Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Christmas Party

I was very intrigued by The Red Writing Hood prompt for the week:

Is there someone who drives you crazy? Someone who really gets under your skin.

It doesn't have to be someone you know (although it certainly can be). It could be someone famous. Or even a character in a book.

Now, write a first-person piece - as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you. For instance, maybe there's a good reason why they eat with their mouths open, or why they use sarcasm as a weapon.

This can be completely fictional or you can base it on a real-life person.



This is a piece of fiction (although I started with a real-life person in mind)...I chose someone who gets under my skin really bad because she is so cold and judgmental. Uptight. When I thought of a scene to explain reasons why she could be this way, it turned into a sympathetic piece.


The Christmas Party



I sat in my usual hiding spot at the top of the stairs, peeking down at the scene below. My father, my embarrassment of a father, was in the middle of one of his favorite jokes. It was like driving by a car accident. You don’t want to look, but you have to.

“So then the guy told the doctor, I don't smoke cigars anymore, but now I can't go to sleep at night unless I have a cigar shoved up my ASS!!" my father finished with an almost manic shout.

I shut my eyes and cringed.

Why do they all think that is so funny? It’s disgusting! HE’S disgusting! I thought.

The drunk idiots were all crammed into our living room on a snowy December evening. My parents’ Christmas party was a popular annual event. Not that my father ever needed an excuse to drink. The Christmas party just meant he could do it with an audience besides his own family.

They must all tolerate him. They must laugh at his jokes to not be rude. Surely, they must hate him just as much as his own daughter does? I wondered.

In spite of my own disgust, my father always seemed to be the life of the party. There was no way I could respect this scene if my father was the person all these assholes adored. Without having had a drink myself, all I could see was a sloppy, old loudmouth – way past his prime.

I had lost respect for him long ago. It had all become too much. Too much drinking, too much yelling, too many secrets, too many excuses, too many broken promises.

Personality does not make up for a complete lack of basic human decency. Why doesn’t anyone else see that?

I turned my attention to the blond woman that had been laughing a little louder than the rest at my father’s jokes. She moved closer to where my father was standing and stumbled a little on the way there. My father reached out to steady her arm, causing her drink to spill over onto the carpet. They leaned into each other, giggling like school kids.

My eyes narrowed, focusing in for even a hint of familiarity. I didn’t have to look very hard though. My father’s hand moved down to the woman’s butt, squeezed it, and stayed there.

The woman acted like nothing was happening. She only continued to give my father smiles here and there.

My eyes frantically scanned the room, the faces, for my mom.

There sat my mom on the couch next to no one. She was as still as a statue. Awkward in a room full of easy movement and blurred edges. Her gaze was trained on my father and the blond. Her expression was defeated. Hopeless. Empty.

Tears stung my eyes as I longed to comfort my mom. How much would she have to go through because of him? How much was enough? What the hell would it take for her to DO something about all this?

Pity turned to anger growing in my belly. He may be my father, but I am NOT like HIM. I will NEVER be like him. He is a disgusting mother fucker. Somehow, I will make him hurt.

The resentment sat with me like an old friend. Eventually, I grew tired keeping watch. I slipped quietly back to my bedroom, which felt a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house.

35 comments:

Kimberley said...

Wow, what a great piece! Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

You always leave me wanting more with these posts!! Loved it!

Kara said...

Very power writing! I loved it!

Katie Gates said...

Damn, Kristy! That is as visceral as they get. Good job! You brought me to the moment. I was there, watching, and sharing the protagonist's disgust.

Eva Gallant said...

Excellent!

Kara @ Nest Candy said...

Wow.... I have not read a good piece of short literature like that in a while. I am new to your blog, so if this is something you regularly participate in, I will be scanning your archives to find them. I love your style.

Jessica said...

I felt the feelings of the daughter, the anger at her father, the sadness for her mother. Very good job with the prompt.

TV's Take said...

Excellent - I was right there. Having a father who drank; I was right there.

Kristy said...

I chose someone who gets under my skin really bad because she is so cold and judgmental. Uptight. When I thought of a scene to explain reasons why she could be this way, it turned into a sad, sympathetic thing!

Two Normal Moms said...

I stopped by from the Red Dress link up. Wow! Great piece! This was a tough assignment to get into someone else's head, but you did it well! I could feel her anger and hostility growing as she watched the scene unfold from her hiding place.
-Ally

Leighann said...

Your descriptions were flawless. I was in the room with the girl and could see everything.
My heart broke and my anger grew.
This is fantastic.

Susie said...

I love this switch of voice!

A Mountain Momma said...

Wow, powerful piece. I hate that blonde bitch.

Erica M said...

This made me sad. Next time, give the mom some coke before the party. She won't be as silent with her husband's hand on that woman's butt. Winning!

Jennifer said...

I love that she starts out as a daughter being embarrassed by her father, and at first maybe seems to be a little harsh, but then as you bring us on the journey of seeing what she sees, I felt myself switching over to her side and wishing for her that her mother would pull it together and get them both out of that house.

This line really grabbed my heart, 'The resentment sat with me like an old friend.'

Glen said...

well well.

somebody has quite an imagination on her.

perfectly written to be a believable, powerful memory.

well done

chele said...

Great story Kristy. I loved this.

mamatrack.com said...

I felt so bad for her. Of course she's uptight and judgmental. Who wouldn't be?

I thought the use of her inner dialogue was very effective.

dialoguewithyou said...

Wonderfully written Kristy :)
You brought the feelings and the characters to life with your words :)

momZombie said...

Good job on this one.
Signed, the girl on the stairs

Kacey said...

Nice read, Kristy!

Karen said...

You did a great write at explaining where her coldness stems from. So much goes on in all of our lives that the world at large doesn't see. I liked her defiance.

Cam - Bibs and Baubles said...

Whoa! That was great. Powerful. I clearly visualized every single thing.

Jenna said...

what an emotional piece! I was taken on a ride for sure, through the eyes of each character. You have a real gift for the introduction of strong emotion in a short time period. Id love to see more from this scene!!

angela said...

Great job! I like the literal coldness of her room to go with her cold personality. The build-up is great, because at first she's not that sympathetic and just seems like any other embarrassed daughter, but the butt grab seals the deal on her judgement being accurate!

Kate said...

Very nice. I think I liked the set-up of the atmosphere the most of all; by describing the party guests as having a good time, ridiculous jokes and all, you make them complicit, thereby making the narrator all that more sympathetic. I wish there had been more room to delve more into the mom; dang word limits. (Thank God for them.)

Great job.

Ames said...

I love it. Such a good piece of writing!

amygrew said...

Wonderfully written! I loved how you described the mother and the girls feelings after that.

Suniverse said...

Really well written. I like this.

Babes Mami said...

Fabulous! I really enjoyed this.

Tenille @ Help!Mum said...

I really enjoy seeing your writing is evolve like this; well done, this is great.

Glowless @ Where's My Glow said...

Very intriguing!

Nancy C said...

Awkward in a room full of easy movement and blurred edges.

What an awesome line. That whole paragraph with the mother...watching and defeated.

So, so good.

Mandyland said...

The description of the mom was heartbreaking and tragic. In a few short words, you showed the reader her pain and defeat.

Keda said...

Lovely piece. You have no idea on how many levels I can relate. Very well written as well.