Writing Exercise #1

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I just said what I feel. If I just spoke the truth and didn’t care what anyone said. Sometimes I wonder if they think it’s for real, sometimes I wonder if I’d have to listen to a phone call asking why. You want to know why, that’s the way it is. You want to know what I think, that’s the way it is. Sometimes special insight hurts. How do you expect me to remain quiet when you’re tearing everything apart.

In the course of writing these ponderings, I’ve often noticed that people take what I say a little too seriously. I was once asked if I was actually shot in the backpack after I wrote a little fiction exercise that I thought was obviously fiction. Apparently I’m not obvious enough. So I’m going to start labeling my writing exercises. Maybe I should label all my writings as exercises and then everyone would calm down and stop jumping to conclusions.

Writing Exercise #1:
So I was walking through the bookstore, looking for something good to read. I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for, something I could slip into my backpack and read at my leisure. My mother would be mortified. But that’s her job. No one wants to be told by the well meaning cop that their daughter is a petty thug. Hoodlum. That’s the word my dad would use. He’s so cute in that embarrassing sort of way that you only admit to your close friends.

I wanted a book that would blow my mind. Something that would reinvent my life. My slightly off-kilter English teacher always acts like books can change your life. In his happy little world every reading assignment he gives us should reshape our universe. If that’s the case, I’d think we’d all be a little worn out from the multiple world view shifts by the end of the semester. I’ve yet to find anything in the class worth my time.

They should have a section of books that will blow your mind. The ‘fuck with your head’ section. I mean, c’mon, isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Let’s clear all the crap and cut to the chase. All these odd people are scurrying about in this giant altar to commercialized book selling because they want a reading experience that will change their lives. I don’t think people read books just for entertainment. It’s not like watching TV and flipping channels and looking for something to suck brain cells. Reading actually takes work. And if you’re going to work, you want a pay off.

But instead of my brilliant section they have all these screw ball, somebody-else-is-getting-rich sections. Harry Potter, Left Behind, the Prayer of–what’s his name–Jabez? It’s all a bit much and dripping with a little too much psycho-spiritual-goo. My mother would probably tell me to go read the Bible if I really wanted a book that would fuck with my head. I think she’s nuts.

Instead I settle for a copy of Chicken Soup for the Anorexic Soul, slip it into my backpack and nonchalantly head for the door. Let’s see if we can shatter Mom’s world.

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