Trust in Your Journey – Part I

Four years of higher education landed me a job at a local deli where I was hired on the spot because the staff “liked my look.”

Five days a week I arrived (most of the time late) for a 7 a.m. shift. On a Tuesday, Jack Johnson played softly in the background as I set up the bagels in the front display case. I grabbed a plastic tub with two industrial sized sticks of butter and stuck it in the microwave. Three large loaves of Italian bread from Lakewood Bakery were placed on the cutting board before me, I slathered each loaf with a generous (yet not too generous) glob of softened butter. I hacked away at the bread with a sawing knife and wrapped the pieces up individually in cling wrap.

During the lunch rush one of the women who “ran the books” entered the restaurant area and watched as I stuck a piece of buttered bread on a business man’s red serving tray. I felt her staring at me. She reached a skinny, tanned hand into the basket of bread and lifted one up, she shook the bread in her fist as she uttered each syllable.

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When Reality Strikes

A voice, a non existent mystery; facial features, a 2D image viewed on a cell phone; height and build, not a way to tell.

Typed font on a little blue lit screen. Two weeks of build up – life, family, careers, Manhattan – day in, day out, for 14 days.

“Are you on the train?”

“How was your day today?”

“How is your night going?”

“Have any fun plans for the weekend?”

Face-to-face with a live human being who moves, speaks, breathes – a sly smile here, intense eye contact, lively hand gestures engrossed in conversation.

Two strangers connect to one another with senses that experience real things.

Thoughts buzz – Did I talk too much? Did I bore him, do we “get” one another?, What does he think of me? Do I smell? Am I annoying? Does he find me as attractive in person as he did when he liked the 2D photo of me?

Have I told him far too many intimate details of my day to day life, nothing left to say and nothing left to guess, no mystery, no interest, no spark, nothing in common, defunct attraction …

The fleshy realness of another human being. An alcohol infused evening, in bed by midnight on a Thursday.  The night ends. Silence from the other end.

Time, effort, suspense – a lovely evening puffs into thin air like it never happened.

Parking Lots

When Tricia goes out with boys, they smother her inside (or against) parked cars in parking lots. No matter which way she meets them: at bars, through friends, at work, online; the dates always felt the same. The lavish attention caused her lips to twitch, eyes to wander, mind to freeze. Each interaction linked together into an endless stream of empty romantic moments, and yet she could not stop, not even if she wanted to

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The Time I Took a Writing Class

In mid-October I decided I needed a positive outlet to release all of the thoughts racing in my mind. I put my monthly commuter pass to good use and added another Manhattan travel day to my week – 5 days for work, 1 Sunday for a Creative Writing 101 course at Gotham Writer’s workshop.

The first class was a bit awkward. Nobody spoke to one another. Our teacher had a Southern twang, a white ponytail and a hint of eccentricity. Each week we learned a new topic: OIL, non-fiction, fiction, genre, getting better; and after each class we would complete a homework assignment using concepts we learned from each topic. At the start of every Sunday, we would get a writing prompt, read our pieces aloud, and give feedback/constructive criticism. It was a lot of fun.

Since the course has ended I’ve written more short stories. I enjoyed the things i produced in class as well. I’m proud of it. I also noticed places where I can improve I switch up tenses often, I didn’t notice that was one of my habits. I also am obsessed with filler words – just, like, he, she – also i use tons of “was.” Writing comes somewhat easily to me but it really isn’t so easy. It’s all about shaping and molding sentences to make it sound attractive, to keep a reader’s attention, it’s all about making the reader like you.

I also learned about my ability to paint a picture of the world through observation. I enjoyed the comments my teacher contributed regarding my performance in the class.I found it to be a great experience all around.

To get better at a writer, you need to write. When things get negative – write, when your mind starts to wander – write, when you  feel empty inside – write, when you try and look for outside distractions to make you happy – – write!!! When you’re looking to feel loved and supported – write. Keep it moving, keep on going. Do what you’re good at.