Sunday, March 23, 2008

How Harry met Mark met John (2.0)

A note from the narrator: Just now I realized that an early, yet essential text of this little humble collection needed some serious revising, in terms of style, and even more so, concerning the facts. After all, this is dedicated to the truth. Below you will find the revised version of "One dark night..." (July 21, 2005).

Note from the author: Don't believe whatever that guy says, he's pretty fucking unreliable. Any narrator could hardly be any less reliable, seriously.

Narrator again: STFU already. You're dead.

It was one of those nights last century that you hardly remember these days. Maybe because those days, back in the 1900s seem so undistinguishable from another now.
The weather was awful. Raining, pouring down. Cats and dogs. Whatever metaphor you like to describe fucking rain.
The band ------ was to play at ----- club. Actually Mark used to play the guitar for them. But, you know, that was a lot earlier, before they got into major record deals, big money and stuff. The ----- club was one of those venues which are played either by shitty bands from around the corner or by shitty bands from overseas you never heard about before. However, usually, they were three-piece groups who liked to describe their style by using at least two genres which didn't seem go along at all. Like hiphop-polka, goa punk-rock or avantgarde electro-folk-- regardless of the fact, that usually the music was rock and roll, of the bad variety.
Back then ------ actually labeled their style as "avantgarde electro-folk". You might imagine what it sounded like, at least if you know their b-side compilation "----- and the ------ on -----" or the live bootleg recorded last year in Amsterdam. (Dude, those guys were stoned that night, you wouldn't imagine. Harry was there. But that's a completely different story.)

Back to our little story: Harry worked at the ----- club, as a bartender. But he never was one of the really cool guys. You knows, those who do tricks with bottles (or boobs, if you liked Coyote Ugly). Like juggling and whatever. He couldn't even mix a real drink. But if you remember the ----- club back then, you know: that wasn't necessary. People usually drank Dutch beer from small green bottles.
John and Harry had already met before. They had known each other quite some time actually, but hadn't met for years or so. If you ever asked them you will have noticed that their memories of the 1900s are rather blurry. But whose are not?
Didn't somebody once say: "If you remember the 1900s, you weren't really there"?
Why don't we stick to the story, for whoeveryoulike's sake!
John had been on a trip to... let's just say: "a foreign country". Some folks say he developed his drug habit there. That is, those who say that he does have a drug habit. Well, he just got back to town and thought: "It's been some time since I last started a fight at the ----- club."
He really was like that. Liked to pick fights. Always wanted "to beat f*cking hell outa somebody" (as he said, incl. the asterisk!) and usually he ended up beaten, black and blue, butt-kicked.
Well, to shorten a story that grew too long already: John picked a fight that night, he tried to beat up the drummer -- during the show. All hell broke loose. Somebody told me that after the fight was over, Harry, Mark, and John were the only ones to be left conscious. They were taken in by the police and spent the rest of the night together. In some cell.
Well this is how the story goes. It's what people tell. Nobody knows whether this really is how Harry met Mark met John. Maybe it's true. But most likely... it's not.

Another note from the author: Please excuse this shameless recycling of old material. It is completely unauthorized.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Flime ties

Time flies when you're not busy almost as much as when you're actually busy. Harry, Mark, and John have been really busy lately, busy doing nothing, that is.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Junkyard Sunday

"Ladies, hold to your seats, we're going through hell"

It's Sunday, some four or five weeks after the funeral, and the guys are trying to re-create a Sunday ritual. Kinda like a family. Mark's driving and the others are getting drunk, quickly, in a near professional fashion. Actually it is that kind of drinking you engage in to avoid conversation. Mark tries to keep his occasional sips from a bottle to a minimum. Not only because he's in charge of getting everybody safe to their destination and back home, no-- recently he solemnly decided to go easy on the booze for some time (yeah, right).
When they finally get there the spirit's all gone. Shooting rats at the junkyard will probably never be the same again.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Non-canonical out-take

[Notice: this post is not part of the Harry, Mark, and John canon-- anyhow, the careful and attentive reader who's been around since the early days, will know where to put this.]

John had been following her for quite some time, when she came really close to spotting him. Following somebody who knows you is quite difficult, especially in broad daylight. But over the past few months John had been practicing this fine art: first with strangers, people he first saw on the train, or on the bus; than he switched to people he knew by sight. After a few days of tracking potential prey John couldn’t really tell, whom he had really known beforehand and the people he got to know by following them. If you follow a stranger repeatedly they will eventually feel familiar. And if you, or as soon as you know somebody, you will be able to predict their patterns of moving through your domain. John had never had a thing for hunting, but following strangers sparked his instincts and he felt like he had been missing out on something, having never spent ours in the forest, trying to spot and kill an animal.

You know, the hardest part is not getting spotted. If you constantly stay in plain sight and do not attempt to hide what your doing it won’t take longer than, say, some twenty minutes and you’re out. That is, if you’re lucky and if your in a crowd. Otherwise, it’ll be probably no longer than twenty seconds. But if you’ve done your homework you know the patterns. And if you know the patterns along which the object moves following them gets a lot easier. You can fall behind or take a short cut or a little detour and still find them again. Anyway, now, John was following her. His prime object. The one, for whom he’d been training. The problem was, he wasn’t too familiar with the territory, not being in his home town. He lost this advantage and thereby it didn’t mean much that he knew her. Actually, that made it a lot harder – you see, she knew him as well.
When she came close to spotting him, John had been following her for maybe two hours. That day. Ever since he got of the train two weeks earlier he had spent most of his time to study her behavior, her patterns. That day, he had waited for her to get off work and then started his usual routine. The problem was, she did not stick to her pattern. She broke the rules. Well, she didn’t know that she was part of a game. She didn’t know she was game.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Going to a funeral (finale, morendo)

Please read parts one and two of this triptych first. Thank you.

