Assg. Only one character can speak

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Something like magnets drew my fingers to the cold wooden door, forming a fist as they ascended. I struck it with the impatience of rain when it’s ready to fall, at a near constant, muted patter.

“Asher!” I spat. For some reason, saying it, regardless of if he heard it, made me feel so much more at ease.

In no time at all, his feeble frame in all its sleepy clumsiness plopped down the steps. He revealed revelation in his tired eyes, rubbing them, as he caught my stare through the window, and I felt assured. There was some sort of connection between us. Something let him know he should go downstairs, though mid-night, and that something was definitely not the sound of my knocking.

“It’s going to be okay.” I told myself.

The door glided open and I caught his arm in a vice like grip. He flinched but did not pull away.

“Your bag is still packed, up in the closet.” I was barely whispering, but the words ran out of my mouth like they were afraid of one another.

Asher’s responding expression morphed so clearly like a monster in a bad dream from surprise to dead fear. I knew he would know what I was asking, we had discussed it before. But the panic in his breath asked me if I was crazy.

“They’re going to send me off if I don’t leave myself! You know that.”

Thudding in his chest was his only response. It wondered why I chose him.

“You’re not like them. And I don’t want to be like them, Asher!” desperation cracked through my voice when I said his name.

He grew colder as my words rattled around inside him, I was speaking ice cubes and he was an empty glass.

“I know it’s late and we did not plan this, but if not now, when?” He didn’t catch any of that, but his eyes still widened and filled with understanding. I’d never seen Asher cry.

“You have to come with me.” I was begging stone. I had to do something.

“I’ll get your bag, put on your shoes!” He was numbingly unresponsive.

And then the whole room went numb. A dreamy yellow surrounded us, and the fighting pulse of blood to Asher’s arm opened my grip. I felt my cheeks stain red and all my body stick with needles. My eye’s glare said, “it’s going to be okay,” but this time it was a question. He lowered his head, curled his back and hid his face. It was a no. It was always a no. Mrs. McKenzie stepped straight in between us then, and that was the end of that.

a long time ago…

a long time ago on the very first page of a notebook I wrote;

There is something special about being in a library. But being in a library at night…its super special. It is eerily quiet in a good way. And I’m not wearing shoes, so it is also comfortable. And the books smell like a well used dollar bill. They smell like they put this perfume on for me. Like they’re trying to impress me. They are easy to fall in love with. Especially at night. When its just me and them.

the wee hours of the night.

I strongly believe that I am a happier person between the hours of 2 and 6 am. I wonder if anyone else feels that way. I’ve known a short list, hardly a post-it, of people who entered the whimsical wonderland of “wee hours” with me, and I must say that they, too, were purely happy during this time. But perhaps I should give a second thought to my first statement…
I don’t necessarily think I am any more or less happy at this time, I am just a different sort of happy. The attitude that I have towards the wee hours is a welcoming one. I look forward to the little hand striking two. And then I float towards four when the dead of night becomes me. Its too late for anyone else to still be up, too early for anyone to be waking for work. That is an enticing thought for me.
I am happy about the possibilities, the quiet, the color of the sky. The lack of obligation, or presence of demands.
For some, there is no appeal. “Why be drained tired until such a late time?” “I love sleep too much!” Well! I must say, I love sleep as much as the next guy. I just perform my beloved act at a seemingly more… jet-lagged time. Yes. I live in a perpetual state of jet-lag. To the rest of the world, at least.
To me, there is no more appropriate time to be asleep than from 5:30-6:00 until around 12. I’m still in college.
Someday I may have to abandon my whimsical wonderland of 2-6 am. Someday, when I have a nine-to-five and my dark circles begin to turn into black holes. But until then, I shall live whimsically into the wee hours. I shall listen to “something” scratched out of the needle, quiet enough not to wake the house, again and again. All the while scribbling love notes and deep thoughts into a book and imagining who might someday read them.
In Wee Hour Whimsical Wonderland, I write letters I’ll never send. I think about whose job it is to test and describe the feel of various fabric materials, and wonder how I can apply. I listen to good music (whatever that is to myself individually). I wear my comfiest clothes and read recipes out of “pasta cooking” I’ll less than likely ever attempt to cook. I cast on 76 stitches for either a small blanket or a massive scarf that will take three years to finish.
And I am always accepting new members. Don’t have to be anywhere tomorrow? Not feeling the sleep vibes all to heavy tonight? Stay awake a while, and see where your mind will take you. Need help getting started? Give a listen to “Dear Prudence,” by The Beatles. Can’t hurt! Enjoy…

Vacation

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away away I went.  

