Hello all my awesome,
creative, time-traveling, day-tripping, casual suit-shirt wearing folk (Woh, I really ought to take it easy on the coffee), how you all doing today?
Today I’d like to share with you a short story.
I’ve had editing on the brain a lot lately, as I’m still working on editing my Novel (which has proven to be exceedingly difficult with my crazy life/schedule as of late), so in an effort to ease into the task today I thought I’d edit an old short story that I’d written back in College.
The very same short story that taught me about my love for the written word……………….
Back in the day (listen to me — I’m 27 — Back in the day, lol…) of 6 disk CD changers, analog watches, crude flip-phones, beepers, and Napster, about 3-4 years after Y2K did absolutely nothing, I was just about as uninterested in Writing as a guy could be. I had at this time already been in College for nearly three full years, I was about to finish up my Associates in Acting at Nassau Community, and I was more than ready to go out into the world & shake it up real good (at least I thought I was ready… history always proves the cocky to be under-prepared). Anyway, one of my final essential credits was slated to come from an innocuous writing course.
I’d mostly coasted through English classes in the past, banking on my inherent knowledge of the aforementioned language to see me through, but this particular teacher, and her particular style of education, was proving to be quite the nuisance. I think she was trying to make me use my brain — how dare she! Rather than sticking to the typical grammar work-book, which conveniently enough had the answers in the back (on a well worked/dog-eared page that was heavy with the ink of doodles), this teacher instead insisted on assigning pesky little, out of the work-book, creative essays. Blah. Mentioned casually, as if commenting on the weather, were these landmines of my free time laid out. Had the teacher realized how much we all hated these, “Fun, quick little assignments”, and how quick our ADD addled minds would block them out, perhaps she’d have used a megaphone to announce their dreaded coming, rather than an easy to forget passing comment. But I digress…
Anywho… as per usual, the all too casual mention of work easily slipped through my conscious thoughts (which were undoubtedly preoccupied in wondering if anyone at home had used the lan-phone today, and if not, and if I was still connected to the ever-exciting and new world of America Online, than had my Alanis Morissette CD had finished downloading), and I forgot all about the pesky little thing until the morning it was due…
That fateful morning I awoke, blissfully oblivious to any assignment, an hour before my alarm was scheduled to wake me. I should mention here that this was particularly odd, as I could easily sleep until the twilight hours of the day — back in the day (lol) — and the night before I’d been out rather late. Or early. Depends on how you look at it. Lying there; rubbing my eyes and stretching far longer than necessity required, I lingered stubbornly in the warmth of my covers and avoided the start of my day. There was no rush, I had a whole hour. Maybe I would catch some more ZzzZzz’s.
Then it hit me
I had a whole paper to write — and only an hour to write it! I tossed aside the covers, leapt from my bed, ran to my computer, and began composing an important piece of my life without thinking at all. Despite how hurried, frantic, and rushed as my work was — as I had no time to do it any other way — what I’d produced that hectic morning would prove (over time), to be essential to my development, not only as a writer, but as a person as well. It might not have had fancy spaces to separate paragraphs, or convenient punctuations so that the reader might have any inkling what I was talking about, heck it was even too poor to afford proper sentence structure — but that baby shined when I yanked it from the printer. I was a proud father, and I was sure I wouldn’t fail.
And I didn’t. I didn’t Ace it either though. Not a “C”, or a “B”, or even a “D” for that matter… Nope, I hadn’t received any grade with my paper at all. The teacher had refused to grade my story. Instead I was asked to stay after class because of “my work” (with just the same queer emphasis on that phrase shared with the class at large. Anyone remember the “OhhhHHoohhh” of your classmates when you get in trouble? I do…). When the class was finally over, certainly eight hours longer than it was scheduled to end, the teacher told me that she’d already read what I’d written, years before the assignment was even passed down, and in turn — accused me of plagiarizing the work!
I was stunned!
Here I am; I couldn’t care less about writing or English class in general (save for the fun fact that without this credit, and a passing grade in the class, I could not graduate), and yet there I was being complimented and condemned all at once! Was my work really so good as to be mistaken for professional grade? Was I really not going to graduate because of some crazy loop in the space-time continuum that caused me to write something that had already been made? This couldn’t be! As the weeks went by, and I fought for my case, the teacher — unable to produce the original work that I’d supposedly stolen from — reluctantly gave in and graded the paper. 23/25: Not bad 🙂
Anyway (I just now realized that I say “Anyway” A-TON. I wonder if this means I get off topic too much? Anyway IS a segway back on topic when I stray from it…. Like right now… Crap I’m doing it again! Anyway…), as the months after the incident rolled on, and inexorable time got off its lazy ass and got back to work (everything had slowed to half-time while I waited to find out if I was going to graduate or not), I would eventually find myself able to clearheadedly look back at what had actually happened. I came to the realization that I’d been taught something wondrous.
