Meaningless Conversations

8 02 2010

A variation on my short story Conversations with a Ghost.  This was written during my VFS year, again for Style class in which we had to take the short story we had written and develop it into a different kind of writing — cereal box information, travel brochures, flyers… any kind of other medium that has writing on it.  I chose to do mine in a police report format and it was definitely an interesting process.

Meaningless Conversations

OFFICIAL POLICE TRANSCRIPT

1  Jeremy West Interview
2
3  Detective:  What’s your name?
4
5  West: Jeremy West.
6
7  Detective:  Do you know why you’re here?
8
9  West: I can’t imagine why, no.
10
11  Detective:  We found the body of a Sean Lee.  Did you know him?
12
13  West: Yes.
14
15  Detective: How?
16
17  West: We go…went to the same high school together.
18
19  Detective: Were you a close friend?
20
21  West: No, not really.  I liked him, though.
22
23  Detective: What do you mean?
24
25  West: Well, I just thought he was a nice guy.  Good-looking too.
26
27  Detective:  Okay.  Did you ever talk to him?
28
29  West: No.  I was too shy.
30
31  Detective:  Why was that?
32
33  West:  I was… intimidated by him, I guess.
34
35  Detective:  What was so intimidating about him?
36
37  West: I don’t know.  He was just… one of the popular guys around school.  He had
38  had bunches of girlfriends, he was on a bunch of teams.  You know, your typical jock
39  kinda guy.  But…
40
41  Detective:  But what?
42
43  West:  He also had this mysterious vibe to him.  Even at such a distance, I could tell
44  that he wasn’t like all the other guys that he hung out with.
45
46  Detective:  What do you mean by ‘vibe’?
47
48  West: I’m not sure.  I just felt he was… different.
49
50  Detective: Could it be because of his looks, like you mentioned?
51
52  West: No, that’s not what I meant.  Even though he didn’t get the best grades, I could
53  tell he was smart.
54
55  Detective: Uh huh.  You watched him often?
56
57  West: Sort of.  Every now and then.
58
59  Detective: You do anything to him?
60
61  West: I wrote things and put it in his locker a few times.
62
63  Detective: What did you write?  Death threats?
64
65  West: No.  Just little poems and things.
66
67  Detective: Why did you do that?
68
69  West: I told you, I’m shy.  If I couldn’t tell him things in person, I’d just come up
70  with other ways.
71
72  Detective: Right.  Did he know it was from you?
73
74  West: No.  I never wrote my name on any of it, and I only delivered my notes when
75  no one was around.
76
77  Detective: I bet you hid around a corner to watch his reaction when he found them.
78
79 West: You’d think that, but no, I never did.
80
81  Detective: Why not?
82
83  West: Because if he thought it was creepy or whatever, I didn’t want to know that.
84
85  Detective: Ah, so the old ‘ignorance is bliss’ thing, eh?
86
87  West: Yeah, I guess so.
88
89  Detective: You do any other sorts of crazy things to get his attention?
90
91  West: Well, I did used to play this game—
92
93  Detective: What?  What kind of game was this?
94
95  West: It was perfectly harmless.
96
97  Detective: Can you explain this ‘game’ to me?
98
99  West: Sure.  If I was on a bus with an empty seat across from me, I would just
100  pretend that Sean was right there, sitting across from me, and we would converse.
101
102  Detective: So you’re telling me that because you’re too shy to talk to him in person 103  you just… make him up?
104
West: Yes.105
106  Detective: That’s really screwed up.
107
108  West: But it was the only way.
109
110  Detective: So… what did you guys talk about?
111
112  West: Basically, I’d just tell him everything I could never tell him in person.
113  Sometimes I would pretend he was my boyfriend.
114
115 Detective: Now that is screwed up.
116
117  West: Like I said, it was the only way.
118
119  Detective:  What kind of things did you guys talk about?  Can you remember any
120  conversation?
121
122  West: Just little things.  There was this one time when I was having a bad day and he
123  was there, making me feel better.  He said things like, ‘Hey, Jeremy, I’m here now.
124  Everything’s alright.’  And then there was this one time…”
125
126  Detective: What happened that time?
127
128  West:  Well, it started off just like any other time.  I had this deal with my friend to
129  ask someone out in a week, and I talked to Sean about it.
130
131  Detective: And then what?
132
133  West: And then… things got a little out of hand.  He became hostile and attacked
134  me.
135
136  Detective: You mean, physically?
137
138  West: No, verbally.  Words can be powerful things.
139
140  Detective: What did he say to you?
141
142  West: He told me that I was too much of a coward to talk to me, and because of that,
143  I had to resort to fantasizing conversations with him.
144
145  Detective: But that’s the truth.
146
147  West: Yeah, but when I’m playing this game, I don’t want to be reminded of reality.
148
149  Detective: I see.  Is that all he said to you?
150
151  West: He told me no matter what I do, no matter how hard I’d try, I would never be
152  able to get over him.
153
154  Detective: That’s harsh.
155
156 West: Yes.
157
158  Detective: How did this happen in your own fantasy?
159
160  West: I don’t know.  I just… lost control.
161
162  Detective: And what happened after that?
163
164  West: I snapped out of it, cried a little.
165
166  Detective: You were crying because this game?
167
168  West: Yes.
169
170  Detective: I guess words can be powerful.
171
172  West: Yes.
173
174  Detective: So what happened after that?
175
176  West: Nothing much.  Some fat lady in a hideous outfit started talking to me.
177
178  Detective: [laughs]  What did she say to you?
179
180  West: She just offered me a Kleenex and then…
181
182  Detective: And then what?
183
184  West: And then I swear her face melded with Sean’s face when she said the word
185  ‘Never’.
186
187  Detective: Okay.
188
189  West: And that was then I knew I needed to kill him.  To kill Sean.
190
191  Detective: Are you confessing to the murder of Sean Lee?
192
193  West: Yes.
194
195  Detective: Why?
196
197  West: Because I feel better about it, saying the words; knowing he’s really gone.
198
199  Detective: You realize that you’ve only killed him in your head, right?
200
201  West: Yes.
202
203  Detective: And you realize that this entire conversation is also in your head?
204
205  West: Yes.
206
207  Detective: So why are you doing this?
208
209  West: To make things seem more real, I suppose.
210
211  Detective: I’ll make things more real for you, then.  You’re going to wake up after I
212  count down.
213
214  It’s been nice talking to you.
215
216  Detective: 5…4…3…2…1…

END OF TRANSCRIPT


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