The following is a portion of another chapter of the story. The highlighted phrases or sentences are a part of an exercise I did in which I read the chapter I wrote aloud and marked any sentences or areas in the text that either didn’t make sense or don’t flow well. I am working on polishing a few of my chapters once I reach fifteen or so entire chapters, each 5 pages single-spaced in length. Thus, I am writing 2-3 chapters a week to stay on track, so my usual beginning, end, and then fill-in method has been entirely scrapped. As of now, I am writing chapters that I wish to combine into a finalized story at some point. However, the individual chapters are not written in any order.
Chapter ?: Tainted Ivory
I worry about her. My mom says it’s okay, and that that’s what love does to you, but I worry about her all the time. I spend my school nights awake, lying in bed with my eyes fixed on the ceiling as if God would miraculously scribble a message, a secret, a cure on the Sheetrock that would fix all of this, fix her. How long can one hold his hands in a fist? I figure I’ve been pushing the limits of that record. I used to lie down and instantly feel relieved or relaxed, but now, coming home, with nothing but her and it on my mind, I am tense, more taut than a stretched-out rope. My hands are hurting again, so I unfurl them and rest them on top of my sheets stretched as open as possible. Yet, I feel too mad, too crazed by this feeling of emptiness or helplessness or whatever the hell it is that I’m feeling because my mind is spinning and my chest is aching, and it’s not the kind of pleasant, wanted aching like the type you get when you miss the love of your life. No, it’s the dull ache that persists no matter what you try, the one that seems like it disappears but remains and comes back with a burning, seizing vengeance. My chest aches and my heart burns in the worst of ways, so I take my pain and bury it in the sheets, wrapping myself in the comforter my grandma gave me the day she died.
I used to want to be a poet. As a kid, my dream was to create poems polar to the work of Sylvia Plath, the billboard image of a depressed writer. I wanted my poems to be happy and full of life, but like that of most poets, my work has taken a dark turn. The more life experiences I conquer, the darker my writing becomes. When I was younger, the darkest my writing would get was my poem about the death of my late goldfish Arthur. I used to want to be a poet, a positive one, but a “happy” poet can’t write about the death of what many call his fake family nor the regaining of his original one. A happy poet can’t write about the wishes he has to die; he can’t write about the girl down the street that gets hit by her mother; he can’t write about the boy next door whose liver must be more rotten than that of a one hundred and sixteen year-old gramps in a nursing home. A happy poet can’t write about the sadness within him, the sadness growing and spreading to those around me.
I don’t want to become a poet anymore. Actually, I want to be a surgeon. Ortho or neuro, I’m not quite sure yet, but I have time. Anyway, I love writing poems and stories, and the majority of my work for English is filled with such. My conscience speaks in riddles and poems; my mind reads stories rather than storing memories. My journals are filled with scribbles and crossed out paragraphs. I don’t cross my T’s or dot my I’s, and that’s speaking both figuratively and literally. My friends constantly comment on my Californian vibe. I think that’s supposed to mean I’m laid back, or maybe they think I live in the present. As if that isn’t the biggest lie ever told.
I overthink everything. I’m overthinking right now. Why am I thinking about my childhood, my past? Why am I questioning my train of thought? I could think myself to death and back to life again.
I’ve been laying in this bed for too long, my head and neck hanging off the side, my feet on the other. I’ve been watching the short hand on the upside-down Hello Kitty clock tick by, the hours feeling like years.
It’s 10 o’clock now on the first Saturday in May, and I feel like I should be out doing something, being with someone. My mind flickers to her for a second and I close my eyes, willing the image of her beautiful smile out of my head. I run a hand through my course hair and push myself off of the bed. As soon as my feet sink into the carpet flooring, I wish I could fall back onto the comforting plushness of my red blanket, but I don’t.
Here is the link to the exercise I did above: