The First Morning of School

The First Morning of School

A Story by JCP
"

One of the few short stories I have left over after cycling through computers from a college class I took. Unedited. Just thrown up here to see what kind of response it gets.

"
     The horrid sound of the alarm clock's screeching pierces the silence of my room.  My arm blindly searches for the source of the dreaded sound with hopes of ending its ceaseless howl.  Clumsily fondling and grasping everything it comes in contact with, my hand is probing for the one thing it wishes to caress this early in the morning.  A moment of elation surfaces in the aggravating routine as my hand somehow made its way to the snooze button.  My hand gently taps the button and I am overcome with a sense of relief. The clock has been muzzled.  My arm and hand can now rest for their search is over, and I can enjoy golden silence once again for ten whole minutes.  I drearily rub my eyes as I begin to open them.  It's been quite awhile since the clock has woken anything up this early.  
     Partially awake, I lay there trying to muster the strength and will to get out of bed.  The thought of returning to sleep is seducing me more as every second passes by.  My eyelids grow heavy as I can feel myself slowly returning to the slumber that was rudely interrupted by the alarm clock's screeching.  If only I could have just a few more minutes of deep sleep.  I promise myself that I will only sleep for five more minutes, that’s all I really want anyways, and welcome my tiredness with open arms.  I begin to let my eyes close and tenderly nestle up within my comforter.  Just as I am at that moment when your mind drifts and the world of dreams becomes your only concern, the alarm reminds me he is on the clock, and he is doing his job. The alarm clocks relentless at his job of awakening the sleeping, and it is too early for me to play this annoying game with it.   
     I force myself to rise to a seated position and glance at the clock.  I can tell just by looking at him, that I don't have much time left until the day goes marching on without me. Right now the only thing I care about is finding my pack of cigarettes so I can fully wake up and begin mapping out my day.  Grazing over to my desk, I find them waiting for me.  I fumble through the pack, slide out a single cigarette, grasp it in my lips, light it, and collapse in a chair. I start to yawn and remember that the reason I am smoking a cigarette at 7 am on a cold Monday morning is because this is this the first morning of school.  Oh what a joyous day it is.
Three months ago, I knew this day was bound to come.  I have no idea why I am getting so disgruntle about beginning a new semester.  While stamping out my cigarette in the ashtray, I notice my head is throbbing.  This could possibly be the reason why this morning that I am rejecting the thought of getting up early every day, for the next couple of months to make that daily trip to school.   Thinking more about the issue I conclude that couldn't be it, there must be more to it.  It's more the realization that I won't be able to sleep off another hang-over again for nearly a quarter of a year.  
     The dread of starting new school semester lies more in the fact that it also marks the end of the late night partying season.  Those nights of getting blasted, acting like a jackass, and skirt-chasing until the wee hours of the morning will have to be put on hold. The simple idea that more responsibilities are tossed upon my shoulders other then trying to get off work early, finding out where everyone is going out that night and searching for the generous soul who will bare the title designated driver.  Thinking about all this was making my head ache more, and I hope a shower will help me get my day off to a better start then it's already had.
The shower did rejuvenate me quite a bit, which was good, because I was running late as usual.  Time tends to be an adversary of mine early in the morning that forces me to plunder my closet for the first pair of jeans and shirt that happens to fall into my sight.  The race to get dressed and make myself look decently presentable has started.  I give myself a quick glance in the mirror and begin to equip myself with the daily accessories.  Time is steadily marching on, whether I join his parade or not.
     After stuffing my pockets with the usual things; wallet, smokes, liter, and cell phone; I grab my car keys and I am off to embark on a journey that will become a daily routine over the duration of the semester.  I start the engine of my car and reminisce about the joys of driving to school.  It will only be a week or so until I cease to get flustered at the courteous drivers on 83 in the morning.  The skill of checking my watch repeatedly while driving will once again be honed. I glance at the scratched and tattered face watch just for practice, and I start the think about when I first got the watch.  I was freshman at the University of Maryland when I got this watch as a Christmas gift.  I remember how new it looked as the lights on the tree illuminated its smooth face when I tore of its wrapping paper and exposed it to the world. Come to think of it, I don’t recollect wearing my watch often while attending Maryland. Maybe, it was because I never had to account for traffic or worry about catching a series of red lights that seem to coordinate a flashing pattern of lateness.   It was back in those days that I really didn’t need a watch to constantly interrogate for the time, because I lived on campus, and everything was just a short stroll away.  I only needed to check the time before I headed out of my dorm room, and I knew I’d make it to class without being late.  Time wasn’t such a vital element of my daily life as it is now.  Time is now an omnipresent force that determines the outcome of my day before I get a chance to put my two cents in.  I guess I am learning that time takes its toll on everything, and even the watch bears its scars.  As I take my exit off the highway, I begin to question why I was getting so restless earlier this morning over going to school, after all I am almost there.  What a big baby I have been, excluding the death of party season, going to school is pretty painless.  
     I begin to sing along with a song I know on the radio as my spirit lightens. While I begin to dawn a tiny smile, Towson University morphs from a blur in the distance to a cluster of buildings.  I cheerfully glance at my watch and find out I am actually twenty minutes early for my first class.  For once, time is on my side.  This semester might not be the nightmare I was dreaming it up to be.  
     Merrily pulling onto the university's campus, I notice that I just might actually be looking forward to starting this semester.  The notion of arriving at school twenty minutes early somehow made me smile.  It's funny how little things like that can brighten your day.  Then, like a fowl in hunting season, my mood is shot straight to the ground.  My smile becomes a tight-lipped  frown, and my firsts clench the steering wheel with and iron clad grasp.  I had arrived at the parking garage.  Those twenty minutes of grace I had until my first class quickly turned into a countdown to tardiness.  I had forgotten that finding a parking spot on this crummy campus was the equivalent of stumbling across the Holy Grail at the local shopping mall.  After driving up and down the parking garage hoping for a spot for nearly fifteen minutes, I gave up on it and tried the other campus garage just across the way.  Once again, every vacancy has been filled.  Should I have expected any less?  Aggravated and tired from a forty minute wild goose hunt, I pull up to a spot at the Towson Center and accept the fact I will just have to miss my first fifty minute class that started almost a half hour ago.  I throw my car in park, turn the radio up, reach for a cigarette, recline the driver seat and think just how much I really do hate the first morning of school. 