Someday I’d like go off, not away, just off.  I’d like my home to be away, and the off I left to from my away to become my new home.  For a little while, I’d like to not have a place to vacation to or from.  I’d like to set out with the world as my home, and settle in various spots for any amount of time.  A house isn’t the only thing that can be called a home.  I’d like to see my home be this entire planet we inhabit, and to bop around it until I’m ready to call a house my home again.  Wouldn’t it be nice? 

I’ll let you know when I get there.

 

About the Joyous Joyce

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“He had a hanging face, dark wine-coloured, with fair eyebrows and moustache: his eyes bulged forward slightly and the whites of them were dirty.”

This line from James Joyce’s “Counterparts,” is found at the very beginning of the story. I love James Joyce.  His style, the way he puts together stories that don’t seem to be connected but actually are. This line is the description of the main character Farrington. This sentence is beautiful because it uses very effective terms to explain how this character looks, but also who he is. Farrington is a man who is unhappy with his life, and he is under a lot of pressure throughout the story, all of which we get hints of in this passage.

“He had a hanging face,” is the first part of this description. When reading this, the reader can imagine someone who is displeased, but also someone who is tired or hungover or even drunk. We find out later that Farrington uses alcohol as a way to cope with his life. I think it is important to note, Joyce does not tell us the expression on Farrington’s face. This is effective because firstly, the reader can interpret his different expressions throughout his presence in the story. And secondly, if this is alluding to the fact that he is drunk, he is an unhappy, or perhaps expressionless drunk.

When Joyce goes on to say his face was wine colored, this adds to the idea that he is not a kind or happy looking man. I pictured red wine when reading this, which is a dark reddish purple color. To give that description to a man’s face is clearly not 100 percent accurate, but adds to our understanding that he has dark thoughts or feelings. Additionally, using an alcoholic beverage to describe an alcoholic is very creative.

His eyebrows and mustache are fair in color. This alone could be a typically nice trait, but when you put it on a dark, droopy faced man, fair colored facial hair would look kind of creepy. Additionally, this could lead the reader to have some sympathy for Farrington. He has some nice traits, so he may be a nice guy underneath, but with all of the things going on in his life, that gets covered up.

“His eyes bulged forward slightly…” This line follows the fair colored facia hair detail, and goes hand in hand with it, because bulging eyes are definitely creepy. Imagining someone with all of those other traits, and then his eyes just slightly pushing outward would make him look a little bit crazed. This could be an attribution to his drunken state, and also to how much pressure we later learn he is under.

Lastly, we read that the whites of his eyes are dirty. This is the part of the passage that made me choose this line to respond to the prompt. For the whites of someones eyes to be dirty is not a common description. It sounds kind of gross and unhealthy. I took it as foreshadowing. We will learn that Farrington has trouble keeping himself on track and that he makes some wrong choices and these things are because he is not seeing clearly. There are a lot of things clouding his judgement which we read about later on and this line sums all of that up.

^^ I wrote this for a class, but I like it and maybe someone else will too?

 

Fathers Day (so original it hurts)

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My dad is a business man.  He works 8-5 but leaves at 6 and comes home at 9.  He’s the bossman I guess.  It’s weird to think of him in that light as he is this heavyset pure Irishman straight out of Dublin with an affinity for beer and a sense of humor that even makes the goldfish laugh.  On the car ride home earlier today, a car stopped short ahead of him on the highway and he had to pull to the side of the road so as not to get into an accident.  Driving away, he (aptly) called out, “Asshole!” To which the man responded, “Fuck you!”  Dad sped away and about 40 seconds later he turns to my mom, “Thats what I would have said.” And then he let out his hearty, Irishman laugh and before I could blink i was in hysterics!  Whatta guy!

