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About Kapitano

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  • Birthday 01/17/1972

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    South England
  • Interests
    Music<br />Technology<br />Science<br />Linguistics<br />Whatever Else Is Around
  1. Thank you very much. Last minute additions often turn out to be the best ideas. Here, it's the dates which were the late touch. Exactly. You never know whether the current relationship will be the final one, the one to not fail. But you have to treat it like it might...or it definitely won't. As you've probably noticed from my other stories, I'm a certifiable cynic. Which is to say, I'm rarely disappointed, and occasionally surprised. All a cynic's surprises are pleasant ones.
  2. My intent was to view life as a catalogue of mistakes that were easily avoidable...in retrospect. But that's one mistake I missed :-).
  3. James (1962-1964) We fell in love once a month, then spent the next 30 days wondering where it had gone. David (1966-1967) You dumped me because you wanted him and you believed in monogamy. Or was that just your excuse? Was he your excuse to leave me? Hopscotch (1965-1970) You played your headgames and we all played along, just because you were so beautiful. You never found a way to cope with not being beautiful anymore. Nathan (1973-1976) I liked you and I liked him. What I really liked was taking you away from him. But I didn't like myself for doing it. Reg (1979-1982) I honestly think we were in love. Until we started trying to behave like lovers. "Sammy" (1985) I wanted you because you were nothing like the one who'd hurt me. You wanted me because I reminded you of someone you couldn't have. It worked, so long as we didn't see each other. Dave (1989-1992) I always cared for you more when you weren't there. I was too foolish to realise you felt the same about me. Paul (1996-1999) I thought love was about being happy. You thought it was about being excited. So we made each other miserable and bored. Joel (1999-2001, 2003-2004, 2006) Was it you or me who walked out the first time? It was definitely you who walked out the final time. Or it might have been me. How many times did we get back together? Nev (2009-2010) You didn't need a substitute father and I didn't need a substitute son. If only we'd realised we needed a friend. You (2011-)
  4. Kapitano


    Nothing I did was ever good enough for him. When I get him his breakfast in a hour he'll find something wrong with it. I was seventeen before I worked it out. If my father was never going to approve of anything I did, there was no point in trying for his approval. What he really wanted was to disapprove - to be disappointed by me. It reaffirmed his self-image as the superior man. And what I really wanted...he wouldn't approve of anyway. So, logically, I could give us both what we wanted by pursuing what I wanted. QED. I left at nineteen, after he lost the argument (as usual) and I lost the fight (as usual). I spent a year sleeping on the floors of some friends - and in the beds of some others. They were good times. I fell in love a lot, sometimes two or three times a week, sometimes with the same person. We all got by somehow, mainly by borrowing everything from each other until we couldn't remember who originally had what. At one point I got a flat to call home, a lodger to call income, a job to call a career and a stranger to call the love of my life. You can go a long way just calling things what you wish they were. But not far enough. It fell apart and at twenty three I tried to make a reconciliation with my father. It was a moment of madness - we all get them. Sitting there in the same house I'd grown up in, in the same room where he'd thrown me out, with the same horrible wallpaper - he gave me the same lecture. The one about how I'd never amount to anything if I didn't decide what I wanted, and didn't work bloody hard for it. I walked out before he got halfway through. A week later I got a letter informing me I'd been disowned. Seeing as all he had was debts and regrets, I decided he was doing he me a favour. QED. I moved away - out of the town, then out of the country, then out of the continent. It wasn't as easy as before - there weren't so many floors or beds, or friends, or loves. Never outstay your welcome, never rely on people who can't rely on you, and never ask what might have been. That's been my philosophy, and it's never got me rich but it's never got me truly poor either. Middle age crept up on me, and I put down a few roots, but nothing I couldn't spend months away from when the mood took me to explore somewhere else. I thought I'd probably die without a permanent address - and the idea didn't worry me. Then, for the second time in forty years, I got a letter from a family member. A cousin - one of those whose floor I'd slept on. It mentioned my father was ill with some terminal disease and wasn't expected to live more than a few months - everyone was rallying round to look after him, more out of obligation than affection. It took less than a day to make my decision, and less than a week to arrive back at the old house. Everyone was highly surprised to see me, and frankly astonished that I volunteered to look after the old man. But not so astonished as to put up much resistance. They probably thought I was trying to make things right before it got too late. So here we are father, alone in the same room, with the same wallpaper, where we used to shout for hours and you hit me, so many times. But there's no shouting now - it's peaceful with you asleep, and you haven't got the strength to hit me anymore. You always told me I should decide what I wanted, and be strong enough to do it. Well, it took a long time, but now I know exactly what I want. And I'm going to do it, and I'm going to keep on doing it, for as long as you've got - for as long as I can make it. Which means, logically, you should be proud of me at last. QED.
