James Borda Writer, Game and Interaction Designer

Subway Story #1

For a while I was writing stories on my phone during my subway rides into Manhattan. This is my favorite one. It was inspired by an assignment in Doug Rushkoff’s Narrative Lab class which I misunderstood… We were supposed to recount an incident in our lives which culminated in either “I laughed and laughed and laughed,” or “I cried and cried and cried.” I missed the personal incident part and thought I was just supposed to make it up.

Alison said, pray with me. We sat on her bed in yellow perfect light. She said, Now what we have done can never be erased. It’s in the mind of God. I said would God have watched us if he hated what we were doing, maybe he’d have turned his face away from it and so now there’s nothing of it in the mind of God. Alison said Don’t be stupid, God doesn’t turn his face away, God can’t turn his face away, he sees and knows all. I said That must be a hard thing for God and Alison said What are you talking about. Pray with me. So she got on her knees and she was still naked, and she closed her eyes and put her hands together and I can tell you I have never seen a sight more breathtaking than that, holy I thought so maybe she was on to something. And then she said Dear Heavenly Father I know I have displeased you. I know Charlie and I have just betrayed your trust and sullied our godly natures and you must be very disappointed in us. You must hate us though I know you can’t hate so maybe you just feel very very disappointed. And we are are truly sorry. Meanwhile I’m watching her out of the corner of my eye and I’m getting another boner. Charlie and I, says Alison, are forever your servants and we will in all ways strive to please You and live our lives according to Your divine guidance. Please forgive us oh Heavenly Father, she began, and then something like a long sigh escaped her lips because I’d reached over and tweaked her nipple. Charlie she said swatting my hand away and I said sorry and she said don’t apologize to me so I said Sorry God. Do you mean it she said and I saw where her eyes had gone. I mean it I said, with all of my heart. She closed her eyes and put her hands back together and I put my hand right back where it had been before. Be serious she said, but she didn’t slap my hand away. I am serious, I said. This isn’t funny said Alison. Am I laughing, I said, and her eyes popped open she met my eyes with her insatiably blue sky drinking eyes, and she said God sees everything you know. Yes I said. Then why aren’t you afraid she said and I said because God sees everything. Close your eyes I said I’ve got a secret it’s just between me and God, and she narrowed her eyes and said what are you going to do and I said it’s a secret so she closed her eyes. And I went over to her nightstand and I picked up her lipstick, bright red lipstick, and I went around behind her and started writing on her ass. What are you doing she said, but I said shhh, it’s a secret, and I wrote God loves on her left cheek and Alison on the right. She jumped up and turned around in front of the mirror which was a better prayer than any words that have been spoken by a pope. She squinted backwards at the bright red letters, trying to make them out because they were backward in the mirror. Then she got it. Charlie, she said, turning pink. And I laughed and laughed and laughed.

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Posted: August 2, 2013


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Blog, ITP, Narrative Lab, Writing