We Should Catch Up

An experiment in 2nd person about a subject that has been bothering me. Mostly a rant. Let me know if you hate it!

We Should Catch Up

Hey, remember your undergrad in creative writing?


You moved from your small town to Centreville to attend the University of your choice. You got an A in every class except from that one teacher but he was an idiot anyway. And that one class that was totally irrelevant to your project. Your mood vascillated between apathetic, drunk, tired, sick,  and student loan. You still never went to bed before one.

In your first year, you wrote a story about this guy with multiple personalities who is an artist and also actually his own worst critic. It was clever. The first ten times someone did it. You wrote two nice comments for every bad one in workshop. You wanted to be Stephen King but in literary circles you would only barely admit to having read anything by him. You subtly suggested to your peers that you were somehow Joycean.

You ate 100 shrimp on a dare and called it the shrimp genocide, as if bycatch wasn’t one already.  Half your food-budget went on bagels because St. Viateur was so conveniently located in the Plateau and the Plateau is where everyone lives. You became a pescatarian except at buffets. You drank only the best of what other people brought to house parties.

You wore leather shoes painted sky blue. You wore non-prescription reading glasses from the Dollarama. You were endearing and enjoyed t-shirts with cartoon animals on them and also slogans. As it turns out, so do many twenty-year-old girls. You worked at an indie bookstore that also doubled as a venue for local bands and events. You lived and breathed upcoming culture that others could only tenuously understand and interpret. At these events you could take home anyone you wanted.

You dated a girl with a flower for her name for a good long year. She wore lace and floral print dresses, one for every day of the week. Plus pashminas. You would cook pasta together and try new ways to eat lentils and canned tuna. Then your relationship became platonic…plus sex whenever you both got drunk enough, which was about twice a week. Class was this thing that you went to sometimes. You would sit at the front and indulge the teacher in discussing the readings. Obviously what informed your work was not quantifiable or teachable in a classroom environment.

Your writing was like the way angels sound. You wanted to be an editor while you worked on your first novel. Everything you wrote was under twenty pages, unless it was an experiment, then it could go up to eighty or so. You loved to experiment. Plot was old news to the avantgardist. You graduated! with honours and a party in your apartment.

You took the next few months off to travel in Europe. You backpacked, met some nice people in shared rooms. Life is too short to sleep alone, and all that. You came back broke and unshaven. You moved to a cheaper apartment and took a job in a grocery store. You took a few accounting classes. You became the shift manager of the grocery store, then the store manager. It became your permanent job. You’ve been working there a couple of years. Did you keep writing?

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