Strides and Distractions
"Evil is whatever distracts."
- Franz Kafka

My name is John. This is my first entry into this notebook. I'll put in my will that this should be burned when I die, but I hope that someone reads it and decides that to burn it would be a tragedy for the world, kind of like what happened with Emily Dickinson.

My name is John. I live in Old Westbury in Long Island My house is big. I get lost in it. When I was little I heard noises in the basement. I thought it was monsters that could eat me so I came down with my ninja costume to try and scare him away but it was my housekeeper Her name is Franca. She took care of me when I was little.

three five - pronoun quiz
"tee, aych, ee, em."
"em, ee."
"eye, tee."

Tomorrow, all of the performers are going to our elementary school to perform for the younger children. I'm really only going because she is, and I guess I figure that maybe she'll take more of a notice of me if I do something again. I'll also finally be able to see some of my elementary school teachers again.

six eleven - dance performances
The big kids came to school today to dance for us. After, we all wrote them letters about how much we liked it. The band played America the Beautiful and it was my first time ever hearing it so I didn't know I was supposed to stand up.

As a surprise, we got letters from one of the classes at the elementary school where we performed. I remember one:
I really liked the Indian dance. The opera singing was really good. The band sounded so beautiful. Sorry we didn't stand from America the beautiful. We should've.
- John"

And it looked like he had a little Asian-esque chop after his name, but it turned out to just be a bad eraser mark. The letters actually were pretty satisfying. Especially since I was so nervous even though it was for kids. Alot more nervous than when we danced for kids our age.

It's too bad John forgot to tell us his last name.

nine six - curious
The other day, I asked my dad why everyone didn't just learn one language. The other day, I asked my dad why the sky is blue here and black on the other side of the world at the same time. The other day, I asked my dad why boogieman has man in it if it's a monster. The other day, I asked my dad why my Chinese friends had two New Years and we only had one. I want another one.

nine eleven - voice of youth
I went to work with my dad today. He said he would take me on my first ever elevator ride.
When we got there, we took the elevator up. It felt like my head was being used as a globe for that game me and my friends play. You know, the one where we spin the globe and hold down our finger, and where it stops is where we'll live when we grow up. I didn't like it.

He said that going down makes your stomach jump up. He said it would feel good. I wanted to do it then, but he said he had to grab some coffee first and then we would ride it up and down all we wanted. I said that I didn't want to ride it up, just down.

After coffee, we finally got back to the elevator. When we started to go down, some bells started ringing and everyone started getting excited like how they do on New Years. After the celebration was over, we finally started moving again, but for some reason, my dad was holding on to me. I told him to get off so I could feel my stomach jumping up. People were saying those words that we're not supposed to say alot for some reason, so I figured that my dad was lying. It must not feel good. We started to go down, and I got scared because it felt like that time I fell from the monkey bars.

"All those families, man, what about the families, and the firefighters too."
"Yeah, I heard they found one of them stuck under the rubble. He suffered for hours before he finally died."
"Then there was a kid and his father stuck in an elevator with a few other business people. Apparently, they were going down when the planes hit, and they had a free fall."
"How could they do this?"
"I wouldn't give a shit if we hung every last ****ing one of those bastards."
"I wish they were still alive, so we could show them just what they did and return it in full."

I was at a coffee-shop at nine in the morning; I was waiting in line, thinking about what I wanted.

I got home and I saw that the dog had shit on my carpet. I used the cane and I said I would get training if it happened again.

Something whispered,
"Yes, Massa."
Last edited by punchupatatigge at Feb 21, 2007,
The entire child narrative is awful, pretty much.

I'd keep maybe the one about work, and that's it. The rest are pointless to the story, and I hate the voice you use in them.

I remember an old version of this, and I didn't like it then either. I don't think you're conveying your point well enough. I don't know...

It's just such standard, boring writing.
Thanks for the crit, don't worry about it being harsh, I really enjoy your comments.

This really reminds me of the 9-11 piece you did a few months ago. (After reading this all the way through this, I see it's really obvious this is like your 9-11 piece, especially since you included the part that takes place at the coffee-shop.)

After reading both introductions and the 4th (six ten) and 5th (six eleven) stanza, I was thinking that it might be about the same person only in one stanza he's younger, and in the other he's older, but they were talking about the same event, and I don't think it matters either way cause I can't figure out what difference it would make. I just keep thinking there's probably a reason behind both their names being John.

The third time I looked through this I noticed you used lower case letters for when it was from the little kids point of view, I thought it interesting how you switch between the charcters. I liked this, at least enough for me to read it several times, and it was able to conjure up a little emotion, but (to me at least) it didn't seem to add much except a new perspective on it.

The more I think about this the better it becomes, I really liked how in the coffee-shop he over heard them talking about the kid, though he was unaware it was the one who wrote the thank you letter he remembered recieving, and he's just thinking about what he wants to order, it just strikes me as kinda sad. I didn't explain that well but I hope you know what I'm getting at. I think it really adds to the emotion of the piece.

If I can think of anything else to say about it I'll edit this.
Last edited by stratkat at Feb 22, 2007,
thanks strat. some good insight in your crit, and thanks for editing it and adding more. and yes, the last part of this story is directly taken from my 9-12-01 piece a while back.
I liked it a lot, but I'm confused about something towards the end. Are you willing to explain part of it for me in like a PM?

I didn't see anything that really needed changing, but I didn't really like this:

"It's too bad John forgot to tell us his last name."

I think you could've said it better.

Good work.
I like what you've done with this, in terms of editing, but I still feel like this piece is lacking that punch that it needs to make it stand out.

I don't know... I don't think that this piece can do it for me. Although, I have to say, if I read this version first it might have hit me harder...

I'm looking forward to more writing though, I see a load of potential in here and the rest of your work.
I understand Retribution. This piece isn't finished yet, to all of those who are reading it.

Thanks all of you for going through it.

Silence, I PMed you.
I'm scrapping this piece. have to get it out of my head so i can write something else.

no more critique or comments.