Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Photograph


This exercise is from Now Write:
(photo borrowed from here)

Pick an image - a photograph from your personal life, an image from a magazine or art gallery, part of a memory - have in your mind a picture that is framed which will serve as the basis for your writing. Set a time for 30 minutes and write a 1000 word sentence-no need to pay attention to stucture or punctuation, no need to edit. Just let it go...


Every damn day, Edward thought, no matter how crappy the weather, with no thought for how much the moisture filled wind battered his cheeks, or icy rain saturated his shoes, no matter if the sun burned a hole in his eyeballs and sent rivulets of sweat running in a stream down his back, every damn day, first thing in the morning, she sent him for the Globe, reminded him to take the quarters out of the bowl on her dresser ( you know the bowl Edward, the rosewood pottery bowl that belonged to Aunt Eleanor) the one where she always threw the loose change from the bottom of her purse so that it gathered in a silvery pool at the base of the mossy green pottery like glittering minnows schooled at the bottom of a meadow pond, as if he didn't know after 35 years of going for the damn paper every morning, that the place to get the two quarters he needed (it used to be only one quarter, than a quarter and a dime, and now two whole quarters, pretty soon it would be three the way the world was going, to hell in a handbasket, at least as far as Edward could tell from what he read in the headlines of the Globe as he walked home with it every morning) was in the rosewood pottery bowl that had stood on the dresser in their bedroom every since Aunt Eleanor died in 1972, which was when, come to think of it, he started going for the paper every damn morning, because she was pregnant then (his wife, not Aunt Eleanor, who was dead) and couldn't be bothered to get up so early to get the paper herself, so he started getting them for her, hoping that the smell of ink on the newsprint wouldn't bring on another bout of sickness, but that the news, good or bad, might instead distract her from the illness that plagued her throughout those days, an illness that seemed to stay deep within her, now that he thought about it, through all the years after, even when the baby, god rest it's little soul, had been born dead (no more, the doctor said, shaking his head) and duly buried in that tiny white coffin, even months later, she would still wake up sick in the morning, lying in bed with that cool moist cloth over her eyes, her voice weak as she reminded him where to find the quarter he needed, and he would trudge out the door, whatever the weather, to the row of newpaper boxes at the end of the street, just like he was trudging today, except today, he would buy no newspaper, today she had not reminded him of the rosewood pottery bowl, which he had in fact flung against the wall of the bedroom, watching it bounce off the steel rail of that hospital bed they had delivered three weeks ago, wincing as it struck the night table on its way to the wall, sending a confetti shower of brightly colored capsules and tablets flying from their plastic containers into a rainbow arc toward the ceiling, until it finally shattered, falling to the floor in a heap of green shards, today he would not even raise his head to look at the row of newspaper boxes, waiting patiently as they had been for 35 years, for Edward to take home the paper.

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