a short story: my pathetic attempt at fiction (pt1)
(nov 22, 2001)

Flinders St. is uncharacteristically quiet tonight.

No trams rattling the rails and the nerves of the jittery few who've just had too much coffee too late and now can just stare helplessly at the ceiling, frustratingly awake, visualizing sheeps or fences or hills or whatever else it is that people visualize when they try to force themselves to sleep.

But no, no trams tonight.

No inconsiderate, death-deserving drivers vroom-vrooming down the street, brandishing the acceleration capability of their souped-up Lancers or Audis to the groggier half of the city (the other half are sound asleep, most probably protected by some sort of highly effective selective hearing filtration device).

No, none of those tonight.

No angry drunkards shouting expletives to the blue solemn moon while perfecting their beer bottle slam-dunking skills 50 feet from the bin then usually miss hence the shattering of the beer bottle and some poor shop owner's glass window.

No, none of those tonight.

Even the wind which usually threatens to reduce the blinds into asymmetrical tatters each time the window is left opened is unusually kind tonight.

It's a conspiracy of silence.

Eerie silence is anything but conducive for sleep. Especially after too much coffee too late. She tries a new, cooler spot on her small rickety bed. It feels better, as her skin quickly tries to reacclimatize with the new temperature, but brings her nowhere closer to achieving the perfect state of suspended consciousness.

Screw this, she thinks, as she slithers out of her quilt and switches on the PC. Her bloodshot eyes squint as they try to adjust to the warm glow emanating somewhat unforgivingly from the monitor screen. She goes to the kitchen to make another cup of coffee, since she won't be able to sleep anyway, she might as well load her nerves with more and more caffeine until they're all frazzled and jittery and perhaps will finally explode in a very dramatic nervous breakdown. That would be a riot, she muses. Imagine what the people at uni will think if I suddenly scream and pull my hair out in the middle of the ever-stimulating Human-Computer Interaction 2403? At least that would wake half the class up.

She takes a sip of the steaming Moccona and scrolls for her emails. 'PENIS ENLARGEMENT GUARANTEED'. Now there's a groundbreaking medical discovery, she thinks. She wonders if they can do it by mail, given these smooth operators' unquestionable level of sophistication.

'FW: FW: FUNNY JOKE YOU SHOULD REA'. Exactly what I need in my life right now, she mumbles to herself. A joke so funny that I would have no choice but to rea.

Delete. Delete. Scroll.

All this technology and all I get out of it are enlargement offers for an appendage I do not have and what seems to be an undoubtedly very funny joke, hilarious, yet manages to be enlightening at the same time, she muses again.

She hits the refresh button, hoping for a miracle, or at least a more interesting and relevant medical offer.

A brave new email appears on the top of the cluttered list.

She shudders and takes a deliberate, long sip of her Moccona.

Sleep is now definitely out of the question.

...to be continued. don't hold your breath, though.


listening to:
- Slow Like Honey by Fiona Apple
- Sullen Girl by Fiona Apple

- The Distance by Colin Thubron. just a few pages here and there before i sleep, actually. but it's a beautifully written book.