3WW Service, Opportunity Quarrel

Senior projects suck. In our school, in order to graduate, senior have to serve a SENTENCE of twenty hours community service. As if THAT weren’t enough, we have to write a paper on what we did and how we found it a learning opportunity. Right. Sure. Like throwing this slop on plates is going to be a life changing experience.

I picked the soup kitchen because Emily was doing it. She’s my best friend, and she has a crush on Rob. His mom runs this disgusting place, and Em figured she’d get a better shot with Rob if she got on the “ins” with the mom. So I picked it too.Which was okay, I guess, I mean, it’s not like I was really DYING to pick something else. At least this is better than the senior center, smelly old people watching TV real loud, enough to burst your eardrums, always wanting to pat your head or stroke your hair.

I’m still mad at Emily. She didn’t even show up today. So not only did I have to hang around with all these homeless people, I didn’t even have anyone to talk to.

After the line closed, Rob’s mom and I sat to have a bite to eat. I pushed the slop around on my plate. It’s not really slop I guess, it’s your typical cafeteria meal, instant potatoes, brown meat, salty gravy that shakes like jello. Rob’s mom asked if Emily and I quarreled, if that was why I didn’t go help at the church with her today. I told her no, I didn’t even know about the church thing.

There was a flood in the church basement, and she and Rob were there to help with the clean up. Emily was always falling in to luck like that. Not only did she not have to deal with the slop fest here, she got Rob all to herself.

Across from me I saw a kid, a girl, about five years old. She was gobbling down her food like an animal, a skiddish look darting her eyes back and forth. She reminded me of a stray kitten I had, it had been wild and hungry for so long that it would go freaking nuts at the sight of food. It’d eat real fast, eat everything in sight. Then it would rummage through the garbage for more. Mom made us get rid of that kitten, said it had been wild too long, said it was ill-mannered.

This little girl was like that. Ill-mannered. Like she hadn’t eaten in a long long time. Like she doesn’t think she’ll ever get to eat again. I wondered if kids can ever be wild too long. I wondered why she was there, and what was going to happen to her.

Rob’s mom asked if I had started my paper yet. Um. No. It’s not due for like another month. She said she thought that if I interviewed the little girl and her mom that it may give me some good quotes and things for it. Couldn’t hurt, it’d be nice to get that sucker done sooner than later. I shrugged, grabbed my backpack and headed toward the girl.

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9 Comments

  1. ThomG said,

    April 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    This was really good, but I think could have been helped more by a bit tighter editing. I like the idea of the kid being forced to do something, but I would have liked to see more conflict resolution, more with the child, maybe him making a connection that gets him to realize that he’s doing it for a higher purpose than a paper.

    But, a great start.

    • blisshappens said,

      April 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm

      thanks for the comments. yes, I jetted this one off pretty rough, I felt pretty stuck in the end. even asked my son what he thought he would do. a fifteen year old shrugging on the way out the door wasn’t all that inspiring I’m afraid! Again, thanks for the input

  2. Tumblewords said,

    April 29, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    It’s a good story –
    I, too, use the prompts to write quickly and then sometime later, maybe much later, return to take a run at editing…

  3. April 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I thought it was quite a good story, the narration in the first two paragraphs really set the pace. Also, I like the way you came full circle, and had the narrator taking up that learning opportunity in the last line.

  4. Kristy said,

    April 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I thought this was pretty good – I liked the part about if a kid could ever be wild too long.. I didn’t think the word ‘quarreled’ worked well, a contemporary story with an old-fashioned word like that grated a little…but a pretty smooth read..

  5. April 30, 2009 at 8:15 am

    I’d like to know the background story to the little girl. I was really taken with the concept of a child being ‘wild too long’ and I think there is another story hiding in that thought ;0) Interesting reading.

  6. Angel said,

    April 30, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I agree that you could add some to the ending. A little more punch in the gut type thing to make her see the light. It’s a good story though.

  7. susan said,

    April 30, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I think the kid was a little too snarky. I have two daughters and even they have their moments when the world is bigger than their own desires and interests. It seems a bit unfair to paint this kid so unsympathetic. Or are most kids like this? I don’t think he needs complete transformation, but I’d like to see more than this kid complain.

  8. floreta said,

    May 6, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    you really get inside a teenagers head. i had a hard time figuring out if this was real or fiction 🙂


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