I didn’t want to believe that he got that bruised eye in a fight. His face was too sweet for that. His downy soft baby blues were those that could only belong to the gentlest of God’s creatures. Maybe he got in an accident…a rousing game of football maybe? His six-year-old niece or nephew accidentally hit him with an elbow. He was a bit miffed at the time, but held back his anger toward the paid to not scare the kid. Or maybe his cute but clumsy girlfriend mistakenly punched a bit too hard while they pretended to fight in their cozy one bedroom apartment. His clothes alone made him seem like a seemingly pacifistic person: grey wool jacket, colorful plaid shirt, coifed hair kept disheveled by the headphones over his head. Anyone that peaceful looking couldn’t get a bruise like that in a heated rage filled fight.
His knuckles showed no sign of bruising…except for a cut on the knuckle of the index finger of his right hand. No one carefully shooting through his MP3 player looking for a train ride selection could’ve gotten that bruise on his eye in a fight. No one with a big brown satchel, possibly filled with books, music, an old sweaty gym shirt and towel could’ve gotten that eye bruised in any way that wasn’t purely by mistake.
As of late, I’ve been working on this novel and find myself getting waves of inspiration and the moments of pure stumped-ness. In those moments I either read in a feeble attempt to research OR think of books I want/need to read to expand my vocabulary and finesse my writing style to sound more of a ‘period piece’ than a contemporary recollection of a past event.
When I’m not doing that, I’m searching for contests to enter and found myself rummaging through my old hand-written pieces for short stories that I can add to my already typed collection. I found this little ditty and decided to share it with you all today:
It was either my first or second day in this class that I noticed him. His face reminded me so much of this guy I once knew and in the beginning, everything I looked at his face, I couldn’t help but revert back to memories I shared with the other guy. Little does this man in my class know, his clone is walking around on campus. His face, his smile, his hair, his damn height – all of it – all of it is freaking reminiscent of this guy I use to know. I made me sad at times. I wasn’t sad that the guys look alike – homeboys are attractive. It’s sad because I had let the guy I’m reminded of go. You know in life sometimes there’s that one person you get attached to and things are going pretty smooth but then out of nowhere something or someone comes along and freaks it up and you’re either too chicken-shit or confused about the situation and instead of trying to mend thing, you let them naturally dissipate? Yeah. He was that guy. The guy I let the forces of nature and my own stupidity take from me. And it’s like every time I hear this guy in my class talk, I hear the other dude’s voice. Granted, he doesn’t sound as street or as Brooklyn as the guy in my class sounds, but I can still hear him. What use to hurt me the most though, would be when I came to class and saw the clone and then go out on campus and see the real thing walking around, holding his girlfriend’s hand. I felt like shit on those days. It was as though he was everywhere. I just couldn’t escape him. But sooner or later, I had to come to terms with my own mistake. And maybe sitting across from the one who looked like the one that got away was the dose of medicine I needed.
My professor commented that my writing was “smooth & expressive.”