Doldrums · Stream of Consciousness

Maybe These Daily Prompts Aren’t So Bad After All

What bores you?

My son spins around on the extra wheeled chair in my office, staring blankly at his phone. Majority of his classmates are probably still in their beds, sleeping off late night excursions on Minecraft or Roblox or Fortnite or whatever games kids play on their tablets and phones these days. I can’t fathom the thought of me, at his age, finding joy in joining my parent at work. My mother, the food prep lady at a high school. My father, the mechanic. Still, my son finds some morsel of joy in spending an 8-hour day (plus one hour for lunch) with his father, the library assistant in the special collections at an academic library.

He doesn’t bore me, by the way. I realize opening my thoughts with a story about my son made it seem that way. No. Work bores me, though my job is fun and exciting. It’s just moments like this, when my son is not in school, I’m wasting time away from him at my desk.

Ok. Maybe work just frustrates me.

It’s not like my job is a slow-moving book. Or a meeting that “could have been an e-mail.” Or church – my gosh, I still wondered how I managed to go every Sunday and sit there, not letting my mind wander.

And I wonder if my son gets bored. We live in an age where boredom is a thing of the past. At least, it seems to be. Yet my son, like so many of us – me included – can find solace in his phone. Staring at the screen. Watching video after video. And while such a time-waste may bring the ire of any other parent, I noticed that he becomes inspired by what he sees. He wants to make content, remix others content, build a platform with his friends.

And trust me – I get it. The idea that my son wants to be a content creator had me exasperated for a while. But he enjoys it. He’s inspired to learn tricks of the trade. How to edit. How to speak to a crowd. What kind of shit parent wouldn’t want that for their child?

That’s it!

That’s what bores me. Being uninspired.

Photo by Hikmet
Stream of Consciousness

Maybe Trapped Mostly Pensive

Cities familiar and unfamiliar

The voices come and go as they please. Some nights, I can hear them whispering inside my head as I struggle to sleep. My thoughts are a million per minute. Images flash behind closed eyes. Houses are empty. Vacant living rooms, cobwebbed and forgotten. A city where dreams wither and die. Street addresses that only exist once a week, or at a certain time of month. Former junkies wanting to tell their side of the stories. Superhuman beings wanting a chance to shine. An empty house. An empty room. An empty mind.

Some things I learned from someone who’s been to prison:

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Stream of Consciousness

An Atheist Christmas Special 2022

He spends too much time watching TV. Staring at the screen of his cell phone. Sometimes, he does both at the same time. Wasting hours that he’ll never get back watching media he won’t remember the next day. 

Remember that one TikTok video you watched while taking a shit? You sat there for at least five videos before you wiped and got back to whatever you were doing before nature called. Five videos worth of time after your final push. You sat on that toilet for five more videos breathing in shit particles exhumed from your shitty ass. And you saw that one video—not a thirst trap, but you do tend to like those as soon as they start—and it made you laugh? 

Of course, you don’t. Nobody remembers what they watched.

Continue reading “An Atheist Christmas Special 2022”
Stream of Consciousness

Therapy Session

—And then it stopped.

She took the long way home. Traveled the roads of endless fields, dried from the summer drought. The rains were still months away. The first of autumn baptizing the earth, washing it of sin. Erosion. 

The car sputtered, pulsed. She hoped she wouldn’t get stranded. Wouldn’t know how to even call for help. What the answer would be when they asked her, “What is your location?”

I dunno. The side of the road. There’s a field of tall, dry grass.

—And do you often refer to yourself as a woman?

—I don’t often refer to myself as anyone, actually.

—But you’ve used a female moniker in the past.

—I have gone by many names in the past. A couple were female, yes.

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Fiction · Stream of Consciousness

The Muse

I volunteered to take over the department inventory. This led me to running between office spaces and jotting down what was kept in what room, what occupied which filing cabinets, and what was housed in which cubbies. At the end of it, I settled that things were too spread apart. Items went missing before I took over, falling between the proverbial cracks. 

I printed the list of items we should have and just went at it. I counted single, loose items and jotted down the amount we had coupled with the amount still packaged. I reorganized the cubbies and shelves, making sure to compartmentalize the items within the columns. 

“You’re good at that,” Evelin said. 

“Let me walk you through,” I responded, dusting off my jeans. “In the first column here, we have repressed feelings. Secret affections on the top, followed by inner anger, pride, and sexuality. Right on the counter underneath that, we have, of course, fear of rejection that comes with each. As you can see, that’s way too much to shelve with the other items.”

“And what about these?” she asked, motioning to the pile I have laid out on the tables. 

“The first table here contains the memories I don’t know what to do with,” I shrugged. “Minor things that hold no significance to the Host. Bits of trivia that aren’t conversation starters. Really don’t know where to file these away.”

Evelin assessed the cluttered and the organized and nodded. “Seems like you have a better knack at this than the last person. This job really drove them up the wall.”

“What can I say,” I said. “I’m a natural.”

I kept up with work, making sure to sort anger in the proper receptacle, labeling the serotonin and dopamine properly, filing away the important, life-changing memories in their proper storage bin. I cataloged conversations by subject and audience. Archived text messages and letters. And tucked away the sentimental value of objects in their proper exhibitions.

But one day, something happened. 

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Stream of Consciousness

Things Lost in the Woods

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

She stood at its entrance, noticing how the trees filtered out the bright sun. She felt its pull, its beckoning. She wondered if he felt the same pull. Wondered if he stood there just as she was, trying to make sense of the need to enter the woods. The breeze rustled through the leaves, swaying the branches. It swirled across the ground and spiraled the debris toward her. A welcoming gift. And in the end, she crossed its border, feeling the woods swallow her up.

“Everything goes quiet,” she thought with a smile, “in Night Ocean.”