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Street Conversations: Hate.





Hate.


Pregnant?


Pregnant.

Jesus.


Yeah.

Is it Jack’s?


Well, it’s not the Immaculate Conception.

Jesus.


Stop saying that.

I’m sorry. This—This is pretty fucked up.


Tell me about it.





Did you tell his family?


No.

I’d tell his family.


What am I suppose to say to them?

“Hi, I’m sorry that your son is dead, but I’m having his baby.”


Yeah. Well. Only half of that is true.



What?

That’s harsh.


It’s my life.

You’ve got a bit of Jack growing in you. The last bit. The last living bit. When you flush that out, there’s nothing left but waste.


There’s already nothing but waste.

That’s why we’re here.

I know that. I was at the funeral yesterday.


I know.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I stood there and listened to you speak and cry, right?


I loved him. I love him.

But you don’t love that bit left of him that’s growing inside you?


It’s a little dot in my stomach. A piece of sperm that latched onto an ovary. There’s nothing in that but the promise to fuck up my life more.

What?


I have this thing in me and my life is over. I can say goodbye to everything I’ve planned. I’ll never see Spain and a bull fight unless it’s on television.

Having a kid doesn’t end your life.


Having a kid ended yours.



Don’t look like that. It’s true.

It is fucking not true!

I love my kids! Where the fuck do you get off saying that?


It’s the truth.

Fuck you!


Hey, it’s the truth. Not my fault if you don’t like it.

You’re a selfish fucking bitch.


Fuck you.

No.

Fuck you.

Fucking bitch.

How dare you say that. Fucking love my kids.


What you done with your life since you had them?

Fuck you.


No. Come on. What you done?



Yeah. Nothing. When we were in school, you were all set to travel. Going to see the World, right? That was our lunch conversation. The others were all going to go to Uni, but we were going to get jobs, get money, and see the World.

Things change.


Things change when you have kids. You don’t even have a job any more.

Who’s going to look after my kids while I work? You? You hate kids so much you’re flushing out your boyfriend’s last piece of life.


It’s not like that.

It’s not? Maybe you’d like me to sugarcoat it a bit more?


You don’t know shit.

I know whose funeral I was at.

I know who died here.

If it was me, I’d be thinking it was one hell of a blessing I had.


Yeah, well I guess I’m just selfish. Me and Jack both.

Spare me.


No.

According to you, I’m selfish because I don’t see the blessing here. Some fucking blessing. Maybe Jesus could have told Jack not to drive drunk? That would’ve been some sort of miracle I think, and it would’ve saved three lives.

But no, the blessing is that a condom broke and the pill fucked up. Well, fuck that shit. I used both because I didn’t want a kid and I still don’t want a kid.


Which, on any other day, would be just fine with you. But because it’s his kid, I’m suddenly a selfish bitch.

This is all about you. You know how fucked up that is?


It’s all about me because I’m the one who has to live with it!

We’re standing here where Jack slammed his car into someone else’s and killed two girls and injured a third, and you’re not saying, What a selfish dick. What an asshole. He should have thought about other people and not driven.

But you’re not saying that.






How is this comparable?


I am not fucking up my life because of a mistake.

Having kids isn’t fucking your life up!


Sure it is. It fucks you up just like it fucked up my parents.

You’re just trying to convince yourself.


I don’t need convincing. I know it. Look at you, you’re just like my folks. Once you had a kid, you were living their life and it’s all about shit jobs, shit options, and a shit fucking future.

You don’t know what you’re talking about.


You’re twenty-one and you’ve never left the State.

I can’t stand here and listen to this shit.


Fine. Don’t.

Fuck you.


Fuck off!

It’s my choice.

Get the fuck out of here if you don’t respect that! Go on!


It’s going to fuck you up!


Like I’m not fucked up already!





(Street Conversations is an eight week project. Photography and Prose. This is Week Five. Previous Weeks include Wires, Jesus, Old Men, and Love. Three more weeks to go.)

Comments

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jlassen
Mar. 16th, 2005 01:03 am (UTC)
brilliant.
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC)
thanks.

three more weeks. next week we'll try and get photographs of people in shopping malls. security always hates that.
ironed_orchid
Mar. 16th, 2005 01:04 am (UTC)
Well that was intense.
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)
cool :)

beside, if it wasn't intense, it'd be a rip off. but i'm glad it was intense. this one gave me the most problems.
ironed_orchid
Mar. 16th, 2005 01:52 am (UTC)
Yeah. It seems delicately balanced. Intense, but without quite falling into the depths of preachy - from which there is no escape.