  5. We don't know what the real story is - we've only got the internal monologue of what one of the men wants to say but can't. But it looks like both men want to talk, but the older one wants maybe to repair old wounds while the for the younger they're still fresh ones. The younger man wants to talk - or rather rant - but he can't bring himself to say anything other than the conflicted, half-true brush off that he doesn't want to communicate with his ex-partner. So both are looking to gain closure in their way, but one can't do want would be necessary for him to get it - to meet up. And ironically, this gives them a different kind closure - the closure of the slammed door. I don't how how accurate his memories are, but the feelings they're bound up with - they've been festing for a long time. I wonder how much courage it took for the older man to make the call.
  6. The phone rang. I picked it up. "Hello?" "Hi. We used to uh live together like twelve years ago? You remember me?" Yes I remember you. You destroyed my life. "Anyway I'm back in the country and I thought I'd look you up. Maybe we could get together for a drink, revisit old times?" That month I barely saw you because you said you were working late. I thought you might be seeing someone else - but no, you were at the office all right. You were at the office but I found out you had nothing to do. No work, no papers, you were avoiding me. You knew I was unhappy and you spent each night sitting at that desk waiting till I was asleep before coming home. You could have said something, you could have tried to talk, but you never even tried. "Sometime at the weekend maybe? I'm here for a month." You destroyed my life and I let you, because I thought I loved you, and I thought that meant letting you do it. You were always such a romantic, so I tried to be romantic just like you. You know what first tipped me off? The row of empty coffee jars on the window sill. Why were you drinking so much coffee? When you came home late and I was awake in bed I could smell you making it - very strong. And there were the empty whiskey bottles in the dustbin you tried to stop me seeing. You were trying to sober up every night. When you thought we weren't working you thought sex would make it better, so you came on to me hard and even though I didn't want it I let you do it, but if you saw I was only doing it for you, you got upset and that made you angry. "Any time that's good for you." That holiday we took together. You said your wallet had been stolen with all your money, but I saw it empty under the bed. There never was any money, and instead of telling me you couldn't afford all the nights out and fancy resteraunts you promised, you pretended someone had taken it. But if your wallet was gone, why did you still have your credit card? You never had money but you wanted to pretend you were the older man lavishing his love on a younger one. It took me a while to figure out why my bank balance was always so low - and why you were always going out to get some groceries at the shop with the cashpoint. You were stealing from my account to buy things for me because you couldn't yourself. You gave up cigarettes and switched to a cheaper brand of whiskey. The bills and final demands you got up early to collect from the mat and hide from me. All the lies, all those lies. All the fine things you made me want because you wanted them too, all the things we could never have and didn't understand and didn't really want anyway. You tried to turn me into what you wished you'd been but it was never you and it was never me. You never understood, you never listened, you never let me decide for myself because you didn't want me at all, you just wanted a better version of you that I could never be because I didn't even know who I was supposed to be. Why couldn't I talk to you? Why wouldn't you let me talk?! "So what do you think?" "I have nothing to say to you." I put the phone down.
  7. A post-apocalyptic teenage gay love story. Not many of those around - but if they're as good as this one, more would be welcome. A lot of flash stories are self contained short short stories, and others can work in this fashion...or be read as preludes to something larger. As others have noted, this is the latter. I did wonder whether this was really a story about a lonely young boy's fantasies of living in a world where he can be himself - which he can only conceive as one where he's alone. But not quite alone, because to be fully yourself, you need others to be yourself with.
