#1
You know, it’s a funny thing, returning home after so long. You don’t really realize what you’re doing, where you’re going until you are practically there. Until you see street signs you used to never have to look at and you can shut off the GPS because you know the way from here. With each light pole that passes through the scrutinous gaze of the car window, memories, good and bad, rush over you like waves of bittersweet spring water. They take over your senses and slap you in the face and you begin to both remember and wonder why you came back.

As I drove past the seven-eleven that used to sell weed in the back and the movie theaters where I had my first kiss so long ago, the memories were raining down. Hard. Some of them stung and some of them tasted sweet, like drops of honey offered in honest apology by the same bee that had just stung me. I passed the family restaurant that we used to eat at after church every Sunday, and into the old part of town that grew more haggard and worn out every time I visited it. I drove past the dilapidated old houses, past the public pool we used to sneak in through a hole in the fence. I heard a dog barking in some backyard off on Connecticut Avenue, and wondered if it was the same dog that had once chased me home from the bus stop, only to be discouraged by a stick almost as big as I was. Past that pitiful ghetto, past all those bittersweet memories into the nicer neighborhood on the outskirts of town. In this part of town, elegant, beautifully up kept homes built in the 1800s loom high overhead. The aromatic whisper of the wise old bay that keeps watch over this majestic neighborhood tickled my ears and my nose, combining with the smell of both the deep black night and perpetually fresh cut grass to create a sensory wonder that was as enticing as it was nostalgic.

I pulled into the long, old brick driveway that jostled both my car and I as we piddled along its rough path. The Great Man(Known as grandpa to me) who built this house and also this driveway had always refused to repave it, claiming that “The damn thing is fine the way it is.” And that was the way it stayed. I finally made it to the house; the sight of which compensated for the bumpy ride up to it. It was still that beautiful peach color that had managed to cling to the walls of the house for so many years, and the candy-colored birds feeding in the bird feeder just by the front door complimented it well. Adding to the visual sweetness of it all was the purest white roof I have ever seen-white as the day it was built. There were too many memories to go with this house. Just too damn many. I remembered Him showing all the grandchildren how to tie up a boat in the canal out back, and bravely jumping off onto the dock and spraining his ankle. I remembered how the halls of this house were constantly echoing with the sounds of his witty jokes made at even the most serious and pressing of matters. I stepped out of my car and onto the squishy grass underfoot, and wondered if all those blades remembered the feeling of me tenderly stomping on their heads as only my cousins and I could do during all-important football games in the front yard. I wondered if the crickets overhead remembered my name, and if the sweet, lapping water of the canal out back remembered what I tasted like as I performed an infinite number of cannon balls into its murky frame. I collected myself, trying to prepare for what I was to inevitably meet as I entered the house, and walked through the front door-it was never locked. The preparation of a college professor, the steely resolve of a navy SEAL couldn’t have braced me for the blinding contrast of the innards of this house as compared to my memories. All of the lights were dimmed to a melancholy glow, and the house was filled with relatives I had only seen in pictures that hung on the once-sprightly walls. Faces I had heard of but never seen surrounded me, told me that they remembered when I was this small and reminded me repeatedly how much I had grown up in all these years. Around the same table where there was once lively banter on such trivial topics as local politics and sports, I found hushed condolences and whispers of funeral plans. A group of men stood around the TV trying to figure out how to turn it on and one said “He was the only one who could work this damn complicated thing.” And everybody laughed that special nostalgic laugh that hurts to the very core of your soul as you wish you could enjoy whatever it was you are laughing at. The kind that serves as covers for rivers of tears to hide under. It masks the pain so hopefully your strength will rub off and repaint the tribal markings on everybody else’s masks, preserving the tears for a more private time. Each mans laugh was punctuated by a long sigh and a deep, disconcerting silence.

