Sunday, November 20, 2011

choices galore. (or 30.)

1. "When I arrived at the memorial site, I couldn't think of anything witty or poignant to write, so I just carved 'I miss you' into the telephone pole that killed you and went home."

2. "I'm looking for reasons to carry on."

3. An ominous post-it note in a library book.

4. Prompt: A deserted rooftop of a derelict building. A storm is looming, thunder cracking across the grey sky. But it won't rain. The world is sobbing, not crying.

5.  Prompt: The sudden lack of spinning blades caused me to awaken with a start. Nothing moved, or hummed; none of the man-made electronics were alive anywhere inside the house.

6.  They say he killed his own sister...

7.  If I had known there would be a dead man sitting on my couch, I would have stayed in bed.

8.  Prompt: She was kissing him, his cheeks, his eyes, his mouth. She wanted nothing but his lips on hers, if only for a moment. She wrapped her arms around him...and plunged the blade deep into his back.

9.  Ending: You look at the tiny drawing and sigh. Who would have guessed such a small mark could have caused so much trouble? You lick your finger and wipe away the ugly little picture once and for all.

10. Ending: You uncap the red marker. The smell of the permanent ink is intoxicating. You draw a thick red line through the last name on the list and sigh in satisfaction 

11.  Ending: When I woke up, it was just as gray and gloomy as it had been all day. But for the first time I didn’t mind. (flash)

12. Ending: She laughed and ran ahead. (flash)

13.  Random Inspiration: Run away to Brooklyn. Rent an apartment with a claw footed bathtub. Commute to Manhattan during the week and put in hours at a menial publishing job. Drive home to New Jersey on weekends to swim in the pool and cry to your mother. Smoke Gauloises on the fire escape. Let yellowing issues of Rolling Stone and Vogue pile into a protective fortress around your bed. Listen to Cat Power. Fall asleep mostly naked beneath the duvet watching Sportscenter and drinking earl grey. Date a Yankees fan and kiss his hands on the 4 Train into the Bronx.

14.  Random Inspiration: Run away to Barcelona. Eat milk chocolate magnum bars and drink cheap champagne. Burst into charming fits of laughter whenever you get embarrassed about butchering the Catalan language. Wear denim cutoffs, Dr. Pepper chapstick, and very little else. Go dancing at 3 a.m. Whiten your teeth. Tan your shoulders. Braid feathers into your hair. Perpetually wake up with sand caught in the thin cotton sheets of your tiny bed. Listen to the Rolling Stones and kiss all the longhaired boys you can get your hands on without ever having to apologize.

15.  Random Inspiration: Run away to Los Angeles. Sublet a studio in Venice three blocks from the beach. Listen to top 40 radio. Go to Chateau Marmont and charge drinks you can’t afford to a long-dormant credit card. Sleep with a television actor who lives in the valley. Sleep with a musician who lives in Bel Air. Break things off with both of them when gas prices begin to rise. Find Gilda Radner’s star on the Walk Of Fame and swallow a sob when you see the filthy cement around her name is cracked. Walk through the Venice Canals until the sun sets and you forget your own name. Call your mother crying from the parking lot of a 24-hour Ralph’s supermarket. Tell her you want to come home.

16.  Random Inspiration: Run away to Paris. Gaze at the pink and pistachio glow of macarons in the window on Boulevard Saint-Germain. Listen to Joni Mitchell. Meet an Argentinean man in the Latin Quarter for drinks. Melt into his accent and kiss him goodnight, but return to your apartment alone because his face doesn’t look enough like the man’s you are trying to forget. Get lost in the Richelieu Wing of the Louvre, admiring Napoleon’s fine red damask. Walk alone along the Seine in an old dress, ten-dollar shoes, and an Hermes scarf. Fumble with the locks on the fence overlooking the river. They all have lovers’ names etched into them and the girl who left the red heart-shaped lock has the same name as you.

17.  Random Inspiration: Run away to Martha’s Vineyard. Write heartbroken stories during the day in front of a large fan that blows curls of humid hair across your tired face. Take a waitress job at The Black Dog at night and try hard not to drop too many trays. Learn to ride a moped. Pretend you’re a Kennedy. Listen to Carly Simon. Eat hand-churned ice cream out of waffle cones. Visit the flying horses and consider how many girls just like you have sat on the same horse clutching for the same brass ring. Get stoned and dance barefoot down the length of the eroded Jaws beach. Date a Red Sox fan. Yell at each other during baseball games, and then kiss and make up between tangled sheets.

18. Fantastic inspiration: for memoir of a serial monogamist.  ba-dum-bum.  whooooooo are you? who who?

19. Flash fiction: (candles. the party.) Write about the last birthday of the last person on earth.

20. Flash fiction: (murder by spatula) Write about an accidental murder with an unusual weapon.

21.  Ramblings of a Reaper.  Write from the point of view of a Grim Reaper. Do you enjoy your job or hate it? Can you quit whenever you want or is it something you were born into, something necessary for your survival?  .. I'm just a regular guy with a really unregular job.  Futuristic versus current?  Chapterized into memorable killings, with little life quips in between.  The reaper is Frank.

22. Flash fiction: Sam and Greg.  The relationship is over.  LGBT twist. (Nothing to do with sexuality.. just a relationship ending.)

23.  "I hate the cold."  It didn't used to be so. ..... but now I just hate the cold.

24. Coffee-shop talk.  Eavesdropping.

25.  Short: "But, where is Lenny?" Five strangers get locked in a room together for an hour. They have one mutual friend but that friend is nowhere to be found.  So where is Lenny anyways?

26. No-Date-Abby.  A story about the third wheel, from the couple's perspective.

27. Short: The Subway, With Love.  Never see each other again.

28.  You used to like breakfast.  Do you want to go to breakfast? NO. I don't want to fucking go to breakfast.  Fuck you and the wrong side of the bed you woke up on.

29.  my life in girls.  hi-fi style.

30.  Ending:  She folded the letter, gently creasing it into thirds. What a shame, she thought to herself, so beautifully written, too.  And tossed it into the fire.

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