Dear Writer’s Block

Dear Writer’s Block,

It’s not you, it’s me. I’m a dick. I won’t get off your couch and to be honest with you I’ve already got snacks stashed in the sofa cushions. I’ve also started stealing your stuff. Unless you’ve previously made an archive of everything you own in preparation for this event, you’ll never see any of it again.

I confess that I purposely get in your way when you have friends over and I don’t let them in when you’re not home. Turns out your friends have stopped coming over entirely but I wouldn’t blame that on me, you’re a pretty shitty friend, always dredging up bad memories.

Hang on, I think I’m getting confused between you and me. In actual fact, you’re the dick Mr. Block. Get off the beautiful black leather chaise lounge in my Mind Palace and go piss someone else off. Also please return the stories to me that you may have stolen during your stay so I can resume archiving them in case you ever return.

Yours insincerely hopefully from a significant distance away,
Your Former Landlord

 

 

Writing Boot Camp: Day One

“Write a letter breaking up with Writer’s Block starting out with, “Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me…”

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Breeze

Not me, nor her, nor she, nor

I shall float on tomorrow’ breeze,

Cold with regrets of yesterday and

Old futures, lived in the pasts of

Lonely people once bound together by hope’s

Encompassing resilience.

30 Day Poetry Challenge: Day 1
“Write an acrostic poem where each line starts with the first letter of your name. It can be about anything, but should not be about you or your name.”

Day Twelve: Writing 101

Screening

I didn’t see the sun today,
But was blinded by the light.
I don’t know if clouds floated my way,
If it was day or if it was night.

I conversed with people for hours,
In our old, familiar place.
I know that there was laughter,
But I never saw a face.

My world today was virtual,
I didn’t see a soul.
But I swear I never get lonely.
Honestly.

LOL.

Day Ten: Writing 101

Today’s Prompt: Tell us something about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory. Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

~

Dinner of Champions

I used to hide my peas in the tall vase at the dinner table. I don’t know why mum insisted on giving them to me, I clearly didn’t like them. She wouldn’t have known that mind you, because I hid them every night before she saw the leftovers.

There is no particular dinner that I used to look forward to, food is fuel to me so sitting down for a meal is a mandatory activity that denotes no particular pleasure. Unless there are donuts, frozen cokes, Sara Lee chocolate cake or chocolate bavarian involved my excitement doesn’t rise much above a 3. If someone mentions chocolate souffle however, the excitement borders on orgasmic and everybody knows about it. You’ll notice all of my “excitement foods” contain bucketloads of sugar which in all  honesty I don’t really need – I’m pretty hyperactive already.

All I ask for in my meals in future is one dish that contains baked potatoes and some form of chocolate dessert. In my immediate food future is a scotch egg, I love a cooking challenge. Apologies this post has been uninteresting, but I’ve made myself hungry so am going to go and eat.

Writing 101: Day Nine

Today’s Prompt: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

~

Crying, Cats & Cross Dressing 

He used to have that wig. He thought about the one he had carefully placed in the garbage bag three years ago, still on it’s mannequin head to keep its shape, and started to tear up. The old woman knitting the red sweater on the park bench didn’t wear it nearly as well as he had.

Suddenly he couldn’t contain his emotions. He had been so gloriously happy, sitting at home night after night, pink kitten heels sticking out from his cream ankle length skirt, stuffed bra sagging awkwardly to the left under an oversized pink blouse, wig coiffed to perfection. He would watch television, whatever was on, and knit socks, scarves, whatever he could to donate to the local homeless shelter for winter. He lived in this bliss, man by day, elderly woman by night, for eight years and thirty four wonderful days until his mother made an unscheduled visit one night and he was sprung.

He walked out from his bedroom, adjusting his stockings as it was a chilly night, only to come face to face with his mother who promptly passed out on the floor in front of him. By the time she came to he was in jeans and a t-shirt, denying she had seen anything. She could not be convinced.