A few of my cousins sat on the back porch, listening to the quiet laments of the sea and sipping coffee, absorbed in their own thoughts and only making mild attempts at conversation. I went and joined them as we all exchanged knowing glances, revealing that each one knew what the other was feeling. We avoided the topic of the day and silently braced ourselves for the days to come; everyone hates funerals.

You know, it’s a terrible, sinking feeling, returning home after so long. You really start to wish you were there for a better reason.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
Last edited by Ganoosh at Sep 13, 2009,
#4
Fuck it, I'm taking out that damn note at the end. Every time I post a piece about any type of personal loss or hardship and say so, people won't give criticism because it's a true story. Not that I haven't written it for sentimental value, but I post stuff on here so I can get feedback, not sympathy.

I'm not saying that this is what you(mainly directed at seventh, though nothing personal here) did or that you don't have any criticism or anything, but I just realized that it would happen. Also, not that I don't appreciate your condolence or your comment. But you reminded me why I don't like putting those little notes in at the beginning or end of my pieces.

Thanks for the read.





EDIT: Thanks, grey.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
Last edited by Ganoosh at Sep 12, 2009,
#5
Wow the first two paragraphs hit me hard because it was uncanny how much they related to my own life. After that of course, it gets much more personal. I'm not afraid of a moderately long read so trust me this was a good read and I enjoyed it very much.

Thanks for sharing, it's written in a way that captivates emotions and the mind alike.


Four Year Strong Plays in D Standard. Not Drop D.
Quote by Ed Hunter

I just slapped the computer screen with my dick because of this thread.
#6
I'm gonna give you a real crit.


Quote by Ganoosh
You know, it’s a funny thing, returning home after so long. You don’t really realize what you’re doing, where you’re going until you are practically there. I think I'd prefer a contraction of "you're" rather than you are. After all, this piece is obviously very colloquial, what with the "You know, it's a funny thing..." so you don't need to worry about formality.Until you see street signs you used to never have to look at You could just say "Until you see street signs you never had to look at". It sounds better. and you can shut off the GPS because you know the way from here. "There". You can't say "here" when the only place we know you are is close to home. With each light pole that passes through the scrutinous gaze of the car window I hate this imagery. If you want to talk fancy-like ( ) then say something like "With each light pole that passes through my scrutinous gaze distorted by the haziness of the windshield", memories, good and bad, rush over you like waves of bittersweet spring water. LOL, bittersweet spring water? That's the best you could come up with? Dude, come on. You're better than that. They take over your senses and slap you in the face and you begin to both remember and wonder why you came back. Eh.

As I drove past the seven-eleven that used to sell weed in the back and the movie theaters where I had my first kiss so long ago, the memories were raining down. Hard. Some of them stung and some of them tasted sweet, like drops of honey offered in honest apology by the same bee that had just stung me. I think it would be cool if you also added in salty memories. After all, this is obviously a sad piece, and there definitely are bad memories.... I passed the family restaurant that we used to eat at after church every Sunday, and into the old part of town that grew more haggard and worn out every time I visited it. I drove past the dilapidated old houses, past the public pool we used to sneak into through a hole in the fence. I heard a dog barking in some backyard off on Connecticut Avenue, and wondered if it was the same dog that had once chased me home from the bus stop, only to be discouraged by a stick almost as big as I was. Past that pitiful ghetto, past all those bittersweet memories into the nicer neighborhood on the outskirts of town. In this part of town, elegant, beautifully up kept homes built in the 1800s loom high overhead. The aromatic whisper of the wise old bay that keeps watch over this majestic neighborhood tickled my ears and my nose, combining with the smell of both the deep black night and perpetually fresh cut grass to create a sensory wonder that was as enticing as it was nostalgic. I liked this imagery better. Some awkward wording, but nothing major.

