Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Really long sentence

Hey all, 
Below is a little practice at an extra-long sentence. Just a little fun with punctuation. 

Bad Date

I feel the warmth of the brick oven as we heave open the oak door of the restaurant and make our way over to the podium to give our names to the hostess, who says that she can seat us right away and leads us past the high-polished marble bar and past table after table of customers laughing over large dishes of pasta and drinking wine, lots of wine, and families sharing huge wheels of pizza that teeter on tin platters balanced on tall metal stands to keep them from filling the table, and when she finally stops, it’s near the end of a long green leather booth at a table just barely big enough for two, but we say it’s okay and sit down and order our wine and admire the Botticellian frescos filling the walls with fleshy women in togas surrounded by cherubs and grapes, and as the server brings our food and pours our wine, a couple sits down at the other two-person table next to us, and as I twirl the thick pasta around my fork, the couple swaps brief life histories—what they do, how they got into their careers, how long they’ve been in the area—and I realize that they are on a first date, and as the waiter asks them if they would like a menu and the man says yes and the woman says no, I realize that they are on a bad first date, and with the roar of voices running through the restaurant, I strain my ears to hear everything the couple is saying as my pasta gets cold.

© Nikki Damon 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

NPR Three Minute story

NPR held a contest asking for stories that could be read in three minutes (under 600 words). Since the contest is over now, I can post my submission:

Wednesday Afternoon

You sit on the tweed couch in her living room, her head resting on your shoulder—the scent of her shampoo always gets to you. This is your favorite time—after school, delaying homework, watching TV together on the couch. Math and biology books, a binder, and a notebook litter the table, just in case her mom looks in. But this year, you’re justified in slacking because you’re finally a senior.

She grabs the remote and randomly flips through the channels, as she does when she’d rather talk than actually watch what’s on. She stops on an infomercial for a kitchen gadget. The woman in the ad is getting way too excited over a pan, while a man in a nonthreatening sweater vest enthusiastically explains how it will change her life forever. She flops back down on the couch and leans against you, curling one leg underneath her and folding the other on top of it. The afternoon sun beats down through the sliding glass door, and in the heat, the thick beige carpet gives off the smell of the family dog.

She leans in and you watch her lips as she asks you if you think Adam talks to her differently than he does to the other girls. You say you’re not sure. She asks if you’ve noticed if he looks at her during class. You say, yeah, you think he does. She tells you how much she likes Adam and how she thinks that he might like her too, and asks if you think you can find out for her. You say that maybe you could. She asks you to promise that you will always be best friends. You say that you do, and when you say it, you feel like the man in the nonthreatening sweater vest.

© Nikki Damon 2009