Mother

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Sheng
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Mother

Post by Sheng » Mon May 24, 2004 9:44 pm

Hey everyone, I'm an aspiring comic writer, and would appreciate any opinions/suggestions about a script I've written. It's titled "Mother", and it's the first part of a collection of short stories I've put together called "Love in the Time of Acne".

Thanks, Sheng


"Mother"

<> brackets denote an English translation of Mandarin


On a large Sony TV, a Chinese speaking news anchor reports the news. Sean and his mother sit at the dinner table, in silence. On the table are three porcelain plates featuring mostly consumed roasted duck, fried tofu drenched in green onions and soy sauce, steamed cauliflower, and a steaming porcelain soup bowl of miso soup. In front of Sean and his mother are steaming plastic bowls of miso soup. Sean looks down at his bowl as he sips; his mother is watching the TV, which is in the same room. Sean is twenty-two, Chinese, with spiky hair, and is 5’7”, 150 lbs. He has sensitive eyes, fat lips, and small acne clusters dot his chin and cheeks. He wears a black linen shirt, matching slacks, and black Dockers shoes. Sean’s mother is fifty-seven. Her hair is permed, mostly black with strands of silver, and she squints despite her thick and heavy glasses. She is slightly but perceptibly overweight, and wears sweats. Sean and her have the same bulbous nose. She continues to watch TV; Sean looks at his soup bowl while he drinks. Sean’s mother turns to Sean, and gently, as if not to interrupt him, speaks.

CAPTION
December 2003. Temple City, CA.

SEAN’S MOTHER
<Do you like the soup?>

Sean looks up, and politely replies.

SEAN
It’s good. Really good.

Sean’s mother turns, and focuses on the TV; simultaneously, Sean looks down at his bowl. The silence continues.


Later. Sean is sitting in a dark room, staring intently. Sean’s short hair is unkempt, and he wears a faded black tee, gray sweats, and sandals.

SEAN (caption)
I think the crucial point in my relationship with my mother occurred when I was ten. That’s when I moved out of sleeping in the same bed with her, and into my own room.

On the hospital bed in front of Sean, lies Sean’s comatose mother.

SEAN (caption)
My dad was in Taiwan for most of my early childhood. My mother and I slept in the same bed; when he was here, I remained in the room.

Sean stares intently at her. His face shows haggardness due to stress and sleep deprivation.

SEAN (caption)
Perhaps she used me so she didn’t have to sleep in a lonely room- certainly, her constant nearness was the source of perpetual comfort for me.

Sean rises from his chair.

SEAN (caption)
But I was growing into a young man, and I wanted to assert independence. So I moved into an empty room in the guesthouse.

He shuffles to a nearby table, which has a lone Styrofoam cup atop it.

SEAN (caption)
After that, my relationship was never the same with her. The emotional nearness was gone.

Sean picks up the cup, which is half full of cold coffee.

SEAN (caption)
Perhaps she felt as if I did not want, or need her, in my life anymore. She became colder to me. After that, there were no more hugs and kisses.

He drinks the coffee, while continuing to gaze on his mother.

SEAN (caption)
And from that time on, I have felt alone.


Sean and his father sit at the dinner table. Sean’s father is sixty-one, with mostly dark hair and a few strands of white. Sean’s father wears old sky blue pajamas; Sean wears the same faded black tee and gray sweats. They sit silently.

SEAN (caption)
Among other things, I cannot forget this about my mother.

On the dinner table are two Styrofoam boxes that contain cold chicken, eggplant, and steamed white cabbage. Before both Sean and his father are small plastic bowls of rice. They eat silently, slowly picking pieces from each Styrofoam box with their chopsticks.

SEAN (caption)
I was five years old. My favorite possession was an imitation Winnie the Pooh bear that I clung to, day and night, awake or asleep, outdoors or inside our apartment.

They continue to silently pick pieces from the Styrofoam boxes. Sean never touches the eggplant.

SEAN (caption)
All the time I spent with Pooh eventually made his little red shirt filthy. So to clean his little red shirt, I dropped it in the toilet, and flushed.

A flashback: a five year old Sean wearing tan corduroys with grinning cartoon tiger emblems at the pockets and a blue Voltron tee tramps around the dirt courtyard of an apartment complex, clutching a filthy, red shirted golden stuffed bear- supposedly Winnie the Pooh, but considerably thinner, an almost funhouse mirror version of the Disney version.

SEAN (caption)
I told my mother about it, and she told me Pooh’s shirt was lost. I cried and cried.

Present day Sean, eating with his father, looks up at his father. Sean’s father looks at him stoically. Sean is about to say something, and is perhaps about to cry.

SEAN (caption)
My mother took the naked Pooh bear from me, and promised she would sew a new shirt for him.

A flashback: a considerably younger, thinner, and smiling mother holds Sean’s Pooh bear in her hand. The Pooh bear wears a handsome red vest. She is leaning over a sleeping five-year old Sean, gently waking him.

End.

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Post by Johnny Neat » Tue May 25, 2004 6:35 am

As I consider my self more of a writer than a physical artist, I think this is good.
But I'm sure you'll eventually break it down into a comic script (Panel for panel), cause this looks more like a screenplay then a comic script.
Anyhow, I just think this story isn't going to end here, is it:?: I'm writing something similar, and I think unless you're going to theme this short story to others you have planned, you need a tad bit more. A firmer conclusion if you don't get where I'm coming from.
But overall it is "Good". Just in my opinion, it needs the others or more to be "Better"...
Something more and worth the readers time & energy, you know :?:

I hope this small reply helps. I don't want to get more detailed then what I have vaguely written, because I don't want to control or dictate whatever you have planned. It's not like drawn art, where things are obvious and I can point a bad angle, line work, or color and or effects out, helping you. I know myself as a writer, I like to hear an "I like it or I don't" and/or even a "What did you mean here or there:?:" if I missed something that readers need to know to get my point, but I overlooked. But I don't and/or wouldn't want or like more then that, because I need to go back to my cubby and work on it on my own. Coming to my on conclusions and points. Which is unlike drawn art where it's "Fix this or that because it's just wrong", you dig :?:

Anyhow good luck though. I'm curious to see more when you're ready.
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Sheng
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Post by Sheng » Wed May 26, 2004 12:39 am

Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Johnny, I really appreciate it. I actually have written all the stories that I intend to for the collection- it's a bit much to post all at once though.

