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Tales From the Writing Center

"The Writing Center" is a concept I created at age 16 to represent a building or floor dedicated to independent writers who rent office space to partake in their writing assignments.  Poets, novelists, diarists, and free lance article writers all converge at the center for weekly meetings, independent work whenever their schedule allows.  This page is dedicated to the stories and happenings that occur in this fictional setting.  Mari, 6/24/06

As Told by Arnie

First we got Woody.  That ain’t his real name.  People just call him that. I don’t even know where he first got it. The Japanese man, you know, golden toga and olive complexion. This guy’s cookey.  The only one in the writing center who ain’t  got a desk in his office.  I pass by his office and look at the bare floor, he claims he’s writing some novel about his days as a Korean warrior, but I hardly see a typewriter.  What does he do? Write on his skinny Japanese legs? Hey, no offense.  The guy’s cool, I got nothing against his physique, but c’mon…sitting there mediating all day, and picking up a fountain ink pen to write on parchment? What is he, a monk? Nah, maybe he’s just giving himself space.  Cleanest office I’ve seen yet.  Delicious smelling incense surrounding his toga-ed self, no chairs, a desk, a dark curtain before his window, and a tall what looks like an opium pipe on one side.  But this guy don’t drink, it’s just for decoration, or so he says…

Anyway, then there’s Mari.  This girl says she’s writing the story of her life.  The girl’s only 21, what kinda story does she have to tell? What, I broke my nail when my boyfriend broke my heart when I was 16? She’s probably rich too. How could she afford office space here at her age? Sitting all up in there on a big desk, a rolling chair, and laptop computer.  She’s got a shelf sparsely filled with writing and creativity books.  What does she need creativity books for, she’s a writer ain’t she? You know one day she comes in at her usual 4:30 time telling a story about how she’s working as a sales rep for some resort somewhere, and the next day she’s talking about her customers loving her new Avon make-up products, or else complaining about them.  You think she’s got two jobs? Yeah, you’d think so, except just yesterday I heard she’s been working all day at getting some nonprofits to get children to read, and she doesn’t even mention her sales job as if it ain’t ever happened. Even though I saw her change into her comfortable pants and shirt after coming into the building from her business blazer. Man, I can’t figure her out. 

When I asked her a question one day about how her nonprofit is running, she goes and says “what nonprofit?” as if she don’t’ even know what I’m taking about!  What does she do all day? See, one day, I became curious.  So I followed her after she left the office at 7.   She went to this house, and outside it said “Agility Accounting.” Yeah, did I mention her talking about payroll and taxes a few days at work?  Inside she was doing whatever accountants do.  Anyway, I just had to see what this girl would do in the morning.  I saw her again when she woke up, got into her beige Honda (2000), and drove away in her business outfit to dozens of business and talked to them.  She had lunch and then did it again.  At 4 she drove to the writing center, then back home to her home office. But it still didn’t explain everything, until I followed her onto Friday when she went to another building the entire day.   Inside she was writing, and talking to people on the phone, some parents and children visited her, and I think they walked in and out with books.  I think that’s her nonprofit, I think it was called something something Education.  It was a small office in the La Mirada plaza building.

Anyway, then on the weekend she did the same thing as if she were at work but wore colorful skirts.  Here she talked to people as if she were a rep from Agility Tax and Accounting.  She smiled more and was more friendly.  The second half of Saturday was when she went door to door to people’s houses, dropped off make-up and had changed into a sweater instead of a blazer.  Man, what is she? A schizo? I don’t man.  I just know, she’s got some story to tell in that novel of hers


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