excerpts from Little Hollywood
By Jinwoo - Nov 11, 2019
The following excerpts are from Little Hollywood, Jinwoo’s new book, available for pre-order now from 11:11 Press.
TWO PORCELAIN CATS
INT. CHARITY SHOP. DAY.
WILLIAM enters the charity shop. He approaches the counter where TOD is arranging novelty keyrings in a display. WILLIAM places a plastic bag on the counter. He recently cleared out his teenage bedroom, but only felt emotionally ready to part with his copy of The Communist Manifesto and his ‘Honey to the B’ by Billie Piper CD.
Hello. I would like to donate these, please. I don’t know if anyone will want them.
TOD takes the bag and examines the contents.
Very eclectic. Something for everyone here!
TOD smiles. WILLIAM wants to laugh, or at least smile back, but-
WILLIAM crumples away from the counter and pretends to browse a nearby shelf of knick-knacks. He subtly practises the smile he should have done. To make friends with someone like TOD. TOD was vaguely funny, and comforting. TOD would make a good friend for WILLIAM. WILLIAM considers striking up another conversation, but can’t think of what might make a good topic. He suddenly can’t think of anything happening in the news, or anything that happened ever.
He picks up two porcelain cats from the shelf of knickknacks. They are both blue and white, but they are not a set. He places them on the counter.
Just these, please.
That comes to £2. Shall I wrap them for you?
Bye. Thank you. No.
WILLIAM goes home and puts the porcelain cats on the table by his single bed. Every time he looks at them, he remembers his failure with TOD. A monument. After a month, he turns them to face the wall. After two months, he places them in the top draw. They are not a set, and never will be.
A LOVE STORY.
INT. MIRIAM’S ROOM. EVENING.
It’s the year 2050AD, and sex is contactless. MIRIAM is in bed. Enter JAKE – he sits in the bed beside MIRIAM. MIRIAM and JAKE beep once, each. Their transaction is complete. They smoke Vapes. MIRIAM wonders what JAKE tastes like. She imagines he tastes the way her avocado hand soap smells. JAKE thinks about the never changing weather.
MIRIAM will write to JAKE in an open letter on her blog. JAKE won’t read it.
CHECK BEHIND YOU.
- INT. RASCALS BAR, SEAFRONT. DAY.Rascals Bar is a Seafront nightclub. If it were 4:00 AM, dancing students would be stumbling out the exit. But now it is 9am. And Rascals Bar is playing host to a team-building day for a local business. The would-be dance floor is lined with tables and chairs holding grey, professional types, their faces lit by the PowerPoint presentation. RABBIT sits among them, also staring at the presentation. He is dressed smart-casual, but his hair is messy. He probably cuts his own hair. He has a name badge on that reads “Hello my name is RABBIT. Ask me what I do!” RABBIT doesn’t know what he does.
Fake ivy hangs from the walls, and plastic palm trees in pots lean from either side of the dance floor. A glitter ball looks out of place, almost embarrassed, like nobody told it to dress down today. A neon sign ‘DANCE’ is still lit above the toilets, but no one is dancing.
The floors are wooden herringbone, and have damp stains on them. The cleaners can’t have finished mopping long ago. RABBIT thinks about the building playing host to raging clubbers all night long, and then–after a quick rinse down–housing bored office workers all day until the sun goes down again. RABBIT thinks about the wind and rain coming straight off of the sea, bashing the building relentlessly. RABBIT thinks this building must be exhausted.
This building must be so tired. I am this building. I am a shit nightclub on the seafront with stained herringbone floors. [Beat.] I wonder if this is the kind of place where they sell cocktails served in hollow pineapples. The kind with umbrellas.
The speaker leading the presentation is using the club’s karaoke microphone to amplify her voice. Her voice booms. RABBIT hasn’t been paying much attention, but as he looks around for the bathroom, he accidentally tunes in.
We can’t keep displaying our process maps as triangles. Triangles are hierarchical. A circle includes everyone. A circle is a hug – an appropriate, workplace hug.
The PowerPoint presentation shows a triangle with a red cross through it, next to a circle with a green tick over it. RABBIT leaves for the bathroom.
- INT. RASCALS BAR BATHROOM.RABBIT shuts himself in a cubical. RABBIT imagines someone called JONNY standing in this exact spot, just hours ago, getting a hand job from a stranger before going home to sleep it off.
Good for you JONNY. Sleep well.
As RABBIT urinates, he reads the graffiti on the walls. ‘We Ride the Hoe Train’, ‘Breeders 4 Life”, but most alarmingly ‘CHECK BEHIND YOU”.
Don’t worry JONNY, I’m always checking behind me. I think non-stop about what’s behind me. Jobs I used to hate feel so safe now. I feel like I’m nostalgic for everything I used to hate. Is my life getting progressively worse? Am I sliding down the walls of the hierarchical triangle?
RABBIT wants to call his mum and tell her he is unhappy, and that being an adult has disappointed him. RABBIT imagines his mum calling a teacher, and explaining that RABBIT just isn’t well enough to be an adult today, and that he is going to stay home and do some colouring instead.
When I’m dead, will I feel nostalgic for life?
RABBIT does up his zipper, and returns to the grey people.
Read more about LITTLE HOLLYWOOD, available 1.20.20 from 11:11 Press.