Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sleep Come Easy

     Sleep come easy fer the two a them, just fer differnt reasons...him 'cause his compulsions done wore 'im out, an' her 'cause it was the only time she could find 'erself any peace. Quite the pair, they was. To look at 'em, you'd thank they was two normal ever'day people, but if you looked real close, you'd see they was livin' in a worlda shit, a bone fide shitstorm, so ta speak.

     Winston was the quiet type, and by that I mean, real quiet. Getting 'im to talk was like pullin' teeth on a mule, unless a'course he'd gotten hisself into the cups, an' then, ya couldn't get 'im ta shut up. He wasn't hisself no more. He become a liar, a real mean trash-talkin' drunk. Onest he got that first sippa whiskey or a coupla oxys in 'im, she was pretty much fucked. Goddamn hillbilly heroin.

     Even after they done been married fer a coupla years, there was still thangs she was findin' out about 'im, thangs he hadn't told 'er 'cause he was so ashamed of hisself. Thangs like bein' a convicted felon an' all. Thangs that gave 'im an excuse ta keep lyin' and drankin' hisself silly ever' few months or so, 'cause fergivin' hisself an' livin' and let live was outta the question. Winston thought hisself a special case. He done convinced hisself a long time ago that he was beyond help.

     Why Lurlene hadn't left 'im wasn't no mystery ta her. Even though he weren't violent or unfaithful, he was dangerous. Dangerous mostly because the love she felt fer him was the same love she had fer her own children, an' that clouded her mind. She done drunk the Kool-aid. Lurlene done always been partial to danger, bad boys and whatnot. There was somethin' excitin' about a man like that, a man with secrets. But, sooner or later, them secrets become her secrets too.

     Layin' there next ta him, waitin' fer sleep ta come, listenin' to his drunk self sawin' logs like he didn't have no cares in the world, she knew nothin' was gonna change. At least, not no time soon. She done give up on tryin' ta lead the horse to water a long time ago, an' a long time ago done came an' went. Maybe that's why sleep come so easy fer poor ol' Lurlene. She didn't wanna see no other way out.


24 comments:

  1. Wow. The part about how he wouldnt forgive himself and thought he was a special case ...

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    1. I think that's so often the case with people struggling with an addiction. It's a vicious cycle that can only be broken by facing the enemy within.

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  2. It's awful, Kris. People will do anything to avoid taking responsibility for their own lives. Become a hopeless drunk, or live with one.

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    1. So true, Marty. It takes 100% honesty, along with courage, to break the hopeless spin cycle. Some people enjoy misery more than happiness, I suppose.

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  3. Amazing how you squeezed so much in those few lines. I must say I'm getting addicted to your storytelling. Great piece!

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    1. Thanks, Uma. One never knows what lies beneath surface appearances, especially those that seem "normal."

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  4. I liked it Kris, it is a very believable, but depressing story, it makes me think of the video by Rihanna and Eminem - Love The Way You Lie
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uelHwf8o7_U

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    1. Scott, I'd never seen that video...really intense. It captured the crazy ambivalence, codependency, and denial fueling the lie that couple was living. It is a very believable story.

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  5. Great stuff Kris!
    Enjoyed the down-home dialogue.
    Cheers, ic

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    1. Thanks, Ian! Good to hear from you. Hope life is good for you in Africa.

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  6. Great flash fiction, Kris! I love the way you wrote about these characters and the vernacular. I can see Winston and Lurlene so clearly. With skillful words, you’ve peeled back the layers of what lies beneath their seemingly normal lives, revealing the “bone fide shitstorm” stirred up by Winston’s addiction, excuses and lies. Winston thinking he’s a special case is like not seeing the forest for the trees. If he can’t forgive himself, face his own worst enemy within, he can’t get beyond the past and move forward. But that’s his choice, as Lurlene wisely recognizes, you can only lead a horse to water. He’s sure lucky to have her continued love and support. I can truly empathize with Lurlene. It’s easy to understand her attraction to a man with secrets, but “sooner or later, them secrets become her secrets too.” Yes, it all weaves together. Kris, you really have a gift for crafting human experiences into well written, interesting and relatable stories!

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    1. Madilyn, your comment pretty much sums up exactly what I was trying to convey here. Last night, I started thinking about how social media like FB likes to keep things superficial, e.g. idealized, picture perfect lives that are often too good to be true. I'm much more fascinated by what lies beneath the surface.

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  7. Oh damn Kris, you went and drank the Kool-Aid. This was an interesting fictional story. I'm glad to see that you are back to writing short stories!

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    1. Glad you liked it, Steven. For some reason, this writing style feels so natural to me.

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  8. Nice tiny piece of work, Kris! I have to say Lurlene is a wise character because no matte how big the trouble is, better to leave it to daytime! lol... Love how "economically" you portrayed two vivid characters.

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    1. I'm glad you picked up on Lurlene's practical wisdom, Yun. She's kind of like Scarlett O'Hara in that sense. Lurlene definitely has a handle on the situation, but what complicates this story is unconditional love. She has chosen to remain in her situation, despite Winston's ongoing battle with addiction. She has just decided not to take things personally.

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  9. The way you used the vernacular made me feel as though I was there and could feel their emotions. Very well written! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kristina! Like I mentioned to Scorp Sting above, this writing style feels very natural to me (just like in Sun Jelly Pastures). Maybe it's because I live here in the south and hear so many interesting stories and secrets from my patients.

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  10. Brilliant Helena. This it just so real and I couldn't wait to read more of it. It only just started, then suddenly stopped. I felt like someone who had been addicted and wanted my fix (not that I would ever know)

    You really know how to develop extremely interesting characters with depth very quickly and get the reader hooked. It's good to be able to get under the skin of people and look at what's really going on, and you did this really well. Brilliant post, I loved it.

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    1. RPD, my mom felt the same way when she read it. I am glad to know that what I wrote actually evoked the feeling of wanting a fix, because that's exactly what I was trying to convey in this little story about addiction. This story is based in observations of people I know, which is probably why it feels so real.

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  11. That hillbilly heroin packs a wallop. So does this story. Nicely done, Kris.

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    1. Thanks, Gina. Glad you enjoyed it. Hee haw! :-D

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  12. Wonderful story! It's amazing what you can accomplish in 1000 words or less. You said a mouthful. Loved the voice!

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    1. Thanks, Janene. I don't know why writing in this vernacular seems so natural to me. But it does. The words just seem to flow.

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