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Living Loz
Marriage of Convenience 
13th-Jun-2011 12:27 am
LoM Neckless Gene Confused
Title: Marriage of Convenience
Fandom: Life on Mars
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 277 words.
Notes: Gene-centric gen for the ‘temptation’ challenge on 1973flashfic. Based on Paul McDermott’s song 'Bottle'.
Summary: Gene thinks about one of his habits.



It’s not a problem. He isn’t addicted. Everyone does it, craves it, has a hard time ignoring it.

Even to Gene, well-versed in wilful ignorance and blanket denial, the words are hollow. They sound false. He can’t remember a day he hasn’t walked out of his house with a flask close to his heart. Can’t recall a night without scotch and beer and promises.

And he hates that it’s a sign of his weakness, of desperation to be numb for an hour or more, that he can laugh so long as he’s liquored up. He thinks he should be worthier than that, he wonders what it’s like to be sober.

As vices go, it could be worse, could injure more than his liver, but it’s still a vice.

He doesn’t know how to change, and he will never admit this, but this scares him. He always thought he was fairly good at adapting before. Pretended he wasn’t; knew he was. Maybe he’s not.

Just thinking about it makes him reach for liquid courage. Wine, this time, red as regret. He doesn’t even bother with a glass, just presses the bottle against his lips, tilting his head back, swallowing thick and fast. It’s bitter, tannic, good.

Soon there will be a haze of contentment resting low in his belly, masking years of ambivalence. Soon his edges of inhibition will erode at the corners, making it easier to act without weighing up the repercussions. Soon he won’t need a crutch because he’ll be floating in the fucking air.

It’s not a problem. He isn’t addicted. Everyone does it. The fact he’s never been like everyone else before is inconsequential.

Comments 
12th-Jun-2011 04:49 pm (UTC)
I thought this was funny because I was just in the middle of writing a piece where Gene is craving a cigarette. The poor guy has a list of vices.

He thinks he should be worthier than that
Awwww. This line. ♥
13th-Jun-2011 10:20 am (UTC)
So many vices, but dramatic irony and unreliable narration are my friends.

Thank you!
12th-Jun-2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
This is heartbreaking.

And the second-from-last paragraph just gutted me.
13th-Jun-2011 10:22 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm sorry!
14th-Jun-2011 03:14 pm (UTC)
No! No! Never apologise.

Gutted is GOOD ♥
12th-Jun-2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh, Gene. :( The ironic beat on that line in 2x06 speaks volumes.

He always thought he was fairly good at adapting before. Pretended he wasn’t; knew he was.
Brilliant analysis of his character all the way through this, but especially here. And I'm trying desperately not to think of Ashes or my heart'll break.

Reading this I really want Sam to sweep in and make it all better but that's because I keep forgetting he's not actually made of gold. He probably makes Gene drink more rather than less, sadly. :(

This is a wonderful piece of writing, Loz. ♥
13th-Jun-2011 10:26 am (UTC)
Thanks so much!

You know, I kept thinking, "at any moment, Sam has to make this better", but, like you, I realised he just wouldn't --- and that it would cheapen what I'm trying to say if I tried to suggest he could.
12th-Jun-2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
What they said.

It is concise and profound and you touch on so many truths in so little space. How much harder it is to ignore when everyone you know is right there drinking with you. "Easier to act without weighing up the repercussions" - yes, oh yes. There he is.
13th-Jun-2011 10:32 am (UTC)
Thank you ♥
13th-Jun-2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
This hurts in all the ways it's true.
13th-Jun-2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
13th-Jun-2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
Really good. An aspect of Gene that doesn't get explored in all the ugly ways that often.

He always thought he was fairly good at adapting before. Pretended he
wasn’t; knew he was. Maybe he’s not.


Great line, really captures who Gene is and who he's afraid he's not.

Everyone does it. The fact he’s never been like everyone else before is inconsequential.

And guh, that's a great way to end it after those last two paragraphs. You pack a lot into 200 plus words. Impressive brevity for such a deep piece.
14th-Jun-2011 08:09 am (UTC)
Thanks so much ♥
17th-Jun-2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
Thought this was great, especially liked the impact of the last line: The fact he’s never been like everyone else before is inconsequential.. Thank you.
29th-Jul-2011 11:14 am (UTC)
Thanks so much ♥
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