Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Chris Gil

An Unfinished Start To An Idea For A Possible Short Story


We sat at a restaurant in Hollywood and he talked about his life up to that point. His name was Chris Gil and the kid should've been miserable, but he wasn't. He seemed just fine and open to his scarred history - maybe a little too fine and open. You'd be shocked to hear him say, "My mom just went to jail yesterday" or "Yeah, my life's pretty damn messed up" with a calm, straight face accompanied with a tone that made the remarks feel like a rehearsed line he was trying out. You'd swear he were lying, that he was just pulling your leg for a cheap laugh, until you caught it. Through the pair of light brown eyes you'd see the glint of despair, the whisper of loneliness softly embedded in that seemingly blank stare - and then you'd know. With pain like that, he couldn't be kidding for a second.

Chris lived in the house behind my parents' with his father. It was a small, spanish-styled two bedroom house in the small sub-city of Los Feliz in Los Angeles. Chris' father was gone for the most part each day, so Chris practically lived in solitude, fending for himself at fifteen. For whatever little time his dad was home, he was wasted. I knew of this the first day Chris and I had met.
"So, is your dad home?" I asked.
"No, he rarely is" he replied. "When he is, he's drunk. My dad's a, you know, an alcoholic."
I have to admit, I was rather surprised. No one says anything that sharply without either sounding spiteful or shameful. But this came out under neither extremity of the spectrum. What did he expect from me after blurting something like that out? What type of reply did he usually hear? Was it a cry for help? An obstacle to overcome that he was proud of?
"My dad works all day, so I'm here alone a lot."
"That's unfortunate, man" I said, trying not to sound like it was out of pity.

I was a tad uncomfortable, so I really didn't know what the right thing to say was. Maybe if he were older it wouldn't have moved me as much, but he was just a kid, like every other naive kid. On the other hand, Chris came off so much more mature. He seemed to have his head straight; he was a blessed weed in the field of pre-pubescent teenage angst.
"So, what do you want to do down the line, Joe?" he questioned. I was amused at him taking interest in me.
"I want to write" I answered. "How about you?"
"I want to be a policeman" he said, nodding his head and smiling.
"Wow, that's pretty admirable."
"Well, all my friends joined gangs. Not all of them, though - some are just doing drugs and stuff. It sucks and I don't want to get into that. I want to do something that'll clean up the city, and make me feel good about myself, not the opposite."
I chuckled. "Well, that's the perfect job to do it, I suppose. That's cool that you didn't fall into all that junk."
"Yeah, it's all just so stupid."

The kid really did have his head straight. A drunk for a dad, a convict for a mom, gangsters and drug addicts as friends, and he's still holding it together. He really started to impress me.

- Just brainstorming some ideas, so I don't know if I have anything yet. All I know is that I'm in dire need of some sleep before I attempt to revise these notes or figure out how to move forward with the story. Maybe I should work on this outside of directly coming up with stuff onto Blogger's post box, because it's sounding very bland and elementary.