Monday, April 23, 2007

Chapter Fourteen: What to Do?

This week's reader was a new writer who simply wanted someone to hear his words. He shyly walked to the front of the room while Todd introduced him. He sat and began reading with little in terms of his own introduction to the story.


Why bother? It's only going to crumble. They hate each other. That happy life you were going to build for yourself because your parents failed to build it for you is getting cut down at the knees. Your mother and girlfriend don't see eye to eye. They don't hear ear to ear either.

You've been with her forever. Well, both of them. They're so like you. They're your support system. They're so like each other. Maybe that's why it's so hard to get them in the same room. But what about you? How are you supposed to live a segmented life?

He's just another kid who's not yet a man. He thinks everyone wants him to be, but nobody does yet. He tries so hard it makes it worse sometimes. Everything has to be perfect, or everything will be trashed. So much in the balance and his arms are getting tired.

Not even 21 and he's trying to be 41. I guess that's what happens when the man who should have been 41 never was. Now there are two women in his world. Neither one he can tame. Neither one he thinks he is satisfying.

How does he fix it? There must be some way to put that perfect life back together before he runs out of duct tape and band aids. And as he asks his mother if his girlfriend can come over for Christmas, pulling that last strand of duct tape off the roll, he hears, "Of course she can."

Family is family, still, he realizes. No need for duct tape and band aids. Just some love and understanding. Even from him.


The audience applauds as he self-consciously gives the floor back to Todd.

"Next week's reader comes to us from Alaska, where he has been living for over a year and a half, writing his most recent book in almost complete solitude," Todd said. "I hope to see all of you next week."

No comments: