Create a character with personality traits of someone you love, but the physical characteristics of someone you don’t care for.
I thought these were supposed to be simple. Whine whine.
Physical characteristics of someone I “don’t care for,” well, I actually like most people – so I’ll have to make something up. The thing is, a person could be beautiful yet be a uncomfortable person to be with. I don’t think I’m “turned off” by physical attributes as much as some. I’m more turned off by actions and attitudes. Whine
Okay – just do it.
This character is tall, thin, and hunches over. He smells of cigarettes and has putrid breath. His hair is to his shoulders, scraggly, and unwashed. It is a dull dark brown color and it reminds me of tree roots. He’s in need of a shave, and hasn’t been near a shower in a while. His rumpled flannel over shirt hangs from his bony shoulders. Underneath, he’s wearing a “wife beater” that’s stained at the armpits. His jeans “used to be blue, when they used to be new, when they used to be clean” and they are ripped at the right knee and ragged at the heals, where he’s been tromping on them with his enormous leather hiking boots, which leave black marks all over the white linoleum in the kitchen. [How’s that for a run-on sentence!]
But when he smiles, and his normally dead-fish eyes light up, the warmth of his personality shines through. He has a wicked sense of humor – very dry and unexpected – and an infectious laugh, which usually ends in a wheeze. I’ve asked him to stop smoking, but he shrugs. “Gotta die from something,” he says with a wink.
Showered, shaved, teeth brushed, and in decent clothes, he’s actually quite handsome. Once he stands up straight. I remember his father telling him – “Stand up, show off your height. Don’t be ashamed because you can reach the top of the cupboard and your mother can’t.” (That was a poke at me. His father was a rascal.) His teachers at school used to badger him about joining the basketball club. But no Joey, he’s just not a competitive sports kinda guy. He’s more in to art and drawing. Solitary occupations that keep him from too much social contact. I despair at the thought of grandchildren. He’s never going to meet a girl if he doesn’t actually get off the farm.
Well, he’ll be out of the house soon enough. He’s headed to college – to get an art degree of course – in a month. And now he’s literally out of the house, and down the hill into the woods. His favorite spot. I’ve tried to follow him, just to see where his hidey-hole is, but he hears me coming and complains, “Mommm,” drawing out the m like an angry bee. He’s safe enough out there in the woods. He knows to stay away from the poison ivy and out of the stream. He keeps an eye out for snakes and knows to stay out of the mushroom circles. I wish my husband had.