- Age / Gender:
- 21, Male
- Winnipeg, Manitoba
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My name is Travis McDougall. I'm a reviewer on site and appear in the Newgrounds Anthology. Thanks for stopping by.
- Community Stats
Level 1 Art Lover
Ranked as Civilian
(For my mood music, I listened to The National-Exile Villify
And yes, you can use this, just credit me as the author. To put things into perspective, this was written in one sitting after three hours of listening to music and staring out the window.)
There's a keyboard playing in the back. I remember the song. I used to sing it when I was sixteen, way back when I was so sure of things. It didn't matter that I didn't know what the words meant. It just felt so right to me that I should sing it.
There's a woman in the back. No, she's not my wife. My wife doesn't know about her, at least, I don't think she knows. It's hard to tell sometimes. She almost seems to know sometimes, and then she doesn't, or she won't let on that she knows. Makes me wonder though, is that if she knows, than why doesn't she get a divorce?
There's a bottle of whiskey, half empty. It's not hers. It's mine. You can't be an actor without doing something stupid, so I guess drinking too much was my stupidity. I'm not sure sometimes why I do it. When I do though, it all makes sense, or at least I just stop caring about how little sense it makes.
There's not much else in the back that people can see. I mean, there's loneliness, but as much as I feel differently about it, it's not like anybody but she can see that loneliness, and even then she can only see it when she wants too. Most of the times she doesn't, but does that really matter? Maybe, maybe not.
Will I be going to the back? In a bit. First I should probably get drunk. I can't go back there when I'm sober. It doesn't feel right.
Does anything feel right? No, I suppose it doesn't. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I wasn't supposed to be betraying my wife, like this. Back when I was sixteen, I wasn't going to do any of that. She was there for me, and I was going to be there for her. That's all that mattered. Three years, maybe four long miserable years, doting on her, helping her through everything she did, picking her up when she couldn't walk, staying strong for the both of us, waiting for that day that she'd hopefully let me into her heart. I'm glad she did, but I was supposed to love her faithfully, just as I had before she loved me back. What went wrong?
On the stage, it made sense. Back when I was sixteen, it made sense even when she didn't love me because I could make pretend and she had to go along with it. I got to see her, be right in her face and she couldn't say boo about it. Did I annoy her? Probably, especially when she got mad at me. She'd have to face me, biting it all back, talking to me sweetly, glaring at me, but still keeping in line with her character. She was a good actress.
She was good at a lot of things when I was sixteen. She was a beautiful singer. I loved listening to her sing. She didn't know, she still doesn't know, but back when, I used to listen at keyholes, listening to the sound of her voice for hours on end. I loved the way it sounded. I would record her, she being blissfully unaware of my presence, and listen to her voice deep into the silence of night, guided gently to sleep by the goddess of my thoughts, made aware of her presence in my subconscious.
She could also draw very well. What a fantastic artist she was! My word, the few times when, completely in scholarly interest, she'd ask for my intellectual assessment, how I loved what she had created without exception. What lines, what an imagination! How graceful and beautiful did her hands guide along the pages, creating scenes of the most fantasies from what had before been nothing! And yet, she was never happy with her work, cursed by her artistry, constantly making a thousand changes here and there, and then hopelessly surrendering, knowing she had failed herself once again. What a poor soul she was, back when I was sixteen!
Along with her art, her writing was beyond what I had thought. At first, she did not offer more than tastes of her true capabilities, hiding her true literary genius beneath a mask of modesty, tortured existence and her own lack of satisfaction with it. It was not until she began to confide in me, those long four years later, that she opened herself and her life to me. Her diary, what a magnificent piece it was! The journal entries of her childhood trials and youthful experiences were so fanciful and honest they brought Hunter to shame, and with the captivating attention of Poe if romantic! How sad, sweet and sad, sad and sweet were the nights I read that diary, her head rested sweetly on my shoulder, my hand gently holding her, closer than ever did I feel on those nights when I read her diary!