Do you think it's necessary to break the script down into panels? While I have some ideas in that area, I tend to like the idea of having the artist direct that.

This would be the second part- "Trailer":


“Trailer”

Late afternoon. In the middle of a packed elementary school bus sits Sean, a fat, four-foot tall, nine year old, whose baby mullet and side burns indicate the need for a haircut. Sean nervously writes something on a scrap of paper. He wears formerly white Pro Wings, jeans that are patched at the knees, and an faded dark blue tee that reads “Brightwood Elementary 1988”. Next to Sean, is a taller, thinner Vietnamese boy, who wears olive green sweats and dark blue and yellow Pro Wings. He looks over Sean’s shoulder, reading anxiously. Sean finishes writing, and slips the scrap into his pocket. The bus stops; Sean rises. Instead of going to the door, Sean weaves against the traffic to get to the back of the bus. Sean’s eyes are arrested on a girl sitting in the back, laughing with her friends. The girl is Chinese, with long, shiny hair, and pale skin. She wears a crimson sundress that is dotted with white half triangles.

CAPTION
November 1990. Monterey Park, CA.

SEAN (caption)
Quivering, I approached. I did not realize then this event would be a preview of my entire life.

SEAN (caption)
We were in third grade. Her name was Julia Wong. And for the first time, passion for a girl bludgeoned me.

SEAN (caption)
Every day, we went home on the same bus. Every day, I admired her. But we always sat apart, she with her friends, and I with my friend. But today was to be different.

SEAN (caption)
Quivering, I approached.

Julia prattles, and her friends are fascinated. Julia’s friends are dressed in similar fashions, and are mixed ethnically. Sean drags himself near.

JULIA
So my dad bought a new car, and I sat in the front seat…

SEAN
Julia.

Julia continues to prattle; perhaps Sean mumbled, perhaps Julia talks too loudly.

JULIA
… and it was so fast, and my dad said…

SEAN
Julia!

Julia looks up, annoyed. Her surrounding friends look up, surprised. Sean swiftly pulls the paper scrap from his pocket, and hands it to her boldly.

SEAN
I want you to call me. At 5. This is my number.

Sean’s hand begins to shake. Shyly, Julia accepts the paper scrap.

JULIA
Okay.


Later. Sean sits, his chin resting on his arm; his eyes are restless, agitated. Sean’s arm is draped by a maize colored telephone that sits on the kitchen counter. The kitchen is spotless but spare, and poorly lit. A plastic clock hung on the kitchen’s cracking, flower patterned wallpaper reads 5 exact. The phone rings, Sean jumps. Sean comes down his stool, as he picks up the phone.

JULIA
Hi, may I speak with Sean?

Sean begins to pace, tethered by the phone cord.

SEAN
Hi, Julia. It’s Sean.

JULIA
Hi, Sean.

Sean continues to pace for a few seconds, back and forth. He stops pacing. Then he starts to say something. His hand begins to shake.

SEAN
About the homework. What page do we read up to, page 32, or page 34?

JULIA
Umm, page 32.

SEAN
Thanks. Bye.

Sean hangs up the phone. Sweat has formed on his forehead. His hand stops shaking.

End.

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Post by Johnny Neat » Wed May 26, 2004 7:50 am

This one was good as well. I loved the subtle dialogue for what I think are younger children/kids, but I could be wrong if they are intended to be older kids/teens. Because if they are older then they sound to young, do you agree:?: I also feel it needs a bit more to close on, like a concrete ending. It feels cut off as did the first one. Now again, unless at the end of all of these shorts there is a point or feeling you plan to or are going to show or express. Otherwise they will feel like just a second of something or someone 's life that went no where story wise into abstract feelings/emotions and an artsy Indie comic scene. The artsy Indie comic scene is a good thing don't misunderstand, but a feeling of no closer, isn't. But then again if they all tie into something at the end wither story wise or emotionally, then we have a solid cool idea/theme people should dig. I, myself, like where your going with this. But I am hoping for something as a reader, and I hope as a reader you deliver. I know writing can me quite a mental choir. One I never experienced when actually drawing work. I think it's my high standards, which I have placed on myself, that have going down the writer/creator's road instead of the one of Penciler. I'm silly masochist at heart, I guess... lol.

Okay now, as for the artistic approach you mentioned in regards to an artist dictating the actual physical/visual representation of the story. I've come to think it all depends on how the artist works. Unless he/she is the one approaching you to adapt your writing, it goes by their comfortable working preference. Right now I am working and have worked with a few different artists and they all have their individual preference as to how they'd like the script to appear and what they can do or not do to the story. Some like movie scripts so they can use their creative abilities in showcasing the story, like a cinematographer/co-director so to speak. While others want/like you, the writer, to dictate the panels and what the viewers/readers see. So in that case you are the writer/director and they are just the cinematographer. And finally, some just like a 50/50 approach where the both of you throw back and forth ideas on how the project will appear. Creating comics has been to my limited and young collaborating experience to be like creating a film. And not as easy as most people think it is. Since some think it's child's play. But damn, I'll say it's very much like giving birth. First with the easy conception of an idea, second a hard labor in the middle (like working on the actual thing getting it out), and finally coming to a beautiful outcome aka an actual comic people can read. So good luck to you and please keep me posted on your project. I'm interested.

Hope this helped some or a little.
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EQ
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Post by EQ » Wed May 26, 2004 10:46 am

damn the second one really has me inspired to draw, it so clearly painted an image in my head. the first one is great too, really nice work. look forward to reading more.

