Note: This piece is based on Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style. Writers were given a very basic plot and then asked to tell a story in a certain style. Marsha has chosen to write an awkward story.
Hi. You’re pretty. Umm, I didn’t mean to say that. Haha. He he. Oh. Umm, my name’s Heuuuurreghhhhh. It’s kind of weird to say. You have to roll your r’s. And some people can’t do that, so when you ask them to, they feel bad and the conversation stops and there’s a really long silence where we stare at each other. Haha. Isn’t that funny? No? Okay. Umm, so uh, thisiswhathappened last Wednesday. Sorry, sometimes I slu-, uh, never mind.
There was this really long corridor I was walking through, and there were other people walking in the hallway as well. I can’t tell you their names, because I don’t know them. I’m really bad with names,by the way. I once called a guy named Paul by the name of Steven. He got upset. Umm, so I was walking, and there were some people with me, and we were really quiet because we didn’t know each other.
I reached the end of the hallway, and then I walked down another hallway. Some of the same people also walked down the hallway. I couldn’t tell if they were following me or not. The thought made me uncomfortable.
The Cafeteria. Umm, that’s where I was going. Haha. That wasn’t funny, I don’t know why I did that. Maybe it’s because you’re pretty. I mean, oh never mind! I was going to the cafeteria. Because I wanted food. Yes. I got in a line with some other people. Some of the people who were in the hallway with me also got in the line. I was almost sure they were following me. I felt uncomfortable and I started to sweat, which was really bad because I was really close to the other people in the line. They started to give me weird looks.
I wanted food. That’s why I was in the cafeteria. You probably already knew that. But the food was white that day. Isn’t that weird! Haha! I’m miserable right now. You’re not pretty. No, I mean you are, but I’m not noticing it. Yes. The food was white. Okay.
Everyone in the lunch line was staring at each other awkwardly. I really should stop saying the word awkwardly because that’s the title of this piece. You weren’t supposed to know that. Ah I gave it away. Well, this is awkward. Shoot!
So I wanted food, but it was white. Uncomfortably so. I didn’t know if I wanted to eat it or not. I mean, it’s not supposed to be white, but the lunch lady was staring at me expectantly. But I didn’t want to eat it. I didn’t want to buy something I wasn’t going to eat. Well, besides cars and other stuff, but that’s no the point. Umm, where was I? Yes. I bought the food anyway, because the lunch lady had worked so hard and no one was buying it. I walked out of the lunch line, and realized I was the only person in the cafeteria who had the white food. Everyone was staring at me. I started sweating more. I don’t like sweating. I tried to wipe the sweat off my brow, but accidently sent the tiny beads flying straight onto some poor girls pb and j. She looked at me disgusted. I felt bad.
I’m going to move forward to Thursday. I hope you don’t mind. Well, it’s my story. That sounded mean. I’m sorry. That’s not what I meant. Umm. Would you mind putting some kind of bag over your face for the rest of the story? I just get really nervous around pretty people. Not that I find you pretty. I mean, I do, but, uuuhhhhh, I’m miserable. Could you please put a bag over your head? No? Okay, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
So I was looking at the school newspaper. I didn’t really want to do it, but I did it because the newspapers editor sat right next to me for Stinger and if I didn’t read it, he would give me angry looks. And I really not fan of tension. I mean, I’m really not a fan of fiction. Tension! Ohhh. So, I was reading the newspaper, and I saw that there were a lot of people writing to the editor. They were some pretty mean comments. He leered over my shoulder and saw what I was reading and asked me if I agreed with any of the comments. I did, so I told him. I immediately regretted it. We sat in silence for a while after that.
That’s the end of my story. I hope it helped. Uhh, do you have a ride home? You do? When will it get here? A while. Okay, we can just sit here then. Umm, nevermind.