The Alpha Primitive

Film reviews, essays, commentary and sundry writings

Filtering by Category: Prose

Chance Encounter: Part Two

It’s amazing how quickly time can pass when you look back at things. One day, you give in to the impulse of talking to an alluring stranger at a train station, and the next thing you know you’ve got a ring box in your jacket pocket as you begin the most important night of your life. You’re not going for some grand gesture or choreographed moment; you have learned over the whirlwind that has been your thirteen month romance that she not only wouldn’t require such a grandstanding and overt storybook moment, but that the whole thing just wouldn’t be her style. It was tough to suppress such instincts, as a lifetime of movies have painted such a moment as a societal standard: the bigger the better. But she wasn’t about standards, societal or otherwise. That’s what you love about her. Who cares what society thinks, what culture expects of you? You don’t, and she doesn’t. She’s too fiercely independent to find herself pliant to the whims of others, let alone some disembodied gestalt entity that is modern manners.

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Chance Encounter

It begins simply enough. Lonely strangers standing at the crossroads of life. A shy acknowledgement of shared fate, standing in an airport terminal, a train station, a bus depot. It could be any number of features tat sends you down the path. A furtive glance and a wry smile. That realization that you're both just a bit taller than expected of your genders. That cascade of jet black hair that falls just perfectly around her shoulders. The way he holds his briefcase just so. The way she clutches her purse with a ringless hand. And, of course, for the baser among us, the well toned ass, the full breast, both dressed to show off their innate genetic strengths. The symmetry of man and woman, together in this one moment, together in the knowledge that, at least for now, there just might be another person in this world with which you just might be able to to spend your life. Or a few years. Or even just one night. It's the connection that matters. The connection that makes us just a little more than simply animal, even if the purity of it all, the purity of physical attraction is undeniably animal. A connection. It's what we all want. That spark that makes us feel alive.

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The Machine of Dreams Circa 1999

This is it, folks. This is the story that made me a writer. It began as an innocuous English project in tenth grade of high school. I loved the hell out of writing it, and it even won a creative writing award. It holds up better than I expected, and it wasn't complete torture reading it again for the first time in about seven or eight years. I present to you the Machine of Dreams. And yes, I'm embarrassed by the jokes I stole from other media. I was young. It happens.

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Going Home Again, Part 5

I left for Philadelphia on a Friday morning. I packed my suitcase in the car, had an audio book copy of the World of Ruin to force myself to listen to (I hadn’t heard anything from Ellen in the previous two weeks, and thus assumed that she was unable to deter the bookstore from their choice of reading), as well as a selection of happier music for those times I get so fed up with my terrible prose that I need a change of pace.

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Going Home Again, Part 4

Ellen gets back to me about a day later. The signing will be in three weeks at the U Penn bookstore. Not quite Old City, but close enough. Ellen is already hard at work with the promotion, taking out ads in the local free papers, papering clubs, coffee shops, and college hangouts. Her approach appears to be that I have become a Salinger-esque recluse that is coming out of hiding for a one time only special engagement or something equally silly.

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Going Home Again, Part 3

Maybe I should call her. It's been so long, and I miss her so long some days. There's probably a statute of limitations for calling up old girlfriends out of the blue, but I don't know if I really care about that right now. Because I'm still sitting at the same desk, looking at the same blank screen trapped in the same deafening silence of my own restless mind. It feels good to walk down memory lane from time to time, and it offered me quite the distraction from the task at hand.

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Going Home Again, Part 2

Philadelphia was a wonderful time of my life. I had just inked a long term book deal with Harper Collins based on my manuscript for the first Songs of the Diamond book. I had been living in Atlanta, but the southern summer heat didn't agree with me and I wanted a change in scenery. Philly existed in a more temperate climate, and I loved the history and architecture of certain parts of the city. I had real money for the first time in my life and decided to splurge on a gorgeous one bedroom apartment in Old City.

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Going Home Again, Part 1

One of the most overused clichés in a sea of overused clichés is the ideal of writing what you know. I've always hated the phrase. I got where I am today specifically because I wrote what I didn't know. And here I am, one of the most well loved authors of the past decade. I don't have any intimate knowledge of most of my more popular subject maters, and this is why I have come to the conclusion that all that truly makes a good writer is skill. I possess more finely honed skills than most, and am all the better for it. You stick you neck out and you take a chance and it can lead to something great. 

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The Machine of Dreams: The Parents

I've been writing this thing in sections. I'm realizing now that I'm not exactly sure how the sections are going to fit together, and in what order, but it's more important at this moment for me to get this written in some (even disjointed) fashion, so that's what I'm doing. What follows is a section about Joe's parents. I'm currently working on passages about his siblings (I hand write everything I do first, and give it a quick revision in the typing process. That's my method), and I hope for that to be up shortly.

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The Machine of Dreams: Beginnings

Back in my Sophomore year of High School, I wrote a silly little short story called "The Machine of Dreams." It was designed to be a thinly veiled satirical piece that would further my attempts at writing humor. It won a minor award, and was generally enjoyed by those that read it. Looking back at it now, it's a terrible piece of prose. I was young and just starting an amateur career in writing, and it certainly was the work of a very unpolished writer. Still, I liked writing it, and I really think the core concept of the story was more than solid. So I'm revisiting it now, and seeing what I can do with it close to nine years later (has it really been nine years? Yikes). And I've decided to revisit this blog to put up the progress of it, in a vain attempt to actually finish something I started. And so, without further ado, here's a quick opening prologue (that'll probably be made longer at a later date)

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