Also, I read your Russian Princess thing last night, and liked it. There were some things I didn't quite understand, but that didn't detract from the overall readability.
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2005 01:58 am (UTC)
the trick is to make them both right. that's what i was trying for, and if you can nail that, i reckon it stops the preachiness coming out. but one of the things that made it difficult is that i wanted to avoid some of the things i had been doing in early parts, where i would have the character narrate a scene in dialogue. a sort of mini monologue. i wanted to avoid that and it made it a bit harder to balance.

anyhow.

i'm glad you liked the russian princess thing. it's a fun little piece. what were some of the bits you didn't get? there's a logic flaw in it for me that almost drove me insane when writing it, but i figured the ability to see it either way was okay.
ironed_orchid
Mar. 16th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
I didn't really understand what the frost was meant to involve. I thought it was like cryogenics but in later references to it I wasn't so sure. I don't think it matters especially that it's unobvious, but it did make me go over the relevant passages more than once.
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
yeah, it was a form of cyrogenics. they freeze the head and pump in a virtual reality sensation of time and play with the mind a little to make sure thy're rehabbed.
ironed_orchid
Mar. 16th, 2005 04:06 am (UTC)
OK, that kind of makes sense. It was how they added time that confused me, but please recall that I've done way to much philosophy of mind.
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2005 05:03 am (UTC)
it's best not to apply too much rigid thinking to that stuff, i find. when i talk anything science like (and it's not often) it's firmly in the science fantasy world.
shadowsandice
Mar. 16th, 2005 02:10 am (UTC)
That was fucking awesome.
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
coooool :)
joey_j0jo
Mar. 16th, 2005 07:02 am (UTC)
I liked that. :)
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
cool. thanks.
coalescent
Mar. 16th, 2005 08:05 am (UTC)
Interesting. Red irritates the hell out of me, but I think she's basically in the right nonetheless. Good work. :)
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
thanks.

it's probably not hard to figure i fall on red's side, but i tried to make it so both were right. makes it more interesting, i think.
bodhichitta0
Mar. 16th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC)
Very nice. And I loved how the swearing started right when the real conflict started. Well done.

I also wanted to note that these women/girl "friends" are being more real with each other than most women/girls I know. One of girls' hallmarks esp. at a young age is to be all manipulative and bitchy but not come out and say what you're thinking about the other person. So in a way this a very refreshing thing to read even though I think it would be unlikely confrontation in many socioeconomic backgrounds.
benpeek
Mar. 16th, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC)
i don't think it's just that girls don't like confrontation, or that they aren't as real as this... most people aren't. most people, when you sit and listen to their conversation, is actually really boring to read. it's like a hemingway story in that way. (and some of the stories he wrote with that natural dialogue are as boring as anything.) but i reckon that's where fiction has one of it's strengths, in that it can play out the fantasy of what we'd all like to say in a particular moment, whether it be cooler, crueler, whatever.

also, i personally enjoy that 'written dialogue'. the kind of stuff that is fun to read, that has a beat and rythm to it. a while back i had a conversation with someone about PULP FICTION, and they told me that they didn't like it because the dialogue wasn't like real people, that it was too stylised. but to me, that's what made the film.

and i love good dialogue :)

bodhichitta0
Mar. 17th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
I think girls/women even worse than men at not saying what they mean. The power of socialization! But that's a different topic, I suspect.

Anyway, I liked the dialogue in Pulp Fiction too. I'm not much of an Elmore Leonard fan but I've read two of his novels and he does have some interesting dialogue (going on for paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs... :-))
benpeek
Mar. 17th, 2005 11:19 pm (UTC)
i like leonard's novels, and the way he uses dialogue in them. i haven't read many though. i like them, but they're in no way something i hang out for.
studebakerhawk
Mar. 17th, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
Nice.

I'm looking forward to reading through all of them in succesion. Oh, and they might be re-screening the Cremaster cycle. You should come.
benpeek
Mar. 17th, 2005 02:50 am (UTC)
i'm hoping that they're going to read well together, but time will tell. i think i'm going to change the title of old men to 'gifts for friends' to match next weeks title. but we'll see.

when are they going to rescreen?

you going to that thing in the weekend?
porphyre
May. 6th, 2005 10:48 am (UTC)
friended
found you through Warren's "amuse me" post. I very much like what you're doing.
benpeek
May. 6th, 2005 12:11 pm (UTC)
Re: friended
cool. that's neat. welcome to the blog.
porphyre
May. 7th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)
Re: friended
I'm quite in love with what I've found in here so far. Have you a gather of links that are particularly reccomended?
benpeek
May. 7th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC)
Re: friended
the only thing i can think of is the street conversation list. there's a primary link to all of them in the memories section. outside that, the blog is sort of a fluid, consume as you come and go thing. it's designed for public consumption, but it's also written with don't over think it early on blog mentality. from what i understand, some people like some entries, hate others, feel nothing, but come back cause of the difference. only the street conversation stuff is outside that, and hopefully i'll do another next year.

there's bits of my fiction online. if you go to www.shadowedrealms.com.au you'll find the most recent.

but i'm glad youlike it. is cool :)
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