1.1.2014 Journal Prompt

Image from Mad Men
Image from Mad Men

January 1, 2014: Hair of the dog.







→Ok, friends, here we go again. Another year, another series of daily journal prompts. I do this because I believe it is important for writers to try to think in the narrative every day, to consider story and its possibilities, and this little exercise of finding photos and putting words with them helps me do that. Even if we don’t write something we think matters each day, this narrative thinking is good creative practice. And by the way, I love hearing from you when this helps get your writing going; please feel free to share links and stories in the comments section of this site. As always, I so appreciate my regular readers and the stories they send: Lindsay, Judith, Cynthia, Susan, and others. Happy new year! And happy writing! Thanks for reading. -PMc←

One Reply to “1.1.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. ‘It starts now and it starts over.’ That’s what she said. ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ It made me so fucking mad sometimes, when those things came out easy, like it was all just nothing. ‘Every journey starts with a single step.’ She was just so full of them and they were supposed to all mean something.

    Her name’s Suzy with a ‘z’. That’s how she introduces herself, as though we might have intended sending her note before we spoke. As though we had to imagine her name written down first before we could really say it. I think I laughed and said something silly like my name’s Brenda with a ‘d’. She didn’t see the funny in that. ‘She who laughs last laughs longest.’

    We work in the same office so we sort of became friends in the way that co-workers do. We hung out at the coffee machine at first and made small talk about the men our mums’d like us to take home and the ones they wouldn’t, and sharing the small details of our lives outside the office. And we went drinking sometimes. ‘One won’t hurt you,’ she always said.

    The thing is that it was never just the one and it got to be a regular thing. Every Friday and she’d change in the toilets at work and the men whistled and said for her to ‘knock ‘em for six’ and they just never understood.

    You see, Suzy with a ‘z’ wasn’t made that way. She was pretty as a film star and her hair all flick and curl and her eyes so blue you could dive in and never come out again. And men talked to her in every bar and they bought her drinks and I could see them undressing her with their eyes. But they none of them really got who she was.

    ‘Different horses for different courses,’ she said, which didn’t really make sense to me. And, ‘The world would be a pretty dull place if we was all the same.’ And, ‘The early bird catches the worm but sometimes the bird just doesn’t want worm, if you gets my meaning.’

    We were in the restroom at the Forked Tongue when it happened, which was sort of apt. She was drunk, but not so drunk as me. And she was stroking my hair and kissing me and saying I was the prettiest girl in all the world and I thought it was another of her riddles and I was laughing and feeling a little funny inside. Then she touched me under my dress and I didn’t push her hand away.

    I woke up in her bed late on that Saturday morning and she was naked beside me and she did not care that she was. She was watching me wake and she was laughing. Not in a cruel way. ‘She who laughs last laughs longest’. I smiled and shrugged and I don’t know what I was trying to say by any of that. ‘Least said soonest mended,’ she said. And she leaned in and kissed me. My head hurt and I was a little confused.

    ‘Hair of the dog?’ she said, and she drank from a bottle of bourbon by her bed and she kissed me again and I tasted bourbon in my mouth. ‘This’ll be our little secret, Brenda. No point in shouting it from the rooftops.’

    And every Friday she came out from the toilets at work and she said, ‘It starts now and it starts over,’ and ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’ and ‘Every journey starts with a single step.’ And all the guys at work whistled and they licked their lips and scratched at their crotches under their desks. And that’s what made me so mad, that they didn’t know and she never would tell them, never would let me tell them. And every Friday I picked up my coat and we headed out together. She smelled of flowers and she walked straight, and she took my hand and I liked that she did.

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