Writing Exercise: the Stranger

Part Two: 200−600-word narrative involving two people and an event. First person or limited third person.

I hate these clubs, I hate these clubs, I hate these clubs.

“Sure, sweetie. I’ll be right here. Huh? Whatever you’re having.”

That’s right, set me on the carpeted Habitrail platform, go trot off into the crowd of giants, and maybe I’ll see you in five or forty minutes.

“Evening, Frank. Thanks for watching us. …I know I do, I just want you to know I appreciate it.”

He’s a good guy. I wonder what his story is. Is watching the Anthropoles in the Habitrail the shit-job around here? It’s not like we cause any trouble. Trouble seems to find us− Oh, here we go, time to scurry up into the shelter of the plastic tube.

“No, Shavonda! I’m not coming out. Janine’s here, she’ll be back any sec−… I said she’ll be here any second, so just stay away. No. Fuck you, Shavonda, get the fuck away!”

Goddamn it, Janine, where are you? Shavonda’s a goddamned case. Every time we come to this stupid place, it’s like she can smell me in the room. I don’t know if she’s really into me or if she just likes the terror she causes in me. I keep telling Janine she’s got to make sure she’s not here, if she’s gonna leave me alone like this. It’s like she doesn’t take me seriously. How many times does this exact tableau have to play out before it sinks in? Just like Thanksgiving and Fourth of July before that. No matter how many times it happens, she’s stunned every time it does. I love her, but…

“Damnit! Let go of the tubes! You’re not allowed to do this, Shavonda!”

I thought these things were glued together! What the hell kind of club is this? Oh, goddamn it, look at those little guys on the floor. Whose are they? What is this, a fucking ballpit at IKEA? You just drop off your little boyfriends and go fuck off to have a good time by yourself?

Oh, God, she’s stomping all over them. Those poor bastards. She’s fucking drunk again and just… And that could be me. Janine’s off at the bar, waiting in line, catching up with friends, and that could be me down there, under that idiot’s platform heels. How is she still allowed in here?

And why am I used to this? Why is this just a thing that happens?

“Thanks, Frank. I’m not pressing charges, but you have at least three counts of manslaughter down there. How is she still allowed in this club?”

Wow. That’s rude. Guess I was wrong about Frank.

And if Janine wants to bring me out to this goddamned club again, she’s going to buy one of those necklaces Judy sells on Etsy. I don’t care how it looks, I don’t care how she feels wearing me between her tits while she talks to her normally sized friends. I’m not putting up with this again.

I don’t know how to make her take me seriously. It’s like a learning deficiency or something. Sometimes…

I need to calm down. I need to get out of here. I think this way goes up to the quiet room.

“Hey, buddy, you okay? No, you can’t go down that way. Some drunk idiot just excavated the whole thing. Yeah, again. Chill out here for a while.”

Wish I could get drunk. This is not the place to do that. Like I need to be any more helpless. Fuck, why am I here anyway? Oh, that’s right: because Janine likes it. You know what, I’d be fine just going to bed early on nights like this. Set me up with a movie. I’ve been wanting to do a Christopher Walken retrospective since last summer. There is no good reason for me to be out at the club if she’s just going to ditch me like this, and if they’re not going to ban that goddamned Godzilla in platforms.

“Hey, up here!”

She can’t… come on, piece it together, Janine. The platform’s gone, I’m up here. Look up. Loo-oo-oo-ook up… Or that. Yeah, look at those little smears on the floor, maybe learn a lesson from that.

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

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