Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hills Like White Elephants

It was my first semester as a college student. At 9:40 AM every Tuesday and Thursday, I rode the T to Ayres Hall on top of The Hill from my dorm room for my English class. It was in this class, given by a pretentious gay prick, that I realized I HAD TO WRITE.

I had written many things before: stories, journal entries, anecdotes, long letters to my friends and family. I just never realized how much I enjoyed it. This class taught me the love of literature and of conveying my ideas to someone else. I fell in love with Kate Chopin in this class. Edith Wharton, Jane Austen, Virginia Wolfe. And eventually, Ernest Hemingway.

We were assigned to read Hills Like White Elephants.

God, that story completely turned everything around for me. I loved it. Hemingway had such a way of writing. You saw glimpses of a life, a person, that gave you their entire persona. When I finished this short story, I shivered. It was almost an out of body experience for me.

I was there at that train station, it was hot, and I was drinking my licorice drink. I was convincing Jig she had to have that abortion. I was Jig resigning to someone else's will so they would still love me.

I wanted to write like that. I wanted people to read my words and completely fall into my stories, wanting more as they read the last word to themselves.

One day. One day. I write. I write constantly. One day, I will see my work in print.

18 comments:

Sunday's Pearl said...

'Miss Brill' did it to me my senior year of high school and I've never looked back.

If I had read your blog prior to this post:
http://sundayspearl.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-many-times-can-i-say-love.html
i would have added you to my list.

So take my award now, though its humble next to your work.

Lenina Crowne said...

You have made my day. I don't deserve praise. I'm only happy when someone else reads what I write and enjoys it. Or even hates it! As long as they tell me why.

I love your blog. I love your style. It truly is incredible. I joined the Knox Writing Club today, and I am very excited to enter the group. I love challenges.

Nice to meet you. :)

Steve said...

Lenina,

My great-grandfather built Ernest Hemingway's boats. My parents have a few photos of the two together, I guess they were pretty good friends.

Nevertheless, I had an excellent English class my first semester as a college student as well. Quite frankly, I haven't had a class like it since. My teacher broadened my understanding of discourse; how we interact with one another and how it is changing. Needless to say it inspired me to write on a regular basis, actively read the writings of others, and keep the lines of constant communication open. (Blogs have really been the perfect outlet for me.)

-Steve

p.s. Your posts are awesome! Keep it up.

Lenina Crowne said...

He built his boats? Are you kidding me?! Wow... I am intrigued by this.

I think English classes are a thing unto themselves. And no one should take them for granted. All three of us so far seemed to have gotten something out of them. Now... to thrust our beliefs upon the unwilling minds of others...

Steve said...

Yes, just google Wheeler Yachts and it should be the first page to come up.

As far as English classes are concerned as long as you inflict undue influence on other people with the intent to control them with your new knowledge, you should be pretty successful in life. ;)

Lenina Crowne said...

Control them with my knowledge...

Well, Steve, I may be a layman, but I'm pretty sure that's fascism. Which I'm perfectly ok with.

I like where your head's at.

:)

Steve said...

While I am totally against the racist tendencies most fascists exhibit, I've found that having a sarcastic sense of humor often "encourages" me to make use of some of their ideologies.

By the way, it's important for someone's head to being in places other than, well, you know. Albeit that is anatomically impossible.

Sunday's Pearl said...

You two are KILLING me!!! Loves it.

Steve said...

I must say I have been enjoying myself. I just wish I had more conversations like this!

Lenina Crowne said...

Just keep coming back! We'll keep you entertained!

Steve said...

You do your part and I'll do mine. Whatever that means.

Lenina Crowne said...

Should I be afraid now? Lol.

Steve said...

I might be a bit of a rebel or a black sheep, but truthfully there isn't a malicious bone in my body. As for a sarcastic one? Well, there might be a few of those... ;)

Lenina Crowne said...

Oh is that what it is? Sarcasm? Ah... ;)

Steve said...

When taken literally, I suppose my earlier statement could be a paradox. But sarcasm aside, I'm not a malicious person. Happy Monday :)

Lenina Crowne said...

Happy Monday? Lol. Now I KNOW you're sarcastic. But thanks. And happy Monday back to you dear. :)

Steve said...

I couldn't resist. ;)

amanda said...

i really liked that story too when it was assigned to me to read in college as well. it was one of my favorites.