The other really famous song by UK New Wave band Yaz, this one interestingly straddles the line between New Wave and the emerging House genre. While I can’t say for certain this would be the first instance of house music, this definitely comes across as one of the earliest known songs.
“Situation” was originally released as the B-Side to their other hit, “Only You”, but it proved to be popular enough in its own right that it saw release in 1982, but not in their native UK. The song peaked at #73 in the United States, and was a top 40 hit in Canada. It wasn’t until the song was remixed and reissued in 1991 that the song hit the charts in the UK, peaking at #14. The song hasn’t really been covered, but both lyrics and instrumental have been sampled, most surprisingly for the 1990s hit “Macarena”.
A second year of stories in DC Entertainment’s “New 52” universe has come and gone, and it’s time to take stock of the books I was reading, and whether or not I will be reading them for another year.
Overall, the types of stories we’re currently seeing could have easily just happened under the old continuity, proving that the initiative is more window dressing and/or publicity stunt than an actual attempt at infusing new energy into historic characters. Sure, Grant Morrison’s run probably wouldn’t have worked in the old continuity, but something like Throne of Atlantis, or even Forever Evil could have.
Grant Morrison ended his run, Andy Diggle came on for all of one issue and then there were some fill-ins that have lead up to Greg Pak taking over the title. It sounds like a hot mess of creative teams (and it was), but the title scraped by. It had a number of poor issues (4 in total), but exceptional issues (5) managed to bring the overall average high enough to keep the book.
I’m looking forward to see what Greg Pak brings to the table. If his fill-in on Villains month was any indication, he understands and respects the mythos, while clearly wanting to bring something new to the table. I’m interested to see just how much old and how much new shows up.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo brought us a Joker story that sort of fizzled in the end, and then went back to the beginning of Bruce Wayne’s career as a crime fighter. The one consistent thing about this title is the art work, and that’s what largely keeps me coming back. Snyder has some good ideas, but they don’t always work in execution. So far “Zero Year” has filled in some of the blanks that we didn’t really need filled, but managing to maintain some level of entertainment.
Regardless, the level of quality on this title is still quite high with only a few issues rated poor (3) and many rated exceptional (7). I plan on keeping this title for another year and seeing where it takes me next.
I dumped this title after James Robinson’s last issue. DC editorial interfered on one of the highest quality books out of the line. Robinson was doing some amazing things with the characters and storylines. I really have no interest in what the new writer has to offer. Up until Robinson left, no books had been rated poor in the second year, while half of the published books ranked exceptional (2). Of course, DC doesn’t care much about that.
Looking back at the second year, the creative team of Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul didn’t introduce nearly as many characters as they did in the first year, but they did manage two major storylines and quite a number of subplots. As frustrated as I got with the pacing of this title at times, one has to give credit to the creative team for at least trying.
Unfortunately, the team and the artwork was what kept me coming back to this title each month. None of the issues hit exceptional level, and with two issues rated as poor, there just isn’t enough there to keep me coming back. Considering Manapul is off to the Bat-titles, I’m taking this opportunity to drop another book off my reading list.
Another frustrating title at times… Geoff Johns has some big, cinematic ideas, but they often get caught up in bad writing. The title was rather hit or miss as a result, with exceptional issues (4 in total) equalling the number of poor issues. There’s enough to keep me interested, but unless the quality really improves in the next year, this title will probably be next on the chopping block.
That said, the artwork on this title is also top-notch moving from Jim Lee over to Ivan Reis with some fantastic fill-ins in between. At least editorial is getting something right with putting high quality talent on this book.
I’m not going to take serious stock on Adventures of Superman or Superman Unchained at this point, as neither book has completed a full year’s worth of stories yet. That said, both have been rather consistent in their storytelling, and I imagine they’ll be on my reading list for a while.
I’m going to be taking a couple months off from reviewing books, with the exception of Adventures of Superman. I’m switching to digital to save space, and with digital prices dropping two months after the on-sale date, I’m more inclined to wait to read the latest issues. I realize this doesn’t mean my reviews will be as fresh as other people, but an average for $3.99 when I was paying a buck a book when I first started collecting in the 90s… well, there’s just too many economic reasons in favor of waiting to save that dollar per book a month. So wait, I will.
I was gutted when Bloc Party took a hiatus after their third album, Intimacy. For me, this UK based post-punk band spoke to me throughout my 20s in a similar way that Joy Division did. Except, Bloc Party was around, whereas I missed Joy Division’s initial offering by two decades. When Bloc Party reformed to write Four, I was elated. They released an EP worth of new material this past summer, and I got excited because it felt like they were really back for the long haul.
And then they announced another hiatus.
“Ratchet” from the The Nextwave Sessions EP has been my jam at the gym for the last month or so. It’s just got the right beat, right feel and the right motivation behind it. Bloc Party may no longer be around (and may never come back), but I’ve got four fantastic albums and nearly as many EPs worth of their music to look back on as I reminisce about old times, and look forward to as their music pushes me to the next physical level.
This will be the final excerpt for this year. Yes, I know I had six major characters, and I’ve been doing an excerpt for each of them, but the fact of the matter is the sixth character (Marita) was so woefully underdeveloped that I couldn’t find a passage of hers that I liked. I can’t justify writing her out, but next draft, I have to make a better effort to write her.
Anyways, Cady… Cady was supposed to be the catalyst, but she didn’t quite turn out that way. She was supposed to be the glue that stuck the group together. That largely remained true. She was also supposed to be a bit more of a bitch, but her character soften. I’m not sure I like that necessarily, but it is what it is (until I decide to change it).
Anyways, I know there’s still a few hours left of writing for some, so I wish the remaining participants the best of luck in crossing that finish line! Write, keeping writing, don’t stop writing!
Cady pulled her phone away from her ear and looked at the display screen to see the Robyn had ended the call. “Okay, I guess we’re done talking then,” she said as she placed the phone down on the table.
She and Konstantin had gone to their favorite little bistro around the corner from Konstantin’s dorm building. It had been a favorite of theirs for a long time, and it was apparent by the crowded tables inside that they were not the only ones that felt that way about this place. They had managed to get a small two seater table outside where they could enjoy the sunshine, and be able to people watch.
“Did she just hang up on you or something?” Konstantin asked.
“She found a dress,” Cady replied simply.
Konstanin raised an eyebrow. “She hung up on you because she found a dress?” Konstantin asked. Cady nodded her head in confirmation. “I am never going to understand women…” he remarked casually.
“That’s funny, because you’re only a few chromosomes short of being one,” Cady teased.
“Bitch, please,” Konstantin replied, followed by a small laugh. The server approached the table and asked if they wanted or required anything else. Konstantin and Cady exchanged a quick glance with each other before Konstantin shook his head at the server.
“One cheque, please,” Cady instructed before the server had an opportunity to ask. The server acknowledged her request with a curt nod before walking off.
“I can pay my own way,” Konstantin replied.
“Please, you’re the only important man in my life at the moment,” Cady pointed out. “Let me treat you for once.”
“Suit yourself,” Konstantin replied. “But I caution you, I could get used to this sort of treatment.”
Cady could not help but laugh. “Yeah, I could be your suga mama if you play your cards right.”
“I could do a lot worse,” Konstantin pointed out. They both laughed. Cady and Konstantin had been in the same freshman economic class together. It was a requirement for her degree in politics, and since it was the same requirement for Konstantin’s own degree in economics, they supported each other and bitched their way through macro and micro economics. Konstantin in that time period had revealed his sexuality to Cady, one of the first people that he had ever told, and in turn she told him her dirty little secret: that she was paying her own way through university.
While both of Cady’s parents were chief executive officers for mid-sized corporations, and owned their own three bedroom condo on the Upper West Side, they believed strongly that their only daughter should learn the value of not only striving for what she wanted in life, but to also know the price of those goals. While they had purchased a condo in Alphabet City on the east side, it was done so with the intent that they would sell it once the market had gotten better. In the meantime Cady and Robyn lived there rent free, but Cady was responsible for paying her own tuition, which she did so from a trust fund that her grandparents had set up for her when she was a child, and her own living expenses.
Cady did not necessarily resent her parents for the decisions that they had made for her. It was though lessons that had pushed her into the realm of politics. There, she could exert power and influence, while deciding her own destiny. Her long term plans were to go into politics, but first she wanted to get her feet wet by either going into political policy for be an aide for an existing politician. She had spent the previous summer interning with one of the New York State senators, and her plan was to use that as a springboard for the next big move in her eventual career.
