Friday, January 28, 2011


-- Continued from 'Unibrow'. (Scroll down for the first installment.) A small-town 7-11 has been robbed, and an employee, Travis, was shot and killed. Employees are being questioned. Stories aren't jibing.)

Wait. Cameron said that? What a tool. Complete, Canadian Tire, power drill, tool. First of all, I wasn't the one that told him about Travis getting shot. I dont talk to Cameron if I can help it. Cameron, like, invents these conversations between us: "I was talking to Corrine, and she told me... Blah, blah, whatever. He thinks we have this, I don't know, bond. Our shifts usually don't even overlap all that much, maybe twice a month, but I know for a fact that he tells everybody at the store all the time that we were talking about whatever it is that pops into his whacked little brain. He just says shit.

Did Cameron tell you that we used to go out together? Or that we were even, like, friends? Jesus, what a knob. I've known him since, like, Grade Four, and I dare you to find one, single, person in the entire town that would tell you we went out for, like, as long as a day. An afternoon, even. We had some of the same classes together, sure. Chemistry, Math in Grade 11. Maybe Canadian Studies, I don't know. It's been awhile. He might have been there. I didn't, like, keep track of his presence. He wasn't on my radar, basically. I don't think he was ever on anybody's radar.

Wait. Who told you that? Kimberly? Oh my god. I know she was the one that told you that story. I know it was her. Not many people know it to begin with, so it has to be her. She hasn't liked me, since, I'm not even joking, Grade Three. I can't believe she told you. Like that little fact has anything to do with Travis, like, dying.

Well. I'm not going to lie to you now, because first of all, I don't lie. Like, to anyone. Let alone cops. Second of all, it doesn't mean anything, so whatever. You know already, obviously. I gave Cameron a handjob, like, three or four times, max, okay? Big. Effing. Deal. If he thinks that, like, constitutes a relationship, and if Kimberly does too, they, are, lunatics. I barely even remember it at all. Not because I'm, like, a slut, like I've had a hundred guys or anything, not because of that, but because, like, he's not the kind of guy you'd really want to remember. For a thing like that. Nothing special in that, like, genetic category. I think you get what I'm saying.

And it was, what, like seven years ago? We used to go watch the football team play. I think it was, when was it, fall of Grade Ten, maybe? I was supposed to be cheerleading, but I, like, twisted my ankle in practice, so I was out for a month. It still hurts when I stand on it for too long at the store. Anyway, I went to the games, just to see how all the other girls did on the sidelines. Cameron tried out for the team, and was cut, like, I'm not even kidding, the first hour. That's what he told me. So I ended up sitting beside him on the top of the bleachers a couple of times. I think he, like, manoeuvred himself beside me. We started talking and stuff, whatever. Like I said, I've known him since we were, like, nine. It's not like I could just ignore the dude. And it gets freaking cold in November, especially with the wind whipping all around the bleachers, and he wasn't as bad looking then as he is now, so, whatever. Stuff happens. It was all, like, discreet. I mean, hardly anybody ever came to our football games to begin with. I never saw any of you guys there. And it's not like we filmed it. And God, we were fifteen. And it's not like I even blew him, and if Kimberly says I did, she, is, mental, because that, never, happened. Probably in Cameron's dreams, it did. His dreams, my nightmares, right? Maybe in her dreams too, for all I know.

I only heard about it later, when I came in for my shift after the shooting. Vincent said that Cameron said that I was the one who told him that Travis was shot in the face. Yeah, in the unibrow. I totally didn't tell him that, because first of all, I didn't talk to Cameron at all after Travis was shot, not once, and second of all, Travis didn't even have a unibrow, so why would I, like, explain it that way? I guess Cameron is telling everybody that Travis looked like Bert from Sesame Street, which is ridiculous. I'm not saying Travis was getting ready to apply to be on The Bachelor or anything, but the dude did not have a megabrow on his forehead, and he was sure as hell better looking than Cameron himself.

Who, by the way, was constantly putting Travis down, telling him he was dumb and shit. He did the same thing to me whenever I saw him. I was reading one of the Twilight books at the till when he came in for his shift one night, maybe the third one in the series, I can't remember, and he was all, "ugh." I'm like, "fuck you Cameron!" I never see him reading anything. He just wanders around town with the stories he makes up in his head. That guy's still stuck in the past on the bleachers with me. That's his little fantasy, and he's making fun of me for actually reading a book?

Anyways, I don't want to talk about it anymore. Any of it. I just don't. You work with a guy for six, seven months, and he gets shot in the face, it just, I don't know, it makes you all sick inside. Then you add on top of that, the fact that people you've known for years are making stuff up about you, telling people you told them shit that you didn't, it just makes me even more, like, ugh. Bad enough we have to work in the same store where our co-worker, like, died.

And I don't see what any of this has to do with the fact that Travis is dead, and that the guy who did it is still out there bopping around. I don't know if you think some of us are bullshitting you, for whatever reason, but I told you already, I don't lie. Ask anyone. And if Kimberly was the one who told you I slept with Cameron, I will do more than bitch-slap her. I know you're the police, whoop-de-do, and I shouldn't be saying that, but I'm serious. She thinks that because I work in a convenience store, and because she went to college in Kingston, or wherever, she's, like, a better person than me? Please.

Oh, oh, oh, here's a tip: Why don't you haul her bony little ass back in here and ask her about Cameron again, alright? Ask her about what those two did in high school. All's I'm saying is, I'm not the only one who was good with her hands. Word gets around. Despite what she might think, I know stuff too.


Craig said...

I think the discrete your character has in mind should be 'eet'. You've got something going here with real potential. Quite timely in the wake of the shooting in Tucson. Sure politicians are at risk, but your average 7-11 clerk has a much better chance of getting shot in the head. Go with it. You don't need a politician married to a famous astronaut to justify exploring such an incident. All you need is a few voices that can bring the dead back to life. Nice stream of consciousness. Connects the reader to the character while allowing lots of room for the narrative to progress and unfold. Have you read Sometimes A Great Notion? It's all stream of consciousness told through the interior monologues of half a dozen characters.

Scott said...

Thanks for the typo-catch! I read SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION years ago, but I don't remember a thing about it. I'll have to give it another look.