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Reflections on Moving

by skorlir


The average intelligence, average motivation, average interest of the group, all low. There’s a poor man’s saunter to each one’s gait. They walk slowly, talk slowly, slur their speech. I can often tell little of their bickering, albeit childish and simple, since it is spoken with so little coherence. I wonder at their minds, as I wander purposefully through the halls, and I wonder at the weight of the trolley, and at the financial boon I hope to gain from this heartless work. There is little to be said for the workers, but the campus is assuredly intriguing. Earlham College will be home to at least two folk with whom I am well acquainted next year. Neither of them have I ever cared much for, nor I think they for me, yet I’ll wonder at them nonetheless as I work.

File cabinets. Dollies. Ropes remind me of pulleys, doors remind me of portals and mystical islands. Tie a rope to the dolly on one side, and to my waist on the other, and if I jump through that passage, some spectacular adventure will ensue – surely I’ll have broken an ancient seal, awakened archaic curses and their agents of destruction, and only I (with the assistance of some beautiful fairy or such guide) can stop it all and bottle up the world again… But I wouldn’t want to bottle up the world again. I would want to continue the quest forever. Why save the world so impatiently, only to return to its long and boring days? Perhaps that mindset is exactly why adventure seems to avoid me.

Anyway, I recognize this place, unlike that mystical world I do not know, and I suppose I should focus on what I can see. Just as I regain fuller consciousness, lunch break is called, and the smoky van I once knew as my grandfather’s beckons, holding with it the promise of homes and foods. Before leaving, Emmerson (the dark-skinned fellow whose idle, empty gaze I shared a few short glimpses of as we worked together emptying old offices) and I had been tasking away, nearly ready to push an oversize bookshelf through a cervical innuendo of a doorway. The moment the shrill word “lunch” passed the lips of a rather wide set of hips, however, the bookshelf found itself abruptly abandoned, and we passed through the cervical passage unladened. This is a work easily forgotten.

I hardly recognize my grandpa’s old van. The windshield is cracked all the way across, the seats are soaked in secondhand smoke, the windows are darker than before, the engine creaks unwelcoming and the cupholders shudder with the effort of moving. It used to be a nice little van, not so much decrepit as quaint and a little muddy. The fellow playing navigator thinks he remembers my Uncle’s old house, where I now abide, but misses by a block or so. I could easily have walked, but I know better than to have suggested so. These folk seem averted to the opportunity for physical exercise – perhaps due to the nature of their work – and would surely have felt ashamed of themselves that I might rather walk than share their company. So I was driven four blocks, where I could have quickly walked two, and prepared myself to entertain a few slices of pizza for a good 30 second ride on the nuclear roundabout.


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Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:27 pm
Aley wrote a review...



That second paragraph is just beautiful.

Just as I regain fuller consciousness, lunch break is called, and the smoky van I once knew as my grandfather’s beckons, holding with it the promise of homes and foods.

Commas please!
"My grandfather's beckons" is not what you want, you want my grandfather's van, right? So put a comma between the two so that we can see that this "I once knew as my grandfather's" is an aside in the writing, and not my grandfather's beckon. He does not OWN the action, if anything he beckons, in which case it would be "my grandfather is beckoning" not what you have DX.

I can't say I found anything else of much importance. Good use of punctuation aside from the above, and watch your sentence structure. Don't get too fancy or we won't be able to understand it. If you want, you can just switch the "I" to "me" and it's fairly recognizable, regardless of changing the rest of it.




skorlir says...


Hrmm... "I once knew as my grandfather's" can also be viewed as a protracted adjective clause. That's what I was gunning for.



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Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:25 pm
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sbitonti wrote a review...



So charming! I found this piece to have extremely well diction, fluid sentence structure, vividly detailed, etc. etc. I also love this sentence: "Perhaps that mindset is exactly why adventure seems to avoid me."; Particularly because of the personification you give to adventure.

You are very good at writing, and you kept the piece simplistic yet complex at the same time. (I surely hope you do know what I mean by that.)

You have a wonderful style, and I hope to read more from you!




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Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:18 pm
Aley wrote a review...



I'm just going to do this real quick and then keep reading.

Neither of them have I ever cared much for, nor I think they for I, yet I’ll wonder at them nonetheless as I work this sweaty work.

