Thursday, November 26, 2009

Theme Week Thirteen

The great American novel. Words flowing effortlessly from one to another, the pages just waiting to be turned. The story line is so engrossing you can’t be put it down. You read the story read with the ending anticipated and dreaded. The end is read and all you want is more.

Sleep is lost and nerves frazzled trying to accomplish the impossible. Words written are deleted. Themes are tried and thrown aside. The story won’t grow, it just changes and never for the better. You walk away, try to rethink it, come back and still nothing.

The blank page still stares at you with a deadline looming. No great ideas, no fantastic metaphors, hell not even an idea for a topic. Maybe the great American novel is an unrealistic goal. At this point you’ll settle for a weekly theme that fits the bill. You just keep hoping for the great Eng 162 paragraph.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Theme Week Twelve

Take a risk this week he posts. Well I wonder if the riskiest thing of all would be not to write a theme on my blog. I’ll have to outright lie to explain it, he’s not going to let me slide with I’ve just run out of things to write about. So what am I going to tell him?

“Sorry, for no theme posting this week Professor Goldfine, but the President came across my blog on the internet and asked me to come write a speech for him.” No that won’t work; he’d ask to see the damn thing. If I can’t write for myself, how the hell am I going to fake a Presidential address?

“I know I didn’t post this week, but I was away on the medical team for the New England Patriots.” My luck, he’s the ghost writer for Belicheck’s newest autobiography and was on the sidelines last Sunday. Better steer clear of that one.

“John, I didn’t get my posting done last week, because I was in the hospital with a gunshot wound.” Oh God, what if he’s really morbid and wants to look at the gaping hole? Not sure I’m ready to sacrifice a body part in the interest of an A, so I guess I’ll scrap that one.

Wait a minute, I’ve got it! This is an online class; he doesn’t know me from a hole in the ground. “John, I just didn’t have a chance to post this week, I was in Paris modeling Versace’s new line.” Shit, what if he has ever come across a picture of my student or facility id? I’d hate being responsible for him laughing himself into a big old heart attack, the college may frown upon that.

Screw it, I’ll just be a fatalist, write the damn theme, and wait for the big REWRITE to show up.

Rewrite Week Eleven Theme

No place to change diapers except at the kitchen table.
Blocks stacked and knocked over at the kitchen table.
Candy Land won and lost at the kitchen table.
Coloring inside the lines at the kitchen table.
Addition and subtraction conquered at the kitchen table.
Giggling on the phone at the kitchen table.
Crying over puppy love crushed at the kitchen table.
Freshman classes picked at the kitchen table.
First date nervously sits at the kitchen table.
Senior portrait proofs chosen at the kitchen table.
Boxes stacked and ready to be loaded at the kitchen table.
Car pulling out of the driveway as I cry at the kitchen table.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Theme week eleven

Waiting in registration line for an hour—sweltering room—monotonous speaker—chairs with bricks for seats—mind numbing topics—sun teasing through the windows—body odors starting to permeate my nostrils—aching back from sitting so long—empty water pitchers, and yes I’m pissed because, “NO I don’t drink coffee!”—freedom in the sun only a door away—lousy food—“Did I really pay $28.00 for this torture?”

