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» The Ornery American Forum » Ornery Writers Workshop » Shattered Identity

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Author Topic: Shattered Identity
JoshuaD
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Another email. My sister. Come and visit, we all miss you. (You're loved. Your loneliness is unwarranted.) Dreadful, absolutely dreadful.

I respond. My message is two sentences longer than hers. I use three exclamation points, she only used two. I respond to every question and ask about the dog. No one can accuse me of not caring.

I go to work and come home. Seven hours, fourteen minutes. I check my email. There's another message from my sister. I forget to respond. I'm a very busy person, it was an accident.

I read the news. I check the message boards. I take a bath. I cry myself to sleep.

My secret weighs a ton. I'm sorry but I cannot come to visit.

[ June 05, 2008, 02:21 AM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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scifibum
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I like that a lot.
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munga
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Yeah, I like it too. I've been waiting for someone else to post so that I would know if we were supposed to comment or...... continue the story like a Make an Adventure!

It's good writing. My only thought of warning is, don't have us watch "anguish" without providing more. We can watch numbness, like what you are showing, because we don't understand but you can't ask us to get into emotions that haven't been "won" yet, or you risk the Melodrama Sin.

I'm interested in the story.

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scifibum
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I'll say a bit more about why I like it.

I like that it's very concise. I like that it avoids words like "crush" and "agony."

It got me thinking about what the secret could be.

It has a high empathy-earned/word ratio.

It evokes the pained calculations of a double life quite well.

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munga
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So, what's next?
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JoshuaD
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I don't think there's a next. I think that was just a very short story. Sorry. [Smile] Thanks for the input though, I appreciate it.
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munga
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RUDE!!

keep writing, it was interesting.

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JoshuaD
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Days go by. I've come up with a plan to change. It's intricate with many moving pieces. I have engineered the optimal way to a dead end. Step 45 is to lose my hair and grow a gut. It makes perfect sense. Everything's been measured and appropriated. Emotions have been given their proper respect and process. They have been weighed (36 grams) and stored on the back shelf.

I still drive miles to go nowhere. I'm constantly watching my rear-view mirror. Cops are like sharks, and I'm a bleeding fish. I clean up good though. In the sunlight you can barely see the rip marks and stitches. Just don't get pulled over.

It's no one's fault but my own. I think I'll find time to visit my sister. Next week, maybe.

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Finvarra
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Nice, Josh
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munga
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I can't wait to hear the story.
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JoshuaD
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This is the night I have dreamed of. The storm is coming and my bathroom window won't close.

I heard about it at work. The hurricane is coming up from the south east. It will strike at midnight. Devastation and cataclysm. Bar your windows, hide your children. Make sure the dog is safe.

It came on quick. I was caught unaware. I pushed aside dinner, I put down my glass of wine. I switched clothes. A bathing suit is more appropriate. My favorite shirt. Viva Italia.

Outside, down the street, a field of dirt, skeleton of buildings, skeletons of trees. Discarded pipes in a pile. Someone put them here.

I run fast. I need to be ready. The rain is coming. A hill of dirt. A tractor was here earlier. I climb. My fingers sink into the hill. They mix with the dirt, they mix with the rain. Not enough rain. Blood, my blood.

I climb to the top. The highest point in the whole world. I'm still below the tree line. What a disappointment.

The rain is subsiding. Why is the rain subsiding? It's supposed to storm. Trees are supposed to bend. Tonight is a night of destruction. Tonight is a night of change. We can start the reconstruction if only it would rain. Where is the rain?

I jump down and fall on my back. Dirt in my ears and in my mouth. This is good. Wait for it. The storm will come, call for it. You're a god. You're a rain-king. You can summon it. Call for it.

A cliff. I climb. An empty path and a broken tree. There's a building. It's new. Courtesy of the New Bank of America. For the community, by the community. Your tax dollars at work.

I could burn it down. Where would I start? Gasoline wouldn't be enough. There's too many bricks. If I could get to the roof. It's too high. What the **** am I thinking about? Where is the rain?

I walk home covered in dirt. The same shower waits for me. Nothing's changed. I wash the dirt off. Better than the grease and scum I wash off after work. Honest dirt.

My ass is against this cold tile floor again. When did I leave? did I ever leave?

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