Entry by Wellington team ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ for the Rialto Channel 48Hours Furious Filmmaking Competition 2013.
Team intro for Wellington team ‘heads I win, tails you lose’
feat. Katie Galt and Adam Slocombe
shot, directed & edited by Aaron Ly (3by5 productions)
logo graphic by Axel Deventer
music courtesy of Big Bang & Fuzz
Made for Rialto Channel 48Hours Furious Filmmaking Competition 2013
I kinda wanna get into a fight sometime. You know. Like a big ol traditional scrap, with fists and elbows and feet and knees. Scrapes and bruises and bleeding knuckles. Not so much broken bones maybe, but plenty of abrasions from the asphalt.
I don’t really know why. It’s just a thing I think sometimes. It’s not like anything in my life would give me reason to want it, and considering my stature I’d probably get taken out by a single, solid punch, but nonetheless. It’s sort of a lingering thing. I get a weird kind of hunger at the thought of it sometimes, moreso than fear or anything else. It’s probably some complex psychological thing. Or maybe it’s not so complex? That could be interesting to know.
I know violence isn’t the answer and all that, and it’s probably a bad thing to think of. But maybe it’s the prospect or temptation of some kind of catharsis. The sort of release of emotion and adrenaline and exertion of physical strength that you don’t usually get in every day situations or whatever. Act like some kind of wild animal, tire yourself out, then recover and build yourself up again.
Maybe there are other people like me or around me who think this too? I’m sure I can’t be the only one. That could be interesting to know, too. Whether I’d go up against a friend or a stranger, both could be interesting experiences, I suppose. It’d be a mutual agreement, of course. That’s the only way it could work.
Well, anyway. It’ll probably never happen, and even if I do come close to it, who knows what I’d pick between flight or flight. Realistically, it’d probably be flight, but who’s to say, y’know?
The things that we think sometimes though, right?
(28/05/2013 – written for prompt blog deadtowrites)
You know that feeling you get when you’re lying in bed and suddenly you think you’re falling? You know the one I’m talking about. In fact, I think just about everyone does.
It’s a weird feeling, isn’t it? I looked it up once, trying to find out if there was a proper name for it. It does, by the way – it’s called a hypnic jerk. Basically it’s caused when your limbs are going to sleep but your brain is still kinda awake. Your brain thinks your body is going to fall so it sends a shock to your muscles to help protect yourself, I guess.
It’s kinda like the sensation you get when you look up at the clouds on a sunny day, I suppose. Sort of. The falling part of it anyway, maybe. The sun is out, the sky’s about as blue as it can get, the clouds are passing over your head, and you feel like you’re falling backwards into nothingness. I’ve always kinda liked it, myself. There’s something soothing about it to me. Something mesmerising and ultimately soothing. Whether you’re lying back on the grass in the park or standing still on the sidewalk, it’s the same either way. You feel at content and at peace and like you could fall asleep, right then and there.
I miss that feeling a lot lately. Things are just too crazy now. There’s just so much to do and so many things to deal with, and too little time to be able to deal with it all one by one. Or maybe that’s just me – I’ve never been very good at compartmentalising. I mean, I like to think or say that I’m a logical person, and I am sometimes. Thing is though, I know I can be damn emotional, too. Sometimes if something is getting me down, it’s hard trying not to let it affect me in other areas of my life as well.
I try though. I dunno. All I really just want is a chance to breathe, y’know? Have a day or two to myself. Take some time to reconnect – with my own self, other people, the world. Just lie back and look up at the sky, watch the clouds pass way up high over my head, and feel myself sinking gently back into oblivion; slowly, endlessly.
(19/05/2013 – written for prompt blog deadtowrites)
There are perks to living up the street from the rental store.
It means being able to go down whenever we want and take our sweet time choosing what movies we want to watch. It means being able to watch it over and over again, as many times as we want, right up until the last five minutes before it’s due back at the store. It means quick and cheap relief from boredom when there’s nothing else to do and it’s too grey and rainy to go into town.
Those are my favourite kinds of days. The ones where we haven’t got a lot planned, but we manage to spend our time well anyway. When we just wander on down to the video rental store, get out a bunch of movies, then come back and sort through the pile for the one we want to watch first. Then we make a big pot of tea for two and make ourselves comfortable amongst a mound of pillows and under thick blankets, whiling away the afternoon with B-grade Hollywood blockbusters, or enthralling thrillers about wolves in the Alaskan wild. Sometimes we get so caught up in the action of it all that the tea goes cold. I can’t count how many times this has happened.
Maybe it’s a cheap and lazy way to spend our days, but hell, it’s a lot of fun. Most anything we’ll decide on doing when we hang out will always be awesome in my books. And what’s more entertaining than sitting down all cosy warm with you and making sarcastic commentary at the screen anyway? Not much, I can tell you that.
(13/05/2013 – written for prompt blog deadtowrites)
I have this dream.
It’s the height of summer and the day is warm. I’m out somewhere doing something or other when I get this text message from you. Wanna see something cool? it says. That’s all it says, but it’s enough.
