Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Assignment for Session One

The first assignment for the writing workshop I'm taking was to create a 500 word piece describing a setting - no characters, dialogue, etc.

Also, I would like to make it clear to you, (Mom), that I'm not looking for advice or opinions - I'm just sharing. So you can send me the "I liked it" without the ", but..." part.

The minute she walked in the door, she knew what his apartment held. It didn’t smell in the den, exactly, but the heavy aroma of vanilla laced with Lysol was foreboding; it implied, this scent is better than the one it’s covering. The carpet was utilitarian, with no nap and in one of those shades that low-rent offices often sported. Except for a square patch of linoleum just over the sill, it was wall-to-wall. She saw crumbs, hair and pennies pushed up against the metal separating the carpet from the ‘entryway’.

The boy stopped in front of the television; the gigantic, more than 40 inches, some kind of HDTV television that may have cost him more than the car he drove. There were four speakers arranged in the corners of the room, mounted on brackets in the wall to provide the ear-splitting experience men couldn’t seem to watch TV without. She saw the requisite boxes trailing intestines of wires from the television: a PS2 console, several kinds of controllers, CD / DVD player, TiVo, cable box, and more. All these black and matte silver pieces were stacked up on top of one another, intermittent milk crates separating the heat-generating items from their neighbors. Umpteen DVD and video game cases and discs littered the floor; the certain knowledge that many discs were mis-’boxed’, boxless, or lent away triggered a full-blown OCD attack that turned her away from the horrible scene.

Unfortunately, with her back to the shrine, she faced the couch. She had never seen this couch before, but she knew this couch. It had belonged to the parents of this boy, or one of three other roommates, and had gone to college after several years as the family perch. It was ugly – d’oh – threadbare, and shiny, even though the fabric had been chosen to wear well rather than ‘show’ well. But years of greasy-haired drunks sleeping on the arms without a pillow, years of unwashed jeans making personal indentations in the cushions - cushions that didn’t flip, of course - and years of cigarette smoke, pot smoke, and stale food gave even this fabric a sheen that was almost sickly. She also knew, without ever setting buttock to cushion, that this couch’s cushions were sunken, lumpy, and the gateway to that repulsive maw where remotes, crumbs, condom wrappers and new breeds of penicillin lived. She was never, ever going to sit on this couch; never going to kiss this boy, let him try to get her horizontal. He would never know that she would leave immediately rather than ever take the chance that her bare skin, or even bare hair, would touch that fabric. She knew that romance, or even lust, would never have a chance between them because she would never be able to concentrate on his lips, or his yummy cologne, or anything else while sitting on that couch; she would only think about surviving contact with the couch’s ecosystem and its inhabitants.

1 comment:

JAM said...

Excellent. But then you knew that.

Does make me wonder what sort of men you've dated over the years, though...