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[Rise and Shine Canyonville, its 9am on this beautiful Monday morning. Its a bit cold outside so grab those snow boots and find your way downtown for the parade of lights...click]

It was that annoying alarm clock again. It never rang or buzzed like all my friend's alarm clocks. There wasn't even a snooze button. Pretty lame. I told dad to buy me a new one but he never listens to me. He told me that if I was good all year, I could ask Santa. He never listens to me either. I was stuck between a long shot and a dead end, mundanely entertained by my fossil radio for another 16 years.

I already knew today was another freezing day. I could feel the cold air pouring into the room through the gap under the door. I was kind of glad my parents got me this warm coat instead of an alarm clock. The outside of the coat was dipped in brown leather and the inside was lined with zebra stripes. I wonder if mom and dad shopped for the real deal or went all out at Salvation Army. As I looked around the room, trying to wake myself up from a dream I could vividly remember, I noticed how perfect my room seemed. My room was decorated with everything I could possibly need. A sign hung on the outside of my door that shouted "Daddy’s Princess" in glitter. I never made my bed in the morning, because I knew mom would come back home and make it for me. She always did such a nice job. Why complain and do it myself?

I took a quick look outside my bedroom window, and I could see the neighborhood children already playing in the snow across the street. That one there was making a snow angel. I so wanted to build a snowman. I wondered if we had any carrots. But I knew there was no time to play with my friends. I had to get ready for school. Mom’s probably got breakfast ready by now. The kitchen floor was cold, not from the open window, but from the open refrigerator door. Mom always kept the door open when she cooked our meals. She had this feeling that she’ll need something from the fridge as soon as she closed the door. I sat down to a hot bowl of soup and crackers. Morning hunger was best satisfied over an old fashioned country breakfast, but on a cold day like this, soup was perfect. But I would still imagine myself eating at a diner. The toast would be slightly burnt and the eggs would need ketchup, but I wouldn't complain. It would hit the spot and just in time too. It was time for me to head to school. I never needed to take the bus to school because mom was always there to give me a ride. Dad was already at work. He's been there for about a half hour now. I remember there was a time when dad was home when I woke up. We would eat cereal together and watch morning cartoons at the breakfast table. Back then, birthdays were bigger and days were longer. Life was simpler.

Our neighbor’s dog began to bark as we started the van on the way to school. The smell inside of our van filled my lungs with an autumn aroma from a cheap pine tree air freshener. We pulled out of the driveway and headed down our peaceful street. My mom turned on the radio and dialed us a classical station. We listened to Frank Sinatra as we drove 65 miles down the freeway. I noticed the cars passing in the opposite lanes. They were going by so fast I couldn't really make out their faces. The cars that came alongside my window were at our speed. I saw this one lady who looked fat enough to have her breasts drive the car. As we pulled up in the parking lot of my local high school, children had already filled the sidewalks with fancy book bags and neon binders. Mom dropped me off in front of the library as usual. I grabbed my bag from the backseat and closed the sliding door behind me. As she drove out of sight, I stood on the wet pavement with only my thoughts to keep me company. There was a feeling inside me that would not settle. I thought maybe the soup was upsetting my stomach but it was delicious. I remembered by science presentation was due and I had nothing prepared. I was dead and I could feel the muscles inside my stomach twist tighter. I knew nothing except that I didn’t feel like going to school today. With my gut’s motivation as my lifeline, I took my bag by the straps, slung it over my left shoulder and began walking down the street.

This was the first time that I had forgotten an assignment and the first time I was cutting school. The first couple of step off school grounds were the most awkward. I felt new and confused of the outside world at this hour of the day. What was I doing over the weekend that made me forget about my presentation? I pondered at the past couple of days but nothing came to mind. Before I knew it, the school had vanished from my sight.

