Bits & Pieces is a series in which I post bits and pieces of my writing — things that I’ve written and liked enough to share with the world, but aren’t yet part of a longer, publishable whole.
Today’s Bits & Pieces comes from a writing exercise that I did in my MFA workshop group. The assignment was to describe the room.
There’s a chair in the corner that looks as if it’s trying to escape.
It’s springing from the top of a stack of chairs near the window, its hind legs straddling the back of the chair below it, its arms reaching toward the fluorescent-lighted ceiling, its back aimed toward the window with Venetian blinds. It’s a suicidal high jump, as if it could reach the cemetery across the street with a perfectly executed Fosbury Flop.
The chair’s got the right idea: across the room, on the other side of the disjointed muddle of gray-topped tables that bump into each other with the lucidity of senile biddies at the senior center, are the remains of a lecture on George Eliot. If I’d been trapped in this room with a lecture on George Eliot, I would have sat in that chair — the one with a death wish — and enjoyed the view of the world from a 45-degree angle.
But I’m not attending an Eliot lecture and I’m not sitting in that chair, so all I have to focus on is the fact that the television hanging in the opposite corner might be staring at me.