The server arrived with their bill, and mistakenly handed it to Konstantin. “I’ll take that,” Cady said just loud enough that the server could hear her correction as she reached for the slip over paper. “Don’t go away,” she instructed to the server as she dug into her purse for a credit card. She handed it along with the receipt back to the server with a flick of her wrist. The server scowled once again and stalked off.
“That was full of attitude,” Konstantin pointed out quietly with a sly grin on his face.
“He should learn that a woman can negotiate the male-driven patriarchy. He needs to learn a little respect.”
Konstantin rolled his eyes. “You just wanted an excuse to power trip,” he countered. “There was no lesson there at all.” Cady stayed stone-faced. “Right?” Konstantin asked.
“You may never know,” Cady said, her expression never breaking. “So, what’s the plan for this evening?” She asked. “You can get ready at our place if you need to. That’ll definitely facilitate the pre-drinking before we head out to Terminal 5,” she offered.
“You want me to try to get ready in your apartment where two women occupy only one bathroom?” Konstantin asked. “Please, I’ll have better luck fighting off all the guys in the dorm.”
The server returned with the accepted transaction slip, Cady’s credit card and a pen. Cady scrawled her signature, leaving a decent tip, and handed the slip and the pen back to the server. The server glanced at the slip, a genuine look of surprise overcoming him. “Have a lovely day,” he chirped happily before walking away.
“Suit yourself,” Cady replied turning her attention back to Konstantin. “But be at our place no later than eight,” she instructed.
Konstantin rose from his seat and gave Cady a little salute. “Shall we head to the liquor store?” He asked.
Cady stood up form her own seat. “Let’s,” she said, grabbing her purse off the ground beside her chair and slinging it over her shoulder.
“Have you heard anything from Marita, yet?” Cady asked as they slowly starting walking down the street.
“I thought you hated Marita,” Konstantin inquired. “You’ve both been pretty catty towards each other in the past.”
“Well she did try to hit on me in freshman year,” Cady pointed out.
Konstantin shot Cady a look of disbelief. “Honey, a simple flirtation from nearly three years ago a blood vendetta does not make.”
“It’s not a blood vendetta,” Cady argued. “It’s… active dislike.”
Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned about doing good work. Protect your work and if you build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency. — Patti Smith
I never really thought of it before, but this song really is New Wave. It’s been classified as bubblegum pop as well, the genre I would associate with it, but if you get past the pop lyrics, the instrumental track is quite New Wave in its construction, and its usage of synths.
Surprisingly this song is a cover of a song originally titled “Kitty”, released in 1979 by the band Racey. Toni Basil changed the name and gender of who she was singing about to male, and the rest is history. The video for “Mickey” is also notable for being one of the first popular music videos to feature a choreographed dance sequence, something we take for granted in music videos three decades later.
Robyn ended up being a fun character to write, and the female character that came easiest to write. The direction that I was going to take her in originally isn’t the one that ended up occurring in the novel, proving that you’ve got to have a little bit of flexibility in this contest and just let things happen. I think those changes in her story are ultimately for the best.
I had accidentally gave chapter two to both Tam and Robyn when my original intent in terms of narrative was to focus on one point of view character per chapter. When it comes time to edit, this excerpt will actually be the beginning of the new chapter three.
“Our place for eight,” Robyn instructed. “You remember where the apartment is, right?” She inquired. Tam nodded his head for the second time in the last half minute. “That’s perfect! Listen, I have to get going,” she announced as she stood up from the bench. “But what we just discussed… let’s start getting that into motion,” she confirmed. She picked her bag up off the bench and hung it over her shoulder. “See you tonight!” She exclaimed with a little wave before walking off in the general direction that she had originally come from.
She had originally come out this way to look at the boutiques in the West Village. She needed a dress, something completely knockout and as unique as possible for the party that evening. Knowing the types of people that Cady associated with in high school, Robyn was really going to have to step up her game with her outfit that night. She would then have to hustle back to the apartment she shared with Cady in Alphabet City to finish her paper.
As a major in Culture and Media, Robyn had found a program that truly ignited her passion for culture, cultural consumption and how media effects the two. She still had not decided on what she wanted to do after she had graduated next year, but she figured that there was still time to figure that out.
Her parents had started expressing a desire for her to move back to Chicago, but she knew for certain that was definitely not what she wanted. As much as she loved her hometown, it was not home for her anymore. New York City had changed her in the last few years. Not many people knew that the outspoken, overly confident Robyn that existed in New York City was not the one who originally moved from the Windy City three years ago. That Robyn was a shy girl who found it difficult to connect with people and to express herself.
