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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: Victor
By Paul Potenza



A lot of guys are pretty self absorbed.

They can tell you about the amount of gravel needed to fill a given driveway, or why the Yankees are the Evil Empire, or what a “manifold” is. As young men, they are schooled in the art of spitting.

They can spit approvingly, such as when they are looking under the hood of a ‘65 Chevelle Malibu, or disapprovingly, as in the case where they have recently learned that the Yankees have, once again, beaten the Heroic Red Sox, in a critical divisional game. The trouble comes in when they are asked to describe their innermost feelings about things like a sunrise over a little red barn. Or a majestic waterfall in a beautiful wilderness setting.

Faced with such a question, most guys will spit approvingly, (especially into the waterfall). Then by way of clarification, they will say something like “It’s Awright”, followed by a belch of admiration for the wonder that God has placed at their disposal.

A lot of guys don’t get it.

Now, before you accuse me of being one of those sentimental, “In Touch With His Feminine Side” guys, let me tell you that I am ALSO a pretty poor representative of the male species. (I learned the nuances of spitting when I was 11).

But I have a friend named Victor. Victor was different. Nobody hung with the guy for reasons that I have never fully understood. I couldn’t resist him. He is bright (Yes, he’s still around) and articulate and funny and sensitive. And he’s brilliant.

One spring day, we were taking a walk together, and we passed a bush, on which were several flowers. On that day, he showed me colors and reasons for life (both physical & spiritual) that I had never even begun to imagine. Here was a world, created by God, that I had somehow overlooked. I was changed that day.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. In many ways, I’m still a neanderthal. But now I find myself appreciating things like sunsets at the beach, and the heart piercing color of an evergreen tree against a blanket of sparkling white snow.

And I’m not so quick to dismiss someone who is different than me as being “weird”.

One other thing. Now I like getting flowers on special occasions.

Thank you Victor.

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This article has been read 798 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Alexandra Wilkin10/10/05
Oh you give me hope for the male of species! I read this with a huge smile on my face from start to finish. I would like to have known more about Victor - his background, and perhaps more about the day with him that you describe. How did he describe the spiritual and physical things? Very nicely told though. Cheered up my day nicely! God bless.
Shelley Snyder10/10/05
Good story. One thing I noticed was this line: "But I have a friend named Victor. Victor was different." You start out in present tense and then move to past.

You did a good job describing, and I especially liked the first few paragraphs. Good job!
Debbie Sickler10/10/05
I agree with Alexandra's comment; I would also like to have been told more about
Victor. The point where he changed your perspective on life would have been a great place to expand. If the moment was so important, show the reader what happened.
My own husband is an odd mix of clueless Neanderthall and sensitivity, maybe he once new a Victor... :)
Brandi Roberts10/10/05
My husband is a "Victor". Thoroughly enjoyed this - especially the admittal to being a neanderthal sometimes. :)
dub W10/11/05
Although the tense shift bothered me, I think the loose end concerning Victor was a mystery Plus, leaves us wanting more. Fairly well written overall. Thank you.
Gabrielle Morgan10/11/05
How important to find a Victor in life! Someone to extend your thoughts and visions. I enjoyed this story very much.
Jan Ackerson 10/12/05
You have a witty voice and a very readable style. Watch for consistency of tense, and you'll have a top-notch story.
Anita Neuman10/12/05
I thought a woman was writing this at first. What a funny surprise to see that you were including yourself in this group. Ha! I, too, would like to know HOW your day with Victor changed your life. Very interesting story.
Karen Deikun10/13/05
You have a great opening here - I was hooked immediately. I agree with the others, though, that what Victor said and did on that crucial day is the cruz of the story and should definitely be expanded.
terri tiffany10/13/05
It was nice to see this story from a man's perspective. I enjoyed it!
Allison Egley 10/13/05
I'm going to echo what many other people have said. Tell us more about Victor, especially the day he showed you the flowers. What did he tell you? Why did it have such an impact?
Allison Egley 10/13/05
An ammendment to my previous comment.... It is well written over all. I too was smiling when I read it. Who (of the female species) knew there were different types of spit?
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/15/05
This was a fun story! Thank you for the glimpse into your and other men's heads. :-)
B Brenton10/16/05
What a nice story. There are many Victor's out there! Thanks for sharing it.
Yolanda Baker10/17/05
I loved the story. Felt like I was talking with you face to face!! More of victor like the others have said would make for fine print! I can see a mini book or is it called a novelle? anyway God bless.
Marilyn Schnepp 01/15/06
I could do without the "spit" and the "belching" - (smile) - but the rest of the story was a masterpiece! And, contrary to what the others said, I found no confusion in tense, and I didn't need to know anymore about Victor! You told me all I needed to know = and that's what makes the piece so well written! Loved it! As is!