From that fateful night on, she took him to church three times a week and twice on Sundays. She prayed for him at her bible study, he received invitations to church single mixers and she showed no sign of letting up. She sent him to a camp where he was one of ten other “troubled” men who were there for similar reasons. They used to wait until the camp leaders were in bed and share stories of shoes and bags and beautiful things no one else would ever know.

After two years and a deep depression he attended a single to mingle evens and met Anna. Anna was beautifully naïve and showed no signs of recognition when he said his name. Clearly she was new to these circles. He made jokes and though she laughed he could tell she didn’t understand them. She seemed like low maintenance and just the type of woman to get his mother off his back. She could pray the gay away all she wanted but until he made a bold move like the one he was about to, there would be no peace. God must have been sick of her by now. The day after he turned twenty nine, six months later, they were married.

He continued to weep, Anna’s arm linked through his, stroking it absent mindedly as she looked adoringly at him from concerned eyes. He wept for the life he’d had and how much he missed the peace of being by himself, but more importantly, the wardrobe of beautiful clothes he had discarded so his mother would never be disappointed by him again. As they approached the old woman knitting the tiny red jumper, all he could think through his tears was “I’d look better in that blouse.”

~

She heard a sniffle, Neil was crying. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen him tear up, but he was letting the tears flow freely now. She looked ahead and saw the old woman sitting on the bench knitting something red. It must be his grandmother, she thought. Neil’s grandmother, “Nana Kay” had passed away a month ago and it had hit Neil hard. He had sat in her closet and packed up her clothes for several days, not letting anyone else help him.

She struck lucky when she found Neil. She had just moved to town and knew no one so a local church mixer seemed like a good place to be. She’d seen Neil across the room, so well groomed and smiling as people walked by. She smiled at him, laughed at his jokes and hoped he couldn’t see that she didn’t understand them as they laughed together. She was hooked.

Neil was a giving person. She worried that he was impotent, he never seemed to like sex much, but he always made sure that she came first so she didn’t feel the need to complain. He also seemed unfussed by blow jobs and when she tried he would pull away. She had a very sensitive gag reflex so didn’t mind not doing it, but she loved him, so if he ever showed interest again she would do her best. He cooked, he cleaned and he bought her amazing presents on special occasions – he had the best taste. Her mother adored him.

She rested her head on his shoulder as they walked along the path, running her fingers up and down his arm, more for her comfort than for his. She would snuggle him when they got home, maybe she could make him talk about Nana Kay, he hadn’t opened up yet. She had spotted him once sitting with one of her cardigans, breathing in its scent and holding it against his face, tears in his eyes. He was her perfect man.

~

Noreen hated couples. She chose this park to knit in because it seemed to have less couples than other parks she’d been to. She found the concept of love mortifying. Why spend your life with someone trying not to show them your real self when you could be doing what you wanted to? Oh no, the man was crying, crying. What kind of man cried? Particularly in front of his partner.

Noreen wasn’t a fuddy duddy, she considered herself quite up with the times. She understood lesbianism much more than she did a heterosexual relationship, she’d rather be with someone of her own gender who understood her. Even more preferable than another human was her poodle. Second to Lady, her eleven cats had her heart. She cooked for them, cleaned for them and was as devoted to them as a dog is to a human, it was a beautiful relationship. The perfect relationship.

As she continued to knit, Noreen watched the couple walking towards her. The woman had puppy dog eyes, staring up at the man with concern and a love that made her stomach turn. People couldn’t be trusted. Animals, they could be trusted. She finished the last few stitches of her the jumper and added it to the pile beside her. Only seven to go. The one similarity she tolerated between humans and animals – they all get cold in the winter.

Day Seven: Writing 101

Today’s Prompt: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue.

~

The Unconscious Subconscious 

“Write.”

“No.”

“Do it,”

“No.”

“I’m sitting here with a pen and paper ready to go, DO IT.”

“I’ve got nothing to write about.”

“Liar. You’re my subconscious, I’m sure there’s some deep seeded issues in there we can talk about.”

“Nope. Not a one.”

“Why won’t you help me?”

“Because you don’t want me to.”

“What do you mean I don’t want you to?”

“I’m your subconscious, you’re terrified of actually putting anything on paper.”