Since moving away from Chicago she had developed a group of friends both within and outside of her program, Cady most notably, who had since the middle of their sophomore year together, had been roommates. In many ways Cady felt like the sister or just the sibling that Robyn never had.
Her boyfriend, Van, had also been an incredibly encouraging force in her life. A Columbia student, studying for a Masters in Journalism, they found that they had many interests in common. He was contributing to culture and media through his writing, and she was consuming it and analyzing it on a daily basis. They had been together for just over a year, and while they were not ready to take their relationship to the next step, Robyn was seeing the potential of staying with Van in the long term. He had aspirations to be a political correspondent, with an eye at either staying in New York City or moving to Washington. He would be finishing his graduate program at the same time that she would be completing her undergraduate degree. There was still a lot of options up in the air, and decisions would have to be made before she knew it.
However, the only decision she planned on making that day was what dress she would purchase and wear that evening to the party. After walking for fifteen minutes, Robyn finally arrived at her destination, a little vintage boutique at the corner of Horatio Street and Eight Avenue called Darling. She had discovered the small shop during freshman year, and had instantly wanted every article of clothing that the store had for sale. She unfortunately had to restrict her purchasing for special occasions, but considering she had already purchased her dress for the Zenith several months ago, an off the shoulder number from Marc Jacobs, she figured she could justify the expense for the party that night.
She stepped into Darling and was instantly hit with the aroma of fresh cut flowers. The owner of Darling, Ann Emonts Sherma was obsessed with ensuring that there always be fresh, seasonal flowers in the boutique. Often the floral bouquets were central to whatever clothes Sherma had on display that month. The first time Robyn had ever been in the shop, Sherma had only white dress, skirts and blouses on the racks with vases full of light purple orchids located throughout the space.
Robyn had hoped that Sherma would be in. She had been served by her a few times in the past, and had built a report with her. She was disappointed when she was greeted by a salesclerk. “Is there anything I can help you with?” The clerk asked.
“Possibly,” Robyn replied, trying very hard not to sound skeptical as to whether or not the store clerk could be of any assistance. “I have a party tonight… at Terminal 5,” she added. Robyn had learned quickly that in New York City the more you name-dropped the more connected you made yourself appear. It was not about making yourself look somehow more superior. Making yourself look connected presented itself with opportunities. Opportunities to meet new people, strike a deal or a future person to call up for a favor. This was one of the first lessons that Cady had taught Robyn when they had initially met.
“What type of party is this?” The shopkeeper asked.
“I get the impression it’s a bunch of people, some alcohol and a live band. I’m sort of looking for something that’s going to turn some heads.”
The shopkeeper smiled knowingly before turning and walking towards the back of the store. “I’ve noticed you before,” she commented as she started sifting through one of the racks. “Ms. Sherma has mentioned you before…” the shopkeeper stopped and pulled a dress from the rack. She twirled around and held the dress out. “And she’s quite fond of you,” the shop keeper added.
The dress looked like an exact replica of the little black dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Instead of black, it was a solid shade of violet, and Robyn was already picturing how she could accessorize the dress.
“That might be perfect,” she whispered. She stepped forward and took the dress from the hands of the shopkeeper and walked over to a nearby mirror, holding it up to herself. The dress, just standing against her black skin was absolutely stunning. It looked like it would be a perfect fit as well.
The shop keeper stood behind her in mirror’s reflect. “I think that dress was made for you,” she remarked. “And we actually have a sale on that dress at the moment as well,” she pointed out.
Adventures of Superman #10
Cover: Sean Galloway
Writer: Josh Elder
Penciller: Victor Ibanez
A sick little girl’s only wish is to travel to Metropolis and see her idol, Superman. Her and her family get more than the bargain for when they are caught in the middle of a fight between the Man of Steel and Metallo.
A fairly generic feel good story. They’ve been done before, and Josh Elder with Victor Ibanez don’t really improve on the formula, nor do they fail at telling the story. When it comes to stories such as this, with a character like Superman, you can usually guess the outcome (positive) even before the rising action in the story is completed.
“In Care Of”
Writer: Derek Fridolfs
Penciller: Sean Galloway
A new take on the old concept of the Metropolis Mailbag, where Superman answers letters sent to the Daily Planet. In this case, it’s a young boy who’s town is being terrorized by a monster.
