In all seriousness, taking this online writing class has been somewhat of a trip. For starters, the class is literally called “Fiction for Absolute Beginners“. Which is perfect for me, because when it comes to fiction, I am an absolute beginner. However, I’m at least 20 years younger than everyone else in my “class” – according to the introductions we were required to write – AND I would like to call BULLSHIT on the “absolute beginners” requirement of this class, because everyone else is writing things about “waves crashing over the rocks and washing my hopes and dreams out to sea” and “the light perfectly reflected the feelings she kept bottled up inside of her” and all this other ish. They talk about symmetry and symbolism and brevity and all of these other fancy writing terms, and I’m over here like – Um, my character just discovered that she’s quite similar to an avocado. I mean, that was a life-altering revelation for her. And then I wrote about a girl who woke up one morning and stepped in cat vomit. You know, just keeping it real over here, yo.
So then there was tonight’s assignment. We were supposed to find a picture of someone we don’t know – by celebrity status or otherwise. We were supposed to study the character and then spend 10 minutes or so just writing what that character might be thinking or feeling. After we did that, we could go back and edit – and the end goal was to have some kind of narrative or thought process that shared a sad or tragic story.
So naturally I read some of the stories my fellow “absolute beginner” classmates were writing and totally psyched myself out. I couldn’t think of anything. So then second-date guy (yes, that’s what we are calling him for the time being), who is also a sometimes-writer, suggested that I pick someone who I could diagnosis. You know, since I do that at work. He then suggested I write what a person with that diagnosis might be thinking or feeling.
I thought that was an excellent idea. So I googled “Picture of a depressed man” and decided on this one: