If youre bored why not critique my Essay?
Hello, dear Basilers.
Wrote this for a college class in roughly 1.5 hours. Critique welcomed. Warning: slightly dark.
Essay prompt was: "write an essay in which you alternate observations on the physical aspect of your subject and the powerful emotions and contemplations that grow from it's physical and objective reality"
Overgrown blackberry bushes on both sides of the long driveway scrape against the sides of my Chevy Tracker. I wince, but bravely press on, telling myself that the scratches will come out easily. Ahead of me, sitting on a large hill, is a three story house overlooking a yard that probably hasn't been mown in years. The bottommost deck has been reclaimed by nature, as thorny vines encircle the railing, threatening to climb to the second floor balcony. The remains of a garage sale are strewn about, old children's toys - some of them mine - peeking out from the grass, a broken lawn mower with a "free!" sign still taped on it stands sadly rusting in a corner. I carefully angle around a broken beer bottle and park in the upper driveway, glad to see that the huge black truck, which belongs to my mother, is absent. My dad has commissioned me to come here. He thinks that I need to visit my mother. I've never told him that this place is one I would never willingly go back to.
[i]It is late November. The bus has dropped me off and I run up the driveway, smiling cheerfully despite the bite of cold in the air. I want to show Mommy the drawing that I made in school today. When I get through the front door, however, I know instantly that this is not a Good Day. It is a Bad Day. [/i]
I get out of the car and go to the front door, not bothering to knock. When I open it, I am assaulted by a foul stench of cigarette smoke combined with the musk of old ([i]vodka it's vodka Mommy's Special Drink[/i]) urine and vomit. I hold my nose and breath shallowly through my mouth. The carpet is nearly black in some places. I go to my old room, my shoes still on because they're cleaner than the floor.
[i]"Hey, honey. How was school?" Mommy's speech is only slightly slurred. Maybe my instincts were wrong, she looks fine, my child's mind insists. But when I lean over to give mommy a hug, I can smell her Bad Breath. [/i]
I take only a cursory glance at the broken counters, the ants infesting the containers of open food in the kitchen, the cigarette butts in an makeshift ashtray - the bottom half of a broken glass unicorn that once proudly sat on my dresser.
[i]It was an accident. I wanted to have some tea, like Big Sister. I underestimated how heavy the sugar container was, and spilled it all over the floor. I let out a small gasp, hoping Mommy hadn't heard. But of course she had. [/i]
It'll take forever to get the smell of this place out of my clothes. Disgusted, I leave through the front door. But instead of getting back in my car, and going all the way back to California, like I should have, I start to climb the hill above our house.
[i]Mommy is screaming at me, I am crouched in the corner trying my very hardest to Not Cry. Mommy hates Crying. Mommy will hit me if I Cry. She looms over me, and I panic. Big Brother always runs from her, runs from her and does not get caught. I am hoping that this will work, as I bolt from her shadow. I vault over the railing on the front deck and run up the big Hill behind our House. [/i]
When I get to the top of the hill, I am a good ten feet higher than the top of our house. I can see that the gutters are clogged with leaves and the sunroof in the bathroom has a thick layer of grime covering it. I turn away from our house and start climbing again.
[i]Usually when Big Brother runs Mommy doesn't chase him, she always goes back and takes her anger out on Big Sister or me. She is pursuing me, though. Maybe it is because she hasn't had as much Bad Drink as I think she has, or maybe she is very very angry. I cut across our neighbor's lawn, slipping through their wooden fence and find myself in The Field. [/i]
Our neighbor's house, the neighbors who were elderly and sweet and always invited us over for cookies, has a "For Sale" sign in front of it. It is funny how you get so caught up in your own world - a world full of college and textbooks and essay deadlines - that you forget other people live, and die, as well.
[i]I can still hear Mommy yelling Bad Words at me in the distance. I am afraid that she will catch me, and I run faster. I had hoped that the grass would be long and tall, so I can hide in it, but of course it isn't. The owners of this field had mowed it not long ago, and my small bare feet are hurt by the prickly cut grass.[/i]
The field hasn't changed much. The grass is long, waist high. It is an oval shape, about three acres wide and seven acres long. I walk across it ([i]"YOU LITTLE B- GET BACK HERE!"[/i]), liking the quietness that comes with being in nature. Los Angeles is never quiet. It is filled with cars and trucks and heavy bass music spilling from speakers.
[i]I reach the end of the field, a barbed wire fence, and slip through it too quickly. I am cut down my back by the metal spikes. I can't hear mommy anymore, but I am taking no chances. Out in the field I am too exposed, like a black bug on white pavement. Before me, separated from the field by only the barbed wire fence, are The Woods. [/i]
I take off my hoodie and use it to carefully pass through the barbed wire fence. I walk along the fence ([i]run! She's going to get us![/i]) until I reach the faint trail, used mostly by deer and other wildlife. Trees, some of them eighty or ninety feet tall, tower over me, blocking out the sun. the trail is overgrown in some places, and I must work my way through undergrowth, eating blackberries as I go.