Sunday, November 8, 2009


“Where were the goddamn Advil?” she muttered, tearing the bathroom apart. The pain was crippling, she couldn’t even stand up straight it hurt so bad. She found the bottle, wrangled with the cap, and dumped some in her hand. Three, four, it didn’t matter, Advil wasn’t going to stop this pain. Why hadn’t she called the doctor for pain medicine?
The substitute called the class to order. God what was he going to lecture on? She had only gotten the call two hours ago and had no idea what the topic was supposed to be for the day. If only it weren’t coming to the holiday season he could have said no, but the money was tight and with three kids Christmas was going to be tough.
“What was that noise?” she wondered through a foggy head. The meds had finally kicked in and all she wanted to do was sleep. Somewhere in the room music was playing, but she couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Not only that, she didn’t care. Thank God she had remembered there were pain meds left from the last time. Three hours had been enough suffering. Screw the music; she wasn’t waking up for anything.
“Why the hell wasn’t she answering her phone?” he wondered. He had to figure out whether to give the exam that was in her lesson plan. It was already made but the students were trying to tell him it was open book, and knowing her he really doubted that. Besides that, after the exam what was he supposed to do? She had a lesson plan, but her hen scratch was undecipherable.
She felt so much better. The pain was gone, now all she needed was a shower. She threw on a robe and headed for the bathroom, hot water was going to feel so good. As she walked by her desk she noticed the message light on her phone was blinking. She picked up her phone and noticed there were six missed calls from the substitute. “Oh God, what had happened?”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The smell of fried seafood, sizzling fajitas, and fresh brewed coffee were just about killing her. All the things she loved and couldn’t have anymore. Why was she putting herself through this torture? God, this shit sucked.
“Where were the goddamn Advil?” she muttered, tearing the bathroom apart. The pain was crippling, she couldn’t even stand up straight it hurt so bad. She found the bottle, wrangled with the cap, and dumped some in her hand. Three, four, it didn’t matter, Advil wasn’t going to stop this pain. Why hadn’t she called the doctor for pain medicine?
One bite, just one little bite, it couldn’t really hurt that much just to have a little. Deprivation was something she had never been very good at and soon the whole thing was gone. Well, that was okay, it was only one little slip after all. She had followed instructions to the letter to this point, so one cheat shouldn’t hurt.
Three hours and still no relief. She was going to have to call out sick, there was no way she could function like this. Damn it all, why had she cheated? The doctor had warned her this would happen, but she had been sure it wouldn’t affect her. Yeh, right.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Theme Week NIne

Lockers lined up like gray soldiers ran the length of the hall. Posters announcing a Friday afternoon pep rally, mixed on the wall with tattered remains of homeroom assignments. Students mingled in the hall early to arrive, school was yet to start for 45 minutes.


She stood looking in the mirror, wishing she was a little taller, a little blonder, a little more anything to fit on the popular crowd. She was smart, but smart didn’t get you dates, pretty did. She was dreading leaving this bathroom for that meant she had to then leave the house and go to legal jail for the next seven or so hours.


He nervously handed over the $2000.00; he had worked all summer for it. Lawns had been mowed on sweltering days; gardens had been weeded in humidity hot enough to kill; but he had the money to buy that truck he had been wishing for all summer. It was old and beat up, but he could picture it shiny red with chrome wheels pulling in the parking lot.


The teacher called the class to order, noting the students were already in their little cliques, even though school had only been in session for two weeks. It was going to be a long year; this class was heavily weighted with jocks and cheerleaders. There were a couple of bright spots though; the short brunette in the back had already submitted two outstanding assignments.


The football game started at 7:00 pm under the lights. The home team won handily and there was much celebrating going on. All he could think about was getting home to his garage to work on his new project. The victory parties held no interest for him, he had a long weekend of work ahead of him. As he drove home, he noted a light on in the upstairs window of a house a couple of streets over from his. “Wasn’t that where the new girl in his English class lived?” he wondered. He pondered on how to get her phone number.
The pain was unbearable; she thought she was going to pass out. “How much longer can I tolerate this?” she cried to herself as she lay on the floor. The doctors couldn’t find a damn thing wrong with her, yet here she was in agonizing pain again.

She made her way off the floor, found her cell phone, and dialed an all too familiar number. The receptionist was so frigging cheerful as she answered, “Good morning, Dr. Doe’s office (names are changed to hide the identity of inept persons)., She would have choked her if she could have reached through the phone. “Yeh, this is Ally Baylor, and I need an appointment today.” She went on to describe her problem; she wished she had taped an earlier conversation, as this was getting old. After much haggling and near begging, she finally got an appointment time and prayed she could hold on till then.

The parking lot was full when she pulled in, and it seemed like hiking Everest just to get in the building. The ever positive receptionist was there, waiting to check her in. She answered all the obligatory questions, hobbled to her seat and waited. The pain was still excruciating, she was going to puke if they didn’t do something soon. The wall void of a clock was a painful symbol of how long she was going to have to wait for this emergency appointment.

Finally, her name was called. Her mind was racing as she followed the nurse down the hall, “Please let them find something. I cannot take this anymore.” If they offered her pain pills and sent her on her way one more time, she was going to stage a sit in and it would not be pretty. The tears were rolling down her cheeks as an unfamiliar face walked through the door. “Oh God, what does this mean?” she thought as she asked where Dr Doe was today.

Sorry I'm a little behind, but I've been ill this week; in and out of the hospital and doctor's offices. I will get caught up by the end of this coming week (week 10). Thanks for your patience.