Writing 101, Day Two: A Room with a View (Or Just a View)
We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.
after i submitted my original response to this prompt, and reading some of the others’ works, i came up with an alternate idea for a post that twists the twist. it’s in the style i normally write. hope you like.
any place but here.
trapped with a saltwater alligator coming off a 9-day fast inside a scorching phone booth on the desolate outskirts of needles, ca is preferable. add hungry and malaria infected mosquitoes and we’re still no way close to the agony i’m currently in.
the place reminds me of the scene from Joe Versus the Volcano; the one where he trudges to work through the shallow fluorescent lighting that could make 10 ordinary men weep like a baby. i’m not sure what that smell i’m smelling is but it might be the guy next to me. he’s bigger than me so i’m going to keep my mouth shut, not that it would be wise to open it anyway. i’ve been through rigorous training and am now a commissioned major of the rank who knows when to speak and when not to.
i can peak over the chinese wall that is the line-workers’ counter. each workstation is like a turret manned by a bureaucratic drone and there is no way to get to the other side even if you wanted to. not that i would. there’s actually a floor covering on that side that resembles something similar to carpet. if you were to de-carpet a fleabag hotel from van nuys, built in the 70’s, and re-install that used orange threadbare shag here it would be an improvement over what i see. mixed with the lighting that would make creamed spinach seem appetizing… you get the idea.
how do these workers feel when quitting time comes and they go home? are they miserable from dealing with public? or each other? they move at a less-than-poky pace and i’m pretty sure their smiling muscles were confiscated right after they’d signed their w-9 form.
i still play the would-you-rather game with my daughter; she’s 16. the fun now is to come up with the most outrageous competing scenarios. this is going to be my new one the next time we play:
would you rather be… hung-over and dive to the bottom of the mariana trench in a wet suit filled with fiberglass while listening to your ipod play gangnam style repeatedly at full volume…
would you rather pet a rabid half-starved scorpion with your tongue…
spend 90 minutes at the glendale branch of the california dmv? she’ll say, “what was that first one again?”