Warning: This story is not short on graphic language. If you are offended by such language, please do not continue. Thank you.
Those Who Can’t
It seemed simple: Get the MFA. Teach. Write short stories and novels on the side.
Writing is like breathing to Miriam.
The teaching though, that’s taking blood out of her. These kids think that by writing “fuck” in their poetry they are all that. They write of rapes they’ve never experienced. Sex where some guy demeans them. They write “cock” and “cunt” and “reverse cowgirl” and acts that make her skin crawl, which she can’t believe they’ve ever done. They write of heroin addiction and alcohol bingeing and vomit and seem only to want to shock her— or make a name for themselves.
Gone is self-discovery, epiphany through writing. Instead, it’s Jerry Springer-time, 24/7. She longs for beautiful words and expressions. A well-modulated story that conveys a surprising, evocative message.
Before her Tuesday class, blonde Gina with her pert ponytail and cheerleader smile who wrote about fucking and boys with nasty fingers discovering her clit and teenage pregnancy holds out a page printed from the web.
“Look! It’s published,” she says. “This commenter even says it’s one of the best things he’s ever read.”
Miriam smiles. She tells herself it’s not jealousy that makes her molars meet.
It does, however, cross her mind that maybe it’s too late for her writing.