Indie Author Answers #28: Consistent Characters

Tip of the week: how to write a synopsis (click the link to read a blog post on this topic)

And now, here is your chapter of the week hell yeah let’s do this!!!!

 

3: Alex

 

“You say that, but what if we do drop it?”

Alex gave up and on the staircase. Brian seemed to think that Alex had never moved a couch before. “Let’s just leave this bitch here. It’ll be our stairs-couch. I’ll bet nobody has ever interior-decorated that shit before. We’ll be trendsetters.”

Brian then said something about the joint Alex lit up, and Alex went past him and into the apartment by stepping over the couch. He passed Brian, went around the corner, and through the open door. Day One of living together had already tested Alex’s patience, and he needed a break.

Inside the apartment were a few stray boxes, some open, some wrapped in packing tape. The thick carpet had crease marks from a pre-move vacuuming from the cleaning crew. Stain-free and pure. No one has wiped any boogers on anything. No one has ever pooped in the toilet. Brand new apartment.

Brian followed him inside. The couch still obstructed the stairs, and it could stay there, for all Alex cared. “This moving crap is hard work,” he said, “union rules say we get a break every two hours.”

Brian joined Alex on the bare floor, and Alex offered his new roommate a hit from the joint. Brian inspected it. A wire jutted from the end of the paper, and a perplexed look crossed Brian’s face. “Did you put that in the joint?”

“No, it’s part of it. It’s a Randy’s. You never heard of Randy’s?”

“Nope,” Brian said.

“It has a wire built-in to the paper so you can hold it when it gets down to the roach. Makes it a lot easier, and you don’t need hemostats or anything.”

“That’s a good idea,” Brian said as he took a hit. “This is probably going to put me under. I haven’t smoked in months.” Brian struggled to hold in the smoke.

“No shit? What in the hell have you been doing with yourself?”

“Well, not smoking weed. I haven’t been partying like I used to. I do go out to the bars and stuff sometimes. You’ll understand when you’re twenty-one,” he added with a grin, passing the joint back.

Alex scoffed. “Oh, please, grandpa, spare me. I’ve been to the bars plenty of times. I had a fake ID until it got taken away at that fucking trendy nightclub in LoDo a couple months ago. I forget the name. The one with the tie-dyed awning. Nothing but a bunch of fags go there, right? I was just trying to bang this one chick who’s always there.” Alex paused his story to take a deep hit on the J.

Brian raised his eyebrows. “Don’t leave me hanging. Did you hook up with her?”

“Eventually, but it was nothing to write home about. Met up with her at Leroy’s, she was drunk as shit. She came back to my apartment after. But when I stuck it in her, she just laid there like a quadriplegic.”

“Oh, man, I did not need that visual,” Brian said.

“How do you think I felt? All those looks and no talent. There should be some kind of website you can screen those girls before you put out the effort to nail them. Or girls like that should just carry a sign. It’s such a shame.”

“Well, ultimately, good sex or bad sex, it’s the same experience. Attaching meaning to the sex is what gets you in trouble. Either way, it’s still empty.”

“Whatever, Confucius,” Alex said, more relaxed now and not so annoyed about the couch.

“How is Leroy these days?” Brian said as he took another hit from the joint, so deeply that his eyes bulged and his chest hiccupped. With each spasm, little tendrils of smoke escaped his lips. Brian’s eyes had already glazed over, with only a few hits.

“Oh, you know, he’s the same old dude. You okay, there, chief?”

“No doubt. I’m good,” Brian said through a giddy smile. In his pocket, he dug around for a pack of cigarettes, which contained one single smoke. He rummaged through a nearby box until he found a corkboard, and placed the cigarette carefully against it, pushing a thumbtack to keep it in place.

“What in the fuck is that?” Alex said.

“In case of emergency. This goes in my bedroom. Which reminds me, we should talk about who gets which bedroom. The one on the left is bigger. Like the, what-do-you-call-it, master bedroom.”

“We can go by dick size. Whip it out, Connelly. I know I’m going to win this one.”

“Seriously though, we need to figure this out so we can get it all moved.”

“Well, the way I see it…” Alex began as he lit up a cigarette of his own. Before he could continue, Brian waved his hands.

“Hey, now, I wanted to talk to you about that too. I’d like us not to smoke inside the apartment. It’s so clean and all, that we should keep it nice. Besides, I quit, so I don’t want to smell that if I don’t have to.”

Alex, in the middle of inhaling a deep drag, hurried towards the balcony door. “Okay, dude, no problem,” he said. Brian was right, but Alex did not like it.

The balcony did not quite face west, which would give them the best view of the craggy peaks of the Flatiron mountains, but more northwest, towards the rolling hills that separated Boulder and the town of Lyons. Even so, they still had an impressive view, and not being on the first floor gave them height to prevent other buildings from obscuring it. Impressive, except for the eyesore of the construction next door, which consisted of a gigantic pit in the ground with a crane and a bulldozer and piles of lumber and wire coils cluttering the area.

Alex had first wanted a specific apartment on the west end of Pearl Street that had breathtaking direct views of the Flatiron Mountains, but Brian shot it down as too expensive. He shot down most of the apartments Alex liked as too expensive. The one they settled for was decent, albeit the seventh or eighth option Alex had suggested.

Brian joined Alex outside. “You know what?” Alex said. “We should just get rid of your janky old couch. I saw a sick leather one on Craigslist for only fifteen-hundred.”

“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Brian said. “I’ve had that couch for only two years, and it was almost new when I got it. There’s nothing wrong with it, no cigarette burns or bong-water stains or anything like that. We don’t need to go blow money we don’t have on a new couch.”

Right again, but Alex refused to admit it. “Whatever,” he mumbled. After living on his own for a while, he had grown accustomed to having the freedom to do what he wanted with his living space. He now realized that it would be an adjustment having to run everything by Mr. No-Fun. All of Brian’s stuff was brown and drab and did not project the image of sophistication and success Alex sought for their apartment. He wanted black and red furniture; sleek lines.

“I got a killer idea. What do you think about putting a fish tank in the fireplace? A big one that would fit it,” Alex said. “We could paint the fireplace black, and get some blacklights for the tank… glowing fish and shit.”

“What if we wanted to have a fire? Are we supposed to take the fish tank out or just let them cook?”

“It’s just an idea, dude. Just trying to pimp-up the place some. We got to set the Pussy Pad apart somehow.” Alex smacked Brian in the shoulder. “I’m just trying to get you laid, buddy. You need to loosen up.”

 

 

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