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Sheng
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Post by Sheng » Thu May 27, 2004 1:57 pm

Thanks for the considered responses again. Delinquent, I was reading your stuff, and I love the kids talking like "The Godfather", that's a new angle. I'm not sure if the political stuff is for the best, as you might be opening yourself up to comparisons to "Boondocks"- I'd focus on the criminal activities, which are funny and novel, and typical kids stuff (like the girls)- so maybe it'd be like "Boondocks", except they haven't left the hood? If you draw something related to my story, I'd love to see it.

Johnny, the dialogue is supposed to be young kids, about nine years old. I'm working toward the ending, which I hope will be satisfying. My teachers have told me that my stories have an incompleteness about them- hopefully, the ending will wrap things up well.

That's what I thought in terms of script writing- that the format was dependent on the artist's preferences/strengths. Right now, I'm not working with anyone, so I guess I'm just writing my stories in the most personally comfortable way. I wish I could draw. There really is no project yet, but I'd like to put something together eventually.

This is the third part: "Kendra". It's a little long. There are four more parts to the collection, tell me when to stop :D


"Kendra"

(Outside a typical high school, after school, two girls chatter. KENDRA has shoulder length red hair, is tall and thin, and wears white dress sandals, white Capris, and a fiji green cashmere tube top. MELINDA is short and chubby, with bubbly blue eyes and blond hair, and is dressed in a black skirt, denim jacket, and three-inch black platforms)

CAPTION
November 2001. Los Angeles, CA.

MELINDA
So, you and Rob…

KENDRA
He’s sooo cute. We’re just talking though…

MELINDA
That’s not what I heard…

KENDRA
What? Melinda, what did you hear? His friends talk so much shit.

MELINDA
I can’t tell you who I heard it from. But you went to a drive in movie with him didn’t you?

KENDRA
Yeah… I did. But that was just for fun. I’ve never been to a drive in movie, and I’ve always wanted to go to one.

MELINDA
And nothing happened?

(KENDRA’S eyes shift toward the concrete, and she fights a smile; MELINDA lights up.)

MELINDA
Ohhhh! I knew it! I knew it! Is he a good kisser?

(From KENDRA’S handbag, which features Audrey Hepburn portraits from “My Fair Lady”, her phone rings.)

KENDRA
He’s not bad…

(They both giggle. KENDRA looks at her cell. She stops giggling, and turns her phone off.)

KENDRA
Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. It’s him again!

(MELINDA stops giggling, and becomes serious.)

MELINDA
Again? The psycholosermotherfucker?

(KENDRA slumps against a pole, stamping the concrete with her right heel.)

KENDRA
Yeah… that’s the fourth call in four days! Why won’t he take a hint?

MELINDA
You know, I bet Rob would take care of him…

KENDRA
No… no. He’s a nice guy. He’s just… agh! He’s 19, he’s ugly, and he can’t take a hint!


(Night. Under a glowing marquee:

Alexander Hamilton Magnet High School Spartans Auditorium
Tonight “David and Lisa”
Starring Jeanie Davies, Linda Shin, Rob Hammond, and Rich Robertsson

Amidst a buzzing congregation of neatly dressed parents and teens, KENDRA stands in white platforms, a white suede skirt, and a faux mink coat, with her hair bunned. She is radiant, and clutches a dozen long stem roses, two mixed bouquets, and a teddy bear.
In front of KENDRA is her MOM, a beaming, red headed woman who wears a lavender dress and matching coat. With MOM is her sullen, pimply-faced SON, a red headed teenager wearing baggy denims and a black tee, and her husband JIM, who has a light brown moustache, and wears a brown leather jacket and gray slacks. Behind KENDRA, SEAN walks by. He stares nervously at her, but doesn’t stop, and passes her. SEAN is Chinese, has a shaved head, persistent acne, and is of average height and weight; he wears a red and blue plaid patterned dress shirt, and matching khakis.)

MOM
Ohh Kendra, my little star! You were gorgeous tonight!

JIM
You kids were great, Kendra. I was really impressed by how professional it was.

KENDRA
Thank you, Jim.

(From the other way, SEAN returns, and stops behind KENDRA. They do not notice him, except for the SON, who glares. SEAN looks petrified, and clutches a single, long stem white rose.)

MOM
Dear, are you hungry? Did they have anything to eat backstage?

SEAN
Kendra.

KENDRA
No, Ma. I’m not cold either.

SEAN
Kendra!

(Surprised, KENDRA wheels around.)

KENDRA
Oh…

(She lights up, embracing him.)

KENDRA
… hey! What are you doing here? How are you?

SEAN
I’m good, I’m good… you?

(KENDRA lets go, and her serene smile remains. Her parents watch approvingly; the SON is bored. Looking down, SEAN runs his right hand over his shaved head twice, and speaks haltingly.)

KENDRA
I’m great! It’s so good to see you.

SEAN
You know how I told you my friends are into plays and what not, they told me about this… congratulations.

KENDRA
Thank you. Did you enjoy it?

SEAN
It was great, really great. You were really good.

KENDRA
Thank you so much. I’m glad you liked it.

(SEAN nudges toward the flowers she carries. KENDRA is confused.)

SEAN
Those are a lot of flowers.

KENDRA
Oh… they’re from my mom…

SEAN
Not all of them.

(KENDRA searches through her flowers, looking at the notes.)

KENDRA
You didn’t!

(In the dozen long stems, she finds a card, and reads it quietly.)

KENDRA
“You were exquisite tonight. Sean.”

(Glowing, KENDRA looks up.)

KENDRA
Omigod! How sweet! Thank you!

(She hugs SEAN again. Her family looks on: MOM squeezes JIM’S arm, and the SON looks on, compelled. SEAN runs his hand through his hair again, looks down, and continues)

SEAN
I… I came here to talk to you, and… I wanted to say… I…

(KENDRA watches expectantly.)

SEAN
I’m sorry. I’m really nervous. It’s just that when you didn’t call back… I was really hurt...

(KENDRA’S face segues to sympathetic; she reaches her hand toward SEAN, to reassure him.)

KENDRA
Oh, I’m so sorry. I was really busy with rehearsals.


SEAN
Please, let me finish. I just wanted to get to know you better. That’s why it hurt. I met you, and you were beautiful, and so interesting…

(KENDRA smiles tenderly.)

