Thursday, July 31, 2008

In class exercise

So, I haven't written a new post in a while. I'm having a hard time making this a habit, and I really REALLY want to post regularly. I think about it too much, and suddenly it seems difficult, so please bear with me while I try to create good writing habits.

This is from an in-class writing exercise where I had to incorporate the words: “potato”, “purple”, and “willfully”, and start with the sentence “I leave the church and go for lunch.”

I leave the church and go for lunch. I’m not generally one for churches, but Deirdre has a fascination with them, finds comfort in them, even. She grew up Catholic in Ireland, and remembers the moment she was riding in her parent’s car when the news broke over the radio that Pope John Paul II had been shot, and she burst into tears. I’ve never known her to attend church outside of Christmas and specially called masses, but she lives in Pilsen, and has a view of several churches from the balcony of her condo, situated in an old factory building on 15th street and Blue Island Avenue. The church we stood in front of was tucked away from the street behind a garden, and had baby blue shutters - or, as Deirdre called it - Virgin Mary blue, and looked as if it had been picked out of much older surroundings in Eastern Europe and transplanted in it’s entirety onto this particular block of Pilsen.

“J,” she said, “that color looks lovely on you. Pose next to the shutters and I’ll take your picture.”

I was hungry for barbeque, but I complied. The barbeque place didn’t open until 4, and it was only 3:15. What kind of restaurant willfully closes their doors to two hungry women in Pilsen, I wondered.

As we crossed the street, an old woman pushed a wheeled cart filled with belongings. She wore flip flops, dark sweatpants, and a purple t-shirt with a white shark printed on it and the words “out for blood.” I tried not to smile, or do anything that might suggest amusement on my part, concentrating instead on the meal that was soon to come: potatoes, preferably fried, but I’d take mashed, some kind of pulled pork sandwich, definitely peach cobbler, and maybe some sides - cole slaw perhaps.

Walking back to Deirdre’s after our meal, a child of indeterminate sex stepped in front of us, performed a wiggly dance, and chanted:

“Do you like my style? Sexy-sexy-sexy!” And then just as suddenly melted back into the herd of children they had emerged from. Later, I rode the #60 bus with a man who had the name “Pumpkins” embroidered onto the name tag of his blue coveralls.

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