Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Well, I guess I got a lot of attention yesterday.

Maybe it started at the mall where some people were staring at me for no apparent reason. It certainly was in full swing by class-time.

I'd submitted a short story to Acorn Review and, in the Acorn Review class last night, it was discussed. Pieces are all submitted anonymously so I had a nice vantage point to hear unrestrained comments about my story. Ha (who was suspiciously absent last night) had predicted that no-one would like my story as she felt it was similer to a series of stories from last semester that everyone, myself included, had hated. I must disagree that my story was at all similer because the other stories were boring, pointless, and sexist.

In any case, a number of people in class did actually enjoy it, and I'm happy to say these people were mostly very cute girls. Many people felt sure the story had been written by a young woman who was viciously angry at her ex-boyfriend. A couple agreed it was surreal, held one's interest, and was disturbing. The only real complaints I heard was that it had no sympathetic characters and that it was confusing--even after several other classmembers had clearly and accurately described the basic story from having read it. But maybe it was those complaints by themselves that led to only six people voting "yes" on the story and thirteen voting "no." Of course, I don't know because no-one else who voted "no" actually spoke up. So much for useful feedback.

As I was leaving (I had to leave early), I accidentally knocked over my chair. Having gotten the attention of everyone in the class, I announced that I had written the story and that I would answer any questions. I was asked what it was about and I told them; "It's about a girl who picks up an older man in the mall, and she ends up tearing him apart in the bathroom." Which was exactly what several people said it was obviously about.

I was vaguely happy to hear some girls crying out, "Yes!" as I was leaving.

And where was I going? A fellow named Robert, who, I think, is a very talented writer, had asked me to read a part in his play. It was a pretty medium sized role, and I had plenty of big lines. When I arrived at the art gallery where the play was to be read, I was informed that the acquostics were bad and that I had better shout as much as possible. So I did.

So I spent the rest of the evening screaming lines like, "Man? Man?? I am no man . . . but a god!" to a group of teachers, parents, girlfriends and wives in a small art gallery filled with delicate ceramics.

Then I went home and cried while watching William Wyler's The Children's Hour. I started out bitterly knowing there would be no make-out scene between Audrey Hepburn and Shirley Maclaine. But it was a great movie anyway. Or horrible. Or both. Devastating. It was certainly bold to be, in the end, such a clear avocater for homosexuality in 1961. Ah, stories like that always get me, what can I say?

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