Thursday, May 08, 2008

Freak - booktalk

I've tried a couple of different endings for this one. This is the one I used at CLA.

by Marcella Pixley

My name is Miriam. My friends call me Shakespeare. My sister calls me an alien. The girls in school call me a freak.

The morning before Artie moved in, I wrote in Clyde. Clyde was my journal. I know most people don’t give their journals names, but most people never had a journal like Clyde. Clyde was much more than a spiral notebook with a torn cover and pages falling out. He was the place I wrote all my poems and problems so one day I could look back and say, It’s all right, Miriam. It all turned out all right anyhow. The day Artie came to stay with my family, this is what I wrote:

Dear Clyde,

It’s so early in the morning the sun hasn’t even woken up. The world is still cast in a gray shadow, but I can’t sleep another moment. Last night I kept on waking to check my alarm clock and count how many seconds were left until today.

Artie’s the one person in this world who really understands me. He’s going to wake up my poetry. He’s going to give me something to really write about. And it all starts today. Today is a scrumptious, serendipitous day. Today is even better than a birthday.

It’s six in the morning. The sun unfolds its rays behind my window blinds like a fan opening up rib by rib. I’m going to use Deborah’s kiwi shampoo for extra shine. I’m going to put perfume under my armpits. From now on, I am going to be ravishing. Six in the morning. 24,000 seconds until Artie comes to stay.

Signing off,
Miriam Fisher, Esquire

When I look back at it now, it’s hard to believe that I thought the day that Artie came would be the beginning of the most wonderful part of my life. Boy, was I wrong. I thought he’d fall in love with me. Instead, he fell in love with my sister Deborah. I thought Artie would be my knight in shining armor. Instead, the watermelon girls in school couldn’t wait to tell me the cruel things he’d said about me. They’d been teasing me for years, but this was the worst it had ever been. They called me names, threw things at me, shoved me, and drew nasty pictures, like the one of me with my arms and legs wrapped around Artie while he puked all over me. How can I believe I’ll ever be able to look back at Clyde and say this year turned out all right? My parents think I’m special and respected because I don’t follow the crowd. They are so wrong. I’m not special, and I’m definitely not respected. I’m just a freak.

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