Deep Observation Assignment: Eleven Examples

Southern Belle

William Rossi

She isn’t from here and God only knows why she dragged herself here for him. Their chance encounter in Miami was probably more romantic as a result of booze, sun, and recreational drugs. They were side by side their whole spring break, apart from the times they were on top of each other. They both took the trip down with their friends for spring break in their senior year of college. She must’ve been wild then; compared to the conservative schoolteacher she is now.

“Gonna miss you, Kaitlin,” he mumbles to break the silence that ensued since they got on the train. Her blouse is buttoned all the way to the top; the buttons enclosing her breasts are one breath away from flying into the seat in front of her. She wraps her yellow cardigan around her body and fidgets in the seat due to the lack of space between them. He rests his hand on her thigh and rubs it softly. The fact that he’s still interested astounds her. Her eyes roll up in a plea to God to end the torture. She’s still heated over the fight and argument that ensued Saturday afternoon, after Chris recovered from his hangover and Kaitlin packed her bags up.

The monthly bar crawl that Chris and his friends avidly participate in, conveniently fell on the date of Kaitlin’s arrival. The problem with drunken, male twenty-somethings from Long Island is that they are bestial beings, whose brains stopped growing in the early stages of fetal development. Their alcohol tolerance is at a maximum but that doesn’t stop them from hitting peak intoxication by 9 p.m., thirty minutes into the bar crawl. With multiple bars to continue, the group of beefed up morons fumbled down the pavement until they managed to plant themselves on a stool at the next bar. They all neglected the small, southern blonde until her face smacked the pitcher that Chris swung over toward his table of brutes. Her hair turned a dark brown and her curls fell loose as the Budweiser dragged her makeup down her face. Any sober gentleman would have grabbed as many napkins as he could, apologized profusely, and left with his “date.” However, Chris was not sober and not a gentleman. “Fuck! The beer,” he shouted with a slurred Long Island accent. As Kaitlin ran out, he returned to the bar where he slugged back what was left in the pitcher and slammed it on the counter, demanding a refill, and reporting a spill on aisle three.

Once she gets back to North Carolina she’ll send a text, a call if he’s lucky, explaining how the distance is too much and they’re both clearly in different stages of life. She has a career ahead of her, and he won’t make it much further than the futon he tried to seduce her on in his parents’ basement. How could she possibly commit to someone with no goals, aspirations, or even a job?

She educates children, in a town no larger than the one she grew up in. Her parents live five minutes from the apartment she shares with a nurse named Liz. Liz accompanied her on spring break in April, and saw Chris and Kaitlin’s relationship develop. She helped Kaitlin pack for the trip and dropped her off at the airport Friday morning. Now Liz will have to listen carefully, as Kaitlin speaks between spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate ice cream.

Discussion Questions

  • Why would somebody want to read this piece (the “Who cares?” factor)?
  • Can you clearly identify the author’s intention for the piece?
  • How well does the author support the intention of the piece? Cite specific details that support or take away from the author’s intention.
  • Is there information missing from this piece that would make its intention clearer? What else would you like to know?
  • Does the author portray herself as a round character? How does she do this?
  • Do you trust the author of this piece? Why or why not?
  • How clearly does the author establish a sense of setting/space in this piece? Cite specific details that support your claim.
  • How clearly does the author establish characters other than the self in this piece? Cite specific details that support your claim.
  • Did you learn anything new from reading this piece? If so, what?
  • Are there particular passages with engaging language/description that stood out to you? Describe the appeal of these passages.
  • Would you read more writing from this author? Why or why not?

 

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Southern Belle by William Rossi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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