So when you're saying them and me, or them and I, there's a certain way to figure out when it is I or me, that is, if it would naturally be Me where it was originally, then it is me. For example, "This is a picture of my sister and me." = "This is a picture of me" and "This is a picture of my sister."
Because we do not say "This is a picture of I," we do not say "This is a picture of my sister and I."
However, if we're saying "My sister and I walked the dog," (= "My sister walked the dog," + "I walked the dog") then it cannot be 'Me' because "Me walked the dog" doesn't work. That being said, does your sentence make sense?
Well, it's complicated. First off, your diction is strange in the beginning clause of the sentence.
"Neither of them" is a clause in itself. It is a conjunction with a prepositional phrase which is hard to make a subject.
'Have' marks the beginning of the predicate, but Neither of them requires something to connect TO because it is a conjunction, it has to be a junction of something, so we're left looking for the other half. That other half is in the predicate, "I ever cared much for."
In other words, you're twisting things around here. The typical sentence would read:
"I have never cared much for either of them, nor I think they for me." This puts Me, or I as the subject, and caring for them as the main verb of the sentence, and taking out Neither erases the need to junction them together, and we can add the negative in the appropriate place, in the verb phrase.
We also can see whether it is supposed to be Me or I, because now we know, "I think they never cared much for me." instead of "I think they never cared much for I."

The second thing going on with this is that you've got this second half of the sentence, "Yet I'll wonder at them nonetheless as I work this sweaty work." it's repetitive and that's surprising from you. You hear rhymes so fluidly, I'd expect that to irk you. Also, it's not really a part of the sentence, which, the main idea, is that the narrator doesn't like the people he's thinking about. Not when he'll be thinking about them, or if he'll be thinking about them even though he doesn't like them, it's just the fact that he doesn't like them.

-I have to finish reading now XD <3




skorlir says...


Well. That was a misuse of I. ... Aley, you're always going to find something wrong. I like that.



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Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:34 pm
Andrea2676Marie wrote a review...



I think you have a very unique style of writing. I enjoyed reading this piece, and I strongly encourage you to continue your writing. Your sentence flow was really great, and I think that can be very difficult to accomplish. Also, you word choice was excellent. I look forward to reading more of your work. You should try writing more short stories, or even start chapters to a book. Keep up the good work.
And as always, good luck to you and your writing.




skorlir says...


This is an exceptionally pleasant response. Thank you.



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Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:27 pm
TheClosetKidnapper wrote a review...



I liked this. It had an uncommon sound to it, and is beautifully written. I especially love the paragraph about adventures, because I can relate to everything the main character says. On an editing standpoint, I agree with much of what serenephantom has said, although a few things were a bit clearer to me than to them.

When you say "Anyway, I recognize this place, unlike that mystical world I do not know..." it immediately made me think that you meant the real world as what the main character recognized, although it is only subtly implied and could use more clarification I suppose. I would also like to add that's my favorite line.

You could also add more on what the work is, I agree with serenephantom. It's implied that the main character cleans out old buildings or perhaps old rooms, or something like that, but it isn't clear.

Overall, this is great. I love your use of diction and the way you structure everything in an almost stream-of-consciousness way. I will be looking forward to reading more of your work.

Keep writing!
~Rocky




skorlir says...


I agree the work is rough; such is the nature of reflections. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your thoughts.



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Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:48 pm
serenephantom wrote a review...



Right of the bat i become confused. I get how you are explaining the works but what are they working on or at?
Earlham College will be home to at least two folk with whom I am well acquainted next year. Neither of them have I ever cared much for, nor I think they for I, yet I’ll wonder at them nonetheless as I work this sweaty work
This line is confusing and has a very poor flow. Read it aloud and i can guess you'll hear what i'm talking about. And is the main character a student or a worker? I thought them to be a student until nonethereless as i work this sweaty work.
File cabinets. Trolleys. Ropes remind me of pulleys, doors remind me of portals and mystical islands.
How so? They don't me (the reader). Can you please enlighten me?
Tie a rope to the trolley on one side, and to my waist on the other, and if I jump through that passage,
Harry potter? Finding the train to Hogwarts?
Anyway, I recognize this place, unlike that mystical world I do not know, and I suppose I should focus on what I can see
Well i don't please explain where i am.

You need to expand more on your ideas, add more detail. Through the story i'm confused. Who are you? What are you doing? Where are we? What is the issue? And Why should I care?




skorlir says...


This is about a moving company. The rest is mental wandering. I will not enlighten you on any "how" of the wandering; it is what it is, understood or not.

I am sincerely sorry the work was difficult for you to understand, but I do not fault either of us. Your confusion is justified, as was the arcane way I wrote justified in its similarity to my thoughts. I agree the work is rough, but it is just reflections.

Do not be uncertain, I do appreciate your thoughts. And thank you for providing them. But your confusion is reasonable, and therefore does not bother me.




Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!
— Dr. Seuss