4.18.2014 Journal Prompt

Image from State of Play
Image from State of Play

April 18, 2014: He wrote at night.

One Reply to “4.18.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. He wrote at night. Late, when the hours were longer and the whole of the world seemed to be sleeping. Then his thoughts could be heard and so he sat at his desk and he wrote things down. Sometimes his words made stories and he did not always know how that happened. He just began with a thought and like string in a minotaur’s cave or breadcrumbs laid as a trail, his thought took him somewhere.

    He didn’t always like what he wrote. The stories upset him sometimes. They were full of black and dark and bad. He wondered what that said about him. There were men who did wrong in his stories and women who were loose or wicked, and really that was not how he saw the world. It was like he was making a parallel place and everything there was the mirror opposite of here.

    For example, there was this girl and her name was May and he stumbled over his words when he spoke to her. She was pretty and sweet and real and all her movements were dance steps. They walked together some days, going nowhere and somewhere, and she took his hand in hers and it was everything, and that was real, too. He thought that he loved her and once he even told her that he did but his words were so small that she never heard. And being without her at the end of each day was the loneliest thing.

    But when he sat down to write, and May was a thought in his head, then the world he wrote was different. There was a girl called Alice in his written world and she laughed and teased, and she swore like a truck driver, and she was pretty, too, but only on the outside. And she kissed him with her tongue and she put her hand inside his pants and her breath on his neck was quick and hot and wet.

    And afterwards, before he’d even caught his breath, Alice just walked away like it was nothing, and she laughed and she made a show of adjusting her dress so everyone else would know. And he was left alone in that airless darker other world and it was only that being alone that was the same as being alone in the real world.

    Some nights he started off clean and the words that he wrote held a sort of poetry to them and he thought these words must be nearer the truth of what he was. But then there was always a twist and the seeming-good was not and this other uglier world broke through into his here-and-now world.

    He sat back in his chair and listened to the quiet of the night and the sounds of sleepers dreaming and the stars fizzing in the sky. And he held his pen back from the page and he thought of May and her hand in his hand and smelling of flowers and soap and cleanness. He laid down his pen, resisting the temptation to write, and he just held that one bright thought.

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