You Can’t Kill the Dog

by gillis

I could be enjoying a quiet lunch right now. Eating my thoughtfully composed salad in peace. Maybe reading an article or a few pages of a book. I could even be eating with a few colleagues in a nicer space. We could converse about grown up things together. Instead I am at my cluttered desk, juggling my lunch and mounds of uncorrected papers while a cluster of students buzz around the space. They are stealing one another’s lunch items and roaming around the room. I continue to nudge them back to their desks, their laptops, their notebooks. They’ve established their stories and have little need for my input. They bounce back and forth between working and chatting. I sit here at the desk, chewing quietly and listening to their conversations…

“We have to kill him.”
“Who? The dog? You can’t kill the dog.”
“We have to kill the dog. He’s the antagonist!”
“Besides, it’s a chihuahua.”
“A TEAcup chihuahua…”
“It’s still a dog…”

“Well, duh, it’s a magical shed and when they go into it, it’s huge and it becomes another dimension.”

“You’ve spelled it wrong, it’s not Mahaaaa, it’s supposed to Mwah hahahahaa..”

“I just wrote an amazing sentence ‘They stood in the distance, looking into the cemetery, staring at the crows on the scarecrow.’…well maybe it’s not that amazing after all.”

“We need to get them out of this video and into the fight, so get them out of watching the video.”

“They are Turkish names. The wolves live in Turkey.”

“I think she’s deleting everything.”

“I’m the only one not doing chapters.”
“You’re not doing chapters?”
“Why aren’t you doing chapters?”
“I’m just not doing chapters.”

“Which is funnier, Crazy Carly or Crazy Ruby?”

“What is the name of our story again?”
“Oh, that’s right.”

It continues on like this with students dropping in and out of conversations. Typing and writing happens, or doesn’t. I am fly on the wall, listening in on these chats. The kids have formed their own writers’ group in here, supporting and encouraging one another. Pushing back when things don’t work. They are their own audience. Their purpose is to engage one another. I chew my salad.