Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm Lame but At Least It's Tuesday

There ARE real posts coming at some point. I promise. I even have ideas for them (okay, ideas for one). But I'm in Orlando until Friday, so for now, have a teaser! It's from Invincible Summer. It's the scene I read at the Muser reading last week!

“No love without a little innocence,” Noah says, completely still.

“I thought you were asleep. You’re so creepy.”

He shrugs. “So how was your lovely innocent night?”

“I kissed her.”

“What a man.” But he says it warmly. “How was it?”

My first thought is to relate it to soft serve ice cream, but I can already hear Noah laughing at that. “It was nice.”

“God. God, really, it was nice?” He sounds so earnest that I think for a minute that he’s making fun of me. He props himself up on an elbow. “God, I fucking miss when kisses were nice. I’m so jealous of people young enough to still have nice kisses.”

“Wait, kissing isn’t nice anymore?”

“No. It’s foreplay. Trust me, you get old enough, and everything is foreplay. Kissing is foreplay. Talking is foreplay. Holding hands is foreplay. I swear to God, Chase, I think at this point, sex would be foreplay.”

This would probably be a good time to ask if he and Melinda have really slept together, but I can’t make myself say the words. So I just say, “That doesn’t even make sense.”

“Sex is a to-do list where nothing gets crossed out.”

I find the passage Noah quoted in my Camus book. “No love without a little innocence. Where was the innocence? Empires were tumbling down; nations and men were tearing at one another’s throats; our hands were soiled. Originally innocent without knowing it, we were now guilty without meaning to be: the mystery was increasing our knowledge. This is why, O mockery, we were concerned with morality. Weak and disabled, I was dreaming of virtue!”

Noah looks at me and coughs, his eyebrows up in his bangs.

“What?” I say.

With a straight face, he recites, “I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”

“Come on. It’s foreplay? Seriously?”

“You’re too young.” He flops backwards. “You wouldn’t understand. You are a fetus in a world of Camus and spermicidal lubricant.”

“And you’re an asshole.”

“I’m just cynical. And you have no idea how far that’s going to take me.”

“Neither do you.”

“Au contraire, little brother. I know exactly how this college game works. I will arrive, the dark horse in a band of mushy-hearted freshman. College will pee itself in terror of my disenfranchised soul.”

I roll my eyes. “Beautiful.“

“Look. Listen to my words of wisdom. College’s only role these days, for a upper-middle class kind going in for a fucking liberal arts degree, is very simple. Do you know what that is?”

“A diploma. A good job. Yay.”

“No. College exists only because it thrives on the hopes and dreams of the young and innocent. College is a hungry zombie here to eat your brains. It wants to remind you that your naivety is impermanent and someday, English major or no, you’ll wear a suit and hate the feeling of sand between your toes.”

It’s not going to happen to me.

Noah continues, in a low mutter, “Like that’s not already forced into our heads every single fucking minute of every winter.”

“So you’re, like, essentially already educated, just because you’re an asshole?”

“Because I’ve resigned myself to my fate, yeah. I’ve pre-colleged myself. I’m rocking the institution, entering it already all disillusioned and shit. I’m going to single-handedly change the world of higher education.”

I clear my throat. “I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.”

“Go to sleep. Asshole.”


Catherine said...

God I want to molest your dialogue.



I'm looking forward to this book quite hard now.

Robby said...


hannah said...

You two are my lovelies and I will hold you close to me.

Angie said...

Awesome. I'm not sure if I can really say anything else without tearing up. Just awesome. :)

D Swizzle said...


that is all.

Liz. R said...

Noah forgot to add "and waiting for this book to be released is a million times worse".

That teaser was very teasing, it's true.

hannah said...

I love all of you.

This is a very new scene; I only added it the most recent edit.

Raven said...

I think I'm going to love this two almost as much as I loved Jonah and Jesse.

The dialogue is so freaking good and real and WOW.


maine character said...

I didn't want to read it, 'cause I wanted to save it, you know? For when I have it in my hands? But... I couldn't help myself.

You rock my institution.

HWPetty said...

College as zombie is my new favorite. AHAHAHA. Love.

Corinne O'Flynn said...

awesome Hannah!!

Kristin Briana Otts said...

What's depressing is that Noah is right to an extent; it eats your brains and causes lots of disillusionment and generally wrings out your soul.

The test of the truly talented is whether or not you'll let it. Whether or not you'll choose to learn and live and grow despite the system.

(There. That's MY philosophical babble for the evening.)

hannah said...

K-B :)

I wrote that scene during spring break of my freshman year. I was pretty unhappy with college at that point. Aaaand still definitely am.

Katie said...

Omg its my favorite Camus quote. This is a GREAT scene. Wow. Also, I agree w/ Noah.

hannah said...

That's your favorite? My favorite is the first one that appears in the book:

"Turbulent childhood, adolescent daydreams in the drone of the bus’s motor, mornings, unspoiled girls, beaches, young muscles always at the peak of their effort, evening’s slight anxiety in a sixteen-year-old heart, lust for life, fame, and ever the same sky through the years, unfailing in strength and light, itself insatiable, consuming one by one over a period of months the victims stretched out in the form of crosses on the beach at the deathlilke hour of noon.”

and the last:

"Innocence needs sand and stones."