Saturday, May 24, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
I'm trying to change the style a bit with the change of "voice." I hope that this was successful, but I might have to learn to step back a bit. A bientôt! Alexa
Poor Jamie. Does he know the words that you put into his mouth?
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Journal Assignment #7: Oh, Canada
Write a brief history of your Parents’ Weekend. Try to make it something Grandma would be proud of.
- Professor Brink
Parents’ weekend is great. It is a great time for playing mother-daughter volleyball, or father-son foosball or taking a tour of your scenic campus, or attending lectures with your adorably dorky parents, or say, borrowing your friends car, driving it out of the country and losing said car’s bumper and side view mirrors. You know.
“It’s not that noticeable,” Alexa said, surveying the outside of the black Volvo. Sylvie threw her a look.
“Yeah. Right. Who needs a bumper?”
Alexa nodded seriously, “Right. I mean they don’t do anything. I think bumpers are just for show.” Sylvie fixed Alexa with a maternal look. “Fine, I’ll get it fixed if it’s that important to you.”
“Good.” Sylvie responded.
“Good,” Alexa rejoined, “Can we go home now?”
“Okay – only don’t you think I should drive?” Sylvie inquired implying that she would in fact be driving the black Volvo back the United States regardless of whether her traveling partner responded to this question in the affirmative. The question, she implied with a subtle shifting of her eyes, was rather a technicality. A thing that must be done. Alexa could agree and save face or she could disagree and lose the game of power.
Alexa half-heartedly tossed Jameson’s silver key ring to Sylvie.
“Alright back to college!” said Sylvie with alacrity as she slipped the key into the ignition and Alexa settled into the passenger seat like a freshly caught criminal slumped into the rear seat of a police car.
“You have to admit it was fun though,” Alexa said wistfully as they cleared customs. Sylvie’s glance disagreed. “Will you stop looking at me like that?” Alexa asked nervously.
“You’re just lucky I signed that agreement in your heart,” Sylvie spoke like an officer who was hardened by years in the field, years in which young ingrates had tried to squirm their way out of justice. “Trapeze artists? What were you thinking?”
“Fun Canadian experiences?” Alexa said hopelessly.
“No. Just no. Look at what happened to Jamie’s car!”
“This is nothing,” Alexa said languidly from the passenger’s seat. “ I saw it on an informational – they have this magnet thing – and a little paint…”
“And the bumper?”
“I thought we decided we didn’t need a bumper.”
“We don’t. But Jamie does.”
“Right. I keep forgetting this is his car. Kipper and I have been thorough so much together it’s like a common law marriage – “
“Wait – what?” Sylvie asked, confused by Alexa’s ramblings.
“Well you know how if a couple has lived together for seven years they’re considered married well Kips and I –“
“Now you’re naming Jamie’s car?”
“Of course, you were asleep. I was lonely.”
“So I take it that was before the hitchhiking trapeze artists?”
Sylvie expertly navigated the black Volvo with the bumper strapped to the roof back onto their college campus as she formulated a plan:
“So. You’ll go get the car fixed,” she said turning to Alexa who had since stopped likening the situation to an arrest, and had now decided that she was a mobster who had evaded the law.
“Yeah, I know a guy,” Alexa said with a gleam in her eye, and then straightened up, “and you’ll go to Jamie’s and try and distract him from this whole car thing.”
“I still can’t believe you did this,” Sylvie said she pulled up to Jamie’s block.
“I know,” Alexa said looking as pitiful as a punished pug. “I’ll get it fixed, you just go sidetrack Jamie.”
I’m not going to tell you what went on at the garage. It’s not one of my finer moments, besides Sylvie’s story is much more interesting. Sylvie’s recollection: The Events of Sunday, October Third as told to Alexa:
It all started when Alexa wrecked Jamie’s car. [I didn’t wreck it. I just added to it.] Jamie was expecting us to return the car on Sunday morning and he invited us to a Car-Restitution Brunch. Alexa and I decided to split up. She went to a garage to get the car fixed and I went to Jamie’s, which was very new and exciting. I was met at the door by the smells of burning toast and frying bacon, then a beef of a man bounded up to me. His name is Esbjorn and he is an exchange student from Norway. His blond hair is shiny like the coat of a golden retriever. This attribute coupled with his doggish behavior has led Jameson to nickname him “Golden.”
“You do well morning?” Golden asked me. I responded that I did very well the morning thank you. Jameson was standing in front of the stove wearing jeans and a white button-down shirt with the cuffs rolled up to his elbows. He was also wearing red socks and a white apron that was ever-so-slightly frilly – or maybe just wrinkly.
