The house seemingly ages along with my grandparents.
Below is an excerpt for my nonfiction class. This piece is titled ’48 Duncan St.’ and follows the relationship I have with not only my grandparents, but the house they’ve lived in for over fifty years.
That house seemingly ages along with my grandparents. The skin on Papa’s hands peels like the lid of the painted toilet seat; Nana’s teeth fell out like the knobs on cabinets did; they had a bad storm one year that took all the ivy off the wall in their backyard, but it would grow again in the same way Nana’s hair would regrow after the doctor said her cancer was in remission; Papa once collapsed in the same manner their folding chairs seem to snap; the last few times I’ve visited them there has been a chocolate chip cookie on the floor behind one of the couches, forgotten about by Papa just like how he sometimes forgets my name. The cookie was there the last time I visited, crumbled and scattered, and I thought if his brain wasn’t like that yet, then it would be soon.
Carmeltucky: Like Kentucky but Worse
I’m taking a nonfiction class this semester, and this is an excerpt from my first graded assignment about the town I grew up in and where I still currently reside. It’s titled, “Carmeltucky: Like Kentucky but Worse”
One Thursday afternoon after school my mom reminded me of the fact that Goodwill was supposed to pick up garbage bags full of clothing donations, and she sent me to our front porch to see if they had made their journey down our driveway and seized our bags in the same manner a pigeon would a french fry: swoop in and leave with it immediately. I checked the porch only to see that the bags were still there, piled on top of each other like nesting bowls. I told my mom and she opened her address book to find their number.
She tucked the phone between her shoulder and ear. “You didn’t pick up my donations!” she exclaimed, followed by “I live in Carmel.” She stood there in silence as the person on the other end spoke.
When she hung up the phone I asked, “what happened?”
“They said they picked up our donations,” she said, staring at me, her face washed blank with confusion. But there was a moment when her confusion turned to shock, completely cadaver-like, simply lifeless and pale. “Oh my god. Goodwill took our garbage.”
I imagined the workers ripping open the bags of putrescible waste masquerading as clothing. Fermenting liquids warmed up from the morning sun amid banana peels, cat litter, curdled milk. Every time someone would enter the area they’d be gunned down by waves of nauseating stink, acrid smells. They’d curse, maybe search the surrounding donations for a gas mask. Our local Goodwill no longer accepts our donations.
*Featured Image was taken from my living room on a rainy day, and is of the park built behind my house
Insegnami a Volare translates to he/she/they (singular) taught me how to fly. I’ve just finished intermediate classes for the language, no biggie.
I’ve just finished up my sophomore year of college (all A’s!) and have finished up the class necessary to take in order to work in the writing center. In that class, my professor introduced several ways to guide ones writing for our projects on literary sponsorship. My guided writing portrait–
Assignment: Choose someone who appears in your literacy narrative draft and write portrait about them. One paragraph. Based off the directions given in class.
Insegnami a Volare
We had been seeing each other after school on Thursdays for a few weeks straight. Each session I brought my Italian text book, Amici, that she adored thumbing through, the cover striped to mimic the flag: red, white, green. We bonded over Italian hand gestures, signaling we both had a bloodline relationship with Italy that water couldn’t loosen. Both of our ties to the country were as strong as steel, and together we fleshed out each other’s stories about heritage and the language itself. It was on these Thursday’s that we’d sit down in a classroom on the fifth floor, adjacent her office, and remind ourselves of basic and complex words, cultural experiences that occur in Italy, and of the sights we were set to see. It gave her a Mediterranean smile. A wide smile, wide like her wingspan, which slightly stretched the neckline of whatever dress-shirt she wore. We had a lot of laughs during our session and I often find myself wishing we could meet after school every day to click more and more. It wasn’t hard for me to feel this way, in fact one Thursday we spent an entire half hour talking about the cats that roam freely in the colosseum in Rome. We made mountains out of molehills in terms of meliorism of the language.
Soon enough, our sessions finished, we were on the plane to Italy and were adjusting to Rome. Days later she and I sat on stairs in Venice that overlooked murky, dark blue water—the smell of the Old Rock Cafe a yard from us was of potent cigarettes. She was like a guardian angel, I realized the first night in Rome, after I was sick and she waited outside the bathroom for me with a stick of gum. Fantastico. She taught me to fly abroad—insegnarmi a volare.
My favorite part about the holiday’s this time of year is all the stories you get from actual experiences. I’m all about writing from experience, and am currently working on a story derived from an event that happened a few Christmas’ ago.
Here, as the title suggests, are some writing prompts that follow the theme of the holiday season, all derived from my experiences or experiences of friends and family:
- You and a neighbor are in a silent competition of who can decorate the exterior of their house better.
- Dad says you can’t celebrate Christmas anymore if you continue playing with a dreidel.
- Mom starts to make a pie until she realizes the brown sugar is too hard to bake with. She sends you out to get more.
- The nativity scene at the Catholic college you attend has a baby Jesus that students like to steal. As a result, the department of public safety has put a tracker in the baby Jesus statue. Tell the story on how you stole baby Jesus and are being hunted down by DPS.
- You’re on the hunt for the perfect outfit that says “I may be emo but I still love Christmas”
- Not to be dramatic, but New Years Eve/Day is cancelled until something good happens this year.
- This year, Christmas Eve and Hanukkah fall on the same day. Talk about all the chain texts you receive, and the aftermath of them.
- Fabricate your own holiday song and track its success (or lack thereof) among peers.
- Consider this twist to a classic fairy tale, you’ll know the one: A brother and sister battle a witch who uses fruit cake and roasted chestnuts to lure teenagers into her home.
- Christmas caroling except you’re standing outside your ex’s house yelling obscenities.
A friend of mine and I talked about the Grouplove concert I went to last Saturday, and thanks to him, I came to the conclusion that this has been the greatest concert I’ve attended. Is it taboo to consider the latest gig the best? I thought so – but Grouplove are truly back in business, and don’t mess around. Well, actually, they do mess around, but that’s all part of the show.
Continue reading “Concert Review: Grouplove Can Never Stop My World From Spinning”