© 2011 JCP


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I get what you were trying to do. However, there are some fundamentals you need to consider. First, what's the conflict? SOP for most stories is that a conflict needs to be resolved and the main character is changed somehow from what he was in the beginning. I didn't see any of that. Also, you obviously have a good vocabulary, but it's too much icing on the cake. Stay away from adverbs too. Shouldn't the action already show HOW it's being done? Lastly, watch passive voice. It constipates the story.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Grammar and such all i say is when you write "clock's" get rid of the the " ' " and make it "clocks". In paragraph 4 change " then" to "than" and in the 9th paragraph change "and" to "an". Now to any grammar and such issues the story itself was interesting I mean your descriptions were spot on and this person seems like my type except for the smoking thing but, being a non morning person totally me, a grimlin. Ohter then that excellent of a job it was very interesting and well written.

Posted 8 Years Ago


I get what you were trying to do. However, there are some fundamentals you need to consider. First, what's the conflict? SOP for most stories is that a conflict needs to be resolved and the main character is changed somehow from what he was in the beginning. I didn't see any of that. Also, you obviously have a good vocabulary, but it's too much icing on the cake. Stay away from adverbs too. Shouldn't the action already show HOW it's being done? Lastly, watch passive voice. It constipates the story.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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JCP
Sort of left it as it is cause I wrote it through a younger man's eyes. It's almost 13 years old, and sort of copied it and pasted it the way it was. Glad you enjoyed the read and I appreciate the review. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff!

Posted 9 Years Ago


Very poetic, your prose. I like it.

*I force myself to rise to a seated position and glance at the clock. I can tell just by looking at him*
The clock is a "him"? Not an "it"?

*This could possibly be the reason why this morning that I am rejecting the thought of getting up early every day*
Delete the "that".

*Thinking more about the issue I conclude that (this) couldn't be it, there must be more to it. *
Added that one word, in my opinion, it makes more sense this way.

One thing though: could you separate the paragraphs more? Just to make it easier for people to read.

I hope you will not take my review the wrong way. I did enjoy your prose and the issues I have signaled are minor, probably just something you have not spotted, if you posted this piece in a hurry or something. Do continue to write.

Posted 9 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Wow this is amazing, love the imagery and detail.
Seems more like a journal entry, but I love it.
So nicely done.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on June 9, 2011
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JCP
JCP

Baltimore, MD



About
I'm just a thirty something guy from Baltimore. As I've grown a bit older, I can't help but feeling there is something I've left behind. I've always had a knack for writing, but never pursued it. It's.. more..

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