I attended my first writing workshop as an adult a few weeks ago. I began my love affair with the written word when I was thirteen years old and signed up for an after school poetry slam team. After middle school ended and the team disbanded I continued to write on my own but have never attended any sort of group writing since.
In this particular workshop we had to bring six photographs with us, two photos of a person, two of an object and two of a place. When I got to the workshop the conductor told us to place all of the photos on a table in their separate categories. She then told us to choose two photos of the people, one of the places, and one of the objects. After we had chosen our photos we had to free-write and incorporate each of the photos into whatever we decided to write. I chose a photo of a blond girl wearing a huge haute couture coat, a geeky looking guy with curly hair and glasses, a notebook and an aerial photo of the inside of a cafe. Here’s my work.
I sat there in the warm cafe waiting. The manager is going to think I’m crazy for wearing this goddamned winter coat to my first day of work. Hell, he’ll think I’m stupid anyway once he finds out I lied on my job application. Hmph, five years experience, I’ve never worked a day in my life.
“Anna Wintour?”, a tall, lanky man approached me. He was dressed in a crisp white shirt and severely creased black slacks. I almost snorted at the contradiction. I may have a heavy wool coat on in the middle of spring but it’s called fashion. I know my fashion and I definitely know that if you’re going to wear a nice, clean, crisp shirt then you should also put the same care into the rest of your outfit. My father died in a car accident while driving to a hotel to meet his mistress. A mistress who my mother and I never ever knew existed until she showed up at his funeral. I remember like it was yesterday. Father’s mistress arrived to the funeral wearing the exact black gown that Gloria Swanson wore in Tonight or Never. The only thing I could think at that moment was not of my father’s corpse lying in the closed coffin but of the mistresses outfit and saying to myself, “One day, I will look like that.” I can’t remember her name but can remember what she wore clearly.
“You can put your uh…coat in the back. Here put on this apron, we have customers waiting.”, the lanky manager said snarkily, breaking me out of my memories. I wanted to address his tone but I remembered that mom wasn’t paying my bills anymore so I forced a smile and did what he said.
“One large cappuccino, please.”, I tole the barista and I placed exact change on the counter. I glanced around the cafe to find a good place to sit and write and I waited on my drink to be made. This place was notorious for taking forever to make drinks. There were plenty of seats outside but it was drizzling a bit and chilly , even for the middle of spring. I planned to write Emily a letter while I sat with my drink and there was no way I’d risk getting my notepad wet. She’d think I had been crying over it or something.
“Cappuccino for Dan?”, the barista called out my order snapping me out of my thoughts. As I grabbed my drink my hand brushed against hers. She was cute. I wondered what he body looked like naked under that apron. I shrugged to myself as I turned and back over to my chosen table by the window. Sitting down I cracked open my notepad and began my letter to Emily.
Dear Emily, I can’t believe I ever liked you. I would have loved you forever but you just had to destroy everything. Your a fuckin bitch! I have been trying to be with you for the past year and all you did was constantly friendzone me! Who was there to help you move into your new place? Me! Who brought you lunch to work because you you were too busy to go yourself? Me! I was there for you when no one else wasn’t and you go and fuck Brian?! I hope you both get herpes, fuck you!
There, short and sweet. Satisfied I folded the letter, carefully placed it in the envelope from my pocked and wrote Emily’s name on the front surrounded by hearts.