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What I’m Writing {4}: Anger, Overreactions, and Metaphors

October 8, 2011

Hiiiiiiii.

So, I’ve been a little MIA (as in gone, not as in the rapper) lately because 1) my life suddenly got busy and 2) Farrah, an Internet friend of mine and fellow book blogger signed a contract with a literary agent and I am jealous (and also super, super proud of and pumped for her) and I want an agent and now I am competitively motivated to have what she has. So I’ve been writing a ton so that I can have this sucker finished and then start querying like a crazy mad lady.

So on the writing front: what I have discovered lately is that I love irreverent, bizarre metaphors and imagery—stuff that is jarring and a little subversive and perhaps kind of violent and not at all what you expected to read, but that still somehow makes sense. So, I’ve been trying my hand at writing them. And let me tell you, they are NOT my forte. I’m far more comfortable writing dialogue and descriptions rather than metaphorical, figurative stuff. But! I need to make myself uncomfortable so that I can grow, right? RIGHT.

So, now comes the scary part: letting the Internet read the (maybe horrible) stuff I’ve come up with. But, I need to know if it’s horrible or horribly clichéd or horribly-awesome, in the Doctor Horrible kind of way. (Also, if you’ve never seen Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, GO! GO NOW! To the Netflix and FIND IT. It’s streaming. You’re welcome.)

Ok, let me set up the scene for you:

Dan and Willa (If you have NO IDEA who those people are, click here.) are Skyping so they can plan their fall travel weekends. While Skyping, Sophie (Dan’s girlfriend Willa doesn’t know about) calls Dan and he answers the phone and Willa, who is in full-on, head-over-heels crush mode for Dan, overhears their conversation. This is how she reacts.

I didn’twant to ask the next question. But I had to know for certain.
“So, you andSophie are . . . ?” I said to Dan. He immediately became very still and thesmile faded from his face. It even faded from his habitually smile-filled eyes.
I could feelmy heart slow. Where my blood was racing through my veins earlier, I wouldswear it was creeping along now, as if it had hit a sudden traffic jam.Suddenly, I was cold. I wanted to get up and grab a cardigan or a blanket, but sinceI had begun to feel numb all over, I wasn’t sure if my body parts were workingproperly. Why didn’t he just answer the damn question already?
“Dan?” Isaid, impatiently, my voice a little more shrill than I intended it to be. I already knew what the answerwas. But I had to hear him say it.
“Sophie is,um . . . ” He let the sentence fade into nothingness. “ . . . Willa . . . ” Hesaid my name longingly, his eyes looking straight into mine through the webcam,begging me to drop the question. It actually looked as if he didn’t want it tobe true himself. As if it was somehow paining him to tell me the truth. Andeven via webcam and behind his glasses, his stupid eyes were so emotive andshockingly colorful at the moment that I wanted to just forget the question andjoke around with him and curl up with our future that had been so vivid justminutes ago, and pretend I’d never heard of stupid, gorgeous, ambitious Sophie.
But none ofthat was real. I stared back at him with hard eyes and a stony resolve. “Answerthe question, Dan.”
After anicy, silent, tension-filled couple seconds he finally said, “Sophie is mygirlfriend.”
 I could feel my heart tearing openand bleeding. When I looked down, I was shocked to find that blood wasn’tseeping through my tank top. I felt stupid for not realizing he didn’t feel thesame way about me and thinking that a couple hugs and a goddamn kiss on thefucking forehead was more than friendly.
After I’dtold Ana about the forehead kiss, I was mooning and smiling and giddy.  She had said flatly, “I don’t see what the bigdeal is about a kiss on the forehead. That’s what, like, grandparents do totheir grandkids.” At the time I’d been too happy to care. But now I see thatshe’s right. God, she’s always right.
“Willa, saysomething.” Dan’s eyes were now pleading and I saw that my image on the screenwas terrifying. My eyes were dark and my mouth was thin and taut and the arterieson either side of my neck were sticking out because I was clenching my jaw sotightly.
I had noidea what he wanted me to say, so I went with “I have to go.”
“But, whatabout planning our flights?” he asked. I laughed humorlessly, a cold, harshsound that probably would have terrified small children and the superreligious. I suddenly couldn’t stand to look at him anymore. I had to make himgo away.
I closed mylaptop without even saying good-bye. I sat in silence for a couple minutes,unsure of what to do. I wanted to scream and cry and break things. But thatwouldn’t change the situation. And I’d have to clean up a physical mess inaddition to the emotional one I already was.
So I did theonly other thing I could think of at the moment.
I called Samuel.
 © Bethany Larson, 2011

So there you have it! Was it too much? Too ridiculous? Too weird? Not enough? Really bad? Let me know your HONEST opinions in comments, s’il vous plait

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