Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The 4 A.M. Breakthrough : Parataxis

My wife got me a present - The 4 A.M Breakthrough - for our 3 year dating anniversary.  This book is a bunch of exercises in making you a better writer, and it would be a waste for me to just keep all the exercises I do to myself.  The point of writing is to practice, have people read it, criticize it, and move forward.  Here is one of the exercises.

Write a narrative in paratactic style concerning a 19-year old man leaving messages for the woman who broke his heart - 500 words.  Enjoy!

You have -8- new messages.  First message:

Alice, I miss you, I need you. Please pick up... Call me when you get this.

I wasn't sure you got my last message.  We need to talk.  I'm heading to work, I've got my phone, just call me when you get a chance.

Please stop avoiding me.  We're absolutely great together, we love the same things, enjoy the same foods, laugh at the same people, and everyone says we're made for each other.  Please don't throw that away over what I said.

My mom called me and asked how you're doing.  How am I supposed to answer that without you talking to me?  You know, she told me you were the one.  She's getting older and I don't know if she could take it being over.  I'll be able to find a way to explain it to her, but not yet.  Just call me and let me know how you're doing so I don't have to lie to my mother.

You know, there were a lot of things you said that I didn't make a big deal about.  When we lost the IM Ultimate Frisbee championship you said "Don't worry about it, frisbee isn't your game."  That hurt.  I think I'm great at frisbee and hold the team together.  That's a lot worse than what I said, since you were actually talking about me.  I wasn't talking about you.  I don't know why you got so offended, but I'm sorry.  Please call me.

Alice, I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't think.  I'm broken without you.  I've got a midterm in Biology tomorrow and I don't know if I can show up, let alone pass it unless you talk to me.  Do you want that on your conscious, knowing that you single-handedly kept me from med school because you couldn't get over what I said about her.  If I had known you'd be so sensitive, I would have never said it.  I should have kept my mouth shut.  I love you, I need you to call me, I can't think of spending another minute without hearing you. 

I made it through the test, barely.  I couldn't focus.  All I could think about were your eyes, the way you smiled at me, the way you laugh, the way you support me despite anything I do, except of course for what I said.  I really need to see you, I think you owe me that much.  The way it ended before was so abrupt that we didn't get a chance to evaluate the entire relationship.  Besides, I have your Battle Royale DVD and I can't afford to mail it to you.  That movie is rare and you'll have a hard time finding it again, so you should just come and see me one more time.  I'll be at the student union in about an hour and a half, so meet me there. 

Alice, I see now that you're not coming back.  You're throwing it all away because I pointed out your mom's mustache.  You may not love me anymore, but it shouldn't be all for nothing.  At least tell her to shave it or wax it or something.  Have a nice life.

End of Messages

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