Seagulls and Writing Class

I saw something today I’ve never seen. I was on the 1 bus in San Francisco, looked out the window and saw a seagull carrying a dead rat. The seagull was flying low, and I could see the rat with his feet dangling and tail drooping. Seagulls are evil.

In other news, I went to a writing class today. It wasn’t one of my usual ones. I’m trying out a new teacher, a new group, and a new location. Surprisingly, I was not the first student to drop the F bomb. Usually I am. Some hippy chick, who is writing about some insurrection in a humorless fashion, dropped it along with some specific parts of male anatomy. So, the gloves are off. The class is broken in, and I didn’t do it.

We were supposed to write a piece about desire during class. I wrote the following…

Four soldiers from Fort Campbell climbed into their Ford pick up and sped through Tennessee to the Kentucky border, hitting a toll booth on the Bluegrass Parkway. The accident report said the truck’s speed exceeded 100mph prior to impact. The bodies were unrecognizable. The base had to wait until Monday morning roll call to see who was AWOL before they could I.D. the bodies.

I want to drive that fast. I want to strap myself onto NASA’s Challenger, press the gas pedal, and burn up I-880. I want to feel the flat accelerator under my feet. I want to brake so hard at a stop light, my car fishtails and takes out a fire hydrant. I want to lose control of my vehicle on a dirt road and watch it squirm into a ditch. I want to take a steering wheel and spin it like a Vegas roulette wheel. I want to throw a lit cigarette out my car window.

I want to drive.

And if this were a telegram, I would say, ‘Full Stop’ here, and tell Western Union to wire this missive to God, but God doesn’t care if you’re an epileptic and can’t drive. In fact, he mocks you and sends you a coupon for the Go Cart Grand Prix Racers in Redwood City.

And when you go to Redwood City to drive the go carts like your hair is on fire, the fat kid with the acne who works there says, ‘I’ve told you for the last time to slow down. If I have to tell you again, I’m gonna put you off the track.’

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8 Responses to “Seagulls and Writing Class”

  1. That was great, I guess that’s the entire point of taking a writing class, to be able to tell a spellbinding tale using minimum verbiage and still enthrall a reader. I can’t do that, I just go on and on… and on… and on…. See what I mean.

    • There is only minimum verbiage because there is minimum time. We have 3 writing exercises in 2 1/2 hours. I tend to think a few minutes before I write too. I’d like to think the only point of a writing class is to learn to write better but I usually go in with other motives. I use the classes to meet other writers in the area and it gives me somewhere to go, like I belong there. Hard to explain. I’m a drone, a bee hive worker. I like to go places and work. Besides, they have good snacks.

  2. When I read about the seagull, I just sat in front of my computer thinking how the heck did a bird with webbed feet manage to carry a rat, then it came to me the seagull had it in his beak. Man I’m slow!

    I think the first time I saw big mouth bass eating a mouse I was thrown for a loop, I just didn’t figure fish ate mice, but given the opportunity bass eat mice, kinda puts me off of eating bass.

    • AZ, I don’t know how the gull was carrying the rat. I was at a slight angle when I first saw it. Then bird-rat combo were almost directly overhead. Then they were over the bus and gone. I wanted to shoot the whole mess out of the sky to stop the spread of that mass of disease flying through the air.

  3. worldphotos Says:

    Nice short story. Hope you enjoy this class more than the others.

    • I think I will like this one okay. The one I generally like the best is run by a man. He is ruthless in his critique but brutally honest. The women run these classes using Amherst methodology where no one can really critique anything. We just say what was good about the story. I’m not that kind of learner. You have to hit me with a 2×4 between the eyes. The problem with the man is he doesn’t teach much. He has a real business with real clients like IBM and major league ball players.

  4. In this class, were the others able to comment? Did you read it out loud? I’m curious to hear how it was received.

    I enjoyed this. Well done.

    • I read it out load but it’s this Amherst method where people just say what they like. To be honest, there wasn’t a lot of comment on this one. Sometimes I blame it on the sex difference. The class is full of women who misconstrue desire for reality. I think throwing a lit cigarette out a window met with some disapproval. I saw a few people cringe. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. People don’t like things because they don’t like what the narrator does even though the narrator isn’t doing it, it’s just her desires.

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