My Awakening.

Today I'm linking up with the Red Dress Club! Here's today's prompt, courtesy of Katie / @Ksluiter:

Hemingway was famous for his super sparse writing. He used almost only dialogue in many of his works. Write a piece in which you use ONLY dialogue. (I'm bending the rules because, well, I can.)

"Let's go someplace where we can talk," Jessie said as I got into her car.

"What about P.J.'s? I'm seriously craving an iced mocha," I suggested.

"Nah, I was thinking of someplace quieter. I just really need to tell you something," she said.

"Okay. Well, wherever you wanna go is fine, you're the one driving," I said, as I reached over to switch on the radio. I started humming along with Dave Matthews.

"So how are you? Are you going back up to school next week?" she asked.

"Yes! I'm so ready. I'm sick of talking to my shrink, sick of thinking about it all, and I really just want to get back to normal. Whatever that is. You know?"

"You're not going to hurt yourself again, are you? Because I gotta tell ya, that scared the shit out of me Erin. You just can't do that," Jessie said. "It's fucked up."

"Honestly, I can't promise I won't do it again 'cause I still think about it. It's like the urges come on so suddenly sometimes and I can't stop myself. Nobody gets it. But the Prozac and Klonopin are helping," I added.

"I'm worried about you. I mean, you're my friend and I love you and I don't know what I would've done if I'd been the one to find you with blood everywhere," she said as she pulled her car into a spot at The Point on the Lakefront. Then she turned off the music.

My stomach lurched. The Point was where people went to make out. I saw a few other cars, most of them with foggy windows. I leaned the side of my head on the glass and looked out at the waves. Jessie took the keys out of the ignition and tossed them into the cup holder. It got quiet. My stomach gurgled and I clamped my hands down over it instinctively.

"I'm not sure how to say this," she began. "We've been friends for a long time and I don't want to lose that. But lately..." she trailed off. "Lately I've been thinking about you. Like, a lot." She stopped and took a deep breath, then exhaled.

"I've got feelings for you," she blurted out.

"Feelings? What kind of feelings?" I asked, staring hard at the whitecaps, blurring the edges of her in my peripheral vision.

"Why can't you look at me? Can you look at me, please?" she asked.

Reluctantly I lifted my head and slowly shifted to face her.

"I'm in love with you," she said simply. "I just am."

"So you're telling me this now. When you know about Lauren, my dad, and everything I've been dealing with. You know I have feelings for her and I'm a mess dealing with all that crap, plus the cutting, my parents. And you do this now?"

"I know, I know. But I had to tell you. I had to get it out," she said, shrugging her shoulders.

I sighed and rubbed my temples.

"What do you want me to say, Jessie?" I asked. "I'm sorry I don't feel that way about you. And even though I don't really know who I am or what this thing with Lauren is all about, I know my heart belongs to her for now. I may be a freakin' train wreck, but I know that much."

"So why can't you just look me in the eye and say it?" she asked.

"You know I'm terrible about the eye contact. Get off my case," I snapped. "Besides, this is the last thing I need right now. I'm not trying to hurt your feelings or anything, but I just can't deal."

I began unraveling. Looking out at the waves, I thought of Edna Pontellier. I longed to be in the Gulf, giving up, handing myself over to the rough waves. Salty, swirling water sucking me under, drifting down into the dark, cool deep. It would be so much easier.

"Jessie, I'm sorry. I really am. But can you please just take me home?" I plead.

Inwardly, I'm stuffing down the sudden overwhelming desire to cut myself, to offer up my blood to some unknown God.


Nancy C said...

Omg, that last line. Those lines about giving yourself to the Gulf.

I'm so glad you found your way out.

It's hard for me to be all writer-y about this, because it's so raw and full of power.

Let me just say that your truth will change the world.

PostDivorceCoach said...

THAT was amazing....

Jessica said...

Wow, my first time visiting and THIS is powerful. Amazingly raw. You had me drawn in from the first line. Amazing.

KLZ said...

Hauntingly beautiful

Amy Oscar said...

And so here we are: Another courageous page in this story of opening, of remembering, of seeing - of patterns and miracles and letting go. Brilliant writing, my friend. Bravo on so many levels.

varunner said...