But what happened? I loved her, did I not? Or was I instead in love with her because I could not have her, and when she offered herself to my existence, did I lose interest? No, no. I love her still. It's just, with age she seems to have lost her spirit, that playfully lustful spirit of her teenage years, that way of thinking that made her true arts come alive. Did she die in a sense? She was not the same woman she had been when I was sixteen. She was different now, reserved, ordered, educated, to close, too certain of herself. There was no thrill in acting with her now, no thrill in reading about some trivial experiences in her diary, nothing to make me want to look at her obvious, solid and theoretical art, created not with some driving emotion, but because I told her I wanted her to. She was not the same woman, and that made me sad. I had loved her, and now what? She was distant, real, substantial, just another consumer, just another woman, just another person. A stranger again, it seemed, but a stranger that I did not care to know, did not want to know.
No, not all was lost on her, but I wondered too many times if I meant anything to her, or if that with her age came that she took me for granted, almost as another piece of furniture in our house. She didn't hold me anymore. She didn't want to make love to me anymore. She never asked how I was or told me she loved me or anything like that. The only time we interacted was when I was staring out the window and she would ask me to move so she could vacuum the one spot on the carpet I stood on. I used to eat with her, looking sombrely at the food either of us had prepared, eating it without joy, all too aware of the silence, but then I just got so fed up with it that I started applying for more acting roles than I should have. I didn't make most of them, but I told her that I did, feigning a rehearsal as an excuse to travel the city and escape that appalling silence.
That's when I met Juliet. No, not truly Juliet, but something that might as well have been Juliet to distract me from my Rosalind. Was it at the art gallery that I met her? No, I had seen her before in a distant show, a cosmetics specialist hired originally for me. She did my make up only once; hardly impressed with me, but then she was moved to another actor. I saw her at the art gallery later during one of my 'rehearsals'. Any excuse to get away from my wife, it seemed.
"Hey, you're that guy," was the first thing my Juliet said. Hardly the beautiful thing my wife had said back when I was sixteen as we first embraced, whispering in my ear how much she wanted to run away from the world, those many long years ago. Damn it woman! Why couldn't you stay that way?
"I guess," I said. She was that girl, I presumed, a pretty young thing, but I hardly noticed. I wasn't at the gallery to appreciate how things looked. Why had she been there? Was it fate, or just a coincidence, a coincidence all too likely in the course of coincidences to be called a coincidence? Was I supposed to cheat on my wife?
I don't know who brought it up, but we had coffee later that night. Her name was Cassandra, but she wanted to be called Rebecca. It made her seem younger, she told me. It was a sexier name to her. Was it to me? I didn't know, but there was something definitely better about calling her Rebecca than Cassandra. What was it? I don't remember anymore. It didn't seem important.
She wanted to meet again. I wanted to as well, not so much that I liked her yet, but that she distracted me from my horrible existence with my wife. We set up another date, another cafe. She liked it black, just as my wife used to when I was sixteen. Now she put cream in it because it was too strong for her. But Rebecca liked it black. I got my usual, just one cream, not stirred in.
"Why don't you let them stir it in?" she asked as we sat down on a Thursday. We were going to a movie later that night. My wife had a business meeting; she would never know when I came home.
"I like to stir it in myself and watch the swirls slowly merge into the coffee, changing the entire thing. It's like the cream has changed the world and is asking, daring you to point it out."
She didn't get it, but she tried. At least she tried.
The movie wasn't bad. A little long, but that was nice. Rebecca wanted to hold my hand halfway through. Couldn't hurt. She had a nice hold, like she was putting herself, her existence into my control. It was a holding of hands that spoke in trust, an intimate trust. She fell asleep, her head on my shoulder, her lips curled gently into a smile.
I drove her home. Did my wife find out? I don't know. Not yet, anyways. She doesn't trust me anymore, it seems, and not because I'm never around, or maybe she just doesn't have any more secrets. A woman is so much more beautiful when they have something to hide, something more to tell you because when they finally tell you that, there's nowhere more that the trust can go.
Rebecca had a secret. I found it out on another night. We had gone back to the art gallery when she asked me for a kiss. Whatever. I'm an actor, I've kissed women before.