SEAN
I think you’re wonderful.

(JIM places his hand firmly on KENDRA’S shoulder; MOM eyes SEAN, hawk-like; the SON smiles ear to ear, trying to contain his laughter. SEAN is oblivious to this.)

SEAN
I… I just wanted to get some coffee, or something. To talk to you for an hour or two.

JIM
Kendra, where do you want to go eat?

(KENDRA gently removes JIM’S hand from her shoulder.)

KENDRA
Hold on, Jim. Of course I want to get to know you better. I’m sorry I hurt you. I didn’t know it meant so much.

SEAN
It’s okay, it’s okay. So I’m here, and…

(SEAN looks intently at KENDRA, and speaks deliberately.)

SEAN
I was brought up on movies where, if you did the sweetest thing you could think of, the pretty girl would give you a chance. And this is the sweetest thing I could think of.

(KENDRA squeals.)

KENDRA
Omigod! Sean, you didn’t have to do all this.

(Trembling, SEAN hands her the white rose.)

SEAN
I… I wanted to. This rose is also for you.

(KENDRA takes SEAN’S hand and the white rose. She sniffs the rose, holding his trembling hand.)

KENDRA
Call me. You still have my number, right?

SEAN
Yeah, I do… I… I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the spectacle.

KENDRA
No, I’m sorry. Call me Sunday.


(Sunday afternoon. A crimson themed bedroom with a giant, framed “The Apartment” movie poster. KENDRA, dressed in crimson teddy bear pajamas, huddles on her teddy bear themed bed. From her drawer, her cell rings. And rings. KENDRA begins to bite her nails. From outside the door, MOM speaks.)

MOM
Kendra, don’t pick up. You’ll only be encouraging him.

KENDRA
I feel so bad. He’s a nice guy.

MOM
I know, honey.

(End.)

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Post by Sheng » Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:48 am

Another long one...

"Natalie"

Natalie*

The ocean and me, drowning.
Yet still I breath.
A coral spectrum dazzles.
And I float, fatigued
alive when I should be dead,
waiting to die,
for this has to be a dream

*The poem functions as a prologue to the story


A clean, black 1990 Honda Accord streaks through North Vine in Hollywood. There are a multitude of nightclubs on North Vine.

CAPTION
February 2003. Hollywood, CA. Saturday night.

CAPTION*
starazul3: is it a good time to tlak now? lol
ItWasntMe1002: yeah
ItWasntMe1002: wussp Sean
starazul3: not much
starazul3: sorry you couldn't make it Saturday
starazul3: it was a lot of fun
starazul3: did you do well on your test?

*From this point on, all the captions consist of an online conversation between starazul3 (Sean), and his friend ItWasntMe1002 (Steph), which occurred after the events in this story. The spelling and grammatical errors are intentionally unedited.

Inside, Daniel drives. His stereo blasts 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”. It’s deafening, and Daniel bobs his head. Daniel is Chinese, tall, reed thin, and handsome. He’s dressed in dark corduroys, and a white, pinstriped dress shirt.

CAPTION
ItWasntMe1002: nah
ItWasntMe1002: i didnt study on sat
ItWasntMe1002: so i shouldve gone
ItWasntMe1002: but i didnt
ItWasntMe1002: awww
starazul3: so what did you end doing?
ItWasntMe1002: nothing
ItWasntMe1002: casino night at my school

Next to Daniel is Linda. Linda is plump, a strawberry blond who wears a black halter top that displays her ample cleavage and matching stretch pants. She has a massive wart near her mouth, which resembles something from a garlic cheese roll.

CAPTION
starazul3: hope that was fun
ItWasntMe1002: so do you like Natalie
starazul3: yes
starazul3: I do like her
starazul3: I'm sorry I do
starazul3: but i do
starazul3: but's that a secret Steph
ItWasntMe1002: haha
ItWasntMe1002: rigth
ItWasntMe1002: everybody knows

In the backseat sit Sean and Natalie. Sean has spiky hair, traces of acne, and is dressed in a black dress shirt, which opens at the chest and reveals an undershirt, and light brown khakis. Natalie is a pretty, curvaceous Vietnamese girl, and is wearing a tight, cowl-neck tan sweater and a black micro skirt with ankle high black boots. They’re both looking forward, quiet.

CAPTION
starazul3: knows what?
starazul3: that I like her?
ItWasntMe1002: yah
ItWasntMe1002: isnt it obvious
starazul3: I know
starazul3: I know
starazul3: what have you heard?

Natalie crosses her legs, perhaps conscious of her power over her neighbor.

CAPTION
ItWasntMe1002: nothing really
ItWasntMe1002: just thtat you guys had a lot of fun
starazul3: are you serious? I'm trying ot be straight up with you- are you telling me everything?
ItWasntMe1002: yah
starazul3: then how would it be obvious to you that I like her then?
ItWasntMe1002: i just know
starazul3: smart girl
starazul3: or I’m just a clumsy, obvious suitor

Sean turns his head toward the passing club lights.

CAPTION
starazul3: you know what I said before
starazul3: about me thinking she was pretty but not thinking we match in terms of personality
ItWasntMe1002: what do you mean

He screws his eyes up to read a neon sign, which reads “Nude Girls” .

CAPTION
starazul3: when you asked me
starazul3: about her
starazul3: I said something to the effect that she was cute but I didn't think we would have a lot in common
starazul3: anyway I thought that was true
starazul3: and I thought that would keep me away from liking her too much
starazul3: the problem is that I find that we might have a lot in common
starazul3: and I think I will be sorry yet for that

Moisture forms on Sean’s forehead.


That night, on the dance floor of a packed club, Natalie seems lost in the throng, and acts as if she were looking for something. Enrique Iglesias’ “Escape” blares.

CAPTION
ItWasntMe1002: im glad u like her
ItWasntMe1002: cuz shes a nice girl
starazul3: I'm not sure she's that nice

Daniel is dancing with two women who each look about fifteen years old.

