Listening to: “Sweet and Tender Hooligan” – The Smiths

OMIGOD YOU GUYS. Listen. So last night, I’m cyberetically flipping through old files in the vastly distended “Writing” folder on my computer–and I found a partially written story I was working on feverishly when I was about 14 or 15. And it is RIDICULOUS. This was during full-on, starry-eyed romantic phase. Oh the times, how they do a-change.

The thing’s about 30 pages long (untitled). And the storyline? A romance set in France during World War II in which our British, piano-playing, fedora-wearing, swing-dancing, tousley-haired protagonist gets AMNESIA after joining the Resistance and getting beaten up by Nazis on a speeding train. Will he and his tragically separated lover (on the run from the Gestapo) ever find each other again? Will they beat the Nazis, get all lovey-dovey, and meld with the high, high stars in all his tragic dreaminess? Will all the descriptions and dialogue sound they’re cribbed straight from a particularly bad, very uninformed, romance novel? Will every verb have its own adverb? Is this ripped straight from the plot of Casablanca? Oh, you bet your ass.

Some choice excerpts, for your giggling pleasure:

She gazed out across the wide expanse of the night sky, wondering if her eyes, like the stars, could somehow pierce through the curtain of darkness. This night, so silent, so still, seemed to her the only true companion.

Presently, the sound of running water not too far off entreated her ears. Her eyes fell on the nearby brook. A lone figure stood on the bridge, silhouetted in the moonlight. It was him, of course. He was there almost every night at some late hour, pacing back and forth, his thoughts full of stardust and forgotten dreams. As she watched, the figure stopped, his hands reaching out to lean on the wooden rail. The head fell forward softly, the lush hair hanging over his forehead, that beautiful hair she longed so to caress. The troubled musings that swam through his mind could perchance cascade down into the water as it ran under the bridge, leaving him at peace. They were both dreamers, she thought as she rested her elbow on the sill, hopeless dreamers.

……

“Thank you ever so much, Pierre,” said Lily gratefully as the young man handed her the box.

“Anything for you, Lily,” he responded, meeting her sorrowful gaze. He felt great pity for this beautiful, lonely, tortured woman. He kissed her hand galantly and turned to leave.

She pulled him back longingly. “No Pierre, please don’t leave me. Can’t you stay and talk for awhile?”

“You know I cannot,” he replied resolutely, “It is not safe for either of us. If the Gestapo ever found you…it is too terrible to say.”

“I know,” she replied with quiet determination,  “Thank you, Pierre. Tell Monsieur and Madam Martin that I am grateful, and I hope they are well.”

“Certainly, Lily. They send their regards also. Au revoir, and I shall see you next Tuesday.”

……

An instrumental break came, and Bentley turned to face her. Her eyes were glistening; with tears, perhaps? He couldn’t tell. Their eyes locked as they sat transfixed upon each other. His hands were still gliding over the piano. He could still hear the music he was playing but it sounded faraway somehow.

As though by a magnetic force, their heads drew closer. After what seemed like an eternity, their lips inevitably touched. He felt his fingers finally slip off the keys entirely as they moved toward her dark brown hair.

Yeah….and these days, I write about angry bitches driving cross-country and stoners fending off zombies. What a difference a decade makes.

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