My life started to get pretty crazy when I actually declared myself a “writer.” It was a matter of changing the lens through which I saw the world. The world—my world—became a chaotic book and a beautiful, well-directed movie when I changed lenses.
My new lens made me see the world like this: I was no longer in a freshman French class. I was in a freshman French class with a hot teacher, and I was sitting next to a hot girl who also spoke better French than me. I fell in love with both of them at the same time and hooked up with them separately. The prof started talking about moving to Paris with me, where I could finish the Great American Novel, while she worked in a Chanel store to pay for my booze, cigarettes, and sandwiches. The sex was great.
Meanwhile, the girl who sat next to me had just lost her father in a drunk-driving accident. She needed my strength and comfort. She needed a lot of sex and wanted to hold my hand all the time. Her father—her mother was already dead from cancer—left her a cabin in Colorado just outside of Durango. She wanted to hunt deer for our food, make moonshine, and grow tobacco, while I finished the Great American Novel. Of course, they found out about each other and I lost both of them. I also got an F in French. I had an anxiety attack about being broke and alone and dying in the cold outside of a homeless shelter that had no more beds that night.
That’s what was going on in my head anyway, so I wrote a story about it. In reality, besides asking for conjugation help from the teacher and accidentally dropping my Imodium AD Advanced into the hot girl’s purse, I hadn’t spoken to either one of them. Yet.
A week after I had finished the story, the crazy shit started. The Magic started, though I was sure it was only coincidence at the time. We had to write this paragraph in French about whatever we wanted. I wrote about losing my perfect girlfriend and love and shit like that. (Of course, I had a girlfriend; the chaos wouldn’t be chaos without at least three girls I was in love with.) The professor, Mademoiselle Ashley, asked if I would like to meet for coffee to talk about my paper. We walked across the street to the Karma Café and she bought me a coffee. “You’re writing is beautiful, even with the terrible grammar and spelling.” I thanked her. She went on to talk about my ideas of love and heartbreak. She said my ex-girlfriend must be an idiot and that any girl would be lucky to have me. She told me to keep writing, work on my syntax, and never give up my dreams. She hugged me and slowly slid her cheek across mine as she was pulling away. She walked out without saying goodbye. I was hopeful and totally freaked out about the coincidence of the story/real-life connection.
The next day, the hot girl who sat next to me, also named Ashley, asked me if I wanted to get together to study for the test. (Yeah, I couldn’t really believe they had the same name either.) We went to IHOP. Though our books were out, we didn’t talk about French at all. She told me how her father had died six months ago and that her boyfriend would smack her around sometimes. She asked me what I thought she should do. “Leave his ass,” I said. “Any dude would be lucky to have you.” I know what you’re thinking and you’re right: I was in totally in love with her from that moment on. I held her while she cried in the parking lot until three that morning. I drove home shaking, wondering what the fuck had just happened.
Nothing ever happened with either one of them, and soon enough, my shock and confusion wore off. I forgot that I seemed to have made something happen just by writing a story about it. The story and the reality weren’t that close, right? Right? I forgot all about it until it happened again.
To Be Continued…