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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

silent partner

3 muses
Originally uploaded by kristalynn.
my boyfriend recently got a new job at a fancy restaurant. every time we go anywhere, for a walk, out to dinner, people ask a multitude of questions about it. i'm subjected to sit quietly through another 25-minute discussion group on the fancy new greek downtown restaurant. due to the fact that i work on a contractual basis, i get a new job every couple of months. no one ever seems to ask about that, and i think i've landed some pretty interesting clients over the past decade: exxon mobil, glaxosmithkline (or whoever they've recently merged with), IBM, de beers....

"write about something controversial," my sister counseled when i was griping about the dearth of comments on my blog. "that’ll get comments. my friend wrote about breastfeeding and got a million comments."

"yeah, but that's a babyblog," i sighed. "comments run amuk in babyblogs."

"yeah," she shrugged. "they do."

so i was particularly at sea when i blogged about emerging relatively unscathed from an abusive relationship and the comments still revolved around my boyfriend (current, non-abusive).

several years ago i took a creative writing course. one student wrote about how she felt like a princess surrounded by a moat filled with alligators. the class went wild with commentary. i read my short story and they sat silent. i hated this class vehemently.

"does anyone have anything to say? anything?" prompted the teacher.

they still sat silent. i looked at them pleadingly. what did i spend this fucking three hundred dollars for?

after the teacher deliberately made us sit in silence for an uncomfortable 45 seconds, i dismissively shut my notebook.

"you can't quit," encouraged my boyfriend. "there's a reason you took the course. you'll get something out of it, i promise."

"i HATE it. HATE" i was livid. "they all sit there and say nothing."

my boyfriend thought for a moment. "hold on a second." he headed off into the closet and started digging through boxes. boxes that he never goes into. fuck. where would i have put them…?” he muttered.

ten minutes later he emerged, dusty and disheveled, but wide-eyed and holding some yellowed papers. they were type-written. they’d been run through a ditto machine.

"i took a creative writing course in university..."

"in the late 70s!?" i exclaimed.

"early 80s. and there was this guy in the class. i saved his stories."

"those are them?" i was astonished. my boyfriend, like me, saves nothing. "lemme see!" i grabbed for them.

"these are them!" even he was surprised, but he held them out of my reach. "there will be one waiting for you at breakfast tomorrow. and one the next day. and the third one the day after that."

i danced with excitement. "gimme gimme gimme..."

"i saved these stories, do you know why?"

"why did you save these stories, sir throw-out-a-lot?"

"because i knew this guy was a writer. after he read these stories, the class was silent. they were perfect."

i paused. “did he seem frustrated?"

"oh yeah. after long uncomfortable silences, the teacher would maybe advise him to switch one sentence with another, or something like that. there was really nothing to say."

i read the stories over the next three mornings. i continued to go to my writing class.

not too long after, i randomly met this author through a friend at a coffee shop. he's published three books and teaches at one of the universities. i sat there like an idiot and didn't say anything to him.

i swear the next time i see him, i’m telling him this story. i swear.


At June 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thats the nicest blog youve written bout me

At June 12, 2007, Blogger jezsik said...

White lily so rare
Upon the phosphorous screen
Expect not my gilt

At June 12, 2007, Anonymous Buxom S. said... matters to me not what ANYONE pulls out of the dusty wreckage. you are an amazing writer in your own time. and i love every single artistically enhanced (or not) word...

At June 12, 2007, Blogger Anne C. said...

Someone told me that that particular writer has a song called "I don't wanna read your blog"!

But you have to tell him. Otherwise, I eventually will. I see him from time to time and it's all I can do to not run over and tell him that he has a secret admirer. I have no discretion.

At June 13, 2007, Anonymous lori said...

that's one of the sweetest things i have ever heard.

At June 16, 2007, Blogger Kell said...

I'll keep reading - and even though I've decided to only speak about work on my blog minimally - I'm even interested in the wierdos of corporate America...

At June 22, 2007, Blogger Martin Heavisides said...

Good story. I'm checking out the other blogs recommended on CWC. Still finding my way 'round the blogosphere.


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