“No I’m not. Why would you say that? Failure doesn’t terrify me, what have I got to lose?”

“It’s not failure you’re scared of, it’s success. What have you got to gain?”

“I’ve got everything to gain, that doesn’t make sense to be afraid of that.”

“No, but once you gain the world you can lose it. That makes you terrified.”

“Am I really thinking that far ahead?”

“For once in your life, yes. Impressed?”

“I am. You know what I’m more impressed about?”

“What?”

“I just wrote this conversation down so I beat you. Sucker.”

“You are me, you’re the sucker, sucker.”

And the battle with my subconscious continues.

Day Six: Writing 101

Today’s Challenge: Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year? Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.

“I MET THE DEVIL TO KNOW ITS NAME”

Yesterday I met the Devil. It was one of those quiet days at work when no one cares if you take a long lunch…so I took the whole afternoon. Browsing the web at lunchtime last week I had seen an ad, small and discreet at the bottom of a news site: “Meet the Devil” it said, and listed a two hour window when you could drop in. The address wasn’t suspicious, it was a suite at the biggest office block in the city, only minutes walk from my shabby old office. I decided to give it a go. I put the 2 hour window in my diary as “Private Appointment” and forgot all about it.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I started questioning what I was about to do. I wound my scarf tightly around my neck and inhaled one last breath of warm air before stepping outside. It was then the questions came: do I believe in the Devil? Do I believe in God? If I was going to meet the Devil, would this forever change my fundamental belief system and way I live my life? The ad had been next to one for “Madame Fortune: where all your dreams come true” so my confidence level had been low from the start. Chances are I was going to be Punk’d and laughed at by millions. Oh well, we either win or learn.

I had always been under the impression that the Devil was male. Like God. While I would like to think that a woman created the universe, I think it must have been a male because a woman would have done a better job and would be more proactive in fixing the problems.

I got out of the lift on level 6 and found unit 66 (666? How original). I pushed open the heavy oak doors and found a simple reception area, black walls, black shag carpet, marble reception desk, and stark white plastic chairs for visitors.

The receptionist was blonde, too blonde. She was perky and welcomed me and said the Devil  wouldn’t be long. I moved over to the white chairs and sat on one. It was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever sat on, ever. It was like sitting on concrete that had never been smoothed. There were stones and other lumpy items bulging into areas that should only be treated nicely. I stood up and turned around to the look at the chair, completely smooth. Was I losing it?

“Is something wrong?” the receptionist asked me.

“Just stretching,” I smiled.

I sat on the horribly uncomfortable chair again and looked around in more detail. It felt more like a brothel than an office space. All that was missing was the leather on the walls and some red tint on the fluorescent lights.

“The Devil will see you now, go straight through,” the receptionist motioned towards a set of heavy oak doors.

Thank God. All I wanted was to be off that chair.

Then I realised that I was about to meet the Devil. Was I about to die? Was I about to be swept to the Underworld and tortured forever?

Meh. Change is as good as a holiday. I pushed through the heavy doors with gusto.

It was like there were no windows, they were floor to ceiling and so clean I could have walked straight through them. The Devil was being melodramatic and facing away from me so I could only see the back of the chair. It must have been expensive and was black leather like every other furniture item in the room.

“Hello?” I said.

And then it turned around. Or should I say He. Or She. Then He again. As the Devil turned to face me it looked nothing as I had imagined. I had thought of red skin, horns and a tail with spikes on the end, stereotypically of course. But in fact the Devil was human, with a face and body shape that changed about every five seconds.

“Hello,” the Devil said to me. “Please sit down.” And He/She gestured me towards the single leather recliner in front of it.

Hesitantly I sat down, waiting to see if it would be the same uncomfortable, trick chair as in reception, though gratefully it was not. The Devil laughed at me.

“I love seeing people do that. Did you enjoy the chair in reception?” it asked. It was looking at me with a bemused look on its face, the ever changing face. The reception chair appeared to be a long running ‘in joke’ that I was not in on.

“So, what can I do for you?”