Harry Sr. hadn't been that young, but still his passing away had been somewhat unexpected. Well, it's not like he had been vegitating away for a long time because of some disease. He had died of some heart thing. You know that kind of thing you're born with and never find out about til you suddenly drop dead. Like people sometimes do in movies for dramatic effect. Dying from a genetic heart defect is something that could happen to anyone basically. So, listen up you screen writers! Cheap but effective plot device! The death of a minor or even major character will give your teenage drama or tragicomedy the necessary twist after 75 minutes. I'm sorry, I digress.
So, Harry Sr.'s dying at the age of seventy-something in a state of seemingly perfect health was the reason for this very particular gathering. Apart from John, Mark, and obviously: Harry, all the necessary personel for some kind of family drama was there. You know, a weird kind of drama, something Danish maybe.
Harry's mother was a weird person. She seemed untouched by her husband's death, treating the guests like the occasion was a birthday or something. Harry's sister seemed less stable, she had obviously cried a lot the passed few days. John could tell, but Mark? Mark couldn't. He was, 10 miles high or something. Harry's brother, two or three years younger, was actually quite likeable, contrary to the guys' expectations, after all that Harry had told them--

Sorry, but I'm afraid we have to finish this without a proper ending.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Going to a funeral (interlude, andante)

"Harry. There's someone on the phone for you", Mark said -- Before you read on, you might want to read the first part of this triptych, I mean... if you haven't already. -- Mark stepped back out on the terrace while Harry went inside to talk to whoever had called.
John [still sitting in his deckchair]: "You just saved my life, man, kind of."
Mark: "You're welcome." [walks over to old leather armchair, picks up bottle of beer, hesitates seemingly with no reason. His eyes wander around for some time, the silence between the men suits the scenery -- sunset, remember? and eventually sits down. The whole process might take up to a minute, suggested effect: jump cuts.]
Harry [returns to the terrace; his drug-induced cheerfulness has apparently vanished. He squints repeatedly, leans againgst a wall and begins to speak] "My sister." [pause] "My dad. He is dead."
Too bad a few pages are missing here. That would've made some heart-wrenching scene. Imagine Harry finding the right words to express his family problems, which like in 99.9% of everybody's case, are closely entangled with his emotional problems. After hardly more than two or three sentences the guys decide to go to the wake and funeral together. The distant noise of traffic begins to mix some soft strings... the music accelerates to said adante and then there could've been a cut to ...maybe a montage of the guys packing their bags, going down to Mark's car, placing backpacks in the spacious trunk (Remember? You can possibly fit a body in there... actually you can, easily...) --- and bam! Next thing you know, we're on the road. That is... Harry, Mark, and John are.

To be continued.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Going to a funeral (prelude, adagio)

Harry's dad died. The guys went to the funeral together. Weird? Indeed. After all, in the past few months they hadn't really been close, you know. Actually you might say they never really were that close. Okay, back in 19-- when they moved in together they might have been, or they thought they were -- which is the same most of the time, right? Anyhow, when Harry's old man passed away someone, a brother? his mother? ...well, some family person called. At that time Harry hadn't been too involved family-wise anymore, for a few years already. When you become more or less financially independent, visits boil down to once a year -- and before you know it, you don't even make Christmas. "Sorry, Ma, can't make it this year -- really I'm sorry." That kind of thing. And usually it's not very helpful when, as soon as you show up on the doorstep, your folks moan about how you waste your life away, not working in a decent job and all. "Your younger brother, so successful... he'll be made partner in no time. They love him up there. And he comes over to visit us every other---" Fuck it. Let's just start this story at the beginning.

"Yup..?" -- it was Mark who answered the phone. In his usual monosyllabic fashion. The guys were just smoking some weed on the back terrace, watching the sun set on their lovely industrial district, which offered affordable housing with a very bohemian chic to it. In a few years they'd probably have to move, because of all the posh Sex-and-the-City-style bars and restaurants that would open and flood this nice part of the city with, well, women who think they look like Sarah Jessica Parker while it's actually even worse. And what's more, they all behave in a way that silently screams: "Yeah, I'm miserable, but that doesn't mean I can't get wasted and feel free!" or something. Damn! I always get sidetracked by stuff like that... So. The sun was setting, drenching the red brick landscape in some kind of orange (color wise, not as in fruit). Distant traffic provided an atmospheric soundtrack. Sitting in his deckchair, John was rolling a second joint on his copy of the 10th anniversary edition of Stephen Hawking's Short History of Time, in his lap. Harry finished the first one and as he threw it off the roof with the flick of a wrist he said something like, "You know what? You're probably not the first one to roll a joint on that book." John continued his work, without even looking up. Harry rambled on (that's his usual stoned behavior). "And you know what else? I was probably not even the first person to witness somebody rolling a joint on that book and commenting on the fact." Having finished his job, John lit up. He tilted his head only very slightly, turning in Harry's direction. Obviously, he disapproved of Harry's obnoxious dope talk.
"Actually, I wonder if..." Harry paused, breathing audibly. "I wonder if the first person to witness somebody doing what you just did, commented on the act just like I did. I mean, saying-- saying it was not the first time, though actually--" Again, he paused, but this time, apparently, for effect: " was!" Mark answered the phone which had been ringing. "Gentlemen", Harry concluded, when Mark returned from the living room, "We have a chicken-or-egg situation."

As the title suggests, this will be continued.