This is a writing exercise I did at my first writing class, with Hope Edelman (you should imagine me doing the "Wayne's World" posturing right now - I'm not worthy...). I rather like it and thought you all might like to see some of my writing, considering the title of my blog. Let me know what you think - honestly, whether it hurts or not (me, I mean -- if it hurts you, don't bother).
My brother’s room was spotless. You could bounce a quarter off of the bright crimson bedspread and the basketball-shaped lamp sat on a nightstand so highly polished I could see all my faults in it. I closed the heavy door and my brother held out the fluorescent orange plastic box that housed his prize collection of Hot Wheels to me with an expectant look on his face. He needn’t have asked – this was our favorite way to spend time together, but my pigtails bounced as I nodded my head and flopped onto the carpet cross-legged.
As soon as the clasps were unsnapped, our ritual of choosing cars began. He always let me choose first, and I always chose the red Corvette. I knew the one he coveted was the Dukes of Hazzard car and I would never deny him that pleasure. We continued to dip our fingers gently into the case, taking turns choosing cars until we each had a fleet of ten or so. Some choices were predictable. I loved the fire truck whose white plastic ladder extended into the sky, and he always chose the green Gremlin with the purple wings painted on the hood.
We squatted on the short, rough carpet printed with tile-like squares that we used for city blocks and set up our virtual city. Although we could hear neighbor kids playing outside and I could smell fresh-cut grass through the open window, we would not move for an hour or more. My breathing was slow and even and I felt no tension in my jaw or stomach. Chris’ auburn curls tipped off of his forehead, obscuring his face as he bent over his cars.
There were very few words spoken in this game. Every move seemed choreographed. We both found solace in this diversion. After we tired of manipulating the cars in our town, Chris got the racetrack sections from the orange box. He handed me a few and together we assembled the ramp and downhill sections. He was in charge of clamping the track to the top bunk and we took turns holding our cars at the top and releasing them. We watched reverently as each car escaped down the track, picking up speed before taking flight.