Death or Chocolate
What is the first thought you have upon waking in the morning? Haydn thought about the question his therapist had asked him the day before while he put on his pants backward. He tripped on a cat toy, sat on the couch and corrected the situation. He told her he thought about death and dying when he first arose. It always felt like coming up out of the grave when he first opened his eyes. The dark of the night sky and its vision of the universe made his soul expand, everything became doable, but sunlight turned the sky blue and blocked his view, flattened his hopes and made every idea impossible.
He often thought of the world waking up as the souls of the dead rising to the lids of their coffins.
She asked what he did.
He said he was a con man, a shill for the life insurance industry, trading in death futures and playing games with peoples' money.
"But I promised I wouldn't play with friends, nor relations," Haydn explained, blinking behind his glasses. He wanted her to think well of him.
"Why do you do something you hate?" She asked. Another question.
"What can we do once we are ordinary?" he countered. "I'm nothing, I'm nobody, a dead man walking. What else can I do? I stay up late at night and have such dreams, but in the morning, reality crushes them into dust, impossible plans."
"Why impossible?" She asked, staying with the small stuff.
Haydn wondered when she was going to ask the big, juicy questions, like why he hated his father and did he want to sleep with his mother.
"Who will listen to me, who will help me make my dreams come true? There are no genies out there, blue, red, pink or orange walking around. I had a wonderful idea for pizza-flavored chocolate but I'm not a candy maker, so who can I tell to make that happen?"
"You can delight your friends with it," she said.
"Yeah, whatever. That will hardly change the world."
"You never know," she replied. "You never know what love a good chocolate can create."
He thought about that while he finished dressing for another soul destroying day trading in death. Maybe chocolate was a better option. Maybe he could sell life insurance to a candy maker, now there's a thought.
---By Carla Blaschka, 10/1/11
Written alongside Priya, PurpleMark, Philip and a new recruit, Zoe (the other Zoe) at
Richard Hugo House.
Priya Keefe's Prompts
- "The souls of the dead rise to the lids of the coffins," William James.
- "He put on his pants backward," Sharon Meixsell.
- "What is the first thought you have upon walking in the morning?" Priya Keefe.
- "What can we do once we are ordinary?" Priya Keefe.
- "I promised I wouldn't play with friends, not relations, Haydn explained, blinking behind his glasses." The Steep Approach to Garbadale (Iain Banks), page 199.
- Inspiration from PurpleMark Wirth, his clothes and chocolates.
- Random Word: Shill
Also check out my new wordpress website. It's a literary journal called Randomly Accessed Poetics! Submissions are open. I will be publishing literary works, explicit language pieces, and eventually a journal a relative wrote in the late 1800's detailing their journey to Oregon on the Oregon Trail. And when I gather enough submitted works from other people, I will be cobbling together an e-anthology called Randomly Accessed Poetics.