It’s Friday bitches. The Bull is fanaticizing about doing some hardcore chilling in the pasture, snacking, throwing back a few brewskis and napping. This is unlikely to happen. Most likely, it will be the Bull hauling some crap around the house, cleaning some nasty shit, or fixing something with the misses.
It happens almost every week. Bessie asks, “What do you want to do this weekend?” Depending on the finances, the Bull responds with an appropriate list of options. Somehow Saturday morning, none of these options materialize, and the Bullmeister is immersed in a long-ass honey-do list. Even after forking up the bucks for a lawn service, the Bullster is stuck doing yard work.
You would think by now, the Bull would have put his hoof down, but the Bull has learned the most valuable lesson, happy wife, happy life. If Bessie is peeved, no weekend plans will result in any joy. Better to forgo the golf game and clear the yard, then suffer the consequences.
And speaking of happiness and consequences, we have “First Time I Ever Saw Your Face”.
This cap is weird and disturbing from the beginning. Minerva is a teenaged artist and a bit mental. Apparently, she has a history of being creepy and stalky. Her brother is equally as odd and is obsessed with mask making. We learn this in the first few pages. This is not the surprise twist or revelation of the cap. This is baseline where the plot starts.
When Minerva turns her affections and obsession to Skid, an athlete in her school, she expects the same rejection and scorn that she had received with all her past fixations. When she is approached by Skid’s girlfriend Cici, things take an unexpected turn.
You expect the cap to go one way, painfully, predictably, but it does not. Instead, it takes a direction that is unforseen and somewhat refreshing. It remains creepy and twisted, but in a way that is interesting. I thoroughly enjoy the cap. That is until the very end.
While I have no problem with unreliable narrators, I get frustrated with conveniently, specific, unreliable narrators. What I mean is, if you have cap being delivered with a somewhat consistent and logical progression, if you suddenly at the end reveal something the narrator left out, it feels like a cheap parlor trick.
She didn’t remember Stefan peeling off the Addison mask and pursuing their mother after disgust drove her from the room. She didn’t remember sitting upon her bed, expecting Stefan to return any moment. She didn’t remember waiting a whole hour before creeping to the doorway of her mother’s bedroom. Upon her bed, their mother cradled Stefan’s head against her breasts. The only words Minerva could discern with confidence were, “I just want her to be happy.” Again and again. More crying, more rocking.
Why didn’t she remember it? It wasn’t from pain, because in the previous paragraph Minerva states:
Instead, she was remembering the night her brother pretended to be Addison, mask and everything, and entered her room to offer comfort. The memory compelled no emotion of any depth.
So why did she not remember the incident? Clearly, the VC used this as a tool for a twist ending. A lazy trick to neatly wrap up what was otherwise a decent cap. The last time I felt this way was when I read “Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grille”, a book I otherwise enjoyed until Brust cheated at the end.
Despite the caps merits and witty title, I have to say no. It was engaging, but the end ruined it for me. Maybe Rocks will have a different take on this. We shall see.
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Re:FIRST TIME I EVER SAW YOUR FACE
Date: 2018/06/07 02:26
Rock confronted Mrs Rocks. Now, just because he accused her of bigamy, she's not speaking to him. Still, after reading the Bullmeister's review of this cap, it's pretty clear that Mrs Rocks is also Mrs Bullmeister. Rocks isn't pissed or anything. Actually, he totally understands. Though he doesn't think aging is a deliberate metaphor in this First Time Ever I Saw Your Face [the Ever and I are reversed in this thread's title, but which doesn't matter... really you could just cut the "Ever"] piece, it could be. People start out all young and beautiful and starry-eyed, but live long enough and you're guaranteed to become gross. Like have you ever seen a porno featuring old people? If so, then you are either very young and think 50 is old, or you are sick and should seek help. Anyway, Rocks, whose bits are starting to wrinkle and sag, gets why Mrs Rocks'd want to timeshare with a younger, studlier dude. Work his ass off, too.
Rocks sucks at names. Another aging thing maybe, but he and Mrs Rocks-Bullmeister (Rocks saw her first) watch whole series like House and The Wire and American Gods and Scrubs and ER, and, with the odd exception like Tony Soprano or Walter White or Gregory House, never remember anyone's name. So he apologizes for reverting to pronouns after meeting characters in a story just once. Like in the one now under consideration where some high-school artist stalker-type chick has a crush on this gorgeous athletic hunk who's way out of her league. Her brother makes all kinds of strange masks as a hobby and to hide himself from the world. The hunk has a hottish cheerleader-type girlfriend who, for reasons not clear to The Rockster, befriends the unpopular stalker-type new-girl artist chick. The hunk, who it turns out is desperately unhappy because people only like him for his good looks instead of his keen wit and deep wisdom, tries to kill himself (and anyone unfortunate enough to be his passenger at the time) by driving like an asshole. But all he manages to do is fuck up his face a little. Just a little, though. Not horrifically (which, in Rocks' opinion, would've been way more interesting) or anything. Really just a few scars, and a couple girlishly half-baked attempts to off himself. (Like sure bro, I'm happy to shoot you with my hospital security sidearm and spend the rest of my life in prison, seeing's how sad you are. Also, cut the long way next time, and maybe not while you're in a hospital.)
So there's this surreal scene at the end where the stalker chick's sitting in the hunk's hospital room wearing a mask her brother made (from a drawing of hers) of the hunk when he was still a total hunk. As you can imagine, potential out the yin yang here. Amazing bizzaro possibilities. But, sadly, nothing really materializes for Old RockInHisSocks. As it turns out, she's not that into him (stalker-girl re the hunk, not Mrs Rocks re Rocks or The Bullmeister) anymore, or his (the hunk's) cunt girlfriend. She's moved on, leaving Rocks unable to help but wonder, what if artist-girl really had loved athlete-hunk and he really had become grotesque? Why all the half measures? This VC exhibits some serious writing aptitude, not so much in the wordsmith sense where leaning less heavily on adverbs and erudition (e.g., look up "homily") mightn't have hurt, but really seems to see into the weird connectedness and juxtaposition of things. Next time, don't surrender so easily. This time, not quite.