February prompt – I killed it.

I really did. You should’ve seen me.

Never saw it coming. Stealth, I’m telling ya. Gotta go for ninja mode.

Right after I did it, there was a moment of shock from everyone. They couldn’t believe it. That me, of all people, would do it.

I know they thought I didn’t have it in me. Didn’t need to say it, I could read it in their faces. In the looks they gave me.

That’s why I made sure to do it in front of them. Not everyone was there, but they’ll find out. They’ll hear and know.

I killed it.

And you know that record’s gonna last.

February prompt – Honesty is…

an unknown variable.

You hope to recognize the quality, shiny and clean. But sometimes it stands sideways and you may miss it.

Sometimes it is hidden beneath a layer of self-interest. And you think it not there. But it may be, kept small and compacted to almost nothing.

It pops its head out at odd times, inconvenient for the most. But it must be borne out when least desired.

It’s power lies in the will of the one who wields it, not in those who wish not to witness it.

It can free, even as it slays.

February prompt – I found a key…

that led me to you.

But I didn’t realize what that would mean.

What we would share in the coming months.

How our lives would continue to intersect time and time again.

The blows that would be thrown. Promises not kept. Sides drawn.

All because of a key that led me to you.

And started the war.

February prompt – Never say…

‘Win’.

Never presume to give someone unsolicited advice about how to meet a challenge you have not yourself faced.

Never expect things to turn out exactly the same for them that they did for you.

Never deem your struggles to be the same.

Never be another pressure instead of a release.

February prompt – An old photograph

It’s not one I expected to find.

One of you and me, when we first met.
It’s a wonder you talked to me with that outfit I was wearing.

I half remember that day. Well, really, I just remember you. The rest of the day is kinda blurry. Tequila blurry, not whiskey.

Your smile gave me the courage to come up to you. It said maybe I had a chance, but you would let me down easy if I struck out.

I broke all my usual rules with you. The usual bullshit about how long to wait before calling. Before asking for the next date. How often to text.

But you were worth. All of it. All the madness and fun. I wouldn’t change a day of it

A haunting by Neal Cassady (as protrayed by Thomas Jane)

I take the bus to work.

One day, going a different way, I saw a sign that said ‘Artist Studios’ with a For Rent sign underneath. There was a fleeting wondering about them but nothing more.

Today I took what I thought was this same route and remembered the signs. I started looking out the window but realized I had passed the most likely place for the studios. Again, the vague wondering of what they were like.

Then a memory hit me. Of a movie clip I had seen of Thomas Jane playing the beat writer Neal Cassady (a quick check before I started writing this showed that the movie is The Last Time I Committed Suicide).

The clip was of Cassady at his typewriter. He used butcher paper on a roll and fed it through his machine so he wouldn’t have to stop to change pages. It started me thinking of all those portrayals of New York writers, writing in the heat. A fan that just manages to move the air some, a fridge with nothing but beer. Late nights and sleeping most of the day.

And suddenly I wanted to do that. To rent one of those studios and live there during the summer. Maybe use an assumed name, make up a past. Buy a typewriter from one of the second-hand shops around there. Get old jeans and shirts. Just a small fridge and a desk fan. Maybe a cot to sleep on. Nothing I would mind if it got stolen. The idea kept returning to me throughout the day.

Just move out of my place with all of its distractions and force myself to work. To be a mad, desperate writer. Instead of the Paris cafe, the New York rundown apartment. Not the open retreat in the woods, but the small space in the city.

Whether the studios are just meant to be used as a work space during the day with no real amenities or could be used as crashpad is unknown. How long I could make the fantasy last is also unknown. Plus the lack of available funds is a detriment.

But damn if I wouldn’t want to try it, just once.