CAPTION
starazul3: between you and me
starazul3: Daniel doesn't think so
starazul3: he thinks she's just playing me
starazul3: and I value Daniel's opinion so that prospect terrifies me

Linda is freaking a gigantic black man who wears gigantic clothes.

CAPTION
starazul3: read my profile
starazul3: the poem I wrote
starazul3: the title is "Natalie"
starazul3: and I am "waiting to die"
ItWasntMe1002: wow
ItWasntMe1002: shesh

Natalie continues to search. The men around Natalie swallow her with their eyes.

CAPTION
starazul3: whether it's by her "true, evil nature" (Daniel’s words)
starazul3: or just the fact that she's incredibly beautiful and just plain too good for me
starazul3: either way
starazul3: I'm just waiting for the guilliotine (sp)
starazul3: it seems time is the only obstacle before my heart is broken
starazul3: it's that simple

A tall, slickly dressed Korean stops Natalie, asking her to dance.

CAPTION
ItWasntMe1002: wow
starazul3: wow what?
starazul3: I'm fucked, Steph
ItWasntMe1002: why?
starazul3: because I don't believe it will turn out well
ItWasntMe1002: well its just a girl

Natalie politely refuses.

CAPTION
starazul3: is that obvious? thep oem I wrote is about impending doom
ItWasntMe1002: ur not in love wiht her are u?
ItWasntMe1002: u just met her
starazul3: no I'm not in love with her

Leaving the slickly dressed man, she fights her way through the crowd, still looking around.

CAPTION
starazul3: but you have to understand my history
starazul3: in high school I couldn't talk to girls at all
starazul3: because i was too afraid
ItWasntMe1002: really?
ItWasntMe1002: why

Natalie finds what she’s been looking for: Sean. Sean stands by himself at a wall, blankly looking around with a feigned smugness.

CAPTION
ItWasntMe1002: o i c
ItWasntMe1002: i kind of shy too
ItWasntMe1002: and i still am
starazul3: and it's only been the last couple years
starazul3: that I've been able to assert myself
starazul3: but long story short
starazul3: my mentality/experience with women
starazul3: is equivalent to an early high schooler's maybe
starazul3: does that help clear things up?

Natalie says something to Sean, that can’t be heard over the bedlam.

CAPTION
starazul3: and also
starazul3: I'm a writer
ItWasntMe1002: i see
starazul3: I was a writer in high school
starazul3: and what did I write about but what i wanted most?
starazul3: love
ItWasntMe1002: aww
ItWasntMe1002: how cute

She offers him her hand.

CAPTION
starazul3: it's not cute
starazul3: it's a psychological problem
starazul3: I don't feel loved
starazul3: loved
starazul3: so I'm trying to fill a hole in my life
starazul3: a humongous hole
ItWasntMe1002: why dotn you feel love
starazul3: that my mother didn't

Sean grips her hand, almost blushing.

CAPTION
ItWasntMe1002: u gotta just wait for the right one
starazul3: I've waited my entire life
starazul3: I've never had a girlfriend
ItWasntMe1002: ur only 21
starazul3: I don't even know of a girl that ever liked me
starazul3: and in the end
starazul3: I just want something
starazul3: to handcuff to my heart
ItWasntMe1002: ur not observant enough

Natalie leads Sean out to the dance floor.

CAPTION
ItWasntMe1002: aww
ItWasntMe1002: sean
ItWasntMe1002: dotn say that
starazul3: I've had my heart broken a million times
ItWasntMe1002: i feel like that sometimes too
starazul3: and you'd think I'm used to it
ItWasntMe1002: that no one likes me
starazul3: but you never are I don't think

Still dancing, Daniel watches them carefully.


Sean and Natalie are outside the club. Natalie shivers, even though she has Sean’s shirt wrapped around her. In just his undershirt, Sean clatters his teeth, though he’s desperately trying not to show any ill effect from the cold; Sean’s arms are weak looking and pale. Sean and Natalie are chatting. Sean looks away a lot, trying not to look too much at Natalie. Natalie keeps her eyes locked on Sean, and constantly smiles.

NATALIE
You’re so nervous out there. You should relax.

SEAN
I should. I should. I’m sorry, Natalie. I’m not a really good dancer, anyway.

NATALIE
Ohh yess you are. Don’t say that.

SEAN
I can’t even follow the rhythm. I feel so out of place.

NATALIE
Silly Sean Sean. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’re stupendous out there. I love how you follow what’s in your head. There’s nothing wrong with being… blatantly unique.

Natalie grins. A sliver of a smile appears on Sean, and he looks at her.

SEAN
You mean that?

NATALIE
Better better betcha I do. You’re so silly.


Much later, the group walks into a Denny’s, and all appeared to be exhausted. The clock reads 3 AM. Shelly Fabares’ “Johnny Angel” plays quietly.

CAPTION
starazul3: fuck
starazul3: do you know anything else?
starazul3: if not, i'm happy just to talk to you
starazul3: we hardly talk
ItWasntMe1002: no i dont
ItWasntMe1002: except that she thinks u guys are funny

A waitress leads them to their table, and Sean walks ahead of the rest, lost in thought.

CAPTION
starazul3: well
starazul3: that seems to be the prevailing opinion
starazul3: but seriously
starazul3: thanks for helping to set Saturday up and selling us
starazul3: whatever the outcome I really appreciate the effort
ItWasntMe1002: ur welcome
ItWasntMe1002: whats gonna happen?
starazul3: I don't know what will happen
starazul3: but that'll be mainly up to her anyway
starazul3: do you not sense the shadiness Daniel senses?

Natalie watches him, last in the group.

CAPTION
ItWasntMe1002: i dont
ItWasntMe1002: i think shes really nice
ItWasntMe1002: well shes nice to me
ItWasntMe1002: and she doenst need to be
ItWasntMe1002: but she is
starazul3: the thing is she's nice ot everyone- but maybe too nice
starazul3: honestly before Daniel said anything
starazul3: something wasn't adding up in my head either
starazul3: there's something too good to be true about her
starazul3: and I felt that and still feel that

Sean sits in a booth.