  8. Thanks for the responses. It's true of all fiction, that the interpretation of one reader can be subtly or completely different from another, and from the author. But it seems more true of flash than longer forms. I can't tell you what response you should have had, and even if I could it wouldn't be right to do so - I can only tell you what I intended. I claim no special insight to a "true meaning". To me, this is only incidentally the story of a brief doomed relationship - more importantly it's about the events leading up to the start of one that might not be doomed. These two boys had nothing except an intense mutual attraction, and an absurd but vague optimism that that was all they needed. They spend the whole story not communicating, initially by having sex instead - perhaps because they sensed that if they did communicate, the sexual adventure would die - then by venting their frustration that they'd trapped themselves in a situation where sex wasn't enough. Then in the only two lines of dialogue, a door unexpectedly opens to what would be their first actual conversation. Merkin says the ending is a fifteen minute reprieve, to Bruin it's the merest hint of hope, and for Des it's an unexpected interruption. Fine, those are entirely reasonable interpretations. For me, the actual story is what happens after the flash - even though I don't know what that is. I think the two protagonists are about to embark on a proper relationship, starting when the promise of the title is fulfilled, and they start "getting to know" each other.
  9. Ah, can I take it I've done a duff story with this one?
  10. We couldn't take our eyes off each other. He had that slim sinewy build, those perfectly clear eyes and that blond spiky hair. It was like someone had made a list of everything I liked, and made him just for me. Even the way he moved, loping along like some kind of silky leopard with all the time in the world. Wonderful. And I was...well, whatever I was, he liked it too. That night in the club, we spent over an hour making eye contact and looking shyly away. Then he got away from his group and I got away from mine and...we made sure to reappear on the dancefloor minutes apart so no one would guess. He walked me halfway home, until we found a quiet place in shadow and...did it all again. We hadn't even asked names. The thing was, he was kind of with someone else and I was still in the closet, so we had to keep it hidden. Not easy, the way we felt. Every other day, contriving to meet in some secret place, then without speaking...hands and lips everywhere. Sometimes twice, trying not to groan or make any noise in case someone heard, when we both felt like shouting. We hated having to meet like that. If only we had a place. So we got one. I moved out from my parents, into a bedsit big enough for two, and he joined me the next day. We barely got out of bed for the first week. I don't think we even said fifty words. It just wasn't necessary. That was...a month ago. This morning's argument was about a piece of slightly burned toast. He started that one. Last night it was something on TV and I started it. The morning before it was something to do with the food budget. This one we're having at the moment, I think it started being about whose turn it was to do the washing up, then it was about one of us snoring, now it's moved on to me forgetting to buy toilet paper and he's about to start screeching. In three or four minutes I've going to call him a moron or an idiot, then one of us will storm out and slam the door. If it's me I'll sit outside and cry for a while. Here it comes. I'm getting my retort ready - something poisonous. "You don't know the first thing about me!", he screams. "Before you fucked up my life, I was in this great band. I wrote songs and we were going on tour. Not that you'd care. And I gave it up for this...this...I fucking hate you!" I'm about to spit the first syllable. But instead there's a pause. "A band? You never said. Can I...can I hear it?"
  11. Kapitano


    It was a Tuesday. The day he told me. He'd spent weeks trying to find the right words, getting the courage together, making sure he really did feel what he thought he felt. That after nearly three years of sharing a flat, an internet connection, and sometimes a bed, he'd done it. Without trying to, without knowing how, he'd fallen in love with me. After all this time, he was sure, he felt the same way about me as I felt about him. As I'd felt almost since we met. I'd never made any secret of it - he was attractive, clever, easy to talk with. I liked him in so many different ways, even the way he got embarrassed when I blurted out my feelings for him. And he needed a place to live and someone to share rent with. It seemed an obvious arrangement. Yes, it was definitely a Tuesday. The day I'd been planning to say it. I'd spent weeks trying to think of how to tell him, making sure I wasn't fooling myself. That after all the good times we'd had together, I just didn't feel the same way anymore. I didn't love him. He was still my friend but...if he decided to move away tomorrow and set up with someone different, it wouldn't really bother me. If he decided he never wanted to see me again, well, it wouldn't be so bad. So I didn't tell him. He said what he had to say, we hugged, laughed, and sat on the sofa, smiling awkwardly at each other, till we broke out in laughter again and hugged some more. We've got a holiday booked - a honeymoon, he calls it. It looks good. Who knows, maybe I'll fall in love with him again. It might have been a Wednesday.
