Hi.. just to let you know upfront, that this is a very occasional time I decided I wanted to try to have a little fun trying to write fiction. It is totally out of my comfort zone, but what the heck….. So if you’re not up for it, don’t worry I understand! I hope it meets the criteria given as the word ‘gonzo’ is completely new to me.
Challenge : (Follow the link to participate)
In summary, the basic hallmarks of Gonzo journalism are:
- First-person narration.
- Dialogue complete with vernacular.
- Lots and lots and lots of detail.
There was a choice of 3 scenarios, I chose this one:
You’re in a street-side café in San Diego, California. The couple seated at the next table is
So I’m sitting in Ella’s cafe, in San Diego temperature in the 80’s, wondering what my next story will be and thinking I better do it soon; it was due before the end of the day. I decide that I think better on a full stomach so I ordered the easiest thing; the daily special, a corned beef on rye with a side of coleslaw and of course coffee, strong and black. The place has seen better days, but it’s clean and that’s all I cared about. It’s certainly wasn’t crowded but I guessed that most people have lunch before three in the afternoon. I took out my pad and pencil and started thinking of some possibilities. Before getting anything down on paper, I notice this young couple probably in their mid-twenties. The woman was attractive, blonde hair dressed in jeans with a pink top that complimented her and made me look twice. The guy is good-looking, but unkempt in his appearance, and had a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and doesn’t give a very good first impression, or second!
I tried to get back to the matter at hand, but their voices started getting louder and I couldn’t help but listen in. The woman’s saying, “I can’t take it anymore, it’s gone on too long.” Then he says “What ‘ya mean? I’ve done so much fer ya. If it wasn’t for me, you’d be nothin’.” She looked like she just wanted to get up and leave but you could tell she had something still to say. “Johnny, we were good together and could have made something of our lives. but you’ve changed. Look at you. Look at what drinking has done to you. You haven’t shaved in a month, your hair is greasy and right now you’re drunk.”
“Right, I’m drunk but you drove me to it. Wiffout your constant naggin’ and bringin’ me down, I’d have made somethin’ out of my life. Instead, all I do is lissen’ to you complainin’ all the time; Johnny get a job; Johnny stop drinkin’; Johnny, Johnny, Johnny… do this and do that!”
I could see that this young woman was clearly upset and tears welled up in her eyes. “You were so different when we met. You had hopes and dreams. You were going to finish college and become a lawyer… a lawyer Johnny! We were going to get married and have kids and a home and a beautiful life together. You won’t even try, and I can’t do it for you, and I can’t stand by and watch you destroy your life. I need more!”
“You need, you need, thas’ all you care ’bout… what you need!’
With that she gets up from the table and says “I do love you, and I’ll always wonder what could have been I guess, but it’s the end; good-bye Johnny!” “Go ‘head, go ‘head, leave. Y’ll be sorry, y’ll want me back, ya know ya will.” With one glance back she walked out and after she leaves he put his head down on the table, repeating over and over….. “sh’ll be back, sh’ll be back!”
I felt sorry for the guy; sorry for her too but had to turn my thoughts back to my next story. I had a deadline to meet. In an instant I knew what it would be. Sure, lots had been written about alcoholism, but seeing the destruction it had caused in this young couple’s dreams and aspirations for a future together, and the pain, I had a whole different perspective. This story was going to be the best by-line that I had written in a long time and who knows; somehow it might make a difference in somebody’s life. But before I start, I need to eat; I think better on a full stomach!