A Slanted Light


Image Source: Ashley Noelle

Blue, blue windows behind the stars,
Yellow moon on the rise…

Kate and Alex, having survived the wedding and skipped the reception, were back home together on the couch, Neil Young: Greatest Hits on the stereo, air conditioner going full blast. She packed a bowl and inhaled deeply, the flame from the lighter curving over the edge and practically into the shaft, and passed it on.

“Well, that was not the greatest time of my life!” Kate said.

“Ah, young doomed love,” Alex said. “Makes the heart go pitter-pat, doesn’t it?”

“Seriously,” Kate said. “I mean, I like them? But really, there’s nothing there.”

“This wedding was…..helpless, helpless, heeeelllllllpless,” Alex sang along with the chorus. “Nothing there. And those vows! ‘Oh, I’m so glad God brought us together!’ Um, no, a bottle of Cuervo and a slippery condom brought you together, hon.”

“BAAHHH!” Kate said. “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

“Purity is a many splendored thing,” Alex said. “And believe me, I’m not at all slamming genuine faith. But I know the bride all too well, and let’s just say that her Jesus has a lot of blind spots.”

“Her own personal Jesus, as it were,” Kate said.

“Yep,” Alex said. “You should see the psalms all over her Facebook wall. Which psalm is ‘Get thee obliterated and pregnant whilst thy boyfriend is on a business trip and thy will still be more righteous’ again?”

But only love can break your heart,
Better be sure, right from the start

“Great point, Neil Young!” Kate said. “So their whole marriage is built on a suspect platform of holy matrimony? I’m shocked! What about the sanctity of marriage?”

“Man, this stuff is good,” Alex said, holding in a toke. “Yeah, this marriage is about as sanctified as a Kardashian wedding. Meanwhile, some of our best friends can’t legally marry. How fucked is that?”

“Don’t let Old Frothy Santorum hear you say that!” Kate said. “Agreed, though. It was a nice church, at least. I really liked the chandelier and the window.”

“Yeah, we should do that in here!” Alex said. “I can imagine the slant of afternoon light coming in.”

“That would be kind of a reverse Amish all-seeing-eye,” Kate said. “A peephole for Jesus!”

“Shit, you’re right!” Alex said. “I’d melt in a pool of sinful mush.”

“Wouldn’t want to mess up the rug,” Kate said.

“I guess the light slants wherever you want it to, Jesus window or not,” Alex said. “And it still keeps me searching for a heart of gold…”

The afternoon went on, and Kate and Alex talked, smoked and drifted in and out of naps while new marriage bloomed, old love was shoved under the rug and the world spun on a slanted axis.

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29 comments
  1. frothysantorumsogross!! That said, your last line gave me chills.

    • Frothy Santorum gives me chills, too… ;)

  2. Love the last paragraph here.

    • Thanks! That was a total last-minute add-on, actually. Glad it worked out.

  3. good stuff.
    Your characters are much more coherent than I am when they get high.

    • It’s been a while. My weedologues skills could use some sharpening.

  4. morezennow said:

    I love your title (and of course, all of it), how it pulls it all together. It’s a refreshing take on the current sitch with our GOP runners. And on their sanctimoniuos garble. You’re the bestest!

    • *bowing humbly*

      • morezennow said:

        PS…I tagged you in my post today. Feel free to play if you can drag yourself away from your genius for awhile. :)

  5. writerwendyreid said:

    Good post Brian. I could actually hear them speaking in my head and I agree, they were very coherent (maybe too much) even though they were high..but it still worked and I liked it. :)

    • Thankyah!

  6. I was going to challenge you with this: http://wp.me/p1Cvgh-ER, but it would probably be easy for you.

    • Harrr…*I* like the idea…

  7. writerwendyreid said:

    Hey Brian….I’m giving you the Liebster Award..if you want it. Go here for details:

    http://wendysworksdotcom.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/my-first-award/

  8. Wendy, thank you so much! You are too kind, and I’m seriously honored and humbled. I’m actually not doing any more peer-awards, and I think Bluebird summed that up for me perfectly here (http://bluebirdblvd.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/hey-now-bluebird-blvd-won-two-awards/), but thank you!

  9. Fabulous piece. I come to your blog to read your creative, twisting and turning witty pieces. Restores my faith in the originality of good writers.
    Also, dig EG’s comment heh. gotta agree.

    • *blush* and *wink, nudge*

  10. Lisa said:

    I like how you wove in the threads of Neil Young songs. Nice touch. I don’t care for Kate and Alex, really. Actually I hate them! ha! I don’t like when people mock others. Am I a little off ? Are they as unpleasant as I think they are?

    • That’s certainly a valid point, Lisa. Personally I don’t see mocking so much as illustrating absurdity with absurdity. I have known people who view their faith as a license to judge others as less righteous (the good Senator Santorum immediately comes to mind here), people who view their faith as a get-out-of-my-sins-free card like the bride, and people who see their faith as matters of convenience (I once dated someone who said they believed in God because she prayed for a waterbed and He delivered). This story is sort of a composite of all three. Not to say that Kate and Alex are moral fonts, but I think they’re more just venting after being exposed to the fraudulent side of faith. I am certainly the voice in the story that says I’m not slamming genuine faith, but I personally am very disturbed at how faith and belief can be co-opted and bastardized. It’s a good debate piece, at least. I appreciate you offering your thoughts!

      • AgrippingLife said:

        I agree about Santorum. I don’t like the guy. I hear what you’re saying. I probably read too much into it. I’m just aware that there is intolerance on both sides. I don’t like anyone who acts as judge, no matter how obvious circumstances may appear. I’m a mental health therapist so I probably apply my own little therapeutic spin to your characters. I’m just overly sensitive to those who are vulnerable. ; )

        By the way – I’m a Romney girl.

      • Awesome, I’m a mental health patient!

  11. Alex @ Raw Recovery said:

    Loved the Kardashian wedding line. I think this is probably my favorite story of yours yet. I could really identify with the thoughts on religion/love/marriage. I grew up in the Greek Orthodox church and ironically it was when I lived in Greece that I had a sort of spiritual awakening. Most of my friends are gay but most of my family is very conservative (and are not open minded because of their religious beliefs) and it’s so frustrating to me that the legalization of gay marriage causes such high emotions and I can’t talk about it with them. Great story!

    • Talk about it all you want here. ;)

  12. Lily said:

    I agree with Lisa. Kate and Alex sound annoying, but they are so realistic! I have heard conversations just like that. I agree that it’s off-putting when people are religious all of a sudden when they are getting married, or during christmas, or what not. I mean, it’s hard when you can tell someone is being fake or keeping up appearances. But, should we be the ones judging?
    But there are so many people like Alex and Kate. And they seem like a good fit for each other!
    Good story! Would you call your writing flash fiction?

    • Thank you, ma’am! Honestly, I haven’t stopped to think about labels or genres or anything like that. I just try to write five a week! Maybe call it American Attention Span Fiction? ;O

      I suppose Kate and Alex are a bit more smug (and coherent!) than I intended. Definitely a fair call, and something for me to keep in mind…

      • Lily said:

        But it worked! It’s very realistic.

      • Yeah, I think they’re definitely a reflection of these times in the states. Everything is so horribly polarized now. Depressing.

  13. I love how you have woven this piece together!! :)

    • Good thing I wasn’t listening to Beiber in the car. ;)

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