View Full Version : Short Story: Ten Minutes on a Bench

07-27-2002, 02:14 AM
I just wrote this, and I didn't check it for typos, so nyeh. It was inspired by the movie "Ghost World." There is a lot of swearing in it. Enjoy.

Ten Minutes on a Bench

"Hey, that was fucking amazing, huh?"

There was a pause as Andy turned to look at the source of the unfamiliar voice. "Yeah," he replied. "It was Anti-Flag, so it would be."

"Damn straight," the mystery punk agreed with a grin. "Anyway, sorry to sneak up on you like that, I'm just outgoing. If you mind I'll just fuck off."

Andy shrugged. "It's cool."

The mystery punk nodded. "I'm Cray," he said. "You?"


"Cool. Where you headed?"

"Home," said Andy. "I live just a bit down the block."

"Mind if I walk with you?" asked Cray. "It's along my route home, and I love to have someone to talk to."

"It really doesn't matter to me," said Andy.

"Cool," said Cray.

The two of them walked side by side down the street for a while, their conversations consisting mostly of Cray talking about his experiences at previous Anti-Flag shows. They were both huge fans of the band, so it was something Andy didn't mind hearing about, and Cray could say lots about. It worked out well.

"Hey, wanna stop over there and grab something to eat?" Cray asked, pointing at a hot dog stand across the street.

"Actually, yeah," said Andy. "I'm pretty hungry."

The man behind the stand had a tired, angry look on his face. He was middle-aged and sported a massive beer belly, and spoke shortly and discontentedly when responding to the punks' requests. They walked over to a nearby bench to sit down and wolf down their food.

"Man, what a fucking asshole," Andy muttered.

Cray shrugged. "I dunno, you'd probably be grumpy if you worked where he does."

"He works there because he's a loser," Andy shrugged. "Honestly, I have no sympathy for old fat fucks working at hot dog stands."

"Hey, people change man," Cray replied. "He may be working there because he doesn't have any choice. Maybe he regrets choices he made when he was younger."

Andy turned up his nose. "You must be one of those straight edge shits or something."

"I'm straight edge, yeah. Doesn't mean I give a fuck if you are or not."

"That's good." There was some silence.

"You seem pretty bitter towards people."

"Yeah. I don't really like most of them. The vast majority of humanity is impossible for me to relate to."

"So you've met the vast majority of humanity then, I guess."

Andy cast a slight, annoyed glance in Cray's direction. "Whatever. I'm generalizing here."

"Yeah. That was my point man."

Andy shook his head. "I know what you're going to say. I shouldn't pre-judge people. I don't judge them. That's where you've got me wrong. But I can see certain things that let me know I'm not interested."

Cray's eyebrows lifted. "Like?"

Andy sighed, and looked around for a moment. "Like that guy," he said, pointing across the street. Cray saw a guy walking down the street wearing a red backwards baseball cap, a pair of huge jeans and a black jacket with red highlights. "What the fuck is up with the Limp Bizkit wannabe look? I don't wanna talk to that kind of person."

"But he could be thinking the same thing about you except replacing 'Limp Bizkit' with 'Anti-Flag.'"

"So what? That doesn't change the fact that I don't want to have anything to do with him."

"Maybe he's really intelligent, and has some fantastic ideas... but likes Limp Bizkit."

Andy raised his eyebrows. "Jesus. You honestly think a person like that exists?"

Cray shrugged. "Dude, I don't know. I've never met one, but that doesn't rule out the possibility. Why shut your mind out to the possibility?"

"What do you want me to do? Walk up to every guy who looks like a Limp Bizkit fan and interrogate him to find out if he's worth getting to konw?"

"No, I just don't want you to assume anything about anyone just because of the way they look. You wouldn't want anyone to assume you're an idiot just because you look like a punk."

"Look, I don't just assume that he's an idiot. I logically conclude that there is a very high chance that he is an idiot due to my past experience with such people."

"Okay, another example," Cray said. "Who else would you not want to associate with?"

