The protagonist has a problem and he will make choices that create a story that works toward a resolution and what will keep you at the edge of your seat the whole way is the gap in expectations that is created, like say when the protagonist asks the antagonist [ an old lady ] for something silly and you are surprised the protagonist, whom you empathize with greatly, would beg for that small thing but you are surprised even more when the antagonist [ an old lady ] punches him in the face and says bleep bleep blip bloooop motherfucker. And then there is this story:
Some guys like to spread their legs real wide so people won't sit next to them on crowded trains. I hate that shit. It is akin to blocking the subway door and I will fuck you up for that.
So this dude in a fancy overcoat and suit is pulling this move so I point at the seat and he makes himself smaller and I squeeze in. He is reading a few sheets of paper and sighing and I imagine slapping that shit out of his hand. I calm down a bit even though the other guy next to me is playing a video game with the audio up so we can all hear.
I do not feel good. I am an implosion. I am an echo bouncing around a vacant building that needs dusting.
Feelings are not real. I remind myself that there is a world that exists outside of me and it is much better than feelings, although this reminder does not help much. I am worried that these feelings are pointing to something real that I cannot see yet and I feel like going to sleep.
Someone pops gum. A plastic cup with a straw rolls in half circles. A jacket is a few inches from my face and it is hard to type.
I do not cry, no. No I do not. I close my eyes and almost fall asleep. A baby says, "Bye! Bye! Bye!"
The guy reading the papers reads the same sheet, shuffles the papers and reads the same sheet again. He does this the whole ride. "Washington, Leroy p4." The ASSESSMENT/SUMMARY says Mr. Washington reads at an 8th-10th grade level.
I get off the train and look for my taco cart. Not there. I go to my pizza place and order. It fills up with customers while they melt my food. Some dude says to his friends, "They got my dream pizza right there! It just needs extra cheese!"
I take my bag and leave. The sidewalks are empty for a quiet moment and people come out of everywhere and crowd the cement. Some kids pretend to box. Everyone in jackets and hats. I turn down my street and the lamplight is amber against the bricks. A few leaves cling to branches and I pass a church and I sit on the stairs in front of my building and think of something to write down, something fucking on point, so on point it would make you cry, but I decide to eat my slice first and when I try to write that shit down I cannot remember what it was. A dog on a leash sniffs my bag and the owner jerks him away.
The only choice a protagonist has to make to be a hero is choosing to be happy and I want to punch myself for saying that.