This Lullaby – Chapter 2

Chapter 2

“It was time to dump Jonathon”

So blunt and somewhat cold.  That being said I have also heard some of my friends say the same thing.  Saying you hate the stink of cigarettes even when you do smoke is kind of weird.  Because when you smoke the entirety of your being is covered with the stench of that smoke.  I feel strongly about this, people who smoke indoors and in cars aren’t all that considerate of others.  I was for one year a smoker and I swear my hair took a month to recover afterward.  That and coughing up lots of junk was enough for me to quit.  Amazing self-control huh?

Applying lip liner is something that is beyond my capabilities, so I admire Remy’s ability to do so while discussing how she is going to ditch her current beau.  She’s going to Stanford so she is obviously a bright girl, even on the other side of the duck pond I am able to recognise the effort needed to gain entry there.  The transition from high school to college can be particularly difficult on relationships due to the long distance nature and the influx of new people and experiences.  I am not saying it can’t work, you just need to like/love the person a lot and Remy obviously isn’t all that into poor Jonathon. 

Lissa is the sentimental type, every friendship group has one as they are necessary to remind you that once you were idealistic, hopeful and giving.  They remind you of more innocent times and can catch you in a moment, encouraging you to see its beauty and importance.  The crying though, I could do without.  Lissa is the girl who goes to college with her boyfriend with idealism and will either 1) live happily ever after or 2) be tragically disappointed.  It’s always rough when it’s the latter as these softies never deserve the pain that is inflicted upon them.  I am hoping for happily ever after, doves circling the air and dancing wood creatures.  However, she does ask the all important question – what does one wear to break up?  (I am shockingly reminded of a scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall in this moment).  Remy chooses something black, slimming and showing some cleavage, her “every night” wear because to her this is truly any other night. I think I already have Remy’s number, her mum is a mess literally and figuratively and her whole existence is about control.  Clean bedroom, boys at her beck and call, organising everything – all ways for her to keep focused, un-rattled.

Jess is described as “solid as a rock”.  I like her already. 

“She’s been my best friend from fifth grade, and was the only one I knew I could always depend on.”

For me that is my sister, which might not count as she is family but she is a reliable gem of wisdom and truth.  And she’ll kick my tush if I am being self-delusional about something which is a valuable friendship trait.  In my mind she looks like my sister already.  The description that follows of Jess though is interestingly worded. 

“She wasn’t fat, exactly, just like she wasn’t fat now.  More just large, big boned, tall and wide.”

Now I see myself.  I am tall with big bones, broad back but I have some fat too.  Usually my friends are all dwarves to my giant height so it makes me even more self-conscious.  It’s like arriving in Lilliput, where all the Lilliputians wear teetering heels.  Being five eleven in a friendship group of five fours is not great for the vertically gifted.  Sure supermodels are tall but I don’t look like a supermodel.  While viewed as mean by her classmates, we know that Jess has had to be uncompromising to cope with what life has thrown at her.  There is no room for frivolity when you are the primary caretaker of siblings, your childhood is gone and so has any room for random acts of foolishness. 

Chloe, I immediately dislike from Jess’ reaction and knowing she’s a person that always runs late, those people infuriate me.  I see myself in Jess too much to think I will like Chloe.  She always has the latest clothes and I will not begrudge her having a mother who shops a lot and has good taste.  I do however not like the “diet” comment to Jess and was not equivalent with Jess’ comment about her new clothes.  Poor form.  There is apparently a line though as Chloe forgoes mentioning Jess’ brothers football gear in her car.  Thank goodness or Chloe would be beyond salvation in my eyes.  Obviously these two are polar opposites.  Jess may be afraid that Remy’s going to leave her behind as the new and exciting world (somewhat depicted in Chloe’s personality) calls. 

Remy, from all accounts, goes through guys like toilet paper.  Lissa has been with the guy she lost her virginity to long term.  Jess avoids the issue all together and Chloe dates college boys that cheat on her. Yep that summarises most of the girls I hang with.  Does that mean Remy is the “loose” one then?

I love the image of The Spot.  A trampoline resting in a lonely field, grass swaying.  A group of girls sitting on the tramp, trading stories and slurping on Zip Cokes (are they a real product?).  And these girls drink alcohol.  I am not going to judge because I wasn’t an angel but here in Australia these girls would be legal anyway.  Rum though, now I feel I have the right to judge.  Yuck.  The more I read about Jess the more I relate, I didn’t abstain completely from alcohol but I was also cautious and the responsible one.  If one of my friends was sick or about to do something stupid and/or dangerous then I was always the clean up crew.  It sucks being the mum of the group and strangely it’s always the bigger girl.  The girl who feels as though she doesn’t belong.  So she needs to make herself useful.  Chloe would only make Jess feel this more so.

The anti-climatic nature of graduating has been depicted well in this passage. It’s a goal for so long that you expect fireworks and yet it’s just another day.  The gin is brought out and I renege on the rum yuck comment and pull out a huge amount of hate for the gin.  It just gets worse but I guess it’s free. For some reason Remy’s comment that –

“This is just in-between time…It goes faster than you think,”

raised a ding-ding in my brain as a pertinent comment.  This may or may not be important later on.

