Monday, March 25, 2013

New Beginning 997

When the whistle of the 7:16 commuter to Chicago pierces the air, Devin stirs beside me. It wakes him every morning. I hate that train.

“Happy birthday, April,” he whispers in my ear, curling me close, stroking my shoulders and back. I still tremble when he touches me tender and soft as if I am someone he loves.

If Devin were a song, he’d be Stand by Me, by Ben E. King. I have long since given up wishing he was Moondance, by Van Morrison. Still, I savor the moment, inhaling him, his sweet-and-salty mix of yesterday’s chlorine and coconut sunscreen and sweat. In my head Fergie sings, ‘the scent of your skin lingers on me now,’ and it’s true. When Devin sleeps with me, it’s like I absorb him into my skin. It’s the closest I’ll ever be to him.

I’ve known Devin Trammel since I was five. He lives next-door and is best friends with Jake and Charlie. Devin’s eighteen, like them.

Everybody has secrets. Big ones, little ones, dirty ones. Devin is my dirty little secret, not because he sleeps in my bed, but because he actually sleeps in my bed. Several nights a week.

* * *

The fucking 7:16 transit screams outside the window jarring me awake. April's pushed up right against me and the thought of that train dipping into the tunnel doesn't help my case of blue balls. She shifts as she starts to wake and rubs against me. It's too much, I can't help it, I let it go. "Happy birthday, April," I say, and hold back a snicker.

Hoping she won't notice the mess, I rub it into her shoulders and back. Only someone as naive as her wouldn't recognize the smell, like sweet and salty coconuts and bleach. If April were a song she'd be "Come a Little Bit Closer," by Jay and the Americans. I've given up wishing she was "Come Together" by the Beatles.

Her friends keep asking her what makes her skin so smooth. She says it's nature. The truth? That's my dirty little secret...

Opening: Veronica Rundell.....Continuation: Anon.


Dave Fragments said...

I think you are trying too hard with the music and confusing the reader but don't go throw those themes out. They are good and give the opening body (and soul)... Sorry, I couldn't resist that.

Rather than throw the lyrics out, why don't you begin with that last paragraph?

Everybody has secret. Big Ones, little ones, dirty ones. Devin in mine not because he shares my bed but because he sleeps next to me, several nights a week.

And then you can work in why she wants him near but is satisfied without the sex and to do that use the music. I wouldn't use the title and lyricist like "Stand by me". I think that the way to worked Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" into the text. She can say that even if she begs him for that "moondance, that romance with you, my love" People will know the lyric you mean.

Devin's presence sings to April. It's all so one-sided romantic and torch song-ish. That is the musical equivalent of what you are writing, I think.

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen coontinuations:

But I don't answer.

Devin gets up. He's careful to pull the sheets over me, so my body won't get dry. That sunscreen oil keeps my skin a little moist, at least for now.

Devin plants a kiss on my head. I want to kiss him back, but I can't. That's one of the things that sucks about being dead. Just think, I tell myself, how great life would be--if Devin hadn't killed me.

Devin leaves. Maybe tonight, when he comes back, he'll bring me flowers. For my birthday.


* * *

[Voice Over:]

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call "The Friend Zone".

doo da doo da, doo da doo da...


Evil Editor said...

Everyone's familiar with Stand by Me and Moondance, so no need to tell us the singers' names. (Anyone who isn't familiar with the songs probably isn't familiar with the singers either.) As for the quote, the scent of your skin lingers on me now, this is sung about someone who isn't currently in the singer's bed, in fact someone who may never again be in her bed, so it may not be analogous to the situation in which Devin is in April's bed. Of course she notices the scent of his skin when he's curled around her.

I don't think Jake and Charlie belong in the opening.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the feedback. It's tricky knowing what is too much/not enough. Abandonment and the healing power of music are major themes--particularly as experienced by April.

The continuations--all humorous--opened my eyes to the possibilities in this scene. So, thanks for those, too!

Chelsea Pitcher said...

Hey Veronica. I really loved this! I wouldn't change almost anything, but I do think the "I've known Devin since I was five" paragraph can be woven in later, unless the fact that he's eighteen is significant.

Also, would you consider doing "not-so-dirty secret," since the significance is they're not sleeping together?

Otherwise, loved this! Would totally read on! :)