Thursday, July 16, 2015

How to Collect People


How to Collect People

In memory of Nick Ramundo


You can collect them however you want. In a tattoo, in photos, scarp books, facebook albums. You can keep them in jars on dusty shelves in the deep archives of your mind, arranged alphabetical by whichever name you remember. Keep them wherever you’d like- it’s your collections content that matters.

The first people you collect are the Shapers.

The friend who stood up for you on the school bus, who yelled at the boy that crushed your toilet paper roll virus model.

Older kids that made you feel cool.

Dress up pals, the princess to your space invader, well after playing dress-up was socially acceptable.

Everyone who helped you learn.

And helped you learn and helped you learn and helped you learn. Who got up early or stayed with you late.

Everyone still teaching you.

People who have told you that you are good.

Anyone who has ever told you that you’re bad.

Your third prom date, who called you in desperation but ended up being the best prom date you ever had. You were doing them a favor, technically, but a restored faith in the American institution of prom is a priceless gift.

Teammates, co-conspirators, cousins, peers- makers of tree houses, bed sheet forts and kids-room plays: admission always $.25.

Siblings- you fight, you don’t speak, you share. You’ve always shared too many things, but your shared genes may be the key to figuring yourself out.

Then you have the Middle people: the ones who are there life starts to take it’s shape.

People who have done you a favor.

Or bought you coffee.

The people who lent you money, either to pay for parking or to run away and get a potentially useless degree and figure out how to live.

People you have worked on crazy projects with. People willing to make your crazy projects happen. Cardboard furniture, chalkboard painted corn hole boards, music videos to Total Eclipse of the Heart…

Mixed-tap makers.  These days are numbered if not gone- do not throw them out! You will never regret owning The ENTIRE soundtrack to Empire Records, arranged in order of appearance, not just the songs the producers decided would sell.

The person who made you aware of the word ‘cloying.’

That guy in the pick-up truck who saw you walking down the street, minding your own business, and shouted at you to smile more. Now, because of him, you know you don’t like that.

Friends and strangers that have let you crash at their place, for short of extended periods of time, with or without compensation beyond toilet paper, peanut butter and gratitude.

Anyone who has ever protected you in a mosh pit.

Or introduced you to a new type of music, the life changing kind and the normal kind.

The friends that do not talk about how fat they think they are.  

The boss who first trusted you.

The colleague who asked you for help.

All the people who have ever given you a key to anything.

The people you write to. The ones that write back. Hand-written letter writers: keep them forever, no matter what happens.

People who write notes inside books.

Such as:

“Darling! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!” says a copy of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom.

“Remember me when the world discovers you,” written in a copy of Holes.

“I hope this book fuels and inspires your own writing ambitions as much as it has my own” ~ Lolita.

Lastly, you have the Now people, the people that you need.

The people who spell check you.

Trash collectors after an awful day.

Anyone who has ever read your writing and made it real.

Or help you plan out your life in Baltimore to DC traffic.

That person who caught you hiding in your car, and reached out later to make sure you were alright.

Your first true Meet-Up Friend. Your eyes met from across the private bar, packed with a social scene you do not understand and the moment you see her old-school Oregon Trail vs Trex t-shirt, you know she is the one.

Anyone who has ever asked you a question that you’ve never even asked yourself (are you in love with him?).

The people that stay with you when you are incessantly illogical. The ones that let you talk, listen to you babble, and then tell you, gently, that you’re being idiot.

Those who have helped you get all the Everything out of your head before it rips you up like frightened teenager’s diary page they never want discovered.

The person who reminds you for hours over the phone to breath, breath, breath.

Anyone who has ever made you feel like what you were doing was the right thing to be doing.

Or dragged you along to something they just know you you’ll like.

Or peer pressured you into doing something you really did want to do. 

Even collect that person who you only know a little, or the people you only see once a month.


These are the people you keep, the ones you collect; the people where all of your stories come from. The ones you see every day, once a year and the ones you will never see again.

~





http://writersandwords.net/






Twitter Story- Black Plastic Chai


Black Plastic Chai

Written by:

@MariaCGoodson, @IanAndersonEtc, @annmariebrok, @shineslike, @minor_threatte, @Mizimoomoo, @reladbrook, @ideosinkrasse, @dariano19, @Vrikkian & @dcmanoogian

on Wednesday, July 8th, tweet by tweet. 



Her shoulder would sting. As the ink sunk into her skin she would remember that this too shall pass. A tattoo seemed fitting to Candy- as a talisman or omen: what did that matter? She’d keep January 15th with her anyways. The pain of this needle is nothing compared to the goddamn January day, she thought as the imaginary buzzing filled her thoughts.

But the tattoo would remind the world what she’d been witness to that cold day. She didn’t want anyone to forget.

“Maybe you should walk,” her father had said, peering outside.  “Or just stay in, have tea.” But Candy was late. She grabbed her keys and left.

It was a date she could never forget- the day of her epic transformation.

Snow had balled under her feet, breath clouding her focus; she started walking down the street to her parked car. Everybody stared after her but she did not turn. She never saw her father again.

Candy would dip the needle into the melted black plastic. She would do this herself. She would pay for not paying attention.

But she knew herself, as much as she didn’t want to. The moment she felt the burning sensation, a bit of hot plastic dripping into her skin, she would know she didn’t need a reminder. Candy would put the needle down. A tiny dot might remain. Indecision would always haunt her.   


That night, she reached for a sharpie. With eighteen swift scratches the word appeared on her left forearm: chai.







Slight alterations have been made to make this story make sense, changes in tense or sentence structure. Thank you to everyone who played along, and to Writers and Words for letting me take over your twitter and read at your July reading. People rock. 



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Writers and Words Twitter Take-Over Story STILL NEEDS YOU!



Writers and Words Twitter Take-Over


Story written by: @MariaCGoodson, @IanAndersonEtc, @annmariebrok, @shineslike, @minor_threatte, @Mizimoomoo, @reladbrook & @ideosinkrasse, so far. 


~



Her shoulder strung. As the ink sunk into her skin she remembered that this too shall pass.

A tattoo seemed fitting to Candy- as a talisman or omen; what did that matter? She’d keep January 15 with her anyways. The pain of this needle is nothing compared to that goddamn January day, she thought as the buzzing filled her ears. But the tattoo would remind the world what she’d been witness to that cold day. She didn’t want anyone to forget. It was a date she could never forget- the day of her epic transformation.

“Maybe you should walk,” her father had said, peering outside. But Candy was late. She grabbed the keys and left.


Snow balling under her feet, breath clouding her focus, she started walking. Everybody stared. She dipped the needle into the melted black plastic. She would do this herself.



~



I still want one more tweet to finish the story for the day. If you know how to save/kill/sort out Candy, tweet at @writersandwords. I'll pick my favorite ending by the end of the day. 


Thanks for playing, Twitter!