  12. 40 years we've been together. 40 years of mornings and evenings, warm summer days and cold winter nights, loud laughter, quiet support and a long friendship. 40 years of breakfasts at this table. He's sitting opposite me like he always does. He's munching slowly on the cornflakes, eyes unfocused into the middle distance, thoughts somewhere a long way away. I take a mouthful of my tea and we sit in silence for a while. "I'm sorry, Eric", he says. I look up. His eyes are full of tears and he's looking straight at me. "I'm sorry", he says again. "I really tried, but I just don't think I can go on like this." Eric. That was the name of his first boyfriend. A traveling salesman with an ex-wife and a charming little daughter. They met in - "You do understand, don't you? I do care about you, I really do but...but..." I put down my tea and move to his side of the table, taking his frail hand gently in mine. "It's alright", I tell him. "There's no need to say anything. We knew it was a gamble, and it didn't pay off. Just move on, keep the good times with you and don't hold on to the bad. I don't regret trying." The tears overflow down his cheeks and he breathes a juddering sigh of relief. We hug, holding on for minutes, then I let him down, smile reassuringly and go back to my seat. The real Eric had given him a black eye. That was...sixty years ago. He goes distractedly back to his cornflakes, as though a conversation had been derailed in the middle of a sentence and he's was trying to find the thread again. The clock on the wall seems to tick too loud as I go back to my tea and scan the newspaper. I look up when he speaks again. "I don't need your say so. I don't need your approval. And I certainly don't need you." His face is twisted with hate. He's obviously terrified, but trying to hide it with contempt. I don't know who he thinks I am, and for a second I'm lost for anything to say. "I'm never coming back, and I'm never saying sorry.". He glares at me, as though daring me to...I don't know. "Get it now Dad?" Ah. "Tom. Tommy. I'm not going to say I understand or I like it but...if it makes you happy, well then I'm glad. If we can't be friends anymore, lets at least not be enemies. Please son?" I stick out my hand gruffly for him to shake. After a startled silence he reaches out and shakes it briefly, nervously, confused, then quickly turns away. It was only a year ago he started to forget things - little things at first, then more. Appointments, old friends, then whole years of his life. Once he went out for a walk, leaving the front door open, and just stood outside in the street, lost. Sometimes he'd look at me, puzzled, as though struggling to remember who I was. There were times I found him looking in the mirror, troubled by some vague wrongness that he could never put his finger on. As though there was something not quite right about the face looking back. But then he'd look away and seem perfectly lucid again. "Paul", he croaks. Paul. My name. "What will it be like?". There's a contented smile on his lips, and he's looking away shyly. "What do you mean?", I ask. "When we're old together. Because I think we will be together - when we're old men. I know it's only been a few months and I know it sounds silly, but I've just got a feeling about it. What will it be like?" I take his hand again. "It'll be exactly like it is now."
  13. Kapitano


    I wanted him so much. And somehow, I got him. The first time I caught him in a lie it didn't matter. Then there were more lies, and more. He kept borrowing money from me, always promising to pay it back, but when he had money, he never did. I told myself he would, eventually. The stories he told his friends about me, about dumb things I'd never done and clever things he'd never said. It's been over a year, and every time I tried to tell him I wasn't happy, he told me I was imagining it. And I thought maybe I was. He was so sure. I've been sitting here and waiting for an hour, trying not to psyche myself up, trying not to work up the nerve, in case it fails me when... My mobile rings. It's his number, and I wait for three rings before answering. "Hello?" "Hi. You want to come over for some fun?" "Never call me again." I hang up before he can reply. Then I stare at the phone for a full minute, waiting again. It rings again, and his number flashes up. Suddenly I realise I'm breathing hard. I push the button to end the call. There. Easy.
  14. Nicely done. You can't beat a good murder. Though now I'm wondering about the next chapter - where Al and the murderer comfort each other in their grief and...discover a new side to themselves and, erm, bond. So to speak. But then Al starts to suspect when the killer's story doesn't quite add up. Could be the season's trashy bestseller .
  15. Kapitano


    You should write down your hallucinations! And publish!In fact, if I had the money for hallucinogenics, I'd switch on the dictaphone before taking them and spend the next four hours describing whatever jumped (or slithered, or flew) past my eyes.As for wake planning...I've been to a few wakes and they seemed to consist of people who don't really know each other eating and drinking rather too much. Just like a wedding really. Maybe write a special short story with strict instructions that it only be read at the wake.Anyway, get well soon and drink all the Night Nurse you want.
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