Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I'll Be Here...Tuesday Quick Write

I am excited to participate in Teachers Write virtual writing camp hosted by author Kate Messner. If you haven't heard about it, check it out! Join in! 

Today's assignment: Flesh out a character. 

The character I chose is a person who works at a store I frequent. I often wonder about this person...

Name (made up of course!): Janice Flounder
Hometown: Flowery Branch, GA
Physical characteristics: Average everything...maybe a little on the heavy side, but nothing a little diet and exercise couldn't take care of. Unremarkable brown curly hair that is worn shoulder length and with lots of product to keep the curls under control. Freckles, she hates them, but no make-up - ever! Also no boobs, those are kept safely tucked away under double sports bras. When she moved from middle school to high school she insisted people call her J instead of girly 'Janice'. It's not so much that she's a lesbian or wants to be a boy. She just wants to be...neutral.
External song: World Falls by the Indigo Girls
Internal song: Patience by Guns N' Roses

My earliest memories are of riding along in my older cousin's Trans Am. He listened to GNR nonstop one summer. Most of it was okay, but the song I liked best was Patience. Something about the line "take it slow, it'll work itself out right"....spoke to me. 

I knew if I could just make it through middle school and then finish high school I could get on with my life. It wasn't that I didn't like school. It was okay. Mostly what I didn't like was having to fit into people's expectations of what I should be like.

Throughout elementary school I was just a kid. People said I was a tomboy. I guess I liked boyish things. I certainly didn't want anything to do with my older sister's dolls. I liked playing outside and had a tendency to disappear for hours at a time. I had secret spots where I could sit and think, or rather, not think. I could just hang out without anyone thinking I was being boyish or girlish. 

I realized late in elementary school that my name didn't quite fit. I didn't feel like a "Janice". Really, only teachers and my parents ever called me by my given name anyways. My friends have called me "J" since I can remember. I think my parents were a little surprised when a friend called the house and asked if he could speak to "J", but they didn't flinch. They've kind of been the textbook supportive parents through my whole "finding myself" period. 

My middle and high school years were fairly uneventful for someone like me. It wasn't like the the Lifetime movies with a family in crisis or anything. I just was who I was. Despite growing up in a small town, people seemed to ignore me and my 'issues'. Maybe if I'd grown up in one of those Christian families that went to church every Sunday or if my mom had been into girly-girl things like fluffy dresses and shiny shoes it would have been different. 

I've never kissed a guy or a girl for that matter. Now that I'm an adult I think that's probably a little weird. The opportunity has just never presented itself and honestly I've never been motivated to make it happen. I've read about celibate monks...maybe that's what I am, except I'm not into the Jesus-y thing. I've thought about looking up Buddhism, but it doesn't occur to me in the evenings when I have a little time to do such things. 

My days are pretty much the same. I have my own place and a job that pays the bills. Although I work among the public all day I'm able to remain pretty much invisible. Working with canned goods and boxes of cereal gives me plenty of time to think and be with myself. I know the store like the back of my hand. I may not go out of my way to speak to the customers, but if asked, I will show the way to whatever they've asked for. 

I don't 'see' my future like other people seem to. It's not that I don't have ambitions. I just sort of live life day by day. I get the feeling sometimes that I'm being prepared for something big. I don't know how stocking grocery shelves is preparing me for whatever it is, but something nags at the back of my brain. Something is coming. I know it like people know that they're going to be teachers or doctors or social workers. 

I'll be here when it's time. 

PS - I have a real life friend named Janice that is absolutely unrelated to this character! Thanks for letting me borrow your name! :)

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