Everyone works with a wacky bitch right?

Morry has been working at Chicken Mountain farm stores for a year and three months.  He likes his job and finds most days to be pleasant, unique and entertaining.  That is with exception.  There are always exceptions to rules.  Exceptions make life most interesting.

The Christmas music is monotonous.  The same damn tracks over and over.  I hate it.  Now I hate Christmas music.  Thanks Chicken Mountain.  Thanks.  I am working with that “wacky chick” the one whose is an oddball and weirds everyone out with her singing or babbling about the tiniest thing we have in common.  Hello new girl who doesn’t shut up.  I just focus on the rendition of songs over and over.  The damn “tape” or “loop” or what the hell ever drags or speeds up (at times amusing, if nothing else) causing customer comments.  At least working the deli keeps me busy.

Whack!  I instantly raised my hand to my cheek while looking down at the floor.  A decent size piece of green pepper just bounced off his face to the floor.  Seriously Wacky: you just pelted me with a piece of pepper?  What the hell are you thinking..?

Raising my eye level to her height but still looking down, “Don’t you ever do that again.”  She froze like a deer with its ass hanging out in the spot light (or whatever the hell that stupid saying is) and I saw her eyes widen.  “That’s right, I’m serious.”  I expected this to cease the bullshit, but never underestimate the wacky people.  Half a cherry tomato hit my right shoulder; it’s other half just below my name tag and into the front pocket of my apron.   The tomato goo was stuck to my work shirt with a few tiny seeds left behind for good measure.  That’s when my serious side arose from its slumber.

What the hell, I’m bleeding.  The wacky bitch threw a knife at me?  No, that’s a bullet hole.  I’m shot?  She fucking shot me?  Unbelievable!  Is she that starved for attention she will shoot me for ignoring her senseless ramble?  Where’s the gun?!  Screw it!  I grabbed the carving knife in front of me, ready to defend myself until I bleed out.  Out of nowhere my manager tackles me like she’s a linebacker for the Steeler’s.  The knife flies out of my hand, landing on the crappy tile floor with a clatter.  I was defenseless against the pair.  Wacky grabs the knife up and tosses it into the sink.  My manager kept screeching “Call the police!  Call the police!”  How can I call the police with her fat ass holding me down?

I hear the sirens; the medics are the first to arrive.  Interesting…as fat ass never yelled for an ambulance.  She finally gets off me at the demand of the medical team.  I could hear them and saw their little pen light pierce my eyes.  No one was paying any attention to the bullet holes in my body!  Do they want me to die?!  One shouts something about my eyes and dilation.  I’m not sure what the hell they are so fixated on.  Wow, what a morning I’m having.  How the hell did my roommates know I was going to have an epic morning?  I remember them harassing me about being scrambled in the head.  This conversation took place over coffee they prepared while they showed me a fascinating rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night printed on a heavy perforated sheet of paper.  I never saw such a thing and pulled it out of the thin plastic piece of cellophane.

“This is so cool! “ I told them.  “What is this called?” I inquired.  “Oh, it’s called a blotter sheet.  It’s a big thing in the art world.  Never saw one before huh?” they asked.   I responded, “Nope.”  They giggled and said, “Enjoy your morning.  We have to head out.”  I called out as they made a beeline for the door, “Thanks man.  You guys have a good one too.”

They had no idea what I was in for.

O’Connor on James Joyce~Araby

O’Connor describes Joyce’s short story writing style as pictorial comparing his stories to “a beautifully illustrated book.”  I agree with O’Connor’s description of Joyce’s style because Araby paints a picture in the reader’s mind without the need of illustration.

Araby is a short story compared to others we have read for this class, but it does not leave one questioning the characters or setting.  The first paragraph opens with the description of the street the characters live on.  It is a dead-end street but Joyce makes the street much more with his description, “…being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free.”  His writing brings the houses to life giving them abilities not usually attributed to inanimate objects.  The houses “…gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces” painting a somber picture of brownstones lining a quiet street.

O’Connor also comments that Joyce creates a “hypnotic effect” in his writing.  I also found such an effect in Araby.  “The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and falling, lit up the hand upon the railing.”  This sentence has a rhythm to it that is distinguishable and could be lyrics to a song.  He repeats words or uses a different form of a word such as light and lit to create a pattern unique to his style of work.

Joyce also writes multiple adjectives without the use of punctuation.  This was noticeable to me prior to reading O’Connor’s review of Joyce’s writing style.  I particularly appreciated his description of the gardens and horse stables.  A garden and horse stable have little in common but one word-dark-pulls them together in the sentence.  “…the dark dripping gardens…to the dark odorous stables…”  Joyce uses no punctuation and repeats words describing two unlike places.  And it works beautifully.

Joyce’s use of simile also presents an image a reader “can accept or reject but can’t modify to suit one’s own mood or environment” as O’Connor points out.  Two sentences that did indeed illustrate the boy’s embarrassment with having a crush on the neighbor can be visualized in “…yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood” and carries an impact that a simple statement such as, “her name makes me blush” cannot do.  The same is true with “But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.”  The mental image these sentences create give understanding to his deep feelings for this young lady.

