Tuesday, December 6, 2011


My mom used to talk about the gutters like other parents talked about soccer camp, or family vacation. She'd start out of the blue, on the way to school, or the grocery. Sometimes she'd turn a conversation about anything else into one about the gutters. She never talked about them when anyone else was around - just her and I in the car.

"That's what happens to people who don't try, Bryan. They end up in the gutter. With all the trash and filth." Sometimes she'd point to a man or a woman who was holding up a cardboard sign at a four way intersection. “Think they tried?” she'd ask me. When I was little, I'd just shake my head silently. Other kids were probably afraid of clowns or sharks or something. I was afraid of ending up on the streets.

"Know what happens when you tell your son he's going to end up in the gutter?" I want to shout at her, back through the nightmare of the intervening years. “That's where he fucking goes, you stupid bitch. Awesome parenting.”

To read the rest, go to this page.


  1. I like this story. I'm not sure how difficult it would be to write this into a novel, but I feel like if it were done well this would be a very good story, although I imagine some people would have difficulty making it through the chapters where this guys life falls apart.

    I like where you left this story. I don't think its necessary to see how his life continues, knowing that he is aware of how can improve is enough.

  2. I also liked where you left the story. A bit depressing if he had actually ended up in the gutters like his mom thought he would. No, the promise of a fresh start away from his parents but with support of his sister is a much more satisfying ending (for me, anyway).

    I like that the siblings came together and griped over their parents. Everyone thinks they've got the 'bad end' of whatever the parents dish out, but it's just different for each of them. It's nice that they could bond over this and help each other out. I think the descent of the character was well done; it seemed to have gone quickly, only because the story was short in length, though it covered quite a bit of time. I think you included most of the points that would be important to show how he kept going downhill. You could tell that the impressions from his mom were constantly present, no matter what he did, and that was one of the main demons he faced. Well done!