A Short Story-

In a Face
Short Story- Nonfiction
Written by -M. Taggart

In a Face


You can see intelligence in a face.

In college I was told by one of my English professors to not bother writing a book.
Actually, he told me that I wouldn’t. And to not bother.

I asked him why. He said, “It takes a lot of work to write a book. And so many students say they will, but they don’t. Or, a book is started and not finished.”

He was bald. He was having a hard time pushing his material into his carry bag. Which,
For some reason was already slung over his shoulder.

I’m bald. I was going bald while in college. I don’t care who’s bald.
He was bald.

So there he was, this man-thing, telling me to not bother writing a book.

I don’t want to be a writer
I am a writer.

But, he didn’t know this, he wouldn’t understand even if he did.
My professor had just told me his struggles to write a book were my own.

Another thing he didn’t know was that I had already written. A lot. And I wasn’t an English major. I took English classes because they were my young-adult recess.

When I read Kafka’s Metamorphosis we dissected it with a professor’s assistant.
She was Russian and spoke broken English. Our class of over 400 was broken down into small segments. My group was roughly 15.

We met with her every Tuesday at 4pm.
She would constantly ask for my interpretation of Kafka’s work.
I wondered if she asked for my opinion so often because I wasn’t afraid to speak in front of others. But, that was a lie. I knew why she asked. I just didn’t allow myself to accept it, not just yet. Isn’t it funny how we do this to ourselves.

She was driven by literature. She listened, and thought about her responses
before delivering. She would ask us what authors we enjoyed. Then she’d write the names of the authors in her notebook.

She was beautiful. Her mind. Her broken English.
Her struggle to express.
She seldom made facial expressions. Her eyes danced while listening.

You can see intelligence in a face.

A Simple Kiss

I used to read books
While walking the UMASS campus
in Amherst, Massachusetts
I’d walk and read
and maneuver through crowds
Going from class to class
then back to the parking lot
Sometimes it was so windy
I couldn’t hold the book open
And one time
a tall, beautiful girl, kissed me
Flat out kissed me because I was reading a book
I guess
I’m not entirely sure
I didn’t ask her
I kept walking
It was a simple thing
I suppose it was an odd thing
but it was a nice thing

-M. Taggart


Reading for Recess

While in college I took as many creative lit courses as possible. For me it was recess.  I was a business major and the books were my escape from numbers and strategy. I found it odd when an English major complained of their work load. Reading wasn’t work.

I found the classes to be easy. I became bored and would ignore the professors assignments. Instead, I approached each new English professor with an option for me to create my own assignment. Though they didn’t know, it was the same assignment I gave myself for each English class.

I’d ask the professor if I could dissect the literature on my own terms.  The terms were for me to decipher when an author was overstepping their characters personality and inserting their own.

I became very aware of hidden agendas and found the best authors were the ones that kept these agendas away from each character and let the character be themselves. Unless the book was clearly identified as an agenda laced piece of work. If that were the case, I’d accept it for what it was, and admire the honesty of the author.

I have one author in mind that seemed, in my opinion, amazingly sloppy with this technique. Yet, her work is constantly on the best selling list and endorsed by many.

I feel if an author writes the story well and accurately the agenda will take care of itself.

I’m done randomly rambling for now.