Monday, February 04, 2013

The Power of One Word

In one of our classes in the recent Releasing The Writer Within series, I read a list of 75 words and asked my students to write down the ones that made them feel something, triggered an emotion. Then they had to chose one to write about. Keri N. wrote down the word "divorce". Here is her free write from it. Keep in mind, I ask my students NOT to edit or worry about grammar and punctuation, which is scary for them. So read for content not always : ) 


Divorce is easy, the lawyers are strange they are aliens I walked into his office as something from another planet. We talked finances, another foreign language. I would GPS his location in Cranston because I never remembered it. After a while I realized I had to turn right at the taco bell. It was an old neighborhood I passed through to get there. Houses and families I imagined had been there for years. Unchanged only time wearing down the shingles. And his office was small at the end of the road. We had a house then, a yard. Part of me wanted to blow our family dynamic apart without remorse we had our list of problems. He cheated on me many times. He loved his Facebook way more than he could a family. But sometimes the houses on that old street created longing or sometimes they created a pressure in my body, a ghost hand pressing down. I couldn't go through with marriage or a divorce without thinking something of myself. I had thought our separation through for days and weeks, months. He had gone to work everyday and did his constant share of escaping our disintegration. In our bedroom he said, let's just try harder. And I knew then for sure he was disconnected, on a permanent lunch break. I had tried the hardest. I had overlooked things I maybe shouldn't have. He was incapable of trying. On the rare days he would help me with housework he insisted that I take our son and leave so he could focus on the kitchen grime at hand. "That's not real life," I reminded him. His paycheck was his ticket to not care too much. It was my job to do the housework. He never lifted a finger. Welcome to the new 1957. I couldn't stand it. My rage was more than hot pokers, it was something psychic that could bury itself in brain tissue and cause cancer, an immediate inoperable tumor. Like my mother, I could never be kept down. I claw too much, spit too much.

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