Next thing I know I’m at your place. It’s late afternoon or early evening by that point – early enough yet that the cicadas are still in full swing, but late enough that the crickets are starting to strike up their repertoire too. Anyway, you answer the door with that smile of yours that I only ever see when it’s just the two of us, and you usher me into the house with an urgent gesture. “Quick, before it’s gone!” you say, as you shut the door behind me and hurry me along into the living room.
The French doors are flung wide open onto the back yard and there’s a beautiful view of the city and the harbour below. The sun just about gone down proper now and the sky is painted in glorious shades of pink and blue. You sit me down on the grass and settle down beside me, pointing out at clouds on the horizon that look almost like cirrus clouds, but that I know aren’t.
Suddenly we’re not at your house at all, but we’re walking along a beach at night. It’s still warm, and we tread through the shallows with our bare feet and our jeans rolled up to our knees. Something lights up under our feet as we traipse through the wet sand – something phosphorescent, luminescent, awe-inspiring. Whatever it is, it’s brilliant.
“See?” you say to me. I turn to look at you and you’re grinning almost in a way as if you’d made those noctilucent clouds and those bio-luminescent sparkles yourself. You reach out and playfully cuff me on the shoulder. “Didn’t I say it was cool?”
I have this dream.
It’s the height of summer and the day is warm. We’re talking and laughing like we always have, I am content as I have ever been, and all is good and right with the world.
And then I wake up, and the nights are cold and you are dead.
(10/05/2013 – written for prompt blog deadtowrites)
I think J thinks life is a game.
He always seems to float along, as if that’s his whole existence. Unburdened by troubles, free of worries. Cloud cuckoolander, but tank as all hell. Content with what he has, but take what you can and give nothing back.
People might say it’s ‘cause he thinks he’s invincible, and so he’s cocky and arrogant and careless. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I mean, they wouldn’t be totally wrong. I don’t deny that he’s a little careless, and he can be the cockiest, most annoying jerk ever to exist sometimes. They wouldn’t be completely right though either. It’s not that he thinks he’s bulletproof. He doesn’t ignore the inevitability of death, so to speak, I think he just sees it as little more than a slap on the wrist.
That’s always puzzled me, how he can just take everything as it comes and not even sweat it. He cracked his collarbone and a few ribs once, in a skateboarding accident, a couple days before me and A had our first gig. Put a tooth through his lip and sprained his ankle, too. He’d have probably done his head in one as well if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet. But he was so chill about the whole damn thing.
I was there when it happened, it was pretty brutal. One minute he’s at the top of the vert doing a grind along the coping, next thing you know there’s a crackand the guy’s lying sprawled on his back at the bottom, looking surprised as anything, and his board’s gone skittering away somewhere.
We all ran over to him then, me, A, and S, crowding over him and pretty much yelling at him if he was alright. He looked pretty stunned for a couple seconds and the wind was all knocked out of him, but then he just starts giving the wheeziest damn spluttering laugh I’ve ever heard in my life.
“Did you hear that one, E?” he managed to get out, like he was the proudest man on earth. “Ow! God damn! I think I broke a rib!” Then he starts laughing like the crazy sonuvagun he is. I remember A put his face in his hands and S just straightens back up and shook his head. “You’re off the fucking chain,” I recall him half-growling. “You could’ve died, you bloody loony!” J just starts spitting out blood and more laughs, the sound just about as rough as the concrete he almost landed on. “I fucking love helmets!! Fuck, ow!!”
I visited him at the hospital later. He was all scrapes and gauze and stitches, but way he was lying back on the bed watching TV he might as well have been in a five star hotel in Paris. “Yo,” he greeted me. “Hey, did you know I nearly punctured a lung?”
I grimaced. “Not really an image I want to think of,” I replied. I sat down on the chair next to his bed and put my feet up on the side of the mattress.
“Kinda blows you landed yourself in hospital,” I told him. “Now you won’t be able to come see our show.”
“Oh man, that’s right,” he screwed up his face in an expression I can’t tell is a frown or a laugh. “Tomorrow night, huh? A and E’s moment of fame. The beginning of a new age of electronic music!”
“Hardly, dude, it’s barely a forty minute slot.”
“Hey man, a gig is a gig is a gig.” He grins at me. “And I’m sure A is psyched.”
“Sure, if you consider ‘oh fuck, we’re either gonna bomb hard or just scrape by’ as psyched.”
J laughs in the same kind of wheezy way as he had the day before and then winces. “Goddamnit, dude, don’t make me laugh, I got broken ribs over here.”
“Ain’t my fault, man.”
“You’re mean. Anyway,” he waves his hand at me. “Go on and get, you and A got a show to get ready for. I’ll figure something out.”
“Sure, sure. Don’t push yourself too hard.” I get up to leave. “Oh, him and S send their love, by the way.”
“Did they really?”
“Actually they told me to tell you to go take a long walk off a short pier, but same thing.”
J isn’t one to believe in much, but I think if anything else he believes in serendipity. I’m not even sure if that’s really possible, but somehow shit always works out for him. Anyway, the night of mine and A’s gig at the local dive, we were just about to start our set when we see someone shove his way through the crowd and push himself right up beside S in the front, all scrapes and gauze and stitches. Three guesses who it was and the first two don’t count.
