on his forehead to keep his eyes open at this stage of his morning routine so he plodded blindly through the morning twilight, feeling for the frame of the door and the cool of the bathroom tiles. He turned on the shower and took a piss as it warmed up. He opened his left eye just enough to stare through the haze of sleep dust and tangled lashes and make sure not too much of the piss was missing the bowl.

He flushed the toilet and with the grace of the Frankenstein monster he walked back to the shower and stood under its blissful stream, motionless for 5 minutes straight. He didn’t care to wash his thinning hair or thickening body, instead using the next 3 minutes to remember some of the images from the porn he watched before going to bed. His climax was rather anti-climactic but that had become his expectation over the years. What was once his shame and joy was now neither, instead just an over worked tool at his disposal for tension release and chemical induced pick-me-ups – no caffeine shot ever matched the buzz of coming.

He dried himself hastily and cursed again as he realised he had forgotten to do his washing again. He fished out a selection of used underwear and decided on the red ones which, although going in for their third tour of duty smelt better than the remaining less experienced troops. He put on his pants and work shirt and hand ironed it over the curve of his gut. He made a large bowl of cereal which boasted to be full of energy (sugar) and thought about making a sandwich before eventually deciding to get takeaway in his lunch break.

Walter Wallace - Chapter 28

Manny Holdsworth stood over his father’s still body. It barely moved but for the slight rhythmic up and down motion caused by the machine induced breathing. The lump that was his father was almost completely covered by the white bed sheets. What part of his face that could be seen looked colourless. One could be mistaken for assuming that he had been pronounced dead, but a constant reminder beeped out of the cardio monitor adjacent to them.

Manny couldn’t unravel the tangle of his emotive state; he didn’t have much desire to do so either. The hospital room was heated but the atmosphere felt cold and vacant inside, hollow, grey. He could sense himself as a third person looking on at a still from a graphic novel; the flowers in his hand the only offset of colour or life. He threw them despondently onto the seat and took a few paces to try get some feeling back in his body. He did a few semi circle laps of the bed, rotating his head in full circles to loosen the tension. After a few cracks he stopped back in the same spot he was positioned earlier: staring at his comatose father.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 27

Walter stood up rather awkwardly from his chair in the Channel 8 studios. The show had just been wrapped. He was trying to learn more industry talk (or “Indo Lingo” as the stagies liked to call it) so he could keep up with the rapid directions that were fired from all corners of the studio. He found it all a little overwhelming at times but right now he felt a little lost as nobody was actually giving him any direction on what was to happen next.

All around him the stagies were rearranging furniture and props, the audience was being ushered out - though a few were trying to bypass the ushers and get closer to Walter – and Tony Holdsworth had disappeared the instant the red light went off not even giving Walter a chance to say goodbye. He had noticed Tony acting strange in the commercial breaks, popping more pills than regular and mumbling inaudibly to himself, but Walter assumed it was all part of his routine because he was the Tony Papa Holdsworth that everyone had known for years (or in Walter’s case, days).

“Walter! Great show!” the rushed looking headsetted girl approached Walter and used her clipboard-clad hand to gently guide Walter in a general direction of her choosing. Walter had become familiarised to this gesture and understood it was designed to rush him to a certain destination without actually transferring any nervous energy to the subject. He smiled, appreciating both the silly nature of the business and his increasing knowledge of it. He felt good; back to normal and recognised this consciously. It was a strange habit he had picked up since his conversation with William Unston but he realised he simply had to accept this rather than hide from it.

Walter Wallace - Chapter 26

The show was wrapped up at around 3pm. It was due to air at 7:30pm that night – the execs had decided to refrain from live telecasts in light of the William Unston episode. Tony was already in his office. The recording couldn’t have finished soon enough. He was pacing back and forth; his hands shaking uncontrollably and giving off a steady rattling sound. He didn’t want to think anymore and popped the lid off the bottle and poured out a handful of pills. This gave off a softer rattle as he stared at the small white objects.

“Fuck!” he said, gritting his teeth and poured them back into the bottle, a couple spilling onto the ground as his shaking hands failed to synchronise. He slammed the closed bottle on his table and continued to pace, running his hands over his hair plugged head. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck! Fuck! FUUUCK!!”

It had taken all his will and control to refrain from saying that on set. Sure it wasn’t live and they could edit and censor it, but he was a pro if nothing else and the game wasn’t over no matter what that fucking worm said.