CAPTION
ItWasntMe1002: well i dont know
starazul3: I don't necessarily agree with Daniel's assessment
ItWasntMe1002: cuz i barely know her
ItWasntMe1002: she hasnt talked trash about anyone to me
starazul3: but i think he has an interesting idea
ItWasntMe1002: whats his idea?

Sean looks up, and sees a smiling Natalie, sitting next to him.

CAPTION
starazul3: well, she might be a little more subtle
starazul3: simply that her nice, cutesy act is just a lure for guys
starazul3: and coupled with her attractiveness
starazul3: it draws her a world of attention
starazul3: which is her goal: attention

Under the table, Sean’s left leg begins shaking.


Outside Denny’s, Daniel and Natalie share a cigarette. She is dressed in just her clothes again, but is not shivering. Daniel focuses his stare on her, while he passes the cigarette to her.

DANIEL
Natalie. Do you like Sean?

Natalie almost drops the cigarette, perhaps taken aback by Daniel’s boldness. She looks down, contemplating her answer. She looks at Daniel, and beams, while he looks at her sternly.

NATALIE
I don’t know. What a silly question.

To be continued…

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Dek
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Post by Dek » Tue Jun 01, 2004 3:11 pm

I'm sure I won't be the first to say that your writing is fucking brilliant. I suggest you stick them (When they go into print, or online comic or whatever) as "flashbacks" or something like that, like in the first story - they seem (like Johnny said) to be slightly "unfinished", although cute :D - flashbacks of a character-story portrait-of-a-lifetime kind of thing, that all point to a common point, or purpose. Possibly a "get the girl" one, although that is slightly overused. Maybe something à la Undergrads, where the guy ends up suddenly realized that he's a fucking moron for not realizing that there was a few people who actually loved him, and well, now all he has to do is reconcile, and be wiser. Get the girl eventually, you know he will, but not within the confines of a story.

I like how you write though, and I submit the opinion that "Natalie", if no others, is finished - I like the ending. I also like how you get the story entirely from the conversation, no internal dialogue, no captions. Just understanding.

Just my opinion, anyways. Besides, I'm a drawer, not a storyteller, If my opion is slightly bent, don't take it seriously :D

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Sheng
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Post by Sheng » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:36 pm

Hey guys, this is the next installment in my series... it's a little graphic, so if it's inapporpriate, please let me know, and I'll delete the post.

It's continued from the last script I posted:


"Confession"

Night. Dykstra Hall, UCLA- a university residence hall. Inside a dark dorm room, on a desk, a clock reads 9:07 PM. Next to the clock is a figurine of a skipping Snoopy. Mary and Natalie are on a bed. Natalie is dressed in sky blue Snoopy pajamas; Mary is a larger Chinese girl, and wears flannel pajamas, and glasses. Natalie looks like she’s been crying, and she lies in Mary’s arms.

CAPTION
Dykstra Hall, UCLA.

MARY
He’s gotta call soon! He couldn’t have forgotten, could he?

NATALIE
Mary, just don’t say anything! I’m so so scared he did. I thought… oh, I just don’t want to think about it!

MARY
Oh, Natalie. I thought he was it too. God, that bastard! How could he do this?

There is a knock at the door, which startles Mary, and especially startles Natalie.

NATALIE
Eeekk! The door!

Natalie leaps from bed and sprints to the door. She opens it, and outside, two bulky men wearing work suits that say “Ruby’s Flowers” carry a six-foot tall cardboard box vertically. They come in, and set the box down. The box is also relatively wide.

BULKY MAN
Natalie Nguyen?

NATALIE
He didn’t forget! He wouldn’t!

MARY
Naatt open it! It must be a vase with flowers… the biggest vase ever! How sweet!

One of the men gingerly cuts open the box. Natalie squeals. Sean, wearing a tuxedo, steps out of the box. He hands Natalie a rose bouquet.

NATALIE
Oh my god! Sean!

SEAN
Happy birthday, honey.

Sean kisses Natalie. They separate, and a glowing Natalie looks Sean over.

NATALIE
You’re here, you’re here! Didn’t you have class today? How did you do all this?

SEAN
I’ve been in that box for the last half hour, breathing through the air holes on top. As for class, there was a holiday today- your birthday.

They kiss again.


Two weeks later. Afternoon. Natalie, dressed in jeans and a form fitting black tee sporting a San Jose Sharks logo, walks into her residence hall’s mailroom, humming “Fly Me to the Moon”.

CAPTION (SEAN)
This is my confession, Natalie. I feel I must do this, so you may embrace me and know who I am. I understand if you cannot love me after this; if you love me still, then you shall know that you truly love me.

She opens her mailbox. She rifles through junk mail.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Confession #1: I masturbate daily, possess over 30 GB of porn (pictures and movies), and my fetishes include women in skintight latex and leather, orgies, and facials. Off the top of my head, I can probably name over one hundred porn stars. I’ve bookmarked hundreds of sites, and am currently downloading 7 GB of porn.

Under the junk mail is a letter from Sean, and is addressed from Goleta, CA.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Confession #2: Even when I am not masturbating, I touch my genitals a lot. I have a habit of picking my pubic hairs, and admiring their length and sheen, then throwing the hairs away.

Natalie beams, and races up her room.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Confession #3: Generally, I think of myself as heterosexual, but occasionally, I think I may be bisexual. I can definitely tell an attractive from an unattractive man. While I have never had an erection looking at a male, and have never had stimulation in my genitals while looking at a male, I have had a tendency to lick my lips.

Tearing into her room, which is neatly kept, brightly colored, and loaded with Snoopy souvenirs- a Snoopy piggy bank, a Charlie Brown picture frame, etc.- she jumps onto her bed, bounces and giggles, and begins reading the letter.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Other possible indicators of bisexuality include this: my favorite type of orgy is the gangbang. When I masturbate, or when I dream of sex with a woman, I always have a larger penis, and am aroused by the notion of a huge penis thrusting into a woman. There is also the instance of when I tasted my own semen.

