An exercise from class Monday night when we were discussing character development.
The exercise we were given was to write the gender, profession, 5 internal details and 5 external details of a person we know or a character we created.
And then we passed that list to our right.
Then we took what we received from the person to our left and created a list of what we would find in that character's garbage can.
Then...we took the garbage list and wrote a story about the character based on the garbage list and not knowing any of the details other than that.
I was given as the garbage list:
sand, receipts from Flax, # on napkin with the name Melissa next to it, empty bottle of hair gel, boarding pass from last visit to see his niece, City college course catalogue, last month's muni pass, empty sunscreen tube, empty film canisters.
So...here's my non-revised story we wrote in 10 minutes:
As the sun began to lower close to the horizon, Justin decided to call it a day. The water gets colder and darker at the end of the day and he would prefer not to be alone in the ocean where Great White sharks were known to linger and mate.
Justin threw his keys on the white, scuffed lopsided table as he entered his apartment a few blocks from Ocean Beach. He laid his surf board against his wall in its typical place. Sand fell off of the board and onto his floor as he shook his curly damp hair and pulled the zipper cord on the back of his wet suit.
Walking over to his answering machine, he left little puddles of footprinted salt water.
Beep. "Hey uncle Justin. I just wanted to say thanks for coming to visit me in San Diego last week. It was so cool how you taught me to surf. Mom says I can ask for my own board for my birthday. Bye." Beep.
Justin rinsed off his worn out body in the shower, attempting to get all the sand and ocean off of him.
He stepped in front of the mirror, reached for the gel and felt its lightness. A few strong squeezes but the only contents in his hand was a tiny bubble of clear gelatinous hair gel. he ran his fingers through his hair.
He stood in front of the mirror for a minute, smiled at his ripped body that helped him catch some righteous waves today and then put on some shorts, a t-shirt and som flip-flops.
The sun was down now and he walked back into his kitchen to decide if he should eat or do his homework.
Upon opening his wallet, he pulled out 2 soggy dollar bills, some crumpled receipts from the art store, an expired, ratty bus pass and a wadded up napkin with a girl's name and number on it that he must have gotten when he was wasted last night.
He inspected the name trying to recall this event from the prior evening out with his buddies and then casually tossed the number in the trash along with the receipts and bus pass.