Before we start, some questions you might have.
1. What do you mean, 2000 words, 365 days? I mean, that I'm writing 2000 words (approximately four pages) every day for the next year, which adds up to 730 000 words (1460 pages).
2. Isn't that NaNoWriMo speed? Yes.
3. Are you insane? Absolutely.
4. What does the title mean? Nothing. It's a description of this stupid project.
5. What's the plot? I have no idea. It'll develop as I go along.
Now we start. Enjoy:
I hate spiders. I really do. They're creepy crawly little monsters whose sole purpose in life is to scare me to death, I'm sure. When I was twelve, I learned the name for my little condition: arachnophobia. I hate the name almost as much as I hate the spiders. But not nearly enough. So, I've come to introduce myself along with my condition:
"Hi, my name is Lucy, and I'm arachnophobic."
People always think it's a weird way to introduce myself, but I think it proves several things about me. First off, I'm friendly. I say "hi". How many people say "hi" nowadays? I hear a lot of grunts, not hellos. Second thing, I'm very open. Very open. Like an open book open. Seriously, if you asked me what's my deep dark family secret, I would tell you that my cousins are incestuous. I can't help myself. Most people know that about my family than are actually in my family. I'm sure the whole school knows by now.
Third off, I'm not ashamed of what I am. Yes, I'm arachnophobic. I'm deathly afraid of spiders. Where's the shame in that? Am I supposed to be ashamed of my fear? No, I'm not. It's just a fear. It's not who I am deep down inside. And it's not like what's deep down inside is something to be ashamed of, either. Really.
Though, my confidence in my stance would be a lot better if I knew what was deep down inside of me.
"Okay, flop over!"
"Now, go: bouncy, bouncy, bouncy!"
The class echoed the words. "Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy!"
"Alright, now, take a deep breath iiin..."
There was a large woosh as the class collectively inhaled.
Another large woosh. From my half bent position, with my head between my knees, I felt light headed.
"Okay, now, roll up, stacking those vertebrae, one... two... three..."
I was one of the first to stand up straight, so I shook out my arms as I waited for the rest of the class to catch up. We were doing warm ups, what we did every day for drama class. It wasn't like the warm ups that I had in middle school, where we took turns projecting to each other across the room or reciting Shakespeare. Warm ups in sophomore drama classes were dramatically different. We would stand up, reaching for the sky, before flopping over like dolls, doing stretches, and walking around the room acting as if we were suspended in water. Sometimes, Mrs. Perkins took too long doing warm ups and we only had fifteen minutes to do monologues before the bell rang and I had to go to math.
"Okay, everyone squat down and bend your knees, go as far down as you can, go, go, go, and hold it."
I believed it was drama that covered up the inner me. The point of acting is to lie, and to lie really good. Good enough, in fact, for people to believe that you're telling the truth. You keep lying so much, and the truth eventually gets buried deep within you, until it's unrecognizable and shadowed with many layers of mystery, webs of silence and dishonesty.
"Turn your shoulder to the right..."
Yes, I was like an open book, but no one could read what was on the spine of the book as it's covered by the dust jacket. Or what's on the inside of the dust jacket, if the book happens to have something there. There was more of me than I even knew of, but I knew it was there. It's like having apple pie, but it tasting so much better than other apple pies that you've ever had. You know there was something added or changed verses other apple pies, but you don't know what, and all the chef does is grin at you cryptically and he doesn't answer your inquiries. That's what it felt like to me, like I was both the apple pie and the person eating it, but the chef of my mind never told what's hidden deep inside me.
"And now to the left..."
It's horrible for that to happen. You never know if something you do is something that you would do, or something that the person you've become would do. It's horribly deceptive. I wanted to know who I was, but it was like I was outright denying myself that, like how someone would deny themselves chocolate during Lent.
"Now, stand up, and take a deep breath. We're going to do sirens now, so inhale into your stomach, and... WWWWHOOOOoooohhhh..."
That's why it was weird when I saw him. He was new. He had brown hair, and was kind of taller than me, but not by much. He was introduced as Clay. Clay is a horrible name. I didn't understand why anyone would name their kid Clay. But I looked at him as we walked into class, and he looked at me back. And it felt as though that chef had nodded and said, "Okay, I'll tell you what I put into the pie, what I did differently," and I was waiting for an answer. Clay didn't look at me long. He made eye contact with at least half of the rest of the class. I kept staring at him, anyways. Mrs. Fuller introduced him as Clay before we started warm ups, and Clay introduced himself. This was the first drama class that he's ever taken, and he's only taking it because he doesn't want to get study hall. He's sort of an artsy person, and is taking art and creative writing alongside drama. He's also taking journalism, since he wants to be a journalist when he grows up. He didn't look very artsy. He didn't wear anything weird, like overalls and a pirate blouse, just jeans and a tee shirt. And he didn't have paint over his clothes, either. I felt like doubting his artsy side, since he looked so... plain. There wasn't anything fascinating about him, really.
Except he made the chef inside of me go, "Okay, I'll tell you what I put into the pie, what I did differently." It was extremely confusing.
Almost as confused as he looked as we were doing warm ups. I suspected that he expected monologues, or acting, or whatnot, not making sirens and repeating tongue twisters about silly things, "The skunk sat on the stump, the skunk thought the stump stunk..." But that's drama for you, what happens is never what is expected.