Confession #4: It was no accident. Frankly though, I do not believe it meant much, but I will describe it. When I was, I think seventeen, after one of my many masturbation sessions, I thought to myself: “I love facials. But how does it feel like for the woman?”
I was not seeking pleasure, but an objective analysis.

The letter starts, “This is my confession, Natalie.”

CAPTION (SEAN)
So dipping my hand into my pants, I tentatively licked my finger. I do not wholly remember the taste, but it was seemed flavorless.

Later, it’s night outside.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Confession #5: Sometimes when I drive, I wonder what it would be like to hit a pedestrian with a car. When I think this I feel no anger- in fact, I feel no emotion.

The letter is in Natalie’s trashcan.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Instead, I am curious what would happen. I am interested in how their eyes would react, what the sound of a bone breaking is, etc.. Perhaps this reminds of Camus’ The Stranger.

There are no lights on, and the moon glows brilliantly inside her room.

CAPTION (SEAN)
I have wracked my brain the last week writing this. I have omitted nothing. Am I now a “bad, perverse man” in your eyes? I hope not. In my view, I do not think of myself as being worse than most people. In fact, I still think I am better.

Natalie, her chair reclined, stares vacantly at the moon and stars.

CAPTION (SEAN)
But if you love me less, or do not love me anymore, I would understand. I do not love myself any less. This is who I am. I love you, Natalie. I love you so much. You are the first woman I have ever loved, and I want you to be the last. I’m sorry.

Sean


Sean sits alone on a couch, staring vacantly, in the midst of a packed house party. Chingy’s “Right Thurr” blasts.

CAPTION
November 2003. Del Playa Drive, Goleta.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Of course, all that never happened. That is what I imagine love might be…

A voluptuous blond walks by Sean, and draws admiring glances from a few of the men in her vicinity. We are now seeing things entirely from Sean’s eyes.

CAPTION (SEAN)
... while daydreaming on the couch by myself again. Stars and honesty. God, she’s hot. Damn!

Their faces obscured, a man and woman make out standing up, in the midst of a dancing crowd. He wears faded jeans and a tight orange tee. She wears ankle high black boots, a white micro skirt, and a ripped black tee. She is red headed. They grope each other up and down.

CAPTION (SEAN)
But women like assholes. They don’t want to hear me talk.

A tall brunette woman is straddled on the dance floor by a blond man, while her blond friend, moves her face up and down the brunette’s body, simulating licking.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Jim’s probably off boinking someone now. Guess I’m sleeping in the study lounge tonight.

The make out couple go hand in hand toward a hallway. He is a Caucasian of medium height, with large blue eyes, shaggy brown hair, and red lips. She has large green eyes and a brilliant smile.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Natalie, of course, never gave me the time of day. For her I wrote that poem, but she was playing me the whole time.

The make out couple enter a bedroom.

CAPTION (SEAN)
To love so recklessly, so freely, seems impossible now.

They close the door behind them.

CAPTION (SEAN)
But… I wonder if that is for the best. Trust must be earned. Perhaps my trust was too easily earned before.

The door remains closed.

CAPTION (SEAN)
Is it not for the best that I reserve my love for someone who desires and deserves it, instead of giving it to women who throw it away, tramp on it, laugh at it?

The door remains closed.

CAPTION (SEAN)
God. I’m going to go home.

End.

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Dek
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Post by Dek » Fri Jun 11, 2004 8:27 pm

Interesting - you go for a more kind of (for lack of a better word) emo kind of guy in Sean's character. He's more the "hopless romantic" kind of guy - a very written about situation ;)

I like that one too - also more complete than the first 2 (or 3 - I can't remember and I'm too lazy to check :D). The only thing I notice is that it took a few reads to get the ending part of it (after Natalie's read the letter). It'll probably be completely smooth in comic form - but I don't know. Might be something that'll smoothen out perfectly in 'editing'. Leave this one alone for a bit - then re-read it over again. It might come out, probably just wording of that one transition part between the letter and the party.

And one last thing - Is it really possible to download 7 GB at once? ;)

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Sheng
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Post by Sheng » Sun Jun 13, 2004 4:29 pm

Thanks for the comments, Dek. I hope the transition from letter to party will be clearer when drawn, I can see where you're coming from there, I'll have to reexamine that.

I hope Sean steps out from the "emo" stereotype for you.

I guess you can't download 7 GB at once, but you can have 7 GB waiting to be downloaded :wink:

This is the second to last part:


“I was you,
kite string pinched by
steel fingers
of some supervillain”


Night. Through a student resident hall door- door number 44- a wobbly voice roars.

SANDY
He’s not that good looking anyway!

Her scornful laugh follows. A bookshelf crashes. Off to the side, a small group listens with bated breath. The group includes Tim, a tall, handsome surfer type. From inside door number 44, another voice, this one frightened, pleads.

JODIE
Sandy! Sandy!

Sean approaches the eavesdroppers, wearing his backpack. Sean is Chinese, has spiky hair, and is of average appearance. Books thud against the wall. Sean stops next to Tim, and nudging toward the general direction of Sandy’s door, whispers.

SEAN
Goddamn... is that Sandy?

Occupied, Tim does not look at Sean, but whispers back.

TIM
She’s drunk... Matty broke up with her again... for the last time. It had to be done. It’s too bad... she’s just inexperienced. What can you do?

Sean laughs acidly- Tim, and the rest of the eavesdroppers turn and glare at him.

TIM
Jesus, Sean, what the hell’s wrong with you?

SANDY
I slept with him! I slept with him! My first time... we were drunk. I thought... I thought he would be my boyfriend then.

Sandy begins bawling. The eavesdroppers continue to eye Sean, who walks away, smirking. He opens his door, closes it, and drops his backpack on the floor. Sean doesn’t turn on the light. He sits and starts his computer, while looking pensively outside the window. A thick fog obscures the view.

Sean remembers a restaurant patio, lunch with Sandy, as he looked despairingly upon her, his hand extended across the table, holding her’s. Sandy’s appearance is obscured.

SANDY
Sean, I don’t think of you that way. I’m sorry.

