June 2023

Happy Birthday, and Anything Else

Altenir Silva

My name is Garrison, but everyone calls me Gary. I'm just a teenager and nothing else. I love to spend my time playing games like Super Mario Bros., Fortnite, Fall Guys, Roblox, and others. I intend to be a sci-fi writer or something else. I live in an apartment on the Lower West Side of New York City with my mom, Daisy. She works as an interior designer, while my dad lives in Los Angeles and works as a screenwriter for cheap action movies. They have been divorced for five years, and they maintain a regular friendship and nothing more.

One day, a girl of my age named Emily crossed my path after a bad superhero movie in the AMC Empire 25. I was sitting next to her, and when the lights went up, we made eye contact: both of us were disappointed with the film. Then, we struck up a conversation with each other in the hallway. As we talked, we couldn't help feeling foolish for having wasted our time and feeling cheated once again by Hollywood. So, we exchanged contact information and a friendship started.

Although I had fallen in love with Emily, she did not reciprocate my feelings, and I found it difficult to reveal my emotions. Every time I heard 'Sunshine' by Leon Litewski on Spotify or YouTube, a song I couldn't resist listening to, Emily's eyes would come to my mind.

"Sit around now
In the rain
Comin' out now
What do you say
To someone who needs to live
Inside his dreams?
Oh (Oh, oh)"

Several weeks had passed since the meeting at the movie theater, and I finally decided to open my heart to Emily. I invited her to dine at Mono+Mono, a Korean restaurant in the East Village, on a Saturday night, and poured out my feelings to her. My world shattered when Emily explained to me that she liked girls and we could only be friends. I tried to hide my true feelings by pretending to be indifferent, but a thousand thoughts invaded my head. Despite the turmoil in my heart, I forced myself to remain calm and composed. Then, I told her that it would be cool if we stayed friends. She smiled at me, and we finished our dinner, paid our bill, and left the restaurant.

I accompanied Emily to her house and decided to walk back home to reflect on everything that had just happened. Once I arrived home, I went straight to my bedroom, grabbed my iPad, and my world opened up again as I became a crewmate and began ejecting all the impostors on Among Us.

The next morning, my mom woke me up excitedly, "Gary, it's time to get up! Ah! Happy birthday! Welcome to your seventeenth year, son. You're a man!." I groaned sarcastically, "I'm so thrilled!" My mom kissed me and continued, "Don't forget, today we're going to the Met." As I headed towards the bathroom I couldn't resist and said, "I don't want to go to the opera." My mom responded, "But it's Mozart!"

On that Sunday, we attended the matinee performance of the opera Don Giovanni. After it ended, my mom and I went to Cafe Fiorello to discuss the performances. While I enjoyed Fettuccine Bolognese, my mom explained the exuberance and musicality of Andrea Carroll, the Zerlina's soprano.

Suddenly, Emily and her girlfriend, Jenny, entered Cafe Fiorello, and Emily introduced Jenny to us. We sat down at the same table to have a nice conversation about art, cinema, literature, New York, and opera. Later, my mom went to visit a friend of hers, while Emily, Jenny, and I went to Jenny's apartment.

As we rode in an Uber to Emily's house, I could see that Emily and Jenny were in love with each other. I could see how they respected each other and how one had been taking care of the other.

While in the apartment, we discussed our plans for the future, much like the question 'what will you do after college?' We asked each other many questions, but none of us could give consistent answers. Despite this, the night went smoothly, and nothing else of note occurred.

Later, after saying goodnight to Emily and Jenny, I went home where I met my mom. She told me that my dad had called from California to wish me a happy birthday. Then I realized that I had left my phone in the house all day and asked, "Will he call again?" My mom thought for a moment and said, "Unfortunately, no, not today. Maybe tomorrow." I said, "OK," and went to my room to play my games, and anything else.




Artists : (watching and listening to)

Sunshine by Leon Litewski - https://youtu.be/ATNxYmGESg0

Andrea Carroll - http://www.andreacarrollsoprano.com/home.html

Don Giovanni music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Giovanni

Places: (attending)

Mono+Mono - https://www.monomonony.com

The Metropolitan Opera - https://www.metopera.org

Cafe Fiorello - https://www.cafefiorello.com

Lower West Side - https://www.6sqft.com/six-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-lower-west-side/

Games: (playing)

Super Mario Bros. - https://mario.nintendo.com/history/

Fortnite - https://www.fortnite.com

Fall Guys - https://www.fallguys.com/en-US

Roblox - https://www.roblox.com

Among Us - https://amongusplay.online

AMC Theatres - https://www.amctheatres.com


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Altenir Silva is a Brazilian playwright and screenwriter working in mass media and communications, including Cinema, Theater, Television and the Web. His texts and scripts - both fiction and reality-based - have been presented , produced and performed in the US, the UK, and Brazil.
For more of his writings in Scene4, check the Archives.

©2023 Altenir Silva
©2023 Publication Scene4 Magazine





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