Sunday, January 18, 2009
Oh Josh, poor Josh. Something's hung you up and you're stuck in a mosh
Perhaps out of envy (is my talent strong enought to carry me?) or disgust at the recent spate of experimental writing in Canada, that I decided if I couldn't fight them, I would try to join them. But this could be a mistake. To rejoin the clamoring crowd of experimentlal writers whom I'd heretofore held as "helpless- can't-do's," it seemed to me that it was literary helplessness on trial; you hadn't really gotten down your basics-- Realism before abstraction!
Ah well. This old trick will now try to learn some new dogs.
So without further ado, a first crack at an experimental short story.
To Josh Wellberg, PhD (failed), drinking beer after the class he still had, into the wee hours while wife was away, listening to all those familiar house noises, it seemed the world was in a conspiracy to keep Josh Wellberg from becoming Josh Well.
Nervously buttoning and unbuttoning his formative memories.
There was the undone button of his youth.
Josh Wellberg at the head of his class in middle school.
Josh Wellberg getting too involved in yearbook editing at high school--and failing.
Josh Wellberg enrolling in ROTC a community college, and finallly getting an army commission and a Master's degree.
Captain Josh Wellberg landing a teacing job at a university. Joshie-come-lately proving, to his Judy at least, that he could do it. Then the teaching job. Two kids. Picket fence. Exurban house.
And now Judy was about to leave him. He was a ghost inside his own house, Victorian clunker making all those famiiar house noises, the furnace, the humidifier. The blue lights from the TV.
I became the man you wanted me to be, Judy. Did what you wanted, Judy, and now what?
In love with your randy prof, who says his wife has decided to stay monogmous, "but that's her hang-up."
Josh taking another another drink in his comfortable, woody, posh library. Yeah. Night school for Judy. Judy in crisis. No guarantee the randy old bastard is going to stay with her. Two ways to go. Leave old Hubber and/ or go to The House of the Rising Sun.
Judy, Judy Judy, all my life doing what I was told, the good old uppermiddleclass way, BA MA PHD. But Elmer Fudd goofed on the Phd. Pulling his pud. And now you're run off with a real PhD. And you're preventing me from not only being the Josh I thought I was, but the Josh I wanted to be...which was free spirit, poet, aviator.
Josh wondered when it was this morning that Judy Judy would return.Classes end at ten p.m. Last time it was three a.m. Made a dramatic entrance into the bedroom where Josh had been asleep. Threw off all her clothes and started to almost snuggle in besided him.
He was startled and annoyed. What's this? Left-over passion? The male question. "Did you get fucked?"
"What if I did?"
Being Josh. the tao of Josh. Hardworking Josh. Achieving Josh. Josh loving his children. Josh loving Judy-come-lately. Josh with his headscratching, his IQ of 120 in a world of l40's.
"You weren't smart enough to got that PhD. You just weren't smart enough."
"And how about you? You couldn't even handle undergraduate work. Failied your B.A. Piggybacked onto my dream, got your break,me, afer all that failure-- and now it's night school finding out how antique Pakistanis, Harrapans or something, may have discovered some kind of psychic radio through their statuettes. Wow. High research."
This bolted her back out of bed.
She threw the quilt off, rose from the futon. Fumbled through drawers to slect her white nightie, the modest one.
She stood now in front of the dresser, facing Josh, red, ochre red in the glow of the night light. Angry. Red head, her ginger colouring enhanced. five word gave her itent.
"Get out of my house."
"Your house? It' suddenly your house? Not our house?
I am trying something here. Writing while upset over a similar situation.
I wonder if it's going to work this time.
Oh Josh, poor Josh. Something's hung you up and you're stuck in a mosh.