This version of “write Superman a letter” story works a bit better than the previous one, and the question of why DC Editorial continues to couple similar stories together in this anthology baffles me. It’s clear that one story is vastly superior and readers will judge the poorer story more harshly as a result.
While Sean Galloway’s art is a bit too cartoony for a regular Superman book, it’s great fun to see him in this title. He‘s style would work especially well in a Saturday morning cartoon about the Man of Steel.
The Flash #25 - “Starting Line”
Writers: Brian Buccellato & Francis Manapul
Pencillers: Francis Manapul & Chris Sprouse
Cover: Francis Manapul
A Zero Year tie-in see Barry Allen fresh out of the Central City Police Academy heading to Gotham City to help out with the black out emergencies. He’s sidetracked in a case involving a new drug called Icarus that has some fiery side-effects, and in the process of his investigation is introduced to Iris West, an intern at the Gotham Gazette.
Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul give us a swan-song and a tie-in to the major events going on in Batman at the moment. While trying to smash the two ideas into one story might seem a bit reaching, they come closer to succeeding with this tale than you think, wrapping up one of the lingering plot points from issue #1. It’s not a perfect issue, but there have been worse in this title. With a story like this, I have a feeling that my previous suspicion about this book being better to read all in one go comes up again, and the next time I have an afternoon free I may just do that.
Francis Manapul only provides a few pages of art in this issues, with Chris Sprouse taking up the rest. Sprouse’s work is fairly classic in its renderings, but there’s a feeling that the Flash just isn’t his sort of character. Superman or maybe Green Lantern yes, but there was a lack of kinetic energy on the page with this character.
The character of Tam was supposed to be one of two catalyst characters in the novel (Cady, to be introduced on Thursday is the other one), but I didn’t end up using Tam in quite the way I had intended to. He’s present throughout the novel, but he doesn’t really get his due until the very end.
He was also the most difficult male character in the novel to write, sometimes coming too similar to Eitan.
Also, I managed to cross the 50,000 word mark last night, designating me a winner (for the seventh time!) in National Novel Writing Month. The story itself isn’t finished, so I’m trying to push through it and have it done by the end of the week.
Tam exited Marlton Residence Hall, steaming mad. He could not help that his meeting with a potential thesis supervisor had gone longer than he expected. The meeting itself had been successful, and Tam hoped that it meant he would be able to spend his senior year at New School working on a thesis and spending less time in the class room. While he loved the Urban Design program, as one of the youngest students around, he found it difficult to connect with his peers. Or rather, more to the point, his peers did not want to connect with him.
One of reasons that Tam had pushed to get onto the organizing committee for the Zenith was so that he could gain a little bit of respect and recognition from those around him. Many had exhibited surprise when they found out that he had been selected as one of the organizers. It had not been difficult. The committee member that had selected him was in a class with him during sophomore year. She had a crush on Tam, and he had ended up using that to his advantage, taking her out on a couple dates and even going so far as to sleep with her before asking for the little favor. Some would consider that manipulation, but Tam saw it more as creating opportunities.
Tam had been doing that sort of thing for most of his life. As the youngest child in a six child Vietamese family, Tam has spent most of his life trying to gain attention, respect or just acknowledgement from his parents and older siblings. Tam was the only one of his siblings to not enter a pure science or math program in university, and his parents had made their displeasure of this well known. His father was a pediatrician and his mother real estate lawyer in private practice, who had a combined degree in math and chemistry.
Two of his siblings were currently in residence to become doctors themselves, his eldest sister was about to finish her PHD in Math that she had fast-tracked through, and his sibling closet to him in age had entered dental school the year before. And that did not even cover his eldest brother who was working with a renowned biochemist in France. Tam’s gut feeling was that he was never going to be considered the most successful child in the family. He resigned himself to accepting that and simply doing what he could. As a result, he was considered the rebel of the family, bucking tradition and upsetting his grandparents who had expected big things from all of their grandchildren.
Tam started making his way westward along West 8th Street towards the subway station located at Sixth Avenue and Waverly Place. With nothing else pressing that would keep him in Manhattan, he figured he might as well start making his way back to his parent’s house in Brooklyn. He ran into Robyn near the subway station.