“Hey, Sylv!” he called out in his low baritone.
“Hi!” I said, pulling off my brown coat.
“Let me get that!” Jamie said, running towards me in the doorway. I handed him my outerwear and he placed it on the coat rack directly to my left upon which three other coats were already hanging. Two pairs of running shoes were neatly assembled directly beneath the rack.
“Come on in!” Jamie urged tugging off his apron, which I was starting to think could have belonged to his mother. Golden ran circles around the apartment assembling chairs and silverware, fruit salad and waffles, coffee and tea, and finally the black toast and beige bacon that I had scented earlier.
Once we were all seated at the makeshift table (a plank of rich mahogany which rested on four towers of books that served as legs) Jamie and Golden passed around the various food objects. Just as I was scooping hulled strawberries sliced bananas and diced mangoes from a silver bowl with a matching engraved ladle, Jamie’s eyes drifted to the empty chair beside me.
“Alex said she’d come right?” He asked, turning to me with those inquisitive brown eyes that could break a spy with just one blink.
“She’s coming,” I said a trifle too abruptly. I began again: “ She’s just running a little late,” I said this line more slowly and our conversation returned to its former hum of polite pleasantries and jokes between friends.
Golden’s English left much to be desired, but his phrases were generally intelligible. Jamie turned red and flustered when Golden met my eyes across the table and announced
“I love you,” Jameson then guffawed with relief when the next words Golden uttered were, “the vaffles!”
Jamie then met my eyes, took my hand, and whispered with a serious tone “I love you, the fruit salad,” I nodded my actress best and proclaimed that I loved him, the bacon. So the morning passed in quiet nonsense, and easy nothing and yet kind of hint of a something.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Journal Assignment #7: Fire Drill
This is a free write. According to Alan Dean Foster in his work To the Vanishing Point, “Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting.” I would like to see some chaos on the page, just make sure that your spelling is impeccable.
- Professor Brink
Plenty of people equate the perfect outfit with the perfect event. It’s superficial. It’s irrational. It’s part of my life. I recently received a potentially perfect bathing suit in the mail and I was feeling an inordinate amount of anticipatory glee. When I lifted the stretchy lilac folds from the brown box, I knew it was love. I imagined all the happy times we would have together. I would watch as the golden sun desended amist the clouds while burrowing my feet deep into the sandy glory of St. Tropez. In Greece I would lie on a clean white towel; attended by a server who wore only a Speedo. For the south of France, I would casually wade into the azure sea and say coquettish things like “Bonjour” to no one in particular.
“Bonjour” I whispered to myself in the mirror. My bikini clad self responded with a raised eyebrow and fierce animalistic noise. Apparently, I had inadvertently taken off my jeans and tee-shirt, and actually donned the bathing suit.
Sadly it did not live up to my dreams. It was really small in the top and really baggy in the bottom. I realized it was on backwards, which would totally explain why I couldn’t see any of the glittery details. After a quick, if slightly painful, adjustment, I returned my gaze to the mirror. Was the fact that it said “Princess” on the butt too much? No. It wasn’t. It was perfect. I was perfect. Lights began to flash, blue and red, like my own personal fashion show. I struck a pose. But instead of applause I was greeted by the fire alarm. I ran from the bathroom.
On my way to the stairs I collided with Sylvie, who was muttering incomprehensibly and wringing her hands. We ran down the stairs, she in her apron and me, regrettably, still in my bathing suit. As we pushed through the front door, the crisp air hit me like a rubber mallet. Sylvie read the concern in my eyes and handed me her apron.
“Thank you!” I said layering it over my bikini.
“I was baking, but I didn’t start the fire – I swear,” Sylvie responded.
“We didn’t start the fire,” I answered, “It was always burning”
“What? I’m cold and thinking about Billy Joel makes me warm.”
Sylvie patted my shoulder.
“Nice outfit Stein,” Jameson yelled from across the courtyard.
“Nice sweater Gray. Too bad it can’t do anything about your face!” I returned.
“It wasn’t my fault!” Sylvie sputtered.
“What?” Jameson asked, striding across the lawn.
“The fire,” Sylvie explained.
“It was always burning,” I added.
“Shut up, Alexa,” she chastised and returned her attention to Jamie. “I was baking, but it wasn’t me, I didn’t even have the oven on yet.”
“Okay,” Jameson responded thoughtfully, “What are you making?”