How do you do this? Make the dialogue seem so easy, so intriguing. I pulled my hair out over mine, and additionally, now hate my main character. I really like how you were able to tie in scenery and details.

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

When I read your title, I immediately thought of Edna. I never liked that she gave herself to the Gulf. I know it was supposed to be her thinking for herself, but, I always thought it was cowardly. Your awakening Erin was much braver! And your writing resonates with that same raw courage, even today.

You go girl!

I am pretty sure that we are all rooting for you.

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

Oh- just reread my comment and it made me think . . . Edna gave herself to the Atlantic right? You- were contemplating the Gulf, you NOLA girl . . . just a clarification. :)

Denise said...

Oh Erin. I am in absolute awe of you. Your strength. Your honesty. Bravery. A beautifully written, heart-achingly gorgeous post. I know you were nervous about posting this--I'm so glad you did. xoxo

So Who Is The Crayon Wrangler? said...


Ok first...the way you made that prompt (that big hairy, scary prompt) work FOR you, is awesome. You tamed that beast and look at this piece you got here. Brilliant. From the leading visuals to the manner of speaking. I can see this whole thing. Like a movie. Well done!

Secondly...it's brutally honest and extremely charged with true emotion from the writer. You can feel it and it connects you to the author. I applaud you for your writing and I give thundering, foot stomping applause to your bravery that are within these words.

You..my squishy...are a ROCKSTAR!

Rachel said...

Wow, did you nail this. For everything you had already gone through by then... I am so proud of you for sticking around.

I will repeat this over and over, you enrich my life. I am a better person for knowing you.

Thank you for sharing such a personal struggle.

5thsister said...

Sweet Erin...I so know that pain. I am shedding tears of recognition and saying silent prayers for you, for all the emotional turmoil you had to endure...God love you because I know I do. Keep on keeping on girlfriend!

Jenna said...

well done. And so brave. And really evocative, too. *HUG* wow.

Dana Reeves said...

Wow, Erin. Once again, an amazingly vivid glimpse into your life, your heart, your demons, but mostly your courage. I am just in awe of your courage and determination to speak your truth. Bravo!

Lady Jennie said...

Excellent writing. So raw.


Two Normal Moms said...

You rock. Enough said. It still surprises me when you talk about your self doubt over writing, because you are very good at it! I wish you could see what I see when I think of you - and amazingly, fiercely, strong woman.

tsonodablog said...

Stunning. Raw. Honest. Amazing. YOU

Pamela Hutchins said...

You rock. Loved it.

The Empress said...

This gave me the chills the first time I read it, and again.

So good. I'm going to send it to someone who will just eat it up.

I am sorry for your pain, but this? It just elicits a physical response.

A shiver.

mommylebron said...

I don't even have words. The things you do to my heart with everything you write. You have a way off touching emotions and making them so real for the reader. That is the reason we come back again and again...
Ok, I do have words...when we hop from blog to blog reading this post and that we get glimpses into peoples lives, live their experiences vicariously and wonder at the wonderfully perfect perfectness of them. Because they (not all) are just characters to us and their stories are that. Stories. But you (sorry I know I say this a lot) are so real. We see not just Erin the rockstar blogger but Erin who's been through the trenches. The Rockstar.
Okay, I'm done. Love you girl!


erin, i am way behind but just read your last five or so posts and what i love MOST is that you aren't afraid to say or tell anything. the brutal honestt is refreshing to read in a world full of bullshit bloggers. love to you girl!!!

Cathy said...

Once again your words move me. You're so good at drawing a picture with words, I could envision The Point and the two of you in the car. It was like I was looking down at the scene from above. So incredible.

I think of you as an artist, you know. What you do with words is the same as what I do with charcoal or pastels or my camera. A little piece of your soul is visible in every story you write.

MiMi said...

Hey, did you sense someone watching you? Cuz I felt like I was in the back seat or something there.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Powerful, open and raw. I'm glad I didn't read this before I posted mine, I'm totally thinking I need to re-do it. ;)

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Stunning! You do have a gift for bringing us along with you and turning life into art.

Carrie said...

