Ankle Deep.

I am taking my very first creative writing class this semester in school. I’m very excited about it, and I am hoping to learn quite a lot about my personal writing style – both to expand and improve it. We are going to be having mini, in-class, writing exercises, and when I like the results, I will be sharing them here. This was the first one. I hope you enjoy!

 

ANKLE DEEP

Ankle Deep

In that short, awkward space of pre-teenagehood, young American girls have their first rite of passage: learning to shave their legs. Sometimes, I imagine, in beautiful, content, suburban households, moms take their lovely daughters into their pristine bathrooms and show them their hard-earned, good technique and safe shaving practices. Or perhaps, this honor is passed on to an older sister – that wise and gorgeous entity, that awe-inspiring person who does everything first. It’s a warm event, and young girls feel content, embraced in the warm cocoon of shared womanhood.

I wasn’t so lucky. First, my mom, a real, certified hippie, didn’t really want me shaving my legs so early in life. In fact, much to my chagrin, she often commented that if her leg hair had been as well dispersed and generous as mine (her legs being enviously bare of almost all things hairy), she would never shave at all. Second, my sisters, 5 and 10 years older than me, weren’t interested in mentoring a snot-nosed, hairy pre-teen. Finally, I wasn’t in American Dream suburbia. Instead, I was stuck in nowhereland ruralville, with no television, no magazines, and no money. I learned on my own.

I did an okay job for the most part, the first couple of times coming away with just a few nicks and scrapes, like an old man’s chin. I was a clumsy tomboy. The real tragedy happened a few weeks into shaving. Excited to get out of the tub and play soccer, I hadn’t yet mastered the art of shaving while standing, I shaved faster than usual. With the water showering down on me, I wielded the razor like some sort of crazy samurai and shaved off all the skin on my ankle bone. All of it. Clean gone. With the water now running red, swirling down the drain in a whirlpool of blood, soap, and hot water, I tried to calm myself, forcing my hands to shave my other leg.

By the time I got to my other ankle, my hands were shaking. Eyes wide with terror, I fixated on the lovely, thin skin that covers the fibula, snaking up from the ankle, and shaved it off. Like fate, it couldn’t be avoided, and even as I moved I knew it had to happen – balance was restored in the universe. Now, instead of perfect ankle bones, I have lovely twin scars, ¼ inch width and 2 inches long. Baptized in blood and pain, it was a real rite of passage.

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4 thoughts on “Ankle Deep.

  1. That was really good! The first story I’ve ever read regarding shaved legs, and it kept my interest. Your writing caught my eye when I first read your entry about Dragon’s Crown. You have a great way with words. Your style is rhythmic and flows well.

    If you dont mind a small observation, truly given in humility because I have just recently started paying attention to my own writing.

    Commas are dangerous. I am currently writing my first story and the rough draft of my first chapter was full of over-long sentences. I found that the more I used commas the more I could describe things, but the easier it was to lose track of what I was talking about in the first place. Upon review I felt that 30%-45% of my sentences had commas where they could have been split up into separate sentences. The more I began to separate my thoughts with periods, forcing myself to be concise, yet descriptive, the more power I felt each sentence had.

    Take that with a grain of salt, coming from someone who has literally never taken a writing class beyond high school. A professor would very possibly disagree with me, in which case please feel free to offer me a stfu sandwich.

    But for reals, you have a great talent for writing.

    1. Thanks so much!!!! I really appreciate your encouragement and value your constructive criticism. It’s so true. I can definitely tend to ramble on in terms of sentence length, and it’s something I’m constantly battling with. I think I pretty much do the same thing when I talk :) Sometimes it’s good to remember to take a breath. I’ll have to see what my writing instructor says next week.

      But seriously, thanks so much for the feedback <3 and good luck with your story as well! Btw, please, don't stfu, I really look forward to your comments. :3

  2. I enjoyed it! And it made me wince! I’ve never nicked myself that badly while shaving (thank goodness), but I can imagine how excruitiatingly painful that must have been. I mean, even a tiny nick is so damn painful and the amount of blood dripping out from it..ridiculous! I also read the comment above and took notes. I need to watch my comma usage as well. I look forward to your creative writings!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Yeah, shaving was always a difficult thing for me, so at about 17 I started waxing my legs (tmi, but I had to share). I was just too impatient and clumsy to ever do a good job. Thanks for the encouragement, and I hope my next few creative writing attempts will also produce interesting results/conversations :”)

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