Hes a laugh and a half, my dad. And I appreciate nothing more than moments like that with him.  Its not like he was never present in my life or anything.  He has provided everything Ive ever needed and then some. His generosity is perpetual.  And every saturday morning he’s in the kitchen making homemade apple cinnamon pancakes or a full Irish breakfast. He works hard though, and as I mentioned, during the week, he’s at his work most of the time.  I think thats why I cherish moments like the one I’m about to share with you.  But before I share it, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I started writing another post about 20 minutes ago discussing how I wish we didn’t need to set aside a day to thank and spoil dads, that they should have that every day.  But I realized as I wrote that you can’t have a sacred something or a special moment if theres never un-sacred things or average moments.  I won’t belabor that point because it just is what it is for me.  Anyway, heres the moments around which this whole post revolve…

Every Fathers Day for as long as I can remember, my family has gone to Belmont Park to watch the horse races.  This year, I’m 19 and more mature than years passed.  I took an interest for the first time in betting on a horse because it was something me and dad could do together! See, moms brother goes to Belmont on Fathers day as well with his kids and grandkids, and dad probably feels a little weird hanging out with them.  After all, its HIS day! So when he asked who wanted to come with him to pick horses, I was happy to go! I was surprised when neither of my younger brothers came with, but eager to be with my dad! We walked out into the sunny yet breezy air of the track and read through our choices for race 8. We sat on a bench and pondered the newspapers recommendations, the odds, and the names of course. The names were nice as usual, but the names mean nothing until you go take a look at the stunning creatures.  We were feeling vibes for number 10 before we even saw him/her, and when we walked over and saw him in his stable, his human was talking to him.  The human had one hand on either side of the horses face and the horse had his nose pressed against the humans chest listening to every word.  His ears were flapping like he heard and appreciated whatever words were being fed to him.  It was beautiful, and we knew we chose a smart and kind and loved horsey! Horse number 7 also looked good to my dad, so he decided to play 10 and 7 to come in 1st and 2nd place.  I played 10 for win place show.  With our tickets in hand, bets placed, we proudly walked back out and stood close up to the track! They were off and 10 was in the lead. From what I’ve gathered in my 19 years, when anyone starts in first in a race, its hard to hold the win.  But sure as could be, that grey speckled horse with a black and grey tail kept his lead and won the race.  As luck would have it, dads number 7 came in second! It didn’t mean much that our horses won.  I think it was just the spirits we each were in at the one on one time we were spending together were so high they lasted the race! Regardless, that quality time was worth more than any win.

I definitely didn’t tell that story as creatively as I could have, but at the same time its one of those stories about me that I’m so bad at telling.  Non fiction is not my scene, but I’d like to work on that.  Hopefully this was a start.

The point is, fathers day rules because my dad rules.  And that is all.

It Had The Potential To Be The Most Meaningful Five Minutes Of My Life.

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Sarah Kearns

For Jaclyn’s class, but she ended up writing something on her own.

Topic: A narrative about an event in your life that happened in about five minutes.

               Quite Possibly The Most Meaningful Five Minutes Of My Life.

12:49. My palms are sweaty and my fingers tremble as I put them to the keyboard and begin to type. My mind is anywhere but here as my fingers glide across the keys spelling out as many words as I can come up with. No aim. No focus. Just words. It’s like in movies, when they show you a lot of things happening over a long period of time, you know that perfectly edited, fuzzy looking fast-forward encompassing anywhere from a month to a year in just thirty seconds. But have I really been sitting here for that long? I can’t stop my fingers from scrambling, vigorously, tapping at the keys, and can’t tear my eyes away from marveling at their actions long enough to check the time or my place. All I can thing about is how badly I needed to finish. How I need to write. How I have no time to write. And I wonder why it matters…what really would happen if I don’t finish? Would anyone really care? Like, really care? It is not like this story is going to shatter the earth with brilliance… far from it. It isn’t even a story! Why am I going to subject you to such meaninglessness? Is that even a word? I never know. But I said it, so it is now. For a brief moment of reality, I look at the time. The flashing colon breaks up the last pair of numbers I expect to see. 12:52. Twelve fifty-two is impossible. Where is the time going, and what am I doing with it?! And I am still typing… more impossible yet. But I don’t want to stop. I don’t think. With an unimaginable sense of confusion at my current state of being, my fingers continue tirelessly spelling out one word after another after another, and I still wonder if I have said anything yet. But I have another two minutes. And I guess my fingers are going to attempt to make those two minutes count. Because a lot can happen in two minutes, right? Maybe something will happen in these next two minutes that will be worth telling and I won’t have to hand in whatever piece of crap precedes this sentence. My mind waits while it wanders, still not in control of my fingers. It’s an odd sensation, I might add, if you have never experienced it. I almost feel like I haven’t quite experienced it either…but I guess I am because it’s happening, I just don’t have the time to figure it out. No time. My eyes methodically flit to the tiny clock in the upper right corner of my screen, and I thank whichever technological genius came up with the digital clock. Jealous of him for his obvious creativity, the thing I want most right now. But thankful for his contribution to this small but awful fraction of my life. 12:53. Wait, 12:54. It’s nearly over now, and I have to be ready for it. I can’t get these five minutes back and I won’t regret what has happened, or lack thereof. Probably about fifty seconds remain and I am pondering the oxy-moronic fragility of time. Time is one of the few sure things in this life, but is still so fragile in it’s ability to be wasted. But I’m thinking too much now, and so my fingers are moving much slower than they did a minute ago. It’s inevitable. I am sorry for what you have to read. I am sorry that it means so little. But it was five minutes, and it is what you asked for…12:55. The end.