Extremely powerful. But then, isn't that the way a memory is supposed to be? Otherwise, why keep it locked up in your brain?

I really enjoyed this. The imagery is amazing and the tension between the 2 is well done

The mad woman behind the blog said...

The writing is beautiful and rawin its honesty. We all felt like we were in the car with you.
But what amazes me? Your bravery in sharing this and your story.
Just wow.

Amber said...

Wonderful. Goes to show, pain makes powerful writing. I am in awe of you.

moveovermarypoppins.com said...

Wow, Erin.

To have the strength to write like that.


purejoy said...

again… i was right there. in the back seat of the car. sort of hoping i wouldn't make any noise so they wouldn't notice i was there.
i heard her stomach lurch. i knew what was coming. so did she. but she still had to hear it.

man… you have some mad word skills.

Jennifer said...

You captured perfectly that tension between people when one of them is making an announcement. I love that her stomach lurches when they get to the point and even though she doesn't want to admit it, she knows what Jesse it going to say.

Snuggle Wasteland said...

That's your best one yet. Keep going. You're there.

Natalie said...

WOW! Amazing - that's all I can say.

From Tracie said...

The end of this...well, you know, I get it. So powerful. So raw and honest.

Jessie clearly did not have your best interests in mind when she embarked upon this conversation with you, considering the timing and all that you were in the midst of going through.

As a total sidenote...it is never good to drive someone somewhere to have one of these conversations, because if it goes badly you will inevitably have to suffer through a car ride home together.

Cheryl said...

Erin, I can't imagine how painful it was for you to experience this - and then to write it. You did it beautifully. Raw, vulnerable, honest.

Bravo to you. And hugs, too.

Melody said...

Wow, that was some very powerful dialogue. I am just now "meeting you" virtually and am moved by your journey so far. keep moving ahead

Veronica said...

"I longed to be in the Gulf, giving up, handing myself over to the rough waves. Salty, swirling water sucking me under, drifting down into the dark, cool deep. It would be so much easier."

Vivid and familiar. More so than I would like to admit.

You have come from a deep abyss and landed on firm ground.

Your strength shines through in your honesty.

I'm in awe.

Stephanie said...

Your pain...it's there behind the words, giving the words the power they hold. Your emotions draw pictures with your words. These are the stories that are hardest to tell, yet so beautifully told when its finished.

You made this prompt look easy.

Liz said...

holy shit, I LOVE THIS. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I have to read more of you, every time I visit your blog, you take my breath away. xo

oh & just the other day I read parts of The Awakening. It was that kind of day. wow.

Amanda said...

Very raw and authentic. You brought the reader to you. We could feel the pain.

Jessica Anne said...

So powerful. This is what great writing is all about, letting go and putting it all out there. Just beautiful.

Kris said...

The things I want to say have been said, but I don't care.

The rawness of the emotions?

The truth of the experience?

The pain?

The misguided love?

The hurt?

The desire to make it end?

The desire to lessen the pain through the application of pain?

This is just exquisite writing.

Exquisite courage.

And exquisite writing.


Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Erin, you have such a great gift to share your words with others. I'm thrilled that you're making this happen!

Leighann said...

Beautiful writing, captivating.

(Florida) Girl said...

Wow. I admire all the participants who took this assignment to an emotionally raw place. Not easy. Well done.

Stopping by from the rdc.

Babes Mami said...

You continue to amaze me Erin!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

I agree with some of the others - this is very raw and powerful. I haven't thought about old Edna in quite a while. I never liked her.

Leighann said...

I thought I had posted a comment on this when I read it the first time but I guess not.. so I read it a second time and loved it even more!! Fabulous writing, bone chilling!!
Great job!!

Blue Moon Girl said...

I'm absolutely speechless. Amazing. Simply amazing. Raw and powerful. So much emotion in this conversation. Just. Wow.

Here from Pretty All True & TRDC. I'm glad I found you. I'll be back.

KLZ said...

Listen, I have a secret to tell you...when I first read this? I thought it was fiction because Red Dress Club does so much of that.

I'm sorry for not giving it more weight.

Quirkyloon said...

Wow! This was incredible. I could echo all the above comments about captivating, raw, wonderfully written and I guess I just did.

Great job Erin!


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