Dec 06

It was so cold outside. The mixture of dewy after- rain and wind slapped around my face and neck as I looked up at the tree by my apartment. The last few orange leaves fell daintily before me and I felt like a younger version of myself. Myself, in my bright pink winter coat, daisy printed pants, blowsy black hair tied back in a messy ponytail in the fall of ’96. I was still in Boston with Felicia, matching friendship bracelets around our wrists, playing with our favorite barbies in my old yard. I liked to pretend my yard was a mini forest, the trees so tall and so many that I could jump into a pile of leaves and hide there with Barbie, waiting for Felicia to come steamrolling through and jump out at her, giving her baby- high blood pressure. She was such a Chucky- like rugrats Chucky. Red hair, anal retentive, hypochondria little baby girl. Translation: my best friend forever. I was in that phase of childhood where it was really cool to scare people by shouting “doody!” at them. ‘Doody’ was a game changer in ’96. Budding comedienne that I was, I had the scoop on all the buzzwords at the time, those words mostly being bathroom related. So yes, I was (am?) pretty cool.

That little reverie of my childhood made me like, 5 minutes late for class. My nose was running all over my face, and I kept having to wipe it on my sleeve, like a nerd. If this was still 1996, they’d be calling me booger face. And I’d be crying. Game over.

So I speed-walked my way to school, wind whipping at me hard, and I kept thinking ‘you’re not Divo, wind! You can’t whip it!’ which made me laugh. I made a mental note to say that to Mike later. Dude loves Divo. And I love dude. And then I got a nervous feeling, because I’m in love with Mike. Ooh. Awkward feelings. Friends don’t let friends profess their love to each other over Divo jokes. Not cool.

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2 comments so far

  1. 1 jnathan1
    1:46 am - 12-7-2011

    does my story make sense?
    is it even readable at all?
    can the reader relate to the characters?
    am i wasting my time?

  2. 2 jenny abeles
    4:02 pm - 12-15-2011

    Good questions, Jamie–let me work on them backwards.

    4. No.

    3. I can relate to some of what these characters are feeling and expressing, not everything, but I’m not sure I’m your target audience, tho’. I think you’re writing for people your age (20s), not my age (40s). What I can relate to are the ways these characters constantly seem to question themselves and their relationships with one another, and the ways they try vainly to see themselves objectively (does wiping my nose on my sleeve make my look like a nerd? Surely this is not normal behavior–I must therefore be grosser, less prepared, messier than my fellow man–etc, etc.) My generation called this “neurotic;” your generation might have your own word for it.

    And that’s something that alienates me a bit from your story–the very steady slang that the characters not only use, but genuinely seem limited by in their thinking through their issues and problems. I’m not sure if this is subculture slang or mainstream slang, but the characters seem controlled by it in that way that we (humanity) are unable to think about things we have no words for, can only plumb a matter as deeply as we have vocabulary to penetrate it. Your characters don’t need to register this, but you the author might want to explore/figure out/know what exactly is limiting these characters, to what extent are they aware of it, and how do they struggle against or accept it?

    2. yes–very readable, slang notwithstanding. Having been let into these characters’ personal consciousnesses, I’m glad to be there and eager to have a look around…

    1. Yes in the immediate, no in the long-term or overarching. Where is this story going? Where is the conflict? Is there a beginning, middle and end, not necessarily in that order?

    Helpful? Any other questions? If so, please post them as comments on the assignment so I see them…

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what's eating jimmy? a blog about food. and jimmy