* * * * *

It was twelve forty-nine in the morning and I was starring at a nearly blank page. My name and the date were all this white useless document held, all they had held for the last week. And all, it seemed, they would hold. See, for me, writing is part of life. I write fictional books, and short stories as a well enjoyed hobby. But that is fiction. I have always had trouble writing about myself. I lead a pretty sheltered life so, to begin with, I haven’t got much to tell. But I am also admittedly awful at sharing things about myself. I put a lot of pressure on my life in general. Among many things, I put pressure to make it mean something, and pressure to make it impressive. And, therefore, I find it most difficult to tell my stories. I worry that the tale of my first meeting with a college official is not interesting enough to share, or that it wasn’t that exciting on the day I got my ear pierced. So after sitting for a week trying to think of five minutes of my life that were worth sharing to no avail, I decided to write about the only five minutes I absolutely couldn’t judge. The ones that hadn’t happened yet. So, I hope you understand. My palms are still sweaty and my fingers still tremble, but I am going to remove them from the keyboard and click ‘print.’

ThoughtsSarah, its what Sarah thought!

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I am a writer. And so are you. To be honest, we are all writers as long as we try to be. Why so? Because we are all thinkers. Think about it! Someone thought about the importance of marriage to a proper gentleman in the 19th century. In fact, I’d bet many people had thought about it. But Jane Austen wrote it down. I am a thinker. And I think the things I think about are sometimes quite interesting. Until now, I wrote them down with a black ball point pen into a composition notebook. There are a lot of thoughts in that book. And I think they might be worth sharing. After all, it is more secure to save my work online where, in no foreseeable future, will it be lost or coffee stained or torn.

The main thing I’ve been thinking about lately is backgrounds. Things exist in our individual worlds that have known stories well worth sharing. My grandpa fell of the back of the boat he was sailing in the Merchant Marines and had to tread water for hours until another boat broke their course to save him. Thats insanely cool. But what about the backgrounds of the things in our individual lives that we don’t know? Like the Key Club pin I found on the street in the rain one day. Its apart of my life now, and I know its life with me, taped into my composition notebook next to a summary of how and where it was found. But what about its life before me? Who does it really belong to? How old truly is it?

These questions of curiosity are ones I’ve always asked of nearly everything in my life. At first, I thought I could be a journalist. I was about fifteen when I had tho great revalation that I would be a journalism student at Harvard University. That was a beautifully high -out of reach- expectation of myself. But somewhere in between my first assignment for creative writing class senior year and starting my novel did I realize: journalists ask questions that someone else is supposed to answer. Thats magnificent and I commend every one of those brave souls that walks up to a stranger and walks away with a story. However, I am interested in the questions I get the creative freedom to answer myself.

These are the questions that inspire me to write. I tell stories that might be true. Maybe there is a wonderfully forensic or archaeological way to prove them so or not. Someday maybe that will be where I make use of that Anthropology/Archaeology degree I’m working on. But for now:
“My theory is simple. Of course it is just a theory. The story you are about to read, as far as I know, is fiction. I made it all up. But I’d like to believe it is true.” -Sarah Kearns