Downtown was busy in the morning. The galleries and restaurants were jam-packed with pedestrians and starving tourists. Old couple ducked their head in small shops and loitered in art studios. As I passed by a few restaurants, the smell of roasted chicken tickled my toes in its direction. I found myself huffing on a window, watching a plate of some kind of meat smothered in a red sauce. It looked so delicious, but I felt rebellious. Mom always told me that if I ate too much, I would grow wide on the inside. This time, I didn't care. I felt that since I was already far from school, where I should be in the first place, what was the point in denying my indulgence?

I opened the wood and glass door and asked the waitress to seat me. I sat by myself with a menu larger than my head. There were so many choices of food. Allot of the words were in another language. I remember how easy ordering at a fast food restaurant was. I asked the lady who asked what I would like for the desert menu. These were choice I could relate to. They had banana splits, double fudge cake, and a variety of ice cream flavors. I felt like I was in heaven, only with hell haunting me from the outside. I ordered a deluxe banana split with extra whip cream. The lady seemed happy to take my order. When she brought out the tantalizing banana boat, my face lit up like a fireworks' contest. I took my time with each bite. I was here to feel the freedom of life and experience what it would be like on my own. I suck eat bite from my spoon and sat back in my chair when I heard the rattle of an empty bowl. I was totally satisfied. In a flavor haze, I pulled out my purse. I reached into the side zipper and felt for my money pouch. I found it touched in another part of the purse. I looked inside and found 1 dollar. I found it strange that it was empty. It was always full. Dad always gave me enough money for lunch as well as extra for the mall. I was in trouble. There was nothing I could do. I emptied my coin purse and counted three quarters, two nickels and one penny. In total, I could tip the waitress $1.86 for helping me indulge my taste crime. I had to make a run for. There was no way I was going to stick around and admit that yes, I did just eat food that I couldn't pay for. I wasn't going to clean dishes to make up the 5 dollars I owe them. When the waitress went into the back room to fill her pitcher with ice water, I ducked around the corner and out the door. I left a hand print on the glass as I pushed it open. When I was back on the street, I kept running until I was out of site of that restaurant. I would make sure to never go back. Thinking about my presentation I had to keep moving. I started to think about my weekend. What had I done that had taken all my time and money? I couldn't remember where I went or who I was with. The images that flashed before my eyes were runway bulbs from a fashion show. It felt like I was apart of that show, showing off a dress by a famous designer. I thought that it could have been from my recent dream. I kept thinking and continued down the street.

There were so many shops to look in. I didn’t know where to start. A small book store occupied the corner of one building complex. The spines of all the books looked old and dusty. I didn't want to walk in a choke on the fumes of grandpa librarian. Besides, there was the public library that I enjoyed more, financially. An action/adventure store was next door. This was more the place for me. The store was filled with the familiar smell of leather that gave me flashbacks of western movies. Straps hung from the wall with small price tags stabled to the ends. The back of the store was sectioned off with authentic cowboy outfits. Different styles and sizes hung off the racks and shelves. I flipped through the sizes until I came across a size that fit my unique figure. I looked around for an attendant to help with sizing. A head popped up from behind the counter, mouth covered in ketchup. Yyesss? His voice was strangely romantic. His words didn't settle right in my ears. I wanted help from someone else. This was not the place to be, so I placed the outfit back on the rack and left the store without making a sound. The man behind the counter stood with his ketchup smile, keeping to his friendly routine.

I was outside again and my stomach began to growl again. I wondered what it really was saying to me. PET ME - - DRESS ME - - FEED ME! I knew that something could be wrong. I wasn't hungry so it wasn't that. I knew that because I couldn't remember my weekend, I would get any rest over the entire situation. I turned my direction at headed towards the library. I sat outside on the curb, next the bike rack. I had my bike stolen once, so I always remembered to lock it up. I sat on the edge of reason with my chin my hands. I had to remember. The only image I could work with was the runway lights. But what could they mean? I traced my steps and found myself on the runway, modeling clothes from a store. Slowly, I recalled the store sold designer clothing and eventually recalled being there with my friends. But I don't remember ever spending over 70 dollars on clothes. I dug through my Proda purse and found my money pouch and placed it back in the side zipper. I opened the other zipper and pulled out a wad of paper stuffing. I was confused for a second and tossed it in garbage can next the bus stop. I sat on the curb, satisfied to why I was so stupid as to forget my science presentation. I thought about the note I needed to write for the school. I couldn't have this one day show up on my records. I had to forge my mother's signature to fool the school into believing I was somewhere important. Could I be sick? I would have to fake an illness. I played sleepy beauty in my grade school play. Could I be at the dentist? I would need a doctor's note as proof. I was in a jam. I sat with my head in my tiny palms and thought about my presentation. The students were going to be giving their presentation in the next 30 minutes. I looked at my watched and tried to pass the time. I stepped into the library so I wouldn't be spotted from someone I may know. I wouldn't want that episode to come back to me.