Andy scanned only for a couple seconds before motioning over to a couple of girls walking down the street. "Check it out. Twelve galons of makeup each, skanky clothes, trendy logos, the whole deal. They're bimbos. You can tell by looking at them."

"But you can't know," Cray argued. "You haven't talked to them."

"But I can logically assume, Cray. Yes, I'm assuming. I'm making a generalization. Fine. But honestly, I can be pretty damn sure that I'm right. Would you really want to go up to people like that and talk to them?"

"Well, I wouldn't pick them out of a crowd, no-"

"Exactly. That's what I'm talking about, Cray. You go through the same process and just don't admit it to yourself."

Cray shrugged. "Jesus, I don't know how we got to this subject anyway. Let's get out of here man, I'm tired."

"Hey, whatever man," said Andy, and the two went their separate ways.


Cray kicked the ground half-heartedly as he walked to the diner where his friends hung out. He was not sure why he was so upset about his conversation with Andy, but he decided to prove him wrong right then and there. He looked around him and quickly spotted a girl who was dressed similarly to the ones that Andy had been talking about earlier. He approached her and sat down next to her on the bench she was sitting idly at.

"Hey," he said. "I'm Cray." He extended his hand.

The girl looked at him a little strangely and slightly shook his hand. "Hi," she said. "I'm Kate."

"Sorry to just appear, but I was bored and thought you might feel like talking," Cray said.

"Sure," she shrugged. "What are you out walking for?"

"I was at a concert."

"Oh, yeah?" Kate looked up. "Who did you see?"


Kate looked perplexed. "What?"

"They're an underground revolutionary punk band," Cray explained.

"God, are you like a terrorist or something?" Kate asked, taking on a look of disgust.

"What? No," Cray replied, taken aback. "Fuck no. I just don't believe that this government is all it's made out to be."

"So you're siding with the terrorists," Kate said, and then she stood up. "God, I'm out of here." And she walked off.

Cray's shoulders slumped, and he stood up to head down to the diner.


Andy shoved open the door to his apartment and stepped inside, slumping down on his bed. He slowly, fitfully managed to descend into a troubled sleep, dreams of his dark past haunting him as he tried to find peace. His father yelling, the pain he felt when he was struck by him, the feeling of emptiness in his gut that was the hunger he constantly knew as a child, the terrible feeling of rejection that he always got when the other kids in school made fun of him. All of it twisted together into an uncontrollable tornado of negative emotions, and he pulled his jacket tighter around himself as tears freely fell onto his pillow...


Cray slumped into a chair next to Emily, his best friend.

"Hey, what's up with you? You were in such good spirits earlier today," she said.

"Sorry," he muttered. "I dunno, I just met some guy going home from the concert who got me thinking about shit in a way I don't want to, and I don't really know why but it's pissing me the hell off."

"Aww, come on, just try to forget about it," Emily said encouragingly, giving him a big hug which he gratefully returned.

Cray grinned. "I'm lucky to have you," he said.

"Damn straight you are," Emily agreed, and Cray joined in the conversation with his friends around the table, the rest of the world fading away as he sank into the atmosphere.

Kool Ranch
07-27-2002, 02:33 PM
Good story TK. Would it happen to be based on some similar experience of yours?

07-27-2002, 04:54 PM
Well, any good story is derived from real life experiences to a certain extent, but no, nothing like the events of this story happened to me. Just sorta came out of my head at 4 AM last night with a little inspiration.

07-30-2002, 02:27 AM
Great story TK. I sure as hell couldn't come up with that at 4AM.

It makes you think, which is always good. I like the way you can make an everyday sort of event interesting...I'm not sure I understand the relevance of Andy's past in his apartment though...

Anyhoo, nice work.

07-30-2002, 12:49 PM
It's funny, I actually seem to get my best inspirations extremely late at night. Andy's past is pretty much the most relevant thing in the story. Think about it :)

Anyway, thanks for readin', guys ^_^