Freewrite 2

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Freewrite 2

Post  Sarah Seko on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:09 pm

His name was Jerry, but I didn’t know that. Honestly, at that moment, I didn’t really care. It was cold, and the handles of the plastic bag were digging into my fingers. As we made our way down the silent alley, I held my breath in a vain attempt to ignore the stench, which was revolting at best. It was as if someone had thrown a mixture of garbage, wet towels, and spoiled milk into a blender and sprayed it all over the surrounding area. More than anything, I wanted to get away from that street.

I fixed my eyes on the concrete sidewalk, unwilling to make eye contact with the man on the ground. Dark circles of what had once been gum littered the cement. Even the streets of this place were rejected by society. I looked into the plastic bag. It was full of all of the things I took for granted: a pair of socks, toothpaste, soap, top ramen, a towel, a Bible, and other food and hygiene items. I set the bag beside the man’s sleeping bag, finally shifting my gaze to the man. An oversized hoodie with a dark stain covered his thin frame. His scraggly brown beard was filled with crumbs. As the man looked through the bag, a smile spread across his face, revealing his jaundiced yellow teeth. When he smiled, I realized something: that cold, smelly, lonely freeway underpass was Jerry’s home. The reality of that terrified me.

Jerry was the first homeless man I met. He was not the last. Once a month, a small group meets in my church parking lot to deliver food and care packages to the homeless community of San Pedro. We drive past graffiti-filled freeway underpasses to learn their names and their stories. Over the next two years, I saw many people like Jerry. Most were thankful. Some refused out help. Whether out of pride, anger, or insanity, I don’t know….

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Re: Freewrite 2

Post  jxl33 on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:11 pm

Great job on describing aroma, personally something that I am not good at. I can picture the scene very vividly because of the description which is presented in paragraph two. -Sarah Seko

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Re: Freewrite 2

Post  Admin on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:12 pm

Excellent way to hook the reader in your first sentence. I really was compelled to keep reading to figure out why you were with "Jerry" if you didn't care enough to know his name.

The raw impressions here are wonderful. You describe the scene compellingly with an array of senses, and your disgust with the scene really shows. The pity and sympathy and primal understanding of his condition really comes out, especially due to the intermingling of concise statements with the descriptions.

The last paragraph leaves a lot of potential for expansion into other stories, but it seems incomplete as is. Perhaps it's the ellipses telling my mind there should be a follow up, but the last sentence, while personal and having the potential to create a question or an understanding in the reader's mind, doesn't seem complete as is.

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Re: Freewrite 2

Post  MrX on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:14 pm

Great use of imagery and the five senses. I developed a clear image of the scenario in my mind. At first I was truly fearful that this was going to be "the first time I was robbed" or something bad but then you revealed that you were caring for a homeless man. It's awesome that you provided for homeless people. Great job setting the scene!!! Bravo!


Last edited by MrX on Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Patrick Varin on Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:14 pm

Great opening line! I love the progression that occurs in this piece, from antipathy towards the homeless man to a sympathy for Jerry, as well as your emotional change as you pass through this progression. I wouldn't have imagined terror as an emotion that would cross my mind upon realizing the state of this homeless person, but it makes sense here. The piece definitely (sounds like it) describes some transition or epiphany for you.

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