Words, Weights, Whatever

Monday, June 06, 2005

***Tell me what you hate***

Every time I visit my sister’s family, I immediately think of my nephew, AJC. For a variety of reasons, he’s taken a liking to me. I don’t mind; he’s a likable teen once you get to know him once you get past his sullen, moody, “goth” persona. (Note to teens: no matter how much you think you know it all, you don’t.)

Unfortunately, that means I have to focus virtually all my attention on him at any family gathering. I barely have time to eat as he bombards me with questions or his latest attempt at a sarcastic commentary. And conversations with the rest of the adults at the table? Forget it.

But this Sunday proved to be decidingly different and interest. AJC and I wrote a book together over dinner.

I was discussing my latest writing project to the rest of the guests. AJC, sitting to my right, piped in and said, in his usual manner, that I should write a book about him. I turned to him and said, “sure. Tell me what you hate.” That threw him: I had thrown down the gauntlet and dared him to pick it up.

But he made me proud and did. He, after an adorable stammering and “uh, uh”, backtracked and tried to explain he didn’t hate anything. I twisted his answer, reminding him we were working on a character based on him. He paused to think, giving me the opportunity to get a bite of my meal.

“People,” he declared. “I hate people.”

“Okay,” I said, “but be more specific. Why do you hate people? Why does this character hate people?”

And on and on. By the end of dinner we had come up with a major character, supporting ones, the opening scene, several “candy bar” scenes in the middle, and a tentative ending. AJC even came up with the title, GoTI (obviously an acronym. Do you think I want you to steal this possible award-winning book?)

More importantly, though, I bonded more with AJC. I gained a lot of insight into his hopes and dreams and a better understanding as to why he did some of the things he did. (Nothing new though the reasons were incomprehensible since, for example, I’m not a religious person, thank the gods.) As I walked back to my car, I thought, damn. What a great session. And it was free!


  • Nephews, in their teens, can be funny turned human beings. My two are pretty open in their discussions with me about their likes/dislikes which has enhanced my relationship with them. The oldest, 16, likes to talk about girls with me, the youngest, 13, just thinks girls suck :)

    By Anonymous Keith, at 1:12 PM  

  • Aww, obviously he has been admiring you and wanting your attention for awhile with his sarcasm, trying to be cool in your eyes. That's so great that you had that discussion with him!

    By Blogger TK, at 6:54 PM  

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