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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Searching for Ringside, Chapter IV 

Picture credit to the kickass folks at Carpe Durham

The Clarion Content is delighted to invite you to come along on a magical ride as Pop Culture columnist, Cady Childs, once again takes us "Searching for Ringside." This fictional look at life in Durham explores the common trials, travails and misadventures that so many Durhamanians face. The metamythical characters, Andrew, Vita, John, and Megan, and their sordid but bemusing stories will resonate with those of you who carouse in Durham. Cady knows our collective experience, she shines a light on it and relates it back to us with a laugh and a smile.

Check out earlier chapters here [you will have to scroll down]


Chapter IV, "What do you mean, relationship?"

John was on strike from his own head. He was stoned, bleary eyed, and watching Boardwalk Empire, trying to ignore the pulsing in his hand, that wanting to reach out to the pillow on the other end of the couch. He could faintly sense the smell of cloves and sex it was giving off, a scent he was lusting to bury his head in so badly it may as well have been crack.

Under normal circumstances, she would have been gone after two hours of hanging out, he would spray his house the minute she left with Slatkin & Co. room spray, Spice, and that would be that. And he wouldn’t be so tempted by this damn pillow. Or her mouth. Or her knowledge of hyphens. He went into his bedroom to read Martin Amis, a man who always helped him to think clearly.

Megan had accidentally run into this guy in a leather jacket the other night, and she ended up kissing him on her porch while motorcycles streamed by whistling and hooting, leaving the biker bar up the block. It’s not like she regretted it, but sometimes she wished her soul could be a little more Catholic so she had the option of making herself feel guilty. The leather jacket had done her in, but she refused to expect him to call (it had been four days, and he wasn’t going to). The funny thing was, what she was wishing for wasn’t far from the truth- she held herself back so much, she might as well have denied herself the experience if she wasn’t ever allowed to feel it.

Her leather jacket was hanging in the closet, and she thought about putting it on and going out to kiss a stranger. She cleaned the kitchen instead.

Andrew’s roommate was out of town. This meant he didn’t have to feel self-conscious whenever his bed creaked, and he could play Minecraft while blasting Nas all evening to his heart’s content. He drank cheap scotch and put up a Red Light District-esque alley in his medieval town, completing each window with the newly added feature that inspired his modern European tribute in the first place- red torches.

He didn’t want to talk to anyone, especially the junior from campus who had been making his phone buzz and twirl and jump like a cheap carnival ride every ten minutes, since 2 A.M. Thursday night. He’d dropped her off and nearly licked off her lips they made out for so long, but it was clear in the first five minutes she wasn’t going to give it up on the first date, which meant she wouldn’t on the second, or the third. He really didn’t have time for all that, and he should have listened when his older brother advised him ‘never give out your number’.

Vita was sick of compromising. Her roommate (who wasn’t as good at quoting Dylan Thomas as she was, but her hair was longer) had been almost permanently camped out at her flavor of the month’s place for the past two days. It was too quiet in her empty apartment- but she gave it roughly two more days before her roommate would be sobbing in her arms again, swearing off assholes between sips of cheap sparkling wine and changing the music about forty-five seconds into every song.

She knew it was better not to be like this, but she missed the tumble and tangle of affection and rage rolling together so often, and so quickly. In other words, actually saying it out loud- she needed to let guys treat her like dirt to write something truly great- it was the stupidest shit that she had ever mumbled under her breath. The moment she uttered it, she jumped up, knocking two magazines off the arm of the couch in her zealous haste to get dressed and go out, as soon and as fast as possible. There had to be something left to do in this town.

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