Question of the Day: In honor of late Poetry Month (April), who is your favorite poet and what are some of his or her poems that you enjoy?
Yes, yes, here is the Character Profile #2 that I know all of you have been waiting for for over a week! I am very sorry for being MIA…no, I did not die and return back to life, I was merely studying for my AP exams. I had my first exam today and have two left! Wish me luck!
As a reminder, creating these character profiles gives me the opportunity to practice writing full characterizations that can potentially be used in stories and other literary works of mine.
For these profiles, I pull certain people from my day-to-day life that I find extremely interesting (not in the creepy way) and with distinct mannerisms that would shape them into perfect characters for a story and do a character profile on them. After the profile, I allways write a short passage from a potential story in the point of view of someone who is physically close to the character at a certain moment.
Enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think about Jayla*. :)
Meet Jayla Thompson
NAME: Jayla Thompson
BIOGRAPHY: Jayla is a part African-American, part Hispanic two-year-old, and so pretty much has a whole life ahead of her. She was born and raised in New York City, where she now resides with her single and very young mother, seven-year-old sister, and grandmother in a two-bedroom house. Jayla’s father left her family when she was only a few months old, thus she has no recollection of him at all and must live without a father figure. Although most two-year-olds are still in the “developing” stage of their lives, Jayla is extremely bright and picks up on things that most wouldn’t at her age. She loves Barbies and playing with hair.
AGE: 2 years old.
HEIGHT: Between 1-2 feet high.
WEIGHT: Almost three pounds.
BODY TYPE: Babyish, chubby, small.
FACE TYPE: Small face, still chubby, full lips.
EYES: Large, chocolate brown, and very sharp.
HAIR: Similarly colored like her skin but a little darker. Kinky, very short, and curly. Her mother usually keeps it in two pigtails at the top of her head held by hair ties that have large white beads strung in them.
CLOTHING STYLE: Often, Jayla is clothed in pink outfits with printed graphics such as Sesame Street on them.
SPEAKING STYLE: She has a rather hoarse and rough voice. Authentic African accent since her mother is pure Nigerian.
GENERAL DEMEANOR: Curiously watches the motion of every newcomer that she meets; very shy in front of strangers but talks animatedly when she’s just with her family. Caring and understands most of what goes on around her even though to others it may not seem like she does since she’s just a two-year-old.
PREJUDICES: Because of her mother’s ideals, she is slowly developing a racial prejudice against any white people that she meets and consider them to be “white trash.”BEST QUALITIES: Exceptionally intelligent for her age, has very few temper tantrums.Worst Qualities: Racial prejudice against white people, a good liar (but only lies when it comes to joking around with her sibling; may become impulsive as she grows up)
WEAKNESSES: Has little perception of what men are like since she has no father figure.
HOBBIES: Piano, hide-and-seek, plays with her doll house, eats, sleeps.
TALENTS: Picks up simple tunes on the piano by ear.
It had been an uneventful day. Same working hours with the same colleagues, same coffee to go and the same “Hello” to the bus driver. Now, I was on the same bus ride that I took everyday downtown to my apartment complex. In a few hours, I would be patting the same golden retriever named Travis that I’ve had since I was a child while reading the same newspaper that I’ve been reading for years. The New York Times.
Sometimes I wondered if things would always be the same like this. On one hand, I loved having the same routine over and over; things were stable and my life was simple. But there were times when this routine got old. Very old. And there were days like these when I wished desperately for a change, something to spark my interest and make me feel lively again somehow.
The door of the bus creaked open and a gust of cold, windy air blasted through. A young, African-American woman bustled into the bus, her left arm holding a caramel-colored baby not more than three years old against her breast, and her right hand clutching the wrist of a young girl who was sucking her thumb. I could instantly tell that she wasn’t one of the “regulars” that took this particular bus ride everyday by the way she moved her way around in a shaky manner and how her eyes darted from face to face, each one just as unfamiliar as the former. The woman steered her children to the only vacant seat on the bus, the one in front of mine.
As the bus door slammed shut and the vehicle began moving again, the small family sat down, scrunched up together.
The mother took out a crappy cell phone, dialed a number, and was talking to another person in a strange African language that I could not put my finger on in less than a minute later. I could hear the older child sucking her thumb loudly, while the two-year-old stayed completely silent. Her large eyes wandered around and finally landed on my own. Something about the way she looked at me with such intensity made me suddenly feel as though she knew what I was thinking, knew that I was screaming for a way out of my day-to-day routine. In that instant, I knew that she knew me.
I quickly looked away, but out of the corner of my eye I could see that she was still watching me. The bus swerved at a sharp turn and went over a speed bump swiftly without stopping; automatically, the seven-year-old daughter began to cry; her thumb was now bleeding, as she had accidentally bit on it too hard. The baby finally broke our locked gaze to look at her sister. Their mother half-heartedly began patting the child’s back, but her voice did not waiver as she continued to chat nonstop through her cell phone. I watched in amazement as the baby brought a hand up to her sister’s face and caressed it slowly.
“Are you okay?” For the first time, I heard her voice. It was steady but rough, as if she had a natural hoarse throat. “Are you hurt?” The baby took her sister’s thumb and kissed it, and finally, the tears began to subside. “Thanks, baby,” the mother said, sparing a few seconds to give her daughter a quick smile before turning back to her conversation. As the bus came to a halt at my stop, I stood up and gathered my things…but even as I passed the three ladies and approached the doorway to pay my fee, I whipped my head around in time to hear the child reply softly, “You’re welcome, Mommy.”
I was still staring at the bus even as it drove off, not bothering to shelter my head from the freezing rain outside. I was still thinking about what I had just witnessed after I entered my apartment and said an absentminded hello to my golden retriever. I took today’s paper from my coffee table and sat down to read it, one hand clutching the paper and one hand patting my dog. But I didn’t take in a single word; I was too busy hoping that I would see that family, with that little baby, tomorrow…and then the next day, and the next day afterwards.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.