Drowning on the pages

writing exercise from 2008

She’s drowning, except she’s sitting in a chair, anywhere. Could be the middle of the desert, for all it matters. It’s not water boarding, but closer to it than drowning. Her nose is blocked by pages, though, not water. Line after line of text is forcing its way in, keeping her from thinking about anything but those pages of writing, about anything but the witty dialogue and developing characters, about the captivating plot, about anything other than this.

For one second of her life, she just didn’t want to worry about anything other than what the author would do to rectify the plot hole she wad digging herself into. She didn’t want to think about any sex life apart from the secondary character she wasn’t even sure if she liked just yet, or any problem if they didn’t belong to the charming, handsome and one-sided hero of this book not worth the precious pages it was printed on. She didn’t even want to worry about the temperature of her tea, and if it was still to hot to drink. It didn’t matter. It would always burn, regardless. Better to just turn the pages as she turned over the plot defect after plot defect, fixing each crappy line in her head as she went along.

Better to drown in between black and white than in the real world where drowning means water and no air. If she kept turning pages and skimming transition after surprise plot twist, she wouldn’t have to get dressed into an outfit people would use to pinpoint her on some section of the social map, listen to music that would undoubtedly mark her as the sell-out she didn’t care she was, and, worst of all, deal with the complex workings of all the different social networks she’d managed to get stuck in—the same way you walk out of an attic covered in cobwebs you hadn’t noticed. Flashcards were required to keep it all straight—which friends you smile with, which friends you frown with, who were the ones you “shared your emotions” with, and, of course, the ones you needed to write their names on the palm of your hand. All of those not to be confused with the ones you actually liked, and actually cared about, but couldn’t say that to because, trust me, it’s not you it’s them, but they just don’t have that kind of emotional availability.

No, better if she just stays within the suffocating pages of crappy plot twisters, where all the characters are just like real life, only with wittier dialogue.

Oh and be careful. The tea is still too hot.

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