Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Girl And The Box

Back in High School, one of the first writing exercises I was ever given was to write a short story entitled "The Girl And The Box" (the gender was optional). I still remember the creative jolt of electricity that shot through me, the quick flipping of my mind through a Rolodex of ideas, and the euphoria that flashed as the right one was chosen. I went home that night and wrote like a madman, pouring my heart and soul onto the paper.

I remember sitting in class the next day pretending to read my textbook, listening to the teacher rifle through the papers, disregarding the typical stories of birthday gifts and engagement rings. I remember my heart stopping at the same time his hands did, my breath halting as his eyes scanned the page, once, twice, three times before tugging it out of the stack. I remember the flush of embarrassed pride, knowing, just knowing that the paper was mine.

He glanced up and for the merest of seconds, our eyes met. I quickly returned my gaze to the book before me, but I knew that in that moment a mutual respect, and a love for the craft had passed between us.

By the end of class the papers were being passed back, grades affixed to the upper right-hand corner with red ink. I looked at my story, the one about the slave girl smuggled to freedom in a hope chest, and read the words: Well done! You Got the Point!

And I knew I had.

1 comment:

kris said...

I love that you are able to identify meaningful moments in your history as an author.

LOVE the illustration too.