(c) Set Yourself On Fire (PG)

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(c) Set Yourself On Fire (PG)

Post by . on Thu 11 Sep 2008, 5:15 am

Title: Set Yourself On Fire
Rating: PG - totally harmless, but i think there might be slight profanity
Author: Me!
Status: Complete.
Summary/Exerpt: You don't talk in the boats.
No. It doesn't matter who you are, what you do or how good you are—once your feet are tied in and you're pushing away from the dock, your mouth is shut because this who you are. Leave real life on land and hope to god that your life out on the water is going to be good today.

Sooo...for the record, i row crew. a lot.

non-fiction. pretty much.
last line credit to my coach from last year, aimee.
coxswain=pronounced "cock-sun"
very very short. but i like it.

**

You don't talk in the boats.
No. It doesn't matter who you are, what you do or how good you are—once your feet are tied in and you're pushing away from the dock, your mouth is shut because this who you are. Leave real life on land and hope to god that your life out on the water is going to be good today.

There is one voice that keeps cutting into your ears, as someone takes one, two, three strokes and pulls you away from the dock, out to the water, to the race course, pointed towards two and a half hours of absolute hell. The voice is now yelling "at the catch," and no, you don't hate the cox quite yet—but goddamnit you intend to.

And then you're stroking, following the person in front of you—or at least trying—and passing puddles, letting each other's ripples lay on the water undisturbed, trying to go past them, do it just a bit better, a bit stronger. This is practice, Saturday morning, Thursday afternoon. This is to wishing you had breakfast, didn't eat lunch. This is the burn you have from the blisters and the salt, the cut on your leg from rubbing your thigh against the raw edge of the sliders. It's the last time you'll be wearing your sweatshirt today, and the only time your water bottle is full and not salty. It's the wakes that begin to hit the sides of the boat, or the way it glides across smooth water.

Now you're half way through practice and you're not on fire—not quite yet. Your arms begin to droop, and as the coxswain screams one, two, it's just put your legs into it—goddamn, just pull ahead, it's now four, five, and that's when you know you're not completely in sync with everyone else and scramble, scramble, scramble to get back with it, seven, eight, goddamn just say ten, nine, ten, but it's not like you can let the power down. You're gliding, flying, but you're not winning. What a beautiful sight this must be to someone else, all together, moving across glass at twenty-seven strokes a minute. Hell. Hell this is hell, but you're here by choice.

At the end of practice, after you set yourself on fire a couple of times, somehow you know you did well because you're stepping out of the boat and the coaches aren't smiling, but they're not glaring and that’s good enough—no comment is a good comment. And the boat is up against, digging into your shoulder, the salt water is dripping down your arm, soaking the last remaining dry bits. You're dragging your feet up the ramp to the boathouse, wishing you could be the boat who came in just ahead of you. But now everything is coming back to you, who you are, what you do. Now you're a real person again, not just an instrument for winning. And you still can't figure out why you do this to yourself, why you insist on blisters that bleed on your math homework, falling asleep on your floor at nine thirty, the deprivation of a social life—but you do this. It doesn't make sense to anyone but you, and even then sometimes the line is blurred. Now the sun is setting, or you can smell the restaurants beginning to serve dinner/breakfast, or the factory across the water has never looked as pretty as it does now and yeah, this is home for this part of you—so it's time to let it go again, for another night. Because it doesn't matter if you quit in two weeks or twenty years, these are the days in rowing that you remember.

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Re: (c) Set Yourself On Fire (PG)

Post by she had the world. on Thu 11 Sep 2008, 7:06 am


Was this the OF you were telling me about?

It's interesting, although I still don't understand the whole rowing thing that you put yourself through but I guess it makes a little more sense from this. And you can pull of a POV in 2nd person too, I couldn't ever pull that off.

The fact that this is short definitely suits it, and I don't know what else to say.
It's nice though, I like it and I also think that writing this made you feel a little better? If that makes sense? Idk.

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Re: (c) Set Yourself On Fire (PG)

Post by frayed ends on Fri 12 Sep 2008, 7:50 am

Oh my god, this is beyond amazing.
You're probably one of the best writers ever.
you have pleased him
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