He was back on his board again after a few weeks, around the same time me and A managed to get a second show secured. As anyone that practices will do, J got a lot better at skating, and it wasn’t the last accident he had. But for some reason he always likes to remind us of it, and say things like he reached a whole new level of experience that day, cracked ribs and all.
I think J thinks life is a game.
(09/05/2013 – written for prompt blog deadtowrites)
That’s how long it’s been since she’s seen him.
The last she heard from him was a simple ‘ok’; the briefest and most perfunctory of text messages. What it was in reply to she can’t remember anymore, but she doesn’t suppose it really matters. Seems like forever ago now.
It’s not the first time he’s dropped off the radar, he’s done it once or twice before. He never offers an explanation and she doesn’t tend to ask for one. It’s not that she doesn’t care – she cares a whole lot. But so long as he bounces back, and he usually does – so long as he returns to his usual, sober self, all she asks if he’s doing alright. The answer is usually yeah, I’m fine. Or yeah, I’ll be alright.
It comes and goes in waves, she knows. A constant ebb and flow, of highs and lows, good days and bad ones. Sometimes all he just needs some time to himself. A day or two, maybe three or four.
But never as long as three weeks.
She tries not to pry or interfere, but two days later she finds herself at the door of his house. All the curtains are drawn and the neighbourhood is quiet. For a minute all she does is push her hands and her ear against the front door, listening for any sign of life. She doesn’t hear a thing. So that’s when she raises a hand and raps gently on the door with the crook of her finger. Nothing.
She calls his name. For a few seconds more there is silence, but then there is a soft click of the lock and the front door opens.
He looks disheveled. Tired. There are dark shadows under his eyes and he looks pale. He’s wearing a thick, oversized wool jumper but there’s a kind of visible frailty to the body underneath. At first she is taken aback that she can think of nothing to say, but eventually she finds herself asking him: how have you been?
He pauses, as if trying to think of a response. But then he just gives a strange, almost wistful half-smile and steps back to let her in, closing the door behind her.
She walks into the lounge. The whole house is dark, and something unpleasant hangs heavy and tepid around her and sticks to the back of her throat. She grimaces, goes to the nearest window, pulls apart the blinds and undoes the latch. Dust motes swirl thickly in the air. You’ve been hiding away for far too long, she comments. She goes to the next window, pulls apart the blinds, opens it.
When she doesn’t get a reply she turns around to look towards him. He’s still standing in the doorway, his hands in the pockets of his baggy jeans. He looks down at his bare feet with something almost like a kind of quiet guilt written on his face.
She calls his name again and he glances up at her with an expression like that of a repentant child. He mumbles something under her breath that she doesn’t quite catch. What was that? she asks. He gives a sound almost like a sigh then lifts his head to meet her gaze.
I was doing so good, he says.
She tilts her head sidewards in a questioning manner. He pauses, then takes his hands from his pockets and begins to take off his jumper. He lifts it up, over his head, then lets it drop to the floor. She holds his gaze for a while longer, then finds herself looking down, towards his body. Towards his bare arms.
Her mouth opens as if to make some kind of shocked utterance. Her eyes flicker towards the coffee table, and that’s where she sees also…
She looks back up towards him. That strange, wistful half-smile is back on his face and he shrugs one shoulder.
I almost made it, he says. I really thought I could.
He shrugs again, then lowers himself down to the carpet, slowly. She clamps down on the feeling flooding her chest. Walks towards him, kneels down beside him, takes his hand and presses her forehead to his.
For a moment silence hangs between them. She can think of a thousand different things to say, but she knows that right now in this moment, they will not help him. Maybe later. But not now.
The quiet settles like a blanket. Then suddenly he gives a harsh, mirthless laugh. She pulls back from him slightly, surprised. He stares emptily into space, as if a million miles away, but his hand shifts to take a hold of hers.
I did three days, he murmurs. Then five days. Then one week and even two. Then sixteen days.
He laughs again, softly. Sixteen days, he repeats, humourlessly.
So much for sweet sixteen.
(07/05/2013 – written for prompt blog deadtowrites)
(You’re a lot stronger than you think, you know.)
I don’t know about that. I don’t feel very strong right now.
(Oh but you are. You really are.)
I’m not though. I’m really not. I’m just kind of ordinary.
(Don’t say ordinary. Never say ordinary. You’re the most amazing person I’ve ever met, and you’re so much braver than you know.)
Why do you always say things like that?
(Because it’s true. You just can’t see it because you’re you.)
I guess if you say so.
(Don’t be so doubtful. Be confident! You’re strong and you’re brave and amazing, and one day you’re going to do great things.)
Great things huh?
(Yeah, great things. You know what I’m talking about.)
I don’t know about that. I just work hard maybe, s’all.
(Ah, dispense with the modesty. One day you’re going to do great things, and you’re going to rule the world. I just hope I’m there to see it.)
(04/05/2013 – written for prompt blog deadtowrites)