“Robyn, how’s it going?” He asked, greeting her. Her hands were full, with a coffee in one and another holding her mobile phone but he leaned in to give her a hug anyways. Robyn had turned out to be one of the few people from school that was genuinely nice to him and they had developed a friendship with each other.
“I missed you at the meeting,” Robyn said. “How are you?” She asked.
“I’m doing well,” Tam confirmed. “My meeting ran a lot longer than I had expected it to.”
“How did it go?” Robyn asked as they started walking down the sidewalk together. “Where are you headed?”
“Back to Brooklyn,” Tam confirmed. “And the meeting went really well. I think I may have a supervisor which means I can go into the thesis track instead of purely classwork.”
“That would be exciting,” Robyn replied happily while she tried to arrange her bag back onto her shoulder. Tam stuck his hand out to offer to carry something for her, and she passed his coffee over to him.
“Sorry I missed the meeting,” Tam apologized.
“I wouldn’t worry about it too much,” Robyn assured him. “We’ve totally got this entire thing put together. Now it’s just a matter of sitting back and waiting for event day.”
“Could you maybe remind Konstatin to have that same outlook?” Tam asked, his annoyance still showing through.
Robyn snorted in return. “Konstantin is just being his usual dickish self. He was like that in the meeting as well. Tam, try not to take any of it to heart. Konstantin just has his own agenda for this party, and that involves putting it into Closet Case.”
“Don’t we all have an agenda?” Tam asked passing Robyn’s coffee back to her after she had successfully put her phone back into her bag and repositioned it on her shoulder. “I mean, I’m doing it to get a little bit of respect…. you’re trying to get Van in…”
“Neither of which will likely happen in the way that we hope,” Robyn pointed out.
Tam smiled. “It doesn’t have to be like that though,” he countered. “We could get Van into the party.”
“You’re not suggesting that we sneak him in, are you?” Robyn asked. “Because even if Cady’s my roommate and one of my closest friends, that would never fly. Believe me, I’ve tried.”
“No, Tam replied as they approached the subway station. “We change the rules. We open it up to plus ones and significant others that don’t go to the New School.”
“And how do you propose we accomplish that?” Robyn asked skeptically. “Last time I checked, no one was taking you seriously.”
Tam frowned. “Well, all we need to do is get five out of the six organizers to agree to a rule change, and we have it done.”
Robyn looked at Tam with a slightly stunned look on her face. “Are you suggesting that we change the rules of the Zenith?” She asked. “That’s never been done before.”
In the near decade that the Zenith had been thrown, the rules had been simple. One, it had to be organized by six students in their junior year. Two, the party was to be thrown for the juniors attending the New School. Three, each junior invited was permitted to bring one guest, but that individual also had to be a student of the New School. Four, each member of the Zenith committee picked a committee member for the new year once the party in the current year was completed. Many past students who were on the committee took that fourth year very seriously. Passing the torch to the incoming year of juniors was a very big year. Robyn reminded Tam of all of these rules.
Surprise! This song is a cover. By little known alternative rock band Ednaswap from the United States. It was originally written in the early 90s and featured on their debut album in 1995, covered several times (with little to no acclaim) before Natalie Imbruglia’s own interpretation took radio by storm in 1997/98. For a song that was only a few years old by the time Imbruglia’s version came out, speaks volumes to the strength of the song both lyrically and instrumentally.
The song itself does not really showcase Imbruglia’s singing talent as she sings it in a pretty average register in a particularly safe way (her own solo material does a better job of showcasing her as both a singer and a songwriter), but this is the song that propelled her to stardom, and the one that most people associate with her. Not bad for a cover, eh?
I’ve written just over 46,000 words as of today. So while the contest end is in sight, I’m actually still a considerable way until I’m finished the actual story. The plan is to likely cross the 50k mark, making me a winner on Tuesday, and then pushing through to finish the story itself by the end of the week.
This excerpt, from the fourth chapter starts to flesh out the character of Konstantin. Originally Konstantin was going to be more a foil for another character, but I’m finding that I really enjoy writing scenes with him. If I ever get around to writing a second draft, he’ll probably have a more fleshed out role.
Konstantin parted ways with Cady a short while later, ensuring that she was bundled into a signature yellow New York City cab before taking his time to make the ten block walk back to his residence hall. He enjoyed walking around the city whenever the opportunity came up. His family lived in Astoria, Queens, and while he tried to get back there for dinner at least once a week, he found himself loving the city life. If given the option, he would live on Manhattan Island for the rest of his days, but he would have to make his final decision rather soon.