[i]My mind is still clouded by panic as I stumble through the trees, only narrowly missing stepping on thorny bushes. It is not until I reach the Stream that I calm down. I am not sure if Mommy is chasing me anymore. I huddle by the stream. I took off my jacket when I got home, and the cold November winds are only slightly lessened by the trees. [/i]
I rest ([i]Take refuge[/i]) when I reach the small burbling creek, sitting beside it. Birds flit between the branches and sing songs. The air here smells woodsy, like pine and tree sap and grass. It is a small piece of wilderness, sitting practically in my backyard. The air is clean, the bushes carry no fast-food wrappers between their leaves, there are no tourists taking pictures. It is just me and the birds.
[i]It has only been a few minutes, surely not enough time for Mommy to have left, but now I have a bigger problem than Mommy beating me black and blue. It is starting to get dark. The front part of my mind, the rational part, tells me that the trail is right there. I won't get lost. Surely Mommy will beat me all the harder for disobeying her and running into the woods... I decide to close my eyes and count to One Hundred, which is as high as I can. [/i]
It strikes me suddenly that I have never sat and and relaxed ([i]hide, hide, we're hiding[/i]) like this back home. I sat down, yes, but my mind was always on the next final, the next midterm, the next whatever. Just going, and going, and going. It was a wonder that I hadn't burnt myself out yet. I resolved to make more time for myself, more time to sit and silently reminisce. I close my eyes and remember.
[i]When I open my eyes it is Dark. The trees block out the moon, the stars. I cannot even see my hands in front of my face. I try to be calm, fighting the fear in myself that I haven't yet gotten rid of - the Fear of the Dark. I get up, slowly, and try to see where the trail is. It isn't there. Where is it? I have lost the trail. I have lost it, and now I cannot go back. A cold voice in my mind speaks up. "This is your Punishment. You disobeyed. You Ran From Mommy. You are never going back home. You will stay out here in the wilderness Forever." [/i]
I sigh and brush the dirt from my jeans as I get up. The trail is ahead of me, ([i]No it isn't, it's gone[/i]) and the stream is behind me. I ignore the trail, though and walk along the stream, which has tiny silver fish in it. The underbrush is thick enough that I take off my socks and shoes and walk in the stream. About fifty yards later, I come to an almost perfect circular clearing with a huge tree inside of it.
[i]I panic, blindly running, splashing through the water and crying. Sobs choke my throat but I still manage to yell out "Mommy!". I no longer care about being beaten. All I know is a child's all-consuming fear. I trip over a rock and fall to the dirt, and pain immediately sears through my hands and wrists. [/i]
I skirt cautiously around the large patch of stinging nettle ([i]It burns it burns oh how it burns[/i]) laced with thorny bushes and stare up at the magnificent tree. It's trunk is nearly four feet in diameter, and it extends upwards with branches spouting off perfectly to form a picturesque setting. It is almost straight from a movie, with sunshine dappling over my jeans as I put my hand against the trunk.
[i]I whimper as my feet suffer the same treatment. I don't know what has happened. There is no blood that I can feel, but my arms and feet feel as if they've been dipped in fire. I curl up into a ball, rocking back and forth, crying so hard that I cannot breathe. I am sure that this is my Punishment. Monsters surround me at every side. I can hear them breathing and snarling. I don't even notice the tree until my back is against it. I wait for the monsters to get me. I wait to feel their hungry teeth chomping away at me. The dark presses against me. [/i]
No picture on the internet could ever capture this silent beauty. It is infinitely different than the Photoshopped pictures, the Instagram filter'd junk that clogs up my news feed every day. Nature does not need a filter to be beautiful, it simply is.
[i]Half an hour, or maybe it is a year, a century, passes before I hear the voice. "Ritaaa, Ritaa" calls from deeper in the woods. At first I am terror-stricken. It is a monster, surely. But my mind wrestles the terror away and points out the beam of a flashlight, sweeping between trees. An instant later, I recognize the voice. It is Big sister! She has come to save me! I get up slowly, stumbling towards that light. Calling out the name of my rescuer. [/i]
I turn slowly from the clearing, away from the tree, and begin my trek back home. Perhaps in a year, or two, this land will be sold and houses will settle where these woods have made their roots. Perhaps a fire will come and burn everything away. Nothing is certain. I don't even know who owns this land, let alone what will happen to it in the years to come.
[i]When we arrive back home, Mommy has passed out on the floor, a pool of urine underneath her. I hold my nose as Big Sister says I can sleep in her room tonight. I cling to her like a mussel to a rock. When we get ready for bed she leaves a light on for me, even though I know she can't sleep well with one on. We both know that she will go to college soon, but until then, she will rescue me. [/i]
Thank you for reading. :]