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Exercise #11: Favorite Thing to Do in Your Favorite City

I’ve decided to return to the online workshop on which I was working when Hurricane Ike arrived last September. Had some trouble with the first prompt, though. My first attempt turned into unpublishable erotica. Here’s my second attempt:

Fragment #2

I want all of my life to be like these moments:

  • The day that Continental canceled our flight out of Rome, so we spent the day exploring Ostia. We surprised ourselves with how much fun we could cram into one unexpected extra day of vacation.
  • The day you led me through rush-hour traffic to Griffith Park, then showed me where the trail began. I was energized by your kindness.
  • The day the cold front blew through the city, and then you took me to your soccer practice. It was too cold for me to spend two hours waiting on a bench, so I wandered the unfamiliar neighborhood until I found a coffee shop open. Then I came back and climbed up and down the pedestrian staircase to to the road high on the hill above the soccer field to keep warm. While I walked the stairs, I had a heart-to-heart talk directed at a silent God. I told him that I thought he was irrelevant, and that I’d listened to his people and their bad ideas for long enough.

50/50 Fall 2008, Exercise #8: Letter of Persuasion

Letter to a young homosexual

Dear much younger self,

This is a warning from your future self. Ignore it at your peril.

I’m afraid you probably will ignore it, because you aren’t looking for advice. You’re looking for absolute answers, and you have some very limited ideas about where to look for them. You will not find any of the answers that I can give you in the places you’re comfortable looking.

There is so much I could tell you, but what I wish for …more

50/50 Fall 2008, Exercise #6: “We never ask for the things we need the most…”

Five False Starts

“We never ask for the things we need the most.” I don’t know if I agree with that statement, so what am I going to do with it? If we’re in touch with who we are, we do ask for the things we need the most. But I guess a lot of people go through life without asking. Who is this “we”?

“We never ask for the things we need the most,” she said to me.

“What do you mean by that?” I said.

“I mean, we say we want independence, but what we want is financial security. We say we want justice, but we’d …more

Boot Camp Day 1(a): Golden Boys

Mel was my best friend during the summer we spent at Lake Barron. When people asked what “Mel” was short for, she liked to say “Melvin.” Sometimes she’d wait for a reaction, but sometimes she’d just say it and walk away. There was nothing about her that made “Melody” seem like a good fit.

Mel and I were horsing around in shallow water in her father’s leaky rowboat the first time I saw the Payton boys race by in their aluminum canoe. I stood staring. Mel waved a greeting, but neither of the boys acknowledged us. They glided past us in a matter of moments. I watched until they disappeared from sight around the point where the campground ended.

“Who was that?” I asked Mel. Her family had spent summers on the lake for four years, …more