Maya Seligman
Fall 1995
English 3: The Bodies That Surround Us

In-class Free Writes

My first semester at Swat (Fall 1995), I took an English class taught by Lisa Cohen. Every once in a while we'd all spend a couple minutes free-writing in order to get creative brain juices flowing. Lisa would often give us a list of words we'd have to include in our writing. I just found my old notebook from this class, so I thought I'd put four of these writings on my web page. They may not be great, but I think they're at least rather interesting.

number one:

The porch was covered in varying degrees of light when I slipped out of my car and snuck into his backyard last night. A backalley streetlight's glare hit me in the eyes. I crouched low, running my fingers through the lush grass. The probing points of the blades caressed my skin and gave me goosebumps on my arms. Going against all my proper social instincts, I moved closer to his bedroom window. I inspected the inside room through the screen, trying to discern some human presence in the darkness.

number two:

The best mangoes drip their juices all over you because they wouldn't be ripe if they didn't. Sweet, sticky, golden, wet. I slice through its smooth greenish-mauve skin, into its pulpy flesh. When I pull the dripping bits of mango off the skin with my mouth, tough tendons get stuck between my teeth. Biting into a cube of the pulp releases the rich, moist flavors in my mouth. It melts into mush and slides down my throat. My fingers are sticky and wet. My concentration centers on the fruit and the pleasure it provides for me, so everything else around me fades into fuzziness. All I care about is my mango.

number three:

She flicked the ashes from the end of her long cigarette. The city's sounds distracted her from the blank page on her lap. There was so much to say, but her thoughts were tangled into a million knots. Every time she tried to put her thoughts in order, it just created more confusion. It was writer's block. She was hungry for a smooth flow of words on her page; she wanted a long paragraph of forceful sentences. But all she could see in front of her was an empty white sheet of paper, and nothing could save her.

number four:

I like to throw myself onto the information superhighway without even checking for oncoming traffic. The shock of the electronic information flowing across the screen is warm and bright, but my skin stays cold...

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