Return to the present: Sean is opening a Word document- a poem titled, “To Sandy, In Front of Her Mirror”. He reads aloud.

SEAN
Sandy, wash it off,
I don’t care anymore.
You are beautiful.
You want the truth?
Colonies of pimples rent your face.
You’re ten pounds overweight.
Not a ship would fight in your name.
But wash it off, because
I already love you.

Sean stands, indecisive, as Sandy’s voice streaks.

SANDY
Why doesn’t he like me??? God, am I that horrible???


Later. Sean is dressed in Superman pajamas, and tiptoes through dark hallways. At door number 44, which is also dark, he leans up, and says softly.

SEAN
I understand, Sandy. I understand.

When you rejected me, I was hurt. As hurt as you are now perhaps, except I didn’t allow myself to cry.

But I’ve learned to not give insignificant people dominion over my psyche. Like... you walk into a cafeteria, and discover you’re wearing mismatched socks. You have two options before you: to be self-conscious, or not.

Those hypothetical cafeteria people are so insignificant. I hope you will learn this. I hope you will be able to discern persons significant from insignificant.

I am petty. I reveled in your tears.

But I’m also sorry. Because I was once you.

End.

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Sheng
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Post by Sheng » Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:06 pm

This is the last part of the series of stories... please let me know if it's a satisfactory conclusion.


“The morning broke on her face”


An intensely sunny afternoon at a park. The park is on a street corner, about the size of a middle school auditorium, and has two palm trees, a picnic table, a grill, and grass.

CAPTION
March 2000. Indio, CA. Jacob Dominguez Park.

SEAN (caption)
October 8, 2009

Dear Kathy,

You aren’t likely to remember who I am. Over a decade ago, we went to the same middle school and high school. I sincerely hope you’re well.

Next to the picnic table is a packed Ralph’s shopping cart: two stuffed Hefty bags, a bamboo staff, six gallons of water, and a mini stove are among the plethora of things in the cart.

SEAN (caption)
I’m writing to thank you. Besides my mom, you were the most influential person in my life. Which sounds ridiculous, I know, because we rarely spoke.

Sitting at the picnic table is Sean, in the shade of a palm tree. He is 18, Chinese, has a shaved head, and plenty of acne. He has soft features, is 5’7”, and weighs 135 pounds. Sean is wearing a faded black and white checkered plaid, old jeans, formerly white Vans, and thick glasses. He appears distressed.

SEAN (caption)
We were twelve. We had a class together- English, with Mrs. Huntzinger. You were, and I’m sure you still are, the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. Needless to say, I had a crush on you.

Sean blankly watches two boys fly a kite with their father.

SEAN (caption)
I was too shy to talk to you, but had much to say nonetheless. I note that I was a vacuous child: I was more concerned with the latest Angels score than anything.

So I wrote silly love poems, promising to love you forever and some such. At that time, my greatest poetic inspiration was Richard Marx, so you can imagine what I oozed out.

The father eyes Sean suspiciously.


The sun has begun to set in Indio, which is a typical California city, except hotter. Sean, sans the checkered plaid, wears a plain white tee and a packed backpack, and crosses a gravelly road, pushing his shopping cart toward a sign that reads “Interstate 10 East: Right Lane”.

SEAN (caption)
A year later, at the library, I had the idea to find a better poem, a poem worthy of you. I found it: Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty”. I can still recite it.

The gravelly road leads to a high sidewalk that does not include a downward slope for wheel access. Sean sees this, and mutters a profanity.

SEAN (caption)
“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.”

Obstructed, the cart stops, and Sean struggles to raise the front of the cart over the side, using his foot on the back of the cart as a lever.

SEAN (caption)
“One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.”

Sweat forms on Sean’s brow, but he is able to raise his cart to the sidewalk.

SEAN (caption)
“And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!”

Sean trudges toward the interstate on ramp.

SEAN (caption)
I will remember “She Walks In Beauty” until I die. That poem, more than any other art I’ve encountered, obliterated my life- because that poem was what I wanted to express to you.


Night. The sky is cloudless, and features a brilliant moon and countless stars. Sean, now wearing a saddle brown-colored windbreaker, a navy beanie, and the checkered plaid, pushes his cart alongside the interstate, against light traffic. Various cars streak by him, including many big rigs. Along the interstate, on both sides, are vast stretches of desert.

SEAN (caption)
I dreamt often of reciting that poem to you.

Sean passes some man-made structures: a small chapel, a bustling Indian casino, and a rest stop. But the desert is otherwise deserted. Sean is laboring, and occasionally takes a gulp of water from his bottle.

SEAN (caption)
Realizing “She Walks in Beauty” was art, it occurred to me that other art could be as gorgeous, and moving.

I started listening to music (not Richard Marx), watching movies (I had seen “Home Alone”, but not “The Bicycle Thief”), and reading voraciously (I averaged five hours a day).

At a streetlight, Sean stops. He puts his backpack down, and takes out a pocket-sized notebook.

SEAN (caption)
My life became another animal; I was a new person. I identified myself as a writer, going so far to declare: “I am a writer, I know no other way to speak, I know no other way to breathe.”

Sean swigs his water bottle then huddles under the orange glow. A white 1987 Toyota Supra races by. Sean begins writing in the notebook, which seems to comfort him.

SEAN (caption)
After we graduated high school, I even did the “Romantic/writer” thing, telling my mom that I would never go to college, and that I would travel, walk across the country.


Later that night: under an interstate bridge, Sean has packaged himself into the shopping cart, a thin cotton blanket covering him. All his things are stuffed in the Hefty bags and backpack, which are to the side, on chalky desert sand.

SEAN (caption)
You and “She Walks in Beauty” made me an individual; I had been destined for a cookie cut existence.

Unsuccessfully, Sean tries to sleep. Various vehicles, mainly big rigs, clatter over him.

SEAN (caption)
It’s a lot because of you that I am who I am today. So again, Kathy, thank you. Life takes us on many strange trails. But the beauty your beauty begot carries me every day.

Sean Pan

Sean opens his haggard eyes, and gazes at the brilliant moon that washes over him.

End.

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