Why is it that she was so good at everything? Rebecca's lips were gentle, but expert! That kiss we shared reminded me of the old days, of when my wife finally trusted me way back when, when she kissed me, my first, on the beach at the full moon. Rebecca reminded me of that full moon, of that beautiful waves and the way the wind used to play with her hair and the way she turned to me and smiled and everything was right...
We went home to her place. She has this nice apartment, a pretty place with a few pieces of furniture and a lot of paintings, but real art, not like the lifeless commercial "cottage in the wilderness" or the depressing flowers on my wall.
"I guess I'm a painter," she said as I marvelled over them. What works! Her brushstrokes were so fine, so timid and yet her palette was so forceful! Again and again I poured over on a self portrait. How magnificent was the figure! How tranquil the swirls of cyan on soft lavender, strokes of lilac poured throughout! It was me at sixteen all over again, pouring through my unhappy wife's art books in her youth, marvelling at their fantasy with awe. But I was older, haunted by my memory and my trying life, and it seemed so much more meaningful now to a lost actor of twenty five.
She took off her jacket and hung it up, gently seducing me. An intentional stroke here, an outline there, an abrupt sexy turn all quietly fed to me, the quiet actor, who ate it up. Why did I desire Rebecca? Was it the sense of freedom she gave me? She reminded me of my past, of my history, a history that I had waited for so long.
She drank a little too much. I guess I did too, losing track of time. In my drunken stupor I felt sixteen again, and Rebecca was my love standing before me, all the years of abandonment coming to an end. She was there for me, and I for here.
At first, it was only another kiss, but then my hand explored her form. Ah, what a goddess she was! Her flesh, soft and beautiful, quivered in allowance beneath my touch. Her hands reached for my shoulders, then my back. We kissed again, moving our hands around, learning each other's figures.
She started unbuttoning my shirt, slowly reaching around my naked chest. She guided my lost childish hands to hers, helping herself out of her clothing, letting it slide away from her form. I was watching a flower, the bud emerging into full bloom, the petals purring in front of me, wrapping around me, holding me tight. This was a memory I had longed for, a memory that felt so very right...
I found myself guided into her, deeply embedded into her life, a whole new introduction of my person to her. I was man and she was woman. That was all that mattered on that night as Rebecca and I embraced, killing the past and coming back to life.
After we had finished, she ran a bath and cleaned up. She offered me a shower, which I took, donning my clothes after. I didn't stay. My wife would wonder where I was.
We did it again a week later. Was there anything wrong with it? Perhaps, but I was too blinded by my emotions to care anymore. I needed that raw pleasure and passion that I had back in my youth, and Rebecca provided me where my wife had failed.
I snapped one day at Rebecca though. She wanted to take it further, try to get pregnant. I didn't want that. I'm a married man; it was bad enough that I was seeing Rebecca in the first place!
It's amazing the things I forget to consider when I'm drunk.
Was it a coincident that she got pregnant? Again, I don't know. I wonder though why of all times, it was that third night, and not the first two. My wife never found out where I went late at night. I began to stop acting entirely, seeing Rebecca more and more in feigned rehearsals, especially when she got pregnant.
Can I have a child with her though? No, it wasn't right of me. Can anyone blame me for not wanting the child? I am a married man, and having a child with another woman before your wife isn't right. There were things about Rebecca that were right, but not that she was bearing my child.
My wife thinks I'm losing my sanity. I might just be. I haven't slept in nine days, haven't eaten in three, drinking water minimally to pass the days. Can I call it a worry? Yes, indeed I worry about Rebecca, especially now, after what I've done in the back.
She doesn't know. I haven't told her what I've done to her. It took some powerful drugs to keep her asleep the whole time.
I hope the miscarriage doesn't hurt. I guess killing her baby means it's over between her and me. I guess I should just throw this crazy dream away and head home to my wife, back to her miserable lack of life, back to the world I sought to escape. Eat something, and sleep. Yes, that's what I need now.
As I leave Rachel's apartment, I bring the syringe with me. If my wife asks, I don't know what to tell her. Maybe I was bored and I found it. Who knows? I'll think of something in the morning. But I don't want to go home yet. I want to take my time, and take the long way home.
Maybe I'll stop by the gallery. Maybe.
And get some coffee.
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