Tag Archives: writing prompts

Fight Your Instincts

You want some advice? Okay, I’ll give it to you.

Never fall in love.

Despite what the movies tell you, what books tell you, what art and music and all of that other shit tells you, never fall in love.

Do you see me? I’m half of what I used to be. The man that I was is nothing compared to the man who I am today. Love will make you better, they say. Bigger. What they mean is that love inflates you, fills you with the air of false promises and disillusion. And when love goes away, all that air escapes. You don’t shrink back to your pre-love size, no. You become crumpled, stretched out, like a condom that’s been used and carelessly thrown away.

She took half of me, maybe more. Some days, it feels like it was all of me.

The day our love ended, it felt like she plunged her hands into my chest and ripped open my ribcage, like some hack-job autopsy. Ribs broken and shattered, shrapnels of bone splintering my veins. One by one, she took my organs. My liver, my spleen, one of my kidneys. I watched helplessly, waiting for her to pull out my heart and end it all. Moments passed and my eyes – as I could not speak – asked her what she was waiting for.

She smiled and shook her head. I’m not taking your heart, she said.

I want you to remember this.

She sewed me up without a single care about the neatness of her stitches. I looked down at my chest, ruined and permanently scarred. She left me my heart so I could remember this. This pain.

So don’t do it. Fight your instincts pal. Don’t fall in love.

Well, I Never…

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Whatever.

I didn’t quite know how to fix us.

Maybe it was because I didn’t know what was broken. How could I go about finding a solution when I didn’t even know what the problem was? The egg had to come before the chicken. Or vice versa. Whatever.

I’d look at you, sitting across from me. Your eyes were turned to whatever Netflix selection we had settled on for the night, but I knew you weren’t really watching. It was hard to do anything in this place that we called home. Our days were tension-filled, moved along by civility and a shared sense of mutual disdain. Or love. Or disappointment. Whatever.

I felt like I should fix us. But I knew that I needed your help. When we would chew on our bacon and make small talk about our days, I wanted to stop you, stop the charade, and tell you that I needed you. I could not do this without you. To plead for you to help me.

I never did though.

Maybe I was selfish? I wanted to be your hero, to save us both from the fall. Instead, I followed you blindly, as you took my hand and walked us closer and closer to the edge. I could have stopped in my tracks, jerked you back towards me and done what I needed to do. What I was too afraid to do. Yea, heroic.

We fell. That night, I lay in bed. You stepped out from the bathroom and paused in the door way. You looked down then up to meet my eyes. You told me you loved me but that wasn’t enough anymore. So you were going to leave. I thought to ask again for your help, although there had never been a first request. I was selfish. I didn’t want your help. I would let my pride destroy the best thing I had.

I fell from that cliff, not bothering to look back to see if you were still standing there. Ambivalence could not be helped. Whatever.

I Am a Rock

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Something

I’m looking for something, she told you. You watched her move between the racks of clothing, her fingers running softly over each piece of item. Marking them, subtly, as hers, whether she would leave the store with them or not.

Well, what’s something? you asked.

She stepped forward so you took a step, too, eager to keep up with her and to demonstrate something that you could not yet name.

Something… that is me, she replied.

You chuckled. Well, who are you then?

She turned and looked at you over her shoulder. Her stare did not go through you, no. It stopped, right at your heart like shrapnel, and exploded into smaller pieces, ricocheting through your body. Through your blood.

I’m yours, she said.

Mine?

Yes.

Simple, easy, no fuss. A declaration and nothing more. You closed the distance between you, as walls had been scaled and guards disposed of. She picked up a black dress and held it up to you.

What about this?

The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man

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Everything

Things always went my way. Some people said this with some hubris, a cloud of arrogance hanging over them, but me? No. I meant it. I spoke the truth.

Facts were all I had and they served me well.

Since being a small child, I had the world at my disposal. Small chunks of the world taken off, bit by bit, and handed to me on a golden platter (no, silver was not acceptable). Even as a small child, I knew the power that lay at the tips of my fingers, the very ends of my strands, the farthest synapses of my brain. What I wanted, was done.

I was a God.

But then, once I was reassured in my power, I fell. For all the things I had desired, the places I had conquered, the people who I dreamed of and left, I could not fall in love. Time and time again, they fell for me, as I had decreed. But I could never reciprocate. Tried as I might, as many feelings as I felt, as much as I had them shower me with gifts and romantic escapades, love escaped me. And then I would throw that person away, convinced that they were not the one, that it was them who were unworthy of my love and that was why I could not give it.

The lies we tell.

What is more terrible than to have everything, but the ability to love someone else?

Mad as a Hatter

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The City of…

I moved to Los Angeles for school.

Who could resist going to school in the City of Angels; the city of perpetual sunshine; the city of perpetual droughts; the city of traffic that’s seen as normal and just something you have to accept if you’re going to live in Los Angeles; the city of godly Mexican food; the city that used to be Mexico; the city of beaches; the city of no rain; the city of no weather; the city of blistering summers; the city of fitness; the city of fake fitness if you have a good plastic surgeon; the city of two universities; the city where UCLA is better if you’re smart but USC is where you go if you’re rich; the city of film & television; the city where you might see a celebrity and realize that wow, they don’t look as great as they do on screen; the city of museums; the city of hipsters; the city of skid row; the city of the homeless…

I love this city. Or really, maybe it’s the city where you tell yourself you love it because to say otherwise would be blasphemous.

We Built This City

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Death

Throughout the many different types of love that exist, the single commonality that all types of love share is death. I believe that if you love someone, or something, or some place, then ultimately, you are afraid of losing it — of its death. The fear of no longer being able to love this person, this thing, this place is the dark underbelly of love. There cannot be love without the possibility of loss. Otherwise, how would we know that we ever loved in the first place?
I Want to Know What Love Is

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Wednesday

I wke up tday and thught it was Wednesday.

I lked up at the ceiling and said, “Is it Wednesday?” I thught certainly it was.

I gt ut f bed and walked t my dr, sure f this idea that tday was Wednesday. My hand turned the drknb and then I realized that it was Tuesday. I felt sad. I was unsure why.

I had n plans fr Wednesday. Nthing exciting was t happen. I suppse I just wanted it t be Wednesday. ne day clser t Friday.

Wh came up with the wrk-week? Decided that Wednesday wuld be Hump Day. Why 40 hurs each week? 40 hurs devted, n, wasted at a place that I did nt like. 40 hurs. Think f hw much I culd d with thse 40 hurs that I pretended t wrk at my wrkplace. I culd paint, I culd write mre, I culd d mre f what I wanted, f what made me happy. 40 hurs f happiness.

40 hurs.

I was still standing there, caught between my bedrm and my bathrm, my thughts and the awful reality that tday was nly Tuesday.

I wish it was Wednesday.
Twenty-Five

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