Escape to the Corner

This is my first memoir class assignment.  A personal essay.  I’ll let you read it first and then tell you the comments I got back.

Escape to the Corner

Rollerblading was always something I enjoyed doing on a daily basis. But at some point it slowly turned from being a fun activity to being a necessary evil. When I was 16 I even met my first serious boyfriend in high school rollerblading around the block. Him and his friends thought I was crazy going around and around, talk about boring! Crazy as it may have been, I enjoyed the fresh air and the landscape. Filled with mesquite trees, quail scurrying across the path, saguaro cacti everywhere you looked. Down the street the sounds of children playing on a playground and basketballs being thrown against the backboards, these were things I found calming during my cd player free afternoon rides.

The corner became my happy place, where if I was frustrated with school, boys, family, etc I could skate down to that corner, sit down and relax for a little while. Allowing myself time to think or decompress about whatever was bothering me. Eventually I began going there on a daily basis in between or after laps. Sometimes there were as few as 4 laps (1 mile) and sometimes there were as many as 24 laps (6 miles). Once going religiously became a MUST, I started doing little things like trying to beat a previous timing record, or trying to add an extra lap. Nothing too extreme, or so I thought.

Because I was working 35-40 hours and a full time high school student that meant very little time for skating, but regardless of that, I made it a priority. Sneaking in time wherever I could find it. After a breakup with that boyfriend, I went on a skating mission. I went around the block 12 times in just under 20 mins! That’s 3 miles in 20 mins! I was on a mission, get the hurt out, cure a broken heart with aggression I had never seen before.

Devastation doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings, my ex now lived 3 houses down from my coveted corner. He knew when and where I skated, and would still be outside skateboarding regardless of our breakup. Instantly I knew a new route was necessary. Luckily for me there are tons of walking paths and miles of neighborhood sidewalks to choose from. I couldn’t get away from my corner though… I started skating after working at night, which was wonderful because I knew my ex wouldn’t be out. Sitting in the dark, I could think things through even better than before, but something was missing… The sounds of the neighborhood… The nature views… Everything dark, with only the street lights and lighted windows. Even the sky seemed empty, starless. The quiet was deafening. The empty darkness seemed to be pulling me into depression and the panicky feelings to escape started to surround me. I had to let my corner go.

My next door neighbor began to join me on my evening ventures, still around the neighborhood and even occasionally going to the corner. Which never seemed as depressing at night when someone else was there. Over the next couple months, I slowed down my evening sessions, but that doesn’t mean the skating stopped. I found different places to explore during the day, areas of the neighborhood I didn’t know very well, the walking path that lead to nowhere, down to the gas station. The longer the ride, the better.

Slowly my ankles started to despise my rollerblades. And my knees weren’t a huge fan either due one previous surgery and another not far away, if I wasn’t careful. I began skating less and less. At first I was afraid that my life would start to spiral out of control, that my emotions would begin to get the best of me. When neither of those things began happening I relaxed. I was fine, I didn’t need rollerblading 2 hours a day to keep myself in check. Over the next few months I continued skating, but only a few times a week, when I wasn’t working. After all running around a department store is exhausting enough as it is, no need to add to it!

Things seemed to be going smoothly in my life. I even had a new boyfriend that I met through work. One that didn’t live down the street from my house. One that appreciated me for me. For the first time I was happy with how and where my life was going. Little did I know, that was all about to change.


So, after reading it in class we always discussed what we liked or think needed or could be changed this is what I was told
-it was a great story and that it made people want to know more, but that the idea of the personal essay was one  scene, one snapshot, rather than a couple month story.
-Our goal was to keep it under 750 words, this was 753 words.
-They wanted to know less about the boyfriend and more about me, and what was going through my head.
-The descriptions were great, but they wanted more of them.
-They loved that the numbers were everywhere.

During that class we also did a couple of writing prompts, but that will be another post, so stay tuned for that!

If you have any other constructive criticism for me I would greatly appreciate it!  Thanks!

Comments (2)

  1. Jerry

    Very nicely done, take some journalism classes, you’re talented at writing, always have been, Love, Dad

  2. LaurenRenee

    Thanks, I’m looking for one, but its super expensive so I’m looking around for other options.

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