Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Writing: "How I remember"...

These are chunks from a short story I wrote in Spring 2008 for a creative writing class. Nothing special, but I just like looking back on what I've written in the past. My writing always evolves and changes. I wrote this short story very straightforward without as much prose, or "creative" prose I guess you could say. Also, you might notice I go from naming my friend to not naming him in some parts -- that's due to different edits and how I seperated the pieces of the story. It's called "How I remember my friend ______" I only posted the most interesting chunks of the story:

...I remember, when we were six years old, my old Irish Uncle used to take us across the street to the park every day. Those days might be the most vivid of memories I have. My Uncle would teach us things I imagined only kids growing up in the country or on farms would be taught. Skills that were rare to learn or even use in metropolitan Los Angeles. Skills such as climbing trees with rope and using the correct climbing knots, making home-made slingshots, home-made bow and arrows, and even home-made fishing poles. They were all made from sticks and things we found in the park. Not to say he only taught us six-year olds how to make home-made weapons, but he taught us the usual All-American things too. All-American things like how to throw a baseball correctly, how to throw a curveball, how to ride a bike, how to use tools, and a lot more. He even taught us to shoot BB-guns. Cary and I were pretty good shots. Now that I think of it, maybe my Uncle did only teach us weaponry. He was a war vet that earned multiple Purple-Heart medals, so maybe that would explain it. He was definitely “old-school”. Back then, the park didn’t have security, so no one bothered us. I’m thinking we just looked like two innocent kids playing with their old six foot-five Grandfather anyway. The funny thing was, I remember people we met at the park would always assume that Cary was his grandson. I can’t really blame them though. If I saw us, we would be one old white man, one six year old white kid, and one six year old Asian kid. Who would have thought the old white man was actually my Uncle, and that I, the Asian kid, was his nephew. I remember the feeling of getting tar stuck on my hands as we stuck sticks into the puddles of tar that bubbled up from the park ground. The park was built around natural tar pits and the tar would sometimes bubble up in random places. I remember how my Uncle would take us to the park’s hot dog stand and buy us each a chili dog with sauerkraut. Every time, like clockwork, after he bought us the hotdogs, he would always say something semi-racist about Germans and how they were good for nothing, but had came up with the delicious food that was sauerkraut. Cary, my Uncle, and I would sit on one of those old-fashioned benches that had about thirty years worth of layers of paint on it, and eat...

...The most vivid of memories I have though, were the conversations he and I would have lying under our favorite climbing tree. The rope we used to climb the tree with would dangle above our heads and we would take turns swapping at it as we talked. The sweet smelling tobacco smoke from my Uncle's smoldering pipe would drift our way with the breeze from the bench he was sitting on. The day's temperature would be perfect. Not too warm, and not too cold. The setting sun would be in our west, shining and warming our youthful, innocent faces, and the slight, cool, breeze would part our messy hair. The grass under us would tickle and make our bare arms itch. We would talk of the differences and the consistencies of certain boogers, such as the sharp, dry ones, that would hurt the inside of your nose, to the gooey soft ones that you could roll into a ball and flick. We talked of which of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the best, (Leonardo was by the way), of how girls were disgusting and strangely attractive in some foreign and unknown way at the same time, and of course, how stinky farts could be, or not be. We grew up together. We were best friends. We were like brothers...

...His last wish said it all. He wanted his ashes to be poured into the stream of the park we grew up playing in...

...It’s strange now that I think back on it. I’m not sad over his death anymore...

...I just wish sometimes that I went with him. That he needed me to experience what he did with him instead of needing to do it alone. There would then be two sets of footprints in the snow instead of one. When I start to daydream about what could’ve been, I just look back at my six year old son climbing the same tree Cary and I grew up climbing. The tree’s a little darker brown than I remember. The weather’s still perfect. The slight breeze makes the branches above my son’s head sway slowly. The dark, orange, sun is setting and tinting everything in an orange glow. My hot dog wrapper flies away in the breeze and I’m too relaxed to chase it. I’ll get it on the way to the car.

Written Spring 2008.

Comments and Suggestions Welcome.

2 comments:

Albert said...

What a heartbreaking story. I like it though. Gotta point out that you use "we're" in a strange manner.

Twenty-Something said...

you got skillz. keep it up. writing always evolves as its writers do!