Imitation Practice: Model 5
Passage 5, “The best time to run away is September. When you run away in July the good people are off someplace else. Their daughters or wives are on guard, and one of them will be blocking the front door, arms folded, yelling at you, “Where do you think you’re going, missy, with that suitcase? If you think you’re going to throw your clothes around my house you got another thing coming.” What you have to do is walk right on down the street, keeping your eyes straight ahead, pretending you’re on your way to someplace a lot better.”
By Dawn Powell, “What Are You Doing in My Dreams?”
The only thing worse than malaria is waiting to find out if you have it. When you lay dead in your mosquito net your friends are off on some great adventure. They will come back, and relate you the whole story over the spicy joloff dinner, the one you shouldn’t eat, describing to you, “the high of my day was figuring out my whole project, but how are you feeling? If you want I can hold your hair when you barf.” What you have to do is plaster on a smile, swallow the clumpy bug infested rice, reminding yourself that this is all a part of the great experience.
I am sure that “good-bye” is the greatest of oxymorons. There is nothing “good” to be said about a “bye” in favorable circumstances. You travel and meet new friends, burry an irretrievable shard of your heart in the dirt, sulking, searching yourself, “Why do I have go to back?” Everyone knows you will never see them again, or if you did it would be nothing short of a miracle, silencing these thoughts because what could be more dour than an “I’ll never see you again, my dear friend” parting?
Still, I prefer the silence. Maybe even “badbye.”
The most annoying people are the ones who always wanted a motorcycle. When you get that past tense and unrequited clause you already know the whole story. They sit there with their memories, chin in their palm, trying to convince you, “I almost this” or “So and so had one, but” that. I always wonder why they take my helmet as an initiation for this conversation, nod my head, and fiddle with my keys as I make my way down to my scooter.
September is the best time to run away. No guards, no suspicions—just walk straight, eyes ahead, pretending you’re going someplace a lot better.
September is a great time to run away. Good people are abundant and no suspicious guards. You just have to straight—eyes ahead on the road to somewhere better.
Why September? Because the good people are gone in July, leaving their women to interrogate you, when you yourself do not know where you are going. But how do you do it? Just walk straight? Eyes ahead? Pretend you are going somewhere better?
Inversion of Parts:
You are only able to run away, walking right down the street, keeping your eyes straight ahead, if you look like are going someplace a lot better. You miss out on the “Where do you think you’re going, missy, with that suitcase?” and other interrogations if you wait till the good people come home (the ones gone in July). Yes, September is the best time to run away.
Running away anytime not in September is the worst. If you do it in July the good people are gone and you get to meet their daughters or wives, arms folded, their endearing questions like, “Where do you think you’re going, missy, with that suitcase? If you think you’re going to throw your clothes around my house you’ve got another thing coming.” Unless you want to stumble down the street, look really awkward, and fail in your charade of “on the way to somewhere a lot better,” then be my guest. Just know that September is not for you.
My favorite part about this model is the content, and it is hard to match anything. Starting with a statement and then defending it is a fun tactic though, and I think it helped me think of a lot of my own ideas and present them in a new way.