Behind Her Back

Throw a bunch of words in a hat, pull one out, and write a story using that word.

This week’s word: SLIP

BEHIND HER BACK

Venice Beach. What kind of person doesn’t like Venice? The ocean, the boardwalk, filled with artists and entertainers, passion and beauty. Bums, that’s what she calls them. Lazy, leeches, dregs on society. Get a real job; contribute like the rest of us. Like she did to me.

That’s right, like me, 9-5, corporate marketing and my soul sucked dry, Monday through Friday and Saturdays too, fifty weeks a year for the rest of my life, earn that fat paycheck and buy nice things, dinners and jewelry, a fancy car, a place in the city. Things that don’t matter, no happiness, no fulfillment, no satisfaction for me.

We continue down the boardwalk, admiring and complaining. Me admiring, her complaining. The passion, the freedom, the talent and beauty. The ugliness and patheticness, these losers all losing. Inspiring and joyful, appreciate and take part. Disgusting, all useless, wasting time on crap art.

A painting, I like it. Sensual and beautiful, and sexy too. A woman, in bed, naked, alone. A real woman, with flesh and curves, I can see it on our bedroom wall, the openness and vulnerability, alive and free, tasteful, connected, uplifting. “If it were good it’d be in a gallery,” “I don’t want anything from here in my house,” “Real paintings go for much more than that.” I can hear it all, her criticism and contempt. And so the wall remains bare, no painting and no passion, bare walls and a bare life, and every once in a while it’s off to the boardwalk, where she judges and complains, too good for everyone, too good for me. Forever and always, stuck with this girl, to good for everyone, too good for me.

“Can you believe it?” she asks herself, to herself but aloud, loud enough for everyone to hear. “Of all things, classical.” She’s near a violinist, performing for us, for us and himself and everyone. Mozart’s 40th, beautiful, but to her, disgusting. And she’s not shy, she’s special, her thoughts are for everyone. “Who do these people think they are? If you’re gonna butcher something, at least not classical. God!”

And that’s it, her thoughts, through her mind and out her lips, for everyone to know. The violinist keeps playing, for himself and for others, no longer for us. But the music is beautiful, and so when she’s not looking I slip him a twenty. Into his tip jar when she’s not looking, because I don’t want a scene, encouraging poverty, laziness, apathy, and false dreams. Not music or art or passion or beauty. Must go behind her back to encourage those things. Behind her back, the only place where I can be me.

About Gabriel Bruskoff
I make movies! See gabrielbruskoff.com for more information.

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