I instructed Chat GPT to write a pitch for my novel My Bad Side based on this tagline: Three days Dee could not remember and now would never forget
My Bad Side is a psychological thriller that follows the story of Dee, a young woman who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the past three days. As she struggles to piece together what happened during that time, she begins to uncover dark secrets and a web of deceit that threatens to destroy her life.
As Dee delves deeper into the mystery, she is faced with unimaginable horrors and must fight for her survival against powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden. With the help of a few trusted friends, Dee must use all of her strength and cunning to uncover the truth and protect herself from those who seek to do her harm. Filled with twists and turns, My Bad Side is a gripping and suspenseful novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
Lanny is a delivery driver and talks incessantly about cleaning the roads of debris to his girlfriend, Vera. He talks about all of the blown-out tires, the plastic and metal of every description, the roadkill in all their decaying stages, all of it dissolving into the pavement, grass and bushes, all of that needing to be cleaned, sorted and dumped.
He then talks about their apartment, how they need to clean the kitchen and cupboards, get everything in order. Vera takes the comments as an attack and tells him she is going away for the weekend. He throws her suitcase down the hallways. She screams at him and he hits her and leaves. He comes home to find her drowned in bath
Half thoughts come to me as I waver between sleep and playing word games. I have been left alone. No one is coming to find me. I will stay like this.
These tiny bits percolate from my subconscious – or so I decide – unbaked nonsense. My foot twitches, a muscle in my left shoulder. I am still on the dock, the paint can hot in the sun. I am watching Maude and then a Japanese superhero show. The color goes in and out.
I am asleep for the briefest of moments and trying to remember. You’re jealous. You hate it. Phrases like that by an odd voice in my head. Who is that? It isn’t me. My thumb gets tired. I text badly like this. I am falling asleep again. I almost drop my phone and type that. I should do something. I really should.
First, I dream up something in my head, a moment or a line like “I like that they like you.” That’s where I feel like a baby shaman. I make it into words, a little doll house as it were. I am proud of it. And then I think about it and kill it. It stinks.
I dream another thing like “gun laws around here”, and build again. I feel a better shaman now, almost through adolescence. I kill it again. It’s worse than the first, a foul mutant.
I think more about the dream of the thing, the essential little lines and light and capture what I can of that. I mean, I’ll kill it later. Just not now.
It’s a longish short story of a relationship that starts with a connection, direct and funny. And then an angry step daughter arrives, sexually taunting. “How did you get here? What did you do to be standing here? I knew how fucked up everybody was when I was a kid. And that never made sense to me. The world was huge. It was beyond anything I could imagine. And then I went out and realized that it wasn’t all that. Don’t fuck with my mother.”
After that, the story of the relationship isn’t as wise or wonderful as survival. “Life might be done with me, but that’s because I called it out on all of its bullshit.”
I will myself to believe that there is someone who understands me, not a true love as much as a Dopple Bro.
I cling to the idea, a spasm in my thinking, as I call everyone I can think of from the fire escape, thinking this might be the way in through the razor thin thing to that other monstrous, astonishing thing on the edge of the galaxy, that somewhere that I know not to be true.
It can be imagined in a moment and maybe even felt, but it is nothing, like the dream of wholly loving your child and believing they might feel the same way back. Temporal is such a nice and refined way of saying fuck this place
We live in a mess of a world. Nothing whatsoever points to anything working out for any of us. And, truth be known, we deserve come what may.
It isn’t Trump or Putin or Bolsonaro. It’s the evil of the middle road, making decisions to eke out a little bit for ourselves, convinced that no real harm is done by a trip somewhere nice or buying another bag of chips.
I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. That’s my shitty excuse. I’m always looking to get away, avoid responsibility. I move from one thing to the next with no genuine aspiration, nothing true or wise. I like to write. That’s it. I like to live in that pretend world so that I can think that I know things. Yeah, I’m a stupid kid.
I remember turning down a street, going around a park, to get home. I think it was called Seyton Place. But I have no idea. The only way I can remember is not think about it. It comes into my head when I am writing about something else.
I can picture the route only at that moment. Not when I think about it. I can see the fence around the back of the baseball field. I can see myself driving. I don’t know why I remember any of it. It doesn’t mean anything, like a childhood hallway or smell, always there but not.