In my haste to simply get the work done, I hadn’t allowed the logical side of my brain (left F.Y.I.) to get involved at the creative task at hand — and I’d merely let the creativity flow (from the right!). This made me consider, and become aware of, the opposing brain hemispheres stuffed into my skull. At the time I had no idea I was doing it, but being rushed as I was I simply had no time to try to rationalize, plan, or organize what I was going to do — I only had time to do it. I had found a way to trick my brain into allowing me to utilize a part of me that’s sole desire is to create, without dredging about in the sticky pools of logic that can slow down the process. There came a time of logic, now actually, when editing needed to be done, but I had learned that the place of logic is after the place of creativity. Not during, never during, but sometimes before — when planning is needed.
Anyway (<– there it is again!), I just wanted to share all this with you cool creative people — maybe it’ll help you get out of your own heads from time to time — and I also wanted to share that original story with you all as well. Below, for your reading pleasure, you will find the newer, shinier, edited version of paper, and after reading all this, and touting it so much, I earnestly hope you enjoy. If not… Well, there’s always prostitution (is there a pimp in the crowd?).
NOTE: Before allowing the kids to read this, please read it for yourself — it has “Adult” situations, and is rated by the ESRB, the YMCA, and the NAACP, with a: “Y”, as in why are we rating a short story?… ENJOY, and please leave your thoughts below!
John and Mary meet in a restaurant under names Boris and Natasha. They have a riveting dialogue about babies in their cradles, pidgins flying their coops, and rotund women singing songs of finality. As we listen in, we’re motivated by their actions and moved by their words. Every phrase uttered is enough for a 5-hour discussion over dinner — and trust me it will reach that point. As we watch them, us eating our popcorn, reclined in our couches and getting fat, John and Mary exit the scene, and the show concludes. To everyone watching, they are perfect.
Everyone that has seen John and Mary on the TV pray to God at night before they sleep. The Men Pray that one day they might have exciting lives as secret agents, and that they can finally be smooth, just like John. The women pray to become sexy like Mary, and learn to take control like a true woman should.
As John and Mary leave the set that night, they walk out the back door of the studio together. John holds the door for Mary to exit first, and then smacks her ass as she goes by. Mary immediately fires up a cigarette and begins to wipe off the layers of makeup which have been carefully detailed by makeup artists to make her look “sexy”. Without it she bears a strong resemblance to a grandmother. John can’t wait to stuff his mouth with “Big Chief” chewing tobacco, and as he’s digging in his pocket for his snuff he slips and hurts himself on a patch of ice.
Mary helps hoist John to his feet, and immediately begins complaining about the trouble she and her husband are having; she tells John that he doesn’t love her anymore, and she’s not sure what to do. John is pretending to listen, and is looking her dead in the eye, but with his peripheral vision he is staring at her tits. She closes her banter with, “Do you know what I mean?”, and while nodding, he gives the mandatory “Oh absolutely”, before taking this as his cue to move in for the kill. He slyly motions his right hand around Mary’s waist and violently jerks her hips to his. Mary decides that this behavior is unacceptable and attempts to break away, but John is simply too strong. Desperately she tries to scream for help, but her dire effort is wasted — everyone has already left for the night. John knows he’s a star, and deserved of whatever he desires in this world, so despite Mary’s frantic struggle he stubbornly refuses to take no for an answer. Who wouldn’t want him?
He punches her to muffle her cries.
Mary, being already exhausted from the struggle, passes out as the blow shakes up her brain. As John looks down at her lifeless, yet shapely physique, he decides that this meager, insignificant little obstacle shouldn’t deter him in the slightest — so he fucks her anyway. The nightly camera catches it all on tape. After the evidence surfaces a month later (conveniently enough just long enough to finish the series), John is sent to jail for rape, and all the home viewers are thoroughly satisfied with the show’s happy ending.
The men still pray at night to be smooth like John, and the women still pray at night to be sexy like Mary.