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Short Stories

A WKNC Story

Benjamin was a Daytime DJ who’d been working at the station for nearly three years, since he was a freshman. Jillian was a Chainsaw DJ who had finished her DJ training course a few weeks ago. I’ll spare you the details, the two fell in love. I can’t spare you the cliche, they’re love was deemed unacceptable.

‘Did you hear about Ben and Jill?’ Jillian heard someone whisper as she walked into the station. She didn’t understand the taboo. Where she came from, it didn’t matter what kind of music you listen to.

She brushed off the comments and headed into the station. Today was her first shift and she wanted to make sure she was ready, the last thing she needed was to be distracted during her on air break. 

She signed the operating log, logged into spinitron, hooked up her laptop and made sure everything was ready and running. The last thing was plugging in her headphones, but as she turned to plug them in she all-of-a-sudden couldn’t find them. She heard some giggling and when she looked up to the window she saw her headphones being thrown into the air.

‘What are you doing?’ she said once she walked into the DJ lounge where her headphones were being thrown around.

‘What are you doing?’ some girl she’d never met before replied ‘I heard you’re talking to a Daytime, that true?’

‘How is that any of your business? I don’t even know who you are’ Jill said as she eyed the other girl, she had short black hair and wore a torn white t-shirt with old blue jeans.

‘My names Beth and I’m a Daytime. Don’t you realize how much of a traiter you are? What kind of DJ doesn’t stand by their genre’ the girl, apparently Beth, replied.

‘Indie music is cool, I don’t see a problem being alright with both’ Jill said.

‘Well everyone else does. If you love Indie so much why don’t you just join daytime?’ Beth said, seeming genuinely confused. Her ignorance and close mindedness made Jill not like the girl.

‘Who cares what I DJ, isn’t that my choice? What kind of person only listens to one genre of music anyways?’ Jill said as she snatched her headphones from Beth.

Beth stood quickly at the motion but Jill didn’t back down. They stared at each other for a moment before Beth broke the silence, she picked up her bag and rolled her eyes as she said, ‘Whatever, I have class anyways’.

Jill stood there stunned. She knew the semester would be a long one if her relationship wasn’t accepted, but she worked too hard to get where she was just to quit. In that moment she made a promise to herself, she was going to change the way people thought of genres. She didn’t know how, but she knew she had to.

– DJ Psyched

Categories
Short Stories

END OF A SOFT BOY: PART 1

END OF A SOFT BOY, A TWO-PART DRAMATIC CONCLUSION (and possible TV movie): PART 1

It wasn’t pleasant.  I mean, it wasn’t particularly anything I suppose.  Therein lied (read my lips; not lies) my absolute confusion. If  IT wasn’t particularly anything, it quite frankly begged the question of what was ME.  Suddenly my own entrails, my grimy appendages, were not nearly as salient as I had and still might now imagine them.  My mouth which had so often laid bare as to consume reflexively snapped shut upon the first notes of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling.”  The void which had originally laid behind the veil of my teeth was suddenly transferred to myself, absolutely. My throbbing eyes jerked against the darkness which swiftly pollocked my home.  And then it was, or still is, done.

How does one appreciate nature?  How does one lay their legs in the dirt and relax? How does one return to footing as a tyrant?

There is no resolution.  And there is no problem. They lived against nature, so they could not feasibly return to it.  And so they ceased in fury and was killed in whole. IT was violent, but IT was not industrial; there was no purpose, only singular movement.

Sitting flaccidly along a brick wall and observing nature.  Force yourself, force yourself, force yourself. There is nothing there. No impetus of satisfaction.

Upkeeping a house is mundane.  But without it there would be no passage of time, no reminder of fluidity.  Shutting windows to open them again. Day and day comes and then not. There is decay, one of terrible tragedy. But they denied themselves the horror of banality.

And so then they ruptured.

-Cliff Jenkins

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Short Stories

Nightmare of a Softboy Chapter 4

When I describe how my foot began to tap I worry that I am communicating some form of elation or relaxation of the cerebral pressure which had led me, or still may, to my golden hits shower. That release would have been perfect; it was the explicit bidding of an insect which harbored warm against my ribcage.  But life seldom works so cleanly. Perhaps a slight tangent will work well to elucidate any confusion.

 

Imagine an egg, sitting firmly in a pot which lies at a slow heat.  As its fibers are subjected to denature it begins to lose form, slouching within its oval.  There is no yolk or white, only a lazy cream that cannot resemble what was once made to be. When you go and inspect the egg, which you have laid on low heat for hours, it is essentially unrecognizable. And once you decide to leave it for weeks upon weeks, a closer breadth of valuable movement, it expels in fetid convulsions before settling into the groove of decay.  The novel eye may, at first, mourn what has supposedly rotted away from its telos. They screech at the silent earth to return the benefit of mild ripeness. But this is naive. Destruction is, and can only be, human. As such, its acceptance carries with it an implicit separation of man from the earth through which he is formed. The egg has not been ruined. It was not then, and is now, but, most importantly, it is both.  There is not a linear resolution, but rather a holistic understanding that wholeness cannot be understood momentarily.

 

So this is how I found solace removed from my favorite alternative radio station.  There was not an unexpected pleasure, but rather a final understanding that I could never be removed from my prior existence, and that this pain was not indicative of sin.  There is no hope in reflection.

