Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday Monday

I procrastinated my homework as usual, which had me awake at 5:30 this morning with all intentions of working on the first draft of my next story for writing class. Instead I spent an hour with a heating pad on my belly, waiting for the drugs to kick in. I seriously considered staying home and skipping every class, which I have not yet done this term.

Jess brought me my laptop in bed and eventually I was able to sit up and spit out some words. I wasn't at all happy with any of it, but I got up and went to class (on time even!) anyway, because 90% of life is showing up. And I really wanted to find out what Joan thought of my last paper.

When I got to class, my classmates were sitting around in the hall outside the door. Joan was there, leaning against the wall and handing back papers. I wondered if she'd forgotten her classroom keys, but it turned out she was sick and was only staying long enough to hand back papers. On the one hand I was glad I came and on the other, I could have safely stayed in bed till at least 10:00, and I was bummed. But the drugs had kicked in after all, and Joan did like my paper and wants me to read it in class on Wednesday.

Since we were there and most of us had drafts that we hated, a few of us headed down to the Underground to do the workshopping that would have happened in class. In our group was Sean the Irish smoker, Emily the non-writer (who had draft twice as long as the longest of the rest of us) and Simon the quiet red-head.

We're writing about place and Sean's piece started in my neighborhood of Kenton. I loved the way he talked about the Paul Bunyan statue, staring across at the Dancin' Bare strip bar as if working up his courage to go in. His view of Portland is kind of a tough love, but the piece should prove educational since he's planning to put a lot of history into it.

Simon gave us a few luscious paragraphs about his love of kitchen's that made me think of mom's kitchen. I managed to read my piece aloud (which I hate doing) and get through both the reading and most of the feedback without crying. The other two talked about the story--but the first thing Simon said was, "I'm SO sorry," and clearly, he was very affected by what I wrote, which then set me off too. I guessed then, that somehow, he is in the club too. Note to self--bring tissues to writing class for the next few weeks...

ETA: As I picked up one of the two copies of my story to begin reading, Sean reached for the other one. "Do you mind?"

"No," I said, thinking he wanted to read along as I read, perhaps make notes. But then he stood up.

"I'm going to read this outside and have a cigarette," he said.

I was too stunned and speechless to react. He was out of the room before I recovered. Probably a good thing. Lots of things came to mind many seconds too late. "By the way, she died from that," is always my go-to phrase. I had the urge to run after him and snatch back the paper, lest he fill them with the stink of his nasty, lethal habit. But I didn't do any of that. He was long gone and it seemed I should explain the long silence and what I'm sure was an interesting look on my face, to my remaining audience.

"She died from that," I said, this time for the benefit of my remaining audience of two. I didn't think they were smokers, but I didn't much care at that point. They smiled resigned smiles of understanding. "It's really hard for me not to lecture," I told them, by way of explaining what I felt had become an awkwardly long silence. I think they got it.

I don't know why I'm still so stunned when irony smacks me on the head like that. I should be expecting the blow by now.

By the time we finished the workshop, I was really glad we'd decided to make our own class session out of the time. I hate my stuff a little less now, and I might have a new riding buddy in new-to-town Simon. It's always thrilling to meet a boy I might like enough to be friends with, even though I don't really need new friends. He asked where I shop because, he said, "I like your outfits." Let's tally: 1) Flattery from a boy. 2) Flattery about my clothes from a boy.

Yup, the apocalypse should be along any day now.

Off to math and then to see if I survive yoga after my snowboarding adventure on Saturday. And stay tuned for snowboarding video, hopefully in the next day or two.

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