It is this unique, hypnotic effect throughout Araby that confirms O’Connor’s pictorial description of Joyce’s style of writing.  The sentence rhythm, form and word choices create a beautiful picture in the mind of a reader just as Joyce had intended.

Beaver Hole Writing assignment

FORENSIC BRIDGOLOGY DATA FORM  I have started my “hermit crab essay” and hopefully this link takes you right to it.  This is an assignment from writing class.  The assignment was to write a story in a bizarre, alien format.  I’m writing about Beaver Hole, Warrington Twp, York, PA in the alien format of a forensic reports.

Let me know what you think of my bizarre essay@@@  thanks.  Pattie

View from the bridge

waiting for spring

A Short Story- “She Laughed, but I cried”

A short story

Pattie Crider

“She Laughed, but I Cried”

I’m not sure if it’s safe to share my story with you.  I’m taking the risk just so someone knows.  My name is Madison and I’m twenty years old.  Life hasn’t been going very well for me.  I can’t sleep at night, so I pace trying to organize my jumbled thoughts.  By morning I’m exhausted and even more confused, but I try to continue living life as a normal college student.  There are days that pass without me having a panic attack or a touch of paranoia.  This is not one of those days.

Tomorrow I have a three page paper due and a quiz in math.  That doesn’t seem like much but focusing on my paper is impossible.  The notes and research I did complete make no sense to me.  Entire paragraphs seem to be written in foreign tongue.  Even worse, the algebra problems I attempt to solve are giving me hidden messages.  Why am I the chosen one to receive such knowledge?  Seriously, I just want to get through my days without classmates and professors staring at me.  I know when I miss class they talk about me!  Can they see in my eyes that I am receiving messages from a higher power? 

My best friend Jean was the only person I confided in.  About a month ago, I met Jean at a sushi restaurant to share my secrets.  I began with school and having trouble with my homework.  Adding in not sleeping well, feeling like I am being spied on and number of medications I’m on, I could see the look of concern forming on her face.  I paused and caught my breath, slurped my drink and sighed, “To top it all off, I’m scheduled for a CAT scan.” 

My doctor wants me to have a CAT scan.  Is he kidding me?!  Just the word “scan” gives me the heebie jeebies.  I know when they scan my brain aliens will take that very moment to access my thoughts.  What if they clone me in the few minutes they are given?  Will they let the old Madison behind to continue this struggle or send the clone to carry on in my life?  I don’t want my brain exposed to unnecessary chance. 

“Well, that’s a good idea.” Jean responded.  I immediately cried out, “No! It’s not!”  I realized I startled her and felt a twinge of guilt.  Poor Jean didn’t know what was going on with the aliens.  “Jean, I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to scare you.”  Smiling reassuringly, her eyes encouraged me to continue.  “I have reason to believe that if I have a CAT scan, aliens might tamper with my brain.”   Jean, dropped her piece of sushi midway to her mouth and into her lap.  “What?!” she laughed, picking up her bite of raw fish with her fingers.  I realized she thought I was joking.   “Well, it could be possible!” I retorted.  This only caused her to laugh harder, grabbing her napkin to dab her eyes.  My best friend was laughing tears!  I felt tears welling up inside me.  Not the same type of tears.  Mine were tears of sadness and fear.  I never mentioned aliens to Jean again.  Probably best to let her think I was joking.

Mom always asks why I’m still awake.  She quizzes me on my medications too.  Mom and Dad both tell me the medicine will make things better but, I am certain they are in on this.  They’ve probably had an agreement with aliens since my birth, to use me as an experiment!  I took some of my pills, but honestly, others are stashed in my winter gloves and tucked into my top drawer. Currently I take five different pills a day.   I keep them in an Easter basket, nestled like plastic eggs with jellybeans inside.  No artificial grass though.  Let’s not get carried away here.   

I haven’t always felt this way and I’ve never been labeled crazy during my childhood. Where does that let me now?  My teenage years have passed and I suppose that makes me an adult.  If this is how adult life is, then for the record, I don’t like it.   Carrying around a basket of pills, prescribed to change how I think is more adult then I care to handle.  This CAT scan definitely falls into the adult category too.  CAT is a unique name for a scan.  I have a cat that I just love!  His name is Jigger, as in Thing-a-ma-jigger.   I have a cat named for a thing-ma-jigger.  My doctors want me to have a “cat” scan inside a hospital thing-a-ma-jig.  My friend thinks I should have the scan and there’s nothing to fear.  I don’t fear my cat, why should I fear a CAT scan.  I love my cat and he makes me feel safe.  I see the message clearly forming.  Now I was placing the pieces together with perfect sense.  Jigger wants me to be scanned to prove what is happening in my brain.  He must have more information to share with me.  I have to find Jigger and sit down for a talk.  Finally a breakthrough! 

Where is that cat?  I searched the house and even checked my parent’s bedroom.  He must have bolted out the door at some point today.  I threw on my jacket and stepped onto the back porch.  There he was, curled up in my dad’s ball cap, lying on the picnic table.  “My own cat in the hat!” I thought, giggling in my head.  Picking up Jigger, I sat down on the bench and stroked his soft fur.  He looked up at me with those yellow-green eyes and locked with my brown.  He began to purr and leaning towards him I whispered, “Ok cat, the jig is up.  Spill your guts, before the aliens catch on to us.”

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