Chapter 9 - What's the Story?

(A boy and girl are sitting in a coffee shop, possibly at a bookstore like Borders or Barnes & Noble, or more likely a bar. Alex Nixon and Violet Nichols, respectively.)

What are you writing?

A novel.

What's the story?

Waking Life: Chapter 9 - What's the Story?There's no story. It's just ... people, gestures, moments, bits of rapture, fleeting emotions. In short, the greatest stories ever told.

Are you in the story?

I don't think so. But then, I'm kind of reading it and then writing it.

***

(A guy in a bar, actor Steven Prince, talking with a bartender, Ken Webster.)

It was in the middle of the desert, in the middle of nowhere, but on the way to Vegas, so, you know, every once in a while a car would pull in, get gas. It was the last gas stop before Vegas. Office had the chair, had a cash register, and that was all the room there was in that office. I was asleep, and I heard a noise. You know, just like in my mind. So I got up, and I walked out, and I stood on the curb of where the gas station ends, you know, the driveway there. I'm rubbing the sand out of my eyes, trying to see what's going on, and way down at the very end of the gas station they had tire racks. Chains around them, you know. And I see there's an Econoline van down there. And there's a guy with his T-shirt off, and he's packing his Econoline van with all these tires. He's got the last two tires in his hands, pushes them into the thing, and then I, of course, I go, "Hey, you!" This guy turns around, he's got no shirt on, he's sweating, he's built like a brick shithouse, pulls out a knife, it's 12 inches long, and then starts running at me as fast as he can, going AAAAAAAHHHHH. I'm still ... "This is wrong." I walked in, stuck my hand behind the cash register where the owner kept a .41 revolver, pull it out, cocked the trigger, and just as I turned around, he was comin' through the door. And I could see his eyes. I'll never forget this guy's eyes. And he just had bad thoughts about me in his eyes. And I fired a round, and it hit him. Boom. Right in the chest. Bang. He went - as fast as he was coming in the door, he went out the door. Went right up between the two pumps, ethyl and regular. And he must've been on drugs, on speed or something, you know, because he stood up and he still had the knife, and the blood was just all over his chest, and he stood up and he went like that, just moved a little like that. And I was pretty much in shock, so I just held the trigger back and fanned the hammer. It's one of these old-time ... Poom, Poom, Poom, Poom, Poom! And I blew him out of the gas station. And ever since then, I always carry this.

(He pulls out a revolver.)

I hear that. A well-armed populace is the best defense against tyranny.

I'll drink to that. And you know, I haven't fired this for such a long time, I don't even know if it'll work.

Why don't you pull the trigger and find out?

(He shoots the bartender in the chest. The bartender gets up, grabs the gun hidden behind the counter, and shoots the other guy in the head. Both fall dead. Puddles of blood form and red flows down the screen.)

***

(Main character wakes up, washes his face, grabs the phone, and dials.)

Hey man. I guess you already took off or something. But, uh, remind me to tell you about this dream I had last night 'cause there's some really funny stuff in it. All right, man. Uh, I guess I'll catch you later. Okay.

(Main character grabs the remote and begins changing the channels on TV.)

... bareback riding. Copenhagen William and his horse Same Deal.

... for a hat band. Sew it into the inside of the ...

For I do not await the future, anticipating salvation, absolution, not even enlightenment through process. I, I subscribe to the premise that this ... this flawed perfection is sufficient and complete in every single ineffable moment.

The Blonde Bee, the Firefly, Praying Mantis ...

... lunatic macaroni munchkin with my googat ...

... venerable tradition of sorcerers, shamans and other visionaries who have developed and perfected the art of dream travel, the so-called lucid dream state where by consciously controlling your dreams, you're able to discover things beyond your capacity to apprehend in your awake state.

... series, winning back-to-back ...

... why don't you tell us about what Felix is doing ...

... a single ego is an absurdly narrow vantage from which to view this ... this experience. And where most consider their individual relationship to the universe, I contemplate relationships ... of my various selves to one another.

While most people with mobility problems are having trouble just getting around, at age 92, Joy Cullison's out seeing the world. Now I'm free to see the world.

***

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