It was very distracting watching its face change every five seconds. Just as I would get comfortable with one set of eyes looking back at me, they would change into someone else’s – blue, brown, fierce, relaxed – it was very off putting.

“I was simply curious I guess. You see an ad for the Devil and you just want to know. Do you get many people responding to the ad?” I asked.

“More than you would think actually. One gets bored when one is alone all the time so I like to keep myself entertained. Would you like to see how many have visited?”  it asked me.

“Of course,” I said, then suddenly thought ‘what if it’s about to kill me and keep my head on a spike in the closet?’ I’d been watching too much Game of Thrones apparently.

It opened a floor to ceiling door that perfectly blended into the wall and the whole back of the door was full of chalk tallies. Apparently hundreds of people had been as curious as me. I was comforted. We walked back and sat down, me making sure I walked behind in case it was going to murder me from behind.

“Do you have any questions for me?” the Devil asked, head cocked to the side.

“Only one. Why do you make so many evil things happen in the world?”

It laughed. A cackle like you hear witches make in movies, but it’s face resembled a small child with brown plaited pigtails to its hips, hardly threatening.

“My dear I am not evil, nor do I create evil or make people do evil things. What I do is watch the truth in people come out. People are born and are not tampered with. I do not prey on them at their weakest moment, nor do I lead them into tempting situations. You humans do all of that by yourselves.”

“But what about people like Hitler? Surely that kind of evil comes from somewhere?” I ask.

“Of course it does. It comes from whatever is inside them. Whether those feelings are created by genetics, how they’re treated as a child or something more, I am not sure. Unfortunately I am not privileged to the secrets of the universe – I just get blamed for them. That’s why I take out an ad and come sit here for an afternoon, to see what you all think of me. It is a lonely existence knowing I will never die and am thought poorly of. Imagine billions of people hating you. It’s a tough gig. I think after me, Judas had the worst deal. But at least he got to die.” I sensed some bitterness.

“I still don’t get it, how are evil people just evil? What drives someone to murder someone else or kill thousands if it’s not you?” I can’t wrap my head around what it’s saying.

It sighs as if it’s been through this a thousand times.

“If God was a loving God, do you not think He would stop all of this. Yes, God is a He, sorry to disappoint your gender. Do you really think a female God would let everyone suffer like this? She would more likely tell you all to play nice and get on with it. You are God’s amusement park and believe me He’s rarely shocked. You’d think of all the civilisations He’s created in all the galaxies He’d try and make at least one run smoothly.

You people are inherently bad – depending on what you classify as bad. If you’re a Christian and believe that sex is bad then you will try to avoid doing it, even though it feels natural. If you’re an atheist and you think murdering people is bad, then you try to avoid doing it. Everything is relative to your own opinions. That’s why people try to take over the world every now and then – they have the strong belief that their opinion is the right one.

I do not bring evil into the world. I give people someone to blame when they are their true selves because your tiny minds cannot cope with the fact that people are just the way they are and that is that. I am not the evil, I am the justification.”

“Am I dead?”

“Why would you be dead?”

“Because you’re the Devil and I’m talking to you..”

“No, you’re not dead. Grim Reaper takes care of that. I think you’d like her actually. I’ll set you up with a coffee date. Totally innocent and no death I promise. Not yours anyway.”

“Grim Reaper is a woman?”

“Of course. If she was a man, the only people left on earth would be his mum, his buddies and the prostitutes. Hardly a productive environment, but sustainable.” Surprise, surprise, the Devil was funny.

We talked into the night and I learnt that the secrets of the universe are not so secret – humanity have decided to create the fantasy of secrecy as a “get out of jail free” card.

I walked away with my view of the world unchanged – I, like all humans, will always choose to believe that there is some negative force somewhere that I can use to justify my bad actions. It’s name is the Devil. We choose to believe in it so our uncomprehending minds do not implode with the gravity of knowing we just are that bad.

The Devil is you, is me, is him, is her. The Devil is us.

P.S. Got a coffee date with Grim Reaper and the Devil next week, I’ve been promised I’ll get out alive. In case I don’t, I thought I’d write this down.