Wednesday, November 30, 2011

List Short Story

So, I'm now in this creative writing class. And I'm not quite sure what to make of it, because we're writing fiction. I've never in my life written fiction. I can tell you what happened to me. But this whole fiction thing is a whole new land. And it's horribly scary, because I feel like a fool writing it. Like I'm hyper-dramatic, or not funny at all. I like writing in my own voice. My stories. I think this new thing will probably be good for me, but it's going to take me some time to adjust.
Assignment number one was a list short story.

7 Questions My Therapist Never Asked
1. He never asked who brought the first casserole. So he never heard about my neighbor, the one who runs over my garbage can when she’s late to work, showing up on the front porch with a green bean casserole. He never heard about that casserole sitting in my fridge for nine days until I gave up, dumped it down the disposal, and returned the Pyrex dish.

2. He never asked about running away. So he never learned of that time, when I was five, that I ran away to the play fort in the back yard. And he never learned about Mama convincing me to move back home by talking about how sad the cat was, moping around, refusing to play with yarn or meow or even run away from the dog because it missed me too much.

3. He never asked how many tea bags I put in my tea. One or two. When I the tears cease to flow, I remember what I learned long ago, that “if we had more to drink we could make tears”. So I pour the steaming water over two tea bags and wait for the tea to steep so the tears can come back.

4. He never asked about distance. So he never knew that, sitting on his red couch, I was 2437 miles away from the place I was born, 1722 miles away from my Kindergarten classroom, 240 miles away from my first job and 54 miles away from the people that meant something to me. And he never knew about the distance that had become so infinite I could never heal it.

5. He never asked about my irrational fears. He never knew that I’m terrified I will drink too much soy milk and the genetically modified soybeans will give me cancer, or that I will become so poor I have to live in an apartment with rats. He never knew that I deeply fear I will one day wake up without things to write or say or think of feel. That I will wake up empty and I will never find anything to fill the emptiness.

6. He never asked me why I couldn’t reach for the tissues. Maybe he didn’t need to. Maybe he knew that reaching for the tissue would have been the final blow of defeat. Or maybe he was too distracted by the tears and the words and the pain to notice the untouched tissues.

7. He never asked me “what if?” That was the question I asked him. He was never willing to answer. I simply couldn’t. So that is the question that haunts me, hanging limp in my mind.

What if?

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