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Giuliana Centofanti

United States

Message to Readers

An essay for my English class. It's written in the style of The Sound and they Fury by William Faulkner. If you haven't read it, the italics signify another moment/flashback/memory/... and the plain font indicates the present.

Just looking for feedback- let me know places I can improve. Thanks. :)

Faulkner: Stream of Consciousness Essay (based on The Sound and the Fury)

November 9, 2015

FREE WRITING

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June Eleventh, 2015
I drive up to her side door and wait- perfectly on time: exactly 12 pm. I don’t want to go inside; her dog always jumps and drools on me. She comes out holding the jar. We’ve been putting our “memories” into it for a year. It makes our lives sound much more fun than they really are, but there are a few good ones in there. She got in the car, and per usual, I offer to change the music and she says it’s fine, but I change it anyways because I listen to unpopular music so it’s an unspoken rule that we’d never converse the way we used to. So we don’t, but I had to go that day. I had to use him as an excuse to see you. Back then we were at each other’s throats all the time; the fighting started fast, and ended faster. We stopped talking because it was easier than fighting. And it was all the more easier because we didn’t know what we were- more than friends, but not too much more. So you said “hi.” And I waved. And the leaves crackled under my feet and your neighbors were so quiet and the air was so cold and I smelled smoke and tried to remember what your house smells like- a mixture of comfort food and your mother’s mulling spices. We stood on your front lawn- on the hill between the street and the door. You commented on my dad’s car and why on earth would he let me drive eight cylinders and is there any rubber left on the tires? and how many empty coffee cups are in there “anyways,” I said, “there’s got to be more to it.” I hate gossiping. She has to give me directions, because I’m not so good with them (I’m the driver, she’s the GPS).
When we arrive, she grabs the blanket and the jar out of the trunk. When we get on the beach, we walk to the far end passing the group of kids (she “awws,” while I roll my eyes), and the couple whose tongues are far down each other’s throats, and the old man who should wear more clothes. The sun is incredible and but the temperature’s fine. I model while she tries out her new polaroid film; she says the camera loves me and I ask her to burn the photos, but she puts them in the jar. We put on “afternoon acoustic” while trying to brown our skin, trying not to lose track of time, because, per usual her mother has something for her to do at 4 o’clock. But I can’t help but be upset, because this is the second to last time I’ll see her before her family moves away (well actually, there’s a going away party, but that’s not the same thing), and I want the entire day.
They’re “gunna be south’nas” as she says- luckily only for 71 days, then I get to see her before she goes to college in August. I try not to show my anxiety over the situation- an entire summer without a friend (or at least one I like)- because she has enough of her own anxiety. I tell her she’ll be back before she knows it and that she’ll probably find someone to hang out with because southerners are supposedly friendly and if she’s really lucky it’ll be of the male variety and he’ll look like whatever her latest crush looks like. I tell her she should view it as a chance to experience another culture, and not to worry if she hates it because she’ll be in Connecticut in the fall anyways. “You made this fall suck,” I wanted to tell you, but I couldn’t. “I was fine until we started talking again,” but I didn’t say it. I couldn’t figure it out- you ignored me, or bored me until I was tired of talking.
I wanted to ask you why we were talking again, but I didn’t. I stood there and listened while my mind wandered. I looked at your hair- too much gel. I looked at the ground: the makings of a perfect New England fall. I tried to bring my mind back to the conversation but alas, it was gone. It didn’t really matter though, there was never much room for me to talk- grunts would suffice. It was always you ranting on and on about whatever it was and I listened.
She opened the jar and dumped out the contents- about a million polaroids and some ‘significant moments’ we wrote down on neon note cards on new year’s eve. I wrote down ‘wheatgrass shots’ but I can’t remember why. There was the one that said “$20 on 5;” We also had a picture from that night. It was last summer: she was afraid to go into the gas station to pay because it was after 11 pm, so I went in and when we went back to her house, her mother made fun of her because there was nothing to be scared of in our neighborhood. We dig up a few more notes and I hide one of them under the blanket- it’s June and what I wrote then isn’t true anymore and she wouldn’t get it- she’d give me that concerned look and I don’t feel like explaining. We look at the ‘candid’ photograph. She wanted it to look like she was laughing, so I said something dirty- it always surprises people. But it didn’t surprise you because you knew me. And we laughed about it for a second. Then your smiled turned. You became cold and boring again. And by that point the air had made it to my bones and all I could think about was heat but you didn’t have any to give to me.
    We split up the pictures and throw some away. It feels like we’re parting ways right here. We aren’t. We still have her going away party and then we won’t see each other until August. But neither of us mention it. I drive her home and we promised to call. Then you gave me a strange, loose hug and all I could think about is how I’d probably never “see you later."
Written in the style of The Sound and they Fury by William Faulkner. (If you haven't read it, the italics signify another moment/flashback/memory/.... The plain font indicates the present.

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