Monday, December 11, 2006

Sampler

Days began to run into one another. Commute, work, commute. Sometimes there were ramen dinners in Queens at the one apartment she found she could afford. Sometimes there were lectures from parents. Sometimes there were leftover bagels in the conference room and Avalon would save her powdered soup in the lower left drawer for the following day. Sometimes she drank a contraband grape soda in the ladies’ room, crouched over the toilet, gulping as the bubbles burned her nose.

Most times it was thudding across gray carpeting, hunching over a warm keyboard, straining by the florescent overhead, half-smiling at people who did not smile, half or otherwise, back. Suddenly, it was mid-September and kids had been at school for nearly a month, and Avalon, for the first time, was not.

Stewart insisted she purchase that new drug dealer video game, the one mothers condemned on the news, for his nephew, though Avalon took too long for such requests. The death of summer in the city was not something she had experienced before, not really. Outside the air swirled clean and clear. Days were sadly sun-drenched, shadows dappled across brick facades, branches bowed under the weight of beautiful afternoons. Moments outside became precious, pristine as the city cooled. She floated ethereal to the subway with the purchase and fought the unending urge to sprint, her skirt billowing behind, hair to the wind, to finish the line somewhere else. She breathed too hard, too often, inhaling too much, a guppy flopping by an overturned fishbowl, greedily consuming her freedom. When she returned, she placed the game on his desk, her cheeks flush, and Stewart asked what the hell was wrong with her. Avalon did not respond; she was afraid of what she might say.

11 comments:

Frannie Farmer said...

Mesmeric work K.
Truly!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to write out what really bothers me about this 'piece', but don't have the guts; based on your past post about your writing seminar, I'm afraid you can't (/won't) take criticism... :(

Anonymous said...

anonymous--how mean!! Can't you do it in a constructive manner?

K said...

Anon you are right--
I'm a totally sensitive brat when it comes to criticism, but (I'd like to think) only if it doesn't offer an actionable solution. I can always, always use help making something better. Why don't you email me your thoughts at almostliterary@yahoo.com ?

Thanks for the input!

debo said...

You're an "anonymous" dick.

sarah said...

I agree. Get the hell out of here anonymous!

KGT said...

Here's to the diplomacy of K. Commendable and noteworthy.

As for annon... the only memorable word written was "afraid."

D.T. said...

I really wish I could know the critique anon has for you K. I, personally enjoyed the reading and wished there was actually more to read because I thought it was really interesting. Especially the food part, because really, how many of us have been there, right? And so I'm really interested in the critique, because from constructive criticism, dont you grow just a little better as a writer? And maybe as a reader too?

K said...

Hi readers,

Thanks for the lovely support and comments. Unfortunately anon hasn't sent me his/her critique--but I agree D.T.--critiques so make us better readers and writers. I'm about to send my writing samples off to the first two schools I'm applying to: Brown and UCI, and I'm feeling a duality--cause I always love input, but at this point I can't even look at that damn sample anymore!

cheetarah1980 said...

K,
I'm doing the same thing you are right now. Feedback is a godsend, but you're right, only when it's constructive and offers actionable solutions.

I love your writing. You are incredibly good at creating pictures with words. My only suggestion is to be careful not to get too mired in your exposition and imagery. Action carries stories. Be sure to always show your reader and not tell them too much. Dialogue often enhances a scene and lends immediacy to the action.

That's my one tiny suggestion. Hope your application process goes smoother than mine is. If you don't mind me asking, where else are you applying?

Luria Bertani said...

This is my favorite part:

“half-smiling at people who did not smile, half or otherwise, back.“