As an only child, the expectations for him to succeed in life were high. Coming from a Greek family, it also meant that the expectation was he would one day have to take care of his parents, a thought that really did not appeal to him him in the least.
He had found that he had only been able to truly express himself since moving into the city. Living in a dorm felt a little immature at times, but living in the dorms also meant that he was able to properly express himself. His parents, and in fact most of his extended family were unaware that Konstantin was gay, and he had a feeling that if that information got out, that it would make things awkward, and incredibly uncomfortable. He considered both of those outcomes completely unnecessary, and as a result kept himself in the closet with his family over it. He had one cousin, on his mother’s Italian side, Gianni, who knew. Konstantin had come out to Gianni when they were both fifteen, Konstantin confiding in Gianni that he thought he was having strong feelings towards another boy in class. Gianni took the revelation of his cousin’s sexuality well, and had kept it a secret all those years since.
After Gianni, Cady was the next person in his life he told, aside from the string of guys he had either slept with or secretly dated in the last six years. Nothing serious had ever become of it for the most part, especially when he still lived at home with parents. That mostly changed when he moved out for university. He was free to see whom he wanted and do whatever he wanted with them, with no fear that his parents would walk in on him kissing another guy, or even worse. Since that time he’s had two sort of boyfriends and, a few shorter term flings and a handful of one night stands. He was more or less out to his peers and finding himself more comfortable with who he was as a person.
A couple blocks from Marlton Hall, Konstantin remember that he was supposed to call Marita. He pulled his mobile phone out of his pocket and scrolled through his contacts until he found Marita’s number, hitting the image of her face to start the call. The phone rang several times before it finally switched over to her voice. “Hey Marita, it’s Konstantin,” he began. “Just calling to see what happened today… we were all supposed to have that final meeting for the Zenith. Anyways, just noticed you didn’t call or anything beforehand. Hope nothing serious is going on. Give me a call when you get a chance, okay?” Konstantin ended the call and placed his phone back in his pocket.
He was about to step into Marlton Hall, when he saw the Closet Case walking down the sidewalk. Konstantin could suddenly feel anxiousness building in his throat. His crush was seemingly walking right towards him. He had to look casual, calm, collected, but he was completely freaking out on the inside. He briefly considered running into the Marlton Hall and getting out of the way completely, but now there was no time; Closet Case was only a couple dozen feet away and closing the gap between them.
Konstantin pulled his phone out of his pocket once again, as if he were checking it for text messages, trying to appear as casual as possible. He glanced up just as Closet Case walked past. Closet Case did not make eye contact back with Konstantin, making him feel immediately deflated and defeated. Konstantin sighed and started making his way into Marlton Hall, and up to the third floor where his dorm room was. He used his swipe card to enter the empty room. It was exactly how he had left it a couple hours previous. Apparently his dorm roommate, Mathias had not come back to the room in the meantime. Konstantin flopped down on his bed and closed his eyes, trying to run the events of less than five minutes ago through his head.
It was a complete disaster. Closet Case had not even made eye contact, and to Konstantin that meant Closet Case probably did not even know who he was. His grand plans to get the ultimate prize, Closet Case in bed suddenly felt like an infinite impossibility. Annoyed, he rolled over and grabbed his Macbook from his nightstand. He opened it up and waited for the machine to boot itself awake. Once logged in, he tapped the iMessage icon, the menu popping open a minute later. Several notifications popped up, indicating that people had messaged him since the last time he was on the computer. He scanned the names. One was a hook up from the weekend previous. A guy he had run into in a dive bar in the West Village, and brought back to the dorm room after.
Konstantin had refused to give the guy his number afterward the account, instead opting to give him the iMessage account he used for classmates, other hookups and people he generally wanted to ignore. Real friends, and the people who mattered, were the ones who got his mobile number and had the ability to contact him at any given time.
Konstantin clicked on the guy’s name, opening the message exchange. He had apparently sent the message a couple hours ago, wondering what Konstantin was up to that evening. It was clear to Konstantin that he was looking for another hook-up. Konstantin considered answering right away with a response in the negative, but thought better of it. It was far better for his Friday night interests if he kept a good Plan B. He might not be able to pick someone up at the party, if he even decided to try, and to have someone waiting in the wings would be advantageous.