Reading My Defense

This is an excerpt from a WIP, using a Teachers Write strategy. I found a photo of one of my characters, Taylisha, and have written a scene trying to give readers a description of her.

I used to be such a cocky S.O.B.

I’d strut around with my shirt off, tantalizing the girls with a physique blessed by good genes and forged in the team’s weight room. The athletic stage was my arena.

This stage, was different.

While Taylisha and I had enjoyed frequenting the coffee house where she and others shared excerpts from their writing, I hadn’t found the courage to share my own scribblings. They were writers. Thinkers. I was a jock. Their words aroused the spirits. Their musings stirred the heavens. My words? Pathetic.

Reluctantly, I handed my journal to Taylisha. She assured me she’d be gentle. I assumed she’d give it a quick glance and hand it back with a few kind, charitable compliments. But she held on, gazing deeper than expected into my small collection of observations, ponderings, and attempts at prose.

She was looking at my soul.

At first, my shoulders tensed, and my head felt dizzy. But she was fixated. Her breathing was still. Her straightened back and elegant neckline told me that she was no longer sitting across from me, but instead was lost in the world of my words. Her eyes – those eyes that exuded confidence, beauty, and a belief that she could help create a better world – her eyes were soaking in my words. And I could see her lips, those beautiful lips that I longed to someday kiss with my own, were moving ever-so-slightly with the rhythm of her reading.

I had been accustomed to reading defenses for years. To breaking them down, and exposing their weaknesses. Now I was being read. And exposed.

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3 thoughts on “Reading My Defense

  1. I love this passage – in fact, I didn’t want it to end. Your details created a tension, the exact tension that so many writers are hesitant to face. I hope to hear more from this story.

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  2. Writing is a form of exposure. As always, the author decides just how much of his soul will be exposed, but there is something personal and profound about having our writing shared with others. That’s why blogging, when done from an authentic, reflective place, can be scary because it puts us in a position of vulnerability. The dichotomy is that IT IS IN THAT PLACE of vulnerability that we find strength and courage.
    I love your reflective process and sharing, Greg!
    Thank you for sharing your gift,
    Jennifer

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