Your Story V: Charlotte

Romantic comedies – the archnemesis of all failed novelists. Once more, you can read here what this is all about. And if you don’t understand the “What I got” part, try the translation underneath. And for everybody who expected something different from the given items: This is a very rough draft. The general idea is there, but I didn’t have the time and patience to put it into a proper story. Maybe I’ll amend it some day, but for now contend yourself with this skeleton of a story idea.

What I got:

Also, ich hätte gerne eine romantische Komödie. Da es ja “meine” Geschichte sein soll, habe ich einfach mal den Blick durch mein Zimmer schweifen lassen und bin auf die folgenden Begriffe gekommen:

- The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time

- Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell

- Yellow Bird

und damit auch all deine Leser deine mit Sicherheit wieder mal genialen Ergüsse lesen können, schreib doch auf Englisch!

What that means:

[freely translated] So, I’d like a romantic comedy. Since this is supposed to be “my” story, my glance just swept through my room (something a broom also desperately needs to do) and came to rest on the following items:

- The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

- Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell

- Yellow Bird

and in order for all your readers to be able to read your surely brilliant effusions (eh, mental effusions that is), write in English!

The story idea:

Travis is a true music lover. In the age of mp3s, downloads and portable music players, he still buys vinyl records and only vinyl records. That’s right, not only does he still pay for music, he even pays more than necessary to have the music in a format that will soon be obsolete. His apartment is more of a museum than a place to live, with records everywhere. In his bedrooms he keeps his special collection, which friends have dubbed “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. Nobody besides Travis is allowed to touch or even look at them without him present. He values them more than his own life. Nevertheless, all these eccentricities aside, he’s a nice regular guy, works long hours (as the owner and manager of his own record store, where he reluctantly also sells CDs) to support his record addiction and is a welcome guest at any party, since even though he knows pretty much everything about popular (or less popular) music there is to know, he is neither obnoxious nor arrogant and always willing to share his knowledge.

Ivy is a young lawyer, recently graduated and just starting out in life and business. All her life, she has worked hard to be where she is today and her success is everything to her. Always considered beautiful, she takes pride in dressing modestly and achieving things through hard work and mental abilities rather than just good looks. Since she has started to work for a major law firm, she has had more free-time than before, since even though the job is demanding, it is nothing compared to going to college while holding a job to be able to continue to study.

And so, one fateful Friday evening, the two meet at a party. Ivy arrives late, having had to work well into the evening, and immediately notices the mysterious stranger who seems more interested in the host’s CD collection than in the other partygoers. After greeting some friends, she approaches him.

“Anything interesting?” she asks.

“Not really. I just like looking at people’s music connections. It tells so much about them.” With that, he turned towards her and immediately notices her beauty. Two dark eyes look intently at him, studying him, trying to see inside him. Travis smiles.

“And what did the bands tell you about our host?”

“Oh, it’s not the bands that tell you anything. It’s the albums. And of course the collection in itself. But in general the albums give a clearer picture than the bands.”

“Do you know a lot about music?”

“Quite a bit, I think. I work in a record store, so it is kind of my job to know these things. And also to help customers find music they like.”

“So what would you recommend to somebody who likes ‘Egotripping at the Gates of Hell’?”

“Hard to tell, one album doesn’t say very much. But coming from you, I’m quite surprised that this is your kind of music.”

“You know the album, then? Now I’m surprised as well. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who heard of it. But maybe I just met the wrong people.”

“Why? What kind of people do you meet?”

“Lawyers mostly.”

“I see. I expect most of them listen to classics mostly. You know, Mozart and Beethoven and so on.”

“Not really. Most of the ones I work with like Britney Spears.”

At this, Travis couldn’t help but chuckle. And so they continued to talk for a long while, exchanging pleasantries, and arranged to meet again.

The next meetings are destined to go well, but some estrangements arises from the fact that Travis always thinks of “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell” by “The Flaming Lips” when he talks to Ivy, while she really treasures “Egotripping at the Gates of Hell”, the debut album of Australian blues rocker Louis Tillett. The differences between those records are substantial and lead to some hilarious misunderstandings which are to difficult to describe in a few short words.

But when the misunderstanding is finally cleared up, everything looks like the perfect ending. Even Travis lack of interest in and knowledge about everything that isn’t connected to music doesn’t perturb Ivy and it isn’t long before she begins referring to the American Goldfinches that are continually flying through the park across from her apartment as yellow birds as well.

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4 Responses to “Your Story V: Charlotte”

  1. tine sagt:

    Auch diese Geschichte von Dir gefällt mir außerordentlich gut und wenn Du mir es nicht gesagt hättest, wäre mir vielleicht noch nicht einmal aufgefallen, dass Du irgendwie nciht so die rechte Lust zum Schreiben hattest. Aber die Idee – einfach Klasse. Hoffentlich kommen schnell weitere Geschichten-Wünsche!!!

  2. Charlotte sagt:

    Mir gefällt die Geschichte auch sehr gut. Sie zeigt einige Parallelen zu High Fidelity – absichtlich oder unabsichtlich? Und ich hatte natürlich gehofft, dass du den genauen Wortlaut von Egotripping At The Gates Of Hell verwendest und nicht wüsstest, dass es auch ein CD-Titel ist. Aber alles sehr elegant gelöst!

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