Writing exercise 13: Challenging expectations

[This was an exercise intended to get us to play with stereotypes, and try to build them into more complex beings than just 2D, flat characters]

“You never listen!” he yelled, marching out of the kitchen angrily. The phrase was underlined heavily by his black lipstick. He raced up the stairs to his room, slamming the door for effect. This was no mere feat in baggy trousers and heavy goth boots. Still, the effects of his rage were felt; those boots may not have been made for walking, but definitely for stomping. Letting out a frustrated sigh, he looked around his bedroom as if that would provide answers for the multitude of questions in his head.

Nobody understood. Nobody ever understood. Sure, he was an anguished, tormented teenage soul – like millions of others around the globe – but that didn’t mean he didn’t know exactly what he wanted from life. His age gave them no reason to treat him like they knew better. He hrmphed at the silence – just because his parents were going through a mid-life crisis and wanted to move didn’t mean he had to. His life, friends, and dreams were all here.

To soothe himself, he flicked on the cd player and inserted a disk with appropriately angry music, switching instantly to a track relevant to the strong betrayal he felt. Plopping down on his unmade bed, he stared at the ceiling while the sounds of Tosti’s Non T’Amo Piu washed over him, passionately performed by the grand master Luciano Pavarotti. He closed his eyes, mouthing the words silently. God damn it, this was beauty. This was poetry.

As the aria drew to a close, he leapt out of the bed, turning the volume up as the next track came on. E Lucevan Le Stelle from Tosca sorrowfully seeped into the room, this time by another one of the greats: Placido Domingo. Without hesitation, Mario sang along, his voice falling and rising in tune with Domingo’s. A sharp banging at the door and “Keep it down in there! I’m trying to study!” prompted him to pump up the volume, drowning out his sister’s cries of protest. He heard her stomp off to confront their parents.

One day he’d be rid of this life, this family. One day he’d be like Pavarotti, Domingo and all those other great tenors. One day.


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