Freewrite 2, Revised

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Freewrite 2, Revised

Post  Admin on Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:40 am

Woohoo, first submission :/


The first time I saw my parents fight, or at least the first time I can remember it, I didn’t really see it. I mostly heard it.

It started in the middle of the night, waking me from childish dreams I don’t remember anymore. I was five. The room was dark, cold, like it was most nights and into the morning in winter. That much wasn’t unusual, given it was mid-Michigan. I heard voices, familiar, but alien in their raised tones, and muffled by walls, though not incomprehensible. Back and forth. I don’t really remember anything they said. Just that is was loud and it sounded hurt, like tears with no apologies. It frightened me. I stayed in bed.

I tried to go back to sleep, curled up in my sleeping bag, sleek and slippery under my fingers but warm over my body, too covered in layers of fabric to feel it. But not even the wood fire smell that always lingered on it after a camping trip lulled me to a state I could sleep. Sometimes a door slammed, shaking the frame of our tiny house. The fighting would stop for a little while. A few minutes, or hours. I don’t really have a sense of time for that night, only that it dragged on and the quiet never lasted long enough.

The sun finally rose; my father left for work. A blessing. In future fights he sometimes stayed the day home just to spite us. A power play, I guess. I crept out of my room. I had school. Small, still, I was used to my mother’s guidance in helping me prepare. A luxury I wouldn’t have within a couple short years when she started working, too. She’d moved since I heard her last, so it took me a few moments to find her in the dim light of the new-born sun. The air smelled cold, unexplainable, but always in brisk air. The heat kicked on, easing into the hall and coaxing me to it. I found my mother in the bathroom, face puffy with tears. She was drying her face with a washcloth, another one steaming lightly with hot water left discarded on the sink. She made me promise I’d never have sex. I was confused; I had no comprehension of what that was. I said yes. Anything to stop my mother from being this. This broken, tearful person. She was not my mother. My mother was strong. She stopped my tears. A first lesson in collapsible identities. This early memory hung in my head life-long, though I wouldn’t understand it for years.

ETA: Apparently my paragraph breaks aren't carrying over in copying from word. Broken instead by line breaks between the paragraphs.


Last edited by Admin on Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Body formatting not recognized)

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Post  Patrick Varin on Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:25 am

Admin wrote:[center]


The first time I saw my parents fight, or at least the first time I can remember it, I didn’t really see it. I mostly heard it.

It started in the middle of the night, waking me from childish dreams I don’t remember anymore. I was five. The room was dark, cold, like it was most nights and into the morning in winter. That much wasn’t unusual, given it was mid-Michigan. I heard voices, familiar, but alien in their raised tones, and muffled by walls, though not incomprehensible. Back and forth. I don’t really remember anything they said. Just that is was loud and it sounded hurt, like tears with no apologies. It frightened me. I stayed in bed.

I tried to go back to sleep, curled up in my sleeping bag, sleek and slippery under my fingers but warm over my body, too covered in layers of fabric to feel it. But not even the wood fire smell that always lingered on it after a camping trip lulled me to a state I could sleep. Sometimes a door slammed, shaking the frame of our tiny house. The fighting would stop for a little while. A few minutes, or hours. I don’t really have a sense of time for that night, only that it dragged on and the quiet never lasted long enough.

The sun finally rose; my father left for work. A blessing. In future fights he sometimes stayed the day home just to spite us. A power play, I guess. I crept out of my room. I had school. Small, still, I was used to my mother’s guidance in helping me prepare. A luxury I wouldn’t have within a couple short years when she started working, too. She’d moved since I heard her last, so it took me a few moments to find her in the dim light of the new-born sun. The air smelled cold, unexplainable, but always in brisk air. The heat kicked on, easing into the hall and coaxing me to it. I found my mother in the bathroom, face puffy with tears. She was drying her face with a washcloth, another one steaming lightly with hot water left discarded on the sink. She made me promise I’d never have sex. I was confused; I had no comprehension of what that was. I said yes. Anything to stop my mother from being this. This broken, tearful person. She was not my mother. My mother was strong. She stopped my tears. A first lesson in collapsible identities. This early memory hung in my head life-long, though I wouldn’t understand it for years.

I love the parallel structure in the first paragraph: "I can remember it, I didn’t really see it. I mostly heard it." It was very effective.
It was interesting to see how you played with the perception of time in paragraph three, confusing minutes and hours. This can be an extremely effective technique. I'm not sure if you did this intentionally, but it may have been interesting to see you take more advantage of your ability, as an author, to manipulate the flow of time. Cool things can happen.
I liked the way you juxtaposed the roles between mother and child in the last paragraph..."she stopped my tears"

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Re: Freewrite 2, Revised

Post  MrX on Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:41 pm

Good job describing the altercation and actually making the reader feel what you felt. The description of your mother at the end showed a lot about your age and sense of mind at that time. Great job!

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