I pulled into the long, old brick driveway that jostled both my car and I You don't need the "both". And I don't like "jostled" here. I think "jarred" would work better. as we piddled along its rough path. The Great Man(Known as grandpa to me) who built this house and also this driveway had always refused to repave it, claiming that “The damn thing is fine the way it is.” And that was the way it stayed. I finally made it to the house; the sight of which compensated for the bumpy ride up to it. It was still that beautiful peach color that had managed to cling to the walls of the house for so many years, and the candy-colored birds feeding in the bird feeder just by the front door complimented "Complemented" is the word.... it well. Adding to the visual sweetness I don't like "visual sweetness". Maybe "visual aroma" or "visual feast". of it all was the purest white roof I have ever seen-white as the day it was built. There were too many memories to go with this house. Just too damn many. I remembered Him showing all the grandchildren how to tie up a boat in the canal out back, and bravely jumping off onto the dock and spraining his ankle. I remembered how the halls of this house were constantly echoing with the sounds of his witty jokes made at even the most serious and pressing of matters. I stepped out of my car and onto the squishy grass underfoot, and wondered if all those blades remembered the feeling of me tenderly stomping on their heads as only my cousins and I could do during all-important football games in the front yard. I wondered if the crickets overhead remembered my name, and if the sweet, lapping water of the canal out back remembered what I tasted like as I performed an infinite number of cannon balls into its murky frame. "Murky frame" is terrible. I collected myself, trying to prepare for what I was to inevitably meet as I entered this "The". house, and walked through the front door-it was never locked. The preparation of a college professor, the steely resolve of a navy SEAL couldn’t have braced me for the blinding contrast of the innards of this house as compared to my memories. All of the lights were dimmed to a melancholy glow, and the house was filled with relatives I had only seen in pictures that hung on the once-sprightly walls. Walls are never sprightly.... Faces I had heard of but never seen surrounded me, told me that they remembered when I was this small and reminded me repeatedly how much I had grown up in all these years. Around the same table where there was once lively banter on such trivial topics as local politics and sports, I found hushed condolences and whispers of funeral plans. A group of men stood around the TV trying to figure out how to turn it on and one said “He was the only one who could work this damn complicated thing.” And everybody laughed that special nostalgic laugh that hurts to the very core of your soul as you wish you could enjoy whatever it was you are laughing at. The kind that serves as covers for rivers of tears to hide under. It masks the pain so hopefully your strength will rub off and repaint the tribal markings on everybody else’s masks, preserving the tears for a more private time. Each mans laugh was punctuated by a long sigh and a deep, disconcerting silence. Punctuated is good, but maybe if you could use a word like "completed" to signify how right after the laugh, they felt uncomfortable.

A few of my cousins sat on the back porch, listening to the quiet laments of the sea and sipping coffee, absorbed in their own thoughts and only making mild attempts at conversation. I went and joined them as we all exchanged knowing glances, revealing that each one knew what the other was feeling. We avoided the topic of the day and silently braced ourselves for the days to come; everyone hates funerals.

You know, it’s a terrible, sinking feeling, returning home after so long. You really start to wish you were there for a better reason.


This was fine. I liked the idea behind this, but the execution was somewhat lacking. But it got better the further it progressed. I held nothing back, since I knew you wanted a real crit. All my cards are on the table here. Just consider them.

And
Was it as bad as you expected?
#7
Wow, I loved the way this flowed. Usually with longer pieces, as they progress, they become less fluid. I could relate to this piece. Especially about that nostalgic laugh. I really have nothing I would change, although I don't love it. I thought it was well written just....I don't know. I can't put my finger on what exactly I don't like. If I can figure it out i'll edit it in. Thanks for the crit too, very helpful!
#8
Quote by mamosa


Was it as bad as you expected?



Thanks for this crit. You have some great suggestions when you're not all-capping at me to clean up the horse shit (I was going to look for a link to the particular post, but I can't find it.)

I might make a few changes based on some things you said, although I generally like to leave things I've already written alone and move on to the next piece.

Muchos gracias.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
Last edited by Ganoosh at Sep 13, 2009,
#9
I've been to a lot of funerals in my short 19 years. And the song felt very true to me. Good job man.