After The Spot they go to Bendo where we see evidence that Remy knows Chloe well enough to correct guess where her ID is stashed – her bra.   That sounds weirder than it actually is, I have stuffed money into my bra numerous times but I find notes a little scratchy.  Actually I have stuffed everything Chloe has, into my bra including bobby pins, ouch!  There is only so much change you can get in there though.

The continued sniping between Jess and Chloe is somewhat entertaining but their repeated attempts at one another’s jugulars might get old.  Remy is going to study exactly what I wish I had studied, had I not bowed to pressure from my mother.  I am a little jealous.  Chloe feels dirty after dealing with the bouncer?  Standard, they have that affect on everyone.

Dexter makes a reappearance using what appears to be a line from a romance novel.  Cheesy, so much so I could slap it between two pieces of bread and toast me up a sandwich. Mmm food.  Okay hitting on someone in a seedy bar is just gross and is putting me off my imaginary grilled cheese sandwich.  He’s a walking cliché though –

“Oh God”

“No, it’s Dexter.”

I admit to laughing at that.  Boy has wit.  Then he has the know-how to contribute extra money towards beer, he’s not completely without common sense.  When in doubt, throw out the band card.  Since I know he’s a musician, I know he has a band but really, who hasn’t heard that line before?  We hear the no musician rule for the first time and while it could be considered a throw away excuse to avoid Dexter.  I am thinking it might be true.  Her dad was a musician so it would follow that she would avoid involving herself with someone like him.  I especially think it is amusing when he offers to write her a song, she’s had a HUGE one written about her and while it would normally work, it won’t on her.

Jess is my kind of chick, her interchange with Dexter was so dry that I was beside myself-

“Hi…I’m with them.”

“Well. I’m with them. But I’m not with you.  How is that possible?”

This then leads into his story about how they met.  The delusional qualities of this guy are amazing and endearing in one breath.  He would probably freak me out in person, but there is something engaging and quirky about him.  Very different from the calm and affable Nate, he would hang back while Dexter is all about the chase (at this stage anyway).  The way he just swept aside her dismissals is really entertaining but he would definitely wear me down.

We meet the proprietary Jonathon and upon hearing her problems with him I completely understand her need to dump him.  There is no way I would tolerate that crap either. But then she sleeps with him to sweeten up her rejection of him.  Or was she just carried away with lust?  I don’t know and I don’t get it.  Just as she is about to dump his gross self she discovers the panties and her control in the situation is wiped away.  She’s now the victim, the one to be pitied and Jonathon’s lucky his balls were left alone. 

Upon her return to the girls, she finds that Lissa has been dumped by her long standing, virginity swiping boyfriend because-

“…he needed his freedom because it is summer and high school was over and he didn’t want either of them to miss any opportunities in college.  He wanted to make sure that they…made the most of their lives.”

In one sense he is spot on.  This is a couple that chose to attend college together and probably needed to make decisions solo rather than as one unit.  But if “opportunities” means sleeping with other girls then I am pissed.  This reason for breaking up can make total sense but can also be interpreted as him wanting to score drunken college girls and be a single man.  The important thing is that Lissa is devastated, the difference between Lissa and Remy’s break ups is vast.  Both have been betrayed but their reactions are night and day.  My favourite part is Remy chucking her Zip Coke at Adam, her aim was true and her motivation was ice cold.  Brilliant.  Girlfriends have each other’s backs.

It’s the last passage of this chapter that really gives us the clearest sense of our protagonist.  We already know she can be clinical in her judgements, loyal to her friends, quick to anger, dismissive of men, tolerant of her mother, at ease with her brother but here we see her heart.  That song that she professes to loathe does mean something.  It’s her father, who lulls her to sleep every time she listens to him.

This lullaby is only a few words
A simple run of chords
Quiet here in this spare room
But you can hear it, hear it
Wherever you may go
I will let you down
This lullaby plays on…


A Note from Adele

Thanks for the increase in comments guys, I am loving it.

Thanks to Rachel I am now seeing Dexter more as Seth Cohen rather than Nick Jonas.  Thank goodness.

This Lullaby podcast will be up some time this weekend but I would love someone to suggest an ideal intro song.  Also for some further podcasting self-promotion – GreekSpeak (on ABC Family’s Greek) is now up to it’s seventh episode and a bonus episode of Three Chicks and a Mic featuring yours truly solo is ready for downloading.  Lastly, I am involved in another podcast on the new JJ Abrams show, Fringe, called Fringe Dwellers.  All of them can be found on iTunes and links are in the navigation bar.  I promise I won’t mention them again for awhile.




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3 thoughts on “This Lullaby – Chapter 2

  1. […] Reactions SDD Second Novel Announcement Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter […]

  2. Sheri Garner says:

    Really great writing. Truely.

  3. Lon Miller says:

    If only more than 22 people could hear about this!

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