Feb 3, 2011

The Second Person Experiment (AKA this bizarre little side project that i haven't been able to avoid.)

I posted this before I was introduced to Christine H.'s I've Come a Long Way, Baby Blogfest, but consider the below entry a first draft. I suppose I'll have to follow up with a final draft later. Also, it's not too late to enter the blogfest, if you're willing to show some before and after of your writing. And there's a contest attached to the blogfest!

“Excuses are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink.” –Grandpa
You avoided getting a summer job for three reasons 1. you’re lazy 2. you had prior obligations and 3. you try your hardest not to listen to your parents. Sitting on the toilet, you ponder these truths.
1. Yes, you are lazy, but you’re lazy with class. You still bathe and you still workout, be it once every week. You still wear Axe body spray and hold doors for the ladies, old or hot. You work hard on your material, and it pays off - everyone laughs at your jokes. You are the class clown. Well, you’re a clown at least.
2. Video games. Parties. Video games. Sleep. Video games. Yes, you were very busy this summer. There was no time to ‘freshen up and head to the mall and ask for applications’ like your mom asked you to do on what seemed like an hourly basis. You were simply too busy. So busy, in fact, you didn’t even have time to fill out the day planner your dad bought you. That was supposed to be the proof that you were trying. Well, you weren’t.
3. It’s not that they are always wrong, but they are 99% of the time. “Allen, do this, do that, and everything else will fall into place.” Well, you listened to them for the first twelve years of your life and look where that got you.
There’s only one person who had lead you in the right direction and that was Grandpa. You miss him and wish he were still here to tell you what to do. And then you realize he would’ve told you to get a job. He would’ve sided with your parents. Their 1%.
Dammit, someone forgot to change the roll. Oh yeah, it was you.

On Monday, your school counselor concludes three things during your after-school meeting 1.you’re messed up 2. you’re on the wrong track and 3. you’re too comfortable with failure. All of these things you have known since you were twelve.
“And?” you ask. It’s not necessarily a rhetorical question. You genuinely want to know what Mr. School-Counselor thinks you should do to turn your life around.
“Mr. Jacobs,” he says to you,” you’re doing so well in U.S. History and Spanish, test-wise, but you’re not completing the assignments.” He looks at you, waiting for a reply.
You grunt (and?).
“Well, if you do not turn in the homework, you will not pass.”
Grunt (well, duh).
“Mr. Jacobs, what can I do to motivate you?”
Grunt (you don’t know).
“We need to work together on this. Yes, this is my job, but I really do want to see you succeed. It’s what I want for all of our students. It goes beyond being able to go to college and get a job, Mr. Jacobs. It’s about the pursuit of happiness.”
Grunt (don’t quit your day job).
As you leave the counselor’s office, a poster catches your attention.
It’s a cat hanging from a branch. HANG IN THERE, it says.
Let go, little kitty. Let go.


  1. Love it! Jon, you are an excellent writer. You are!

  2. I like it, Jon! The line about the toilet paper roll made me laugh out loud -- almost spewed my coffee. And based on what I'd read so far, so totally believable. Fun to see that much character packed in to that little space.

    I agree with everyone else who's told you to keep going with this -- even if it's just for fun, even if it's just an experiment ... a learning process. (Like me and that darn steampunk-wannabe-but-isn't-yet WIP.

  3. I love this. The voice is so excellent. I would love to read more. For sure.

  4. Fun stuff! Aren't words great?!

  5. The voice in this is HI-larious. You connect with your inner teenage boy really well. I'm expecting chapter two by tomorrow, so get typing lol...

  6. Yes. Definitely love that last line. And the hold doors for the ladies line. =)Keep writing. Keep posting.

  7. Fantastic all the way through.

    More, more, more, more!

  8. I agree... the last line is great! I love the fact that you took on the challenge of second person. Thanks so much for joining the blogfest!

  9. "As you leave the counselor’s office, a poster catches your attention.
    It’s a cat hanging from a branch. HANG IN THERE, it says.
    Let go, little kitty. Let go."

    Wow! From here, your MC's head was a place I'd be happy to be in.
    If you'll pardon the certainty - this is the start - forget all the before - feed that in as backstory later . You have found a great voice for your MC . Good luck with your writing.

  10. Lol, love the voice in this. Also, the mirroring of: 1, 2, 3...nice!!!

  11. OMG: this is brilliant! I'm not sure you can sustain it an entire novel in this 2nd POV, but so far it rocks.

    " And then you realize he would’ve told you to get a job. He would’ve sided with your parents." Don't you just HATE it when people you love and respect are in agreement with those you don't?

    The humor in this is just perfect.


  12. Duuuuuude, you have a natural ability. Why haven't I read your stuff yet? Seriously, guy, brilliant. The second person worked really well in this--and it only works with the write story and well crafted writing. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

  13. This is so awesome. I love it! I love the voice. Your humor is just perfect. I would read this entire novel.

    Also, my favorite line: Sitting on the toilet, you ponder these truths.

    And the part about the toilet paper being missing. Ha ha ha!