“I was baking cookies and then Alexa and I were going to watch a movie,” Jamie looked interested, “You can come if you want.,” Sylvie added as an after thought.
“Sure,” said Jameson agreeably. Then he turned to me, “Are you wearing that all night?” he surveyed my apron-over bathing suit look.
“Naw,” I said, “but you know what would totally complete this fashion statement?”
He did not respond.
“Your ugly sweater. I’m freezing.” I said tensly.
“Fine,” he responded shrugging off his red v-neck, to reveal a Gray tee-shirt. “You owe me though. Maybe some more fish-sitting?”
“Sure thing!” I said as I applied the sweater over my apron.
Sylvie sniffed me and declared, “Man musk.”
Shortly thereafter, the dorm was cleared for re-entry and we all filed inside. Sylvie led our party of three to the attic.
“I’m going to change, ” I announced as Sylvie and Jameson disappeared into the kitchen. I swapped my bathing suit for my non-vacation, non-fabulous clothes. Clothes that were better suited to a fall day in New England. I sighed.
Ten minutes later, we were seated on my bed eating warm chocolate chip cookies.
“It took us forever to get all of the ingredients,” Sylvie confided to Jamie, who was seated to her left wearing his red sweater once more.
“The chocolate chips were easy, because there’s a whole bowl of them next to the ice cream, but we had to mash up twenty bowls of Wheaties to get the flour.”
“Wait,” Jamie said, “You got all this stuff,” he motioned to his cookie “from the dining hall?!”
“That’s what we’ve been trying to tell you!” Sylvie and I cried.
“Wow, that’s really impressive. And these are delicious.”
“What are we watching?” Sylvie asked, turning to me.
“That’s a surprise,” I grinned, and pushed play on my laptop.
“What the – Buffy?” Jamie exclaimed. Sylvie and I immediately shushed him. There is no speaking during movie time. Unless it’s me. Because I always have insightful things to say. I’ve never taken a film class; I’m just very perceptive.
The vampire-slaying plot was infinitely captivating. Soon, we were all engrossed and silently shoving cookies into our respective mouths.
*On the screen a vampified guy tried to feed on his still-human friend.
Vampire floating outside human’s window: Dude let me in!
Human: Dude, no.
Vamp: Let me in – I’m hungry!
Human: You’re floating!*
The bed buzzed. I jumped into Sylvie’s arms. I may or may not have screamed. In the process I may or may not have coughed up a half-masticated cookie. There may or may not be a stain on my pink comforter.
Jamie picked up the buzzing culprit. He glanced at the screen and put it to his ear.
“Hey,” he said as he got up and made his way out of the room. He threw us an apologetic look from the doorway as he pulled the door shut behind him. I paused the movie. Half an hour later Jamie returned.
“Sorry about that, “ he said, “Did you finish the movie?”
“No,” Sylvie said, sleepy and disgruntled, “We paused it for you.”
“Yeah,” I said lifting my head from the bed. “Paused.”
“You guys didn’t have to do that.” Sylvie and I shrugged.
“We don’t have to finish it tonight,” he said, sitting gingerly on the side of the bed. I may have been in a sleepy daze, but I think he looked at us almost tenderly, and I may have hallucinated, but I think he swept a chunk of cookie out of Sylvie’s golden hair.
“You seem tired and I actually have to get going.”
“Sure you do,” I said rolling over so that I could hazily look him in the eye, “Charlotte you do.” But he was already in the hall, and Sylvie was drifting towards sleep. I heard his heavy step on the stairs and studied Sylvie’s quiet breathing and decided to eat more cookies.
* This dialogue has been adapted from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” A glorious film produced in 1992 by the marvelous director Fran Rubel Kuzui written by Joss Whedon who has also produced such miracles as “Firefly.” Naturally I have no rights related to this fine oeuvre. I only wish I did. I hear they’re making a new version. I hope Miley is in it. Or at lest Justin Bieber. But OMG if they were both in it. OMG OMG OMG
I’m not sure if I would describe this as “chaos.” Some of my incomplete sentences were pretty chaotic. I’m sure I spelled about a million things wrong though. Sorry Brink. I really am truly sorry. I think I got the lighting right though. P.S. If you haven’t seen Buffy you totally should.
Je vous prie d'agr
I’ll keep drawing pictures, but this misrepresentation has to stop.
P.S. Please tell Jamie to not touch my head while I’m sleeping.
P.P.S. I wonder how that cookie got there, Alexa!