 

-Cliff Jenkins

Categories
Short Stories

Nightmare of a Softboy Chapter 3

So I flipped the dial.  I did it. I am, or was, at that moment completely overtaken by a fever of lethargy.  It had crept between the discs in my spine for days, or months, or weeks, or years, or months, and I had, at this moment, surrendered my action to it.  Hindsight is, obviously, sufficient to make any historian a genius. You in your comfort, or myself in my narrow-minded approach to my own identity, which existed before me and only then, can easily chastise this decision.  But the fever. Values are luxuries. Without material well being, I cannot even retain enough consistent consciousness to formulate meaningful conclusions from my surroundings. And so, in the undetermined and unimportant length of time preceding my decision, I was broken down into something which was not me or otherness or really anything.  If there was no one around and my mind was relegated to ponder why it was so hot and heavy, then there would honestly be nothing left.

I can recall a day where it was particularly bad.  Though clear comparisons between this instance and the one which ultimately led me to turn on 102.9 are impossible due to the incredible abundance of factors which contributed to their tangible assets, I imagine that it was generally less severe simply because it did not lead to an apocalyptic action.  Additionally, analysing every piece of the scenario which facilitated my dial-turning would be too difficult, at least now, because it has been fantastically muddled within my memory, and would subsequently be even more muddled in my articulation.

One morning, at around 2:30 PM, I was laying on my couch.  My eyes sloppily traced the ceiling. I was dressed but not particularly; I had to anticipate any lazy stomach pains.  But then, out of nowhere, or perhaps maturing slowly, or perhaps as a result of some forgotten force, my head began knockings into itself.  The stinking mass of nerves and tissue sleeping in my noggin began to boil, belching and excreting against the back of my eyes. It was a monolith: absolutely inescapable and coupling into every piece which could call itself me.  And so I laid there. What else could be done? I let it throb until it subsided or maybe it didn’t and it only happened to get even worse later. Operationally, the results were the same.

It was therefore in a desperate ploy for relief that I changed to 102.9. I had become obsessed with whatever state of flux could relax the aching pieces rattling within me. And in this flux I began to listen.  And in this flux I began to tap my foot.

– Cliff Jenkins

Categories
Short Stories

Nightmare of a Softboy Chapter 2

Nightmare of the Softboy Chapter 2

I’m uncomfortable marking my infidelity as an aberration of bad choice.  Maybe I would have before the accident, before I became who I am today or, I should say, realized a piece of my own figure which was given inadequate attention.  It seems, one could posit, that this lack of attention is what subsequently led to a frustrated transgression, a rebellion which gives too much agency to its master when considered as a lapse in judgement.  I cannot claim my body; my body claims me. As such, moving against the grain in a refusal to acknowledge an inalienable part of my being was destined to end in supposed catastrophe. 

Just as I would start any day, the morning in question began at 1:00 PM.  I must admit that my personal life had deteriorated severely in the preceding several months, and I must admit that I do not have a job.  My days are, or were, understandably free. There is no use in explaining whatever semblance of a routine I had here in this narrative. It would be useless.  It would be infinitely difficult because my days were spent inwardly, exploring tangential realities that the mind is left free to explore when material is lost with social interaction. This is why WKNC was so important to me, to us, to an entire world that has essentially disintegrated into will.  Whenever the opportunity presented itself, or whenever I could be bothered (these two are operationally the same), I would switch on my house radio, which was always set to 88.1 It wasn’t me who switched it to my trusty station originally, or if it was I couldn’t remember. What was important is that I became a subject beneath it. 

Such subjectivity breeds alienation, anger, hopelessness.  The apparent viceroy of unbias would here point to me, or what was me, or what has always been me but historically more so, and screech with an obtuse digit that “it is your own doing, you cretin! It is (or was) you who switched to WKNC! If not, then it was still you who remained under it! Whose life was built around it!” after  which I would retort, “Yes! Yes! Exactly that! I am only it and so I cannot without!”.

But, of course, rebellion creeps slowly.  And I had nothing but time. It doesn’t matter how long before that morning I was listening to WKNC, the reader just has to trust that it was long enough to question my own vacuous existence.  And so, in an action which was no more prophetic than it was a mistake, I tuned my dial to 102.9.

Categories
Short Stories

Nightmare of a Softboy Chapter 1

Nightmare of the Softboy: Chapter 1

 

I don’t know how to fully separate what happened before and after the event. Of course, we as people are accustomed to think of ourselves linearly, as arrow whose points end on our present and whose entire lives are essentially just training for whatever moment we might be living in.  But this is misleading. I can’t say that I haven’t always been like this, as I write this. Weeks ago, before it happened, of course I would have sneered at even mentioning that my body could be stricken with such maladies as I am today, but I was no different then. Maybe less aware. My life has undoubtedly changed in that I have actualized something which has probably always been there, now. But I have no right to call my metamorphosis an offense. 

 

It would be best, for the sake of this narrative, to start before my change.  Again, the reader must keep in mind that however strangely I may have acted compared to myself now, it is still me and each of these versions have always existed within each other.  But I digress.  

 

There was, or is, a certain pleasure I took in alternativism.  Prior to the accident, I found protection from the banal in layers of scratchy sweaters, ironically dirty socks, malnutrition, lazy summers, terrible interior decoration, underwatered plants, plastic glasses, four dollar green teas, occasional pink eye, etc.  And even if I initially revelled in it, its boundaries undeniably remained within consumption. It was my main hobby, consumption, that is, and my lifestyle could not be uncoupled from simple variations in my consumption patterns. This included crack injected coffee, ridiculously inflated footwear, prank jeans, research chemicals, and, most importantly, my favorite radio station: 88.1 WKNC.  Nowhere was my self-inflicted solitude more quickly recognized here; and through my status as a faithful listener of North Carolina’s most alternative epicenter, I retched at the idea of having my ears soiled by any other radio station. That is, until the accident.

 – Cliff Jenkins