I sat in a quiet cubicle and stared at the clock. The second hand moved so slowly. I could feel my entire world vibrate with each strike. I was going insane. There was something I needed to do. I couldn't sit here and wait as my grade gets lowered because I was greedy with material possessions all weekend. I walked around the library and found the exploration section. I pulled out a book detailing marine life. The report I needed to research was the growth of the corral reef. I knew a few facts on the subject but nothing that could stretch for 3 minutes. I brought my book back to my cubicle and skimmed through the few pages dedicated to fine print. I found the section I needed and read the first sentence, then the second, and the third. Within the first 5 minutes I was on the third page. I was an excellent reader and found the material easy to understand. The corral reef was a type of sponge that grew along the ocean floor, adapting itself according to the surrounding area. It was also home to thousands of sea creatures. All the facts I read were interesting but I couldn’t find a topic to focus on. What was I going to say that people don't already know? I didn't feel like writing anything down because the information was lame enough to memorize.

I felt inadequate and cheap. I looked at the clock and I still had 15 minutes until my judgment. I closed my eyes and thought about what is was that I could have bought. In my head, I searched my room for any new features that weren't there before Saturday. I looked through my shoe rack but couldn't recall any new, dazzling attire. There was no end to the confusion, I tearfully thought. I hid my head in my folded arms and began to cry. I had forgotten my homework, I skipped school, I stole expensive food and I could hardly remember my weekend. I reached into my purse and pulled out a new box of tissues. I pulled the tab and blew my nose into a couple tissues.

As I wiped my nose clean of stragglers, I noticed my purse. It was rather new. I opened the side zipper and pushed aside my money pouch and found more brown paper. It looked like packing paper. Then I realized where everything went wrong. When I was modeling the expensive clothes, I could not afford the complete attire. The woman helping me and my friends offered us the designer purse that could substitute the fashion craze. I found the recipe wrapped in the brown paper. I spent $79.99 on a purse that I didn't notice until now. I felt like such an idiot. I let my weekend slip away because I fell hypnotic to the craze of teenage girls. I dried my tears and stuffed my distrusting purse deep inside my backpack. I ran though the old library doors and stopped at the curb next to the bus top. A line had formed in the last couple minutes for the bus that arrives every ten minutes. I didn't have time to wait for the bus, nor the money to pay for the fare. So I ran, straight to school. In my head I recalled the interesting things I had just read. As I ran, I looked around to see if anyone was following me. I practiced the first line of my presentation. I decided to go out on a whim and indulge my classmates with what I could make sound interesting. I made it to my classroom by 9am, a few minutes late, but just in time to save my grade.

------
Open and read the pages of my DarkerMind
where one's style of writing comes from deep within.
I don't plan to change the world; just trying to leave my mark.


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Comments

The following comments are for "9am Whim"
by KingDon

Epiphany
Reminds me of something from Dubliners - a character study that ends in some sort of epiphany about the cruelness of life or some such. Great writing, only a few spelling and grammatical errors, all of which I am too lazy to point out. I did, however, feel lost amongst the meandering descriptions of the narrator's day.

How much of this is integral to the plot and how much is padding? I felt like I could skip large chunks and still get the jist.

That being said, your narrator's voice appealed to me and was incredibly lifelike - it blows when first person pieces are done poorly. Great read!


Andy

( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: June 9, 2005 )





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