We finished warm ups early, since we had groups to convene with. The night before we had to write up monologues, and we had to hand it over to another person in our group for them to act it out. Mine was ridiculous, about a girl who found a magic lamp in the gutters who granted wishes so long as they were said as a sonnet, and it took me a while to think up one. It's pretty bad, but it's fairly funny. I wanted to give it to Destiny to perform, since she thought, to be cliché, that she was God's gift to man. She would be brought down a notch or two by reciting bad poems in front of the class.
Marci took all of our monologues and folded them, and randomly handed them out to the three other people in our group. I got hers, Eddy got mine (which he would change all the pronouns when necessary), Marci got Destiny's, and Destiny got Eddy's.
"Would you four be so kind as to introduce Clay to our current project?" Mrs. Perkins said. She had an arm around Clay's shoulder, who was grinning far too much for a new kid.
"Certainly, Mrs. Perkin's," Marci said. Marci was always the ambassador type, the mediator. If there was trouble to be had, she would stop it. If someone knew was there, she'd be the first up to introduce herself. She was friendlier than I was, in a way, always push forward, gung-ho. We got along fairly well. "I'm Marci," she said, and held out a hand for Clay to take. He did and they enthusiastically shook hands. "This is Destiny."
"Yo," Destiny said, and held up her hand as if she was going to wave, but failed at the "waving" part. It came off more as a military salute. Destiny was one of those fashionistas. She looked great. But it's like that beautiful chocolate cake, where the chocolate is actually shit and it liked to attack random passersby. So she was like a attacking shit-cake.
"I'm Eddy," Eddy said, slinging an arm over Clay's shoulder, over top Mrs. Perkins. "Welcome to the club." Eddy's just... weird. He's out to get into fights and arguments.
"Hi," I said. "My name is Lucy and I'm arachnophobic."
Clay blinked at me. "Really," he said.
"Well," Mrs. Perkins said. "I see that you've all settled in rather nicely. Since Clay here is lacking of a monologue, why don't one of you share?" She freed her arm from underneath Eddy's and left to go monitor other groups.
"You can share my monologue," Eddy said and unfolded the paper. "It's, uh, it's about a... genie? A genie?" He looked at me. "Why'd you write about a genie?" Clay slid Eddy's arm off of him.
"Is that a poem?" he asked and pointed at the page.
"Yeah," I said. "Sonnet."
"You write sonnets?"
"'Oh, genie, could you grant my wish that travels through the stormy skies--' What the fuck? A traveling wish?" He waved his arm in the air, mimicking a plane. "Tsch, this is your captain speaking, tsch, we are now approaching destination, tsch, everyone turn into tiny shooting stars..."
"Yes, and you get to perform it," Marci reminded him.
"I know, isn't it great?" Eddy threw his arm over Clay's shoulder again. "C'mon we can do it together, double team. We can pass it off, you know, like in wrestling, I take the first paragraph, you the second, and so on."
"And I've got stuck with yours," Destiny said. "It's about a guy talking about his motorcycle, right?"
"Why, of course, mi amore," Eddy replied. "What else is there to talk about?" Clay slid out from underneath his arm again. "Why motorcycles are the grand invention of mankind; without motorcycles, life would have no purpose, there would be no point. In your denial, I find no sense, I do not understand it."
"What are you talking about? I'm not denying anything..." They continued bickering. Eddy and Destiny never really got along; actually, Destiny never really got along with anyone, period. Eddy just provokes people unnecessarily.
"I'm glad I got yours," I told Marci. "You're just about the only one with actual talent in writing these things." I glanced over Marci's monologue. The topic was cliché, really, about a girl who had been dumped by her boyfriend. About half the females in the class wrote one, but Marci's writing abilities were far superior to theirs. I enjoyed performing her monologues.
"Oh, I don't think so," Marci said. I didn't know why she was being modest; she knew she writes better than just about everyone in the class. I rolled my eyes at her.
We watched Destiny and Eddy continue arguing for a moment more before Marci sighed and broke them up. Clay seemed a bit out of sorts from our lack of teamwork. I understood what it was like; several times I've been shunted into a group that doesn't like to work together, and it's like a monkey on the freeway.
"Don't worry," I told him as Marci physically placed herself in-between Eddy and Destiny. "We'll get around to the actual monologues eventually." Clay looked at me with a slight look of disbelief.
"This is the most chaotic class I've ever had," he said. That's what Destiny slapped Marci.
Marci stumbled back. Eddy caught her, preventing her from falling over.
"Jesus," he spat at Destiny, "what kind of anger management problems do you have?"
"Oh, fuck you!" Destiny hissed. She grabbed her backpack, which was against the wall, and forced her way out of the room. There was a beep from the intercom as Mrs. Perkins called the office for security.
Eddy wrapped his arms around Marci's waist. She didn't appear to notice as she stared at the open door with her mouth just as open.
"I guess you could do Destiny's monologue!" Eddy informed Clay cheerfully.
"Of he could if she didn't take it with her when she left," I said.
Eddy's grin faltered slightly. "Oh, that's right!"
Then Marci noticed his arms around her, turned around, and slapped him.